MB Series Episode 10: Formation of Indraprastha
Vidura reached Panchal with the message of King Dhritarashtra for Yudhishthira to return to Hastinapur with Draupadi. He shared the message in front of King Drupada and requested him to allow Yudhishthira to return with him. King of Panchal politely asked Yudhishthira to take decision. Yudhishthira accepted the message and decided to return to Hastinapur with Draupadi, Kunti and other Pandava brothers. Vidura stayed for few days in Panchal on request of king Drupada before their travel back to Hastinapur.
Here in Hastinapur, Duryodhana was shocked to know about the wellness of Pandavas and he couldn’t accept that his plan of killing Pandavas in the wax palace failed. He was restless as he was affrighted of losing the position of Yuvaraja, which was given to him after the news of death of Pandavas spread. Bewildered, he met Shakuni and expressed his hopelessness. He was angry, he was sad and certainly frustrated. At that time, Shakuni also couldn’t convince Duryodhana. All the sugar-coated words of Shakuni were no less than keen shafts for Duryodhana. Finding no solution, Shakuni suggested to talk to Dhritarashtra. “A father must have thought something for his son.”, he remarked.
Devastated Duryodhana visited his father Dhritarashtra and expressed his grief and worries. He said, “Father! Now as the Pandavas know the truth of Wax palace and they survived the plot of their destruction; it has become evident for us to finish them before they reach Hastinapur. With their union with the princess of Panchal, they have become stronger than before. This very thought of their return to Hastinapur worries me lot.” Dhritarashtra understood what his son wanted to convey as the jealousy of Duryodhana for Pandavas was never hidden. Dhritarashtra knew once Pandavas return to Hastinapur, all courtiers would look for Yudhishthira becoming Yuvaraja and eventually king of Hastinapur. Dhritarashtra then asked Duryodhana about his thoughts. “What you want O son?”, said Dhritarashtra seeing his worried son.
“Yudhishthira is favorite of Vidura and grandfather Bhishma. They will always want him to be the future king of Hastinapur. The citizens of Hastinapur had supported him before we sent Pandavas to Varnavarta. Now, when the citizens will come to know about the wellness of Pandavas, a strong wave will come out in their support. I am unable to think how to stop the increasing popularity of Yudhishthira. I don’t want to live under his blessings for my entire life. O Father! You are my only hope. Do whatever deem fit but don’t give up this throne to Yudhishthira.”, said Duryodhana with crumbling voice. He wanted to cry victim and get support of his father. He knew whatever be the decision of Dhritarashtra, Yudhishthira would never argue on that.
Dhritarashtra couldn’t think of any reasonable solution to Duryodhana’s obstinacy. He too didn’t want Yudhishthira to win over his son. He then called for Bhishma and Guru Drona and asked their opinions too. There was no doubt Bhishma wanted the throne to be given to Yudhishthira, but he sensed the unwillingness of Dhritarashtra. He then thought for a while and then gave toughest opinion of his life. He said, “Ideally, this throne belongs to Yudhishthira as he was crowned as heir-apparent before going to Varnavata. But I know this will not be acceptable to your son Duryodhana and above all to you too. After the episode of fire in palace of Varnavata, when it was assumed that Pandavas were died, the crown of Yuvraj was given to Duryodhana. I am not against anyone; all my grandsons are dear to me and hence I don’t want to take back the post which is given to Duryodhana. The only solution which I could find is to divide the kingdom in two halves. Give one portion to Pandavas and let the other half be with Duryodhana. Which part you want to give to whom, is your decision.” Dhritarashtra was relieved finding solution to his problem. He made decision but didn’t reveal which part of the kingdom he wished to give to Pandavas and which he wanted to retain for his sons.
Few days later, Vidura returned with Pandavas. Krishna and Balarama too came with them. As they walked into the dominion of Hastinapur they were welcomed by ocean of jubilant citizens. The exuberant crowd thronged to catch a glimpse of their beloved princes and their wife Draupadi. They sang welcome songs, showered flowers and sprinkled fragrant water to express their happiness. The large group of happy denizens escorted the Pandavas till the entrance of the palace. Pandavas were then welcomed by Gandhari and Kauravas. Bhishma was very happy seeing the Pandavas, especially Arjuna. Bhishma blessed the daughter-in-law of his dynasty, Draupadi and gave her welcome gifts. Guru Drona and Guru Kripa then came forward and showered their blessings too. At last, Pandavas went to the courtroom of Hastinapur where they were welcomed by Dhritarashtra. All courtiers were excited and happy seeing Pandavas with Kunti and Draupadi, except Duryodhana. After all the meetings, Pandavas went to their apartments.
Next day, meeting was called in the courtroom of Hastinapur and Dhritarashtra was set to share his decision on the future king of Hastinapur. All Pandava and Kaurava brothers along with elders, Krishna, Balarama and other courtiers were present. Amid those dignitaries, Dhritarashtra addressed, “Yudhishthira! You are epitome of dharma and righteousness. Wherever you rule, the kingdom will prosper. Pandu has made Hastinapur prosperous and I know you will continue his legacy. My sons are wicked and arrogant. They don’t listen to my advices and thus I am left with no choice then to divide the dominion of Hastinapur in two halves. Having full faith in your potential, I give you Khadavaprastha. Go to Khanadavaprastha and make it your capital. Our ancestors, Pururavas, Nahusha, Yayati and others ruled from that place. Let it be your new capital.”
Dhritarashtra’s decision was certainly coated with his blind love for his son and hence he wanted to send the sons of his brother Pandu to the land which was left by his ancestors long back. That place was left in ruins and there was no sign of habitation. It was clear partiality by Dhritarashtra, but Yudhishthira honored the decision of his uncle and decided to leave for Khandavaprastha with his brothers and mother. Yudhishthira was then coronated as king of Khandavaprastha.
Pandavas with Draupadi, Kunti, Krishna and Balarama went to the new land given to them. They performed the rituals in presence of sages and then for months worked hard to convert the ruined city into a land of their dreams. Forts and palaces were built, barren land was converted to agriculture fitting land, and with lots of efforts and hard work, Khandavaprastha was soon converted into a civilized land. They named their new capital as Indraprastha as it was no less than the abode of Indra. Krishna and Balarama stayed with them till they settle in Indraprastha. Soon the new city became the center of admiration and people started coming to settle in that new city. Brahmanas became the teachers, Kshatriyas joined the army of Indraprastha, many traders entered in hope of new businesses and people from other groups found Indraprastha as their new abode. And, Indraprastha grew in wealth and beauty under the leadership of Yudhishthira.