Thursday, September 18, 2014

How Dhaumya became the priest of the Pandavas

In those days, a priest was a very important part of any family. Primarily because the priest prayed to the Gods for the well-being of the family and the society as the whole. Such positions went to well-read and trustworthy persons. The priest of the Pandavas was Dhaumya. Here is the story of how he became the priest of the Pandavas....

Duryodhana, the Kaurava prince, hated the Pandavas so much that he along with Karna and Shakuni planned and arranged for the Pandavas to be burnt in the House of Lac. However, with the help of Vidura, the Pandavas thwarted the plan and escaped from there. 
Everyone except ofcourse, Vidura believed the Pandavas to be dead. 
To protect themselves from further attacks, the Pandavas kept up the pretense of their death and went to the town of Ekachakra. There they lived in the house of a Brahmin. To further conceal their real identity, the Pandavas lived on alms there.
It was here that Bheema rescued the Brahmin family by killing the asura Vaka or Baka.
'Do you know that King Drupada of Panchala, he has just performed a yagna?' The Brahmin told Kunti and the brothers.
'For what?' Arjuna asked. He was the one who had been responsible for the defeat of the formidable Drupada in battle. That was the Guru Dakshina which Drona had asked from him.
'Unable to bear the humiliation of being defeated by Drona, Drupada searched far and wide in his kingdom for someone who could defeat Drona!' Arjuna sighed shaking his head as the Brahmin continued. 'King Drupada was unable to find anyone who could defeat Drona. So King Drupada pleased Sage Yaja and Upayaja so that they would perform a yagna on his behalf! The sages performed the yagna and from the fires emerged a handsome man with full armour. They called him Dhristadhyumna!'
'Is he going to kill Dronacharya?' Arjuna demanded from the man.
The Brahmin nodded gravely. 'Yes! When he emerged from the fire, a heavenly voice announced that he was going to bring the death of Drona!'
Arjuna was about to retort something when the man continued. 'But that is not all!'
The brothers listened attentively as the man continued. 'After Dhrishtadyumna, from the fire a beautiful woman also emerged! The woman was so beautiful that she looked like Goddess Sri herself! She was dark with beautiful eyes and has lovely, beautiful curls! It is said that gave out a fragrance which could be scented two miles away! Because she was dark, she was called Krishna!'
The brothers looked wondrously at each other unable to remove the image which the man's words bought. Kunti studied her sons and smiled not saying anything. The man continued, not realizing that the brothers had almost stopped listening. 'When the woman arrived, the heavenly voice announced that she was born to accomplish the work of the Gods!'
Kunti thanked the man and sent him on his way, well realizing the mood of her sons. 
Long after the man had left Kunti called her sons and was surprised to find that for the first time in her life, her sons seemed rather listless and inattentive to her calls. Suppressing a grin, she called the eldest Pandava, 'Son! I think we have stayed enough in this town!' Yudhishtara looked surprised as his mother continued. 'We will have to move on!'
'Where shall we go, mother?' Yudhishtara asked suddenly feeling very happy.
'How about Panchala?' Kunti asked trying hard not to grin.
And so the next day, the six of them happily trudged along to the kingdom of Panchala. Probably it was destiny or probably some other undefinable reason, whatever it was the Pandavas never felt the reason to rest, when they were traveling to Panchala. They even traveled at night as they came close to the Ganga.
It was at that time that a Gandharva was there in the river enjoying with his wives. The Gandharva was proud and arrogant. 
Seeing a group of humans come up to the river late at night, made the Gandharva rather haughty. The Gandharva felt that the humans had no right to disturb him when he was enjoying with his wives.
Angrily he came up before the Pandavas. 'Who are you humans, disturbing me at this time?'
The Pandavas looked suitably shocked at the arrogance of the Gandharva. 'We were on our way! We did not want to disturb you....' Arjuna began politely. But the Gandharva rudely interrupted him. 'The night belongs to Gandharvas, yakshas and rakshasas! How dare you interrupt......'
The ever careful Arjuna realized that the Gandharva was thirsting for a fight and pulled out his bow and pointed it straight at Gandharva. Foolishly the Gandharva thought that he could win this fight. He got on a beautiful glowing chariot and laughed. 'I am Angaaraparvana! I am the best friend of Kubera and the best of the Gandharvas! You cannot pass this river!'
'How can you think of barring others from using rivers or any other water body?' Arjuna said angrily. 'Besides this is the Ganga, the river which washes away your sins! How on earth can you prevent anyone from coming to it! It is the purest river in the world.....'
The Gandharva did not even let Arjuna finish the sentence. He pulled out his bow and started firing arrows at top speed at the Pandavas. The Gandharva should have known better....
Arjuna stopped all the arrows with his shield and pulled out a gleaming arrow and pointed it at the Gandharva. The arrow gleamed at night as for the first time, there was fear in the Gandharva's eyes.
Arjuna nodded angrily. 'This arrow was given by the Guru of Indra – Vrihaspasthi to Bharadwaja and from him to Agnivesya! Agnivesya gave this to my Guru Drona and he gave this to me! See what it does!' Quick as lightning, Arjuna fired the arrow and the arrow blazed through the path and burnt the chariot of the Gandharva. The Gandharva watched in horror as his chariot was being burnt down and jumped from it to escape the fire. The impact hit the Gandharva hard and he fell unconscious....
Heaving angrily, Arjuna pulled the Gandharva from the wreckage and dragged him towards Yudhishtara.
Arjuna was looking angrily at the Gandharva who was regaining his conscious when the Gandharvi ladies ran towards Yudhishtara. One of them spoke hurriedly to Yudhishtara. 'I am Kumbasini! I am his wife! Please spare his life!'
Yudhishtara looked angrily at Angaaraparvana and then at the lady. 'Let him go, Arjuna! Don't belittle yourself by killing a man who needs protection from someone else to stay alive!'
Disgusted, Arjuna pushed the Gandharva away. The Gandharva stumbled as he got on his feet. 
'I have been defeated by you! I shall give you anything you want!' He said his voice hoarse from the fire.
'I want nothing from a man, whose life I have spared!' Arjuna said.
'No! No! No!' The Gandharva said desperately trying to save face in front of his wives.
'We Gandharvas have the power of illusion! It is called Chakshusi! This is the power which differentiates Gandharvas from the humans! I will give it to you!' The Gandharva said.
Arjuna was about to protest when the Gandharva continued. 'I will give you each, fifty horses like the once I have! They look lean, but these horses never tire, no matter how much you drive them!'
'I....I...' Arjuna faltered. He cleared his throat. 'I have nothing to give you, in return of what you are offering me!'
'You have saved my life! What more....' The Gandharva asked incredulously. The Gandharva saw that Arjuna really meant what you have said. 'I have met really good people today! For that I am grateful! As a mark of our friendship! I will not call myself, Angaaraparvana anymore!' The Gandharva looked at his chariot which was now in ashes. 'Anyway, I cannot call myself that, anymore!' (Angaaraparvana means 'blazing chariot' in Sanskrit)
'You can give me your arrow in return of my gift!' The Gandharva said finally.
Arjuna agreed happily and the exchange was made.
'Let us be friends for life!' Arjuna smiled.
'Gladly, O Tapatya!' The Gandharva said.
'Why did you call me that?' Arjuna asked frowning. 'Who is Tapti?'
'Tapti is the daughter of Lord Surya! She is the younger sister of Savitri! She was extraordinarily beautiful! A king called Samvarna loved her! It was because of the efforts of Sage Vasishta, who was the royal priest of King Samvarna that the king was able to marry Tapti!' The Gandharva smiled as he continued. 'Samvarna and Tapti had a brave son! Do you know his name?'
The Pandavas shook their heads when the Gandharva continued. 'Their son was Kuru! Kuru is your ancestor! That is the reason you are called from the house of Kurus!'
The Pandavas nodded their head and then Arjuna cleared his head. 'Friend! I will take your horses later on, when I need them! For now, keep them with you!'
The Gandharva nodded, as Arjuna continued. 'You said that the king married Tapti because of Sage Vasishta, who was his priest! Is it so important to have a priest for your own family?'
The Gandharva nodded his head head earnestly. 'Yes! The priest would pray for your welfare and prosperity. That would give you victory in all your battles. Besides it is always good to have good people around you! Such a priest is necessary for your kingdom to flourish!'
The Gadharva talked some more, trying to convince the princes the need for a priest.
'Do you know any person who would be willing to be our priest?' Arjuna finally asked.
'In this very forest, near the Ganga, there is a place called Utkochaka! There you will find a sage by name Dhaumya! He is the younger brother of Sage Devala! He would be the perfect man to be your priest!'
That very night, the Pandavas with Kunti set out to meet the Sage Dhaumya.
Seeing the serene, calm and powerful sage, the Pandavas felt an immediate connection with the sage.
The Pandavas were more than thrilled when Dhaumya accepted the position to be their priest. The relationship between the Pandavas continued throughout their lives. He was the one who performed the marriage of Krishna (Draupadi) with the five Pandavas. He was the one who performed all the yagnas in Indraprastha. Dhaumya even traveled with the Pandavas when they went on a 13 year exile from Indraprastha....He became the perfect friend and spiritual guide for the Pandavas to guide them on the path of righteousness.


  1. Please post story about Dhronacharya

  2. What a great story!

  3. I have been an avid reader of your stories. Your presentation skills are awesome!!
    Keep up the good work and God bless you !!!

  4. Good to know about the story of dhaumya. never read it in rajaji's mahabharat book. keep up the good work !!!

  5. Some nice comments on Pandavas here, thanks for sharing. One cannot stop thinking about Draupadi while discussing Mahabharata or Pandavas. She is considered to be 'Kula Devata' and/ or 'Grama Devatha' by many people.

    In fact, there are many shrines for Goddess Draupadi, spread in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. One of the shrines, where She is a Grama-Devatha and Kula-Devatha to many, is located in one of the small villages of Tamil Nadu.

    The village is named KONDAL, Mayiladuthurai Taluk, Nagapattinam District, Nidur P.O, Tamil Nadu.


    Draupadi Amman Thunai - May you all be BLESSED by HER grace!!

  6. Hi,
    In the other story line of The Mahabharat story2 you (Author) once mentioned that kuru was actually an ascetic who was democratically appointed as a king. Is it some mistake or author and/or ancient scriptures wanted to potray the prince kuru as very sage like.

    PS : this blog is amazing !

  7. Thank you for sharing such great information. It has help me in finding out more detail about Kaurava prince.