In the previous episode, we had witnessed the continuation of the conversation between Yudishtra and Yaksha as part of the “Yaksha-Prashnam”. We’ve seen that Yudishtra has accepted to answer Yaksha’s series of questions pertaining to “Dharma” as part of Yudishtra’s bid to save the lives of his four Paandava brothers who had fallen unconscious after consuming water from Yaksha’s pond. In this way, Yaksha asks one question after the other and we’ve discussed some of the most miraculous and ridiculous things that happen in this world. One of the most ridiculous things that Yudishtra talks about here is how living beings get carried away by the illusion surrounding death. Even as we keep seeing others dying in front of our eyes, we easily tend to think that our lives are permanent and their lives are temporary!
We keep seeing this every passing day, don’t we? If someone from our family or friends’ circle passes away, our entire conversation behind it is structured around the point that the person passed away “unfortunately”! So what is the meaning of the word “unfortunately” here? Is it unfortunate to die and fortunate to keep living in this world? We also say that the person “suddenly” passed away “unexpectedly”! Don’t all these sentences signify that we are never prepared to face the reality of death? We want to keep living in this world permanently and this intention clearly comes out through these sentences, isn’t it? This is where the problem lies and this is exactly what Yudishtra points out! Of course, I’m not saying here that we should keep fearing death every passing day. In fact, we should not even think about it, but at the same time, we should be prepared to face the situation, rather than brooding over it. We should live the present moment happily and should be open to face anything in life. We should also understand that nothing is permanent in this world and whatever happens here is Bhagawan’s will and wish! This is the basic understanding that Yudishtra wants all of us to have.
Moving further, Yaksha asks many other similar questions, for which Yudishtra gives clear answers. With this, Yaksha is quite happy with Yudishtra’s answers. Yaksha says to Yudishtra thus, “Oh Yudishtra! I’m extremely satisfied with all your answers pertaining to “Dharma”. I know that you are not an ordinary human being. Now I give you an option – Your four brothers are lying unconscious, aren’t they? If I tell you that you have a choice of waking up one amongst the four brothers, whom will you choose?” Now this is a tricky question that Yaksha is putting forth to Yudishtra. As Yaksha asks thus, Yudishtra quickly replies back: “Oh Yaksha! If given an option in this way, I would like to wake up Nakula!” As Yudishtra says spontaneously thus, Yaksha asks back: “Oh Yudishtra! Why Nakula? Is he going to help you in any way? Whereas if you wake up Bheemasena or Arjuna, they are going to be instrumental in helping you fight your enemies! What is Nakula going to do to you?”
As Yaksha asks thus, Yudishtra further replies: “Oh Yaksha! I do not answer anything without giving it a thought. I always think twice before I answer, even though my answers might come spontaneously. I would prefer Nakula to be woken up because of this reason – As a representative of Kunthi’s sons with King Paandu, I’m there. I’m not going to be harmed in any way because I’ve answered all your questions. Hence, if not three, atleast one of us is alive. However, who will represent Maadri’s sons with King Paandu? Nakula and Sahadeva are Maadri’s sons, aren’t they? Atleast one should be alive to ensure that the tradition is kept going, isn’t it?” Readers should understand one thing here – Maadri is not even alive at this point. We’ve seen earlier that as King Paandu passed away, Maadri too jumped along with him into the pyre and killed herself. However, Yudishtra is making this statement very clear. This is where we can understand how much importance and respect Yudishtra is giving to a mother. If all the children of a mother are dead, how much pain and grief will she undergo? If atleast one of her children is alive, the mother will feel a bit relieved, won’t she? Of course, she will have the pain of losing the others, but the satisfaction that atleast one is alive to take care of her will comfort her. This is the inner significance of Yudishtra’s statement here – The importance of a mother in this world!
So for today, let us understand up to this point and in the next episode, we shall witness the next tricky question that Yaksha is going to ask Yudishtra! Stay tuned! 🙂