Duryodhana’s strange dream

Chapter 113: Duryodhana’s strange dream

The Asuras Danavas and Daityas who were opposed to the gods, were watching these events. They became worried. They were depending on Duryodhana for their fight against the gods. They immediately arranged for Duryodhana to be present before them.

The Danavas said, “O mighty Duryodhana. We specially obtained you from Maheswara after pleasing him with our austerities. Your upper portion is made of parts of Vajra (thunderbolt). The goddess Uma herself offered flowers to make your lower portion, thus making it attractive for females. You are therefore no ordinary human being. It is the soul of the demon Naraka who resides in the body of Karna. Due to our influence, even Bhishma, Drona and Kripa who were previously inclined towards the Pandavas are now turning their support to you. Many, many rakshasas and Daityas have been born as Kshatriyas, only to aid you. The Samasapthakas, those do or die warriors, whom you will obtain during the war, are none but our kin. If Arjuna is the weapon of the gods, you are our weapon. Do not despair. Victory will be yours.”

Duryodhana considered his encounter with the Danavas and the Daityas as a mere dream. But the experience restored to him his self-confidence as he returned to Hastinapura.

Chapter 114: The Vaishnava sacrifice

As could be expected, Duryodhana and his friends came in for severe criticism in the court of Dhritarashtra. Bhishma was particularly severe on Karna. “It was Karna who led you to this foolish campaign,” he told Duryodhana. “But at the slightest danger the coward abandoned you and ran away.”

Karna’s pride was hurt. Alone with Duryodhana, he told the prince, “The grandsire is always against me. Give me permission and I shall prove my valor. Let me go on a tour of conquest. I shall bring all the kings of this world to your feet.”

Permission for such a mission was easily obtained from the king, and Karna left with a huge army. He marched against rulers all over the country, and soon, as promised, he was able to make them all acknowledge Duryodhana’s superiority and pay him tributes.

When Karna returned, there was much celebration of this event. He found himself to be a hero. Remembering Yudhisthira’s Rajasuya, Duryodhana desired to hold a similar sacrifice. But he was advised by the priests that with his father Dhritarashtra alive, Duryodhana should not perform Rajasuya. Instead, he could perform the sacrifice known as Vaishnava, which was much superior to Rajasuya.

The sacrifice was performed in great splendour. Only the Pandavas were not present. When a messenger was sent to them, Bhima replied, “Tell your king that we shall come to Hastinapura as his conquerors, not as his guests.”

Established as an overlord, Duryodhana ruled the world. He looked after the welfare of all the rulers under him and was very generous to his subjects.