In the previous episode, we had witnessed Bhagawan Krishna explaining who Jaraasandha really was, and what is his power. He also explains how He had to tackle Jaraasandha seventeen times, but failed to kill him. Everytime Bhagawan Krishna defeated Jaraasandha in the war, Jaraasandha used to run away to safety, without getting caught in Bhagawan Krishna’s hands even a single time. As Bhagawan Krishna was narrating thus, Yudishtra started having a doubt whether he would be able to kill Jaraasandha, so as to proceed with the “Raaja-Suya-Yaaga”. At this point, Bheemasena and Arjuna intervened in the middle and explained to Yudishtra that Jaraasandha can be killed – Provided they do a complete “SWOT Analysis” (Analysis of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) of themselves and of Jaraasandha. If this is done completely, the root cause of the problem could be identified and then a solution can be worked out. Thus, it was decided that Bheemasena, along with Arjuna and Bhagawan Krishna would go to the Magadha Desha and take on Jaraasandha.
Thus, as the preparations were going on in full swing for the Magada-Desha pursuit, the Paandavas and Bhagawan Krishna sat together and discussed the strengths and weaknesses of Jaraasandha. At this time, Bhagawan Krishna explains to Arjuna the significance of Jaraasandha and who exactly he is. Arjuna first asks a question to Bhagawan Krishna thus, “Oh Bhagawan! Everybody is thinking of Jaraasandha as an extremely invincible person! Every king in this country fears going to the Magada Desha! I’ve also heard of it sometime back from some source. Just like how a small insect falls into a huge “Agni” (Fire) burning with all its might, I’ve heard that king after king goes and falls into Jaraasandha’s trap. Is that true?” For this, Bhagawan Krishna replies back thus, “Oh Arjuna! Whatever you’ve heard is right! Jaraasandha is not an ordinary person to tackle! He has three “Akshauhinis” of the army with him! (We’ve already witnessed what is the arithmetic behind one “Akshauhini”. I’m not going into it for now. If readers have a clarification, you can refer to our previous episodes pertaining to this detail). Jaraasandha’s father was King Brihadrata. I shall first narrate how Jaraasandha was born!”
As Bhagawan Krishna narrates thus, Arjuna and Co. are very interested and keen to understand Jaraasandha’s birth story. It might seem to us at the onset that these people are extremely interested in listening to stories a lot! Whoever comes to Indraprastha or wherever, Yudishtra and Co. are extremely interested in knowing all that the other person wants to say! In fact, this is an excellent quality in a human being. We might dismiss this in today’s scenario that who has time to sit and listen to unwanted stories – But if we listen to more and more of things from someone, it gives us a huge opportunity to understand many things in this world. The problem today with all of us is that we fail to listen to others, including our own parents! This is why we have half-baked information and with this, we keep doing useless debates and arguments that have no stuff behind it. Whereas, if we look at Yudishtra and Arjuna, we might wonder how clear they are in their decision-making or whatever they want to do. It is only because they lend their ears to what other people have got to tell them. Even if it is a long story, they have the patience to listen to it completely, understand the crux of it and take the important messages for themselves to implement. This is the most important quality of a leader. If a leader listens to his people patiently, half of the problems would get solved. Thus, “listening” is of paramount importance to all of us, and we should learn this important message from this section of the Mahabharata!
Moving on thus, Bhagawan Krishna narrates the life history of Jaraasandha, which would be useful for the Paandavas to understand who exactly Jaraasandha is, and how to strategize against him. Bhagawan Krishna explains thus, “Oh Arjuna! There was a great king by name Brihadrata in the Magadha-Desha. He was childless for a long time. King Brihadrata had two wives, and after a long wait, he is going to get twin children!” Actually, here is where the twist in the story comes! When we say “twin children”, we do not mean that they are two separate children, like we usually see today. This is just one child, born in two pieces! Now this is what we’ve to understand very carefully! Bhagawan Krishna continues further thus, “Oh Arjuna! King Brihadrata had two wives, who were twin children of the king of Kaashi Desha. As they did not have a child for a long time, they went to a great sage and requested his help. This sage was none other than Sage Chanda-Kaushika. He is a great sage who comes in the family lineage of Sage Gauthama. As King Brihadrata and his wives approached Sage Chanda-Kaushika with this request, he gave them a fruit with all the requisite “Mantras” chanted over it for them to bear a child. The Sage explains to King Brihadrata that he has to split this fruit into two and give it to his two wives. Accordingly, King Brihadrata did the needful and both his wives became pregnant. However, when they gave birth, two halves of one child were born! In other words, one half of the child had one eye, half nose, one ear, half mouth, etc. and the other half of the child was also similar!”
Upon seeing this, both the wives of King Brihadrata were shocked! At the same time, they were angry at the sage for blessing them with such a malformed child, and out of frustration, they threw both the halves out of the window! They were of the opinion that what will they do with half children and what benefit is this going to give them! This is one side of the story! However on the other side, there was a Raakshasi by name “Jara”, who saw these two halves of a child being thrown out of the palace. She was hungry and wanted to eat these two halves of the baby to satisfy her hunger. However, when she tried to do so, she brought these two pieces of the baby together by mistake! Once she did so, the two halves joined with each other and became a full-fledged baby! Thus, since the Raakshasi by name Jara brought these two halves of the baby together (“Sandhi”) and gave life to it, the baby was named “Jaraasandha”!
So for today, let us understand upto this point, and in the next episode, we shall witness how this Jaraasandha grew up and the subsequent events that conspired! Stay tuned! 🙂