In the previous episode, we had witnessed the “Kaandava-Vanam” up in flames as Indra tried his best to put the blaze off with a bout of heavy rain. However, Arjuna was quick enough to employ the powerful “Aagneya-Asthra” from his even more powerful “Gaandeepa” and dissipated the rain-bearing clouds from the vicinity. The “Kaandava-Vanam” continued to burn and all the dangerous animals lost their lives inside the burning fire. Takshaka somehow wasn’t present inside the forest at that moment and he escaped the wrath of the fire. Finally, Mayan was the only human being who came out of the burning fire alive. Mayan was the “architect” and the “builder” for all the Raakshasas and the duo of Bhagawan Krishna and Arjuna decided not to kill him. Instead, they wanted to use him for some construction-related activities later on. As Indra realized that he was not the target of Arjuna and Bhagawan Krishna and it was only the “Kaandava-Vanam” that had to be burnt down, Indra too appeared in front of the duo and seeked unconditional apology for his wrong action. Moreover, Indra requested both Arjuna and Bhagawan Krishna to ask him for a boon, which he was ready to grant.
As Indra requests thus, Bhagawan Krishna folded His hands with respect and asks thus, “Oh Indra! If I’ve to ask you for something, I shall ask only for this – My companionship with Arjuna should always be strong until my final breath in this world! I have a special affinity towards Arjuna and this union of both of us should never be destroyed at any point in time!” We should note here that Indra is not asking for a boon to Bhagawan Krishna. It is the other way around! Bhagawan Krishna is asking for a boon to Indra. Moreover, we should also remember that Arjuna was none other than Indra’s son. We’ve earlier witnessed how Kunthi Devi prayed to the “Devatas” one after the other to obtain children, isn’t it? As Kunthi Devi prayed towards Indra, Arjuna was born. Thus, Arjuna was the son of Indra and it is only with the father’s divine “Anugraha” that the son’s life would be prosperous, isn’t it? It is for this reason that Bhagawan Krishna wants the father to bless the son first, rather than Him blessing the son. We’ve heard this proverb – “Matha, Pitha, Guru, Deivam”. The “Anugraha” of our parents (Matha and Pitha) are very important, and is even greatly significant than Bhagawan’s divine “Anugraha”. Thus, the message from this point for all of us here is that, if our parents aren’t providing their “Anugraha” to us, Bhagawan would not look at us at all! We cannot expect Bhagawan to provide His “Anugraha” if we disrespect our parents. Thus, through this point, Bhagawan Krishna indirectly brings out the significance of a father in a person’s life and it is because of this, Bhagawan Krishna wants Indra to bless Arjuna first, before He does.
Thus, Indra provides his divine “Anugraha” towards both Arjuna and Bhagawan Krishna that their companionship would last forever. In fact, Indra was more than happy because his son is getting the direct companionship of Bhagawan Himself! Can there be a better fortune than this? In fact, at one stage during the Kurukshetra war, Bhagawan Krishna expresses His fear that Arjuna might be killed by the enemy camp thus, “Oh! I could not even imagine a life without Arjuna by my side! How can I even think of losing him to any enemy in the war? I would stand by Arjuna and do anything and everything to protect his life!” If Bhagawan Himself has to say that He could not imagine a life without Arjuna, we can see how much dedication and devotion Arjuna had towards Bhagawan Krishna. We should understand from this point that if we’re claiming to be a “Bhakta” of Bhagawan, we should obtain a certificate from Bhagawan that He could not live even for a second without our presence! This is the highest stage of “Bhakti” that a “Jeevatma” can exhibit towards the “Paramatma”. Arjuna had obtained this certificate from Bhagawan Krishna directly, and we should get inspired by this to channelize our “Bhakti Maarga” in such a way that we follow the footsteps of Arjuna in pursuit of Bhagawan.
Thus, moving on further, the “Kaandava-Vanam” continued burning for fifteen long days and with this, the entire area was freed up from all the dangerous animals and Raakshasas that were living there. With this, Bhagawan Krishna and Arjuna relaxed themselves on the banks of River Yamuna and with this, we come to the end of the main “Aadhi Parva”. We’ve already witnessed the structure of the entire Mahabharata story earlier, isn’t it? The first main “Parva” was “Aadhi Parva” and it has taken around 230 episodes for us to complete it! Now, we would be moving into the next “Parva” called “Sabha Parva” and we shall wait till the next episode to commence it. So for today, let us understand these above-mentioned points and let us wait till the next episode to start the “Sabha Parva”, which has some “turning points” in the entire Mahabharata story! Stay tuned! 🙂