Yakshayuddha Parva is the thirty fifth 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.

How was the Gandhamadana forest?
धर्मारण्यं हि तत्पुण्यमाद्यम् च भरतर्षभ ।
यत्र प्रविश्ट मात्रो वै पापेभ्यो विप्रमुच्यते ॥

Meaning: O Bull Bharatha! It was also a forest full of Dharma, where people reaching there get rid of their sins. It was a holy place.

What had Arshtishena Rishi advised Yudhishtira?

Arshtishena Rishi had his Ashrama near Mount Shweta near Gandhamdana forest. When Yudhishtira reached Arshtishena Ashram, he welcomed them and told them many valuable secrets of human life.

पिता माता तथैवाग्निर्गुरुरात्मा च पंचमः ।
यस्मै ते पूजिताः पार्थ तस्य लोक वुभौ जितौ ॥

Meaning: O Partha! Those who worship father, mother, fire, teacher and inner-soul (say God or Paramatma), they could win the worlds, this world and heaven.

Yudhishtira desired to win in the forthcoming Mahabharat war and Arshtishena Rishi was indirectly hinting him about his victory.

What was the story of Agastya Vivaha?

Lopamudra was the daughter of the king of Vidarbha, and she was well educated. She was a devotee of Goddess Lalitha Devi. She had contributed many Rigveda verses in to written scripts. Agastya Rishi had married Lopamudra and later built his Ashram at Lanka. Agastya had ascetic powers and lived as a great Physician-cum- Rishi. They had a son, and his name was Dhridhasyu, and his nick name was Idhmavaha.

Why was the son of Agastya nicknamed as Idhmavaha?
स बाल एव तेजस्वी पितुस्तस्य निवेशने ।
इध्मानां भारमाजह्रे इध्मवाहस्ततो ऽभवत् ॥

Meaning: As a boy in his father’s house, he used to procure big and heavy wooden logs for fire worship or oblations, which were called as Idhma, and thus he was nicknamed as Idhmavaha.

Why did Bhima wage mace war with Manimata at Gandhamadana forest of Kubera?

Manimata was egoistic and he blocked the way of Bhima without speaking to him. Bhima was interested in collecting the fallen flowers only. Since Manimata had started striking Bhima, Bhima got angry with him and he waged mace war with him. When Manimata had ordered his yaksha troops to fight with Bhima, Bhima had lost his patience and killed him with his mace. 

Why Agastya Rishi had cursed Manimata?

Agastya Rishi was performing penance in his Ashram ground peacefully when the yaksha, Manimata was moving over the sky. Manimata was egoistic as he was capable to move over sky and when he had seen Agastya Rishi below, he insulted him by spitting over his body. Then Agastya Rishi had cursed him as he would be killed by a human being. Bhima had killed Manimata, caused by this curse.

How Bhima had satisfied Kubera?

Manimata, the egoistic Yaksha was put in charge of Gandhamadana forest which was a holy place but he was suffering under the curse of Agashtya Rishi. Bhima had removed his arrogant nature with his mace fight and thus satisfied Kubera.

What were the major points told by Arshtishena with respect to Sun and time?

Arshtishena told to Yudhishtira, “On the Full moon and no moon days, Kubera used to come there with his yakshas and divine troops, appeared as the shining Sun, and danced in his Gandhamadana plateau to satisfy Indra”.  

What was advised by Kubera to Yudhishtira?

Yudhishtira could remain in the Gandhamadana forest area as the guest of Kubera and he could perform the rituals and gain virtues. Thus Kubera had advised him.

What news was provided to Yudhishtira by Kubera regarding Arjuna?

Arjuna would get the Pashupatastra and get relevant training by the Chaitraratha and his troops. Arjuna would be returning after five years after paying his Gurudakshina to Indra, in the form of killing the Nivatakavacha demons who had hidden under the seas. Hence Yudhishtira had waited for five years patiently.

How Arjuna had returned after his training from Indraloka?

Matali had brought Arjuna to the camp of Yudhishtira on his glorious chariot.

What Indra told to Yudhishtira after returning of Arjuna?

Indra had advised Yudhishtira to move towards Kamyakavana after the returning of Arjuna.

What Arjuna told to his brothers after returning from Indraloka?

Arjuna was very happy and explained about his procuring the weapons, training and war with the Yakshas and demons under seas. When Yudhishtira desired to see the special weapons of heaven, Arjuna had consoled him to wait for the next day.

What was the name of the conch of Arjuna, and why it was provided to him?

The conch of Arjuna was Devadatta and it was provided to him to use in fight against any demons on the Earth or as his official royal warning whistle. 

Arjuna blowing his conch Devadatta during the Mahabharata war
Arjuna blowing his conch Devadatta
Why the palace of Nivatakavacha and Hiranyapuri were not owned by Indra?

Hiranyapuri was created by Brahma and donated to lady Puloma after her penance as per her request. The sons of the lady Puloma named as Kalakeya demons had been provided with boons from Brahma as per the request of lady Puloma. Kalakeya demons were unconquerable by the heavenly angels by the boons of Brahma. Matali was ready to drive the heavenly glorious chariot for fighting with the Kalakeya demons of the Hiranyapuri as per the requirement of Indra and to kill them by Arjuna.

Nivatakavacha was created by Brahma and donated to stronger demons after their penance as per their request. The stronger demons named as Nivatakavacha demons had been provided with the boons from Brahma as per their request for their existence under water. Nivatakavacha demons were unconquerable by the heavenly angels by the boons of Brahma. Matali was also ready to drive the heavenly glorious chariot for fighting with the Nivatakavacha demons under water or over the sky as per the requirement of Indra and to kill them by Arjuna.

How Arjuna had executed the teacher’s fees payments (Gurudakshina) in Indraloka? How it was populated later?

Arjuna had returned after five years, after paying his Gurudakshina to Indra, in the form of killing the Nivatakavacha demons who were hiding under the seas. In addition to the hiding places under sea, some of the demons were hiding in the Hiranyapuri and as per Matali’s information, Arjuna had satisfactorily finished his task of killing these demons. Later it was populated as his teacher’s fees.

What was requested by Yudhishtira and what was the answer of Arjuna finally?

Yudhishtira had requested Arjuna to show the special weapons of heaven but Arjuna had consoled him to wait for the next day.

What was pleaded to Arjuna by the team of Rishis and why?

The Rishis had protested the show of the divine weapons by Arjuna and advised him not to show them to anybody before their real use. They were provided for him to use in times of Dharma yuddha and before the actual need of the time he should not disclose them. Even Yudhishtira also would see them in the actual war since the disclosure would threaten the existing living beings causing disturbance of peace in the world. 

What were the additional assets received by Arjuna as he told to Yudhishtira?
इदं च मे तनुत्राणं प्रायच्चन्मघवान्प्रभुः।
अभेद्यं कवचं दिव्यं स्रजं चैव हिरण्मयीं ॥
देवदत्तं च मे शंखं देवः प्रादान्महारवं ।
दिव्यं चेदं किरीटं मे स्वयमिन्द्रो युयोज ह ॥

Meaning: Lord Maghavan had gifted to me the divine unbreakable body safety cover and golden garland. God had gifted to me the heavy noise making Devadatta conch. Indra of the heaven had put this divine crown over my head himself.

Arjuna had told to Yudhishtira as above about the additional assets received. 

With Draupadi, the five Pandava brothers had lived there for a few days preparing for their return journey towards Kamyakavana to complete the twelve years exile.

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

Next post, Mahabharat: Ajagara parva would be more interesting.

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

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

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