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Rajagoapalachari's Mahabharata

Rajagoapalachari's Mahabharata

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Published by kshithisingh
The Mahabharata made accessible by Rajagopalachari's summarizing.
The Mahabharata made accessible by Rajagopalachari's summarizing.

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Published by: kshithisingh on Jun 15, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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WHILE the Pandavas were dwelling in
the forest, Duryodhana celebrated a great
sacrifice with much pomp and splendor.
He wanted to perform the Rajasuya
sacrifice, but the brahmanas told him that
he could not do that while Yudhishthira
and Dhritarashtra were alive and advised
him to perform the sacrifice known as the
Vaishnava instead.
He accepted this advice and celebrated the
Vaishnava with great splendor. But when
the ceremony was over, the citizens began
to talk among themselves that
Duryodhana's sacrifice had not come up to
even a sixteenth part of Yudhishthira's
Rajasuya in magnificence.
The friends of Duryodhana, on the other
hand, praised him and the sacrifice he had
celebrated and likened it to those

performed by Yayati, Mandhata, Bharata
and others.
Court flatterers were not sparing with
their praise. Karna told Duryodhana that
his Rajasuya had been only postponed till
the Pandavas should be defeated and slain
in battle and repeated that his part would
be the slaying of Arjuna.
"Till I have slain Arjuna," said he, "I shall
not take meat or wine, nor will I refuse the
prayer of anyone who asks me for
anything." Such was the solemn vow
taken by Karna in the assembly.
The sons of Dhritarashtra were delighted
to hear this vow of the great hero Karna
and shouted in joy. They felt as if the
Pandavas had been slain already.
Spies conveyed to the Pandavas in the
forest the news of the oath taken by



concerned, for he had a great opinion of
Karna's prowess.
Karna had been born with divine armor
and was undoubtedly a mighty hero. One
morning, just before the hour of
awakening, Yudhishthira had a dream.
Many of our dreams come either in the
beginning or at the end of our sleep. He
dreamt that the wild beasts of the forest
came and appealed to him piteously not to
destroy them altogether, but to move on to
some other forest.
Duryodhana felt sure that the Pandavas,
who themselves lived from hand to mouth
in the forest, would be unable to feed or
entertain the sage and his following, and
would incur some dreadful curse from that
too hasty visitor for their want of
hospitality. This would give him greater
joy than any benefit he could have asked
for himself when the sage offered a boon.
Durvasa went with his disciples to the
Pandavas as was desired by Duryodhana,
as the latter were resting after their
midday meal.

The brothers welcomed the sage, saluted
and honored him. Then the sage said: "We
shall be back soon. Our meals must be
ready then, for we are hungry," and
hurried off with his disciples to the river.
As a result of the austerities of
Yudhishthira at the beginning of their stay
in the forest, the Sun god had given him
the Akshayapatra, a wonderful vessel that
held a never-failing supply of food.
In making the gift, the god had said,
"Through this I shall place at your
disposal for twelve years as much food as
is required for your daily consumption.
Not till everyone has been served and
Draupadi herself has taken her share will
the vessel become empty for the day."
Accordingly, the brahmanas and other
guests would be served first. Afterwards
the Pandava brothers would take their
meals. Finally, Draupadi would have her
When Durvasa reached the place, all of
them, including Draupadi, had eaten their
meals and so the vessel was empty and
denuded of its power for the day.
Draupadi was greatly troubled and
perfectly at a loss to find food when the
sage and his disciples should return after
their ablutions. In the kitchen, she prayed
earnestly to Sri Krishna to come to her aid
in this hopeless predicament and deliver
her from the wrath of the sage.
At once Sri Krishna appeared before her.
"I am very hungry," he said, "bring
without delay something to eat and we
shall speak of other things afterwards."
Here was a pretty pass. It looked as
though the ally from whom she hoped for
relief had gone over to the foe! She cried
out in great confusion: "Alas! Why do you
try me thus, O Krishna? The power of the
vessel given by the Sun is exhausted for
the day. And the sage Durvasa has come.
What shall I do? The sage and his
disciples will soon be here and as though

this were not enough, you have also come
at this juncture saying that you are
Sri Krishna said: "I am terribly hungry
and want food, not excuses. Fetch the
vessel and let me see for myself."
Draupadi brought it to him. A tiny bit of
cooked vegetable and agrain of rice were
sticking to the rim of the vessel.
Sri Krishna ate them with satisfaction,
accepting them as Sri Hari, the Soul of the
Universe. Draupadi was filled with shame
at her slovenliness in not having cleaned
the vessel free of all remnants. A bit had
been left which had been partaken by
Sri Krishna seemed replete with
satisfaction after eating his solitary grain
and calling Bhima, told him to go to the
river and intimate to the revered sage that
food was ready and waiting for them.
Bhimasena, greatly puzzled, but full of
faith in Sri Krishna, hastened to the river
where Durvasa and his followers were
They were in great surprise to find that
their ravenous hunger had given place to a
pleased satiety. They had all the
comfortable cheerfulness of people who
had feasted well.
The disciples told the sage: "We have
come here after asking Yudhishthira to
prepare food for us, but we feel well-fed
and full and cannot eat anything more."
Durvasa knew what it was and he told
Bhima: "We have taken our meals. Tell
Yudhishthira to forgive us." Then the
party went away.
The explanation is that as the whole
universe is contained in Sri Krishna, his
satisfaction with a single grain of rice
satisfied for the time the hunger of all
beings including the sage.

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