We’re at a juncture of an important turning point in the entire Mahabharata story wherein Sahuni and Duryodhana are making a huge vicious plan to trap Yudishtra & Co. in an illegal way. After witnessing the grand Raaja-Suya Yaaga and the meteoric rise of Yudishtra as a “Chakravarthy” (A righteous and a great King), Duryodhana fumed with anger and jealousy. With the might of the Paandavas in the battlefield, Duryodhana lost confidence that he would be able to win over them through legitimate war. Hence, Duryodhana and Sahuni sit together to plan a web around Yudishtra and grab all his wealth and kingdom through an illegal way. Duryodhana’s anger and jealousy was the right fuel to Sahuni’s fire of seeking vengeance against King Dhridiraashtra and Hastinapura. Thus, Sahuni used Duryodhana to drive his agenda of destroying the Hastinapura slowly. This is where, Sahuni proposed to utilize his expertise on the “Dyutam” (Game of Gambling). He proposed to Duryodhana that he can call Yudishtra for a gambling game, and he wouldn’t deny. He would definitely come to play the game, but he would lose it, because he doesn’t know how to play it smart. Sahuni thus, made an impeccable analysis of Yudishtra and his interest towards the “Dyutam” game and came up with this “masterstroke”!
Upon hearing this plan from Sahuni, Duryodhana rejoiced! He was just waiting for such an opportunity and as Sahuni promised to Duryodhana that he would be rolling the dice on behalf of him, Duryodhana literally jumped up and down with joy! However, there was a roadblock to this entire plan – How will Duryodhana convince his father, Bhishmachaarya and the others? Since this is against the “Raaja-Dharma”, how on earth are the seniors going to give approval for the same? This makes Duryodhana think. He replies to Sahuni uncle thus, “Oh Uncle! Till now, you’ve proposed a masterstroke idea very beautifully. In similar lines, why don’t you take the initiative to go and talk to my father? If I do, my father would start an argument. Immediately Sanjaya or Vidura would come in between and talk all about “Dharma”, etc., which I’m not interested in at the moment. If these people start talking, immediately Bhishmachaarya would jump in. If all these people talk, I would start raging again with anger and ultimately our ploy would go for a toss. My aim is to behave in such a way that I won’t fight with anyone unnecessarily, and in these lines, I would want to snatch the Indraprastha kingdom from Yudishtra. Hence, you are the right person to go and talk to King Dhridiraashtra and explain our plan to him in such a way that he would get convinced!”
As Duryodhana proposes thus, Sahuni was not in favour of this idea. He replies back thus, “Oh Duryodhana! This is where you’re going wrong. You’re not understanding the intricacies here. This plan would succeed only if you go and talk to your father. You’ve to talk to him in such a way that he would be emotionally moved. Shed tears in front of him. Make an emotional appeal in front of him that Yudishtra is slowly rising up and up and this would only ensure his son’s downfall very soon if this plan is not executed! If you communicate this with tears in your eyes, your father would definitely approve the plan. Whereas if I go and talk, he would immediately ask me as to why am I so keen on Duryodhana’s future, for which I might not have a convincing answer. Hence, you’re the right person to go and convince King Dhridiraashtra. I shall of course be with you all the time and give you a lending shoulder. I shall support whatever arguments you make in front of your father!”
As Sahuni proposes thus, Duryodhana was convinced. Thus, both of them make their way to King Dhridiraashtra’s chamber. As we progress with this, we move into the next important “Adhyaaya”, wherein King Dhridiraashtra is slowly being pushed into the trap. Initially, King Dhridiraashtra was a righteous king and was standing by the “Raaja-Dharma”. However, with the “brainwashing” attempts made by Sahuni and Duryodhana, King Dhridiraashtra slowly started to get influenced. This is going to be an important lesson for all of us. This is in fact the same way in which Kaikeyi was brainwashed by Manthara to send Bhagawan Rama to the forest for fourteen years. We’ve witnessed in our earlier “Shrimad Ramayana” project as to how initially Kaikeyi was so fond of Bhagawan Rama and she literally treated Him as her own son – A step more than her son Bharata. When Manthara went up to Kaikeyi and spilled the beans initially, Kaikeyi did not pay heed to her words. However, when Manthara used the yardstick by saying that if she doesn’t get her acts together now, her son Bharata’s future would be doomed, Kaikeyi slowly got into the “Putra-Vaatsalya” mode! With this, Manthara drove her agenda to perfection, isn’t it?
Similarly here also, King Dhridiraashtra was treating both Yudishtra and Duryodhana on the same plane. However, with Sahuni’s brainwashing by repeatedly saying that his son Duryodhana’s future is going to be doomed if Yudishtra’s meteoric rise isn’t checked, King Dhridiraashtra’s mind started to get polluted with the “Putra-Vaatsalya”. Hence, this “Adhyaaya” is extremely important and we shall wait till the next episode to continue this accord further! Stay tuned! 🙂