Dhritrashtra comes to meet Bhishma and speaks on the dangers of the impending war as he knows that his children will be going to die if war takes place. He doesn’t want a war for the sake of his children and speaks with Bhishma that Duryodhan only wants a war.
He speaks on his inability to take a decision in a heavy tone. Bhishma replies that he (Dhritrashtra) has never taken a decision and compares his life to a cloth which changes the direction with the flow of winds. Bhishma says that in the end the cloth gets stuck in trees and is destroyed. Dhritrashtra laments on hearing strong words from Bhishma and says that he just came to take his advice. Bhishma then recounts on all the past grave mistakes that he committed which has created his uneventful and helpless situation. His mistakes are as follows:
– Dhritrashtra speaking with Yudhishtir telling him to sacrifice his throne for Duryodhan so his Dharm and peace will be both with him
– Duryodhan speaking with his father Dhritrashtra on killing Pandavas in the Varnavat palace.
– Duryodhan threatening to take revenge and fight to insult Pandavas in Indraprastha
– Mistake of running game of Dice in the Sabha (which eventually Pandavas lost due to Shakuni’s deceit)
– Allowed Cheerharan of Draupadi in the Sabha in front of everyone and even ordered that Cheerharan by Duryodhan should be followed
– Dhritrashtra has himself suggested that Pandavas with their wife Draupadi has to accept the Vanvas (12 yrs) and Agyatvas (1 yr) after the cheerharan
Dhritrashtra accepts his mistake and laments and then talks on his blindness since childhood which has created fears. He suggests that his fears are the cause of his mistakes and compares blindness as his weakness, Bhishma then responds that being blind is not his code of conduct but actually to be blind by mind was actually his code of conduct. When Bhishma reiterates on why he has thought himself to be weaker than others, then Dhritrashtra responds that it was Bhishma himself who has highlighted his blindness. Bhishma replies that during the king setup ceremony what Maha mantri Vidhur said was indeed correct since a blind person cannot lead the country and it was consistent with the rules of the entire Aryavart, Bhishma suggests that his hunger for power and kingdom has led to his current situation and even put Hastinapur at a great risk and danger of destruction.
Bhishma asks whether his sons will listen to him for not participating in a war. Bhishma then suggests that for obtaining peace the first thing to do is to send Shakuni away from Hastinapur to his kingdom -Gandhar. Dhritrashtra after hearing from Bhishma have now realized his past guilt and also sticks to his desire of not having a war. He then sends Vidhur to Shakuni with the notice that he has to leave Hastinapur by next morning. Duryodhan who is present with Shakuni and Karna becomes angry on hearing that Shakuni has to leave. After that, he goes to the assembly hall and counters his father Dhritrashtra and in haste decides to attack Virat kingdom by early next morning with his brothers and Karna (as his father would not support with Hastinapur’s army). He says that he can longer able to live with the life of insult and hence want to fight with Pandavas.
Shakuni speaks that Bhishma has suggested the King to send him away. When Bhishma says that they are doing for the good of Hastinapur, and also the volatile and inciting nature of Shakuni will lead to a destructive war and the end of Kuru clan. Shakuni responds back by saying that actually he has stopped war many times and cites that war could have taken place earlier and refers some specific incidents — When Kauravas only sister, Dushyala’s husband Jayadratha Sindhuraj was insulted by Pandavas in forest; Pandavas arrive to Hastinapur for fighting but was send back by Bhishma by taking a promise from Arjun. In this way, Shakuni instills confidence in Duryodhan and convinces him to not wage a war against Pandavas in Matsya Kingdom. Duryodhan then agrees to not having the war soon.
After playing the drama of a good samaritan in the assembly, Shakuni asks for leave from Dhritrashtra and as he begins to leave, Dhritrashtra becomes anxious and then retracts on his earlier decision to send Shakuni away. He informs Shakuni to not leave as his sons only listen to him. Dhritrashtra then in the assembly makes an announcement that he has taken back his decision of sending Shakuni away. Shakuni is pleased with the decision and when Dhritrashtra informs him about sending a peace agreement from Hastinapur to Pandavas to stop the war. Shakuni makes his voice heard and says that the peace agreement request should come from Pandavas and the request should not go from their side. Shakuni goes a step further and asks in a sarcastic way to Bhishma about the peace agreement. Bhishma wholeheartedly agrees to the peace agreement proposal since he is fine with any side leading the peace efforts. Shakuni informs Maha mantri Vidhur to visit Virat’s Kingdom and his responsibility there is to convince Pandavas for sending a peace agreement proposal and also invite Vasudev Krishna to Hastinapur. Thus, Shakuni with his shrewd move stayed back in Hastinapur while making Dhritrashtra to surrender again on his decision and also earning an upper hand in the decision making regarding the impending Kurukshetra war.
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