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Chapter 48: The division of Kuru lands

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After seeing Krishna, Kunti hugged and wept. Then she shared her waves of memories from her childhood as Yadava to the incidents that led the Pandavas to wander in the forest to the Krishna. Krishna calmed his aunt and said that she faced her destiny fearlessly and triumphed over it with her right decisions. Kunti now calmed by the soft, comforting voice of Krishna. Krishna then said to Kunti that to inform Dhritarashtra that Pandavas are alive and then to return the kingdom. He then assured kunti that now with the support of mighty Drupada; Kauravas will dare not to harm her sons. Later Drupada came to know that it was Arjuna who married her daughter. He became happy but was shocked to hear that Draupadi shared the Pandavas. But upon Vyasa’s advice and his revelation of Draupadi’s previous birth and her boon from Shiva satisfied him. He celebrated his daughter’s wedding with the Pandava brothers and escorted the wedding party to his palace.

It was Vidura, who met the Dhritarashtra and informed him that Pandavas were alive and it was they who were successful in the Swayamvara of Drupada’s daughter. As soon as Vidura left, Dhritarashtra sent for Duryodhana and Karna. Then he informed Duryodhana that Pandavas are alive and no doubt they are coming back to claim the kingdom. Duryodhana strongly represented to her father that to break their unity through secret plans, but Karna argued Duryodhana for the forceful elimination of Pandavas by attacking face to face. Bhishma and Drona declared that their love for the Pandavas was no less than their love for Kauravas. They discouraged the king from any thought of attacking the Pandavas and ridiculed the ‘low born’ Karna’s destructive opinion to the king. Vidura endorsed the Bhishma and Drona’s views. Dhritarashtra had to bow his superior counsel. Then he sent Vidura to Panchala to bring Kunti and pandavas back to Hastinapura. The whole city rejoiced when they realized that Kunti and her sons survived from the terrible fire.

Pandavas now returned to Hastinapura more powerful than ever with the support of Drupada. Dhritarashtra, Gandhari, Bhishma, Drona, Vidura and the Kauravas welcomed them with great care and affection. On looking their love towards them, Pandavas kept wondered who among them had hatched the plan to kill them. Vidura later advised Dhritarashtra to renounce the throne and pass it on to Yudhishtira, who was the eldest grandson of Vichitravirya. Dhritarashtra, however, was unwilling. He said he can’t since his sons never serve Pandavas. Dhritarashtra preferred Duryodhana to become the king, for the sake of peace. Vidura knew that Pandavas would never agree this and upon Krishna’s suggestion Vidura came to the conclusion that only way to bring peace in the kingdom was to divide the kuru lands. Bhishma protested at first but surrendered later realizing that there was no other way out.

In a public ceremony, Dhritarashtra proposed the division of Kuru lands. He gave the Pandavas the half of the kingdom, which is the forest of Khandava-prastha. He then said to make a palace there and then to establish a kingdom. The region allotted for pandavas was wild, partially desert and partially forest. But the Pandavas without any refusal or making any arguments accepted the proposal and instantly shifted to their new habitation.

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