In Naimisaaranya, Ugrasravasa, the sooti ( story teller) continued to narrate the great story Mahabharata to Saint Sounaka and other sages and saints assembled there.

Rajasooya yaaga commenced. At the conclusion of the yaga, Bheeshma told Dharmaja:

"Dharmaja, now you have to honour and worship an eminent personality, a scholar, a virtuous personality, highly intellectual, a person who is liked by one and all." said Bheeshma.

In turn, Dharmaja asked Bheeshama "I do not know who he is. Kindly identify him and tell me. I will worship him" said Dharmaja.

"Whoelse is there except the incarnation of Mahavishnu on this earth. He is no other than Sri Krishna. He is a fit personality for this great honour (Agra Pooja) at the end of Yaga." said Bheeshma.

Dharmaja was very happy for his choice because he also chose Sri Krishna for Agra Pooja. Sahadeva brought Arghya to Sri krishana. Dharmaja offered Arghyam, paadyam and other honours to Srikrishna.

King Sisupaala who was present there could not tolerate this. He looked at Dharmaja and said:
"Look Dharmaja! In this gathering, there are many kings. Ritviks and Brahmins who are learned. But with the ill advise given by this Bheeshma, you are worshipping Srikrishna and offering him Agra Pooja. Is it not foolish on your part? Is Krishna fit for Agra Pooja? Bheeshma cannot think in a right way. He ill adivsed you. If you like Krishna very much, you can call him to your house and do whatever you like. But you cannot offer Agrapooja to Krishna here, on this occasion and dont insult the Kings and Great personalities who assembled here. Why, because, Krishna is not for for Agra pooja.

Dharmaja! I will ask you one thing.

Are you worshipping Krishna because he is older than all? Here, his father Vasudeva, who is much older than Krishna, is very much present.

Are you worshipping him because he is a great Ritvik? It cannot be, because, Saint Veda Vyaasa is gracing this occasion.

Are you worshipping him because he is a great teacher or Guru, your Guru Dronaacaarya and Kruaacaarya are here.

Or, are you worshipping Krishna because he is a famous king, there are many famous kings present here like Yadava Kings.

On what basis you have offered Krishna, the Agra Pooja?

On follow-ing the ill advise of Bheeshma, you lost your face in this gathering. Because Dharmaja is a great king and emperor, many kings have visited this Yaaga. But you have insulted them.

Even if you have offered him Agra Pooja, I do not know how Krishna shamelessly accepted it. You know, Dharmaja, offering Agra Pooja to Krishna is nothing but giving a beautiful bride in marriage to an impotent person; singing a beautiful song before a deaf person; and, showing a beautiful girl to a blind man.

Dharmajaa! Look! all are laughing at you!" so saying Sisupaala left that gathering.

Dharmaja followed Sisupaala and said "Sisupaala! kindly listen to me. Is it proper for a King like you to speak like that. Having known that Sri Krishna is an incarnation of Lord Maha Vishnu, Bheeshma suggested him for Agra Pooja. How can it be a fault on my part? How can you under stand Sri Krishna more than Bheeshmaa. Is it possible for small people like you to understand about great personalities? When each and everybody is praising Sri Krishna as a Great Personality, how can you object it?" Dharamaja tried to pacify Sisupaala.

At this juncture, Bheeshmaa intervened and said "Dharmajaa! Sisupaala is childish. He is a bad character. Why you try to pacify him? After all he is a king of a small kingdom. For that he became headstrong. He accuses elders for no reason. How can he know about Dharma and Adharma. "

Then Bheeshma turned towards Sisupaala and said "Sisupaala! How can you say that Sri Krishna is not fit for Agra pooja. All the kings who assembled here are no other than the Kings who were freed by Sri Krishna from the prison of Jarasandha. If a person is wise and intellectual, he is fit for worship even though he is a boy and younger. A valiant Kshatriya is also fit for worship. Sri Krishna is a great intellectual. Sri Krishna killed a Raakshasa called Mura and got a title as "Muraari". Hence he is worshipped by one and all on this earth. Though there are lakshs of old and elder people, we worship only a person who is intellectually old. If you worship an elderly peson or old person, he alone will satisfy. But if we worship Sri Krishna everybody on this earth will satisfy.Yyou better know about it" said Bheeshmaa harshly.

Now Sahadeva rose to his feet. "We have decided to offer Agra Pooja to Sri Krishna. If any bad characters objected to this, I will crush them under my feet" Sahadeva rose his foot violently. All the kings were frightened on seeing Sahadeva.

One Suneetha, the Army General of King Susupaala made operations to wage war against Dharmaja by deploying his army and also the Kings who are allys to Sisupala.

On seeing these developments, Dharmaja was very much annoyed. He approached Bheeshmaa "My Dear Grand father, all the invitee kings are very much annoyed. Kindly pacify them and make them cool" said Dharmaja.

"Dharmajaa! Sri Krishna who is no other than the destroyer of all demons is protecting this Yaaga. Nobody can cause any kind of obstruction to this Yaaga" said Bheeshma.

On hearing these words of Bheeshma, again Sisupaala grew angry. "This old Bheeshma is praising that Yadava as God and the Pandavas as virtuous fellows. So, do they mean to say that all the kings assembled here are cowards.

Killing a lady who has come to give breast to a child, kicking a old rotton cart, felling a dried out tree, lifting a small bush---Are these the deeds of valour done by Krishna?

Do you praise them as heroic deeds?
Do you honour a person who killed a lady?
Are you not ashamed of it?

Your tongues should be cut into pieces. You old fellow. What do you think about you? You kidnapped a lady who fell in love with another, and forced her to marry your brother.
Because your brother knew Dharma, he left Amba and sent her to her lover.

You are issueless. How can you preach sermons to others? I know much about Krishna and about his past heroic deeds. Krishna was afraid of King Jarasandha and fled away ten Times.
Unable to attack Jarasandha, he took the help of Bheema and Arjuna and killed Jarasandha in the attire of Brahmins. Is it a heroic deed and valiant act?" said Sisupaala.

While Sisupaala was scolding Sri Krishna in such a manner, Bheema could not control his anger. He rushed against Sisupaala to kill him. But Bheeshma stopped him.

"My dear Bheema, killing Sisupaala is not your duty. Sisupala was born to Saatvaki and Damaghosha, with four hands, one eye on the forehead and with donkey voice. Saatvaki and Damaghosha was very much annoyed on looking at this strange boy. At that time a divine voice from space was heard

" This boy will be killed by a person, by whose touch this boy will get his normal body"

From then onwards, the parents of that boy were waiting for such a persoality.

One day, Sri Krishna and Bala rama went to see the boy. First Sri Krishna took the boy into his arms. To the surprise of one and all, the extra hands are vanished and the third eye dis-appeared. Sri Krishna is no other than the nephew of Saatvaki. Saatvaki prayed Sri Krishna not to kill Sisupaala until he commits 100 wrongs. Sri Krishna agreed for that. Whenever Sisupaala completes his 100th wrong, he will be killed by Sri Krishna." told Bheeshma.

But Sisupaala continued his scolding. "O Krishna, this brainless Bheeshma, these Paandavas offered Agra Pooja to an useless fellow like you. I cannot tolerate this. Come on. Be ready for a fight with me." challenged Sisupaala.

Sri Krishna smiled at him. He addressed all the kings and coutiers assembled there.

"When we were engaged in a war against Praagjyothisapura, this Sisupaala burnt out our Capital City Dwaraka.

While the Kings of Bhoja were spending their time with their wives on Raivatakaadri, this Sisupaala killed all of them ruthlessly.

While my father, Vasudeva was performing Asvamedha Yaaga, this Sisupaala stole away the horse.

This Sisupala kidnapped the wife of Babhru and married her.

But, asper the wish of my aunt, Saatvati, I pardoned him till he completes 100 wrongs. Now it is completed. Sisupaala is now my bitter enmy. It is now time to kill him." said Krishna.

Then Sisupaala again scolded Krishna "You bad fellow! Besides kidnapping the bride whom I intend to marry, Still you are shamelessly talking like this" scolded Sisupaala.

Krishna could not tolerate this attack any more. Immediately he killed Sisupaala with his Chakraayudha. The head of Sisupaala was cut. His body fell on the ground.

Srikrishna asked Dharmaja to perform the funerals of Sisupaala with all honours.

The son of Sisupaala was made the King of Chedi kingdom.

With the killing of Sisupaala, Rajasooya Yaaga concluded.

Dharma Raja gave enormous gifts to his Gurus, Brahmins, Ritviks and satisfied them. As per the directions of Dharmaraja, Bheemasena gave sendoff to Bheeshma, Dhrutaraashtra.

Arjuna gave send off to Drupada. Nakula gave send off to King Salya, Subala. Sahadeva gave send off to Dronaacaarya, Krupaacaarya, Asvathaama. Dhrushtadyumna gave send off to Viraata, Bhagadatta. Abhimanya and other sons of Pandavas gave send off to other kings.

Sri Krishna also took leave from Dharmaja and left for Dwaraka. All the Pandavas gave a warm send off to Sri Krishna.

But Suyodhana along with his uncle, Sakuni, remained in Indraprastha for sometime to see the gilmses of Mayasabha.

One day Suyodhana visited Mayasabha along without any aide. He was astonished for its amazing beauty. But he had some bad experiences.

In Maya Sabha the doorways are appearing as if there no doors. Where there are no doors, it appeared as if there is a door, as a result, he hit against a wall. There are some ponds built inside the mayasabha. But, even the plain ground looks like a pond and water in it. In fact there is neither pond nor water. Where there is really a pond with water, it looks like a plain ground.

Suyodhana walked on such a plain ground and fell into a deep pond and his clothes were wet. On seeing this Pandavas and Droupadi laughed. Dharmaja immediately gave him some clothes and ornaments.

Suyodhana felt ashamed of that. He immediately left for Hastinapuram. His heart was filled with jealousy and the magnifi-cent Maya Sabha became a heartburning for him. He was deterio-rating day by day.

Sakuni observed this. "Suyodhana! what happened to you? Why you are worrying like this? Why you are not talking with others? Why you are not attending to your day to day adminis-trative duties as before? What is the reason for your sorrow? Kindly tell me" asked Sakuni.

"My dear uncle! Have you seen Maya Sabha? Have you ever seen such a magnificent building anywhere on the earth? You have seen that all the kings on the earth were prostrating before Dharmaja and offered enormous gifts to Dharmaja. Now Dharmaja is an Emperor. When Krishna killed Sisupaala, not a single king objected to that. Uncle! I could not tolerate Pandavas enjoying such pleasures. Any king can ever tolerate his enemy's prosperity and his own degradation." said Suyodhana in a sorrowful voice.

"O Suyodhana! For this small thing, why should you worry? Take the permission of your father. The Pandavas' wealth will be yours in no time. I will make them to stand in the streets" said Sakuni.

Both of them went to Dhrutaraashtra. Dhrutarashtra heard everything.

"Suyodhana! Listen. I have given the entire the Kingdom and wealth of Kuru dynasty to you. Here nobdoy will object you. You are enjoying the wealth and pleasures equivalent to Devendra. All the kings are prostrating before you. Why you are worrying like this?" asked Dhrutarashtra.

"O father! you have not assessed the wealth of Pandavas properly. The wealth and pleasures of Pandavas are much more than Devendra. Their fame expanded to the four corners of the earth. When the entire Bharata Khanda is under the control of Pandavas, how can I tolerate this and remained like an ordinary prince. You know, my father, during Rajasooya Yaaga, I was kept in-charge of receiving all the presentations and gifts given by the visiting Kings. All the kings gave enormours and innumerable gifts to Pandavas. The entire wealth of all the Kings on the earth is no match to the wealth of Dharmaja. Even the Rajasooya Yaaga performed by King Harischandra was no match to the Rajasooya Yaaga performed by Dharmaja and lost its dignity. While Dharmaja was sitting on the throne as Emperor, Saatyaki was holding an umberalla studded with pearls, Bheema and Arjuna were holding the royal fans. Sri Krishna introduced all the kings and made them to prostrate before Dharmaja. Krishna, Saatyaki and Droupati were laughing on seeing our faces pale. It becomes unbearable for me to think about the wealth and pleasures of Pandavas for a single moment." said Suyodhana.

At that time, Sakuni intervened and said: "My dear brother in law, listen to me. Dharmaja likes gambling. But he does not know the intricacies in gambling. He is a plain gambler. I am an expert in gambling. I will defeat him in gabling and grab all his kingdom and wealth and hand over the same to Suyodhana" said Sakuni.

"My dear father, kindly accept the words of my uncle Sakuni and allow us to proceed" requested Suyodhana.

"Vidura got a foresight in such affairs. He is a well wisher of Pandavas and Kouravas. I will discuss this matter with him and take a final decision" said Dhrutarashtra.

"You are well aware, my father, Vidura got partisan attitude towards Pandavas. He will never agree for my proposal. Hence you have to take a final decision. Otherwise, I will consign myself to flames. You and Your Vidura will be happy." said Suyodhana with great sorrow.

Dhrutarashtra was in great dilemmaa. Any how, for the present, he ordered for constructing a magnificent Sabha building. One day Dhrutarashtra called Vidura and expressed the desire of Suyodhana.

"I will never agree" said Vidura firmly. "Why you are trying to create differences between Pandavas and your sons. You know, gambling will create enmity even between thick friends and persons with cool mentality. So try to develop friendly atmosphere between Pandavas and Kouravas." said Vidura.

"Viduraa! you are unnecessarily suspecting troubles. When yourself, Bheeshma and other elders are there, why differences will arise between brothers? Therefore, kindly agree for this game of dice. You visit Indraprastha and bring Dharmaja to Hastinapura" said Dhrutarashtra.
Vidura consulted Bheeshmaa about this. Even Dhrutarashtra tried to convince Suyodhana

"Suyodhana! Why you are insisting for this game of dice or gambling? It may create differences and ill feelings between you. It is not good even for the people at large. Even Vidura is discou-raging this kind of gaming. You are ruling this earth equally. You are having wealth five times more than Dharmaja. You also perform some Yaga and show your pomp to all. The kings will also give innumerable presents and gifts to you also. Kindly give up this idea" said Dhrutarashtra.

But Suyodhana paid a deaf ear to the words of his father.

"O my King Dhrutarashtra! To have a glance of Dharmaja plaing dice game is itself a Yaaga. That is the only way left to grab all his wealth. I will tell you one thing. Please listen. After you all returned back to Hastinapura, I remained in Indraprastha to see Maya Sabha. In Maya Sabha I experienced some unpleasant-ness at the hands of Pandavas especially Droupadi. She laughed at me when I fell into a pond by mistake. That laughing of Droupadi is still piercing my heart like an arrow. If we tolerate the prosperity of our enemies, it will destroy us. Therefore, we have to grab the kingdom and wealth of Pandavas by hook or by crook. Then only my heart will remain in peace." said Suyodhana.

Immediately Sakuni took the lead "Suyodhana, without help of any army, without waging any war, without shedding a single drop of blood on ground, by simply playing the dice, I will grab the entire kingdom and wealth of Pandavas in an easy manner and hand over the same to you. Except with dice game, it is highly impossible to grab the wealth of Pandavas, in any other manner. You need not worry about it. Invite Dharmaja for dice game." suggested Sakuni.

"Whatever may be your argument, I wont agree for this proposal. Vidura knows everything about it. He told me that gambling is disastrous. I will follow his words. Leave that idea and remain as before" said Dhrutarashtra firmly.

Suyodhana again tried to convince his father. "O father! I already told you that Vidura is always having a partisan attitude and always favours the welfare of Pandavas. How can he be our well wisher. Kindly tell me? Thsi dice game is not of todays affair. It was played in ancient times also. There is no wrong in playing dice game in a friendly manner. Kindly permit Sakuni to play dice game with Dharmaja. Send for Dharmaja from Indraprastha" said Duryodhana.

Dhrutarashtra was left with no other alternative except to heed to the words of his son, Suyodhana. He again consulted Vidura.

"Vidura we also constructed one magnificent building. You go to Indraprastha and invite Dharmaja and his brothers along with his relatives and friends, to visit Hastinapura to see our magnifi-cent building. You bring them along with you. Just for a while, Dharmaja may play dice-game with Suyodhana on the specially erected stage." said Dhrutarashtra in a soft voice.

Vidura again reminded Dhrutarashtra that gambling is disas-trous and creates enmity betwen brothers .His words were of no use. . In such a helpless condition, he left for Indraprastha.

Dharmaja welcomed Vidura with due honous. Vidura told Dharmaja the reason for his visit.

"Viduraa, my paternal uncle deputed you to bring us to Hastinapura. You have come. We will certainly come to Hastina-pura to see the newly built magnificent building. If it stops there, it will be OK. But playing dice game is not proper. On account of that, differences may arise between us. Anyhow, obeying the order of my paternal uncle is our duty. We are coming." said Dharmaja.

Dhamaja followed Vidura to Hastinapura along with his brothers and their wife.

At Hastinapura Dhrutarashtra, along with his sons, and elders like Bheeshma and Drona, Salya, Sakuni, Saindhava, Somadatta, received Dharmaja and his brothers. Dharmaja and his brothers along with their wife, Droupadi, sought the blessings of his paternal uncle Dhrutarashtra and aunt Gaandhaari.

The wives of Suyodhana and other brothers, were astonished on seeing the stunning beauty of Droupadi. They felt a bit jealousy.

Dharmaja and his brothers visited the newly built Sabha. After that they were comfortably seated in a big auditorium built exclusively for playing dice game.

At that time, Suyodhana said "Brother Dharmaja! I heard that you are an expert in playing dice game and you are very much interested in that game. Why cannot we spend some time by playing dice game ? said Suyodhana.

"Suyodhana! gambling that too a wicked gambling is not proper for Kshatriyas. It is a sinful act for a king to play dice game that too with wicked persons. In such a type of gambling any body, however expert he may be, he will loose his entire wealth and prosperity. But if dice game is played strictly according to rules and without crossing Dharma, it is not a sin. But a wicked game is a great sin." said Dharmaja.

Now Sakuni intervened. "Dharmaja! you are an expert in playing dice game. You are also worldlywise. Is it proper for a stalwart and a great kshatriya like you, to accuse dice game. It is quite common that while playing with experts in dice game, the weak players will follow some wicked methods. Still, if you are afraid of playing dice game with weak persons like me, we will give up this idea." said Sakuni wickedly.

Dharmaja smiled at Sakuni. "Sakunee! we are brought here by force to play dice game. We have to play it! Why talking un-necessarily. Let us start the game" said Dharmaja.

Dharmaja played the dice game knowing pretty well that gambling is wrong. He looked at Sakuni, Vivimsati and Citrasena, and Vikarna "Who will play dice game with me?" asked Dharmaja.

"Dharmaja! Sakuni will play on my behalf. If you win, all the bettings will be yours" said Suyodhana.

"What is this? Playing one for the other is quite improper" murmured Dharmaja. Anyhow, he proceeded to play the game.

First he put his diamond bracelets as his first bet. The game was continuing in a friendly atmosphere. Bheeshma, Dhrutarashtra, Vidura, Krupaacaarya, Drona were observing the game with broken hearts. Sakuni was using the dice specially prepared for that purpose. Sakuni was winning each and every game.

Some kind of greediness developed in Dharmaja. One by one he was betting and losing. The entire golden treasures, diamond treasures, other precious stones and metal treasures, horses, ele-phants, servants, cows, entire army, what not, everything he betted and lost.

Vidura became restless. He approached Dhrutarashtra.

"Listen! Duryodhana is a wicked personality. Due to his acts, the entire Kuru Dynasty is tainted with sin. Pandavas are not your enemies. Stop Suyodhana and save Dharma. Save the people on the earth. Avoid a great war between brothers. Your son is provocating Pandavas for a great war. Dont remain as a silent spectator. Stop this wicked dice game" said Vidura to Dhruta-rashtra.

Due to the undue love towards his sons, Dhrutarashtra remained silent.

Then Vidura approached Suyodhana "Look Suyodhana! If you grab all the wealth of Pandavas with the help of Sakuni in this wicked game, your subjects will hate you. Is it proper on your part to cheat Pandavas like this?" asked Vidura.

Suyodhana grew angry. "Vidura! Though you are in my house and eat and drink with our moneys, you always speak on behalf of Pandavas. You are a poisonous snake in our house. You better know that grabbing the wealth of enemies by hook or crook is Dharma. Dont try to preach morals. Keep quiet" said Suyodhana.

"Suyodhana! you always heed wicked ideas of wicked people. But it is my duty to tell you the truth even forcibly. I am telling you again and again. Enmity with Pandavas is not good for your health." said Vidura.

There, Sakuni looked at Dharmaja "You have betted all your wealth, moneys, horses, elephants, army, servants. What is your next bet?" provoked Sakuni.

Even by that time, Dharmaja became a slave to dice game. He forgot good and bad. He placed his entire kingdom as a bet and lost it. Then, he betted all his lands and buildings except those which have been given in charity to Temples and Brahmins, and, as usual, lost the bet. Then he put his four brothers as bet and lost them. Then remains himself. He also betted himself and lost himself.

"Look Dharmajaa! Why you betted and lost yourself in this game? It should happen when you have got nothing to bet. Is not your wife, your property? You would have betted her first and then yourself." said Sakuni wisely and wickedly.

Dharmaja took the dice in his hands and placed a strange bet, i.e., his wife and lost her. Then he stopped the game.
Bheeshma, Drona, Vidura who were observing these fast developments, remained speechless.

Dussaasana, Karna and Sandhava were in jubilant and in mood.

"Viduraa! I want a slave to clean my house. Bring the slave Droupadi immediately" ordered Suyodhana.

"I donot find such a fool like you anywhere. How dare you send me for this heinous work. You better know that Droupadi is the Queen of an Emperor of this Universe.Will you insinuate her like this? " said Vidura.

Then Suyodhana called one Pratigami "You go and bring Droupadi to this assembly. It is my order" said Suyodhana.

Acordingly, Pratigaami went to Droupadi. "Madam! Your husband, Dharmaja lost all his kingdom, properties, wealth and even his brothers and himself along with yourself. Suyodhana ordered me to bring you to the assembly. Please come along with me" prayed Pratigami.

Droupadi was astonished "Have you ever heard or seen any such dirty gambler who lost his wife in gambling? How Dharmaja acted like this? You are telling that Dharmaja betted himself and lost. Whether he lost himself before betting me in the game or whether he lost me before losing himself in the game. If you know about this kindly tell me. If you donot know, kindly go and ask that gambler to answer this question" said Droupadi in a choked voice.

Pratigami returned to Suyodhana and told him about the question of Droupadi.

"This is a matter which cannot be answered. Let her come and ask that question in this open assembly. You go and bring Droupadi here" again ordered Suyodhana.
"Madam, King Suyodhana ordered that you yourself should come and ask that question in open assembly. Kindly follow me" said Praatigaami.

Droupadi with a single garment came down to that assembly and stood by the side of Dhrutarashtra. Pandavas bowed down their heads, unable to see Droupadi in that situation.

Suyodhana grew angry. "Dussaasanaa! Go and bring Droupadi here" ordered Suyodhana.

Droupadi ran to the seat of Gandhari and stood by her side.

Dussasana was laughing wickedly. "Where will you go? Sakuni won you as a bet in dice game. Your husbands lost you in the game. You are now the property of Suyodhana. Come before Suyodhana" said Dussaasana.

"I am out of doors. I am with only one garment. Dont touch me. I cannot come before the elders. Leave me" prayed Droupadi.

Dussasana heckled at Droupadi "Whether you are with one garment or without garment I donot care. You have to come before the King. Otherwise I will drag you to the king." so saying, Dussa-sana caught hold of the tuft of Droupadi and dragged her to the assembly.

Droupadi with folded hands prayed all the elders in the assembly "This Dussaasana dragged me before you and insulted me like this. Is it proper? Is Dharma deteriorating like this" she prayed Lord Krishna in her mind with great devotion.

Viewing all these untoward incidents Bheemasena could not control himself. "Dharmaja! th entire kingdom, we four brothers are under your control. You betted the kingdom and your brothers in game and lost us. It maybe proper. But how can you put Drouadi, daughter of Drupada, as bet. Is it proper on your part? Because of that, she is being insulted before all. Knowing fully well that what is going on is a wicked dice game, you continued the game. For that your hands are to be burnt" told Bheemasena with anger.

Arjuna tried to pacify Bheemasena "My dear brother! Following the present day dharma that an invitation for a friendly game or a virtuous battle should not be rejected, Dharmaja came here. But fate reversed. What can we do?" said Arjuna.

Vikarna, one of the brothers of Suyodhana rose to his feet.

"In this great assembly, all the elders, teachers, and ancestors of Kuru vamsa are maintaining silence towards these untowards incidents. Atleast, the other intellectuals who are pre-sent here just think about it. Do you think that what is going on here is according to Dharma? " asked Vikarna.

There was no reply from any quarter. Vikarna continued.

"Now I will tell what is dharma. Gambling, hunting, drink-ing, over-eating – these four are bad habits. A person addicted to these four bad habits will always violate dharma. Therefore, any act done by the above addicts cannot be taken into account.

Here, one gambler (Sakuni) invited another gambler (Dharmaja) for gambling. The later gambler lost all his wealth including his brothers. He also put the joint property ( wife) which belongs to all the five brothers as a bet and lost it.

Is it dharma?

No. It is not.

It cannot be.

Besides that, it is unjust and improper to bring a lady who is out of doors and having only one garment, to a place where elders are assembled." said Vikarna.
Karna was annoyed about the speech given by Vikarna.

"Vikarna! you are a small boy. Why you speak about dharma, which nobody desires to speak. While elders are main-taining silence, youngsters cannot speak. Dharmaja lost his wife in dice-game. Droupadi is the property of Dharmaja. Therefore she was won according to Dharma. Otherwise, why pandavas accept this and keep silent. Droupadi got more than one husband. There-fore, she is "bandhaki". Such a lady can be brought to a public place even without clothes. There is no wrong in it. Therefore please keep quiet." said Karna.

With the words of Karna, Suyodhana entertained a new idea. "Oh. fine. marvellous. Dussasana. Take off the clothes of Pandavas and Droupadi" ordered Suyodhana.

Dussaasana lost his discretionary power. He was not in a position to think whether it is right or wrong. He caught hold of the phallu of the saree worn by Droupadi. He was pulling the saree.

To the surprise of one and all assembled there, only the phallu was coming out. The part which was covering her waist and below remained in tact. Several sarees are coming out and formed into a heap. Still the original saree remained in tact around her waist. Dussaasana ashamed of his act.

Viewing this unpleasant incident, Bheemaa grew angry. He rose up and took a vow "In the forthcoming war, while all these elders of Kuru Dyansty are viewing, I will kill this Dussaasana, who has insulted Droupadi in this public place, and pierce his heart with my hands and drink his warm blood. If I fail to do so, I was not born to my father and fore fathers." told Bheema in a forceful voice.

All the people in that assembly began to murmur that Dhrutarashtra did all this only due to his excessive love towards his sons.
Now Vidura rose and addressed the gathering.

"You all should think about the clarification sought for by Droupadi. This Vikarna, though young in age, spoke like Deva Guru, Bruhaspati. Even if you know Dharma, if you do not express it either with fear or greediness or expecting any unlawful gain, or for any other reason, it will be equivalent to speaking falsehood.

In the ancient days, Virochana, son of Prahlada and a poor Brahmin youth, Sudhanva were quarelling with each other, with regard to a certain girl. They both approached Prahlada for justice. Prahlada was in dilemma because his own son is involved. He consulted Saint Kashyapa.

"Prahlada! now you are not the father of Virochana, your son. You are a Judge. The duty of Judge is to do justice and follow dharma. If you fail to do so, you are committing sin. Not only you, the people in your court also will be sinners because they are not doing justice though they are capable to do justice. Therefore, you have to Judge the matter without fear or favour, Kama and Krodha." suggested Kashyapa.

Prahlada was very happy. Prahlada decided the matter against his son. Therefore, now, we have to do justice to Droupadi. Other-wise, we all will become sinners" said Vidura, keeping the long silence of Bheeshma in mind.

Having afraid of the King, Suyodhana, nobody opened their mouth.

Now Droupadi looked at the gathering and said

"I am the wife of five Pandavas. I am the sister of an Eminent Personality, Sri Krishna. Now I am insulted like this. Why you are not giving reply to my question? Am I a slave? or Not? Come on! Tell me !" asked Droupadi in a choked voice.

Now Bheeshma opened his mouth "Droupadi! The only person who can answer your question is your husband, Dharmaja and none else" said Bheeshma.

Now Karna intervened "Droupadi! Listen! Instead of having five inefficient husbands, one efficient husband is better. Is it not? Select one from out of us who will not again bet you in gambling" heckled Karna.

Suyodhana just patted his lap and winked at Droupadi "come on! sit on my lap."

Bheemasena could not control himself. He again spoke in a forceful voice "You stupid Duryodhana! with the pride and arro-gance that you are a king, you have winked at Droupadi to sit on your lap. Listen! Now itself I will break your both thighs with my mace and kill you. Mind it!" so saying Bheemasena, rushed towards Suyodhana.

Bheeshma, Drona and Vidura stopped Bheema and pacified him that this is not proper time.

Now Gandhari took the lead. Along with Vidura, she approa-ched King Dhrutarashtra and appraised him of all what had hap-pened so far and also the insult meted out by Droupadi.

Dhrutarashtra immediately called his son Suyodhana "Suyodhana! Insulting the wife of Pandavas is not proper. Pandavas are very much annoyed due to your silly and foolish acts. Stop this nonsense" said Dhrutarashtra.

Dhrutarashtra called Droupadi "Droupadi! amongst all my daughter-in-laws, you are the most respectable lady. Ask me What do you want ?

"First of all, kindly get rid of my husband, Dharmaja, from slavery." asked Droupadi.

"Yes. Granted. What is your next wish?" asked Dhrutarashtra.

"Please also relieve his four brothers from slavery and restore them to their original positions, and return their arms and residences.." asked Droupadi.

"Yes. That is also granted. What is your next wish?" asked Dhrutarashtra.

"A vysya lady can ask once; a kshatriya lady can ask twice; a Soodra lady can ask thrice. Therefore, I cannot ask again" said Droupadi.

Dhrutarashtra was very happy for the virtuous behaviour of Droupadi. He called Dharmaja, and his brothers. Dhrutarashtra res-tored the entire kingdom, wealth, houses, landed property, gold, diamonds, pearls and all treasures lost by them during the dice game.

"Dharmaja, foolishly I supported this dice game. I am old and feeble minded. Having seen the face of me and my wife Gandhari, dont keep in mind the foolish acts of my son. Kindly go back to Indraprastha and rule your Kingdom peacefully.God bless you." said Dhrutarashtra.

Bheema was not happy with this development. "There is no other sad state of affair in this world except saying that Pandavas are ruling the kingdom got at the mercy of their wife. It is better to fight with Kouravas and got back our Kingdom after defeating them in war." thought Bheemasena. All of them returned back to Indraprastha.

In Hastinapuram, Suyodhana was not happy with the later developments. He consulted Karna and Sakuni. He again approached his father, Dhrutarashtra.

"My dear father! As per the words of Bruhaspati, Deva Guru, doing away with enemies is Dharma. Pandavas are our enemies. What ever good we do for them, we are bad in their looks. We committed a great blunder by releasing them from slavery. If Arjuna with Gaandeeva, Bheema with his mace, and Nakula and Sahadeva with their swords, stand before us. it is highly difficult to defeat them. Therefore, dice game is the only solution to defeat them. Kindly send invitation to Dharmaja again for dice game. We will defeat them and make them homeless." requested Suyodhana.

For some reason or the other, Dhrutarashtra agreed for the same. He extended invitation to Dharmaja through Pratigaami.

For the same reason that if invited by Paternal Uncle, we should not disobey, Dharmaja along with his brothers and wife visited Hastinapuram.

All sat down for playing dice game.

This time Sakuni played another trick.

"Dharmaja! King Dhrutarashtra gave back all your King-dom and wealth lost by you in the dice game. Now you cannot again put them as bet. Therefore, let us have a variety bet.

Those who are defeated in the dice game, should relinquish the worldly pleasures, wear clothes made up of fibre, and live in forest for a period of 12 years. After that they can live in any city but spend underground life, without being identified by any body. If they are once identified, they have to again ungergo living in forest for another 12 years and another one year underground life. If you agree for this , we can commence the game" said Sakuni.

Dharmaja agreed for this strange bet. He played the game and lost it in no time. Pandavas were ready to go to forest.

They took leave from Bheeshma, Drona, Krupaacaarya. They went to their mother Kunti.
"O my sons! what is this? Am I living only to see your fate like this? Unable to bear this, Your father and mother Madri pro-ceeded to heavens much earlier. I am an unfortunate lady remained on this earth to see all these happenings. O Lord Krishna! Save my sons" she prayed. She blessed her sons and daughter in law.

Pandavas were walking through the streets of Hastinapura. Dharmaja covered his face with upper cloth, thinking that the peo-ple of Hastina will be burnt away by his fierciful looks. Bheema was keeing his mace on his shoulder and walking straight thinking that with this, he got an opportunity to kill his enemies in war.

Arjuna was walking with anger, sprinkling sand on earth, resembling that he will shower arrows on his enemies like sand. Nakula and Sahadeva were walking in the streets with muddy bodies.

Droupadi accompanied her husbands with a sorrowful face, thinking that the wives of Kouravas also will meet the same fate after losing their husbands in the final war. Dhoumya, the Purohit of Pandavas, and Brahmins, chanting Vedas, thousands in number, accompanied Pandavas.

In this manner, Pandavas proceeded to forest.

Mahabharat – Sabha Parva –
Dviteeyaasvaasa(Second Chapter)
Om Tatsat.