Sources: Valmiki Ramayana and Mahabharata
⇒Translated by Desiraju Hanumanta Rao & K. M. K. Murthy and KMG + Bibek Debroy
As Krishna said to Yudhisthira in the Vana Parva;
धर्मः परः पाण्डव राज्यलाभा; त्तस्यार्थमाहुस्तप एव राजन् |
सत्यार्जवाभ्यां चरता स्वधर्मं; जितस्तवायं च परश्च लोकः ||१६||
“O Pandava! Dharma is superior to winning the kingdom. O king! It is said that austerity leads to it. You have lived by your own dharma, with truthfulness and virtue. You have won this world and the next.
अधीतमग्रे चरता व्रतानि; सम्यग्धनुर्वेदमवाप्य कृत्स्नम् |
क्षात्रेण धर्मेण वसूनि लब्ध्वा; सर्वे ह्यवाप्ताः क्रतवः पुराणाः ||१७||
You first studied, and then observed the vows. You next became skilled in the use of weapons. You obtained riches by practising the dharma of kshatriyas. You have performed all the ancient sacrifices.
न ग्राम्यधर्मेषु रतिस्तवास्ति; कामान्न किञ्चित्कुरुषे नरेन्द्र |
न चार्थलोभात्प्रजहासि धर्मं; तस्मात्स्वभावादसि धर्मराजः ||१८||
You are not addicted to the dharma of sexual pleasure and desire. O Indra among kings! You have never acted out of desire. Nor have you given up dharma out of greed for artha. It is for these reasons that you are Dharmaraja.
दानं च सत्यं च तपश्च राज; ञ्श्रद्धा च शान्तिश्च धृतिः क्षमा च |
अवाप्य राष्ट्राणि वसूनि भोगा; नेषा परा पार्थ सदा रतिस्ते ||१९||
O king! O Partha! Though you obtained the kingdom, riches and objects of pleasure, benevolence, truthfulness, austerities, devotion, conciliation, forbearance and forgiveness always brought you supreme pleasure.
यदा जनौघः कुरुजाङ्गलानां; कृष्णां सभायामवशामपश्यत् |
अपेतधर्मव्यवहारवृत्तं; सहेत तत्पाण्डव कस्त्वदन्यः ||२०||
O Pandava! When the assembled inhabitants of Kurujangala saw Krishna afraid and outraged in the assembly hall, an act that was contrary to dharma and good conduct, who but you could have endured it?
असंशयं सर्वसमृद्धकामः; क्षिप्रं प्रजाः पालयितासि सम्यक् |
इमे वयं निग्रहणे कुरूणां; यदि प्रतिज्ञा भवतः समाप्ता ||२१||
There is no doubt that you will soon protect your subjects again and be restored to all the prosperity that you desire. Once your oath has been fulfilled, we will act so as to chastise the Kurus.
In this post I have compiled the Shlokas of the Ramayana (first) and the Mahabharata (second) to find out the similarities between Rama and Yudhisthira told by Markandya in the Vana Parva.
न तात हृष्यामि न च स्मयामि; प्रहर्षजो मां भजते न दर्पः |
तवापदं त्वद्य समीक्ष्य रामं; सत्यव्रतं दाशरथिं स्मरामि ||७||
“O son! I am not delighted. Nor am I smiling. Happy pride has not possessed me. But on witnessing your misfortunes today, I have been reminded of Dasharatha’s son, Rama, who was devoted to the truth.
स चापि राजा सह लक्ष्मणेन; वने निवासं पितुरेव शासनात् |
धन्वी चरन्पार्थ पुरा मयैव; दृष्टो गिरेरृष्यमूकस्य सानौ ||८||
With Lakshmana, that king also lived in the forest on the instructions of his father. O Partha! In ancient times, I saw him once on Mount Rishyamukha, while he was wandering around with his bow.
सहस्रनेत्रप्रतिमो महात्मा; मयस्य जेत नमुचेश्च हन्ता |
पितुर्निदेशादनघः स्वधर्मं; वने वासं दाशरथिश्चकार ||९||
That great-souled one was the equal of the one with a thousand eyes, the one who defeated Maya and killed Namuchi. The unblemished Dasharathi lived in the forest on his father’s instructions, so as to maintain his own dharma.
स चापि शक्रस्य समप्रभावो; महानुभावः समरेष्वजेयः |
विहाय भोगानचरद्वनेषु; नेशे बलस्येति चरेदधर्मम् ||१०||
He was like Shakra in his power, a great-hearted one who was invincible in battle. He gave up his comforts and roamed around in the forest. Therefore, thinking that one is powerful, one should never follow that which is not dharma.
नृपाश्च नाभागभगीरथादयो; महीमिमां सागरान्तां विजित्य |
सत्येन तेऽप्यजयंस्तात लोका; न्नेशे बलस्येति चरेदधर्मम् ||११||
Nabhaga, Bhagiratha and other kings have conquered this earth, right up to the boundaries of the ocean. O son! They won the worlds by observing the truth. Therefore, thinking that one is powerful, one should never follow that which is not dharma.
अलर्कमाहुर्नरवर्य सन्तं; सत्यव्रतं काशिकरूषराजम् |
विहाय राष्ट्राणि वसूनि चैव; नेशे बलस्येति चरेदधर्मम् ||१२||
O supreme among men! When he gave up his kingdom and his riches, the truth-abiding and virtuous king of Kashi and Karusha was called a mad dog. Therefore, thinking that one is powerful, one should never follow that which is not dharma.
धात्रा विधिर्यो विहितः पुराण; स्तं पूजयन्तो नरवर्य सन्तः |
सप्तर्षयः पार्थ दिवि प्रभान्ति; नेशे बलस्येति चरेदधर्मम् ||१३||
O Partha! O best of men! In ancient times, the righteous saptarshis who blaze in the sky observed the ordinances decreed by the creator. Therefore, thinking that one is powerful, one should never follow that which is not dharma.
महाबलान्पर्वतकूटमात्रा; न्विषाणिनः पश्य गजान्नरेन्द्र |
स्थितान्निदेशे नरवर्य धातु; र्नेशे बलस्येति चरेदधर्मम् ||१४||
O Indra among men! O supreme among men! Look! Even tusked and powerful elephants, as large as mountain peaks, base themselves in accordance with the ordinances decreed by the creator. Therefore, thinking that one is powerful, one should never follow that which is not dharma.
सर्वाणि भूतानि नरेन्द्र पश्य; यथा यथावद्विहितं विधात्रा |
स्वयोनितस्तत्कुरुते प्रभावा; न्नेशे बलस्येति चरेदधर्मम् ||१५||
O Indra among men! Look! All beings conduct themselves in their own species in accordance with the ordinances decreed by the creator. Therefore, thinking that one is powerful, one should never follow that which is not dharma.
सत्येन धर्मेण यथार्हवृत्त्या; ह्रिया तथा सर्वभूतान्यतीत्य |
यशश्च तेजश्च तवापि दीप्तं; विभावसोर्भास्करस्येव पार्थ ||१६||
O Partha! You have surpassed all beings in truth, devotion to dharma, appropriate conduct and humility. Your fame and energy are as radiant as that of the sun which gives out rays.
यथाप्रतिज्ञं च महानुभाव; कृच्छ्रं वने वासमिमं निरुष्य |
ततः श्रियं तेजसा स्वेन दीप्ता; मादास्यसे पार्थिव कौरवेभ्यः ||१७||
O lord of the earth! O great-minded one! After having spent a difficult time in the forest in accordance with your promise, you will again obtain blazing prosperity from the Kouravas through your own energy.
There are many more discussion between Markandya and Yudhishthira regarding Rama’s journey as we all know that there is a mini Ramayana inside the Mahabharata called Ramopakhyana.
In this series you may find the similarities like Yudhishthira = Rama, Arjuna + Bhima = Lakshaman, Draupadi = Sita, Vidura + Kunti = Kaushalya