In the previous episode, we had witnessed the second round of gambling (Dyutham) happening at Hastinapura, amidst stiff resistance from many quarters. We’ve seen even Gaandhaari opening herself out to condemn this illegal act of the Sahuni-Duryodhana combine, but all of these went into deaf ears of King Dhridiraashtra. As he was primarily focused on his son’s future and safety, he went ahead in misusing his powers to stage a huge event which was totally against “Dharma”. As anticipated, we’ve witnessed how Yudishtra was tricked into it for a second time, with a different set of rules and regulations – Only to lose it once and for all! With this loss, Yudishtra has to now endure a twelve-year exile to the forest plus a thirteenth year of “Agnyaatavaasam”. As Duryodhana smells victory, he and his companions roar with laughter and are completely elated with joy! King Dhridiraashtra is also overjoyed upon understanding that his son has won the contest. On the other hand, Vidura and the others are pained deeply at heart – Primarily because Duryodhana is further walking down the path of “Adharma”, which is going to lead him to a great disaster very soon. Also, Vidura is concerned as to how will Yudishtra and Co. endure this harsh thirteen-year punishment for no fault of theirs!
As this happens at Hastinapura, Duryodhana once again tries to intimidate the Paandava brothers by making fun of them. This again leads to yet another war of words between the two camps. Arjuna once again reiterates his stance that he would be the person who would kill Karna for his misbehaviour in front of everyone. Bheemasena reiterates his stance that he would be the person who would blow up Duryodhana by plundering his thighs, which wanted Draupati to come and sit on them! Bheemasena also pledges that he would amputate Duchaasana’s hands which tried to pull off Draupati’s saree. As all these pledges are happening with a lot of fire in them, Shalya and the others are just mute spectators to this and they were not able to open their mouths and talk a single word! As everybody are looking on with shock, Sahadeva gets up and reiterates his stance thus: “Oh Sahuni! Please listen from me today – The hands with which you rolled the dice in Duryodhana’s favour will be amputated by me on the battlefield very soon! Just wait and see – For all your foul games that you enacted, you would face a ghastly end to your life! This will happen very soon!”
As all these pledges are being taken one by one by the Paandava brothers for the second time, it is now decided that they would have to descend to the forest. Duryodhana is steadfast in his resolution. He is totally unmoved with all the pledges that the Paandava brothers take one by one. His stance is very simple – “You’ve lost the game, and hence there’s nothing more that you can talk about! Just mind your business, pick up your bags and leave for the forest!” As Sahuni also backs Duryodhana, the Kaurava camp is in a huge celebration mode! At this time when Yudishtra and Co. are about to leave to the forest, they go around to seek the “Anugraha” of all the seniors in the Hastinapura kingdom. Bhishmachaarya and Guru Dhronachaarya do not know what to talk to Yudishtra! Although they know that Yudishtra has been feigned very badly by Duryodhana, all they could do at this stage is to bless them and send them off safely without any more feud happening. Next in the list is Vidura! As the Paandavas approach Vidura for his “Anugraha”, Vidura is in tears. He’s shattered beyond words! However, Vidura talks to Yudishtra thus, “Oh Yudishtra! You’re following the path of “Dharma”. These are initial obstacles that you need to endure. Please be patient. Time will come and things will change. Meanwhile, as you’re going to the forest, why don’t you leave Draupati and Kunthi Devi at my place? They can be at my home safe and secure without any problems. In the forest, they might not be able to live peacefully. The rules of the game is only that the five of you descend to the forest, and not for the ladies, isn’t it? Hence, let the two ladies stay here at my place. I shall take good care of both of them!”
As Vidura says thus with tears, Kunthi Devi replies back, “Oh Vidura! It is so kind of you to lend a helping hand to us at a time of distress. However, if myself or Draupati stays back here, people would still complain that both of us are leading a luxurious life at the expense of the sons / husbands. Why do we need to endure more pain and suffering? We’re already having enough and more to endure! Hence, all of us would descend to the forest!” As Kunthi Devi says thus, Vidura and Yudishtra are in tears of sorrow! Yudishtra somehow musters up his courage and says to Vidura thus, “Oh Great Vidura! You’ve been the one who is protecting us right through from day one! You’ve been so kind and compassionate to us. I totally understand your point. Let us do one thing – Let my mother be here with you and let us take Draupati along with us. We shall make an arrangement like this, so that people might not be able to construct further criticisms upon us!”
The decision is made – The Paandavas along with Draupati are all set to descend to the forest for the next thirteen years! So for today, let us understand up to this point and in the next episode, we shall witness how Yudishtra and Co. commenced their exile period! Stay tuned! 🙂