A Summary of the Svargarohana Parva

The 18th parva of the Mahabharata is an extraordinary parva of celestial incidents. It is known as the Svargarohana Parva. This parva has 209 shlokas (verses).

On their ascent up the Himalayas, Draupadi and four Pandavas (Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula, and Sahadeva) passed away, leaving Yudhishthira to complete the remainder of the ascent alone. 

At one point Yudhishthira noticed a celestial car that had come to fetch him. However, he refused to get in the car without the dog who had faithfully accompanied him on his journey.

The dog was none other than Dharma – the God of justice. Pleased with Yudhishthira’s steady adherence to virtue, he showed Yudhishthira his true form and asked Yudhishthira to get into the celestial car that would take him to heaven.

On the way to heaven, Yudhishthira was first shown hell. There Yudhishthira felt a lot of pain. He also noticed that Draupadi and his brothers were in hell. They were lamenting under the discipline of Yama.

After that, the God of Dharma and Indra showed Yudhishthira the region appointed for sinners. 

Finally, Yudhishthira left his human body by taking a dip in the celestial Ganges and attained residence in the heavenly regions where he lived in joy, respected by Indra and all the other Gods.

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The original image was contributed by Ramanarayanadatta Astri in the public domain at: https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=21175757