In the previous episode, we had witnessed the Duryodhana-Sahuni duo coming up with their next “master plan” to outsmart Yudishtra. Now the rules of the gambling game are different – Whoever loses the game would have to go on an exile for the next twelve years, followed by one year of “Agnyaata-Vaasam”. As this doesn’t involve any insult to anybody physically or mentally, King Dhridiraashtra had no other option but to accept it. However, Gaandhaari tried her bit to somehow stop this from happening. She tried her best to convince Duryodhana and King Dhridiraashtra that if this illegal gambling game continued any further, there would be an inevitable disaster that they would face in the near future. Now the onus is on King Dhridiraashtra to take the final decision. On one side, his wife is pleading with him that this game should not happen, which is extremely valid. It is just now that one huge disaster has been dosed down, but not completely. Even before things could settle down, why should one step into another disaster? However, on the other hand, is Duryodhana who is emotionally blackmailing him every now and then by saying that if Yudishtra becomes a great king, he would enslave the entire Kaurava clan! Now King Dhridiraashtra has to tread the fine balance! How is he going to do it? Let us witness today!
As fate would have its last laugh, King Dhridiraashtra weighs both the sides and finally takes a call on Duryodhana’s favour! This leaves Gaandhaari stunned! King Dhridiraashtra declares thus, “Oh Gaandhaari! My son’s future is important for me. Of course, “Raaja-Dharma” needs to be protected, but this plan of Duryodhana doesn’t seem to affect anyone now. I think Duryodhana has learnt his lessons not to insult anyone publicly and I’m sure he wouldn’t do it. Let this be a friendly game with both the camps, and through the game let us cool down the anger and tension within them! Oh servants! Please go immediately and call Yudishtra back!”
As King Dhridiraashtra had his final say thus, Sahuni and Duryodhana are extremely happy! Their plan is working as per their calculations! The servants rush towards Indraprastha and convey the news to Yudishtra. Upon receiving a second call from King Dhridiraashtra for the gambling game, Yudishtra is perplexed and confused! What decision should he take now? Should he go back once again to bear more and more insults in the name of “protecting his Dharma”? Or, should he reject the king’s offer, which might be against the rule of “Raaja-Dharma”? On one hand, Bheemasena, Arjuna, etc. advise Yudishtra against going back. Arjuna once again explains to Yudishtra thus, “Oh brother! Please understand – This is yet another ploy hatched by that wicked Sahuni-Duryodhana combine to outsmart us. Everytime they do such things, we are going and voluntarily falling into their trap and getting our nose bloodied! Let us not do it this time. Please refuse this dubious offer politely and finish it off then and there! Let us not go and fight with them one more time. I hope you would remember what happened to Draupati just now!”
Saying thus, Arjuna plays the “emotional card” with Yudishtra and tries to convince him. Draupati on her part tries to convince Yudishtra not to go again. But again – As fate would have it, Yudishtra weighs both the sides and takes a decision that would favour “Dharma”. Yudishtra says thus, “Oh brothers and Draupati! Of course I totally understand the humiliation that all of us went through at Hastinapura just now. Those events are fresh in my mind as well. I totally validate Arjuna’s and Draupati’s claims that if we go there yet again, we would encounter more disasters. However, we should understand one thing very clearly – No matter whether we face happiness or sorrow in our life, our path should never keep fluctuating between “Dharma” and “Adharma”. We should be steady in our approach. Just because today I’m facing disaster, can I walk the path of “Adharma” and protect myself against it for the time-being? It is not the right approach, isn’t it? Here in this case, King Dhridiraashtra is the senior most person in our kingdom and family as well. He is like our father. If a father calls us for something, shouldn’t we honour his words? Isn’t it our duty to obey our father’s words, no matter whether they are right or wrong? Also, as per the “Raaja-Dharma”, is it right on our part to reject a king’s offer just because we are not in favour of it? This is wrong isn’t it? Thirdly, remember our resolves that we’ve taken the other day – We would not hurt anyone through words or actions. Now if we reject this offer, it would end up hurting King Dhridiraashtra and Duryodhana. If they want to abduct our kingdom, so be it! Let them do that and I’m not someone who is extremely possessive about the kingdom. If you have an attachment towards the kingdom, it would only lead us to a disaster. Also, even if we’ve to face a disaster of any other kind, why should we bother? Bhagawan Krishna is always by our side to protect us, isn’t He? Hence, let us put the onus on the “Dharma” that we’re following, and go ahead in participating in the gambling game!”
As Yudishtra explains his stance clearly, the Paandava brothers and Draupati aren’t able to talk a single word against him. On one hand, they are happy that Yudishtra is doing the right thing, but on the other hand, they are scared of Duryodhana’s wrath and how are they going to handle him. Of course, all of them know that Bhagawan Krishna is always by their side, and of course, their valour and strengths know no bounds! Hence, the caravan makes a “U-turn” and proceeds once again towards Hastinapura! So for today, let us understand up to this point, and we shall witness in the next episode, what happened at Hastinapura again! Stay tuned! 🙂