Yana Sandhi Parva is the fifty third upa parva included in the fifth maha parva, named as Udyoga parva, in the epic Mahabharata. Vaishampayana narrated to Janamejaya as follows.

After spending the sleepless night, Dritarashtra entered his court hall in the morning, as he was eager to hear the contents of the reply speech of Sanjaya. The main content of Yana Sandhi is the debate on the reply of Sanjaya, the demand of legitimate Indraprastha and parental properties of Yudhishtira, and to return the same back to him. It was an attempt, by discussion, to preserve peace and to avoid war by the mature elders like Bhishma and Drona with Duryodhana.

What was the colour of the court hall of Dritarashtra?

The court hall was painted in white and almost all materials were white in color.

Court hall of Dritarashtra with King Dritarshtra in the centre and royal members around him
Royal court hall of Dritarashtra
Who entered the court hall and how they were seated?

The Emperor Dritarashtra, his son Duryodhana, brother Dushasana, his uncle Shakuni, legal advisor Vidura, Bhishma and Drona, entered according their ranks. The higher in rank were seated nearer to Duryodhana. The royal servants and soldiers-in-waiting, observed their protocols.

How Sanjaya entered the court hall and what he had announced?

Sanjaya had appeared in front of the gate and intimated his arrival to the Emperor. Then he was allowed inside and declared as he had returned from Upaplava with the messages of Pandavas. Initially, he intimated the enquiries as per their ranks of Pandava brothers, as they had sought blessings from Bhishma, Drona and Dritarashtra. He announced the blessings upon the younger ones, like children who were seeking from the elders in the court hall. Then finally, he asked permission to announce the royal messages. 

What was the message of Arjuna that was announced by Sanjaya?

Sanjaya had announced the message of Arjuna. After the dice game, they had completed the thirteen years of life in exile, so the legitimate inheritances of Yudhishtira may be returned, as fit for the royal treatment. They then acquired seven Akshohini regiments of soldiers, then under the control of Yudhishtira and deserved to be treated as family relative of Emperor Dritarashtra.

Who was the minister of Pandavas?

Satyaki was the minister of Pandavas. Satyaki was one of the commandos of Krishna, the other one being Kritavarma. The services of Kritavarma were later sought by Duryodhana since he was also the army commander under the control of the elder brother of Krishna, Balarama of Dwaraka. After the great Mahabharata war, Kritavarma was the only one alive and unhurt person on the side of Duryodhana.

What was the question of Duryodhana about Arjuna with Sanjaya?

Duryodhana asked Sanjaya how Arjuna responded to him. Then Sanjaya elaborated the clear message of Arjuna. Arjuna and brothers had suffered very much in the forest life after the dice game and now Duryodhana should return the legitimate properties back to Yudhishtira. In case Duryodhana fails to return, he may prepare for facing the adverse situations since then Arjuna gained full moral and physical strength by which he would be forced to get his paternal inheritances but it may be fatal for Duryodhana. 

What was the message of Bhishma to Duryodhana about Krishna and Arjuna?
एष नारायणः कृष्णः फल्गुनस्तु नरः स्मृतः ।
नारायणो नरश्चैव सत्वमेकं द्विधाकृतं ॥

Meaning: This man, called as Krishna, is really Narayana and Phalguna is the real man, or Nara. They are the incarnations of Nara and Narayana appears in two bodies but in soul and spirit they are unique. Phalguna is the name of Arjuna.

Bhishma advised Duryodhana to share the portion of the land including Indraprastha with his Pandava brothers treating them as family. At any cost, physical strength is not reliable but only moral strength always predominates and as a deserving son to the Emperor Dritarashtra, it may be better to give back few area of their ruling land to Yudhishtira.

If not agreeable and later if a war is declared, Yudhishtira would be able to win as shown in the Gograhana case. There Arjuna alone defeated the Kaurava army by simply using the sleep-inducing arrows and Karna proved and showed failure to face them. Hence people of Hastinavati would be praising Duryodhana for supporting the way of peace, rather than war. The angels are behind the success of Arjuna which has been proved on the lake side of Dvaipayana Sarovar during the war with Chitrasena.

Hence it may be always good for Duryodhana to return Indraprastha with some part of land to Pandava brothers. Then Duryodhana would be Emperor and Yudhishtira would be a king of a very small kingdom certainly under and obedient to Duryodhana.  

What was the message of Drona about Pandavas?

Drona simply supported the views of Bhishma. Drona obliged Duryodhana to agree with Bhishma and act accordingly.

What about the capacity of Nakula announced by Bhishma?

Now Nakula is very strong with his youthful energy, he may be successful in case war happens and Kaurava brothers may fail before him. Thus, Bhishma advised.

What about the capacity of Sahadeva announced by Bhishma?

Now Sahadeva is very strong with his youthful energy, he may be successful in case war happens and Kaurava brothers may fail before him. So Bhishma advised.

What about Draupadi as announced by Sanjaya?

Draupadi was obedient to Krishna and she honored him with divine opinion. In the original Mahabarata, there is no specific message of Draupadi sent through Sanjaya. But Draupadi had decisive role in Mahabharata and this was identified by Krishna and so he later collected her opinions and moved to meet Duryodhana at his court, the same is described in the next Bhagavad Yana Parva, an attempt to avoid war or a debate for peace treaty by Krishna. 

What was the message of Dritarashtra announced in the court?

Dritarashtra with his wife Gandhari strongly reprimanded their son Duryodhana with harsh words to draw back from his decisions, not to rely on the treasury wealth or words of Shakuni, but to heed the words of Bhishma. 

What was the response to the own message announced by Sanjaya?

Sanjaya felt momentarily unconscious when he remembered the huge seven Akshohini soldiers of Yudhishtira but immediately recovered and started announcing his own opinion as peaceful remedy is always better than path of war since war would be fatal for Dritarashtra side. 

What was the promise or assurance announced by Duryodhana?

Duryodhana argued in the court session. He told angels would not interfere in the activities of people’s warfare on this Earth. He also possessed the support of invisible angels but under the strong hold of his uncle, Shakuni. Since his brother Dushasana had good military strength, but had not accompanied to Matsya or previous military expeditions, full powers were not exhibited. He promised and assured before Dritarashtra with the commandership of Bhishma, they could gain and win any kind of the battle against Kurukshetra, at any time in future.

What was the final decision of Duryodhana?

Duryodhana finally declared, even a small area of land, like the tip of a needle, would not be granted to Yudhishtira, gained previously through the dice game and he had accepted the choice of the path of war, where by destiny one side be winning and later happenings to be actually experienced. If his entire army denied war, he would be fighting himself, with his brother Dushasana on his left side and Karna on the right side but not ready to compromise with Pandavas. 

What were the final opinions of Dritarashtra and advice to his son?

The final opinions of Dritarashtra were, quitting his son from his control and surrendering to God Vishnu. Dritarashtra prayed to God. He begged with God to bless his son, by kindling with good thoughts, to protect his people from the dangers of warfare.

How Duryodhana boasted his prowess?

Duryodhana was relying on the combat capacity of Karna and the occult prowess of Shakuni. Hence he boasted the angels are also under his commands. Thus he thought angels would help him in the Mahabharat war. 

Why Karna boycotted the court session?

Bhishma was more practical and knew about the curse on Karna by his teacher Parashurama. Karna told lies to get admission for his education under Parashurama, so his teacher after knowing it, cursed him for lying, but later pardoned him and taught him. Arjuna, throughout his life, had never told even a single lie to anybody. Hence Bhishma openly admitted the truthfulness. This had injured the ego of Karna and he told in the court session he would be boycotting the session throwing away his bow and arrows worn by him then and there and went away to his home. 

Why Vidura adviced Duryodhana?

Vidura was the legal advisor and hence he advised Duryodhana not to choose war.

What was the repeated advice of Dritarashtra to his son?

Dritarashtra repeatedly advised his son, Duryodhana not to choose war. 

What was questioned with Sanjaya by Dritarashtra when he was alone?

When all kings had vacated the court session, and all other persons left the hall, Dritarashtra had asked Sanjaya about the future consequences.  

What was the immediate reply of Sanjaya?

Sanjaya told he would not publish anything when he was alone with Dritarashtra, since he required Vyasa and Gandhari as witnesses. 

When Vyasa and Gandhari had come there, Vidura told, in case of war, the result would be fatal to Duryodhana and better to discourage him about war and persuade to withdraw his decisions. He announced Krishna is the incarnation of Vishnu and using Arjuna, he would be eliminating his enemies. 

What are the different names of Krishna and their meanings as told by Sanjaya? 

Sanjaya knew most of the names of Krishna and their meanings. Sanjaya was a contemporary of Krishna. He had visited Krishna before returning from Upaplava where Arjuna and Pandava brothers with their seven Akshohini regiments were temporarily accommodated. Sanjaya could assess all the possibilities of forthcoming events.

Krishna had always visited his guests or anybody with new clothes, and in Sanskrit, Vasana means clothes. Vasudeva means son of Vasu Deva and provider of clothes. Once, in the court session, he had provided clothes to Draupadi. He had already killed Shishupala as the punishment for the hundredth time of sinful actions. Krishna had waited for the characteristic improvements of Shishupala until he had committed ninety-nine mistakes. Since appreciable patience was borne by Krishna, Sanjaya appreciated many names of Krishna. Since he had punished a demon Madhu, he is called as Madhusoodana. No punishments to Rishi or Muni people, so he is Madhava.  He can be as strong as a bull so he is called Vishnu, resembling a Vrishabha.

कृषिर्भूवाचकः शब्दो ण श्च निर्वृति वाचकः ।
कृष्णस्तद्भावयोगाच्च कृष्णो भवति शाश्वतः ॥

Meaning: Krishna shows Krish and Na whereas initial part of the word means agriculture and Na shows independence in life. The summary of the word Krishna is nothing but permanent. In the broader sense, it is a combination of actions or yoga. Sathya means truth; he is always living promoting truth. He is Narayana since he protects Nara, meaning people. Almost all names of Vishnu were narrated with explanations by Sanjaya. Sanjaya was the charioteer of Dritasashtra but a sincere devotee of Krishna.

What Dritarashtra had done at the end as per Yana Sandhi parva?

Dritarashtra had worried about the arrogant character of his son Duryodhana and started to pray to Vishnu. He knew Karna and Bhishma were sincere devotees of Lord Vishnu and he thought the remedy to all grievances would be praying towards God with his name Vishnu. Vidura was his brother and he was also devoted to Vishnu but Vidura had showed his love more on his incarnation, as Shri Krishna.  

Next post, Mahabharat: Bhagavad Yana parva would be more interesting.

Mahabharat: Karnopanivada Parva would be presented separately in another article.

What are the benefits of reading this story?

On reading this story, children would gain more memory power, great moral strength in their own life in future; create a sense of self- reliance leading to peace and progress.

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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