Fall of Arjuna and Pandavas Upanishidic Signifiance by Indrajit Bandyopadhyay SignUp
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Fall of Arjuna and Pandavas
Upanishidic Signifiance
by Indrajit Bandyopadhyay Bookmark and Share
 

Continued from "Draupadi and Pandava Purusha"    

Beholding Nakula and the others fall down Arjuna fell down in great grief of heart.

Bhima cannot accept this and asks Yudhishthira, ‘I do not recollect any untruth uttered by this high-souled one. Indeed, not even in jest did he say anything false. What then is that for whose evil consequence this one has fallen down on the Earth?’
  
Yudhishthira said – ‘Arjuna had said that he would consume all our foes in a single day. Proud of his heroism, he did not, however, accomplish what he had said. Hence has he fallen down. This Phalguna disregarded all wielders of bows. One desirous of prosperity should never indulge in such sentiments.’

Arjuna falls out of compassion for Draupadi and Nakula-Sahadeva. He is the ‘manasa’ of the pandava purusa. In Vana Parva, when Arjuna goes to the mountains to bring weapons, he takes away with him ‘the minds of all-

manaamsy.aadaaya.sarveSaam (CE-3.38.19)’, implying he is the mind of the pandava purusa.
 
Shri Aurovindo regards Indra ‘the divine Mind-power’. In his words, ‘The principle which Indra represents is Mind-Power released from the limits and obscurations of the nervous consciousness. It is this enlightened Intelligence which fashions right or perfect forms of thought or of action not deformed by the nervous impulses, not hampered by the falsehoods of sense (Selected Hymns; Page-262).
 
Mind is mostly attached to the Language, eye and ear. With dependence on Language, ear-eye gone, mind perishes.
 
Yudhishthira blames Arjuna’s fall on his pride. Mind is the centre of Pride – ahamkara.
 
Mind is vulnerable to self-delusion. Arjuna the mind suffers from self-delusion. That is the weakness of mind – the mind of pandava purusa.
 
Even after the sense organs are restrained, the possibility remains that the mind will carry the images of sense organs – as krisna says in Gita –
 
karmendriyaaNi sa.nyamya ya aaste manasaa smaran.h .
indriyaarthaanvimuuDhaatmaa mithyaachaaraH sa uchyate .. 

The deluded ones, who restrain their organs of action but mentally dwell upon the sense enjoyment, are called hypocrites.  (3.06)

The pandava purusa cannot be a hypocrite, and so the mind must dissolute.   
 
Indra is Kshatriya-God, therefore, Arjuna is the arms of the pandava purusa. Arjuna’s fall is thus the cessation of the functioning of the Yogi’s ‘mind’ and ‘arms’, for, in deep meditation, what remains active is his consciousness of praNa only.
 
Arjuna’s fall is also giving up of ‘bala’ (power), for Arjuna represents ‘bala’-dependant living – both as mode of existence and philosophy of existence. This is evident from how Arjuna observes the food-chain of life and the role of ‘bala’ (power) as an existential reality–
 
‘I do not behold the creature in this world that supports life without doing any act of injury to others. Animals live upon animals, the stronger upon the weaker. The mongoose devours mice; the cat devours the mongoose; the dog devours the cat; the dog again is devoured by the spotted leopard. Behold all things again are devoured by the Destroyer when he comes! This mobile and immobile universe is food for living creatures. This has, been ordained by the gods. The man of knowledge, therefore, is never stupefied at it.’
     
Arjuna suggests the use of danda – to arrest the free play of ‘bala’ for protection of the weak - ‘If chastisement were abolished from the world, creatures wood soon be destroyed. Like fishes in the water, stronger animals prey on the weaker.’
    
Not merely for his philosophy on danda, Arjuna is the pandava purusa’s danda personified.
    
If Draupadi is pandava purusa’s danda in theory, an inspirer or urger of danda, and danda as vak-danda, Arjuna is danda in executive action - action, both towards the external reality and towards the Self. It is for this reason that he is the only one worthy to listen to krisna’s Gita discourse.
     
In all his discourses with Yudhishthira, Arjuna, like the other three Krishnas always speaks for the necessity of danda.
     
Yudhishthira always employs Arjuna for protecting people by executing danda. Arjuna is Yudhishthira-Indra’s Vajra. In Rig Veda, the name Arjuna (which is again one name of Indra) is very explicitly associated with Vajra - ‘The bright, the well-loved thunderbolt, girt with the bright - índro haryántam árjunaM vájraM shukraír abhiívRtam (Griffith: RV-3.44.5)’.
     
The pandava purusa Yogi has given up all desire for life, so he does not need protection of danda from external reality. Arjuna must fall thus.
 
Again, at the internal level of the Self, danda is self-restraint and Atma-danda i.e. harnessing the horses of the Body-Chariot - restraining the Sense Organs.
 
Gautama Dharmashahstra states that the word danda is derived from the verb damayati meaning ‘to restrain.’ (Gaut.2.2.28(11.28))
 
In Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, there is an allegory, in which Brahma pronounces the syllable ‘da’ and the Gods interpreted it as ‘damyata.iti -Control yourselves’ (BU-5.2.1)
    
Arjuna’s character is self-restraint personified. He is indeed the danda at the level of Self.
    
Now, with speech discarded in silence, and sense organs restrained, Arjuna-danda is no more required for pandava purusa Yogi.
 
Arjuna is ‘most’ Indra, among the Pandavas. The ideal Indra attributes are ‘most’ manifest in him. Like Indra, he is self-ruler, and like Indra, he is ruler of two Rashtras. His chariot wheels role against the enemies of Indraprashtha, he is Indraprashtha’s protector – ‘pati’. He is the male-purusa of the pandava purusa i.e he is the masculine aspect. So, his fall signifies the pandava purusa-Yogi’s discarding of all gender identity, because gender identity is as much a matter of the body as of the mind.
     
After Arjuna’s fall, the pandava purusa-Yogi is neither male nor female; he is a human-jIva.
 
Arjuna also reaches Svarga earlier. Brihadaranyaka Upanishada states –
 
‘(After the sense organs)…Then it carried the mind. When the mind got rid of death, it became the moon. That moon, having transcended death, shines beyond its reach. So does this deity carry one who knows thus beyond death. (1.3.16)’
 
Arjuna’s fall is becoming true ‘Soma.’

Bhima’s Fall

Finally Bhima falls. Having fallen down, Bhima addresses king Yudhishthira saying, ‘O king, behold, I who am thy darling have fallen down. For what reason have I dropped down? Tell me if thou knowest it.’
    
Bhima is the only one who wants Yudhishthira to turn back and look at him, the others seem to have accepted their death silently.
      
Bhima sounds pathetic as he tries to draw Yudhishthira’s attention –

AvekSasva.patito.aham.priyas.tava
 
Yudhishthira says –
 
‘Thou wert a great eater, and thou didst use to boast of thy strength. Thou never didst attend, O Bhima, to the wants of others while eating. It is for that, O Bhima, that thou hast fallen down.’
 
Bhima’s lapse is foreshadowed in Rig Veda (10.117.6) – ‘The foolish man wins food with fruitless labour: that food -I speak the truth- shall be his ruin. He feeds no trusty friend, no man to love him. All guilt is he who eats with no partaker. (Grifith)’
     
As Bhima lies, Yudhishthira proceeds without looking back - jagaama anavalokayan.
    
Yudhishthira points out Bhima’s flaws – he is a voracious eater and his devotion to food is ‘animalistic’, and he has pride in his might. Does it have any connection with his God-father Vayu? Why is he the last to fall? Why, unlike others, he holds on and is reluctant to die?
 
There are three parallel myths regarding Bhima’s birth in Mahabharata. Bhima is conceived as Vayu’s son, Vayu’s amsha and one ancient Indra’s incarnate. Bhima’s God-aspects manifest through his character traits.
 
Vayu is superior to Indra in many respects.
 
In Aiteraya Brahmana, Vayu defeated Indra in a race for Soma. That Bhima could run very fast, indeed faster than his brothers, is stated many a times in Mahabharata.
 
In Asvalayana Grihya Sutra (2.6.1-3), Vayu is invoked before and together with Indra implying his precedence over Indra.
 
In Mahabharata, Narada opines Vayu is the mightiest of all Gods – ‘Even Indra, or Yama, or Vaisravana, the lord of the waters, is not equal to the god of the wind in might. (KMG-Shaanti.145)
     
Shankhayana Brahmana (6.10) states, among the three Vedas, Yaju was created from Vayu. Manu Smriti (1.23) attests - "Rika, Yaju and Sama have the properties of Agni, Vayu and Ravi (sun) respectively." Again in Shatapatha Brahmana (10.3.5.2) "Vayu is Yaju." Taittiriya Brahmana (3.12.9.1) connects ‘movement’ with Yaju - "All the material forms are born from Rik, all the movement is from Yaju and all the brightness is from Sama."  Vayu is thus associated with movement – a quality that reminds us of none other than Bhima.
    
When the Pandavas escape Varnavarta – ‘Bhimasena, endued with terrible prowess and swiftness of motion took upon his body all his brothers and mother and began to push through the darkness. Placing his mother on his shoulder, the twins on his sides, and Yudhishthira and Arjuna on both his arms, Vrikodara of great energy and strength and endued with the speed of the wind, commenced his march, breaking the trees with his breast and pressing deep the earth with his stamp.' (KMG-Adi.150)
     
Given his enormous strength and stamina, it is natural then that Bhima would survive the other three Indras and Indrani. Why does he fall before Yudhishthira-Indra then?
     
The ‘clue’ lies in what Yudhishthira says regarding the cause of Bhima’s fall -‘praanena.ca.vikatthase.’
 
The respected translator krisna Mohan Ganguly translates ‘praanena.ca.vikatthase’ as ‘boast of thy strength’ taking ‘‘praanena’ to mean ‘one’s own strength.’ However, the word ‘‘praanena’ cannot be an accidental use here, and it indicates Bhima’s role as a part of pandava purusa. He is indeed the prana of the pandava purusa.
 
In Purusha-sukta, Vayu is born from the Purusha’s breath (10.90.13). Thus Vayu is not only Vayu or wind of external nature, it is also prana vayu.
 
In Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, prana is called ayasa angirasa, for it is the essence (rasa) of the limbs (anga); no limb can live without prana (1.3.19). During their forest exiles, both post-Varnavarta and post-dice, Bhima is the sole refugee of the Pandavas for survival. Many a times he saves them from cannibalistic Rakshashas. Thus he has a central place in the pandava purusa when it comes to survival.
 
That Bhima is prana of the pandava purusa, throws light on the mystery of the special relation Draupadi has with him. In Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, Speech is Brihati (Rig) and the vital breath is its lord (pati) (1.3.20). Many a times in the mahabharata, Bhima acts as the only true pati of Draupadi. When the Pandavas – bound by a decadent dharma - hang their heads in shame at Draupadi’s humiliation in Kuru Sabha while she languishes in single apparel, it is Bhima who reacts. Indeed, vak-Draupadi can apply the power of speech on the security of Bhima’s might. It is Bhima who saves her from Jayadratha, Kichaka and Jatasura.
 
Being prana, Bhima is also an ‘eater’- one of his ‘flaws’ pointed out by Yudhishthira.
     
According to Satapatha Brahmana –

‘The eater, doubtless, is the breath (prana), and its assignments are food, for the food is consigned to (the channel of) the breath.’

The same idea is found in Aiteraya Upanishad – 

‘This grasper of food is what vayu, air or prana is. This vayu is what lives on food.’

In Chhandogya Upanishada, the Rishi says, ‘vaayurvaava samvargo’ or Vayu is eater or absorber and Agni, suuryo and chandro merges in Vayu. 

Chhandogya Upanishad regards prana among the sense organs and God-Vayu as the two ‘devourers’ - tau va etau dvau samvargau vayureva devesu pranah pranesu.’ 

The Vayu-food connection is vitalized by the prana-food connection. Brihadaranyaka Upanishad states, ‘whatever food is eaten, is eaten by the vital force alone, and it rests on that…Whatever food one eats through the vital force satisfies the Gods.’  

It is understandable why Kunti always has the ‘lion’s share’ reserved for his second son, and Draupadi and the Pandavas are too pleased to have Bhima his pleasure.

In a discourse on dharma in Shaanti Parva, Arjuna tells Yudhishthira about food-chain of life that everything is food of prana – 

praaNasya.annam.idam.sarvam.jangamam.sthaavaram.ca.yat – and that, this is dharma - dharmo.yathaa.gatah.

That connects dharma with prana, and explains why Bhima is also dharma and dharma-Yudhishthira’s brother as well.

While Arjuna places Artha at the centre of Tri-varga, Bhima places ‘kama’ at the centre of ‘trivarga’. If Draupadi is the pandava purusa’s kama-shakti as external manifestation, Bhima is the internal kama-shakti of the pandava purusa, and here too he assumes the Vaishya nature.
 
In their forest life, Bhima argues with Yudhishthira (and this shows beyond doubt Bhima’s intellectual and philosophic side) – ‘O monarch, one should regard virtue, wealth and pleasure one after another. One should not devote one self to virtue alone, nor regard wealth as the highest object of one's wishes, nor pleasure, but should ever pursue all three. The scriptures ordain that one should seek virtue in the morning, wealth at noon, and pleasure in the evening. The scriptures also ordain that one should seek pleasure in the first portion of life, wealth in the second, and virtue in the last. And, O thou foremost of speakers, they that are wise and fully conversant with proper division of time, pursue all three, virtue, wealth, and pleasure, dividing their time duly.’ (Vana.33)
 
Interestingly, Vatsayana has the same opinion in Kamashashtra – ‘MAN, the period of whose life is one hundred years, should practise Dharma, Artha and Kama at different times and in such a manner that they may harmonize together and not clash in any way. He should acquire learning in his childhood, in his youth and middle age he should attend to Artha and Kama, and in his old age he should perform Dharma, and thus seek to gain moksa, (1.2.1-4)
 
Vatsayana admits that Kama is inferior to Dharma-Artha, but considers it indispensable as an existential necessity and natural like hunger. 

Vatsayana’s comparison of kama with ‘food’ is very significant in our present discussion; indeed, Bhima’s love for food is kama. 

When after the war, Yudhishthira wants to renounce the world, Bhima rebukes him sharply and compares his ‘vairagya’ with a hungry eater and ‘kaami’ man giving up enjoyment even after attaining them –

yathaa.annam.ksudhito.labdhvaa.na.bhunjiita.yadrcchayaa./
kaamii.ca.kaaminiim.labdhvaa.karma.idam.nas.tathaa.vidham.// (CE-12.10.13)

If Yudhishthira’s vairagya is flawed, then pandava purusa is also flawed in that respect, and ironically the same flaw ascribes to Bhima too- a fact that pre-shadows Bhima’s fall.

Why does Bhima survive his wife and brothers and is the last to fall?
    
There is an allegorical narrative in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, in which the sense organs quarrel with each other, and finally prana survives them all. (Brihadaranyaka: 1.5.21)

Thus Bhima – prana – survives the rest.

Even after Draupadi and the three brothers’ fall, Bhima remembers them; in other words they are ‘alive’ through Bhima.

In an allegorical narrative in Chhandogya Upanishad, the sense organs and mind cannot live without prana, but prana can ‘live’ without them, because ‘Verily, people do not call them as organs of speech, nor as eyes, nor as ears, nor as minds. But they call them only as pranas; for the prana indeed is all these.’

Thus the fall of speech-Draupadi, senses-Nakula-Sahadeva and mind-Arjuna, is indeed their becoming established in prana-Bhima.

Regarding the role of prana, Chhandogya Upanishad states- 

‘Next is (the doctrine of Samvarga) with reference to the body: prana indeed is the absorber. When one sleeps, speech merges in prana, the eye merges in prana, the ear merges in prana, the mind merges in prana: for prana, indeed, absorbs all these. These, indeed, are the two absorbers: Air among the gods and prana among the sense-organs.’
   
Bhima-prana absorbs Draupadi-speech, Nakula-Sahadeva sense organs and Arjuna-mind.

Why would Bhima fall?

In Gita, krisna says – ‘The senses are said to be superior (to matter or the body), the mind is superior to the senses, the intellect is superior to the mind, and Atma is superior to the intellect.   

Thus, knowing the Atma to be superior to the intellect, and controlling the mind by the intellect (that is purified by Jnana), one must kill this mighty enemy, Kaama, O Arjuna. (3.42-43)’  
   
Though Yudhishthira’s eyes are fixed towards an unknown destination, it is Bhima who through his questions keep him on the ground of reality. The fact that Yudhishthira answers his questions enables him to maintain poise. As his jouney is firmly grounded on reality, Bhima represents the ‘prana-buddhi’ because he harnesses Yudhishthira’s mind and senses from taking imaginary flight. Bhima is the ‘intellect’ because query is the essence of intellect.
   
Now the fall of the ‘intellect’ is necessitated.

Bhima represents the ‘search’ for truth through the medium of words, language and thought. However, such ‘search’ manages to take one upto some point, but beyond it nowhere. So, Bhima must fall. His ‘fall’ is the cessation of queries- the functioning of the intellect.
 
Bhima must fall because as long as Bhima-prana-Vayu is alive, Time cannot operate. Bhima as prana is pandava purusa’s last resistence of the physical body against Time.
    
Vyasa, in course of his advices to Suka, once tells him –

‘Very soon the wind of Yama will blow before thee (and drive thee to his presence). Very soon wilt thou be taken to that dread presence all alone. Do thou achieve what will be for thy good there. Where now is that Death-wind which will blow before thee very soon? (Art thou mindful of it?) (KMG-Shaanti.322)
 
Vayu is also Yama, thus as long as he is alive, Yudhishthira cannot become established in dharma, because Vayu-Yama is opposing the other – dharma-Yama.
 
The pandava purusa Yogi breathes still, and his meditative posture rest on the thighs and belly – he has not yet lost consciousness of them. Bhima is the ‘thigh’ and ‘belly’ of the pandava purusa, and that is why Bhima survives beyond Draupadi and his other brothers.
 
Now the Yogi has to go beyond his physical consciousness and regulate prana till he becomes still and leaves the body. Bhima must fall, then. Ironically, the prana that makes Life possible is the final obstacle. It would not go easily.
 
The Satapatha Brahmana gives a very mystic description of Indra-Vrtra combat in terms of ‘food’- ‘[Upon being defeated by the god Indra] he [the serpent demon Vrtra] said [to Indra], 'Do not throw [your thunderbolt] at me. You are now what I [was before, i.e. an eater of food]. Just divide me up, but do not let me become annihilated.' He [Indra] said, 'You shall be my food.' 'So be it.' He then divided him in two. From that [part] of his which belonged to Soma he made the moon, and that which was demonic he put into these creatures as their stomach. Thus they say, 'Vrtra was once an eater of food, and Vrtra is so now.' For even now, whenever that one [the moon] waxes fuller it fills itself from this world. And whenever these creatures get hungry they pay tribute to this Vrtra, the stomach. Whoever knows that Vrtra is an eater of food becomes himself an eater of food.’
    
‘Food’ in ancient philosophic thought is thus not merely food for biological appetite. The ‘powerless’ is the ‘food’ of the ‘powerful’, or the ‘inferior’ is ‘food’ for ‘superior.’ However, as the myth shows, ‘powerless’, ‘powerful’, ‘inferior’ or ‘superior’ are not absolute – and it is kala that often reverses the role.
    
Bhima’s being a voracious ‘eater’ has thus the significance of ‘power.’ He is a superior ‘power’ to Arjuna, but inferior to Yudhishthira, because Yudhishthira knows Bhima is ‘an eater of food’, and so he becomes ‘eater of food’ in respect to his wife and brothers.
    
In the myth of Satapatha Brahmana Vrtra is the ‘belly’. Bhima is also the belly of the pandava purusa. Ironically, Bhima becomes Vrtra i.e. he becomes Yudhishthira’s obstacle to moksa, so he must fall for his fault i.e. for being a voracious eater
     
As an Eater, Bhima represents Time. Bhima’s fall is the cessation of Time for the Yogi. Since he has been questioning Yudhishthira, his fall is the cessation of queries into silence – ‘mouNa’. As Sanatsujata said to Dhritarashtra – ‘Since the Supreme Soul cannot be penetrated by both the Vedas and the mind, it is for this that Soul itself is called mauna.’

Bhima’s fall is also Yudhishthira’s conquest of his ‘udaram’ that takes him to Svarga, reminding us of Mudgala who got access to Svarga conquering his appetite.
    
For Bhima, the primal instinctive and animalistic forces of ‘kama’ and ‘kSudhA’ are very strong. Bhima is thus the ‘animal nature’ of pandava purusa. To rectify the flaw, therefore, pandava purusa must discard Bhima. Bhima’s falling last, is the pandava purusa’s final overcoming of ‘kama’ and ‘animal nature.’
 
It is only after Bhima’s fall that Yudhishthira becomes aware of the dog following them, and decides to take it to Svarga. The significance is: after transcending the animalistic nature – paSu-sattvA – the pandava purusa realizes the contribution of even animal instinct or primal instinct in the process of attainment of moksa. (I have explored the significance of Yudhishthira’s dog elsewhere. Read  "Yudhishthira's Svargrarohana"

Lone Yudhishthira walks on

Yudhishthira as judicious exerciser of danda is Yama, and this is his dharma-aspect. In Sabha Parva Narada told Yudhishthira that he should be like Yama in dispensation of justice, ‘O monarch! Behavest thou like the god of justice himself unto those that deserve punishment and those that deserve worship, unto those that are dear to thee and those that thou likest not?’
 
Yudhishthira as yama pronounces judgment on his wife and brothers as they fall one by one. But he must also accept kala – which Vyasa has suggested – so that the pandava purusa may go beyond kala for moksa.
 
Yudhishthira is Yama, but he is also led to the abode of Yama by Time, for, as Vyasa says – ‘the mighty river of Time,--which has an origin as inconceivable as that of Brahma itself, is ceaselessly bearing away all beings created by the great Ordainer towards the abode of Yama.’    
   
Yama is also kala –Time. As Vyasa says, ‘Time is that which is their destroyer; and lastly it is time that is their (Yama) – 

dhaataa.idam.prabhava.sthaanam.bhuutaanaam.samyamo.yamah.’       

And kala is also an ‘eater’- ‘It is that Time which creates and swallows up all creatures. All the innumerable creatures that exist subject to pairs of opposites and according to their respective natures have Time for their refuge. It is Time that assumes those shapes and it is Time that upholds them.’
 
Thus Yudhishthira assumes the role of kala in relation to his wife and brothers; he ‘eats’ them so that they take refuge in him by merging in him. 
 
With Bhima-prana gone, how can Yudhishthira continue?
 
After Bhima’s fall, Yudhishthira remains; after prana is regulated, the pandava purusa Yogi is yet left in the body, so his prana is still at a subtle level.
 
Katha Upanishad states (2.2.5) – ‘No mortal ever lives by prana, which goes up, nor by apana, which goes down. Men live by something different, on which these two depend.’
 
So, despite Bhima’s fall, the pandava purusa must go beyond jiva dharma whose essence is prana. Yudhishthira having absorbed in him dharma-artha-kama moves on in search of moksa.
    
After Bhima’s fall, Yudhishthira is left alone; after prana is regulated, the Self is left alone.
 
Krisna says in Gita – ‘As a lamp in a spot sheltered from the wind does not flicker, this simile is used for the subdued mind of a yogi practicing meditation on Brahman. (6.19)’

The pandava purusa-lamp is no more flickered by Bhima-vata’s (Vayu) questionings. The pandava purusa has now to meditate on the Self.
 
Why speech, sense organs, mind and prana has to be discarded for such meditation, is best understood in the light of Brihadaranyaka Upanishad – ‘This Self has entered into these bodies up to the tip of the nails – as a razor may be put in its case, or as fire, which sustains the world, may be in its source. People do not see It, for (viewed in its aspects) It is incomplete. When It does the function of living. It is called the vital force; when It speaks, the organ of speech; when It sees, the eye; when It hears, the ear; and when It thinks, the mind. These are merely Its names according to functions. He who meditates upon each of this totality of aspects does not know, for It is incomplete, (being divided) from this totality by possessing a single characteristic. The Self alone is to be meditated upon, for all these are unified in It. Of all these, this Self should be realised, for one knows all these through It, just as one may get (an animal) through its foot-prints. (BU-1.4.7)’
 
Mundaka Upanishad states–
 
‘Know that Self alone that is one without a second, on which are strung heaven, the earth and the inter-space, the mind and the vital forces together with all the other organs; and give up all other talks. This is the bridge leading to immortality. Within that (heart) in which are fixed the nerves like the spokes on the hub of a chariot wheel, moves this aforesaid Self by becoming multi-formed. Meditate on the Self thus with the help of Om. May you be free from hindrances in going to the other shore beyond darkness (Mundaka-1.2.5-6).’
 
In Mundaka Upanishada too we find ‘heart’ has primary importance – it is like the centre of a chariot-wheel. The wheel-imagery is very significant, because in Rig Veda, ‘Indra’ is the hub, and other Devas and men are ‘spokes’. Thus ‘heart’ is the true ‘Indra’ of the ‘rastra’ of the Self.

Yudhishthira-Indra as the inner ‘heart’ of the pandava purusa has relinquished the ‘outer’ rastra and is about to become ‘Indra’ of the ‘inner’ rastra so that the pandava-indras and Draupadi-indrani become integrated through the ‘heart.’

With its trunk, branches, fruits and flowers gone, the Yudhishthira-dharma tree is now left with its roots only.
 
Time – kala – is not a mere destroyer, it is also creator. The manifest world and all relations are a tree whose root is kala. Vyasa told Arjuna, ‘All this has Time for its root. Time is, indeed, the seed of the universe, O Dhananjaya. It is Time, again, that withdraws everything at its pleasure.’
 
The root of Yudhishthira-dharma-tree is krisna and Brahman. Yudhishthira’s social dimensions are shed, he is now one with krisna, being firmly established in svadharma; he is now one with Brahma-Vyasa being the witness of dissolution; and he is now true Brahmana, so that the process of creation continues.
 
Yudhishthira-dharma Tree must die and return to its root; thus Yudhishthira is now kala. The fruits, flowers, trunk and branches of the dharma-tree must die so that process of creation continues. The old must yield place to the new,
 
It is by assuming this law of dynamics that Yudhishthira becomes true Indra.
  

30-Apr-2011
More by :  Indrajit Bandyopadhyay
 
Views: 3351
 
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