Ego is the only thing that one is left with finally and is the most difficult for one to give up. One who succeeds in giving up ego sees the One above everyone. This ego attaches to one so firmly that even the greatest among seers have a residue of ego as ash remains even after matter is completely burnt. When one is able to give up this residue one becomes infinite, or in other words, one with God.
After the Great War was fought and won, the Pandavas ruled from Hastinapura for many years. When the time was ripe, they crowned Parikshit, son of Abhimanyu, king. Then, the Pandavas, along with Draupadi, dressed humbly in barks and left to live the last days of their hitherto tormented lives in contemplation of the Almighty. They visited many holy places and eventually reached the Himalayas. On the way a dog joined in their journey.
As they started climbing up the steep mountainous path, Draupadi fell down and died.
Bhima who was behind Yudhishtira, was much alarmed and asked: Brother, Draupadi was a virtuous woman. Why then could she not continue on till the end?
Yudhishtira said: Draupadi, though the wife of all five of us, was particularly attached to Arjuna. That attachment has let her down!
As they continued climbing, Sahadeva collapsed and died to which Bhima asked why.
Yudhishtira said: Pride, of however great an asset one may possess, has a fall. Sahadeva was proud of his intellectual capacities.
A little later, Nakula died. Bhima, troubled, asked why.
Yudhishtira replied: Was not Nakula proud of the fact that he was endowed with much beauty?
Some time later, Arjuna fell down dead. Bhima, much distressed, asked: Brother! Arjuna lacked in no virtue, yet he has fallen down. Is there an explanation to this?
Yudhishtira replied: Arjuna is held in great regard for all his virtues. He even conquered the great enemy, sleep. Yet, even he could not conquer the greater enemy, pride. He boasted that he could kill all his enemies all by himself. He thus caused hurt in them.
Then Bhima felt faint. He asked: Dear Brother, it seems that I would be unable to proceed any further. I would like to know what be my fault?
Yudhishtira replied: Oh, Bhima! Is it not true that you were proud of your immense strength? Also were you not too fond of food, my dear good brother?
Bhima died. Yudhishtira was now followed by the dog alone, yet he went on looking straight ahead, giving no way to feelings of attachment for he knew the truth. When he reached the summit, Indra welcomed him into his chariot. As Yudhishtira bade the dog step in first, Indra pushed the dog away and said: Dogs are not allowed in heaven!
Yudhishtira said: Draupadi and all of my brothers fell down and died while this dog reached here along with me. Hence I would come only if this dog is allowed to come with me!
At these words of Yudhishtira, the dog revealed itself as Dharmaraja, Yudhishtira’s father, and embraced him. He said: I am happy, my son, that you have let dharma remain your only constant companion even until the last!
Yudhishtira then ascended the chariot and went to heaven.