Yak\u1e63apra\u015bna is a section of the \u0100ra\u1e47aya-parva of the Mah\u0101bh\u0101rata, that elaborates the subtle nuances of dharma. It is presented as a dialogue between the first P\u0101\u1e47\u1e0dava, Yudhi\u1e63\u1e6dhira, and a yak\u1e63a or a supernatural being. The anecdote of the Mah\u0101bh\u0101rata goes as follows \u2013 Once while the P\u0101\u1e47\u1e0davas were living in exile, a br\u0101hma\u1e47a approached them and requested that they retrieve his fire-stoking sticks. The sticks had gotten entangled in the horns of a stag, and the frightened stag had galloped away along with the sticks. As the br\u0101hma\u1e47a required the stoking sticks for his daily worship of the sacred fire, the P\u0101\u1e47\u1e0davas saw it as their duty as K\u1e63atriyas to restore the sticks. They chased after the stag but to no avail. Exhausted, they sat down under a mighty tree, weary with thirst. The oldest P\u0101\u1e47\u1e0dava turned to the youngest of them, Nakula, and asked him to locate a water source nearby so that they could all quench their thirst. Nakula immediately set out as ordered and found a limpid lake filled with water. Overjoyed and relieved, he entered the cool lake only to be interrupted by a disembodied voice. It cried, \u201cdo not touch the water before you answer my questions.\u201d Nakula was however too thirsty to pay heed. He disregarded the voice and drank from the lake and fell dead. In the meanwhile, Yudhi\u1e63\u1e6dhira was alarmed by Nakula\u2019s delay. He sent Sahadeva to look for Nakula. Sahadeva looked everywhere before reaching the lake to find his brother lying motionless on the ground. Deeply troubled Sahadeva rushed forward, but went on ahead towards the lake as his thirst got the better of him. The very same forbidding voice called out to Sahadeva, and he too disregarded it to meet with the same fate; Sahadeva too fell dead. It was Arjuna\u2019s turn next to be challenged by the mysterious voice. Slighted that a disembodied voice would dictate to him, Arjuna cried, \u201cif you will, challenge me after revealing yourself to me. Once you have been pierced by my sharp shafts, you will no longer address me in this vein.\u201d With these words, Arjuna released arrows fortified by sacred mantras in all directions and then overcome by thirst, proceeded towards the lake. Disregarding the warning of the disembodied voice that Arjuna may partake of the water only after answering his questions, he drank from the lake and fell dead. When Arjuna too failed to return, Yudhi\u1e63\u1e6dhira commissioned the powerful Bh\u012bma to seek the missing brothers out. Bh\u012bma soon arrived by the lake and was deeply distressed to find his brothers in that plight. He concluded that some r\u0101k\u1e63asa had indeed attacked his siblings and felled them. He decided to quench his thirst in the lake so that he could fight the r\u0101k\u1e63asa responsible. He proceeded towards the lake and was cautioned by the same disembodied voice. It called to Bh\u012bma, \u201cson, I own this lake. Do not partake of its water unless you answer my questions. Once you have addressed my questions, you may quench your thirst and also carry as much water with you as you please.\u201d Bh\u012bma\u2019s thirst however, got the better of him. He too disregarded the words of the yak\u1e63a to his own detriment. Bh\u012bma too met with the same fate, thus leaving all the P\u0101\u1e47\u1e0dava brothers other than Yudhi\u1e63\u1e6dhira dead. With all his siblings missing, Yudhi\u1e63\u1e6dhira set out himself, seeking to find out what was delaying his brothers. He searched the vicinity and soon arrived by the lake to the disturbing sight of his felled brothers. Deeply anguished, he pondered how these mighty warriors could have been felled by anyone. He recognized immediately that this was the handiwork of no mortal. He concluded that some divine phenomenon must have effected this horrendous fate. With a heavy heart he proceeded towards the lake in order to perform the last rites of his siblings, when a strange voice rang in the sky. Perplexed, Yudhi\u1e63\u1e6dhira began cajoling the voice to reveal his identity. Cajoled humbly, the voice revealed his form and introduced himself as a yak\u1e63a. He added that Yudhi\u1e63\u1e6dhira may enter the lake only after having answered the questions he posed. Thus begins a dialogue between Yudhi\u1e63\u1e6dhira and the yak\u1e63a, presented in the Mahabh\u0101rata as thirty-three thought-provoking questions of the yak\u1e63a and Yudhi\u1e63\u1e6dhira\u2019s answers to them. The dialogue presents in a nutshell, the dharmic sensibilities of Bh\u0101rat\u012bya culture. A few of the questions posed and answered have been presented in a previous blog-article and here are a few more \u2013 Yak\u1e63a: \u0915\u093f\u0902\u0938\u094d\u0935\u093f\u0924\u094d\u092a\u094d\u0930\u0935\u0938\u0924\u094b \u092e\u093f\u0924\u094d\u0930\u0902 \u0915\u093f\u0902\u0938\u094d\u0935\u093f\u0928\u094d\u092e\u093f\u0924\u094d\u0930\u0902 \u0917\u0943\u0939\u0947 \u0938\u094d\u0925\u093f\u0924\u0903\u0964 \u0906\u0924\u0941\u0930\u0938\u094d\u092f \u091a \u0915\u093f\u0902\u092e\u093f\u0924\u094d\u0930\u0902 \u0915\u093f\u0902\u0938\u094d\u0935\u093f\u0928\u094d\u092e\u093f\u0924\u094d\u0930\u0902 \u092e\u0930\u093f\u0937\u094d\u092f\u0924\u0903\u0965 ki\u1e41svitpravasato mitra\u1e41 ki\u1e41svinmitra\u1e41 g\u1e5bhe sthita\u1e25| \u0101turasya ca ki\u1e41mitra\u1e41 ki\u1e41svinmitra\u1e41 mari\u1e63yata\u1e25|| Who is the friend of one who lives in a foreign land? Who is the friend of one who remains at home? Who is the friend of the ill and that of one who is dying? - Yak\u1e63apra\u015bna, 297.44 Yudhi\u1e63\u1e6dhira: \u0938\u093e\u0930\u094d\u0925\u0903 \u092a\u094d\u0930\u0935\u0938\u0924\u094b \u092e\u093f\u0924\u094d\u0930\u0902 \u092d\u093e\u0930\u094d\u092f\u093e \u092e\u093f\u0924\u094d\u0930\u0902 \u0917\u0943\u0939\u0947 \u0938\u0924\u0903\u0964 \u0906\u0924\u0941\u0930\u0938\u094d\u092f \u092d\u093f\u0937\u0919\u094d\u092e\u093f\u0924\u094d\u0930\u0902 \u0926\u093e\u0928\u0902 \u092e\u093f\u0924\u094d\u0930\u0902 \u092e\u0930\u093f\u0937\u094d\u092f\u0924\u0903\u0965 s\u0101rtha\u1e25 pravasato mitra\u1e41 bh\u0101ry\u0101 mitra\u1e41 g\u1e5bhe sata\u1e25| \u0101turasya bhi\u1e63a\u1e45mitra\u1e41 d\u0101na\u1e41 mitra\u1e41 mari\u1e63yata\u1e25|| Wealth is the comrade of a man living in a foreign land, a wife that of a man homebound, the physician is the friend of an ailing man, and charity is the friend of the dying. - Yak\u1e63apra\u015bna, 297.45 Yak\u1e63a: \u0924\u092a\u0903 \u0915\u093f\u0902 \u0932\u0915\u094d\u0937\u0923\u0902 \u092a\u094d\u0930\u094b\u0915\u094d\u0924\u0902 \u0915\u094b \u0926\u092e\u0936\u094d\u091a \u092a\u094d\u0930\u0915\u0940\u0930\u094d\u0924\u093f\u0924\u0903\u0964 \u0915\u094d\u0937\u092e\u093e \u091a \u0915\u093e \u092a\u0930\u093e \u092a\u094d\u0930\u094b\u0915\u094d\u0924\u093e \u0915\u093e \u091a \u0939\u094d\u0930\u0940\u0903 \u092a\u0930\u093f\u0915\u0940\u0930\u094d\u0924\u093f\u0924\u093e\u0965 tapa\u1e25 ki\u1e41 lak\u1e63a\u1e47a\u1e41 prokta\u1e41 ko dama\u015bca prak\u012brtita\u1e25| k\u1e63am\u0101 ca k\u0101 par\u0101 prokt\u0101 k\u0101 ca hr\u012b\u1e25 parik\u012brtit\u0101|| How is penance defined, and what is said to be restraint? What is spoken of as forbearance, and what is modesty? - Yak\u1e63apra\u015bna, 297.68 Yudhi\u1e63\u1e6dhira: \u0924\u092a\u0903 \u0938\u094d\u0935\u0927\u0930\u094d\u092e\u0935\u0930\u094d\u0924\u093f\u0924\u094d\u0935\u0902 \u092e\u0928\u0938\u094b \u0926\u092e\u0928\u0902 \u0926\u092e\u0903\u0964 \u0915\u094d\u0937\u092e\u093e \u0926\u094d\u0935\u0928\u094d\u0926\u094d\u0935\u0938\u0939\u093f\u0937\u094d\u0923\u0941\u0924\u094d\u0935\u0902 \u0939\u094d\u0930\u0940\u0930\u0915\u093e\u0930\u094d\u092f\u0928\u093f\u0935\u0930\u094d\u0924\u0928\u0902\u0965 Penance is adherence to one\u2019s duties, while the reining in of one\u2019s mind is restraint. Forbearance is patience during conflict and modesty is refraining from unbecoming deeds. - Yak\u1e63apra\u015bna, 297.69 Yak\u1e63a: \u0915\u0903 \u0936\u0924\u094d\u0930\u0941\u0930\u094d\u0926\u0941\u0930\u094d\u091c\u092f\u0903 \u092a\u0941\u0902\u0938\u093e\u0902 \u0915\u0936\u094d\u091a \u0935\u094d\u092f\u093e\u0927\u093f\u0930\u0928\u0928\u094d\u0924\u0915\u0903\u0964 \u0915\u0940\u0926\u0943\u0936\u0936\u094d\u091a \u0938\u094d\u092e\u0943\u0924\u0903 \u0938\u093e\u0927\u0941\u0930\u0938\u093e\u0927\u0941\u0903 \u0915\u0940\u0926\u0943\u0936\u0903 \u0938\u094d\u092e\u0943\u0924\u0903\u0965 ka\u1e25 \u015batrurdurjaya\u1e25 pu\u1e41s\u0101\u1e41 ka\u015bca vy\u0101dhiranantaka\u1e25| k\u012bd\u1e5b\u015ba\u015bca sm\u1e5bta\u1e25 s\u0101dhuras\u0101dhu\u1e25 k\u012bd\u1e5b\u015ba\u1e25 sm\u1e5bta\u1e25|| Who is an insurmountable foe to man? What comprises an incurable disease? Who is thought of as a noble man, and who an ignoble one? - Yak\u1e63apra\u015bna, 297.72 Yudhi\u1e63\u1e6dhira: \u0915\u094d\u0930\u094b\u0927\u0903 \u0938\u0941\u0926\u0941\u0930\u094d\u091c\u092f\u0903 \u0936\u0924\u094d\u0930\u0941\u0930\u094d\u0932\u094b\u092d\u094b \u0935\u094d\u092f\u093e\u0927\u093f\u0930\u0928\u0928\u094d\u0924\u0915\u0903\u0964 \u0938\u0930\u094d\u0935\u092d\u0942\u0924\u0939\u093f\u0924\u0903 \u0938\u093e\u0927\u0941\u0930\u0938\u093e\u0927\u0941\u0930\u094d\u0928\u093f\u0930\u094d\u0926\u092f\u0903 \u0938\u094d\u092e\u0943\u0924\u0903\u0965 krodha\u1e25 sudurjaya\u1e25 \u015batrurlobho vy\u0101dhiranantaka\u1e25| sarvabh\u016btahita\u1e25 s\u0101dhuras\u0101dhurnirdaya\u1e25 sm\u1e5bta\u1e25|| Anger is an invincible foe and greed an incurable disease. Nobility is the desire for the well-being of all and ignobility is mercilessness. - Yak\u1e63apra\u015bna, 297.73 Yak\u1e63a: \u0927\u0930\u094d\u092e\u0936\u094d\u091a\u093e\u0930\u094d\u0925\u0936\u094d\u091a \u0915\u093e\u092e\u0936\u094d\u091a \u092a\u0930\u0938\u094d\u092a\u0930\u0935\u093f\u0930\u094b\u0927\u093f\u0928\u0903\u0964 \u090f\u0937\u093e\u0902 \u0928\u093f\u0924\u094d\u092f\u0935\u093f\u0930\u0941\u0926\u094d\u0927\u093e\u0928\u093e\u0902 \u0915\u0925\u092e\u0947\u0915\u0924\u094d\u0930 \u0938\u0919\u094d\u0917\u092e\u0903\u0965 dharma\u015bc\u0101rtha\u015bca k\u0101ma\u015bca parasparavirodhina\u1e25| e\u1e63\u0101\u1e41 nityaviruddh\u0101n\u0101\u1e41 kathamekatra sa\u1e45gama\u1e25|| How can the mutually and eternally opposed dharma (righteousness), artha (wealth) and k\u0101ma (desire) unite at any juncture? - Yak\u1e63apra\u015bna, 297.82 Yudhi\u1e63\u1e6dhira: \u092f\u0926\u093e \u0927\u0930\u094d\u092e\u0936\u094d\u091a \u092d\u093e\u0930\u094d\u092f\u093e \u091a \u092a\u0930\u0938\u094d\u092a\u0930\u0935\u0936\u093e\u0928\u0941\u0917\u094c\u0964 \u0924\u0926\u093e \u0927\u0930\u094d\u092e\u093e\u0930\u094d\u0925\u0915\u093e\u092e\u093e\u0928\u093e\u0902 \u0924\u094d\u0930\u092f\u093e\u0923\u093e\u092e\u092a\u093f \u0938\u0919\u094d\u0917\u092e\u0903\u0965 yad\u0101 dharma\u015bca bh\u0101ry\u0101 ca parasparava\u015b\u0101nugau| tad\u0101 dharm\u0101rthak\u0101m\u0101n\u0101\u1e41 tray\u0101\u1e47\u0101mapi sa\u1e45gama\u1e25|| When wealth and wife are in consonance with one another (and within the sway of man), then the three entities of dharma, artha and k\u0101ma can coexist. Yudhi\u1e63\u1e6dhira thus answered all the questions put forth to him by the yak\u1e63a. Pleased with Yudhi\u1e63\u1e6dhira, the yak\u1e63a informed the P\u0101\u1e47\u1e0dava that he could choose to revive any one of the brothers. Without any hesitation Yudhi\u1e63\u1e6dhira sought that Nakula be revived. Surprised by the response, the yak\u1e63a asked Yudhi\u1e63\u1e6dhira, \u201cBh\u012bma is dear to you and you depend on the mighty Arjuna. With that being the case, why have you chosen to revive Nakula, who is but a half-brother to you?\u201d Said the righteous Yudhi\u1e63\u1e6dhira in response, \u201cI have two mothers, Kunt\u012b and M\u0101dr\u012b, and look upon them both with equal regard and love. Kunt\u012b has a son in me and M\u0101dr\u012b too should have a son. Hence let Nakula be resuscitated.\u201d When the yak\u1e63a noticed that Yudhi\u015b\u1e6dhira\u2019s dh\u0101rmic sensibilities did not stop with eloquent words but enriched his everyday life too, he was supremely pleased. He revived all the P\u0101n\u1e0dava brothers who had been felled.