Mahabharat Stories – Yudhisthira
Second episode depicting the soft – righteous or peculiar – nature of Yudhisthira:
Once Duryodhana and his army men reached Kamyak forest to see for themselves the ill fated life and hardships of Pandavas. They halted at a nearby lake where a group of Gandharvas – musicians from heaven – and their consorts were taking bath. Chitrasen was their leader. Duryodhana started misbehaving with them on the false euphoria of having many army personnel with him. But the Gandharvas used his divine powers to render Duryodhana and his army helpless. Duryodhana was defeated and was intensely ashamed of his poor defeat.
Chitrasen wanted to teach Duryodhana a lesson so he fastened him was about to beat him up when Pandavas happened to pas by that side. Seeing the poor condition of his brother, Yudhisthira advised Arjuna and Bhima to free Duryodhana who was in the clutches of the Gandharvas. Both the brothers protested that Yudhisthira should be more practical and use his common sense; how and why could they help the tormentor of Draupadi?
But Yudhisthira pacified them and said, “Our differences should not come in our duty to protect and our brothers in difficulty.” Then Pandavas defeated Gandharvas and Duryodhana was set free. He ran away ashamed of himself.
Story of Jarasangha
Jarasangha was the cruel king of Maghadha State. He had planned a sacrificial ritual where he was to sacrifice one hundred and eight human beings from royal families. Thus far he had conquered and jailed one hundred such kings and princes.
Sri Krishna knew about this cruelty and inhuman tendencies of king Jarasangha. Many a message was sent to him through the wives of such imprisoned princes and kings. Sri Krishna planned to release these jailed inmates. During the period of forest exile he took Bhima to the kingdom of Jarasangha and asked Bhima to challenge Jarasangha for a wrestling duet. As was customary, Jarasangha accepted the challenge.
The powerful Jarasangha was not to die easily. He had a Tantric power obtained through rigorous sadhana to heal himself even if any part of his body was detached! But there was one flaw; the detached part must remain on the same side of the body. For instance, if right hand is broken it will get attached to his body again if it lies on the same side! Sri Krishna knew this.
The fight between Jarasangha and Bhima was intense, and nobody seemed to come victorious. Bhima was puzzled, what should he do now! He looked at Sri Krishna for advice, and Sri Krishna at that moment took a small twig and broke it into two. BUT he threw the two broken parts in opposite direction, crossed. Bhima understood. In one peculiar position, Bhima caught hold of the leg of Jarasangha and tore him into two. Quickly he threw two parts of Jarasangha’s body in opposite direction. Thus came the end of demon king.
The kings and princes in his captivity were released and as an act of gratitude promised Sri Krishna to fight or support him and Pandavas in case of necessity. That necessity arose later, and all these kings decided to side with Pandavas in that war of Mahabharata.