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Monday, 3 August 2015

126. Sahadeva Chooses the Auspicious Moment For Kauravas' War Sacrifice and Krishna, For the Pandavas

Duryodhana and Shakuni seek private audience with Sahadeva while the Pandavas are in a meeting with Drupada and Virata and Yudhishtra asks everyone to leave. Duryodhana requests Sahadeva to fix the auspicious moment for offering sacrifice to the Lord so as to ensure victory in the war. Without hesitation, Sahadeva computes and tells Duryodhana to offer the 'bali' on the forthcoming new moon day. Duryodhana is dubious about the trustworthiness of Sahadeva's pronouncements, but Shakuni assures Sahadeva to be infallible. Sahadeva believes he should be true to dharmic injunctions and he would never lie even if he is servicing his enemy. Duryodhana is overjoyed to learn that the Pandavas haven't offered any sacrifice as yet.

After the duo leave the Pandavas ask Sahadeva about Duryodhana's mission. They are dismayed to learn that Sahadeva has provided the correct 'muhurtam' for Duryodhana. Yudhishtra asks Krishna to help them salvage the situation, as the sacrifice at the suggested hour would bring victory for the Kauravas. Krishna tells Yudhishtra and Sahadeva that whereas they earn a good name by being true to the scriptures, He is left to undo the results from those actions and get a bad name! However, He assures them that He would always protect those who surrender to Him.

Krishna is offering 'tarpanam' and the gods in the heaven are surprised as the New Moon is due only the next day. The Sun God decides to ask Krishna himself, but Krishna asks him to wait for some more time. The Moon God appears next. Immediately, Krishna gets up and offers 'havisu' to the two gods who are still uncomprehending. Krishna explains that since the sun and the moon have come together, it is indeed the New Moon day and instructs the Pandavas to offer sacrifice to Goddess Durga.

Monday, 27 July 2015

125. Shakuni Advises Duryodhana To Take Sahadeva's Help in Fixing Muhurat For The Kurukshetra War To Ensure victory

Drona is offering prayer to Lord Shiva when Kunti comes to meet him. She asks him pointedly if he would kill her sons in the war. Drona protests saying the Pandavas are like his sons, but Kunti is not satisfied with the answer. She persists and tries to argue that he should stay away from the war just as Vidura had done. Drona explains that Vidura was only bound by the promise he had made to his brother Pandu to counsel and protect Dritarashtra and had his own royal status being the son of Vichitraveerya, whereas Drona was bound by the indebtedness towards Dritarashtra whose refuge he had sought to alleviate the abject poverty he was in. Even if Dritarashtra hadn't been a king, he would still have served him, being bound to him by gratitude. Kunti, however, extracts a promise from Drona that he wouldn't kill her sons.

Shakuni is pondering over how to entice King Shalya to join them. Dushshasana, who had heard part conversation between Kunti and Drona, tells Shakuni that Drona had expressed his inability in refusing to take up arms against the Pandavas because of the indebtedness towards the master who fed him. This gives Shakuni an idea. He tells Duryodhana to provide food and accomodation to the weary Shalya who were on their way to Upaplavya to join the Pandavas. Accordingly, Duryodhana's men welcome Shalya and inform that a great feast has been organized by his nephews. Thinking it was a treat offered by Yudhishtra, Shalya accepts the grand reception, and promises to do anything for the host who had so graciously taken care of all his neeeds. Duryodhana and Shakuni appear and reveal it was they who had arranged the feast, and as a reward, request that Shalya join and fight on their side. Shalya is now forced to give his word to join their side; however, he says he would return to them after taking leave of Yudhishtra.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

124. Sahadeva's Five ways For Peace: Can Krishna Be Tied By Rope?

Duryodhana has convened a meeting to decide or, more correctly, announce their decision to launch war against the Pandavas. Vidura and Bhishma tell Duryodhana to spell out his agenda without wasting time on discussing the issue, as their opinions would anyway be ignored and over-ruled. Duryodhana accuses Pandavas of revealing themselves before the end of the 1-year ajnaatavasa, and instead of going to the forest omce again as agreed to earlier, had sent Krishna on a peace mission and disrespected them. Hence they would have to register their disapproval appropriately. Virtuous Vikarna, Dritarashtra's son from a Vaisya woman, protests and requests that the kingdom that the Pandavas seek should be restored to them immediately. Duryodhana silences him, threatening to kill him on the spot. Finally Dritarashtra announces that Kauravas would launch war against the Pandavas for disobeying their directives and asks the court to seek allies for the impending war.

Krishna announces, to the utter bewilderment of the Pandavas, the success of his mission. He then explains how Duryodhana had scorned each of his suggestion for peace, including that of giving merely five houses for the Pandavas. Except for Yudhishtra and probably Sahadeva, everybody is visibly happy to learn that Krishna had declared war on their behalf. Drupada and the King of Virata announce their full participation in the war and promise to rally the support of their allies.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

123. Karna's Promise and Kunti's Quest For Identity and Recognition

Karna is narrating to Kunti many momentous events in his life in which Duryodhana played a great role. He tells her that Duryodhana trusted him deeply and sought his help in kidnapping Bhanumati, the daughter of Chitrangada, King of Kalinga. Chitrangada had organized a swayamwar to in which Jarasandha and his foster son Shishupala also participated. Duryodhana instructs Karna to fight with these kings and carries away Bhanumati. Karna easily overpowers Jarasandha who accepts his defeat and leaves the place with other warriors. Later, Duryodhana justifies the abduction, quoting Bhishma's carrying the Kashi princesses for the sons of Vichitravirya.

Bhanumati talking to Shubhangi

Karna describes Bhanumati as good natured and as beautiful as Draupadi. Bhanumati considers Karna her brother, and together with Duryodhana makes plans to enhance Karna's prestige by getting a kshatriya bride, in addition to Vrushali, Karna's first wife from the charioteer's clan. They personally approach the king of a small kingdom in their dominion called Chandrasailam and ask for the hands of Shubhangi, the princess. Bhanumati talks to Shubhangi about the virtues of Karna and Duryodhana impresses on the king about the special status that Karna enjoys in Hastinapura. The king happily gives his consent and Karna marries Shubhangi.

Monday, 6 July 2015

122. Krishna Asks Kunti To Reveal To Karna The Secret of His Birth

Duryodhana is discussing war plans with Karna and Dushshasana. Dritarashtra and Bhishma enter the room. Dritarashtra tells Duryodhana to forsake the idea of war and work towards peace with the Pandavas. Krishna had shown to them His Universal Form and made persuasive arguments for peace. Duryodhana fails to see divinity in Krishna and the infallibility of His words and ignores the words of Dritarashtra. Bhishma tells Dritarashtra that now he can do very little and resign himself to whatever happens.

It is early morning and Kunti is watching the sun rise. Krishna asks Kunti what memories the sun evokes. Kunti is evasive, but Krishna tells her He knows everything about her. Kunti remembers her encounter with the sun god and the baby born to her as a result. Krishna tells her her son is Karna. Kunti recalls the first time she saw Karna at the amphithetre where the Kauravas and Pandavas displayed their proficiency in martial arts. On that occasion and later whenever she saw Karna, it evoked strong emotions in her and she never quite understood it. She is joyous to have found her son at last. Krishna expresses the remorse that Karna has joined the side of adharma. Kunti is now eager to tell Karna who he is and ask him to join the Pandavas. Krishna reminds her that she has never done anything for Karna other than giving birth to him; so she has no right to expect her son to blindly obey everything she says. He advises Kunti to try and get him to switch his loyalties to the Pandavas. If he refused to leave the Kauravas, she should at least get Karna to promise not to use the Nagastrata twice on Arjuna.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

121. Vidura Destroys Vishnu Astra and Krishna Displays His Vishwaroopa

(continued from previous episode)Vidura explains to Kunti why he would fight for the Kauravas in case there is a war.

The next day, Krishna spells out the reason for his visit and asks that the Pandavas be returned their kingdom. Duryodhana is highly disrespectful of Krishna and is in no mood for any reconciliation. He refuses to give the Pandavas even the five houses that Krishna asks for, saying he wouldn't part with even a needle-sized land. Krishna asks others in the court to advise Duryodhana. As Vidura speaks out in favor of peaceful settlement, Duryodhana lashes out angrily at him for offering to host Krishna despite his being on the payrolls of the king and receiving salary as alms and calls him the son of a dasi. As Vidura writhes in agony, Krishna slyly remarks to Duryodhana why he acted tactlessly, especially when a powerful warrior like Vidura, who had sworn allegiance to Hastinapura, had a powerful weapon such as Vishnu astra with which he could wipe out the enemy. Duryodhana had disrespected his venerable uncle and Krishna asks him pointedly which self respecting man would tolerate an insult to his mother?

Monday, 22 June 2015

120. Duryodhana Plots to Humiliate Krishna (21-10-2015)

Krishna finds Yudhishtra pensive when He goes to take leave of him. Krishna wants to know if He could declare war in case His peace mission is unsuccessful. Yudhishtra says that war should be resorted to only as a last resort; however, he will abide by whatever decision Krishna takes on his behalf, as he has surrendered fully to His will.

Draupadi is teary when Krishna goes to Draupadi. She says that though Yudhishtra desires peace, her mind bristles with thoughts of revenge and would find no peace until she smears her hair with the blood of Dushshasana. Krishna reminds her that Yudhishtra desires peace, but Draupadi is furious. She retorts that Yudhishtra was only an onlooker when Draupadi was disrobed, but she had experienced it in flesh and blood and it wasn't easy to forgive. Krishna insists that her personal issues of dishonor should not be the cause of the bloodshed of innumerable innocent lives. In fact,Krishna says, she should have settled the scores then and there when the incident happened. That would have averted this kind of crisis. However, He assures Draupadi that His visit would not be able have any effect on Duryodhana's obduracy and the mission might not succeed. Krishna also warns Draupadi that this can have disastrous consequences for her as well, but Draupadi says she is prepared to face them.

Dritarashtra convenes a meeting to discus the impending visit of Krishna and the arrangements to be for this event. Bhishma, Drona and Kripacharya advocate a grand reception to be made in His honor but Vidura feels that it is more important to give Krishna what He wanted to get, that is, peace. Duryodhana cannot understand why so much of fuss is being made to any messenger and the event doesn't merit any special celebration. However, Dritarashtra overrules him and asks for elaborate arrangemts to be made to receive Krishna in a befitting manner.