The last of the Pandava brothers, Sahadev, is perhaps the most mysterious. Very little is said about him and he himself said very little. But the Mahabharat says that of all the Pandavas he was the most enlightened. The story goes that when the Pandavas were little boys, their father Pandu and their mothers Kunti and Madri lived in exile in the forest. Pandu brought his sons up in that secluded austere atmosphere, with only sages and ascetics for company, and every day Pandu would sit his sons on his knee and teach them how to be honourable men. One day when Pandu sat Sahadev on his knee, he told his littlest boy this: “You must consume my brain. Only then will you be able to know all about this world.” Sahadev stared up at his father with big eyes and said that he would definitely consume his father’s brain. Then Pandu died, and Madri, Sahadev and Nakula’s mother, accepted death so that she could accompany her husband to the next realm. As Pandu lay on his pyre, the Pandava brothers stood with Kunti and watched. The fire was slowly eating it’s way through the corpse and as Pandu’s head burst from the heat, Sahadev saw his father’s brain. To his child’s mind he knew exactly what he had to do. It was his father’s order. Without a word Sahadev ran up to the flames and reached in, plucking out the matter. While his elders yelled and shrieked, Sahadev took off into the forest. Krishna, meanwhile, was far away in Mathura but he knew what was happening. He also knew that if Sahadev managed to do what he wanted, it would be a disaster. Taking the form of an old sage, Krishna manifested himself near where Pandu’s body burned and chased after Sahadev. But the little boy had already taken a bite of his father’s brain. And with that bite he became enlightened about all that had happened in the history of the world. With a second bite, he became enlightened about all that was happening in the world. And with a third bite, he became enlightened about all that would happen in the future of the world. Sahadev became ‘trikal gyani’ – a knower of the three times – and even though he was only a little boy he realised that the old sage who was chasing him wasn’t really an old sage but the Supreme Lord Himself. Sahadev stopped. Krishna caught up with him, heaving an exasperated sigh for it was too late. Sahadev knew everything. “You must never reveal what you know,” Krishna told Sahadev with a stern voice. But Sahadev wasn’t a cheeky little boy for nothing. “What if someone asks me? I can’t lie.” “If someone asks you then you may tell them. But never tell them more than they ask. And never tell anyone that you know everything so they can ask you.” Sahadev considered this and nodded. “Alright. But Krishna, you have to agree to my request too.” “What request is that?” “That you will always protect us five brothers. And if any one of us dies then you must accept death too.” Krishna narrowed his eyes. The boy drove a hard bargain. “Agreed.” So throughout their lives Sahadev knew everything. He knew about the fire plot of Varnavat even as Duryodhan was manipulating them into it, he knew about the political machinations of Duryodhan and the Kauravas, he knew about the loaded dice in the gambling match, he knew about what would happen to Draupadi in that gambling hall, he knew about who would die and how in the war. He knew that Ashwathama would kill the Pandava children. Every time Sahadev looked at his son he thought about how his son was going to die.