This kuṇḍa lies in the eastern part of Kāmyavana. Śrī Nārāyaṇa is present here as dharma. Nearby is a platform (vedī) named Viśākhā-vedī. There is a special rule that one should bathe in this pond on Kṛṣṇāṣṭamī (the eighth day of the dark moon) on a Wednesday in the month of Bhadra during the constellation named Śravaṇā. Within the area of Dharma-kuṇḍa, there are many places one may visit for darśana, such as Nara-Nārāyaṇa-kuṇḍa, Nīla-varāha, Pañca Pāṇḍava, Hanumānjī, Pañca Pāṇḍava-kuṇḍa (Pañca-tīrtha), Maṇikarṇikā and Viśveśvara Mahādeva.
The five Pāṇḍavas resided in this attractive Kāmyavana for a long time during their exile to the forest. Once, Mahārānī Draupadī and the Pāṇḍavas felt very thirsty. It was summer and the nearby ponds and other sources of water had dried up. Water was not available anywhere, not even from distant places. Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira gave one empty pot to his valiant brother Bhīmasena and told him to fill it with clean water. The intelligent Bhīma saw that birds were flying to and from a particular place, so he headed in that direction. After some time, he came to a beautiful lake full of clean, fragrant water. Being very thirsty, he thought to quench his own thirst first before carrying water back to his brothers. However, as soon as he stepped in the lake, a Yakṣa appeared before him and said, “Answer my questions before daring to drink water, otherwise you will die.” Ignoring the order of the Yakṣa, the great and valiant Bhīmasena filled his palms with some water, but upon doing so he immediately fainted to the ground.
Noting Bhīmasena’s delay in returning, Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira sent his brothers one by one to go and fetch water – first Arjuna, then Nakula and then Sahadeva. Upon reaching the lake, however, they all met the same fate as Bhīma, having attempted to drink water without following the Yakṣa’s command. Finally, Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira went himself and found his brothers all lying on the ground unconscious. He became very worried. He decided to quench his thirst before trying to revive them, but as soon as he went to do so, the Yakṣa appeared and told Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira that he had to correctly answer his questions before he could drink any water. Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira patiently requested the Yakṣa to ask his questions.
Yakṣa: Who causes the sun to rise?
Yudhiṣṭhira: The Supreme Lord causes the sun to rise.
Yakṣa: What is weightier than the earth itself? What is higher than even the sky? What travels faster than the wind? And what is greater in number than blades of grass?
Yudhiṣṭhira: One’s mother is heavier than the earth. One’s father is higher than the sky. The mind is swifter than air, and the thoughts that spring from the mind are more numerous than blades of grass.
Yakṣa: Which is the best dharma in the world? What is the best kind of forbearance?
Yudhiṣṭhira: The best dharma in the world is mercy. To tolerate the dualities of this world – like pleasure and sorrow, profit and loss, and birth and death – is the best kind of forbearance.
Yakṣa: Who is the invincible enemy of human beings? What is their endless disease? Who is a saintly person, and who is not a saintly person?
Yudhiṣṭhira: Anger is the invincible enemy of human beings. Greed is their endless disease. One who does good to all living entities is a saintly person, and a cruel person who has no control over his senses is not a saintly person.
Yakṣa: Who is happy? What is the greatest wonder? What is life’s real path? What is newsworthy?
Yudhiṣṭhira: He who has no debt, he who is not in a foreign land, and he who is able to eat simply is happy. Every day, living beings make their way to the abode of Yamārāja, the god of death, but those who are left behind think they will live forever. There is no greater wonder than this. Argument has no place in determining the correct path. The Śrutis are diverse, and the opinions of the sages divided. The truth of dharma is thus very deep. Therefore, the path that is followed by great personalities is the real path. Time is cooking all living beings in the frying pan of illusion and allurement, which represents this material world. It shuffles them with the ladle of months and seasons, and cooks them in the fire of the sun, which burns up the fuel of day and night. This is the only news in this world.
Yakṣa: O King, you have answered all my questions correctly. You may therefore select any one of your brothers and he will return to life.
Yudhiṣṭhira: Among all my brothers, let dark-complexioned and very powerful Nakula return to life.
Yakṣa: King, why do you want Nakula to be brought back to life? Why not Bhīma, who has the strength of ten thousand elephants, or the invincible archer Arjuna?
Yudhiṣṭhira: I cannot give up virtue. I am of the opinion that the supreme virtue is to have equal feelings for everyone. My father had two wives, Kuntī and Mādrī. In my opinion, both of them should have sons. Kuntī and Mādrī mean the same to me. I want to preserve this equality; therefore, Nakula should return to life.
Yakṣa: O topmost devotee, you have more respect for virtue than for time and wealth. Therefore, all your brothers should live again.
That Yakṣa was none other than Dharmarāja (Śrī Nārāyaṇa) Himself, who had desired to test the dharma of his son Yudhiṣṭhira. Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira passed the examination.
―Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja (Śrī Vraja-maṇḍala Parikramā)