In the previous episode, we had witnessed the Paandava brothers choosing the Viraata Nagara for their “Agnyaata-Vaasam” amongst so many different places that they had considered. I had tried listing out their choices on the table and these places span across the length and breadth of our “Bhaarata Desha”, right from north to south to east to west. Finally after a lot of deliberations, Yudishtra narrowed down upon the “Viraata Nagara” and it was decided that they would proceed there as quickly as possible, without being noticed by anyone, especially Duryodhana and Co. On one hand, Duryodhana is waiting for some sort of “Adharma” to creep into Yudishtra, with which, he is trying to make an opportunity out of it to defeat him. On the other hand, Yudishtra is trying to make sure that he doesn’t slip off from the path of “Dharma” by uttering any unwanted lies to anybody. This is going to be a marquee “cold war” between the two camps now and with this note, we commence our discussion on the “Viraata Parva” of the Mahabharata text.
Thus, as the Paandavas proceed further, Yudishtra makes it clear to all of them: “Oh brothers! Oh Draupati! We should make sure that we never slip off the path of “Dharma”. We should never lie to anyone, but at the same time, we should never disclose our identity. This is of course, quite tricky, but we need to be extremely careful. As per Yama-Dharma-Raja’s words, we should be extremely careful in this matter, and of course his divine “Anugraha” will protect all of us. Thus, I shall rename myself as “Kanka” and I shall be in a disguised form of a Brahmana Rishi!” We might wonder from where this name called “Kanka” strike Yudishtra’s mind. “Kanka” is the other name of Yama-Dharma-Raja himself. Yudishtra is none other than the human embodiment of Yama-Dharma-Raja and hence, the name suits him very well! Hence, even if someone asks him his name, and even if he answers “Kanka”, it would still count as being truthful only! This is where we’ve to understand how to be “smartly true: even while being in a disguised form.
Yudishtra continues further thus, “Oh Brothers! Oh Draupati! I shall go to the king of Viraata Desha, make friends with him and tell him that I’m well-versed in playing the gambling game! It is also the fact that I like to play the gambling game, and with this, I’m genuinely expressing my interest to him. With this, I shall spend my time with the king of Viraata Desha, by just being a mute spectator while he plays the gambling game with someone else. Of course, I shall not be rolling the dice, but I shall just enjoy watching him play!” As Yudishtra says thus, Bheemasena and Arjuna look at each other and laugh! They reply to Yudishtra thus, “Oh Yudishtra! Even now you do not want to leave your interest in gambling, do you? 🙂 Already we’ve been harassed so much only by that stupid gambling game! Now, again, do you want to get into it?” As both of them jokingly ask thus, Yudishtra clarifies once again that he doesn’t want to get into it, but would just watch others play. Yudishtra continues thus, “Oh brothers! Now of course I can introduce myself as Kanka and express my interest to the king. But what if the king asks my background and where I’m coming from? I have an answer for that – I shall tell him that I’m Yudishtra’s “Atma-Samarthaka” (Best friend of Yudishtra’s Atman)!”
This is where we’ve to understand things very carefully – Now what does Yudishtra mean by saying “Atma-Samarthaka”? There is a logic here – Normally we assign a name for a “Deham” or an “Atman”? We assign a name for our “Deham” only, isn’t it? For instance, if I’ve to introduce myself as Jayaram, this name called Jayaram is for my physical body and not for my Atman. Can the Atman have any name at all? All the Atmans are the same isn’t it? Hence, we cannot differentiate. But the “Deham” is where the differentiation comes and hence, we assign different names for different “Dehams”. Hence, when Kanka (Yudishtra’s disguised name) says that he is the best friend of Yudishtra’s Atman, now which is the best friend of an Atman? It is the “Deham”, isn’t it? It is because, the Atman is housed inside the Deham and it goes wherever the Deham takes it. Hence, both are very good friends! Now this is the logic and we should understand how Yudishtra is extremely careful in being truthful even while being in a disguised form! By introducing in this way, Kanka explains that he is the best friend of Yudishtra’s “Atman”, which also means that he is none other than Yudishtra himself!
So for today, let us understand Yudishtra’s strategy and let us wait till the next episode to continue this interesting discussion forward! Stay tuned! 🙂