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

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Draupadi understood this  possibility, i.e. ‘tamah’ appearing as ‘sattva’. That is why, whenever,  Yudhishthira inclined more to Brahmana-Guna during exile, Draupadi lashed at  him with the strongest of speech extolling ‘krodha’. In a fiery speech he asks  her rhetorically, why his wrath does not blaze up at the sight of their plight  in the forest – kasmaan manyur na vardhate!-
  na.nirmanyuh.kSatriyo.asti.loke.nirvacanam.smRtam./
  tad.adya.tvayi.pazyaami.kSatriye.vipariitavat.//  (CE-3.28.34)
  ‘Truly, O thou best of the Bharatas,  thou hast no anger, else why is it that thy mind is not moved at sight of thy  brothers and myself (in such distress)? It is said that there is no Kshatriya  in the world who is bereft of anger. I now behold in thee, however, a  refutation of the proverb! Unto those Kurus the covetous sons of Dhritarashtra  who injure us always, the present is not the time for forgiveness! It behoveth  thee to put forth thy might. The humble and forgiving person is disregarded;  while those that are fierce persecute others. He, indeed, is a king who hath  recourse to both, each according to its time!'

She then goes on to sermonize him on  the necessity of‘karma’-
  ‘Thou also shouldest act, and not  incur censure by abandoning action. Cover thyself up, as with armor, with  action……And this moment misery hath overtaken us. If, however, thou betakest to  action, that misery will certainly be removed.’

To her, Yudhishthira’s Dharma tends  to become ‘idleness’ i.e. the ‘sattva’ of his Dharma is actually ‘tamah’,  because he is becoming a believer in Destiny -
  ‘Those persons in the world who  believe in destiny, and those again who believe in chance, are both the worst  among men. Those only that believe in the efficacy of acts are laudable.’

Draupadi’s ‘karma’ philosophy is  akin to Krishna’s with the difference that at this phase of her age she  believes in ‘sakaama karma’. To her, seeking ‘phala’ in ‘karma’ is the mark of  ‘pauruS – Manliness’-
  yat.svayam.karmaNaa.kimcit.phalam.aapnoti.puuruSah./
  pratyakSam.cakSuSaa.dRSTam.tat.pauruSam.iti.smRtam.//  (CE-3.33.16)
  ‘The fruit, however, that a person  obtaineth by acting himself, and which is the direct result of those acts of  his, is regarded as proof of personal ability – pauruSam – manliness.’

The remedy to failure despite action  is further action - ‘The man of action in this world generally meeteth with  success. The idle, however, never achieveth success. If success becometh  impossible, then one should seek to remove the difficulties that bar his way to  success. And, O king, if a person worketh (hard), his debt (to the gods) is  cancelled (whether he achieveth success or not).’

The ‘kaama’ in ‘karma’ is for the  ‘phala’ of victory, and if victory is unattainable, then one should be stoic of  the loss and settle on honour-
  atha.vaa.siddhir.eva.syaan.mahimaa.tu.tathaa.eva.te./
  vRkodarasya.biibhatsor.bhraatroz.ca.yamayor.api.//  (CE-3.33.42)
  ‘If you meet with failure, then also  such manliness would be a matter of honour for Vrikodara and Vivatsu and the  twins (Retranslated by author from Bengali Translation of Haridas  Siddhantavagish).
  Yudhishthira rejects Draupadi’s  sermon as a speech ‘delightful, smooth and full of excellent phrases – valgu  citra padam zlakSNam yaajnaseni tvayaa vacah (3.32.1)
  In Shanti-Parva again, when  Yudhishthira wants to renounce the world, Draupadi suggests to him the proper  balance of opposites in a King –
  yasmin.kSamaa.ca.krodhaz.ca.daana.adaane.bhaya.abhaye./
  nigraha.anugrahau.ca.ubhau.sa.vai.dharma.vid.ucyate.//
  ‘He is  said to be conversant with duties in whom are forgiveness and wrath, giving and  taking, terrors and fearlessness, and chastisement and reward.’(CE-12.140.17)

She sees the excess of Brahmana-Guna  in him –
  mitrataa.sarva.bhuuteSu.daanam.adhyayanam.tapah./
  braahmaNasya.eSa.dharmah.syaad.na.raajno.raaja.sattama.//  (CE-12.140.15)
  ‘Friendship  for all creatures, charity, study of the Vedas, penances,--these constitute the  duties of a Brahmana and not of a king, O best of kings!’

If Draupadi sees the absence of  ‘krodha’ and the motivation of ‘sakaama karma’ in Yudhishthira’s Dharma, and  therefore lacking in ‘balance’, Bhima sees the ‘problem’ of ‘kaama’ and disbalance  of ‘Dharma-Artha-Kama’ in Yudhishthira’s Dharma- ‘It is for these reasons that  those who are wise are ever careful of both virtue and wealth, for a union of  virtue and wealth is the essential requisite of pleasure, as fuel is the  essential requisite of fire. The joy that ariseth  from the five senses, the intellect and the heart, being directed to the  objects proper to each, is called pleasure. That pleasure, O king, is, as I  think, one of the best fruits of our actions. Thus, O monarch, one should regard  virtue, wealth and pleasure one after another. One should not devote one self  to virtue alone, nor regard wealth as the highest object of one's wishes, nor  pleasure, but should ever pursue all three. (CE-3.34.28-38)’

Bhima too like Draupadi sees the  excess of ‘Brahmana Guna’ in Yudhishthira - ‘But, O slayer of foes, no one  applaudeth thee for thus suffering such pain in consequence of the kindliness  of thy disposition. Thy intellect, O king, seeth not the truth, like that of a  foolish and ignorant person of high birth who hath committed the words of the  Vedas to memory without understanding their sense. Thou art kind like a  Brahmana. How hast thou been born in the Kshatriya order? – ghRNii braahmaNa  ruupo asi katham kSatre ajaayathaah (3.36.19).’

Yudhishthira rejects Bhima’s Dharma  calling him ‘foremost of speakers –vaakya kovida’(3.37.3), may be with polite  and subtle sarcasm. Draupadi’s and Bhima’s exhortations are nothing but  ‘speech’ to Yudhishthira.

He admits it is for him that all are  suffering – ‘I cannot reproach thee for thy torturing me thus by piercing me  with thy arrowy words. From my folly alone hath this calamity come against  you.’

However, he also makes it clear to  them – ‘Having entered into such an agreement in the presence of all good men,  who dareth break it for the sake of a kingdom on earth? For a respectable  person, I think, even death itself is lighter than the acquisition of  sovereignty by an act of transgression.’

At the end of the war and  particularly on learning that Karna was his uterine brother, ‘dharma.aatmaa’  Yudhishthira is ‘samtaapa.piiDita (12.6.12)’, ‘zoka.vyaakula.cetanah’ and  ‘duhkha.samtaptah’ (12.7.1).

Yudhishthira wants to leave for  forest life – ‘Abandoning the whole of my kingdom, therefore, and the things of  this earth, I shall go to the woods, escaping from the ties of the world, freed  from grief, and without affection for anything.’

He is burdened with sense of sin  (paapam).
  Yudhishthira’s ‘vairaagya’ is like  his father Pandu’s, who too went to the forest shortly after returning from a  bloody Digvijaya.

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