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Khaandav Dahan-1

(1-224) Vaishampaaan Jee said - "After Paandav were sent to Indra Prasth, by the order of Yudhishthir, they started bringing other kings to join them. Other people also started living happily under their rule. Yudhishthir gave each, their virtue, pleasure and profit, the proportional share. They found in Yudhishthir a king who was devoted to the study of Ved, who performed great sacrifices and who protected his people. Many Braahman used to wait upon Yudhishthir as all Devtaa wait upon the Creator. He did whatever people wanted. They were happy.

One day, Arjun said to Krishn - "Krishn, Summer is here, let us go to the banks of Yamunaa just for sporting with our friends, we will come back in the evening." Vaishampaayan Jee said - "So Arjun and Krishn took leave from Yudhishthir, took some friends along and came to a good spot near the banks of Yamunaa River. There was a mansion there, where lots of tall green trees were growing and lots of things for their entertainment were waiting for them. As they arrived there, they started enjoying themselves as they liked, some started drinking, some sported with with women in woods as they liked, some sported in water. Draupade and Subhadraa entertained themselves with wine and started giving away their costly robes and ornaments. Some women were dancing, some were singing, some were drinking etc etc.

Arjun and Krishn went to some nearby place to talk in private and sat on a very costly seat. They were sitting like that, that a Braahman came there. He was as tall as a Shaal tree, his complexion was golden, his beard was yellow with green tint, and his body was very proportionate. He was looking like a morning Sun. Seeing him both Krishn and Arjun got up from their seat as if they were waiting for his command."

(1-225) Vaishampaayan Jee said - "The Braahman said to both of them - "You two are the foremost among men staying her nearby Khaandav Van. I eat a lot. O Krishn, O Arjun, give me sufficient food." Krishn and Arjun said - "O Braahman, What kind of food you would like to eat, we shall arrange the same for you." Braahman said - "I do not eat ordinary food. I am Agni, give me that food which is suitable for me. This Khaandav Van is protected by Indra and that is why I cannot consume it. It is for Takshak Naag that Indra protects this forest. Takshak is Indra's friend and he lives here with his family and friends. Other creatures are also protected because of him. Even if I try to consume it, Indra pours water heavily. I wish to eat this food and you both are skilled in good weapons so please help me. The second thing, that you will have to stop that heavy rainfall and escaping of any creature from here, then only I will start consuming this forest."

Why Khaandav Dahan

Janamejaya asked - "Why did Agni Dev want to consume that forest in which living creature were living there? Of course there must have been some justified reason because of which Agni Dev wanted to consume those living creatures also. I wish to hear this in detail."

Vaishampaayan Jee said - "I tell you that story what has been said in Puraan. There has been a king named Shwetakee. He was like a second Indra. He performed five great sacrifices and may others and gave Braahman a lots of wealth. He performed so many sacrifices that Braahman's eyes got weaker because of the smoke risen from sacrificial fires, so the Brahman decided to perform no more sacrifice for him. It was in the middle of one sacrifice. He tried to invite them to complete the sacrifice but they refused to come as their eyes were hurting them. So he invited other Ritwik to complete the sacrifice with the permission of his own Ritwik.

After a few days Shwetakee wished to perform another sacrifice which was to continue for 100 years. He again requested his own priests to perform this sacrifice by all means. All of them refused to comply with the King's request, because it was to give the King immeasurable energy. At this the King said to them - "O Braahman, If I were a fallen person, or if I were wanting the homage or services from you, I should deserve to be abandoned by you and by other Braahman; but as I am neither a fallen person, nor  am wanting any service from you, it is apt for you not to obstruct any sacrifice performed by me or abandon me thus without any adequate reason. I seek your protection. Be pleased with me. If you will abandon me like this I will have to go to other priests to assist me in the sacrifice I have in my hand."

Those priests knew that they could not assist him in his sacrifice, so they pretended to be angry and said to the King - "Sacrifices are optional. We are tired of assisting you in your sacrifices, so please leave us. You have lost your reasoning, that is why you are repeatedly asking us to assist you. Go to Rudra, he will assist you in your sacrifices." Hearing this the King got angry too. He left for Kailaash Parvat and started dong Tap there to please Mahaadev. He did very intense Tapasyaa. Sometimes he ate only fruits, sometimes only roots, sometime on the 11th hour sometime on the 16th hour. He stood raising his both arms for six months. At last Mahaadev got pleased and showed himself to him and asked him to ask for any Var. The King aid - "If you are pleased with me please assist me in performing my sacrifice." Mahaadev said - "Normally we do not assist in performing sacrifices, but since you have performed so much penance and have asked me the boon, I will do that. But there is one condition that observing Brahmcharya you should offer libation of Ghee in the fire for 12 years without any cessation." The King was gratified.

He did that Yagya for 12 years and came back to Mahaadev at the end of 12 years. Mahaadev said - "I have been gratified by your act, but it is the duty of a Braahman to assist in performing sacrifices. So I will not do this, but there is my part on Prithvi, Rishi Durvaasaa, he will assist you in performing your sacrifice. Go and make preparations and he will assist you. So Shwetakee came back to his capital and collected everything he needed for the sacrifice. He again went to Mahaadev to inform him that he had collected the material he needed for the sacrifice. Rudra called Durvaasaa and asked him to assist Shwetakee to assist him in his sacrifice. He did that. After the sacrifice was completed properly, all went away. The King also came back to his palace. When the time came he ascended to Heaven."

Vaishampaayan Jee said - "At that time Agni Dev drank Ghee continuously for 12 years. In fact the Ghee was poured in Agni's mouth in a continuous stream. He was so much satiated with Ghee that he decided not to drink Ghee for some time in any other sacrifice. Agni became pale and lost his color. He lost his appetite and his energy decreased. So he went to Brahmaa Jee and said - "Pitaa, Shwetakee has satiated me so much that I am losing my shine and splendor. I wish to regain it by my own natural nature." Brahmaa Jee sid - "Do not worry, O Agni Dev. You have drank to much Ghee, but the time is coming now that you will regain your strength in your natural way. The Khaandav forest, once you burnt it to ashes at the request of Devtaa, has now become the residence of the enemies of Devtaa. When you have eaten the fat of those creatures, you will regain your own nature. You go there soon and eat that forest with its living creatures."

So Hutaashan (Agni Dev) came to the Khaandav forest and assisted with Vaayu Dev started blazing fire, but then hundreds of thousands elephants poured water to extinguish that fire. Agni Dev thus tried to burn that forest at least seven times but all the times water was poured on it heavily to extinguish the fire.

(1-226) Vaishampaayan Jee said - "Then Havyavaahan (Agni Dev) again went to Brahmaa Jee and told his saga. Brahmaa Jee said - "Now-a-days the old Deities Nar and Naaraayan have reincarnated as Arjun and Krishn. They are staying in Khaandav forest, you go to them and request them. You will be able to consume the forest this way even if it is protected by celestials. They can certainly stop the population of Khaandav forest from escape." So Agni Dev came to Arjun and Krishn and requested them for his food.

Arjun said - "I have many excellent celestial weapons with which I can fight even with Indra, but I do not have any bow which is suited to the strength of my arms and capable of bearing my might. And since I am very light handed, I need arrows also which are never exhausted. Besides my chariot is also unable to bear the load of so many arrows. Krishn also does not have such a weapon by which He can kill Naag and Pishaach. So Hey Agni Dev, please arrange the means to fight with them."


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Created by Sushma Gupta On 05/27/04
Modified on 05/16/13