The goal is clear, the means is near.
| Light at the end of the world
After serving the purpose of their life, the five Pandava brothers and their wife Draupadi decided to leave their kingdom, Hastinapur for the Himalayas.
The Kurukshetra war took place thirty six years before. They defeated their arch enemies and cousins, the Kauravas and rid the land of evil. They ruled their rightful land for thirty six glorious years as unopposed lords of the world. Then, they renounced the worldly pleasures for their final journey to heaven.
The White Mountain range was fiercely filled with buffeting winds from all directions. The oldest of the Pandava princes, Yudhishtara, led them all. He was unafraid and so were they, ready to rid themselves of a shipful of sins. The hope of reaching Swarga or heaven sustained them all on the uneven slopes of the ice-cold mountain. The memory of the home they left behind was no longer a heavy burden, for they knew that was no home. Home was where the immortals lived, home was where the Supreme Lord of Heaven presided and ruled, created, erased and created again. Home was where their mortal bodies would be shed and the glow of their souls would be seen.
On their way, in the south glacier they saw a fire burning mysteriously. Lord of fire, Agni welcomed them all.
He said to Arjuna, an expert archer and the middle prince among the Pandavas,
“Arjuna, the war is over. Your bow is a gift from me. Return it.”
Arjuna obeyed the deity’s command.
The second brother, Bhima, had the strength of a thousand elephants granted to him by Vayu or the wind god.
“You will soon be bereft of your strength and stamina and you will remain just an ordinary man,” said Vayu.
Bhima bowed his head in obedience.
In the fire on the snows, Agni showed the five Pandavas what had happened to their land after their departure. Their beautiful city was burning in fire. People died of sins. Nothing but desolation ruled the resplendent kingdom, they built. Their fame, wealth and riches came to nothing.
But they were unperturbed. They did not grieve for the lost glory. They remained untouched by sorrow or joy. That life on earth, “an island” was an illusion. The beautiful women and the blissful children they had was just an ephemera. Nothing in that life was immortal.
One by one the erstwhile princes denounced their material strength and were left with the bare bones of their true conscience that caused them deliver their duties in their earthly life and go for the final journey. The result of their mortal life would be seen at the end, where the light, the light that the world had forgotten shone eternally. Yes, that was the light of Heaven, Paradise or Eden.
“So what do we do now? Where do we go?” asked Yudhishtara, the eldest brother.
“Go on ahead. Follow the path you embarked on without concern. You will finally reach your destination,” said Agni.
Thus encouraged by the lord of fire, the Pandava princes continued on their divine journey. They had nothing to fear. With a smile on their faces, and an irrevocable resolution in their hearts, they were ready to cross all the obstacles they might perchance encounter on their upward path.
Word Count: 558
Written for World Weavers’ Championship hosted by Nana Spindle