The Road To Heaven – an illustration from Mahabharat

Yada yada hi Dharmasya glanirbhavati bharata,

Abhyuthanam adharmasya tadatmanam srijamyaham….

We all have heard these lines somewhere in our lives. These are the lines from Bhagvad Gita, a chapter in the epic Mahabharata. We know about the great battle of Mahabharata where Pandavs defeat Kauravs or say the Dharma (the just) defeats the Adharma (the unjust). But many are unaware of the last part of the epic, the last journey of Pandavs on The Road to Heaven…


After the demise of lord Krishna, sage Vyas told Yudhishthir to take his brothers home. Yudhishthir, along with his brothers, Draupadi and his loyal dog went to the north, into the great mountains. One after the other, they fell victims of time and their own distinctive frailties. Draupadi went first, then Sahdev and Nakul, then Arjun and finally the mighty Bheem. Yudhishthir and his dog continued their journey through high and snowy mountain passes.


Suddenly lord Indra appeared with his chariot.

“Welcome Yudhishthir, you have won my heaven. Come aboard and I will take you there”.

As Yudhisthir whistled his dog to climb up the chariot, Indra stopped him and said “No dogs in heaven”.

“He is a faithful and a true companion” argued Yudhishthir but Indra disagreed his plea saying that only gods and human heroes were allowed in heaven.

“If he cannot come with me then I am staying with him” replied Yudhishthir and stepped down from Indra’s chariot.

He told Yudhishthir that his place was in heaven. “My place is where Dharma is constant. This dog has been a true companion of mine. I will stay with him”.

“Yudhishthir”, said the dog as he transformed into an embodied form of god Dharma. “My son, I have been with you in your long and sad journey and I am pleased with your devotion. Draupadi and your brothers are waiting for you in heaven.”

But Indra’s heaven was not what Yudhishthir had expected. Duryodhan was there with all the luxuries around him along with Shakuni , Duhshasan and his 98 brothers. “Where are my brothers and my wife Draupadi?”asked Yudhishthir, puzzled at his sight of the heaven. Indra sent one of his servants to guide the great king to his brothers. They travelled down a passage filled with sadness all around. Corpses lying, blood all over, air filled with the smell of death and remorse. At the end was a broad deep trench from which came the waves of heat and odour, and cries of pain of the damned.

“They told me not to go beyond this. Are you staying or coming with me” said the servant.

“Where are my brothers?” enquired Yudhishthir.

And then he heard the voices of his brothers and Draupadi coming from the gloomy trench, begging his help and his company.

“I belong with those who have been true to themselves and done the right thing. I will stay here” replied Yudhishthir.

All of a sudden there was cool breeze, lights all around, the air filled with the fragrance. He saw the gods on their chariots in the sky and smiling broad. Arjun was there, and Bheem, Draupadi, Nakul and Sahdev, his mother Kunti, his father Pandu, and Madri, and all the god-like heroes.

Once again god of Dharma descended and told Yudhishthir “All the deceptions end here. You are home now.”

“But why all this” questioned Yudhishthir.

The god Dharma then explained “All kings must have a glimpse of hell and you had yours and you were not shaken from your truth. Now you have come home and the adventure ends in peace.”

We all, in our respective lives, come across such hell. There comes a situation where we are not able to choose between two things. We have to decide between the good and the bad, the right and the wrong. We may choose sometime what seems easier to us but then we have to regret it later. The bad or the wrong things may please us, make us feel better by achieving the materialistic comforts of the world but that all will fade away one or the other day. What remain with us are the good deeds we do, the moments when we are true to us and to others.

Because no matter what, at the end, the path of truth is the only Road To Heaven…

Admirable India

Post by: Rishabh Sharma


6 thoughts on “The Road To Heaven – an illustration from Mahabharat

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