Yajnaseni- the blazing fire! (Sabha Parva- 2)
Updated: Jun 18
Yajnaseni was dragged by Dushasana to the Sabha hall where never before had a princess of a high-rank royal family brought! Her pain was so heartbreaking that only a few words ‘fi on Duryodhana, fi on Duryodhana’ resonated in the air! With full of hatred, anger, and vengeance she glared at the downcast faces of Pandavas. Crying bitterly she put her question- ‘Is she a slave, is she won by Kauravas?’ before the veteran elderly Kurus. But silence reigned over the court for a while. All the elders including Pitamaha Bhishma just downcast their heads and rubbed their faces without a proper answer to Draupadi’s question. Bhimsen caught her glance. He lost his sense and said, ‘O Sahadev! Bring the fire so that I would burn these hands of Yudhishthira! He staked everything including us, but I tolerated it and didn't get angry. But, how dare he bet our wife Draupadi?! She does not deserve this type of heinous torture of Kauravas.’ Arjun controlled Bhimsen with his soft words, ‘O brother! Do not accuse our beloved elder brother who never detached from the path of Dharma! Have patience for a few days more!’ Bhimsen again roared, 'If Dharmaraj Yudhishthira- the symbol of virtue, the man of righteousness would not be our lord, and if Parth (Arjun) would not repeatedly urge to me, by the command of our elder brother, I would have killed those treacherous Kauravas now and here just like a lion kills a number of small animals!’ Once again hissing like an angry cobra Bhimsen kept silent glaring at Kauravas! Beholding the miserable condition of Draupadi, Vikarna, the younger brother of Duryodhana protested against the insult of Yajnaseni and the deceitful win over the Pandavas. He was the only one among Kauravas who supported openly to virtuous King Yudhishthira. He denounced openly the word ‘slave’ imposed on her. Nothing impacted the wicked man Duryodhana and he ordered Dushasana to rob off Draupadi’s cloth in front of all in the Sabha hall. Rolling his eyes, Dushasana began to drag forcibly the cloth of Draupadi. Bewildered Draupadi recalled, ‘O Lord! O Krishna, O Govinda! You are the creator of this Universe! Have mercy upon me, O Swami! Save me from this wretched Kuru ocean! I surrender on thy feet, you are my only savior! Help me!’ Thus pronouncing that heartfelt prayer, Draupadi closed her eyes and raised her both hands surrendering to Lord Krishna. That was the ultimate insult a woman could get before an assembly! As she surrendered herself to Lord Krishna, a miracle happened! Dushasana was drenched with sweat, by pulling the cloth to make Panchali nude. Suddenly a great uproar filled the Sabha hall seeing the extraordinary incident! Dushasana became sick and tired of pulling the cloth, yet Draupadi was covered with a new rob! What a magical spell of God! After collecting a heap of clothes, Dushasana gave up, wiping out the warm droplets from his forehead. After the magical scenario was over, Bhim roared in a loud pitch, ‘O Dushasana! O Kshatriyas, listen to my words! This is my vow- that if I would not tear apart the hand of wretched Dushasana from his body on the battlefield and wash Draupadi’s disheveled hair with his blood, then I would not be called Kunti Putra Bhimsen again or I would not obtain the path of my ancestors!’ The terrible oath of Bhimsen popped up the goosebumps in everyone! After a while, Karna asked Dushasana, ‘Take this servant woman to the servants' chamber.’ Again satirically he said, ‘O beautiful Yajnaseni! Leaving apart your unworthy slaves (husbands), why don't you choose one among Kauravas?’ Provoking Bhimsen, and desirous to encourage Karna, Duryodhana uncovered his right thigh. He gestured for Draupadi to adhere to that place. Seeing this ugly gesture, Bhimsen screamed in the midst of kings again, ‘O Duryodhana! If I would not break your thigh on the battlefield, I would not be called Vrikodar again! Just wait till the war begin!’ The terrible vows taken by Bhimsen were enough for King Dhritarashtra to realize the great calamity was going to befall them! At last, he requested angry Draupadi to accept his boon. He blessed her with her desirous boon and let them go Indraprastha happily. But Destiny is Destiny! Once again, Dhritarashtra was trapped in Duryodhana’s dirty trick! He summoned the Pandavas for the second time dice game and the foul play sent them to exile!
****** ‘Alas! They are banished for twelve years??! How can fate become so cruel?! Has Dharma disappeared from this earth?! Fi, fi, fi on Duryodhana! O wretched, crooked, killer Duryodhana why didn't you die the day you were born? Look- because of you only, our beloved, virtuous King Yudhisthira with other Pandavas and Yajnaseni- the girl born from the sacred fire is leaving us on the ocean of misery! We have become orphans now without their presence! O Duryodhana go and take your shameless face and jump into the fire!’ The whole Hastinapur people cried aloud following the Pandavas a little distance while the latter marched towards the jungle (forest) for twelve years of banishment and one year to be incognito. ‘Oh King Dharmaraj! Why did you play a dice game with the wretched, deceitful man Shakuni?! Don't make us orphan, please! Don't go to the jungle, or else we would follow you to the same,’ cried the people of Hastinapur. With sweet, virtuous soft words Yudhisthira pacified the Hastinapur people and they bid adieu to all of them promising them to come back again. ****** The horrendous voice of Bhimsen, Arjun, Nakul, and Sahdev with the angry accusations of Hastinapur people echoed in King Dhritarashtra’s ear again and again. Though blind by birth, Dhritarashtra could feel the darkness (the terrible consequences of future battles). Immersed in anxiety, he asked Vidura timidly, ‘O wise, learned Vidura! Please, tell me how the Pandavas with illustrious Krishnaa and priest Dhaumya proceed along. I desire to know.’ Remorseful Vidura said, ‘O the lord of Kings! Listen to me carefully the gestures they made while going to the forest——- ‘Dharmaraj Yudhishthira hid his face with a cloth while walking towards the forest, Mahabali Bhimsen looked at his arms frequently, Savyasachi (Arjun) followed his elder brothers scattering sands all along, Nakul (the most handsome of all in this world) put the dust on his face and Sahadev moved his palm on his face. The most beautiful and sacred Panchali(Draupadi) with tearful eyes walked behind the King Yudhishthira covering her face with her disheveled hair.’ King Dhritarashtra had shaken hearing the strange gestures of Pandavas! He asked in a quivering tone, ‘O wise Vidura! What does it mean?! Why did they walk down so strangely? O learned one, explain to me all these hints. Let my heart get peace hearing from you.’ Vidura said, ‘O mighty King! Including Queen Gandhari, Grandsire Pitamaha Bhishma, Guru Dronacharya, Salya, Kripa, and myself requested you not to be a prey of wicked-minded Duryodhana and deceptive Mama Shakuni’s trick. We all requested you again and again not to invite the Pandavas for such a wretched dice game. But you didn't listen to anyone. Now, you have got enormous wealth! The whole world is under your feet. Why worried now? The inevitable war and total destruction of the Kuru race is ahead! Do not lament over the past! Now, I am telling you what their gesture meant— ‘Dharmaraj Yudhishthira covered his face with a cloth so that his angry eyes will not be cast upon anyone or else they would be burnt down into ashes. Bhimsen looked at his invincible mighty arms waiting for the time to come and to crunch the enemies into dust. Sabyasachi(Arjun) walked down throwing sands all the direction indicating that his arrows will be showered like sand. Nakula covered his face with dust so that no woman would be attracted to him. The foreteller, wisest Sahadev moved his hand on his face. He is the only one who knows the future and never speaks without being asked. He knows what is the consequence waiting for all of them! And Yangaseni (Draupadi)the most pious lady with her disheveled hair covered her face not to cast anyone with her burning angry eyes to save others from death. Her hair was not tied to the knot to be washed with the blood of Dushasana who humiliated her in the open royal court before all the elders! Now it is too late, O king! Mahabharata Yudha is inevitable! Just wait for the consequence! As you sow, so shall you reap, O noble king! No more crocodile tears!’ Announcing the future scenarios, wisest Vidura went away. Dhritarashtra was extremely puzzled. He repented for his sinful suggestion for Pandavas. He blamed himself for being the cause of the banishment of his innocent cousins. Had he not been influenced by Duryodhana and Shakuni’s crooked tricks, he would have never agreed to call the Pandavas for that terrible deceptive dice game for the second time! In the first dice game, the humiliation was already transgressed for Pandavas, second time call was the door to a total annihilation for the whole Kaurava race!