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! 🙂 

Episode # 277 – Yudishtra requests Bhagawan Krishna to take the “Yaaga-Deeksha”!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the trio of Bhagawan Krishna, Arjuna and Bheemasena returning victoriously to Indraprastha after Jaraasandha’s event. Now that the decks are clear for the “Raaja-Suya-Yaaga” to commence, Yudishtra sends all his brothers in all four directions to perform the “Dig-Vijaya-Yatra”, which is the first step towards performing the “Raaja-Suya-Yaaga”. Normally in those days, whenever a huge “Yaaga” of this sorts like the “Ashwamdedha Yaaga” or “Ishti Yaaga” or “Raaja-Suya Yaaga” was conducted, there are certain prerequisites to be followed. As a first of those, some people from the kingdom, or some animals (normally a horse) go around the entire length and breadth of the Bhaarata Desha and meet up with every king on the way. As these people come around, the other kings would come to know that something special is going to happen in their kingdom. Accordingly, the kings would give some gifts as donation to the people who come. However, if the kings do not want that event to happen, they start fighting against the people who come there. In turn, these people or the king concerned should wage a war and win over this king, so as to proceed with the “Dig-Vijaya Yatra” forward. 

In these lines, during our Ramayana project, we’ve witnessed King Dasharata do the same thing – Before commencing the “Putra-Kaameshti Yaaga” for the birth of Bhagawan Rama and the others, an “Ashvam” (Horse) was let to run all over the Bhaarata Desha from Ayodhya city. The horse went around with Ayodhya’s flag on it, and it served as an information to all the other kings around that something special is going to happen at Ayodhya. Similarly here too, Arjuna, Bheemasea, Nakula and Sahadeva go in different directions as part of the “Dig-Vijaya Yatra”. As we had witnessed yesterday, Sage Vyaasa explains that Nakula has come all the way till the banks of River Tamraparni, which is located down south! He has met the erstwhile Chera, Chola and Paandya kings and had in turn obtained gifts and blessings from them. Sahadeva could not go to Lanka because it was a land of Raakshasas, and for this, Ghatodgaja was employed. Thus, Ghatodgaja met Vibhishana at Lanka, obtained gifts and blessings from him and returned back to Indraprastha. 

With this background, we shall now enter into the next “Upa-Parva” called “Dig-Vijaya Parva”. Here, Sage Vyaasa gives a detailed accord on who went in which direction, which are the kingdoms through which they passed through, who are the kings that they met, etc. We’re not going into details of this “Upa-Parva”, because we’ve already witnessed a jist of it in our earlier episode. Readers, if interested, can go through the Mahabharata text for details. Now moving on with the important content thus, after all the “Dig-Vijaya Yatras” were completed, the coffers of Yudishtra at Indraprastha were overflowing with gifts and other precious materials, which were donated by different kings from different kingdoms. Now we move on into the “Raaja-Suya Parva”, Yudishtra gives an invite to various great Maharishis from various directions and geographical locations. Various kings from various other territories were invited too. All the people of Indraprastha were extremely happy and thrilled that their king Yudisthra is governing them in the righteous path according to the “Raaja-Dharma”. They were also happy that their beloved king is going to perform this great “Raaja-Suya Yaaga” very soon. Bhagawan Krishna was also there amongst all of them, shining like a bright star amidst the smaller ones. Sage Veda-Vyaasa too made his way to Indraprastha to take part in the “Yaaga”. Various other Maharishis too made their way to Indraprastha for the auspicious event. 

At this time as Bhagawan Krishna arrives once again at Indraprastha, Yudishtra falls on His feet and says thus, “Oh Bhagawan! It is only because of your divine “Anugraha” that this kingdom is being ruled as per the “Raaja-Dharma”. It is only because of your divine “Anugraha” that this Raaja-Suya Yaaga preparations are going on in full swing. We’re very happy and blessed to be amidst your divine presence. Without you, would anything have progressed here? Hence, I have a small request for you – As part of the Yaaga proceedings, you should be the one to take the “Deeksha” for it!” Normally, even today, when we perform a spiritual offering to Bhagawan in terms of a Yaaga or anything, someone should take a “Deeksha” to perform it, isn’t it? Here, Yudishtra wants Bhagawan Krishna Himself to take the “Deeksha” and start the Yaaga proceedings. 

As Yudishtra extends the invitation thus, Bhagawan Krishna replies back: “Oh Dharma-Putra (Yudishtra)! I’ve come here as your messenger and not as a king. Moreover, who am I to take the Yaaga-Deeksha? It is you who’s performing this Yaaga, and hence, I feel that it would be apt if you take the “Deeksha”, rather than me taking it!” Saying thus, Bhagawan Krishna politely declined Yudishtra’s request, and for today, let us understand up to this point. We shall continue in the next episode as to what happened next from here on. Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 276 – Ghatodgaja meets Vibhishana at Lanka – A special reference!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed Bheemasena finally taking control over King Jaraasandha and killing him. With Bhagawan Krishna at the helm of affairs in terms of guidance, Bheemasena split Jaraasandha’s body into two and made sure that both the halves aren’t able to stick together again. With this, Jaraasandha breathed his last and the entire world hailed Bheemasena’s victory over Jaraasandha. A major source of “Adharma” in this world was depleted in this way. With this, Bhagawan Krishna instated Sahadeva (Jaraasandha’s son) as the successor of the Magadha Desha and Sahadeva henceforth performed the “Dharma-Rajya” there. Thus, the trio returns back to Indraprastha and with this, the decks are cleared for the grand “Raaja-Suya Yaaga” to be performed by Yudishtra. Till this point, Jaraasandha was a stumbling block, and now that Jaraasandha has been killed, the “Raaja-Suya Yaaga” had no hinderances. 

Thus, the preparations begin in full swing. Indraprastha slowly starts getting a festive color and grandeur as the Paandava brothers go in different directions from the kingdom to collect the necessary “funds” and materials to commence the “Yaaga”. Arjuna was sent in the northern direction towards the Indrapatna. Bheemasena went towards the east. Nakula came all the way down south. In fact, Sage Veda-Vyaasa adds an important reference here – He says that Nakula has come all the way till the banks of River Tamraparni, which is in the famous city of Tirunelveli in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. However, Nakula did not advance further from here. This is because of the fact that south of Tamil Nadu is Sri Lanka, which was a “Raakshasa-Pradesha”, or the abode of Raakshasas. Hence, the Paandavas changed their strategy a bit – We’ve already witnessed that Bheemasena had married Hidimbi once upon a time, and had a son called Ghatodgaja with her, isn’t it? Bheemasena now calls Ghatodgaja for help as he was the son of a Raakshasi. Thus, Ghatodgaja was instructed to proceed towards Lanka to meet Vibhishana and to inform him of the Raaja-Suya Yaaga that was taking place at Indraprastha. 

We can witness another surprise here – It seems that Vibhishana was still alive when the Mahabharata story took place! Vibhishana was Ravana’s brother and he had an important role to play during the Ramayana time. Now even after so many thousands of years, Sage Veda-Vyaasa explains that Vibhishana was still alive! He was doing the “Dharma-Raajya” at Lanka after Ravana’s demise. We might wonder how Vibhishana was still alive even during Yudishtra’s and Bhagawan Krishna’s tenure, which is so many thousands of years after Bhagawan Rama’s incarnation. This shows how much of divine Anugraha Bhagawan Rama and Mother Sita had given him! We’ve witnessed during our Ramayana project that when Bhagawan Rama and Mother Sita enter into the “Pushpaka Vimaana” after killing Ravana at Lanka, Bhagawan Rama requests Mother Sita to have a divine look at the entire “Lanka-Patna” (Lanka City), because Vibhishana is going to rule the kingdom henceforth. Thus, with the divine “Anugraha” of Mother Sita and Bhagawan Rama, we should understand that Lanka is still ruled by the “Dharma-Aatman” called Vibhishana. 

Thus moving further, Ghatodgaja meets Vibhishana and informs him of the Yaaga that was going to take place shortly. Vibhishana was extremely happy upon hearing this, and gifted Ghatodgaja with enormous prize materials and gold. With this, we move into the next Upa-Parva called “Dig-Vijaya Parva”, wherein we are going to witness in detail as to how the Paandava brothers went to each kingdom including the Cheras, Cholas and Paandyas in the south and how all the kings received them happily by gifting them with enormous amounts of gold and other precious materials. We shall commence the “Dig-Vijaya Parva” in the next episode and continue this further! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 275 – Bheemasena kills Jarasandha – Decks cleared for the “Raja-Suya Yaga”!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the continuation of the thirteen-day war between Bheemasena and Jaraasandha. An intense fight broke out between the two and it continued day and night without a break. Both exchanged lusty blows on each other, however, with their immense strength and will power, both of them sustained all the blows they received from each other. The fight went on day and night without a break in this way. Finally at the end of the thirteenth day and during the beginning of the fourteenth day, King Jaraasandha started to show some signs of weakness and fatigue, which was rightly capitalized by Bheemasena. He thus gave Jaraasandha a few fatal blows which split him into two halves! Bheemasena tore through his legs and Jaraasandha was unable to cope up with that. With this, Bheemasena through both the halves of Jaraasandha’s body apart and thought that he was done! However to his utter disbelief and shock, the two halves joined together like a magnet again and became one body! Jaraasandha came back to life and again the fight continued! Bheemasena repeated this process twice or thrice and the same result happened – Jaraasandha was again and again coming back to life with the two halves of his body sticking together, everytime Bheemasena split them and threw apart. 

At one stage, Bheemasena was fed up with the whole thing and was about to give it up! It is at this time Bhagawan Krishna intervened. Until this time, He was just watching what was going on from the side of the audience. He never uttered a single word to Bheemasena until that point. However, when Bheemasena approached Bhagawan Krishna for help, it is only then Bhagawan Krishna swung into action. He reassured Bheemasena to go back and fight Jaraasandha one more time, and when Jaraasandha’s body is split again into two, Bhagawan Krishna would further suggest what to do next! As per Bhagawan’s instruction, Bheemasena once again entered the “Ranga-Bhoomi” and commenced the fight. Again the fight was extremely intense and again, Jaraasandha couldn’t withstand Bheemasena’s raw muscle power. His body was split into two parts once again by Bheemasena. Now that this split has happened, Bhagawan Krishna sends an indirect message. As Bheemasena was looking up to Bhagawan Krishna, He took out a piece of grass, split it longitudinally into two halves and turned one half upside down as compared to the other half. 

The message was loud and clear to Bheemasena – I shall explain this strategy in more detail here. According to the boon that Jaraasandha had obtained, if both his halves were in the same direction, that is, one half of his head, hands, legs etc. are in the same direction as the other half, then both would join together to form a complete body again. However, if one half’s head portion is kept near the other half’s leg portion (One half turned upside down), then both the pieces wouldn’t be able to join together and regain life! Hence, Bhagawan Krishna is instructing Bheemasena to reverse one half of Jaraasandha’s body and throw it apart, which Bheemasena obeyed. With this, Jaraasandha’s two body halves were not able to stick together, even though they tried coming closer to each other. After a few minutes of trying, the body parts failed to stick together and Jaraasandha gave up his life! Thus, this marked the end of the fourteen-day-long battle between Jaraasandha and Bheemasena, and also the ultra-long feud between Bhagawan Krishna and Jaraasandha! 

As Jaraasandha finally fell dead, the entire world celebrated this victory of good over evil. At the same time, Jaraasandha’s son came and fell on Bhagawan Krishna’s divine lotus feet immediately. Jaraasandha’s son was “Sahadeva” – We’re not talking here about the fifth Paandava brother, Sahadeva. Readers shouldn’t get confused. Jaraasandha’s son, Sahadeva was a good person by birth. He did not endorse his father’s evil deeds at all. Now that his father was dead, Sahadeva came to Bhagawan Krishna and surrendered himself thus, “Oh Bhagawan! I know of whatever torture my father has given to you all these years. On behalf of him I’m seeking forgiveness at your lotus feet. You should not take all those bad deeds of my dad to your heart. You should forgive him, because he had done all of it unknowingly! Hence, please ensure that my father reaches the highest “Moksha”!” 

As Sahadeva pleads thus, Bhagawan Krishna replies back: “Oh Sahadeva! Please do not worry! I had to oppose and fight with him only because he opposed me. I do not have any grudge against your father. This is why I left him without killing for seventeen times. However, now that his atrocities knew no bounds, I had no other option but to go for the kill. However, you need not worry. I shall take care of your father henceforth and you should continue to rule the Magadha Desha in the “Dharma-Maarga”!” Saying thus, Bhagawan Krishna provides His divine “Anugraha”, and Sahadeva henceforth ruled the country without any “Adharma”. 

Now that King Jaraasandha was over, the decks are clear for the Raaja-Suya Yaaga of Yudishtra to commence. The trio of Bhagawan Krishna, Arjuna and Bheemasena return back to Indraprastha and convey the good news to Yudishtra. Now the stage is set for the grand Yaaga to commence. So for today, let us understand up to this point and in the next episode, we shall witness how the preparations for the Yaaga commenced and what happened subsequently! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 274 – Bheemasena tears Jarasandha into two halves… But in vain!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed both Bheemasena and King Jaraasandha getting ready for the summit clash! It was decided that Arjuna and Bheemasena would take on Jaraasandha, and on his front, Jaraasandha would handle both of them single handedly. Arjuna’s clash with Jaraasandha was amazing, wherein both had almost an equal level of prowess with the bow and arrow technique. Both were invincible and the intense war lasted for a long time. Finally, Bheemasena called Jaraasandha for a muscular fight with him and Jaraasandha was more than ready to accept the invite! Hence, the focus now shifts to the marquee clash between Bheemasena and Jaraasandha! Again, both of them were extremely powerful and were giving each other a string of lusty blows! As the fight was going on thus, Jaraasandha for a moment thought that perhaps he had underestimated Bheemasena and Arjuna! He did not expect such an intense fight to happen. This fight went non-stop for thirteen days! Even as both of them exchanged lusty blows one after the other, their power and intensity never reduced an inch! Bheemasena clearly did not know the secret behind how Jaraasandha could be taken down. At the same time, Jaraasandha also did not know the mystery behind Bheemasena’s enormous raw muscle power. 

Thus, the fight continued on and on without a break, and at one stage, the clash became a stalemate! Both of them were going on and on, but there was no breakthrough from either side. Even though the fight was entering a stalemate, both of them weren’t ready to give up! This continued for thirteen long days, and it was only on the fourteenth day, King Jaraasandha started showing signs of tiredness and weakness. Bheemasena spotted this immediately and used this as an opportunity to make a breakthrough. He immediately capitalized on Jaraasandha, caught his legs with both his hands, tore them apart and as Jaraasandha was squealing with pain, Bheemasena split his body into two halves! As he did this, Bhagawan Krishna and Arjuna were immensely happy! Arjuna thought that Jaraasandha was finished with this move from Bheemasena! However, Bhagawan Krishna was still waiting for the action to proceed further. 

As Bheemasena did thus, he separated the two halves of Jaraasandha and heaved a sigh of relief. But to his utter shock and disbelief, the two half pieces of Jaraasandha’s body somehow came together and became normal again! Jaraasandha came back to power and stood up again to fight Bheemasena! Upon seeing this, Bheemasena couldn’t believe his eyes! Just now he had thrashed Jaraasandha like anything, and within seconds, Jaraasandha was standing up as if nothing was happening to him! Again, Bheemasena got ready to fight Jaraasandha down, and once again the fight continued! After a few hours of the fight, again Jaraasandha showed some signs of tiredness and fatigue, and Bheemasena used this to once again tear him down into two halves. As Bheemasena heaved a sigh of relief thus, once again Jaraasandha’s body became one as the two half pieces joined together! This was happening in front of Bheemasena’s eyes, and he couldn’t believe what was happening! Bheemasena clearly failed to understand Jaraasandha’s mystery. Once again, the entire process of fight began and in the same way, Jaraasandha was split into two, only to join back again! 

As this was continuing on and on, Bheemasena was fed up! He was about to give it up, and with this thought, he approached Bhagawan Krishna thus, “Oh Bhagawan! I’ve tried my level best to fight him down! However, I’m unable to do so. Maybe you should take over at this point and finish him off! Jaraasandha is too powerful for me to handle!” Bhagawan Krishna too realized that the situation is going out of control and Bheemasena is losing confidence. He immediately swung into action and replied Bheemasena with some motivating talk thus, “Oh Bheemasena! You’ve got all the strength and power to take Jaraasandha down. It is only that you do not know the technique to kill him. You were able to split him into two halves and this itself is a great achievement, which nobody in this world have done! I shall tell you the technique – But when you tear him apart next time! 🙂 Now go and resume the fight again!” 

As Bhagawan Krishna said thus, Bheemasena was somewhat recharged, but he was still having a doubt within himself! Reluctantly thus, Bheemasena invited Jaraasandha for another round of “Dvandha-Yuddham”. This time, both Jaraasandha and Bheemasena were tired and exhausted. We should remember that this fight was going on for the fourteenth day running! However, with some constant motivation and with the divine “Anugraha” of Bhagawan Krishna, Jaraasandha was once again split into two halves as Bheemasena tore him apart! Now Bheemasena looked at Bhagawan Krishna for a fresh idea and Bhagawan Krishna was ready! He immediately took a piece of grass from the ground, split it into two halves and threw both in the opposite direction, rather than in the same direction! The message was loud and clear! Bheemasena realized within himself thus, “Oh wow! What a colossal mistake have I committed! Till now I was enabling both the halves of Jaraasandha’s body to join each other by putting them in the same direction. Now I should make sure that the head portion of the first half should be on the foot portion of the second half! Now let me see how these two halves would stick!” 

This is a very important strategy to kill Jaraasandha! So for today, let us understand up to this point, and in the next episode, we shall discuss this strategy in detail and see if this works or not! Stay tuned for an interesting accord! 🙂 

Episode # 273 – Bheemasena vs. Jaraasandha – An intense THIRTEEN-DAY war begins!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed an interesting prelude to Bhagawan Krishna’s divine incarnation and how it all began at Mathura jail. This context comes when King Janame-Jaya asks an interim question to Sage Vaishampayana who is narrating all these events of the Mahabharata one after the other. We are at a stage where King Jaraasandha is about to be taken down by Bhagawan Krishna, Arjuna and Bheemasena, and as Sage Vaishampayana was narrating the background story of King Jaraasandha, the context of how the feud developed between Bhagawan Krishna and Jaraasandha comes. To explain this, Sage Vaishampayana uses this opportunity to commence from how Kamsa gave his sister Devaki in marriage to Vasudeva, and how an “Aakaasha-Vaani” thundered from above that Kamsa’s death was going to be in the hands of Devaki’s eighth child. Subsequently, Sage Vaishampayana explains how Kamsa got terribly shocked and furious at the same time and imprisoned both Devaki and Vasudeva at Mathura. As Devaki started delivering child after child, Kamsa ensured that each child be killed the very next day of its birth. However, the divine intervention commenced when Devaki delivered the seventh baby. Before delivering, the child was transferred from Devaki’s womb to Rohini’s womb and the child that was born out of it was none other than Balarama. 

Now for the eighth child – As the baby was born, again the divine intervention took place and this baby was transferred by Vasudeva to Gokula, wherein he picked up Yashoda’s girl baby and brought it back to Mathura! Now as Kamsa saw that the eighth baby was a girl child, he couldn’t believe his eyes! However, as he was clear with his mission of killing it, he took his sword and was ready to massacre it. However, the girl baby (An incarnation of the Divine Mother Devi) flew off from Kamsa’s hands and warned him that the eighth boy baby had already taken birth and he was at Gokula, getting ready to kill him! This shocked Kamsa even more! Thus, Bhagawan Krishna’s incarnation took place and eventually He grew up and killed Kamsa, which infuriated King Jaraasandha, because both his daughters have lost their husband (Kamsa) to Bhagawan Krishna’s fight! Subsequently, King Jaraasandha wanted to seek revenge for this act of Bhagawan Krishna, and invaded Him seventeen times! 

I’m going a bit fast with this, because we’re going to witness all this again when Bhishmaachaarya narrates the entire incarnation of Bhagawan Krishna. I’m just setting up the context here to bring out the point that King Jaraasandha had a long-standing feud with Bhagawan Krishna in this way. Now coming back to what happened at the “Ranga-Bhoomi” of King Jaraasandha, the fight was about to begin. Bheemasena and Arjuna took their spots and were ready to launch a counter attack on Jaraasandha. The fight begins, and it quickly escalates into a huge war! Bheemasena and Arjuna were equally powerful as King Jaraasandha was, and it was an extremely tough fight going on! Jaraasandha was extremely good at the bow and arrow, but Arjuna was giving him a run for his money! As this was becoming a “stale-mate” at one point, Bhagawan Krishna signals Bheemasena to take over the mantle from Arjuna. Thus, Bheemasena invited Jaraasandha for a “Dvanda-Yuddham” (Modern day Boxing / Wrestling). Jaraasandha accepted it too, and again, a huge fight broke out between the duo. Both were equally powerful and were giving lusty blows on each other! The war continued for a long time and as it was proceeding, Bheemasena was not able to win over Jaraasandha! He simply couldn’t understand the secret behind Jaraasandha’s enormous strength. The fight went on for thirteen days non-stop! 

So for today, let us understand up to this point, and in the next episode we shall witness how this marathon-fight came to an end and who tasted victory in this! Stay tuned for an absorbing accord tomorrow! 🙂 

Episode # 272 – Bhagawan Krishna’s divine incarnation – Sage Vaishampayana gives a prelude!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed a war of words that was happening between Bhagawan Krishna and Jaraasandha. Bhagawan Krishna decided to play this game along, as Jaraasandha did not identify Him. Bhagawan Krishna used this and without revealing who He was, He tried to introduce Bheemasena and Arjuna to Jaraasandha. By doing so, Bhagawan Krishna explained how Yudishtra was the most righteous king in this world and he would not tolerate any “Adharma” that happens around him. Hence, Yudishtra’s brothers had come to Magadha Desha to take on the “Adharmic” Jaraasandha and kill him! Upon saying thus, Bhagawan Krishna also gave an ultimatum to Jaraasandha – Either to release all the kings whom he had kept under arrest without any reason, or to face the heat of the war! 

As Bhagawan Krishna gives one final warning thus, Jaraasandha got provoked! Instead of realizing his mistake, his ego got hurt and with this, he was ready for an all-out war. Jaraasandha replied to Bhagawan Krishna thus, “Oh Brahmana Rishi! You do not know to whom you’re talking such unpardonable words! I’m one of the greatest and the most powerful kings in this entire world. You’ve not faced the wrath of fighting a war against me. If all these kings aren’t able to win over me, how are you guys going to achieve it? Anyway! If you voluntarily want an all-out war with me, I’m nore than ready for it! You may collect all your weapons (if at all you have any) and get prepared!” As the decision was made thus, a huge “Ranga-Bhoomi” was arranged and the entire audience gathered around it to witness an interesting war. 

As this was being narrated, King Janame-Jaya asked Sage Vaishampayana an important question here! Readers might wonder from where did King Janame-Jaya come here all of a sudden! It should be remembered by all of us that this entire Mahabharata story is being witnessed as a huge narrative given by Sage Vaishampayana to King Janame-Jaya. We’ve witnessed some important events that led to Sage Vaishampayana giving this narration to King Janame-Jaya many episodes back. Now that King Janame-Jaya is intervening here, let us witness what he had asked. King Janame-Jaya asks thus, “Oh Sage Vaishampayana! Of course I understood that King Jaraasandha was an “Adharmic” person who had held many kings hostages for no reason and hence, Yudishtra was right in giving the apt punishment to him. I also understood King Jaraasandha’s birth story as well. However, I’m not understanding what was the feud between Bhagawan Krishna and Jaraasandha. Why did both of them become enemies? Of course, Bhagawan Krishna killed Kamsa, who was Jaraasandha’s son-in-law, but was this the only reason why Jaraasandha invaded Bhagawan Krishna seventeen times? Is there any other reason as well?” 

As King Janame-Jaya asks thus, Sage Vaishampayana replies: “Oh Janame-Jaya! I’m sorry! I had left one important story untold, and I think if I narrate that story, you would get an answer for the question that you’ve asked. Bhagawan Krishna’s parents are Devaki and Vasudeva, isn’t it? Now I’ll tell you an incident that happened when Devaki and Vasudeva got married to each other. As soon as the marriage was over, Kamsa (Devaki’s brother) wanted to escort both of them in his chariot from Mathura. As Kamsa was driving the chariot, there was an “Aakaasha-Vaani” which thundered from above, saying that Kamsa is going to meet his death from the eighth child which is going to take birth to the Devaki-Vasudeva couple! Upon hearing this from the “Aakaasha-Vaani” from above the skies, Kamsa was shocked, and eventually imprisoned both of them back at Mathura jail. Thus, as the couple started having children, child after child was massacred by Kamsa mercilessly. Six babies were destroyed this way, and the divine game started to unfold with the seventh baby! It was mysteriously transferred into Rohini and this baby was none other than Balarama. Now for the eighth baby – Vasudeva transferred this baby to Gokula and took Yashoda’s new-born daughter to Mathura. As Kamsa tried to kill this baby, it flew away from his hands and warned him that the eighth son for Vasudeva was already born!” 

Now as Sage Vaishampayana was narrating thus, readers might slowly understand that he was paving the way for the entire Krishna-Avatara to be narrated. Bhishmaachaarya is going to narrate this in a short while from now, and this serves as a good introduction for the same. If we look at various “Puraanas” and the “Ithihaasaas” of our Sanaatana Dharma Literature, if there is a major event that is going to be described, a prelude or a trailer would be given in the beginning, with which, we can understand that a major event is going to be narrated very soon! This is exactly what is happening here – Sage Vaishampayana, in the pretext of narrating the feud between Bhagawan Krishna and Jaraasandha, commences his narration right from Bhagawan Krishna’s incarnation in this world! So for today, let us understand up to this point, and in the next episode, we shall slowly move into why King Jaraasandha had a long-standing enmity with Bhagawan Krishna! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 271 – Bhagawan Krishna provokes Jarasandha to fight Bheemasena & Arjuna!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed an accord on how Bhagawan Krishna, Bheemasena and Arjuna make their way towards the Magadha Desha, in pursuit of King Jaraasandha. The trio crosses through various geographical locations such as mountains, rivers, etc. and there are references that they have crossed through River Sarayu, River Yamuna, River Ganga and the likes. Also, there were many mountain ranges such as “Vipula Parvatha”, “Varaaha Parvatha”, “Vrishabha Parvatha”, “Rishigiri Parvatha” and “Chaityaka Parvatha” through which they’ve traveled. Of course, we do not know today whether these mountain ranges still exist in the northern and central parts of India – Maybe they do. But this requires a lot of research and comparison of today’s Indian map with the ancient Indian map. This would give us a fair idea as to which geographical features remain the same even today and which of those have changed over a period of time. For instance, many rivers might have changed their course because of various reasons. If we look at the River Ganga for instance, it has existed for over lakhs of years. We’ve seen references of this river even during the Ramayana time and now during the Mahabharata time as well. Even today we have the River Ganges flowing across the entire North-Indian plain. However, we never know what was the course of the river in those times and how it has changed to what it is today. Readers, if interested, can undertake this as a research and come up with findings. I shall be happy to understand from all of you! 🙂 

Moving on further thus, Bhagawan Krishna and Co. reach the Magadha Desha now and they enter through the backdoor of the territory. As they approached King Jaraasandha, they did not go in front of him as Kshatrya princes. Instead, they adorned themselves like Brahmana Rishis and went to see him. Upon seeing three Brahmana Rishis coming towards him, King Jaraasandha bowed down to them. Any king, no matter how powerful he might be, will always bow down to a Brahmana Rishi. This is according to the “Raaja-Dharma”. Due respect should always be given to Brahmana Rishis by the king, and we’ve seen this in many instances earlier as well. This is exactly what King Jaraasandha was doing here as well, however, he had a mild doubt within him. Just before the trio arrived, he had obtained an information that somebody had broken the drums kept amidst the “Cahityaka Parvatha” mountain ranges. Moreover, instead of entering the territory through the main entrance, the trio had come through the back door. Upon analyzing all these, King Jaraasandha raises a question to the trio thus, “Oh Brahmana Rishis! I pay my respects to all the three of you! However, because of these two reasons, I suspect whether you are my friends or foes!” 

As King Jaraasandha raises this question, Bhagawan Krishna immediately replies thus, “Oh Jaraasandha! Yes! As you’ve doubted, we are not your friends, but your foes!” Surprised by this answer, King Jaraasandha asks thus, “Oh Brahmana Rishis! What mistake did I commit to you? Why are you saying that you are my foes? We’ve never even seen each other earlier, and we’ve never had a dispute between us till date! Hence, how do you come to a conclusion that we are enemies to each other?” At this point, readers should remember one thing which is very important – Even though Jaraasandha had invaded Bhagawan Krishna’s Mathura seventeen times earlier, he had never obtained an opportunity to see Bhagawan Krishna physically so close. Perhaps, he might have seen Bhagawan Krishna at a distance every time, and hence, he was not able to identify that it was none other than Bhagawan Krishna who was standing in front of him. Only Kaalayavana knew who Bhagawan Krishna was, and of course, Kaalayavana was no more at this point of time. Hence, there was nobody to educate King Jaraasandha as to how Bhagawan Krishna looks like! 

Thus, as King Jaraasandha raises this question, Bhagawan Krishna laughs within himself and decides to confuse him further! Jaraasandha is already confused here, and Bhagawan Krishna decides to play on for some more time, so as to create more chaos and confusion! Bhagawan Krishna replies to Jaraasandha thus, “Oh Jaraasandha! There are two people standing with me, aren’t they? They are none other than the brothers of King Yudishtra of Indraprastha! You’ve got a direct confrontation and a dispute with King Yudishtra and hence, these two have come here to fight with you! King Yudishtra is an epitome of “Dharma”, as you might have heard! He has come to know that you’ve imprisoned many kings from many other territories and trying to put them to death for no fault of theirs. This is a huge blunder according to “Raaja-Dharma”! Hence, to give you a punishment and to teach you a lesson, these two brothers of Yudishtra have come along with me to take you down!” 

We should note here that Bhagawan Krishna was extremely smart enough not to introduce Himself to Jaraasandha! This is how Bhagawan Krishna operated – not only in this instance, but throughout the Mahabharata story! His alertness and smartness to take on His enemies knew no bounds and was impeccable! Bhagawan Krishna continues to provoke Jaraasandha thus, “Oh Jaraasandha! Thus for the fault that you’ve committed, these two have come to punish you! Don’t act as if you’ve not done anything! All of us know what kind of atrocities you’ve done in this world! Hence, you only have two options here – Either release all the kings you’ve imprisoned and seek their forgiveness, or, try fighting against these two people and prove your might! Refrain from giving all these arguments that you do not have any dispute with us! Get to action without any further unnecessary talks!” 

These words from Bhagawan Krishna provoked Jaraasandha sharply! So what is Jaraasandha’s reaction going to be? Is he going to take up the weapons and fight them down? Let us wait till the next episode to find out! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 270 – Bhagawan Krishna & Co. enter Magadha Desha – Some key geographical features en-route!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the continuation of Bhagawan Krishna’s accord on Jaraasandha’s life history and how he was born. Subsequently, Jaraasandha obtained a series of boons from Sage Chanda-Kaushika, who was also responsible for his birth as well. According to the boons, Jaraasandha would become extremely invincible and powerful in nature that nobody in this world could not even think in their wildest dreams of defeating him. Moreover, since Jaraasandha was made up of two half bodies, one can kill him only by splitting him into two halves and throwing them on either side so that they cannot join back again. This is one important secret which only Bhagawan Krishna knows. This is exactly what Sage Kaushika also said – When he said that Jaraasandha could never be killed, he put an open-ended loop there – There can only be one person in this world who knows this secret and probably a danger might come for Jaraasandha through this person. However, Sage Kaushika did not mention who this person is! Thus with this, Jaraasandha became extremely aggressive and king after king fell to Jaraasandha’s wrath. As things were going on thus, it was becoming unbearable at one point and this is where Yudishtra was also planning for the Raaja-Suya Yaaga. Thus, Bhagawan Krishna strategizes along with Yudishtra, Arjuna and Bheemasena to take on Jaraasandha and kill him at once, since he would be a stumbling block for the Yaaga to be performed. 

Thus, the strategy was made, and Bhagawan Krishna along with Bheemasena and Arjuna marched on towards Magada-Desha. En-route, they cross through different other “Deshas” and finally reach the Magadha-Desha. All along the way, Sage Vyaasa explains all the geographical features that these people crossed and went. This is very interesting here. Sage Vyaasa explains that they had crossed River Sarayu at one point. Hence, we can understand that River Sarayu had existed during the Ramayana time, and as well as during the Mahabharata times as well. Similarly, the names of many territories too might be very familiar to us even today. These are certain things that readers should make note of very keenly and then do an extensive “Homework” on the same. Readers should spend time exploring these places with the ancient India map and compare their locations in the present-day India map as well. This would reveal how certain places coincide with the past and certain places deviate with time. For instance, many rivers might have changed course over a time period. We should remember that the Ramayana took place hundreds of thousand years ago and the Mahabharata took place around five thousand and five hundred years ago. Hence as time progressed, many rivers might have changed their course, and many small kingdoms that were present in those days might have completely disappeared with time. There are publications of books which talk extensively about ancient kingdoms, physical and geographical features that existed in those times, etc. It would be extremely interesting for us to follow all these and readers are requested to do this as homework! 🙂 

Moving on thus, we shall witness certain important geographical features (if not all, owing to lack of time) that Sage Vyaasa explains here. He explains that the trio crosses through River Sarayu at one point and also crosses through five important mountain ranges – “Vipula Parvatha”, “Varaaha Parvatha”, “Vrishabha Parvatha”, “Rishigiri Parvatha” and “Chaityaka Parvatha”. These mountain ranges existed in those days in the northern and central parts of India, but we do not know if these exist today or not. We shall find out at a later stage and I shall share my research findings very soon in a different context. Moving on thus, the “Chaityaka Parvatha” was something that King Jaraasandha was extremely fond of, and for this reason, the trio broke open the mountain range and passed through it. Amidst this mountain range, King Jaraasandha had three drums that were specially made by him and the trio wantedly broke all of them as they moved on. This was intended to send a message to King Jaraasandha that an enemy is approaching his territory. 

As they broke open the mountain range that was surrounding the territory, the trio entered into the Magadha Desha through the back door! Normally, there seems to be a main entrance into the territory, but these people did not enter through that entrance. They made their way into the territory through the back entrance, again signaling that they’ve come on a mission! So for today, let us understand up to this point, and in the next episode we shall witness how the trio proceeded further towards King Jaraasandha! Stay tuned! 🙂

Episode # 269 – King Jarasandha obtains eight boons from Sage Kaushika & becomes extremely powerful!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed an interesting accord from Bhagawan Krishna about the birth of Jaraasandha. We’ve witnessed how Jaraasandha was born as two “half pieces” as a baby for the two wives of King Brihadrata. Horrified by the “half-babies” that were born, Brihadrata’s wives threw both the halves out of their window, thinking that the baby was dead. However, a Raakshasi by name Jaraa came by and upon seeing these two halves of a human baby, she thought of consuming them as her food for the day. However, when she happened to join the two halves together, the baby came to life! In turn, Jaraa became horrified and she left from that place. Thus, since the two halves were joined together (Aasandhi) by Raakshasi Jaraa, he obtained the name “Jaraasandha”. 

However, before leaving that place, Raakshasi Jaraa took the newly formed baby to the king and handed it over to him. As King Brihadrata saw this baby, it resembled him in many ways and with this, he concluded that this baby was none other than his own son, whom his wives had delivered. As King Brihadrata asks, Raakshasi Jaraa explains the whole story as to how she saw this baby as two halves and she happened to join both of them and thus, this baby came to life. Upon hearing this, King Brihadrata was happy and thanked Jaraa for this great help. Thus, as Jaraa was leaving, she also wanted to do something good for King Brihadrata and the Magada Desha. She proposes thus, “Oh Brihadrata! Right now I’m a Raakshasi by name Jaraa. However, I was not a Raakshasi before. I’m actually a “Devata” who gives immense good to people who have some idols and dolls hanging in front of their houses. Bhagawan Brahma had given the name as “Griha-Devi”. Thus, from today, if anybody in your kingdom has my portrait or idol in front of their houses, I shall ensure that they will live in prosperity throughout their lives! Meanwhile, you accept this baby as your son and raise him up!” 

Thus, as time passes by, Jaraasandha is growing up fast and after many years, Sage Chanda-Kaushika again comes to visit King Brihadrata. It should be remembered that Sage Chanda-Kaushika was the person who was solely responsible for the birth of Jaraasandha and upon seeing the boy growing up fast, he was very happy. Also, Sage Kaushika was happy that King Brihadrata had accepted Jaraasandha as his son, even though the child had a troubled past. Upon seeing Jaraasandha, Sage Kaushika wanted to provide his divine “Anugraha” in the form of eight different boons. Sage Kaushika declares thus, “Oh King Brihadrata! I’m very happy that Jaraasandha is being well taken care of. I would like to bless him with the following boons: He would have infinite power and strength to take on any enemy in this world with ease. He would be totally invincible and there would be no better king than Jaraasandha. However, there is a small twist here – There would be someone in the future who would be that only person knowing about Jaraasandha’s secrets. It is only that person who would be able to defeat him!” 

As Jaraasandha obtained all these boons from the Sage, he obtained enormous powers within himself. King Brihadrata too paved the way for Jaraasandha to succeed him as the next king of Magada Desha, and with this, Jaraasandha’s atrocities began. King after king fell into Jaraasandha’s trap, and nobody was able to win over him. He started abducting all the wives of all the kings who get defeated under his hands, and with this, Jaraasandha was establishing himself as someone who can never be won over. All the people feared his “Gadhaa”, bow and arrows! Eventually, Jaraasandha had two daughters, who were married to King Kamsa of Mathura. Now Bhagawan Krishna explains thus, “Oh Arjuna and Co. Now that I’ve killed his son-in-law, his two daughters are completely powerless. This is the right time for us to go and win over him! Till a few years back, King Jaraasandha was ably supported by Kamsa in all the wars that he undertook. Now that Kamsa is no more, Jaraasandha is left all alone to defend himself! We shall make the best use of this opportunity to corner Jaraasandha and kill him!” 

Thus, as Bhagawan Krishna narrates the entire birth history of King Jaraasandha, the Paandavas also understand how to corner him and kill him. It was decided that Bhagawan Krishna, along with Arjuna and Bheemasena would go to the Magadha Desha and to fight Jaraasandha. Thus, the trio commenced their journey from Indraprastha to Magadha Desha, and they had to travel through many other small kingdoms to reach there. So for today, let us understand up to this point, and we shall witness what happened at the Magada Desha in the next episode! Stay tuned! 🙂