Chapter 3

Mahabharata English - MAHAPRASTHANIKA PARVA

Vaishampayana said: “Then Shakra, causing the firmament and the Earth tobe filled by a loud sound, came to the son of Pritha on a car and askedhim to ascend it. Beholding his brothers fallen on the Earth, kingYudhishthira the just said unto that deity of a 1,000 eyes these words:My brothers have all dropped down here. They must go with me. Withoutthem by me I do not wish to go to Heaven, O lord of all the deities. Thedelicate princess (Draupadi) deserving of every comfort, O Purandara,should go with us. It behoveth thee to permit this.

“Shakra said, Thou shalt behold thy brothers in Heaven. They have reachedit before thee. Indeed, thou shalt see all of them there, with Krishna.Do not yield to grief, O chief of the Bharatas. Having cast off theirhuman bodies they have gone there, O chief of Bharatas race. As regardsthee, it is ordained that thou shalt go thither in this very body ofthine.

“Yudhishthira said, This dog, O lord of the Past and the Present, isexceedingly devoted to me. He should go with me. My heart is full ofcompassion for him.

“Shakra said, Immortality and a condition equal to mine, O king,prosperity extending in all directions, and high success, and all thefelicities of Heaven, thou hast won today. Do thou cast off this dog. Inthis there will be no cruelty.

“Yudhishthira said, O thou of a 1,000 eyes. O thou that art of righteousbehaviour, it is exceedingly difficult for one that is of righteousbehaviour to perpetrate an act that is unrighteous. I do not desire thatunion with prosperity for which I shall have to cast off one that isdevoted to me.

“Indra said, There is no place in Heaven for persons with dogs. Besides,the (deities called) Krodhavasas take away all the merits of suchpersons. Reflecting on this, act, O king Yudhishthira the just. Do thouabandon this dog. There is no cruelty in this.

“Yudhishthira said, It has been said that the abandonment of one that isdevoted is infinitely sinful. It is equal to the sin that one incurs byslaying a Brahmana. Hence, O great Indra, I shall not abandon this dogtoday from desire of my happiness. Even this is my vow steadily pursued,that I never give up a person that is terrified, nor one that is devotedto me, nor one that seeks my protection, saying that he is destitute, norone that is afflicted, nor one that has come to me, nor one that is weakin protecting oneself, nor one that is solicitous of life. I shall nevergive up such a one till my own life is at an end.

“Indra said, Whatever gifts, or sacrifices spread out, or libationspoured on the sacred fire, are seen by a dog, are taken away by theKrodhavasas. Do thou, therefore, abandon this dog. By abandoning this dogthou wilt attain to the region of the deities. Having abandoned thybrothers and Krishna, thou hast, O hero, acquired a region of felicity bythy own deeds. Why art thou so stupefied? Thou hast renounced everything.Why then dost thou not renounce this dog? “Yudhishthira said, This iswell known in all the worlds that there is neither friendship nor enmitywith those that are dead. When my brothers and Krishna died, I was unableto revive them. Hence it was that I abandoned them. I did not, however,abandon them as long as they were alive. To frighten one that has soughtprotection, the slaying of a woman, the theft of what belongs to aBrahmana, and injuring a friend, each of these four, O Shakra, is I thinkequal to the abandonment of one that is devoted.”

Vaishampayana continued: “Hearing these words of king Yudhishthira thejust, (the dog became transformed into) the deity of Righteousness, who,well pleased, said these words unto him in a sweet voice fraught withpraise.

“Dharma said: Thou art well born, O king of kings, and possessed of theintelligence and the good conduct of Pandu. Thou hast compassion for allcreatures, O Bharata, of which this is a bright example. Formerly, O son,thou wert once examined by me in the woods of Dwaita, where thy brothersof great prowess met with (an appearance of) death. Disregarding both thybrothers Bhima and Arjuna, thou didst wish for the revival of Nakula fromthy desire of doing good to thy (step-) mother. On the present occasion,thinking the dog to be devoted to thee, thou hast renounced the very carof the celestials instead of renouncing him. Hence. O king, there is noone in Heaven that is equal to thee. Hence, O Bharata, regions ofinexhaustible felicity are thine. Thou hast won them, O chief of theBharatas, and thine is a celestial and high goal.”

Vaishampayana continued: “Then Dharma, and Shakra, and the Maruts, andthe Ashvinis, and other deities, and the celestial Rishis, causingYudhishthira to ascend on a car, proceeded to Heaven. Those beingscrowned with success and capable of going everywhere at will, rode theirrespective cars. King Yudhishthira, that perpetuator of Kurus race,riding on that car, ascended quickly, causing the entire welkin to blazewith his effulgence. Then Narada, that foremost of all speakers, enduedwith penances, and conversant with all the worlds, from amidst thatconcourse of deities, said these words: All those royal sages that arehere have their achievements transcended by those of Yudhishthira.Covering all the worlds by his fame and splendour and by his wealth ofconduct, he has attained to Heaven in his own (human) body. None elsethan the son of Pandu has been heard to achieve this.

“Hearing these words of Narada, the righteous-souled king, saluting thedeities and all the royal sages there present, said, Happy or miserable,whatever the region be that is now my brothers, I desire to proceed to. Ido not wish to go anywhere else.

“Hearing this speech of the king, the chief of the deities, Purandara,said these words fraught with noble sense: Do thou live in this place, Oking of kings, which thou hast won by thy meritorious deeds. Why dostthou still cherish human affections? Thou hast attained to great success,the like of which no other man has ever been able to attain. Thybrothers, O delighter of the Kurus, have succeeded in winning regions offelicity. Human affections still touch thee. This is Heaven. Behold thesecelestial Rishis and Siddhas who have attained to the region of the gods.

“Gifted with great intelligence, Yudhishthira answered the chief of thedeities once more, saying, O conqueror of Daityas, I venture not to dwellanywhere separated from them. I desire to go there, where my brothershave gone. I wish to go there where that foremost of women, Draupadi, ofample proportions and darkish complexion and endued with greatintelligence and righteous of conduct, has gone.”

Chapter 2
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