Episode # 229 – Arjuna obtains the “GAANDEEPA” from Agni Bhagawan!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed an interesting background story for the “Kaandava-Vanam” to which Bhagawan Krishna and Arjuna have arrived. Upon arrival, the duo meet a Brahmana Rishi who is narrating the historical significance of this place. The Brahmana Rishi explains how King Shwetaki wanted to perform a hundred-year-long “Satra Yaaga” with a group of sages, but he couldn’t succeed. As King Shwetaki undertook a penance towards Bhagawan Shiva, He guided King Shwetaki to undertake a Yaaga with ghee for the next twelve years, further which, Bhagawan Shiva would again guide him with a solution. Accordingly, King Shwetaki performed the “Yaaga” as per the guidance of Bhagawan Shiva with an enormous amount of ghee for the next twelve years – This was too much for Agni Bhagawan to take! As Agni Bhagawan choked with too much of ghee, he fell sick and immediately ran to Bhagawan Shiva for help. As Agni Bhagawan was terribly sick, Bhagawan Shiva suggested that he goes to this “Kaandava-Vanam” area and wait for Bhagawan Krishna and Arjuna to arrive there. They would help him destroy that forest and with that, his sickness would come to an end. Meanwhile, Bhagawan Shiva sent Sage Dhurvaasa to King Shwetaki for continuing his 100-year-Yaaga. 

Thus, as per the instruction of Bhagawan Shiva, Agni Bhagawan was waiting for the duo of Bhagawan Krishna and Arjuna to arrive. On the other hand, Bhagawan Krishna too wanted to destroy this “Kaandava-Vanam” and make it free of all the dangerous animals that were residing there. This was posing a grave security threat to the Paandava brothers and Indraprastha city. 

Thus, the decision was made and both Arjuna and Bhagawan Krishna decided to “go for the kill”. However, at that critical point of time, Arjuna realized that he was just on a casual walk with Bhagawan Krishna and that, he did not have his bow, arrows and a chariot from where he would begin his destructive spree. It is at this time, Agni Bhagawan presents Arjuna with the “Gaandeepa” bow, which was extremely powerful in nature. It is the same “Gaandeepa” that Arjuna used even during the final assault at Kurukshetra. Thus, we should understand that Arjuna was presented with the “Gaandeepa” bow by Agni Bhagawan at this particular time. Not only that – Agni Bhagwan also presents Arjuna with a unique chariot, which had the flag of Hanuman over it. It is this same chariot that Arjuna and Bhagawan Krishna used during the Mahabharata war as well. Thus, all the equipment that Arjuna used during that important war were obtained here. Perhaps, Bhagawan Krishna brought Arjuna along with Him alone, so that Arjuna would be able to obtain all these. 

Now that Arjuna had obtained all the requisite equipment, it was all up to him now to do the needful for Agni Bhagawan. Thus, all of a sudden, the forest went up in huge flames, thanks to Agni Bhagawan! He had consumed all the ghee that King Shwetaki had offered him, isn’t it? Now it is time that he used up all that ghee to make the forest burn down quickly! However, as the fire threw up enormous flames and smoke, Indra got alerted and immediately the rain clouds gathered around that place. It started raining heavily and Indra tried to show his mighty prowess in putting off the huge fire. However, Arjuna jumped in and saw this as a chance to teach Indra a lesson. He immediately pulled out his “Aagneya-Asthra”, locked it into the “Gaandeepa” bow, aimed it towards the rain clouds and with this, the entire set of clouds were dissipated within seconds! Thus, the rain came to a stop and with this, the fire started to rapidly destroy the entire forest area. 

As the fire was raging at the “Kaandava-Vanam”, all the poisonous and dangerous animals started coming out of it one after the other. Snakes, and other wild animals started running out, but were also killed in the process. As animal after animal ran out and got killed, Bhagawan Krishna and Arjuna were eagerly waiting for Snake Takshaka to come out as well. However, to their dismay, Takshaka never came out! Was he resisting the fire and the heat by staying inside the forest? Actually the answer was a “No”! Takshaka had incidentally traveled to Kashi! He wasn’t around in that place! With this, the duo of Bhagawan Krishna and Arjuna felt a bit let down. However, Takshaka’s son was there, and he managed to resist the immense heat and stayed inside the “Kaandava-Vanam” itself! Meanwhile, Bhagawan Krishna and Arjuna realized that he was inside that fire, and Arjuna did not have the heart to kill him. Realizing Arjuna’s compassionate intention, Bhagawan Krishna also decided that they shouldn’t go after Takshaka’s son. With this, he was allowed to escape the burning forest area. 

So for today, let us understand up to this point, and let us wait till the next episode to find out who else was there inside the burning “Kaandava-Vanam”! 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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