One Day, Arjuna had returned from Dwarika and he was cheerless, his mouth was dry, his eyes was filled with water. He was the warrior and who never confronted defeats in his entire life. He was the Brahma himself in the knowledgeable (Sadhu/Sage) and Vishnu (preserver) for his kinsmen and brothers and the mighty Rudra for his foes.
Yudhisthira had never ever seen him like this, not even after killing Grandfather Bhishma and defeating Drona and cutting the hand of Burishrwa. He was looking at that warrior who defeated all the Devas in Khandva Vana. Arjuna has lost his life, his soul and his mind too.
Yudhisthira asked about news of Dwarika and with the wellness of Vrishnis, Vasudeva Krishna whom Yudhisthira loved more then Arjuna and others, whom Yudhishthira had worshiped again and again like a great devotee.
‘Yudhishthira was the great devotee of Krishna-Narayana!’
Arjuna conversed everything, what had happened with them and also the detail conversations with Vyasa. (Mausla Parva)
After concluding all the points and terrible sign of Time, Yudhisthira has decided to leave the earth and he converse same with Arjuna. They all started their final journey.
कालः पचति भूतानि सर्वाण्येव महामते |
कर्मन्यासमहं मन्ये त्वमपि द्रष्टुमर्हसि ||३||
Yudhisthira said “O immensely wise one! Time cooks all creatures. I think all this has happened because of that. You should also consider that.”
Yudhisthira assigned the throne of Hastinapura with Parikshita and Krishna’s Grandson “Vajra” with Shakraprashtha and advised Subhadra to follow the Dharma. Kripa was assigned as preceptor of Parikshita.
Yudhisthira performed funeral ceremonies for Vrishnis, Keshava Krishna, Vasudeva his uncle aka Mama, Rama aka Balarama and others. He gave away many jewels, villages, horses and chariots, hundred thousands of cattle, etc. to best of the Brahmanas.
Yudhishthira honoured all the ordinary people and told all of them what he desired to do. After hearing his words, all the people country was extremely anxious, just like when Rama was about to leave. However, Dharamraja Yudhisthira took the permission of the residents of the city and the countryside. He had made up his mind to leave and so had his brothers.
Yudhishthira, took off the ornaments from his body and donned the bark of trees. Bhima, Arjuna, the twins and the Draupadi followed the same. They performed all the recommended beneficial rites then cast the sacred fire into water. There were the five brothers Krishna was the sixth and a dog joined as the seventh. For some distance, the citizens and the ladies of the inner quarters followed them. However, none of them was capable of speaking to them and urging them to return. Then, all the men who resided in the city returned and stood around Kripa, Yuyutsu and the others.
Ulupi, the daughter of a serpent, entered the waters of the Ganga. Chitrangada left for the city of Manipura. Pandavas and Draupadi fasted and headed in an eastern direction. They were immersed themselves in yoga, having decided to follow the dharma of renunciation. They passed through many countries, rivers and mountains. Yudhishthira walked in front, followed by Bhima, Arjuna came after him, followed by the twins and Draupadi was at the rear.
Roaming on the earth, they were reached at Louhitya, an ocean full of water. Arjuna loved his precious bow and quivers. He was also caring that bow, he loved Archery from his heart. However, Agni represented himself and asked Arjuna to return that bow called Gandiva and two quivers. All the brothers urged Arjuna to do this. He flung it into the water, together with the two great and inexhaustible quivers.
After that Pandavas now headed in a southern direction.
On the northern shores of the salty ocean, they proceeded in a south-western direction. Then they again headed in a western direction.
They saw Dvaraka, flooded by the ocean.
Then they headed towards the north.
Devoted to the dharma of yoga, they desired to circle the entire earth.
They roamed over the entire earth, it was not a short journey. It could have taken an years or more and visiting so many places and pilgrimage.
NOTE: Yoga has eight elements—yama (restraint), niyama (rituals), asana(posture), pranayama (breathing), pratyahara (withdrawal), dhrana(retention), dhyana (meditation) and samadhi (liberation). That’s the reason the expression ashtanga (eight-formed) yoga is used. and
Yudhisthira was the only one in five pandava’s including Draupadi, who had full control on his Yoga and Dharma and all the Pandavas were their followers.
They all (7 including Dog) were restraining their souls and immersing themselves in yoga, they headed in a northern direction. They saw the giant mountains, the Himalayas. Having passed beyond it, they saw an ocean of sand. There, they saw the giant mountain of Meru, with an excellent summit.
All of them were proceeding swiftly, devoting themselves to the dharma of yoga. However, Draupadi deviated from yoga and fell down on the ground. On seeing that she had fallen down, the immensely strong Bhimasena glanced towards Krishna (Draupadi) and spoken to Dharmaraja.
Bhima Said “O scorcher of enemies! This princess never committed an act of adharma. O king! Why has Krishna fallen down on the ground?”
Yudhishthira Said, “O supreme among men! She had a great partiality for Dhananjaya. She has reaped the fruits of that.”
Yudhisthira didn’t look back and continually walking with Dharma in his soul, controlled his mind. Not even Bhima, Arjuna or Twins tried to do that. Not a single brother returned to Druapadi.
Well, It was the final journey!!
After some time Sahadeva also fell down on the Ground, Bhima was amazed, he asked to Yudhisthira again.
Bhima said “O Brother, Without any pride, he served all of us. Why has Madravati’s (Madri) son fallen down on the ground?”
Yudhishthira said, “O Brother, He thought that there was no one who was his equal in wisdom. O son of a king! It is because of that sin that he has fallen down.”
Yudhisthira didn’t care who all were falling, and why Yudhisthira should have to care for them (He cared them all, in his whole life), in final journey everybody was/is/will be alone, there will no one for you except your own soul and Your action (Karma) and Knowledge.
As Kapila says: Acts only cleanse the body. Knowledge, however, is the highest end (for which one strives).
He was walking continually. On seeing that Krishna and Pandava Sahadeva had fallen down, Nakula, who loved his relatives, was afflicted and also fell down. Seeing that the handsome and brave Nakula had fallen down, Bhima spoke to the king again.
Bhima said “Nakula had dharma in his soul and his adherence to it never suffered. He followed the words of his brothers. In the world, Nakula was unmatched in his beauty. Yet, he has fallen down on the ground.”
Yudhishthira said, “Nakula possessed dharma in his soul and was supreme among all the intelligent ones. However, he held a view, like Diti’s offspring (Daityas), that there was no one who was his equal in beauty. In his mind, he thought that there was no one who was superior to him. O Vrikodara! Understand. This is the reason why Nakula has fallen down. O brave one! Anything ordained for a person is bound to happen.”
Yudhishthira did not stopped his journey. It was Nakula, who was dearer than his soul himself. Why Yudhisthira left him? Why Yudhisthira did not ran and caught his hand and why not Bhima or Arjuna do so?
It was Yudhisthira, who asked the life of Nakula from Yaksha. Why he did not care him? The all Pandavas were selfish?
- Answer is so simple, that no one will go and attain your seat in final journey. You’ll be sole responsible for you Karma. Everyone will abandon you and you’ll abandon the all kin and whole world. No one will love you after your death and fire will burn you and your son (you yourself) who is dearer than all in the world would do that. That is the lesson of Final Journey.
When Bhima saw his brother Arjuna also fallen down, who was like the Lion in the prowess and never were defeated by anyone. He was the master of Archers and never performed any sin. He was the one with the white horses and the scorcher of enemies, was tormented by grief and fell down. He was possessing the energy like Indra, lightness like Surya (sun), coolness like moon and fierce like Agni himself.
Bhima asked “I cannot remember any falsehood that this great-souled one has willfully uttered. What is the transgression, as a result of which, he has fallen down on the ground?”
Yudhishthira replied, “Arjuna always said that he would burn down the enemy in a single day. Though he was proud of his valour, he wasn’t able to accomplish that. That is the reason he has fallen down. Phalguna disrespected all the other wielders of the bow. Those who desire their own prosperity must always act as they have spoken.”
After some time Bhima also fell down. The one whose speed was like wind and tiger, he possessed the strength of ten thousands elephants and no one were equal in his energy. While falling down, Bhima asked to Yudhishthira. “O king! Look towards me. I am loved by you and I have fallen down. What is the reason I have fallen down? If you know, tell me.”
Yudhishthira replied, “You ate too much and you boasted about your vigor. You disrespected others. That is the reason you have fallen down on the ground.”
Having said this, without looking back, Yudhisthira proceeded. The single dog followed him.
The above chapter is lacking with many truths or conversations or details, which was uttered by Yudhisthira. There is no sufficient details are mentioned in the Mahaprashnika Parva by Vaishampayna or did not ask by Janmejaya or by Bhima like other chapters.
This chapter seem’s to be latter addition, because Mahabharata has many subtle information regarding the any event, then why these are not mentioned in details by Author Vyasa.
Well, if we are considering this chapter as Part of Vyasa Mahabharata and have the correct information’s, then it’s rising so many questions in our minds.
- If, Yudhishthira was righteous behavior and truthful, then where is the truths?
- Did Yudhisthira lie again with Bhima? (Except Half truth/lie of Yudhisthira in Drona Parva)
- Did Yudhisthira reply all the answers to Bhima out of his frustration?
- Did Yudhisthira had wrong title of Dharmaraja?
- When Draupadi loved Arjuna most?
- Why Did Arjuna, Bhima and Twins were Fallen?
- Was Yudhishthira jealous to Draupadi, Sahdeva, Nakula, Arjuna and Bhima?
Well, these all answers are available in the epic on different places, parvas and chapters.