288 chapter (overall). Ch 63 of Sabha Parva
Reading of Chapter 288 (overall), chapter 63 (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 288: http://www.youtube.com/embed/tsA-tUD7T5c
Karna continues, again, Bhima pledges again, Dhritarashtra grants.
Karna continues his spiteful tirade against Droupadi, first saying that a woman can own no property, and then,
"Choose another one for your husband, one who will not make you a slave through gambling. ... Enter as a slave. The ones who have been won over can no longer be your husbands. Valor and virility are of no use to Partha (Yudhishtra) now."Duryodhana plunges the dagger of logic deeper into the Pandavas, asking Yudhishtra to "Answer the question as to whether you think Krishna has been won." And then, he seals his fate,
"He looked invitingly at Panchali and grasped his garment. Smiling at Radheya and tormenting Bhima, he exposed his left thigh to Droupadi, who was looking at him."Bhima's pledge was the second he was to undertake.
"If he fails to break that thight with a club in a great battke, let Vrikodara not go to the worlds where his ancestors have gone."Vidura remains adamant that Droupadi had not been won.
"But if a man puts up a stake when he is not the lord of anything, winning that stake is like obtaining riches in a dream."Two additional points to note here. Duryodhana does not let go of the pivotal question of Droupadi's status at the time she was staked by Yudhishtra.
"O Yanjanseni! If they say that Yudhishtra wasn't their lord, then you will be freed from slavery."Truly diabolical. Either Yudhishtra is denounced as a liar, a pretender to the claim of being "dharmaraja", or their wife, Droupadi, is insulted and shamed.
Arjuna is clear that Yudhishtra "was certainly our master when he first played with us at stake." But...
"But whose lord was he, once he had lost himself? O assembled Kurus! All of you should decide that."At that point, Dhritarashtra, for reasons not quite clear, and they could have been shame, or fear, we don't know, decides to grant Droupadi three boons. Droupadi asks for Yudhishtra to be freed from slavery, so that their son, Prativindhya, should not be known as the son of a slave. With the second boon, she asks for the other Pandavas' freedom, along "with their chariots and their bows." That is one smart lady.
Droupadi refuses the third boon, saying,
"It is said that the vaishya has one boon, a kshatriya and his wife can have two. O Indra among kings! A king can have three and a brahmana one hundred. O king! My husbands were reduced to an evil state, but have been rescued. They will obtain riches and prosperity through their own sacred deeds."
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: