In the previous episode, we had witnessed the concluding remarks on the “Teertha-Yatra Parva” and we’re now entering into some important “Upa-Parvas” as part of this exercise to see things in a bit more detail. In this way, we had commenced with the “Nivaadha-Kavacha-Yuddha Parva”, wherein Nivaadha and Kavacha who are two big enemies for Indra are being spoken about here. This is a very interesting accord and it begins from the point wherein Arjuna comes back from the “Svarga Lokha”. We’ve witnessed yesterday and earlier too that Arjuna had gone to the “Svarga Lokha” to meet Indra and the others for a period of five years as per our “Manushya Lokha” time calculation. Maathali, who was the charioteer for Arjuna from the “Svarga Lokha”, brings him back safely to the place from where he picked Arjuna up. As Arjuna arrives after such a long gap, Yudishtra and the others are all extremely happy to see him back! Arjuna pays his respects to all his brothers and to Draupati as well, as all of them settle down to discuss what all happened during this five-year period. Arjuna is now narrating his accord first as to what were the key moments that he experienced in the “Svarga Lokha”. We’ve already discussed all these instances earlier itself, as to how Arjuna had the opportunity to learn music, dance, etc. under the able guideship of Indra. However, there is one small incident which I hadn’t narrated at that point, which is nothing but the encounter with Nivaadha and Kavacha. Here, Arjuna himself is explaining what happened with them, and we shall now see that in a bit of detail.
One day, as Arjuna is sitting in the Svarga Lokha looking around, Indra approaches him. Indra comes near Arjuna and says thus, “Oh my son Arjuna! You know very well that I had helped you with so many “Asthras” and “Shastras”, don’t you? Moreover, most importantly I had freed you from the curse given to you by Urvashi. For all what I had done for you till now, aren’t you liable to give a “Guru Dakshina” to me? You should give me something in return, isn’t it?” As Indra says thus, Arjuna replies to Indra back: “Oh Indra! Of course! I’m ready to give you anything that you want from me! Tell me what I can do for you!” As Arjuna accepts thus, Indra explains: “Oh Arjuna! There are two great enemies for me for a long time – Nivaadha and Kavacha. Both of them are Raakshasas and are extremely powerful. With their powers, they are torturing me for a long time now. Maybe with whatever you’ve obtained here, you may go and fight with them and win over them, so that you can give me relief from these two people. If you do this for me, this would be the greatest “Guru Dakshina” that you could give me!”
As Indra requests thus, Arjuna gets ready for the war. He prepares himself with all the weapons and his chariot and advances towards both the Raakshasas. A huge war erupts between both the camps and at the end, Arjuna destroys both Nivaadha and Kavacha together! After the war is over, Arjuna and his set of warriors are returning back to Indra-Patnam. On their way, Arjuna comes across a beautiful forest area which is unfortunately in a destroyed state. This forest was earlier destroyed by two Raakshashis namely Puloma and Kaalaka and were extremely powerful in that area. As Maathali explains all this to Arjuna, he decided that he would wage another war with these two and destroy them as well. Accordingly, Arjuna went on the offensive immediately and at the end, destroyed both these Raakshasis successfully. The sons of these two Raakshasais were none other than the “Kaalakeyas”. These Raakshasas were extremely powerful too and were destroying the world with all their evil powers. Whenever somebody comes and attacks them, they would go and hide themselves deep under the ocean waters, so that nobody could find and attack them! We’ve witnessed the story of these Kaalakeyas earlier itself, and we’ve witnessed that it was Sage Agasthya who drank all the ocean waters and exposed these Kaalakeyas, only to be killed by Indra himself, aided by Arjuna. Thus, the Kaalakeyas were successfully destroyed with Sage Agasthya’s help, and next, Arjuna enters the place called “Hiranyapura”. Thus, with his strength, Arjuna destroys all the evil Raakshasas who were dominating this place and eventually helps all the sages and great Maharishis to live there peacefully.
With this, Arjuna successfully fulfills Indra’s requests and thus, Indra provides him with his divine “Anugraha” immediately with a pleasing heart! With all this in place, Arjuna comes back to the Manushya Lokha to meet his brothers and Draupati! So for today, let us understand up to this point, wherein Arjuna is back in business amidst the Paandava brothers! We shall continue this discussion in the next episode to witness what happened next! Stay tuned! 🙂