Indraprastha | Mahabharata Paintings

After Pandava-s married Draupadi, they could not hide any more. They exposed themselves to external world. They stayed in Panchala for sometime. Accompanied by Krishna, they reached Hastinapur.

Khandavaprastha became Indraprastha

They appeared before the blind king Dhritarashtra. He blessed him. The bilateral negotiations about the ownership of the throne was started. Krishna lobbied for Yudhishthira through Vidura. Vidura advised Dhritarashtra to give up this throne and return it to Yudhishthira.

Dhritarashtra refused as per the story. He admitted to Vidura that his sons may not work under Pandava-s. This sounds logical to me as a reader. After negotiations, Dhritarashtra accepted to give some land from Hastinapur dynasty. It is Khandavaprastha.

Khandava means forest. As named correctly, it is a dense forest, an abode of all creatures, situated in the banks of Yamuna. Krishna ordered Pandava-s to burn the forest completely. All creatures were destroyed including the naga-s (serpents). The affected Naga-s sought Indra’s help. Indra accepted to help. He came up with in the form of thunderstorm. Probably, a worst rain might have lashed. Arjuna formed a shelter of arrows, so that rain does not disturb the fire. Finally, the forest is destroyed, so are the animals and rakshasa-s , except the Asura architect Maya. Maya sought refuge. In turn, he constructed a beautiful city – INDRAPRASTHA – for Pandava-s.

Khandavaprastha on fire. Krishna and Arjuna fought with Indra
Khandavaprastha on fire. Krishna and Arjuna fought with Indra

The wealth of Yadava capital Dwaraka (on which I named my blog!!) poured into the construction of Indraprastha. Panchala and Hastinapur might offer their own share as well. Finally there comes a beautiful – may be luxurious – city. It had ports in Yamuna river. It became abode of new dwellers, who came in as Indraprastha picked up. It became a market hub under the rule of Pandava emperor Yudhishthira and empress Draupadi.

Indraprastha
Indraprastha
Indraprastha
Indraprastha
Krishna in Indraprastha. Image (c) art-ma
Krishna in Indraprastha. Image (c) art-ma
Pandava-s with Draupadi, Raja Ravi Varma
Pandava-s with Draupadi, Raja Ravi Varma

Duryodhana’s humiliation

Many kings were invited to Indraprastha for Yudhisthira’s Rajasuya yagna. Kaurava-s were invited too as they were cousins. As per the text, Duryodhana was jealous at the wealth of Pandava-s while gazing at the palace.

The evil eye of fate turned to this beautiful city. Duryodhana did many mistakes there as the building used illusion to deceive someone’s eyes. He fell down into a water by mistake. Servants laughed by themselves and on the instructions of the king. Pandava-s – except Yudhishthira – laughed at him, instead of helping him. The unbearable Duryodhana left that place with humiliation. His mind was full of grudge and wrath. He was jealous at the wealth of Pandava-s and the way they showcased their luxurious life there. Evil thoughts were seeded into the mind of Duryodhana.

Duryodhana fall into water
Duryodhana fall into water

‘O extender of the Kuru lineage! On seeing the happiness of the Parthas, the submission of the kings, the love the worlds had for them, from children onwards, and the supreme splendour of the great-souled Pandavas, Dhritarashtra’s son Duryodhana turned pale. As he travelled, he thought intently about the sabha and the unrivalled prosperity of the intelligent Dharmaraja. Dhritarashtra’s son Duryodhana was so inattentive, that he did not respond when Subala’s son repeatedly spoke to him. On seeing him so distracted, Shakuni responded, “O Duryodhana! Why are you travelling with all these sighs?”

‘குரு வழியில் வந்தவரே! பார்த்தர்களின் மகிழ்ச்சியையும், அரசர்களின் பணிவையும், குழந்தைகள் முதல் அனைத்து மன்னர்களும் அவர்கள் மீது கொண்டிருந்த அன்பையும், பேரான்மா கொண்ட பாண்டவர்களின் உன்னதப் புகழையும் கண்டு, திருதராஷ்டிரனின் மகன் துரியோதனன் வாடிப் போனான். அவன் செல்லும்போது செய்யும் போது, அந்த சபையைப் பற்றியும், அறிவார்ந்த அரசன் தருமனின் நிகரற்ற செழிப்பைப் பற்றியும் ஆழ்ந்து சிந்தித்தான். திருதராஷ்டிரனின் மகன் துரியோதனன் மிகவும் கவனக்குறைவாக இருந்தான், சுபலரின்வின் மகன் அவனிடம் பலமுறை பேசியும் அவன் பதிலளிக்கவில்லை. அவன் மிகவும் கவனம் வேறு பக்கம் இருப்பதைப் பார்த்த சகுனி, “ஓ துரியோதனா! ஏன் இத்தனை பெருமூச்சுகளுடன் நினைவுகளில் நீந்துகிறாய்?”

Vaisampayana to Janamejaya – The Mahabharata Set Of 10 Volumes

References / Gratitude:

  • The illustrated Mahabharata, Dorling Kindersley India, Penguin Random House, 1st Ed. 2017
  • The Mahabharata Set Of 10 Volumes, Bibek Debroy

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