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Kathaa - 4-Van (Forest)

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Yudhishthir And Yaksh

Since the 12 years were coming to an end, Paandav were planning for their 13th year - Agyaatvaas (incognito). Bheem would work as a cook, Yudhishthir would work as a courtier, Nakul would take care of horses and Sahadev would work with cows. Arjun was going to teach music and dance. 

Once when Paandav were living in Dwait Van, during their final stay of a few months, a Braahman came to Yudhishthir and reported that a deer took away his sticks which he was to use to make fire (called Arani). Since he could not fulfill his daily ritual to make fire, he was worried about it. So all five brothers went to look for that deer. They saw him, followed him but he disappeared very fast. All were very unhappy with this incident, They felt thirsty, they sat under a shade of a tree and tried to find out of the reason of this calamity. Nakul said - "We haven't done anything such that we should face this situation." Yudhishthir said - "Nakul, when calamities befall a person they don't come alone, they come in numbers, and they are sent to us and we just have to bear them. We are nobody to question for their reason. Nakul, we are all very thirsty, see if you can see any spot of water."

So Nakul climbed up on a tree to check for water. He saw some water birds flying around. Yudhishthir asked him to bring some water from there. Nakul went to that side. He found a pond and was trying to take water from it that he heard a voice - "This is my pond. Answer my questions before you drink water from it." But Sahadev was very thirsty, so he ignored the voice and tried to drink water. As he took water in his hands and drank it, he fell down dead by the side of the pond.

When Nakul didn't come back for some time, Yudhishthir sent Sahadev to check for Nakul and bring water. Sahadev also came at the same place where Nakul came, and found Nakul lying dead by the side of the pond. He also tried to drink water from the pond, that he heard the same voice - "This is my pond. Answer my questions first before you drink water from it. If you will, you will also have the same consequences as your brother had." Sahadev was also very thirsty so he also ignored the voice and drank water from the pond. As he drank the water from the pond, he also fell dead by the side of the pond near his brother.

The same thing happened to Arjun and Bheem too. Now Yudhishthir was very worried about his brave brothers. He went to check for them. So Yudhishthir also came to the same place and found his all brothers lying dead by the side of the pond. He got very worried seeing his brothers' condition. He noticed that there was no sign of fighting, no mark of any weapon on their bodies. It was impossible to believe that his four mighty brothers could have been killed without fighting for their lives. He thought "How I will answer to Maa Kuntee and Draupadee?" So he thought there is something in this water only which has done this to my brothers.

He got more worried and started crying for them. Then, remembering that he came to bring water from there, he bent down to drink water from the pond. As he bent to take water, he also heard the same voice - "This is my pond. Answer my questions first before you drink water from it. If you will, you will also have the same consequences as your brothers had." Yudhishthir stopped drinking water and said politely - "Who are you, and who has done this to my brothers?"

Yaksh said - "I am Yaksh, and I have done this to them. I warned them not to drink water before they answered my questions but they didn't listen to me." Yudhishthir asked - "What Yaksh are you" Are you one of the Rudra? Are you the chief of Marut? Who are you that could fell my invincible brothers. No one, not even Devtaa can kill any one of them, but you have killed all four of them. I am curious to know your identity, please reveal yourself to me." The Yaksh appeared before Yudhishthir.

Yudhishthir saluted the Yaksh and said - " I am very grateful to you that you appeared before me. Anyway, I am very thirsty so I have to drink water, but I will not disregard you. You can ask me any question. I will try my best to answer them."

Then Yaksh asked 64 questions and Yudhishthir answered all of them. The Yaksh got very pleased and asked Yudhishthir to ask for any one brother's life. Yudhishthir said - "I love all my brothers equally, but if you grant only one brother's life then give life to Nakul." Yaksh got surprised to hear this. He asked - "Why did you ask for Nakul, why didn't you ask for Arjun and Bheem who are skilled in archery and Gadaa and on whom you depend?"

Yudhishthir said - "I would rather give up my life than give up Dharm. My father had two wives, Kuntee and Maadree. I want both of my mothers' children to live. I named for Nakul because I wanted that one of our each mother's children should be alive. I am alive from Maa Kuntee, then Nakul will be alive from our Maa Maadree. People will not say that "I favored my own brothers when the time came." Yaksh got very pleased with this answer and made all his brothers alive. All the brothers rose up as though from a deep sleep, they found that their thirst, hunger and fatigue had all gone.

Yudhishthir said - "I have a request to you, you are not Yaksh, because no Yaksh knows all the nuances of Dharm as you do, besides Yaksh do not have the power to give life, then who are you? If you are pleased with me then please appear before me in your real form."

Then the Yaksh showed him his real form, Dharm Raaj (Yam Raaj - his father) and said - "Dear son, I am your father. I just wanted to see you that is why I had to play all this drama. I am very happy to see you. Your name will be the greatest name that will be remembered in coming age. Four names will have this greatness - your name, the name of king Nal of Nishadh kingdom, The name of Seetaa - the wife of Raam and Krishn. Those sticks were stolen by me, you can take them back. I grant you another Var - as your 12 years of exile are over, I assure you that because of my grace no one will be able to recognize you at any time of your last year - the year of Agyaatvaas. No one will be able to find your real identities. "

Yudhishthir was very happy to see his father. He fell on his feet and said - "I don't want anything in my life but I just want another Var." "Ask for anything you want." Yudhishthir said - "I want victory over my six deadly enemies - lust, anger, avarice, possessiveness, arrogance and envy." Dharm Raaj said - "My son, there is no need to grant you something that you already have. You have conquered these enemies long ago. Your sufferings will soon be over. Go and be happy." After blessing thus Dharm Raaj went away and Paandav also came back.

When they came back, Draupadee told them that the secret envoys of Duryodhan had come up to here following them. Lest they know there whereabouts Arjun shot an arrow which created a lots of smoke around them and all escaped from there through that smoke. Duryodhan's envoys couldn't know where they went. When Duryodhan came to know about this incident he got severely angry. Paandav had escaped.

Yaksh's 64 Questions are given separately on these pages


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Created by Sushma Gupta On 03/09/02
Modified on 06/15/13