In the previous episode, we had witnessed how Kanika is slowly brainwashing King Dhirdiraashtra with his “Dhur-Bodhana” (Misguidance). As Duryodhana listens to Kanika he gets more and more confident that he is taking the “right” approach towards the Paandavas. Already we know that Duryodhana is dead against the rapid and “undue” growth of Yudishtra and he is already waiting for a chance to pull him down. As Kanika adds his part, it only becomes easier for Duryodhana to convince King Dhirdiraashtra to walk his path, rather than giving importance to Yudishtra. As both of them try and convince, King Dhiridraashtra’s righteous mind started to blink. King Dhirdiraashtra clearly fell into a trap here. He has to now take a stance between “Adharma” that is brewing beside him and “Dharma” that Vidura has explained to him multiple times. It is now boiling down to whether to accept Kanika’s words or Vidura’s words.
As King Dhirdiraashtra starts to think thus, Duryodhana uses this opportunity to further emphasize his agenda. Duryodhana says thus, “Oh father! Look at what this Kanika is saying! He’s totally right, isn’t it? If you let the enemy grow, he would become a huge burden for us in the future. Therefore it is always wise to kill and destroy the enemy at the grassroot level itself. Hence, make up your mind quickly. There is no point thinking and waiting. If we keep waiting like this, please remember – Every day lost by us is every day gained by Yudishtra! Hence, do not think too much on all this. If there’s something to be executed on an urgent basis, it should be done without any delay!”
As Duryodhana talks thus, King Dhirdiraashtra is still not convinced! He is in two minds. He replies back thus, “Oh Duryodhana! What you’re saying is right. This is the same thing that I was also thinking in my mind. However, the Paandavas are my own brother’s sons and they are like my sons as well. That is my only concern. However, I’m not trying to say that you and the Kauravas aren’t important to me. All what I’m trying to say here is that, it is not easy for me to take stern action against them right away. I need some time to think and decide what course of action should be taken forward!”
This was what Duryodhana was waiting for! With King Dhirdiraashtra replying thus, Duryodhana has hit the jackpot accurately! He replies to his father thus, “Oh father! Now that you are convinced that I’m right, you do not need to strain and think too much. You relax and take care of the other administrative words. Leave the rest to me! I shall ensure that the Paandavas do not grow and I shall ensure that they are kept at check. Moreover, it is a problem only because the Paandavas are at Hastinapura, isn’t it? Why don’t you send them off to the Vaaranaavatha Desha? Perhaps, with this arrangement, there would be no feud between the two camps. They can live happily at Vaaranaavatha Desha and we can live happily here at Hastinaapura!” As Duryodhana comes up with this idea, King Dhirdiraashtra agrees to it. He replies thus, “Oh Duryodhana! This is a good idea. If they would be happy, let them go and live at Vaaranaavatha and you can continue here. Atleast by this arrangement, no damage would be caused to both of you!”
As this part of the story was being narrated by Sage Vaishampaayana to King Janame-Jaya, he suddenly and abruptly goes to a point wherein the Paandavas along with Kunthi Devi try to cross the river Ganges on a small raft when their entire surrounding was burning with a huge fire! A small note here – Readers should remember that all whatever we’re witnessing till now is part of the narration given by Sage Vaishampayana to King Janame-Jaya. Moreover, Sage Vaishampaayana wants to finish off things fast. But as he is trying to move forward quickly by just “hinting” at a few instances that happened here and there, King Janame-Jaya captures those hints and asks him to explain them in detail. Similarly here also, when Sage Vaishampaayana explains that the Paandavas are trying to cross the River Ganges along with Kunthi Devi, King Janame-Jaya stops him and asks thus, “Oh Sage! Why should the Paandavas suddenly cross the River Ganges overnight? Why was there a fire? Where did this fire come from? Who was responsible for all this? You never told me all this!” As King Janame-Jaya asks thus, Sage Vaishampayana replies, “Oh yes! I forgot to tell you! There’s a huge story behind why the Paandavas had to cross the River Ganges overnight! There is a huge instance that I’ve to narrate to you! So let me do it now!”
Saying thus, we now move into the “Jatu-Griha Parva”. The word “Jatu” means “Wax” and “Griha” means palace or house. We can take “palace” in this context as we’re talking about kings and royal families. Thus, we’re coming to the stage wherein Duryodhana employs Purochana to build the “Wax palace” at Vaaranavara and the plan is to burn down the Paandavas inside the palace overnight. Many of us might be aware of this event. This is what is spoken about in the “Jatu-Griha” Parva. So for today,, let us have it until this point, and let us wait till the next episode to commence this interesting and important event. Stay tuned! 🙂