In the previous episode, we had witnessed the conclusion of the fiery debate between Sage Ashtaavakra and Bandhi, which also resulted in the return of Sage Kahoda, who was Sage Ashtaavakra’s father. With this, the entire feud between the duo got settled and with the permission of Bandhi, Sage Ashtaavakra took the holy dip in the pond which was the gateway to the “Varuna Lokha”. With this, Sage Ashtaavakra’s defects in his body got cured and he became a normal person, devoid of any further physical problems. Eventually, as years passed by, Ashtaavakra became a great sage and lived happily thereafter. Thus, all these narratives are presented to Yudishtra as the entire tour group reaches Mithilapuri, which is the dwelling place of King Janaka.
Thereafter, the “Teertha Yatra” Parva continues further and the tour group now reaches the “Gandha-Maadhana Parva”. There is an interesting “Charitra” that happened here, and I shall keep it a bit short and brief on this. As Yudishtra and Co. started walking towards the Gandha-Maadhana Parva, they were very happy and excited to visit this holy place, as this place is full of great sages who are continuously performing penance for months and years together without a break. In fact, Bhagawan Krishna Himself advises Uddhava to go to this Gandha-Maadhana Parva to sit and do penance before he could come into the Vaikunta Lokha to be with Bhagawan Krishna forever. Thus, this Gandha-Maadhana Parva is extremely significant in terms of spirituality and spiritual practices that are being performed here.
Thus, Yudishtra and Co. start climbing the hills and as they proceed further, the passage becomes narrower and narrower. The tour group is going deeper and deeper inside the mountain ranges and all of them are getting attracted to the natural scenic beauty of this place. However, as they were walking for a long time, all of them started getting tired, and at one stage, Draupati started feeling giddy. As she faces this uneasiness, she falls on the ground unconscious. Not knowing what is to be done to revive Draupati, Yudishtra and the others call for Bheemasena for help. Bheemasena in turn calls his son Ghatodgaja for help. Obeying his father’s orders, Ghatodgaja carries all of them including Draupati on his shoulders and starts flying over the mountains. As the distance progresses, Ghatodgaja is flying higher and higher and ultimately they reach the Badrinaatha Kshetra. Ghatodgaja decides to fly even higher than the Badrinaatha Kshetra and he takes all of them to a place where a unique species of lotus was growing all alone there. Unlike the other normal lotus flowers, this one had a thousand petals in it!
As the group comes across this flower on the way, Bheemasena is surprised! He thinks thus, “Oh wow! I’ve seen enormous lotus flowers, but this one is so peculiar!” Moreover, with the strong and beautiful smell that the flower is emitting, Draupati comes back to her senses immediately! Upon seeing this flower, even Draupati gets surprised! Now she expresses her wish to her husbands thus, “Oh my dear husbands! This flower is extremely beautiful and so powerful in its odour isn’t it? I wish I can get more of these flowers, make a garland out of them and wear them! So, can you please get more of these flowers for me? It would be of great help if you can do this for me!”
As Draupati says thus, Bheemasena immediately comes forward. He replies to Draupati thus, “Oh Draupati! You do not worry! I shall go all by myself and see where it grows aplenty. I shall find out the place where there are many of these flowers, collect them and bring them to you!” Saying thus, Bheemasena sets out in the northern direction in search of these flowers. So for today, let us understand up to this point, and we shall wait till the next episode to witness what happened to Bheemasena henceforth. Did he come back with the flowers? Was he able to find out the location where these flowers are growing in abundance? Let us wait till tomorrow to find out! Stay tuned! 🙂