Thursday, 21 August 2014

75. Dhritarashtra Agrees For Yudhishtra's Coronation

Subhadra and Rukmini are seated with a soothsayer woman who predicts the birth of a world renowned warrior son to Subhadra. Subhadra is more concerned about her marriage with Arjuna as Balarama is already making preparations for seeking Duryodhana's alliance for her. The woman predicts Subhadra's marriage with an old man who is a sanyasi as well. Subhadra is worried by this prediction, but Krishna consoles her with mysterious words as usual, and tells her to have confidence that things will turn out right.

Pandavas and Kunti meet Dhritarashtra who openly admits that Yudhishtra is the sole rightful heir, but despite this he is still bound by his son Duryodhana's greed and fiercely blind ambition. He asks Yudhishtra to pardon him for his many lapses. He promises to hold Yudhishtra's coronation soon, after which he could go to Khandavaprastha. In fact, if Yudhishtra insists, he is prepared to give the entire Hastinapura to him and he would then leave the palace along with Gandhari. Shakuni intervenes, saying Duryodhana is waiting outside to have a word with him, but Dhritarashtra angrily asks Shakuni to get out. Yudhishtra is reluctant, but Gandhari requests Kunti to intercede, after which Yudhishtra agrees for the coronation.

74. Kunti Explains to Vidura Why She Chose to Remain Calm Even In The Face of Injustice

Vidura protests that the division of Hastinapura as delineated by Dhritarashtra is unjust. Dhritarashtra reminds Vidura that Hastinapura itself was a forest in the days of yore and had been cultivated by their ancestors. So Pandavas, being diligent, could do the same. He had entrusted them with the task of finding a solution and they had suggested partition. He, as the king, had now accepted their solution and had devised a plan for the division of the country and it was their duty to obey their king's order.
Vidura expresses the fear that the Pandavas might not agree to this gross injustice, but Dhritarashtra discounts it saying it was Vidura's duty as a chief minister to force Pandavas into submission. Vidura retorts that it was also his duty to warn the king of dire consequences that might result from his action: in particular, Drupada might send an army in support of the Pandavas. This infuriates Dhritarashtra who declares that he is not worried about the threat from Panchala, as Bheeshma, who has sworn to protect Hastinapura, would fight off this threat.
Bheeshma understands that the only alternative left for them is to obey the king and he tells Vidura that they should carry out the king's order and not bother about its propriety. Once out of the king's chambers, Bheeshma is worried how to break the news to the Pandavas.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

73. Shakuni Suggests to Dhritarashtra To Give Infertile Khandavapratha to the Pandavas

After Bheeshma's outburst over Vidura's suggestion of partition of Hastinapura, Vidura pleads with Dhritarashtra to try and understand him, but Dhritarashtra says he is helpless against the senior's wrath. Vidura returns to his suite utterly shaken. He tells his wife how for the first time he had earned his uncle's displeasure.

Bheeshma cannot contain his fury. He goes to the Ganges river and shoots a shower of arrows at the river. He pleads with his mother to appear before him and release him from the dilemma he is stuck in. Seeing her son so desperate, Ganga appears before him.

Vidura conveys the happy tidings of Bheeshma's acquiescence to Dhritarashtra, who is visibly disturbed and angry. He accuses Vidura of plotting for Yudhishtra's coronation and coercing Bheeshma to agree to his plans. Bheeshma enters and explains to Dhritarashtra the consequence of not partitioning Dhritarashtra, because it could lead to bloodshed between the cousin brothers. He then tells the king that he and Vidura have completed the task entrusted to them and that they would await his decision. Gandhari convinces the king that the partition is inevitable and Dhritarashtra gives his consent to the proposal.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

72. Bhishma is Furious With Vidura For suggesting Division of Hastinapura to Dhritarashtra

Vidura gets down the chariot to meet Sage Vyasa. Sage Vyasa listens to Vidura's woes and tells him that he is the incarnation of the Lord of Justice. Then he asks his disciple Vaishampayana to bring him some fruit to quench his hunger. Vaishampayana brings a single mango, and the sage asks his disciple to halve the fruit so that both Vyasa and Vidura could have it. He tells Vidura that he has the answer to the problem and he would understand it once he contemplates on the issue on hand in a dispassionate way.

Kunti meets Bhishma and expresses her anguish. Bhishma admits his helplessness in not being able to defend her honor when Duryodhana smeared mud on her reputation. He promises Kunti his support for her cause.

Bhishma threatens to kill Vidura for
suggesting the division of Hastinapura

Dhritarashtra asks Bhishma and Vidura to meet him. He tells them that he would not be able to think dispassionately because his mind is muddled with passion and anxiety for his sons. He tells that he has decided to yield the power of decision making to both of them and that he would abide by any decision they would take.

71. Gandhari Advises Dhritarashtra to Observe Silence and Take No Decision (13-07-14)

Dhritarastra visits Vyasa

Dhritarashtra goes to Vyasa's ashram. He tells the sage of the predicament he is in whereby he is unable to make decisions. Vyasa asks him whether he is merely unable to take decisions or whether he did not want to take decision; after all he had already made his decision known (about crowning Yudhistra before the Pandavas left for Varanavata). Dhritarashtra says Duryodhana refuses to accept that decision. Sage Vyasa points out Dritarashtra failed to tell Duyodhana in his young age itself that his elder brother Yudhishtra living in the forest was the undisputed heir to the throne. Instead he had filled his son with his own greedy thoughts of becoming the future king. Dritarashtra could never follow his righteous advice, because he was already aware of the justice but wanted to use the sage's name to further his own cause. Finally he advised him to remove the garb of father from himself and instead think and act like the king of Hastinapura and then all his confusions would vanish.

Krishna is playing the game of dice with Rukmini and his sister Subhadra. Balarama wants to go to Hastinapur to seek the aaliance of Duryodhana for their sister Subhadra. Krishna cleverly avoids making the move, suggesting the time to be inauspicious and this could impact her future. Subhadra wonders how long this kind of dilly-dallying could go on, and at best they have succeeded in postponing the date by four days. Krishna says in mysterious tone that many things could change within those four days.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

70. Furore in Hastinapur Assembly: Nobody the Legitimate Kuru Heir Except Bhishma

In the previous episode, Dhritarashtra had announced that the elders' assembly would discuss who should be crowned the future king of Hastinapura. Kunti has an inkling that the elders in the assembly would request them to give up their claims to the throne for the sake of peace. She tells Yudhishtra not to yield if such a request is ever made. Yudhishtra and others agree entirely with this.

Drona sees a man bringing a sack of rice to Ashwaththama who directs him to take it inside. On Drona's enquiry, Ashwaththama reveals that this was a tribute Drupada is paying them after his defeat by Arjuna. Drona disapproves and advises him not to continue the practice, as he considered Drupada his friend. Ashwaththama points out that Drona is thankless and always regards Drona his adversary. On two occasions he sought the help of Drona: once for training his son under Drona and subsequently for devising the swayamwara contest for Draupadi. Yet, he failed to thank Drona after Draupadi's marriage. Drona says he was aware of Drupada's shortcomings, yet he wanted to extend only friendship to Drupada.

Drupada is seen offering 'pinda' to himself. When Drishtadyumna enquires about this, Drupada says that he is seething under the shame of paying tribute to Hastinapur and this would cease only when Drona is killed and he regains his full kingdom.

Monday, 30 June 2014

69. Kunti Takes Charge of Hastinapur Affairs

Bhishma, Kunti, Gandhari, Draupadi, Vidura and others offer prayers
Bhishma, Vidura, Gandhari and Kunti bless Draupadi and ask her to light the lamp to drive away the darkness in their lives and illuminate it with divine light. Kunti prays that her sons who have known no happiness till now should start living happily with Draupadi and start their marital life now.