Mahabharata: The Ajagara Episode

Source: Mahabharata Vana Parva, Teertha Yatra Upa-parva: Mahabharata Tatparya Nirnaya, Chapter 22

After the killing of Vrutrasura by Indra, the Brahma Hatya dosha starts to chase Indra as Vrutra was a Brahmin. In order to avoid this, Indra goes to Manasa Sarovara and, assuming a tiny form, enters into the stem of a Lotus flower and starts performing a tapas. The devatas start looking for a temporary replacement for Indra. Since none of the devatas desire that position, they start searching for a replacement amongst humans. 

They meet and request King Nahusha, the ancestor of the Pandavas, to occupy the post. Nahusha readily agrees but asks for a boon in return. He asks that he should gain the Punya of anyone at whom he gazes. The devatas grant him this boon and he takes over the reigns of Swarga Loka.

Slowly, power and ego gets to Nahusha’s mind and he becomes very arrogant. He starts behaving autocratically and bosses over all. Due to the boon granted, the devatas become powerless to challenge. One day, he demands that the wife of Indra, Sachi Devi, be given to him. This enrages the devatas and they approach Brihaspati for a solution. Brihaspati visits Indra in Manasa Sarovara and consults him. He then approaches Sachi Devi and tells her of Indra’s suggestion. Sachi Devi goes to Nahusha and tells him that she will accept him if he arrives to her palace being carried by the Sapta Rishis. Nahusha agrees to this suggestion and orders for the arrangement.

The Sapta Rishis also are affected by the boon which Nahusha has but Bhrigu Rishi, who till then had never come in front of Nahusha, sits inside of Sage Agastya. As the palanquin is being carried, Nahusha gets unhappy with the work of the sages and, in his haughtiness, he kicks Sage Agastya. Sage Bhrigu uses this opportunity and curses Nahusha that he should be born as a snake on earth. He also curses that he will be relieved from the curse only when a noble man answers his philosophical question. The curse to become a snake was because Nahusha keeps shouting “Sarpa” while kicking the sages. Sarpa in sanskrit also means “move fast” along with the normal meaning of “snake”.

Once, during the teertha yatra of the Pandavas during their exile, Bhimasena is attacked by this very snake and is held. The snake has a boon that it will succeed in holding anyone it desires. Bhimasena decides to honor this boon and remains in the clutches of the snake. He refuses to answer any question that the snake wants to pose as it is against Dharma to trade knowledge to free oneself.

Yudhisthira, meanwhile, spots some omens and approaches the place in search of Bhimasena. Seeing the snake holding Bhimasena and learning the entire story, Yudhisthira agrees to answer the snake’s question in order to free his brother.

The snake poses only one question to Dharma – “Who is a Brahmana?”

Yudhisthira gives a very beautiful answer which is very relevant especially in today’s society. I am posting some excerpts of his answer from the freely available english translation of the Bharata.

‘O foremost of serpents, he, it is asserted by the wise, in whom are seen truth, charity, forgiveness, good conduct, benevolence, observance of the rites of his order and mercy is a Brahmana’

Those characteristics that are present in a Sudra, do not exist in a Brahmana; nor do those that are in a Brahmana exist in a Sudra. And a Sudra is not a Sudra by birth alone–nor a Brahmana is Brahmana by birth alone. He, it is said by the wise, in whom are seen those virtues is a Brahmana. And people term him a Sudra in whom those qualities do not exist, even though he be a Brahmana by birth. And again, as for thy assertion that the object to be known (as asserted by me) doth not exist, because nothing exists that is devoid of both (happiness and misery), such indeed is the opinion, O serpent, that nothing exists that is without (them) both. But as in cold, heat doth not exist, nor in heat, cold, so there cannot exist an object in which both (happiness and misery) cannot exist?”

 

“In human society, O mighty and highly intelligent

serpent, it is difficult to ascertain one’s caste, because of promiscuous intercourse among the four orders. This is my opinion. Men belonging to all orders (promiscuously) beget offspring upon women of all the orders. And of men, speech, sexual intercourse, birth and death are common. And to this the Rishis have borne testimony by using as the beginning of a sacrifice such expressions as–of what caste so ever we may be, we celebrate the sacrifice. Therefore, those that are wise have asserted that character is the chief essential requisite. The natal ceremony of a person is performed before division of the umbilical cord. His mother then acts as its Savitri and his father officiates as priest. He is considered as a Sudra as long as he is not initiated in the Vedas. Doubts having arisen on this point, O prince; of serpents, Swayambhuba Manu has declared, that the mixed castes are to be regarded as better than the (other) classes, if having gone through the ceremonies of purification, the latter do not conform to the rules of good conduct, O excellent snake! Whosoever now conforms to the rules of pure and virtuous conduct, him have I, ere now, designated as a Brahmana.’

After this reply, Nahusha is very pleased. Yudhisthira now poses several questions to the snake and gets learned answers. At the end of the discussion, Nahusha releases Bhimasena and blesses both of them and returns to Swarga Loka, his curse being relieved.

Actually, Sri Madhvacharya has clarified in the MBTN that the real reason behind Bhimasena not freeing himself was to ensure that Nahusha’s excess punya gets removed due to his holding of Bhimasena. Just like Paapa, excess Punya over and above what one qualifies for, is not good. Hence the reaction from Bhimasena.

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Mahabharata: The destruction of Krodhavashas

Source: Mahabharata Vana Parva – Tirtha Yatra Upa-parva, Mahabharata Tatparya Nirnaya Chapter 22

The avatara of Lord Krishna and the Pandavas was with the specific agenda of destruction of evil on earth and reduction of the population. At that time, the land was occupied by crores and crores of Rakshasas. The various incidents in the Mahabharata was a play of the Lord to create situations to facilitate destruction of this evil.

The vanavasa of the Pandavas was also one such excuse to ensure many evil Rakshasas and their followers were eliminated. During the 13 years of the exile, Bhimasena and Arjuna performed a lot of such work.

When Arjuna had gone to Swarga Loka to spend time with Indra, the remaining Pandavas undertook a Tirtha Yatra. As part of this yatra, they reached Uttara Badari Kshetra. Once, when they were in Badari, Bhimasena and Draupadi were engaged in a conversation. At the same time, Garuda had visited a nearby lake and picked up a snake for his meal. The sheer force with which Garuda swooped down and subsequently lifted up caused a huge wind which caused a few “Sougandhika” flowers to come off. One such flower, which had a golden hue, flew and fell near Draupadi. Greatly impressed by the flower, she asked Bhimasena to get her some more flowers.

Bhimasena immediately proceeded towards the lake. On the way, he killed numerous evil Rakshasas who tried to fight him in the form of wild animals. Eventually, he reached the lake. Just as he was about to get into the lake and pick up the flowers, a huge army of Rakshasas stopped him. These Rakshasas were known as “Krodhavashas” and were working under the leadership of a evil Rakshasa called Manimanta and were also under the supervision of Kubera. Kubera is a dikpalaka and is also the God of wealth. Manimanta and Kubera were great friends.

Bhimasena was challenged by the Rakshasas not to pluck the flowers. They asked him to request for it. Bhimasena sighted various shastras and made it clear why he reserves the right to take the flowers. The Rakshasas tried to engage him on a debate on philosophy and failed. They then attacked him. Crores of Rakshasas were killed by Bhimasena. A few who lived ran away and informed Kubera. The God of wealth, upon hearing that Bhimasena had caused this state, chose not to react. Meanwhile, Yudhishthira saw some omens related to war and reached the lake. He saw the havoc that his brother had caused. Bhimasena then picked up numerous Sougandhika flowers and returned. Draupadi was very pleased.

After a few days, there was once again a huge wind which caused a few “Panchavarna” flowers to come off from the house of Kubera and landed near Draupadi. The Panchavarna flowers were composed of 5 bright colors and were very attractive. Draupadi once again requested Bhimasena to fetch her a few flowers. Immediately, Bhimasena proceeded towards the palace of Kubera. This time, Bhimasena was opposed by Manimanta himself along with his huge army of 3 Padmas (each Padma is multiple crores). Bhimasena easily defeated all of them and killed them. Their leader Manimanta was also killed.

Upon hearing this news, Kubera got very upset and approached Bhimasena. There was avesha of an asura on Kubera and hence he ventured out to face Bhimasena without thinking about Dharma and even his capacity. At the same time. Yudhishthira sensed the absence of Bhimasena. Enquiring Draupadi, he realized where Bhimasena was and asked Ghatotkacha to take him there. Yudhishthira reached the place just as Kubera was to attempt the foolish act of attacking Bhimasena. The asura avesha of Kubera reduced a little at that moment and he offered his friendship to Bhimasena and Dharmaraja. He even offered his palace to them. Pandavas spent around 5 years in Kubera’s home and the homes of other devatas there.

Thus, the Sougandhika flower incident and the Panchavarna flower incident provided two situations to Bhimasena to destroy crores and crores of Rakshasas thereby reducing evil on earth. Of course, this service to the Lord culminated in the Kurukshetra war where once again Bhimasena performed his service to Lord Krishna by killing crores of people.

Mahabharata: Arjuna as Bruhannala

Source: Mahabharata Vana Parva, Mahabharata Tatparya Nirnaya Chapter 22

In the Vana Parva of the Mahabharata, the story of the Pandavas and Draupadi spending 1 year in disguise in the Kingdom of Virata is covered. Yudhisthira disguises himself as a monk, Bhimasena as a cook, Draupadi as an assistant to the queen, and Nakula and Sahadeva as Gopala and Ashwapala. But Arjuna disguises himself as a Shanda (transgender) and teaches music and dance to Uttaraa, the daughter of Virata. It is interesting to know why Arjuna had to take up this guise, especially because the Pandavas had boons from Yama and Durga that they would never get discovered during their 13th year, irrespective of how they appeared. So why did Arjuna become Bruhannala?

The answer lies in the incident that occurs during the Tirthayatra that Arjuna undertakes in the Vana Parva. Arjuna decides to obtain divine Astras to become prepared to face Bhishma and Drona in the war. Lord Veda Vyasa gives Yudhisthira a mantra which he advices to Arjuna. Arjuna prays to Shiva with the same and obtains the Pashupataastra. At the same time, various devatas appear in front of Arjuna and grant him divine weapons. Indra too blesses Arjuna, gives him astras and invites him to Swarga Loka.

Indra sends his divine chariot along with his charioteer Matali and Arjuna enters Swarga even when he still has the body of a human being. Arjuna spends 5 years in Swarga Loka. One day, Indra and Arjuna are watching the dance of the apsara Urvashi. Indra notices Arjuna staring at her and sends her to him. Urvashi approaches Arjuna and asks for acceptance. Arjuna bows to her and tells her that he was staring at her only from the point of view of a mother. He tells her that he is born in the race of King Puru who has descended from Puroorava and Urvashi. Hence, she is mother-like for him. Urvashi is not impressed by this great Brahmacharya and Indriya Nigraha displayed by Arjuna. She curses him that he should turn into a Shanda (transgender).

Indra intervenes at this stage and modifies the curse. He tells Arjuna that he will have to spend one year acting as a Shanda. Thus, Arjuna ends up spending the Ajnaatavasa period of one year as a Shanda.

Another question that arises in the disguise period is related to Arjuna teaching music and dance to Uttaraa. How did Arjuna qualify in these two fields. A very interesting episode answers this question as well.

Earlier, during the immediate aftermath of the wax palace incident, the Pandavas travel through a dense forest once. Since it was the middle of the night, a Gandharva named Chitra Ratha stops them and warns them that he will kill all of them for tresspassing at such an odd time. Arjuna counters the Gandharva and, after an argument, the two start fighting each other. Arjuna uses a version of the Agneyaastra on him. The astra burns the entire skin of the Gandharva turning him black but causes no internal burn injuries at all! The Gandharva is surprised at the supreme power of this astra and begs for Arjuna’s forgiveness and asks him to teach him the astra. Arjuna immediately obliges. The Gandharva then requests Arjuna to acquire some special skills from him. Arjuna refuses saying that he doesn’t want to barter knowledge in this way and promises to learn something from him later.

During his stay in Swarga, Arjuna learns music, dance and other Gandharva skills from the same Gandharva Chitraratha. Thus, Arjuna becomes an extremely skilled musician who is able to teach the Princess Uttaraa.

Mahabharata: Kurukshetra war after the fall of Duryodhana

Source: Mahabharata Tatparya Nirnaya Chapter 28

Duryodhana’s thighs were broken by Bhimasena. All the Pandavas left the warfield and Duryodhana was left alone. Dogs, foxes and Pisachas started to feast on Duryodhana’s body even as he was alive. Ashwathama, along with Kripa and Kritavarma, approaches Duryodhana and asks him what next can be done. Duryodhana asks him to ensure Pandavas are eliminated.

Duryodhana, in his mind, wants Ashwathama to kill the Pandavas, marry his wife and have children who can rule the Kingdom. Ashwathama understands this mindset of the evil Kaurava and mentally agrees to this proposal. Ashwathama and the other 2 enter a forest due to the fear of Pandavas and Lord Krishna. In the middle of the night, Ashwathama sees an owl killing lots of crows which were asleep. He wakes the other 2 and tells them God has shown him the way to eliminate Pandavas. 

The three of them approach the camp of the Pandavas. There, there are stopped by a huge Bhuta, which is actually Shiva in his Ugra form. The Bhuta is seen surrounded by Lord Krishna in his numerous forms. Ashwathama gets scared but starts to fight the Bhuta. When he loses very badly, Ashwathama performs a manasa yagna. Lord Shiva then grants him many weapons and lets him enter the camp.

Ashwathama instructs Kripa and Kritavarma to stand guard at the gate and kill anyone who comes out alive. He then enters the tent of Drishtadyumna and kicks him on his chest. Dhrishtadyumna wakes up and tells Ashwathama to fight him like a Kshatriya and kill him, which Ashwathama rejects. Ashwathama reminds him of his Guru Droha. Since the death of Drona, Drishtadyumna used to see the dream of his death in this very manner. So he accepts his fate. Ashwathama strangulates him with the thread of his bow and kills him.

Ashwathama then kills Shikhandi, Yudhamanyu, Uttamoujas and Janamejaya (another son of Drupada) and proceeds towards the sons of Draupadi. The sons of Draupadi wake up and engage with him in battle but he kills all of them with his sword. Only Sharvatrata, son of Bhimasena born to the daughter of Kashi raja survives as he is in Kailasa due to a boon from Shiva. Ashwathama then kills Chekitana and the Kings of Chedi, Panchala, Karoosha and Kashi. In order to kill the women and children, he sets the entire camp on fire.

When people start running out of the camp due to the fire, Kripa and Kritavarma kill all of them. Only the charioteer of Dhrishtadyumna survives this massacre as he falls down amongst the dead and acts as if he too is dead. The charioteer rushes and meets Draupadi and narrates the entire episode. Draupadi informs Bhimasena about this who then proceeds on a chariot.

Ashwathama, meanwhile, takes the heads of the sons of Pandavas and happily approaches Duryodhana. Duryodhana dies seeing the heads. Fearing the Pandavas, Ashwathama, Kripa and Kritavarma all take different routes from the warfield. Bhimasena chases Ashwathama and defeats him in a fight. Ashwathama then invokes the Brahmashirostra and releases the same. Krishna and Arjuna also arrive there at that moment.

Krishna then tells Bhimasena and Arjuna about an earlier incident. When Krishna was once meditating on the sea shore, Ashwathama approaches him and asks him for his weapons. Ashwathama fails to even lift one weapon of Krishna. When asked, Ashwathama reveals that he wants the weapons to kill Krishna himself and make Duryodhana the ruler of the world. Krishna smiles and sends off Ashwathama. 

Ashwathama prays before the release of the Astra that the entire Pandava clan should be destroyed by it. Arjuna, under the influence of Krishna, releases the very same astra after praying that all life forms, including Ashwathama, should be safe. The combination of the two astras is potent enough to destroy the Universe. Hence, Lord Veda Vyasa appears in the sky and stops the two astras midway. He chastises the two for invoking that weapon and orders them to take it back. Arjuna immediately obeys and does so. Ashwathama is unable to withdraw the weapon. Lord Krishna then reveals that Ashwathama had lost his Brahmacharya due to the tacit promise made to Duryodhana earlier about marrying his wife. Hence he is unable to withdraw the weapon.

Lord Veda Vyasa then orders Ashwathama to surrender the divine gem on his forehead. Ashwathama hands over the gem to Bhimasena. The gem grants miraculous powers and liberation from hunger, thirst and diseases. Ashwathama pays a heavy price. Krishna then asks him to divert the weapon so that at least one offspring of the Pandavas survives. Ashwathama accuses Krishna of trying to save his sister’s son becomes adamant that he will direct the weapon at Uttara’s uterus so that the unborn Parikshit is killed. 

Lord Krishna then declares that no matter what Ashwathama does, he will save the offspring of the Pandavas and assures all that Pandava clan will rule the world for a 1000 years. He curses Ashwathama that he should roam around the earth in dirty robes, with a stinking odor and full of wounds on his body. Lord Veda Vyasa also curses Ashwathama in the same way.

Ashwathama prays to Lord Vyasa that he should be able to see him whenever he desires. Lord Vyasa grants him this boon.

In the next Dwapara Yuga, the same Ashwathama will take on the role of “Vyasa” and divide the Vedas.

Mahabharata: The Game of Dice

Main Source: Mahabharata Tatparya Nirnaya, by Sri Madhvacharya (Chapter 21)

Duryodhana and Shakuni, while hastily returning from the Rajasuya Yaga of Yudhisthira have a discussion. Duryodhana expresses his utmost heartburn at seeing the great stature of the Pandavas. He declares that he would like to die due to the shame he is facing. Shakuni at first appears to speak nice about Pandavas. But his intention is only to increase the anger in Duryodhana, who falls for this and declares his intention to illegally gain all of the Pandavas’ wealth. Shakuni conceives the idea of a game of dice and assures Duryodhana that he will be able to get him all the wealth of the sons of Kunti.

Both of them approach Dhritarashtra and try to convince him to invite Pandavas for a game of dice. Realizing their bad intentions, the King tries to make reason with his son. He asks him to perform Yagas just like Yudhishthira and increase his land and wealth. But Duryodhana threatens to commit suicide if his suggestion is not implemented. At the time of Duryodhana’s birth, Kali would have entered Dhritharasthra and is present as an amsha. Under the influence of that Kali amsha, the King is bound by blind attachment to his son. He gives in to the empty threat of Duryodhana and decides to setup a game of dice.

Dhritharashtra calls Vidura and lets him know of his plan. Vidura, as usual, tries to put some sense into the King’s mind but fails. Dhritharashtra assures Vidura that in case of the situation going out of control, he would step in and take charge. Vidura, left with no option, proceeds to Indraprastha.

Around the same time, Lord Krishna, who is with the Pandavas, gets information that the evil Salva, King of Soubha, is about to attack Dwaraka. Krishna uses this as a pretext and leaves Pandavas and proceeds to fight Salva.

Vidura meets Yudhishthira and lets him know of the invite. He also advises Yudhishthira to consider all factors and take a good decision. His brothers and Draupadi also advise the Emperor to reject the invite as playing dice is not really Dharma for a King. But Yudhishthira is bound by an old vow that he has undertaken. Under that oath, Yudhishthira will never refuse an invite for a game of dice. It is this secret vow of Yudhishthira that Shakuni was aware of, and hence he decides on this scheme.

Dhritharashtra gets a special palace constructed just to play the game of dice. Pandavas arrive in Hastinapura and spend the night under the care of the blind King. The next day, all of them gather in the hall. Except Pandavas, Kunti, Draupadi and Vidura, all of them in the hall are under the influence of Kali and are unable to exert any influence on the developments.

The game of dice begins and very soon Yudhisthira starts to lose all. He first loses all his wealth to Shakuni. Then, he places Nakula as a bet and loses him. Then Sahadeva, Arjuna, Bhima and Draupadi are placed as bets and lost. Finally, Yudhishthira places himself as a bet and loses. Duryodhana sends his charioteer Pratikami to bring Draupadi to the hall.  Draupadi tells Pratikami that she cannot come to the hall of the Kauravas. Upon hearing this, Duryodhana sends his brother Dushashana to bring her. Dushashana holds her by her untied hair and drags her to the hall.

Draupadi then places a lot of questions related to Dharma to Bhishma and the other elders. She asks them what right Yudhishthira had to place her as a bet. She asks how the elders are all tolerating this evil game and the disrespect being shown. Bhishma and others behave very strangely and tell Draupadi to ask Yudhishthira for all the answers. At that time, Vidura stands up, holds both his hands up and declares that the whole incident is extremely Adharmic. He tells Draupadi that great injustice is being meted out to her and that the entire hall is engulfed by Adharma.

Vikarna, who is one of the younger Kauravas, gets up and tells Duryodhana that the game is against Dharma. But this protest was just to show off his understanding of Dharma. Karna berates him at which he immediately shuts up and keeps quiet.

Bhimasena then chastises Yudhisthira and tells him that his hands must be burnt for this mistake. Arjuna takes exception to Bhima’s outburst and tells him that such a punishment must not be given. Bhima then gives Arjuna a dharmopadesha. He tells him that when elders commit mistakes, the punishment is to chastise them through words. When peers commit mistake, the punishment is material fines. And when younger people make mistakes, the punishment is through to be actually physically executed.

Karna then makes a very cheap statement at Draupadi. He tells her that all her husbands are gone and therefore she should enter the palace of Duryodhana. Duryodhana then, in order to split the unity of the Pandavas, tells Draupadi that if one of the younger Pandavas tells everyone that they do not have respect for Yudhishthira, he will release her.  Bhimasena gets extremely enraged at this. He gets up and tells everyone that Yudhishthira is extremely respected by all of them. Bhima declares that in Kshatriyas, strength determines superiority and seniority and by that measure, he is the Guru of everyone there. Therefore, his word should be taken.

The entire hall panics at the anger of Bhimasena. Bhishma, Drona and Vidura all try to pacify Bhimasena and ask him to sit down. Duryodhana then shows his thighs to Draupadi and pats it. Bhimasena, at that point, makes a vow that he will kill Duryodhana by breaking his thigh. Duryodhana still continues with this poisonous statements. He tells Pandavas to keep Lord Krishna as a bet in the game, since they have nothing else left. At this, Bhimasena’s anger goes out of control. He makes a terrible vow to crush the head of Duryodhana with his foot and smash him.

Karna once again asks Draupadi to enter the palace of Duryodhana. Enraged, Bhimasena and Arjuna rush towards Karna but are stopped by Yudhishthira. Duryodhana then asks Dushashana to take away the royal clothes of the Pandavas. The 5 brothers put on forest garbs and hand over their royal clothes. Duryodhana then orders Dushashana to disrobe Draupadi. Dushashana begins to pull the saree of the Empress. Bhimasena then makes another terrible vow that he will rip apart the chest of Dushashana and drink his blood.

Draupadi then goes into a trance praying to Lord Krishna, who grants her one saree after another. Dushashana keeps disrobing Draupadi but immediately a new saree appears. Finally, Dushashana collapses. Duryodhana then asks Draupadi to be taken to his palace. Draupadi makes a vow that Bhima will kill Duryodhana, Arjuna will kill Karna and Sahadeva will kill Shakuni. Bhimasena says that he will do exactly the same. Arjuna and Sahadeva also approve and repeat the vows.

Dushashana starts to pull Draupadi to the palace. Bhimasena looks at Arjuna and tells him that he has had enough and he can no longer remain quiet when his wife is being dragged away. Bhimasena gets up to destroy all the Kauravas. The people in the hall hear the ugly crying of foxes at a distant. Dhritharashtra hears this sound as well and asks Vidura about it. Vidura replies that is an extremely evil omen and that the entire Kaurava clan will get destroyed if Draupadi is not released and pleased with boons.

Dhritharasthtra, who is extremely scared by now, orders the immediate release of Draupadi. When pressed to accept boons, Draupadi asks only for the release of the Pandavas. But Dhritharasthtra also returns all the wealth and land taken away from them.  The Pandavas bow to all the elders there and return to their homes.

Dushashana then emotionally blackmails his father and tells him that if Pandavas get back once again, then Bhimasena will attack them and kill all of them. Therefore, they must be called back once again for a second round of dice. Dhritharasthra falls for this trap and invites the Pandavas once again. Yudhishthira is again bound by his weird vow and they return to Hastinapura for a second game. In this game, there was only one round. The entire wealth and land of both sides was at stake. The loser needed to go to the forests for 12 years and then go hiding for a further one year. If discovered during the hiding, the 12 year plus one year punishment re-occurs.

Yudhisthira loses once again. Duryodhana, who won everything, starts laughing aloud and repeatedly calls Bhimasena as an Ox. He again asks Draupadi to get into his palace. All the brothers of Duryodhana also start laughing. Bhimasena now takes another vow that he will kill all the 100 Kaurava brothers. Immediately, the Kauravas sense danger and seek the protection of Drona. Drona assures them that he, though a brahmin, will pick up weapons and fight the war when the time comes.

Duryodhana gets back and continues to mock Bhimasena and imitates his walking style. At this, Bhimasena makes another vow that he will break the other thigh of Duryodhana also. The Pandavas start leaving the dice hall.

As he leaves the hall, Yudhishthira keeps his face down. This is to ensure that his anger filled gaze doesnt fall on Duryodhana. That anger filled gaze would have burnt Duryodhana. The compassionate Yudhishthira realizes this and keeps his face down.

Bhimasena leaves the hall with both his shoulders held up. He indicates to all that through the power of just his hands, he is going to destroy them all.

Draupadi leaves the hall leaving her hair untied. This was to indicate that all the Kaurava women would meet the same fate of having to leave their hair untied i.e. widowhood.

Arjuna leaves the hall and keeps sprinkling the entire route with sand. This was to indicate that he just like the countless grains of sand, he will release countless arrows at the Kauravas.

Nakula and Sahadeva leave the hall with their heads down in shame.

The official priest of the Pandavas, Dhaumyacharya, leaves the hall chanting the mantras meant to be chanted during funerals. This was to indicate the fate that all Kauravas would meet.

Thousands and thousands of residents of Hastinapura follow the Pandavas on their way to the forest.

Thus, one of the most riveting incidents in the Mahabharata comes to an end.