The Wager

Hence, as foretold by Vyasa,great peril was to descend on the Pandavas.Duryodhana and Sakuni envisaged a game of dice which would cause Yudhisthira to forsake his kingdom and his belongings.

Yudhisthira was compelled to accept this perilous invitation,to play a game of dice.Since it was customary for kings to play or to gamble with dice.Even though Yudhisthira was good at rolling the dice, Sakuni was considered the authority on gambling.Thus the game was already won when Sakuni sought permission to play on Duryodhana’s behalf.

One by one,Sakuni ,who was playing for Duryodhana won all of Yudhisthira’s belongings.Now he had only his brothers,wife and himself to forfeit.Needless to say, he forfeited these too.Draupadi was dragged to the court by Dushasana,Duryodhana’s brother. Here,he started to strip Draupadi off her garments.At this juncture,overwhelmed by her husbands’ helplessness, Draupadi prayed to Lord Krishna for help.Thus,Krishna’s timely intervention caused Draupadi’s apparels to be boundless.

Soon,sanity was restored by the King Dhritarashtra on the advice of the elders in the court.He ordered that everything won by Sakuni,on behalf of Duryodhana, be returned to Yudhisthira.

But he could not restrain the malicious Duryodhana for long.Sakuni and Duryodhana again invited Yudhisthira for a game of dice,and soon Yudhisthira lost all his belongings and was sent to exile of 13 years.The last year was to be spent incognito and if they were discovered they would have to retreat to the forest for yet another 13 years.