In the previous episode, we had witnessed Bhagawan Krishna leaving for Dwaraka after spending almost close to six to seven months continuously with the Paandava brothers. Bhagawan Krishna, along with Balarama made sure that the Paandavas got married to Draupati and had settled down well in the new kingdom called “Indraprastha”. In fact, as we’ve witnessed earlier, the Paandavas were given a barren area of land called “Kaandava Prastham”, which was later transformed into a sprawling and a beautiful city by Vishwakarma on the behest of Indra and Bhagawan Krishna. Thus, as Bhagawan Krishna leaves for Dwaraka, he assures the Paandava brothers and Draupati that He was just a thought away from all of them and whenever they needed His divine intervention, He was always available for them at any point of time. Subsequently as Bhagawan Krishna leaves, Sage Naarada makes his way into Indraprastha to meet Yudishtra and Co. Sage Naarada had come there to render some important advice to the Paandava brothers pertaining mainly to their future married life with Draupati, as five people have married her. He quotes the story of Sundha and Upasundha and how both of them killed each other in a feud involving their wife, Tilothama.
As Yudishtra asked Sage Naarada to detail this story, Sage Naarada explains it in brief: Sundha and Upasundha were two great people who were “Tapasvis” (Deeply involved in penance). Both of them performed intense Tapas towards Bhagawan Brahma and Bhagawan Shiva. Impressed by their immense Tapas, Bhagawan Shiva appeared in front of them and requested them to ask Him for a boon. Upon this offer, both of them requested Bhagawan Shiva for the greatest boon of “immortality”, which means, there shouldn’t be any death for both of them! However, Bhagawan Shiva wasn’t very convinced with this. He replied back to both of them that He can grant any other boon to them other than immortality, because, if such a thing is granted to two of them, it might become a precedent in the world and everyone will start asking for the same. Hearing thus from Bhagawan Shiva, Sundha and Upasundha modified their boon slightly thus, “Oh Bhagawan Shiva! If that is the case, we should not encounter death in any other form, except both of us killing each other!”
Sundha and Upasundha were thinking that they were smart enough because both of them were so united that they never fought with each other even for small things. If such is the case, where is the question of killing each other? Hence, both of them thought that this was one way to counter Bhagawan Shiva and outsmart Him by indirectly getting the boon of “immortality”. Laughing out at their ignorance, Bhagawan Shiva too granted the boon, and along with that, He created a beautiful woman by name Tilothama. Both of them desired to marry this beautiful woman and they got married to her as well. However, during the course of their married life with Tilothama, both Sundha and Upasundha developed a feud between them as to who should spend more time with her. This feud slowly brewed up into a huge fight between the two, and subsequently, both of them were up in arms against each other! At the end of the fight, both killed each other and Bhagawan Shiva’s words came true!
Thus, Sage Naarada quotes this story to Yudishtra and Co., to explain that since five of them have married one woman, the problem that happened between Sundha and Upasundha shouldn’t happen here as well. Thus, Sage Naarada suggests a way in which such a fight wouldn’t occur between the five brothers. Sage Naarada says thus, “Oh Yudishtra! Now let me create a rule here – For the first year, Draupati would be living together with Yudishtra. For the second year, Draupati would live together with Bheemasena. Subsequently for the third year, Arjuna would live with her. Thus, for one full year, Draupati would be living together with each of the five brothers, and the cycle would repeat after the fifth year is over. However, if one interferes between Draupati “out of his turn” when she is living with the other, he would lose his opportunity to live with her when his turn comes. Also, for the next twelve months, the one who interferes would have to undertake “Brahmacharya Vratha” (Life as an unmarried person)! This is the rule that I’m creating for all of you, so as to ensure that you would have a peaceful and a happy married life with Draupati!”
As Sage Naarada outlines the rule thus, Yudishtra accepted it readily. With this, the current Parva gets over, and we now move into the next “Parva” called “Arjuna-Vana-Vaasa Parva”. This is an interesting Parva as Sage Naarada’s rule was broken by Arjuna for some reason! We shall discuss this reason and witness what Arjuna did during this Vana-Vaasa time period in the next episode! Stay tuned! 🙂