We’re at an important juncture in the entire Mahabharata text, wherein we’re going to witness some essential aspects of “Dharma” as explained by Yudishtra. Sage Vyaasa has given enormous importance to this segment, and we call this as “Yaksha-Prashnam”. Yaksha is going to ask a few important questions pertaining to “Dharma” and Yudishtra is going to give interesting answers to them. We’ve witnessed in the previous episode, the situation that leads to this conversation. Sahadeva, Nakula, Arjuna and Bheemasena fall prey to Yaksha’s poisonous lake, as they consume the water from it. All of them fall unconscious after they drink water from that lake, even after Yaksha’s warning and request to answer his questions before drinking the water from it. As the four brothers aren’t coming back, Yudishtra gets tensed and worried about the whereabouts of them. Thus, he himself goes personally to that spot to inspect, and he finds his brothers to have fallen unconscious. Upon investigation, Yaksha comes in the form of a swan and explains the situation.
Yaksha says thus, “Oh Yudishtra! Please understand one thing very clearly – I’m the one who is responsible for the condition of all your four brothers. Have you come here to be the fifth one to fall prey to my wrath? Your brothers ignored me and refused to answer my questions and went ahead to drink the water from this pond. If you go your brothers’ way, you will also meet the same fate as them! Your brothers are just one stage before death! If you’re following your brothers’ way, you will also go to the same stage as them!” As Yaksha says thus, Yudishtra replies: “Oh swan! Who are you to hold my brothers ransom to your wrath? What is your problem? You’re afterall a silly swan! You do not know how powerful me and my brothers are. If Bheemasena and Arjuna are in their form, you will not even be able to stand in front of them for a minute!”
As Yudishtra gives a somewhat angry reply in this way, Yaksha replies back, “Oh Yudishtra! You speak about Arjuna’s and Bheemasena’s powers, aren’t you? They were beaten by none other than me! You do not know to whom you’re talking with! If I conspire, I can blow away all of you to pieces! Hence, do not underestimate me by having a mere look at what you see! If you want, you may go ahead and examine my unending powers and check for yourself!” As Yaksha replies aggressively thus, Yudishtra calms down and understands the situation. He replies calmly thus, “Oh swan! Fine! I’m not here to test you or anyone of what powers you have. So what are your questions that I need to answer? Ask me. I shall give you the best answers to my understanding of things!” As Yudishtra says thus, Yaksha replies, “Oh Yudishtra! I’m happy that you do not want to go your brothers’ way! Your brothers ignored me by just looking at my appearance and underestimated me. They consumed the water from my pond without abiding by the owner’s rules and regulations! Now let me ask you a few questions and you may give the answers for them!”
Saying thus, Yaksha begins his accord. Yudishtra concludes that this is not an ordinary swan, but a “Yaksha” who has come to create chaos. Hence, he decides that it is better to not create more chaos as his brothers’ lives are at stake. Thus, Yudishtra prepares himself to answer Yaksha’s questions one by one. So in this way, Yudishtra is ready to take on Yaksha’s questions and for today, let us understand up to this point. We shall wait till the next episode to commence Yaksha’s questions and Yudishtra’s answers for them! Stay tuned for an interesting accord! 🙂