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Dhritarashtra was in great dilemma, so he consulted Vidura for opinion, but Vidura firmly opposed Shakuni’s idea of inviting Yuthishthira to gamble. Vidura refused Shakuni’s idea because it creates differences between Pandavas and Kauravas. When Dhritarashtra showed no inclination to listen to his opinion, Vidura realized that the Kauravas were moving towards their own destruction. Vidura became helpless to avoid the game and he was also sent to Indraprastha by Dhritarashtra to invite Yudhisthira.  Meanwhile, a massive hall with thousand pillars was specifically built and furnished plentifully in preparation for the game.

Yudhisthira welcomed Vidura with due honors. Vidura told Yudhisthira the reason for his visit. He also informed Yudhisthira about Dhritarashtra’s invitation to see the newly built massive hall in Hastinapura and to compare it with the Mayasabha at Indraprastha. Yudhisthira clearly expressed his hesitation to engage in a dice game as it might lead to enmity within the family. But it is also wrong to disobey the paternal uncle’s desire. So leaving the result of game to fate and duly honoring the king’s invitation, Yudhisthira set out to Hastinapura in the company of his wife and brothers. Krishna had no idea either of the Kaurava invitation or of the Pandava decision to participate in gambling as he was away at Dwaraka.

On their way to home from Indraprastha, Shakuni observed Duryodhana’s sadness over Pandavas’ prosperity. Shakuni talked to him positively. He encouraged Duryodhana that kauravas can defeat the pandava brothers through gambling, but no through arms. As Yudhisthira loves to gamble with the dice, he does not know the intricacies in gambling. Yudhisthira is a plain gambler, but Shakuni is an expert in gambling. So Shakuni believes that he can beat him in gambling and seize all his empire and prosperity and give up to Duryodhana. By the time they reached Hastinapura, the plan of welcoming Yudhisthira for a game of dice had taken deep root in Duryodhana’s mind.

Duryodhana was delirious with abhorrence and jealousy for the Pandavas as he reached Hastinapura. He confirmed to his father, Dhritarashtra that he can’t continue living, after seeing the reputation and prosperity of the Pandavas. Having been the treasurer at the yagna, he was viewer to the huge gifts that came heavy in from rulers around the world. Duryodhana asked his father that when and how to become as prosperous as the Pandavas. Dhritarashtra tried to console his son by saying that Duryodhana is no way inferior to the Pandavas as he had equal wealth and his kingdom extends far and wide, which is same as that of Pandavas. Shakuni, uncle of Duryodhana mediated the conversation between father and son and said that Duryodhana’s sadness might not end if the Pandavas be fetched to Indraprastha for a game of dice. Shakuni knew well about how to play against Pandavas with dice as bow and the numbers as arrows. Shakuni, the son of Suvala declared that he would defeat the Pandavas and seize all the wealth of Pandavas through gambling.

After the departure of all the guests from Mayasabha, Duryodhana and Sakuni alone remained in Indraprastha to enjoy the kindness of the Pandavas. They visited Mayasabha along without any assistant. Duryodhana was astonished for its marvelous beauty. But he had some bad experiences. The palace hall of great majesty in Indraprastha is built such that its floors were finished in such an illusionary manner that it had the mirror image of water whereas the pool along the hall is made such that the mirror image of a flat surface seeming no water in it. Duryodhana walked on such a pool, as he thought that it is a floor and fell into a deep pond. Draupadi who was walking past, rather thoughtlessly, let out a peal of laughter and said, ‘The blind son of blind parents.’ Also the four pandava brothers except Yudhisthira saw this and giggled. Duryodhana felt ashamed of that. He immediately left for Hastinapura and swear that one day he would take delight in Draupadi’s disgrace as she had taken in his. His heart was filled with jealousy and the wonderful Mayasabha became a heartburning for him.

Upset by Vyasa’s words, Yudhisthira became so regretful that he wanted to end his life rather than live and cause sadness to the world. His brothers calmed him and told him to meet the future proceedings with the courage he was renowned for. Yudhisthira determined and made a vow that he would, from that day, observe strict self-control. He would not upset any person by word or action and would protect his calmness in the most annoying conditions.

With all barriers removed, the yagna was carried to a successful conclusion. After receiving as much gifts as they could carry, the kings and visitors who had assembled in Indraprastha started to leave. Krishna, pleased at the victory of the sacrifice, left for Dwaraka. Yudhisthira gave enormous gifts to his priests and the Brahmins. Bhima gave send off to Bhishma and Dhritarashtra. Arjuna gave send off to Drupada. Nakula gave send off to Shalya and Subala. Sahadeva gave send off to Dronacharya, Kripacharya, Ashwathama and all other kings.

Vyasa told Yudhisthira that he was leaving. Before leaving, the king took bless from Vyasa and asked a question that “Whenever a yagna of the size of Rajasuya is conducted, there may be an appalling fallout, like a drought, flooding or earthquakes. Is this condition satisfied with the demise of Shishupala?”

Vyasa replied, “I see very bad times in the next thirteen years for you and your brothers. Vyasa added that as prophesy the powerful god Siva would appear in your dream.”

Bhishma’s revelation only irritated Shishupala further. He continued his scolding and mount insult upon insult on Krishna. Shishupala challenged Pandavas and Krishna for war.
Sri Krishna smiled at him. Krishna said that in keeping with his promise to his aunt, Saatvati, he had pardoned patiently and listened to a hundred insults. Krishna added that some of wrongs did by Shishupala includes,

He along with Jarasandha burnt out the Yadavas Capital City, Dwaraka.

He killed the Kings of Bhoja brutally, while spending their time with their wives on Raivatakaadri.
When Krishna’s father, Vasudeva was conducting Ashwamedha Yagna, he stole away the horse.
Shishupala abducted the wife of Babhru and married her.

Krishna then told to Shishupala, that he listened to a hundred insults from Shishupala and had pardoned him for those hundred wrongs. Now Shishupala challenged him so that Krishna is going to kill the brutal king, Shishupala. So saying, Krishna released his sudarshana disc and it flew at Shishupala and dismembered his head. With the killing of Shishupala, Rajasuya Yagna concluded and finished in a grant manner.

Bhishma started to tell the story of Shishupala to the assembled guests.

Shishupala was son of Damaghosh, king of Chedi, by Saatvaki, sister of Vasudeva. Therefore he became the cousin of Krishna. Shishupala was born with three eyes and four hands and with donkey voice. Saatvaki and Damaghosha were very much frightened by the child’s appearance and behavior. At that time a divine voice from heavens was heard that child would get his normal body by the touch of a person, who was already born and also that person should be the killer of this baby. But not now, after the baby becomes a great king. The baby was named Shishupala. From then onwards, the parents of that baby were waiting for such a personality.

One day, Krishna and Balarama went to see their aunt’s boy. When Krishna lifted the boy, its extra eye and extra hands are vanished. The surprised Saatvaki requested Krishna not to kill Shishupala until he commits hundred wrongs. Krishna agreed and said that he would forgive Shishupala if he offended him a hundred times. By the years passed, Shishupala became an unkind and terrible monarch, causing suffering to his subject and other kings. His main habit is insulting none other than his deliverer.

Rajasuya Yajna commenced. The priests poured water, milk and honey on Yudhishtira in the attendance of all the kings of Bharata-varsha. The priests declared Yudhishtira as the emperor. During the rituals, the priests asked the Pandavas that it was essential to honor an illustrious guest by offering them the Arghya in order to finish the Yajna. The chief among the guests should be offered the Arghya first. Bhishma preferred Krishna as the best suited to receive the honor. Since Krishna deserves that as he is a renowned personality, a scholar, a good personality, highly intellectual, a person who is liked by one and all. Sahadeva brought Arghya to Sri Krishna. Yudhishtira offered Arghya and other honors to Srikrishna.

In that great assembly was present Shishupala, the King of Chedi. King Shishupala could not tolerate this. He stood up and protested loudly. Some of the questions he argued against Krishna are as follows.

Why Krishna who is much younger than the guests present here? It is note that Krishna’s father Vasudeva is present here, who is much older than Krishna.

Why Krishna rather than any great Ritviks? It is note that Saint Veda Vyasa is gracing this occasion.

Why Krishna rather than any gurus? Guru Dronacharya and Kripacharya are here.

Why Krishna rather than any other famous Yadava members?

Why Krishna rather than any other eminent kings?

Shishupala himself believes that he is much superior to Krishna in valor and strength. Shishupala accused that Krishna is a mere cowherd and he tricked and abducted Rukmini, without the wishes of her family. A few other kings joined Shishupala in a chorus. But Sahadeva rose and said that anybody who objected this sacrifice with Shishupala would be crushed under his feet. The frightened kings withdrew on backing Shishupala.

After obstructing the Krishna’s honoring, Shishupala went on to heap insults on Krishna. He called Krishna a magician, coward, a lady killer (putana), kidnapper and so on. Yudhisthira did not agree to Shishupala’s demands. But he tried to make peace with Shishupala. An angry Bhishma stopped Yudhisthira and asked pandavas to raise their weapons to stop Shishupala from heaping bad words on Krishna. But Krishna told the pandavas to remain silent and to let him to say what he wants. Bhishma suddenly remembers prophesy that the death of the Shishupala was from the hands of Krishna. Shishupala was none other than Krishna’s cousin, just like the Pandavas. Bhishma then told the story of Shishupala to the assembled guests.

On the day of the sacrifice, hundreds of Kshatriya kings from around the Bharatavarsha along with the members of Hastinapura turned up for the grand sacrifice. The prominent among them graced the occasion includes Bhishma, Dhritarashtra, Vidura, Dronacharya, Kripacharya, Balarama, Drupada, Ashwathama, Somadatta, Karna, Bhurishrava, Shalya, Sakuni, Jayadratha, Duryodhana, Dushasana, Subala, Virata, Bhagadatta and Vikarna. Yudhisthira received all the notables with due respect and made arrangements for their comfortable stay. People of four classes were also present at the venue. Yudhisthira appointed some of his dear visitors in various office charges. Brahmins and Ritwiks (Ritwik means priest who perform yajna) were also arrived to perform the yajna. Sages including Pail, Dhaumya, Yaajnavalkya, Susama, Veda Vyasa and the Saint Narada graced the event.
The members who took the charge for the event are as follows.

Yudhisthira deputed Kripacharya for making charities to Brahmins and Ritwiks.

Bhishma and Drona were deputed as Chief Executives and also for acting as a Helper.

Vidura was deputed for organizing and controlling the expenses.

Duryodhana was deputed as receiver of gifts and tributes from the kings.

Dushasana was deputed in the charge of the kitchen.

Aswatthama attended to the comfort of the Brahmins.

Sanjaya received the kings.

Yudhisthira then took the "Yajna Deeksha" and entered the sacrifice hall. In the sacrificial hall, Sage Paila and Dhaumya were fixed for performing the Rigveda ritviks, Yaajnavalkya for Yajurveda Ritvik, Susaama for Saamaveda Ritvik and Veda Vyasa was fixed as the Cheif Ritvik for all the Vedas. Saint Narada appeared and took the charge of chief patron. With the above arrangements, Rajasuya sacrifice started.


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