He said to his father:
"Vidura will only give us the platitudes of
ordinary morality, which will not help us
to our object. The policy of kings must be
very different from the goody maxims of
textbooks, and is sterner stuff of which the
test is success. Moreover, Vidura does not
like me and is partial to the Pandavas.
You know this as well as I do."
Dhritarashtra said: "The Pandavas are
strong. I do not think it wise to antagonize
them. The game of dice will only lead to
enmity. The passions resulting from the
game will know no bounds. We should
not do it."
But Duryodhana was importunate: "Wise
statesmanship lies in casting off all fear
and protecting oneself by one's own
efforts. Should we not force the issue
while yet we are more powerful than they
are? That will be real foresight. A lost
opportunity may never come again, and it
is not as though we invented the game of
dice to injure the Pandavas. It is an
ancient pastime which kshatriyas have
always indulged in, and if it will now
serve us to win our cause without
bloodshed, where is the harm?"
Dhritarashtra replied: "Dear son, I have
grown old. Do as you like. But the line
that you are taking does not appeal to me.
I am sure you will repent later. This is the
work of destiny."
In the end, out-argued and through sheer
fatigue and hopelessness of dissuading his
son, Dhritarashtra assented, and ordered
the servants to prepare a hall of games.
Yet he could not forbear consulting
Vidura in secret about the matter.
Vidura said: "O king, this will
undoubtedly bring about the ruin of our
race by raising up unquenchable hate."
Dhritarashtra, who could not oppose the
demand of his son, said: "If fortune favors
us I have no fear regarding this game. If
on the contrary, fortune goes against us,
how could we help it? For, destiny is allpowerful.Go
and invite Yudhishthira on
my behalf to come and play dice." Thus
commanded, Vidura went to Yudhishthira
with an invitation.
The weak-witted Dhritarashtra, over-
persuaded, yielded to the desire of his son
through his attachment to him in spite of
the fact that he knew this was the way that
destiny was working itself out.