In the previous episode, we had witnessed the continuation of the introductory note on the “Sabhaa Parva”, wherein we’re seeing a jist of all the events that are explained here. In that way, we’re currently at a place wherein Yudishtra’s Raaja-Suya Yaga took place and in the midst of it, Sishupala was killed by Bhagawan Krishna. Post that, Duryodhana looks around Yudishtra’s Indraprastha palace and the enormous wealth he possessed. Fuming with jealousy thus, Duryodhana goes back to Hastinapura and starts a brainstorming session with King Dhridiraashtra, Sahuni and the others. The team decided that war is no more an option to bring down the Paandavas. Secret attempts to kill the Paandavas have also failed in the past, with the “Laaksha Griha” episode being the biggest proof for the same. Since Bhagawan Krishna is with the Paandavas 24*7 almost, there is no option to directly confront the Paandavas in any way. So the only way to take them down is to do something with “perverted intelligence” and smartness. In some way or the other, Duryodhana and Co. should outsmart the Paandavas and abduct all the wealth and the kingdom that they currently possess. As this discussion was going on in full swing, Sahuni comes up with the idea of inviting the Paandavas for a game of gambling! Sahuni was an expert in this game and when he rolls over the dice, it would reflect exactly the same number that he thinks before rolling. Also, Sahuni knows Yudishtra’s weakness in this regard – Yudishtra loves playing the gambling game, but he doesn’t know how to play it with perfection. The more he would lose, the more involved he would be in playing it. This is exactly the weakness that Sahuni plans to use, in order to slowly abduct all the wealth from Yudishtra.
Thus the plan was made! It was a simple one – Yudishtra and Co. would be called to Hastinapura on a “friendly game” of gambling. As the game goes on, and as Yudishtra is involved deeper and deeper, with every loss of his, the wealth of Indraprastha would slowly start becoming Duryodhana’s! As this plan was being finalized, King Dhridiraashtra meekly objected to it. He wasn’t very keen with this idea, and we should remember that King Dhridiraashtra wasn’t aware of the intricacy behind Duryodhana’s plan. He initially thought that it is going to be merely a friendly game, but playing a game of gambling in the center of a king’s courtroom is totally against Raaja-Dharma. However, Duryodhana and Sahuni suppressed King Dhridiraashtra’s meek resistance and the game was finalized. All these details are explained under the important “Upa-Parva” called “Dyutha-Parva”. This is the penultimate “Upa-Parva” of the “Sabhaa Parva” and it is in this same “Upa-Parva” Sage Vyaasa explains how Yudishtra agreed to play the gambling game, and how he started losing from the moment the game commenced.
Every move that Sahuni and Duryodhana made were extremely smart and Yudishtra had no clue as to how to win over this vicious duo! Move after move goes on and there was no sign of Yudishtra winning even for a single time. As the game progresses, all the wealth that Yudishtra possessed, started to go out of his control. This included thousands of elephants, thousands of infantry soldiers, thousands of chariots, gold, silver, and other costly ornaments, etc. Finally, the turn came to stake the remaining four Paandava brothers and play. If Duryodhana wins this move, the four Paandava brothers including Bheemasena, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva would become slaves of Duryodhana and Co. The dice was rolled and as usual, it came in the favor of Duryodhana and Sahuni. With this, Yudishtra lost his four brothers as well!
Now it was the time for one final move – Draupati. Duryodhana and Karna teased Yudishtra to stake Draupati and claim. Even though Yudishtra opposed it, he was pressured into staking her. Without an option, Yudishtra staked Draupati and played – Only to lose her to Sahuni’s vicious dice! Post this, Duryodhana and Co. gained complete control of Yudishtra and Draupati became Duryodhana’s slave. With this, Duryodhan ordered Draupati to be pulled out of her living room! So for today, let us understand up to this point, and we shall continue this treacherous discussion in the next episode to witness what happened to Draupati after this! Stay tuned!