We are discussing below the ‘Four levels of Yudhishthira’s Wisdom’.
This story is taken from the great ancient Sanskrit epic Mahabharata. At the period, When Pandavas were in the jungle. They saw a deer once. They all were pursuit the deer. At the time of the pursuit, they all were reaching far away from their house. Suddenly, the deer vanished. The sun was overhead and they all were thirsty. They are now searching for water for a long time but they can`t find it.
They were tired and sit under a tree. The elder one Yudhishthira sent Shadeva in search of water but he doesn’t come after a long time then Yudhishthira sent Nakul but he also did not come. Then Yudhishthira sent Bhima and Arjuna one by one but they also did not come for a long time. He grew very anxious, not knowing what evil fate had overtaken them. Then, he decided to go himself at last. He follows the footprint of his brother and reaches a pool where water is clear, still water reflected the blue sky. At another site, he saw his four brothers laying in the bank of the pool whether dead or unconscious. He was crying after seeing her brothers in such a condition.
He doesn`t know when Shadeva has come to the pool and bent down to drink the water from the pool. But at the same time once a voice comes out, “Stop, Sahadeva! Do not drink, this is an enchanted poll that belongs to me. No one drink of its water until he has answered to me.” But Shadadeva did not show attention to the voice. When he wants to drink and water touched his lips, he felt struck down. The same kind of events to all the brothers of Yudhishthira.
For a long time, Yudhishthira wept on the bank. Then the feeling of his thirst overpowered him. He went near to the pool and bent down to drink the water. At the same time, Yudhishthira heard the same warning voice that his brother heard. Yudhishthira asks the question, “who are you”. The voice continued; I am Yaksha. “This is my pool. Your brother did not answer my questions so he felt unconscious. If you did not answer my question you also like your brother,” Yudhishthira replied, Ask your questions. Yaksha asks their questions Yudhishthira gives all the questions, desired answered. Yaksha was satisfied with their answer. He says I can restore to your one brother. Yudhishthira looked at their unconscious brother.
Yudhishthira answered restore my brother Nakul. Yaksha said not to restore Bhima and Arjuna, they are strong and skillful than Nakula. Yudhishthira answered: Nakula is Madri`s son and Bhima and Arjuna, I am Kunti`s children of Kunti’s children at least I am alive. But if Nakula and Shadeva should both die. Then Madri’s line would end. So, restore Nakula rather than Bhima and Arjuna. When he said this, a person (Yaksha) revealed, known as Yama, the God of Justice and Death, Yudhishthira’s heavenly father. Yama embraced Yudhishthira and told him that he had come to help Pandavas in their hour need. He restored not only one brother but all of them. He advised Yudhishthira to go with his brothers and Draupadi to Mastsya where the good king Virata ruled. You all were safe there at the end of their exile period.
This text is trying to say us the importance of patience, calm, obedience, wisdom, and right conduct. People who have these characteristics can win any things. A person should not be selfish, otherwise, it ruins them as in the text. This story shows that righteousness, obedience, and humanity are essential things to be a good man not only in the eyes of people but also in the eyes of gods.
This mythological story shows the importance of patience, calm, obedience, wisdom, and right conduct in humans to be the greatest one. But if it is looked at in the present context we can find several problems in the story:
- Are there gods out there?
- What is the evidence for the god existence? If yes, then why such crime like rape, murder happen in this world?
- Was the righteousness of people like Socrates, Gandhi and Martin Luther King rewarded while they lived?
- Would astronomers agree that the sun shines by god`s power?
After reading this story, I know the real importance of patience, calm, obedience, wisdom, and right conduct to be a true human. Lack of these characteristics in human-made a human selfish, unrighteous, behaviors like animals, bad thinking for other people. These all indirectly ruin the people and increase the gaps between any relationships.