The Laksya Gruha episode
One of the most interesting episodes of the Mahabharata is the wax palace incident where Duryodhana tries to destroy the Pandavas by burning them down. A literal reading of the Mahabharata can give wrong or misleading conclusions about the entire episode and the role played by each of them. Srimadacharya, in his Mahabharata Tatparya Nirnaya, has decisively laid down the actual incidents that took place, once again highlighting the greatness of Bhimasena.
- On the pretext of a festival, Dhritharashtra sends the Pandavas and Kunti to Varanavata.
- Duryodhana sends his minister Purochana to the same place. Purochana mentions to the Pandavas that he has quit Duryodhana and wants to side with them.
- As soon as the wax palace is ready and the Pandavas enter it, Yudhisthira tells others about the real state of the palace.
- Sri Madhva has revealed that Purochana is actually the Daitya called Prahasta, who was the minister of Ravana in the Ramayana. Here, he is the minister of Kali (Duryodhana)
- Purochana keeps on waiting for an appropriate moment to burn the palace and the Pandavas. He wishes to ensure all the Pandavas are asleep so he can be sure they get burnt. But, he never gets to see Bhima asleep. Its not a surprise as (Mukhya) Prana never sleeps!
- The original Mahabharata talks about a nishada lady coming to the palace with her five sons and the Pandavas using her and her sons as substitutes so that Duryodhana is deceived. At the outset, it appears very wrong as innocent people are sacrificed by the Pandavas in order to escape.
- Sri Madhva has once again given the perfect Tatparya to this question. The nishada lady is actually an evil Rakshashi who performs penance and obtains a boon from Lord Rudra that she needs to get the position of Aditi (mother of the devatas). Lord Rudra grants her the boon under one condition – that she should not die together with her five sons in this life. If she ensures that, she will obtain Aditi’s position. Bhima is aware of this and in order to keep Rudra’s boon, waits for the lady and her sons to arrive at the palace which happens after six months. Then, he sets fire to the palace when the lady, her sons and Purochana are all drunk and fast asleep.
- Carrying Kunti and his brothers on his shoulders, Bhima escapes through the tunnel prepared with the help of Vidura’s men.