In the previous episode, we had witnessed the official commencement of the Mahabharata storyline, wherein King Janame-jaya is performing an enormous “Satra Yaaga”. We had in due course witnessed a brief background recollection with regards to who was King Janame-Jaya. He was none other than King Parikshit’s son, who took over the reins of the kingdom after he was killed by a serpent. King Parikshit is Arjuna’s grandson. The story starts with a note that King Janame-jaya is performing this “Satra-Yaaga”, and as part of this, many great and important sages are participating in it. Sage Vaishampayana is also part of this group and it is he who is narrating the entire “past” to King Janame-Jaya. This narration of the past is what forms the basic Mahabharata text. It is this big storyline that was documented by Sage Vyaasa, which was in turn narrated by Sage Pouranika to a group of sages seated at the Naimishaaranya Kshetra.
I hope readers are getting the continuity here. The actual story was narrated by Sage Vaishampayana to King Janame-Jaya and subsequently, all narratives that exist are just the documentation of this important conversation. Now as we commence the Mahabharata text, let us continue witnessing the reason behind King Janame-Jaya performing the “Satra-Yaaga” and its background story. King Janame-Jaya is performing this “Satra Yaaga” along with his three brothers. As the offerings are going on in full swing, there was a dog by name “Sarama”, which was from the “Deva Lokha”. This wasn’t an ordinary dog that we find in our “Manushya Lokha”. This dog was very interested to take part in the “Satra Yaaga” and it came along into the venue. However, the people who were performing the Yaaga weren’t impressed. They started chasing Sarama and beating it left, right and center. Normally, it is a protocol that a dog shouldn’t make its way into a place wherein spiritual offerings are made. If the dog enters inside and touches the “Havirbaaga” (The materials that are to be offered to Agni Bhagawan), it is considered to be inauspicious. Thus here too, as the dog enters, the people gathered there thought that it is going to be inauspicious if it touches the “Havirbhaaga”. In fact, the dog did not touch anything there. It was quietly coming alongside and wanted to sit in one corner. However, these people were so arrogant that they beat it with sticks and chased it away.
Crying thus, Sarama went straight to her mother. Her mother was one of the chief dogs in the “Deva Lokha”. Upon seeing her daughter crying profusely, the mother dog asked the reason for the same. Sarama replies thus, “Oh mother! Inspite of me being obedient and not disturbing the Satra Yaaga in any way, I was beaten and bruised by the people there. Isn’t it “Adharma”? Why should they hurt me if I hadn’t committed any mistake?” Understanding the gravity of the situation, the mother dog took Sarama along with her and hurried to the venue where the “Satra Yaaga” was taking place. She barges into the venue and asks King Janame-Jaya thus, “Oh King! It is under your supervision that this Yaaga is taking place, isn’t it? Even though my daughter did not commit any mistake, why was she thrashed and beaten by your people? I demand an explanation for this heinous crime against my daughter!”
As the mother dog was demanding an answer in public thus, King Janame-Jaya was caught off guard! He had no answer to the dog’s query! It was indeed his mistake for not stopping the “Adharma” that was taking place right in front of his eyes! Seeing King Janame-Jaya answerless, the mother dog straightaway inflicted a curse on him! She said thus, “Oh King Janame-Jaya! For the “Adharma” that you had performed right in this courtroom, I’m inflicting a curse on you – You would be surrounded and trapped by an “enormous” problem that you wouldn’t even have thought of in your life till date! With that, you would face the torture that my daughter Sarama faced! If you have the guts and bravery, try and protect yourself from that “unknown” problem that you’re going to face!”
Readers should remember here that this dog isn’t an ordinary dog. It is directly from the “Deva Lokha” and is extremely powerful. However, the people who had beaten it did not know that Sarama was from the “Deva Lokha”. They mistook it for an ordinary dog and went ahead! However, this act has very badly backfired on King Janame-Jaya, which makes him shake with fear! After the “Satra Yaaga” gets over, King Janame-Jaya hurries back to his kingdom and is in deep thought about what that problem would be and how he would be able to tackle it successfully! After a lot of thought going inside, King Janame-Jaya chalks out a plan. He decides to call a well-qualified “Purohita” (Pandit) to whom he can ask for a suggestion. Perhaps, with the help of this “Purohita”, King Janame-Jaya can perform some “Good Karma”, to try and neutralize this problem that is going to be inflicted on him! King Janame-Jaya wanted to give it a try!
So for today, let us understand up to this point, and in the next episode we shall witness who was that “Purohita” whom King Janame-Jaya called. We shall also witness whether this plan of King Janame-Jaya worked successfully or not in the next episode! Stay tuned! 🙂