Right now we are at a juncture of an interesting story that Vidura is narrating to King Dhirdiraashtra to establish and drive home the important aspect of a righteous and a successful leader – Maintaining our honesty and truth at all times. We’ve commenced the story wherein two people – Sudhanvaa and Virochanaa are all set to attend the “Svyamvara” of Kesini. As we’ve discussed yesterday, this “Svyamvara” is nothing but a contest between princes and the winner of this contest will marry the girl. Now Virochana has already taken his seat on the throne-like chair as Kesini approaches him. She quips Virochanaa tactically by asking what makes him to be a deserving candidate to sit on that throne-like chair. Virochana has replied that he is a representative of the “Raakshasa” community, which has already established its supremacy over all other communities like Devas, Gandharvas, Dhaanavas, etc. and that, he is the most eligible candidate to be on that chair! Hearing this, Kesini replies back that we would wait till the next morning until Sudhanvaa arrives to the scene, and later will decide.
Thus we are waiting for Sudhanvaa to arrive! The next day morning, everybody take their place along with Kesini. Virochana goes and sits on the chair that is next to Kesini. It is after he takes up the chair to sit, Sudhanvaa enters inside the hall. Upon Sudhanvaa’s arrival, Kesini gets up and pays her respects to him, as he is a Brahmin. As this formality gets over, Virochana invites Sudhanvaa to come and sit on the chair that is lying vacant beside him. Now Sudhanvaa responsds to Virochana’s gesture thus: “Oh Virochana! It is the normal practice that a Brahmin sits near a Brahmin, a Kshathrya sits near a Kshathrya, a Deva sits near another Deva and a Raakshasa sits near another Raakshasa. Here too, it is bound upon us to practice this protocol and thus, I cannot sit near a Raakshasa who is an embodiment of greed, desire and jealousy!”
Hearing thus, Virochana gets offended and replies back to Sudhanvaa, “Oh Sudhanvaa! What you’ve said is correct! The best “Aasana” (Seat) for a Brahmin is the Dharba grass spread on the floor and hence you sit on the floor and let me sit on the chair! Moreover, I’m the king who has won over all the other forces and people around the world! So in all ways, I’m the most deserving person to occupy this chair!”
As Sudhanvaa hears this arrogant answer from Virochana, he replies fumingly, “You know what Virochana? If I sit on a chair, your father, Prahlada would always sit down on the floor in front of me!” For this, Virochana gets even more angry and irritated. He now counters Sudhanvaa’s claim thus: “Oh Sudhanvaa! If that’s the case, let us have the contest right away! If you win the contest, all my property, kingdom would be yours!”
“Hiranyancha gavaashvancha yath vitthamasureshunaha!
Sudhanvan vishane tena prashnam prichaava ye viduhu!!”
Virochana continues thus, “For our contest, we need a judge who should supervise its proceedings! Let the judge decide who is better amongst you and me!”
Hearing all this from Virochana, Sudhanvaa replies back thus: “Oh Virochana! I never desire to have your property and kingdom! You can keep all of it with you only! If you want to bet something for this contest, let us pledge and bet our life for it! I’m ready to pledge my entire life for this contest! Are you ready? And, whom do you want to call upon as the judge?” For this, Virochana replies thus,
“Na thu deveshvamsthaataa na manushyeshu karihichith!!”
Virochana explains the parameters that the judge should possess: The judge should neither be any of the “Devas” (Celestial Beings) nor any “Manushya” (Human being), nor a person who is close to you. Apart from these two criteria, the judge can be any other person. Upon hearing this from Virochana, Sudhanvaa replies back, “If that’s the case, let us go to your father Prahlada and let us ask him if he’s ready to judge our contest! I’m okay if he’s the judge, although he is your father. I’m confident that your father Prahlada would talk only the truth at all times and he’s a righteous person who stands by Dharma. Come, let us go and check out!”
Thus both of them go in search of Prahlada.
“Pitharam te gamishyaavaha pranayor vipane krithe!
Puthrasyaapi sa hetor hi prahlaado naanritham vatheth!!”
Thus Sudhanvaa is extremely confident that Prahlada is a person who always stands by the truth and Dharma. He is one person who never compromises Dharma on the context of “Puthra-Vaatsalya” (Attachment towards the son). On seeing these two coming towards him, Prahlada himself started to tremble. Prahlada started wondering, “Oh! How come these two are coming together? Aren’t these two the worst enemies ever in this world? Why are Virochana and Sudhanvaa coming together towards me?” Thinking and wondering thus, Prahladha was tensed as to what is going to unfold! Now Prahlada talks to both of them thus:
“Imau tau sampradishyethe yaabhyaam na charitham saha!
Aasheevishaaviva krudhaa vegamaargaa vihaa gathau!!”
Prahladha thus wonders why these two are coming together and asks his son Virochana, “Is Sudhanvaa your friend by any means?” Virochana thus explains the situation to his father, “Oh Father! We’re never friends together and can never be in future too! We’re in a problem and we’ve come to you seeking a solution for it! The issue here is that who is more significant amongst both of us. You should be able to give a verdict to this, in a neutral manner. Sudhanvaa felt that you would be an appropriate person to be the judge for this issue, since you’re an embodiment of Dharma!”
Now how is Prahlada going to react to this tricky situation? What is his answer going to be? What lessons can King Dhirdiraashtra and all of us can learn? Let’s wait till the next episode to find out! 🙂 Stay tuned!