THE brahmanas, who had been with Yudhishthira in Indraprastha, had
followed him to the forest. It was difficult to maintain such a large establishment.
Some time after Arjuna had gone on his quest of Pasupata, a brahmana
sage named Lomasa came to the abode of the Pandavas.
He advised Yudhishthira to minimize his retinue before going on
pilgrimage as it would be difficult to move freely fromplace to place with a large
Yudhishthira,who had long felt thatdifficulty, announced to his
followers that such of them, as were unaccustomed to hard-ship and to hard and scanty fare
and those who had followed merely in token of loyalty, might return to Dhritarashtra or,
if they preferred it, go to Drupada, the King of Panchala.
Later, with a greatly reduced retinue, the Pandavas started on a
pilgrimage to holy places, acquainting themselves with the stories and traditions relating
to each. The story of Agastya was one such.
Agastya, it is said, once saw some ancestral spirits dangling head down
and asked them who they were and how they had come to be in that unpleasant plight.