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Lomasa – A Devarishi – Guide Of Pandavas In Mahabharata

Lomasa is a devarishi (divine sage) who came down from the heavens to be a companion, guide and counselor to the Pandavas in the Mahabharata. He was there to keep up their morale during their twelve years of exile in the forest.

It was sheer chance that brought the Pandavas under the influence of this great sage. Once when the sage paid a visit to Indra, the king of demigods, he saw Arjuna, the third of Pandava brothers, sharing Indra’s seat. Indra introduced Arjuna to the sage and made him accompany the Pandavas to the various sacred places they had to visit during their exile, meeting peoples and thus formulating public opinion in their favor.

Accordingly, the sage came to Yudhisthira in the forest and convinced him about the efficacy of pilgrimages to sacred places in relieving distress. And as the Pandavas went from place to place, the sage regaled them with edificatory tales and information regarding history, geography, customs, practices, moral laws and the like.
The discourses of Lomasa included
  • the exploits of Sage Agastya
  • the slaying of demon Vrita by Indra
  • the story of King Sagara and the descent of River Ganga to the earth
  • the account of sage Rishyasringa
  • the story of Parashurama and how he vowed to exterminate royal clans
  • the story of the great sacrifice of King Gaya
  • the episode of chaste Sukanya and her Lord, Sage Chyavana
  • the greatness of King Mandhata
  • the strange story of King Sanaka
  • the story of the noble king Shibi who offered flesh from his body to a hawk in return for the life of a dove
  • of sage Ashtavakra who released his father from bondage
  • the episode of demon Naraka being slain by God Vishnu, and the incarnation of Vishnu as Varaha.
Bibliography:
  • Mahabharata Vols I- VI (ed) 2004  Pandit Ram Ramnarayan Dutt Shastri (In Hindi and Sanskrit) Gorakhpur: Gita Press
  • Encyclopedia of Hinduism Volume VI (page 299) - IHRF



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