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Chapter 36: Lakshagraha - The House of Lac

Posted by Arun Mohan ~ on ~ 0 comments

After the failed attempt to kill Bheema, the rivalry between Kauravas and Pandavas increased. The Kuru household is now separated into two rival camps, one for Kauravas and other for Pandavas. Both of them alleged that they were the correct heirs to the throne. Yudhishtira was the eldest grandson of Vichitravirya, so pandavas believed that Yudhishtira would be the next heir. But Kauravas believed that their father is eldest than Pandavas father, so Duryodhana would be the next heir.

Despite having ninety-nine brothers, Duryodhana feared Pandavas, since Yudhishtira is supported by an archer in Arjuna, a physically powerful Bhima and an adviser in Sahadeva. Except from Dusshasana, Duryodhana is not confident on remaining ninety eight brothers. But things changed, when he got support from Karna and Shakuni, his uncle. Duryodhana is now confident enough to challenge Pandavas. Quarrels between the both groups became common in the palace. Kunti and Gandhari advised their sons on controlling the quarrels, but all their efforts went vain. Dhritarashtra who was a very learned man and follow Dharma most of the time, but when it came to Duryodhana, his blind love for his son, made him to take bad decisions. Dhritarashtra sometimes known or unknown became a part of Duryodhana’s evil plan to abolish pandavas. Each time Pandavas rescued from those evil plans through Vidhura's secret help.

The Pandavas were the dear of the public too. The people wanted Yudhishtira to become the next king. But they also felt sorry for Duryodhana, since he was a son of a blind father and a blindfolded mother. Vidura predicted that the matters will get even worse, if both of the groups getting married. So he advised Dhritarashtra to built separate palace for sons of Pandu. Dhritarashtra agreed and ordered to an architect called Purochana to build a palace for Kunti and her sons in Varanavata. Purochana was actually a trusted minister for Duryodhana. Duryodhana convinced Purochana to make the palace such that it can be fired easily. Purochana completed the work of palace by including the combustible materials such as Jute, lac, oil and fat.

When Vidura visited this palace, he was shocked to discover that the residence was made of lac and all kinds of inflammable materials. He then went to Kunti and said that Dhritarashtra will gift you a house which is made of inflammable materials. He wishes to kill the pandavas by burning the palace. But fear not, you and your sons should be safe. Vidura then had given a plan to kunti for escaping from the fire through a tunnel from palace that leads to the forest. He then said to pandavas to accept the gift of palace to avoid suspicion and then escape through the tunnel, once they fired. Vidura then blessed that pandavas should have a moral high ground for rightful inheritance after their return. As per the prediction of Vidura, the palace was set afire in the first night of their entry. But the pandavas escaped unhurt with their mother through the tunnel, but they were upset by the events, since the family feud had suddenly taken a very serious turn.

When the flames vanished, the burnt remnants of a woman and five young men were discovered. Everyone assumed that those were the remnants of Kunti and her sons. Everybody including Dhritarashtra, Gandhari, Duryodhana and Dusshasana wept for them. Bhishma and Drona were heartbroken in their grief. But Vidura know that it was actually the bodies of those six people including the architect Purochan, a nishadha tribeswoman and her sons who had been drugged and left in the palace. Vidura kept wondered on the tears dropped by Dhritarashtra and his sons.


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