Wednesday, October 24, 2018

40. Yudhishtira's Decision

Kunti was anxiously awaiting the return of the Pandavas. She was speculating on various eventualities. She was worried whether her sons were recognized and killed by the sons of Dhritarashtra, whether they were killed by some demons or whether some other thing happened.

In the late afternoon, Arjuna, accompanied by his brothers and a number of Brahmins entered the hut. Even while entering the house, Kunti’s sons told Kunti in a loud voice that they they had brought the alms obtained by them. Kunti, who was inside the house, without looking at her sons or Draupadi said, "All of you enjoy what you have obtained.”

Presently, Kunti came out and saw Draupadi. Realizing that she had made a mistake, Kunti  exclaimed “Oh, what have I said!”. She asked Yudhishtira, "Tell me how what I said out of ignorance won’t become untrue, how sin won’t touch Draupadi and how she won’t become uneasy.”

Yudhishtira, after reflecting for a moment, told Arjuna “Draupadi was won over by you. It is only proper that you wed her.”

Arjuna replied, ”Don’t make me commit a sin. I should wed only after you and Bhima wed. Please guide us with your wisdom.”

All the five Pandavas looked at Draupadi and she also looked at them. Draupadi’s exquisite beauty stirred a desire in  their hearts and crushed their senses.

Yudhishthira understood what was  going on in the minds of everyone. Desiring to prevent a division among the brothers, he said “Draupadi will be the common wife of all of us.”

At that time, Krishna and Balarama entered the house. Yudhishtira asked in surprise, “Krishna! How were you able to trace us when we are in disguise?”

Krishna said “Fire will be known even if it is covered. Who, but the Pandavas, could exhibit such might? It is by sheer good fortune that you have escaped from the fire. Just as a fire in a cave will spread all around, may you all grow in prosperity.”

Krishna and Balarama then left the place lest other kings should follow them and recognize the Pandavas.

 Dhrishtadyumna, the Panchala prince followed the Pandavas to their abode. He sent away his attendants who accompanied him and concealed himself in the Pandava’s  house.

In the evening, Bhima went out and returned with some food he received as alms. Kunti told Draupadi, “Take one portion from this, offer it to God and give it away to the Brahmins. Then feed those who have a desire to eat and our guests. Divide the rest of the food into two halves. Give one half to Bhima, who eats much. Divide the other half into six equal parts, four for these young men, one for myself and one for me.”

After they had taken their food, they all went to sleep. While the five Pandavas and Kunti  lay down with their heads towards the south, Draupadi lay down along their feet on a bed of Kusa grass laid by Sahadeva.

The Pandavas were conversing among themselves for a long time about weapons and wars.

Dhrishtadyumna was listening to the conversation. In the morning, he returned to his kingdom. 

Drupada who, for long, had nurtured the hope of getting his daughter married to Arjuna, was disappointed that Draupada was won by a Brahmin. As soon as Dhristadyumna came back, Drupada anxiously enquired him of Draupadi.

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