The Book 17: Mahaprasthanika Parva Section I mentions the Pandavs visiting a red-sea. This is where Arjun returned his divine bow and arrows to the Lord of the Ocean:

Setting themselves on Yoga, those high-souled ones, resolved to observe the religion of Renunciation, traversed through various countries and reached diverse rivers and seas. Yudhishthira, proceeded first. Behind him was Bhima; next walked Arjuna; after him were the twins in the order of their birth; behind them all, O foremost one of Bharata’s race, proceeded Draupadi, that first of women, possessed of great beauty, of dark complexion, and endued with eyes resembling lotus petals. While the Pandavas set out for the forest, a dog followed them.

"Proceeding on, those heroes reached the sea of red waters. Dhananjaya had not cast off his celestial bow Gandiva, nor his couple of inexhaustible quivers, actuated, O king, by the cupidity that attaches one to things of great value. The Pandavas there beheld the deity of fire standing before them like a hill. Closing their way, the god stood there in his embodied form. The deity of seven flames then addressed the Pandavas, saying, ‘Ye heroic sons of Pandu, know me for the deity of fire. O mighty-armed Yudhishthira, O Bhimasena that art a scorcher of foes, O Arjuna, and ye twins of great courage, listen to what I say! Ye foremost ones of Kuru’s race, I am the god of fire. The forest of Khandava was burnt by me, through the puissance of Arjuna and of Narayana himself. Let your brother Phalguna proceed to the woods after casting off Gandiva, that high weapon. He has no longer any need of it..’

My question is Is it possible to identify this sea of red waters?

1 Answer 1


It's the Brahmaputra river. The word used in the original Sanskrit is Lauhitya:

śvā caivānuyayāv ekaḥ pāṇḍavān prasthitān vane |
krameṇa te yayur vīrā lauhityaṃ salilārṇavam ||

Here is what Debroy's translation of the Mahabharata says in a footnote regarding this chapter:

By Louhitya or Lohitya, one usually means the Brahmaputra.

  • 1
    I guess The Lohit River is a river in India and China. It is a tributary to the Brahmaputra River. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lohit_River
    – Just_Do_It
    Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 15:58
  • @Just_Do_It Lohita in Sanskrit means Red.
    – The Destroyer
    Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 16:08
  • 2
    Could be.. pity the text doesn't mention which direction they took after moving out from Hastinapur! But isn't the abode of Varun in the west why would Agni take away the weapons to return them to Varun in the east? Commented Oct 25, 2017 at 4:46
  • @Dr.VineetAggarwal Varuna is the god of water. He may have his abode in the western direction, but he controls all water. Commented Oct 31, 2017 at 15:18

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