domenica 20 febbraio 2011

Mahabharata Part II

Draupadi and Pandavas
The blind king Dhritarashtra had decided to appoint the wise Yudhishthira heir to the throne, but the evil Duryodhana, the eldest of the Kauravas, cannot tolerate it and convinces the king to move the five Pandavas away from the kingdom with a pretext. Dhritarashtra is convinced and sends the Pandavas with their mother Kunti in Varanavata, city of the kingdom where an important religious festival would have been celebrated.
Meanwhile in that city, by order of Duryodhana, a palace of lacquer was built, a residence for to Pandavas built entirely with highly flammable materials. The plan of Duryodhana and of the other conspirators was to set fire to the house with the hated cousins and their mother inside.
The Pandavas, unaware of the trap waiting for them, are happy to start for this holiday season and, as they arrived in Varanavata,  take accommodation in the palace specially built for them, but they are warned of the conspiracy and are able to put to flight by an underground passage, while the building is destroyed by the flames.
In Hastinapura the Kauravas believe that the Pandavas and Kunti have died in the fire, Duryodhana is happy: there are no obstacles between himself and the throne.
For a long time, the Pandavas brothers remain incognito in the guise of devote Brahmins living on charity of others. Well liked by the people and loved by all, they live happily waiting for favourable times.
One day news of swayamwara of Draupadi, the beautiful daughter of Drupada king of Panchal comes to Pandavas’ ear. That was the ceremony in which the princess would choose her own husband. He obtained the hand of Draupadi who had managed to bend a bow of steel with the string and hit a target by passing the arrow inside a ring on the move.
Arjuna wins the test and wins the hand of Draupadi. Arrived on the doorstep, Arjuna cry to Kunti: "Mother, look what I won!" Kunti, not knowing that was a woman, she reply: "Divide it equally as you do." In order not to contradict the word of mother, all five Pandavas then are forced to marry Draupadi, a rare example of polyandry in the literature, with the understanding that each brother would have lived with his wife for a year, and then let the other brother for the same period and so on.
At the news that the Pandavas are alive, so great is the wonder in the city of Hastinapura, there are those who rejoice, as Bhishma and Drona, others cursing the fates as Duryodhana because his plan failed miserably. The Pandavas also obtained the Draupadi's hand and, with her, the important alliance with the kingdom of his father Drupada.
The king Dhritarashtra decides it's time to celebrate, invites the Pandavas to divide the kingdom and assigning a land barren, uninhabited and inaccessible to the Pandavas and reserving her own children the best part of the territory.
The Pandavas willingly accept the land and in less than no time build a beautiful city, Indraprastha, and a prosperous kingdom that fills up quickly.
The palace of the Pandavas is wonderful, magnificent, full of wonders and great treasures, it is not comparable to any other residence.
In a short time Indraprastha and its splendid castle outclasses Hastinapura. Yudhishthira becomes the most powerful king in the area and, thanks to alliances with other kingdoms, poses a serious threat to the cousins who reign over Hastinapura.
Duryodhana, who had seen the wonders of Indraprastha during a visit, rodes with envy and jealousy. He cannot accept that the cousins thrive on the borders of his kingdom and he is concerned about having to live subject to the Pandavas. For these reasons, he plots another conspiracy, more deceitful, more fatal.

Mahabharata Part I
Mahabharata Part III
Mahabharata Part IV

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