Vidura’s fears

The moment Vidura heard Bhima’s vow, he hastened to address the assembly again as he apprehended there would be total destruction:

“Noble ones!” he said, “Ponder over the threat from Bhima to the very survival of the Bharata clan. It is definitely a matter of divine dispensation that this unfortunate happening should manifest as a prelude to the destruction of the clan: firstly, the game of dice was played by transcending all rules and regulations; secondly, without any legitimate reason or motive, a chaste and virtuous woman was put to shame and that gave room and cause for provocation and quarrel. The end of your country’s welfare is drawing near. I thought the event of misfortune to overtake is not very far.  These Kauravas are immersed in wicked thoughts and sinful diplomacy. Hey! Beacon Lights of the Kaurava clan! Listen to me at least now. If there is a miscarriage of justice and dharma becomes a casualty, this august assembly itself gets polluted. If Dharmaraja had offered Draupadi as a stake before he lost himself, it could have been said that the master has staked his wife. But he staked her only after his defeat. He who has become a slave has nothing he can call his own. Accordingly, not having any lordship, dominion, right or control over anything, whoever (especially a slave) stakes something, the winner can be regarded as having got it like one gets fortune in a dream. Dharmaraja played the game in deference to persuasion from Shakuni but out of his free will and volition. I would therefore ask you not to banish truth about factors which are beyond doubt.”

Vidura’s words did not have the effect of restoring Duryodhana’s wisdom. He was bent upon securing an untrue assertion from Dharmaraja’s brothers. He said:

“I accept the words of Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva. Let them say that Yudhishtira is not their lord, Draupadi will be free from slavery at once.”

Had not Bhima answered a similar question?  It was Arjuna’s turn to speak.

“The righteous son of Kunti, Yudhishtira,” said Arjuna to Duryodhana, “was our lord before the game of dice. Having lost himself, you ought to know, as one born in the Kuru clan, to whom he is the lord.”

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