The Mahābhārata is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India, the other being the Rāmāyaṇa. It narrates the struggle between two groups of cousins in the Kurukshetra War and the fates of the Kaurava and the Pāṇḍava princes and their successors. It also contains philosophical and devotional material, such as a discussion of the four "goals of life"
In this podcast, you are going to experience the epic stories of the Mahabharata. These are the small stories in the Mahabharata. It could be conversation, incidents, Small talks.
Hope you will enjoy the podcast.
Durvasa Muni and cooking pot of Draupadi!
Once Durvasa Muni visited the house of Duryodhana, the enemy cousin of Maharaja Yudishtra.
Duryodhana was intelligent enough to satisfy the brahmana by all means, and the great rishi wanted to give some benediction to Duryodhana.
Duryodhana knew his mystic powers, and he knew also that the mystic brahmana, if dissatisfied, could cause some havoc,
and thus he designed to engage the brahmana to show his wrath upon his enemy cousins, the Pandavas.
When the rishi wanted to award some benediction to Duryodhana, the latter wished that he should visit the house of Maharaja Yudishtra ,
who was the eldest and chief among all his cousins.
But by his request he would go to him after he had finished his meals with his Queen, Draupati.
Duryodhana knew that after Draupati’s dinner it would be impossible for Maharaja Yudishtra to receive such a large
number of brahmana guests, and thus the rishi would be annoyed and would create some trouble for his cousin Maharaja Yudishtra.
That was the plan of Duryodhana.
Durväsä Muni agreed to this proposal, and he approached the King in exile, according to the plan of Duryodhana,
after the King and Draupadi had finished their meals.
On his arrival at the door of Maharaja Yudishtra, he was at once well received, and the King requested him to finish his noontime religious
rites in the river, for by that time the foodstuff would be prepared.
Durväsä Muni, along with his large number of disciples, went to take a bath in the river, and Mahäräja Yudishtra was in great anxiety
about the guests.
As long as Draupadi had not taken her meals, food could be served to any number of guests, but the rishi, by the plan
of Duryodhana, reached there after Draupadi had finished her meals.
When the devotees are put into difficulty, they have an opportunity to recollect the Lord with rapt attention. So Draupadi was thinking
of Lord Krishna in that dangerous position and the all-pervading Lord could at once know the dangerous position of His devotees.
He therefore came there on the scene and asked Draupadi to give whatever food she might have in her stock.
On her being so requested by the Lord, Draupadi was sorrowful because the Supreme Lord asked her for some food and she was unable to supply it at that time.
She said to the Lord that the mysterious dish which she had received from the sun-god could supply any amount of food if she herself had not eaten.But on that day she had
already taken her meals, and thus they were in danger. By expressing her difficulties she began to cry before the Lord as only a woman would do in such a position.
The Lord, however, asked Draupadi to bring up the cooking pots to see if there was any particle of foodstuff left, and on Draupadi doing so,
the Lord found some particle of vegetable sticking to the pot.
The Lord at once picked it up and ate it. After doing so, the Lord asked Draupadi to call for her guests, the company of Durvasa.
Bhima was sent to call them from the river. Bhima said, “Why are you delaying, sirs? Come on, the food is ready for you.”
But the brahmanas, because of Lord Krisha’s accepting a little particle of food, felt sumptuously fed, even while they were in the water.
They thought that since Mahäräja Yudishtra must have prepared many valuable dishes for them and since they were not hungry and could not
eat, the King would feel very sorry, so it was better not to go there. Thus they decided to go away.
Naked Duryodhana before his mother Gandhari!
When Jayadratha was killed by the clever plan of Krishna, when that terrible incident happened, Duryodhana was pacing up and down in the night and he was thinking, “What is this? The clouds just came and then went! I am not a weather-man. This Krishna is just too much.”
Gandhari, his mother was thinking, “I must protect my son. This is cheating. With Krishna on their side, Pandavas will get victory.”
Gandhari thought, “I have my siddhi.”
So she said, “My dear Duryodhana, come and see me in the night without any clothes. When you stand before my eyes, I will take off the blindfold and by the force of my siddhi over the years, I will make you so strong that no one can touch you.”
So in the dead of night, (because one has to be very late to walk around with no clothes) Duryodhana decides to come out and he walks. Everything is quiet and he makes a turn and who does he see?
He sees Krishna.
Duryodhana is thinking, “Of all the people in the world, why should I see this personality?”
Krishna saw him and starts smiling.
Duryodhan became ruffled. He said, “why are you smiling?”
Krishna said, “why you think I am smiling? Grown up man with no clothes walking in the dead of the night. Are you mental?”
Duryodhana becomes embarrassed and he says, “No no. I am just going to see my mother.”
Krishna says, “Your mother! You are going to see your mother with no clothes on? Where have you learned your etiquette? Some decency is required. At least wear some gumcha or something and go to see your mother. I know you had a bad day in the battlefield but that does not mean you have to become mental.”
So what happens now?
Duryodhana thinks, “Yes, it is very bad. I am very much embarrassed.” He tells himself and checks himself. “I am going to wear my gamcha now. Once Krishna goes, and I stand before my mother, I will take it off. Then everything will be alright.”
So he goes before his mother. Gandhari says, “Are you ready son? Is everything okay as I told you?”
He says “Yes.”
She opens her eyes and sees him.
She goes all the way down and she sees the gamcha. At the end of it, Duryodhana’s thighs could not be strengthened because they were covered.
Gandhari tells Duryodhana, “I gave you just a simple instruction to take off your clothes and stand.”
He said, “I met Krishna.” Gandhari thought, “why of all people must my son meet Krishna? In the night, the Pandavas were very happy and they must have all gone to sleep. Why is this Krishna roaming around?”
She asks, “What did Krishna tell you?”
He said, “Krishna told me just wear a gamcha and it is not right to walk around without any clothes. Mother, I agreed to Him and I told myself I will remember at the right point, this instruction that I should remove my clothes.”
But Gandhari realized with an air of resignation that no matter what she planned for her son, the truth is Krishna in a very simple and cheeky way was teaching her something that, “Gandhari, whatever plans you have for your son, is not within My line of vision. It is not going to help. You are only going to be disturbed.”
But till the end of the war, Gandhari could not accept this. Even though Gandhari was a very virtuous lady.
Obedience key to success!
Indra once offended his spiritual master Brhaspati.
The demons were quite submissive to their spiritual master Sukracharaya and when there was battle between devas and demons, the demons were victorious, on account of their submission to their Guru Shukracarya.
When the devas found that Shukracharya was using amrta sanjeevani mantra which was bringing the dead and injured demons back to life, Brhaspati summoned his son Kacha to go and learn the mantra from Shukracarya.
Kacha wholeheartedly accepted his father’s instruction and kept it as his only goal.
So Kacha went to other camp and offered respects to Shukracharya and told him to accept him as his disciple.
Sukracharya knew that Kacha’s inner motive is to learn the amrta sanjeevani mantra.
So he was determined not to teach that to him, but still allowed him to stay with him.
In course of time, Shukracharya’s daughter, Devayani fell in love with Kacha and decided that she will marry him.
The asuras did not like Kacha’s presence and so they decided to kill him. They chopped him into pieces and threw all the pieces in different directions.
In the evening Devayani, not finding Kacha, went to her father and said, “Father, I feel that something wrong has happened. Please use your amrta sanjeevani and bring Kacha back as I want to marry him.”
So to please his daughter, Shukracharya chanted the mantra and from nowhere Kacha appeared again.
Kacha requested him to teach the mantra with which he brought him back.
But Shukracharya refused to give it. Kacha waited patiently.
The next time the demons took him to a faraway place to kill him.
They ground his body in the grinding mortar into a nice paste and trew the paste into the ocean.
Again Devayani cried and amrta sanjeevani was chanted and Kacha came back.
Kacha requested Shukracharya for the mantra, but again he was denied.
Kacha did not lose heart. He remembered the force and power of obedience – the potency of obedience.
Next time the asuras wanted to make sure that the mantra is not used.
So they killed Kacha, they chopped him up, they ground him, made him into a paste and then they took a glass of wine and they poured the powder into the wine and gave it to Sukracharya to drink.
So in the evening, when Devayani asked for Kacha, Sukracharya realized that Kacha is in his stomach.
But if he comes out, he will kill Shukracarya himself. Kacha spoke from within the stomach.
Kacha said, “Shukracharya, I have a suggestion. You have no choice. If you want to live, you have to teach me amrta sanjeevani because when you first use amrta sanjeevani, and I come out, you will be dead. Before that if you teach me amrta snjeevani, then when you are dead, I will use amrta sanjeevani and bring you back to life.”
Then Shukracharya had no choice and he had to teach the mantra.
Grudgingly he blessed Kacha and said, “I do not know where you learnt this trait, but by the power of your obedience to your father and spiritual master, you have literally extricated this mantra from me which even the greatest of the devatas could not learn.”
Mahabharata story: Barbarika watching Mahabharata war!
After the end of the Mahabharata war, the Pandavs heard the sound of laughter.
When they went near the source of sound, they could see Barbarika’s head.
Barbarika was none other than grandson of Bhima and Hidimba.
When he was a child he was taught by his grandmother Hidimba that one would be liberated even if he is killed by Krishna.
This lesson was engraved in his mind deeply and to fulfill this mission he perfomed austerities for many years and obtained powerful weapons from various demi-gods.
When the Mahabharat war was about to begin Barbarika decided to take the side of Kauravas.
When Krishna did not approve of this, he told Krishna that he would kill the Pandavas at once and was about to shoot a weapon at them.
Immediately he was beheaded by Lord’s Sudarshan chakra and his wish of being killed by Krishna was fulfilled by the Lord.
Then Barbarika offered prayers to the Lord and requested Krishna to allow him to watch the pastimes of the Lord in Mahabharat war.
The Lord granted him spiritual vision.
After watching all the pastimes of the Lord, Barbarika was lauging in ecstacy recollecting the same.
When the Pandavas heard this from Barbarika, they were eager to know who fought more bravely in the war.
Barbarika replied – “In reality, NO ONE FOUGHT. Every where it was only sudarshan chakra which was moving around actively causing Bhismadev, Dronacaraya, Karna, Jayadrath and all the warriors to fall down.”
Mahabharata story: Lord Damodar and Shishupala deliverence!
In Mahabharata Bhishmacharya addresses the Lord as ‘Damodara sahah’ which means Lord Damodara one who is very tolerant.
In Mahabharata, the Lord is called by many names such as Krishna and Vasudeva repeatedly, but the word Damodara is used only in 2 or 3 instances.
One such instance is related to the birth of Sishupala.
When Sishupala was born he had three eyes and 4 hands.
And as soon as he was born, he screamed and brayed like an ass.
His parents were scared and they wanted to abandon him.
However at that time there was a celestial voice which spoke, “Do not abandon this child. He will be very superior in strength and power and very fortunate person. You can’t slay him now. That person who will slay him is already born.”
Then his mother folded her hands and asked the corporeal voice, “Please tell me who will slay my son.”
The voice replied, “When your son sees that person, his additional eye will disappear and when you keep the son on the lap of that person his additional two hands will fall off. That person will be the killer of your son.”
This news spread across like wildfire and when kings of different provinces heard about this, they were astonished and they came to see the child.
When they came, Sishupala’s mother kept the child on their lap to see if the eyes and hands are disappearing.
Even after thousands of kings saw the child and put him on their lap, the change which the celestial voice said did not happen.
One day Lord Krishna and Balarama visited Sishupala’s palace to see the child.
Mahabharata verse (2.40.16) calls the Lord as Damodara as follows.
abhyarcitau tadaa veerau preetyaa caabhyadhikaṃ tataḥ
putram daamodarotsange devi samnyadadhaat svayam
“And saluting everybody according to his rank and the king and queen also, and enquiring after every body’s welfare, both Rama and Keshava took their seats. And after those heroes had been worshiped, the queen with great pleasure herself placed the child on the lap of Damodara.”
As soon as the child was place on the Lord’s lap, the additional eye and the additional two arms disappeared.
Then Sishupala’s mother became anxious and asked, “Please forgive all the offences of my son Sishupala for my sake.”
The Lord replied, “O aunt, I will forgive all his offenses. Even when his time of slaying comes, I will pardon him up to 100 offenses and only if he goes beyond this I will slay him.
Mahabrarata story: I see only the round black eye of the bird!
When Dronacarya was teaching archery to his students, he once asked them to shoot a bird on the tree by aiming its eye.
He called them one by one and showing the bird, he asked them what they saw.
Everyone except Arjuna, said that they saw the tree, the branches, the bird etc and so everyone missed the target.
Lord Krishna Himself declares in Bhagavad Gita verse 2.41:
vyavasaayaatmikaa buddhir / ekeha kuru-nandana
bahu-shaakhaa hy anantaash ca / buddhayo ‘vyavasaayinaam
“Those who are on this path are resolute in purpose, and their aim is one. O beloved child of the Kurus, the intelligence of those who are irresolute is many-branched.”
Arjuna had been practising archery day and night and was the best archer among the students of Dronacarya.
So when Arjuna’s turn came Drona inquired him as follows.
Drona: “What do you see?”
Arjuna: “I see the eye of the bird”
Drona: “Do you see the tree?”
Drona: “Do you see the branch?”
Drona: “Do you see the bird?”
Drona: “Then what else do you see, Arjuna?”
Saying so Arjuna released the arrow and it just hit the target straight.