Padam Puran, Harivansh Puran is the most widely read old historical
treatise in the Jain community. There are sixty-six chapters and twelve
thousand shlokas in it. The life of the twenty-second Tirthankar Bhagwan
Neminath has been vividly described in this Puran. Besides, the stories
of Krishna Baibhadra and Kaurava-Pandavas have also been exquisitely
writer is Acharya Jinsen, different from Bhagvanjinsen acharya, the
writer of Maha Puran. He was the acharya of Punnat Sangha. Punnat is the
old name of Karnatak. This sangh was active near Karnatak and Kathiawad
for two hundred years. The kingly order of Gujarat had a great faith and
reverence for and in this sangha.
preceptor was Kirtisen and he completed this holy book in the Nanna Raj
Wasati of Vardhman city in Vikram Samvat 840. No other works of this
acharya are available and there are no references of other works in
other treatises. This great work, however, is sufficient for his never
ending fame and glory.
commentator of Harivansh Puran is the famous scholar Pandit Daulat Ramji
Kasliwal of Jaipur.
present lesson is based on the said Harivansh Puran of Acharya Jinsen.
For detailed information about the Pandvas, Harivansh Puran and Pandava
Puran should be studied.
: I shall not let you go today, unless you return my money.
: Why will you not allow me to go my way ?
: When you had no money, why did you gamble ?
: I did it just by the way.
: I don't want to listen to all this. Let me have my money.
: I have no money. How can I pay you back ?
: (catching hold of the shirt)-Then, why did you pledge the amount ?
Teacher : Ramesh, Suresh - why are you fighting ? Good boys do not fight
like this. You should settle your matters peacefully.
: Sir, Suresh is troubling me for nothing.
: Sir, why does he not pay me my money ?
Teacher : Ramesh, why don't you pay him his money ? Good boys do not
trouble others after borrowing money from them. You should have returned
the amount without his asking and avoided such a situation.
: Sir, when did I borrow any money from him ?
Teacher : Then why does he demand it from you ?
: Of course, he did not borrow money, but pledged the amount and was
defeated. Why does he not pay the amount now ?
Teacher : So you indulge in gambling. Good boys do not gamble.
: Sir, I did pledge the amount, but did not gamble.
Teacher : Keeping victory and defeat in view, to play with money or
some other kind of wealth or to pledge the money and do such work on
condition of payment of money - are all gambling. This is a very bad
addiction. Those who fall a prey to this addiction disturb the worldly
life, as also place a hurdle on the welfare of the soul. The very
glorious Pandvas had to face many difficulties on account of indulging
in gambling by playing the game of the dice. Promise never to gamble by
pledging money or wealth.
: Who were these Pandvas?
Teacher : Many years back, King Dhritraj of Kuruvansh ruled in the
city of Hastinapur of Kurujangal Desh in Bharatvarsha. He had three
queens -Ambika, Ambalika and Amba. The three queens gave birth
to.Dhritrashtra, Pandu and Vidur respectively. Bhisma was the son of
Rukman, who was the brother of Dhritraj.
Gandhari of Dhritrashtra. gave birth to a hundred sons known as the
Kauravas. Pandu had two queens, Kunti and Madri. Karna was the son of
Kunti from her secret marriage with Pandu. He was brought up elsewhere
for fear of defarnation. Three. sons, Yudhishthir, Bhim and Arjun, were
born later on. Madri bore two sons Nakul and Sahdev. The five sons of
Pandu i.e. Yudhishthir, Bhim, Arjun, Nakul and Sahdev are known as the
: I have heard that a big war was fought between the Kauravas
and the Pandvas.
Teacher : There was tension between the Kauravas and the Pandavas,
but Bhishma, Vidur and Guru Dronacharya intervened and settled the
affairs They gave half of the kingdom to the Pandvas and the other half
to the Kauravas. However, the mental conflict did not come to an end
: Who was Guru Dronacharya ?
Teacher : You do not know about Guru Dronacharya. He was a
descendant of the Bhargava dynasty and a clever archer. He taught
archery to the Kauravas and the Pandvas. His son Ashwatthama was as
clever an archer as his father.
: Why was there a war, when a compromise was arrived at ?
Teacher : Did I not tell you that there were mental reservations ?
Once when the Pandvas were sleeping in their palace, the Kauravas set
fire to it.
: This was very bad. Did the Pandvas perish in the fire ?
Teacher : No, hear. The Kaurvas did a great wrong. Such violent
tendencies destroy the country and the community. The Pandvas saved
their lives by getting away out of a tunnel, but people believed that
the Pandvas had perished. The Kaurvas, though defamed, were happy. The
tendency of the cruel is to take delight in violence.
: Where did the Pandvas go then ?
Teacher : For sometimes they remained in secret confinement and
later reached Makandi, the capital of King Drupad. The Swayamber of the
daughter of King Drupad was being celebrated there. It was declared that
whosoever was successful in archery will wed Draupadi. The Kaurvas led
by Duryodhan were also present, but could not place the arch in the bow
successfully. At last Arjun did it very easily and Draupdi offered the
marriage garland to him.
: I have heard that Draupadi was married to all the five Pandvas.
Teacher : No. Draupadi was a great Sati. She garlanded Arjun only.
She regarded Yudhishthir and Bhim as her father, they being older than
Arjun, and Nakul and Sahdev as equal to her sons, they being younger
: Then, why do people say so ?
Teacher : When Draupadi was garlanding Arjun, the thread of the
garland was broken and some flowers fell on the rest of the four Pandvas.
Those who were jealous of the Pandvas and were disappointed started the
scandal that Draupadi had accepted all the five Pandvas as her husbands.
Pandavas were disguised as Brahmins. The kings present there and the
Kaurvas including Duryodhan could not recognise them. Duryodhan could
not tolerate that an ordinary Brahmin should win the hand of Draupadi in
their presence. He invited all the kings present, telling that it was a
great insult to them that an ordinary Brahmin should win Draupadi.
Consequently, there was a great war fought between the Kaurvas and the
kings present on one side and the Pandvas on the other. When no archer,
could stand against Arjun in archery, Guru Dronacharya came to fight
with him. Arjun was all humility seeing his Guru before him; he saluted
him with an arch and sent his introduction to him thereby.
Dronacharya was very happy to know that the Pandvas were alive and
informed all about this. Once again Guru Dronacharya and Bhisma Piitamah
brought. The pandvas and the Kaurvas together. They accepted half the
kingdom each and began to live in Hastinapur.
: Sir, you told us that the Pandvas indulged in gambling. That part
of the story remains untold.
Teacher : Yes, one day Duryodhan and Yudhishthir started the game of
the die. Yudhishthir p1edged.his kingdom for twelve years. Duryodhan won
the game deceitfully and the Pandvas had to leave their kingdom for
twelve years -and go in unknown exile. It has, therefore, been said that
it is a great evil to pledge money or possessions i.e. to gamble. Those
who are after the welfare of their soul should never indulge in such
practices. Great stalwarts and those destined to achieve Godhood from
the present life like Yudhishthir and others had to face untold
difficulties on account of this evil.
: Where did they live during these twelve years ?
Teacher : They did not stay at one place. They wandered from one
place to another in disguise.
: I have heard that Bhim was very strong and had punished
Teacher : Yes. This happened during their twelve-year exile. When
the Pandvas reached Virat Nagar, they began to service King Virat in
different capacities in disguise. Yudhishthir became a pandit, Bhim a
cook, Arjun a dancing lady and Nakul and Sahdev in charge of the stable
of the King. Draupadi became a garden woman.
Sudarshana was the queen of King Virat. Her brother was Kichak. He
regarded Draupadi as an ordinary garden woman and tried to entrap her by
many temptations. Draupadi disclosed this to Bhim who in turn asked her
to fix the place and time of her meeting with Kichak, who he thought
must be punished for his evil intentions.
: What next ?
Teacher : Draupadi fixed the time and place of her meeting with him.
Bhim reached there beforehand putting on the clothes of Draupadi.
Kichak infuriated with love reached there, he was happy to find Draupadi
and began to converse with her with affection. He was, however, placed
in great distress when his affectionate addresses were returned with
smashes of the powerful hands of Bhim. He tried to face Bhim but was
badly defeated and beaten severely. Kind Bhirn gave him a warning not to
repeat such evil in future and let him free. He was, however, properly
Punished for the wrong done.
: What happened to the Pandvas after that ?
Teacher : They then went to their maternal uncle in Dwarika. The
king of Dwarika, Vasudeo, was the father of Krishna and Samudra Vijay,
the father of Bhagwan Neminath, were the maternal uncle of the Pandvas.
They received their nephews, who were also with their sister, very
affectionately and respectfully.
: Sir, is it right that the Pandvas and the Kaurvas engaged
themselves in a great conflict ?
Teacher : Yes. It was not a war between the Pandvas and the Kaurvas
only. The whole of Bharat was entangled in it, for Narain Shrikrishna
sided with the Pandvas and Pratinarain Jarasandh with the Kaurvas. Thus,
it took the shape of a great war. When Narain Shrikrishna won the war
and became the lord of the three regions, naturally the Pandvas became
the supreme lords of Hastinapur. Yudhishthir was very serious by nature,
just and religious in his activities and, therefore, he was known as
Dharamraj (king of religion). Bhim had exceptional physical vitality and
was matchless in wrestling, while Arjun was famous for his skill in
archery. For many long years, they ruled and were happy.
: Then ?
Teacher : After a long period, the destruction of Dwarika in fire
shattered their faith in this life and they became indifferent towards
worldly affairs. One day these Pandvas with their kith and kin went to
the religious congregation of Bhagwan Neminath to offer their homage to
him. They became unconcerned with earthly existence after listening to
the divine message of Bhagwan Neminath. They heard that happiness does
not lie in pleasures of the senses; real happiness lies in our soul. The
welfare of the soul lies in understanding it and devoting it to itself,
that is all consciousness and to discard other non-self entities of the
world. Worldly loss and gains are all due to merits and demerits; the
welfare of the soul does not lie in them. The soul, for nothing,
rejoices in the wake of merits and becomes unhappy in the wake of
demerits. The purpose of human life is to cut oneself from the rest of
the world and become self centered.
five Pandvas, that very moment, accepted Digambar monkhood, that is
instrumental to the annihilation of the wanderings of this earthly
existence. Their mother Kunti, and queen Draupadi, Subhadra and others
got initiated into feminine monkhood of the Digambar order by Rajmati (Rajul)
: What then ?
Teacher : All the five Pandva saints devoted themselves to the
pursuit of the soul and indulged in severe penances. One day, when they
were thus absorbed in deep meditation on mount Shatrunjaya, Yavrodhan,
the descendant of Duryodhan happened to reach there and seeing the
Pandvas in that state of meditation, was inflamed by anger. He thought
that these same Pandvas had ruined Duryodhan and the other Kaurvas and
that they are armless and without any help and therefore he decided to
take revenge upon them and teach them a lesson. He got iron ornaments
heated red in fire and put them on the bodies of the Pandvas.
: Alas, did he burn the Pandvas ?
Teacher : How could he burn the great Pandva monks ? He was himself
burning in the fire of aversion. The hot iron ornaments were, no doubt,
burning the bodies of the Pandvas, but they themselves were one with
their souls and were undisturbed in the eternal peace of their sentient
soul substances. The fire of meditation destroyed all their merits and
: What happened next ? Were they burnt ?
Teacher : Yes, their physical frames were burnt. The three Pandvas -
Yudhishthir, Bhim and Arjun destroyed all the eight karmas after
adopting kshapak shreni, a very high stage of spiritual
development. They attained omniscience and Siddhahood on the Shatrunjaya
mountain, while Nakul and Sabdev got Sarvarthasiddhi, having earned the
bondage of heavenly life. They will also obtain Siddhahood after this
divine phase, becoming human beings.
: So Shatrunjaya is a place of attaining Siddhahood, because the
three Pandvas attained liberation from there.
Teacher : Yes, it is just eighteen kilometers from Songarha. We must
perform a pilgrimage to this holy place, and should take lessons from
the lives of the Pandvas. This is also called Palitana.
: I went to Songarha once. It is just near Bhavnagar.
: I have now understood that without the pursuit of the soul,
worldly victories and defeats are of no avail. The real victory of the
soul is that which destroys delusions, attachment and aversions
: By indulgence in the addiction of gambling, the very brave
Pandvas had to face countless difficulties and agonies. We should,
therefore, not indulge in gambling.
Teacher : Very good, you have read a true and meaningful lesson.
Resolve not to gamble or do anything by pledging money or other
& Ramesh (Both)-Yes sir, we resolve not to gamble or pledge money
for desired achievements and shall persuade our comrades also not to
indulge in such evil games.
By Dr. H. C. Bharill