Who was the king after Yudhishthira

Chapter 312 - The Questions to Yudhishthira

Vaisampayana continued:
Then Yudhishthira discovered his beloved brothers lying dead on the lakeshore, as if the rulers of the worlds had fallen from their spheres at the end of a yuga. Arjuna's bow and arrows lay on the ground and none of them moved. Then the king sighed long and heavily and the tears of sadness ran down his face. His heart overflowed with grief and he complained painfully:
Oh strong Bhima, you swore that with your club you would smash the thigh of Duryodhana in battle. But your death now makes all of this fruitless, you high-souled and strong-armed man. People's promises can be ineffective. But why are even the words of the gods about you fruitless? Oh Arjuna, when you were born, the gods said that you were the thousand-eyed one (Indra) will be equal. And in the northern Paripatra mountains they sing: Should enemies rob this race, Arjuna will bring everything back. Nobody can defeat him, and there is nobody he cannot defeat. But why has death defeated you now? Oh why is Arjuna dead on the ground where all my hopes rested? How could Bhima and Arjuna come under the power of an enemy when no weapon could harm them and so far they have beaten all enemies? Oh, my mean heart must be made of stone because it won't burst when I see the twins lying dead on the floor. You good people were always experienced in holy things, knew about the properties of time and space, had ascetic merit, diligently practiced all holy rites, and yet lies down without having performed the deeds appropriate for you? Alas, why are your bodies unharmed and your arches untouched while your life is leaving you?

The high-souled king was overcome by grief and grief at the sight of his brothers. Deeply moved and bathed in sweat, he finally said:
It is like it is.

And then wanted to find out the reason for the disaster. But this strong-armed, high-souled, clever and experienced man was at a loss. So the son of Dharma reined in his soul and began to ponder what might have killed the heroes:
There are no footprints here, and there are no weapon marks on their bodies. I think the being that struck my brothers was very powerful. I have to think about it seriously, or have a sip of water first, then maybe I'll understand. Could it be that the devious Duryodhana caused the king of the Gandharvas to poison the water? What sane man would trust this rag who knows no difference between good and bad? Or were spies from common Duryodhana here?

So the wise thought back and forth, but he did not believe that the water was poisoned, for the corpses of his brothers looked fresh and uncoloured. And further Yudhishthira said to herself:
Each of these fine men was as strong as a waterfall. Who but Yama himself, who brings the end to all creatures, could have defeated them?

So he waded into the water and heard the voice from heaven:
I am a crane and I live on small fish. Through me, your younger brothers came under the rule of the Lord of the Dead Spirits. If you, oh prince, do not answer my questions, then you shall be the fifth corpse. So do not act hastily, my child. This lake is mine. Answer my questions, then you can drink and carry away as much water as you want, oh son of Kunti.

Yudhishthira said:
Are you one of the Rudras, Vasus or Maruts? I ask you what god are you No bird could have done this. Who overthrew the four mighty mountains, Himavat, Paripatra, Vindhya chain and Malaya? You have done great things, you strongest of all beings. You have beaten those whom neither gods nor Gandharvas, demons or Rakshasa could harm. You did an amazing deed. I don't know what happened or what your reason was. And so I feel great curiosity, and fear has seized me too. My mind is troubled and my head aches. And so I ask you, oh my honorable one, who are you to stand up to everything here?

The answer was:
May good happen to you. I am a yaksha, not a bird. And I killed your heroic brothers.

The bitter words hit hard on the politely questioning Yudhishthira, who was standing in the water. And next the bull of the Bharatas saw the yaksha on a tree with his strange eyes, the huge body, as high as a Palmyra Palma, as bright as the sun or the fire, irresistible and gigantic as a mountain and roaring loudly like a thundercloud .

The yaksha said:
Your brothers stole the water even though I repeatedly forbade them to do so. That's why I killed her. Whoever wishes for life should not drink this water carelessly, O king. Do not act hastily because the lake is in my possession. Answer my questions first. Then you like to drink.

Yudhishthira:
I do not desire what is yours, oh yaksha, for the virtuous do not praise it. So wonder, oh bull among males.

And the yaksha asked:
What leaves the sun (Aditya) rise up? Who is accompanying you? Who will let them go under? And in whom is it based?

Yudhishthira:
Brahma makes the sun rise. The gods accompany them. Dharma drowns it, and in truth it is established.

Yaksha:
How are you taught? How do you achieve great things? How do you get a second one? How can one get wisdom?

Yudhishthira:
By studying the Srutis one is taught. There is great attainment of great things through ascetic abstinence. By being prudent, one acquires a second, and by serving the old one becomes wise.

Yaksha:
What is the divinity of the Brahmins? What is their religious practice? What are the human characteristics of the Brahmins? And which of their practices is impious?

Yudhishthira:
The study of the Vedas forms their divinity. Their asceticism produces pious behavior. That they succumb to death makes them human. And distraction is their evil.

Yaksha:
What is the divinity of the Kshatriyas? Which of their practices is pious? What is their human quality? And what impious behavior are they subject to?

Yudhishthira:
The art of arms constitutes their divinity. Making sacrifices is pious. The tendency to fear is its human characteristic. And refusing to help makes them indecent.

Yaksha:
What is the sama of a victim? As for the yayus (Sacrifice)? What is the refuge with the victim? And what cannot be missing from a victim?

Yudhishthira:
Life is the sama of sacrifice, spirit is yayus, rig is refuge and without rig there is no sacrifice.

Yaksha:
What is of greatest value to those who grow, sow, and desire worldly prosperity and offspring?

Yudhishthira:
These are rain, seeds, cows and sons.

Yaksha:
Which intelligent being enjoys all sense objects, is respected and loved by the world, and yet does not live although it breathes?

Yudhishthira:
He who does not sacrifice to the gods, guests, servants, ancestors and the self does not live even if he breathes.

Yaksha:
What is heavier than the earth? What's higher than the sky? What is faster than the wind and more numerous than blades of grass?

Yudhishthira:
The mother weighs heavier than the earth. The father is higher than heaven. The mind is faster than the wind. And the thoughts are more numerous than blades of grass.

Yaksha:
Who doesn't close their eyes in their sleep? What doesn't move after giving birth? What has no heart And what is increasing in your own flow?

Yudhishthira:
A fish sleeps with its eyes open. An egg doesn't move after it's laid. A stone has no heart and a river swells of its own accord.

Yaksha:
Who is the exile's friend? Who is the householder's friend? Who is the friend of the sick and the dying?

Yudhishthira:
The friend of the displaced person in the distant land is the companion. The householder's friend is his wife. The doctor is the friend of the sick and devotion is the friend of the dying.

Yaksha:
Who is the guest of all creatures? What is Eternal Duty? What is Amrit, oh best king? And what is the whole universe made up of?

Yudhishthira:
Agni is the guest of all creatures. The milk of the cows is amrit. Homa (Victim) is the eternal duty, and the whole universe exists in space.

Yaksha:
What is walking alone? What is always reborn after it is born? What is the cure for cold? And what is the largest field?

Yudhishthira:
The sun wanders alone. The moon always takes new birth. The fire is against cold, and the earth is the largest field.

Yaksha:
What is the highest refuge for virtue, fame, heaven, and happiness?

Yudhishthira:
Openness is the supreme refuge for virtue, benevolence for fame, truthfulness for heaven, and wholesome action for happiness.

Yaksha:
What is the man's soul? Which friend do the gods give the man by his side? What is the greatest help to people? And what is their highest refuge?

Yudhishthira:
The son is the man's soul and the wife is his God-given friend. Rain is the greatest help and devotion is the greatest refuge.

Yaksha:
What is the best of all things worthy of praise? What is the most valuable possession? What is the best win and what is the best feeling of happiness?

Yudhishthira:
The most praiseworthy thing is experience. The most valuable thing is knowledge. The greatest gain is salvation and the greatest happiness is satisfaction.

Yaksha:
What is the highest duty in the world? What virtue continues to bear fruit? What never leads to repentance when curbed? And what bond cannot be broken?

Yudhishthira:
The highest duty is no harm. The virtues of the three Vedas continue to bear fruit. A restrained mind is never to be regretted. And the bond with the good never breaks in two.

Yaksha:
What makes you happy if you do without it? What does not lead to repentance if one forgets it? What makes you rich if you do without it? And without what are you happy?

Yudhishthira:
Without selfishness one is content. The renunciation of anger is never to be regretted. One is rich without desires, and one is happy without greed.

Yaksha:
What are the gifts for brahmins, actors and dancers, servants and kings?

Yudhishthira:
Brahmins are given for religious merit and actors and dancers for fame. They are given to servants to entertain them, and kings are given to free themselves from fear (to be protected).

Yaksha:
What is the world wrapped in? What prevents self-knowledge? Why do you leave friends? And what can keep you from going to heaven?

Yudhishthira:
The world is shrouded in darkness. Darkness (Ignorance) prevents self-knowledge. One leaves friends out of greed. And attachment to the world prevents ascension to heaven.

Yaksha:
When do you consider someone dead? When is a kingdom, a sraddha, and a sacrifice considered dead?

Yudhishthira:
The greed for wealth makes a person lifeless. A kingdom without a king is dead, as is a Sraddha with an ignorant priest and a sacrifice without gifts to the Brahmins.

Yaksha:
What is the path made of? What do we call water, food and poison? Tell me the appropriate time for a sraddha. And then drink and scoop as much water as you like.

Yudhishthira:
The Dharma is the way. The space is called water. The (wish-fulfilling) Cow gives the food. Desire is the poison. And the Brahmin determines the Sraddha. Or what do you think of it, oh yaksha?

Yaksha:
What is called a mark of true asceticism? What is true restraint? What is True Forgiveness? And what is real shame?

Yudhishthira:
To be steadfast in one's religion is true asceticism. The restraint of thoughts is true restraint. Forgiving the enemy too is true forgiveness. And avoiding all unworthy acts is true shame.

Yaksha:
What, O king, are knowledge, peace, mercy and simplicity?

Yudhishthira:
True knowledge is the knowledge of divinity. True peace is peace of heart. True mercy desires the good of all beings. And true simplicity is the view of unity.

Yaksha:
Which enemy is invulnerable? Which disease is fatal to humans? Which person is called honorable and which is dishonorable?

Yudhishthira:
Anger is an invulnerable enemy. Greed is a deadly disease. The honorable desires the welfare of all beings, and the dishonorable is ruthless.

Yaksha:
What is ignorance, oh king? What is arrogance? What is laziness? And what do you call suffering?

Yudhishthira:
True ignorance is when one does not know one's destiny. He is haughty who thinks he is personally a doer or a sufferer in life. Laziness is when one does not do one's duty. And ignorance is suffering.

Yaksha:
What do the Rishis say about persistence, patience, true purification, and true compassion?

Yudhishthira:
Persistence is staying in one's own religion. True patience is the restraint of the senses. True purification purifies the mind of all unwholesome. And true compassion is to protect all beings.

Yaksha:
Which person should be considered learned, godless, or ignorant? What is desire and what are its causes? And what is envy?

Yudhishthira:
A scholar is someone who knows his duties. The wicked is ignorant and the ignorant is wicked. He who is subject to his possessions is eager. And envy is nothing more than dissatisfaction of the heart.

Yaksha:
What are arrogance and hypocrisy? What is the grace of the gods in? And what is underhandedness?

Yudhishthira:
Arrogance is stubborn ignorance. Setting a religious standard is hypocritical. The grace of the gods is the fruit of our gifts. And those who speak badly of others are sneaky.

Yaksha:
Virtue, gain and love (Dharma, Artha and Kama) are completely opposite things. How can they exist together?

Yudhishthira:
If a wife lives virtuously, then all three can coexist.

Yaksha:
Oh bull of the Bharata race, who is condemned to everlasting hell? Answer this question quickly!

Yudhishthira:
Anyone who calls a poor Brahmin to come to him with the promise to give him presents and then explains to him that he has nothing will go to hell for ever. This also happens to those who slander the Vedas, holy scriptures, brahmins, gods and rites in honor of the ancestors, as well as to those who live in wealth who never give and covetously claim that they have nothing.

Yaksha:
How does a person become a brahmin: through birth, behavior, study, or scholarship? Tell me for sure.

Yudhishthira:
Hear, oh yaksha. Brahminism is not made up of birth, study, or scholarship. Without a doubt, it's behavior. One should always behave well, but especially as a Brahmin. Those who keep their behavior pure are pure themselves. Whoever loses good behavior is lost himself. Whether teachers or students, all scribes, and had they also studied the four Vedas, if they have fallen into unwholesome behavior they should be called uneducated rags. Only he who acts in a wholesome way is taught. Those who do Agnihotra and have control over their senses are called Brahmin.

Yaksha:
What do you gain through loving words, fair action, many friends and devotion to virtue?

Yudhishthira:
Whoever speaks kind words is loved. Those who act righteously get everything they want. Those who have a lot of friends live happily. And whoever is inclined to virtue attains bliss.

Yaksha:
Who is truly happy? What's the greatest miracle? What is the path And what's the new? Answer me these four questions and then give life back to your dead brothers too.

Yudhishthira:
Oh Yaksha, whoever cooks a modest meal in his own home on the fifth or sixth part of the day, is free from debt and does not feel drawn into a foreign country, is truly happy. Countless creatures enter the realm of Yama every day. And yet those who remain behind believe that they are immortal. What can be a greater miracle? Discussions do not lead to certain conclusions, the Srutis (scriptures) are quite different from each other, there is not one rishi whose opinion is to be taken as infallible, and the truth about religion and duty is hidden in dark depths. Yet this is the path that the great have taken. This world of ignorance is like a pot. The sun is the fire, the days and nights are the firewood.The months and seasons are the wooden ladle. And time is the cook who (by the means mentioned) all the creatures in this pot are boiling. This is how something new is created.

Yaksha:
You answered all my questions well and righteously, O subjugator. Now tell me who is a person and who truly has all the wealth.

Yudhishthira:
The fame of a person's good deeds spreads over the earth and reaches heaven. As long as this fame lasts, this person will be known. And all wealth is truly possessed by those to whom weal and woe, pleasant and unpleasant, past and future are equally important.

Yaksha:
With this answer you deserve to have one of your brothers resurrected. Who do you choose

Yudhishthira:
May this one with the dark skin, the red eyes, the broad chest, the long arms and the tall figure like a Sal tree live again. May Nakula arise, O Yaksha.

The yaksha asked:
Bhimasena is close to you, and everything depends on Arjuna. Why do you wish life for your stepbrother, oh king? How can you do without Bhima for Nakula, whose strength is equal to that of a thousand elephants? People say that Bhima is close to you. Why do you want to revive your stepbrother? And you also want to forego Arjuna, whose power all the sons of Pandu revere? Why nakula?

Yudhishthira:
Whoever sacrifices virtue is lost. Whoever honors virtue is honored. And so I try to always follow virtue so that it doesn't sacrifice us. Not to hurt others is the greatest virtue and, for me, the most difficult thing to achieve. I always seek, oh yaksha, and so may Nakula be resurrected. My father had two wives, Kunti and Madri. May they both have children, this is my wish. What Kunti means to me, Madri also means to me. In my eyes there is no difference between the two. And I want to treat both mothers the same way. So let Nakula live.

Then said the yaksha:
Because you consider not hurting others as the greatest virtue, much higher than gain and pleasure, I let all your brothers live again, O bull among the Bharatas.