279 chapter (overall). Ch 54 of Sabha Parva
Reading of Chapter 279 (overall), chapter 54 (within the Sabha Parva)
(Dyuta Parva: 27th Parva as per the 100-Parva classification; Sabha Parva: 2nd parva as per the 18-Parva classification)
(read from Mahabharata Volume 2 (The complete, unabridged Mahabharata), translated by Bibek Debroy)
Direct YouTube link to Ch 279: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BbHVdOGuUM0
In the previous chapter, Yudhishtra lost the first throw of the dice. In this chapter, Yudhishtra does more. He loses his mind. He exclaims [bold emphasis mine],
"You have won this gamble from me by using deceit. Let us now grasp the dice and play a thousand times."It is clear that Yudhishtra has pretty much lost it. Exactly what Shakuni and Duryodhana wanted. Why Yudhishtra thinks deceit was involved is not clear. Why the text uses the word "Shakuni resorted to deceit" is not explained. If Shakuni was resorting to deceit, why didn't anyone call him out on the deception? Later on, even Bhishma gives Shakuni a clean chit. Vidura does not accuse Shakuni of deceit. And every time Yudhishtra loses, he stakes something more. And every time he does, Shakuni plays and says, "I have won." The repeated use of this phrase, "I have won" is brilliant. Every time you read this, it heightens the sense of foreboding.
I have read this chapter from Vol.2 of Bibek Debroy's translation of the unabridged Mahabharata. You can find my review of the volume here.
Mahabharata Volume 2 (The complete, unabridged Mahabharata) (Amazon.com, Kindle, Flipkart)
Kindle ebook Excerpt: