Kirata Parva is the thirty first upa parva included in the third maha parva, named as Vana parva or Aranyaka parva in the epic, Mahabharat. The original epic was composed by Vyasa in Sanskrit. Vyshampayana had narrated to Janamejaya the
historical events, happened in the forests on his queries.

The two main incidents of this upa parva were, the transit journey by Yudhishtira from Kamyakavana to Dvaitavana, again back to Kamyakavana and procurement of weapons by Arjuna from Maheshwara who appeared as a hunter, called Kirata after his penance.

Who was the most honorable person who visited Pandavas in Kamyakavana and what Draupadi told him?

Krishna was the most honorable person who visited Pandavas in Kamyakavana. Draupadi told Krishna regarding her sufferings and grievances. The Pandava brothers deserved virtues and performed works that would bring virtues to human beings but they were suffering. Duryodhana, Dushasana, and his allies were notorious for sinful actions but they were enjoying in the palace.

Arjuna receiving the Pashupatastra from Lord Shiva
Arjuna receiving the Pashupatastra from Lord Shiva (painting by Raja Ravi Varma)

During Rajasuya yaga, Pandava brothers had worked hard to gain huge wealth but by only one day’s deceptive dice game, Duryodhana had grabbed them all, and these hard earned wealth were enjoyed by the undeserved people.

How Krishna consoled Draupadi and what he had promised her?

Krishna consoled Draupadi, as he said, he was out of Dwaraka when the dice game was played and nobody had invited him. Any how, he would bring an end to the life of Duryodhana, Dushasana and his allies. Pandava brothers would be ruling the country as kings in future. But one had to wait for the suitable time. Krishna had returned to Dwaraka, accompanying his sister, Subhadra and Abhimanyu.

Who were Drishtaketu and Drishtadyumna, what they had done at Kamyakavana?

Drishtaketu was the prince of Chedi, son of the late Shishupala, had returned to his palace at Shuktimathipura. He accompanied his sister, Karenuvati, the wife of Nakula, the fourth among the Pandava brothers.

Drishtadyumna, brother of Draupadi, had returned to palace at Panchala accompanying the children of Draupadi, called as Upapandavas. Drishtadyumna had consoled Draupadi and promised he would kill Drona for his support for the sinful adharma actions of Duryodhana.

How and why Pandavas travelled to Dvaitavana ?

A lot of kings had visited Yudhishtira and they had contributed many chariots and dresses to the Pandavas for their comfortable stay in the forests of Kamyakavana. Using the horse chariots, Pandavas travelled to Dvaitavana. There was a big natural water tank in the Dvaitavana. It was surrounded by many big and beautiful trees. There were different types of birds and animals, elephants moving freely in Dvaitavana. Many Rishis were conducting penance for many years peacefully. Some of them were in teams and the place was very pleasant for settling and hence Yudhishtira decided to ask the opinions of his brothers for living in Dvaitavana.

What Markandeya Rishi had advised Yudhishtira in Dvaitavana?

Markandeya Rishi had advised Yudhishtira to live as Sri Rama. Even though Sri Rama had strength, he lived in forest to fulfill his father’s promise. He advised to protect the principles of Dharma.

What Baka Dalbhya Rishi had advised Yudhishtira in Dvaitavana?

Dvaitavana was previously occupied by many people with desires of conducting penance. Pandava brothers were kings and belonged to Kshatriya varna. Many people were visiting Dvaitavana of different varnas. Then there were four varnas, namely, Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra. Baka Dalbhya Rishi had advised Yudhishtira to live harmoniously among different varnas together. He told the Kshatriya and Brahmana varnas should live mutually with good understanding, showing respect equally.

What Draupadi had elaborated with Yudhishtira in Dvaitavana?

Draupadi told to Yudhishtira regarding her sufferings and grievances. The Pandava brothers deserved virtues and performed works that would bring virtues to human beings but they were suffering, whereas Duryodhana, Dushasana, and his allies were notorious for sinful actions but they were enjoying in the palace.

Krishna had killed Jarasandha for paving way for Rajasuya, and many kings were killed and some small kingdoms still had no kings as the prince’s education was not completed. But these kingdoms were under Duryodhana when Pandava had left the palace.

What Draupadi had anticipated in Yudhishtira as she told in Dvaitavana?

Draupadi had anticipated in Yudhishtira, as she told in Dvaitavana, regarding anger against Duryodhana, for his sinful actions.

What Yudhishtira had answered and consoled Draupadi and his brothers?
एतदात्मवतां वृत्तमेष धर्मः सनातनः ।
क्षमा चैवानृशं स्यं च तत्कार्यस्म्यहमंजसा ॥

Meaning: Politeness and self-control over one’s own anger are the major factors for Dharma. These are the correct methods of Sanatana Dharma which I follow.

Yudhishtira had answered and consoled Draupadi and his brothers as above.

What Draupadi asked regarding works, their results and relevance of God, Ishwara?
राजानं धर्म गोप्तारं धर्मो रक्षति रक्षितः ।
इति मे श्रुतमार्याणां त्वां तु मन्ये न रक्षति ॥

Meaning: I have heard through learning, Dharma is protecting the kings who protect Dharma. But in your case, I feel it is not so protective, for you only.

Draupadi felt miserable and asked Yudhishtira to correlate the Dharma and performances and the result provider God, Ishwara.

How Yudhishtira clarified the doubts of Draupadi?

Yudhishtira clarified the doubts of Draupadi by correlating the performances and their results, and appropriate time and requirement of endurance. Sanatana Dharma emphasizes the importance of pardoning and truthfulness in life.

What Draupadi had elaborated to Yudhishtira regarding the philosophy of works
and results for human beings?

Draupadi had strongly told for the enjoyment of the wealth earned by Pandavas, Duryodhana had not deserved. Yudhishtira did not deserve a life in the forests.

How Draupadi had got philosophical knowledge?

When Draupadi was a small girl, she was sitting on the laps of her father, Drupada and her father was describing the philosophy to her elder brother Drishtadyumna. Thus, Draupadi had got philosophical knowledge.

How Bhima protested against the style of life in exile caused by the deceptive dice

Bhima had argued with Yudhishtira referring to Dharma with Artha and Kama, describing all the four Purusharthas, to be honored by man, one by one. He told to Yudhishtira regarding the duties assigned to Kshatriya Varna, as it was not proper to spend time for twelve years in Dvaitavana where Brahmins are dutiful in doing penance. Yudhishtira had to prepare for war as a Kshatriya, to eliminate the immoral ruler called Duryodhana.

How Bhima pursuaded Yudhishtira to gain the Purusharthas one by one?

Yudhishtira had to wage war against Duryodhana as his duty or Dharma. Success would be guaranteed and when he would be crowned, he would get the lost wealth and it would gain the Artha. Ruling properly should be the Kama, as Bhima suggested Yudhishtira, to accept one by one. Bhima had persuaded Yudhishtira to consider the methods of war as suitable for him and leave the forest life in Dvaitavana for the Rishis for penance purposes.

Bhima argued in case meager sins had been committed with any minor mistakes in waging the war against Duryodhana, such sins could be eliminated by conducting oblations and offering donations to the learned scholars and fire worships as remedies. Thus Bhima had supported his persuasions to wage war against Duryodhana by Yudhishtira. Then Yudhishtira replied to him regarding the special powers of Bhishma, Drona, Ashvathama and Kripacharyas who were fed under Duryodhana and under obligations to his enemies. In order to gain success, war should be well prepared and Pandava side people had to be well versed in any kind of weapons.

What was Yudhishtira sticking to as he replied to Bhima?

In the dice game, the term of twelve years exile and one more year Ajnathavasa was agreed and Yudhishtira was sticking to his promises. Thus he replied to Bhima and consoled him to wait and prepare for the future patiently.

Who had visited Dvaitavana when Yudhishtira and Bhima were discussing and what he had secretly advised to Yudhishtira?

Sathyavati’s son, Vyasa had visited Dvaitavana, when Yudhishtira and Bhima were discussing. Vyasa had secretly administered the Pratismriti Yogavidya to Yudhishtira in Dvaitavna, to be used for the preparations and get success in the Mahabharata war in case it happened in future.

What Vyasa told about frequent hunting in Dvaitavana?

Vyasa has strongly argued regarding the protection of forest species in Dvaitavna. In order to meet Pandava brothers, all kinds of people had started visiting Dvaitavana when Pandavas started living there. Some people while returning hunted the rare animals and Vyasa knew everything. In order to feel secured on the way by the various frequent visitors, Pandavas also hunted the cruel animals but not for eating them. Before Pandavas entry into Dvaitavana, there were a good number of elephants and cruel animals. Hence Vyasa advised Yudhistira not to stay in one forest for a long time causing trouble to the life of forest animals.

Why Yudhishtira decided to return to Kamyakavana from Dvaitavana?

After the discussions held with Vyasa, Yudhishtira had started thinking. He recollected the views of Draupadi and Bhima. Before the death of Kirmira, Kamyakavana was not used by any Rishis due to the demon’s presence. But in Dvaitavana after Pandavas presence the hunting had caused problems in the nature. Hence, Yudhishtira decided to return to Kamyakavana from Dvaitavana.

What was the secret reason in returning from Dvaitavana by Yudhishtira?

The spy agents of Duryodhana would frequently visit Dvaitavana and war preparations should be achieved in secrets and Yudhistira preferred the forest where the demon Kirmira had lived for a long time called Kamyakavana. Yudhishtira had not disclosed this secret to anybody.

How Yudhishtira encouraged Arjuna to get boons from Indra?

After returning to Kamyakavana, Yudhishtira had called Arjuna near him and with most pleasing way, started speaking to him alone. Yudhishtira seriously explained Arjuna, regarding the facts to be faced in the situations of war time.

Bhishma, Drona, Karna, and Kripa had well versed in using the all four quarters of the Dhanurveda and possessed the required weapons and they were patronized by Duryodhana. Due to liabilities they would become unconquerable and remedies to be prepared in advance by Pandava side, and especially by Arjuna. Further, Yudhishtira had advised Arjuna to carry over penance on Maheshwara and get the boon with Pashupata weapon.

How Draupadi felt when Arjuna started his joiurney to meet Indra?

Draupadi felt very happy when Arjuna started his journey to meet Indra for the procurement of Pashupata weapon. She wished him all the success.

How Arjuna had moved to receive the boons from Indra and what were the conditions laid by Indra to Arjuna to receive the boons?

Arjuna had moved towards north direction for penance on Indra to receive the boons and the weapon called Pashupatastra. Arjuna had met Indra at a strange hilltop and Indra laid some conditions to Arjuna to receive the boons. Arjuna should first satisfy God Maheshwara through penance and get Pashupata weapon from him. Arjuna should satisfy other angels, like Yama, Varuna and Kubera through his good characters and good actions, and get additional weapons from them.

What had been pleaded by other Rishis with God Maheshwara?

When Arjuna had started penance, the Rishis who surrounded him, were embarrassed to see his style of penance and power of forbearance. They thought Arjuna would grab the seat over the throne of Indra or some higher worlds and with jealousy, reported to appear before Arjuna by God Maheshwara.

Who is Kirata and how he had tested Arjuna to know his eligibilities?

When Arjuna had met a wild boar on the way, in order to save himself, he took his bow and aimed an arrow to kill it, and simultaneously another hunter had done the same action who had come chasing that animal. Both the arrows had struck the body of the animal and it fell down. Then Arjuna told the hunter he had aimed his arrow to the animal first. In Sanskrit, the hunter is called as Kirata. He had also told Arjuna, he had aimed his arrow to the animal first and then it led to a fight due to arguments. Gradually, physical violence between Arjuna and Kirata had started and within moments both engaged in severe war.

When Arjuna had aimed many strong arrows to kill Kirata, he had seized his bow and started to strike with that bow to Arjuna. Even though Arjuna had struck the body of Kirata with several arrows, there was not even a single mark over his body. Then Arjuna had prayed to God Maheshwara and immediately thought in doubt regarding the Kirata as he should be none other than God Maheshwara. Suddenly God Maheshwara appeared in his divine form and the hunter had disappeared from his vision. Then God Maheshwara had consoled him telling he had tested him.

How Arjuna had received Pashupata from God Maheshwara?

With folded hands, memorizing his mother and father, Arjuna prayed:

युध्येयं येन भीष्मेण द्रोणेन कृपेण च ।
सूतपुत्रेण च रणे नित्यं कटुकभाषिणा ॥

Meaning: Kindly grant me the weapons with which I shall fight with Bhishma, Drona, Kripa and the son of Suta who always speak harshly.

ददामि तेऽस्त्रं दयितमहं पाशुपतं महत् ।
समर्थो धारणे मोक्षे संहारे चापि पांडव ॥

Meaning: Pandava, I am providing you those great Pashupata weapons since you are able to uphold, utilize, apply, withdraw, liberate and kill, God replied.

God Maheshwara had provided Arjuna his cherished Pashupata weapons and advised regarding its proper uses and withdrawal methods.

What were the additional weapons received after Pashupatastra?

After Pashupatastra, Arjuna had received three more additional weapons. From the Angel God of Death, Yama, he received Yama Danda Astra. From the Angel God of water, Varuna, he received Varuna Pasha Astra. From the Angel God of wealth and treasures, Kubera, he received Kubera Mahabala Divyastra.

Who invited Arjuna and how had he travelled?

Indra had invited Arjuna to heaven and the charioteer Matali had accompanied Arjuna to the heaven.

On reading this story, children would gain more memory power.

Next post, Mahabharat: Indralokagamana would be more interesting.

Mahabharat: Tirthayatra parva would be presented separately in
another article.

It is humbly prayed for the blessings of God Krishna upon us.

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