Wednesday, 25 January 2012

अज्ञातवास begins. Mahabharata 88

While Pandavas have been blessed by the god of Dharma that they will not be recognised, they still discuss amongst themselves the best way to live incognito. Yudhisthira asks his brothers, 'It is not easy to live without being discovered by the enemies. Where do you think we should stay?'

Arjuna lists a few neighbouring countries where he thinks it is possible to stay in secrecy. Yudhisthira then picks up Matsya Desha,'The country is beautiful, safe and auspicious and we can live without fear. Their king Virata is strong, follower of dharma, wealthy and generous. So let us choose Viratanagara'. He then asks, 'What do you plan to do when you are there?'

Arjuna replies,'Elder brother, let us begin with you! You are soft, generous, humble, truthful and follower of  dharma and one who has suffered a lot. What work are you planning to take up?' Yudhisthira says that he plans to work as an assistant in the court of Virata. 'I will go as Kanka, a brahmin and a good friend of Yudhisthira, skilled in the game of dice! He will be pleased to see my specially made, bejewelled dice.'

Bheema plans to go as 'Ballava', a cook and a general handyman, 'I will please the king with  my special skills in cooking by making dishes better than he has ever tasted. Become useful by collecting plenty of wood. Also work as his body guard if required. If  asked, I will say I was performing these duties for Yudhisthira.'

Arjuna plans to disguise himself as a woman as he feels, as a man, it is difficult to hide the marks of the bow on his shoulder, 'I will spend time in the anthahpura,  teaching women singing and dancing as Brihannale. I will claim that I worked as a servant of Draupadi.' Nakula says he will take care of the horses and Sahadeva the cattle. They both  say they understand and like animals and are skilled in treating their ailments. Draupadi chooses to go as सैरंध्री, a maid servant of  queen Sudheshne and take care of  dressing her hair!

Yudhisthira agrees with their ideas and commands his charioteers to take the chariots to Dwaravati. Tells the maids of Draupadi, the cooks and other servants to go to Panchala. He instructs them that if anyone asks they should say that 'We don't know where they have gone, they all left Dwaitavana together.'


Raghunath said...

Arjuna fulfilled the curse that he would be a eunuch for a limited period during this phase


srinidhi said...

Some would probably say that the curse was planned especially for this!