Recognise Me – I am Duryodhan
The first lady who could experience pregnancy in the entire Kaurav clan was my mother, Mata Gandhari. But I was so sinful that for 30 weeks I was not delivered. My mother tried various methods and put in a lot of efforts to get me out of her womb but all in vain. Not only this, but during her term period with me inside her womb, she used to get many negative thoughts and lot of anguish. My mother’s sister-in-law Kunti got pregnant after my mother did but she gave birth before my mother could. Yudhishtar’s birth took place from Kunti and I was still inside my mother.
Not only were this but Kunti got pregnant again, second time, and preparations for that delivery was around the corner. And yet I showed no signs of coming out. With all these thoughts lingering in her mind my mother became very impatient and she started hitting her stomach harshly with a fist. Although after this outburst, she delivered but with a weird flesh which had a smell like someone’s head just got exploded and as if a meat body, I came out. And as soon as she saw this she yelled that what would I do with this meat body?
After witnessing my underdeveloped eyes, ears & body parts and thinking about the negative thoughts and dreams that she experienced during her pregnancy with me and during the birth listening to owl & bad omen and being a victim of all these things, mother Gandhari, thinking I might be an evil destroyer of all, ordered to end my life. But at that time because of an intervention by elders & my father Dhritrashtra this order was not proceeded & I could live.
Patriarchs of my clan started taking care of my meat body. Clothes dipped in pure ghee were coated around my meat body to get rid of the foul odour of flesh. After being very attentive taking a lot of care, my child like face started appearing. After seeing this, my mother was relieved.
The day I was born, that very day after 9 hours Mata Kunti gave birth to Bheem. That means the difference between Bheem & me is for just about three prahars (9 hours). Both of our births were celebrated at once by Sambhavi Raja Pandu.
My father Dhritrashtra named me Duryodhan. Me & Bheem played together and grew up together as we were about same age. Apart from Gandhari my father had 7 more wives and with them he had 99 more sons in sequence after me. We 100 brothers were famous as 100 Kauravas. Uncle Pandu’s 5 sons were famous as 5 Pandavas. We lived together and played sports together. I had one sister named Dushala. On reaching at an eligible age my sister was married to Raja Jayadratha of Sindh country.
It was our regular morning ritual of all 105 brothers to touch feet of all our elders and take blessings from them. Our elders were Bhishma, Dhritrashtra, Pandu, Vidur, Satyavati, Ambika, Ambalika, Amba, Gandhari, Kunti, Maadri, Kumudavati etc.
All of us 105 brothers, we sometimes played by the shore of river Ganga, we used to jump around all the time, sometimes we would just take a dip in the water, wrestle around and do lots of exercise. Everytime Bheem was ahead of all. He always scored first. And yet he treated and loved each and every brother as equal and above all loved me more and held a special place for me in his heart. Even if he loved us so much but when we played we were sure to suffer an injury opposite him. Bheem would easily catch and pick us all Kauravs and supress on his side with not much effort in fun. If we climbed a tree, he would simply shake the tree with his strength so that we all will fall down. Although, all these were child friendly games. He had absolutely no grudges at all for us in his mind. Even elders would never misunderstand his child friendly games with us. Of course, I was not able to see his child friendly nature and I had started developing jealousy in my heart for his efforts and planted a seed of enmity inside me. At that time the dim light of jealousy and enmity in my heart took a turn of lightning in the battlefield of ‘Kurukshetra’. This jealousy destroyed my life and turned it into ashes, became the reason for my death, it destroyed brotherhood within me.
Truth being said, ignorance and inertia leads to the fall in the chasm that is very deep.
Sometimes when Bheem and me would wrestle together hand in hand everyone would stop by and watch our wrestle. At that time Bheem would thump me in such a way that I would directly go to my brothers and Bheem would go to his 4 brothers and then Pandavas would pat the back of Bheem with all praises and appreciations. In that moment, I would literally burn out in jealousy. In truth, jealousy is a fire without wood and sword without a war. Of course, prudent Yudhishthir had equal love for all his brothers and he used to feel all these acts are only child friendly and normal.
But, the innocent bond of love that we all 105 brothers had was beginning to take a different turn because of my jealousy driven perspective. And all of this gave birth to discrimination. And after that I took many efforts & planned to kill Bheem; like:-
1. When Bheem would be in deep sleep, I would simply tie Bheem with rolling pin and drop him in water.
2. I would leave poisonous snakes over him.
3. I would add poison in his food etc.
But the bigger person is who saves someone and not kills someone. All my efforts started going in vain and instead of doing more harm to him they infact started being more good to him. For Bheem, they proved preventive and Ramban (a solution or remedy for all difficulties) mixtures. At that time also, Bheem would think I am doing all this in my childishness. Just like an evil person can never set aside his evilness, a good person can never stop seeing good in everyone. At last, our elders Bhishma, Vidur etc sent us to great scholar Gurus Krupacharya & Dronacharya to gain education & learn armory. Well, Arjun proved to be the best in this area. With time, we all got married.
With time, the coronation took place of the heir of throne of Hastinapur, which is Yudhishthir. Sapphires were composed in such a way that the divine assembly was made on the subject that there should be confusion of water on the floor. So I started walking with my clothes up. Then when I proceeded, there was indeed a pool of water, but I got an illusion of flat earth and I went straight into the pool. Watching this, Bheem started laughing on me jokingly & I felt very insulted. It kept happening again & again and watching this, except Yudhishthir all the pandavas started laughing more & more and at the same time the words out of Draupadi’s mouth, “Andhe Jaya Andh”, a son of a blind will always be a blind, these words were like a dagger to my heart and I was anguished with my insult. I started shaking as the anger inside me was turning into a wild fire. Although Yudhishthir made a few attempts to calm me down but I could not find peace within me and from childhood all the notions that I had tied within me for pandavas became even stronger. The truth is, the tongue is more powerful & more dangerous than an atomic bomb. This jealousy and tongue were acting behind the bloodshed of crores of soldiers in the war of Mahabharata. A poet once rightly said;
रसना में अमृत बसे, रसना विष भी होय
मिले लाख ईनाम भी, जान हानि भी होय
– There is amrit in Rasna, but there is also poison in rasna.
– We get lakhs of prizes but loss of life too.
I myself was the king of the city of Indraprastha but the divinity of the divine assembly, the laughter of pandvas on me jokingly and the day by day progress of pandvas started troubling me from within. The fire of jealousy was burning intently in my mind.
Initially, mama Shakuni explained me a lot to leave jealousy and accept the feeling of love. But I either wanted them dead or myself dead, this one thought stuck by me & I was not able to get rid of this thought.
My father made lot of efforts to explain me to leave jealousy that I had for pandvas & that I should only feel love but I did not budge. It was only then, when I gave a suicide threat, my father took my side because of blind love he had for me.
Then together with mama Shakuni we made a plan. We built a divine assembly better than Hastinapur at Indraprastha. The pandvas were to be invited and the gaming workshop was to be arranged and the plan was to defeat them in gambling. Everything happened according to the filthy wishes of our mind. When Yudhishthir lost everything in gambling, Mama Shakuni advised him to play the last game to win everything back, putting Draupadi at stake. “Vinaash Kaale Viparit Buddhi” Even when everyone refused, Yudhishthir placed Draupadi at stake. When every situation is on the opposite side, how can we expect our wisdom to be on our side?
As the Pandavas were defeated and they lost Draupadi, I commanded my younger brother Dushasan, that Draupadi is now our property, you bring her to this meeting. When Dushasan went to take Draupadi, Draupadi tried hard to convince him well, but all went in vain. Dushasan caught the hairs of Draupadi and dragged her to the meeting. Bhishma and all elders and Pandavas, saw this scene and lowered their eyes in shame. Seeing Draupadi crying heavily, I got enthralled and said, “You were at stake and have been defeated in gambling, now you are mine. Come to me, we’ll have fun. Come and sit on my lap.”
People were extremely shocked after seeing this scene. Some people started crying, some got stunned and fell on the earth. Anger started as if pouring out of Draupadi’s and Bheem’s eyes. I became enraged by the bitter words of Draupadi and ordered Dushasan to pull her saree. The brutal hearted Dushasan was ready to rip Draupadi’s saree off, but because of the purity of Draupadi the Gods were supplying saree to Draupadi. As and when Dushasan would rip her saree, the saree was becoming never ending saving her respect. At this time, the fame of entire clan was being murdered, Vidhur couldn’t witness this and so he spoke very bitter and fire like words to my father, bringing my lowliness into light. Witnessing the peity side of Vidhur, everyone including my father got really scared. My father too was distraught and,m using his ‘veto’, he ordered to leave Draupadi in peace. Hence Dushasan left Draupadi.
In fact, during pregnancy I had indicated my mother as being the killer of the family, today the same proved to be true. Kurukul was stigmatized by me, Kul was destroyed. Undoubtedly my mother was a woman of this significant country and she was an ideal mother. When I used to go to seek her blessings during the war, she used to say, “Yato Dharma stato Jayah”, wherever there is Dharma, there is victory. My dear son, there is no dharma in your favour.
Of course my father contributed more to making my life, i was very devoted towards my father. If my father would have taken me on a right path, i wouldn’t have gone worse. The job of parents does not finish by just giving birth to a child in the form of a flesh, they need to take care of sacraments (sanskars) of child. If parents fail to pay attention in this particular area then a child suffers an unintentional effect which later on in life gets displayed by him through characteristics and then it destroys that child. It can also be said that me and my father Dhritrashtra were destroyed because of our wrong intentions and wrong efforts. Our misdeeds cannot be defended by citing our predetermined deeds.
When I made a vain attempt to imprison Sri Krishna who came as an intermediary for not making war,
By calculating the wise advice of Shri Krishna to give only five villages to the five Pandavas, he is given the opportunity to give them as much land as the tip of the needle,
In a room full of assembly, to give order to Draupadi to sit on my lap,
all this was the result of my audacity.
Especially, in the end, I died a very terrible death, from which an inferior quality of life can be imagined that I lived by choice. In reality, I was selfish, loved only my own self, I had nothing to do with the world or Devadhidev (Gods).
In the last moment, by following an advise from Shri Krishna, Bheem hit my lap so badly that the bones of my lap got all crushed. When this happened i was filled with an extreme anguish and my mind and body were in an extreme pain. At that time I ordered Ashwatthama to cut the head of the Pandavas and to bring it to me. At that time, in the darkness of night, he accidentally cut the head of their five sons in place of the five Pandavas and brought the bloodied head of those five to me. Seeing this, I exclaimed in extreme shock that these are Panchals, where are the Pandavas? I was frustrated by the trauma of the Pandavas’ survival, and the physical anguish was unbearable. Finally, after giving up my life on the battlefield, I went to the seventh hell. “Jaisi Mati, Waisi Gati” (As you sow, so shall you reap). My birth, life and death were all deteriorated, what remained?