In the previous episode, we had witnessed Duryodhana and his think-tank contemplating on how to find out the whereabouts of Yudishtra and Co. As months pass by, Duryodhana is getting tensed that the Paandavas will successfully complete their 13-year Vana Vaasam and once again come and stake claim for Indraprastha. Hence, he wants to somehow quash that attempt of Yudishtra to finish the “Agnyata-Vasam ”. Thus, he sends all his spies to various kingdoms to collect data on their whereabouts, but none of them are able to get any information on the Paandava brothers. However, as the news of Keechaka’s demise reaches Duryodhana’s ears, he suddenly starts connecting the dots. If an invincible man of Keechaka’s stature has to be singlehandedly killed along with his 105 brothers, none other than Balarama or Saatyaki or Bheemasena would have done this! As Balarama and Saatyaki aren’t in the picture right now, it should have been none other than Bheemasena himself who would have killed Keechaka! Duryodhana thus narrows down on these lines and somehow traces the whereabouts of the Paandavas to the Viraata Desha and its surroundings.
Now Sudhanva, the king of Thrigathra Desha charts out a plan thus: “Oh Duryodhana and Co.! I have an idea here – Till now, as far as I know, Keechaka was the only man who was protecting the Viraata Desha from all problems and wars, as he was extremely difficult for anybody to defeat. He was also on a killing spree and people used to get scared of him. It is with this power, Keechaka even dominated the king of Viraata Desha. As far as I know, the king of Viraata Desha is a powerless person and cannot win anything on his own. Till today, he was depending upon Keechaka for everything. Now that Keechaka is dead, the king of Viraata Desha stands exposed and he is extremely vulnerable. Hence, let us plan an attack on the Viraata Desha, and this attack should be from all the four directions. The king should be cornered from all sides. I hereby suggest that one section of our army including Duryodhana, Karna and the others go from the southern end of the Viraata Desha and Bhishmachaarya, Guru Dhronachaarya, Sage Kripachaarya and the other seniors enter from the northern end. As the attack intensifies, the King of Viraata Desha should somewhere come out and defend himself. Meanwhile, even if he doesn’t come, he would be sending some of his able messengers to defend the kingdom. Amongst those messengers, I’m sure that atleast Bheemasena and Arjuna would be part of it! This is Plan-A!”
King Sudhanva continues thus, “Oh Duryodhana! Now listen to my Plan-B as well. As this attack is happening and if the king is not coming out, one section of our army can abduct all the cows from the kingdom (Go-haranam). Now, as per the “Raaja-Dharma”, if the cows are being abducted, it is the primary duty of the king himself to come in person and take them back by fighting a war against the enemy. With this, we can definitely bring the king out and expose him in the open! Now, in order to defend the king, I’m sure atleast one of the Paandava brothers would come, and with this, we shall claim that we’ve found out their whereabouts, which would again lead them to go to the forest for another twelve years!”
As King Sudhanva says thus, obviously there are debates from all sides of the think-tank. Guru Dhronachaarya gives his suggestions. Sage Kripachaarya gives his feedback. Bhishmachaarya too joins the discussions and he expresses his opinions too. Bhishmachaarya says thus, “Oh Duryodhana! You’re absolutely having the right to search for the whereabouts of the Paandavas. However, if the thirteenth year period is over, and if you find them after that, then Yudishtra has every right to stake claim of Indraprastha and you’ve to give the kingdom to him. So, you need to be very careful with the time period here. Moreover, please think in this way too – For the past twelve-odd years, you were the one trying to destroy Yudishtra and Co. whereas, Yudishtra never intended to destroy you at any cost. He respects you as his own brother, however, you have so much of vengeance against him. So, even now it is not too late. Why don’t you think of a compromise with Yudishtra and patch up with him? Yudishtra stands for “Dharma” even during the toughest period of his life. Going on a “Vana-Vaasam” for twelve long years is not an easy task. Even in that, if he is able to safeguard his “Dharma”, please realize that Yudishtra is not an ordinary person by any means. So, rather than blowing this up any further, please call it a truce and let us finish this off, instead of taking the war route!”
Now that all of them in the think-tank have given their suggestions, it is now upto Duryodhana to take the call! Now what is Duryodhana’s decision going to be? Is he going to pay heed to Bhishmachaarya’s words of wisdom, or is he going to go by the words of King Sudhanva? Let us wait till the next episode to find out! Stay tuned! 🙂