Section CXVIII - King Yudhishthira's Pilgrimage: Sacred Bathing Places and Divine Encounters

| Posted in: Hinduism Itihasa

Book index: Mahabharata (English)
This page contains a summary of the Mahabharata Section CXVIII including examples of moral lessons in daily life. The Maha-Bharata is one of the largest epics ever written containing roughly 100,000 Sanskrit verses. It deals with the legendary history of ancient India and contains a large number of interwoven tales.

Mahabharata Section CXVIII - King Yudhishthira's Pilgrimage: Sacred Bathing Places and Divine Encounters
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Short summary of the chapter:
King Yudhishthira embarked on a journey to various sacred bathing spots along the shore of the sea, accompanied by his brothers. He performed rituals, distributed wealth to the sacerdotal class, and visited holy rivers such as the Godavari. The king also visited feminine sacred spots, listened to tales of Arjuna's valor, and gave away cows at several holy places. He encountered various deities and performed ascetic practices in a forest where gods and virtuous rulers had once conducted rituals.

Upon reaching the holy spot of Surparaka, the king and his brothers cleansed themselves, offered libations to ancestors and deities, and observed various fasts. He engaged in rigorous penances for twelve days, subsisting on air and water, surrounded by fires kindled on all sides. Valarama and Krishna, hearing of the king's austere practices, arrived with the Vrishni tribe and expressed grief at seeing the Pandavas' emaciated state. The Vrishnis were honored by Yudhishthira, who shared his experiences of exile and Arjuna's training under Indra.

Yudhishthira recounted the challenges he faced and how Arjuna had journeyed to Indra's abode to learn the science of arms. The Vrishnis, touched by the Pandavas' hardships, shed tears upon seeing their condition. The meeting between the two royal families was marked by mutual respect and honor. Yudhishthira's narration filled the Vrishnis with happiness, despite the sorrow evoked by the Pandavas' suffering. The Vrishnis' visit brought a sense of unity and support in the midst of the Pandavas' trials.

Full English translation:

This page is merely a summary which is automatically generated. If you are looking for authentic sources such as the Sanskrit text or the Full English translation of Mahabharata Section CXVIII - King Yudhishthira's Pilgrimage: Sacred Bathing Places and Divine Encounters, have a look at the following articles:

Section CXVIII, online text

English translation by Kisari Mohan Ganguli.

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Mahabharata (English Summary)

by Kisari Mohan Ganguli | ISBN-10: 8121505933

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FAQ of Mahabharata, Section CXVIII:

What holy places did the king visit on his journey by the sea?

The king visited bathing places, the Godavari river, and sacred shrines of various gods. He also gave away cows and gems, and performed asceticism.

Who accompanied the king on his journey and what did they do?

Valarama, Krishna, and other Vrishnis joined the king. They lamented the Pandavas' suffering, heard their story, and shared news joyfully.

What did the king do during his asceticism at Prabhasa?

He subsisted on air and water for twelve days, performed ablutions, surrounded himself with fires, and engaged in rigorous penances. The Vrishnis visited him during this time.

Daily life: King Yudhishthira's Pilgrimage: Sacred Bathing Places and Divine Encounters:

The story emphasizes the importance of pilgrimage, humility, and perseverance in the face of life's challenges. One way to apply this in daily life is to recognize the value of self-reflection and seeking spiritual or inner peace through personal journeys, whether physical or metaphorical. These journeys do not have to be to far-flung places; they can be as simple as visiting a place that brings you peace or dedicating time to meditate and contemplate life's direction.

Engaging in acts of kindness and generosity, as exemplified by the distribution of wealth to the learned and the support of the community, can cultivate a sense of fulfillment and connection with others. It's essential to remember that giving does not only pertain to material possessions but can also include offering time, attention, and support to those in need.

The story also highlights the strength found in facing hardships with courage and not allowing difficulties to diminish one’s spirit. Practicing resilience can be as simple as staying positive during tough times, learning from experiences rather than being defeated by them, and always striving to overcome obstacles with determination.

Lastly, the tale demonstrates the importance of companionship and mutual support among friends and family. Keeping close ties with loved ones and sharing one’s burdens and triumphs can provide comfort and strength, reminding us that we are not alone in our journeys. This sense of community is vital for personal growth and overcoming life’s challenges.

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