The story teller, Sooti, continued to tell Sounaka and other sages and saints assembled there to hear the story of Mahabharata.
In that way, Pandavas, along with their bows and arrows and mace and other weapons, proceeded towards northwards. Along with them, their close servants, accompanied in 14,000 chariots. Subhadra, Abhimanyu, Prativindhya and other sons of Pandavas also accompanied them.
On seeing this departure of Pandavas from Hastinapuram, the citizens of Hastinapura shed their tears.
"Why should Pandavas be invited for dice game? Why should they be defeated fraudulently? Is it just and proper to send them to forests? Why Bheeshma, Drona and other elders did not stop Suyodhana and Karna from doing this kind of illegal and improper acts? If the King himself is like this, where is dharma? How can we live in this kingdom? No. we cannot remain here. We will follow you even to forests " So saying, the residents of Hastina followed Pandavas to forest.
On seeing this, Dharmaja with folded hands requested all of them "My dear citizens of Hastinapra! Kindly listen to my words. We are going to forests. It is very difficult to live there even for one day. I dont like this. Kindly go back and lead a normal life in Hastinapura" said Dharmaja.
With tears in their eyes, they returned back. Later, all of them reached the banks of Holy Ganges.
But, inspite of the request of Dharmaja, number of Brahmins and their Sishyas followed Pandavas to forest.
Dharmaja observed them and said "O brahmins! You are all respectable priests. You are habituated to live peacefully. But if you accompany us to the forests, you have to eat leaves and roots along with us. Why should you invite troubles along with us? Kindly returnback to your respective places! asked Dharmaja.
All the Brahmins, with great respect towards the King Dharmaja said:
"You are our emperor. Whereever you are, we will be there. You need not worry about our food and shelter.We also will eat the leaves and roots along with you and live happily. We will fetch our food for ourselves. But we cannot return back to Hastinapura without you" said those Brahmins.
Dharmaja felt very sad about their plight. Daily the Brahmins eat sumptuous food. But how they survive in these forests with limited and uncooked food. Dharmaja was thinking aloud.
On hearing this, one saint Sounaka said to Dharmaja:
"Dharmaja, why you are worrying for these small things. Is it proper to worry for all these petty things. Wisemen will never feel for anything. All these attachments are temporary. You need not worry for all these things. You have to live like a drop of water on a lotus leaf. With these attachments, affection will arise. Out of affection, desires will come up. To fulfill the desire, greediness will follow. Anger follows it. Therefore, shed the greediness. A man who is greedy for money will dig his own grave. All the relatives will surround the rich man for his money. They always try to grab his money by hook or crook. Out of riches, pride will arise. Out of pride, selfishness will come out. Fear follows the selfishness. Thereore, dont strive for earning money." said Sounaka to Dharmaja.
"I do not require for myself. These are the brahmins who are following me and they are eating leaves and roots. I have to feed them because they accompanied us. They are my guests. Worshipping guests is the utmost duty of a king or head of the family. I have to provide sumptuous food for them. For that I require money. You know pretty well that providing bed for a sleepless person, water for a thirsty person, food for a hungry man, shelter for a tired person are the duties of a Gruhasthu. (family head). A man who cook and eat for himself is a sinner.If I do not provide food for them, they will die. I will become a sinner. Therefore, it is my duty to provide them food." said Dharmaja firmly.
"Dharmaja you are right. But sense organs always desire happiness. However wise he may be, it is difficult to control the sense organs. All the human beings are revolving in the outside world, influenced by the sense organs.
But realised souls follow the following principles.
All those who follow these eight principles, they can easily act in the outside world without involving themselves in it. Therefore, Dharmaja, you also serve your Guru, listen what elders say, understand what you listen, keep it in mind what you understand, follow what is necessary and leave the rest. All the Vasus, Rudras, Adityas did Tapassu and acquired enormous wealth. You also do Tapassu and accomplish your desires." said Sounaka.
Then Dharmaja consulted his Purohit, Dhoumya and said: "We are living in these forests. Those Brahmins have accompanied us to these forests inspite of my repeated requests. How to acquire food for all these Brahmins. Tell me some solution" asked Dharmaja.
Dhoumya replied to Dharmaja "Dharmaja! on this earth, Sun is the only god who provide food for all the living beings. Therefore, you worship Sun God for food. He will fulfill your desire" said Dhoumya.
Dhoumya preached him the 108 sacred names of Sun God
with their meanings. Dharmaja worshipped Sun God with great devotion.
Satisfied with his worship, Sun God appeared before Dharmaja and gave
him a copper vessel. "Dharmaja! as long as you are in forests,
you put all the leaves, roots, fruits and other raw vegetables available
in the forest, and ask your wife Droupadi to cook them. They will transform
into four kinds of sumptuous food. You can feed any number of persons
with that never ended food." so saying, Sun God disappeared. From
then onwards, Droupadi was cooking sumptuous food in the copper vessel
and serving it to all the brahmins who accompanied them. Pandavas and
Droupadi, were eating the remaining food.
Here, in Hastinapuram, King Dhrutarashtra asked Vidura: "Viduraa! Where are Pandavas? What they are doing? Tell me." asked Dhrutarashtra.
" O King Dhrutarashtra! Pandavas are divine souls. I cautioned you that due to the dice game, rivalry will arise between brothers. You paid no heed to my words. Even now, you can call them back and give them their due share in the kingdom. You leave Suyodhana who is influenced by the ill advises of Karna and Sakuni. Let Dussasana feel sorry and pray excuse for the misdeeds committed by him towards Droupadi and Bheema. Everything will be set right" said Vidura.
Dhrutarashtra grew angry. "What do you say Vidura? Suyodhana is my own son. How can I leave him. You always dislike my sons.You always curse them. I dont want your advise. You can go away as you like, either to Pandavas or elsewhere." said Dhrutarashtra.
Then Vidura left Hastinapura and proceeded to Kamyaka forest and met Pandavas. Dharmaja received Vidura with due honors. Dharmaja enquired about the welfare of his paternal uncle, Dhrutarashtra. Vidura told Dharmaja what had happened.
In the meanwhile, Dhrutarashtra came to know that Vidura joined hands with Pandavas. He could not live without Vidura. Immediately he sent Sanjaya to Pandavas to bring back Vidura to Hastinapuram. Sanjaya went to Kamyaka Forest, met Pandavas, extended the invitation of Dhrutarashtra to Vidura to come back to Hastina, and brought Vidura back to Hastina.
Dhrutarashtra embraced Vidura "Vidura! I am a fool. Hence I abandoned you. I am sorry. Kindly excuse me. I cannot live without you." said Dhrutarashtra.
"O King Dhrutarashtra, while you and your sons are violating Dharma, it is my duty to teach you Dharma. I am again and again telling you. Pandavas are more powerful. It is not good on your part to develop enmity with Pandavas." said Vidura. Dhrutarashtra kept quiet for the present.
Suyodhana felt happy when Vidura left Dhrutarashtra. But he could not relish the news that Vidura again was brought back by Sanjaya. He discussed the matter with Karna and Sakuni.
"Listen to me carefully. Vidura came back again and joined my father. He is now the Minister for my father. In case Vidura and my father join together and invite Pandavas back to Hastinapuram, what shall we do? What is your opinion?" said Suyodhana.
Sakuna did not accept this situation. "It will never happen. Pandavas shall always stick up to their words. They will never came back under any circumstances. You rest assured" said Sakuni.
But Karna did not agree with the view of Sakuni. "Now Pandavas are helpless. It is the appropriate time to wage war against Pandavas and kill them and destroy our enemies." said Karna.
Suyodhana accepted the proposal of Karna. He was making arrangements to wage war against Pandavas who were in forests, by gathering and moving the army.
Vyaasa came to know about this. He immediately approached Dhrutarashtra and said "Your son is making arrangements to wage war against Pandavas who are in forests. Of course, on comletion of 12 years forest life and one year underground life, war is imminent. Why they are eager for war? Stop them." said Vyaasa.
"What can I do? As a result of dice game, worst things happened. But in view of my love and affection towards my son I cannot leave him. What to do?" said Dhrutarashtra.
"Dhrutarashtra? One should love his sons. It is not wrong. But show some mercy on Pandavas who are in forests. All are equal to me. Hence I am advising you. Listen to me. If Dharmaja and Suyodhana became friends, your son may transform into a good individual." said Vyaasa.
"He never pays heed to my words. You yourself tell him about good and bad" said Dhrutarashtra.
"Saint Maitreya will come and teach him a lesson" so saying Vyasa went away.
After some days, Saint Maitreya first visited Pandavas in Kamyakavana. Then he proceeded to Hastinapura and met Dhrutarashtra.
"King Dhrutarashtra! I am coming from Kamyakavana forest. I met Pandavas also. They are living in forest by eating leaves and roots in the forest. But they are virtuous people. They got the blessings of great sages and saints. Therefore they are safe even in forests" said Maitreya.
At that time, Suyodhana was sitting by the side of his father. Maitreya looked at Suyodhana: "Suyodhana! listen to me.If you are wise, shed enmity with Pandavas. Save Kuru Dynasty and save yourself. Pandavas are more powerful. Bheema Sena is a mighty personality who killed, Baka, Hidimba and Jarasandha. There are none who can attack him in war. Besides that, Sri Krishna and Dhrushtasdyumna are relatives through their wives (Subhadra and Droupadi) and they always extend their help to Pandavas. Therefore, it is better to develop friendship with Pandavas. It is my sincere advice." said Maitreya.
Suyodhana smiled and laughed at him jokingly, by rubbing and patting his hands on his thighs. Maitreya grew angry for the misbehaviour of Suyodhana.
"Suyodhana! Listen. your thighs will be broken by Bheemasena with the heavy blows of his mace (gadha)" cursed Maitreya.
Dhrutarashtra shivered with fear. He prayed for mercy and requested the saint to take back his Saapa.
"O King, if your son repents for his untoward acts and behave properly, this Saapa will not work out. Otherwise, he will wreak the consequences."said Saint Maitreya.
Then Dhrutarashtra asked Saint Maitreya to tell him how Bheemasena killed the demon Kimmeeraa. "When your son paid a deaf ear to my words, why should I tell you about the death of Kimmeera. You ask Vidura. He will tell you in detail" said Maitreya and went away.
Then Vidura continued to say about the death of Kimmeera.
"One night, all the pandavas were taking rest in a forest. Then one demon attacked them. On seeing that demon, Droupadi closed her eyes with fear.
Dharmaja asked that demon "Who are you? Why you are staying in this forest?" asked Dharmaja.
"I am the brother of Bakaasura. My name is Kimmeera. We generally kill human beings and east human flesh. I reside in this forest. Eerybody is afraid of me. Nobody will enter this forest. Who are you? Why you have come here?" asked Kimmeera.
"My name is Dharmaja. They are my brothers, Beema, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva. We are living in forests. Hence we are here" replied Dharmaja.
"What? He is that Bheema who killed mybrother, Baka. I will kill him and eat him. I have been searching for him all the time" laughed Kimmera loudly.
Arjuna came forward with is bow and arrows to kill that demon. Bheema stopped and attacked Kimmera. Both fought with each other fiercely. They fought with huge trees, logs, boulders, rocks, etc. At last Bheemasena killed Kimmeera in the same way as he killed Bakasura at Ekacakrapura, by breaking his spine and bones. From then onwards, the sages and saints and common people in Kamyakavana were living happily without the fear of Kimmeera.
Somehow Dhrutarashtra was perturbed on hearing the news that Bheemasena killed Kimmeera.
In Kamyakavana, Pandavas lived for some time. At that time, Sri Krishna, along with the kings of Panchaala, Vrushti, Bhoja, Andhaka, Yaadava dynasties, came down to Kamyaka vana to see Pandavas. All of them cursed Kouravas for grabbing the Kingdom of Dharmaja and sending them to forests.
With folded hands Arjuna praised Krishna "Lord Krishna!You are ancient. You performed Tapassu (penance) on Gandhamaadhana Hill for ten thousand years; in Pushkara for 11 thousand years, in Prabhasa Teertha for one thousand years, and in Badaree vana thousands of years. You killed the sons of Diti and Danuvu and installed Indra as the Head of Indraloka. You are the son of Aditi. You are brother of Indra. You appeared as Vamana and then transformed into Trivikrama and occupied all the Lokas. You killed Sisupala and Kamsa who were autocrat and cruel towards their people. You are the embodiment of Lord Vishnu. You know not what lie, anger, jealousy and pride are. You are great" Arjuna bowed before Krishna with folded hands.
In return Sri krishna praised Arjuna "O Arjuna! you are not an ordinary humanbeing. You are no other than Saint Nara. I am Narayana. We have come down to this human world. We are friends for ever".
Droupadi told Sri Krishna "O Lord Krishna! you are the only god who can help all. You are all knowledgeable. I will tell you the insult meted out by me in the presence of all elders. I am the daughter-in-law of King Pandu. I am the wife of Five Pandavas. I am the sister of Dhrushtadhyumna, the great warrior. That Dussasana caught hold of the tuft of mine and dragged me into open place and insulted me. Even Bheema and Arjuna remained as silent spectators. Why for their vigour and valour? I was alone though I had many. That Karna laughed at me wickedly. Still that wicked laugh is haunting me and burning my mind.
You know pretty well, Sri Krishna, kouravas tried to kill Bheemasena by administering poison, biting with snakes and at last tried to burn them alive in lack house. Now, they grabbed our wealth and kingdom and our valuable freedom. Now, Pandavas are helpless and vigourless and valourless, but I could not forget it" said Droupadi with tearful eyes.
Krishna consoled Droupadi "Droupadi! All Kouravas will die at the hands of Arjuna. It is imminent and certain. No force on earth will stop it. Please console yourself and wait for final war" said Krishna.
Arjuna also consoled Droupadi "Droupadi! As told by Krishna we will kill Duryodhana and Dussasana in the final war. Console yourself" said Arjuna.
Krishna also consoled Dharmaja "Dharmaja! I came to know what had happened, through Yuyudhaana. I felt very sad. Immediately I came over here. At the time of dice game, I was not in Dwaraka. Otherwise, things would not have been worsened like this. I would have consulted Bheeshma and other elders and stopped the dice game. You all would not have met this kind of mental and physical agony. At that time, I was involved in a war with Saalva, the brother is Sisupaala." said Sri Krishna.
"Is it? I do not know. Krishna, Kindly tell me what had happened? " asked Dharmaja.
Sri Krishna continued to say: "You know that Sisupala was killed by me. This Salva is no other than the brother of Sisupaala. Salva wanted to wreak vengeance for the death of his brother and came upon Dwaraka. At that time I was with you at Indraprastha. He surrounded Dwaraka with his army. He destroyed all the gardens around Dwaraka.
At that time Samba and Pradyumna who were in Dwaraka fought with Saalva. There was a great war between them. Pradyumna launched Brahmaastra on Saalva. Saalva fainted. When Pradyumna attemted to kill Salva, Saint Narada stopped him. "Pradyumna! dont kill him. He is destined tobe killed by Narayana" said Narada.
Defeated by Pradyumna, Saalva returnedback to his capital. Later, I went to back to Dwaraka. I saw the destruction caused by Saalva. I felt very much annoyed. I grew angry. I kept Balarama at Dwaraka to safe guard the Capital and I went upon Saalva to fight with him. There was a great war between me and Saalva. Unable to fight with me, Saalva resorted to miracle war. But I foiled all his attempts. At this juncture, I received a news from Dwaraka that my father, Vasudeva, was caught by Saalva and taken away and I have to return back to Dwaraka to save my father. I was surprised. While Balarama was in Dwaraka safeguarding the capital, how Salva could catch vasudeva? At that time I saw that Vasudeva was getting down the chariot of Salva called Soumbhaka, as a hostage. I was astonished. My bow dropped from my hand. I fainted and lost consciousness. By the time I regained consciousness, My father, Vasudeva was not there. I could realise that that was also a miracle created by Salva. With renewed vigour, I fought with Saalva. I launched Chakraayudha on Saalva and killed him" said Sri Krishna.
Later, Srikrishna took away his sister Subhadra and nephew Abhimanyu to Dwaraka. Dhrushtadyumna also took away the sons of Droupadi to Drupadapura.
Then, Pandavas proceeded to Dvaitavana forest accompanied by their chief servants Indrasena and others, and the Brahmins who followed them.
One Day Saint Markendeya visited them. Dharmaja received the saint and offered Arghyam and Paadyam. "Dharmaja! In those days I saw Rama who went to forests as per the directions of his father, Dasaradha, accompaniedby his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana. Now you are also following the same path. You are following Dharma. Your ancesters viz., Sagara, Bharata, Nala, Yayaati, Vaina, Naabhaaga also followed dharma, truth and virtues and attained highest heavens. Victory is yours." said Markendeya and went away.
One day, while Dharmaja was sitting leisurely Droupadi told Dharmaja like this:
"By paying heed to the words of his son Suyodhana, your paternal uncle, Dhrutarashtra drove you away from Hastinapura. Is he satisfied? No. Because his heart is hard like a stone. He never chastised his son Suyodhana, while Suyodhana was speaking ill of you. Now you are in forests, suffering like animals. I could not tolerate this.
It appears that Lord Brahma also is against you? To
keep your word,
Even at this critical stage, is it proper for you to shed anger on your enemies? You see, the mighty personality, Bheema, has become slim by eating this forest food. A mighty archer, Arjuna is now wandering amongst wild animals. Even looking at them, are you still keeping patience?
It is seen in the ancient texts that a king who is unable to show his power and forgiveness, in equal proportion, cannot attain the love and affection of his people.
Once Emperor Bali asked his grand father Prahlada to tell whether forgiveness is greater or vigour and power is greater.
Prahlada replied that "Always forgiveness is not good and proper. It is also not good to always wield his power and valour. Both should be used in equal proportions. If a king is strict and autocrat, he will be a bad ruler in the eyes of his people. Therefore, power and forgiveness should be used timely." said Prahlada. It is seen in our ancient stories.
You can forgive one wrong. But is it just and proper to forgive Kouravas who are committing wrongs continously? Now it is time for you to show your power and vigour." advised Droupadi.
Dharmaja smiled at Droupadi. "Droupadi! Anger is a sin. A person with anger will forget his duty. He will kill a person whom he should not kill. If he sheds anger, he will become pure, wise and powerful. Vicotory always loves a man with forgiveness. Duryodhana lacks forgiveness. His fall is imminent. But just wait for the opportunity.said Dharmaja with patience.
"O Ajaatha Satroo! ( a man born without enemies). It is true that followig the quality of forgiveness, you are prospering. The only difficulty is that you are showng the same quality of forgiveness even towards your bitter enemies. Is it proper?
We have to attack wicked people with the same wickedness. O Lord Brahma! You are supporting wicked and cruel people to prosper and refusing all pleasures to virtuous people. Are wicked and cruel are near and dear to you? " spoke Droupadi in a sorrowful voice.
"Droupadi! Unable to bear these sufferings, you have gone to the extent of accusing God, as a non-believer of God. It is wrong. Even the great sages and saints like Vyasa, Markendeya and Narada respected me. Simply because some wrong persons acted against me, why should I follow a wrong track. If the virtuous deeds are incorrect, why the great sages and saints and my ancestors followed them. Have you forgotten that you and your brother Dhrushtadyumna, were born out of fire, only due to your past virtuous deeds?" said Dharmaja in a forceful voice.
"I do not mean that. I am not such a foolish woman. Doing Karma is the duty of a human being. I do agree. What I mean is that for attaining fruits from our deeds, first we have to discharge our duty properly and consciously. Then God will also help us. First a man should have an intention to do some Karma. Then he should make preparations for it. Then he should execute it. God will certainly help him. We know that there is oil in the seeds. There is fire in hard sticks. But unless we crush the seeds, we will not get oil and unless we rub the sticks, we will not get fire. Therefore, a manual effort is necessary. Without doing any effort, is it proper to put the entire burden on God, Dharma and truthfulness. Therefore, I repeat, it is proper time to use your intelligence, the vigour and valour of your brothers, fix an aim then proceed further and attain the results. This is only my humble request". said Droupadi firmly.
Bheemasena who was standing there also supported Droupadi.
"My dear brother Dharmaja! You know Kuru kingdom is an ancestral property. It devolved on us by inheritance. But you alienated it as a bet in dice game. Still you are speaking sermans and dharmas. Is it just on your part? Can we ever conquer a bad character with virtues and preaching sermons? Is it possible?
Therefore, use your power and vigour and valour and declare war against Kouravas and conquer them. Don't speak about Dharma! A person who has no vigour and valour may feel for his weakness and helplessness for not conquering his enemies but not a powerful king like you. Had we killed kouravas even on that day with your permission. we would not have suffered like this in these forests.
You are not violating your agreement. But Suyodhana is treating us as cowards. The Dharma you are following is causing much hardship to me and other brothers and relatives and especially to Droupadi. You know pretty well that conquering enemies, ruling the people by establishing peace and tanquility in the kingdom, giving alms and gifts to the needy, worshipping Brahmins are Kshatriya Dharmas.
But by mere following Dharma, we cannot conquer our enemies. We have to attack wicked people with wickedness only. Therefore, listen to us. Set aside the oral agreement entered into by you with our enemies. Let us declare war. All the kings will help us. All the people in Kourava Kingdom are in our favour and they all accept you as their ruler. Please dont delay the matter. Let us wage war and conquer our enemies. Rule the people by following Dharma. Rule the kingdom for ever." said Bheemasena with a decisive voice.
Dharmaja patiently heard what Bheema aid. "Brother, Bheemasena! What all you told is according to Dharma. But in the assembly where all the elders were present, I agreed to live in forests for 12 years and live in disguise for one year. I have to follow it. For the sake of uncertain pleasures, I cannot violate my agreement. I cannot violate Dharma. Let us wait for better days" said Dharmaja firmly.
Bheema did not leave the matter there. He still tried to convince Dharmaja.
"Brother Dharmaja! Death is alwlays lurking behind us. These lives are uncertain. Is it proper on our part to wait, thinking that this life is certain and we will live for ever. We are destined to die. But before we die, we have to wreak vengeance on enemies. Otherwise, this life is a waste!
My heart is burning to wreak vengeance against our enemies. Without vanishing the grief of my brothers and Droupadi, can we while away time by chanting Dharma Sootras. My dear respectable brother! the Dharma which you are following is suitable for Brahmins but not for Kshatriyas. Let us conquer our enemies as per Kshatriya Dharma.
Besides that, we can spend 12 years easily in these
forests. But with these huge personalities, we cannot spend even one
day in cities. Because, everybody knows about us. Therefore, Kouravas
will identify us easily and will again send us to forests for 12 years.This
will be an unended process. When can we complete this 12 years period
in this lifetime. Even according to the arithematical doctrines, there
is a rule that one year is equal to one month. We have so far spent
13 months in these forests. We can adjust it for 13 years. I think there
would be no violation of Dharma in this process. What do you say?"
If it is a small affair, we can start it hastely. But war with Kouravas is a mighty task. We have to think and rethink about it carefully before we comence it. Then only, God will help us.
You know, the sons of Dhrutarashtra are valiant warriors. They are also bad and cruel. Karna, Bhoorishrava, Salya and other mighty personalities are on their side. Besides, all the kings who were defeated by us at the time of Rajasooya, now joined hands with Kouravas.
Karna is a Great Warrior who was born with natural Kavacha (sheath like) and Kundalas (ear rings).
Though Bheeshma, Drona Acharya and Krupa Acharya have no particular enemity with us, but they will take part in the battle on the side of Suyodhana. Unless we defeat them first, we cannot touch Suyodhana.
Viewing from any angle, this is not a fit, suitable and proper time to wage with Kouravas" Dharmaja explained the situation analytically to Bheema.
At that time, Veda Vyasa arrived there. Dharmaja received Vyaasa, offered him Arghyam and Paadyam and enquired about his welfare. Vyaasa took Dharmaja to a lonely place and said:
"Dharmaja! I could understand what you are thinking in your mind. Therefore, I have come here. Now I will give you a Mantra called "Pratismruti". In turn you tell Arjuna the same Mantra. With the power of this Mantra, Arjuna will do Tapassu about Devatas and satisfy them and acquire different kinds of missilies. You have been living in this forest since a long time. You better leave this place and settle some where." so saying, Vyasa went away.
Then Pandavas moved to Kamyaka forest. One day, Dharmaja spoke to Arjuna.
"Arjuna! Beeshma, Drona and other warriors, on the side of Suyodhana, are enriched with different kinds of missilies. To win them in the war we also should acquire missilies from Spiritual Bodies. Vyasa paved the way to aquire such missilies. You do Tapassu about Indra and acquire missilies. At the time of killing Vrutraasura, all the Devatas gave their weapons to Indra. They are now available with Indra. You satisfy Indira and acquire them. You also worship Lord Siva and acqure Paasupatha. Now I will give you the Mantra "Pratrismruthi" to you." said Dharmaja.
Dharmaja told the Mantra "Pratismruthi" given by Vyaasa to Arjuna. After taking permission from Dharmaja, Arjuna left for Himalayas for tapassu.
He reached Gandhamaadhana Hill. There he saw an old Brahmin. The old Brahmin asked Arjuna "Who are you? Why you have come here? This is a place where peaceful brahmins are living. Why you entered this place with weapons? Drop the weapons".The old Brahmin ordered him.
Arjuna did not care for his words. Satisifed with his courage, Indra who was in the guise of Brahmin, appeared before him. "Arjuna! I am Indra. Tell me what do you want?" asked Indra.
"I want the powerful and amzing Astras (missilies) available with you" asked Arjuna.
"No doubt I will givem them to you. Do you want to live in Indra Loka?" asked Indra.
"First of all I want Diyaastraas. Give them to me" asked Arjuna.
"If that is so, you first do Tapassu about Lord Siva" said Indra.
Arjuna went to Himalayas. There he did great Tapassu about Lord Siva. Lord Siva desired to test Arjuna. He transformed himself into a jungle hunter. He came down to the place where Arjuna was doing Tapassu.
One Mookaasura became a Pig and attacked Arjuna and tried to kill him. Arjuna was ready with his bow and arrow to kill that pig if it comes near. Mookaasura tried to fall on Arjuna. Arjuna hit him with arrow. At the same time, jungle man (siva) also hit that pig. Both arrows hit the pig at one and the same time. The pig disappeared. Jungle man came before Arjuna. Arjuna frowned upon him
"Dont you know the rules in hunting. Why you hit the target aimed by me" asked Arjuna.
" No. First I hit the target. It was killed. Dont you feel shy to say that you hit it. No use of waste words. Come on! fight with me if you are really capable of fighting" provoked Siva.
Arjuna showered arrows on Siva. But Siva did not shake.
Arjuna was astonished "Who is he? He should either be Indra or Siva. Otherwise, he would have been injured or killed by my arrows. On the other hand, his arrows injured me. It is strange." thought Arjuna in his mind.
He again took his bow Gaandevam to again shower arrows on Siva. This time, his bow, Gaandeevam disappeared. Now arjuna fought with hands. In that dual fight, unable to ward off the blows given by Siva, Arjuna fainted and lost consciousness.
Lord Siva appeared before Arjuna in his original form. Arjuna regained consciousness. He saw Siva. He praised Siva with utmost devotion. With folded hands he said: "Oh Lord Siva! Without knowing who are you, I committed a blunder by fighting with you. Kindly pardon me."prayed Arjuna.
"Arjuna! you are blessed. Get up. You are not an ordinary human being. In the past birth you were the divine Saint, Nara. Take your bow, Gaandeeva. Choose whatever you want? " said Lord Siva.
"O Tryambaka! I want Paasupata Astra. Kindly bless me with Paasupata Astra. In this universe, only Brahma Sira and Paasupata are the only Two Astras (missilies) which are famous for destroying enemies. Kindly give them to me" requested Arjuna.
(We can identify Brahma Sira and Paasupata as our atom bombs and hydrogen bombs. About Brahma Sira, Bhagawan Vyasa told in Souptika Parva. Once it was launched, for `12 years to come, not even grass will grow in that area. Same is the position with atom bombs and hydrogen bombs of the present day.)
Satisfied with the devotion of Arjuna, Lord Siva gave Paasupata Astra to Arjuna, with Mantra, Dhyaana, Japa, Homa. He told Arjuna how to make it ready for launching, launching, then how to bring it back to earth.
He also told "Arjuna! if you launch it on inncent persons, it will destroy the entire world. Please take care. You will conquer anybody and everybody on this earth with the help of this Astra" so saying Lord Siva disappeared.
Arjuna was very much satisfied for having the Darshan of Lord Siva. With the touch of Lord Siva, his body began to shine.
On hearing this, Indra, Kumera, Yama, Varuna and Asvins came down to Arjuna to congratulate him. "Arjuna! We are very much impressed with your courgage and valour. Choose whatever you want?" asked Indra.
Yama gave his Danda (Royal Stick) to Arjuna. Varuna gave Vaarunaastra to Arjuna. Kubera gave Kouberastra. Indra invited Arjuna to Indra Loka and sent a divine chariot. On that divine chariot, Arjuna went to Indra Loka. He reached Amaravati City. It was shining without sun and moon. At the entrance, the white elephant, Airavata welcomed Arjuna.
Arjuna proceeded to Indra Sabha and wished him. To entertain Arjuna, Indra deputed Urvasi, the divine lady. Urvasi gave a dance performance before Arjuna. Arjuna was very much impressed with her dance and praised him and treated her as his mother. Urvasi was little bit annoyed.
"What! Am I your mom? How is it? In fact, having heard about your vigour and valour, I have come here to enjoy with you. We are Divine Ladies. These human relations like mom son brother sis, will not apply to us." said Urvasi.
"Mom, it is not proper for you to speak like that.
Our Dynasty began with Puroorava. You are his wife. Now you are serving
my father, Indra. Viewing from any angle, you are eqaual to my mother."said
Having come to know about this, Indra came to Arjuna "Oh Arjuna. Dont feel disgusted.I have never seen such a courageous man like you. You conquered your senses. You are a man of virtues. This Saapa of Urvasi will help you while you have to live in disguise during the Ajnaathavasa period of one year.You can live as an impotent man between ladies without being identified by Kouravas. On completion of one year, you regain your original form." said Indra.
Indra also gave so many Astras to Arjuna. The time spent by Arjuna in Devaloka was equal to five years period on earth. One day Saint Romasa came to Indra and saw Arjuna on the half throne along with Indra. Indra told Romasa
"He is Arjuna. He was born to Kunti with my Amsa. Lord Sive blessed him with Paasupatha Astra. I also gave him many Astras available with me. Here he has to kill two Rakshasas, Nivatha and Kavacha. Dharmaja might have been annoyed witout knowing the whereabouts of Arjuna. You tell Dharmaja that Arjuna is with me. You also advise Dharmaja, on my behalf, to go round all the Sacred Places. With that, he will become pure in mind" said Indra. .
Dhrutarashtra came to know through Vyaasa that Arjuna got Paasupata Astra from Lord Siva and also got many astras from Indra. He was annoyed. He called Sanjaya and said:
"Sanjaya! You know pretty well that Arjuna burnt Khandava forest with the help of Krishna. All the four brothers conquered four corners of this earth and Dharmaja performed Rajasooya. Arjuna did Tapassu and got Paasupataashra from Lord Siva. Arjuna is a mighty warrior. When he is there on behalf of Pandavas, how to conquer them? Besides that, they are virtuous people. Always victory will be on their side. What to do?" said Dhrutarashtra in a sorrowful voice.
"Dhrutarashtra! it is too late to repent. You would have stopped Suyodhana when he attempted to insult Pandavas and Droupadi in the presence of all elders. Now they are in Kamyaka forest. Sri Krishna along with many kings went to Kamyaka vana and consoled them and cursed you all. Krishna also promised that he will conquer all of you and again install Dharmaja on the throne. But the other kings requested Krishna to drive the chariot of Arjuna in the forthcoming war and be on his side always. On completion of 13 years, Pandavas, with the help of Sri Krishna, will wage a war against your sons. Will your sons withstand the "Divya Astras" (missilies) of Arjuna and the blows of the mace of Bheema?" said Sanjaya.
"Sanjaya! what can I do? I am old. My son will never heed my words. He is bad. He will not care for the words, either of mine, or of Bheeshma and Drona. What to do? " said in a sorrowful voice.
Here in Kaamyaka Forest, Dharmaja was waiting for the arrival of Arjuna as five years have elapsed.
Bheema told Dharmaja "My dear brother! You youself sent him for Tapassu. Why you worry about him. Why cannot you send Krishna to bring back Arjuna. I am ready. Myself and Arjuna will conquer Suyodhana in war and install you on the throne of Hastinapura and you will be the king and emperor of the entire Kourava Kingdom. If myself and Arjuna stand in the war front, nobody will stand before us." said Bheema vigorously.
"Bheemaa! I know that. But this is not proper time to wage war against Kouravas. Let us first complete 13 years. Then yourself and Arjuna will conquer Suyodhana. Be victorious. I cannot violate the conditions agreed to by me in the presence of elders." said Dharmaja firmly.
MAHA BHARAT – ARANYA PARVA – PRADHAMAASVAASA – COMPLETED.