Faith

For the welfare of all

Yudhishtira is worried about supporting the learned sages and rishis who have followed the Pandavas to the forest. Though he would love to show his hospitality to all of them, he knows he does not have the power to do so now.

When he voices this concern to Sage Dhaumya, the sage, through his yogic powers, advises Yudhishtira to propitiate the Sun, pointed out Sri Kesava Dikshitar in a discourse.

The sage explains the vital role of the Sun in the wonderful scheme of creation by providing healthy food to all living beings.

Food is indispensable for growth and sustenance and hunger is a reality to all living beings.

The Sun draws water by his rays and while staying over the Earth, the moon, the lord of the vegetable world, converts the solar heat into clouds and pours them down as rain water, which in turn causes plants to spring up.

He also points out that many great kings in the past have taken refuge in the Sun god and have prayed to him to be delivered from great afflictions such as hunger, famine, etc. It would be the best option for Yudhishtira to seek the help of the Sun god at this juncture.

Accordingly, Yudhishtira makes a heartfelt appeal to the Sun who is constantly engaged in the welfare of the three worlds.

The Sun god appears before him and promises to provide them with food during the period of exile. He hands over to him a copper vessel, the Akshaya Patra, and says that this divine vessel will supply fruits, roots, meat and vegetables that is necessary to feed and sustain all.

The Akshaya Patra, a great boon for the Pandavas, is symbolic of the compassionate nature of the Sun, whose responsibility is to nourish all and satisfy their hunger.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2021 5:07:52 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/religion/For-the-welfare-of-all/article16438329.ece

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