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1. Yudhishthir As a King
2. Yudhishthir in Exile
3. Yudhishthir in A-Gyaatvaas
4. Yudhishthir in Mahaabhaarat War

Yudhishthir is a Mahaabhaarat character.

Who was Yudhishthir?
Yudhishthir was the eldest son of Kuntee and Paandu and thus he was the eldest Paandav. He was the son of Dharm Raaj, as we all know him, that is why he was the staunch follower of Dharm and never did anything which was not according to Dharm. He was very quiet in nature, simple and knower of just and unjust. He always used to speak truth. It is said that because of his this quality his chariot used to run 4-fingers up the ground. But since he told the lie to Drone "Ashwatthaamaa died" his chariot used to run touching the ground. He was good at spear in weapons. He was also the student of Drone.

Yudhishthir was married to Draupadee and had a son from her named Prativindhya; but he had married to Devikaa also who was the daughter of Govaasan of Shaibya tribe and had son from her too - named Yaudheya.

Yudhishthir-Incarnation of Dharm Raaj
Taken from    Padm Puraan, 2/2

Sumanaa said - "Atri and Anasooyaa's son Dattaatreya has seen Dharm. Both Durvaasaa and Dattaatreya have done Tapasyaa and behaved according to Dharm. They did Tapasyaa for 10,000 years without eating anything drinking only air. Then they did Panchaagni Tapasyaa for another 10,000 years. Then they stood inside water for another 10,000 years. Both became very weak, Durvaasaa got very angry at Dharm, so Dharm appeared before him. Brahmcharya and Tap also came in person along with Dharm; and many others also came along with him.

Dharm said to Durvaasaa - "Hey Braahman, Why did you get angry in spite of being a Tapaswee? Anger destroys man's both grace and Tapasyaa, therefore one should abandon this anger at least at the time of Tapasyaa." Durvaasaa asked - "Who are you and who are all these persons along with you?" Dharm said - "They are Brahmcharya, Satya, Tap, Dam (control on Indriyaan), Niyam (discipline), Shauch (cleanliness) etc etc. I am Dharm, please be calm and protect me. Why are you so angry?" Durvaasaa said - "I can see that I have done so much Tapasyaa with all necessary discipline but you are not pleased with me, that is why I am angry at you. I will give you three curses - "Dharm, you become a King and a maid's son and be born in Chaandaal caste." Thus after giving these three curses, Durvaasaa Muni went away. Because of these three Shaap, Dharm incarnated as King Yudhishthir in Bharat family; when he was born as a maid's son, he was known as Vidur; and when Vishwaamitra afflicted King Harishchandra, he was born as a Chaandaal to give him a job."

But this story does not prove that why Yudhishthir had to undergo such a difficult life. He was born as a King, that is all right, but except for a few years of kingship he indeed suffered a lot - in fact since his childhood.

Yudhishthir as a King
Yudhishthir's childhood was mostly uneventful. When he grew up and the time came to declare the Crown Prince of Hastinaapur, he was declared the Crown Prince over Duryodhan. This made Duryodhan very jealous with him and he started thinking in the line to kill him, but he could not.

There used to be an annual fair at Baaranaavat in which the Crown Prince used to go, but since for some time there was no Crown Prince of Hastinaapur so Dhritraashtra was going there, but now Hastinaapur had its own Crown Prince so on Vidur's advise Yudhishthir was sent there. Yudhishthir's other brothers and Kuntee also went there for fun. This was a good opportunity for Duryodhan to implement his scheme. He called Purochan and asked him to build a house of all inflammable things (Lac, Ghee, wax, straw etc) and when he gets ready to set fire, he should set the fire in the house to burn them all. This will look like an accident and nobody will doubt on Dhritraashtra and Duryodhan tha they killed Paandav.

But unfortunately his scheme failed because of Vidur's vigilance and Yudhishthir's alertness. They set the fire one day before and escaped leaving behind the proof of their death in that fire unknowingly. Duryodhan was so happy that he forgot the logic as who set the fire one day before the set day. They spent some time in forest in hiding but Draupadee's Swayamvar opened the secret. Dhritraashtra had to call them to stay in Hastinaapur. But Duryodhan could not have loved with them in one house, so Dhritraashtra had to divide the kingdom and Paandav were given the area of Khaandav Van as their share of kingdom. Somehow they inhabited there Indraprasth as their kingdom's capital.

He was a very good King. He had all the qualities to become a King. He could not have done anything wrong or unjustified with anybody. He was always ready to learn a King's duties. When Bheeshm was lying on the bed of arrows he went to him to learn politics, diplomacy etc. He always respected his elders even though they were wrong. Because of this nature he and his brothers had to suffer a lot.

Even though Dhritraashtra and Duryodhan tried to insult, harm and kill Paandav several times whenever they could get the opportunity, but he was always respectful, obedient and polite to Dhritraashtra. He never disrespected or even felt bad about both Dhritraashtra and his son Duryodhan.

In the last days, after the Mahaabhaarat war,  Dhritraashtra and Gaandhaaree lived with him happily, but as they left for forest on the advice of Vidur Jee, Yudhishthir also left the world after some time. He ruled for 36 years.

Yudhishthir Gets Khaandav Van
His first appearance as an active actor occurs when after the Baaranaavat episode and after passing some time in Van in hiding, they were recognized by marrying Draupadee. Duryodhan, Dushaasan and Shakuni got very disturbed hearing this news that they were still alive. But Bheeshm got very happy to hear this, rather he was angry at Vidur Jee as why didn't he tell him that he had saved them from the fire and hid them in Van.

Well, Bheeshm suggested Dhritraashtra that he should welcome his daughter-in-law in the palace. So Dhritraashtra had to do. But Duryodhan could not live together with them and since he considered that palace as his, so he always instigated his father to move them from there. Bheeshm Jee was pressing Dhritraashtra to give Paandav's Kingdom (Hastinaapur) to them. But because of Duryodhan he was not able to do that. So he decided to divide the kingdom and gave Khaandav Van area which was only un-arable land, to Paandav.

Everybody said as "What are you doing this? They have their right to rule Hastinaapur." but Dhritraashtra was not able to do anything about it, because he was under the control of Duryodhan and Duryodhan was guided by Shakuni. Yudhishthir's brothers said that why they should lose their right on their own kingdom, but Yudhishthir ignored it saying that "Whatever our great uncle is saying we should obey it."

Yudhishthir Does Raajsooya Yagya
When Yudhishthir had settled down in his new kingdom, Naarad Jee suggested to do Raajsooya Yagya. Everbody supported the idea, but Krishn suggested that first he would have to eliminate Jaraasandh because he was very powerful King, and he might create some hurdle in doing the Yagya. How to eliminate him? Although Jaraasandh was as mighty as Bheem, still he was mightier than him, because of being joined by Jaraa. So Krishn suggested that since Jaraasandh never refuses any donations to Braahman, He would go there along with Arjun and Bheem in disguise of Braahman and would ask for donation. And in donation He would ask him a dual fight with anyone of them. He would not accept Krishn as he had already defeated Him 17 times, he would not accept Arjun as either he is archer or girlish, but he might accept Bheem seeing his body.

Thinking thus they went to Jaraasandh in the guise of Braahman and asked for donation. Jaraasandh recognized them and aid - "I think I have seen you somewhere." Krishn said - "You are right. We are not Braahman. I am Krishn, this is Arjun and that is Bheem. We are not here to ask for any money or ordinary donation, we want that you choose one among us for a dual fight." The same happened what Krishn thought. He chose Bheem. Both fought for 28 days. Bheem said to Krishn - "It is very difficult to kill him." Then Krishn told him the way - pulling his legs apart, divide him in two parts and throw both the parts in opposite direction. Bheem did so and killed Jaraasandh.

Now Yudhishthir started his Yagya in which he invited many kings and his all relatives from Hastinaapur. Duryodhan was given the charge of treasury. At the end of the Yagya, Vyaas Jee came there and said to Yudhishthir - "I warn you that for 13 years, all will bear the consequences ending in destruction and everybody blaming you for that all assembled Kshatariya will be killed for the sins of Duryodhan by Bhem and Arjun. Do not grieve for this as Time is superior to everything." Hearing this Yudhishthir vowed not to speak any harsh word to anybody from that day till 13 years.

Yudhishthir asked the present kings to whom to worship first (Agra Poojaa). Most people agreed upon Krishn, so Yudhishthir got ready to worship Krishn. Shishupaal did not like this so he started abusing Krishn. Everybody was annoyed hearing all this but Krishn let him abuse Him. As soon as he finished 100 abuses, Krishn cut his throat with His Chakra on 101st abuse. A light rose from his body and got absorbed in Krishn. After this Yudhishthir completed his Yagya.

During this Yagya Duryodhan handled money and spent it as he wished. He was very jealous seeing the prosperity and the glory of Paandav. He lost his reason and felt very jealous with them. Not only wealth, but also their palaces, royal court (built by Maya Daanav) etc also made him jealous. Once when he was looking at the royal court, he fell in water thinking it dry floor; and at another time he hit his head on a wall thinking it a door. (this incident is recorded in Sabhaa Parv, Sec 46) Seeing this Bheem, Arjun etc Paandav laughed at him heartily. This was a grave insult to Duryodhan. He could not tolerate this insult too. So as he went home he conspired to take their all wealth away.

Yudhishthir and Duryodhan at Dice Game
Duryodhan consulted his Maamaa Shakuni and planned for the dice game in which he intended to take away their all wealth. So he asked his father to send an invitation to Paandav to play the dice game. Another active episode is Yudhishthir's going to Hastinaapur, after his Raajsooya Yagya, to play the dice game on invitation of Dhritraashtra. His brothers and even Vidur Jee advised him (indirectly) not to accept this invitation but still he said - "Since our great father has sent the invitation, we cannot refuse it. We should honor it. Besides, being Kshatriya also we cannot refuse it. So we have to go." So all went there.

After arriving there, he agreed to the conditions which Duryodhan set for the game: My Maamaa will play the dice on behalf of me. His brothers said "When he wants to play with us then why his Maamaa should play dice, why not he himself? There must be some trick in this." But Yudhishthir stopped them, saying that "he is my younger brother so he has all the freedom to make the rules. Otherwise also we have come here to play for pleasure, not for quarrel, so we should not make fuss on small matters." On asking who will throw the dice first, Yudhishthir said, "You are younger to me, so you start the game."

In the course of time Yudhishthir lost everything - his treasure, brothers, himself, even his wife. Now Duryodhan was free to use them in his own way which he did. [read "Duryodhan's Plans - Dice Game"] When Duryodhan called Draupadee in the game court, she said "first let me know that Yudhishthir lost me after he lost himself or before? whether before or after, did he have the right to lose me like this or not?" But her questions remained unanswered. Somehow Draupadee brought everything back to them and they got ready to return to Indraprasth. But how could Duryodhan tolerate all this? He was already angry at his father who had spoiled all his plan by giving everything back to them. So he had to think something else.

He asked his father to stop them from going back and play one more game. Although Dhritraashtra didn't want it, but was helpless, so he had to stop Paandav from going back to Indraprasth and play one game more. Now Yudhishthir's brothers tried their best to explain their brother that "Didn't you understand their trick yet? Why do you want to ruin yourself?" But again, as usual, Yudhishthir stayed back there saying that "this is my great father's order, I can't disobey it."

And the game started. Again Duryodhan started the game, his Maamaa Shakuni threw the dice, and again he won the game and Paandav had to go to Van for 13 years, the 13th year as Agyaatvaas year (in which they should not be recognized by anybody living in the society, incognito).



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Created by Sushma Gupta On 5/27/04
Modified on 03/30/13