Maharabharata The Youth Part 3

Index to 3 Youth

1. Appointment of the Crown Prince - Dhritraashtra wants to declare his son Duryodhan as Crown Prince but Vidur manages to bring justice to the kingdom and the Paandu family.

2. Krishan Inhabits Dwarka - To protect Mathuraa from Jaraasandh, Krishn inhabits Dwaarakaa, surrounded by sea, for Mathuraa people. He gets the news that enmity is growing between Paandav and Kaurav.

3. Rukmanee Haran - In Chedi Desh there are king Damghosh and his son Shishupaal, in Magadh Desh there is king Jaraasandh, and in Vidarbh Desh there are king Bheeshmak, his four sons and a daughter Rukminee. Jaraasandh and Damghosh are good friends so Jaraasandh throws a dice to take revenge from Yadu Vanshee (Dwaarakaa people). He proposes Shishupaal for Rukminee so that he can take help both from her brothers and husband. But Rukminee loves Krishn, she calls Him and Krisn abducts her; Ruminee's brother Rukmee tries to stop them but is deated.

4. Baaranaavat Fair - Duryodhan and Shakuni are not satisfied with the present selection of the Crown Prince. Fortunately they get the opportunity to finish all Paandav and Kuntee together while they go to attend Baaranaavat fair, but because of Vidur's vigilance they all get saved.

5. Bheem Marries Hidimbaa - After escaping from Laakshaa Grih Paandav wander in Van. One time they rest in Hidimb Van which belongs to Hidimb Raakshas. Hidimb's sister Hidimbaa is attracted to Bheem, she marries him, keeps him with her until she gets a son named Ghatotkach from him. Paandav move to Ekchakraa Nagaree to a Braahman's house. There Bheem kills Bakaasur named Raakshas and frees the village from his fear.

6. Story of Draupadee - A Braahman comes to stay with the Braahman with whom Paandav live and tells them about the Swayamvar of Draupadee. Kuntee is surprised to hear this as how Drupad had such a grown-up daughter that she could be married. Then Braahman tells the story of Draupadee's birth.

7. Draupadee's Swayamvar - Paandav move to Kaampilya Nagaree to attend Draupadee's Swayamvar along with Kuntee. They attend it in Braahman's disguise, Arjun wins Draupadee in the presence of Krishn, Duryodhan, Karn, Jayadrath etc. People take them as Braahman and get ready to fight. A fight is fought but Arjun defeats everybody. Paandav come back to their residence along with Draupadee. Kuntee asks them to distribute that day's alms among themselves which Kuntee herself. Yudhishthir solves the problem by marrying Draupadee to all five brothers. Drupad gets satisfied that Draupadee was won by Arjun not a Braahman.

8. Paandav Marry Draupadee - Drupad invites Kuntee and Paandav, gets happy to see them alive, marries Draupadee to five Paandav.

9. Kaurav Panic - Paandav are alive, they are married to Draupadee etc news panic Kaurav and Dhritraashtra. In panic Duryodhan attack Paandav but are defeated. Duryodhan is extremely worried, he shows his dissatisfaction to his father, but Dhritraashtra has to invite Paandav to Hastinaapur. Drupad makes Yudhishthir sit on his throne. Paandav send message to Hastinaapur, Dhritraashtra sends Vidur to bring them along with Draupadee. Vidur comes and takes them there. Dhritraashtra welcomes them and Gaandhaaree makes their stay in Paandu's palace.

10. Hastinaapur is Divided - Dhritraashtra consults his assembly; and with the opinion of Bheeshm divides Hastinaapur; He gives Khaandavprasth to Paandav; Paandav are not happy with this partition but Yudhishthir pacifies them; Paandav go to Khaandavprasth.

11. Khaandavprasth to Indraprasth - With the help of Krishn Paandav get Khaandavprasth converted into Indraprasth; Naarad's coming and advising Paandav about Draupadee; Paandav set rules of their lives; Arjun has to break the rule and he goes on Praayashchit travel. 12. Arjun's Praayashchit Travel and Marriages - Arjun goes on Teerth Yaatraa (pilgrimage); On the way he marries to Uloopee and Chitraangadaa; He comes to Dwaarakaa, gets introduced to Krishn's sister Subhadraa and one day takes her away to Hastinaapur. 13. Subhadraa Meets Draupadee - Subhadraa meets Draupadee as Krishn's sister; She accepts her as her sister; Krishn and Balraam come and marry Subhadraa to Arjun.

14. Burning of Khaandav Van - On one hot day of summer Arjun and Krishn etc go to the shores of Yamunaa; There comes a hungry Braahman asking for food; He is Agni Dev and wants to eat Khaandav Van; Whenever he wanted to eat it Indra rained and put off the fire; He asks help from Arjun and Krishn; They do it by not reaching the rain to the ground; The king of serpents used to live there, luckily he was out at that time but his son is stuck there; Takshak's wife helps him to save his life; Maya Daanav is saved by Arjun.

15. Maya Daanav Builds a Hall for Yudhishthir - To show his gratitude to Arjun Maya Daanav wants to do something for Arjun; Krishn asks him to build a unique hall for Yudhishthir; Maya also offers his Devadatt conch to Arjun and a powerful Gadaa to Bheem; and a unique chariot with Hanumaan's flag on it and four white horses.

16. Naarad Visits Yudhishthir and Bheem Kills Jaraasandh - Naarad come to Yudhishthir and delivers the message of Paandu to him; the message suggests that he should do Raajsooya Yagya; Yudhishthir consults Krishn; Krishn explains the facts and advises first to remove Jaraasandh from his way; Krishn tells the story of Jaraasandh and his powers; Plans are made and Bheem kills Jaraasandh.

17. Raajsooya Yagya, Shishupaal's Birth - After Jaraasandh Vadh Yudhishthir sends his four brothers to four directions to win kings; Shishupaal's story of birth and death.

18. Yudhishthir's Raajsooya Yagya and Shishupaal's Vadh - Vyaas, Krishn and many other people make preparations for Raajsooya Yagya; Duryodhan is in-charge of treasury; Bheesm suggests Krishn's name for Agra Poojaa (first worship); As Shishupaal Shishupaal gets angry and abuses Krishn; Paandav intervene to kill him but Krishn stops them saying that He will take care of him Himself; He tells the story of Shishupaal's birth and death.

19. Draupadee Insults Duryodhan - After the Raajsooya Yagya is over, Duryodhan stays back to see Yudhishthir's unique royal court; His eyes are wide open to see that court; Everything of Yudhishthir makes him mad; While he is in the court he falls in water while he didn't see any water anywhere, Draupadee laughs at this and insults him and his father; Duryodhan gets so mad at this that he intends to take revenge.

20. Shakuni's Plan to Invite Paandav for Chausar - Shakuni cannot see Duryodhan's madness so he plans to play Chausar with Paandav; For this he sends Duryodhan to Dhriytraashtra to invite Paandav to play Chausar. 21. Invitation for Chausar - On Duryodhan's threat of committing suicide, Dhritraashtra sends Vidur to Indraprasth to invite Paandav for Chausar game; Yudhishthir cannot disobey his Great Father and starts for Hastinaapur along with Kuntee and Draupadee.

22. Chausar Game 1 - Both parties sit to play the dice game; Bheeshm, Dhritraashtra, Drone, Kripaa, Vidur etc also sit there; Shakuni plays on behalf of Duryodhan and wins Yudhishthir's all wealth brothers and wife too.

23. Draupadee in the Game Court 1 - Now Draupadee is slave of Duryodhan; Duryodhan calls her from her palace; Dushaasan brings her in the court by holding her by hair and dragging; Draupadee asks only one question from all sitting there, "Whether Yudhishthir lost me after he had lost himself or before? Thus I am free or Duryodhan's slave?"

24. Draupadee in the Game Court 2 - Duryodhan's one brother Vikarn is against Duryodhan; he pleas for Draupade's freedom; but Duryodhan proves her as his slave; Asks Paandav to take off their royal clothes; Asks Dushaasan to take off Draupadee's clothes too; Draupadee prays Krishn and saves herself from her insult; Dhritraashtra understands a little by evening so grants boons to Draupadee; Draupadee gets freedom of her five husbands back; Dhritraashtra pleased with her gives back all whatever Paandav lost that day; and Paandav starts for Indraprasth.

25. Shakuni's One More Tactics - Hearing that Dhritraashtra has given back everything to Paandav Duryodhan goes mad; Somehow he takes permission from him to play another game of dice; Dhritraashtra has to call Paandav back to Hastinaapur to play second game; Yudhishthir cannot say "No" so he comes back to Hastinaapur.

26. Chausar Game 2 - Duryodhan and Yudhishthir again play dice game; the result depends on only one throw of dice; Shakuni throws the dice and wins; Paandav have to go 13 years of exile, 12 years in exile and one year in Agyaatvas; They get ready for this.

27. Paandav Leave for Forest - Paandav leave for forest; Dhritraashtra asks Vidur as how did they leave; Vidur told him their gestures while leaving and their interpretation; Naarad's prophecy and Sanjaya's abuse to Dhritraashtra.

Appointment of the Crown Prince

Although Dhritraashtra had already consulted his interim committee and everybody was of the opinion that Yudhishthir should be appointed the Crown Prince of Hastinaapur, still he was trying to find some clue from where he could plead for his son to be appointed as the Crown Prince. There was a conflict between selfishness and the righteousness in his mind. Selection of the Crown Prince was the sprout of Kurukshetra war. All wanted that Yudhishthir should be the Crown Prince, but a father's heart did not agree for it. But Dhritraashtra was intelligent and he knew politics. He would never say even to Gaandhaaree that he wanted to give Yudhishthir's rights to Duryodhan. Vidur had guessed it that Dhritraashtra was not satisfied with the interim committee's decision, although he didn't say anything apparently. So first he spread his secret envoys around the town to know the public opinion about as who should be appointed as Crown Prince. His people informed that the public wanted Yudhishthir to be as their Crown Prince. Then he said to Dhritraashtra - "Let the royal court decide with proof." Dhritraashtra again got worried that nobody knows what game Vidur is going to play now, but he could not have refused logic. So next day, when all gathered to hear the news of Crown Prince, there appeared four criminals in the royal court. All killed a person and all accepted their crime. When Dhritraashtra wanted to decide their case, then Vidur intervened - "Mahaaraaj, If you are going to appoint one of these two princes as Crown Prince, then provide the opportunity to both of them to decide their case so that the public can also see the ability of both princes." Duryodhan said - "Because I am the eldest son of the king, that is why I should be given first opportunity to do justice." Vidur said - "No, not because of this that you are the eldest son of the king, but maybe because you are the younger brother of Yudhishthir, you can get this opportunity." Dhritraashtra asked - "Duryodhan, According to you what punishment should be prescribed for these four criminals?" Duryodhan said - "There is no need to think in this matter. We have the tradition that a killer gets the death sentence, that is why I prescribe death sentence to all four criminals." Dhritraashtra got the opportunity to declare Duryodhan the Crown Prince, but Vidur intervened him again and said - "Mahaaraaj, You have not given the opportunity to Yudhishthir to do justice with them. We don't know whether he agrees with this decision or not." Dhritraashtra said - "Now what is the problem in this to agree or not to agree with." Vidur said - "Mahaaraaj, If Yudhishthir does not agree with this then he himself will say this." Dhritraashtra asked Yudhishthir - "Don't you agree with your younger brother's decision?" Yudhishthir said - "I can not answer this without knowing everything." Dhritraashtra asked - "What do you want to know now?" Yudhishthir said - "I want to know their Varn and castes before deciding anything." Karn intervened - "What is the relationship between caste and justice?" Yudhishthir said - "If I didn't need it, I would not have asked this." The four criminals were Braahman, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shoodra. All committed the same crime - to kill a person. Yudhishthir said - "According to the rules of justice, a Shoodra criminal should be imprisoned for 4 years; A Vaishya criminal should be imprisoned for 8 years; and a Kshatriya should be imprisoned for 16 years. But a Braahman criminal cannot be prescribed death sentence, therefore Kul Guru Kripaa should decide his punishment." Shakuni laughed and said - "Good, crime is only one and the punishments are four?" Yudhishthir explained - "Maamaa, The crime is not one. Shoodra's crime is a crime of an ignorant, that is why his punishment is only 4 years in prison. But Vaishya is not so much ignorant about the crime, that is why his punishment becomes its double - 8 years. And since a Kshatriya is to protect the people, if he kills a person then his punishment goes double than the Vaishya's punishment - 16 years. Braahman is Gyaanee (knowledgeable), he has killed a person in his full senses, his crime is of highest degree. To treat them all alike is not justice but is injustice." All people sitting in the court admired Yudhishthir very much on his judgment. Vidur now requested Dhritraashtra that he could then announce the name of the Crown Prince." Dhritraashtra had no alternative except to announce Yudhishthir as Crown Prince. So Yudhishthir was declared the Crown prince. Naturally Duryodhan was not happy with this decision, he was jealous. After the coronation, Bheem, Arjun, Nakul and Sahadev went to their victory tour.

Krishn Inhabits Dwaarakaa

This story is not the story of internal war of Bharat Vansh only, it is the story of struggle of Truth with Untruth and Light with Darkness. On one side is Krishn - Truth and Light; and on the other side is Dhritraashtra - the root of the Untruth and Darkness. and Duryodhan is the offshoot of that root. Thus this is the story of the battle of Krishn and Dhritraashtra. That is why this story always turns to Krishn from almost anywhere. So on Parashuraam's suggestion, Krishn came to Mathuraa and immediately went to face Jaraasandh. There He used His Chakra (Divine disc) and killed his most army and brought Raajaa Ugrasen back safe and sound. Krishn said - "At present Jaraasandh is defeated but he will attack again." Daaoo said - "Then let him attack. This time we will end the war." Krishn said - "A mighty person should not be so impatient for war. Rather he should be able to differentiate between necessary and unnecessary war. My suggestion is that we Yadu Vanshee should abandon Mathuraa for the time being, because Jaraasandh is angry with me because I killed Maamaa Kans and made his two daughters widow, then what is the fault of Mathuraa? Why should it suffer for that? War should only be broken when all paths of Peace are closed. And its one path is still open - to abandon this Nagaree and go somewhere else. Our time in living in Mathuraa has come to an end. We should build Dwaarakaa Nagaree which is secured with sea all around." Mahaaraaj Ugrasen said - "If you did so then people will call you "Ranchhod Jee"." Krishn said - "Which Mathuraa, which Brij land, I freed from Kans' atrocities, to save the same I am ready to accept this name also that people call me "Ranchhod". What is in name? It is only a means to call somebody. By whichever name people call me, I will be the same what I am." Daaoo said - "Why not you kill him with your Chakra..?" Krishn interrupted - "Daaoo, His neck is not worth of my Chakra. If Yadu Vanshee love their pride then we will stay here only, and if they love their birth land then they must abandon Mathuraa." "Who is going to build this Dwaarakaa?" Ugrasen asked. Krishn said - "Dev architect Vishwakarmaa." So He called Vishwakarmaa and asked him to build such a Nagaree which is surrounded by sea. Vishwakarmaa said - "If it's name is going to be Dwaarakaa, then I have its plan." And he showed the plan. The plan was approved and Vishwakarmaa built it soon and it was soon inhabited by Yadu Vanshee. One day Saatyaki came to Dwaarakaa from Hastinaapur. Krishn asked the welfare of people there, he said - "The situation is not good, because they are quarreling among themselves. Because the tradition of Bharat Vansh says that Yudhishthir should be the Crown Prince, and public also wants the same; but Dhritraashtra's heart says that only Duryodhan has the right on Hastinaapur throne, because he is the eldest son of Kuru's eldest son." Ugrasen said - "This is not all right. Why not Bheeshm intervenes in this?" Krishn said - "He is helpless to solve this problem. He cannot take any decision in this." Ugrasen again said - "Then what about Drone and Kripaa? Why are they silent?" Krishn said - "They all are helpless. If the situation makes some able person helpless then take it for granted that troubles are wandering nearby."

Baaranaavat Fair and Duryodhan's Attempt to Burn Paandav

Politics is of two types, one is based on wealth, other is based on Dharm and Truth. Ruling only by sitting on the royal chair is one thing, and ruling by living in public's heart is another thing. Thus this story is of the conflict between wealth and Dharm. In Hastinaapur, politics was infused with bribery. People were getting faithful to king not to kingdom. Money was becoming more important and people could be bought for anything. Peace didn't come to the kingdom after the coronation of Yudhishthir as the Crown King, rather Duryodhan and Shakuni were burning with the fire of jealousy. Even Dhritraashtra was suppressing a speck of fire of jealousy in his heart. Shakuni got the opportunity to fan that speck of fire and to keep it burning. Unfortunately, even after declaring Yudhishthir the Crown Prince the royal treasury was still under Duryodhan's control. So Shakuni advised him to spend lavishly and buy those people also who could buy other people for Duryodhan. Duryodhan was doing that. Dhritraashtra was also thinking that Yudhishthir was the main hurdle in the way of his ambitions. Whenever Dhritraashtra calls Vidur his brother that "we are three brothers", Vidur always opposes it. Then Dhritraashtra says - "Gangaa water is Gangaa water, whether it is kept in gold pot or in an earthen pot. Then Vidur says - "Mother is not a pot, Mahaaraaj, and seed is nothing in itself. It only develops and grows through the love of soil. A seed cannot grow in an empty space. My mother's status, being the maid, doesn't become lower than any other mother but a man should never forget the string of his identity. One year had passed. Bheem and Duryodhan became the pupils of Balraam to learn Gadaa (mace) from Him. Strangely enough Balraam was very fond of Duryodhan. He loved Duryodhan as Drone loved Arjun, at the same time Duryodhan was also devoted to Him. In the meantime Drone was also giving final touches to Arjun. He said - "You are the great archer of the world. No one can defeat you except ONE." Arjun was surprised to hear this. Drone further said - "Learning and humility should go together. Never think too high of yourself. It is for others to say that "you are the greatest archer of the world". But that ONE is Krishn. He is the greatest of the great. I am not exaggerating when I am saying this. He is your cousin. His father Vasudev is your mother's brother. If Krishn becomes your friend, then not all the Devtaa, not even Indra, can do you any harm. Krishn has also heard about you, I am sure you will meet Him soon." Within the year of his coronation Yudhishthir became very popular among the public. People spoke highly about him. Arjun also won many countries in all directions. Duryodhan and Dhritraashtra were very jealous seeing all this. Once Duryodhan complained about this to his father but Dhritraashtra was helpless, so he also advised him to give up his hatred towards them and behave like a brother." But Duryodhan was so adamant that he almost threatened his father - "If you will not do something about it, I will commit suicide. I cannot serve other people being a king's son." Duryodhan further said to his father - "Bheeshm, Drone, Vidur everybody loves Paandav, But Ashwatthaamaa is a good friend of mine. If you cannot think of anything, I have thought of a plan. If we send Paandav away with their mother for a year to some distant place like Baaranaavat, I will try to win people's love. If you do this for me then I will see that something is done." And he went away. Dhritraashtra could guess that this plan was for their killing. He didn't say a word but silently he was also with his son. So Dhritraashtra called a man named Kanikaa, a friend of Shakuni, and asked the way to get peace of mind. This Kanikaa was a very crooked man, he said - "There is only one way, that you get rid of Paandav." And after giving the advice Kanikaa went away Now there was a Shiv Fair in Baaranaavat, at some distance of Hastinaapur. Although it was customary for the Crown Prince to go there, but since Hastinaapur had no Crown Prince for quite some time, Dhritraashtra himself had been going there. But now Hastinaapur had its own Crown Prince, so Vidur suggested that Yudhishthir should be sent to Baaranaavat to attend that fair. This will help people to know their future king. But at the same time he should not be sent there alone, because it would show that both the families are not in good terms. Therefore either Duryodhan should be sent with him or Dhritraashtra himself should go with him to introduce him to the public. Dhritraashtra got very happy to hear this. He told this to Duryodhan. Duryodhan also got very happy to hear it. He said - "This is good, but I have to take care of this place that is why I cannot go, and what is the use of your going there now? So let him go alone." Dhritraashtra said - "I also want the same and think on the same line, but I cannot say it. So now whatever is to be done, is to be done by you and your Maamaa." Duryodhan said - "Then you just send Yudhishthir to Baaranaavat. You leave the rest on me." Dhritraashtra said surprisingly - "But why are you forcing me to do this?" Duryodhan said - "Because it will give me pleasure and the crown also." Dhritraashtra consulted Bheeshm. Bheeshm also said - "Let him go alone. It is not necessary for Duryodhan to accompany him." Vidur also suggested Dhritraashtra that they should not go with Yudhishthir. Paandav had come back from their victory tour with a lots of wealth. Dhritraashtra, then asked Yudhishthir to go to Baaranaavat for one year. As Duryodhan heard this he got very happy. But Shakuni thought that there is no use to send only Yudhishthir there. In fact all Paandav and Kuntee should go there. On the other side Paandav were guessing it as Duryodhan's cheating trick. That is why they thought to be together, and planned to go there all together. Yudhishthir once said - "You should not doubt on Duryodhan's affection. He is proud but not coward. He can fight, he cannot make secret plans. Pride is also a kind of shield for a coward." but his brothers did not trust Duryodhan. So all brothers expressed their desire to go there along with him. Yudhishthir said - "What can the Great Uncle have any objection in it, but still I will ask him." Then Yudhishthir thought to take Kuntee also along with them. So all got ready to go there, and Dhritraashtra also gave his permission to all of them to go there. Paandav and Kuntee got busy making the preparation to go there. When Shakuni heard this that they all were going there, he got very happy that he got his job done without any trouble. He got the idea - "If we kill them all somehow, then the whole thing will become history." They had a man named Purochan - a minister in Dhritraashtra's court. He called him and asked him - "You should build a house made of gum, straw, fat, butter, wood, paper, wax, lac and other easily inflammable things. Nobody should suspect the real material used in that palace. Then you must approach Paandav with great humility and ask them to stay there. And when you are sure that they are not suspecting anything, you set the fire in that palace in such a way that the fire should look like an accident, and the death of Paandav should also look like an accident in that fire. I do not want this plot to fail. This is my only chance to get rid of these Paandav." Purochan got engaged in doing so. It was built on a elaborated scale. It was named "Shiv". The news spread like a fire that Paandav were going to Baaranaavat for one year. People were very unhappy with this new development. They requested Yudhishthir not to go there, but Yudhishthir consoled them telling that he must obey his Great uncle as he was fatherless. One of Vidur's secret envoys informed him that Purochan had built the palace very beautiful but why did he buy so much and so many highly inflammable materials, that was not known to them. Vidur wanted to caution Paandav about this, but he was not getting any opportunity to tell them this. Once he went to Paandav to tell this but they went to Dhritraashtra to take his permission. Shakuni was very much scared of Vidur, therefore he had employed a secret envoy after Vidur, but he could not bring any satisfactory message. Vidur again went to Yudhishthir, but this time Duryodhan and Shakuni were there. He could not tell them this in open words but said something in sayings - "Yudhishthir, You are righteous, you are intelligent, you must know how to protect yourself from danger. Be aware, that this the season of jungle fire flowers. It seems as if there is fire in the whole forest. But when there is fire in jungle, who lives happily unaffected by that fire?" Duryodhan and Bheem couldn't reply, then Yudhishthir said - "It is the rat who can live there safely because it lives in a burrow." Vidur further said - "One should know his way out before entering any place. if you will have your senses alert nothing can hurt you. Wise men know their bearings looking at the stars. There is a vast jungle around there, enjoy preying also there." Yudhishthir understood a little but not all, but at least he understood this much that Vidur came to caution him from some future trouble, so he should be careful. Now all went to Baaranaavat fair. They traveled for eight days to arrive in Baaranaavat - the city which does not belong to anyone but Shankar. On the tenth day they arrived there, Purochan welcomed them in the new palace, called "Shiv", saying that Dhritraashtra asked him to build this palace keeping their special comforts in mind. Yudhishthir admired his architect saying that "who could be the better builder than you after Vishwakarmaa?" But Vidur's sentences were always echoing in Yudhishthir's ears. So Yudhishthir thought first to find the door to go out, but he noticed that there was no other door to go out, except the main door through which they entered. He noticed a moat around the palace, which was built for the palace's safety as Purochan told him, but actually it was to prevent Paandav to escape from there. Besides they noticed lots of Duryodhan's people around watching them closely. Paandav wandered in the daytime and came back in the evening. Yudhishthir noticed a strange smell also coming out of the palace. It seemed to him that it was coming from highly inflammable material. One should attack only when it is necessary, secondly, it is also an art to save an attack. Now what could he do? His all brothers were very unhappy and dissatisfied with this arrangement and wanted to run away from that place but Yudhishthir pacified them and said - "If we are burned here in this palace, our Great Uncle will shed only a few crocodile tears and then it will be all quiet, but if we ran away from here and said that they planned to kill us, nobody is going to listen to us. So it is better that we live here and save ourselves from the trouble." His all brothers got convinced with this plan. So they planned that one brother will keep vigilance every night. Yudhishthir was sure that when Vidur had cautioned them about all this he would make arrangements for their escape also. They did not waste time in the fair. They went around telling that they were going for preying, but during that time they tried to find all paths to come out from that jungle. Then one day a man came with a bird in a cage and said to Yudhishthir - "I am very good at digging tunnels." Yudhishthir understood that Vidur's man had come, he directed him towards the place from where he wanted to dig tunnel. After a few months the tunnel got ready. It came out at the bank of Gangaa River. Then one day one secret envoy of Vidur heard that the fire was to be set in the night of 14th day of dark fortnight of that month. There should be adjustment in a family. If the ambitions of one another are clashing, then it is the fault of gardener. A garland is made of different colored, different smelling flowers and a thread. In a good garland the thread should not be seen and the different smells of different flowers should not clash with one another. But this house was in a mess. So the envoy told this to Vidur that Shakuni had plans to set fire in that palace on the 14th day of dark fortnight of the month. Vidur sent him to inform Yudhishthir about this. He informed Yudhishthir about this and told him to set the fire one day before that and go away from there through the tunnel. In the meantime Gandhaaree saw a bad dream - Shiv danced his Taandav dance in her house, Agni Dev set the fire and Indra Dev couldn't put out that fire. She asked Shiv as why did he dance that Taandav in her house, he didn't tell her its reason. Dhritraashtra said - "When Shankar did not tell you the reason of dancing Taandav, when Agni Dev did not tell you the reason of setting fire, and when Indra could not put out that fire, then your tears cannot put out this fire. So don't cry." The day before the set day, Kuntee arranged a feast to feed all poor. There was a woman with her five sons who used to come there with Purochan, Kuntee was very affectionate to her. Kuntee fed her and her five sons to their satisfaction on the feast day. They also drank to their fill. They were so much drunk that they slept in the palace itself on that night. Bheem set the fire on that night, one night before the fixed night and all Paandav, along with Kuntee, came out of that palace in jungle. Yudhishthir had already known the ways so they soon were out of the enemy's reach. The house was burning at its height. People came there to see it and were worried about Paandav, but they didn't need any more intelligence to guess that Dhritraashtra and his sons were responsible for this tragedy. The man who was to set fire next night was very surprised to see this, that who else knew about this plan who set the fire in that palace before the set time. He could not make out anything as how did it happen. But he found dead bodies of one woman and five men in that fire, so he thought that Paandav were burned in that fire along with Kuntee. He got very happy to see this and informed Duryodhan about this. Duryodhan and Shakuni got very happy to hear the news of Paandav's death. When Shakuni went to tell this to Dhritraashtra, he asked as how they were killed. Shakuni said - "Somebody set fire in the palace built by your son Duryodhan. They were all burned in that fire." Dhritraashtra said - "That palace was not built by him, but by you." Dhritraashtra and Gaandhaaree went to Bheeshm to give this news to him. Bheeshm closed the door of his palace for all. As Paandav came out of the tunnel, they met a man sent by Vidur, He said - "Vidur has sent you a boat to take you across Gangaa River then proceed towards southward of Baaranaavat. You are asked to keep your whereabouts secret for the next few months. I am very fortunate that I am of some use to the best of men." They crossed the river and went away on their path. The future is based on past. The younger brothers are very angry at this and are thinking to go to Hastinaapur, but Yudhishthir told them to postpone war until it could be postponed. Therefore they would go there at the appropriate time. At present they should obey Vidur's orders. Dhritraashtra got worried about Bheeshm that he closed his doors to everybody. Vidur said - "I am tired calling him, you go and try, maybe he will hear you." Dhritraashtra went there, but he didn't come out. One day he opened his door at midnight, and went to Gangaa River to perform last rites of Paandav. Gangaa appeared there and she stopped him doing so saying "last rites are performed only for dead." Bheeshm got surprised to hear this and said - "Then it means my Paandav are alive." Vidur did not want to disclose this fact "that Paandav were alive" on anybody and wanted to watch the reaction on royal family, that is why he did not tell this anybody. He found that Bheeshm was the only person who was in real pain for their death and was not able to digest this news. Gaandhaaree was also sad, but considering it an accident got quiet. Dhritraashtra was happy in his heart but was sad outwardly. Duryodhan, Shakuni and Dushaasan were extremely happy that their scheme got successful. Karn was somewhat dissatisfied with all this, because he was never in favor of cheating, he always preferred fight because of being Kshatriya. Bheeshm scolded Vidur as why did not he tell him this before. Vidur said - "This was Shakuni's tactics to kill them, and if I had told you this, what would you do?" Bheeshm said - "I go and ask Dhritraashtra about this." Vidur said - "But perhaps he also did not know this." Bheeshm said - "Then I go and ask Shakuni and Duryodhan." Vidur said - "That is why I did not tell you this before because I never wanted them to know that his plans are failed." Bheeshm asked - "But where are they?" Vidur said - "Wherever they are, they are safe and sound." Bheeshm asked - "When they will come back?" Vidur said - "When the things are a bit favorable, I will call them myself." Then Bheeshm got relieved. First Duryodhan got very happy to hear the news of Paandav's death, but then it came to his mind that the man was to set fire tomorrow, how come that the fire was set one day before. He had many doubts but to show his sorrow that Paandav had been burned in that fire, he lamented for them, and performed their last rites also.

Paandav in Jungle - Paandav Marry Draupadee

Paandav and Kuntee still stayed with that Braahman family for some more time. Once some Braahman came to that Braahman family and stayed there overnight. Seeing them so poor he told her that the king of Kaampilya Nagaree Drupad was organizing Swayamvar for his daughter, so they should also go there, because Raajaa was going to give lot of things in alms. He himself was going there for the same purpose. Kuntee got very surprised to hear this that as where from Drupad got the daughter who was so grown-up that he was organizing her Swayamvar. The Braahman said - "She was born from sacred fire along with her brother Dhrishtdyumn. Then he told her Draupadee's full story. Draupadee's Birth "It is a very long and interesting story of the birth of these two children. There were two friends Drone and Drupad who studied together in the Aashram of Rishi Bharadwaaj. One day Drupad told Drone that what was his, it was Drone's also and he would share his kingdom also when he becomes the king of Paanchaal. Once Drone came to him to ask for a cow as his friend, but Drupad said - "Friendship is only among equal status people. We have no equality among ourselves, so if you want the cow as a Braahman, I can give it to you just now but not as a friend." Drone didn't say a word and came back with a strong feeling of revenge. When Drone finished educating Kaurav and Paandav, he asked them to bring Drupad as captive in Guru Dakshinaa. Arjun did this for him. He took his half of the kingdom and one cow from his share of kingdom and let him go. Drupad admired Arjun for his bravery and techniques of archery and wished he had a daughter to give it to him; but at the same time he hated Drone so much that he started dreaming of a son who could kill Drone. Hatred developed in Drupad's heart when it ceased in Drone's heart. It was strange. Logic disappears in anger, so Drupad started searching for a Rishi to perform such a Yagya which could give him a son to kill Drone and a daughter to give to Arjun. He came to a Rishi name Upayaaja and after pleasing him for one year he found out that this Rishi will not do this Yagya himself, but suggested the name of his elder brother, Yaaj, saying that he doesn't have the knowledge of sacredness and non-sacredness so he can surely do your work. Drupad came to Yaaj's place and prayed him for a son; and for this he could give him 100 million cows. He got ready for it. Yaaj started the Putrakaam Yagya. He asked Raajaa to call his wife. A maid came and told him that she was taking bath. Yaaj could not wait for her and dropped an Aahuti in Yagya fire which caused a chariot to appear from the Havan Kund. Seated on that chariot was a god-like youth in a warrior dress. Then a beautiful divine woman appeared from the Havan Kund. They were Dhrishtdyumn and Draupadee. Draupadee was dark and her flashing eyes bewitched everyone. When she appeared from Agni, an Aakaashvaanee said - "This most beautiful woman in the world will be the cause of destruction of all Kshatriya. She is born to fulfill divine purpose." The same children were named as Dhrishtdyumn and Krishnaa, better known as Draupadee. Bheem said - "But I have heard that Dhrishdyumn is a student of Drone." The Braahman said - "You are right. Even being aware of this fact that the prince was born to kill him, he taught him everything. He thought that there was no use in fighting fate. Dhrishtdyumn was a good friend of Bheem, one of the Paandav, who was killed in Baaranaavat fire. This is very sad that Dhritraashtra did not behave according to his Kul (family). He sent them to Baarnaavat, a beautiful city, where he build a palace of highly inflammable material and one day set fire to it. Paandav are now dead and their mother too. When Drupad heard about this incident he went just mad with grief. At that time it looked as if he was mourning his own son. Then his Guru said to him - "Don't be so sad. I have a feeling that Paandav are not dead. I have a suggestion that you proclaim that there is a Swayamvar of Draupadee in the whole Bhaarat and put a condition for her marriage that only Arjun could fulfill. I am sure that Arjun won't miss the challenge." That is why I am wandering with this message. Who knows I am telling this to Arjun." He further said - "So she is the one whose Swayamvar is being organized now. You should also go there because you will get so much in alms that you will not need to ask for alms for your whole life; secondly Dwaarakaa's king Krishn will also come there."And Braahman laughed at his own joke. Then he went to sleep. Kuntee and her sons listened this story very attentively. Kuntee guessed that Paandav wanted to go there, so she said - "We have been living here for quite some time, let us move somewhere else. Why not we move to Kaampilya Nagaree itself in Paanchaal Desh." None of the brothers could sleep that night. in spite of knowing that Draupadee was meant for Arjun, but still since they heard the description of her beauty, all brothers were thinking about her. Next morning they left Ekchakraa Nagaree for Kaampilya Nagaree. On the way they met Vyaas Jee. He blessed them all that their all wish will come true. He said - "I will come again to Kaampilya. You will need me there." Advent of Rishi Dhaumya It was midnight. They were passing the River Gangaa. They thought that they should take bath in Gangaa. At the same time a Gandharv named Angaarvarn was playing in the River with his wives. He stopped them to take bath in the rivr to save his privacy, He further said - "This River is always mine." Arjun got furious at this, he said - "Seas, mountains, and waters do not belong to anybody specific. They belong to all." But the Gandharv didn't listen to him. They engaged in a fight. Gandharv got defeated, Arjun burned his chariot with Aagneya Astra. He said - "Till now I was called "Chitrarath" because my Rath (chariot) was very beautiful, but now I will call myself "Dagdhrath" because you have burned my Rath. Gandharv was very impressed with burning the chariot. He wanted to learn that knowledge so he extended friendship with Arjun. In exchange he gave him the power to see the happenings in all the three worlds. He gave him beautiful horses also, but Arjun returned them to him saying that when they will have good time he would take them from him. Gandharv was happy to know that Paandav were alive. He suggested - "You are going to be the lords of tthis Earth, so you must have a Guru - a Kul Guru." Paandav asked him to suggest any name, he suggested Rishi Dhaumya's name. They went in search of Rishi Dhaumya. They found him, Dhaumya was very pleased with their humility and behavior o he accepted to become their Kul Guru..

Kaurav Panic

Shakuni said to Duryodhan that Paandav were still alive. Karn said to Duryodhan - "You tried to kill Bheem by giving him poison, but he came back mightier than ever. You planned for Yudhishthir not to coronate as Crown Prince, but that also failed. You planned to burn them in Baaranaavat but they escaped alive." Then Shakuni suggested that why not to divide them, or empty the royal treasury, but both ways were not acceptable. Then Karn said - "Whether you agree or not, there should be a war now if we want supremacy." So an army was collected and Kaampilya Nagaree was attacked, but Kaurav again got defeated. Arjun again defeated Karn. (see "Arjunn Defeats Karn") Although Duryodhan should have accepted that Paandav were too powerful in comparison to them but he was not ready to accept it. He said to Dushaasan - "It seems that Devtaa are favoring Paandav, otherwise how it was possible to defeat Karn by that Arjun twice. Strength and arms stand no chance against fate." Vidur also heard all about Duryodhan's foolish steps. He came to Dhritraashtra and told him that it was a very good news that Kuru family was still flourishing. The eldest son has married the daughter of king of Paanchaal. Hearing this Dhritraashtra got very happy and said - "Then why didn't you bring her to me?" Vidur said - "Mahaaraaj, You are mistaken, when I said Kuru family, I meant Paandav, because they are also the sons of Kuru family; and when I said the eldest son, I meant Yudhishthir, because he is the eldest son of Kuru family. Arjun won her but now all five have taken her as their wife." Dhritraashtra was very sad in his heart but showed his happiness saying - "This is a very good news, that Paandav are alive and they are married too. I am indeed very happy." As Vidur left the place, Duryodhan entered there with Karn. He said to his father - "So you are very happy that my cousins are alive." Dhritraashtra said - "I am more upset than you are, but hhow could I say this to Vidur? But what can we do now?" Duryodhan couldn't think of anything else than breaking this team. either by bribing Drupad, or instigating Draupadee, or by killing Bheem so that our Karn can defeat Arjun easily. But listen to this, Father, I cannot live with them when they come to Hastinaapur." Karn said - "Friend, You are not thinking in right direction. You cannot divide them and rule. They are too good at heart to be jealous of each other. And Drupad also cannot be bribed, nor his daughter Draupadee can be won over. Do you know that by nature a woman will be happier to have more than one husband, Draupadee has five. You cannot kill Bheem either, you have tried it more than once. My suggestion is to fight. These rules of Saam, Daam, and Bhed are just ineffective, you should use only Dand (punishment)." Dhritraashtra was very happy to hear Karn's words, he said - "There is a meeting of elders about the future of Kaurav and Paandav. I wish that they like your suggestion but I am afraid that they wouldn't agree with it. Let us go to the hall and see what happens there." In the Hall Bheeshm, Drone, Baahleek, Kripaa, Somdatt, Vidur and others were present there. Bheeshm started - "It is not right to nurture hatred towards Paandav. For me both Duryodhan and Yudhishthir are dear. I think this time you should do some justice with Paandav. Duryodhan, They have as much right over the Kuru kingdom as you. You should share the kingdom with them. Any other step towards this will be disastrous. Fate is usually strong. Like the spoken word, like the lost chance, like the shot arrow fate never comes back to redress a wrong done. But in your case you have got a chance so avail that opportunity." Drone was also of the same opinion, he said - "This is the best thing to do that the king should send the message of friendship along with gifts and call them here." But Karn was for fight which will decide who will rule the world. Now Vidur got up and said - "Mahaaraaj, We are all here for your good. They have Drupad and his sons to help them now by relation. they have full support of Balraam and Krishn. With Krishn on their side they will almost be invincible." Dhritrashtra said- "I am also of the same opinion what Bheeshm, Drone and Vidur are saying." So Vidur was sent to Kaampilya Nagaree to bring Paandav to Hastinaapur. When Shakuni heard all this, he suggested - "Now Duryodhan has to do some childish obstinacy." He sent Duryodhan to Dhritraashtra again to ask why was he calling Paandav to Hastinaapur?" Dhritraashtra said - "I had no other alternative, what could I do? Although I also want that you should be the king, but circumstances are not favorable. I am scared that by now Paandav must have known that it was our planning to burn them in that "Laakshaa Grih" in Baaranaavat. This is not good for us." The then an idea came to Shakuni's mind that how these Paandav escaped? Shakuni prescribed death sentence to his secret envoy as his planning failed. When Duryodhan attacked Kaampilya Nagaree after knowing that Paandav were alive, Krishn also came to know this. So He also came to Kaampilya Nagaree with Balraam. Krishn said - "We are not for fight, if they want to fight, let them come in battlefield first. We are only for our rights. Now Yudhishthir should ask his rights only." Thus both brothers were also present there when Vidur arrived there. The then Vidur came from Hastinaapur as royal messenger. Drupad made the arrangement of his stay with respect and sent the message that he should get fresh from the travel discomfort and he would see him next day. Yudhishthir expressed his wish to see Vidur at the same time, but Krishn stopped him doing so telling that this time he had come as the messenger of Hastinaapur not as his uncle. Therefore it would be better if he met him next day along with other people. Dhritraashtra was concerned lest he does any injustice with Paandav, Shakuni was concerned that why Dhritraashtra sent Vidur to bring Paandav and not him, otherwise he could play some trick. Next day Vidur arrived to see Drupad in his court, Dhrishtdyumn welcomed him. Vidur broke into tears seeing Paandav alive. He offered the gifts which Dhritraashtra sent for Drupad, Paandav and Draupadee. Then he asked permission to take Paandav to Hastinaapur along with Draupadee. Drupad said - "I am extremely happy to have an alliance with Kuru family. About taking Draupadee to Hastinaapur, I cannot say anything, I leave this on Yudhishthir, his brothers and Balraam and Krishn. Whatever they like." Krishn suggested that they should go home. Then Vidur went to see Kuntee. He fell on her feet and cried a lot. Kuntee said - "Vidur, Because of your wisdom and love your sons are alive today. I always remember you. I don't know whether it is safe to go to Hastinaapur." Vidur said - "No evil can come to Kuntee's sons until Vidur and Bheeshm are alive, don't be afraid. Soon your sons will rule the Earth." Drupad gave 1,000 elephants decorated with gold ornaments, 10,000 chariots, 5,000 horses and 10,000 maids to Draupadee and saw her off to Hastinaapur. Krishn Himself also wanted to go to Hastinaapur with Daaoo, so they also accompanied Paandav. Preparations were at height at Hastinaapur to welcome Paandav. But in the palace, everybody was thinking something except Bheeshm. In fact Bheeshm was also thinking that there cannot be two swords in one place, then how can Duryodhan and Yudhishthir be together at one place, and Dhritraashtra will again do some injustice with Paandav. Paandav came to Hastinaapur along with Kuntee and Draupadee and Balraam and Krishn. They were welcomed very heartily by two sons of Dhritraashtra - Vikarn and Chitrasen. Kripaa and Drone were also there. Paandav touched the feet of Bheeshm and Dhritraashtra. Krishn asked Bheeshm's blessings, Bheeshm turned the topic. Inside the palace, Duryodhan's wife, Kaashee's princess, welcomed Draupadee. Then they came to Gaandhaaree's palace. Gaandhaaree embraced both. When she embraced Draupadee she, who had the power to see into the future, said to herself "this is the woman who will be the cause of death of my sons". She made their arrangements to stay in Paandu's palace.

Hastinaapur is Divided

Accidents are parts of life. Nobody is responsible for them. Dhritraashtra called Kripaa, Drone, Vidur, Bheeshm etc for consultation. He said - "Now there are two Crown Princes of Hastinaapur, so we have to solve this problem." Dhritraashtra asked Bheeshm as what he should do now. Bheeshma said - "Nobody should feel bad (injustice) with this proposal, I propose for the division of Hastinaapur. Divide Hastinaapur half and half between both of them." Others also agreed with Bheeshm. Dhritraashtra called Yudhishthir to help him out of this problem. Yudhishthir said politely - "The younger people do not help their elders, rather they obey their orders. What are the orders for me?" Dhritraashtra said - "It has been decided that Hastinaapur should be divided between you and Duryodhan." Yudhishthir said - "You may give even my share to Duryodhan but please do not divide the kingdom." Dhritraashtra said - "I should have given you Hastinaapur, and Raajaa Yayaati's capital to Duryodhan, but then he asks me to go along with him. But I am the shadow of Hastinaapur, so where can I go from here? Therefore you take Khaandavprasth area and inhabit it." Yudhishthir accepted his decision bending his head in the feet of his Great uncle. The arrangements were immediately made for his coronation. One thousand Braahman were invited to complete the ceremonies. Vyaas also arrived on this occasion. Krishn and Vyaas blessed Yudhishthir with these words - "May you conquer the whole world. May you perform Raajsooya and Ashwamedh Yagya. May you live long and rule the world." Braahman said to Yudhishthir - "As a king, you have the duty to protect Draupadee and with this relationship, you have more rights on her than your other brothers." As Dhritraashtra announced about the partition of Hastinaapur, Ved Vyaas came there. He said to Shakuni - "You are very fortunate that you have taken birth in the period of this great warrior's life time (Karn's life time)." He said to Yudhishthir - "Life is an ocean. To churn it is your duty, but keep in mind that you will be responsible for both, Vish and Amrit (poison and Ambrosia), coming out of this ocean by its churning." Then He said to Draupadee - "You should take care of your hair." Everybody was very happy but Duryodhan. Dhritraashtra tried his best to pacify him, but... He said to Yudhishthir - "Now you are the ruler of Khaandavprasth, so it is better if you go there as soon as possible and start ruling it as early as possible. It is the capital of Raajaa Pururavaa, Raajaa Yayaati and Raajaa Nahush. It was the capital of Kuru kingdom for a very long time." Khaandavprasth was a non-arable area across Yamunaa River and was inhabited by Naag and Asur people. Theoretically it was half kingdom but there was nothing there, that is why Bheem, Arjun, Nakul and Sahadev were not happy with this partition. "Right" word is not an ordinary word, but in fact many duties are tied to this ordinary word. So with every right one has to pay something for it. Yudhishthir consoled his brothers saying - "The Great uncle has given us our "Karm Bhoomi" (where one can do some activities). Now we have to convert it into Indraprasth. Don't worry, we are just postponing the war. Just think, when Krishn can go to Dwaarakaa abandoning Mathuraa to maintain peace, then why can't we go to Khaandavprasth abandoning Hastinaapur to keep peace? Just wish that Maamaa Shakuni lets us live there in peace." Both Dhritraashtra and Gaandhaaree were not happy with this partition but were helpless because of Putra-Moh. Shakuni was also not happy with it, so he was continuously thinking to get that half kingdom back to Hastinaapur. He said to Duryodhan - "It is difficult to control Yadu family people, so Krishn is a difficult person, but you may try Balraam. Balraam is fond of food. Feed him good food and hold his feet tightly." So one day Duryodhan came to see Daaoo and took him saying that "Come, we will show you our Hastinaapur." Krishn went to see Vidur, Pitaamah and Drone etc. Days are not good or bad; good and bad are actions. Trees are tied to soil by their roots. Neither they can go forward nor they can go backward. They can only break, or they can be cut to fuel the fire of circumstances. The greatest demerit of anger is that it cannot differentiate between a faulty and faultless person. Bheeshm knew that why was this happening, but couldn't do anything. Vidur and Krishn got worried that why Duryodhan has taken Daaoo to show Hastinaapur. During that meeting Duryodhan made him agreed to teach him Gadaa. Yudhishthir went to Khaandav Prasth after taking all people's blessings. But partition is not the solution of any problem, because it shortens the borders and nobody likes the shortening of borders.

Khaandavprasth to Indraprasth

 Araavalee Hills, thorny jungles, non-arable land was Khaandavprasth. Naag family and Asur were ready to fight with Paandav. Krishn said to Yudhishthir - "See what your dear Great uncle has given to you, and this injustice has been approved by that old man Bheeshm. All this shows that they are all going to meet their fate. But that is only in future, for now let us see what we can do to disappoint the blind king." Krishn called Indra and told Him to change the face of that piece of land. He said to Him - "Till now it was called Khaandavprasth, but after you have changed it, it will be called Indraprasth. Make it so beautiful and so fertile that there is no equal of this land except your Indra Puree." Indra said - "Vishwakarmaa will help you." On an auspicious day the reconstruction of the place began. Vyaas read holy incantations and Vishwakarmaa's magic began to work. You get sweet fruits only when you put the seed of your dreams, manure of labor on the land of Karm (actions). That is what Paandav did here. Krishn said to Arjun - "Make your kingdom mighty and extend it. Shakuni should not even know about all that. If you cannot win any kingdom then marry there. Duryodhan is burning in the fire of insult. When he will do what, nobody knows. And for now I would like to go back to Dwaarakaa." Yudhishthir was very unhappy to hear this but as Krishn had to go so He had to go. He went away.

Arjun's Praayashchit Travel

Paandav were living happily in Indraprasth. After a few days when Krishn had left, Naarad came to Yudhishthir to see them. Yudhishthir received him with all the honor and sent for Draupadee. She also prostrated to him and went away to her palace. After the preliminaries Naarad advised him on ruling the kingdom. He also said to him - "This Draupadee is the wife of all five of you, so you must be careful that there is no conflict among you because of her. There were two brothers Sund and Upasund who were inseparable. Once they met an Apsaraa named Tilottamaa. Both fell in love with her and in that rivalry they killed each other. I told you this so that nothing comes in between you brothers. You are powerful till you are united." So they decided that Draupadee should spend a year in the house of each of five brothers. And if she is alone with one of them, any other brother should not intrude on their privacy, he must go to forest for a year. They were very happy with this arrangement and there was no chance of any kind of quarrel now. One day, some people took some cows of a Braahman. Braahman complained about it, so Arjun had to go to bring his cows, he rushed to bring his bow but at the same time he remembered that their weapons ere kept in Yudhishthir's palace and so his bow. Draupadee was also there. According to the rules, he was not supposed to go there otherwise he would have to go to one year exile for Praayashchit, but since he had to help the Braahman, so he had to go to Yudhishthir's palace and bring his bow. He brought the bow from there, and brought the Braahman's cows back. Then he got ready to go to forest for Praayashchit. Although Yudhishthir said - "You need not to go forest, you are my younger brother, this rule is more true for elder brothers", but Arjun said - "Rules are same for everybody, so I will have to do my Praayashchit travel. Please permit me to go to all sacred rivers." With great unwillingness Yudhishthir allowed him to go.

Arjun's Praayashchit Travel and Marriages

 Arjun came to Gangaa River. As he entered the river to take bath, a beautiful maiden captured him and took him to her palace. On asking, she said - "I am the daughter of the king of Naaglok, my name is Uloopee. I fell in love with you as soon as I saw you. Please accept my love." Arjun told about himself as who he was and how he was in exile. And during this period he had to observe Brahmcharya. He further said - "Although I would like to please but you can see I am so helpless." Uloopee said - "I think you have not understood the conditions of your Brahmcharya during this exile. Your this Brahmcharya is limited to only Draupadee, it does not apply to any other woman, so you are free to marry me." Arjun was very pleased with her. He spent a happy night with her. The next day he returned to the Earth. Arjun then proceeded towards Himaalaya mountains. After visiting all the sacred rivers there, he turned towards south. He took bath in Rivers Godaavaree and Kaaveree. Then he came to a place named Manaloor. Its king's name was Chitrasen and he had a beautiful daughter named Chitraangadaa. Arjun fell in love with her. He went to the king and asked her hand. The king said - "For many generations in our family we have only child. My daughter is also my only child. Her child will be the heir of my throne. If you are willing to leave the child to me, I will be very happy to give my daughter to the greatest hero in the world.. Arjun agreed and he spent three months with her. He further proceeded towards south and saw the southernmost part of Bhaarat on the western side

Subhadraa Haran

When the children of Vrishni Vansh were learning archery from Drone, Gada was a good friend of Arjun. He was a cousin of Krishn. He used to tell about his cousin sister Subhadraa to Arjun several times. So Arjun had heard about her so much that he had already fallen in love with her even without seeing her. She was the sister of Saranaa. Now he wanted to see her without being recognized. He knew that she was in Dwaarakaa and he was now in Prabhaas Kshetra, a place very near to Dwaarakaa. So he arrived in Dwaaraka in disguise as a Saadhu (holy ashes rubbed on his body, matted hair, trident in one hand). He wished that Krishn could come to his help. Krishn also heard about a Saadhu wandering in Prabhaas Kshetra. He knew with the description of that Saadhu that he was Arjun. During the night he sat under a huge banyan tree. It was pouring down in torrents and still he was sitting there. Krishn immediately went there and talked to him about his travel. Arjun told everything to Him. Then he asked Krishn to help him win Subhadraa's heart. Krishn was too pleased to marry Subhadraa to His dear friend Arjun. He took him on a mountain named Raivatak and asked him to spend some time there and He came back to Dwaarakaa. After a few days there was a feast on that hill so many people came there. Arjun was also watching all of them. The then he saw a most beautiful girl surrounded by her maids. Arjun understood, she was Subhadraa. His feelings came into his eyes. He heard a voice also from his back "Your feelings do not suit your attire." Arjun said shyly, "Don't tease me like that." Krishn asked - "If you are interested, I can talk to my father about it." "Please, Krishn, do that for me." Krishn further said - "You know among all kinds of marriagess the most wonderful marriage is that which is based on love. If you can make my sister fall in love with you, then you can take her to Indraprasth and marry her. For now you sit here in the position of meditation. The worship was over, Subhadraa had gone away. Balraam, Kritvarmaa, Saambaa, Saranaa, Pradyumn and Gada went round the temple and found a Saadhu absorbed in meditation. Balraam was greatly impressed with the look of that Saadhu - his handsome face and the whole body covered with holy ashes etc. Very cautiously Arjun opened his eyes and found Balraam standing before him folding his hands to him. So it was clear that he was not recognized. Balraam prostrated before him and invited him to Dwaarakaa and asked - "May we know your plans? Where have you come from? And what can we do to make you more comfortable?" Arjun said with a sigh of relief - "I have seen the whole world, but I have never spent more than three nights at any one place. But now the rainy season has already set in, so I must spend this time somewhere. I think this mountain is comforting me." Balraam was greatly impressed with this young Saadhu who spoke so beautifully. In the meantime Krishn also came there, Balraam asked Him also to worship that young Saadhu. Krishn had to obey His elder brother. Balraam told everything about the Saadhu and asked Krishn to make some arrangements of the Saadhu. Krishn said - "Daaoo, Being you, my elder brother, present here it is not appropriate for me to do this." Balraam got pleased with Krishn also. He said - "I think the best place for him is the gardens of Subhadraa's palace. I will ask her to take care of his needs." (It was of those times custom to serve great Saadhu so that the young girls can lead happy life with their blessings. Raajaa Kuntibhoj did the same for Kuntee to ask her to serve Muni Durvaasaa.) Krishn was happy that His plan worked, but outwardly He said - "I don't think that it is appropriate to let him stay near Subhadraa's palace, because we don't know anything about him. This Saadhu is young, handsome, and sweet tongued. All these qualities are enough to attract any young girl. I strongly disapprove it, but you are wise, if you have decided this, you must have considered all these points." Balraam got angry with Krishn on talking like this about the Saadhu. So Krishn took him to Subhadraa's palace. He took Arjun to Satyabhaamaa and Rukminee (both were wives of Krishn). Then He took him to Subhadraa and left him there with all the instructions to Subhadraa about the Saadhu. Arjun spent many happy days with Subhdraa. She was taking care of him religiously. Arjun looked at her all the time with a sigh. Subhadraa did not understand it. Arjun was a role model of everybody in Vrishni Vansh members in the field of archery. So living in such environment Subhadraa also started liking Arjun. Krishn and Gada also talked about him so much that she could imagine him clearly and had fallen in love with him without seeing him. (Rukminee also fell in love with Krishn without seeing Him and so was Damayantee.) Days were passing. Now Subhadraa felt odd the way that Saadhu used to look at her, because his eyes were so piercing that she could not meet hers to his. But then a suspicion arose in her heart that maybe he was her Arjun. Once she saw his shoulders, she found both of his shoulders scarred, she knew that Arjun could use his both hands while shooting arrows. But then how could then this Saadhu be Arjun? So she decided to talk to him about it. One day she asked him - "They say that you have traveled the whole Bhaarat, which place did you like most." Arjun told her about many places. Subhadraa used to spend hours together hearing his charming voice. Once she said - "Have you been to Indraprasth? There live Paandav, they are our cousins." Arjun told her that he had met them and he knew them very well. Subhadraa further said - "I have heard that Arjun has been away from Indraprasth. He must also be wandering like you. Did you meet him somewhere by chance?" Arjun said - "Yes, I have met him, rather I know his present whereabouts also." Subhadraa asked curiously "Where is he?" Arjun said "In fact He has fallen in love with the most beautiful woman in the world and for the same reason he has disguised himself as a Saadhu. He is always here before you. How is that you did not recognize me?" Subhadraa's face became red with shyness. She didn't speak a word. Arjun said - "I love you very much, Subhadraa, and I cannot live without you." Subhadraa went away to her palace. She became sick of Arjun's love. Krishn was aware of all the developments, so He thought that they should not meet for some time. He sent Rukminee in the service of Arjun. Seeing Arjun sad Rukminee said - "I am so sorry that that you are not happy with my coming." Then she told about Subhadraa's illness. Devakee got worried about Subhadraa, so she talked to Krishn about it. Krishn suggested that they should all go to a nearby island to worship Rudra for a fortnight. In the meantime He would set the matter right. So Daaoo and other people went to that island leaving Subhadraa alone. Then He went to Subhadraa and told her that we all are going for a fortnight. She would be alone there and the 12th day was an auspicious day for her marriage. And He went away. On the 12th day Arjun asked her to arrange a chariot which should be equipped with all kinds of weapons. Subhadraa did it. It was Krishn's own chariot with His favorite horses - Shaibya, Sugreev, Valaahak and Meghpushp. Arjun changed to his normal dress, Subhadraa took the reins and the chariot was on its way. When Shakuni heard this news, he said - "I am not able to understand this Praayashchit travel, because there he has married several girls. Two of them he has left there only but one he has brought along to Indraprasth."

Subhadraa Meets Draupadee

Some people informed Dwaarakaa people that Arjun had abducted Subhadraa, so all returned to the city of Dwaarakaa. Balraam was very angry with Krishn, he looked at Him and said - "This must be your doing, why did you allow this to happen." Krishn said innocently - "In fact I warned you about this before, even in the beginning. I knew that some day it would happen. In fact it is your doing." Balraam said - "We can still go to catch him. I will destroy him and the entire Indraprasth city." Krishn said in a very calm and polite voice - "Don't be so angry, Daaoo. Because if you have made up your mind to destroy them, nothing can save them, but it is not right that you should be so angry. See what happened. It looks like that Subhadraa went with Arjun herself and he is only Arjun, nobody else, with whom she has gone. He is our dear cousin. Let us make peace with him instead of being angry." Balraam was convinced with His argument. They went to bring them back, but by then they had gone too far. So they had to wait until Arjun reached Indraprasth, then they would go and marry Subhadraa to him. Arjun was near the gate of the city. Now Subhadraa was to be introduced to Draupadee. She was not Uloopee or Chitraangadaa to whom he would have left there only. "How to introduce her to Draupadee?" thinking Arjun came to Indraprasth. Then he remembered Krishn's words and he sent Subhadraa alone to introduce herself to Draupadee. Subhadraa wore a dress of a milkmaid and introduced herself as Krishn's younger sister, then Draupadee accepted her as her own sister. Later Arjun told her that he wishes to marry her. A few days later Krishn and Balraam came with thousands of precious gifts and married Subhadraa to Arjun. After that Balraam went away but Krishn stayed back with Paandav. This marriage of Arjun to Subhadraa, was an important event of Mahaabhaarat, because it strengthened the life line of Paandav. Now remained only Naag Vansh and Asur Vansh in Khaandavprasth, so with the help of Agni Dev that problem was also solved. Arjun burned Khaandav Van. There lived a Raakshas Maya Daanav. Arjun saved his life from this Khaandav Van fire, so to show his gratitude he built a royal court which was unique in Trilok. He brought Vrishparvaa's Devdatt named conch and a glorious Gadaa for Bheem also.

Burning of Khaandav Van

It was summer. The heat was scorching, so Arjun suggested Krishn to go on Yamunaa's banks and pass the the day there in Khaandav Van's shade. Krishn liked the idea, so all went to Khaandav Van near Yamunaa River. It was inhabited by wild animals. It was the home of king of serpents Takshak. They camped on the banks of Yamunaa River. It was cool out there. For a few minutes Krishn got lost in past thoughts of Raadhaa, Yashodaa Maa, cowherds, Gopee etc. Although He had Rukminee and Satyabhaamaa with Him and they were very dear to Him but Raadhaa had taken His entire heart. He would never meet her, He knew that. The Sun was reaching in high Heavens. Draupadee, Subhadraa and Satyabhaamaa, Krishn and Arjun went for a stroll along the banks of Yamunaa River. After a stroll they sat on tree trunk. They saw a Braahman. His shine was like molten gold. His beard was red, his eyes were red and he himself was looking like a rising Sun. He said - "I am hungry, I am hungry, you both must satisfy my hunger." They said - "If you tell us what you need we can ccertainly get prepared it for you." The Braahman said - "I am Agni Dev. For a long time I have been waiting for your coming, because I know that only you can fulfill my dream. I have been trying to swallow this huge Khaandav Van for a long time, but I am unable to. Indra Dev has a friend named Takshak, the king of the serpent. It is his home. So whenever I try to burn it Indra Dev sends heavy rainfall. You are proficient in archery and in Divine weapons. If you can ward off the rain then I can burn it to my heart's content." Krishn and Arjun were very surprised to hear such a request. Arjun said - "You are right, we do have Divine weapons but I do not have the strong bow to use those weapons. I need a strong bow. My chariot is also not too fast. The horses must also be better than Indra's horses. If you can furnish me these things I assure you that I will be able to stop rains. As for Krishn, He is most powerful than all the weapons of the Heavens put together." Agni Dev called Varun Dev and said - "You have a Divine bow given to you by Som and two quivers which are always full, please give them to Arjun. Give him a chariot too with fast horses." He gave all those things to Arjun. That bow's name was Gaandeev. It was gifted with rare powers. A chariot was also brought whose flag was marked with a picture of a monkey. He gave four white horses which used to run faster than wind and even mind. Arjun was very happy and grateful to Devtaa to receive these things from them. Then Agni Dev gave a Chakra (Divine disc) to Krishn, he said - "With this Chakra you can defeat anyone, no Devtaa can challenge you. Its name is Sudarshan. In fact before it was yours, now it is coming back to you after a long time. And you keep this Gadaa (mace) named Kaumodakee also." Arjun climbed on the chariot and said to Agni Dev - "Now what? We are perfectly all right to fight with Indra, so what is the delay now." Agni changed into flames and Khaandav forest started burning. Krishn and Arjun were going round to check lest any living being is escaped. News reached Indra Dev that the Khaandav Van was burning. Indra started pouring rains heavily. Both Agni and rains were the means to bring an end to world in themselves but now they were competing between themselves. The heat was so intense that the water from rains got dried before reaching the ground. Indra sent His favorite clouds, Pushkal and Aavartak, but they were also helpless because Arjun had covered the whole forest with a blanket of arrows. At that time Takshak was away from Khaandav Van but his son Ashwasen was caught in this fire. He and his mother tried to get out of this fire but Arjun wouldn't let them. Then mother said to her son - "Let me distract Arjun and then you must escape." So she rose up in the sky, and seeing her going towards sky Arjun shot three arrows and killed her. Indra was seeing all this, He poured a sudden stream of water over Arjun and in the meantime the prince snake escaped. Arjun was very angry. Indra used all His Divine Astra but no use. Then he took His Vajra to hurt them. Seeing this other Devtaa came to help Indra; Yam Raaj with his Gadaa (mace), Kuber with his club, Varun with his noose, Rudra with his trident. Indra was very pleased with His son Arjun. Then an Aakaashvaanee said - "Indra, You don't worry, your friend Takshak is not in this fire, and you have already helped his son to escape. It is not possible to defeat these two people as they are Nar and Naaraayan (see 5th Avataar under 24 Avataar). They are invincible." So Indra stopped fighting and said - "I am very pleased with you, you may ask anything from me." Krishn stood aside smilingly, but Arjun was excited seeing his father. He fell at His feet and said - "Please give me all the Divine Astra you have." Indra said - "Surely I will give them to you, but not now. When Shankar will give you his Paashupat Astra then I will give them to you." And Indra Dev went to His Lok. There was an Asur Maya Daanav caught in that fire, he was trying to escape, so Krishn raised His Chakra to kill him, but Maya in despair fell at the feet of Arjun and begged him for his mercy which Arjun granted him. Krishn also spared him. The fire continued for hours. Krishn and Arjun came back to that tree trunk where they were sitting before and then they prepared to come back to Hasinaapur.

Maya Daanav Builds the Hall for Yudhishthir.

When Krishn and Arjun were returning to their camp, they heard Maya saying - "I am Maya Daanav, the architect of Asur. You saved my life, I want to do something for you in return." Arjun politely said - "I am glad that I could do this to you, but this is my principle that I don't take anything in return doing good to anybody." Maya Daanav again requested to do something for him. Then Arjun said - "OK, I do not want anything for myself, but just to please you do something which pleases Krishn. Krishn, the incarnation of Vishnu, was born only to establish Dharm on the complaint of Prithvi that she could bear no more the A-Dharm. From His mind's eye He could see the Kurukshetra full of kings' dead bodies, He remembered the promise to His dear attendants Jaya and Vijaya. They had been born on Earth first as Hiranyaaksh and Hiranyakashyap, He killed them by assuming Varaah Avataar and Nrasinh Avataar (see them under "Avataar"). Then they were born as Raavan and Kumbhkarn. He killed them by assuming Raam's Avataar. Now they were in their final life as Shishupaal and Dantvakra. He had to release them too from this mortal life bondage. So He decided to begin the act of destruction from here. He said - "You say that you are a great architect. Yudhishthir is very dear to me. You build a court for him, and this royal court must be unique." They took him along with them to Hastinaapur, introduced to Paandav and on an auspicious day he started the work on an pre-approved plan for the court. Later it was called Maya Sabhaa (Sabhaa means court). Then Krishn wanted to go Dwaarakaa, but Yudhishthir always got sad hearing this. Krishn assured Yudhishthir that He would always be there whenever they would call Him. He took leave from Kuntee, brothers, Draupadee, Subhadraa and ascended His chariot. Yudhishthir moved Daaruk from charioteer's place and he himself drove Krishn's chariot for a while. Arjun and Bheem stood on either side of Krishn with Chanwar, and Nakul and Sahadev held the umbrella. When they reached the outskirts of the city, Paandav came back to Indraprasth with tears in their eyes. This was their usual routine whenever Krishn used to leave Hastinaapur. Maya was busy in building the court. He said to Arjun - "Let me bring some precious gems from a lake called Bindusar, near the mountains of Kailaash and Mainaak. I buried them there long time ago." He gave his Gadaa to Bheem and his Devadatt conch to Arjun. Bindusar is the lake from where Gangaa comes out drop by drop that is by it is called Bindusar. From that lake she flowed in seven streams, three streams flowed towards the east, three streams flowed towards the west, and the seventh stream followed Bhageerath. It took him 14 months to build the court. It was better than Sudharm - Indra's court. In its gardens flowers used to bloom without season. It was built so cleverly that one could see only the glow of gems, not the gems themselves unless somebody really tried hard to see them. Maya was ready to depart, he gave a chariot also to Arjun and said - "Your chariot is as powerful as of Agni and Soorya. You have the banner marked by monkey (Hanumaan Jee), so you will be called Kapidhwaj hereafter. Because you have white horses, you will be called Shwetvaahan. Yudhishthir gave Maya many precious gifts and bade farewell to him. On an auspicious day Paandav entered the court. People came to see it from all over the world - Rishi, all kings, except the sons of Dhritraashtra. Some young princes remained behind to learn archery from Arjun, one of them was Saatyaki (his other name was Yuyudhaan), He was a cousin of Krishn. Arjun's old friend Chitrasen also stayed behind with them. Subhdraa had one son, named Abhimanyu; and Draupadee had five sons. one from each of the five Paandav. Prativindhya from Yudhishthir, Shrutsom from Bheem, Shrutkarman from Arjun, Shataaneek from Nakul and Shrutsen from Sahadev. Kuntee was now sure that her sons were now well-established. In fact there are some landmarks in the life of everybody which mark a change. In the same way, Paandav also had some landmarks in their lives - coming of Draupadee, coming of Krishn and the coming of Naarad now.

Naarad Suggests Yudhishthir for Raajsooya Yagya

One day Naarad came to see Yudhishthir's court. Yudhishthir was showing him like a child. When they sat down Yudhishthir asked him - "You have been in three Lok, you must have seen many other courts, tell me about them." Naarad said - "Yes, there are some similar courtss in other worlds, for example of Yam Raaj, Varun, Indra, Rudra and Brahmaa; but yours is the best on this Prithvi." Then he described the beauty and excellence of those courts. He told that Harishchandra of Soorya Vansh used to share Indra's throne. When he came to describe Yam Raaj's court, he told many names of the kings of Earth who were now there, such as Yayaati, Nahush etc. The last name was of Shantanu and Paandu. Yudhishthir was silent for a while then said - "Rishivar, Most of the kings of the Earth are now in Yam's court, but not in Indra's court. What good Harishchandra did to be in Indra's court which my father didn't do. He was the purest man and a saint. Please tell me the reason of this." Naarad who had come there only to tell this spoke - "Certainly, Harishchandra was the son of Trishanku, the favorite of Vishwaamitra. He won all the Prithvi and did Raajsooya Yagya, that is why he was able to share Indra's throne. The king who performs Raajsooya Yagya, stands out of common people. I met your father, he said to me, "My sons are now very powerful. If Yudhishthir performs Raajsooya Yagya, I can also go to Indra Lok and so can my grandfather Shantanu." I know that it is not an easy task but still with the help of your brothers you can do it. But now if anybody can do it, it is only you." And Naarad Jee went away after blessing him. Now since Naarad Jee came, Yudhishthir sank in thoughts. Till now Paandav were living peacefully but Naarad's coming woke up a desire in Yudhishthir's heart to do Raajsooya Yagya. It was his father's wish also. When he talked about this in his court, everybody was very enthusiastic about it. So he called Krishn from Dwaarakaa. He was their guide and without consulting Him they couldn't do anything. Krishn came to Indraprasth. Krishn met Yudhishthir in his court. Yudhishthir told Him about Naarad's coming and the wish of his father Paandu and asked His true advice as a real friend. Yudhishthir had all the doubts that he could do this Yagya being his Great uncle alive, but Krishn said - "You can do it, because Indraprasth is an independent state. Besides, you yourself did not get separated from them, you were separated by them. But there is a problem, and the problem is Raajaa Jaraasandh. Today all kings are the descendents of either Raajaa Yayaati or Raajaa Bhoj. And all respect Jaraasandh. Even Chedi Raaj Shishupaal considers his pride in being his army chief. Bhagdatt, Rukmee the son of Bheeshmak, and Paundrak Vasudev are also allied to him. He is a big enemy of Vrishni Vansh. You know that I killed my Maamaa Kans, He was his son-in-law, so Jaraasandh hated me ever since then. He has fought with us 18 times, we have defied him, but we have not been able to defeat him. In fact we got afraid of his attacks so we left Mathuraa, and went to Dwaarakaa. Now his hill Girivraj is 100 Yojan far from our hill Raivatak. He is a big obstacle. You cannot trust anybody else except your Maamaa Purujit. And Raajsooya Yagya cannot be done without removing Jaraasandh. Once in anger he threw his Gadaa at Dwaarakaa, it was thrown with so much force that it traveled the distance of 99 Yojan and got buried there. I tell you now about his probable friends, such as Duryodhan. If he heard that you are fighting with Jaraasandh, naturally Duryodhan will take his side being your enemy. It means that all Kuru army - Bheeshm, Kripaa, Drone, even Karn who is superior to Jaraasandh, will also be at his side. With this superb team, you have no chance to perform Raajsooya Yagya. He has the blessings of Mahaadev, and he is dreaming to become a Chakravartee king after sacrificing 100 kings. He has already imprisoned 98 kings with the idea to sacrifice them to Shankar and after sacrificing them all, he will become unconquerable. The man is mad, but he is too powerful to be ignored or to be defeated. If we are able to kill him somehow then it is all easy. After being killed all other kings will not dare to oppose you. So think of a way to kill him." Hearing all this, Yudhishthir thanked Krishn to describe the facts so clearly to him. After hearing this Yudhihthir abandoned the idea of Raajsooya Yagya. But Bheem was very enthusiastic about the Yagya, so he said to his brother - "Brother, Don't be so disappointed. There must be some way to kill him. If somebody cannot be won with might, he can be won with wisdom. With the help of Krishn and dear Arjun I think, I can kill Jaraasandh." Krishn said - "No Bheem, It is not as easy as you are thinking. He is a great devotee of Shankar. He is very righteous and generous. Apart from killing him for your Raajsooya Yagya, you will be saving those imprisoned kings' lives too who are going to be sacrificed for Rudra. That is, of course, worth considering." Arjun said - "Brother, I feel that we should kill Jaraasandh, because he is not righteous. Because who uses his strength to persecute weaker kings, cannot be favored by Devtaa, that is how I feel. Send the three of us to Magadh, after killing him, we all four will go all around and win all kings for your Raajsooya Yagya." Krishn was very happy to hear Arjun's words, He said - "You have said befitted words to your Dharm. Everybody has to die. If we do not fight, immortality is not granted to him. Let us go there soon. We will enter his house uninvited and we will try to have a fight with him. If we win, you will be the Swaamee of the Earth, if we lose we will go to Heaven. Either way no shame will come on us."

Jaraasandh's Birth and Killing

Then Yudhishthir asked, "By the way what is the secret of his power?" Krishn told the story of his birth: "Jaraasandh's father Brihadrath married Kaashee's two princesses and promised them that he will love them equally. He got old but he didn't get any child. One day he heard that Chandkaushik, the descendent of Gautam Rishi, had come there, so he went to see him and said - "Bhagvan, I have no child, please bestow me with a child." Muni was sitting under a mango tree, the then mango fruit fell in his lap. He gave it to the king and asked him to give it to his queen. Raajaa considering his both queens equal, so he cut the mango in half and gave those pieces to them. Time passed and each queen gave birth to a half child. Both got frightened seeing them and they threw them outside the palace. It so happened that Jaraa named Raakshasee came there in search of food. She found these pieces, she picked them and started playing with them. By chance those pieces got joined and the child got alive. She took him to her house and took care of him. Since Jaraa named Raakshasee brought him to life that is why he was named Jaraa+Sandh. Thus he is not one but two, therefore even Yam Raaj cannot harm him. He has seen Shankar in person. And I have already told you bout his Gadaa which he threw on Dwaarakaa. He tried to get it back but he could not dig it out. Without the Gadaa he is not so vulnerable now as before. Still it is difficult to defeat him, but dual fight is something else. Actually, maybe we all three can kill him." Somebody suggested that he regarded Braahman very much and did not send them back empty-handed. So if Arjun, Krishn and Bheem go there in disguise of Braahman and ask the alms of a dual fight with any one of them, he will not say "no" to them. Then let him choose his opponent. He will not choose Krishn, because he had already defeated Him 18 times. He will not choose Arjun because he considers him as an archer. He can consider only Bheem. Bheem has similar strength also as Jaraasandh. So all went to Jaraasandh's place in Braahman's disguise. They crossed Sarayoo River, then Gandakee River, then they came to Mithilaa. They proceeded towards Magadh. They came to Gangaa River and crossed it and there they saw his capital Girivraj at some distance. There they saw a huge temple of Shankar, they worshipped him there. They entered his palace by jumping the boundary wall and asked to see him. Jaraasandh was busy with his worship so he asked them to wait till midnight. Bheem doubted that whether he will come or not, but Krishn said - "He will surely come, he is brave and he is a great alms giver." Jaraasandh came after midnight and saw them but could not believe his eyes, because they were not looking like Braahman. He asked - "You don't look like Braahman. Who are you and what do you want?" Krishn said - "You are right, we are not Braahman. We are your enemy." Jaraasandh said - "I don't know you at all, how can I tell that you are my enemies? If you are my enemy, please tell me the reason of your enmity to me." Krishn said - "The reason for our enmity is that you have unlawfully imprisoned kings for sacrifice for Rudra. We have come here to help those kings. I am Krishn, this is Arjun and this is Bheem. We don't need your money, clothing or animals etc. We want dual fight with you. You choose one of us for a dual fight." Jaraasandh laughed long and loud and said - "Krishn, Should I choose you who had already fled from the battlefield 18 times and had hidden behind Raivatak Parvat? You are challenging me in my home? I am not Kans, I am Jaraasandh, the favored one of Devtaa. You are a coward, I cannot choose you. And Arjun, you? I do not want to choose you either, because you are still a child for me, and as you are an archer, you cannot fight dual fight. Yes, Bheem looks like that I can choose him." So he chose Bheem. Jaraasandh was sure to win, but as he had already seen ill omens, he coronated his son Sahadev and started fighting with Bheem. Jaraasandh was a great brave and mighty man. If he chose Arjun then today the future would have been quite different. [Because Arjun got defeated and Yudhishthir's Raajsooya Yagya was not possible.] Therefore choosing Bheem for the dual fight is an important event for Mahaabhaarat. Both came out of the city and the dual fight started. Both had equal strength, so both were fighting fiercely. Krishn was encouraging Bheem saying - "Bheem, Remember who you are? You are the son of Vaayu. You can tear him up if you want to." Bheem did tear him but his both pieces got joined again and fight continued. The fight continued for 28 days. Then Bheem got weaker, then Krishn demonstrated him how to kill Jaraasandh on 29th day. He torn a straw in the center and threw both parts on opposite sides. That is how Bheem could kill Jaraasandh. Then they freed the 98 kings imprisoned and sent them to their kingdoms. Sahadev was already the king of Magadh so Krishn asked him to attend Yudhishthir's Raajsooya Yagya. Sahadev agreed to attend it. They all came back to Hastinaapur. Krishn went back to Dwaarakaa instructing them to go on their victory tour. He told that He would come back soon with all the Vrisni clan. He was happy that now Vrisni people need not to fear from Jaraasandh. He wanted to give this news to them soon.

Story of Shishupaal

After Jaraasandh Vadh, Yudhishthir started preparation for Raajsooya Yagya. Vyaas Jee was also there to help him. Yudhishthir sent his four brothers for victory tour. Arjun went to north, Bheem to east, Nakul to west and Sahadev to south. On the way Arjun won Shaalv and came to Praagjyotish Pradesh ruled by Bhagdatt. Bhagdatt was a friend of Indra. He was a very good and righteous man. He came to Arjun and said - "I am a very good friend of your father." Hearing this Arjun also greeted him by prostrating before him and told him about the Raajsooya Yagya. Bhagdatt agreed with pleasure. Then Arjun proceeded towards Raamgiri, then he fought with Trigart brothers led by Susharmaa, but it was then and there an enmity was born between Arjun and Trigart brothers. From then on they called Sansaptak as they sworn that they would destroy Arjun some day. They were great friends of Duryodhan. Now he reached at Meru Mountain. On its southern slope there was a creeper called Jamboo covering the whole slope. This was called Jamboo Dweep (island). He proceeded towards Gandhmaadan Parvat and then he returned to Hastinaapur. Wherever he went he collected riches and gems etc, so he got a name "Dhananjaya" from there. Bheem went to east - so he went to Paanchaal, then to Mithilaa, then to Chedi Desh (Shishupaal's country), then he went to Koshal (Ayodhyaa) and many other kingdoms. Then he went to Girivraj also. After reminding Sahadev for Raajsooya Yagya Bheem came back to Hastinaapur. Sahadev (one of the Paandav) defeated the famous king named Dantvakra. Vindaa and Anuvindaa of Avantee Desh were also defeated. Then he went to Mahishmatee Nagaree and fought with the king Neel. Sahadev wanted to win the friendship of Raakshas king Vibheeshan of Lankaa, so he remembered his nephew Ghatotkach and asked him to go to Lankaa and invite him for Raajsooya Yagya. Ghatotkach went to Lankaa, prostrating to the bridge Raam built. He asked the gatekeeper to inform Vibheeshan that "the Paandav, friends of Krishn are ruling Bhaarat Varsh. I want to give a message to your king." Vibheeshan called him in his court. His face reminded him of his uncle Yudhishthir's face. Vibheeshan asked about Paandav and Ghatotkach was too happy to tell about them. On his return Vibheeshan gave him many valuable gifts and riches. Then Sahadev went to Paandyaa kingdom. He reached the city of Chitraangadaa (wife of Arjun). She received him with great affection, her father also honored him, then he showed him Babhruvaahan, Arjun's son, to him. Sahadev invited him for Raajsooya Yagya. Nakul had already arrived in Hastinaapur. He met Vrishni people at Dwaarakaa and invited Vaasudev, Balraam and their father to Raajsooya Yagya. Krishn came there soon after Sahadev left along with thousands of gifts. Krishn and Vyaas made all arrangements of the Yagya. All the kings were invited. Hastinaapur was also informed. Nakul was sent to Hastinaapur with the message of Raajsooya Yagya. Nakul was asked to invite all of them individually on Yudhishthir's behalf. Dhritraashtra sent the message of his happiness. Shakuni also spoke some sweet words, but Duryodhan was very angry. Otherwise also nobody was happy in his heart except Bheeshm, Drone, Kripaa and Vidur. Shakuni said - "Putra Duryodhan, If you want to live in this world then learn performing some formalities. Be jealous, but don't let everybody know about it." Duryodhan was not ready to go there but Shakuni convinced him that if they have invited you, you must go there and not only go there but go there with a big smile."

Shishupaal's Birth

All kings, whether they were Yudhishthir's friends or enemies, were going towards Indraprasth - Sindhu king Jayadrath, Chedi king Shishupaal (Shishupaal is the son of Krishn's another Buaa - Shrutshravaa and Damghosh of Chedi Desh). The day his story began, its end was also written on the same day. In the palace of Chedi Desh, the queen gave birth to a son. He had three eyes and four arms. The queen got frightened, and others suggested that he should be thrown out. The then Aakaashvaanee said - "Do not throw him." The mother asked - "When he is born like this then please tell me that how he will die?" Aakaashvaanee said - "In whose lap his third eye and two extra arms will fall off only he will kill him." Then the queen started giving him in everybody's lap whoever came there. It so happened that, one day Vasudev also came with his sons - Balraam and Krishn. The queen gave that child to them also. Balraam took him, kissed him and gave him back to his mother. She gave him to Krishn also, but Krishn refused to take him. Then Devakee insisted to take him saying that "he is your cousin, take him." Krishn had to take him but as He took him the child's third eye and two extra arms fell down. Krishn got frightened. Shishupaal's mother got worried seeing this. She came to Krishn and asked - "Will you kill my son?" Krishn asked - "Did Aakaashvaanee itself say this to you or you asked?" Buaa said - "Yes, I asked." Krishn said - "Being mother why did you ask about your son's death? You did not do good by asking this. If you left it secret then only it would be good." Buaa again asked - "Tell me Krishn, will you kill my son?" Krishn said - "If I will have to do it, then I will have to do it." Buaa said - "Give me one Var that whenever he is at fault, you will forgive him remembering me." Krishn said - "Only Mahaadev can give such kind of Var. I can only say that I will forgive him for such 100 faults which will demand death sentence." Buaa got satisfied and came back. The same child grew as Shishupaal and was now proceeding towards his destruction.

Yudhishthir's Raajsooya Yagya and Shishupaal's Vadh

In Indraprasth, Yagyashaalaa (the place where the Yagya was to be done) was built, and the Yagya was started. Dhritraashtra came, then Krishn and Balraam came. Shakuni, Duryodhan, Karn, Jayadrath, Vikarn, Sukarn, Drupad, Drone, Kripaa, Pitaamah, Vyaas, Kuntee, Yudhishthir, Draupadee, Subhadraa, Naarad all came. All kings came. All Rishi came to bless Yudhishthir. Naarad was not seeing in present, he was seeing in future. He saw a sad Krishn; Poor Yudhishthir who was going to be the cause of destruction of all Kshatriya; Draupadee and predictions about her; obstinate Duryodhan; crafty Shakuni; ill-fated Raadheya, the greatest giver of all times was to be killed at the hands of his own brother who did not know him; and many other kings and princes who will be going to die in near future. Everybody was helping Yudhishthir in this Yagya in one way or other. Such as Bheem was looking after the kitchen, Draupadee was in charge of feeding women, Krishn took the responsibility to remove unclean utensils after the food was eaten and wash their unclean hands by pouring water on them, Krishn asked Duryodhan to be the in charge of royal treasury and he was giving things with open hands. His eyes were wide open looking at the amount of riches in Yudhishthir's treasury. He felt envious. Krishn, the Guest of Honor The coronation was over. It was now the duty of the king to honor the guests. Bheeshm said addressing Yudhishthir - "My child, Today in your court the whole Bhaarat has come, so you honor all of them individually." Yudhishthir asked - "Pitaamah, I am ignorant about these matters, please advise me whom should I worship first, Vyaas or you?" Bheeshm said - "Neither he, nor me. This time only one is to be worshipped first and that is Krishn. No other person is worthy for this honor. Without Him this hall will lose all its grandeur." Then Yudhishthir asked Sahadev to bring worshipping material. Sahadev brought the material and with tears streaming from his eyes he started washing Krishn's feet, flowers were offered, and the worship was over. But some kings didn't like Krishn's worship as a guest of honor. They looked at each other but no one spoke anything. Then Shishupaal said - "Very nice indeed. Here is a bastard who is asking a son of a river for advice. And the advice is to worship a cowherd? The worship is done by another bastard." Yudhishthir said - "Krishn is the right person for it." Shishupaal further said - "When there are so many worthy people around, I cannot see any reason behind this insane action. We thought that you were a righteous person, that was why we came here to please you. It is not that we are not powerful to defy you, but because we respect you." All Paandav were ready to do something, but were just waiting for their elder brother's permission. Yudhishthir wanted to say something, that Krishn said - "Do not insult your guest, let him speak, let him speak today." Shishupaal continued speaking. When Balraam warned him, Krishn said - "Keep speaking, you can still insultt me for some more time. As you will complete your 100 abuses, I will kill you." Shishupaal didn't listen to Him and continued abusing Krishn. Shishupaal's Vadh Shishupaal further said - "If you wanted a very senior king, then Vasudev is here, your father-in-law Drupad is here. If you thought about your Aachaarya, then Guru Drone is here. If you wanted a high class Tapaswee, then Vyaas Jee is here. If you wanted to honor an archer, there is Eklavya. He is far better than your Arjun. There is Karn as the favorite disciple of Parashuraam. He is one of the few who has defeated Jaraasandh, which was impossible for your guest of honor. This man is neither your Guru, nor your dear son-in-law, nor your favorite. Have you asked us to attend this Yagya just to insult us? What ever Krishn has done so far, He has done by mere deceit. Your offering of the Agra Poojaa (first to be worshipped) to this cowherd is just foolish and senseless." And he got out of the hall. Yudhishthir was not happy with this turn of events, he got up to pacify him - "You must not talk like this, Shishupaal. Everybody was in favor of my grandfather's advice. If I have hurt you, or insulted you, I am sorry. I did Krishn's Agra Poojaa because He is greater than anyone else for us present here." Bheeshm intervened - "Youdhishthir, Why do you speak so softly to this man who insulted Krishn? I cannot see anyone else who is worthy of this honor." Shishupaal was very angry at this, even some other kings also were angry at this. All got ready with their swords. Yudhishthir got scared, he asked Bheeshm as what he should do, Bheeshm said - "There is no need to do anything." Shishupaal now started insulting Bheeshm. He insulted him about his vow, that he was a eunuch that is why he took that vow. Now Bheem couldn't be silent, he said to Bheeshm - "Pitaamah, This man has been insulting you both who are very dear to us, please give me the permission so that I can kill him." Bheeshm said - "Bheem, Do not worry at all. He has been destined to be killed by our Krishn and only Krishn. I tell you the story of Shishupaal and the prophecy about his killing by Krishn. "Shishupaal is the son of Krishn's another Buaa, your mother's sister. When Shishupaal was born he had three eyes and four arms. His parents were scared to see him like this. Then they were told by Aakaashvaanee that as soon as the child will go into the lap of a man in whose lap his third eye and two extra arms will fall off, he will be the killer of him. The mother started to give him in everybody's lap. Once when Balraam and Krishn came to see the child, his mother kept him in their laps also. As soon as the child was put in Krishn's lap, his third eye and the two extra arms fell off. Shishupaal's mother was very sad to see this. She requested Krishn to spare her son. Krishn was also sorry for His Buaa. He said - "Don't worry, I will forgive him his 100 insults to me." Time passed. The son of Bheeshmak, Rukmee was a great friend of Shishupaal. He wanted his loving sister Rukminee to marry to him, but Rukminee loved Krishn. On the day she was married to Shishupaal, Krishn took her away. Since that day Shishupaal has been nursing a grievance against Krishn. Shishupaal's 100 abuses have been exhausted long ago, now it is just any moment that Krishn will kill him." Shishupaal's patience was now out of limits. He challenged Bheeshm and Krishn to fight with him. Now Krishn didn't want that Yudhishthir's Raajsooya Yagya gets spoiled with blood shed, so He was ignoring everything, but the challenge had to be accepted, so unwillingly He got ready to fight. Bheeshm led Him to His chariot. While going He said - "This man is the son of a woman from Vrishni Vansh, but he has been hating Vrishni people since the beginning. When I was out to Praagjyotish, he set the fire to Dwaarakaa. When my grandfather went to Raivatak Parvat, this man assaulted them. When my father sent the sacrificial horse, he captured it just to trouble us. He is the man who steals the wives of of others. My promise to his mother is over now. Jaraasandh was the enemy of Vrishni people that is why he became a good friend of Jaraasandh. I can kill him any time now as my promise to his mother is over. And now he has challenged me so I am ready to fight and get rid of this sinner." The fight began. Most kings were stunned with this turn of event. The most unhappy person was Yudhishthir. He saw some evil omens, which Naarad told him as the sign of coming calamity. Krishn took out His Chakra and cut his head from his body. A light came out of Shishupaal's body and got absorbed in Krishn's body. Everybody was surprised to see this scene. Only Krishn was happy to do this and nobody else could know the reason of this happiness. While handling His Divine Chakra with His mortal fingers, Krishn's finger got hurt and bled. Draupadee noticed it, she immediate got up from the throne, tore her royal dress and tied a string on His hurt finger. Krishn said - "Draupadee, Today I am indebted to you. When the time will come I will pay the price of every thread of this bandage. The whole world will not be able to evaluate its price." Yudhishthir said - "Indraprasth has no motive to expand its borders, therefore Chedi king Shishupaal's Vadh does not mean that we want to take over Chedi kingdom. Shishupaal's son Maheepaal will be now Chedi king. His coronation will take place here only." And he coronated Maheepaal as the king of Chedi Desh. Vyaas said - "I came here only to share your happiness because nobody knows now that how, when and where you all will meet like this." Bheeshm asked - "Its meaning Rishivar?" Vyaas said - "Neither I will be happy to tell you, nor you will be happy to hear it. I can only say this that Soorya is Soorya and a lamp is lamp." Some people understood the meaning of his words, some not. Yudhishthir got blessings from everybody. He learned ethics from Vidur. Karn was feeling very lonely. He was sorry for Shishupaal's killing. He was wondering that nobody spoke even a word of opposition in the gathering of so many brave people. Duryodhan was jealous and abusing Shakuni. He doubted that Paandav wanted Hastinaapur. After the Raajsooya Yagya, Krishn came to see Kripaa before going to Dwaarakaa. Drupad came to Drone to get blessings of Drone for his son Dhrishtdyumn to achieve his life goal. Krishn also came to see Drone, then Drone expressed his dissatisfaction towards present circumstances and requested Vaasudev to do something for it." Krishn said - "An individual has to protect himself by himself. An individual should always be on truth's side." Bheeshma said - "Hey Krishn, Only you can save this family." Krishn said - "Whatever is it today, everybody is responsible for it." Then He said to Bheeshm - "You should see that your vow is helping you in performing your Dharm or resisting you to perform your Dharm?" Then He said to Dhritraashtra - "You are a king, whatever is going to happen, try to stop it." After advising thus He went to Dwaarakaa. Shakuni Maamaa, Dushaasan, Karn and Duryodhan stayed back for some more time. Shakuni was waiting for Krishn to go, because then only he could play his trick.

Draupadee Laughs at Duryodhan

Everybody had left Indraprasth except Shakuni, Duryodhan, Dushaasan and Karn. Duryodhan was very restless. In fact he was very jealous seeing Yudhishthir's royal treasury. He never expected so much wealth with him. Besides he saw Draupadee's palace also which was far more beautiful and richer than his own palaces and thousands of very beautiful maids were working there. Shakuni told him that now he would play Chausar (dice game) with Yudhishthir, so he should also come with him. He would lose in this game. This was his last trick which was going to weave the net of future incidents. He sent Duryodhan to see Yudhishthir's royal court. Yudhishthir felt flattered. He made his trip as pleasant as possible. Now Vyaas Jee came to take leave of him. Yudhishthir honored him, Vyaas Jee blessed him - "By the grace of Bhagvaan you have performed Raajsooya Yagya. You are now the Swaamee of the Earth. I am very happy. Let me go go now." Yudhishthir said - "Rishivar, I want to ask you something. What is the interpretation of the omens occurred after the death of Shishupaal? Wise men say that they are not good for the world." Naarad said, "A great calamity is expected for the world." Vyaas became serious and said - "You are right. This event of killing of Shishupaal is very unfortunate. It means that you will have an unfortunate period of 14 years. And that is not all, all Kshatriya will be destroyed from the face of the Earth. Duryodhan's ill-behavior, Bheem and Arjun's power, anger of Draupadee will be instrumental for this universal destruction. Fate cannot be changed." Yudhishthir got very disappointed hearing all this. Vyaas Jee went away but Yudhishthir got worried thinking that he would be the cause of all this. But he could not understand it as how was it possible? He could not even talk to anybody about this, nor he could think of any means to bypass it. At that time Duryodhan was visiting the royal court. He had not seen a palace like this before. He was very impressed with its beauty and splendor, This was the same court which was built by Maya Daanav and was unique in Trilok. While he was walking once he thought there was a door there, but when he wanted to go through it, his head hit a wall and he got hurt. And at one place he saw a maid going through the wall as if there was a door there. He was truly amazed to see such court. Once seeing water flowing he lifted his clothes and started crossing it, but there was no water, it was all dry. In the same way once he saw a dry pond, but as he entered it he fell into water and his clothes got wet. Draupadee was seeing this from her palace, she laughed heartily and said - "A blind man's son is always blind." Duryodhan felt greatly insulted and humiliated by Draupadee's comment. Keeping quiet he just came back from there. Immediately he left Indraprasth and came back to Hastinaapur. He wouldn't go anywhere, he wouldn't speak to anyone. He thought that Paandav were favored by Devtaa that is why his all efforts were failing to lowering them. At the same time when Drone saw Arjun he was very pleased with him. He asked his son Ashwatthaamaa to be his friend, but Ashwatthaamaa did not make him friend, rather he preferred to be the friend of Duryodhan. Duryodhan was so much angry at the incidents of Indraprasth that he thought to take revenge of this insult. They played the Chausar there, as planned Shakuni lost the game and they came back to Hastinaapur.

Shakuni's Plan to Invite Paandav for Chausar

Even after coming back to Hastinaapur Duryodhan's mind was not at rest. He was not able to digest Draupadee's comment and laugh. Karn couldn't see his friend like this for long, he asked him - "Friend, What is the reason of your restlessness?" Duryodhan told everything. Karn said - "She had no right to insult you or your father. She must bear the fruits of insulting you." and suggested war. Duryodhan further said - "I wouldn't sit quiet unless I see their destruction. I must get better than them." At this Shakuni said - "Dear Karn, It is not good to be restless for war every time, therefore use your brain. There is no greater weapon than intelligence. And Duryodhan, now you must have also seen yourself that how powerful they have become. They can never be defeated in war. But there are other ways to destroy them. Let Hastinaapur should celebrate Paandav's Raajsooya Yagya. And then Chausar will surely be played here, so your path of victory will come out from my Indraprasth's defeat. He has the weakness of gambling but he doesn't know how to play. There is no one in the world who can play against me and win. You go and make the arrangements to invite him to play Chausar, get the permission from your father for it." Duryodhan said - "And if he didn't accept the invitation, then?" Shakuni said - "He is a Kshatriya, he can never say "no" to fight and Chausar's invitation because this is Kshatriya Dharm. Paandav went from here after taking Indraprasth, now they will go back from here after giving it here only." Duryodhan said - "Maamaa, You go and convince my father. You can do it better because he will talk about the safety of this strategy. Safety is father's watchword, because he is always afraid of Vidur." Shakuni went to Dhritraashtra and said - "Condition of Duryodhan's heart is not good. You should try to know about him. It seems that he loves Indraprasth very much." Dhritraashtra said - "Now I cannot give him Indraprasth..." Shakuni intervened - "It seems that the same is his life." Dhritraashtra got scared and said - "No, no, Don't say this. I cannot do this injustice with Paandav. Now they have become very mighty." Shakuni changed the topic and said - "At least you can make some arrangement of his entertainment, he is your dear son." At this Dhritraashtra called Duryodhan and asked about him. He told that he was insulted there in Indraprasth and he could not sleep since. Shakuni said cunningly - "Then we can make arrangement of some entertainment for you. Let us celebrate Paandav's Raajsooya Yagya and then we will play Chausar." Dhritraashtra said - "OK, I will consult Vidur and our ministers, then I will let you know." Duryodhan said - "If you will consult them they will not allow for this. Father, you must allow this to me, otherwise I will commit suicide, then you may be happy with your well-behaved Yudhishthir and beloved Vidur." Dhritraashtra said - "OK, I will not ask anyone. Shakuni, Go and call the architect to build a beautiful hall in Jayant (a suburb of Hastinaapur). When it is built, you can invite your Paandav to see that hall. You can use it to play dice game also or whatever you want." When Vidur heard all this, he went to Dhritraashtra and asked - "What is this happening? You are building a hall in Jayant? And you are inviting Paandav to play dice game? What is the reason behind this sudden hospitality? You and your son have almost banished them, still you are not happy? Dice game will increase the enmity between children, so please stop this preparation." Dhritraashtra said - "Dice game is the game to be played by princes. It will be just a pastime. In my presence and Bheeshm nothing will happen, be assured." Vidur was not happy at all with this assurance but he could not do anything. The hall was ready so Dhritraashtra called Vidur and asked him to go to Indraprasth and invite Paandav to see their hall and play dice and have a happy time here. "I am sure he will come. Bring him here as soon as possible." Vidur once again tried his best to stop this game but in vain, so with a heavy heart he left for Indraprasth. Draupadee's Realization Draupadee was unaware of her laughter that how costly it was to Indraprasth, and to Paandav themselves. As Yudhishthir came to know about this incident he was very worried about it, he asked Draupadee - "On Duryodhan's falling into the water pond, did you say this that "a blind man's son is always blind"?" Draupadee bent her head and said - "Yes, I did say this, but later it came to my mind that I should not have said this. But now I have already committed this mistake, you can give whatever punishment you like." Yudhishthir said - "Such mistakes are not for punishment, one has to do Praayashchit for them. Duryodhan was our guest at that time, and a guest is like Bhagvaan. You should have never commented like that. Besides that comment was an abuse to our Great uncle also." Draupadee again pleaded - "But I am accepting my mistake." Yudhishthir said - "Accepting your mistake is not going to solve this problem. It is their great insult. Your laughter will be very expensive to Indraprasth as well as to Hastinaapur."

Dhritraashtra Invites Paandav for Chausar

Dhritraashtra called Vidur and told him to go to Indraprasth and invite Paandav for Chausar. Vidur tried his best to explain him that Chausar was not good between brothers but he did not agree with his advice and ordered him to invite Paandav to play Chausar. Vidur said - "Only those people try to hide the sharpness of their tongue who had their own selfish interest." Vidur further said - "If the answer is known then it should be given immediately. because no other thing can be expensive than time." Vidur went to Bheeshm and told him that Mahaaraaj had invited Paandav for playing Chausar, and that was Shakuni's last trick for which he did not have any cross. Bheeshm got very sad hearing this but he was tied with his vow. So Vidur arrived in Indraprasth as Dhritraashtra's envoy. Yudhishthir welcomed Vidur with a great affection. Yudhishthir said - "Uncle, Your face doesn't look a happy face, are you well? Is everybody in Hastinaapur well?" Vidur said - "My son, I am also well and everybody in Hastinaapur also is very well. Dhritraashtra has sent a message for you and I have come here to deliver that message." He delivered the message. Yudhishthir understood that now the time had come to pay the price of Draupadee's laughter. His brothers suggested him not to accept this invitation, because they had guessed Duryodhan and Shakuni's some kind of trick, but Yudhishthir said - "I cannot say "No" to this invitation, one because I am a Kshatriya, and I am a king, it is my Dharm; second, it is the order of Great uncle, I cannot disobey him. So in spite of knowing this that dice are the root of destruction I will definitely go to play Chausar according to Kshatriya Dharm. And if Duryodhan wants to play Chausar with me then also I will go there. So get ready to go there." To a certain extent Yudhishthir could guess the consequences of the game of dice. He asked Vidur - "Can you tell me who are joining the game?" Vidur said - "Shakuni, and three of the brothers of Duryodhan - Vivinshati, Purumitra and Chitrasen." Yudhishthir said - "Among all Shakuni is very clever in playing Chausar while I am not, still I will obey my elders. It seems he is not happy with my new fortune." Vidur went back with this reply. When Bheeshm heard this he got very angry at Vidur that did he go there only to invite them, why didn't he stop them from coming here? He did not fulfill his duties of an uncle towards Yudhishthir and did not guide him properly. An intelligent envoy can be evaluated only on the scale of his circumstances. When shadow becomes longer than the body, take it granted that there is not much time left in sunset. Bheeshm went to Gaandhaaree too and told her that if this game was played, it will not be useful to anybody. Gaandhaaree said - "You are the eldest, so please order them to stop it, they will surely obey your orders." But no solution could be found.

Paandav in Hastinaapur - First Game

Now Shakuni gave his dices to Duryodhan and took Duryodhan's dices himself. He said - "When the game will start, you tell tthat "My Maamaa will play on my behalf and he will also throw the dices on my behalf. Yudhishthir will not allow me to play with my dices, so you keep them. When I will start playing the game, then you will give these dices to me." Paandav arrived in Hastinaapur. They were welcomed by Kaurav cordially. They were made comfortable in their apartments beautifully furnished. They had many servants and maids at their will. They went to greet Dhritraashtra and Gaandhaaree and other elders and passed their night very comfortably in their apartments. Next day they all went to see the new royal court specially built for this purpose with Duryodhan and others. Paandav walked through the great halls and corridors and appreciated it, but both parties were thinking about the game only. After they had visited the court, they came back to Hastinaapur. Then Shakuni suggested that they should play a game of dice. Yudhishthir was not ready for this. He said - "I would rather not prefer to play because it is the cause of so many unpleasant things." Shakuni said - "It is just like any other game. It is not like as though one's all belongings are at stake. It is just for entertainment." Yudhishthir said - "I don't like to win other's wealth by cheating." Shakuni said sarcastically - "Oh, You have got the wealth very recently, if you don't want to accept the challenge, leave it." Yudhishthir couldn't say anything after this. The hall started filling up slowly. Everybody, Bheeshm, Drone, Kripaa, and Vidur, Dhritraashtra all were there. They all knew what would be the result of this game, still they all were sitting silent because they all were tied with some kind of bondage. Bheeshm was bound with his vow, and Drone and Kripaa ate his salt, Dhritraashtra was tied to his Putra-Moh. All settled for playing the game. Paandav sat on one side and Duryodhan and his brothers, Shakuni, Karn sat on the other side. When the rules were getting set, Yudhishthir was asked to contribute, but he said - "I am playing with my younger brother, therefore whatever rules he will set, they will be acceptable to me. There are no rules from my side." Then Duryodhan said - "I will play but my Maamaa will throw the dices on behalf of me." Yudhishthir said - "This is not the rule at all. I have never heard of playing this type of game by proxy. You must play yourself and you must put something on stake." Shakuni said - "There is nothing wrong in this type of arrangement. If you do not want to play, say so." Arjun also said once - "In war and in game do not put others in front." But Duryodhan didn't listen to it. On asking "who is going to throw dice first?" Yudhishthir said - "Duryodhan is my younger brother, he will start." Duryodhan put his wealth against Yudhishthir's on stake and said "Here it is". Shakuni took the dice, shook them and threw them on the floor. Shakuni won. Yudhishthir gave thousands of gold coins and his Naulakhaa necklace (900,000 Rupees necklace, or very valuable necklace). Shakuni again won. The game went on. Game after game was played. Yudhishthir was always losing. Now the game was not a pleasure Once Vidur asked Dhritraashtra to stop the game at some point, he said - "Now Duryodhan had already played for hobby, so the game should be stopped. You remember when your dear son was born evil omens were seen, you asked me why, and I told you "because he will be the cause of destruction of the whole world". I asked you to kill him to save the world, but you didn't listen to me. At least now you listen to me. The world will end if the game will continue any more. Please stop this." But Dhritraashtra didn't listen to Vidur again. Yudhishthir had lost everything - 118,000 gold coins and all his wealth, chariots, 100,000 maids along with their gold jewelry, 1,000 elephants with gold seats, treasury, granary. Shakuni again asked - "You have lost everything which you thought was yours, now if you have anything else which you think is yours, you may put it on stake. I put the whole wealth which Duryodhan has won so far, on stake. If you win you can claim it back." Yudhishthir put his dark handsome brother Nakul on stake. Shakuni said "Won". Then he put wise Sahadev on stake, Shakuni won him also. Yudhishthir was very sorry, but the game had to be continued so he put Arjun, and then Bheem and then himself on stake and lost all of them. Seeing this Yudhishthir got sweated and silent. Now Yudhishthir didn't have anything to put on stake so he said - "I don't have anything to put on stake, so we will have to stop the game here." Shakuni said - "You still have Draupadee, you have not lost her yet." Bheem got angry hearing this and his hand grasped his Gadaa firmly as if he would throw it at Shakuni's head, but Arjun stopped him. Yudhishthir put her also on stake. And he lost her too. So Yudhishthir's all was lost.

One More Tactics of Shakuni

Duryodhan had won, Hastinaapur got defeated. All those values of life were defeated of which Bharat family was proud. Dhritraashtra got scared after this event, but this scare was not in favor of Shakuni and Duryodhan. He had returned everything to Paandav whatever they had lost in the game, in one moment only. Duryodhan was severely angry at this. Shakuni was also not happy with this and was abusing Dhritraashtra for this. Draupadee had spoiled his game. Dushaasan saw Paandav going away, he rushed to Duryodhan to give this news to him. Shakuni, and Karn were also there. He said - "Father has returned everything to Paandav and they are going to Indraprasth." Duryodhan rushed to Dhritraashtra and said - "Father, What did you do this? You returned everything to them? Why? We succeeded to get everything back from them but you... Now they are more dangerous than ever before. Do you think they will sit quiet after reaching Indraprasth? You will have to rectify this situation." Shakuni said to Duryodhan - "If only once more I could get a chance to play dice with Paandav, just once more." He justified his proposal saying o himself - "Dhritraashtra loves his son very much, Kripaa, Drone and Bheeshm are faithful to the royal chair. If we have to fear from anybody, that is only Vidur. But if we are fortunate we can win definitely. With this tactics, Shakuni sent Duryodhan to Bheeshm. Duryodhan came to Bheeshm and said - "Pitaamah, As two lions cannot live in one forest, in the same way two kings cannot live in one kingdom. And after the dice game it is just impossible to live like that. I have two alternatives for this: in one alternative, if you permit I attack Indraprasth, and whoever wins he lives there only. In the other alternative permit me to play the dice game again. If I win then they go for 12 years of exile and one year's Agyaatvaas (hiding); and if they win then I will go for 12 years of exile and one year of Agyaatvaas. Whoever will be recognized during Agyaatvaas will have to spend 12 years of exile and one year of Agyaatvaas again." Bheeshm got very sad hearing this condition but he said patiently - "Only Mahaaraaj can give you the answer of this question." Duryodhan said "Then come with me". Bheeshm and Duryodhan came to Dhritraashtra's palace. Duryodhan said the same thing to Dhritraashtra also. Gaandhaaree asked politely - "Is there no third alternative?" Duryodhan said curtly - "Yes, there is, that is suicide. I hate even Arjun's name. We both cannot live in this world together, therefore only one will live." Gaandhaaree got silent hearing this reply. Dhritraashtra didn't want to permit to attack Indraprasth, he could not permit his son to commit suicide either, so he was left only with one alternative - to invite Paandav for dice game once again. Gaandhaaree tried to convince him - "Please do not take Bharat's family on the path of destruction." Dhritraastra said - "If it has to go on that path, it will go." Bheeshm said - "Don't blame destiny for the love of your son." Dhritraashtra sent a messenger to call Paandav back to Hastinaapur to play another game. The messenger went and said - "Mahaaraaj wants you back in Hastinaapur again." Yudhishthir was a believer of fate, so he came back to Hastinaapur. Arjun said to Yudhishthir - "When Raajaa has called us, we will have to go there, but you promise us that you will not play the dice game any more." Yudhishthir said - "If he asked me to do that I will have to obey him." At this Draupadee said - "OK, then you promise me that you will not put your wife and the freedom of your brothers on stake." Yudhishthir said - "Did Raam not know that there is never a golden deer, still He went to kill him. Seetaa also knew that deer is never of gold, still She sent Him on the path of difficulties. But I promise for that what you said." The then the invitation of Dhritraashtra came so he went to see Dhritraashtra.

Dhritraashtra Invites Paandav for Dice Game Once Again

Dhritraashtra called Yudhishthir and said - "Whatever I am going to say to you, I myself am not happy with that, but there are some moments in the life when one has to do unhappy things also. I never wanted the division of Hastinaapur, but I had to do it, I was not happy at that time also, and I am very unhappy for that now also. As two lions cannot live in one forest, in the same way Duryodhan is not ready to live with you. He wants to play one game more with you. This time whoever will lose will go for 12 years exile and one year in Agyaatvaas (hiding). And if the loser is identified in hiding period, then the same term will apply again to him." Yudhishthir said - "Your orders will be obeyed. Will Shakuni Maamaa throw the dice on behalf of Duryodhan this time also?" Dhritraashtra got scared hearing this, but said - "Only Duryodhan can tell this." Yudhishthir said - "I understood very well." Dhritraashtra still confirmed - "Then should I take it as your acceptance for the game?" Yudhishthir said - "If it is your order, then there is no question of not accepting it." This time Draupadee also sat along with Paandav in the game court. It was the same hall, same dice and same players, but Yudhishthir was very unhappy in his heart. The game started, Shakuni said - "All our fortune depends on this one throw of the dice. The winner will rule the Earth and the loser will have to go to exile for 12 years and one year of Agyaatvaas (spent in disguise - hiding). No one should recognize them; and if they are recognized then they will have to go for the same term again. Everyone tried to stop playing this game but Dhritraashtra wouldn't listen to anybody. God willing Paandav didn't get even the chance to play, Shakuni threw the dice with the loud cry "Won". so Duryodhan won this time also. Dhritraashtra got very happy to hear this.

Paandav Leave for Forest

Paandav prepared themselves for exile by wearing tree barks and deer skin. Dushaasan and his brothers were teasing them by giving them names. Hearing their names Bheem was very furious. He said - "Just because your crafty uncle you have won our kingdom and wealth, it doesn't mean that you are safe. Just wait for the day when the war will break out. I swear that I will kill all the hundred sons of the king." Paandav came with Kuntee and Draupadee to the royal court to bid farewell to go to forest to Dhritraashtra and other elders. Dhritraashtra asked - "Why Kuntee has come here?" Kuntee said - "I have come to say this that my sons are not insulted here in this court, rather Hastinaapur is being insulted. Drone, Kripaa, Bheeshm are insulted. I could not go from here without greeting Hastinaapur's land." Dhritraashtra asked - "But why are you going, you have not been exiled?" Kuntee said - "I cannot stay even for a moment in tthe place where a country's king's daughter-in-law's clothes have been pulled off in the royal court. Therefore, please permit us to go from here." Vidur said politely - "Bhaabhee, I also have a small cottage in this city, if you will live with me, I will consider myself very fortunate." Dushaasan also offered Kuntee to stay with him, but Bheem refused him saying that "If she will stay there, I will have to be grateful to him and then I will not be able to bring the blood of Dushaasan's heart to wash Draupadee's hair. That is why she will not live there." Yudhishthir also considered this proper that Kuntee should live with Vidur and they should proceed to forest along with Draupadee. Yudhishthir had the view that "This was his duty to accept blessings or curse, whatever he got in return after greeting elders." So they all greeted Dhritraashtra and Vidur. Vidur said - "May Bhagvaan protect you in Van and help you carry out your vows. Yudhishthir, You must abide with the time, hopefully good times will be here again. Kuntee will live here comfortably. I will take care of her like my mother. Go in peace, we will meet again." Yudhishthir was very satisfied to hear Vidur, he prostrated before Bheeshm, took leave from Kuntee and proceeded towards forest. Dhritraashtra was alone in his chamber, but he was afraid of being alone, so he called for Vidur and asked as how Paandav left the city? Vidur said - "It is like Raam left the city, the public was ready to follow them. Yudhishthir had covered his face, Bheem was looking at his powerful hands, Arjun was scattering dust all the way, Sahadev had darkened his face, and Nakul covered his body with dust and ashes. Draupadee had covered her face with her long perfumed hair, she was crying all the time. Then was Rishi Dhaumya who was plucking Kush grass and reciting Saam Ved Shlok in praise of Rudra and Yam Dev. Dhritraashtra then asked Vidur - "Whatever you are saying about Paandav's actions, did they mean anything, Vidur?" Vidur said - "Yes, certainly. Yudhishthir knew that if he would look even once at the city, the whole city will be burned to ashes, that is why he hid his face. Bheem was looking at his hands to take revenge from your sons. Arjun's scattering dust meant that he would rain his arrows to destroy the whole Kuru family. Sahadev had darkened his face because he never wanted anybody to see his face. Nakul, the most handsome of the five did not want to be seen by women with full of desire, that is why he covered his body with ash and dust. Weeping Draupadee and her face covered with loose hair indicated that your family women will have their appearance like this after 13 years. And Dhaumya's actions were showing that Dhritraashtra's sons will be doomed." As Vidur said this Naarad came there. Naarad said - "In another 14 years all Kaurav will be destroyed. Till then you can enjoy the kingdom. Your peace of mind is just a false assurance, because when your sons will not be alive how will you live in peace?" Both Vidur and Naarad went away. For several hours the king sat there sad and in despair. Sanjaya, his Saarathee,said - "Why do you sit so sad now? Whatever you wanted you got it. You now own everything?" Dhritraashtra told him everything what Vidur and Naarad said to him, still Sanjaya said - "I am the lease worried about you, because your behavior was unforgivable in the hall. You were worse than even your son. Everybody was watching you but you were not listening to anything." After that day Dhritraashtra saw no peace.

 Last updated on November 9, 2009

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