The 17th of the Mahabharata’s 18 books is called the Mahaprasthanika Parva, or the Book of the Great Journey. It is one of the smallest Parvas in the Mahabharata since it is not separated into upa parvas and only has three chapters. The parva’s gist is as follows.
Mahaprastanika Parva Mahabharat Overview
Arjuna delivered his message to Yudhishthira after he got back from his meeting with Vyasa. Yudhishthira abdicated the throne. He crowned Lord Krishna’s great-grandson Vajra as the ruler of Indraprastha, Krtavarma’s son as the King of Mrittikavarapura, and Satyaki’s son as the ruler of Sarasvati. He gave the three kings he crowned an equal share of the wealth.
Then, the Pandavas and Draupadi began their ascent via the Himalayas to paradise. A dog they met along the way befriended them, and the Pandavas decided to take him on their journey to paradise. Drauppadi was the first to pass away as they started their ascent of the Himalayas to paradise. Yudhishthira said that she could not finish her journey to paradise because she suffered from the fault of partiality in her feelings for Arjuna when Bhima questioned her about the cause of her death. The five Pandava brothers then carried on with their quest. Sahadeva was the next to pass away, and Yudhishthira claimed that Sahadeva had the vices of arrogance and pride and believed that he was the only one with the amount of knowledge and wisdom that existed. Nakula passed away next before the four brothers went on their trek. The same sin of conceit and pride in Nakula for being the most attractive man in the world was mentioned by Yudhishthira. The next person to pass away was Arjuna. Yudhishthira said that Arjuna had the vices of pride and conceit since he was the best and most potent warrior in the entire universe. Yudhishthira, Bhima, and the dog then carried on with their voyage. After a while, even Bhima passed away. As he was dying, Bhima asked Yudhishthira why he had passed away, and Yudhishthira replied that Bhima had committed the sin of gluttony his entire life and had shown disregard for the hungry.
Only Yudhishthira and the dog succeed in reaching paradise at the end. Yudhishthira was greeted by Indra at the heavenly gates. However, Yudhishthira declared that Draupadi and the rest of his brothers must accompany him to paradise. He was reassured by Lord Indra that they had already arrived in heaven when they died. Then, Yudhishthira spoke with Indra on the admission of his canine comrade and companion. The dog wouldn’t be permitted to ride in Indra’s chariot, he declared. Because the dog had shown to be a dependable friend and leaving him would be against Dharma, Yudhishthira insisted on staying. He wasn’t prepared to give up the dog in order to get to paradise. The dog was delighted to witness Yudhishthira’s dedication manifest as his true self—the god Dharma, his father. He complimented Yudhishthira for his exceptional merits before watching as he rode Indra’s chariot into heaven.
You can read other chapters from the table below. Click on the respective link to understand about the summary of that book/section of Mahabharata.
Mahabharat All Chapters Summary Guide
|1) Adi Parva||10) Sauptika Parva|
|2) Sabha Parva||11) Stri Parva|
|3) Vana Parva||12) Shanti Parva|
|4) Virata Parva||13) Anushasana Parva|
|5) Udhyoga Parva||14) Ashvamedha Parva|
|6) Bhishma Parva||15) Ashramavasika Parva|
|7) Drona Parva||16) Mausala Parva|
|8) Karna Parva||17) Mahaprasthanika Parva|
|9) Shalya Parva||18) Swaraga Arohana Parva|