Narach Philosophy

THREE NEW BRIDES OF ARJUNA


Having obtained their kingdom, the Pandavas lived with Draupadi at Indraprastha, with Yudhisthira as their king. In order that they should live happily together, they, by the advice of Narada, established a rule that if any of them was in the company of Draupadi and he was seen by someone else, the latter must go into a forest for twelve years and lead the life of a Brahmachari.

Arjuna's Exile: One day it chanced that a Brahmana came weeping to Arjuna, complaining that his wealth was being carried away by thieves; and, as that hero went to arm himself, he saw Yudhisthira with Draupadi. He drove away the thieves and restored his wealth to the Brahmana; but, as he had violated the rule between the brothers, he requested permission to go into exile as agreed; and, having obtained the king's permission, Arjuna went away to live in the forest for twelve years.

The Wives of Arjuna; Arjuna and Ulupi: Arjuna, after seeing many picturesque countries, forests and lakes, rivers and seas, and making many sacred pilgrimages, came to the source of the Ganga, and thought of dwelling there, performing many sacrifices. One day, as he was performing his sacrifice, Ulupi, the daughter of a Naga king, beheld him and desired him for her husband. Though Arjuna was under the vow of Brahmacharya, he did not think it contrary to its behests to marry her; and she gave him a boon, making him invincible in water.

Arjuna and Citrangada: Soon after Arjuna started for the side of the Himalayas; and, travelling eastward, saw the countries lying there, and came where the sea was. Moving slowly along the shore, he came to Manipura, where dwelt king Citra-vahana with his beautiful daughter Citrangada. Arjuna saw her and was filled with love, and going up to the king told him what he desired. When the king knew who he was, he informed him that she was his heiress to the kingdom. He agreed, however, to his marrying her on condition that the son born to her would remain with the king and be the perpetuator of his race. Arjuna consented and was married to her, and lived in that city for three years; and when she gave birth to a son, named Babhru-vahana, he took leave and set out on his travels again.

Arjuna and Subhadra: Thereafter Arjuna went to the sacred places situated on the shore of the south seas; and then turned westward along the shores of the western ocean. Krshna, hearing of his arrival, came to meet him, and they set out together for Dwarka.

One day a great festival was held on the Raivataka hill, and all the Bhojas, Andhakas and Vrsnis (of the race of Krshna) were gathered there. There Arjuna saw Subhadra, the sister of Krshna, and his heart was filled with love; and, following the advice of Krshna, he carried her away by force. When her people came to know what had happened, they were filled with rage; but Krshna assured them that the alliance was a proper one, and advised them to go cheerfully to Arjuna and welcome him back. They did as he desired, and Arjuna returned to Dwarka at their request, and was married to Subhadra in due form. He lived at Dwarka for a year; and when the twelve years of his vow were over, returned with Subhadra to Indraprastha. He was welcomed by all; and to pacify Draupadi, Subhadra came to meet her in the garb of a cowherd maiden. Draupadi was pleased at this, and they all lived happily together.

Then Krshna and his brother Rama, and many others of their race came to Indraprastha, and were given a most rousing welcome; and Krshna gave much wealth to the bridegroom's party. After living many days in pleasure, the Vrsni heroes returned to Dwarka. Krshna, however, remained behind, and spent his time with Arjuna, roaming along the banks of the Yamuna in search of the deer.

The Birth of Abhimanyu: Then Subhadra gave birth to a son, and he was named Abhimanyu. The child became a favourite of Krshna, his father, uncles, and all.

The Sons of Draupadi: The Panchala princess also had five heroic sons by the five Pandava brothers; Prativindhya, begotten by Yudhisthira; Sutasoma by Bhima; Satakarma by Arjuna; Santanika, by Nakula; and Srutasena by Sahadeva.