Game of Dice

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The game[edit]

The game is traditionally called Dyut or Chausar. It is similar to Ludo. A Kshatriya could never refuse to play; hence, this situation led to the fall of Yudhistira, who could not leave the game midway.

Shakuni was said to have magical dices which fell according to his wishes.

The Dishonor of Draupadi[edit]

Draupadi, the common wife of the Pandavas was gambled away by Yudhisthira. On losing her, she was redeemed of her royal Emperess status to a lowly slave status. Duryodhana ordered his slaves to inform Draupadi as to leave the Queens' chambers and relocate to Hastinapura's slave chambers. Draupadi, who was menstruating on that day, refused to come, as she was residing at the Royal bath. Infuriated, Duryodhana immediately ordered his brother Dushasana to drag her to the court, where were present many of the revered seniors like the family's sire Bhishma, the masters of the princes Drona and Kripa, and also the King Dhritarashtra. According to Indian traditions, it was highly offensive to see a woman half dressed, that too a royal lady and a Queen. Draupadi was the family's daughter-in-law. Therefore, it was an utter disgrace for such lady to be summoned thus in the court. She pleaded Dushasana not to touch her, but he dragged her with her hairs forcibly all the way through the palace. She was clad in an Ekavastra (one piece attire, a long saree without the other sub-cloths), stained in blood and with disheveled hairs.

Draupadi questioned the assembly about her dishonor on which no one raised their voice. The learned Vidura tried to save her but she was mostly mocked over her chastity. The mighty Karna ridiculed "this woman however has many husbands, therefore it must be that she isn't chaste. Thus bringing a woman in an Ekavastra or completely naked makes no difference!" On this note, Dushasana forcibly disrobed Draupadi in public.

Draupadi's Grace and Seeds of the Kurukshetra War[edit]

Draupadi was, however, saved from being completely naked: she prayed to Kṛṣṇa while being disrobed. Hence, her sāṛī never ended and, at last, Dushasana gave up of fatigue.

This incident is still remembered and ridiculed as a proverb in the Indian society over the safety of women. The Game of Dice hence became the ground where the seeds of the cataclysmic Kurukshetra war was first sown. The then helpless Pandava brothers swore to themselves to avenge their wife's dishonor. The second Panadava brother Bhima swore to kill all the true brothers of Duryodhana (the 100 Kaurava brothers). Duryodhana had mocked Draupadi showing his thigh as an invitation for her to sit over. Bhima hence swore to break the thigh of Duryodhana. He also swore to rip off the arms of Dushasana as they had pulled Draupadi's hair. Draupadi swore to never tie her hair until it is washed in Dushasana's blood. Bhima promised to bring her the blood of Dushasana's chest. Arjun, the third brother, swore to kill Karna, who had insulted Draupadi. Lastly, Sahadeva, the fifth brother, swore to kill Shakuni whom he thought to have been the root of all the chaos.

Aftermath[edit]

The pandavas were sent on an exile of twelve years and an extra one year in incognito. In case they are caught during their time in incognito they would reprise their exile again for next twelve years and this cycle may go on. The Pandavas however successfully finish their exile and return to reprise their status as rulers. Duryodhan rejects to abide by his promises which breaks the Kurukshetra War in which the entire race is wiped out. All the pandavas fulfill their oaths and Draupadi is washed in Dusshassan's blood. Of the great war with millions of warriors, elephants, horses only ten people survive, prominently the five Pandavas who won the war. Yudhistir is then crowned as the emperor.