Duryodhana returned from the flourishing, wealthy Indraprastha right after Yudishthira’s grand success of raja suya. He had seen first hand how the kingdom was prospering, how all the kings from far off locations were there to pay respect. In fact, the riches that had come in were so enormous that Duryodhana could not even count it all.
All of this made Duryodhana very unhappy. But mainly the fact that the Pandavas commanded both respect and fear from other kings was something Duryodhana simply could not tolerate. He decided that he must have it all and bring the Pandavas to their knees. But how? He did not dare go up against Bheema or Arjuna himself. Pitamaha Bhishma and Achara Drona would not easily agree to an attack upon Indraprastha either.
The weak link was his father, blind Dhristarashtra. But he too would need a good enough reason to go against Bhishma and Vidura. Duryodhana knew that the best strategy was to prick Dhritarashtra’s ego and make him agree to the dyuta plan that would cheat the Pandavas out of their wealth without firing a single arrow.
Duryodhana went to his father and began to recount what he had seen at Indraprastha. But the plan was not to only tell him about the prosperity of the sons of Pandu. The plan was to make the blind king furious at the ‘disrespect’ that his beloved son had faced there. Duryodhana spoke about the magical Mayasabha and he spoke of how he had fallen into a little pond that looked like solid ground.
Then came Duryodhana’s lie.
He told the king how the Pandavas had ridiculed him and how Draupadi had laughed and made fun of him along with other ladies present there. The truth was that Draupadi had not even been present at Maya sabha at that time.
Dhritarashtra was easily convinced now that he was told Draupadi had laughed and made fun of his son, Duryodhana. Now, he was keen to have the dyuta game as well and the invitation was sent to Yudhishthira in his name.