Mahabharata Tatparya Nirnaya: Chapter 28: Part 6

  • 201) Bhima’s body was tougher than a diamond. If Dhritharashtra had hugged him directly, he would have suffered no deformity and Dhritharashtra’s defect (of wishing evil) would never have surfaced. Hence Sri Krishna deceived him in this way.
  • 202-203) The King hugged all of them with affection and blessed them. “I am the sinner who has caused the destruction of our clan. I am deserving of your curse” – when Dharmaraja said thus to Gandhari, she became angry and stared at his beautiful toe-nails through the edge of the cloth tied to her eyes. Due to the fire of her anger, his toe-nails were burnt. Thereafter, he became one with black toe-nails.
  • 204) With anger and great pain, when Bhima approached in order to bow to her, she asked him – “O Bhima! How could you have killed my son through Adharma?”.
  • 205) When she asked thus, desiring to extinguish her anger first, Vrikodara said – “When there is danger to one’s life, it is not sin to kill a sinner through unfair means”.
  • 206-207) Having said thus, Bhimasena, who knew very well he faced no other danger apart from that of not fulfilling his vow, said to her – “How have I have committed Adharma as a Kshatriya when all I did was to fulfill my vow of killing the brothers in battle? There is no life if a vow is broken (for a Kshatriya)”.
  • 208) “Shruthi says sinners must never be killed through chaste Dharma. Unlike noble men, killing sinners through fair means is sin, says Shruthi. Therefore, Devatas have always killed the deceiving Asuras through unfair means”.
  • 209) The followers of the Paingi shakha always chant the Shruti that goes as – “Deception must always be demolished through deception. It is only the adherents of Dharma who must not be slain through deception”.
  • 210) When Bhima spoke thus, Gandhari asked again – “Being a human, how could you have drunk human blood?”. To this Bhima replied – “I did not drink”.
  • 211) “Your son’s blood did not go beyond my teeth. In order to fulfill my vow, and to take revenge, I did so to him”.
  • 212) “In order to scare the enemies I acted as if I drank it. Doing so to sinners is the Dharma as taught by the Vedas”.
  • 213) When Bhimasena spoke thus, Gandhari asked him – “You killed all hundred sons. You did not spare even one supporting stick for this blind couple?”.
  • 214-215) Bhima replied to Gandhari – “All of them were sinners. They had committed sin that qualified for the punishment of death. Therefore, I killed them all”. Gandhari then asked again – “Did you not find even one who hadn’t sinned?”. Bhima replied – “All of them had together planned to arrest Sri Krishna”.
    • Note: When Sri Krishna visited Hastinapura just before the war as a messenger of peace, Duryodhana and all his brothers had planned to capture him. Bhima points this out as the greatest sin committed by them.
  • 216-217) “Earlier too they had committed great sins. In the Sabha, when Sri Krishna was instructing Dharma, they rejected it repeatedly and followed Duryodhana out of the hall” – keeping all of this in mind, Bhima replied.
  • 218) “There was not even one among them who had not offended me (in the past). When you yourself were incapable of advising them, why are you angry at me without reason?”.
  • 219) When Bhima asked thus, Gandhari became silent. Then, all the other Pandavas bowed to her. She calmed down when Sri Vyasa spoke to her again.
  • 220-222) The Pandavas, with their wives, proceeded to the battlefield along with Gandhari who had brought her daughters-in-law ahead of her, Dhritharashtra, Vidura and the others, Sri Vyasa, Sri Krishna and Kunti. Intending to reduce the merits of her Tapas so the Pandavas are safe, Sri Vyasa gave Gandhari divine vision.
    • Note: Gandhari was a great pati-vrata. She had accumulated great punya over the years using which she was capable of invoking great curses against the Pandavas. In order to avoid this, Sri Vyasa gave her divine vision. Seeing the corpses of her sons and family, she cursed Sri Krishna out of anger and sorrow, thereby burning away her punya.
  • 223) In the battlefield, Gandhari saw the dead bodies with her divine vision and, out of sorrow, cursed Sri Krishna – “You have caused our kula to get destroyed due to infighting. Therefore may your kula too get destroyed due to each other”.
  • 224-225) When she said thus, Bhagavan Sri Krishna, although capable of making the curse go futile, said – “It is my sankalpa too. May it be so”. Because of that, her Tapas got destroyed. She became lesser in merit than her husband Dhritharashtra. Isn’t Sri Hari the one who destroys punya that is more than one’s worth?
    • Note: Each jeeva has an inherent swabhava or nature. As per the qualification arising from that nature, one is entitled to a certain level of punya, through which the jeeva obtains proportionate bliss. If any jeeva accumulates more than the qualified punya, Sri Hari ensures its destruction. The Ahalya incident was similarly in order to burn away the excess punya accumulated by Sage Gautama.
  • 226) Later, Sri Krishna took Draupadi and showed her the widows of Duryodhana and the others who were hugging the dead bodies of their husbands and crying. Draupadi praised Sri Krishna, the one with complete auspicious attributes, profusely.
  • 227) Thereafter, the Pandavas themselves performed the last rites of those well known warriors who were noble. They got others to cremate the bodies of others keeping Dhritharashtra in front (for that activity). Through their five charioteers they got many other corpses to be thrown into the Sarasvati river.
  • 228) Out of affection, Dharmaraja and the twins had not engaged their charioteers in the war. Since the corpses were innumerable, many probably remained where they were.
  • 229) Then, as the Pandavas were giving tarpana to the fallen relatives in the Ganga, Prithaa (Kunti) informed them that Karna was their older brother and said – “Give him tarpana too”.
  • 230) Dharmaraja then became infested with great sorrow. Exclaiming “Oh! No!” repeatedly, he let out a curse saying – “May no secret ever remain in the hearts of women”.
  • 231) “Oh Mother! Your courage has led us to this downfall! Having killed our older brother, who is equivalent to one’s father, what gati can we obtain now?”.
    • Note: Dharmaraja is referring to the other-world which souls obtain after death. Gati here means Swarga or Naraka or associated worlds.
  • 232) Dharmaraja, who was speaking thus, was consoled by Sri Krishna and Sage Narada through comforting words. They praised the qualities of Karna.
  • 233) After that, all of them performed the post-death rituals. The eldest of the Pandavas then ascended the post of Chakravarti!
    • Note: Yudhisthira obtained the seat of Emperor of the entire world.

|| End of chapter 28, known as ‘Pandava Rajya Prapti’, from the Mahabharata Tatparya Nirnaya, composed by Srimadanandatirtha Bhagavatpada ||

|| Sri Krishnarpanamastu ||

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