In the previous episode, we had witnessed Yama-Dharma-Raja getting mighty impressed with Yudishtra’s persistent effort to follow the path of “Dharma” in whatever he does. With this, Yama-Dharma-Raja grants Yudishtra a series of boons and in turn, Yudishtra was expected to ask something for himself or for his brothers. However, Yudishtra had other plans – His first boon was to ensure that the Brahmana Rishi duly obtains his wooden piece to perform his “Agnihotra Karma”. We should remember that this entire event of “Yaksha-Prashnam” which we’ve been witnessing for the past few episodes began with the Brahmana Rishi searching for the wooden log, and seeked help from Yudishtra and Co. to find it out. Hence, Yudishtra ensures that the Brahmana Rishi is duly taken care of, so that the “Agnihotra Karma” is not disturbed in any way. Yama-Dharma-Raja grants it immediately and gives Yudishtra one more chance to ask something for himself. Now Yudishtra requests complete protection of himself and his brothers during the next one year of “Agnyaata Vaasam” wherein they have to live in a disguised manner without being spotted by Duryodhana and Co. Yama-Dharma-Raja grants this one also readily.
Now it is time for the third boon and Yama-Dharma-Raja gives one more chance to Yudishtra. Now Yudishtra asks the most important boon thus, “Oh great Yama-Dharma-Raja! You had told me earlier that we would be facing a lot of hurdles in the future as well. Even while we face such tough situations, my mind should never deviate even an inch from the path of “Dharma”! I should always be able to follow “Dharma” 24*7*365 without any blemish. Please grant me this boon! Of course, I’ve tried my best to follow “Dharma” till today. But in future too, if the hurdles get tougher to handle, I should not be tempted in any way to take shortcuts to succeed. Even if the path of “Dharma” might be tough to follow, I should never deviate from it even for a moment. My mind should not slip at all! My mind should always focus on “Dhaanam”, “Satyam” and “Tapas” and should be able to control “Krodham” (Anger), “Kaamam” (Desire) and “Lobham”!” As Yama-Dharma-Raja hears this from Yudishtra, he becomes extremely happy. He replies back to Yudishtra thus, “Oh my dear son! What is there in this for me to grant you? You’re already an embodiment of all the qualities pertaining to “Dharma” as you rightly listed out! Of course, since you’ve asked for it, I’m hereby granting you all whatever you’ve asked for! You will be even more stronger from now onwards in the path of “Dharma”! Irrespective of whatever hurdles / troubles you might face in the future, your mind will never deviate from “Dharma”! This is my assurance to you! You will be able to take care of Brahmins the way they have to be taken care of. With this, you will earn enormous “Punya-Karma” and with this, you will be able to withstand any hurdle that comes through in your life! You will emerge victorious! Moreover, you have Bhagawan Krishna rallying by you at all times. What more do you want? He will ensure that your “Dharma” is protected. He will take care of all the hurdles and ensure that you wouldn’t get entangled in them!”
Saying thus, Yama-Dharma-Raja provides his divine “Anugraha” to Yudishtra and with this, we come to the end of this Parva. Finally, as the Parva comes to a close, Sage Vyaasa details the “Phala-Stuthi” (Benefits) for readers while they going through this Parva. We shall wait till the next episode to witness it in detail. Stay tuned for an important accord! 🙂