Maha Prasthanika Parva - The departure to the other world

Maha Prasthanika Parva - The departure to the other world

Maha Prasthanika Parva - The departure to the other world

On hearing Arjuna’s narration of the incidents in Dwaraka, Yudhishtira decided that the time to leave the world had come. Yudhishtira then made Parikshit the king and handed over the kingdom to Yuyutsu to look after.

Yudhishtira asked Kripa to be the preceptor of Parikshit. He conducted water rites for Vasudeva, Krishna, Balarama, and the others. He offered donations to Brahmanas and honoured the citizens. The citizens did not want the Pandavas to leave, but Yudhishtira was firm on leaving for the final journey.

Removing their royal robes and ornaments and decked in tree bark, the five brothers and Draupadi left for their final journey. A dog accompanied them and followed them wherever they went. Uloopi then entered the waters of the Ganga while Babruvahana and Chitrangada left for Manipura.

When they reached the ocean, Agni appeared before them. He asked Arjuna to return the Gandiva to Varuna from whom it had come to him. Arjuna then offered the Gandiva to the waters along with the two quivers given by Varuna. The Pandavas then went on a pilgrimage to holy places.

After finishing a tour of the southern places, they proceeded to the west. There, they saw Dwaraka drowned in the sea. After completing a round of the entire country, they reached the Meru Mountains and left for the other world from the summit of Meru.

As they climbed the mountain, Draupadi fell and gave up her life. When Bheema asked Yudhishtira why Draupadi fell, he said she was partial to Arjuna. Next, Sahadeva fell, and Yudhishtira said he was arrogant about his wisdom. When Nakula fell next, Yudhishtira said that Nakula was proud of his beauty, and hence he fell.

Then Arjuna fell, and Yudhishtira said he fell because he was too proud of his valour and disrespected other wielders of the bow. When Bheema fell, Yudhishtira announced he fell because he had boasted about his strength.

Without looking back, Yudhishtira proceeded to the summit of the mountain with the dog accompanying him. Indra then appeared in his celestial chariot and asked Yudhishtira to get in.

Yudhishtira refused, saying he wanted his brothers and wife to accompany him. Indra then told him that his family was already in heaven.

Yudhishtira then asked Indra to allow the dog to enter heaven since it had accompanied him throughout his journey.

Indra declined and asked Yudhishtira to abandon the dog, saying there was no place in heaven for dogs.

Yudhishtira refused, saying that abandoning the dog would be a sin. The dog then revealed its true form. It was none other than Dharma. Both Indra and Dharma praised Yudhishtira for his steadfastness and told him he would enter heaven in his mortal body. Yudhishtira then got into the chariot, and it proceeded to heaven.

End of Mahaprasthanika Parva