In the previous episode, we had witnessed the continuation of the introductory part of the “Sabhaa Parva”, which extensively talks about how the Paandavas faced extreme humiliation under the hands of Duryodhana, Sahuni and the others, when the gambling game was going on. The vicious one-sided game came to a grinding halt when Draupati was dragged and her saree was stripped off in the public courtroom by Duchaasana (Duryodhana’s brother) as everybody including Bhishmaachaarya, Guru Dhronaachaarya and King Dhridiraashtra watched on without opening their mouths to condemn the blatant “Adharma” that was taking place. However, with the “invisible hand” and the divine intervention of Bhagawan Krishna, Draupati was saved from being humiliated further. As Arjuna and Bheemasena realized that Bhagawan Krishna has saved their wife, both of them stood up and thundered their pledge to the entire courtroom. Bheemasena took a pledge in front of everybody that he would chop off Duchaasana’s hands which pulled Draupati’s saree in public. In his turn, Arjuna took an oath that the entire Kaurava clan would be the victims of his powerful “Gaandeepa”!
Unable to resist thus, King Dhridiraashtra was extremely scared of the severe consequences that his sons were going to face! He tried to doze down the anger by granting three boons to Draupati, with which she eliminated the slavery of herself and her five husbands from Duryodhana and Co. King Dhridiraashtra on his part nullified the entire game and gave back the Indraprastha kingdom with all its wealth and resources back to Yudishtra. With this, the Paadavas, along with Draupati started returning back to Indraprastha, but their hearts and minds were brimming with anger and frustration over what had happened. They were absolutely sure that they’re going to teach Duryodhana and Co. a befitting lesson very soon for all what they had committed to them.
Meanwhile as the Paandavas left the Hastinapura courtroom with all their resources and kingdom back in their hands, Duryodhana was frustrated! His plan of abducting the Paandavas’ kingdom and property were “cheaply” nullified by none other than his own father, King Dhridiraashtra! Thus, Duryodhana with all his fury demanded an explanation from King Dhridiraashtra: “Oh father! I had put in a lot of effort along with my uncle Sahuni to convince the Paandavas to come for the gambling game, and to win over them. I’ve taken enormous effort to outsmart Yudishtra through the game. However, you came in the middle and spoiled all my efforts! Now that Yudishtra has regained his kingdom and the lost wealth, the purpose of conducting this gambling game has been totally defeated! Now Yudishtra would again regain all his power and fame, and your son Duryodhana would have to beg in the streets! Seeing this, as a father, you would be the happiest person in this world, isn’t it? Today I understood your real intention – You only want your brother’s sons to prosper at the cost of your own sons. You’ve proved to be the worst father that the world could ever see!”
Hearing this from Duryodhana, King Dhridiraashtra was clearly caught between two minds! He shed tears of empathy and frustration! By playing this “emotional victim card”, Duryodhana struck chord with King Dhridiraashtra and slowly changed his mind from “Dharma” to “Adharma”. With Duryodhana’s words, King Dhridiraashtra started thinking within himself that he was really doing “Adharma” to his son! Thus, Duryodhana saw this as a golden opportunity to push his agenda further. He continued thus, “Oh father! Even now it is not too late! Yudishtra wouldn’t have reached Indraprastha yet. We can still call him back for another game of gambling and regain all his property along with the kingdom. If we call him for the game, he would never say “No”! This is his weakness. Hence, let us exploit his weakness one more time and do a course correction!”
As Duryodhana says thus, King Dhridiraashtra clearly knew that his son was overpowering him now! Unwillingly and reluctantly King Dhridiraashtra accepted Duryodhana’s demand and gave in to his pressure tactics. Thus, the Paandavas were once again called back for the gambling game and as expected, Yudishtra could not say “NO”! He once again came back along with his brothers and Draupati to play the gambling game, as Sahuni and Duryodhana took their places to commence the game. The rules and regulations were stricter this time! So for today, let us understand up to this point, and in the next episode we shall witness what were the rules of the game now, and whether the Paandavas won or lost this time! Stay tuned for the last part of the “Sabhaa Parva” introductory note!