Episode # 17 – The “PANDAVA” Tree – Sage Vyaasa explains!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed Sage Vyaasa explaining first-up the crux of the entire text. We can take this section as the “Preface” of the great text called Mahabharata. In the modern day books that are being published, we would witness the “Preface” and a “Summary” of the entire book being written first-up, isn’t it? Some people call this “Abstract”. This terminology called “Abstract” is predominantly used in scientific research and journal articles, however, we can still equate this terminology to what Sage Vyaasa is talking about here too. Thus in these lines, we’ve witnessed one part of the “Abstract”, wherein Sage Vyaasa is talking about the “Kaurava” and the “Pandava” trees. We witnessed the “Kaurava tree” in detail during yesterday’s episode. We’ve witnessed how King Dhirdiraashtra and Duryodhana being the central fulcrums (Foundation and the fundamental reason for existence) of the “Kaurava tree”. All the other people like Ducchaasana, Shakuni, Karna, etc. formed various parts of the tree according to their individual capacities. Thus, the “Kaurava Tree” is one segment of the entire Mahabharata. 

As Sage Vyaasa detailed thus about the “Kaurava tree”, it is now the “Paandava Tree” to get its due share of attention. Sage Vyaasa explains thus: 

“Yudishtro dharma mayaha skandaha arjunaha!

Bheemasenokta shaakaaha maadri suthou pushpa phale!!

Moolam krishno brahmacha braahmanaascha!!” 

This is an exceptional summary that Sage Vyaasa is making here, with regards to the “Paandava tree”. Just like how in the “Kaurava tree” we witnessed Duryodhana being an embodiment of “Manyu” (Anger), here we’re witnessing Yudishtra (Dharma-Putra) being the fulcrum and an epitome of “Dharma”. Whatever is specified in the “Dharma” rule book, Yudishtra would be one of the greatest examples who would have followed them. Moving on further, just like how Karna was the sole trusted aid of Duryodhana in the “Kaurava tree”, here, Arjuna was the sole trusted aid of Yudishtra. Similarly, just like how Shahuni formed the branches and leaves of the “Kaurava tree”, here, Bheemasena forms the branches and leaves of the “Paandava tree”. All of us know how powerful Bheemasena was with regards to physical strength. Hence, Bheemasena was the “go to” person for Yudishtra if such a requirement arose. In similar lines, just like how Ducchasna was the “fruits and flowers” of the “Kaurava tree”, Nakula and Sahadeva were the fruits and flowers of the “Paandava tree”. The term “Maadri sutaha” refers to the last two Paandava brothers of “Nakula” and “Sahadeva”, because they were the sons of “Maadri”, who was another wife of King Paandu. Of course all of us might know of Kunthi Devi being one of King Paandu’s wives, and she was the mother of Yudishtra, Bheemasena and Arjuna. 

Moving further, just like how King Dhirdiraashtra was at the center-stage of the entire “Kaurava tree”, Bhagawan Krishna is at the center-stage of the “Paandava tree”. We would see in due course of the Mahabharata discussion as to how Bhagawan Krishna is always at the back of the Paandavas, helping and protecting them at crucial times. Bhagawan Krishna played the “anchor role” even during the final Kurukshetra war and it is solely because of Him, did the Paandavas win the war. If not for Bhagawan Krishna, the Paandavas would have lost the war within just 2-3 days. The Kaurava camp had so much arms, ammunition, talented warriors, etc. and this was no match to what the Paandavas had. It is solely because of Bhagawan Krishna that the Paandavas were protected at various stages of the war, which we’re going to witness in a great deal of detail later. 

Thus, such is the comparison of the “Kaurava” and the “Paandava” trees, and with this, Sage Vyaasa has created a great masterpiece called the “Mahabharata”. If the “preface” or the “abstract” itself is so absorbing for all of us to read through, I’m sure we’re going to be glued to our seats as the Mahabharata story commences in full detail. As Sage Vyaasa explains this, he doesn’t call it the end for the “Preface”. He also explains in a series of 4-5 slokas as to why Duryodhana was an epitome of anger. We’ve just seen that Duryodhana bursts out with anger and fury everytime whenever the Paandavas are being regarded highly, isn’t it? There is a big reason behind Duryodhana’s intense fury and Sage Vyaasa captures the essence of that fury here. Sage Vyaasa explains thus, 

“Mrga vyavayaadidhidanaath krishraam paapa sa aapadam!

Janmah prakrithi paarthaanaam tatra aachara vidhihkramaha!!

Maatraha maatrorabhupa patthischa dharmopanishadam pathi!

Dharmascha vaayo chakrasya devayoshca tathaasvinou!!”

In fact, if I’ve to put this into perspective, with these above-mentioned slokas, Sage Vyaasa has summarised the entire Mahabharata text. In modern day terms, we call this as “Precise writing”. We should be able to convey a content within a short span and duration of time and at the same time, we should be able to convey the same content at length with a great deal of detail too. We should be competent in both ways. Sage Vyaasa is demonstrating this competency clearly here. He has summarised the entire Mahabharata into just 5-6 slokas (including the previous “Kaurava and Paandava tree” slokas). At the same time, he has composed around 60 Lakh slokas to expand the content into a great detail. 

So now, through these slokas, Sage Vyaasa is clearly outlining the key reasons why Duryodhana was an epitome of anger! What are these reasons? Let us wait for an absorbing and an interesting next episode to find out! 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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