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 Chapter 109: A fallen Indra is redeemed

 In one of his hunting expeditions, Bhima was caught by a huge serpent and was about to be swallowed by it. Overwhelmed by the snake’s strength, Bhima asked him who he was. The snake answered that he was Nahusha, a former Indra, who was cursed by Agastya to roam the earth as a serpent. This was in punishment for his arrogant behavior after being made Indra.

While Bhima and Nahusha were thus engaged, Yudhisthira arrived at the spot.

The snake repeated his story to Yudhisthira and asked him a few questions. Yudhisthira answered them satisfactorily. Immediately, the serpent changed his form to that of Nahusha. The redeemed Nahusha explained, “Agastya had said that his curse would end with my meeting with Yudhisthira, and Yudhisthira answering my questions.”

Chapter 110: Return to Dwaitavana

After their return to Dwaitavana, Krishna called on them. Arjuna enquired of Krishna about his wife Subhadra and son Abhimanyu. Krishna informed that they were doing well, and so also the five sons of Draupadi. All the children had grown up to be fine warriors, besides being well versed in the scriptures and rituals.

Chapter 111: The arrival of Kalki

The sage Markandeya, ancient and learned, visited the Pandavas and gave them long discourses on many subjects, clearing all their doubts. Asked about the recurrent Yugas (Ages), Markandeya told Yudhisthira, “Dwapara has given place to Kali, the darkest of the four Yugas. During this age duties will increasingly be neglected, morals will take a plunge and there will be a steady fall in values. The end of this age would see the arrival of Kalki. He would be born in a Brahmin family in the town of Sambhala. He would purge the world of all evil elements and pave the way for the golden age, Satya Yuga, which is the first of the cycle of four Yugas.”
 Satyabhama who had accompanied her husband Krishna to visit the Pandavas, was given mature advise on her duties by that foremost of women, Draupadi.

Chapter 107: A traitor in the Pandava camp

Jatasura, a rakshasa, had assumed the form of a brahmin and was living in the Pandava hermitage on the banks of the Bhagirathi River. He was waiting for an opportunity to steal the bows and other weapons the Pandavas had, and to ravish Draupadi. Such an opportunity presented itself when, one day, Bhima was away from the hermitage. Jatasura captured Yudhisthira, Draupadi, Nakula and Sahadeva, and tried to carry them away. However, Bhima returned in time to combat the rakshasa and kill him.

Chapter 108: Arjuna returns

When Arjuna embarked on his quest for weapons, it was the understanding that he would return after five years. That period was coming to an end. Yudhisthira, with his entourage, was waiting with expectation in the Himalayan range to receive his brother. Arjuna arrived in Indra’s own chariot, driven by the charioteer Matali. It was a glorious sight when, from the resplendent car of the god, Arjuna alighted majestically. Indra himself made an appearance. He left after blessing the Pandavas.

Arjuna recounted to the others, his meeting with Mahadeva and his visit to Indra’s court.

To satisfy Yudhisthira’s desire, Arjuna displayed all the weapons that he had acquired from Mahadeva and other gods.
 The next four years were spent by the Pandavas in the same forest, living as they did in an abode provided for them by Indra. The four years passed pleasantly like four nights. Realising those ten years of their exile had passed; the Pandavas left the region of Indra and came back to terra firma. On the way to Dwaitavana they spent one year at Visakayupa on the banks of Yamuna.


 In order to fulfill Draupadi’s wishes, Bhima set out in the direction from which the wind had brought the lotus. The forest was dense with trees and plants, requiring Bhima to uproot several of them to find a path. He warded off many huge elephants and wild animals that came to attack him. After covering some distance he found his passage blocked by a monkey that was lying across in slumber. The angry Bhima bade the monkey move. But the monkey said that the wood Bhima was trying to enter was forbidden to humans.

“You cannot proceed further,” the monkey said. “Only celestials could enter this region. Besides, I am too tired to rise. If you so desire, you may leap over me.”

Bhima said, “It is out of respect that I do not leap over you. Leap I could, even as Hanuman leapt over the ocean to reach Lankapuri.”

“Who is this Hanuman you are talking about?” queried the monkey.

Bhima told him about Hanuman who was the devoted servant of Lord Rama. “Being the god Vayu’s son, I am that great Hanuman’s brother,” said Bhima proudly.

Still desiring to amuse him, the monkey, who was none other than Hanuman, told Bhima, “I am ill. I cannot move. You may, if you want, push my tail aside and proceed.”

Bhima stepped towards the monkey and tried to lift its tail. In spite of using all his strength, Bhima found that the tail would not move. He realized that this was no ordinary monkey. He bowed to it and asked, “Who are you? Are you a
Gandharva or a god?”

Hanuman revealed his true identity to Bhima. “I am the son of the wind god Vayu through Kesari. You are also the son of Vayu, through Kunti. We are indeed brothers.”

Bhima was thrilled to meet his illustrious brother. He asked Hanuman “Is it true that you could assume any form from the size of an ant to that of the Meru hill?”

At Bhima’s request, Hanuman assumed his super form, displaying his ability to become as large as he desired. Reverting to his normal size, he advised Bhima on his duties as a Kshatriya and on the need to uphold truth always. Pleased with his younger brother, Hanuman assured that during the war he would create confusion in the enemy ranks by letting out fearsome roars from Arjuna’s flagstaff. He then showed Bhima the path towards the lake of the divine lotuses and left.

When Bhima reached the lake he was attacked by innumerable rakshasas. He easily scattered them with his might. The defeated rakshasas went running to Kubera to whom the lake belonged. Understanding who Bhima was, Kubera instructed the guardians of the lake to allow him to take as many flowers as he wanted. Bhima returned to the Pandava camp, his hands laden with the lotuses.

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