Ch 271 - Dyuta Parva


271 chapter (overall). Ch 46 of Sabha Parva
Reading of Chapter 271 (overall), chapter 46 (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 271 (overall), chapter 46 (within the Sabha Parva)
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Here, after having dispatched Vidura with the invitation, Dhritarashtra probably has a bout of uncertainty, or perhaps thrown into doubt after Vidura's admonition, and asks his son, Duryodhana, to "forget the dice."

Duryodhana's reply is revealing of human nature. Of course, it was the immense wealth and power of the Pandavas that wrought this attack of uncontrollable envy in Duryodhana. And yes, the humiliation, some of it self-inflicted and some suffered at the hands of the Pandavas, in the Pandava's Sabha at Indraprastha made Duryodhana seethe with anger. We know that. But, in this chapter, we are given a glimpse into another facet  of Duryodhana's anger and envy.

The first is Duryodhana's realization that he could not avenge his insult. He is probably conscious of the fact that he would be the loser in a confrontation with Bhima. "Had I possessed the ability, I would have killed Vrikodara there."

That Duryodhana did not possess a comparable amount of wealth as the Pandavas was obvious. That the Pandavas treated him with pity, with condescension, imagined or real, was that probably pushed Duryodhana over the edge. When Duryodhana walks into a crystal slab, mistaking it for a door, and then stops in front of what he thinks to be a wall, Sahadeva comes over and tells Duryodhana, "repeatedly told me, as if amazed, 'O king! This is the door. Pass this way.'"

Not only was Duryodhana acutely aware that he lacked comparable riches as the Pandavas, the thought that they, the Pandavas, were aware of it, oh - that was intolerable!

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.