The previous episode saw that culmination of the seemingly long introductory note of the “Sabhaa Parva”. I had spent a lot of time giving a brief of this “Parva” as this is where the entire Mahabharata story takes its shape. The seeds for the Kurukshetra war were sown in this Parva, wherein Draupati was insulted in public, which led to a series of “Sabadhams” (Pledges) being taken by the Paandava brothers in front of King Dhridiraashtra and the others. These pledges were later successfully executed by the Paandavas during the Kurukshetra war where the Kaurava brothers encountered a tragic end to their lives. In this way, during the previous episode we had witnessed the final part of the “Sabhaa Parva” brief, wherein Yudishtra and Co. were once again called for another round of gambling. Since Yudishtra couldn’t say a “NO” to Duryodhana, he returned back to Hastinapura to play the game, only to once again lose to Duryodhana and Sahuni. However, Duryodhana was very steadfast this time and unlike the last time where King Dhridiraashtra intervened and spoilt his party, he made sure that Yudishtra and Co. accept the consequences of losing the game. According to the agreement, the loser of this game had to take up “Vana-Vaasa” for twelve years, followed by a one-year-period of “Agnyaata-Vaasa” wherein they should lead a disguised life without being spotted by anyone anywhere. If however they are spotted by anybody, they would have to once again take up another twelve years of “Vana-Vaasa”, followed by one year of “Agnyaata-Vaasa”.
This was really tough on Yudishtra and Co., but they did not have an option! The Paandavas had to endure the intense suffering under the wretched hands of Duryodhana. Yudishtra surrendered the kingdom to Duryodhana and got ready to leave for the forest. His brothers and Draupati followed him. Thus, the Paandavas departed to the forest for twelve long years, and with this, we come to the end of the “Sabhaa Parva” brief. So from here on, we shall go back to the beginning of the “Sabhaa Parva”, and commence witnessing each and every instance in detail. I shall try my level best to include all the intricate details that are present in the Mahabharata text, however, there might be some discrepancies here and there, and readers are requested to kindly bear with them. The place where Bhagawan Krishna’s “Charitra” would come, will be stressed upon with a lot of importance, as this is the most important part of the “Sabhaa Parva”.
Now moving on to the first “Upa-Parva” – As mentioned yesterday, it is often referred to as the “Mantra Parva” or sometimes as “Sabhaa-Kriya Parva”. This is where, Mayan is going to create the grand “Sabhaa” (Courtroom) for Yudishtra at Indraprastha. We had earlier at the end of the “Aadhi Parva” witnessed Arjuna and Bhagawan Krishna together destroying the “Kaandava Vanam” isn’t it? Readers can recall here that one of the persons who tried to escape out of this mass destruction was Mayan, who was the builder and “real estate developer” of the Raakshasas. In fact, Arjuna should have killed Mayan, since he was also part of the Raakshasa group, however, Arjuna did not do that. Bhagawan Krishna too understood within a split of a second that Mayan can be used in a good way if he was saved at that point. Subsequently, as Mayan gets protected by the duo, he was very happy and wanted to return the favor. Mayan asks Bhagawan Krishna and Arjuna thus, “Oh Krishna and Arjuna! You’ve done a great deal of help in protecting me and saving my life from the intense fire here at the Kaandava Vanam. For this, I’ve to perform a “Prathyupakaaram” (Favor in return to a favor done). So what shall I do for you? Please feel free to ask me!”
Upon hearing this from Mayan, Arjuna was happy and replied thus, “Oh my dear Mayan! I know that you are a genuine person by nature and that is why I did not kill you. However, just because I’ve saved your life, it doesn’t mean that I obtain a “Prathyupakaaram” from you. Saving the lives of good people is my duty as a Kshatrya prince! Thus, I’ve only done my duty, and I do not want anything in return from you!” As Arjuna explained his stance thus, Mayan was very happy as well. He replied thus, “Oh Arjuna! Even though you have immense talent and prowess with the bow and arrow, you stand apart from others because of your humility. Many people might be as talented as you, but they might not possess the humility that you do! I’m very impressed with your humility and respect that you’re giving me! Atleast as a token of respect to your humility and talent, I would like to be of some help to you. You might be knowing very well that I have the capability to single handedly construct beautiful buildings. So maybe, if you might permit me, I shall do that for you!”
As Mayan explains thus, Arjuna replied back: “Oh Mayan! Thank you for the offer! You’ve proposed this idea in front of Bhagawan Himself! Hence, I do not have the right to neither accept or reject your proposal. We shall ask Bhagawan Krishna who is standing by our side for His opinion. If He accepts your proposal, then we can go ahead with it. If He doesn’t seem interested with it, we shall leave it at that!” Now the ball is on Bhagawan Krishna’s court! It is going to be His decision whether to accept or reject Mayan’s proposal! What is Bhagawan Krishna’s decision going to be? Let us wait and witness it in the next episode! Stay tuned! 🙂