In the previous episode, we had witnessed Sahuni and Duryodhana trying to convince King Dhridiraashtra to conduct the grand gambling event at Hastinapura. The plan was to create an emotional drama in front of King Dhridiraashtra so that he would be blown away by the “Putra-Vaatsalya”, which was one of his great weaknesses. Duryodhana and Sahuni planned an excellent use of this weakness to drive their agenda. Thus, Sahuni starts proceedings wherein he explains how Duryodhana was sad and upset ever since he returned from Yudishtra’s “Raaja-Suya-Yaaga” at Indraprastha. Upon interrogating Duryodhana, King Dhridiraashtra found that his son was really upset with Yudishtra’s meteoric rise as a “Chakravarthy” (A great king) within no time! Duryodhana’s point was very simple – We should destroy an enemy at the budding stage itself, and shouldn’t let him grow at all. However, Yudishtra wasn’t at the budding stage anymore. Given the fact that he cannot be won over by a war, Duryodhana’s contention was that he should try and defeat Yudishtra through some other means. This is exactly the idea that he’s trying to hard-sell to his father. Now we shall continue with what Duryodhana said.
Duryodhana continues thus, “Oh father! If this continues further, and if you let Yudishtra grow like this, your sons including this Duryodhana would have to become beggars in no time! Also, there is a threat to my life from the likes of Bheemasena and Arjuna. Please remember – Bhagawan Krishna is by their side and they can go to any extent to destroy all of us!” These words struck King Dhridiraashtra’s mind very hard. He is now slowly entering into the “Putra-Vaatsalya” stage. Of course, King Dhridiraashtra understands slowly that these two have already planned this conversation with him. But the moment Duryodhana touched the sensitive part, King Dhridiraashtra’s heart slowly started to melt. However, he doesn’t want the Paandava brothers to be killed or hurt in any way. He has a soft corner to Yudishtra as well, similar to the likes of Duryodhana, since after all Yudishtra and Co. are his own brother’s sons. Thus, King Dhridiraashtra gets to a confused state of mind and several thoughts are running within him – “Have I made a mistake of splitting the kingdom into two? Have I sidelined my son Duryodhana on the pretext of “Dharma”? What would happen if tomorrow Yudishtra tries to take advantage and dominate over my son?” King Dhridiraashtra doesn’t know what to reply to the Sahuni-Duryodhana duo. Their argument seems to be quite valid, but at the same time, he knows that Yudishtra is not that kind of a person who would destroy anyone for his personal mileage. This is a clear confusion isn’t it?
Now this is the right opportunity that Sahuni wanted to capture. He now continues from where Duryodhana left. Sahuni says thus, “Oh king! I understand your confusion. I’m also of the opinion that we should not wage a war and try to destroy Yudishtra and Co. The Paandavas should be safe and secure without even a single injury on their bodies. However, we can strategize ways and means to snatch away their kingdom without shedding a drop of blood, isn’t it? We shall ensure that all the wealth and kingdom comes back to Duryodhana’s fold, but without a single arrow fired! Is this fine with you?” This cunning answer from Sahuni leaves King Dhridiraashtra even more confused! He understands that things are going in a wrong way, but by this time, his “Putra-Vaatsalya” has taken over him! He slowly accedes to what Sahuni is trying to propose. King Dhridiraashtra replies thus, “Oh Sahuni! Your proposal seems to be good. I think in the pretext of saving Duryodhana’s future, we shall take this method to restore the united Hastinapura kingdom, however, without harming Yudishtra and Co. So how shall we go about this?”
As King Dhridiraashtra replies thus, Sahuni and Duryodhana are overjoyed! King Dhridiraashtra has fallen into their trap, much sooner and easier than they expected! Sahuni capitalises this golden opportunity and drives his agenda further thus, “Oh great king! This is exactly what I’m also saying – Without harming the Paandavas, there is a way in which we can restore everything back under Duryodhana’s fold! The only way to accomplish this mission is through the game of gambling! This is what I’ve found out! There is nobody in this world who is equivalent to me in the art of rolling the dice. Whatever number I think in my mind, the dice would exactly show the same number. Over the years I’ve mastered the art of rolling the dice. I know the nuances and tricks of this trade very well. Thus, all you’ve to do is to call Yudishtra for the game. We shall start playing the gamble and I shall roll the dice on behalf of Duryodhana. Yudishtra would be very interested in playing the gamble, but he doesn’t have that smartness and intelligence to win it. I shall capitalize on Yudishtra’s weakness and gradually grab all the wealth and kingdom that he possesses. In this way, Yudishtra would be defeated without shedding a single drop of blood in the battlefield. Thus, without any harm caused, the kingdom would be Duryodhana’s!”
Saying thus, Sahuni throws his agenda on King Dhridiraashtra’s table! It is now up to King Dhridiraashtra to make a decision – The decision is very simple here – Should he go ahead in approving Sahuni’s plan, or should he stick to his “Raaja-Dharma” and strike Sahuni down on the pretext that this gambling game is against the norms of the “Raaja-Dharma”? We shall wait till the next episode to find out what King Dhridiraashtra’s decision is going to be! Stay tuned for an interesting and important accord! 🙂