Shakuni and his craft

Image courtesy : wikimedia
Image courtesy : wikimedia

At one point in time Duryodhana was completely bereft of ideas as to how to overcome his Pandava cousins. He had tried burning them alive in the palace of wax at Varnavrata, and as if that weren’t enough his nemesis, Bhima had not only managed to escape the wrath of Bakasura at Ekachakra but also managed to kill him instead [Read about that incident here].

It was at this point in time that his maternal uncle Shakuni, unable to see his favorite nephew so despondent and depressed, proposed the idea of getting rid of the Pandavas and making them relinquish their right to the throne of Hastinapura without so much as shedding a drop of blood.

Shakuni was renowned for his skill as a gambler and was such a master of this craft that he was undefeated at the game of dice. Little did his opponents know that he always played with loaded dice and that was the only reason that he never tasted defeat. He therefore decided to make full use of this craft of his to enable Duryodhana to eliminate the threat of his Pandava cousins.

Invite the Pandavas for a game of dice. Yudhisthira has a weakness for the game of dice, even though he is not a good player. Ask him to throw the dice with me. As you are well aware, nobody in the three worlds is my equal in this game. I will ensure that his kingdom becomes yours before the game is finished” Shakuni told Duryodhana.

For the first time in his life, he believed his opinion mattered and Shakuni also put in a word with his brother in law, the blind king Dhritarashtra to invite the Pandavas to Hastinapura for a friendly game of dice.

Although Dhritarashtra knew that Shakuni was upto some mischief, his unbridled love for his son and his anxiety at Duryodhana’s depressed state forced him to accede to this request.

Thus, the stage was set for one of the most memorable episodes in this great epic.


This post has been written for multiple prompts :

Today’s Author Write Now prompt for Nov 5, 2013 where the post had to include the phrase – for the first time in his life, he knew his opinion mattered

Trifecta Week 102 prompt where the post had to include the following meaning of the word craft – skill in deceiving to gain an end

27 thoughts on “Shakuni and his craft

  1. Aah….the game of dice. A pivotal point in the epic. I guess everybody has a weakness, an achilles heel, even the great yudishthira 😦 I still wonder why he never stopped playing….

  2. I always get very angry about Yudishtira. Gambling away your things is ok, but he gambled away his wife…the idea that she was his property to just pledge is so disgusting

    • @Nish, one of these days I will put up a detailed post about that, and then maybe you will get another viewpoint to this incident in the epic

  3. Height of wickedness this Shakuni was. I can understand his love for his sister, but that does not justify his evil deeds. Loved the way you included both the prompts into the story.

    • @Rekha, along with love for his sister, he always had a soft corner for his nephew Duryodhana as well, and maybe some other agenda as well 😉

  4. Nice vignette of our great Epic”The Mahabharata”:-)The lust for power always seem to motivate more and more “Shakunis”-even today-well done!

    • @atrm61, thanks for stopping by, reading the post and leaving behind your feedback. Am glad that you enjoyed the post 😀 And yes, as long as “power” as a concept exists, then we will always have the lust for it and people doing anything to get it and keep it for themselves.

    • @ym1611, this was just one of the various Mahabharat related posts that are on my blog, enjoy the rest of them as well 😀

  5. Oh, that crafy Shakuni. Every family has one. You know, each post you write around the Mahabharata or Ramayana makes me involuntarily draw a parallel to real life situations. Very interesting exercise. Also, amusing to recall all the logical questions my son asked while listening to these stories. That’s what makes it all memorable.

    • @Vidya, yes, children’s curiosity ensures that we are always kept on our toes, especially around mythological stories like these 😀 And yes, have to agree with you when you say that every family has its share of crafty Shakunis 😉

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