Sabha Parva-Part Two Summary of the Mahabharata

Sabha Parva-Part Two Summary of the Mahabharata

The Mahabharata is one of the two major epics of India. It is believed that Maharshi Vyasa, after undergoing rigorous penance in a sacred cave in the Himalayas, recollected the entire story of the Mahabharata and composed it in his mind. To fulfill the wishes of Maharshi Vyasa, God Ganesha agreed to record this magnificent tale. The Mahabharata comprises 18 parvas or books. Each parva is further divided into several upa-parvas or sub-books, and each upa-parva contains multiple chapters. The second parva, known as Sabha Parva or the Book of the Assembly Hall, consists of 10 sub-books or upa-parvas and a total of 81 chapters. Here is a summary of the Sabha Parva in the Mahabharata.

1. Sabhakriya Upa-parva

In this segment, there are four chapters comprising a total of 141 verses. During the burning of the Khandava forest, Arjuna came to the rescue of Mayasura, a skilled architect. Grateful for being saved, Maya wanted to repay Arjuna’s kindness and asked him to make a request. However, Arjuna, being guided by Krishna’s wisdom, advised Maya to fulfill whatever Krishna desired.

Krishna then expressed his wish for a grand palace to be built for Yudhishthira. Maya, eager to please both Krishna and the Pandavas, decided to construct a magnificent assembly hall that would cater to their preferences. Krishna joyfully stayed with the Pandavas in the beautiful Khandavaprastha.

After a while, Krishna felt the desire to visit his father in Dwarka. With permission granted by Kunti and Yudhishthira, Krishna embarked on his journey to Dwarka, accompanied by the courageous Satyaki and his charioteer, Daruka.

Meanwhile, Maya traveled to the Mainaka mountain situated in the northeastern region, north of Kailasa (Kailash Parvat). There, he obtained a powerful club, a divine conch (Conch Shell) named Devadatta, and building materials made of precious crystals and jewels. Maya presented the formidable club to Bhima and bestowed the conch upon Arjuna. Additionally, he constructed a splendid palace for Dharmaraja (Yudhishthira). After performing the necessary auspicious rituals, Kunti’s son entered the magnificent palace.

2. Lokapala-sabhakhyana Upa-parva

This upa-parva consists of 8 chapters and 373 verses. Once, the Pandavas, along with many esteemed individuals and Gandharvas, were gathered in an assembly. It was during this time that the divine Sage Narada arrived with great affection to meet them. Yudhishthira, accompanied by his brothers, warmly welcomed and honored Narada, pleasing him greatly. Narada expressed his happiness and began discussing matters of Dharma, Artha, and Kama with Yudhishthira. He inquired whether Yudhishthira was dividing his time wisely and following the principles of Dharma, Artha, and Kama appropriately. Narada also questioned whether Yudhishthira was effectively managing the fourteen possessions, such as the country, forts, cars, elephants, cavalry, foot soldiers, and more, with the help of six royal attributes, which included eloquence, resourcefulness, intelligence in dealing with enemies, memory, and knowledge of morals and politics. Additionally, he asked if Yudhishthira was employing one learned man in exchange for a thousand fools and utilizing the seven means, such as creating dissension, applying punishment, offering reconciliation, giving gifts, employing magic and medicine, and performing rituals. Narada advised that delays in providing rations and salaries to troops would lead to their anger and ultimately bring great misfortune. He also emphasized the importance of caring for the families of those who sacrificed their lives or faced grave dangers for the king’s sake. Furthermore, Narada asked whether Yudhishthira’s accountants presented him with income and expenditure statements every day, whether the farmers in his kingdom were content, and whether he reflected upon Dharma and Artha during the third quarter of the night, after sleeping in the first two-quarters.

Upon hearing Narada’s words, Yudhishthira bowed to him and promised to act upon his advice alone. He was truly enlightened by the sage’s wise counsel. Yudhishthira followed Narada’s guidance, and his kingdom expanded all the way to the ocean. Thus, this chapter presents the principles of governance.

Yudhishthira praised Narada for his invaluable advice and then asked if the sage had ever seen an assembly hall like the one built by Maya. Narada responded with a sweet voice, stating that he had never before seen or heard of such a palace in the mortal world. When Yudhishthira requested Narada to describe celestial palaces, the sage vividly depicted the grandeur of Indra’s, Yama’s, Varuna’s, Kubera’s, and Lord Brahma‘s palaces. Narada mentioned that he had seen them all in previous ages but asserted that Dharmaraja’s palace was the most splendid on Earth. Intrigued, Yudhishthira inquired why Narada had only mentioned King Harischandra among the royal seers in Indra’s assembly hall and what made him comparable even to Indra. Yudhishthira also expressed his curiosity about whether Narada had encountered his father, Pandu, in the realm of the manes and, if so, what transpired during their meeting. Yudhishthira eagerly awaited all the details.

Narada began extolling the virtues of Harischandra, explaining that the king had become renowned and illustrious through the blessings he received from satisfied Brahmins, whose charity he generously supported. Due to his righteous actions, Harischandra was accorded a place of honor in Indra’s court. Narada further explained that a king who performed the Rajasuya sacrifice would dwell happily with Indra. Pandu, who marveled at Harischandra’s prosperity, learned of my visit to the earthly realm and sent a message to Yudhishthira through me. In the message, Pandu urged Yudhishthira to perform the Rajasuya sacrifice, as he believed Yudhishthira had the capability to defeat all the kings on Earth. By fulfilling this desire, Pandu hoped that Yudhishthira, like Harischandra, would enjoy a long and joyous stay in Indra’s palace. After advising Yudhishthira to fulfill his father’s wish, Narada bid him farewell and departed for Dwarka, accompanied by the sages. Yudhishthira then consulted with his brothers regarding the performance of the Rajasuya sacrifice.

3. Rajasuyarambha Parva

This upa-parva consists of 7 sections and 265 verses. Yudhishthira, in order to fulfill his father Pandu’s wish, decided to perform the Rajasuya sacrifice and began making arrangements for it. He also contemplated Dharma (righteousness) and the well-being of all worlds. Through his acts of public welfare, he gained the title of Ajatasatru. All his ministers agreed with his proposal for the Rajasuya sacrifice. He consulted with his brothers, priests, ministers, Dhaumya, and Vyasa repeatedly, and everyone agreed that Yudhishthira was worthy of performing the sacrifice. Seeking advice from Lord Krishna, Yudhishthira sent a messenger named Indrasena to convey his request. Krishna himself, accompanied by the messenger, arrived in Indraprastha (Yudhishthira’s capital). Dharmaraja (Yudhishthira) asked Krishna to make the final decision regarding the Rajasuya sacrifice.

Krishna acknowledged that Yudhishthira, possessing all virtues, was indeed qualified to perform the sacrifice. However, he also mentioned the convention that an emperor is recognized as such when they have conquered the entire world. At that moment, Jarasandha had become an emperor by defeating all the kings, thereby gaining control over the entire world. Sisupala, who was defeated by Krishna, became Jarasandha’s commander-in-chief, and two mighty warriors named Hamsa and Dimbhaka, who were equal to gods in strength, sought refuge with Jarasandha. Together, these three warriors could challenge even the three worlds. However, during a battle, Balarama killed King Hamsa, which led Dimbhaka to mistakenly believe that his brother had died. Filled with grief, Dimbhaka jumped into the river Yamuna and committed suicide. Witnessing this, Hamsa also jumped into the river and perished. Distraught by the loss of his comrades, Jarasandha returned to his capital. Krishna explained that as long as Jarasandha was alive, Yudhishthira would not be able to complete the Rajasuya sacrifice.

Jarasandha had imprisoned many kings, and if Yudhishthira wished to proceed with the sacrifice, he needed to first free those kings by defeating Jarasandha. Upon hearing Krishna’s words, Yudhishthira expressed his trust in Krishna’s wisdom and authority. Bhima then suggested that with proper planning, even a weak person could defeat a stronger enemy. Krishna possessed intelligence, Bhima possessed strength, and Arjuna possessed the potential for success. Therefore, the three of them together could accomplish the task of defeating Jarasandha. Krishna agreed with this plan, stating that they could eliminate Jarasandha in battle. However, Dharmaraja (Yudhishthira) became disheartened and suggested abandoning the idea of performing the Rajasuya sacrifice, deeming it too challenging. Excitedly, Arjuna disagreed and said that in that case, they would only achieve the saffron robes of peaceful ascetics. As courageous warriors, they should confront their enemies in battle. Sri Krishna supported Arjuna’s stance, stating that it was the duty of warriors, according to the principles of governance, to engage their adversaries. He then proceeded to narrate the story of Jarasandha’s birth in response to Yudhishthira’s inquiry.

In the land of Magadha, there was a king named Brihadratha. He married the twin daughters of the king of Kasi but was unhappy due to his lack of offspring. One day, he learned that the sage Chanda Kausika had arrived. Seeking a solution, King Brihadratha visited the sage and expressed his concerns about his childlessness. The sage chanted mystical incantations and presented the king with a mango fruit that miraculously fell into his lap. The sage granted him the boon of progeny. After some time, the king’s queens gave birth to half-formed babies, causing them great distress. Fearful and distraught, the queens discarded the pieces outside.

A Rakshasi named Jara, witnessing this, joined the two pieces together for easier transport. As the pieces connected, a boy was formed. The Rakshasi then assumed human form and returned the boy to the king. She revealed her identity and explained that she was merely an instrument in reuniting the parts. She advised the king to perform the necessary rituals for the boy’s upbringing. Furthermore, she predicted that the boy would gain fame with her name. Having imparted this information, she disappeared. Later, the king named the boy Jarasandha and declared him the crown prince. King Brihadratha, accompanied by his two wives, retired to the forest.

Due to Krishna’s slaying of his nephew Kamsa, Jarasandha became an enemy of Krishna. Thus, Krishna shared this story of Jarasandha’s birth to shed light on their connection and history.

4. Jarasandha-vadha Upa-parva

In the Jarasandha-vadha upa-parva, there are five chapters consisting of 280 verses. Krishna informed Dharmaraja that Jarasandha had grown weaker after the deaths of Hamsa, Dimbhaka, and Kamsa. It was the perfect opportunity to defeat him in a duel. Krishna, along with Bhima and Arjuna, planned to meet Jarasandha alone. Krishna was confident that Bhima alone could kill him, but he asked Yudhishthira to send Bhima and Arjuna with him if he trusted in him. Yudhishthira agreed, acknowledging Krishna as their savior, and believed that the task would be accomplished with Krishna, Arjuna, and Bhima together. Satisfied with Yudhishthira’s words, Krishna, Bhima, and Arjuna set off for Magadha.

To ensure their disguise, the three of them dressed as Brahmins observing the vow of Snataka and entered the city of Magadha. The citizens were surprised to see them and they confidently approached Jarasandha. Jarasandha warmly welcomed them but questioned their peculiar behavior as Brahmins and their unconventional entrance into the city.

Krishna explained that Brahmins, Kshatriyas, and Vaishyas all undertake the vow of Snataka. He challenged Jarasandha to witness the strength of a Kshatriya, which lies in his shoulders. He also mentioned that a Kshatriya should enter an enemy’s house through the back door. They had come to Magadha with a purpose and could not expect to receive honor from an enemy. Jarasandha, surprised by Krishna’s words, asked what enmity they had towards him. Krishna revealed that they had mistaken him for their enemy and clarified that they were not Brahmins. His companions were Bhima and Arjuna, the sons of Pandu, and he himself was their enemy, Krishna. He invited Jarasandha to engage in combat.

Jarasandha, unwilling to release the princes he had imprisoned for a sacrificial offering to the gods, prepared to fight the three of them. Encouraged by Sri Krishna, Bhima was chosen to face Jarasandha in combat. An excited Bhima stepped forward to fight as commanded by Krishna. Their battle echoed with thunderous sounds as they clashed. Krishna urged Bhima to kill Jarasandha, and Bhima, using his immense strength, grabbed Jarasandha’s leg with one hand and tore him into two halves.

After disposing of Jarasandha’s body at the palace’s main gate, the three of them went to the prison and freed the imprisoned princes. Bhima and Arjuna were seated in Jarasandha’s chariot called Sodaryavan, while Krishna himself drove it out of the city of Girivraja. Sahadeva, Jarasandha’s son, sought refuge with Sri Krishna, accompanied by priests, ministers, and servants. Later, with Krishna’s permission, Sahadeva performed the last rites for his father. Bhima, Arjuna, and the released kings safely returned to their city. Yudhishthira was overjoyed and decided to commence the Rajasuya sacrifice. Krishna bid farewell to Yudhishthira and returned to Dwaraka.

5. Digvijaya Upa-parva

In this sub-book, known as Digvijaya upa-parva, there are eight chapters consisting of 389 verses. Arjuna, driven by a desire to enhance their prosperity, proposed to his brother Yudhishthira a plan to defeat all the kings and gather taxes from their realms. He sought permission to embark on a triumphant march towards the northern region, which was under the rule of Kubera. Sage Vyasa lauded Arjuna’s decision and advised that he should head north, while Bhima should proceed eastward, Sahadeva should venture south, and Nakula should explore the western territories. Acting upon Vyasa’s counsel, the Pandavas set out on their respective paths. Yudhishthira remained behind in Khandavaprastha. In response to Janamejaya’s inquiry, Vaisampayana recounted the remarkable conquests achieved by the Pandavas during their victory march. The four sons of Kunti, simultaneously conquering the four corners of the earth, returned to Indraprastha laden with great wealth, which they presented to Dharmaraja (Yudhishthira).

6. Rajasuya Upa-parva

In Rajasuya upa-parva, there were three chapters consisting of 104 verses. King Yudhishthira ruled the land with righteousness alongside his brothers. Throughout his reign, there was never any mention of calamity. Blessed with abundant wealth, King Yudhishthira desired to perform the grand Rajasuya sacrifice. Lord Krishna, accompanied by a vast army and bearing valuable gifts such as precious gems, arrived at the scene. Yudhishthira sought Krishna’s permission to undertake the Rajasuya sacrifice together with his brothers. Krishna, praising the merits of this great sacrifice, acknowledged Yudhishthira’s entitlement to become an emperor and advised him to take the vow to fulfill his desires. Thus, with Krishna’s consent, Yudhishthira and his brothers began gathering the necessary materials for the sacrifice. Sahadeva and other ministers were entrusted with the responsibility of overseeing the preparations. Vyasa, the wise sage, brought numerous learned priests who were the very embodiment of the Vedas. Vyasa himself assumed the esteemed role of the chief priest, Brahma, for the ceremony, while Yajnavalkya served as the officiating priest, Adhvaryu.

Under Yudhishthira’s command, Sahadeva dispatched messengers to all the kingdoms, inviting people from the four castes to attend. The gathered Brahmins initiated Yudhishthira into the vow at an auspicious time. Separate quarters were arranged for each caste as directed. Yudhishthira’s sacrifice commenced on Earth, resembling the grandeur of Indra’s sacrifice in heaven. Later, Yudhishthira sent Nakula to Hastinapura to invite Bhishma, Drona, Dhritarashtra, Vidura, Kripa, Duryodhana, and his other brothers. Nakula joyfully went to Hastinapura and extended the invitations with great enthusiasm. Bhishma, Dhritarashtra, Duryodhana, and the others attended the sacrifice, causing the place to radiate like a heavenly abode filled with celestial beings. Yudhishthira, bound by his vow, welcomed them all and assigned different responsibilities to each. Lord Krishna himself humbly washed the feet of the Brahmins, while Dussasana oversaw the arrangements of food, Aswatthama was entrusted with honoring the Brahmins, Sanjay attended to the needs of the royalty, and Bhishma and Drona were appointed to oversee the progress of the ceremony. Everyone present experienced immense joy and contentment throughout the sacrificial rites.

7. Arghabhiharana Upa-parva

In this upa-parva, known as Arghabhiharana Parva, there are four chapters comprising a total of 843 verses. On the auspicious day of the Abhishechaniya rite, a crucial part of the sacrificial ceremony, revered sages and Brahmins, along with the kings, gathered at the sacred site. Narada, pleased with the prosperity of Dharmaraja (Yudhishthira) and his diligent performance of the sacrifice, recognized that Lord Narayana himself had incarnated in the Kshatriya lineage to vanquish his adversaries.

Impelled by this realization, Narada commanded all the celestial beings to take birth on Earth, fulfill their designated tasks, and then return to heaven by mutually slaying one another. Following his own decree, Narada himself took birth in the Yadu dynasty. Bhishma, the wise and virtuous grandsire, urged Yudhishthira to honor all the participants by offering arghya, a gesture of respect and welcome. Responding to Dharmaraja’s inquiry, Bhishma recommended that Sri Krishna be accorded the first worship (agrapuja).

Thus directed by Bhishma, Sahadeva performed the arghya ceremony for Sri Krishna according to the prescribed rituals. However, Sisupala could not tolerate this reverence shown to Sri Krishna. He criticized Bhishma and Yudhishthira and proceeded to insult Sri Krishna in various ways. Growing increasingly agitated, he rose from his seat, prepared to leave, and his followers followed suit. Observing this, King Yudhishthira hurriedly approached Sisupala, admonishing him for his improper behavior, attempting to dissuade him from departing.

In response, Bhishma proclaimed that Sri Krishna alone was deserving of worship by all. He informed Yudhishthira that there was no need to beseech anyone who refused to accept this truth. Sri Krishna was not only esteemed by them but by the entire universe. Krishna embodied the very foundation of the cosmos. Turning his attention to Sisupala, Bhishma admonished him for his disrespectful conduct towards Krishna. Among the Brahmins, the most knowledgeable individual is accorded honor. Among the Kshatriyas, it is the strongest who is revered. Among the Vaishyas, the wealthiest in terms of resources and grains is respected. And among the Sudras, the elderly are held in high regard. As Krishna possessed profound knowledge of the Vedas and their supplementary texts and was also the mightiest of all, there was no one else worthy of such reverence.

Upon hearing this, Dharmaraja beseeched Bhishma to elucidate the incarnations and stories of Sri Krishna in chronological order. Bhishma proceeded to provide a concise account of Krishna’s remarkable exploits. Previously, Sri Krishna existed in the form of Narayana, the self-born great grandfather of all worlds. Narayana first brought forth the waters and then created Brahma within them. The four-faced Brahma subsequently formed the worlds. During the time of the immense deluge, everything shall merge back into Narayana, who alone shall remain.

Once, Narayana fulfilled the desire of the Rakshasas Madhu and Kaitabha by slaying them while they sat upon his lap. The fat that emanated from their bodies spread across the earth, and since then, this land has been known as Medini. Bhishma then proceeded to recount the incarnations of Varaha, Nrisimha, Vamana, Dattatreya, Parasurama, Sri Rama, Sri Krishna, and Kalki.

Upon concluding the narration, Bhishma declared that if Sisupala still believed that the worship offered to Krishna was undeserved, he was free to act as he pleased. With that, Bhishma fell silent. Sahadeva, the son of Madri, extended a choice to those who did not accept Krishna’s honor, and he completed the ritual of offering arghya to Sri Krishna.

As the worship ceremony concluded, Sisupala’s rage grew uncontrollable, and he incited the kings to engage in a confrontation. Several offended kings vowed to prevent the coronation of Dharmaraja and the gratification of honoring Krishna. Krishna, perceiving their hostile intentions, understood that these kings were ready for battle.

8. Sisupala-vadha Upa-parva

Sisupala-vadha upa-parva consists of 6 chapters and 252 verses. Dharmaraja, feeling agitated upon seeing the kings preparing for battle, approached Bhishma seeking advice on how to pacify them. Bhishma reassured him, saying that a dog can never kill a lion. The kings had already chosen the path of auspiciousness. Sisupala, the king of Chedi, had lost his reason and was acting like a lion, leading the other kings to their demise. Just as dogs bark before a sleeping lion, these kings were merely making noise until Sri Krishna, the sleeping lion, would awaken. Upon hearing Bhishma’s words, Sisupala harshly rebuked him, accusing him of tarnishing the family name and questioning why an elderly man like him wasn’t ashamed of his actions. Sisupala claimed that Bhishma, being in the third state, was incapable of providing counsel and had no knowledge of righteousness (Dharma). He then narrated the story of an old swan and likened himself to that swan, destined to be slain by all the kings. He blamed Bhishma for leading the Pandavas astray from the path of virtue and causing them to consider Krishna’s deeds as righteous.

Bhima, furious at Sisupala’s words, was about to attack him, but Bhishma intervened and pacified him in various ways. However, Sisupala remained indifferent to Bhima’s threat. Bhishma then recounted the birth of Sisupala. A boy with four arms and three eyes was born into the royal family of Chedi, which terrified his parents. They contemplated abandoning him until a voice from the sky proclaimed that the person in whose lap the boy would lose his extra limbs and whose sight would make his extra eye retreat into his forehead would be the cause of his death. Upon hearing this, every king on Earth came to witness the extraordinary child.

When Krishna and Balarama learned of this news in Dwaraka, they traveled to the city of Chedi to visit their aunt, Srutasrava, who was their father Vasudeva’s sister. Srutasrava affectionately placed her child in Krishna’s lap, and immediately the boy’s two extra arms fell to the ground, while his third eye vanished into his forehead. Frightened, Srutasrava pleaded with Krishna to spare her son’s life and begged for his forgiveness. Krishna granted her request, forgiving the boy for a hundred offenses. Sisupala’s anger grew upon hearing Bhishma’s praises, and he criticized Bhishma for not praising someone like Karna, a great warrior. He compared Bhishma to a foolish bird called Bhulinga, which constantly uttered words of caution but engaged in reckless behavior, such as picking meat from a lion’s teeth with its beak and eventually perishing. Sisupala insulted Bhishma, calling him unrighteous. In response, Bhishma declared that he considered all those kings to be as insignificant as blades of grass. Many kings rose in anger upon hearing his words.

Sisupala then challenged Sri Krishna to a fight. Krishna listed Sisupala’s offenses for the sake of all the gathered kings, highlighting his reprehensible behavior towards him in front of everyone. He stated that he couldn’t forgive Sisupala and his actions. The other kings joined in reproaching Sisupala, who continued to insult Krishna. Krishna focused his thoughts on his Sudarsana disc, which immediately appeared in his hand. He informed the kings that he would forgive only a hundred offenses of Sisupala and that they had already been exceeded. Therefore, he would now put an end to his life. Saying so, Krishna swiftly beheaded Sisupala with his Sudarsana disc. A radiant light emanated from Sisupala’s body, which then bowed to Krishna before merging into him. Yudhishthira, the eldest of the Pandavas, installed Sisupala’s son on the throne of Chedi. Finally, Yudhishthira expressed his gratitude to the sages, acknowledging that it was through their power that his sacrifice had been successfully completed and his desires fulfilled. With the conclusion of the sacrifice, Krishna returned to the city of Dwaraka. Meanwhile, Duryodhana and Sakuni, the son of Subala, remained in the divine assembly hall.

9. Dyuta Upa-parva

There are 28 chapters and 889 verses in this upa-parva. This section deals with the events surrounding the game of dice between the Kauravas and the Pandavas. In this chapter, after the completion of a sacrifice, Vyasa informs Yudhishthira about the portents and predicts the destruction of the Kshatriyas. Depressed by this news, Yudhishthira resolves to remain calm and non-confrontational.

Meanwhile, Duryodhana, envious of the Pandavas’ prosperity, seeks Sakuni’s advice on how to defeat them. Sakuni suggests inviting Yudhishthira for a game of dice, boasting about his expertise in playing the game. Duryodhana agrees and asks Sakuni to convey his grief to Dhritarashtra.

Sakuni informs Dhritarashtra about Duryodhana’s jealousy and suggests arranging the dice game. Dhritarashtra consults Vidura but eventually gives in to Duryodhana’s demands, ordering the construction of a special hall for the game. The hall, named Toransphatika, is completed quickly.

Vidura is sent to invite Yudhishthira, who reluctantly agrees to participate. During the journey, Vidura reveals the ulterior motive behind the game. Yudhishthira meets various individuals at Hastinapura and proceeds to the dice hall. Sakuni invites him to play, and Duryodhana stakes all types of gems while Sakuni plays on his behalf.

The game begins, and Sakuni wins all the stakes, including Yudhishthira’s wealth and possessions. Vidura expresses his disapproval of the harsh game to Dhritarashtra, calling Duryodhana a jackal and urging him to abandon his wrong path. Duryodhana rebukes Vidura, dismissing his words.

Yudhishthira continues to lose and eventually puts his brothers and Draupadi at stake. Sakuni wins them all. Duryodhana orders Draupadi to be brought to the assembly hall, despite Vidura’s objections. Draupadi questions the assembly through a messenger, seeking guidance, but no one speaks up.

Yudhishthira sends a message for Draupadi to come before the assembly in her current state and weep before her father-in-law. Draupadi is forcibly brought to the hall by Dussasana, but as he tries to disrobe her, Sri Krishna miraculously covers her with endless garments.

Vidura asks the assembly to respond to Draupadi’s question, but no one does. Duryodhana asks Draupadi to choose one of the Kauravas as her husband, as Yudhishthira has lost the authority to stake her. Bhima gets angry, and Karna taunts Draupadi, stating that she now belongs to the Kauravas.

The tension escalates, and Arjuna challenges the assembly to decide whose master Yudhishthira truly is. Meanwhile, inauspicious signs appear, including the cries of a jackal and other animals. Gandhari and Vidura express concern, and Dhritarashtra grants Draupadi’s first two boons, releasing Yudhishthira and his brothers.

Draupadi refuses to ask for a third boon. Dhritarashtra permits Yudhishthira to return to Indraprastha with his brothers and Draupadi, urging him to forget the incident. Yudhishthira accepts and departs for Indraprastha.

Dhritarashtra’s palace was filled with silence and despair after Yudhishthira and his brothers left for Indraprastha. The Kauravas, led by Duryodhana, were triumphant in their victory, but the atmosphere was heavy with the weight of their actions.

Meanwhile, in Indraprastha, Yudhishthira and his brothers, along with Draupadi, found solace in their humble abode. Despite their losses, they remained united and determined to rebuild their lives. Yudhishthira, being the embodiment of righteousness, did not harbor any grudges or bitterness towards the Kauravas.

The people of Indraprastha were saddened by the news of their beloved Pandavas’ defeat and the mistreatment of Draupadi. They sympathized with their plight and prayed for their well-being.

In Hastinapura, Vidura, Bhishma, and other wise men advised Dhritarashtra to reconsider his decisions and find a peaceful resolution to the ongoing conflict. They reminded him of the consequences of his actions and urged him to seek harmony and justice for all.

Dhritarashtra, torn between his love for his own sons and his duty as a righteous ruler, wrestled with his conscience. He realized that his blind affection for Duryodhana had led to the current predicament. Deep down, he knew that he had to rectify his mistakes and find a way to bring about reconciliation.

Vidura, being a voice of reason, proposed that Dhritarashtra should invite the Pandavas back to Hastinapura and offer them their rightful share of the kingdom. He believed that such a gesture of goodwill would restore peace and harmony in the land.

Dhritarashtra, after much contemplation, agreed to Vidura’s suggestion. He sent a messenger to Indraprastha with an invitation for Yudhishthira and his brothers to return to Hastinapura and reclaim their kingdom.

When the messenger arrived in Indraprastha and delivered the invitation to Yudhishthira, he was hesitant to accept it. He had suffered great humiliation and loss at the hands of the Kauravas, and he questioned the sincerity of Dhritarashtra’s invitation.

However, Draupadi, ever the voice of reason, reminded Yudhishthira of the importance of forgiveness and the need to give peace a chance. She encouraged him to consider the invitation and urged him to think of the welfare of their subjects.

Yudhishthira, deeply moved by Draupadi’s words, decided to accept Dhritarashtra’s invitation. He believed in the power of forgiveness and hoped that through dialogue and understanding, they could find a resolution to their conflicts.

The Pandavas, accompanied by Draupadi and their loyal followers, set out for Hastinapura once again. The people of Indraprastha bid them farewell with tears in their eyes, praying for their success and happiness.

As the Pandavas arrived in Hastinapura, they were received by Dhritarashtra, Bhishma, and other respected elders of the kingdom. Dhritarashtra, filled with remorse, expressed his regret for the events that had transpired and sought forgiveness from Yudhishthira and his brothers.

Yudhishthira, true to his virtuous nature, forgave Dhritarashtra and embraced him as a father figure. He expressed his desire for peace and harmony and his willingness to work towards rebuilding the kingdom together.

Dhritarashtra, moved by Yudhishthira’s magnanimity, announced that he would divide the kingdom into two equal parts. He offered one portion to the Pandavas and the other to the Kauravas, hoping that this division would bring an end to the rivalry and restore harmony within the kingdom.

Yudhishthira, grateful for Dhritarashtra’s gesture, accepted the division of the kingdom. He pledged to govern his portion with fairness, justice, and compassion, ensuring the welfare of all the subjects under his rule.

With the kingdom divided, the Pandavas and the Kauravas started their respective reigns. Yudhishthira, with his wisdom and righteousness, brought prosperity and happiness to his people. The land once again flourished under his just rule.

Over time, the bitterness and animosity between the two families began to dissipate. The Pandavas and the Kauravas realized the futility of their past conflicts and the importance of unity for the greater good of the kingdom.

Gradually, the Pandavas and the Kauravas started working together to address common challenges and develop the kingdom. They put aside their differences and embraced a spirit of cooperation, focusing on rebuilding their lives and forging a better future.

The people of Hastinapura rejoiced as they witnessed the transformation within their kingdom. Peace prevailed, and prosperity returned under the joint efforts of the Pandavas and the Kauravas.

The story of the Pandavas and the Kauravas serves as a reminder of the power of forgiveness, compassion, and reconciliation. It teaches us the importance of overcoming past grievances and working towards a harmonious coexistence for the betterment of all.

And so, the tale of the Pandavas and the Kauravas, which began with rivalry and strife, ultimately found its resolution in forgiveness, understanding, and the collective endeavor to create a prosperous and united kingdom.

10. Anudyuta Upa-parva

This Upa-parva, known as the Anudyuta Upa-parva, comprises 8 sections and consists of 360 verses. With the consent of Dhritarashtra, Yudhishthira, after collecting his wealth, embarked on a journey towards Indraprastha. Upon learning of this, Duryodhana, Karna, and Sakuni, driven by their desire for revenge against the Pandavas, approached Dhritarashtra.

Duryodhana informed his father about their wish to engage in another round of gambling with the Pandavas, under the condition that the losers would have to dwell in the forest. The defeated party would have to wear deerskins and live there for twelve years. In the thirteenth year, they should live incognito.

If their true identities were to be discovered during that time, they would have to endure another twelve years of forest life. Dhritarashtra accepted his son’s proposal. However, Drona, Somadutta, Bahika, Kripa, Vidura, Asvatthama, Yuyutsu, Bhurisravas, Bhishma, and Vikarna opposed Duryodhana’s idea. Nevertheless, Dhritarashtra, being a fond father, summoned the Pandavas. Gandhari, a virtuous queen, also advised the king to abandon the idea for the sake of their family.

Dhritarashtra responded that even if their family were to be destroyed, he could not restrain Duryodhana. By his command, the messenger Pratikami approached Yudhishthira, who was on his way to Indraprastha, and conveyed Dhritarashtra’s instruction to return for another game of dice.

Yudhishthira acknowledged that accepting the invitation to gamble would lead to the destruction of their family. However, he could not defy the king’s order. With these words, Yudhishthira returned with his brothers to engage in gambling once again. Subsequently, another round of dice game took place with the aforementioned conditions, and Yudhishthira lost once more.

In accordance with the agreed terms, the Pandavas, adorned in deerskin, undertook the vow of forest-dwelling and prepared to journey into the woods. At that time, Dussasana mocked Draupadi, hurling insults at her and urging her to choose one of the Kauravas as her husband. Enraged, Bhima reiterated his oath to pierce Dussasana’s chest.

When Duryodhana laughed at them as well, Bhima vowed to kill him in the battle between the Pandavas and Kauravas. Arjuna pledged to slay Karna, while Sahadeva swore to eliminate Sakuni. Nakula took an oath to avenge the insults to Draupadi by killing all the sons of Dhritarashtra. Kunti, at Vidura’s behest, took shelter in his abode.

After paying their respects to Bhishma and Drona, bidding farewell to Kunti, Yudhishthira, along with his brothers and Draupadi, ventured into the forest. Vidura escorted Kunti to his residence. Dhritarashtra, deeply distressed by his sons’ wicked deeds, sought an explanation from Vidura regarding the mental state of the Pandavas and the citizens. In response, Vidura described the determination of the Pandavas to complete their forest exile and return to seek vengeance against the Kauravas.

Upon hearing Drona’s words, Dhritarashtra overcame his grief and sent Vidura to bring back the Pandavas. Sanjaya criticized Dhritarashtra for his misdeeds, and Dhritarashtra, realizing the strength of the Pandavas, expressed his desire to avoid conflict and maintain peace between the two sides. He entrusted Sanjaya with the task of ensuring a peaceful resolution.

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