Seven unknown facts from Mahabharata (5)

Untold, Unknown facts from Mahabharata

The epic Mahabharata has many instances which reveal various aspects of human struggles. Shri Krishna, even being an incarnation of god, was deemed helpless few times. This was not because he was not capable, this was because that anyone who liked him or had a pure intent, was blessed by him in that way. Here some interesting stories are on offer, how Shri Krishna goes to any length to help his disciples and how Draupadi had a boon of virginity from Lord Shiva. These stories also tell about the powers and knowledge of youngest Panadava , Sahadeva.

When Shri Krishna was helpless

Sahadeva, the youngest of Pandavas was a very wise person. He was a great astrologer who could predict things in advance.  Once Shri Krishna asked him that what should be done to prevent Mahabharata war.

Sahadeva replied that Krishna himself must be tied down and imprisoned. He said that all Pandavas along with Duryodhana must be sent to forest and Karna must be made the king.

In response, Krishna challenged him to tie him down, Sahadeva started meditating and envisioned Krishna as a small baby and tied him down.
Shri Krishna

Shri Krishna

Since Krishna could not move out of the bondage created by Sahadeva in his meditative trance, he blessed him with divine vision and then only Sahadeva released Krishna from the bondage.

Draupadi’s virginity

Draupadi was wife of five brothers. She had a boon from Lord Shiva which she got from doing great penance. As a reward, she would get certain qualities in her husbands. This also resulted in she being the wife of five husbands.

Lord Shiva and Draupadi

Lord Shiva and Draupadi

When she complained about this to Lord Shiva, she was given another boon that she would become a virgin every morning, after taking bath. Thus she was able to become the wife of all pandavas at the same time. This is an another unknown fact from Mahabharata.

Draupadi could have fourteen husbands instead of five

Bhagwad Gita was delivered on Ekadashi

It was Mokshada Ekadashi, when Krishna gave the holy sermon of the Bhagvad Gita to the third Pandava Arjuna, as per the Hindu epic Mahabharata. The 700-verse Bhagavad Gita told at the beginning of the climactic Mahabharata war between the Pandavas and their cousins, the Kauravas at Kurukshetra.

When Duryodhana was outsmarted  – another Shri Krishna masterstroke

Sahadeva, the great astrologer was also an upright person.  Duryodhana requested Sahadeva to find him a suitable auspicious date to offer ‘Kalabali’ – a ritualistic sacrifice before war that would ensure victory for the performer.
And following the path of Dharma, Sahadeva told the recipe of pandavas downfall.
Enter Shri Krishna, when he came to know about this, he devised a way out of this. A day before the new moon, Krishna calmly went down to the banks of river Yamuna and with the help of two brahmin priests, started performing Tarpana, a ritual submitting offerings to ancestors and divine entities which is usually done only on new moon day (amavasya).
Duryodhana and Drona

Duryodhana and Drona

Brahmins nearby watched Krishna performing Tarpana on a non new moon day with surprise.  They were puzzled as to why Krishna, the all knowing supreme Lord would perform the ritual of tarpana on a non new moon day.
They thought that no way Krishna would do tarpana on the wrong day and that their own prediction of new moon day as the next day was wrong.  They were convinced that since Krishna was doing tarpana that day, then that day would indeed be new moon day as great Shri Krishna would never be wrong.

The sun god Surya and moon god Chandra who were watching the activities of Lord Krishna and other brahmins giving Tarpana on earth were intrigued as even they knew it was the next day they would align and come together to form new moon day.  They thought that there would have been a mistake somewhere and that they should bring it to the notice of Lord Krishna.

Both, Surya and Chandra descended to earth and met with Lord Krishna to enquire about the ongoing activity and explained him that it was chaturdashi, not the new moon day to perform tarpana.

Lord Krishna greeted them both and responded that it was indeed new moon that day.  The puzzled deities questioned Him how was it possible.  Krishna asked them what exactly happens on a new moon day.  The two stellar deities explained that the day when the Sun and Moon align and appear together, the lunar eclipse takes place and that day is the new moon day.

Shri Krishna on hearing that said that since that very day, Sun God Surya and Moon God Chandra came appearing together before him, it was indeed the new moon day (amavasya) and that was the reason He was performing tarpana on that day.

The Sun and Moon gods could not argue against Lord Krishna who so tactfully elaborated the reason for his strange activity and accepted His verdict and thus the entire world changed the new moon day, a day in advance to its usual occurrence at that point.

Krishna, once accomplishing this superhuman feat, at once ordered the Pandavas to perform the Kalabali from their end the very same day.  Since it was accepted by the sun and moon gods that it was indeed the new moon day, the Pandavas performed the Kalabali ritual on the newly established auspicious date which brought them victory in the Mahabharata war at Kurukshetra.  Duryodhana, on the other hand, performed the ritual on the next day (the usual new moon day) all in vain.

Shalya and Yudhishthira

In the war of Mahabharata,  Arjuna slayed all the great archers, including Karna, Bhishma and Bhima killed all Kauravas. We sometimes wonder that what other Pandavas did. This goes for Yudhisthira also. But the elder Pandava had killed a very important warrior from Kauravas side, who have been very difficult to tame.

Yudhishthira

Yudhishthira

There is an interesting story how Shalya was tricked by Duryodhana and he had to side with Kauravas against his wishes.

Yudhisthira knew this and  he extracted a promise from Shalya that he would demoralise Karna in the Mahabharata war.

Shalya had a unique quality that his opponent’s aggression would work in his favour. Due to this, it was very difficult to conquer him for any warrior. But Yudhisthira was not a man of aggression and in the war of Mahabharata, Yudhisthira could kill him with help of others.

Akshaypatra

while the Pandavas were exiled into the forest, they had a great help in form of akshaypatra. Contrary to the belief, this was provided to Yudhishthira and not Draupadi from Lord Surya.

Akshaypatra

Akshaypatra

Yudhisthira prayed Lord Surya. Pleased with Yudhishtira’s prayers, Lord Surya blessed him with the Akshaya Patra, a vessel that would give unlimited food every day till Draupadi finished eating.

Duryodhana was in heaven

While Yudhisthira was in the heaven he saw Duryodhana in an elevated seat in bright attire with all ornaments. Yudhisthira was displeased with this event and said that he was not interested the comforts at heaven along with Duryodhana.

Yudhishthira and Dog to heaven

Yudhishthira and Dog to heaven

He further added that it was for his sake all the relatives and friends were all killed in the great war of Mahabharata. It was because of him Draupadi in the presence of all noble people was utterly insulted in the royal assembly. Hence he decided that he wouldn’t like to stay in the heaven where Duryodhana was enjoying.

Yudhisthira could not see his brothers and his wife Draupadi, in heaven. This made him curious that how Pandavas were not in heaven while Duryodhana was. He was escorted to hell where he saw his brothers and wife suffering.

He was very much displeased, but soon discovered that gods have visited them there and all the pains have vanished. He was then said that all Pandavas deserved heaven and they have to spent some time in hell, because of few sins they have done.