Episode # 89 – Sage Vaishampayana tests King Janame-Jaya’s alertness!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed a brief on the various “Raakshasas” who were born as part of the “Chandra-Vamsa”. This might be a bit confusing for readers here, but we’ve to follow this very closely. Only if we do so, we would be able to understand many parts of the Mahabharata story that is to follow after this. In due course of yesterday’s episode, we saw the background of Jarashantha, Sishupaala and Shalya. Subsequently we shall move on from here and witness the next important accord of Sage Viashampaayana as part of the Sambhava Parva. 

He now details how Bhagawan Krishna incarnated and how He married 16,000 “Apsaras” women after killing a Raakshasa named Narakasura. We’ve witnessed these events during our previous “Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana” project as part of the tenth “Skandha”, wherein Sage Shukaachaarya detailed bit by bit about Bhagawan Krishna’s birth, how He grew up in Gokula, how He killed Kamsa and Chaanura, how He established His kingdom at Dwaaraka, how He married Jaambhavati after getting into a fight with Jaambhavan, etc. Subsequently, Bhagawan Krishna marries Rukmini Devi who was actually supposed to get married to Sishupaala, who was Bhagawan Krishna’s cousin. All these details are given here also by Sage Vaishampayana as well. Subsequently the “Narakasura-Vadam” happens and this event is celebrated as “Deepavali” all over the country even today. After this, Bhagawan Krishna marries Satyabhaama and the story goes on. 

Now moving forward from here, Sage Vaishampayana talks about Draupati, who was the wife of the Paandava brothers. She was the “Amsa” of Sashi-Devi, who was the wife of Indra. We’ve already witnessed that Indra’s “Amsa” was Arjuna, and if that is the case, Sashi-Devi should also be born in the same way, isn’t it? Similarly, there were two women by name “Siddhi” and “Driti”. These two women were born as “Kunthi Devi” and Maadri Devi”, who were the mothers of the Paandava brothers. Thus with this, we’ve witnessed an outline that the Devas, Raakshasas, Gandharvas, etc. took birth in this world as part of the huge “Chandra-Vamsa” at different stages to different people. With this, we come to an end of this accord and this “Adhyaaya” that we were seeing till now also comes to an end. All these “Adhyayaas” that we’re witnessing one after the other are all part of the “Upa-Parva” called “Sambhava Parva” only. 

Moving on with the next “Adhyaaya” within the “Sambhava Parva” itself, Sage Vaishampayana now explains to King Janame-Jaya that there was a person by name “Dushyanta” and his birth has a very interesting accord. He wanted to commence the Mahabharata story from the birth of Dushyanta and Bharata by bypassing the stories of Yayaati and Co. who were part of the previous generation of Dushyanta. However, King Janame-Jaya caught Sage Vaishampayana as the story started drifting. He requested Sage Vaishampayana to commence from how Yayaati and Co. were born. He wanted to listen to the entire storyline, and not from somewhere in the middle! 🙂 Left without an option thus, Sage Vaishampayana had to start from how Yayaati was born, what was the connection between Yayaati and Sage Shukraachaarya, etc. However, as Sage Vaishampayana structures the storyline, we can witness here that since he had already started explaining about Dushyanta, he wants to continue with it, finish it off and then go into the previous generation stories. There is a reason behind Sage Vaishampayana adopting this strategy of explanation, and we would understand this reason at a later stage. But for now, we’re all set for witnessing how Dushyanta was born. 

As we’ve seen earlier, in the family lineage of King Puru, we witnessed the Pouravas taking birth. It is part of this Pourava Vamsa that Dushyanta is born! Readers might get extremely confused here as I say this! This is because, we still do not know who is this King Puru and from where did the Pouravas come from, and where does Dushyanta fit in! Since the story starts all of a sudden from nowhere, King Janame-Jaya again got confused, just like how we got confused! 🙂 This is where the test for the listeners and readers come – If the story narration goes on with a definitive sequence one after the other, we would all go to sleep! However, if there are breaks like this in the middle, these are the places were we can test whether the readers and listeners are awake and alert or not! This was indeed a test for King Janame-Jaya to check whether he was alert enough to follow the story!
However, King Janame-Jaya was extremely alert here! He immediately caught that break point and quipped Sage Vaishampayana thus, “Oh Sage! From where did this Dushyanta come in all of a sudden? You never explained to me who Puru is! You never explained to me who the Pouravas are! Hence, begin the story from there on, and then come to Dushyanta!” With this, Sage Vaishampayana was also happy that King Janame-Jaya was alert and awake! He is now going to explain who is Puru and who are the Pouravas and then, how Dushyanta was born. We shall also wait along with King Janame-Jaya till the next episode to witness this important “Charitra”. 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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