VIDURA (-3140 - -3052)

public profile

View VIDURA's complete profile:

  • See if you are related to VIDURA
  • Request to view VIDURA's family tree

Share

Related Projects

Birthplace: Hastinapur, Uttar Pradesh, India
Death: Died in Himachal Pradesh, India
Managed by: Krishnan s g
Last Updated:

About VIDURA

Vidura This article contains Indic text.Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks or boxes, misplaced vowels or missing conjuncts instead of Indic text. Vidura (Sanskrit: विदुर, Vidūra) was an important figure in the Mahabharata, a major Hindu epic. He was half-brother to the kings Dhritarashtra and Pandu of Hastinapura, born the son of the sage Vyasa and a lady-in-waiting to the queens Ambika and Ambalika of the city. By some accounts, he was an incarnation of the god of death and justice Yama Dharma Raja, who had been cursed by the sage Mandavya for punishing the latter more harshly than his transgression warranted. Both Ambika and Ambalika were wives of King Vichitraviryaof Hastinapura, who, however, died childless. Anxious to ensure the continuation of the royal lineage, Vichitravirya's mother Satyavati called another of her sons, the ascetic Vyasa (born through Sage Parashara), to bestow motherhood upon the two queens by mating. Vyasa, as a hermit practising severe austerities, was unpleasant and even fearsome in appearance, so much so that Ambika shut her eyes tight when she saw him, and her sister Ambalika went pale with fear. As a result, the sons they bore were respectively the blind Dhritarashtra, and the sickly albino Pandu, neither of whom qualified to become kings. Thereafter, Satyavati asked Vyasa to grant a son to Ambalika, to ensure that at least one of the boys born would be eligible in all respects. However Ambalika sent the lady-in-waiting to Vyasa, resulting the birth of Vidura. This dutiful lady not being frightened by Vyasa appearance had a normal healthy son born to her. Thus Vidura was born. He was raised and educated by Bhishma as the half-brother of Dhritarashtra and Pandu. However, since neither of his parents was of the blood royal, he was made counsellor to his brothers, the kings, rather than a king himself. Upon the blind Dhritarashtra's succession, he took on the reins of government for all practical purposes, guiding his brother's government until Duryodhana came of age, when he was consigned to a secondary role. In some versions, it is believed that Vidura is elder to Dhritarashtra and Pandu, for when Bhishma asked Vidura for counsel on the marriages of the three princes, he indicated in order the brides for Vidura - a Yadava girl, Dhritharashtra - Gandhari and Pandu - Madri, in the order of precedence accorded by age. According to this version, Ambika initially sent a maid in her place out of fear of Vyasa, and the sage perceiving an act designed by Destiny for some greater purpose, blesses her with a son, making Vidura an incarnation of Dharma instead of the Mitra-Varuna pair. This event is considered to be a major transition from the Vedic to the Upanishad age. Contemporary translators, however have ignored this due to transcreations. Ambika later was persuaded to present herself to Vyasa, but turned pale and gave birth to Pandu, as recounted above. Barring Krishna, Vidura was most respected as an advisor by the Pandavas whom he forewarned on various occasions of Duryodhana's plots to exterminate them, such as Duryodhana's plan to burn them alive in the Lakshagraha or "House of Lac". He was known for his statecraft and wisdom. Krishna respected Vidura for his devotion to people's welfare, and his proficiency in every sphere of knowledge. When Krishna visited Hastinapura as a peace emissary of the Pandavas, he shunnedDuryodhana's offer to stay in the royal palace, preferring instead the home of Vidura, on account of his being the only neutral man in the Kaurava court. Vidura was the only person excepting the princeVikarna, a brother of Duryodhana, who protested against the humiliation of Draupadi in the Kauravacourt. According to Krishna, Vidura was considered as Dharmaraja, which means the lord of truth In the Sanatsujatiya section of the Mahabharata, shortly before the Kurukshetra War began, Vidura invoked the sage Sanatsujata to answer Dhritarashtra's questions about death. In protest against theKurukshetra War, Vidura resigned from the post of minister. After the great battle, Yudhishthira appointed Vidura the prime minister with complete control of the government. However, following the carnage of the war and his own age, Vidura did not have the heart to govern. Soon after, he retired to the forests as an ascetic with Dhritarashtra, and his sisters-in-lawGandhari, and Kunti. He undertook severe penances, and was the first of the royal ascetics to die. Vidura is considered as the Mahachohan in the Theosophical world. Mahachohan is said to be the chief of a Social Hierarchy of the trans-Himalayan mystics.[1] Viduraniti, or Vidura's Statecraft, narrated in the form of a dialogue between Vidura and King Dritrashtra, is considered the precursor in some ways of Chanakyaneeti. Vidura is held to be a paragon of truth, dutifulness, impartial judgement and steadfast dharma. He is considered the embodiment of the inner consciousness of the Mahabharata.

view all

VIDURA's Timeline

-3140
-3140
Hastinapur, Uttar Pradesh, India
-3082
October 26, -3082
Age 58
New Delhi, New Delhi, Delhi, India

Duryodhana slips into water
When the princes come of age, Yudhisthira is given half the kingdom and made king of Indraprastha, so as to avoid a clash with the Kaurava princes over the whole Kuru kingdom. Duryodhana becomes the prince regent of Hastinapura, and owing to the age and blindness of his father, he accumulates much control and influence, managing the state affairs himself with a group of his advisors that include his uncle Shakuni, brother Dushasana and friend Karna.
But Duryodhana remains jealous of Yudhisthira, owing to Indraprastha's prosperity and fame exceeding Hastinapura's. When Yudhisthira performs the Rajasuya sacrifice that makes him emperor of the World, Duryodhana is unable to contain his anger, which is intensified when Yudhisthira's queenDraupadi arrogantly taunts him, and his father's blindness, when he slips into a pool of water in the court.

CONDUCTING RAJASUUYA YAGNA & SHISHUPALA’S END.

With all the Kings either allied with him, or acknowledging his overlordship by paying him tribute,Yudhishtra was now eligible to conduct the great sacrifice known as the Rajasooya. His treasure was overflowing with the plundered wealth from the conquests of his brothers. His ministers approached him and said, "O King, It is now time for you to begin preparations for conducting the Rajasooya Yagna. You should appoint suitable Ritwiks and issue orders to invite all your friends to witness this ceremony. Let there not be any further delay."
While they were talking thus, Krishna arrived at Indrprasta, bearing untold wealth as gifts from the Vrishnis to his dear Pandavas. Yudhishtra received his cousin with affection and enquired about the welfare of his family. Once Krishna had been seated, and the rest of the Pandavas, accompanied by their priest Dhaumya and the sage Dwaipayana (Vyasa) also present at the court, Yudhishtra said toKrishna said, "Dear cousin, O jewel of the Vrishnis, it is by your grace that I have obtained this vast wealth. I wish to give away my treasures according to the manner prescribed in the scriptures to deserving Brahmanas and to those who offer sacrificial libations. Grant me permission to perform the Rajasooya Yagna. I humbly request you to assist me in its conduct."
Krishna replied, "Dear King, You deserve all the imperial dignity that you command. Let, therefore, the great sacrifice be performed by you. I will gladly assist you in its conduct. Appoint me to some office, and I shall discharge my duties diligently, obeying your commands with alacrity."
Having obtained the consent of his well-wisher Krishna, the eldest son of Pandu then collected the materials for the performance of the Rajasooya sacrifice, with the help of his brothers. He then summoned Sahadeva and said, "Let persons be appointed to collect all those articles which theBrahmanas deem as necessary for the performance of this sacrifice. Consult with our priest Dhaumyato find out all that is needed."
Sahadeva did the King's bidding. Yudhishtra then went to sage Vyasa and said, "Sir, you are best qualified to appoint the Ritwiks for the Yagna. There is nothing that you do not know about conducting rituals, please choose the suitable priests for this ceremony."
With the help of Vyasa, the Ritwiks and other sacrificial officers were chosen. Vyasa himself became the Brahma priest of the ceremony. A learned Brahmana named Susaman became the chanter of the Vedic hymns. Yagnavalky became the Adhyaryu priest, and another named Paila became the Hotri. The sons of these illustrious priests became the Hotragts. [Note: These are the various classes of priests for the Vedic ritual. I will soon have an article explaining their roles.]
The King then bade Sahadeva to dispatch messengers to invite all the Kings to the ritual. In addition to the Kings, well known Brahmanas, wealthy merchants and virtuos peasants were also invited to the ceremony. Next, skilled architects constructed the central sacrificial hall, the ancilliary halls and the pavilions for the specators. When the preparations were complete, Yudhishtra then sent Nakula to Hastinapura, to personally invite Bhishma, Dhritharashtra and rest of the Kuru personages to participate in the Rajasooya.
The logistical challenges involved were immense. All the Kings and other illustrious persons had to housed suitably and entertained while they were in Indraprasta. Escorts had to be arranged to make sure that all the people were comfortable. Just providing suitable food to all these people alone consumed a vast sum of money.
Yudhishtra respectfully received the Kuru elders and said to them, "Sir, all the treasure that is mine, is also yours. Consult with each other and spend it as you deem fit. Conducting this Rajasooya sacrifice in a proper manner will bring glory to our clan, so it will be yours as much it shall be mine."
Having said that, he appointed every one of them to suitable office. Dushasana was asked to look after the food department. Ashwatthama was given the task of attending on the Brahmanas. Sanjayawas given the task of looking after the kings. Bhishma and Drona were appointed supervisors. Kripawas asked to distribute gifts to the Brahmanas. Vidura became the disburser. Duryodhana received the tributes on Yudhishtra's behalf. Krishna offered worship to the Brahmanas.
None of the Kings came to visit the sacrifice without offering tribute of less than a thousand (in number, weight or measure.) Many costly and rare gifts were exchanged. Finally, Yudhishtra took the oath, and became the Yajaman of the sacrifice. Six sacrificial fires were raised, and oblations were constantly being poured into them. The Gods were gratified at the sacrifce by offerings of clarified butters and libations, poured into sacrificial fire accompanied by Vedic incantations by the priests. The sacrifice continued for many days in this fashion.
On the last day of the sacrifice, when the King would be sprinkled with sacrificial water, all the Kings and other spectators assembled in the central sacrificial hall. Even the divine sages, led by Narada, were seated, waiting for the culmination of the ceremony. In the outer halls, many scholarly debates were taking place.
Bhishma got up and said, "O Yudhishtra, it is time for you to offer Arghya (ceremonial worship, offered after washing the feet of the person being worshipped), to those deserving of it. You should offer it to your elders, to the learned Brahmanas, your friends, and your perceptor."
Yudhishtra said, "Dear Grandfather, tell me who should be worshipped first? To whom shall I offer the first Arghya?"
Bhishma, the illustrious son of Shantanu said, "As Surya is foremost among luminous objects, Krishnais the foremost in this assembly. He is worthy of your first worship."
Thus commanded by the Grandsire, Yudhishtra ordered the materials for the Arghya to be brought. He then washed the feet of Krishna and offered him worship. Smiling, Krishna accepted it. All the onlookers felt that this was just and proper.

All that is, except for Shishupala, the King of Chedi. He was related to Krishna, but hated the Vrishni hero with all his heart. He stood up and spoke in an angry voice, "O Yudhishtra, this wretch of the Vrishni race does not deserve royal worship as if he were a king, especially when all these illustrious monarchs are present. O son of Pandu, you have little knowledge on the rules of worship. ThisBhishma, the son of Ganga is old in years, but is still lacking knowledge. How is it that you are worshipping someone who is not a King before other Kings? You have not considered him worthy of worship due to his age, for his aged father Vasudeva is present here. How is he deserving of worship before your perceptors Drona and Kripa? He is not the Ritwik of your sacrifice, for the great Vyasais present. Here is Duryodhana, he of great might, to whom you might have offered this worship. You might have worshipped Kripa, who was your first teacher. You might have worshipped Ashwatthama, with the unique jewel on his head proclaiming his worth. If you wanted to honor warriors, how could you have overlooked Karna, Ekalavya, and Salya? Or it would have been acceptable for you to have worshipped even Bhishma, the oldest of your clan. Ignoring all these worthy of the first worship, you have chosen a cowherd, a coward, one who associates with low persons to honor with the first worship! All of you, listen to me! I have not paid tribute to Yudhishtra because of fear of him. I have acknowledged him as my overlord, out of affection for the Pandavas. And he repays my trust with this insult! O Krishna, how can you calmly sit here and accept this worship, of which you are not worthy? Like a dog that laps the sacrificial butter, you are revelling in the Arghya which ought not have been offered to you. O Krishna, as a wife is to one who is impotent, as a fine show is to one who is blind, so is this worship to you who are not a king."
Having uttered these cutting words in rage, Shishupala left the assembly. Many of his allies also accompanied him.

-3081
November, -3081
Age 59
Hastinapur, Uttar Pradesh, India

Draupadi's Vow
Mahabharata
This episode is from [Maha:2.66-2.72].
The climax of Draupadi’s story is “when the Kaurava brother. DUHSASANA, had DRAUPADI dragged by her long hair into the men’s court and tried to strip off her sari” . Fortunately, through her prayer to SRIKRISHNA, a miracle occurs and she becomes the “visible recipient of divine grace in the form of endlessly descending sarees” (. This event is followed by Draupadi’s vow for vengeance and the beginning of an insatiable desire for justice that is only quenched upon her enemy’s blood running through her hair. The innate qualities with which Draupadi’s character is imbued are truly the basis on which her significance within the Mahabharata is centred.

'BHIMA WITH QUIVERING LIPS, LOUDLY UTTERED THIS TERRIBLE OATH "MAY I NEVER GO TO THE BLEST ABODE OF MY ANCESTORS IF I DO NOT REND THE BREAST AND DRINK THE HEART'S BLOOD OF THIS SINJFUL DUHSASANA. THIS SHAME OF THE BHARATA RACE."'

KRISHNA CONSOLED THE WEEPING DRAUPADI & SAID "THOSE WHO TORMENTED YOU, WILL BE STRICKEN TO DEATH IN THE BLOODY QUAGMIRE OF A LOST BATTLE.WIPE YOUR EYES. I SOLEMNLY PROMISE THAT YOUR GRIEVOUS WRONGS SHALL BE AMPLY AVENGED."

As her robe was being peeled off her body, Draupadi thought off Hari (Krishna), and cried aloud saying, "O Govinda, O thou who dwells in Dwaraka, O Krishna, are you not seeing that the Kauravas are humiliating me. O Lord, the husband of Laxmi, O grinder of foes, rescue me! Save my honor! I have five husbands rivalling the prowess of the celestials, but they are powerless to prevent my humiliation. This assembly is filled with men of great fame, invincible warriors and Brahmanas learned in the scriptures, but none has shown the power to prevent this injustice. I am the most unfortunate of women, for I am being insulted in a public court, by those who ought to be the defenders of my honor. I am the daughter-in-law of the Kurus, and they, for reasons best known to them, have chosen to insult me in this reprehensible manner! O Naryana! you are my sole refuge. You are the only one who can save my honor!"

By his divine insight, Krishna heard the prayer of the Panchala princess, and was deeply moved. By his grace, a miracle took place. As Dushasana pulled off the sole garment of Draupadi, another appeared in place, covering her body from prying eyes! Stunned, but determined, Dushasana pulled the new garment off, and another appeared in its place! In this manner, many hundred times did the wicked Kaurava attempt to disrobe her, only to have a new cloth in a different, brilliant color cover the beautiful form of Yajnaseni! The assembly roared their approval of this miracle, that had saved the Kurus' honor, and applauded the resplendent Draupadi. At last, exhausted and defeated, Dushasana fell down in a swoon to the ground.

Bheema could contain himself no longer. With lips quivering in rage, he strode to the center of the assembly and in a loud voice, swore a terrible oath: "Hear these words of mine, O Kshatriyas of the world. Words such as these have never before been uttered, nor shall ever be uttered in the future. Lords of the earth, having spoken these words, if I do not match them with deeds, let me not attain the blessed regions of my deceased ancestors. Tearing open in battle by sheer force, the breast of this wretch, this wicked minded scoundrel Dushasana, I shall drink his life-blood. If I fail in my quest, let the regions of the blessed dead be ever barred to me!"

Everyone in the assembly was stunned. The body hair of everyone hearing this terrible vow stood on end. A roar from the crowd signified their appreciation of the second Pandava's vow and their censure of the wicked Dushasana.

Once again, Vidura got up and said, "All of you here! Draupadi is weeping helplessly, having posed a question to this assembly. No one save Vikarna has answered her question, and he regards her as a free woman, not the slave of the Kauravas. He has spoken his mind. It is now your turn. One, who despite knowing the rules of morality, does not answer a query put forth, incurs at least half the sin that would have accrued on having spoken a lie. If, despite knowing the truth, he answers falsely, he would incur the sin of a lie. It is time you all spoke up!"

Despite Vidura's pleas, none of the Kings in the assembly dared to answer Draupadi's question. Fear of Duryodhana held them silent. Smiling triumphantly, Karna said to Dushasana, "Take away this serving-woman Draupadi to the abode of your slaves!"

Dushasana began to drag Draupadi out of the assembly, even as she was trembling and crying. She cried, "Wait a little, wretch! I have not saluted the Kuru elders. It is by no fault of mine that I have not paid them their due respects, so busy I have been with saving my honor. Alas! fate is cruel! Only once before, on the occasion of my Swayamvara, I was beheld by the assembled kings in a full court. I, whom even the sun had never before seen in her palace, is today dragged to this assembly and exposed to the gawking crowd. Alas, she, whom her husbands would not suffer to be touched even by the wind, has been dragged to the court by this wretch! How is that the illustrious Kurus have let their daughter-in-law to be insulted thus in a public assembly!"

She continued, "O Kurus, I, the wedded wife of king Yudhishtra the just, ask you one last time! Tell me now if I am a serving-maid or otherwise. I will accept your verdict whatever it be."

"I have already said, O blessed one, that the course of morality is subtle.", said Bhishma. "Even the wise ancients could not fathom all its nuances. It is no wonder that in this instance, I am unable to answer your question. One thing is certain however, as the Kurus have become slaves to covetousness and folly, the destruction of this race shall occur at no distant date. It seems to me, that only Yudhishtra the just can answer your question with certitude."

Duryodhana was getting happier by the minute. He smiled at the thought of the fear that was holding the assembly silent. He said, "O Yajnaseni, your question can be answered only by your husbands. Panchali, let them for your sake declare in the midst of these Kings that Yudhishtra is not their lord, and proclaim him a liar. You will then be freed from the condition of slavery. Or, let the illustrious son of Dharma himself declare that he is not your lord, that he had no right to stake you. If he says these words, you will be a free woman."

A murmur went through the assembly. All were curious to hear what the Pandavas would say. At last, Bheema said, "If the high-souled Yudhishtra were not our lord, we would not have kept quiet so long while Draupadi was being insulted. He is our master, and our lives are his. If he regards himself as won, we too have all been won. Behold these mighty, well-formed arms of mine, like maces of iron. Having once come in their grip, not even he of a hundred sacrifices (Indra) can escape. I have been held silent by the promise given by my elder brother. Let him but give the word, I would slay these wretched sons of Dhritharashtra in the manner of a lion slaying small animals in the forest."

Once again, Karna got up and said, "Of all the persons in this assembly, only Bhishma, Vidura and Drona appear to be independent, for they are always censuring their master as wicked, and do not wish for his prosperity. Everyone else is well disposed towards Duryodhana. The slave, the son, and the wife are always dependent. They may not earn wealth for themselves, for whatever they earn belongs to their master. You are the wife of slaves, incapable of possessing anything on their own. Repair to the inner apartments of King Dhritharashtra and serve there. The sons of Pandu are no longer your masters. It is well known that slaves are not censurable if they proceed with freedom in electing husbands. Proceed to select a new husband, and forsake the worthless Pandavas."

Hearing these words, Bheema's wrath was further inflamed. With burning eyes, and a voice choked with anger, he turned towards his elder brother and said, "O King, I cannot blame this son of a Suta (Shudra), for we have truly become slaves. The root cause of this shame is your staking of the Panchala princess at dice. How could you have done such a vile deed?"

Meanwhile, Duryodhana, with the intention of encouraging his friend Karna, and of further enraging Bheema, quickly removed the robe that covered his thigh, and showed his thigh as a mark of disrespect to Draupadi.

When Bheema saw this, he let out a terrible roar and shouted an oath, "Let me not attain the regions obtained by my blessed ancestors, if I do not break the thigh of this Duryodhana in battle." As he uttered his vow, sparkles of fire began emanating from his pores, and his body shone like a burning tree.

Vidura was alarmed. He said, "O Kurus, behold the great danger that has arisen. Our race is in danger of extermination. The Kauravas have organized this wicked game of dice and, by deceit, have obtained ascendancy over the Pandavas. And here they are, disputing in an open assembly about a lady of the royal household. The prosperity of our kingdom is at an end. O Kauravas, do you not know that if virtue is persecuted, the whole kingdom becomes polluted? It is obvious that Draupadi is not a slave, for Yudhishtra became a slave first himself, and thus lost any right to stake her."

Duryodhana repeated his previous words. "As soon as Yudhishtra admits that he had no right over Draupadi, I shall make her a free woman."

At this moment, a jackal started braying loudly in the sacrificial chamber of the Kurus. The asses in the city started braying in response to that jackal. Birds of ill omen started answering these noises with their cries. All those in the assembly, especially Vidura and Shakuni, who were skilled in the art of interpretting such signs, understood the meaning of these terrible omens.

Dhritharashtra was frightened. He had been in two minds since the gambling began, and these ill omens decided the issue. It was not his sense of justice, but his instinct for self preservation that made him intervene at this point. He said to his son, "O wicked minded Duryodhana, you wretch, you will be the ruin of our race. How could you insult the wife of the great Pandavas?"

He then tried to console the bitterly weeping Draupadi. "Dear daughter, do not grieve. Try to forgive and forget all that has happened here. Ask of me any boon, O princess of Panchala. Chaste and devoted to the path of virtue, you are the first among my daughters-in-law. Ask, and it shall be yours."

Draupadi said, "O King, I ask that the handsome Yudhishtra, the glorious son of Dharma, be freed from slavery. I ask this, so that my son Prativindhya be not called the son of a slave."

Dhritharashtra said, "So be it. The eldest Pandava is now a free man. Ask another boon of me, I am wishful of doing you good."

Draupadi said, "I ask, O King, that Bheema, Arjuna and the twins, with their weapons, be free of bondage."

The king said, "Dear daughter, it shall be as you desire. Ask a third boon, for you are deserving of the greatest honor. Two boons are not enough to honor your virtue."

Draupadi replied, "Father, I do not deserve a third boon. Covetousness always brings loss of virtue. It has been said in the scriptures that a Vaishya lady may ask one boon, a Kshatriya woman, two, a Kshatriya male, three, and a Brahmana, one hundred. O King, with my husbands free from the wretched state of bondage, we will be able to achieve prosperity by their own efforts."

Vexed by the turn of events, Karna said in an aside, "I have never before heard of such a thing. The Pandavas have been saved by their wife! When they would have had to spend an eternity in bondage, Draupadi has secured their freedom by begging Dhritharashtra! How can they ever erase this shame?"

Although the words were spoken a low voice, Bheema heard them, and was sorely afflicted. He turned to Arjuna and said, "O Dhananjaya, it has been said that three lights reside in every person, namely, offspring, virtuous acts and knowledge. When life becomes extinct and the body becomes impure and is cast of by relatives, these three are the means of salvation for every person. How, O Arjuna, can a son born from this insulted wife of ours be our salvation?"

Arjuna replied, "A person becomes impure, loses respect, by the bad deeds committed, not by insults heaped by others. Draupadi is as virtuous as ever, as none of what happened here was her fault. Do not grieve, do not be angry. Ignore the words of Karna, for they have been spoken out of chagrin, and have no basis in truth."

Bheema was still not satisfied. He said to his elder brother, "Shall I, O King, slay without loss of time all these foes here? Or shall I take them outside and kill without mercy? Give but the word, and it shall be done."

Yudhishtra, however, signalled his brother to remain calm. With folded hands, he approached Dhritharashtra and said, "Dear uncle, you are our master. Command us as to what we should do. O King, we will always be obedient to you."

Dhritharashtra replied, "O best of men, go in peace and safety. Go back to your kingdom and rule with justice. You are aware of the subtle path of morality. Not only are you possessed of great wisdom, you are also humble, and respectful unto your elders. The truly wise practice forbearance. Follow the counsels of peace. Forgive and forget the injustice done to you by my sons. Control your anger and that of your brothers, by recollecting the love shown to you by myself and your aunt Gandhari. Let there be peace between your brothers and my sons."

Yudhishtra saluted his uncle and the other elders of the court and took his leave. Soon, the Pandavas, accompanied by Draupadi, mounted their chariots and left for Indraprastha, not wanting to stay in Hastinapura, with which many painful memories were now associated.

-3068
-3068
Age 71
Hastinapur, Uttar Pradesh, India

JUSTIFICATION FOR MAHABHARATA WAR DATE & LORT KRISHNA’S PEACE EFFORTS
Lord Krishna never wanted Mahabharata war to happen hence just before the war’s start he had gone on his final peace mission to persuade Dhitrashtra’s son Duryodhana to abandon the war in the month of Kartika (a Hindu calendar month) but because of the planetary position that time Dhitrashtra didn’t agree & the war was fought.
To find Mahabharata’s war date Dr. Achar had searched for years between 3500 BCE to about 500 CE, range of 4000 years. He found that during those 4000 years Saturn was 137 times in Aldebaran (Rohini Nakshatra).
To simplify Dr. Achar’s findings - We all know that a circle consists of 360 degrees. There are 27 constellations (Nakshatras). Thus every constellation (Nakshatra) consists of around 13.33 degrees.
Saturn takes a little over 29 years to complete one revolution around the Sun i.e. 360 degrees. Thus Saturn after a little over 29 years will return to Aldebaran (Rohini Nakshatra).
To understand how Dr. Achar found Saturn being in Aldebaran (Rohini Nakshatra) 137 times between 3500 BCE to 500 CE we can divide 4000 (the range of years Dr. Achar took into consideration) by 137 (the number of years Saturn was in Aldebaran as per his findings) & we get 29.197 that is a little over 29 years as Saturn returns to a particular constellation (Nakshatra) after a little over 29 years.
Then Dr. Achar searched for those years when Saturn was in Aldebaran (Rohini Nakshatra) & Mars was retrograde in Antares (Jyeshtha Nakshatra).
Dr. Achar found that in those 4000 years Saturn in Aldebaran (Rohini Nakshatra)& retrograde Mars in Antares (Jyeshtha Nakshatra) happened 17 times.
As per Bhishma Parvan (3.29) a lunar eclipse occurred in the month of Kartika (a Hindu calendar month) near Pleiades & was followed by a solar eclipse near Antares (Jyeshtha Nakshatra).
To discard the incorrect years out of 17 years that he found Dr. Achar looked for those years when a lunar eclipse occurred in the month of Kartika (a Hindu calendar month), Saturn was in Aldebaran (Rohini Nakshatra) & retrograde Mars was in Antares (Jyeshtha Nakshatra).
He found that it happened only 2 times in 3067 BCE & 2183 BCE.
To discard the incorrect year Dr. Achar thought of finding in which year out of 3067 BCE & 2183 BCE a solar eclipse was followed by a lunar eclipse that occurred in the month ofKartika (a Hindu calendar month).
He found that in both 2183 & 3067 BCE a solar eclipse near Antares (Jyeshtha Nakshatra) was followed by a lunar eclipse that occurred in October 21 2183 BCE.
Further he used winter solstice’s date mentioned in the Parvans (Mahabharata reference books) to eliminate either 3067 BCE or 2183 BCE to find Mahabharata’s war year. He found that in 2183 BCE winter solstice occurred when moon’s phase was waning (Krishna Panchami) & in 3067 BCE winter solstice occurred when moon’s phase was waxing(Shukla Panchami).
The Mahabharata reference books i.e. Bhishma Parvan & Udyoga Parvan state that moon’s phase was waxing during winter solstice.
Also as per Mahabharata’s epic war rules weren’t followed from 14th day onwards. One of the war’s rules was that war should be stopped at sunset. It wasn’t followed & war used to get over only at moon rise at night.
Moon rising at night indicates that on war’s 14th day moon was waning as waning moon rises at night. Thus moon being waning on 14th day indicates that war didn’t start on a new moon day.
The epic of Mahabharata also states that war started didn’t start on a new moon day(Amavasya).
Thus by using winter solstice & moon’s phase during the time of war year 2183 was discarded & year 3067 was considered to be Mahabharata’s war year.
Although many researchers have found some date of Mahabharata war but Dr. Achar has been able to match all the astronomical references mentioned in the Mahabharata Parvans with the Planetarium software he used.
Thus Dr. Achar was able to match the planetary information on the events & dates mentioned in the Mahabharata epic & reference books i.e. Parvans with the computer software program used to check its authenticity. His war date findings also match with Professor K. Srinivasa Raghavan.
Some other information mentioned in The Udyoga Parvan states that just before the war Lord Krishna had gone to Hastinapur on his final peace mission to persuade Dhitrashtra to abandon the war.
He had started his journey when moon was in constellation Zeta Piscium (Revati Nakshatra).
The day on which Dhitrashtra’s son Duryodhana turned down Lord Krishna’s efforts to abandon war that time moon was in constellation Delta Cancri (Pushya Nakshatra).
When Lord Krishna left Hastinapur with Karna (as Karna wanted to be Lord Krishna’s charioteer to accompany Lord Krishna for some time) after his efforts to abandon war failed on that day moon was in constellation Beta Leonis (Uttara Phalguni Nakshatra).
On his journey with Lord Krishna Karna discussed planetary positions in sky that time & interpreted that such planetary positions stand for a bad omen.
Professor K. Srinivasa Raghavan with his extensive research had also found that Mahabharata’s war happened in 3067 BCE & his findings matched with the astronomical references mentioned in Mahabharata’s Parvans. As per his findings
Lord Krishna departs on September 26, 3067 BCE to Hastinapur to meet Dhitrashtra to abandon war.
Lord Krishna reached Hastinapur on September 28th, 3067 BCE.
Lunar eclipse occurred (at Pleiades) on September 29th, 3067 BCE.
Krishna rides with Karna on October 8th, 3067 BCE.
Solar eclipse (at Antares) occurred on October 14th, 3067 BCE.
War started on November 22nd, 3067 BCE.
Winter solstice was on January 13, 3066 BCE.
Bhishma expired on January 17th, 3066 BCE.
Departure of Lord Krishna in 3031 BCE.
Thus Lord Krishna’s existence & Mahabharata’s war can’t be just Maharishi Ved Vyas’simagination but it was indeed a true incident & Lord Krishna was an extraordinary person & principal character in Mahabharata hence he is worshipped till now in many countries.

-3067
December 10, -3067
- November, -3031
Age 73
Hastinapur, Uttar Pradesh, India

Lord Krishna saved Bheema from getting killed from the hands of Dhritarashtra when all the Pandavas came to meet him after the war. Dhritarashtra insists each one of the Pandavas to hug him. When, Bheema approached Dhritarashtra, then Lord Krishna instructed him to place Bheema's iron statue that was used by Duryodayana while practicing Gadayudda, before Dhritarashtra instead of Bheema himself hugging Duryodana's father. Dhritarashtra crushed the iron statue into pieces. Thus, lord Krishna prevented Bheema from getting crushed from the hands of Dhritarashtra.

At the end of the 18th day, only twelve warriors survived the war—the five Pandavas, Krishna,Satyaki, Ashwatthama, Kripacharya, Yuyutsu, Vrishakethu (son of Karna) and Kritvarma. Vrishakethu was the only son of Karna who survived the horrific slaughter. He later came under the patronage of the Pandavas. During the campaign that preceded the Ashvamedha –yagna, Vrishakethu accompanied Arjuna and participated in the battles with Sudhava and Babruvahana. During that campaign Vrishakethu married the daughter of king Yavanatha (perhaps a king of the western regions). It is said, Arjuna developed great affection for Vrishakethu, his nephew. Yudhisthira was crowned king of Hastinapur. He renounced the throne after ruling for 36 years, passing on the crown to Arjuna's grandson Parikshit. He then left for the Himalayas with Draupadi and his brothers in what was to be their last journey.Draupadi and four Pandavas—Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula, and Sahadeva—died during the journey. Yudhisthira, the lone survivor and being of pious heart, was invited by Dharma to enter the heavens as a mortal.
 THE END OF ASWASTHAMA'S STORY
In Vyasa Mahabharata, Aswasthama, guru Drona’s son, was cursed by Krishna to undergo a terrible fate: for three thousand years, with a gaping wound on his head, from which would continuously ooze blood and pus, he was to roam around alone in the forests, shunned by humans and shunning human company. Unable, on the advice of sage Vyasa, to withdraw (unlike his adversary Arjuna, who withdrew his narayana astra, another divine weapon as destructive as brahmastra), his brahmastra, that unfailingly hits the target and also causes great devastation in its trail, Aswasthama could only change its target. His original targets were the Pandava brothers and Krishna himself, and now the substitute target was the unborn son of Abhimanyu in the womb of his widow, Uttara. With the destruction of this yet to be born, the lineage of the Kurus would have come to an end, but Krishna intervened, and the child born dead was brought back to life, but that is another story.

Aswasthama had to surrender his “crown", which was not something ordinary; it was a part of his head, and it protected him from disease, hunger and thirst. When it was torn off his head, it not merely left a gaping, festering wound, but also destroyed a very powerful protective shield. He was reduced to an ordinary mortal. He had to undergo Krishna’s curse in this condition. This is in brief the last part of Aswathama’s story.

Aswasthama was granted the boon of immortality. He was condemned to undergo three thousand years of disgrace, humiliation, and pain, and the boon turned into a curse. Although, we, ordinary mortals would never know what three thousand years would mean to one whose existence spans eternity, we can well imagine what three thousand years of agony does to the sufferer. How much relief would one in pain get from the knowledge that one day the pain would come to an end, even though that day would take three thousand years to come?

In the eighteenth century Odia poet Krushna Singha’s version of Vyasa Mahabharata, all was not lost for Aswasthama. Krishna had put a limit to his terrible curse. This was what gave the condemned man hope. The curse had calmed him. Before he left on his three thousand year journey in wilderness, he prayed to sage Vyasa to allow him to return to his ashram on the completion of those years.

Sarala’s story is different. Aswasthama was a great warrior, and was one of the greatest archers of his times and like Bhishma, Drona, Arjuna and Karna he had divine weapons in his armoury too. But Duryodhana did not think highly of him, and made no secret of his opinion of him either. For Duryodhana, one who sought immortality was afraid of death, and one who was afraid of death was a disgrace to the community of warriors. In his army was Bhishma, who would die only when he chose to die. He could not be killed. But Bhishma’s case was different from Aswasthama’s. Bhishma never sought this privilege. In Sarala Mahabharata, what his mother, Ganga, said when she left him moments after his birth turned out to have this effect, unintended by Ganga herself. Details are out of place here.

After his father’s decapitulation in the battlefield, Aswasthama tried to destroy the Pandavas but did not succeed, on account of Krishna. Duryodhana refused to make him the commander-in-chief of the Kaurava army. But he had no motivation to fight in the war any more. He performed the last rites of his father, and resolved to go on pilgrimage. Lest he felt tempted to rejoin the war, he decided to give away his weapons to someone worthy. Informed of this by Sahadeva, Krishna in the guise of a wise brahmin received his weapons from him. When Sakuni told Aswasthama that Krishna had cheated him, he was not upset at all. By making a ritual gift to Krishna himself, he told Sakuni, he would acquire great religious merit. Besides, Krishna, in his Parashuram avatar had given him all those weapons and now took them away in a different incarnation - what was his, went back to him. Therefore, he told Sakuni, he had nothing to regret about.

Aswasthama entered the batlefield after he heard that Duryodhana was lying mortally wounded. He was terribly upset, and he requested Duryodhana again to make him his commander-in-chief to enable him to avenge his father’s killing. Duryodhana agreed. In the darkness of the night he went to the Pandava camp and killed Dhristadyumna, who had committed the mean act of killing his grief-stricken, unarmed father. He also killed the five sons of Draupadi during their sleep, mistaking them to be the Pandavas. Duryodhana rebuked him when he saw those heads the following morning, regretted having made him commander-in-chief, and dismissed him from his presence. Rejected for ever by his friend and his king, Aswasthama left in disgrace.

The Pandavas were in Dwarika when this happened. Draupadi was inconsolable. She wanted revenge. She asked Krishna to kill Aswasthama. Krishna did not kill Aswasthama but dispossessed him of his weapons. Ignoring details, he cheated Aswasthama again in the guise of a brahmin. He advised him to leave his weapons under water, and at night he stole them and brought them to Draupadi’s presence to pacify her. The following morning Aswasthama heard what had happened from his maternal uncle, Kripacharya, the family preceptor of the Kurus, who, like Aswasthama had survived the Kurukshetra war. This time Aswasthama’s reaction was very different. He lost his cool, and did what he should never have done.

It did not matter to him that he did not have any weapon. He uprooted a kainsika grass (a kind of grass that grows in water), made a bow and an arrow from it, and sanctified them with the enabling mantra, thereby transforming them into a proper bow and arrow. He invoked the mantra for brahmastra and shot the arrow instructing it to destroy the Pandavas, and Krishna, along with his seven generations too, in case he intervened on their behalf. Which is of course what Krishna did. In Dwaraka, the Pandavas, his guests, were under his protection. When all his efforts to counter brahmastra failed, he used narayana astra against it. The destructive power of these two weapons was so great that Brahma himself, who was the god of creation and also the creator of brahmastra, had to intervene without the knowledge of Aswasthama. Krishna must have known, because inSarala Mahabharata there was nothing that he did not know. Brahma pacified the weapon of Vishnu, but his own weapon wanted a sacrifice – someone like a Pandava. So Brahma directed it to the womb of Uttara.

And with this, the narrative changed its direction. Aswasthama was simply pushed out of the centre stage to some quiet edge. He would not emerge from there for a long time. Now the focus was on the dead child, and Krishna was the supreme actor on the stage. He gave life to the child, and a touch of grandeur to the story of a kind that only he could. After the birth of her son Uttara died. The mother had done her job. She had given a son to continue the line of the Kurus and a successor to the throne of Hastinapura. The story did not need her anymore.

Then came the time when Krishna and his brother Balarama left the mortal world. Dhritarastra, Gandhari, and Kunti had retired to the forest, and had perished in a forest fire. Bidura had died. Yudhisthira experienced a deep sense of emptiness after the departure of Krishna, and he and his brothers soon decided it was time for them to go for vanaprastha. Yudhisthira handed over the kingdom to his grandson Parikshita and with Draupadi, the brothers left for the forest never to return.

In the last phase of their pilgrimage they went to the ashram of Parashuram in Prag tirtha (Prayag), where they met Aswasthama and Kripacharya. In just thirteen couplets of meditative grace the poet Sarala describes their meeting in that serene and sublime environment. These few verses provide one of the very few eloquent articulations of peace, calm and hope in this long narrative of intolerance, hatred, revenge, and destruction. The meeting of the Pandavas with Aswasthama was as elevating as blissful. This was no reconciliation; there was no place for it since all enmity and hostility of a lifetime had disappeared. They met as friends and well-wishers. Yudhisthira paid due respects to Aswasthama and Kripacharya, and in an expression of spiritual surrender, he prostrated before Parashuram – duti brahma(“second Brahma”) as Aswasthama described him to Yudhisthira. As Parashuram told them about the events of satya yuga (“the aeon of Truth”), Aswasthama spoke about the Mahabharata war and the glory and the greatness of the Pandavas. They all took their ritual bath in the sacred waters of the rivers, and had darshan of Bhagavan Madhava. Aswasthama most affectionately invited Yudhisthira to stay with them. They were on their way to the seat of goddess Hingula, he told Aswasthama, as the Pandavas resumed his journey. They would return to the ashram on their way back, and would join him, he told Aswasthama. They never came back; their path led them to the Himalayas.

This is how the immortal Aswasthama’s story ended in Sarala Mahabharata. It is through some kind of ending that the immortals can leave a story, and that, not merely because a story must have an end. Perhaps Aswasthama continued to stay in that ashram; perhaps he went elsewhere. In that deathless existence of his, what did he seek and what did he get? One does not know. Nobody ever told that story. There are no stories of immortals; only the mortals have stories.

In his retelling, Sarala saved Aswasthama from an utterly humiliating and miserable existence for three thousand years and his audience from yet another degrading experience: of confronting the endless howls of a man in terrible agony, not only disturbing the profound calm of the forests but also paralysing their sensibilities from fear. One such event was enough, both for those who were present in the battlefield of Kurukshetra, when it happened, and for those who centuries later listened to it as the poet retold the story: Dussasana’s screams and screeches, and Bhima’s bays as he severed his hands and dug a hole in his chest. But more than Aswasthama and his audience, Sarala saved Krishna. Some punishments, no matter in whose name, that of justice or whatever else, are a crime against humanity. And no punishment could be harsher and crueller than the one that was meted out to Aswasthama in the canonical text. Krishna was The Supreme Being’s avatara on earth, and Sarala was his devotee, and he saved him from the indignity and the disgrace of pronouncing that demeaning curse.

-3052
-3052
- -3050
Age 87
Himachal Pradesh, India

15 YEARS AFTER DHARMARAJA'S RULE STARTED, DHRITARASHTRA,GANDHARI,VIDURA, KUNTI & SANJAYA LEFT FOR VVANAPRASTA (FOREST LIVING); THAT YEAR ITSELF VIDURA PERFORMED PRAAYOPAVESHAM. TWO YEARS AFTERDHRUTARASHTRA, GANDHARI AND KUNTI GOT CAUGHT IN THE FOREST FIRE AND DIED.SANJAYA WAS REMAINING.

-3052
Age 87
Himachal Pradesh, India
????