Episode # 183 – The Paandavas prepare themselves to proceed to the “Paanchaala Desha”!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed Bheemasena emerging victorious against the treacherous Bhakaasura, who was consuming people for his food every other day from every family of the town. As Bheemasena approached Bhaka with the entire lot of food for the day, it was he who ended up eating all the food items that was reserved for Bhaka. Ultimately when Bhakaasura came to know that someone else had consumed all his food, he became furious and a huge fight between Bheemasena and Bhakaasura began. Ultimately, Bheemasena proved to be stronger than Bhakaasura in terms of raw muscle power and Bheemsena ensured that Bhakaasura paid for all that he has done! He ultimately killed Bhakaasura and with this, the entire town of “Eka-Chakra-Nagara” erupted in joy! More than erupting with joy, the town heaved a huge sigh of relief that they were henceforth safe and secure without the atrocities of Bhakaasura. 

As Bheemasena comes back victorious, the entire town was curious to know who was the person who killed Bhakaasura. As the people in the town started asking who this person was, Bheemasena was quick to morph his identity. He did not reveal his real self, because, if he does, Duryodhana would somehow come to know of it. Instead, Bheemasena replied thus, “Oh people! I’m an ordinary person who is residing with this Brahmin family nearby. It was their family’s turn to take food for Bhakaasura, and since they had given us hospitality at a crucial time, we had to pay it back to them with respect. Hence, I took up the responsibility to go to Bhakaasura. However, some “Devata” came in all of a sudden and with the “Anugraha” of that Devata which came by, Bhakaasura died. I did not have any role in killing Bhakaasura!” Hearing this from Bheemasena, the other Paandava brothers too joined the chorus and the town believed the narrative. However, after this episode was over, the Paandavas decided that they should move on to some other place. This is primarily because if they stay here for a longer time, slowly and steadily, the people might start realizing that they are not “Brahmana Rishis” as they portray to be and it might be dangerous for their safety and security. 

As the Paandavas decided thus, they asked the Brahmin family as to where they could go from here on. It was the Brahmin family that gave the Paandavas a heads up on the “Svayamvara” of Draupati that was arranged by King Drupada at the “Paanchaala Desha” or “Drupada Desha. It is this same King Drupada that we had witnessed earlier, who was involved in a tiff with Guru Dhronaachaarya. Readers might remember that the Paandavas’ first assignment from Guru Dhronaachaarya was to go and defeat  King Drupada, capture him and bring him alive to Guru Dhronaachaarya, as he had a childhood issue to settle with King Drupada. Readers must understand that every bit of an incident is important to be remembered in the Mahabharata and it would come somewhere much later. Coming back to the context thus, the head of the Brahmin family said to Yudishtra thus, “Oh great Rishi! You may proceed to the Paanchaala Desha wherein, King Drupada has arranged for a “Svayamvara” of his daughter, Draupati. This is the biggest event that is being talked about widely everywhere at the moment. There would be a lot of guests who would come for the event. There would also be great kings from many other “Deshas” assembling there. It would thus be a good opportunity to meet some of them and with their guidance, you may find a good place to live and continue your penance! Also, King Drupada is known for his hospitality. Upon seeing you as Brahmana Rishis, he would provide you with a good welcome and hospitality!” 

It is to be noted that this Brahmin family with which they were living, doesn’t know that Yudishtra and Co. are none other than the mighty Paandava brothers. They are amidst the impression that these five people are random sages roaming here and there in the forest. Taking their advice, the Paandavas decided to proceed to the “Paanchaala Desha”. As the Paandavas are preparing themselves to start their journey towards the Paanchaala Desha, there was an “Upanyaasaka” who came to the Brahmin family’s house. Normally, an “Upanyaasaka” is a person who narrates interesting stories about Bhagawan and His life incidents. This Upanyaasaka is going to narrate some interesting stories to the Paandavas before they start, and Sage Vyaasa has documented all these stories in the next “Upa-Parva” called “Chaitra-Rasa Parva”. 

As we begin this interesting “Upa-Parva”, I shall just give a short brief about what we’re going to witness in it – There was a “Gandharva” by name “Chitra-Rasa”. As the Paandavas were crossing the Ganges to reach Paanchaala Desha, this Chitra-Rasa came to fight with them. Arjuna took Chitra-Rasa head on, and defeated him. Impressed by Arjuna’s valor, Chitra-Rasa teaches Arjuna a technique called “Chaakshusi”. This is an ability to witness whatever we want to see, in front of our two eyes! Wherever that object or that living being might be located in this world – If one wants to see that object / being in front of his two eyes at that very moment, it is possible with this “Chaakshusi Viddhya”. It is Chitra-Rasa who taught Arjuna this important technique. In return, as a token of gratitude, Arjuna gifted Chitra-Rasa with the powerful “Aagneya-Asthra”. 

So for today, let us understand until this point, and let us wait till the next episode to witness the “Chaitra-Rasa Parva” in detail! 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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