Why did Yudhishthira agree for the dice game?

Why did Yudhishthira agree for the dice game?

In the last blog post, we saw how Duryodhana lied about Draupadi laughing at him when he fell into the water at Indraprastha’s Mayasabha. This lie was a good way to provoke Dhritarashtra into going against the wishes of Bhishma, Vidura and others and send the invitation for a game of dice to Yudhishthira. 

But why did Yudhishthira agree to it?

Yudhishthira was fond of gambling and he tended to lose control when he was playing. But he did not agree to the dice game easily at all. He knew this was going to lead to trouble. But there was a reason why Yudhishthira finally decided that he should not refuse the invitation.

Earlier, at the Rajasuya at Indraprastha, Sishupala was killed by Krishna. This incident left Yudishthira worried. He asked Veda Vyasa who was just leaving post the Rajasuya if there would be more such unfavorable incidents in the future.

Very clearly, Vyasa told him that for the next 13 years, there would be events that would not be favourable and it would all end with a great war with large scale destruction of kshatriyas. He also told Yudhisthira that He would be the provoking factor of the great war that would happen due to Duryodhana’s sins. His brothers Bheema and Arjuna would bring about destruction in the war.

Yudishthira was utterly shocked and in despair, he decided that he should die rather than become a cause for such a war that would destroy his cousins. Arjuna talked him out of this but Yudishthira was still terribly anxious.

He then took a vow that:
• He would ensure there is no disagreement between them and the Kauravas
• He would avoid war at all costs
• He would not speak harshly to any of his brothers or to other kings
• He would accept living under other kings so that any power struggle was be avoided

This vow that he made is the reason why, despite protesting against the dyuta at first, Yudishthira did begin playing the game although it was Shakuni instead of Duryodhana who was casting the dice.

Join me, @MyMbJourney, in my next blog post to see the terrible vows taken by the Pandavas after the Draupadi’s humiliation and the second dyuta game.
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