The Pandavas won the Mahabharatha war with the help of Lord Krishna. The Kauravas were thoroughly routed and all of them were killed.
The Pandavas emerged victorious and Yudhishtara was crowned as the king of the Hastinapur.
After the war, Yudhishtar performed an Ashwamedha yagna to declare his supremacy over all the kingdoms. A horse was allowed to roam anywhere in the country. When the horse walked inside the neighbouring kingdom, the king of the neighbouring kingdom was given a choice either to fight the person guarding the Ashwamedha horse or to surrender. Yudhishtar gave Arjuna the job of protecting the Ashwamedha horse. Hearing about his legendary fighting skills, most of the kings surrendered to Arjuna.
The Ashwammedha horse went towards the kingdom of Manipur. There Bhubhruvahana, who had become the king of Manipur, after the death of his grandfather came to receive his father with great honours.
Arjuna saw all this and was angry with Bhubruvahana. 'I have not come here as your father, I have come as a representative of Yudhishtar. I have come here to fight....' Arjuna said looking at his son scornfully.
Bhubhruvahana was in a dilemma. I do not want to fight my father. But if I do not fight with my father, he would think I am weak....As he was thinking, Uloopi came to see him. Bhubhruvahana loved Uloopi like he loved his own mother. She had taught him so much about archery and warfare and had given him lots of advice while growing up. He had followed her advice while he was young and always found it correct.
Bhubhruvahana bowed to Uloopi, 'Mother! My father wants me to fight him...I...I...' He fumbled as he looked at Uloopi.
Uloopi looked at Bhubhruvahana and said, 'He is not here as your father, Bhubhruvahana. He has come here to take your kingdom...No son of mine, will willingly give up his kingdom to another because of fear...I think you should fight him, son...'
Bhubhruvahana looked at his mother, 'Mother but...'
Uloopi looked at Bhubhruvahana and said firmly, 'You have to do this for your people. You owe them this as the protector of your people...The people should not see their king as a weakling...You will lose their respect if you give up your kingdom because of fear...'
Bhubhruvahana was silent for a long time and then said, 'So...I fight for my people...'
Uloopi nodded and did not say anything.
Arjuna and Uloopi watched with pride as Bhubhruvahana came out of the kingdom, with a determined look, followed by his army. He looked at Arjuna and nodded. 'If it is a war you want...we are ready.'
Chitrangada was aghast when when she saw her son ready to attack her husband. She wanted to run and stop her son, when Uloopi stopped her. 'No Chitranganda! Don't stop him...'
'STOP HIM!' Chitrangada shrieked. 'That is Arjuna, his own father...our husband,,,'
'No!' Uloopi said, 'That is Yudhishtar's army, with its general...Not Arjuna...' Chitrangada tried stopping her son, but Uloopi would not let her stop Bhubhruvahana.
Arjuna nodded and the battle began. Arjuna was a great warrior, but in Bhubhruvahana he found a brilliant opponent. No matter what Arjuna tried, Bhubhruvahana was ready...
Bhubhruvahana attacked Arjuna face to face. The great warrior who had won the Mahabharatha war for the Pandavas was fighting to face up to Bhubhruvahana!
Not able to take the counter attack, Arjuna tired out and Bhubhruvahana killed his father with the next volley of arrows!
The whole kingdom was dumbfolded as they watched Arjuna fall down.
Once Bhubhruvahana had killed his father, he was shocked. He had killed his own father...The words kept replaying in his mind, Far away he saw his mother Chitrangada break free from Uloopi's grasp and run towards Arjuna.
Chitrangada picked up the fallen body of Arjuna and cried, 'Arjuna! Oh my Arjuna...YOU....' Chitrangada yelled pointing at Bhubhruvahana, 'You have killed your own father....' Bhubhruvahana's grief was threatening to overpower him. He swayed and swooned and was about to fall unconscious, when he saw Chitrangada yell at Uloopi, 'Are you happy now? You have killed Arjuna...My Arjuna...' Bhubhruvahana saw no more as he swayed and he fell unconscious.
When Bhubhruvahana came to his senses, he felt pain like he had never felt before. He knew that he had committed an unspeakable evil and he could never run away or escape from what he had done....
Fresh images of what he had done kept running inside his head. He could not forget the angry look which his mother had given him...I have killed my own father....I do not deserve to live....
Bhubhruvahana slowly got on his feet. His mother was still weeping watching the dead face of his father, while Uloopi was behind her trying to comfort her.
'Prepare a pyre for me...' He croaked looking at his minister. 'I...I..cannot live anymore...I have killed my own father...' Bhubhruvahana said sobbing gently. 'Please take care of the people, until the next heir can take care of the kingdom...'
'Your majesty...!' The minister said quietly. 'Please do not say...'
'WHAT ELSE CAN I DO...? Bhubhruvahana shouted on top of his voice. 'I can never escape the tears of my mother knowing that I caused them....' He said almost breaking down.
Uloopi came forward and spoke in calm tones to Bhubhruvahana. 'Son! You did not do anything wrong...You have just fulfilled a curse which your father bore...' Bhubhruvahana listened without any interest as Uloopi told him of the curse of the Vasu on his father. It really did not matter to him...
Uloopi then spoke. 'Son! There is a reason I asked you to fight...Whatever was the result today...I know that I could reverse it...That was the reason, I encouraged you to go ahead...' Uloopi said with quiet conviction.
Bhubhruuvahana, Chitrangada and all the people in the kingdom watched Uloopi with some confusion. Bhubhruvahana said haltingly. 'What do you mean mother?'
Uloopi smiled. 'I mean that I can bring back Arjuna.' The whole kingdom watched Uloopi stunned as she made the astonishing proclamation.
Chitrangada stumbled as she almost fell on Uloopi and said desperately. 'What do you mean Uloopi? I do not understand....'
Uloopi said. 'The Nagas have always been in possession of a gem – Mritasanjivini....'
Bhubhruvahana looked stunned as he said. 'Mother! That is the gem, which can bring the dead back to life...' He looked at Uloopi with wonder.
Uloopi smiled and said. 'Yes! As the princess of the Nagas, I have full access to the gem and I have it with me now...' She said as she pulled it out in her palm.
Bhubhruvahana and Chitrangada watched anxiously as Uloopi pulled out a beautifully glowing gem in the palm of her right hand. She pulled out the gem and used it.
The whole kingdom was watching astonished as the dead Arjuna woke up as if from a dream.
Arjuna remembered being hit by his son...he remembered falling down. His chest hurt...Arjuna looked at his chest...there was no sign of the wound...
Arjuna looked surprised and saw Bhubhruvahana, Uloopi and Chitrangada look at him with tear stained faces looking at him with relief flooding over their faces.
Uloopi explained everything that had happened and why she had let Bhubhruvahana fight Arjuna.
Uloopi watched as Arjuna was filled with tears. 'You redeemed me from my curse Uloopi! I can never thank you enough for this....'