Sunday, 19 October 2014

84. Yudhishtra Loses His wealth and His Brothers in Gambling

Yudhishtra wants to quit the game, since he has no property to lose. But Duryodhana taunts him and incites him to continue playing. He asks him to wager his own brothers in the game. Bhishma and Vidura object to this, saying he could lay at stake only what he owned. Once again, Duryodhana makes fun of the unity the brothers professed and asks if it was true the brothers would do anything Yudhishtra commanded. Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva grant permission to Yudhishtra to stake them in the game. Yudhishtra loses them one by one and the brothers remove their crown and kneel down in the assembly. Duryodhana jeers at them and calls them his slaves. Finally, Yudhishtra loses himself too and declares that he has nothing else on offer. Duryodhana says he still had his wife to stake.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

83. Yudhishtra Agrees to Play The Game of Dice Despite Vidura's Warning (05-10-2014)

(continued from previous episode)Virtuous Vikarna, Dritarashtra's son from a Vaisya woman, has been listening to the conversation between his father and Duryodhana. Dritarashtra throws away in helpless anguish the glass of milk that Duryodhana had brought for him. Vikarna tells Dritarashtra that he had heard Duryodhana's conversations with him and begs him not to permit the playing of the game of dice, as he fears that his brother Duryodhana could use it in vile ways. He requests Dritarashtra to send away the Pandavas soon, else the entire Kuru dynasty may have to suffer the ill consequences.

Dritarshtra convenes the game of dice. Yudhishtra seeks the blessings from all the assembled elders. Shakuni asks an unwilling Duryodhana to seek Yudhishtra's blessings, explaining that Yudhishtra's words would never fail, as he is the embodiment of truth. Yudhishtra wishes Duryodhana victory. Shakuni asks Yudhishtra's consent to begin the game. Yudhishtra expresses surprise at shakuni's eagerness to play the game, and says the game neither expresses the true valor of a kshatriya nor does it bring honor to anybody who plays dishonestly. Duryodhana mocks that Yudhishtra had already become scared about losing and the game has already ended before starting.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

82. Shakuni Recalls His Enemity With The Kauravas And How He Acquired The Dice Made From The Bones of His Father (28-10-14)

(continued from previous episode...)Balarama informs Rukmini and his wife Revati that Krishna has returned safely with gifts from King Satrajit, after acquitting himself of Satrajit's charge of stealing Syamantaka gem. Rukmini rushes out to meet Krishna, but is stunned to see him with Satyabhama, with both appearing garlanded.
Krishna wedded to Satyabhama
She angrily asks Balarama if the woman with Krishna was the gift from Satrajit that he had just now referred. Krishna introduces Satyabhma as Satrajit's daughter who used to worship him everyday and had taken refuge in him. He then asks Bhama to seek his brother's blessings. Rukmini is incensed with Krishna's behavior. She says he had just married Jambavati because she was his devotee and now he has married Bhama citing the same reason once again. If she did not try to put an end to this, the number of Krishna's wives may grow from three to way beyond thirty. Krishna smiles and says that in this birth he is destined to marry 16, 108 wives. Rukmini swoons but Bhama is calm. She explains to Rukmini that, like them, countless women have worshipped Krishna sincerely and taken refuge in him and it is Krishna's duty to accept them. Krishna confirms this saying he was bound to offer himself to anyone who took refuge in him and performed every action in His name regardless of whether it was good or bad.

Kunti is happily watching Yudhishtra playing the game of dice with his brothers. A messenger announces the arrival of Vidura and ushers him in. Vidura tells them that he has come there on a bitter errand. As an emissary from the king he tells them of the new 1000-pillared amphitheatre that the Kauravas have built, and their invitation to be their special guests and participate in the gambling game of dice. Then, as their uncle and a well wisher, Vidura advises the Pandavas not to come to Hastinapur, as danger is awaiting them there. Yudhishtra says he cannot refuse or ignore his uncle's invitation; besides, according to the kshatriya dharma, he is bound to accept the invitation of another kshatriya of equal stature. He promises Vidura that he would not initiate the game of dice and invite anybody for the game; however, he would not be able to refuse to play when another kshatriya invites him.

Krishna is recining on merrily on his bed, being served by Rukmini and Bhama. Balarama announces that King Salwa has begun an aerial attack on Mathura, being angered by Krishna's slaying of his friend Sishupala at the Rajasuya Yagna of the Pandavas at Indraprastha.p> Vidura conveys the news of the acceptance of Dhritarashtra's invitation to play the game of dice. Duryodhana, Shakuni and Dritarashtra are overjoyed to hear this. Dritarashtra commands Vidura to make all arrangements to make the stay of the Pandavas an enjoyable one.

In his private chamber, Shakuni opens a special box in which are kept a pair of dice. He remembers his father King Subala's directive to him as the sole survivor of the Gandhara kingdom to wreak vengeance on the Kauravas. His father had told him how Bhishma once angrily barged into Subala's court and demanded to know why he had hidden the fact that Gandhari had already been married. Subala explains that Gandhari was said to have 'kalathra dosha' because of which it was feared that her husband would not live long. So they got her married to a goat and later sacrificed this goat. For his crime of hiding these facts, Bhishma imprisons him and his entire clan of hundred people and gave them just hundred grains of rice everyday. As this was insufficient for all, the Gandhara clan decided to put all the grains together and feed only Shakuni so that he could wreak vengeance on the Kauravas for having driven them to such despair. Subala then shows him a bone of his ancestors and hits him hard with it. As Shakuni writhes with pain, his father tells him that every step that he takes with his injured leg should help him to keep the memory of Bhishma's wrongdoings alive in his mind. Subala further tells him to make a pair of dice with his own bones. The dice would always obey Shakuni's commands and he should use it to bring about the destruction of the Kauravas. Subala dies, and Shakuni swears he would bring about the destruction of the Kauravas. Shakuni recalls all this and prays that this game, the ultimate game he was about to play, should destroy the Kuru dynasty.

Duryodhana visits his father and tells him to promise not to interfere in anything that he might do the next day when he would play the game of dice with the Pandavas. Dritarashtra is hesitant, but Duryodhana gets him to promise non-interference using his usual threat of suicide.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

81. Shakuni Advises Duryodhana to Cajole Dhritarashtra Into Asking Yudhishtra For A Game of Dice(21-09-2014)

Shakuni is busy playing a game of dice when Duryodhana and Dushshasana enter his chamber. Duryodhana taunts him for expressing mighty words of revenge-taking against Yudhishtra but doing nothing about it except playing dice throughout the day. Shakuni says that was the only way left to score over the Pandavas, as they cannot be defeated in a battle. As Pandavas were outside their purview, they couldn't employ other treacherous means either. The only way would be to defeat them in a game of dice.

Duryodhana is dubious whether Yudhishtra would accept an invitation for a game of dice. Shakuni assures him that Yudhishtra was very fond of playing dice game and would never refuse an invitation, especially if it came from King Dhritarashtra, whose words he always respected. He then asks Duryodhana to pursuade King Dhritarashtra, hooking him with a show of affection and recommends him to use threat of death, if need be.

Monday, 15 September 2014

80. Draupadi Laughs at Duryodhana When He Slips Into A Pond in the Mayan's Sabha at Indraprastha

Shishupala continues to rail abuses at Krishna who listens to it calmly. He asks other kings to walk out in protest, but no one follows him. Duryodhana wants to join, but Shakuni dissuades him and tells him to watch the enfolding drama.

When Shishupala utters his 101st condemnation, Krishna closes his eyes and his Sudarshana Chakra appears on his finger. Shishupala runs hither and thither, but the Chakra severs his head and returns to Krishna.

Yudhishtra wants to know if killing of Shishupala vitiated the ritual cleanliness of the Yagna. Krishna assure him that Shishupala was his 'dwarapalaka', and it was his wish to oppose Krihna and die at his hands three times. He had previously taken birth as Hiranyakashipu and as Ravana, and in the presnt birth as Shishupala. He has now taken refuge in Krishna as his dwarpalaka, and all sins pertaining to this would touch only Krishna, and Yudhishtra could contine with the ceremonies.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

79. Sishupala Challenges the Appropriateness of Offering the First Honor to Krishna at Yudhishtra's Rajasuya Yagna

Vyasa is dictating the Mahabharatha to Ganesha as his disciple Sage Vaishampayana watches on. With Krishna's help, Arjuna marries Subhadra.

This increases the envy of Duryodhana, and his parents are worried for him. At this juncture, the King of Kalinga arranges for the swayamwaram of his daughter Bhanumathi, in which Jarasandha and Shishupala also participate. Karna fights with these kings and brings Bhanumati for his friend Duryodhana. Duryodhana marries Bhanumati. Karna marries Subhangi, a princess from Chandramalai. In the course of time, Draupadi gives birth to one son each for the five Pandavas. Arjuna and Subhadra have a son called Abhimanyu. Duryodhana and Bhanumathi have a son called Lakshmana and a daughter called Lakshmi.

At this juncture Yudhishtra wants to perform the Rajasuya Yagna, and he seeks Krishna's advice.

Monday, 1 September 2014

78. Narada Devises Conjugal Arrangement Between Pandava Brothers and Paves Way for Arjuna's Marriage to Subhadra

The priest who saw Satyavati, Ambika and Ambalika perish in the forest conflagration informs King Dhritarashtra, Bhishma and others about the incident. Bhishma offers the ancestors the prescribed final rites when the priest meets Bhishma privately and informs him about Satyavati's meeting with Shikhandi and how the queen pleaded with Shikhandi on behalf of Bhishma.

Jarasandha's son Sahadeva seeks Krishna's help in ending the atrocities of Jarasandha. He says he loves his father dearly, but Jarasandha doesn't understand his concern. Krishna assures him of doing his best to end Jarasandha's evil reign, but he says he cannot guarantee his life.