Mahabharata - Yudhishthira and Krishna - Indra & Vishnu on One Chariot

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According to one tradition in  Mahabharata, Yudhishthira is a former Indra incarnate in the seed of Dharma,  according to another he is Dharma’s son, and yet, according to another, he is  Dharma incarnate!

If Yudhishthira is Indra or Dharma-incarnate  or Dharma’s son, why would he need to listen to and participate in discourses  on dharma again and again; and why is it that Vyasa, Krishna, Pandavas, Draupadi,  Bhisma and others have to lecture Yudhishthira again and again on dharma?

Yudhishthira’s Dharma has been  over-shadowed by Krishna’s Dharma, certainly  not in actuality, but definitely in the fragmentary perception of Mahabharata  readers and interpreters. Certainly Vyasa did not intend it. Krishna  was a preacher and liver, he merged both his roles in the Kurukshetra of his  Life and Battlefield. So was Vyasa; he merged his roles in the bhUbharaharaNa  Project and composition of Mahabharata.

Yudhishthira never preached, never  did he aspire to be ‘dharma-Ashoka’ and therefore raised high-sounding edicts;  he lived, and in a way - to use Mahatma Gandhi’s words – that his Life became  his living Message. If that is his shortfall, he is second to none than Krishna  in this respect, for without Vyasa, Krishna would have appeared as silent;  therefore, being the second-runner to Krishna,  Yudhishthira is the foremost among men!

In a  world dependant on Language, Yudhishthira appears silent. He is not a preacher.  He answers only when asked, or charged of any excess, and such answers are so  few; otherwise he is content asking.    

 In the whole of Mahabharata (the Text as we  have it, not the Ur)  Yudhishthira asks the maximum number of questions, sometimes similar questions  again and again to different persons.

The later Poet or Poets realized the  silence of Yudhishthira’s dharma, and created the Yaksha episode and parts of  Mahaprasthanika and the Svargarohana Parva to reveal Yudhishthira’s Dharma.  Without these two episodes, Yudhishthira’s dharma would have remained so silent  that in the New Age of Words and Rhetoric, the silent depth would have remained  beyond comprehension like the depth of the Ocean beneath the shinny waves!