1. Examine the ideal of kingship in relation to the representation of Dhritrashtra and Yudhisthira in the prescribed sections of The Mahabharata

1. Examine the ideal of kingship in relation to the representation of Dhritrashtra and Yudhisthira in the prescribed sections of The Mahabharata.

The Mahabharata, the longest Sanskrit epic, is a story of two sets of paternal first cousin who became the bitter rivals with each other. The epic revolves around the struggle for the throne of Hastinapura. The two collateral branches of the family that participate in the struggle are the Kauravas and the Pandavas. The Kauravas were collectively the hundred sons of the blind king Dhritarashtra and the Pandavas were the five sons of Pandu. The five brothers named Yudhistira(eldest son), Arjuna ,Bhima , Nakula and Sahadeva were always obedient and dutiful. Draupadi was the common wife of the five Pandavas. The Kauravas behaved viciously and brutally towards the Pandavas in many ways. Their malice displayed itself when they took advantage of the eldest Pandava, Yudhistira in a game of dice.

Living in the new territory of Indraprastha , Yudhistira turns his poor land into a wealthy kingdom, and declaress himself King of Kings . Duryodhana, the eldest of the Kauravas , is jealous and humiliated on his visit to the magnificent palace . He mistakes a glass floor for a pool, then later falls into a pool thinking it is glass . Draupadi and Bhima laugh at him . He returns home bent on devising their destruction.

Duryodhana follows the advice of his uncle, the cunning Sakuni, an infamous dice player, and invites Yudhistira to a game of dice. They know well that gambling is Yudhistira's one weakness. Vidura is sent to invite the Pandavas to visit Hastinapura and play a dice game there . Yudhistira accepts the invitation . Both  Dhritharashtra and Yudhistira ignore Vidura's warning to avoid the game which may result to a destructive consequence.  Sakuni was confidence that he could defeat Yudhistira easily and thus Duryodhana could fulfil his ill -motive of outdoing the Pandavas.

Before the dicing , a lot of discussions were there, but Yudhistira is obliged to play .But Sakuni comes in to play for Duryodhana.  During the dicing event Yudhishtira stakes his wealth , Jewelry , Indprastha , and the belongings of his brothers one by one and looses one by one.  Sakuni mocks and provokes Yudhistira at each stage and demands to stake. He thus looses his brothers Nakula, Sahadeva . The Sakuni mocks him that at best those are the stepbrothers he lost ,but Arjuna and Bhima are not so and he won't bet them . This forces Yudhistira to stake Arjuna , and hid liberty at the stake as demanded by Sakuni.

At this moment of his complete defeat including himself, Yudhistira is again mocked to stake Draupadi . Yudhistira  stakes Draupadi and looses her also.  There were strong reactions from the assembly when Yudhistira staked her. Draupadi questions the legality of staking her when she was forced and dragged in front of the assembly . There were favouring reactions to her questions. Interestingly,  Vikarna, a younger brother of Duryodhana , reacts in support of Draupadi.  He says courageously that Yudhistara is enticed to play the game deeply plotted by Duryodhana and Sakuni. And that a lost Yudhistira  has not the right to stake Draupadi .The assembly supported him. But  Karna silenced him,b by saying that he is too young before the others in that hall. 

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