Episode # 233 – Significance of the “Sabhaa Parva” – A detailed accord!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed a brief introduction of the “Sabhaa Parva” wherein the highlight here is a detailed description of Bhagawan Krishna’s divine “Leelas” as given by Bhishmaachaarya. The context goes like this – Sishupaala tries to insult Bhagawan Krishna and demean Him amidst the public courtroom, which irks Bhishmaachaarya. In response to Sishupaala’s allegations, Bhishmaachaarya gives a detailed accord on Bhagawan Krishna’s significance and enlightens the crowd with his touching words. This is the main crux of the “Sabhaa Parva” and Sage Vyaasa had literally felt sad that he had dedicated only one small “Parva” for Bhagawan Krishna exclusively. As we discussed yesterday, if we take the Mahabharata as a whole, Sage Vyaasa talks about so many people, so many aspects of “Dharma”, how people fought with each other and how “Dharma” defeats the “Adharma” finally. Although these were important for all of us to know, Sage Vyaasa’s only sadness was that he did not talk about Bhagawan Krishna in detail. It is for this reason he undertook the great job of composing the Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana wherein Sage Vyaasa dedicated the entire “Puraana” for Bhagawan. Specifically for Bhagawan Krishna, Sage Vyaasa has dedicated the “Dasama-Skandha” (Tenth Skandha) exclusively to describe in detail as to how Bhagawan Krishna incarnated in this world, what did He do during His childhood days at Gokula, how He killed Kamsa at Mathura, how He transferred Himself to Dwaaraka, etc. These are heart-touching episodes and we’ve witnessed all this in our “Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana” project earlier. 

Thus, we can witness here that Sage Vyaasa has packed all his emotions and love for Bhagawan Krishna into this “Parva” and this is why many Aachaaryas have declared that out of the eighteen “Parvas” in the Mahabharata text, the “Sabhaa Parva” has enormous significance. But the “Charitra” of Bhagawan Krishna in fact, comes towards the end of this “Parva”. We’ve to indeed wait for it a little more. This entire “Parva” isn’t dedicated to Bhagawan Krishna completely. It is only that particular “Upa-Parva” that talks about Bhagawan Krishna. Hence, we shall now continue from where we had left at the end of the previous “Aadhi Parva”, and witness the “Charitra” from there on. We’ve witnessed towards the end of the “Aadhi Parva” that the “Kaandava Vanam” was destroyed by the Arjuna-Bhagawan Krishna duo, from which, Mayan had escaped. Along with Mayan, Snake Takshaka’s son also had an opportunity to escape the burning fire. All these happened under the “Upa-Parva” called “Maya-Darshana Parva”, which was the last of the “Aadhi Parva”. 

Now in the “Sabhaa Parva” we’re going to witness how Mayan establishes a huge “Raaja-Sabha” for Yudishtra at the newly built Indraprastha city. Apart from this, Mayan also establishes some huge “Mantapas”, Luxury homes, etc. as well. Subsequently, the “Sabhaa Parva” talks about Yudishtra going and sitting amidst the huge “Raaja-Sabhaa” for the first time and Sage Naarada once again paying a visit to Yudishtra. Impressed by the construction, Yudishtra asks Sage Naarada thus, “Oh great Sage! How do you find this Raaja-Sabhaa? Do you think it is well-built? What are your thoughts on it?” Sage Naarada replies to Dharmaputra that yes, this Raaja-Sabha is excellently built, however, there are even more beautiful Raaja-Sabhaas that exist in this world. As Yudishtra requests Sage Naarada to describe those, Sage Naarada talks about the Raaja-Sabha of Kubera, Varuna Bhagawan, Indra, Yama-Dharma-Raja, Bhagawan Brahma, etc. Thus, we would be able to witness a detailed description of the Raaja-Sabhas of each of these people, in separate “Adhyaayas”. That is, one full Adhyaaya would describe how Bhagawan Brahma’s Raaja-Sabha is. Subsequently the next “Adhyaaya” would talk about Kubera’s Raaja-Sabha, and the description would go on further in this fashion. 

As we discuss all of these in our upcoming episodes, we might also start wondering thus, “Oh wow! It would be extremely nice if our houses are also of this type!” The descriptions are so beautifully given by Sage Vyaasa, however, as mentioned earlier, he had missed one important description here – He had spoken about various “Raaja-Sabhas” of various people, but he failed to describe how the “Vaikunta” would be! As we all know, Vaikunta is the Raaja-Sabha of Bhagawan Vishnu, who had incarnated as Bhagawan Krishna! This was a huge miss by Sage Vyaasa, and in fact, Bhagawan Krishna clarifies this in His Bhagawad Gita – He says thus, “Oh Arjuna! You might have enormous “Punya” in your account, which would take you to all these great Lokhas of Indra, Varuna, Bhagawan Brahma, etc. However, if you go there, once your “Punya” account is nullified, you would again come back to this “Manushya Lokha”. Only if your “Paapa” and “Punya” accounts are nullified, will you be able to attain the permanent “Vaikunta”, which only very few people are able to attain!” 

Thus, for today, let us understand these points about the significance of “Sabhaa Parva” and with this, we shall commence the events that happened in this “Parva” from the next episode! 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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