Mahabharata Sabha Parva Chapter 57

Mahabharata Sabha Parva(Dyuta Parva)

Mahabharata Sabha Parva Chapter 57

Vaisampayana said,—"Vidura then, thus commanded against his will by king Dhritarashtra, set out, with the help of horses of high mettle and endued with great speed and strength, and quiet and patient, for the abode of the wise sons of Pandu. Possessed of great intelligence, Vidura proceeded by the way leading to the capital of the Pandavas. And having arrived at the city of king Yudhishthira, he entered it and proceeded towards the palace, worshipped by numberless Brahmanas. And coming to the palace which was even like unto the mansion of Kuvera himself, the virtuous Vidura approached Yudhishthira, the son of Dharma. Then the illustrious Ajamida devoted to truth and having no enemy on earth, reverentially saluted Vidura, and asked him about Dhritarashtra and his sons. And Yudhishthira said, "O Kshatta, thy mind seemeth to be cheerless. Dost thou come here in happiness and peace? The sons of Dhritarashtra, I hope, are obedient to their old father. The people also, I hope, are obedient to Dhritarashtra's rule.'

"Vidura said,—'The illustrious king, with his sons, is well and happy, and surrounded by his relatives he reigneth even like Indra himself. The king is happy with his sons who are all obedient to him and hath no grief. The illustrious monarch is bent on his own aggrandisement. The king of the Kurus hath commanded me to enquire after thy peace and prosperity, and to ask thee to repair to Hastinapore with thy brothers and to say, after beholding king Dhritarashtra's newly erected palace, whether that one is equal to thy own. Repairing thither, O son of Pritha, with thy brothers, enjoy ye in that mansion and sit to a friendly match at dice. We shall be glad if thou goest, as the Kurus have already arrived there. And thou wilt see there those gamblers and cheats that the illustrious king Dhritarashtra hath already brought thither. It is for this, O king, that I have come hither. Let the king's command be approved by thee.

"Yudhishthira said,—'O Kshatta, if we sit to a match at dice, we may quarrel. What man is there, who knowing all this, will consent to gamble? What dost thou think fit for us? We all are obedient to thy counsels.'

"Vidura said,—'I know that gambling is the root of misery, and I strove to dissuade the king from it. The king, however, hath sent me to thee. Having known all this, O learned one, do what is beneficial.

"Yudhishthira said,—'Besides the sons of Dhritarashtra what other dishonest gamblers are there ready for play? Tell us, O Vidura, who they are and with whom we shall have to play, staking hundreds upon hundreds of our possessions.'

"Vidura said,—'O monarch, Sakuni, the king of Gandhara, an adept at dice, having great skill of hand and desperate in stakes, Vivingati, king Chitrasena, Satyavrata, Purumitra and Jaya, these, O king, are there.'

"Yudhishthira said,—'It would seem then that some of the most desperate and terrible gamblers always depending upon deceit are there. This whole universe, however, is at the will of its Maker, under the control of fate. It is not free. O learned one, I do not desire, at the command of king Dhritarashtra to engage myself in gambling. The father always wisheth to benefit his son. Thou art our master, O Vidura. Tell me what is proper for us. Unwilling as I am to gamble, I will not do so, if the wicked Sakuni doth not summon me to it in the Sabha? If, however, he challengeth me, I will never refuse. For that, as settled, is my eternal vow."