Mahabharata -Rajagopalachari 344

Mahabharata -Chakravarti Rajagopalachari


To Hastinapura came the sad tidings of the death of Vasudeva and the destruction of the Yadavas. When the Pandavas received the news, they lost all remaining attachment to life on earth. They crowned Parikshit, son ofAbhimanyu, as emperor and the five brothers left the city with Draupadi. They went out on a pilgrimage, visiting holy places and finally reached the Himalayas. A dog joined them somewhere and kept them company all along. And the seven of them climbed the mountain on their last pilgrimage. As they toiled up the mountain path one by one fell exhausted and died. The youngest succumbed first. Draupadi, Sahadeva and Nakula were released from the burden of the flesh one after another. Then followed Arjuna and then great Bhima too. Yudhishthira saw his dear ones fall and die. Yet, serenely he went on not giving way to grief, for the light of Truth burned bright before him. Yudhishthira knew what was shadow and what was substance.

The dog still followed Yudhishthira. The lesson enforced by the poet in this episode of the dog is that dharma is the only constant companion in life's journey. It was dharma who, in the shape of the dog, followed Yudhishthira up the wearisome mountain path, when his brothers and wife had gone leaving him alone. Finally, when he reached a great height, Indra appeared in his chariot. "Your brothers and Draupadi have arrived before you. You have lagged behind, burdened with your body. Ascend my chariot and go with me in the flesh. I have come to take you," said Indra. But when Yudhishthira went up to take his seat in Indra's chariot, the dog also climbed up. "No, no," said Indra. "There is no place for dogs in swarga," and pushed the dog away.

"Then there is no room for me either," said Yudhishthira, and refused to enter the heavenly chariot if he had to leave his faithful companion behind. Dharma had come to test Yudhishthira's loyalty and he was pleased with his son's conduct. The dog vanished from sight. Yudhishthira reached swarga. There, he saw Duryodhana. The Kuru prince was seated on a beautiful throne and he shone with the splendor of the sun and around him stood in attendance the goddess of heroism and other angels. He did not see his brothers or anyone else. Yudhishthira was astonished. "Where are my brothers, ye denizens of swarga?" asked Yudhishthira. "This man of greed, of limited vision, is here. I do not care to spend my time in his company. We were driven by this man's envy and spite to kill friends and relatives. We stood tied by dharma to inaction when, before our eyes, innocent Panchali, united to us in sacred wedlock, was dragged to the Hall of the Assembly and insulted under the orders of this wicked man. I cannot bear the sight of this man. Tell me, where are my brothers? I wish to go where they are." Saying this Yudhishthira averted his eyes from where Duryodhana was seated in glory. Then Narada, the heavenly rishi of encyclopedic knowledge, smiled disapprovingly at Yudhishthira and said: "Renowned prince, this is not right. In swarga, we harbor no ill will. Do not speak in this manner about Duryodhana. The brave Duryodhana has attained his present state by force of kshatriya dharma. It is not right to let the things of the flesh stay in the mind and breed ill will. Do follow the law and stay here with king Duryodhana. There is no place in swarga for hatred. You have arrived here with your human body; so it is that you have these inappropriate feelings. Discard them, son!"



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Mahabharata -Chakravarti Rajagopalachari
Chapter Chapter Name Page No.
1. Ganapati The Scribe Bhagwan Vyasa 1
2. Devavrata 4
3. Bhishma's Vow 7
4. Amba and Bhishma 9
5. Devayani and Kacha 13
6. The Marriage of Devayani 18
7. Yayati 24
8. Vidura 26
9. Kunti Devi 29
10. Death of Pandu 31
11. Bhima 32
12. Karna 34
13. Drona 37
14. The Wax Palace 40
15. The Escape of the Pandvas 44
16. The Slaying of Bakasura 48
17. Draupadi's Swayamvaram 54
18. Indraprastha 58
19. The Saranga Birds 64
20. Jarasandha 67
21. The Slaying of Jarasandha 70
22. The First Honor 73
23. Sakuni Comes In 76
24. The Invitation 79
25. The Wager 82
26. Draupadi's Grief 86
27. Dhritarashtra's Anxiety 90
28. Krishna's Vow 93
29. Pasupata 96
30. Affliction is Nothing New 101
31. Agastya 105
32. Rishyasringa 109
33. Fruitless Penance 113
34. Yavakrida's End 115
35. Mere Learning is Not Enough 118
36. Ashtavakra 120
37. Bhima and Hanuman 122
38. I am No Crane 127
39. The Wicked Are Never Satisfied 130
40. Duryodhna Disgraced 133
41. Shri Krishna's Hunger 136
42. The Enchanted Pool 140
43. Domestic Service 146
44. Virtue Vindicated 151
45. Matsya Defended 155
46. Prince Uttara 159
47. Promise Fulfilled 163
48. Virata's Delusion 167
49. Taking Counsel 171
50. Arjuna's Charioteer 176
51. Salya Against his Nephews 178
52. Vritra 180
53. Nahusha 183
54. Sanjaya's Mission 187
55. Not A Needle-Point of Territor 191
56. Krishna's Misssion 194
57. Attachment and Duty 199
58. The Pandava Generalissimo 202
59. Balarama 202
60. Rukmini 205
61. Non-Cooperation 210
62. Krishna Teaches 213
63. Yudhishthira Seeks Benediction 215
64. The First Day's Battle 217
65. The Second Day 220
66. The Third Day's Battle 223
67. The Fourth Day 227
68. The Fifth Day 231
69. The Sixth Day 233
70. The Seventh Day 236
71. The Eighth Day 239
72. The Ninth Day 242
73. The Passing Of Bhishma 244
74. Karna and the Grandsire 246
75. Drona in Command 248
76. To Seize Yudhishthira Alive 249
77. The Twelfth Day 252
78. Brave Bhagadatta 255
79. Abhimanyu 260
80. The Death Of Abhimanyu 264
81. A Father's Grief 267
82. The Sindhu King 271
83. Borrowed Armor 275
84. Yudhishthira's Misgivings 279
85. Yudhishthira's Fond Hope 283
86. Karna And Bhima 286
87. Pledge Respected 290
88. Somadatta's End 293
89. Jayadratha Slain 297
90. Drona Passes Away 299
91. The Death Of Karna 302
92. Duryodhana 305
93. The Pandavas Reproached 309
94. Aswatthama 313
95. Avenged 316
96. Who Can Give Solace? 318
97. Yudhishthira's Anguish 321
98. Yudhishthira Comforted 324
99. Envy 326
100. Utanga 329
101. A Pound Of Flour 332
102. Yudhishthira Rules 336
103. Dhritarashtra 338
104. The Passing Away Of The Three 341
105. Krishna Passes Away 342
106. Yudhishthira's Final Trial 345