In the previous episode, we had witnessed Arjuna undertaking “Vana-Vaasa” because he had allegedly entered into the chamber wherein Yudishtra and Draupati were together. Arjuna was in a “Dharma-Sankata” state (Catch-22 situation) wherein on one hand, he had to go ahead and protect a cow from being slaughtered, and at the same time, for doing that, he needed his bow and arrow to kill that person who was trying to slaughter the cow. For this, he had to enter into Yudishtra’s chamber to get his weapons! This was the paradoxical dilemma that Arjuna had entered into, however, on the pretext of protecting Dharma, Arjuna volunteered to force himself into the “fault” of entering inside Yudishtra’s chamber and decided to sacrifice one year of his married life as per Sage Naarada’s earlier instruction. Thus, Arjuna tied a cloth around his eyes and entered into Yudishtra’s chamber and picked up his weapons to go for the kill. As he comes back, he accepts his guilt in front of Yudishtra, and voluntarily takes up the “Vana-Vaasa”. Even though Yudishtra denied Arjuna that he was in no fault, Arjuna was firm in his stance – If there is a “Dharma” or a rule, it is not to be flexed for personal reasons. A rule is a rule for everyone irrespective of who the person is and what the circumstance is. Hence, with a heavy heart, the Paandava brothers accepted Arjuna’s stance and he fled to the forest with shame written all over his face.
Thus, Arjuna took up the “Vana-Vaasa” for a year, and at this time, he saw someone called “Ulupi” and fell in love with her. All this happened after the stipulated one year time period, and at a time when Arjuna was about to return back to Indraprastha. After falling in love with Ulupi, Arjuna married her and had a son with her. Subsequently, Arjuna met another woman by name Chitraangata. Again he fell in love with her and got married to her. Another child was born to this couple post their marriage. Subsequently, Arjuna met the third woman by name Subhadra. Thus, this was the third marriage now. Hence, we’re witnessing here that post his one-year “Vana-Vaasa” time period, Arjuna had married three women at different times – Ulupi, Chitraangata and Subhadra. We shall witness these details one by one.
First, Arjuna met Ulupi amidst the deep forest area where he was roaming around. Ulupi was a “Naaga-Kannika” (A woman born to the snake community). Ulupi was the daughter of Kaurava, who was one of the leaders in the “Naaga-Lokha”. As Arjuna met Ulupi, both were interested in each other, which led to Kaurava marrying them off. The son who was born out of this marriage was named as “Iraavaan”. Before the couple went for the child, Arjuna was a bit concerned because he was scared if this would demean the “Brahmacharya Vratha” that he was undertaking. However, Ulupi convinced Arjuna that the one-year period was over and now he was in the forest beyond this time period. Hence, Ulupi asserted that there should not be any hindrance henceforth for his “Brahmacharya Vratha”. With this, Arjuna was satisfied and thus, Iraavaan was born to both of them. As Arjuna satisfied her with a son, Ulupi blessed Arjuna with a boon thus, “Oh Arjuna! From now onwards, you would not have any fear when you’re amidst water! You would not drown inside deep waters at any point in time! Thus, the “fear of water” from today is not applicable to you!” Arjuna too was happy to obtain this boon from Ulupi and he subsequently left that place.
Next, Arjuna entered into a place called “Manipura”. There, he met the king of that place, whose daughter was Chitraangata. Subsequently, as Arjuna met Chitraangata, both of them fell for each other and eventually got married to each other as well. Post the marriage, the couple had a son by name Babruvaahana. Subsequently after a few months, Arjuna again leaves that place and moves on. Next, Arjuna moves to a place wherein there is a huge function going on. This place is also amidst the deep forest, however, the important catch point here is that, Bhagawan Krishna is also part of that function where Arjuna is also going to take part. This place was none other than the “Praabhaasa Kshetra”, from where Bhagawan Krishna eventually attained Vaikunta! This Praabhaasa Kshetra can be worshipped even today in the Indian state of Gujarat, near the town called Viraaval. This event of Bhagawan Krishna returning back to Vaikunta happened much later though, but at the moment, Arjuna and Bhagawan Krishna meet each other again at the Praabhaasa Kshetra.
Now this is going to be an important meeting between the two, and we shall witness the content of the meeting in the next episode. So for today, let us understand until this point and we shall continue this discussion in the next episode as well! Stay tuned! 🙂