Yudhishthira's Life and Death Dialogue with Yama
Much before the epic war has even begun, four of the five Pandava brothers, including the mighty warriors Bhima and Arjuna, lie mysteriously dead by the side of a forest lake. And Yudhishthira finds himself engaged in a life and death dialogue with a Yaksha, a celestial being come to test his readiness for battle and kingship. Yudhishthira must now answer the Yaksha’s questions to the latter’s satisfaction — or himself die.
The dialogue between Yudhishthira, the dharmaraja, and his spiritual father Yama disguised as a Yaksha is an uplifting exposition on the subtle and timeless truths of Vedic philosophy; on eternal values, way of living, the meaning of dharma and right conduct, on qualities of character and correct behavior.
It's an inspiring lesson on impeccable living and the meaning and purpose of life and remains as important, as relevant and as uplifting today as it was when Yudhishthira stood by the side of his dead brothers and attempted to meet the
Yaksha's fraught challenge.
Yudhishthira's answers have influenced the lives of Hindus through the centuries, and offer us clear guidance when faced with ethical dilemmas. Their message inspires us to stand firm and tall and shape our lives in excellence and truth.
The fable ends as dramatically as it starts, and is both a wholly satisfying tale and a luminous exposition of the Hindu view of life.