Senodyoga Parva is the forty ninth upa parva included in the fifth maha parva, namely the Udyoga parva in Mahabharata. Vyshampayana had narrated the historic events to Janamejaya on his queries.

How Krishna showed his desire was peace, after the marriage of Uttara?

After the marriage of Uttara, on the fourth day, there was a court session in the capital city of Matsya. Distinguished royal guests attended the session, mainly the close family relatives of Pandava brothers, and the relatives of King Virata. The kings were allowed in the beginning to chat with one another and later they had occupied their eligible seats as fit to their ranks before king Virata.

The issues of the local people were discussed initially and disposed early, and later, they turned into the subject of the provision of the lost kingdom of Yudhishtira to back to him. Krishna and Balarama were seated on either sides of their father and the entire people in the court session silently and eagerly looked towards Krishna.

Krishna finally started speaking and advised to send a suitable messenger to Nagasahvaya of Duryodhana to decide for re-posting Yudhishtira as the king of his lost land, by re-granting him half of his ruling area. He announced both the parties, Pandavas or Kauravas are equally related to him and later, he left to Dwaraka after wishing a happy future life for the newly wedded Uttara family. 

Arjuna and Duryodhana seeking Krishna's help
Arjuna and Duryodhana seeking Krishna’s help
Why Yudhishtira gathered trained soldiers in Upaplava?

Yudhishtira with his brothers and Draupadi lived in Upaplava camp that was provided on a temporary settlement basis. Many kings provided them with many presents and assured help in times of need, if any. Since he was then a relative of Virata, father in law of princess Uttara, it was a necessity of that time to keep royal status, and hence to have soldiers for defense also.

In the later days, Yudhishtira being obliged by Virata, forced to gather trained soldiers, since in times of any attack to Matsya, had to provide over all military protection to him, as Kichaka or Upakichakas, the former army commanders were no more then. He got the support of seven thousand akshohini trained soldiers.

From Panchala, his brother in law, Drupada came to his help. From Madra nagara, Shalya was there to sympathise with him. The sons of Pandavas and Abhimanyu were able warriors, fully trained. The primary requirement of the Pandavas was to provide military help to Virata of Matsya. 

Why Arjuna from Upaplava, visited Krishna at Dwaraka?

Since Duryodhana had already attempted a war with Virata but was defeated and returned, another attempt by him could not be denied was the Pandava brothers’ thought. 

Hence, Yudhishtira had sent Arjuna from Upaplava to get some kind of help from Krishna at Dwaraka. Thus Arjuna started to Dwaraka. 

What Duryodhana had done when Pandavas were settled in Upaplava?

After the marriage of Uttara, the royal messengers of Duryodhana reported him regarding the developments of Pandava brothers at Upaplava. At first, he tried to challenge about the period of thirteen years of Ajnathavasa, but when Bhishma convinced him, he had to agree with him. 

For safeguarding his country from the possibilities of a war, Duryodhana with the permission of Bhishma started to Dwaraka to get some kind of help from Krishna. But Bhishma was a matured man and had a good knowledge about preparing his defensive force to safeguard Nagasahvaya. In total, he got the support of eleven thousand akshohini trained soldiers. 

How Krishna had responded to Duryodhana and Arjuna when they visited?  

Duryodhana visited Krishna first and had a desire for military help from him, in case of a war in later times. Krishna appeared uneasy and requested him to allow him to take rest for a while, pretending to be asleep. Later, Arjuna arrived there seeking military help from him and sought protection in case of any war in the later times. But Arjuna felt sorry as he was a little bit late since Krishna was sleeping then.

The personal character of people play a major role in their actions. Since Krishna was sleeping, both Duryodhana and Arjuna could not speak to each other or could not make any noise causing disturbance to his sleep. Duryodhana thought, head is more important than feet for a man, and he sat waiting on the floor beside the head of Krishna. Arjuna thought feet of Krishna is more important for a humble devotee man, and hence sat waiting below the feet away from Krishna. Krishna had already promised to Duryodhana that, after awakening from his sleep, he would tell his opinion if any.  

How Krishna had responded to Duryodhana and Arjuna, after his sleep?

After a short nap, Krishna had got awakened. Arjuna was sitting below his feet and Duryodhana was sitting over his head. Krishna had seen Arjuna first and later seen Duryodhana also. Krishna greeted them both equally. Both of them expressed their desire for military help from him, in case of a war in the later times. Krishna told his opinion as, he had no army but was protected by his two commandos, Satyaki and Kritavarma, and the army was being controlled by his elder brother, Balarama.

Duryodhana demanded that army and obliged. Krishna agreed to allow Duryodhana that army, the Narayana Sena but under a condition that, he will not be participating in the same war, but if present there, he will not be using any weapon. Duryodhana went away happily.

Later, Arjuna with his folded hands sought for his help. Krishna agreed to help him but under a condition that, he will not be participating in the same war, as a soldier, which meant, he will not be using any weapon. He agreed to be a charioteer and agreed to sit in the chariot of Arjuna, simply controlling the horses. Thus Krishna showed his desire for peace to this world. 

Who was the first messenger from the side of Yudhishtira to seek for land? 

The king of Panchala was Drupada then and he was the cousin brother of Yudhishtira, being the brother of Droupadi. He had an experienced priest with him and deputed him as the messenger to Duryodhana, seeking land from him, on behalf of Yudhishtira, in the presence of his father Dritarastra, at Nagasahvaya.

What was the response of Duryodhana, and his court dignitaries?

The priest of Drupada was an aged man and an experienced one in public administration. Heaccomplished his commissioned task as a messenger and sought land for and on behalf of Yudhishtira. Dritarashtra, in the court session, told to his son Duryodhana that he should not quarrel with Yudhishtira in the issue of land, but to live as brothers. But when Duryodhana denied providing the legitimate half portion of the kingdom land to Yudhishatira, his father Dritarashtra, the blind man, kept silent. His wife Gandhari also kept silent, since they wanted to satisfy their son.

Duryodhana was exercising ruling power. Bhishma told their army under Dritarashtra was in his control and unconquerable by any type of enemies in the world. Drona also supported his opinion. Karna had praised Duryodhana and expressed confidence in his own strength.

The messenger from Panchala, being a priest, created a difference of opinion about war, in the minds of Kripa and Dritarashtra, and Kripa being unsupportive of the war, declared his desire for peace. He met with Ashvathama and advised him not to indulge in administrative matters or war but to continue his own education. Dritarashtra convinced him he would send his reply later with Sanjaya. The messenger priest returned, thinking Duryodhana is not willing to give away half of his kingdom to Yudhishtira. 

Why Duryodhana visited Parashurama?

Dritarashtra was a blind man but an Emperor and he desired his son Duryodhana to be safe on the throne, sitting and ruling, for which the blessings of Parashurama was a must-have. As per his father’s advice, Duryodhana along with Karna visited Parashurama and sought his blessings. Duryodhana reported about the possibilities of war and that Karna may be facing Arjuna and consulted for war procedures to be adopted.

Parashurama liked to maintain peace and so told to him to visit King Shalya and invite him to join the war. Since Parashurama knew everything, he advised Duryodhana to make Shalya as the charioteer to Karna without allotting any regiments to Shalya, because Shalya was equal to Krishna in many respects.          . 

How Duryodhana had canvassed Shalya?

Shalya got invitations from both Yudhishtira and Duryodhana but initially he was more inclined to join Yudhishtira, so started to Upaplava with minimum number of soldiers. Duryodhana had planned tricks, hence met with Shalya on his half-way to Yudhishtira towards Upaplava, and treated the king Shalya as his royal guest.

Duryodhana had provided the soldiers of the army of Shalya with good camping facilities and provided sumptuous dinner and procured him for his side. Shalya agreed to visit Duryodhana, but without his army and when Duryodhana returned to Kurukshetra, Shalya moved alone to Yudhishtira, returning his own army back to his Madra kingdom.

What did Shalya tell to Yudhishtira at the camp in Upaplava?

Shalya understood the situation and when Duryodhana had left the scene, he visited Yudhishtira at his camp in Upaplava. Duryodhana was egoistic and Shalya told Yudhishtira his tricks won’t work, and that it would not bear good result in future. He told to Yudhishtira at the camp in Upaplava regarding the sins of Indra, comparing with the egoistic actions of Nahusha, resulting in the curse of Agastya Rishi. King Shalya briefed as follows: 

Some time back, Tvashta was the divine Prajapathi Brahma and Trishira was his son, a stupid boy. Indra had killed this boy, Trishira even though he was a Brahmin varna boy, since he was used to drinking alcohol and making many problems to others.

Indra got credited with sins due to the violence committed as he killed Trishira, and to get rid of his sins, he started penance, by arresting himself under the lotus plant inside water. So Indra was not traceable. Then Deva Guru Brihaspati had posted Nahusha, a famous king, to the vacant seat at heaven as Indra, since he had completed one hundred yajnas, being eligible. When the king Nahusha got the entire heaven, he mastered many things and had become egoistic. 

At the same time, Vritra, a demon was blessed by Tvasta and got many boons. Nahusha had ordered Vritra not to allow any other king to perform hundred yajnas to block to enter into the heaven gate. Vritra was very friendly and favorable to Nahusha, so nobody could kill Vritra. He also got the special boon as he would not be killed in day or night, by wet or dried items, nor with any weapons.

Shachi was the wife of real Indra, and she went in search of her husband. One day, she was informed by Narada Rishi about the presence of real Indra as inside the lotus plant under the water, doing penance to gain virtues, and could not come out.

Shachi decided to help the real Indra. She was waiting for the advice of Vishnu. Shachi reported everything to her husband. On one evening during sunset time, when Vishnu was relaxing in the beach, Indra had ejected huge white foam over the water waves from the bottom of the lotus plants. Vishnu had placed his diamond mace partially covered with that white foam. Vritra desired to catch the beautiful and strong mace so he could be the strongest one in the world and moved to the middle of the foam in that evening.

Due to motion of the waves, the foam started accumulating surrounding Vrtra like a white hill. Since it was evening, Vritrasura could not see his further way, and nobody came to hear his cry, and then died due to suffocation by that white hill like foam. Even though he was very near to the mace of Vishnu, he had been killed then and there, as per his own requested conditions of his boon.

Even though Vritrasura was killed, Indra could not ascend to heaven since Nahusha was there. Vishnu told Shachi to act as a mediator to arrange a peace treaty between demons and angels for some time to keep peace in the world. Nahusha agreed for the peace treaty, but he was unmarried then.

Then, Narada Rishi met with Nahusha. Narada knew about the ego of Nahusha. He told him Shachi would become his wife if he uses a new type of vehicle for journeys that would be more precious in the world. He also suggested for using a palanquin supported by four powerful Rishis. Nahusha was very powerful then and succeeded in getting a golden palanquin with three very old Rishis to support it at three base corners for his journey.  

Nahusha was very proud of his wealth and assets and donated as much food and gold as required to Brahmins. He was very arrogant and ordered old Rishi Brahmins to carry him over palanquins. Meanwhile, Shachi had started performing yajnas and decided to complete hundred full yajnas, for and on behalf of her husband, Indra. Narada told Nahusha to go to the yajna vedi of Shachi, and request Shachi to marry him.

Due to liabilities of Nahusha, the learned Rishi scholars, even though very old, had withstood his weight over the heavy golden palanquin and carried with difficulties. Nahusha used Agasthya Rishi for the fourth base corner to support his palanquin, but the height of four Rishis was mismatching and the seat of Nahusha was frequently tilting during proceeding ahead, so he signalled Agasthya Rishi with his right leg toe to move speedily and making his journey with more speed and good comfort.

This insulted the powerful Agasthya Rishi and he cursed Nahusha to become a boa. Nahusha had become a boa or Ajagara due to his sinful ignorance, caused by the curse of Agasthya Rishi. Meanwhile, Vishnu advised Shachi to worship Ratri (Goddess of night) and other angels to conduct many Ashwamedha yagas without any animal sacrifices, but only using various grains.

When Nahusha had become boa or Ajagara, Shachi had informed all the developments to Indra. Goddess of night blessed Shachi after the hundred yajnas. Indra released himself, had ascended to heaven happily without any fear later. Thus both real Indra and Shachi were reposted to their eligible seats in heaven again.    

आख्यानमिन्द्रविजयं य इदं नियतः पठेत् । 
धूतपाप्मा जितस्वर्गः स प्रत्येह च मोदते ॥

Meaning: Those who read this victorious story of Indra with due interest would be free of their sins, and would be blessed and eligible to get heavenly pleasures.

Then, Yudhishtira had remembered the other day when he had liberated Bhima from the grip of Ajagara or boa. Once the big snake died, the soul of Nahusha then entered the feet of Mahavishnu attaining Moksha.

What Yudhishtira requested with Shalya?

Yudhishtira had requested Shalya to disclose his opinions. Since Shalya was under the liabilities of Duryodhana, he expressed the same. Then, Yudhishtira told Shalya to flatter Duryodhana whenever he could act as the charioteer to Karna, during the later war to control the horses. They both supported peace, not war. 

What were the opinions of Karna and Bhishma after the exile of Pandavas?

The priest of Drupada had conveyed the message of Yudhishtira to Dritarashtra. He requested to allow Indraprastha to Yudhishtira as their parental property. They were already respected as king with seven regiments. Nobody in this world would be able to fight with Arjuna, he added. Bhishma supported that opinion. 

Dhuryodhana felt that message threatening and declared under pressure of fear that no property would be given to Pandavas as that opined by Karna, as Karna desired to fight with Arjuna.

What Dritarashtra had assured referring to Sanjaya?

Dritarashtra had assured, he would be sending a reply through Sanjaya to Yudhishtira. Dritarashtra desired to avoid war of Duryodhana with Pandavas. 

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

Next post, Mahabharat: Sanjaya-yana parva would be more interesting.

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

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

Readers may share this story with children, friends and family.

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