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Death of Pandavas in the Mahabharat – How Pandavas Died?

How Pandavas Died? The answer to the query is found in the Mahaprasthanika Parva and Swargarohana Parva of the Mahabharata. Death of Pandavas raises numerous philosophical questions. When the Kurukshetra war was over and its immediate after effects subsided, Yudhisthira was crowned the king of Hastinapura and ruled for 36 years. He performed the Ashwamedha yajna.

When their purpose of life on earth was over, the Pandavas installed Prince Parikshit, son of Abhimanyu and grandson of Arjuna, as king of Hastinapura.

After the coronation, the Pandavas along with Draupadi started for their Mahaprasthanam towards the north. Literally Mahaprasthanam means the Great Journey but stands for departure from this world (death).

A dog followed the Pandavas on their journey towards the north.

As they moved towards the east direction, they saw Agni, the fire god, standing in human form. He was there for the Gandiva bow and the two inexhaustible quiver which Arjuna was carrying. The bow and the quivers were given to Arjuna by Agni. Agni asked Arjuna to throw the bow and quivers into water as it originally belonged to Varuna, the god of waters.

The Pandavas then moved towards the southern direction and then in the southwestern direction and in the western direction they saw Dwaraka city of Sri Krishna flooded by the ocean.

From here they moved towards north, and started climbing the Himalayas.

During the climb, Draupadi fell down and died when Bhima asked for the reason, Yudhisthira told him that she had great partiality for Arjuna. The five brothers moved ahead.

Next Sahadeva fell and died, Yudhisthira told Bhima that Sahadeva thought that there was no one who was equal in wisdom to him.

Next Nakula fell down and died and the explanation given was that he thought there was no one who was superior to him in beauty.

Arjuna always said that he would burn down the enemy in a single day. Though he was proud of his valor, he wasn’t able to accomplish this feat and for this he too fell down and died.

When Bhima fell down Yudhishthira told him that he ate too much and you boasted about your vigor and you disrespected others. This is the reason why you too are not reaching heaven not in your body.

As Yudhisthira, move forward, followed by the dog, Indra appeared before him in a divine chariot, desiring him to enter so that he could be taken to heaven.

But Yudhisthira wanted Draupadi and his brothers to be taken along.

When he was assured that they had already reached heaven, he insisted upon the devoted dog being taken. The dog then revealed itself to be his father, Dharma, who had come to test his magnanimity.

This was ended the life of the Pandavas on earth.