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XIX. Pandavas - An Example for Kali Age

Parikshith prayed with tearful eyes and with such humility that Vyasa said, "Son! The Pandavas are staunch adherents of the moral law; they never deviated from the given word. They observed the rule that the defeated party has no right to challenge the victors; your grandfather and his younger brother recognised the moral superiority of Dharmaraja, their elder brother and suppressed themselves. Or else, they would have felled the foul Kauravas to wallow in their own blood and cast their corpses to be mangled by dogs and vultures."

"In spite of this, however, your granduncle, Bhima was straining to fall upon those vicious men like a lion chained to a tree; he was laughing cynically at the weak attachment that Dharmaraja had towards Dharma. But, what could he do? He was rendered harmless, by the will of his eldest brother. So, he had to behave like an ineffective person."

When Vyasa said thus, Parikshit asked him the reason why the grandfathers were so enslaved; Vyasa smiled and replied, "Son! I shall tell you that also. Your granduncle, Dharmaraja celebrated in unprecedented grandeur the Rajasuya-yajna in the assembly hall that Maya built for him. The Kauravas were invited for the Yajna and as I said, they were struck with amazement at the magnificence and wonder; they were also filled with envy and a spirit of vengeance, as if they were insulted by the affluence and powers of the Pandavas. They held counsel with wicked elements and sought some means by which they could undermine their fortune. At last they struck on a plan."

"That was the gambling contest through the royal game of dice. They behaved as if they were filled with fraternal love and as if they were motivated by the utmost affection. Their words were poisoned drops of honey, stabs steeped in butter. They persuaded their blind old father to send Dharmaraja a communication which ran thus: 'Son! You are all brothers. Come and be together in one place and make merry over a game of dice'. On receipt of this invitation, your granduncle who had no inkling of the wiles that the Kauravas are capable of, who had a guileless mind himself, accepted it and played the games they proposed, unaware of the stratagems they had planned. He was then tempted to stake his brothers and finally, even his queen, Droupadi. He did not realise that the game was full of foul movements and conspiratorial tricks. He never imagined that his cousins will land him in abject misery. So, under the rules of the gambling game, Droupadi became the property of the victors. They too, in order to wreak vengeance and cool their overwhelming passion of hatred, designed to dishonour the queen of the Pandavas in full sight of the entire assembly of courtiers. Foul brains can hatch only foul plans."