Chapter 33 Yavakrida and His Penance
The Pandavas eventually found Raibhya’s hermitage on the banks of the Ganga during their wanderings.
Lomasa related the location’s history to them: “The son of Dasaratha, Bharata, bathed at this ghat. Indra was absolved of the sin of wrongfully slaying Vritra by these waters. Sanatkumara also united with God at this place. The mother of the gods, Aditi, sacrificed animals and begged for a son atop this peak. O Yudhishthira, climb this sacred peak, and the calamities that have clouded your life shall disappear. If you take a bath in the flowing waters of this river, your anger and passion will be washed away.”
Then Lomasa went into further into on the location’s holiness.
“Yavakrida, the son of a scholar, met with disaster in this exact area,” he said to start the narrative.
He went on: “Two distinguished brahmanas, Bharadwaja and Raibhya, who were close companions, resided in respective hermitages. In addition to learning the Vedas, Raibhya and his two sons, Paravasu and Arvavasu, also excelled in academia. Bharadwaja dedicated his entire life to worshipping God. He had a son named Yavakrida, who watched with resentment and jealously as the brahmanas treated the educated Raibhya with greater regard than they did his austere father. Yavakrida engaged in rigorous penance in order to win Indra’s favour. He tormented his body with austerities, awakening Indra’s compassion in the process. Indra then arrived and enquired as to why he had been so cruel to his flesh.”
Yavakrida answered: “I want to know the Vedas better than anyone has ever done. I want to excel in academia. I’m making these sacrifices in order to fulfil that dream. Learning the Vedas from a teacher is difficult and requires a lot of time. I am making sacrifices in order to personally learn that information. I’m blessed,”
Indra grinned and remarked: “Brahmana, you’re going in the wrong direction. Return home, look for a suitable preceptor, and take Vedic instruction from him. Learning cannot be done via austerity. Study and study alone is the way to go.” Indra disappeared after saying these words. But Bharadwaja’s son resisted giving up.
The gods were horrified and distressed as he continued his austerity path with even more intensity. Indra once more appeared before Yavakrida and cautioned him: “You’ve chosen the incorrect route to knowledge acquisition. Only through study is knowledge acquired. By diligent study, your father was able to master the Vedas, and so can you. Study the Vedas right away. Stop mortifying your body so pointlessly.”
Yavakrida made a brazen declaration that if his request was not answered, he would chop off each of his limbs one by one and give them as sacrifices to the fire. He did not listen even this second warning from Indra. He wouldn’t give up, not ever.
He kept up his repentance. When he went to the Ganga for a morning bath during his fast, he noticed a slender elderly brahmana laboriously tossing handfuls of sand into the river from the bank.
“Old man, what are you doing?” demanded Yavakrida. Old man’s response was: “I’m going to construct a dam to span this river. People may easily cross the river once I have created a sand dam here with handful after handful. See how difficult it is right now to cross it. It’s a good job, isn’t it?”
Laughing, Yavakrida said: “What a fool you must be to think that your silly handfuls of sand can construct a dam across this powerful river! Get up and start doing some more beneficial task.”
“Is my ambition more stupid than yours of learning the Vedas not by study but through austerities?” the old man said. Yavakrida now recognised the elderly man as Indra. This time, Yavakrida was more contrite and sincerely pleaded with Indra to bestow upon him the blessing of learning.
Yavakrida was soothed and blessed by Indra with these words: “Well, I give you the favour you ask for. You will learn through studying the Vedas, therefore do it now.”
Keep Mahabharat Book at Home and Read Daily – DO NOT FALL TO FAKE PROPAGANDA and Allow Enemies to Weaken our Dharma and Bharat
This historical epic Mahabharat is known as fifth Veda. It is a common misconception spread by mlecchas; muslims and christian missionaries, and secular Hindus that reading Mahabharat or keeping it at home will likely lead to arguments and fighting. All of this misinformation was spread by illiterate mlecchas and anti-Hindus, and it is completely incorrect. It is done to mentally weaken Hindus so that they avoid reading Mahabharat. Because Mahabharat invokes bravery, pride and sense of confidence in Hindus.
Keep a copy of Mahabharat at home and read it online at the HariBhakt website. Mahabharat is rightly called the fifth Veda for Kaliyuga people because it is a tool and guidance to invoke confidence and bravery in Sanatan Dharmi Hindus.
You can read complete Mahabharat by following Chapter links given below. You can check Glossary of Mahabharat here.