The great war of Mahabharata was over. Pandavas had a mixed feeling in their mind. They were happy because they had emerged victorious. They were unhappy because they had to kill their kith and kin.
Yudhishthira, the eldest Pandava, was to be crowned soon on an auspicious day.
At this juncture, in the course of discussion Sri Krishna advised all the five Pandavas to once again pass a forest life for one full month and return to the capital Hastinapur.
The Pandavas felt it was a strange advice. But coming as it was from their preceptor, they quietly accepted it. They removed their royal attire, wore the barks of the tree and proceeded to the forest.
After their stay for one month in the dense forest, Sri Krishna called them and asked them to narrate to him strange thing if any, each of them had come across in the forest during the stay there.
Yudhishthira said, ?I came across one strange animal. It was a unusual elephant. With two trunks instead of one. The most surprising thing was, the elephant was gulping the grass with both the trunks. I have not been able to construe the unusual form and behaviour of this strange animal.?
Bhima then narrated the unusual phenomenon he happened to come across. He said, ?I saw five deep wells, situated adjacent to each other?one in the middle and four surrounding it. The middle well was full of water. The surrounding ones were dry like stones. Normal experience is, the adjacent well have equal level of water. Here the middle well had a brimful of water. While the surrounding wells did not have a single drop. A perplexing sight indeed!?
Then it was the turn of Arjuna. He had also witnessed a strange event. He said, ?I saw vultures in the forest who were engrossed in pulling out pieces of meat from a dead body with their pointed beaks. The surprising aspect was, each vulture had verses from Vedas written on their wings in golden ink. A horrible and painful sight indeed. I have not been able to interpret what the dirty sight wanted to suggest.
Both Nakula and Sahadeva had come across a strange yet happy phenomenon. They had seen a huge stone looking like a big black cloud, separated from the peak of the mountain and started rolling with tremendous momentum. That stone crushed herbs, animals, big trees within no time and it was about to fall down from the nearby cliff causing untold devastation in the valley below. But to their great surprise, the fall of that giant stone was thwarted by and insignificant bush! How those paltry things called ?bush? stop the huge giant just at the edge of cliff? A mind-boggling incident indeed!
All the five brothers were confused in their mind over the strange events they had come across. They prayed Sri Krishna to explain the meaning thereof.
Sri Krishna closed his eyes. A faint smile spread over his face. He had clairvoyance. He started slowly explaining the meaning of odd sights that the Pandavas had witnessed.
Sri Krishna said, ?These are the shadows of the shape of things to occur in the future. Mind well the Dwaparayuga will soon be over. Kaliyuga is appearing on the horizon.?
?An elephant stands as a sign of royal splendour. Yudhishthira saw an elephant with two trunks. That elephant swallowed with greed the food with both the trunks. The elephant is a symbol of royal servant. In future the royal servants will pocket the salary and also squeeze money from the common man for doing the jobs assigned to them. Common man will be harassed by the government servants in this fashion.?
?The middle well full of water witnessed by Bhima stands for huge massive buildings wherein all the wealth, all the means of enjoyment will be concentrated. The four wells surrounding signify that a few big skyscrapers wherein a quasi heaven is situated will be surrounded by an ocean of slum wherein lakhs of people half starved, wearing tattered clothes would dwell.?
?God has ordained the knowledge in His pious gift to the mankind. The gift has to be shared equally without price of any kind. But in Kaliyuga, those who are entrusted with the holy duty to disseminate knowledge freely will treat the knowledge as a marketable commodity and they will start minting money through the sale thereof. The Vedic mantras written in golden ink over the wings of vultures, witnessed by Arjuna indicate this sorry turn of events.?
?The times are bound to be odd and painful. The sinners will have an upper hand. What Nakula and Sahadeva had witnessed is the sole solace under these odd times occurring in the realm of Kaliyuga. An insignificant looking bush, which thwarted the pace of the monstrous stone, stands for the sincere and silent chanting of Gods name?japam or namasma-ranam. In the Kaliyuga, silent and continuous chanting of God'sname will provide the only relief, the only means to prevent the downfall.?
(The author can be contacted at 16, Jeevanchchaya Hsg. Society, Opp.Civil Hospital, Satara 415 001, Maharashtra)