Mahabharata Tatparya Nirnaya: Chapter 23: Part 2

  • 41) Then, Uttara proceeded towards getting the cows released, appointing Arjuna as his charioteer. Seeing the Kauravas, however, he immediately became scared. Arjuna then stopped him with great difficulty and, after making him his charioteer in turn, proceeded against the Kauravas.
  • 42) Retrieving the Gandiva, putting on the Hanuman mast and holding the Devadatta conch, Arjuna at first got the cows released. He then started fighting the Kauravas. One by one, they engaged with him in battle from their chariots.
  • 43) When the Kauravas again came after him together, he rendered everyone apart from Bhishma unconscious by using the Sammohana astra and picked up all of their upper garments. Only Bhishma knew of the counter astra to the Sammohana astra.
    • Note: The Sammohana was a divine weapon that would cause the enemy to fall unconscious.
  • 44) Arjuna rendered Bhishma chariot-less and returned. Hearing the news of the defeat of all Kauravas, King Virata assumed that it was due to his son and felt elated. Yudhisthira then told him that their defeat was due to the transgender (Brihannala – Arjuna).
  • 45) King Virata then got angry and assaulted Yudhishthira with the dice used for gambling. Bhima and Arjuna became furious after getting to know of this. Dharmaraja stopped them.
  • 46) “If he doesn’t bow to us and apologize when we appear in our original form, then he qualifies to be killed” – said Dharmaraja. The next day, all of them put on their original forms and stood there.
  • 47) Then, Virata saw Dharmaraja sitting on his throne and asked them – “What is this?”. Prince Uttara told him that they were the Pandavas and narrated all that happened during the go-grahana.
  • 48) King Virata started shivering with fear and fell at the feet of the Pandavas and took refuge. He gave his daughter Uttaraa to Arjuna. He accepted her for his son (i.e. as his daughter-in-law).
  • 49) In this way, for having released Virata and the cows, and for having sent the Keechakas to Andhantamas, Bhimasena accumulated a lot of excellent punya. After him, Arjuna gained a lot of punya for having freed the cows.
  • 50) After that, the Pandavas sent messengers to Sri Krishna. Along with Balarama, Sri Krishna, the personification of knowledge and bliss, came there bringing with him Abhimanyu. Later the wedding of Abhimanyu took place.
  • 51) That occasion became a great festival for the Pandavas, Panchalas and the brave Yadavas. They finished the Ajnatavasa and felt great joy being accompanied by Sri Krishna.
  • 52) Having been troubled greatly by Arjuna in the war, Duryodhana and the others got together with Karna, Shakuni, Bhishma and the others at Hastinapura and engaged in a discussion.
  • 53) When the Kauravas claimed “We saw Arjuna today during the period of exile. Therefore, the Pandavas must go back to exile once again”, Bhishma replied – “The Ajnatavasa is over”. Drona too said the same thing.
  • 54) Ignoring the words of those two, the evil Kauravas sent messengers to the Pandavas and said – “You must go back to the forest once again”. Dharmaraja, in reply, said – “The Brahmanas know this”.
  • 55) The Kauravas made the claim based on the solar calendar, as per which the period (of exile) had not yet completed. However, according to the lunar calendar, the said period had been completed.
  • 56) Surya is the lord of the day. When it comes to the paksha, masa and varsha, Chandra is the lord. Therefore, the knowledgeable ones say that the lunar year is the important (relevant i.e.) one for calculating years.
  • 57-58) Therefore, in Yajnas, it is the lunar calendar that is considered and not the solar one. Without considering all this, the Kauravas, seized by greed, did not hand over the Kingdom to the Pandavas. Getting the Brahmanas to declare that the Ajnatavasa had been completed successfully, the Pandavas left for Upaplavya.
  • 59) The Pandavas, accompanied by Sri Vasudeva and all the Yadavas, Panchalas and Matsyas, stayed at Upaplavya for a few days, along with their wives, while receiving instructions from Sri Krishna.

|| End of chapter 23, known as ‘Pandava Ajnatavasa Samapti’, from the Mahabharata Tatparya Nirnaya, composed by Srimadanandatirtha Bhagavatpada ||

|| Sri Krishnarpanamastu ||


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