Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana Book 1 Chapter 15:1-11

Book 1: Chapter 15

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Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 1: Chapter 15: Verses 1-11
Stricken with grief at their separation from Sri Krsna, the Pandavas instal Pariksit on the throne of Hastinapura and ascend to heaven

Suta continued : Sri Krsna's friend, Arjuna (also nicknamed as Krsna), who had grown lean and thin on account of his separation from Sri Krsna, was stormed with a number of questions by his (elder) brother, king Yudhisthira, since his (gloomy) appearance gave rise to many a doubt. His lotus-like face and heart were withering with grief and his brightness gone; and wholly engrossed in the thought of that very Lord, he could not make any answer. Overwhelmed with anxiety, caused by love, that had swelled due to the disappearance of the Lord, and recalling the friendliness, beneficence and good-will shown by Him while playing the role of a charioteer and so on, he managed with difficulty to restrain his tears within his eyes and wiped with his hands those that had trickled down his cheeks; and in a voice choked with tears he addressed his elder brother, king Yudhisthira, as follows: Arjuna said : "I have been deceived, O great king, by Sri Hari (Sri Krsna), who appeared in the form of a friend and relation to me, and who has now robbed me of my mighty valour, which was once the wonder even of gods. At a moment's separation from Him the world presents a loathsome sight, even as this body is called dead when bereft of life. Through His might I was able, on the occasion of the self-election of a husband by Draupadi, to outshine the princes that had assembled at the house of king Drupada, intoxicated with love, to hit the revolving fish (hanging from the roof as a target) after duly fitting the bow with an arrow, and in this way to win the hand of Krsna (Draupadi).

In His presence I speedily conquered Indra and his heavenly hosts, offered the Khandava forest to the god of fire and secured the council-chamber built by the demon Maya, which was of wonderful workmanship and full of conjuring devices; and tributary chiefs brought presents from every quarter during your Rajasuya sacrifice. It was by His might that the revered Bhimasena (your younger brother),possessing as he does the strength and vigour of ten thousand elephants succeeded in slaying Jarasandha-who was haughty enough to set his foot on the heads of vanquished kings-in order to accomplish the Rajasuya sacrifice.[1] Nay, it was He who set free a number of princes that had been (made captive and) brought by Jarasandha (to his capital) for being sacrificed to the god Mahabhairava (the chief of the Pramathas or attendants of Lord Siva) and who in return brought presents for your sacrifice. When your wife (Draupadi) fell at His feet with tears rolling down her cheeks, and loosing her lovely braid-which, though rendered most sacred and praiseworthy by being sprinkled with holy water during the Rajasuya sacrifice, had been roughly handled by miscreants (like Duhsasana and others) in open court-He requited the wrong done to her by widowing their own wives and thereby compelling the latter to loose their hair.[2] Nay, it was He who saved us from a terrible pitfall contrived by our enemy (Duryodhana)through the sage Durvasa-who took his meals ahead (in the company) of not less than ten thousand pupils (wherever he went)-by going to the forest and accepting a stray remnant of some vegetable stuff "(left in Draupadi's kettle). By His doing so the whole host of students (that had accompanied Durvasa), while yet immersed in water (for ablutions and prayers), felt as if all the three worlds had been surfeited.[3]

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References

  1. He alone can perform a Rajasuya sacrifice, who has reduced to submission all the living monarchs of his time.
  2. Hindu widows keep their hair unbralded and unkempt and even shave them as a sign of lifelong mourning for their husband.
  3. On a certain occasion prince; puryodhana showed great hospitality to the sage Durvasa. Pleased with him, the sage desired him to aska boon. Finding it a splendid opportunity to bring ruination on his cousins, the Pandavas, by inviting the sage's curse on them, he persuaded him to seek the hospitality of Yudhisthira, the principal member of his race with his ten thousand alumni. But he advised the sage to calf on the Pandavas, living in the forest, at a time when their consort, Draupadi, had finished her meal after feeding all the other people of their camp, so that the virtuous lady might not have to starve. Draupadi had in her possession a miraculous kettle, bestowed on her by the sun-god, the contents of which would not be exhausted till she had partaken of them. Durvasa, as advised by Duryodhana, called on the Pandavas with his ten thousand pupils in the afternoon after Draupadi had taken her meal and, after meeting Yudhisthira and asking him to get food ready for him and his pupils, he proceeded with them to the river bank for ablution and prayers. Much concerned over this, Draupadi in her deep agony invoked the succour of Sri Krsna, the friend of the distressed, who immediately responded to her prayer and called at her door. No sooner had He stepped into her cottage than He asked her to get Him something to eat, as He was feeling awfully hungry. Draupadi felt overwhelmed with gratitude at the Lord's unique grace in asking her for food, even though He sustained the whole universe, but pleaded helplessness, as there was nothing left in the kitchen to satisfy His hunger. The Lord would not however, be easily put off; He insisted on seeing the kettle Himself. Draupadi could no longer resist His importupity and brought the kettle before Him, when to ! He found a fragment of the vegetable food cooked in it sticking somewhere in the neck of the kettle. The Lord, who is the Soul of the universe, satisfied His hunger with that fragment, thereby satisfying the whole universe, and asked Bhimasena to call the sage and his host of pupils for dinner. The sage and his pupils, however, had already disappeared since they felt no appetite and feared lest they should incur the displeasure of the Pandavas, who like Ambarisa were great devotees of the Lord, for declining their hospitality.

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