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Burning of Khaandav Van 

It was summer. The heat was scorching, so Arjun suggested Krishn to go on Yamunaa's banks and pass the the day there in Khaandav Van's shade. Krishn liked the idea, so all went to Khaandav Van near Yamunaa River. It was inhabited by wild animals. It was the home of king of serpents Takshak. They camped on the banks of Yamunaa River. It was cool out there. For a few minutes Krishn got lost in past thoughts of Raadhaa, Yashodaa Maa, cowherds, Gopee etc. Although He had Rukminee and Satyabhaamaa with Him and they were very dear to Him but Raadhaa had taken His entire heart. He would never meet her, He knew that.

The Sun was reaching in high Heavens. Draupadee, Subhadraa and Satyabhaamaa, Krishn and Arjun went for a stroll along the banks of Yamunaa River. After a stroll they sat on tree trunk. They saw a Braahman. His shine was like molten gold. His beard was red, his eyes were red and he himself was looking like a rising Sun. He said - "I am hungry, I am hungry, you both must satisfy my hunger." They said - "If you tell us what you need we can certainly get prepared it for you." The Braahman said - "I am Agni Dev. For a long time I have been waiting for your coming, because I know that only you can fulfill my dream. I have been trying to swallow this huge Khaandav Van for a long time, but I am unable to. Indra Dev has a friend named Takshak, the king of the serpent. It is his home. So whenever I try to burn it Indra Dev sends heavy rainfall. You are proficient in archery and in Divine weapons. If you can ward off the rain then I can burn it to my heart's content."

Krishn and Arjun were very surprised to hear such a request. Arjun said - "You are right, we do have Divine weapons but I do not have the strong bow to use those weapons. I need a strong bow. My chariot is also not too fast. The horses must also be better than Indra's horses. If you can furnish me these things I assure you that I will be able to stop rains. As for Krishn, He is most powerful than all the weapons of the Heavens put together." Agni Dev called Varun Dev and said - "You have a Divine bow given to you by Som and two quivers which are always full, please give them to Arjun. Give him a chariot too with fast horses." He gave all those things to Arjun. That bow's name was Gaandeev. It was gifted with rare powers. A chariot was also brought whose flag was marked with a picture of a monkey. He gave four white horses which used to run faster than wind and even mind.

Arjun was very happy and grateful to Devtaa to receive these things from them. Then Agni Dev gave a Chakra (Divine disc) to Krishn, he said - "With this Chakra you can defeat anyone, no Devtaa can challenge you. Its name is Sudarshan. In fact before it was yours, now it is coming back to you after a long time. And you keep this Gadaa (mace) named Kaumodakee also." Arjun climbed on the chariot and said to Agni Dev - "Now what? We are perfectly all right to fight with Indra, so what is the delay now." Agni changed into flames and Khaandav forest started burning.

Krishn and Arjun were going round to check lest any living being is escaped. News reached Indra Dev that the Khaandav Van was burning. Indra started pouring rains heavily. Both Agni and rains were the means to bring an end to world in themselves but now they were competing between themselves. The heat was so intense that the water from rains got dried before reaching the ground. Indra sent His favorite clouds, Pushkal and Aavartak, but they were also helpless because Arjun had covered the whole forest with a blanket of arrows.

At that time Takshak was away from Khaandav Van but his son Ashwasen was caught in this fire. He and his mother tried to get out of this fire but Arjun wouldn't let them. Then mother said to her son - "Let me distract Arjun and then you must escape." So she rose up in the sky, and seeing her going towards sky Arjun shot three arrows and killed her. Indra was seeing all this, He poured a sudden stream of water over Arjun and in the meantime the prince snake escaped. Arjun was very angry. Indra used all His Divine Astra but no use. Then he took His Vajra to hurt them. Seeing this other Devtaa came to help Indra; Yam Raaj with his Gadaa (mace), Kuber with his club, Varun with his noose, Rudra with his trident. Indra was very pleased with His son Arjun.

Then an Aakaashvaanee said - "Indra, You don't worry, your friend Takshak is not in this fire, and you have already helped his son to escape. It is not possible to defeat these two people as they are Nar and Naaraayan (see 5th Avataar under 24 Avataar). They are invincible." So Indra stopped fighting and said - "I am very pleased with you, you may ask anything from me." Krishn stood aside smilingly, but Arjun was excited seeing his father. He fell at his feet and said - "Please give me all the Divine Astra you have." Indra said - "Surely I will give them to you, but not now. When Shankar will give you his Paashupat Astra then I will give them to you." And Indra Dev went to His Lok.

There was an Asur Maya Daanav caught in that fire, he was trying to escape, so Krishn raised His Chakra to kill him, but Maya in despair fell at the feet of Arjun and begged him for his mercy which Arjun granted him. Krishn also spared him. The fire continued for hours. Krishn and Arjun came back to that tree trunk where they were sitting before and then they prepared to come back to Hastinaapur.


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Created by Sushma Gupta On 03/09/02
Modified on 11/30/12