In the previous episode, we had witnessed an important move of King Dhirdiraashtra, wherein he reluctantly decided to split the kingdom into two – One for his sons and the other for the Paandavas. As Bhishmaachaarya, Guru Dhronaachaarya and finally Vidura advise King Dhirdiraashtra to go for the split, there is no option but to go for it. Thus, King Dhirdiraashtra, after a bit of deliberation, decides that the portion called “Kaandava-Prastham” is to be given to the Paandavas and Yudishtra would be the ruler of that segment of the kingdom. Many of us might be wondering what is this “Kaandava-Prastham” all about. This is an interesting split here, as King Dhirdiraashtra played a “smart game” here – The “Kaandava-Prastham” is nothing but a barren land, full of bushes and nothing can be productively obtained out of it. There is very little or no human settlement in the “Kaandava-Prastham” and it is this portion of the kingdom, King Dhiridiraashtra wants to give to the Paandavas! This is how cunning King Dhirdiraashtra was! Anyways, the kingdom had to be split. Anyways, the words of all the seniors and Vidura had to be obeyed. Anyways, Yudishtra had to continue to be the king. Hence, King Dhirdiraashtra took a smart move to keep the most productive portion of the kingdom for his sons, and threw up the most unproductive segment of the kingdom to the Paandavas.
Moreover, King Dhirdiraashtra explains the “significance” of the Kaandava-Prastham as he splits it to the Paandavas. He explains how “beautiful” the Kaandava Prastham is. It was like saying how beautiful a 100-year-old clock is, but the only thing is that it doesn’t show the time! 🙂 King Dhirdiraashtra now calls upon Yudishtra and Co. and explains thus, “Oh Yudishtra! As per the arrangement made by all of us, including Bhishmaachaarya, Guru Dhronaachaarya and Vidura, I’m hereby splitting the kingdom and giving off the Kaandava-Prastham area to you! This is the very place where all our ancestors like Puru, etc. were living a peaceful life! This is a very sacred place and I’m handing this place over to you!” Bhagawan Krishna was listening to all of this from the sidelines. He had accompanied the Paandavas to the Hastinapura kingdom to oversee what was happening. As King Dhirdiraashtra explains thus, Bhagawan Krishna laughed out a bit and quickly asked him back thus, “Oh King Dhirdiraashtra! If the Kaandava-Prastham is so significant and sacred, why aren’t you living there? Why is that you want only the Paandavas to go and live there?” Bhagawan Krishna purposefully asked this question because He knew that King Dhirdiraashtra was trying to play a “biased” game here. He knew that King Dhirdiraashtra was crookedly planning to retain the important city segment of the kingdom with himself and give away the useless barren land segment to the Paandavas.
As this conversation is happening, Vidura enters the courtroom. As he enters, he was surprised to see Bhagawan Krishna sitting amidst the gathering. As Vidura saw Bhagawan, he straightaway goes to Him, falls on His divine lotus feet and pays his respect! Bhagawan Krishna was mighty pleased with Vidura’s respectful gesture and makes him sit by his side. The conversation continues as Vidura explains things here – “Oh Bhagawan Krishna! It is King Dhirdiraashtra’s instruction that this Kaandava-Prastham is to be handed over to the Paandavas. I’ve tried educating him as much as possible, but this was the final outcome that I could manage from him!” As Vidura explained thus, Drshtadhyumna fumed from the other end thus, “Oh respected Vidura! It is a well-known fact that the Kaandava Prastham is a mere forest area which is totally unproductive! How fair is it to give this segment to Yudishtra and claim that he has done something great? This is an act of cheating Yudishtra! What wrong did he do to all of you? Why are you playing this partial game with him?”
As Drshtadhyumna fumed thus, Vidura immediately spoke to him and pacified him. Vidura explained thus, “Oh Drshtadhyumna! Why are you fuming? This is well-known to Yudishtra too, but he himself is not fuming, isn’t it? Look at him! How calm and composed he is sitting there without raising a single objection! If the ruler himself doesn’t have a problem, why are you bothered?” As Vidura explains calmly thus, Drshtadhyumna was puzzled! He did not understand why Yudishtra, even though he was being cheated, was keeping mum to what was happening. However, Drshtadhyumna replied back to Vidura thus, “Oh respected Vidura! Till today I was thinking that you were the most neutral person in this entire Hastinapura kingdom. But today, you’ve also proved to us that you’re falling back on to the side of King Dhirdiraashtra and Duryodhana! Just because Yudishtra is silent, does it mean that you can put whatever on his head and get away?”
As the argument is firing up from both sides, Vidura is calmly replying back thus, “Oh Drshtadhyumna! Till today, nobody has told me that I’m a biased person, except for you, who had made such a sweeping statement now! I’m actually not biased in any way! I always stand by “Dharma”! Do you know why Yudishtra is keeping silent? He knows the “Dharma” that it is not about the place that a ruler rules. It is about who is ruling the place! The person who is ruling is important and not the place! Even though the Kaandava-Prastham is a barren land, the ruler who is going to rule that place is an epitome of “Dharma”! If “Dharma-Devata” is on your side, any barren land can be transformed within no time. Please understand this secret! You are too young to understand such things. Hence, Oh Drshtadhyumna! Please be patient! Things will fall into place!”
Saying thus, Vidura pacified Drshtadhyumna and for today, let us understand this important point that Vidura has stressed! We shall wait till the next episode to continue this important discussion further and to witness the official handover of the Kaandava-Prastham to the Paandavas! Stay tuned! 🙂