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Jaimineya Mahabharatha- Ashwamedhika Parva

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Posted: 04 December 2011 at 1:56am | IP Logged
INTRODUCTION

Maharishi Jaimini was one of the foremost of Veda Vyasa's disciples (Shukha, Vaisampayana Paila and Sumantu being others). The story goes that, after narrating the entire Mahabharata to these five, he asked them to write it in their own words. No one even dared to try to match their illustrious Guru's literary powers.  Except for Jamini. For him, disregarding his Guru's command was a greater sin- hence he started in  all earnest to re write the MB in his own words. So deep was his revernce to his guru that when he presented the finished product to Veda Vyasa, the Master claimed that Jamini's version was even better than the original.

Most of Jamineya Mahabharata (which was bigger and more detailed) has been lost except for the Ashwamedhika Parva. Why his work was lost while the original (Vyasa Mahabharata) survived is not clear. 

Also, like any other major text, this too has not been free form interpolations by later authors calling themselves Jaimini. 


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Posted: 04 December 2011 at 2:26am | IP Logged
The Jaimineya Mahabharata (JMB) in in the form of a conversation b/w Maharishi Jaimini and Janamejaya. 

Janamejaya asks Jaimini how did his great grandfather, Yudhishthira perform the Aswamedha Yagna. Jaimini replies that after the War, when Yudhishtira was plunged in grief and sorrow, Bhagawan Veda Vyasa arrived there and advised him to perform the Ashwamwdha Yagna, which was performed by Lord Rama as well.

Yudhishtira replied that he did not have enough funds to perform a sacrifice of this magnitude. He did not feel like taxing his subjects- nor felt like killing the kings who had already been deprived of their parents in the War. Yudhishtira asks Vyasa how could he counduct  a sacrifice under such circumstances.

Vyasa replied that long long ago there was a king called Marutta who had once performed a sacrifice and donated huge amounts of gold to Brahmanas. The brahmans, (after accepting a token amount) left it all there. That gold, was still lying in the Himalayan region. vyasa advised Yudhishthira to bring all the gold from there.

Yudhishthira, ever morally judicious, wondered whether it would be correct on his part to collect the gold since it was given as a gift to brahmanas. He observes that a king who uses the property of Brahmanas is doomed just like a man who is thrown water with  a stone tied to his neck.. Yudhishtira who is worried that he has sinned beyond redemption by killing his kinsmen, refuses to heed Vyasa's suggestion sayinbg it will be another blot on him.

Vyasa assures him that the moment the brahmanas left the gold there, they also relinquished all their rights over it.Yudhishtira can claim the gold wihout any compunctions. 

(to be followed)


Edited by varaali - 04 December 2011 at 2:55am

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Posted: 06 December 2011 at 4:02am | IP Logged
[cont'd from the previous post]

Vyasa then goes on to enumerate the requisites for the ashwamedha yagna. After describing the number of brahmanas (20,000 of them all well versed in vedic lore) and the dakshina required to be given to them (one elephant, one chariot, one horse ornamented with gold, one thousand cows, one prastha of gems, one bhara of gold -(this dakshina is for day one only)), Vyasa goes on to describe the physical charecteristics of the horse to be released. The horse must be white like a kunda flower, the tail should be yellow, ears black. It should be released on Chaitra Poornima day and guarded by brave warriors. Vyasa also states that the result of the Ashwamedha Yagna would increase manifold if the King observed the Asipatra Vrata- a vrata which even Indra fould difficult to observe.

Yudhishtira, distinctly giving the impression of being very very unwilling to venture into this yagna begins looking for excuses. He laments that where on earth could such  a multi hued horse be found. Besides  he had no money, no warriors (he had put his brothers through enough troubles). As far as the younger generation was concerned- Vrishaketu , son of Karna was just sixteen, as was Meghavarna, son of Ghatotghach. He could not imagine sending them into battle. Yudhishhira continues his lamentations.

Bhima cuts his brother's lamentations short and coming to the point,  asks Vyasa where such horse was to be found.

Vyasa says the required horse was in the possession of the king of Bhadravati whose name was Yauvanashva. The king guarded the horse with such care that even Wind found it difficult to make  contact  with the horse. So it wold be no mean task to obtain the horse

[to be cont'd- Bhima decides to fetch the horse]



Edited by varaali - 06 December 2011 at 9:55am

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Posted: 15 January 2012 at 1:08am | IP Logged
Please  continue Varaali. It is not only very interesting story but also this very small part very nicely portrays most typical characteristics or characterizations of Yudhishthir and Bheem that we know. Looking forward for further update.

Edited by ShivangBuch - 17 January 2012 at 6:56am

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Posted: 22 January 2012 at 10:20pm | IP Logged
[cont'd from the previous post of mine]

Bhima, excited at the prospect of facing another challenge announces he will obtain the horse and prepares to leave for Bhadravati. Vrishketu and Meghavarna offer to accompany him. Bhima, eager to shape the two young lads into fine warriors, agrees. Maharishi Vyasa, his job done, leaves from the place, ceremoniously sent off by the Pandavas.

Yudhishthira, ever the unwilling warrior, begins lamenting once again. He begins questioning the feasibility of such a yagna  the bloodshed it will inevitable involve, especially when he has not recovered from the shock / sin of killing his own kith and kin. No amount of reassurance from Bhima is enough  to pull Yudhishthira out of his self woven web of confusion, till each of the two mentally thinks of Krishna - Yudhishthira, to seek Krishna's guidance and Bhima, to ask Krishna's help in knocking some good Kshatriya sense into his elder brother. 

As if by magic, Krishna appears at their palace doorstep (in the middle of the night). An astonished Dwarpal announces his arrival to the King and the Pandavas hurry to the door to receive Krishna. Krishna salutes Yudhishthira with his head bowed down at his (Yudhishthira's) feet, Yudhishthira lifts him up and smells him on the forehead by way of blessing. Bhima  and Arjuna embrace him while the twins touch his feet. 

All seem surprised at Krishna's sudden, unannounced arrival, that too at such an odd hour.

Meanwhile, Draupadi also comes there and welcoming Krishna with a smile, comments that it should not be a matter of surprise that Krishna has suddenly appeared there. She recounts that when her modesty was being made a mockery of, it was Krishna who saved her. When the dignity of her hospitality was threatened by Durvasa and his disciples, it was Krishna who saved her once again. In a voice filled with gratitude, Draupadi, once again welcomes him. 

Krishna acknowledges Draupdi's words with look and a smile and accepts the seat offered by Yudhishthira. The king, not impressed with talks about the past, comes to the point vexing him at the moment i.e whether he should or not perform the Aswamedha yagna. Bhima, worried that Krishna may fall for his elder brother's concerns and scrape the whole project, interjects and says he is confident of fetching the horse. Bhima  who cannot directly overrule Yudhishthira, gives silent, but subtle hints on which brother should Krishna favour.

Krishna decides to have some fun. he says," O king The present political climate is not favourable for a Aswamedha yagna " (Yudhishthra heaves an audible sigh, Bhima's shoulders droop).

 "It seems", Krishna continued," you have been advised by Bhima. Bhima is simply  a glutton who has no wisdom. He has taken an ugly she-demon as his wife which has retarded his intellect further. The wise men have prescribed the advise of such men who are mentally retarded, henpecked or live in the house of their father-in-law should never be taken . Bhima knows only Jarasandha , Hidimb and Baka. O great king, how can you depend on Bhima and get the scrifica completed? It seems to me an act of great risk." 

Krishna finishes his speech with air of great concern. Bhima, who has seen though the act of Krishna, guffaws loudly and makes a reply to him.

[contd- Bhima's reply and his march to Bhadrawati]







Edited by varaali - 23 January 2012 at 1:12am

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Posted: 22 January 2012 at 11:12pm | IP Logged
One thing - Vrishaketu didn't have any residual resentment towards Kunti & the Pandavas for the deaths of his father & brothers?  Or did he get past that in Jamineya's Stri-parva?  I find it interesting in the above description that he simply volunteered to accompany Bhima, and wasn't sulking in grief or anger.  I'd have thought that he'd at least have been resentful @ Kunti, if not the Pandavas.

So Jamineya differs here as well?  In Vyasa (KMG), Krishna arrived @ Hastinapur after the Pandavas had gone on their treasure hunt, and that was the time Parikshit was born.  So the people who were there to welcome him were Kunti, Draupadi, Subhadra & Uttara, although their mood was that of grief as Parikshit had been stillborn.  That was when Krishna revived him.

Somehow, Krishna insulting Hidimbaa - even if in jest - is a bit tough to swallow Confused

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Posted: 22 January 2012 at 11:37pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by .Vrish.



Somehow, Krishna insulting Hidimbaa - even if in jest - is a bit tough to swallow Confused

Wait for Bhima's riposte 
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Posted: 29 January 2012 at 11:24pm | IP Logged
Bhima replies " You need not worry Keshava. Let me first reply to your comments about me. You said that   said persons with big stomachs, like me, are gluttons and all gluttons are fools. It is quite correct, but these are characteristics I find in you too. The whole universe, all the devas and danavs, the eight directions, the ten adityas and the eleven rudras are all acommodated  in your mouth . A person with a bigger stomach was never on earth nor will be. Do you, then not feel ashamed to call me a big stomached fellow ? 

You said I have a demoness for a wife. But who else other than Madhava  will have the daughter of a bear for a wife (especially when he already has a queen like Rukmini? Who is more henpecked than you, who uprooted the Parijata tree  from Indra's garden and brought it to Dwaraka to please your wife? You always repose in the milky ocean, the house of your father-in-law, is that a commendable virtue?

Anyway, I have decided to do whatever it takes to make the Aswamedha Yagna as success. Why don't you speak encouragingly, instead of pointing out my defects?"

Krishna, enjoying Bhima's repartee, raises another question." Why does the king intend to do the Aswamedha yagna after getting the Kurus killed? If he feels that he has sinned by killing Bhishma, Drona and Karna let him offer it to me. I will destroy all his so called sins. Let him be completely free from sins."

Bhima answers " O krishna, it is common understanding that anything offered to you gets multiplied infinitely. The king will certainly not like to offer his share of sins. However he will certainly lay all the merits accrued out of this yagna at your feet."

Bhima, tired of this pointless discussion, gets up and announces that he will go and obtain the horse, helped by Vrishaketu and Meghavarna.

The next day the first stage of the sacrifice gets under way with Bhima being ceremoniously sent off by Kunti and others. 

On the third day, they reach Bhadravati, the city ruled by King Yauvanashava. The city was beautiful and rivalled Amravati. The city was full of sacrificial smoke. No sound apart from the chanting of Vedas, or twanging of bows was audible.

The trio reach a grove, where, they knew (through spies sent earlier) that the horse would be brought around midday. They plan their strategy.

[to be cont'd - fighting starts ]



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