Episode # 287 – Draupati puts Duryodhana to shame – A TURNING POINT in the Mahabharata!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the Raaja-Suya Yaaga getting completed as per all the protocols and Yudishtra had done an extremely good job in executing it. Of course, not to forget – Bhagawan Krishna’s divine presence and Anugraha, the Raaja-Suya Yaaga went on successfully and during the course of the offering, we had also witnessed Sishupaala being killed as well. As Sishupaala completed his hundredth’s mistake, Bhagawan Krishna employed His Chakra-Aayudha to finish him off, thus, sending him straight to Vaikunta, liberating him from Sage Sanaka’s curse. Meanwhile after the Yaaga was over, Duryodhana and Co. who were also part of the function, wanted to stay back at Indraprastha for a few more days to observe the beauty of the place. As planned, Duryodhana goes around the palace and is wonderstruck upon seeing its beauty! The craftiness with which it was built, stunned Duryodhana beyond words! He did not have words to describe the beauty of the Indraprastha palace. However, instead of appreciating and congratulating Yudishtra for this, jealousy and anger were burning inside Duryodhana as he couldn’t digest Yudishtra’s meteoric rise as a righteous king. Duryodhana was extremely concerned that Yudishtra would excel beyond him and King Dhridiraashtra in terms of name and fame. 

As Duryodhana was walking along, there seemed like a wall in between the passage, however, as he went closer, there was no wall there! However, at another place, the passage seemed to go on, but as Duryodhana went ahead, there was a wall, upon which he banged his head! Similarly, it seemed that there was a pond full of water at a distance, but when Duryodhana went closer to it, he found that there was neither a pond nor any water! It was totally dry! It was a beautiful mirage and a 3-D projection! However, at one place, it seemed to be completely dry and unfortunately when Duryodhana walked through it, there was a pond of water and accidentally put his feet into it! Finally, at one point, Duryodhana had accidentally fallen into a place where there was an abundant amount of water! The place through which he was walking through, was extremely beautiful and rapturous as it caught Duryodhana’s eye so much. Gazing at the beauty thus, Duryodhana was walking without seeing what was in front of him! Finally, the passage ended into a pool and he accidentally slipped his feet into it. With this, his entire attire got wet. 

Now this was a crucial juncture – Upon hearing a sound of someone falling down, Draupati who was in one of the nearby chambers, came out to check what had happened. To her utter amazement, she saw Duryodhana trying to rise on his feet again after getting drenched in the pool of water. As this was happening, Draupati laughed at Duryodhana’s state! She laughed out loudly, which irked Duryodhana even more! On one side, Duryodhana was embarrassed and wasn’t able to talk anything back, and on the other side, he was fuming in anger over Draupati’s act. With his face getting white with shame and anger, Duryodhana rushed out from that spot and immediately left back to Hastinapura along with Duchhaasana and Karna. He couldn’t bare the insult that was meted out to him by Draupati, who made fun of him! 

Thus, as Duryodhana fumes and goes back to Hastinapura, we enter into the all-important “Dyutha-Parva”. As we might know,  “Dyutham” means “Gambling”, and it is in this main “Parva” that we’re going to witness the entire proceedings of the gambling game and how things unfolded drastically at Hastinapura. So for today, let us understand up to this point and in the next episode, we shall witness how things unfolded one after the other. Meanwhile, we’ve to see how Duryodhana prepared King Dhridiraashtra for the game of gambling. We shall commence the details of the “Dyutha Parva” from tomorrow! Stay tuned! 🙂

Episode # 286 – Duryodhana FUMES with anger & jealousy as he goes around the Indraprastha palace!!!

In the previous episode, we were at an important juncture wherein Sishupaala was killed by Bhagawan Krishna on the spot, as he crossed his hundredth abuse towards Bhagawan Krishna. It should be remembered by readers that Sishupaala and Dantavaktra were none other than Jaya and Vijaya of Vaikunta, who were cursed by Sage Sanaka for not allowing him inside to meet Bhagawan Vishnu. Thus, according to this curse, both of them were born thrice in this world as Raakshasas at different Yugas – During the Krita Yuga, they were born as Hiranyaksha and Kiranya-Kashibu. Hiranyaksha was killed by Bhagawan Vishnu directly, and Hiranya-Kashibu was killed by Bhagawan during His incarnation as Bhagawan Narasimha. Subsequently during the Tretha Yuga, they again took birth as Ravana and Kumbhakarna and they were killed and liberated again to Vaikunta by Bhagawan Vishnu, who had incarnated as Bhagawan Rama. Now, we’re witnessing the events that happened during the Dwaapara Yuga, and during this time, the duo again took birth as Sishupaala and Dantavaktra, only to be killed and liberated by Bhagawan Krishna. Thus, Sishupaala was killed and with this, the insulting and abusing at Indraprastha came to a grinding halt. 

Moving on thus, as Sishupaala was killed, the entire Sabha including all the Maharishi’s praised and worshipped Bhagawan Krishna. They hailed Bhagawan Krishna and considered themselves to be extremely fortunate to be amidst His divine presence. As Sishupaala was given “Moksha” in front of everyone, people who had gathered there also wished for the same as well! As ardent Bhagawan Krishna devotees, we can also wish for the same isn’t it? 🙂 Of course, at the moment we do not have the privilege to see and be amidst Bhagawan Krishna’s divine presence, but we can always pray to Him with our pure Bhakti and with this, Bhagawan Krishna would definitely answer our prayers. We should have this confidence within us as we move forward in our various walks of life. Problems might keep coming and going in all our day-to-day lives. But if we have the faith and confidence that Bhagawan Krishna is always behind us and guiding us through these dark times, we shall be able to easily see the light at the end of the dark tunnel. Thus, the important message here for all of us is that, if we’re sincere in our prayers and approach towards “Dharma” and Bhagawan, He is never going to desert us. We’ve seen this as an example in innumerable instances of our Sanaatana Dharma literature, and moving forward, we’re going to witness many more such instances henceforth as well. 

Thus, with this, the “Agra-Puja” continues and the Raaja-Suya Yaaga gets completed with all its grandeur and as per the procedures framed by our great Maharishis. As the Yaaga comes to a close, Bhagawan Krishna decides that it is time for Him to go back to Dwaraka again. Thus, with the permission from Yudishtra, Bhagawan Krishna leaves for Dwaaraka and with this, the grand Yaaga comes to a close! As Bhagawan Krishna leaves Indraprastha, all the others who had assembled for the Yaaga, also start leaving for their respective native places, with enormous gifts from Yudishtra. Bhishmachaarya also leaves back to Hastinapura, along with Guru Dhronaachaarya. However, Duryodhana, Ducchaasana, Karna, etc. who had assembled there, had other plans – They wanted to stay back at Indraprastha for a few more days to enjoy the beauty and vibrancy of the city and its grand palace. Yudishtra too was more than happy to let Duryodhana and Co. spend a few more days with all of them. 

Thus, as things settle down, Duryodhana starts going around the Indraprastha palace to explore the various places around it. As he was going along, he was utterly amazed to see the great grandeur of the palace in all four directions! He was surprised to see the intricate art work and skill in the construction. At one point, as Duryodhana was walking through a passage, it seemed to him as if the passage came to an end, but the passage was still going on! At another point, Duryodhana thought that the passage was still on, but there was an “invisible wall” wherein he ended up banging his head! At another place, it appeared as if there was a pool full of water and it looked so beautiful. However, when he went closeby to check it out, there was not even a single drop of water! It was just a mirage, but it looked so real! However, at another end, it seemed like it was a dry place without anything, but when Duryodhana kept his feet there, he was dragged into a pool of water! Experiencing all these, Duryodhana walked along and as he did so, his anger, jealousy and fury started growing multifold! He was fuming with anger that these Paandavas have managed to escape out of his traps everytime and they’ve ended up living in such a plush bungalow-like palace, which was a thousand times more beautiful and richer as compared to Duryodhana’s Hastinapura palace! Readers might remember that Duryodhana and Co. wickedly took a decision to hand over a barren piece of land called “Kaandava-Prastha”, and this is exactly the same place which has been transformed into a magnificent and a sprawling place! 

Upon seeing all this thus, Duryodhana was fuming with jealousy and anger and for today, let us understand up to this point! We shall continue this discussion in the next episode to witness what happened further and how did Duryodhana react to all these! Stay tuned! 🙂

Episode # 285 – Bhagawan Krishna kills Sishupala – Liberates him back to Vaikunta!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the continuation of the “Agra-Puja” that was being offered by Sahadeva to Bhagawan Krishna, even as Sishupaala continued his ranting against Him. In the meanwhile, as Sishupaala continues his rant, Bhishmachaarya explains the background story of Sishupaala and how he was born with three eyes and four hands as an abnormal child. Further, he explains that one of the main purposes of Bhagawan Krishna’s incarnation is to kill Sishupaala as he was a Raakshasa. Bhishmachaarya thus describes all these points to drive home the fact that Sishupaala is a worthless fellow and people should not take his words seriously. As Bhishmachaarya describes thus, Sishupaala gets even more furious and doubles his ranting rate towards Bhagawan Krishna. As we’ve witnessed yesterday, Bhagawan Krishna had given an assurance to Sishupaala’s mother that He would keep forgiving Sishupaala until he makes a hundred insults / mistakes. Once the number crosses hundred, He would leave it fate to take over! 

Thus here, Sishupaala continues his rant, and Bhagawan Krishna waits patiently for the hundredth insult to come by. The moment the number crosses one hundred, Bhagawan Krishna immediately decides that enough is enough! Time has come for Sishupaala to be killed! Thus, Bhagawan Krishna stands up from His seat and along with Him, the “Chakra-Aayudha” also comes out in Bhagawan’s divine hands! Bhagawan’s fury now knows no bounds! He has had enough with Sishupaala. Although Bhagawan was furious outside, He knew that Sishupaala was none other than the Jaya-Vijaya duo at Vaikunta, who were none other than His own ardent devotees! Thus, even though Bhagawan was angry, His compassion towards Sishupaala took over at one point. It is now for Sishupaala to take a decision – Whether to continue ranting further, or to seek forgiveness to Bhagawan. As Sishupaala looks at Bhagawan Krishna as the “Shanka-Chakra-Dhaari”, his heart slowly started to melt! Who on this earth cannot melt down upon seeing Bhagawan in this form? How fortunate was Sishupaala to have Bhagawan Krishna’s divine “Darshan” with the “Shankam” on one hand and the “Chakra” on the other! With this, Sishupaala broke down into tears and sank on the floor speechless! 

However, the hundredth mistake is up, and Sishupaala has breached the hundredth mark! Thus, Bhagawan Krishna too did not have an option but to kill him then and there. Hence, with His divine “Chakra”, Bhagawan Krishna kills Sishupaala on the spot and thus, liberates him back to Vaikunta! With this, the Jaya-Vijaya duo were also released from the curse that Sage Sanaka had given them three “Yugas” ago! As Sishupaala was being attacked by Bhagawan Krishna’s “Chakra”, he did not even make an attempt to defend himself. He suddenly came to know that Bhagawan Krishna who was standing in front of him was none other than Bhagawan Vishnu Himself who had incarnated just to liberate him to “Moksha”. Thus, even though Sishupaala was a Raakshasa by birth, Bhagawan Krishna’s compassion knew no bounds! He made sure that Sishupaala reached the highest “Moksha” without any hassles! 

This was the same case with Ravana as well. We’ve seen this during our earlier Ramayana project as to how Bhagawan Rama liberated both Ravana and Kumbhakarna during the war. Kumbhakarna realized much earlier that Bhagawan Rama was none other than Bhagwan Vishnu Himself, however, since it was his duty to fight for his brother Ravana, Kumbhakarna reluctantly went to the warfield and Bhagawan Rama killed him. At the end, Bhagawan Rama made sure that Kumbhakarna realises who he really was and thus, Kumbhakarna was extremely happy and felt fortunate to be in front of Bhagawan during his last breath. This was the similar case with Ravana as well. Finally as Ravana was about to breathe his last, Bhagawan Rama revealed His true form to him, thus leaving Ravana in tears! He thus realized his mistake of unnecessarily abducting Mother Sita and hurting Bhagawan Rama so much all these years! Thus, this realization that Ravana had, even though it was too late, was good enough for Bhagawan Rama to grant him the highest “Moksha”. We should understand that this Ravana-Kumbhakarna duo was none other than the same Jaya-Vijaya duo of Vaikunta! 

Thus, for today, let us understand up to this point, wherein Bhagawan Krishna has killed Sishupaala and thus, liberated him to Vaikunta again. We shall continue this discussion forward in the next episode to witness what happened at Indraprastha after this. Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 284 – Bhagawan Krishna patiently waits for Sishupala to complete 100 INSULTS!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the continuation of the “Agra-Puja” as part of the “Raaja-Suya Yaaga” after Bhishmachaarya’s detailed accord on Bhagawan Krishna and His divine incarnation. Even as the entire audience was convinced, Sishupaala was still fuming with anger, as Sahadeva went ahead in offering the “Agra-Puja” to Bhagawan Krishna. He was of a savage resolution to somehow stop this proceeding. Meanwhile as the proceedings were going on, Bhishmachaarya explains Sishupaala’s past background too, as he concludes with Bhagawan Krishna’s “Charitra”. We shall witness that as well in a glance as we move forward with how Sishupaala reacted to the “Agra-Puja” being given to Bhagawan Krishna. Bhishmachaarya explains about Sishupaala basically in a bid to undermine him and to drive home the point that Sishupaala was a worthless person who has no rights to comment upon Bhagawan Krishna’s stature. Bhishmachaarya explains how Sishupaala was born only to be killed by Bhagawan Krishna at some point in time. So here’s what Bhishmachaarya says about Sishupaala! 

As we all know, Sishupaala is one of Bhagwan Krishna’s cousin brothers, just like how Arjuna and the other Paandava brothers are. This is the amazing fact here – If we think that Bhagawan Krishna had been on the side of the Paandavas always just because they were his cousins, let us think again! Sishupaala is also one of Bhagawan Krishna’s cousins, and yet, he is going to now be killed by Bhagawan Krishna shortly. Thus, we understand here that Bhagawan Krishna does not know what is “nepotism”. He is neutral and He would always take the side where “Dharma” is present. Hence, let us not have some wrong thoughts about Bhagawan Krishna that He had helped the Paandavas only because they were His cousins. Moving on thus, Bhishmachaarya explains how Sishupaala was born – He was born with three eyes and four hands! Sishupaala was born to King Dhamagosha of Kethi Desha. King Dhamagosha married one of Vasudeva’s sisters, and this is why Sishupaala was the cousin of Bhagawan Krishna. The moment Sishupaala was born with such an unimaginable form, there was an “Aakaashavaani” that thundered from the skies that this child would be killed by someone who will incarnate exclusively for this purpose! 

Shocked by this statement, Sishupaala’s mother asked back thus, “How do I know who is going to kill this child and when is this going to happen?” For this, the Aakaashavaani replied back thus, “Oh mother! Please understand that the person, upon whose lap this child is placed and with this, the extra eye and the two extra arms fall off, would be the same person who would kill him!” As days and months progressed, Sishupaala was placed in the lap of many people, however, nothing was happening! Finally when Bhagawan Krishna and Balarama had visited them once, Sishupaala was placed on Bhagawan Krishna’s lap. Immediately the extra eye and the two extra arms disappeared completely! With this, everybody came to know that it is none other than Bhagawan Krishna who is going to kill Sishupaala. Understanding this fact thus, Sishupaala’s mother runs to Bhagawan Krishna and prays to Him thus, “Oh Bhagawan! I now understood the fact that you would be the person who would kill my son. However, I just have one prayer from my end on behalf of my son – Please forgive all the mistakes that he does to you! Please do not take them to heart. Please do not hold any grudge against Sishupaala for anything! This is my humble request!” 

As Sishupaala’s mother cries thus, Bhagawan Krishna replies to her by calming her. He says, “Oh Mother! I understand your pain and feelings! Yes, I shall forgive Sishupaala until the hundredth mistake that he makes. For the 101’th mistake that he makes, I shall leave it to his fate to take over!” This is exactly why we’re seeing Bhagawan Krishna silently sitting at the Indraprastha courtroom without uttering a single word as Sishupaala drops insult after insult upon Him! It is just because, Bhagawan Krishna was keeping a count on how many times Sishupaala is insulting Him! In fact, we’ve now crossed six “Adhyaayas” inside this same “Upa-Parva” and in all these six “Adhyaayas” we would see how Sishupaala insulted Bhagawan Krishna at any and every instance possible. Whoever opens their mouth to defend Bhagawan Krishna, Sishupaala would fire insults at them right royally! In this way, Bhagawan Krishna was patiently waiting for the number to touch hundred! 

Now, as Bhishmachaarya explained all about Bhagawan Krishna, Sishupaala was still not convinced, and he continued his ranting against Him with more fury! The number of insults nears the one-hundred mark and Bhagawan Krishna is still waiting patiently! So for today, let us also join Bhagawan Krishna in patiently waiting for Sishupaala to complete the one-hundred mark! In the next episode, we shall witness what happened to Sishupaala after the number crossed one-hundred! Stay tuned for an interesting and an important accord! 🙂 

Episode # 283 – Sahadeva offers the important “AGRA-PUJA” to Bhagawan Krishna!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed Bhishmachaarya narrating the entire “Shri Krishna Avatara” right from His incarnation to Devaki and Vasudeva till how Bhagawan Krishna managed to kill innumerable Raakshasas and established “Dharma” in this world. By narrating Bhagawan Krishna’s “Charitra”, Bhishmachaarya moved Bhagawan Krishna Himself to tears when the narrative of the Gopikas and Gokula were being given. Bhishmaachaarya made sure that the Gopika narrative was so heart-touching that the entire audience was moved into Bhakti towards Bhagawan Krishna. Eventually as Bhishmachaarya completed his accord, the entire audience decided that if at all there’s any person who is qualified for the “Agra-Puja”, it should be Bhagawan Krishna and nobody else! In fact, Bhishmachaarya himself concludes his lengthy accord by saying thus, “Oh Yudishtra! Such is the significance of Bhagawan Krishna! Hence, you should go ahead and offer the “Agra-Puja” to Bhagawan Krishna, without listening to voices that go against Him. Some people talk nonsense about Bhagawan Krishna, which is not at all true. It is only because of vengeance, Sishupala is ranting that way. Hence, please proceed forward!” 

As Bhishmachaarya concludes thus, the Yaaga continues further. Sahadeva once again comes with the pot of holy water, with which, the “Agra-Puja” was to be offered to Bhagawan Krishna. Bhagawan also takes His position once again and the offering commences. At this point, Sahadeva claims to the entire audience thus, “Oh people! As per Bhishmachaarya’s words, if there’s anybody who is totally eligible for the “Agra-Puja” to be offered, it is none other than Bhagawan Krishna Himself! We’re very fortunate to have Him amidst us, to grace this divine occasion. If anyone dares to talk even one word against Bhagawan Krishna anymore, I would make sure that I would chop off that person’s hands and legs in this “Sabhaa” itself in front of the entire audience! I pledge this as I commence the offering!” 

As Sahadeva exudes thus, all the Devas showered divine flowers and water from the “Aakaasha” and encouraged Sahadeva to go ahead with the “Agra-Puja”. We might be wondering this – When Bhishmachaarya explained length and breadth about Bhagawan Krishna, the Devas did not shower flowers. However, when Sahadeva mentioned that one sentence, the Devas were showering flowers! Why is this so? Why is Bhishmachaarya sidelined like this? Isn’t this unfair? In fact, it is the same Bhishmachaarya who is going to gift all of us with the auspicious “Vishnu Sahasranaama” later on. Even with that, nobody talks high or celebrates Bhishmachaarya’s significance. Why is that so? The main reason here is that, even though Bhishmachaarya knew that Bhagawan Krishna is all-pervasive, he failed to stand by the “Dharma” which Bhagawan propagated to the world! Even during the Kurukshetra war, Bhishmachaarya, instead of taking the Paandavas’ side, ended up taking Duryodhana’s side although he did not want to really do that. The reason why Bhishmachaarya and even Guru Dhronaachaarya took Duryodhana’s side was just that one “Attachment towards the family of King Dhridiraashtra”! It is because of this, Bhishmachaarya failed to establish “Dharma” at various occasions all throughout the Mahabharata and we’re going to witness them one after the other. Even in this “Sabhaa Parva”, we’re going to see that when Draupati’s saree was being pulled by Duchaasana, Bhishmachaarya and Guru Dhronaachaarya remained mute spectators to the gross “Adharma” that was happening right in front of everybody’s eyes! As senior people in the family, both of them should have raised objections and stopped Duchaasana and Duryodhana from doing such things, isn’t it? This is where Bhishmachaarya lost his reverence and respect, even though he was extremely scholarly, invincible with power, name and fame, and even though he also knew that Bhagawan Krishna is none other than Bhagawan Vishnu who had incarnated to protect “Dharma”! 

Moving on thus, the “Agra-Puja” commences and goes on in full swing, even as Sishupaala was on-looking. He was fuming with anger within himself because, even after he said so many things about Bhagawan Krishna, his words weren’t taken seriously. Even though the entire audience got convinced with Bhishmachaarya’s detailed and heart-touching accord on Bhagawan Krishna, Sishupaala was never convinced even a bit! He stuck to his stance! So for today, let us understand until this point, and in the next episode, we shall witness how Sishupaala reacted to it and how Bhagawan Krishna countered him! Stay tuned for an interesting accord! 🙂

Episode # 282 – Bhishmachaarya narrates Bhagawan Krishna’s divine “Charitra” – A heart-moving accord!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed Yudishtra running after Sishupaala to bring him back into the courtroom. Sishupaala, as we had witnessed earlier, abused Bhagawan Krishna in such a way that the entire audience was stunned and taken aback. Bhishmaachaarya himself couldn’t stand Sishupaala’s abusive language. As Yudishtra tries to pacify Sishupaala, Bhishmaachaarya gets angry and gives a stern message to Yudishtra that he doesn’t need to go behind crooks who do not understand Bhagawan Krishna and His divine incarnation. Sishupaala is a Raakshasa and he is someone who doesn’t want to understand who Bhagawan is, and hence, what is the use of Yudishtra running behind him and trying to make him understand? 

As Bhishmachaarya says thus, Yudishtra couldn’t understand the head or tail of what was going on! How come Bhishmachaarya knows so much about Bhagawan Krishna? What does he know about Him, which I do not know? These were the questions that ran inside Yudishtra’s mind as Bhishmachaarya asserted his stance over Sishupaala. As Yudishtra returns back to his throne, he asks Bhishmachaarya thus, “Oh revered & respected Bhishmachaarya! You’ve just said that you know who Bhagawan Krishna really is and also about His divine incarnation! I do not understand the meaning of your words! All we know about Bhagawan Krishna is that He is our cousin brother, who is a great strategist. Is there something beyond this that we do not know about Bhagawan Krishna? If there is something, can you highlight it to us?” 

As Yudishtra asks thus, Bhishmachaarya was extremely happy! He was waiting for such an opportunity to talk about Bhagawan Krishna and with this, Bhishmachaarya commenced his accord on Him! He explains in detail as to how Bhagawan Krishna incarnated as the eighth divine son of the Devaki-Vasudeva couple at Kamsa’s Mathura, how Baby Krishna escaped death from Kamsa’s wretched and dreadful hands, how he was transported by Vasudeva from Mathura to Gokula overnight without anybody knowing, how Little Krishna grew up as a darling child of Yashoda and Nandagopa, how Little Krishna stole butter from every house in Gokula and how He played pranks with the people there. Subsequently, Bhishmachaarya explains how Little Krishna killed various Raakshasas like Poothana, Sakataasura, Keshi, etc. and how He tamed snake Kaaliya. Subsequently, Bhishmachaarya explains how Bhagawan Krishna was the only saviour for all the Gopikas, and how the Gopikas were extremely devoted to Him. 

As Bhishmachaarya was explaining all these stories in detail, Bhagawan Krishna was present in front of him and listening to all the narratives. As Bhagawan Krishna was listening to His own past, He was in tears when His thoughts went behind His dear devotees at Gokula! His mind flew towards the Gopikas who were longing for Bhagawan Krishna’s mere presence! His mind flew towards all the cows in the Gokula cowshed, which were yearning for His divine presence! As Bhishmachaarya was narrating in such a heart-touching way, Bhagawan Krishna took this as an opportunity to shower His divine “Anugraha” on all the Gokula people and the cows! Meanwhile, the entire audience assembled at Indraprastha were also moved to tears of joy! They felt privileged that they’ve got a divine opportunity to be amidst the presence of Bhagawan Krishna! They were continuing to listen to Bhagawan Krishna’s divine actions as being narrated by Bhishmachaarya. Subsequently, Bhishmachaarya narrates how Bhagawan Krishna tamed Bhagawan Brahma and Indra through the Govardhana episode, and how He played pranks with all the kids there. Subsequently, Bhishmachaarya moves on with the Kamsa episode and how Bhagawan Krishna and Balarama jointly took Kamsa down to death, for all the atrocities he had created. 

I’m going a bit fast on all these as we’ve discussed this in detail in our earlier “Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana” & “Shri Vishnu Puraana” projects. Subsequently as Bhagawan Krishna kills Kamsa, Devaki and Vasudeva are freed up from the prison and with this, Bhagawan Krishna was sent for formal education under Saandeepani Maharishi. Within sixty-four days, Bhagawan Krishna learnt all the sixty-four different art forms and all aspects of “Raaja-Dharma”. Subsequently, Bhagawan Krishna became the king of Mathura, only to be “chased away” by Jaraasandha and Kaalayavana, all the way to Dwaaraka. There, Bhagawan Krishna settled down, killed Kaalayavana and Jaraasandha eventually, married Rukmini Devi from Vidharba Desha and had a son with her by name Pradhyumna. This Pradhyumna in turn grew up and had a son by name Aniruddha. Subsequently, Bhagawan Krishna won over Nagnajith and married Satyabhaama. Also, Bhagawan Krishna won over Jaambhavaan (An important character in the Ramayana) and married his daughter by name Jaambhavati. 

Saying all of these thus, Bhishmachaarya explains to Yudishtra: “Oh Yudishtra! Such is the significance of Bhagawan Krishna who is sitting right amidst all of us here. Without knowing all this, there are some people who are spreading wrong information about Him and who are talking ill about Him on purpose!” Saying thus, Bhishmachaarya concludes this long accord. So for today, let us understand up to this point and we shall wait till the next episode to witness how Sishupaala reacted to Bhishmaachaarya’s accord! Stay tuned! 🙂

Episode # 281 – Sishupala creates chaos amidst the Raja-Suya Yaga & walks out!!! 

In the previous episode, we had witnessed Sishupaala “spoiling the party” at the Raaja-Suya Yaaga, wherein he was the only person to oppose the “Agra-Puja” being offered to Bhagawan Krishna. He had a huge enmity against Bhagawan Krishna right from childhood days, which only fuelled up when Bhagawan Krishna “abducted” Rukmini Devi from Sishupaala just before he was about to marry her. Thus, Sishupaala was all in anger and frustration since then and he was waiting for an apt time to pour out his anger. As Sishupaala learnt that Bhagawan Krishna was present at Yudishtra’s Raaja-Suya Yaaga, he made his way to Indraprastha, waited for the right opportunity and started ranting about Bhagawan Krishna amidst the huge gathering. He poured insult after insult on Bhagawan Krishna, as the entire audience was stunned to bits! The “Agra-Puja” came to a brief halt as Sishupaala continued with his ranting. Sishupaala outlined to the gathering as to how Bhagawan Krishna was a “thief” and a “cheater” right from his childhood till date! 

Many of us might be knowing this – Sishupaala was not just Bhagawan Krishna’s enemy in this particular birth. He had enmity with Bhagawan for three consecutive births! During the Krita-Yuga, he was in the forms of “Hiranyaaksha” and “Hiranyakashibu” who were Raakshasas opposing Bhagawan Vishnu. In the previous Tretha-Yuga, he was none other than “Ravana” and “Kumbakarna ”, who were opposed to Bhagawan when He incarnated as Bhagawan  Rama. In the Dvaapara-Yuga it’s again Sishupaala and Dantavaktra, who are opposing Bhagawan Krishna! Thus, this duo were none other than Bhagawan Vishnu’s security guards at Vaikunta, namely Jaya and Vijaya. It is because of Sage Sanaka’s curse that these two were taking three births in the world as human beings (Raakshasas) and Bhagawan would liberate them back to Vaikunta during three different incarnations at three different Yugas. Now it is turn for Bhagawan Krishna to liberate Sishupaala, who was a Raakshasa in this birth, but was an ardent Vishnu devotee at Vaikunta. Readers must understand this point very clearly. 

As Sishupaala rants thus, he quickly gets up and rushes out of the Indraprastha palace with great fury and frustration. Upon seeing Sishupaala rushing away with anger, Yudishtra was highly disturbed. He was only intending to satisfy all the people who marked their presence for the “Raaja-Suya Yaaga”, however, there was one person who was dissatisfied. Upon seeing this, Yudishtra rushed behind Sishupaala and stopped him at the end of the courtroom. Yudishtra replies thus, “Oh Sishupaala! We have extremely high regards for you and that is why we invited you for this Yaaga. However, just because you might have some enmity with Bhagawan Krishna, please do not scold Him in public like this. As a king, I feel that this is not a fair act from your end. If you have enmity, you should keep it outside of this purview and not during an auspicious occasion like this. If there are any shortfalls from my end in terms of hospitality, etc. here at Indraprastha, I seek your forgiveness and apology on behalf of all my brothers!” As Yudishtra explains politely thus, Bhishmaachaarya intervenes. Bhishmaachaarya was equally angry on Sishupaala’s behavior, and replies to Yudishtra thus, “Oh Yudishtra! Why do you want to waste your time and effort in convincing a person who doesn’t understand what you’re saying? All of us know who Bhagawan Krishna is. If he doesn’t want to know of Bhagawan Krishna, it is his problem and not yours! Moreover, it is not good on your part to run behind such crooks and seek apologies! Hence, please come back and let us continue with the proceedings of the Yaaga!” 

With this argument raging and Sishupaala’s walking out, chaos starts reigning amidst the audience! So for today, let us understand up to this point and in the next episode, we shall witness how this chaos came to a halt! Stay tuned! 🙂

Episode # 280 – Sishupala insults Bhagawan Krishna in public!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the commencement of the grand “Raaja-Suya Yaaga” of Yudishtra at Indraprastha in a greater detail, wherein the ritual of Agra-Puja is being conducted. As there was a question as to who would be the most eligible person to offer the “Agra-Puja” to, Bhishmaachaarya opined that there is no other person who is more qualified than Bhagawan Krishna Himself and hence, the “Agra-Puja” should be offered to Him directly. As Bhishmaachaarya said thus, the entire courtroom filled with thousands of people including great Maharishis, accepted his words and Sahadeva commenced the “Agra-Puja” proceedings to Bhagawan Krishna. Accordingly, Sahadeva washes Bhagawan Krishna’s divine lotus feet with holy water and performs the “Paada-Puja” to Him. As this was being done, the entire courtroom worships Bhagawan Krishna, except for one person. This person is none other than Sishupaala, who is Bhagawan Krishna’s cousin brother. 

Many of us might know that Sishupaala has had a very bad experience with Bhagawan Krishna during the “Rukmini-Kalyanam” episode. We’ve already discussed this during our Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana project earlier, wherein, Bhagawan Krishna allegedly “picked up” Rukmini Devi from the cusps of Sishupaala, who was actually supposed to marry her. Subsequently, a war broke out between Bhagawan Krishna and Sishupaala’s army, and eventually Sishupaala was defeated, insulted and sent back by Bhagawan Krishna, and subsequently Rukmini Devi married Bhagawan Krishna. I’m going a bit fast here, as we’ve already witnessed the entire story behind this earlier. Thus, Bhagawan Krishna had a “Raakshasa-Vivaaha” with Rukmini Devi and Sishupaala was at the receiving end of this. Post this insult, Sishupaala was having an enormous amount of vengeance burning in his mind – To somehow give it back to Bhagawan Krishna at an apt time and place. As time progressed and after many years, this “Raaja-Suya Yaaga” was happening and Sishupaala came to know of it. He also knew that since Yudishtra is performing this Yaaga, Bhagawan Krishna would definitely mark His presence there. Thus, Sishupaala came to Indraprastha with a savage resolution to take on Bhagawan Krishna in front of the entire audience! This would prove an insult to Bhagawan Krishna and this would in turn settle affairs between Sishupaala and Bhagawan Krishna! 

Having this in mind, Sishupaala has come to Indraprastha and when he witnessed Bhagawan Krishna receiving the prestigious “Agra-Puja”, Sishupaala burst out in anger in front of everyone! Sishupaala gets up and talks in front of everyone thus, “Oh! I do not understand why this “Agra-Puja” is being given to someone who doesn’t know morality, ethics and Raaja-Dharma! What does this fellow know? What is his qualification? Who is he afterall? Is he a king by birth? Not at all! He’s afterall a servant-clan born guy! Did his father own a big kingdom? Never! All he knows is to abduct someone else’s wife and claim that she is his! All through his life, he has done only this, and for such heinous acts, instead of punishing him, he is receiving royal treatment! Long live Indraprastha!” 

Saying thus, Sishupaala vents out all his anger towards Bhagawan Krishna! He continues further thus, “Oh Yudishtra! When you have stalwarts in your courtroom like Bhishmaachaarya, Guru Dhronaachaarya, etc. isn’t it appropriate to select any one of these people and offer the “Agra-Puja”? There are enormous “Pandithas” like Sage Vyaasa and the others. Why can’t you offer the “Agra-Puja” to such people who really deserve it? Instead of all these people, you’re going and offering this to someone who thinks too much about himself? He thinks that he’s a great Panditha and should be respected. But in reality, what does he know? Right from day one of his birth, he has only stolen things from others! He has never been truthful to anybody till today. He doesn’t even know the spelling of the word “Dharma”. Do you even know how many people have suffered because of him? Please realize that this Krishna who is standing in front of all of you is a thief! He is a womaniser! He goes behind hundreds and thousands of women without even an iota of shame in him! He has married 16,000 women in his life so far! Is this a normal act of a human being? In spite of having 16,000 wives, he still desired the woman whom I wanted to marry, and even without my knowledge, he abducted Rukmini Devi and married her! What kind of an act is this? Isn’t it shameful? Therefore, given all his track records in the past, I don’t think Krishna even deserves to be part of this elite crowd – Forget obtaining the “Agra Puja”! Hence, I request you to offer it to someone who really deserves it!” 

Saying thus, Sishupaala went on with his ranting against Bhagawan Krishna in public. So for today, let us understand up to this point, and in the next episode we shall witness what was the reaction from the audience and from Bhishmaachaarya for Sishupaala’s allegations on Bhagawan Krishna! Stay tuned! 🙂

Episode # 279 – Sahadeva performs the “Agra-Puja” to Bhagawan Krishna!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the grand “Raaja-Suya-Yaaga” commencing at Indraprastha with Yudishtra taking the “Yaaga-Deeksha”. Subsequently, Bhagawan Krishna takes the lead and welcomes all the great Maharishis into the Indraprastha palace and ensures that they are comfortable and well taken care of. In the meanwhile, we’ve seen how the entire gathering of over a thousand people is being treated to a sumptuous breakfast, lunch and dinner by Yudishtra and Co. Elaborate arrangements have been made for the same, and it was ensured that nobody had any complaints about the quality / quantity of food that was being served! To ensure this, Yudishtra himself goes around in person to check with each and every guest who has come to grace the occasion. This is a unique gesture from Yudishtra, and he was widely appreciated for the same. At the same time, Bhagawan Krishna took up the responsibility to welcome all the great Maharishis with all the “Poorna-Kumba”, washing their feet with holy water, etc. 

We might wonder here as to why Bhagawan has to bend down and wash the feet of Maharishis. Here, we’ve to understand that Bhagawan Krishna is trying to send out a clear message that an Aachaarya (Guru) should be welcomed and respected in this way only. No matter who we might be in this world – If an Aachaarya makes His / Her way into our house or wherever, we should respect and welcome Him / Her in such a way that they feel happy and content. Frankly, Bhagawan, for His stature, needn’t do all this. However, only if Bhagawan does it, people like us will follow. Else, we would start saying, “Oh! Bhagawan Himself did not do it, and hence why should I?” Thus, to avoid all these unwanted debates, Bhagawan Himself volunteers to show us the way! 

Now moving on further, the next question amongst the entire gathering is who would be that person eligible for the “Agra-Puja”. We’ve witnessed a glimpse of this in the yesterday’s episode as well, and we shall continue from this point onwards. At this point, we’ve to also note that amongst all the people who have gathered, the important people from Hastinapura are also present, including Bhishmaachaarya, Vidura, Duryodhana, etc. Of course I’ve not mentioned this earlier, but it is now worth noting this point at this time, because this question on the “Agra-Puja” is to be answered by none other than Bhishmaachaarya himself. Thus, as the question is asked, people turn around and look at each other and at this time, Bhishmaachaarya gets up and answers thus, “Oh Yudishtra! From my perspective and experience, I think the person who is apt to receive the “Agra-Puja” is none other than Bhagawan Krishna who is sitting amidst all of us! I don’t think any of us can even match or come close to Bhagawan Krishna’s stature here. Hence, let us perform the “Agra-Puja” to Bhagawan Krishna!” 

As Bhishmaachaarya explains thus, the entire gathering accepts his words, and with this, Sahadeva comes forward with the “Kumba” full of divine water. Bhagawan Krishna on His part, accepts Bhishmaachaarya’s words as well and is ready to accept the “Agra-Puja” from Sahadeva, on behalf of Yudishtra. Sahadeva sits down in front of Bhagawan and performs the “Paada-Puja” to His divine lotus feet! This is an important ritual as part of the “Raaja-Suya-Yaaga” and as this is going on, Yudishtra and Arjuna are in tears of joy! They are grateful to Bhagawan Krishna for His divine presence, as well as for all the help that He had rendered to them until today. Their gratitude and love for Bhagawan Krishna came out in the form of tears. Sahadeva too is in tears of joy as he performs the ritual. However, as this goes on, there was one person amidst the entire gathering who wanted to oppose this! This person was not at all in favor of Bhagawan Krishna getting all this “undue” respect! 

Now who is this person opposing Bhagawan Krishna being respected like this? We shall wait eagerly to find out in the next episode! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 278 – Bhagawan Krishna welcomes the Maharishis into Indraprastha – An important message!!!

In the previous episode, we had moved forward after the Jaraasandha-Vadam into Yudishtra’s “Raaja-Suya-Yaaga”. The preparations are going on in full steam and the Paandava brothers go in different directions to collect gifts and other items from various kings from various kingdoms. As this is being done, Bhagawan Krishna once again arrives at Indraprastha to oversee the preparations. At this time, Yudishtra requests Bhagawan Krishna that He should take up the “Yaaga-Deeksha” to perform the Yaaga on behalf of the Paandava brothers, as He was the apt person to do so. However, Bhagawan Krishna had other plans – He wanted Yudishtra to perform the Yaaga, only through which he is going to attain more prosperity. If such is the case, what is the use of Bhagawan Krishna doing it? Thus, Bhagawan politely refuses Yudishtra’s request and advises him to go ahead and undertake the “Yaaga-Deeksha”. 

As this happens meanwhile, the day of the grand event is fast approaching. All the kings who had been invited for the event, start arriving in huge caravans! Indraprastha is now transforming itself into a grand festive mood! All the people of Indraprastha are extremely happy that their king is performing such a great Yaaga, which not many other kings might have performed till now. This was a unique Yaaga and to witness it, several great Maharishis make their way to Indraprastha. Sage Veda-Vyaasa also arrives at Indraprastha as well. He doesn’t come alone – He brings his four disciples along with him, including Sage Vaishampayana and Sage Jaime. As the day arrives, everybody assembles in Yudishtra’s grand courtroom, which has the capability to house and seat as many thousands of people as they pour in. The entire courtroom is buzzing with activity and Yudishta arrives at the center! As Yudishtra takes his seat, it was as if Indra is seated at the “Deva-Lokha”! Yudishtra was surrounded by all his four brothers on one end and Bhagawan Krishna on the other! 

As people pour in from various directions, everybody was welcomed with a grand feast consisting of various food varieties. In fact, Sage Vyaasa was so impressed with the food that was served, and he dedicated one full “Adhyaaya” only to talk about all the different food items that were present as part of the grand buffet. Of course, if I start talking about it now, all of us would start feeling hungry, and hence for now, let us skip this and move forward! 🙂 If we’re still interested in this, we shall always go back and refer to the text, to find out what were the food items and how we can prepare them at home! 🙂 

Moving on further thus, as all the people have a sumptuous feast, Yudishtra goes around and inspects if everything is in place. He also enquires with each and every person assembled there, to make sure that they’re receiving the best of the best hospitality with regards to food, accommodation, etc. Yudishtra also ensures that all the Maharishis are satisfied and they’re chanting all the Veda-Mantras as per the prescribed norms. As all these happen in tandem, the Yaaga commences! Now Yudishtra asks an important question here – “To whom should I perform the “Agra-Puja”? Normally, “Agra-Puja” is the custom wherein one great Maharishi is selected amongst the entire group and a special offering is performed. Of course, there are extraordinarily significant Maharishis who have assembled at Indraprastha, including Sage Naarada himself, along with Sage Vyaasa, Sage Vaishampayana, and the likes. Now amongst these great stellar Maharishi-groups, whom should Yudishtra select for the “Agra-Puja”? 

As Yudishtra asks thus, Bhagawan Krishna replies to him that before he does the “Agra-Puja”, Bhagawan Krishna would Himself volunteer to welcome all the Maharishis who had assembled there. Thus, Bhagawan Krishna stands up from His seat and goes near each of the Maharishis, bows in front of them, washes their feet with divine water and welcomes them as per the protocol! Here we can see that Bhagawan Himself is welcoming the Maharishis! We might wonder as to why He should do so! Rather, the Maharishis should welcome Bhagawan, shouldn’t they? The message from Bhagawan is very clear – There is a way and a protocol to welcome and respect great Aachaaryas, and even Bhagawan is none in front of them! Thus, Bhagawan Krishna drives the message that no matter who one may or may not be, due respects should be given to Aachaaryas and Maharishis. Thus, the significance of a Guru is being brought out by Bhagawan Krishna through this gesture. 

So for today, let us understand up to this point and we shall continue with the proceedings of the Raaja-Suya Yaaga further in the next episode! Stay tuned! 🙂