Chapter 43 Pandavas Became Helpers and Workers
“O Brahmanas, we have been tricked out of our dominion and driven to squalor by the sons of Dhritarashtra. Still, we spent these years in the forest laughing and enjoying ourselves. We must now say goodbye to you as we enter our twelfth year of exile. We must remain hidden from Duryodhana’s spies for the ensuing 12 months. God already knows the exact hour when our reunion will take place, without any fear or cover. Now, before we leave, bless us. And may we avoid being noticed by anybody who would want to turn us in to the sons of Dhritarashtra out of either fear or a desire for reward.”
To the brahmanas who had been living with the Pandavas up until that point, Yudhishthira said as much. As he said these words, he trembled with emotion.
He was comforted by Dhaumya. He stated: “The risks of splitting up are numerous and significant. But you are too knowledgeable and smart to be intimidated or rattled. You must present a false identity. When plagued by demons, Indra, the Bhagwan of the gods, assumed the identity of a brahmana and lived in secrecy in the nation of Nishadha. He was able to eliminate his adversaries while remaining safely hidden. You must follow suit. Did not Mahavishnu, the Universal Bhagwan, take on human form in Aditi’s womb, give birth to a child, and steal Emperor Bali’s throne in order to save the world? In order to slay the asura king Vritra, didn’t Bhagwan Narayana, the refuge of humanity, use Indra’s weapon? For the benefit of the gods, did not the Fire god conceal himself in the waters? The moon does not disappear from view every day, right? Did not Bhagwan Vishnu, the all-encompassing God, descend as Dasaratha’s son and spend years enduring great afflictions in order to destroy Ravana? The finest spirits in history have revered disguise when used for good. Likewise, you will triumph over your adversaries and get fortune ”
The members of Yudhishthira’s entourage were given permission to leave the brahmanas and return home. The Pandavas retreated to a remote area of the forest where they planned their course of action. Sadly, Yudhishthira questioned Arjuna: “You are knowledgeable about how the world operates. Where would be the ideal location for us to spend the next year?”
Arjuna answered: “You are aware that Yama, the Bhagwan of Death, has blessed us, O mighty monarch. Without being detected, we can easily get through the next twelve months together. For our journey, we have a variety of lovely states to pick from, like Panchala, Matsya, Salva, Videha, Bahlika, Dasharna, Surasena, Kalinga, and Magadha. You get to decide, of course. However, if I may express an opinion, the Matsya nation of king Virata is the best because of how prosperous and endearing it already is.”
Yudhishthira responded: “The king of Matsya, Virata, is a powerful man who cares much about us. He has sound judgement and is committed to upholding virtue. He won’t be intimidated or won over by Duryodhana. I concur that it would be preferable to remain anonymous in Virata’s realm.”
“Then, O King, what employment would you seek in the court of Virata?”
When Arjuna posed this query, he was overcome with sadness at the idea that Yudhishthira, the illustrious and guiltless monarch who had carried out the Rajasuya sacrifice, would have to put on a disguise and do servitude.
Yhishthira responded: “I’m considering requesting Virata’s employment as a courtier. He could enjoy my talk and my skill with the dice. I’ll dress as a sanyasin and captivate him with my aptitude for interpreting omens and knowledge of astrology, the Vedas, Vedangas, ethics, politics, and other disciplines. Of course, I’ll need to exercise caution, but don’t worry about me. I’ll tell him that I had the honour of knowing Yudhishthira well and had the opportunity to learn these things from him. O Bhima, once you overcame and killed Baka and Hidimba, what tasks will you undertake for Virata? You killed Jatasura and kept us alive. You are brimming with bravery and fortitude. What cover can conceal your powerful nature and allow you to dwell anonymously in Mastya?” As he asked this of Bhima, Yudhishthira was in tears.
Bhima responded in jest: “O king, I consider accepting a position as a chef in Virata’s palace. You are aware of my voracious appetite and my prowess in the kitchen. I’ll prepare such delicate meals that Virata has never had in order to delight him. I’ll bring tonnes of fuel and chop up the forest’s trees. I’ll also amuse the monarch by engaging in combat with and outlasting the wrestlers that visit his court.”
This worried Yudhishthira since he worried that if Bhima participated in wrestling matches, disaster would befall them. Bhima immediately said to allay his worries, “I would not murder anyone. Any wrestler who earns it can get a nasty jolt from me, but I won’t kill anyone. I’ll control rabid bulls, wild buffalo, and other creatures to amuse King Virata.”
Yudhishthira then addressed Arjuna: “What line of work are you considering? How can you conceal your mighty bravery?”
Yudhishthira was unable to stop him from recounting Arjuna’s amazing accomplishments when he posed this question. In twenty poems, he discussed his brother’s accomplishments. Who else is deserving of appreciation besides Arjuna?
Arjuna answered: “Respected brother, I will serve the ladies of the court while disguising myself as a eunuch. I’ll cover up the scars left on my arms from the constant chafing of the bowstring with a jacket. Urvasi cursed me with loss of masculinity when I refused her sexual advances on the grounds that she was like a mother to me. But thanks to Indra’s generosity, the curse would only last a year, and I would get to pick the day. I’ll now finish the year in which I lost my masculinity. I will perform menial labour in the interior chambers of Virata’s queen while wearing bangles made of white conchs, wearing my hair in a bun, and dressing as a lady. I’ll teach the women how to dance and sing. And I’ll ask for assistance while claiming to have already assisted Draupadi at Yudhishthira’s court.” Arjuna turned to Draupadi after saying this and grinned.
A tearful Yudhishthira was seen. “Alas! Has fate ordained that he, a descendant of Bharata who stands tall like the vast golden Mount Meru and is equivalent to Sri Krishna himself in reputation and bravery, shall go and seek employment of Virata as a eunuch in the queen’s inner apartments?” He said sadly.
Yudhishthira then turned to Nakula and asked him what work he would engage in and, as he thought of Madri, the mother of Nakula, tears rolled down his eyes. Nakula answered: “I’ll be employed by King Virata’s stables. Horse care and training are fascinating to my thoughts. I am aware of the problems and treatments for horses since I am familiar with their hearts. I am skilled in harnessing and driving horses in a chariot in addition to riding and training them. I’ll mention that I looked after the Pandavas’ horses, and I have no doubt Virata will hire me.”
“You, with the wisdom of Brihaspati, the priest and preceptor of the gods, and the knowledge of Sukra, the instructor of the asuras, what job would you undertake?” Yudhishthira questioned Sahadeva.
Sahadeva answered: “Nakula can take care of the horses. I’ll take care of the cows. O Draupadi, I will protect Virata’s cattle from the ravages of sickness and the attacks of wild animals “But Yudhishthira was at a loss for words while trying to ask her what she had in mind. It was blasphemy to discuss providing for her because she was more precious to him than life itself and deserving of all awe and protection. She was a princess, the royal offspring, noble in birth, and lovingly raised.
Shame and sorrow suffocated Yudhishthira.
As she witnessed his sorrow, Draupadi bravely said: “O finest of kings, do not be sad or worried about me. I will serve as the princess’s companion and attendant in the court of the queen of Virata as a sairandhri. Because a princess’s attendant and companion has this privilege and has the power to use it, I will protect my independence and virginity. I’ll spend my days doing menial duties like braiding hair and chit-chatting with the ladies of the court. I will claim that I assisted princess Draupadi in Yudhishthira’s court in order to apply for a job with the queen. Thus shall I remain unknown to others.”
Yudhishthira praised Draupadi’s courage and said: “O auspicious one, you speak as befits one of your family.”
When the Pandavas decided, Dhaumya blessed them and advised them thus: “Those who are engaged in service under a king should always be vigilant. They must perform their duties quietly. They may only offer advice when requested and must never impose it. On appropriate moments, they ought to compliment the king. The monarch, who is a true fire in human form, must be informed before doing anything, no matter how tiny. Do not approach him too closely or attempt to run away from him. Even if someone may be in the king’s good graces and in a position of immense power, they should constantly conduct themselves as though they were about to be fired. To have too much faith in the monarch would be stupid. One may not ride in the king’s carriage, seat, or chariot while assuming his goodwill. A king’s servant should always be self-controlled and energetic. He shouldn’t let the king’s glory or disgrace cause him to feel too happy or miserable. He is not permitted to divulge the information given to him, nor is he permitted to accept gifts from the populace. He shouldn’t harbour resentment toward other servants. The monarch may ignore the wise and appoint idiots to positions of power. Such wandering need to be disregarded. With the women of the court, one cannot be too cautious. There should not even be the slightest hint of impoliteness in how one acts with them.”
“Live so in patience for one year, serving the monarch Virata, and you shall live the rest of your days in bliss, reclaiming your lost throne,” Dhaumya then wished the Pandavas.
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.