The building of Yudhisthira’s sabha

Mai Danava’, the architect of the demons of the underworld, was trying to escape the flames that were burning the Khandava forest. Seeing this, Sri Krishna readied his Sudarshana Chakra to kill him. Mai Danava fell at Arjuna’s feet and begged for his life. Arjuna, in turn, requested Sri Krishna to spare the demon and Sri Krishna obliged.

He then said to Arjuna, “O son of Kunti, you saved me from the wrath of Sri Krishna, please tell me what I can do for you.” To this, Arjuna replied “Just remain affectionate towards both, Sri Krishna and me.” Mai replied, “With deep gratitude, I want to do something for you. O Pandava, I am the architect of the demons, please give me a task that will put my skills to test.” Arjuna further said, “If you want to do something for me then do something to please Sri Krishna. That will please me.” Mai then meditated on the form of Sri Krishna and asked that he be graced by him. Sri Krishna thought for some time and said, “O great sculptor, if you wish to express your gratitude then do so by building a mansion for Dharmaraja Yudhisthira. Make a Sabha that is so unique that no other person can copy it and anyone who sees it is spell bound.” After this Sri Krishna left for his home in Dwarka and Mai started the construction of the great Sabha in Indraprastha.

Mai travelled to different places to gather valuable items to decorate the immense mansion. One day, he told Arjuna that “Ages ago near Mount Kailas, I had left a massive treasure trove. It had belonged to the great demon king Vrishparva, the father of Sharmishtha. It is buried near the Bindusagar Lake.” He further added “I have also buried Vrishparva’s mace nearby this treasure. This is a very special mace and has the combined power of a hundred thousand such weapons. Just as the Gandiva is the ideal bow for you, this mace will be the perfect weapon for Bhima. Also, lying buried near this lake is a powerful conch shell called ‘Devadutta’. Allow me to go there and bring all these for you.

Mai Danava left for Kailas to gather the treasures. He went north of Kailas, Shiva’s abode. He went to the mountain Mainaka. Nearby was another mountain called Hiranyashringa, which was full of precious stones. The lake Bindusagar was located there. It was the same place where the pious king Bhagiratha had performed tapas to have darshan of the river Ganga and had asked her to come from heaven to earth. Mai collected King Vrishparva’s mace, his conch shell, and his treasure box. Once he had collected these items, he went back to Indraprastha.

He then built a great mansion which would be Yudhisthira’s court. Its area covered more than ten thousand yards in length and breadth. This mansion was surrounded by trees having leaves with streaks of gold. He studded it with so many precious gems that its light shone as if more powerful than the sun. The mansion had nearly a thousand doors and lovely paintings adorned all its walls. It was even better than the Sabha of the Gods.

In the Sabha was a lovely stream that flowed with a divine sound. In its waters were leaves of lapis lazuli, thousands of lotuses which had petals studded with gems. There were trees with sweet smelling flowers and also flocks of different kinds of birds all singing a melodious tune. The stream was full of colourful fish and exquisite tortoises. All the staircases were of natural spotless crystal. There were small puddles in different places. Many of these were filled with real pearls and many were disguised to match with the floor; many kings who came to see the Sabha slipped and fell in the water. The windows were designed in such a way that streams of wind currents formed inside and the whole palace was filled with a cool natural breeze. The whole surrounding was filled with trees that gave shade and there were flocks of wild swan and other rare birds in their branches.

In the last few articles, we had seen how the disciple had burnt the samskaras lying in his unconscious mind, represented by Arjuna burning the Khandava forest. Now, the disciple is able to enter and see his own psychological country. My teacher used to say that the holiest place on the planet is Gaumukha, the place where the river Ganga starts. He used to call this point on the earth as the ‘Bindu’. He always said that any sadhna performed at Gaumukha has very powerful results.

We saw how Mai Danava went to Bindu to gather all the treasures for the Pandavas. This Bindu is a small chakra at the top of our head; it is the seat of the soul. The aim of all students is to penetrate this area where the soul and spirit merge into one. This place was near Mainaka Parvata (mountain). This comes from the root mana or mind and parva meaning fulfilment. When the mind is purified of old patterns and scars, it is fulfilled. The weapons belonged to the ancient king Vrishparva. This means that energy has fulfilled its aim. Energy or Shakti comes out of Shiva and the aim of all energy is to go back to the source.

He collects the mace or ‘gada’, which means to speak or attack with words. Just by going into this inner space of Bindu, our words become very powerful. He also collects the shell Devadutta. This is the name of a nadi in us connected with laughter. Laughter is a symbol of overflowing energy and happiness. He also brings the old king’s treasure box. The old and ancient king is our own spirit, waiting for us in the Bindu. The Bindu lies in the central brain channel which in yoga is known as the ‘Brahmarandhra’.

Just like the unmatched beauty of Yudhisthira’s palace, the experience of entering the Brahmarandhra is unmatched too – when the student of yoga enters the Brahmarandhra, he comes into the most beautiful psychological place he has ever experienced. In future articles, we shall see how the journey does not end here and how he again falls from this height and it takes twelve years of wandering and the great inner war to re-enter the area of the soul.