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Yudhisthira’s Wisdom – Four Levels|Adventures In English Vol I

Yudhisthira’s Wisdom | Adventures In English Vol I
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Pokhara University | PU
Management Notes

By: Shanta R. Rao

Yudhisthira’s Wisdom

Literal Comprehension:

This beautiful ancient tale, “Yudhisthira’s wisdom ” has been taken out by ‘Shanta R. Rao’ from one of the major Sanskrit epics of Nepal/India called Mahabharata. This ancient tale event that might have taken place thousands of years ago. While hunting deer in the forest, the five Pandava brothers grew thirsty. Yudhishthira the eldest brother was exhausted and sends one of his brothers to search for water. When his brother fails to return, Yudhishthira sends his other brothers, one at a time, but they too fail to return. Then Yudhishthira goes to search for his brothers. He finds a beautiful pool, but alas, near it he finds his four brothers prostrate on the ground, either dead or unconscious.

Unknown to Yudhishthira, they have all ignored a Yaksha’s admonition not to drink the water before answering his questions. Despite his overwhelming thirst, Yudhishthira obeys the Yaksha. Moreover, he correctly answers the Yaksha’s philosophical queries. Pleased with Yudhishthira’s wisdom, the Yaksha agrees to revive one of the brothers, leaving Yudhishthira to decide which of the four it will be. Yudhishthira bases his choice entirely on moral considerations, not on his own selfish needs and predilections. The Yaksha reveals himself as Yama (the god of justice and righteousness) and tells Yudhishthira how pleased he is with his uprightness. Then he restores to him his four brothers, promises him protection from future hardships, and gives him some useful advice on where to go next.


This story might be trying to tell us something about the importance of patience, obedience to gods, wisdom and right conduit. Without these characteristics, the PANDAVA brothers would have been lost. The Philosophical portion of course of great interest, with reflections on such concepts as desire and courage.

Critical Thinking:

This is a very beautiful ancient tale that shows the importance of patience, obedience to gods, wisdom, and right conduct. However, some ideas of this ancient tale are questionable.

  • Are there gods out there? If so, what is the evidence for their existence?
  • Would life be worthwhile without desires?
  • Can we truly say that patience and right conduct are rewarded on this earth?
  • Would astronomers agree that the sun shines by the power of God?
  • And what about Yudhishthira’s replies to the Yaksha? Do such complicated questions really have simple answers?


By reading this story, I understood the importance of patience, obedience to gods, wisdom, and right conduct. This story has encouraged and inspired me to get involved in selfless service. By reading this story, I understood that If we do selfless service then, god can also help and support us.

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