13.THE WAX PALACE
THE jealousy of Duryodhana began to grow at the sight of the physical strength of Bhima and the dexterity of Arjuna. Karna and Sakuni became Duryodhana's evil counsellors in planning wily stratagems. As for poor Dhritarashtra, he was a wise man no doubt and he also loved his brother's sons, but he was weak of will and dotingly attached to his own children. For his children's sake the worse became the better reason, and he would sometimes even knowingly follow the wrong path. Duryodhana sought in various ways to kill the Pandavas. It was by means of the secret help rendered by Vidura who wanted to save the family from a great sin, that the Pandavas escaped with their lives. One unforgivable offence of the Pandavas in the eyes of Duryodhana was that the people of the city used to praise them openly and declare in season and out of season that Yudhishthira alone was fit to be the king. They would flock together and argue: "Dhritarashtra could never be king for he was born blind. It is not proper that he should now hold the kingdom in his hands. Bhishma cannot be king either, because he is devoted to truth and to his vow that he would not be a king. Hence Yudhishthira alone should be crowned as king. He alone can rule the Kuru race and the kingdom with justice." Thus people talked everywhere. These words were poison to Duryodhana's ears, and made him writhe and burn with jealousy. He went to Dhritarashtra and complained bitterly of the public talk: "Father, the citizens babble irrelevant nonsense. They have no respect even for such venerable persons as Bhishma and yourself. They say that Yudhishthira should be immediately crowned king. This would bring disaster on us. You were set aside because of your blindness, and your brother became the king. If Yudhishthira is to succeed his father, where do we come? What chance has our progeny? After Yudhishthira his son, and his son's son, and then his son will be the kings. We will sink into poor relations dependent on them even for our food. To live in hell would be better than that!" .