Mahabharat Stories – Pandavas Get New Kingdom
Formation of Indraprastha – Kingdom for Pandavas
Sri Krishna, Bhishma, Dronacharya and others persuaded Dhritarashtra to recall Pandavas back and give them their rightful half of the kingdom with due honour. Dhritarashtra acceded to their wishes, though somewhat reluctantly. Duryodhana and Uncle Shakuni opposed the idea and Karna maintained that war would be better recourse to settle the issue. dispute should be settled by war. But better sense prevailed, and according to the dictate of king Dhritarashtra part of the kingdom was given to Yudhisthira and his brothers.
Khandavavana, a sparsely populated area with meager facilities for trade and agriculture came to Pandava’s lot. However, they did not grumble an developed Indraprastha as their capital city. All five brothers worked hard to bring prosperity to Indraprastha. People joined their labour and soon Indraprastha became as glorious as Hastinapur.
Saints and sages, gods and angels all preferred Indraprastha to Hastinapur for touring and pilgrimage. Even plant and animal life prospered due to righteous behavior of Pandavas. Gods in the heaven showered continuous blessings on them.
Yudhisthira performed a great sacrificial ceremony – Rajasuya Yagna – wherein many kings participated and pledged unflinching support to Yudhisthira and many accepted his sovereignty as well. Thus over a period of many years, gradually but surely Pandavas were recognized and accepted as powerful, noble, and better rulers than Kauravas. Sri Krishna visited them off and on, and Arjuna became his friend and best disciple.
Infuriated Duryodhana Plans To End Pandava’s Glory
All this infuriated Duryodhana and uncle Shakuni. They were not happy with the glorious progress and prosperity of their cousins and Indraprastha. Jealousy and hatred, as is well known, create conditions for revenge and meanness. Somehow or the other they wanted to see an end to the well being of Pandavas.
Duryodhana and Shakuni started to analyze the strength and weaknesses of their counterparts. Duryodhana knew that it was futile to attack them or engage the Pandavas in war as that was sure to cause downfall of Hastinapur. It was also sensed that Sri Krishna, Bhishma, and Dronacharya would oppose any such move.
At last, uncle Shakuni, the great schemer, found the weak point he was looking for. He knew that Yudhisthira as a king would unlikely to refuse to play game of dice if royal invitation was sent to him.
Here Shakuni was adept in this game of dice. He had specially prepared dice that followed his command! He could very easily fix the game where victory of Kauravas was assured. Thus after proper persuasion, Dhritarashtra sent invitation to Yudhisthira to participate in the game of dice. At Indraprastha, mother Kunti protested and warned them not to engage in gambling game as it might lead to disaster. But determined Yudhisthira decided to accept the invitation.
Accordingly, the five brothers and their wife Draupadi reached Hastinapur. A warm welcome awaited them. Pandavas saluted Bhishma, Dronacharya, and Vidura and sought their blessings. These elders and well-wishers of Pandavas also cautioned Yudhisthira to be careful of the ill designs of Shakuni and Duryodhana.