Episode # 332 – The “Subadhra – Parinayam” – Bhagawan Krishna makes Arjuna dress up like a Sanyasin!!!


In the previous episode, we had concluded the all-important “Kuchela-Upaakhyaanam” with some important learnings that we can inculcate in us from this event. We had witnessed how Bhagawan Krishna was compassionate towards His starving friend and how He transformed his life totally when he returned back home! With this, we come to the end of one of the major events of the Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana and today, let us move on with the next item that Sage Sukhaachaarya is going to explain to King Parikshit. Now it is going to be “Subadhra-Parinayam”.

Now who is this Subadhra? She was none other than Bhagawan Krishna’s sister. In fact, she was Bhagawan Krishna’s cousin. If we happen to visit the “Puri-Jagannatha-Kshetra” in the eastern Indian state of Odisha today, we can witness three people giving darshan – One is Bhagawan Krishna, who is none other than Puri Jagannatha Swami, second is Balarama and third is this Subadhra. Thus, in Puri, we would be able to have the divine darshan of these three brothers and sisters together – Perhaps the only “Kshetra” wherein such a combo exists. Thus, this Subadhra was Bhagawan Krishna’s cousin sister and she is going to get married to Arjuna. We know that Arjuna is one amongst the five Paandava brothers, and in this “Subadhra-Parinayam”, we’re going to witness an interesting story as to how Arjuna is going to marry Subadhra. This is also going to be a comical story and now let us start enjoying and experiencing it.

Once when Bhagawan Krishna meets Subadhra, He understands the she had fallen in love with Arjuna for some reason. Thus, Bhagawan Krishna was wondering within Himself as to how to get Subadhra married to Arjuna. In normal terms and conditions of the society, this marriage might not be well-received, as it is within the family. We should recall here that Arjuna is also one of Bhagawan Krishna’s cousins. So, how can a brother marry a sister? But somehow, Subadhra had an interest towards Arjuna, and this is what made Bhagawan Krishna puzzled! Hence, He first goes to Arjuna and enquires whether he too is interested in marrying Subadhra. As Arjuna also answers in the affirmative, Bhagawan Krishna plans a “roadmap” for the marriage – He asks Arjuna to get dressed like a “Sanyasin”, go to the banyan tree at the end of the town, and sit below it. Accordingly Arjuna too dresses himself like a Sanyasin and sits below the banyan tree. Now Bhagawan Krishna takes everybody around Him, including Balarama to that banyan tree where Arjuna was sitting! As the entire crowd worships the “fake Sanyasin”, this “fake Sanyasin” blesses them with good health and long life.

However, when Balarama saw this “Fake Sanyasin”, he was so impressed upon seeing his handsome and charming look. He thus tells to Bhagawan Krishna thus, “Oh Krishna! Look at this Sanyasin! How handsome he’s looking! How much of “Thejas” his face is radiating with! He seems to be young, but how can one become such a pious person at such a young age? Isn’t he a very unique person? So, why shouldn’t we call him to our place once and give him some nice hospitality, so as to seek his blessings?” Upon hearing this, Bhagawan Krishna laughed out loud! It was as if He was expecting such an answer from Balarama! However, Bhagawan Krishna explained to Balarama thus, “Oh Balarama! Don’t talk like that. It is wrong to call a young boy to our home, even though he might be a sanyasin, especially when our sister Subadhra is there with us! If someone comes to know of it, it would be spoken about very badly amidst the society. We should never encourage a male coming to our home when Subadhra is there!”

It is a known fact that whatever Bhagawan Krishna says, Balarama would negate it. Bhagawan Krishna also knows this, and that’s why He’s playing the “game of opposites”. He thus, wants Arjuna to be called to their place, but if He directly says so to Balarama, he wouldn’t accept. Now He says that Arjuna shouldn’t be called to their place, and Balarama says the opposite! As Balarama was adamant in bringing Arjuna-Sanyasi home, Bhagawan Krishna didn’t talk much after that! The plan is working out extremely well! Accordingly, Balarama sets out to the same banyan tree and requests Arjuna-Sanyasi to visit their place once. As per Balarama’s invite, Arjuna-Sanyasi comes to their place. As Arjuna-Sanyasi arrives, Subadhra comes out of her dwelling place, does all the respects, etc. to the Sanyasin.

After two days, Bhagawan Krishna again plays the trick. He says to Balarama thus, “Oh Balarama! I think we should go on a “Teertha-Yatra” together and it’s been a while since we did that! So why don’t we set out for a few days and take Subadhra also along with us? Let us ask this Sanyasin to leave our place now. It’s been two days since he had arrived. Now it is time for him to go by his own ways!” Upon hearing thus, Balarama replies, “Oh Krishna! The idea of going for Teertha Yatra is fine, but why do we need to chase away a Sanyasin? Isn’t a great insult and a disrespect if we do so? Hence, let the Sanyasin be here only as much as he wants! Let Subadhra take care of all his needs till we come back!”

It was as if Bhagawan Krishna was waiting for such an answer for Balarama, and thus decides to set off. Both Bhagawan Krishna and Balarama set out for their “Teertha Yatra”, leaving the “fake sanyasin” and Subadhra all alone at their place! So for today, let us wait at this point and in the next episode we shall witness what’s going to conspire between the “fake Sanyasin” and Subadhra! Stay tuned! 🙂




Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at Bharatidhasan Institute of Management (BIM) Trichy, India A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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