81) When the charioteer said – “Climb the chariot” Dharmaraja replied – “The dog should climb first”. The charioteer said – “That is not appropriate”.
82) “I shall not climb without the dog” – when Dharmaraja said thus definitively, Yamadharma revealed his true form. After all, it was Yama himself in the form of the dog, wasn’t he?
83) In this manner, Yama propagated the compassionate quality of his own form of Yudhishthira through wise words, thereby spreading his fame.
84) After that the King, being very dear to Sri Hari, climbed that chariot and crossed one higher world after the other. He exceeded all other Kings and proceeded further.
85) Having reached the upper most region of Indra loka, he was told by the Devatas – “This is your place’. He saw Duryodhana over there.
86) Seeing Duryodhana being there with his brothers and appearing resplendent, he became extremely angry and closed his auspicious eyes.
87-88) “Where are my brothers? Where is Draupadi? Where is Karna? Where are my relatives? Where are Dhrishtadyumna and the others? Where are Ghatotkacha and my other sons? Where are the Yadavas?” – Dharmaraja asked thus. The Devatas replied – “How does it concern you? Over here, each undergoes the (effect of their) Karma on their own; not others”.
89-90) When the Devatas spoke thus, Dharmaraja asked – “Duryodhana is that sinner who destroyed the Earth. He doubted everything. He was an ingrate to his friends. He turned away from Sri Narayana and was an atheist. He was a great deceiver and a cruel person. He hated Sri Vishnu and his devotees. How did such a person attain this supreme position?”
91) “Why are my dear ones, who know all Dharmas, who have always taken refuge in Sri Narayana and who are always engaged in utmost Dharma, not to be seen here?”
92) “Wherever those noble ones are there, I too need to be there. Even if it is Naraka. I cannot be here with this sinner”.
93-94) “The great warrior Duryodhana has attained this” – said the Devatas. They sent their messenger along with Dharmaraja who desired to see his relatives. Dharmaraja walked in the path shown by him. That place was full of unbearable stench. Darkness pervaded everywhere.
95) After a short distance, unable to bear that stench, Dharmaraja desired to return. Then, he heard voices that seemed to be that of his own (relatives).
96-97) “O King! Please stop for a moment. Your very presence is causing our pain to subside” – noticing the misery in those voices, Yudhishthira asked – “Who are you?”. He then heard voices that seemed to say “I am Bhima”, “I am Arjuna”, “I am Karna”. Dharmaraja heard them.
98) Hearing those voices, Dharmaraja became compassionate and, being full of misery and sorrow, told the messenger – “You can go wherever you wish. I cannot leave from here”.
99) “There is nothing to be had from Swarga leaving aside such relatives” – when he said thus, the messenger went away. Yudhishthira stood there.
100) Then, Indra and the other Devatas arrived there out of affection towards Yudhishthira. As soon as they arrived thus, the pain-filled voices, the stench and the darkness vanished.
101) Dharmaraja then, with an uncluttered mind, saw a place that was better than Swarga. Increasing his fame even further, Yama then spoke to Yudhisthira, who was his own form.
102-103) “Compassion is always greater than doing what is right. I have seen you do this thrice especially”. Indra too spoke to Dharmaraja – “A false Naraka was shown to you since you spoke falsehood to Drona. Because you uttered the words Sri Krishna asked you to, but with great difficulty. You did not have complete belief in his words. If one performs even prohibited karmas based on the words of Sri Krishna, not even a little sin will accrue”.
Note: The Naraka darshana for Yudhishthira was related to the incident with Drona. But the punishment was not for speaking lies but for hesitating to carry out the instructions of Sri Krishna. The three occasions during which Dharmaraja displayed extraordinary compassion was asking for Nakula’s life during Yaksha Prashna, refusing to go to Swarga without the dog and opting to stay in Naraka for the sake of his family.
104) “After realizing Brahma, the sins incurred by the knowledgeable one are indicative of Prarabdha-paapa just like a poison filled meal. Now you may witness Bhima and the others here, happily staying while being worshipped by Devatas and possessing charming forms”.
105) “How can sorrow ever touch those who have attained Aparoksha of Parabrahman, who are always engaged in pure and noble deeds, who believe in Sri Vishnu, who have given up their bodies through excellent Yoga and who are best amongst the Devatas?”
106) “All of these are great Devatas. In order to please Sri Hari who wished to perform Bhu-bhara-harana, they engaged their mind in him, offered all their work to him and returned happily with him to attain Swarga”.
107) “O King! You are not yet relieved of your human nature. Therefore you are still hating Duryodhana and the others. Take bath in this river Ganga which is the water from the sacred feet of Sri Vishnu, give up your (human) body and attain your divinity”.
Note: The reference here is to the river Ganga that flows in Swarga and not to the one that flows on Earth.
108) “After their prarabdha-punya gets exhausted, Duryodhana and the others, who are great sinners, will fall into eternal Naraka where there is not even a trace of happiness and where eternal sorrow is prevalent. They will remain there under Sri Vishnu’s control and will never return”.
109) “All those who possess Amshas of Devatas in them return to their original form and, during the time of Pralaya, attain Mukti that is in accordance with their nature and position in the hierarchy (of Jeevas). There is no doubt about this”.
110) When the Devatas spoke thus, Dharmaraja took bath in river Ganga and gave up his physical body. He immediately attained a divine form and lost all his doshas such as anger and the other vices.
111) Dharmaraja saw all his relatives being seated close to their original forms. He saw a resplendent Bhima seated amidst the Maruts, next to Vayu.
112) Next to Bhima, Dharmaraja saw Draupadi, outshining everyone else with her radiance. By force of habit he desired to touch her. Devendra stopped him and said.
113) “This Bharati is most dear to Sri Vayu, who is the darling of the world, the chief Prana and the best amongst Jeevas. Since she finds joy always in Prana, who is the very essence of bliss, she is known as Sri”.
114) “She had been created by Sri Hari, the best amongst all Purushas, for the joy of Vayu who had entered the bodies of you four and for the joy of Bhima who was Vayu himself. For your happiness, she had gotten together with your wives”.
115) “Therefore she was most affectionate towards Bhima. After that she possessed affection towards Arjuna and then towards all of you, depending upon the extent of Sri Vayu’s Avesha in all of you”.
116) “Now, Draupadi is present here in her pristine form of Bharati, without the presence of Shachi or the others. Similarly, all of you too are here in your original forms without the special presence of Vayu”.
117) “Therefore you do not possess the required purity to touch her since she is the consort of Vayu. Neither will you attain such purity in the future, just like how those possessing human bodies can never qualify to touch Devatas”.
118) When Indra spoke thus, Dharmaraja immediately moved back. In order to rid him of the remaining human traces, Yama, who was born from the right breast of Sri Hari, gave him a deep hug. Immediately he came equal to Yamadharma.
Note: Due to that hug, Yudhisthira and Yama became one and the same in essence and capabilities.
119) After that, all the Pandavas entered their own lokas with great joy, along with their original forms. They resided there with their wives amidst material comforts that never fell short.
120) The Pandavas, being devotees of Sri Krishna, obtained his company there too! Sri Krishna too, just as earlier, remained there with Arjuna and the chariot.