In the previous episode, we had witnessed Yudishtra completing the conversation with Yaksha, who is in the form of a swan. As the conversation comes to a close, Yaksha is extremely happy that Yudishtra stood by his “Dharma” even when posed with tricky questions pertaining to waking up his own brothers. Yudishtra highlighted the importance of a mother and how it is important for a son to perform his duties towards her, both when she is alive as well as after passing away. Moved by Yudishtra’s answers, Yaksha, who is none other than Yama-Dharma-Raja himself, appears in his true form in front of Yudishtra and provides his divine “Anugraha” to him. With this, all the four brothers wake up from their unconscious state and reunite with Yudishtra. Yama-Dharma-Raja blesses Yudishtra and motivates him to keep following the path of “Dharma”, no matter whatever happens in the future. Yama-Dharma-Raja warns Yudishtra that tough times are ahead and even during those tough times, he should be steadfast in his “Dharma”.
Saying thus, Yama-Dharma-Raja asks Yudishtra next: “Oh Yudishtra! You’ve made me very happy by passing my test with flying colours! With this, I’m wanting to grant you something in the form of a boon. Anyway, you’ve got all your brothers back. In addition to that, I would like to gift you something else too. So please ask me whatever you wish to!” This is quite a tempting offer that Yudishtra has got. If we were in Yudishtra’s position, we would have asked anything and everything for ourselves, isn’t it? However, Yudishtra has other plans. He asks thus, “Oh Yama-Dharma-Raja! My only requirement here is that the Brahmana Rishi who had come in search of me should get his wooden piece for performing his “Agnihotra Karma”. He has been waiting for us for a long time as all of us were caught in this tangle. He should not get affected by our problem, isn’t it? Hence, my boon from you should be that he gets whatever is necessary so that his “Agnihotra Karma” doesn’t get hindered!” As Yudishtra asks thus, Yama-Dharma-Raja is extremely surprised! He replies thus, “Oh Yudishtra! When I granted you a boon, I thought you would ask something for yourself! However, you’re so genuine in your “Dharma” that you’ve asked something for someone else! Yes! I know that this entire episode started with the Brahmana Rishi and he came to you to obtain a wooden piece. By granting this boon, your “Dharma” as a “Kshatrya warrior” will be fulfilled and at the same time, the duties of the Brahmana Rishi will also be fulfilled! Right! That is done! Now ask me something else for yourself! I’m giving you one more chance!”
As Yama-Dharma-Raja gives the second chance, Yudishtra asks thus, “Oh Yama-Dharma-Raja! With this day coming to an end, we’re going to complete twelve full years in the forest. Now we’re stepping into the thirteenth year of our “Vana-Vasam” and this is going to be the tough “Agnyaata-Vaasam” period. Here, we should live in a disguised form without being spotted by anybody from Hastinapura. We’re looking for a place to live in disguise for next year. Hence, please help us with that!” As Yudishtra asks thus, Yama-Dharma-Raja replies, “Oh Yudishtra! This makes sense! Yes. You’ve to live in disguise mode and my divine “Anugraha” will help you in it. I grant you this boon wholeheartedly! For the next one year, none of you would be spotted by Duryodhana and Co.! You will successfully pass through this one year period without any hiccups! Now, I give another chance. You may go ahead in asking for a third boon!”
As Yama-Dharma gives one more chance, Yudishtra is going to ask for the third boon! So for today, let us understand the first two boons that Yudishtra had asked for, and in the next episode, we shall witness the third boon in detail! Stay tuned for updates! 🙂