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Mahabharata, which is a religious text has a great significance in the life of the Hindus. In this epic poem, it is mentioned that Pandavas, the five brothers are quite famous and are said to be quite humble and noble. Among the Pandavas, Yudhishthira, the eldest brother was a person of noble thoughts. According to Rishi Vyas and Lord Krishna, Yudhishthira was a strong and tall king, but his humbleness was similar to that of common people.
After the Pandavas won the Kurukshetra battle, they ruled Indraprastha and Hastinapur for many years. One day Rishi Vyas visited them and advised the brothers to hand over the kingdom to their only heir Parikshit and live their life like common people. Pandavas along with Draupadi agreed to this. After the coronation of Parikshit, Pandavas and Draupadi went on the journey of attaining a life away from the worldly desires and temptations.
It is said that Yudhishthira was the one who was leading all of them. He was followed by his other four brothers namely, Bhima, Arjun, Nakul and Sahdev. The last in the line was Draupadi. It is believed that a dog befriended them and walked along with them.
Eventually, everyone started to fall to death after succumbing to their failures and weaknesses. When Draupadi fell to death, Bhima, out of the grief of losing her, asked Yudhishthira that why Draupadi, the bearer of good heart and caring nature died. To this, Yudhishthira replied, "She had an excessive attachment for Arjun and this is what her failing was."
The next one to die was Sahdev. A sad Bhim asked Yudhishthira, "What was his fault?" "Pride in his intelligence was his failing," said Yudhishthira.
Nakul collapsed thereafter and then fill with utmost grief, Bhim asked, "What was his fault, O Yudhishthira?"
"He admired his own good looks. This was his failure," mentioned Yudhishthira.
It was Arjun who collapsed next. "What wrong did Arjun do, O Yudhishthir," cried Bhim.
"He was brilliant but conceited and over-confident. That was his failing."
Now it was the turn of Bhim who was extremely tired. While collapsing he asked Yudhishthira, "What was my failing?" "You were boastful about your strength and ate in excess without being concerned about the people who starved. That was your failing."
Yudhishthira continued his journey undeterred after losing his near and dear ones. The moment came when Yudhishthir would ascend to heaven. This is when Lord Indra descended from heaven in his chariot and asked Yudhishthira to come along with him. Yudhishthira said, "How can I go to heaven without Draupadi and my brothers?" To this, Indra said, "They all have already ascended to heaven following their deaths. Now it is time for you to ascend to heaven." Yudhishthira then agreed to ascend to heaven and was just about to board the chariot with his dog when Indra stopped him. He said, "You can bring this Dog. Only you are allowed."
Hearing this, Yudhishthira stopped and denied to board the chariot. He said, "I can't leave the one who stayed with me through the thick and thin of the journey." For the king, the dog was his true friend who chose to stay by his side. Lord Indra tried to persuade Yudhishthira by saying that he should value his happiness and stop worrying about the dog as it is just a dog. But, Yudhishthira was a man of Dharma and therefore, he didn't change his decision. He was unaware that he was weaving a glorious story in the history that people will remember for ages. For that reason, it was a play of supremacy. The dog was none other than diety Dharma himself. Impressed by the commitment and kindness of Yudhishthira, Lord Dharma appeared in the place of dog and praised Yudhishthira. He said that it was a test and Yudhishthira once again proved his kindness and righteousness. He praised the way Yudhishthira stood by his decision to not abandon the dog.
After this, Yudhishthira ascended to heaven.