Puranic encyclopaedia

by Vettam Mani | 1975 | 609,556 words | ISBN-10: 0842608222

This page describes the Story of Dharmaputra included the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani that was translated into English in 1975. The Puranas have for centuries profoundly influenced Indian life and Culture and are defined by their characteristic features (panca-lakshana, literally, ‘the five characteristics of a Purana’).

Story of Dharmaputra

The eldest of the Pāṇḍavas, the others being Bhīmasena, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva.


See under Arjuna.


Pāṇḍu, brother of Dhṛtarāṣṭra, had two wives, Kuntī and Mādrī. There was a curse for Pāṇḍu that he would die the moment he touched his wife. (See under Pāṇḍu). Kuntī, the first wife of Pāṇḍu, had obtained from Durvāsas five mantras. The mantras were very potent. If she called upon any god reciting the mantra that God would manifest himself to her and bless her with a son. When Kuntī found that Gāndhārī was pregnant and was about to deliver she became anxious and meditating on Dharmadeva recited one of the mantras given by Durvāsas and got a child from him. The boy was born at midday on the eighth Jyeṣṭha day of the year on Pañcamī and at the auspicious hour, Abhijit. At the time of his birth there was a celestial voice which said "This boy will become a very righteous and bold King, best among the virtuous. He will be known as Yudhiṣṭhira". Obeying the dictate of the mysterious voice he was named Yudhiṣṭhira. (Mahābhārata Ādi Parva, Chapter 123).


When he had five sons Pāṇḍu went to the forest of Śataśṛṅga together with his family to spend the spring time there. The sages residing in that forest conducted the christening ceremony of Dharmaputra. Kaśyapa, priest of Vāsudeva, performed the Upanayana ceremony (thread-wearing) of Dharmaputra (Chapter 123, Dākṣiṇātyapāṭha) Ādi Parva, Mahābhārata). Rājarṣi Śuka imparted instructions to Dharmaputra on spear-warfare. Pāṇḍu died during their stay there. Mādrī abandoned her life by jumping into her husband’s funeral pyre. Before doing so she called Dharmaputra to her side and joining her hands together said "Son, you are now the father to your brothers." When Pāṇḍu and Mādrī were dead the sages of the forest took Kuntī and the children to Hastināpura and entrusted them to the care of Bhīṣma detailing to him all that had happened in the forest. (Chapter 125, Ādi Parva, Mahābhārata).

Kaumāra (youth).

Dharmaputra and his brothers spent their boyhood in Hastināpura along with Duryodhana and his brothers. Bhīmasena became a great foe of Duryodhana and his brothers and Duryodhana always nurtured a desire to kill Bhīmasena. Once Duryodhana invited Dharmaputra and his brothers to have aquatic games in the Gaṅgā. Accepting the invitation Dharmaputra participated in the games along with his brothers. One night Duryodhana caught hold of Bhīma alone and tied him with ropes and threw him into the river. When in the morning Dharmaputra found his brother missing he ran to his mother to inform her of the loss. Kuntī asked him to start a search and while he was on it Bhīmasena appeared before him and told him how he was thrown into the river by Duryodhana and how he went to Nāgaloka and was brought to earth with great acquisitions from there. Dharmaputra advised them not to make the incident public. They received training in warfare in Hastināpura under Droṇācārya. Dharmaputra got great proficiency in chariot-fighting. As Gurudakṣiṇā (fee for the preceptor) Dharmaputra agreed to bring Drupada bound before the preceptor. But Arjuna stopped him and himself undertook the task (Chapters 127 to 136, Ādi Parva, Mahābhārata).

Becomes heir-apparent and goes to the forest.

Dhṛtarāṣṭra, crowned Dharmaputra as the heir-apparent when the latter had successfully completed his course of study in warfare. By his good conduct, righteousness and administrative efficiency Dharmaputra excelled his father and became very popular among his subjects. Jealous of this Duryodhana decided to destroy the Pāṇḍavas somehow. With the permission of his father, Duryodhana constructed a palace at Vāraṇāvata for the Pāṇḍavas to reside there. That palace was built of Lākṣā (See under Arakkillam). The entire population resented this act of Duryodhana and rebuked him. They tried to follow Dharmaputra to Vāraṇāvata and stay there. But by tactful words he made them abandon that idea. Still many brahmins followed Dharmaputra. After some days Duryodhana set fire to the palace. But the Pāṇḍavas escaped through a tunnel from the house which had been constructed without the knowledge of Duryodhana just at the time of construction of the building. Escaping from there the Pāṇḍavas reached the forests and travelling farther came to the shore of the Gaṅgā. (Ślokas 138 to 148, Ādi Parva, Mahābhārata).

Story up to the life incognito.

(1) When the palace was burnt to ashes it was presumed that they were dead and by the instructions of Dhṛtarāṣṭra the funeral rites of the Pāṇḍavas were conducted at Hastināpura. But Vidura informed Bhīṣma that the Pāṇḍavas were alive. (Chapter 149, Dākṣiṇātyapāṭha, Ādi Parva, Mahābhārata).

(2) Dharmaputra gave permission to Bhīma to marry Hiḍiṃbā while they were in the forest. (Chapter 154, Dākṣiṇātyapāṭha, Ādi Parva).

(3) Dharmaputra counselled Arjuna to release Citraratha Yakṣa who was defeated by Arjuna in a battle. (Śloka 39, Chapter 169, Ādi Parva).

(4) After the svayaṃvara of Pāñcālī, Dharmaputra narrated to Drupada the story of their escape from the palace. (Chapter 194, Ādi Parva).

(5) After svayaṃvara of Pāñcālī the Pāṇḍavas returned to their country and Dharmaputra was crowned king of half of the country. He started his rule at Khāṇḍavaprastha, his capital. (Chapter 206, Ādi Parva).

(6) Nārada went to Khāṇḍavaprastha and advised them, how to avoid unpleasantness accruing from their having one wife in common. His advice was that Pāñcālī should spend one year with each of the five in turn. (Chapter 207, Ādi Parva).

(7) When Abhimanyu was born to Arjuna, Dharmaputra gave ten thousand cows to brahmins as gifts. (Śloka 69, Chapter 22, Ādi Parva).

(8) Yudhiṣṭhira got a son Prativindhya of Pāñcāli. (Śloka 79, Chapter 220, Ādi Parva).

(9) Yudhiṣṭhira got a son Yaudheya of Devikā, daughter of King Śibi (Śloka 76, Chapter 95, Ādi Parva).

(10) When Śrī Kṛṣṇa went to Dvārakā from Indraprastha Dharmaputra drove the chariot in the place of Dāruka, charioteer of Kṛṣṇa. (Śloka 16, Chapter 2, Sabhā Parva).

(11) Mayāsura constructed a beautiful palace in Indraprastha and gave it to Dharmaputra. (Śloka 37, Chapter 3, Sabhā Parva).

(12) Yudhiṣṭhira decided to perform a Rajasūya at Indraprastha. Even before the Rājasūya Śrī Kṛṣṇa, Arjuna and Bhīmasena together killed Jarāsandha. After that Yudhiṣṭhira sent Arjuna to the northern side and the other brothers to the southern side for Digvijaya (conquest of countries). When he established his autocracy he performed the Rājasūya. (Chapter 45, Sabhā Parva).

(13) Yudhiṣṭhira used to give free sumptuous food to thousands of brahmins in golden pots daily. (Chapter 49, Sabhā Parva).

(14) Envious Duryodhana sent Vidura to bring Dharmaputra to Hastināpura and defeated him foully in a game of dice. Though Dharmaputra lost everything Dhṛtarāṣṭra gave him back everything. (Chapter 72, Sabhā Parva, Mahābhārata).

(15) Before Dharmaputra went back to his place, with the permission of Dhṛtarāṣṭra, Duryodhana called him back again for another game of dice. Despite protests from all sides Dharmaputra went again for a game of dice with Duryodhana and lost again all he possessed. Then he left the country with his brothers and wife to spend twelve years in exile in the forests and another year incognito. (Chapter 79, Sabhā Parva).

(16) Sūrya gave the Akṣayapātra (a pot which is never emptied) to the Pāṇḍavas. (Śloka 72, Chapter 3, Vana Parva).

(17) At first the Pāṇḍavas stayed in Dvaitavana and later on the advice of Vyāsa they went to Kāmyakavana. (Śloka 41, Chapter 36, Vana Parva).

(18) He advised Bhīmasena to remain quiet for thirteen years. (Chapter 52, Vana Parva).

(19) Bṛhadaśva, the sage, narrated the story of Nala to Dharmaputra while they were in the forest. (Chapter 43, Vana Parva).

(20) The sage Lomaśa imparted instructions on philosophy to Dharmaputra while they were in the forest. (Chapter 94, Vana Parva).

(21) Yudhiṣṭhira met and conversed with Paraśurāma at the mountain Mahendra. (Chapter 117, Vana Parva).

(22) The Pāṇḍavas then travelled in north India. On their way to the mountain of Gandhamādana Pāñcālī fainted and Yudhiṣṭhira wept bitterly. (Chapter 145, Vana Parva).

(23) From Gandhamādana Dharmaputra with his wife and brothers reached Badarikāśrama and from there they returned to Dvaitavana.

(24) When they went to Kāmyaka vana Śrī Kṛṣṇa visited Dharmaputra there. (Chapter 153. Vana Parva).

(25) Duryodhana and his followers made a grand march to Kāmyaka vana to see the Pāṇḍavas in sad plight and there the Gandharva Citrasena bound them all by ropes. Arjuna on the orders of Dharmaputra got them all released. (Chapter 246, Vana Parva).

(26) While the Pāṇḍavas were in exile in the forest Duśśāsana went and invited Yudhiṣṭhira to attend a Vaiṣṇava sacrifice conducted by Duryodhana. But Dharmaputra sent him away saying that it was not proper to come to the country before the expiry of the period of exile. (Chapter 256, Vana Parva).

(27) Yudhiṣṭhira received the sage Durvāsas with respect and after offering homage sent him away contented. (Chapter 262, Vana Parva).

(28) Jayadratha kidnapped Pāñcālī and in the battle that ensued Dharmaputra slew the King of Trigartta but left free Jayadratha. (Chapter 272, Vana Parva).

(29) At a time when Yudhiṣṭhira was plunged in sorrow the sage Mārkaṇḍeya narrated the story of Śrī Rāma to console him. (Chapters 273 to 291, Vana Parva).

How Dharmadava tested Yudhiṣṭhira.

The Pāṇḍavas travelling through the forests reached Dvaitavana. A brahmin among their group was making fire by the araṇi sticks when a deer rushed at him and took the araṇi sticks away, carrying them on its horns. The Pāṇḍavas ran after the deer and they travelled far away from their place, still not getting scent of it. They were all tired and thirsty. Yudhiṣṭhira directed Nakula to climb on the top of a tree and investigate whether there was any water anywhere nearby. Nakula did so and reported that he could see a pond not far from the place where they were sitting. Yudhiṣṭhira asked Nakula to go and fetch water. Nakula did not return for a long time and Sahadeva was asked to go and enquire. Sahadeva also did not return and Arjuna was sent in search of them. When Arjuna did not return Bhīmasena went to enquire. Bhīmasena also did not return and finally Yudhiṣṭhira himself set out in search of them. On reaching the pond Yudhiṣṭhira was dumbfounded to see his brothers lying dead on the banks of the pond. Weeping bitterly Yudhiṣṭhira entered the pond and to his surprise he heard a voice from the air addressed to him thus: "Ho, Yudhiṣṭhira, I am a stork living on the small fishes of this pond. This pond is my hereditary property. It was I who killed your brothers. I will ask you certain questions. If you answer them correctly you can drink from this pond. If not, you will also die.

Dharmaputra:—"I do not believe that you are simply a bird. My brothers are renowned for their valour and have defeated not only the devas, dānavas, gandharvas and rākṣasas but also the four huge mountains like Himālaya Pāriyātra, Vindhya and Malaya. I am eager to know your true self who have slain such brave brothers of mine."

Yakṣa:—"I am a Yakṣa and not merely a bird. I objected to your brothers' taking water from the pond. But waving aside my objections they started taking water from the pond and then I slew them. Now, hear my questions: Who carries the Sun? Who are his followers? Who makes the sun set? On whom does the sun exist?"

Dharmaputra:—It is Brahman who carries the Sun. Devas are his followers. Dharma makes him set. He exists on Satya.

Yakṣa:—How does Mahāsiddhi come to he Śrotriyas? (those who study the Vedas).

Yudhiṣṭhira:—It happens by deep penance.

Yakṣa:—What is the reason for a brahmin getting divinity? What deed is equal to good conduct? What makes a brahmin mortal and what makes him evil?

Yudhiṣṭhira:—The Brahmin gets divinity by meditation. Austerity is equal to good conduct. Death makes a brahmin mortal and abusive words make him evil.

Yakṣa:—What is the divinity of Kṣatriyas? What is equal to good nature? What makes them mortal and what makes them evil?

Dharmaputra:—The divinity of a Kṣatriya is weapon. Sacrifice is equal to good conduct. Fear makes him mortal and non-sacrifice makes him evil.

Yakṣa:—What is the best thing for agriculture? What is the most important thing for agriculture? What are the installations of the atmosphere and child-birth?

Dharmaputra:—The best thing for agriculture is rain. The important thing for agriculture is seed. The installation of atmosphere is rays and that of child-birth is child.

Yakṣa:—Who is lifeless even though he breathes?

Dharmaputra:—He who never offers oblations to a deva, a guest or a servant is like the dead even though he breathes.

Yakṣa:—What is bigger than the earth? What is higher than the sky? What is swifter than the wind? What are greater in number than grass?

Dharmaputra:—Mother is bigger than the earth. Father is taller than the sky. Mind is swifter than the wind. Thoughts are greater in number than grass.

Yakṣa:—What is it that does not shut its eyes when asleep? What is it that does not grow after birth? What is heartless? What grows very quickly?

Dharmaputra:—A fish does not shut its eyes when asleep. An egg does not grow after its birth. A stone is heartless. A river grows very quickly.

Yakṣa:—Who is a friend to one who lives outside his country? Who is a friend to a householder, to a patient and to one dead?

Dharmaputra:—For one who leaves his country the friend he gets on his way is the best friend. To a householder his wife is his friend, to a patient his doctor and to one dead, charity.

Yakṣa:—Who is a guest of all? What is Nectar? What is spread throughout the world?

Dharmaputra:—Agni (fire) is the guest of all. Moon (Candra) is the nectar. Air is that which is spread throughout the world.

Yakṣa:—Who circles around solo? Who is born again? What is the remedy for cold? What gives the maximum yield?

Dharmaputra:—The Sun circles solo. Candra is born again. Fire is the remedy for cold. Earth gives the maximum yield.

Yakṣa:—What is the soul of Man? Who is the companion given by God? What is Upajīvana?

Dharmaputra:—The soul of Man is his son. The companion given by God is wife. Cloud is Upajīvana.

Yakṣa:—How do you become rich? How do you become happy?

Dharmaputra:—If you abandon lust you will be rich. If you abandon desire you will be happy.

Yakṣa:—By what is this world covered? By what does the world become clear? By what does one lose his friend? What is the obstacle for an entry into heaven?

Dharmaputra:—Dullness covers the world. World becomes clear by intelligence. A friend is lost by desire. Domestic ties stand in the way of getting into heaven.

Yakṣa:—Who are those equal to the dead? Which country is dead?

Dharmaputra:—A poor penniless man is equal to the dead. The country where there is mob-rule is dead.

Yakṣa:—Who is a pandit? Who is an atheist? Who is wicked? What are lust and jealousy?

Dharmaputra:—A righteous man is a pandit. An atheist is wicked. Lust is the cause of worldly life. Jealousy is the cause of worry.

Yakṣa:—Though charity, wealth and lust are incompatible with each other when do they unite together?

Dharmaputra:—When charity and wife compromise the above three blend together harmoniously.

The Yakṣa was highly pleased with the replies given by Dharmaputra. He then offered to revive one of his brothers and asked Dharmaputra to name whom he should do so. Then Yudhiṣṭhira named Nakula. Yakṣa then enquired why he had named Nakula leaving aside Arjuna and Bhīma. Dharmaputra replied that though Kuntī and Mādrī were two wives of Pāṇḍu they were both mothers to them and so he wanted to see one of the sons of Mādrī alive. He therefore pressed the name of Nakula again. The Yakṣa who was none other than Dharmadeva was immensely happy to hear that reply and gave life to all his brothers. He confessed to Yudhiṣṭhira that it was he who in the form of a deer came and ran away with the araṇi sticks. He returned the araṇi sticks also. Dharmadeva then advised them to go and spend their life incognito at the court of King Virāṭa blessing them with the assurance that they would never be found out during their life in disguise. Dharmadeva disappeared after this and the Pāṇḍavas returned to their āśrama. (Chapters 312 and 313 of Vana Parva, Mahābhārata).

Ajñātavāsa (Life incognito).

See under Arjuna.

Dharmaputra aad the great battle.

Events relating to or involving Dharmaputra from the end of his life in disguise up to the end of the Mahābhārata battle are given below:

(1) Yudhiṣṭhira tried utmost to avoid war but when it was made clear that the Pānḍavas would not be given even an inch of land, he decided to fight. So Yudhiṣṭhira prepared for a war and camped on one side of the Kurukṣetra with his army. (Chapter 196, Udyoga Parva)

(2) Dharmaputra gave instructions to Arjuna to keep his army in vyūhas. (Śloka 6, Chapter 19, Bhīṣma Parva).

(3) Dharmaputra was sorry when he looked at the Kaurava army. (Śloka 3, Chapter 21, Bhīṣma Parva).

(4) Yudhiṣṭhira blew his conch Anantavijaya to announce the war. (Śloka 16, Chapter 25, Bhīṣma Parva).

(5) Yudhiṣṭhira sought permission from Bhīṣma to fight against the Kauravas. (Śloka 35, Chapter 43, Bhīṣma Parva).

(6) Yudhiṣṭhira bowed before Droṇācārya and sought permission to conduct the war. (Śloka 52, Chapter 43, Bhīṣma Parva).

(7) He sought permission from Kṛpācārya to fight the war. (Śloka 69, Chapter 43, Bhīṣma Parva).

(8) Yudhiṣṭhira went to Śalya and obtained his permission to conduct the war. (Śloka 78, Chapter 43, Bhīṣma Parva).

(9) Yudhiṣṭhira appealed to the warriors on the Kaurava side to join his army. Only Yuyutsu, responded to that beckoning and joined the Pāṇḍava’s side. (Śloka 94, Chapter 43, Bhīṣma Parva).

(10) On the first day of the battle Dharmaputra fought a duel with Śalya. (Śloka 28, Chapter 45, Bhīṣma Parva).

(11) Yudhiṣṭhira constructed a Vajra Vyūha (an array in the shape of a diamond) with his army. (Śloka 22, Chapter 81, Bhīṣma Parva)

(12) Yudhiṣṭhira fought with fury and defeated Śrutāyus. (Śloka 8, Chapter 84, Bhīṣma Parva).

(13) Yudhiṣṭhira got defeated by Bhīṣma. (Śloka 2, Chapter 86, Bhīṣma Parva).

(14 Bhagadatta attacked Yudhiṣṭhira. (Śloka 84, Chapter 96, Bhīṣma Parva).

(15) He fought against Śakuni. (Śloka 11, Chapter 105, Bhīṣma Parva)

(16) Yudhiṣṭhira sought permission from Śrī Kṛṣṇa to kill Bhīṣma and he went straight to Bhīṣma himself and asked him how he should be killed. Yudhiṣṭhira attacked Bhīṣma as per the latter’s instructions. (Chapter 107 to 115, Bhīṣma Parva).

(17) In the meantime Droṇācārya made a vow that he would capture Yudhiṣṭhira. So Yudhiṣṭhira thereafter, always kept Arjuna near at hand. (Śloka 3, Chapter 13, Droṇa Parva).

(18) Yudhiṣṭhira consoled his own army when Abhimanyu was slain. (Śloka 35, Chapter 49, Droṇa Parva).

(19) Yudhiṣṭhira attacked Śalya and Kṛtavarmā. (Chapters 95 and 97, Bhīṣma Parva).

(20) Yudhiṣṭhira was defeated in a fight with Droṇa. (Śloka 18, Chapter 106, Droṇa Parva).

(21) He fought against Duryodhana. (Śloka 15, Chapter 124, Droṇa Parva).

(22) He defeated Droṇācārya in another battle. (Śloka 27, Chapter 157, Droṇa Parva).

(23) He became moody when Ghaṭotkaca was killed. (Śloka 27, Chapter 183, Droṇa Parva).

(24) He made Karṇa swoon in a fight. (Śloka 21, Chapter 49, Karṇa Parva).

(25) He withdrew from the battlefield after having been defeated by Aśvatthāmā. (Śloka 38, Chapter 35, Karṇa Parva).

(26) Karṇa wounded Yudhiṣṭhira. (Śloka 33, Chapter 63, Karṇa Parva).

(27) Once Yudhiṣṭhira scolded Arjuna and the latter greatly offended started to go to the forests and then Yudhiṣṭhira himself appeased him. (Chapters 63, 70 and 71, Karṇa Parva).

(28) Yudhiṣṭhira slew Candrasena and Drumasena who were the guardians of Salya’s Cakravyūha. (Śloka 52, Chapter 12, Śalya Parva).

(29) He slew Śalya (Śloka 51, Chapter, 17, Śalya Parva).

(30) He killed the younger brother of Śalya. (Śloka 64, Chapter 17, Śalya Parva).

(31) Duryodhana at this time went to a lake in Dvaipāyana and lay there immersed under water. Yudhiṣṭhira went there with an army and challenged him for a fight. (Śloka 18, Chapter 61, Śalya Parva).

(32) When Yudhiṣṭhira won the war he sent Śrī Kṛṣṇa to Hastināpura to console Gāndhārī. (Śloka 40, Chapter 62, Śalya Parva).

Yudhiṣṭhira is crowned King.

When Yudhiṣṭhira won the war he sent Nakula to bring Pāñcālī. He went round the Kurukṣetra battle ground and saw his own kith and kin lying dead and the sight made him faint. After that he went to Dhṛtarāṣṭra. Gāndhārī cursed him for killing her sons. Gāndhārī gave a piercing look at the nails on the foot of Dharmaputra when he stood before Gāndhārī bowing down, Instantly the nails turned black. Yudhiṣṭhira gave Dhṛtarāṣṭra the names of all the prominent persons who were killed in the war Dhṛtarāṣṭra ordered Yudhiṣṭhira to perform the obsequies of the dead. It was at this stage that Yudhiṣṭhira came to know from Kuntī that Karṇa was his brother. Yudhiṣṭhira wept bitterly when he knew the secret from his mother and cursed womankind as a whole stating that woman would thereafter be incapable of keeping a secret to herself. The news of the death of Karṇa gave a sudden mental turn-back to Yudhiṣṭhira and he decided to renounce all and go to the forest. He called aside his followers and announced his decision to them. At that time Vyāsa came there and preached to him about the perishable nature of life. Yudhiṣṭhira then asked him what he should do for the atonement of the sins committed. Though he strongly desired to go to the forest Vyāsa and Śrī Kṛṣṇa did not allow him to do so and sent them all to Hastināpura. When the Pāṇḍavas entered the city the people gave them a rousing reception and Yudhiṣṭhira was crowned King. (Chapters 10 to 17 of Sauptika Parva, Chapters 12 to 27 Strī Parva, Chapters 1 to 40 Śānti Parva).


When Yudhiṣṭhira became King, with the permission of Dhṛtarāṣṭra, he distributed the various administrative responsibilities among his brothers. He took for himself the task of taking care of their kith and kin and friends. He gave many gifts to the brahmins and other dependants. He once went to Śrī Kṛṣṇa to express his gratitude for him. He visited Bhīṣma lying on his bed of arrows accompanied by Śrī Kṛṣṇa and his brothers. Bhīṣma revealed to him the inner import of Rājadharma, Āpaddharma and Mokṣadharma. Receiving the blessings of Bhīṣma Yudhiṣṭhira and his brothers returned to Hastināpura. Yudhiṣṭhira went to the Himālayas to get riches from Marutta before performing an Aśvamedha Sacrifice. While on his way to the Himālayas he fasted for a night and worshipped Śiva. People like Vyāsa and Śrī Kṛṣṇa partook in the sacrifice. After the sacrifice was over Dhṛtarāṣṭra desired to go to forest and sought the approval of Yudhiṣṭhira to do so. On hearing that Yudhiṣṭhira wept. But on the advice of Vyāsa he gave his approval for Dhṛtarāṣṭra to go to forest. Dhṛtarāṣṭra appealed to him through Vidura for funds to perform the obsequies of the dead. Bhīma objected to this but Yudhiṣṭhira reprimanded him and silenced him and gave Dhṛtarāṣṭra enough funds for his purposes. Kuntī and Gāndhārī accompanied Dhṛtarāṣṭra to the forest. Yudhiṣṭhira accompanied by Pāñcālī and Sahadeva went and saw them in the forests after a few days. (Chapters 41 to 55, Śānti Parva, Chapters 92 from Anuśāsana Parva and Aśvamedha Parva and Chapter 26 from Āśramavāsika Parva).

Vidura merges into Dharmaputra.

When Dhṛtarāṣṭra, Gāndhārī and Kuntī went to forest Vidura also accepted sannyāsa and left for the forest. There sitting under a tree he started doing penance. After a few days Yudhiṣṭhira came to the forest to see his mother and others. After spending some time with Dhṛtarāṣṭra, Gāndhārī and Kuntī he went to the place where Vidura was doing penance. Vidura started running the moment he set eyes on Yudhiṣṭhira and the latter ran after him. After some time Vidura turned back and stood staring at Yudhiṣṭhira. At that time the soul of Vidura escaping from his body merged with that of Yudhiṣṭhira. The body of Vidura stood stiff and leaned against a tree. Taking him to be dead Yudhiṣṭhira started to do the funeral rites and then there resounded a voice from heaven saying that Vidura was not dead. The unknown voice was from Dharmadeva. When the voice subsided Vidura became his old self again. Yudhiṣṭhira went back. (Chapter 26, Āśramavāsika Parva).

The end of Dharmaputra.

Soon after his return from the forest Nārada came to Hastināpura and told him of the death of Dhṛtarāṣṭra, Kuntī and Gāndhārī in a wild fire in the forest. Lamenting deeply Yudhiṣṭhira performed the obsequies at Hastināpura. It was at this time that the Yādava dynasty perished and Dvārakā was sunk into the ocean. The Pāṇḍavas then crowned Parīkṣit as their successor and entrusted Yuyutsu with the administration of the State till Parīkṣit came of age. Vajra was appointed as chief of Indraprastha. The obsequies of Vāsudeva, Balarāma and Kṛṣṇa were performed at Hastināpura. Kṛpācārya was appointed as preceptor to Parīkṣit. After having made all such arrangements the Pāṇḍavas commenced their Mahāprasthāna. The five Pāṇḍavas and Pāñcālī started from Hastināpura. A dog also followed them. Yudhiṣṭhira walked ahead. On the way, one by one, Pāñcālī Sahadeva, Nakula, Arjuna and Bhīmasena fell dead. Alone with a dog to keep company, Yudhiṣṭhira reached a plateau on the top of the Himālayas and there Indra was waiting for him with a chariot. But Yudhiṣṭhira said that he would not come to heaven without his wife and brothers. He was then informed that they had already reached heaven. Yudhiṣṭhira insisted that the dog also should be taken to heaven which Indra blankly refused. But Yudhiṣṭhira refused to ascend the chariot without the dog which, he said, had given him company from the start to the finish. The dog then changed itself into Dharmadeva and he complimented him on his sense of justice. When Yudhiṣṭhira entered heaven he saw Duryodhana sitting in all luxury and glory. Yudhiṣṭhira did not like it but Nārada pacified him. Yudhiṣṭhira saw all his relatives sitting there. A devadūta took him round hell also. When he heard the pitiable groans from there Yudhiṣṭhira thought his right place was with them. But Indra and Dharmadeva again consoled him. He was given a bath in Ākāśagaṅgā. He then lost his mortal form and his soul entered Divyaloka. Standing in the form of Dharmadeva he saw all his relatives including Kṛṣṇa. (Chapters 38 and 39, Āśramavāsika Parva, Chapter 1, Mausala Parva; Mahāprasthānika Parva, Svargārohaṇa Parva).

Synonyms of Yudhiṣṭhira.

Ājamīḍha, Ajātaśatru, Bhārata, Bhārataśārdūla, Bhāratapravara, Bharatarṣabha, Bhāratasattama, Bhāratasiṃha, Bhīmapūrvaja, Dharma, Dharmaja, Dharmanandana, Dharmaprabhava Dharmaputra, Dharmarāṭ, Dharmarāja, Dharmasuta, Kaunteya, Kaurava, Kauravaśreṣṭha, Kauravanandana, Kauravya, Kauravanātha, Kuntīnandana, Kuruśārdūla, Kuruśreṣṭha, Kurūdvaha, Kurukulodvaha, Kurumukhya, Kurunandana, Kurupāṇḍavāgrya, Kurupati, Kurupravīra, Kurupuṅgava, Kururāja, Kurusattama, Kurūttama, Kuruvardhana, Kuruvīra, Kuruvṛṣabha, Mṛdaṅgaketu, Pāṇḍava, Pāṇḍavaśreṣṭha, Pāṇḍavanandana, Pāṇḍaveya, Pāṇḍuputra, Pārtha and Yādavīmātā. All these words have been used to identify Yudhiṣṭhira in the Mahābhārata.

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