Story of Khandava Daha and who all escaped
This is the story of Khandava daha from the Adi Parva.
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Do you know during the burning of the Khandava forest, how many creatures escaped? Let’s see below.
Once, Agni Deva approached Partha and Krishna who are the incarnation of Nara and Narayana to help in consuming the Khandava forest. Arjuna tells Agni Deva that he doesn’t have a bow or a quiver to hold his divine weapons nor does he have a ratha to travel. Arjuna also tells Agni Deva that Krishna also doesn’t have any weapons.
Then Agni Deva summons Varuna Deva who in turn bestows Krishna and Arjuna with the divine and unbeatable weapons. Varuna Deva gives Arjuna the Gandiva Bow, 2 Akshaya Tuniras, and the ratha which has 4 white steeds of immeasurable prowess and the flag staff of Hanuman. Varuna Deva also gives Sri Krishna the Sudarshana Chakra and the Gada called Koumodaki.
After getting these weapons, Krishna and Partha help Agni Deva in consuming the Khandava forest.
But why does Agni Deva need their help in the first place? That is because, Indra Deva was creating obstacles in his path because Takshaka, the king of Serpents was staying in the Khandava forest with his family and he was a friend of Indra’s. And if Khandava forest was consumed, all of them will die. Hence, Indra deva put obstacles in Agni Deva’s path and didn’t allow him to consume the Khandava forest.
Takshaka is the same serpent who kills Emperor Parikshit who was the grandson of the Pandavas and the son of Abhimanyu. He also escapes the sarpa yaga conducted by Emperor Janmejaya by seeking Indra Deva’s refuge.
Incidentally, Takshaka was not there in Khandava forest when Krishna and Arjuna help Agni Deva in consuming it. He was in Kurukshetra at that time.
But Takshaka’s family comprising of his wife and son, Aswasena were there during its Dahan. This is the same Aswasena who almost kills Arjuna in the Kurushetra battle in the Karna Parva when he is in the Nagastra used by Karna to kill him. Only due to the intervention of Krishna is Arjuna saved on that day.
So coming back to our original question, how many creatures survived the Khandava dahan? Well, there were 7 creatures who survived this huge fire.
Aswasena who is a Naga, Maya Danava and 5 Sarangaka or Saranga Birds (Herons)- Jarita (Mother), 4 sons by the names of Jaritari, Sarisrukkva, Stambamitra and Drona.
Maya Danava is the same person who constructs the Maya Sabha in Indraprastha for the Pandavas and in which Duryodhana falls down in water thinking it to be an illusion.
These were the only 7 creatures which survived the great Khandava Dahana by Agni Deva. This went on for 15 days during which the entire forest was consumed by Agni Deva with the help of Krishna and Arjuna.
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