Chapter 22 The Rajasuya Yagna and Sisupala Death
There is nothing new about the act of staging a walkout from a meeting in protest. The Mahabharata teaches us that walkouts were used even in ancient times.
At the time, India was made up of several sovereign states. Even though there was only one dharma and one culture in the whole country, each state’s independence was scrupulously upheld.
Occasionally, a powerful and ambitious ruler would ask his other kings for their approval of his overlordship, which was occasionally awarded without hesitation.
Following this approval, he would offer a massive Rajasuya yagna, to which all the consenting monarchs would be invited as a sign of respect for his sovereignty.
After killing Jarasandha, the Pandavas conducted the Rajasuya and invited the other monarchs in line with this tradition.
The moment has come to perform the appropriate formalities. It was customary to give first honour to the guest who was deemed most deserving of precedence over all other guests.
The issue of who should be recognised initially emerged. The grandsire, as well as Yudhishthira himself, strongly believed that Sri Krishna, the ruler of Dwaraka, should be revered first.
Yudhishthira heeded the counsel, and on his direction Sahadeva presented Sri Krishna with the honours required by custom. Sisupala, the king of Chedi, could not stand it because he despised Krishna in the same way that only evil can despise virtue.
He mockingly laughed out loud and said: “How absurd and unfair, but I’m not shocked. The man who asked for counsel was an illegitimate child. The individual who offered advise was descended from someone who consistently descends from high to low (This was a derogatory reference to Kunti’s boys.).
(The river Ganga, which naturally flows from higher to lower levels, is referred to here as having given birth to Bhishma.) Additionally, the honoree was an illegitimate child. And what should I say about the honourable man? He was raised as a cowherd and was born a fool. If none of the people in this assembly have anything to say about this, they must be really stupid. Worthy mans shouldn’t come here, period.”
Sisupala was praised by a few of the gathering rulers. He turned to Yudhishthira after hearing their applaud and said, “W “When there are so many monarchs there, it is unfortunate that Krishna received the first honour. Both failing to show respect where it is due and showing respect where it is not deserved are significant offences. It is unfortunate that despite your imperial aspirations, you are unaware of this.”
He continued, growing more and more enraged: “You have accorded royal honours to a cowherd boor, a mere nobody, disregarding the several monarchs and heroes who have come at your own request. The father of Krishna, Vasudeva, was only Ugrasena’s slave. He is not even related to royalty. Is this the right time and place to display your obscene favouritism for Krishna, Devaki’s son? Is this deserving of the Pandu children? O sons of Pandu, you are immature, uneducated adolescents who have no idea how to handle a royal assembly. You were led astray by this idiot Bhishma, who also made a fool of you. Why, Krishna is by no means a ruler! O Yudhishthira, why did you have the temerity to accord this scoundrel the foremost distinction among this distinguished company of kings? If you appreciate grey hair, he doesn’t even have the benefit of age, and isn’t his father still alive? Given that Drona, your preceptor, is present in this meeting, you could not have honoured him as such. Do you see him as a master at making sacrifices because you have honoured him? Vyasa, the great master, is present, hence it is impossible. Even if Bhishma is a dotard, it would have been preferable if you had given him the first honour since he has the advantage of being the oldest man in your household. Kripacharya, your family’s instructor, is also present at this gathering. Then, how could you give this cowherd the first honour?”
“The hero who is knowledgeable in every sastra, Ashwatthama, is present. How did you decide on Krishna, oblivious to him? Duryodhana is one of the princes present at this gathering. Additionally, there is Karna, Parasurama’s pupil.”
“You disregarded him and, out of juvenile bias, selected Krishna for the top distinction. Krishna, who is little more than a humble cowherd who is neither regal, heroic, scholarly, holy, nor even old! As a result, you have brought everyone you invited here into disgrace. O kings, we did not consent to Yudhishthira accepting the title of emperor out of fear. Whether he is a friend or adversary is not really important to us. However, after hearing so much about his goodness, we were eager to witness him defend the dharma. After all that rhetoric of integrity and dharma, he has now willfully disgraced us. What virtue or dharma did he uphold by giving Jarasandha’s unfair murderer Krishna the honour of receiving it first? From now on, you must refer to Yudhishthira as being unjust. O Krishna, what arrogance it was of you to accept the respect that these foolish Pandavas bestowed upon you! Have you lost yourself? Or did you disregard respectable customs? Or was it only a case of a dog stealing a piece of food that nobody bothered to claim or protect? Do you not see that this charade is an abomination and an embarrassment to yourself? As absurd as presenting a girl in marriage to a eunuch or exhibiting attractive things to a blind person. And these royal distinctions are basically an insult to you. It is now clear that this person Krishna, the would-be ruler Yudhishthira, and the elderly Bhishma are all made of the same substance.”
After saying these severe comments, Sisupala got up from his chair and left, urging the other monarchs to follow him in rejecting the insult.
They all flocked to follow him.
They were too enraged to be placated, so Yudhishthira hurried after them and sought to comfort them with kind words of peace.
A horrific struggle between Krishna and Sisupala erupted when the latter was killed by his discus (Sudarshan Chakra) as his aggressive vanity reached a battling fever pitch.
The Rajasuya was appropriately observed, and Yudhishthira acknowledged the emperor.
Keep Mahabharat Book at Home and Read Daily – DO NOT FALL TO FAKE PROPAGANDA and Allow Enemies to Weaken our Dharma and Bharat
This historical epic Mahabharat is known as fifth Veda. It is a common misconception spread by mlecchas; muslims and christian missionaries, and secular Hindus that reading Mahabharat or keeping it at home will likely lead to arguments and fighting. All of this misinformation was spread by illiterate mlecchas and anti-Hindus, and it is completely incorrect. It is done to mentally weaken Hindus so that they avoid reading Mahabharat. Because Mahabharat invokes bravery, pride and sense of confidence in Hindus.
Keep a copy of Mahabharat at home and read it online at the HariBhakt website. Mahabharat is rightly called the fifth Veda for Kaliyuga people because it is a tool and guidance to invoke confidence and bravery in Sanatan Dharmi Hindus.
You can read complete Mahabharat by following Chapter links given below. You can check Glossary of Mahabharat here.