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Chapter 81: Hook Yudhisthira once again, cries Duryodhana

Posted by Arun Mohan ~ on ~ 0 comments

Having been freed by Dhritarashtra, the Pandavas with Draupadi bowed to the king and the elders, and left for Indraprastha. Duryodhana and his confederates who had left the hall were unaware of the boons granted to Draupadi by Dhritarashtra. It was Dushasana who learnt about it, and he ran to Duryodhana, wailing that the foolish king had caused all that was won, to be lost.

Duryodhana, along with Dushasana, Shakuni and Karna, rushed to Dhritarashtra. “What a folly this,” he cried at the king. “We made the Pandavas our slaves, and now you have let them off. They are mighty and the insults they have suffered would be rankling in their minds. They would certainly wreak vengeance on us. Lo, we are all lost.”

 “We can still save the situation,” Duryodhana continued, “Let us bring them back and make them play the dice game once again. We shall play for a specific stake. If the Pandavas lose, they should don deerskins and retire to the forest for twelve years. After the twelfth year ended, they should spend the thirteenth year in disguise at an inhabitable place. If detected in the thirteenth year, they should spend another twelve years in the forest.

 “In the event the Pandavas won, the Kauravas would spend twelve years in the forest and one year incognito,. After the period is successfully completed, both would have their original kingdoms restored to them.”

 Bhishma, Drona and Vidura in one voice advised the king not to entertain this plan. Gandhari who heard of it, pleaded with her husband not to listen to Duryodhana any more. In fact, she said, they should have followed Vidura’s advice and killed their first son as soon as he was born. The path he was pursuing would only lead to the wiping out of the Kauravas.

The king, however, would not listen to them. To satisfy Duryodhana seemed to be the only thought in his mind. “If, as a consequence, my race would face extinction, let it happen,” he said. He commanded a messenger to be sent to intercept the Pandavas and bring them back for one last dice game.

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