Chapter 23 Sakuni Meets Princes
The princes, priests, and elders who had assembled for the Rajasuya took a break and went back to where they had been when the Rajasuya ended. Vyasa arrived to bid adieu as well. Dharmaputra stood up, accorded him the respect he deserved, and sat at his side.
The sage uttered: “O Kunti’s son, you now receive the title of emperor, which you well merit. May you bring further fame to the renowned Kuru race. Permit me to go back to my seclusion.”
Yudhishthira bowed before his guru and progenitor and said: “O master, you are the only one who can calm my fears. From portents, wise men have anticipated the occurrence of tragic disasters. Has Sisupala’s passing already fulfilled this prophecy, or will there be additional consequences?”
Answered Bhagavan Vyasa: “Dear child, the next thirteen years will be filled with great grief and suffering. The Kshatriya race will be destroyed, and the portents have not ended with Sisupala’s passing. It is not even close. The old order of things will dissipate, and hundreds of rulers will die. This calamity will result from the animosity between your cousins, the Dhritarashtras, and you and your brothers on the one hand, and each other on the other.
The Kshatriya race will be effectively eradicated in the next conflict. Nobody has the power to defy fate. Stand solid and unwavering in your justice. Be watchful and control the kingdom, good-bye.” Yudhishthira was blessed by Vyasa. Yudhishthira was grieved and much repulsed by worldly ambition and life itself as a result of Vyasa’s comments.
He warned his brothers about the impending race catastrophe.
He perceived life as a sour and exhausting endeavour, and his fate as particularly harsh and intolerable.
Says Arjuna: “Being upset is inappropriate for a ruler like you. Let’s face fate head-on and fulfil our obligations.”
In response, Yudhishthira “Brothers, may God keep us safe and provide us discernment.
For my part, I make a thirteen-year commitment to never be critical of my brothers or other family members. I will stay clear of any excuse for a fight. I will never give in to my wrath, which is the main factor of hostility. It will be my responsibility to avoid creating any triggers or justifications for animosity. We would benefit from Bhagavan Vyasa’s admonition in this way.” His brothers agreed with him amicably.
The gambling game into which Yudhishthira was duped by Sakuni, Duryodhana’s wicked genius, was the first event of the sequence that resulted in the horrific massacre on the bloody field of Kurukshetra and the event that was the evil root of all.
Why did the enlightened and righteous Yudhishthira allow himself to be persuaded to take this action, which must have had horrible implications?
The key reason was his unwavering commitment to respect his relatives’ requests and maintain good relations with them. And as it was considered polite to accept a game of comparable risk in those days, a kind offer to dice could not be immediately declined. In trying to spread goodwill, he really created a fertile ground for the deadly germ of hatred and violence. Here is an example of how human intentions, no matter how well-intentioned or clever they are, are useless without heavenly assistance. Even the finest of our wisdom is useless in the face of fate, and if fate is fair, even our mistakes work to our benefit.
While Duryodhana was burning with resentment at the idea of the opulence of the Pandavas that he had beheld in their capital at the Rajasuya sacrifice, Dharmaputra was careworn with solicitude to avoid a dispute at all costs.
In Yudhishthira’s court-hall, Duryodhana observed unheard-of richness, appealing and sight-eluding crystal doors, and other works of fine art that all suggested tremendous fortune. He also observed the joy with which the monarchs of many nations welcomed their alliance with the Pandavas. His agony over this was intolerable. He was first oblivious to Sakuni speaking to him since he was so preoccupied with sadness at the success of the Pandavas. Sakuni was standing by his side.
Sakuni enquired: “You’re sighing, why? Why are you suffering from sorrow? ”
Response from Duryodhana came “With his brothers all about him, Yudhishthira resembles Indra, the ruler of the gods. Sisupala was killed right in front of the gathering monarchs, yet not a single one of them mustered the resolve to go forward to exact revenge. They traded their dignity, jewels, and wealth for Yudhishthira’s goodwill, just like the vaisyas who make their living via trading. How can I prevent crying after witnessing all of this? What is the purpose of life?”
Says Sakuni “The Pandavas are your brothers, Duryodhana. You shouldn’t be envious of their wealth, it’s wrong. They are only now taking use of their legal inheritance. They have succeeded and thrived thanks to their good fortune without harming anybody else. What makes you jealous, exactly? How can their resilience and joy lessen your greatness? Your brothers and family support you and submit to you. On your side are Drona, Ashwatthama, and Karna. When Bhishma, Kripa, Jayadratha, Somadatta, and I are on your side, why do you weep? You have the power to rule the entire globe. Do not give in to your sorrow.”
Duryodhana responded to them by saying: “Yes, I do have a lot of supporters, O Sakuni. Why not start a battle and expel the Pandavas from Indraprastha?”
Though Sakuni stated: “No. Although it won’t be simple, I am aware of a means to expel Yudhishthira from Indraprastha without a struggle or any bloodshed.”
Duryodhana’s eyes brightened, but it felt too wonderful to be true. He enquired with disbelief: “Uncle, is there any way to defeat the Pandavas without losing any life? What’s your strategy?”
Sakuni answered: “Yudhishthira enjoys playing the dice game, but due to her lack of competence, he is completely unaware of its tricks and the opportunities it presents to more intelligent players. He would accept if we invited him to a game, as is customary among kshatriyas. I will represent you because I am familiar with the game’s strategies. Against me, Yudhishthira will be as helpless as a child. Without spilling a single drop of blood, I will secure his empire and wealth for you.”
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.