Aranya Parva - 5
The Kauravas were upset hearing about Arjuna’s achievements. Karna then advised Duryodhana to visit the Pandavas in the forest so he could mock them and see how they struggled to live in the forest. Making the pretext of counting the cattle belonging to Hastinapura, the Kauravas left for Dwaitavana.
They camped there and enjoyed near the lake. When they went to build a pleasure house near the lake, they saw the Gandharvas had camped there. A battle then started between the Kauravas and the Gandharvas. Led by their king Chitrasena, the Gandharvas defeated the Kauravas, making warriors like Karna flee. He then captured Duryodhana and the Kaurava womenfolk.
The soldiers of the Kaurava army asked Yudhishthira to help. He sent his brothers to help Duryodhana. Arjuna then defeated the Gandharvas after which Chitrasena attacked him. Using his powers, he defeated Chitrasena. The Gandharva then told him and Yudhishthira that Indra sent him to teach a lesson to Duryodhana who had planned his visit to humiliate the Pandavas.
On Yudhishthira’s request, Chitrasena released Duryodhana. Indra came there and sprinkled the nectar of immortality and revived all the dead Gandharvas and Kauravas. A humiliated Duryodhana returned to Hastinapura.
Once Yudhishthira had a dream where a deer told him that the Pandavas’ hunting habits were leading to the extinction of its race. Yudhishthira was upset hearing this and decided to move to the Kamyaka forests to prevent the deer from becoming extinct.
One day, when the Pandavas had gone hunting, Jayadratha, the husband of Duryodhana’s sister, Dusshala, was passing by their home. Seeing Draupadi, he desired her and asked her to come with him. When she refused, he abducted her in his chariot and took her away. Dhaumya ran behind the chariot trying to help Draupadi.
When the Pandavas found out what had happened, they chased and destroyed Jayadratha’s army. When Jayadratha fled, Arjuna used his mighty archery skills to stop him from miles away. Bheema and Arjuna then captured Jayadratha and brought him back.
Bheema wanted to kill Jayadratha but Yudhishthira reminded them that their sister Dusshala would become a widow if this happened. He asked them to set Jayadratha free. Draupadi said that Jayadratha should be punished by shaving his head. Accordingly, they shaved his head and set him free.
A humiliated Jayadratha went to the forests. He prayed to Lord Shiva and when the Lord appeared, demanded a boon to defeat the Pandavas. The Lord told him he could defeat all the Pandavas, except Arjuna, but only once.
The sage Markandeya again visited the Pandavas, and he narrated the story of the Ramayana. He explained how Rama fought with Ravana to kill him and free Sita. He then narrated the story of Savitri and Satyavan and explained how Savitri used her wits to free Satyavan from the clutches of death. The sage told Yudhishthira that in the same way as Savitri saved Satyavan, so would Draupadi save the Pandavas.
… to be continued