In the previous episode, we had witnessed Yudishtra making a “U-turn” towards Hastinapura as he gets a second invite from King Dhridiraashtra for a second round of gambling. Even as Bheemasena and the others oppose it, Yudishtra analyzes the situation and takes a decision pertaining to the “Raaja-Dharma” and according to the “Shabadhams” that he and his brothers had taken earlier. This is the most important aspect that one must appreciate in Yudishtra. Outwardly if we look at the storyline, it might sound as if Yudishtra played the gambling game with Duryodhana because he was addicted to it. We might be tempted to come to a conclusion that Yudishtra doesn’t care about what his brothers opine and he is autocratic in his decision-making. This is actually not true. Yudishtra is never an autocratic leader, but he sticks to the path of “Dharma” at all times, which might be a difficult pill for many to chew. By going for a second round of gambling, Yudishtra knows very well that a disaster is in the making. However, he still went ahead because of his confidence that “Dharma” would never fail him at any point. There might be a few setbacks initially, but ultimately, “Dharma” would always have the last laugh.
Moreover, Yudishtra had the full confidence that in whatever actions that he does, Bhagawan Krishna is always by his side to support him. How does Yudishtra exude such high confidence levels? It is only because he meticulously follows the path of “Dharma”. As all of us know, Bhagawan Krishna would always stand by those who follow the path of “Dharma”, irrespective of whatever sufferings they would have to undergo. In fact, Yudishtra could have easily taken a decision to discard King Dhridiraashtra’s offer for a second round of gambling. Even now it wasn’t too late. But, this would have created a situation wherein Yudishtra was “running away” from the path of “Dharma”. Thus, readers should understand very clearly here that of course, gambling is an illegal affiar and there is no doubt about it. However, if the offer for gambling comes from a king, it is another king’s “Dharma” not to reject it. Winning or losing is anybody’s game. Of course, in this case, it was all staged by Duryodhana and Sahuni, but Yudishtra did not know the intricacies of the ploy that these two have created. Thus, to safeguard the path of “Dharma”, Yudishtra takes an important decision to turn around and go back to Hastinapura to participate in the gambing game for a second time.
Moving on thus, as Yudishtra reaches the Hastinapura courtroom, the stage is set yet again for the gambling game to commence. As people take their respective seats, the rules of the game are briefed by none other than Duryodhana himself. As all of us know by now, the rules are very simple – Whoever loses, would go on a twelve-year exile to the forest, followed by the thirteenth year of “Agnyaata-Vaasam”, wherein they should live in a disguised form without being traceable by anyone at Hastinapura. If at all they are traced and their whereabouts were found out, they’ve to go on another twelve years of exile plus the thirteenth year of “Agnyaata-Vaasam”. Yudishtra has no choice but to accept the rules and regulations of the game. However, Duryodhana convinces Yudishtra that this time there would be no insult or assault on anybody, and it would be a decent affair between the two camps!
Thus, the game begins and the dice are being rolled! Sahuni uncle, being an expert in the dice, gets on to his business as usual in favour of Duryodhana. As fate would have it, Sahuni’s expertise in the dice works wonders and the dice throws up all the numbers that Duryodhana wanted! Even as Yudishtra was onlooking with utter dismay, there is not even a single time when the number that he wanted is turning up! The Paandavas couldn’t believe their eyes and luck! Doubts start creeping inside their minds as to whether this is a genuine and a neutral game or is it being staged completely in favour of Duryodhana? However, it is too late to question anyone now, and even if Bheemasena and the others have to do it, Yudishtra is not going to allow them to!
Thus, the final move comes and yet again, as usual, Yudishtra gets it wrong! Sahuni uncle rolls the dice and it shows up in Duryodhana’s favour! The entire courtroom is in raptures and applause as Duryodhana wins! The game is over! Yudishtra has completely lost the plot and is blinded totally by Sahuni’s brutal expertise with the dice! As per the rule now, Yudishtra and Co. have to take up the exile for the next twelve years! Duryodhana roars with laughter, which sounds like a great victory! The ploy has worked perfectly! Yudishtra has been “outsmarted” completely, as he couldn’t believe his eyes! However, rule is a rule – The one who loses should go on exile and Yudishtra prepares himself mentally and physically for the same! The kingdom is lost! The wealth is lost!
This was a huge insult and one might easily think whether this was a brutal punishment for following the path of “Dharma”! Is the path of “Dharma” extremely treacherous to traverse through? Is the path of “Dharma” virtually unthinkable for people like us? If Yudishtra himself has to undergo so many ordeals, what about normal people like us? Let us wait to answer all these questions in the next upcoming episode. So for today, let us understand and let us try to digest the hard fact that Yudishtra has lost once again! We shall continue this discussion in the next episode! Stay tuned! 🙂