(12/18/02 8:30:18 pm)
Sounds like this story, from the Hindu epic Mahabharata. It happened after the great battle from which the Bhagavad Gita is excerpted.
When they learned of this, the Pandavas believed it time for them to leave this world too and they embarked upon the 'Great Journey,' which involved walking north toward the polar mountain, that is toward the heavenly worlds, until one's body dropped dead. One by one Draupadi and the younger Pandavas died along the way until Yudhishthira was left alone with a dog that had followed him all the way. Yudhishthira made it to the gate of heaven and there refused the order to drive the dog back, at which point the dog was revealed to be an incarnate form of the God Dharma (the God who was Yudhishthira's actual, physical father), who was there to test Yudhishthira's virtue. Once in heaven Yudhishthira faced one final test of his virtue: He saw only the Dhartarashtras in heaven, and he was told that his brothers were in hell. He insisted on joining his brothers in hell, if that be the case! It was then revealed that they were really in heaven, that this illusion had been one final test for him. So ends the Mahabharata!
The story is much better told in William Buck's translation of the Mahabharata. Here is a sample of Buck's work.
More links www.miracosta.cc.ca.us/ho...harata.htm
Here's a possible public domain version.
John Murdoch , First published 1898, reprinted 1987.
Edited by: Rosemary Lake at: 12/18/02 9:38:05 pm