Wednesday 29 April 2020

Yudhishthira (Mythological Monologues #25)

In the garb of a Yaksha,
Once Lord Dharma asked me
The greatest wonder of the world;
Countless people die everyday
Yet the ones that are living desire to be immortal;
I-Yudhisthira never forgot my answer.
With the arrival of Kaliyuga
Departure of Vasudev Krishna
There remained no purpose of my life.
I recognized the hour of my retirement
Left the kingdom of Hastinapur
In the able hands of my grandson, Parikshit 
And embarked on my final journey
With my four brothers and Panchali.
An unfamiliar dog joined us 
In our pilgrimage to the Himalayas.

As I walked towards
My final destination,
The journey of my life flashed
In front of my eyes. 
Like a boat trapped in a tempest,
My destiny took me to places
One day living in the forest
The other day at the palace;
My life was checkered by
Deceit and Manipulation in one box
Love and Devotion in another box
I stayed steadfast in both
At the face of lies and deceit,
My unshakable calmness irked the ones
Most precious to me
Yet I stayed calm under the
Umbrella of knowledge
The one enemy that is invincible is anger
Mastery over the mind
Is the only gateway to freedom.

As we continued our journey,
Panchali fell first.
A distressed Bheema asked the reason
"Excessive attachment to Arjuna", I said.
Then fell Sahadeva followed by Nakula
Pride in wisdom and looks, their folly
Next fell Arjuna, another victim
Of the vice of pride 
In being the most skilled archer.
Last of all, Bheema tires and falls
His only flaw was gluttony. 
I was left with the dog as my companion
As I climbed on top of Mount Sumeru.
Indra, the King of Heaven appeared
Inviting me to enter his chariot
Without the dog accompanying me.
At once, I refused to leave
My faithful and loyal companion
In exchange of the pleasures of Heaven.
Lord Indra asked me to act wisely
"If I leave the dog, my heart
Will no longer be a Heaven
Of Dharma and good deeds.
What use is Heaven then for me?"
I answered, folding my hands
When the dog magically 
Transformed into Lord Dharma,
Saying that I passed the final test of my life.

©Purba Chakraborty

Note: Yudhishthira was the eldest son of King Pandu and Queen Kunti in the Hindu epic Mahabharata. He later became the King of Hastinapur. 

Xerophilous Shikhandi (Mythological Monologues #24)


  1. Beautiful Purba! I didn’t know about this dog incident of Yudhisthara’s life. Loved the weave as always buddy

  2. Only the strong base of the Dharma and Karma led ethic of life can make a man of Yudhisthira's stature. Though I knew the story, revisiting it was a great pleasure because of your presentation and apt flow!

  3. I didn't know a the about the departure of Pandavas. Now I am more curious to read about it in depth.

  4. This is a nice poetic retelling of the essence of what Yudhishthira was all about.

  5. I know about this story. My grandma has told me a lot about this. Yudhisthira was the only one who made it but he was shown a glimpse of hell, all because he was half-lied when he told Dhronacharya that Aswatthama was killed by Bhima. Great poem, Purba. I am in awe of your deep knowledge about mythology!

  6. Again you have chosen such a great part of his life to highlight, which also happens to be the essence of who he is. Loved reading this.


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