Before we begin the actual story of Yuyutsu himself, we need to take a small walk down another path.
Once when Gandhari was hostess to Veda Vyasa at Hastinapura, he was so pleased with her services that he granted her a
boon. The queen immediately asked the sage for one hundred sons who would be as powerful as her husband, which was immediately granted to her. In due course of time, Gandhari got pregnant. And this, my friends, is where the story of Yuyutsu starts.
While it was a matter of great joy that the queen was pregnant, what was extremely worrying was the fact that she remained pregnant for almost two years. And this worried Dhritarashtra to no end as he was disturbed about the fact that he might not have any heirs to the throne by his wife Gandhari. During this timeframe, he had a fall from grace and conceived a child through a maidservant in the palace.
When Gandhari learnt of this, she was gracious enough not only to forgive this mistake of her husband, but also went on to accept and acknowledge the son born of the maid, Yuyutsu.
Yuyutsu was Dhritarashtra’s second son, younger only to Duryodhana but elder than the rest of the 99 Kaurava brothers. He grew up alongside them, and was treated lovingly by all of them including Duryodhana. That being said there were more than a few traits of his Kaurava brothers that Yuyutsu did not quite agree with.
It is said that after the game of dice, when Duhshasana brought Draupadi to the Kaurava court and tried to disrobe her, Yuyutsu was the only Kaurava brother to openly protest the injustice that was being meted out to a daughter in law of the family. And this was not the only instance when he openly showed dissent.
When Duryodhana was planning for the war with the Pandavas, he mentioned that the war was necessary to teach the Pandavas a lesson for their ‘treachery’ in demanding for a portion of the kingdom from him. Upon hearing this Yuyutsu immediately stood up and berated his elder brother and told him “If you really didn’t want war, then you would not have tried to cheat the Pandavas of what was rightfully theirs nor would you have tried to disrobe their wife in open court.”
At the beginning of the war, Yudhisthira comes over to the Kaurava camp and takes the blessing of his elders such as Bhishma and his teachers Drona and Kripa and then addresses the army. He tells that anybody who believed that the truth was with the Pandavas were more than welcome to their army and that they would be treated with due respect accorded to all warriors.
On hearing this, Yuyutsu, without any hesitation immediately orders his charioteer to take their chariot to the Pandava army to join his cousins in the war against his own brothers. For Yuyutsu, the truth was more important than relationships or the bond of brotherhood. He clearly realized that in the end truth alone triumphs.
After 18 long days of battle, he ended up being the only Kaurava brother to have survived the great war of Kurukshetra, cementing his belief in truth, justice and fairness.