Lord Rama along with his vanara army was fighting the battle with Ravana. In the battle, Meghanada, son of Ravana hurled a deadly weapon at Lakshmana and he fainted and fell down on the ground. Lakshmana was severely injured and about to die, he could only be cured with Sanjeevani booti which is found in mount Dronagiri (Mahodaya) in the Himalayas. Sanjeevani is a magical herb which has the power to cure serious nervous system problems. It was believed that Sanjeevani herb could be used to prepare various medicines and these medicines had the power to cure all diseases and they could revive the person where death was almost certain. Rama asked Hanuman to bring the Sanjeevani booti from the mountain and Jambavan explained him the area where he could find the herb. Do you know what happened to the mountain lord Hanuman airlifted to Srilanka?
Hanuman flew to the Mount Dronagiri area but villagers of Dronagiri did allow him to pass through. Since time was running out and he had to return Lanka very soon to save Lakshmana, Hanuman disguised himself as a sage and asked an elderly woman in the village about the mountain where magical herb could be found. The woman was moved by the sage’s plea and she showed him the path to the covered area of the mountain. Lord Hanuman reached the mountain but he could not identify the Sanjeevani booti. As he had very limited time, he disfigured the mountain and carried the half of the mountain on his palm to Lanka. Hanuman reached Lanka in time and Lakshmana was revived. The elderly woman vanished from the village and subsequently, all women of the village were barred from worshipping the mountain.
The Ramayana describes the mountain where Sanjeevani herb was supposed to grow. Experts believe that Ramayan referred to the Dronagiri range. In current time, Dunagiri is an area in Almora district in the state of Uttarakhand in India. The mountain is located approximately 400 km from Delhi. The place that is also known as Dunagiri, Drongiri or Doonagiri which is formed by a group of six small villages.
It is said the Dunagiri villagers have still not forgiven Hanuman for defacing the mountain they worshipped. He is still considered as bad in the area and temples do not allow idols of Hanuman to be placed. In yearly celebration of Ram Leela, the villagers only perform till the point where Lord Hanuman was asked to bring herb and later on the story is not shown as part of the program.
According to the local tradition, the town of Dunagiri has been regularly visited by sages who established their ashrams. Ashram of Garg Muni (after whom river Gagas is said to have been named) was located here in the midst of nature. Sukhdev Muni’s ashram (son of sage Ved Vyasa) also visited a place which is now known as “Sukh Devi”.The Pandavas took shelter at Dunagiri during their period of anonymous stay. It is said that Pandavas lived at Pandukholi (a place near Dunagiri ) for a period of time. Pandava’s Guru Dronacharya also did penance at Dunagiri.Dunagiri is also mentioned in Manas Khand of Skanda Purana.
The Sanjeevani herb which is believed to have many medicinal properties in Ayurveda has been searched up to recent times but no success till date. In certain texts, it is written that Sanjeevani herb glows in the dark. The state of Uttarakhand committed an initial 25 crore rupees of the state fund to search for Sanjeevani booti starting in August 2016. The hunt for mysterious Sanjeevani herb was mainly focused on the Dronagiri mountain range of the Himalayas. It will be interesting to see if the committee could find the Sanjeevani herb and it may be used for the welfare of humans.
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