Faith

A vow and a prophecy

Sage Vaisampayana, while reciting the story of the Mahabharata to king Janamejaya, describes the events leading to the thirteen year exile of the Pandavas. The Pandavas, persecuted by Duryodhana and his brothers and robbed of their kingdom and wealth leave Hastinapura. Vidhura, who is asked by Dhritarashtra to give him an eyewitness account of their departure, does not mince matters to impress on the king the evil portents of destruction to the Kaurava race that are imminent and inevitable, pointed out Sri Kesava Dikshitar in a discourse. Vidhura points out that Yudhishtira goes covering his face with his cloth lest the people are burnt by his angry eyes for, it is a fact that tears from the eyes of those who uphold dharma can be destructive.

Bheema goes looking at his mighty arms as if he is proud of their strength and desiring to have revenge on those who have wronged them. He lets out a mighty ‘humkara’ or grumble which frightens one and all. He says time will come when he will kill Duryodhana, Arjuna will kill Karna and Sahadeva will kill Sakuni. He exclaims that God is the sure witness and by His grace this vow of his is certain to come true. Arjuna goes scattering grains of sand as if to symbolically indicate the shower of arrows that he is likely to release on them.

Draupadi goes along weeping with her dishevelled hair that remains untied as if signifying the fate of all the Kaurava women whose men folk will be killed in due course. Many ill omens are also seen that portend the destruction of the Kauravas that they have brought on themselves by their evil ways. The sage also mentions about the appearance of a celestial being who prophesies the doom to befall the Kauravas.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2021 12:40:50 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/religion/A-vow-and-a-prophecy/article16086857.ece

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