In the previous episode, we had witnessed some key characteristics of the Paandava brothers, which were solely responsible for the names that they possess. We’ve witnessed in detail as to how they justified the meanings of their respective names at various occasions. This is all part of the “Preface” that Sage Vyaasa has given us as a starting point of the Mahabharata text. We shall witness here that this “Preface” section clearly sets the platform for what is in store for us when we commence witnessing the text in detail. Moving on with the “Preface” section thus, Sage Vyaasa summarizes how the Paandavas went about things at Hastinapura as they grew up. Of course, for everything that they did, there was a stiff resistance from Duryodhana and inspite of this, the Paandavas continued to co-live with them until a certain point.
As time progressed, the Paadava brothers grew up and attained the age of marriage. It is at this time, King Drupata offers his daughter, Draupati (Krishnaa) in marriage with the Paandavas. For this, there was a huge “Svayamvara” event arranged by King Drupata. As part of the rules and regulations of this “Svayamvara” event, any prince who performs the “Lakshya-Bedham”, would be eligible to marry Draupati. “Lakshya-Bedham” means, hitting a fish that is revolving in a pond with a single arrow, by not looking at the pond at all. We’re going to witness this event in detail when we enter into the main Mahabharata text, but now we’re only looking at a summary of the key events that conspired. Many princes tried their hand on the “Lakshya-Bedham” test, however, it was only Arjuna who succeeded in it. Thus, King Drupata was impressed with Arjuna’s exceptional skills with which he handled the bow and arrow and gave his daughter in marriage to all five Paandava brothers together.
As this happens, greed, ego and jealousy started creeping into the Duryodhana camp slowly. Duryodhana could not digest the fact that the Paandavas are slowly growing in fame and name. He started feeling insecure as to whether he would lose out to them in terms of ruling the Hastinapura kingdom. This jealousy doubled and tripled itself within Duryodhana when Yudishtra performed the “Raajasuya Yaaga” subsequently. Duryodhana was also invited to be part of this important spiritual offering, and he was aghast with the way Yudishtra offered enormous “Dakshina” to all people who had attended it. The “Raajasuya Yaaga” was a “trending” topic of discussion all over the world and the way in which Yudishtra conducted it as per the principles of the Sanaatana Dharma scriptures was a treat to all who were part of it. This, along with the enormous amounts of “Dakshina” that Yudishtra gave away to important attendees increased Duryodhana’s jealousy to multi-fold levels. Along with the jealousy, came anger and frustration. Duryodhana was burning within himself that Yudishtra is becoming more and more popular and that, his name is getting diminished by the second.
It was also precisely at this same time that the chief architect of the “Devas”, by the name “Mayan” constructs an impeccable palace for the Paandava brothers. That palace was constructed with an enormous amount of precision and beauty, in such a way that it stood out as the best ever palace that was created in those times. For instance, there were places wherein it seemed like a wall, but there was no wall there. There was a place that looked like a huge pool filled with water, but there was no water there. There was another place which looked so normal, but there was a huge pool of water. As Duryodhana visits this palace, he starts burning within himself even more! His jealousy towards the Paandavas now rises to a level that is extremely unprecedented!
Finally as a pinnacle point, wherein Duryodhana accidentally steps into a pond of water and falls down on the floor, Draupati laughs out at his folly! Seeing Draupati laugh loudly, the Paandava brothers too joined her in laughing at Durodhaya’s folly! This compounded Duryodhana’s anger to an extreme level and from there onwards, there was no looking back! Duryodhana takes a vow to seek revenge against the insult that he has experienced, at any cost! He was even ready to stoop to any low, to satisfy his revenge! This is the turning point wherein the Hastinapura kingdom went from bad to worse, because of this one person called Duryodhana! In fact, many analysts who wrote commentaries on the Mahabharata much later, conclude on this one important event by saying that, this was the sole reason why the Kurukshetra war happened. After this point, Duryodhana’s anger went into unprecedented levels that a war between the two camps was inevitable. It was only a matter of time before things burst out!
So for today, let us understand the “Preface” till this point, and let us continue in the next episode with how Duryodhana tried to avenge the insult that he had received from the Paandavas and Draupati. Stay tuned for an interesting accord ahead! 🙂