Ch 268 - Dyuta Parva


268 chapter (overall). Ch 43 of Sabha Parva
Reading of Chapter 268 (overall), chapter 43 (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)

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Reading of Chapter 268 (overall), chapter 43 (within the Sabha Parva)

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If readers of the Mahabharata were to be asked to pick one episode from the epic that they would call pivotal, epic, and unforgettable, I am reasonably sure a majority would pick "Draupadi cheer-haran" (the disrobing of Draupadi) from the Dyuta Parva. The disrobing of Draupadi by her brother-in-law Duhshasana marked somewhat of a point of no return, even though war could have been avoided even much later on. The Dyuta Parva starts off with Duryodhana insulted in Indraprastha, and ends with the Pandavas having lost and regained everything, and their wife Draupadi dragged, insulted, and disrobed. If ever there is a line in the epic that sets it off on a path of no return, it is likely this.

A little bit of background. The Dyuta Parva is the 27th parva in the Mahabharata as per the 100-Parva classification, and occurs in the Sabha Parva, which is the second parva as per the 18-Parva classification of the Mahabharata. Dyuta Parva contains 734-shlokas and twenty-three chapters.This Parva takes place after the Shishupala-vadha parva, which sees Krishna behead motor-mouth Shishupala.

Dyuta Parva starts with Duryodhana taking a walk of the Pandava's envy-inducing marvel of a palace, "Maya Sabha." He falls into the water there, is laughed at by the servants and the Pandavas, and seethes off in rage and resentment.
"On seeing him fall into the water, the servants laughed out in delight and on the instructions of the king, gave him fresh clothes. On seeing him in that fashion, the immensely strong Bhimasena, and Arjuna and the twins, all burst out in laughter."
On their way back to Hastinapura, and it seems that Duryodhana and Shakuni shared the same chariot, Duryodhana was so lost in thought about the riches and prosperity and power of the Pandavas that he did not respond to repeated queries from his uncle. When he finally did, it was a lament.
"I am drying up like a shallow pond in the hot season."
...
"What true man in the worlds has the fortitude to see his rivals prosper, while his own self is in decline?"
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.comKindleFlipkart)

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© 2012, Abhinav Agarwal (अभिनव अग्रवाल). All rights reserved.