Today's Beautiful Gem: `Madhyamavyayoga', an
episode from Mahabharata.
Let me recount a story from mahAbhArata. Having lost the game of dice and denied of their share of the kingdom, the Pandavas were spending their time in the forests. Obeying their mother's command, all the five of them married draupadi. But each had his own wife or wives too. Bhima married hiDimba in the style of rAkSasa vivAha. Out of this union was born ghaTotkaca. Ghatotkaca was now big enough. Hidimba heard that the Pandavas were in her vicinity and she wanted to spend a few days with Bhima. She lived in the forest and not many people passed that way. So she ordered her son to bring to her presence anybody who passed through the forest.
Ghatotkaca saw a brahmin family along the way. It consisted of the father, the mother and their three sons. He asked one of the boys to accompany him. All the three volunteered. The father wanted the eldest to be with him as it is his duty to perform the last rites in the event of the father's death. The mother was fond of the younger son. That settled the dispute. The middle son, madhyama, was the obvious choice. Madhyama sought his parents' blessings and requested Ghatotkaca for time to perform the evening prayers and went to a nearby pond for that purpose. Ghatotkaca was getting restless as the brahmin boy did not return. He shouted the name `Madhyama' many times. Suddenly there appeared the person of Bhima and demanded from Ghatotkaca the reason for uttering his name.
G: I didn't call your name. I was calling this brahmin's son.
B: No, you DID call my name. Don't forget I am Madhyama, the middle son of my mother Kunti. In the mean time, the brahmin's son Madhyama returned.
Ghatotkaca began to drag the boy to take him to his mother.
B: Stop it. Why are you harassing this boy and his family?
The older brahmin then narrated the whole story. Bhima turned toward Ghtotkaca and said:
It's Madhyama you want, right! Leave this boy alone and take me in his stead to your mother.
Ghatotkaca thought that Bhima was a better meat than the boy. He tried to bind Bhima, but could not. Who could bind Bhima, one of the most powerful men on the earth? But Bhima willingly accompanied Ghatotkaca. There he saw Hidimba and understood her ruse. Hidimba asked Ghatotkaca to seek the blessings of his father. Ghatotkaca felt ashamed as he remembered taunting his father in an irreverent manner a few moments earlier. Thus Hidimba and Bhima were reunited and Ghatotkaca tried to please his father. The brahmin family was safely escorted out of the forest.
This episode goes by the name madhyamavyAyoga and based on this Bhasa wrote a drama in Sanskrit.
Om s'aantih: Peace! - J. K. Mohana Rao