ISKCON Press


Why Duryodhana Felt Insulted at the End of the Rājasūya Sacrifice

King Yudhiṣṭhira was known as ajātaśatru, or a person who has no enemy. Therefore, when all men, all demigods, all kings, sages and saints saw the successful termination of the Rājasūya yajña performed by King Yudhiṣṭhira, they became very happy. That Duryodhana alone was not happy was astonishing to Mahārāja Parīkṣit, and therefore he requested Śukadeva Gosvāmī to explain this.  id1

Śukadeva Gosvāmī said, “My dear King Parīkṣit, your grandfather, King Yudhiṣṭhira, was a great soul. His congenial disposition attracted everyone as his friend, and therefore he was known as ajātaśatru, one who never created an enemy. He engaged all the members of the Kuru dynasty in taking charge of different departments for the management of the Rājasūya sacrifice. For example, Bhīmasena was put in charge of the kitchen department, Duryodhana in charge of the treasury department, Sahadeva in charge of the reception department, Nakula in charge of the store department, and Arjuna was engaged in looking after the comforts of the elderly persons. The most astonishing feature was that Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, took charge of washing the feet of all the incoming guests. The Queen, the goddess of fortune Draupadī, was in charge of administering the distribution of food, and because Karṇa was famous for giving charity, he was put in charge of the charity department. In this way Sātyaki, Vikarṇa, Hārdikya, Vidura, Bhūriśravā, and Santardana, the son of Bāhlīka, were all engaged in different departments for managing the affairs of the Rājasūya sacrifice. They were all so bound in loving affection for King Yudhiṣṭhira that they simply wanted to please him.  id2

After Śiśupāla had died by the mercy of Lord Kṛṣṇa and had become merged in the spiritual existence, and after the end of the Rājasūya yajña, when all friends, guests and well-wishers had been sufficiently honored and rewarded, King Yudhiṣṭhira went to bathe in the Ganges. The city of Hastināpura is today standing on the bank of the Yamunā, and the statement of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam that King Yudhiṣṭhira went to bathe in the Ganges indicates, therefore, that during the time of the Pāṇḍavas, the river Yamunā was also known as the Ganges. While the King was taking the avabhṛtha bath, different musical instruments, such as mṛdaṅgas, conchshells, drums, kettledrums and bugles, vibrated. In addition, the ankle bells of the dancing girls jingled. Many groups of professional singers played vīṇās, flutes, gongs and cymbals, and thus a tumultuous sound vibrated in the sky. The princely guests from many kingdoms, like Sṛñjaya, Kāmboja, Kuru, Kekaya and Kośala, were present with their different flags and gorgeously decorated elephants, chariots, horses and soldiers. All were passing in a procession, and King Yudhiṣṭhira was in the forefront. The executive members such as the priests, religious ministers and brāhmaṇas, were performing a sacrifice and all were loudly chanting the Vedic hymns. The demigods, the inhabitants of the Pitṛloka and Gandharvaloka, as well as many sages, showered flowers from the sky. The men and women of Hastināpura, Indraprastha, their bodies smeared with scents and floral oils, were nicely dressed in colorful garments and decorated with garlands, jewels and ornaments. They were all enjoying the ceremony, and they threw on each other liquid substances like water, oil, milk, butter and yogurt. Some even smeared these on each other’s bodies. In this way, they were enjoying the occasion. The professional prostitutes were also engaged by jubilantly smearing these liquid substances on the bodies of the men, and the men reciprocated in the same way. All the liquid substances had been mixed with turmeric and saffron, and their color was a lustrous yellow.  id3

In order to observe the great ceremony, many wives of the demigods had come in different airplanes, and they were visible in the sky. Similarly the queens of the royal family arrived gorgeously decorated and surrounded by bodyguards on the surface of different palanquins. During this time, Lord Kṛṣṇa, the maternal cousin of the Pāṇḍavas, and His special friend Arjuna, were both throwing the liquid substances on the bodies of the queens. The queens became bashful, but at the same time their beautiful smiling brightened their faces. Because of the liquid substances thrown on their bodies, the saris covering them became completely wet. The different parts of their beautiful bodies, particularly their breasts and their waists, became partially visible because of the wet cloth. The queens also brought in buckets of liquid substances and sprinkled them on the bodies of their brothers-in-law. As they engaged in such jubilant activities, their hair fell loose, and the flowers decorating their bodies began to fall. When Lord Kṛṣṇa, Arjuna and the queens were thus engaged in these jubilant activities, persons who were not clean in heart became agitated by lustful desires. In other words, such behavior between pure males and females is enjoyable, but persons who are materially contaminated become lustful.  id4

King Yudhiṣṭhira, in a gorgeous chariot yoked by excellent horses, was present with his queens, including Draupadī and others. The festivities of the sacrifice were so beautiful that it appeared as if Rājasūya was standing there in person with the functions of the sacrifice.  id5

Following the Rājasūya sacrifice, there was the Vedic ritualistic duty known as patnīsaṁyāja. This sacrifice was performed along with one’s wife, and it was also duly performed by the priests of King Yudhiṣṭhira. When Queen Draupadī and King Yudhiṣṭhira were taking their avabhṛtha bath, the citizens of Hastināpura as well as the demigods began to beat on drums and blow trumpets out of feelings of happiness, and there was a shower of flowers from the sky. When the King and the Queen finished their bath in the Ganges, all the other citizens, consisting of all the varṇas or castes—the brāhmaṇas, the kṣatriyas, the vaiśyas, and the śūdras—took their baths in the Ganges. Bathing in the Ganges is recommended in the Vedic literatures because by such bathing one becomes freed from all sinful reactions. This is still current in India, especially at particularly auspicious moments. At such times, millions of people bathe in the Ganges.  id6

After taking his bath, King Yudhiṣṭhira dressed in a new silken cloth and wrapper and decorated himself with valuable jewelry. The King not only dressed himself and decorated himself, but he also gave clothing and ornaments to all the priests and to the others who had participated in the yajñas. In this way, they were all worshiped by King Yudhiṣṭhira. He constantly worshiped his friends, his family members, his relatives, his well-wishers and everyone present, and because he was a great devotee of Lord Nārāyaṇa, or because he was a Vaiṣṇava, he therefore knew how to treat everyone well. The Māyāvādi philosophers’ endeavor to see everyone as God is an artificial way towards oneness, but a Vaiṣṇava or a devotee of Lord Nārāyaṇa sees every living entity as part and parcel of the Supreme Lord. Therefore, a Vaiṣṇava’s treatment of other living entities is on the absolute platform. Since one cannot treat one part of his body differently from another part because they all belong to the same body, so a Vaiṣṇava does not see a human being as distinct from an animal because in both of them he sees the soul and the Supersoul seated simultaneously.  id7

When everyone was refreshed after bathing and was dressed in silken clothing with jeweled earrings, flower garlands, turbans, long wrappers and pearl necklaces, they looked, all together, like the demigods from heaven. This was especially true of the women, who were very nicely dressed. Each wore a golden belt around the waist. They were all smiling. Spots of tilaka and curling hair were scattered here and there. This combination was very attractive.  id8

Persons who had participated in the Rājasūya sacrifice—including the most cultured priests, the brāhmaṇas who had assisted in the performance of the sacrifice, the citizens of all varṇas, kings, demigods, sages, saints and citizens of the Pitṛloka—were all very much satisfied by the dealings of King Yudhiṣṭhira, and at the end they happily departed for their residences. While returning to their homes, they talked of the dealings of King Yudhiṣṭhira, and even after continuous talk of his greatness they were not satiated, just as one may drink nectar over and over again and never be satisfied. After the departure of all others, Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira restrained the inner circle of his friends, including Lord Kṛṣṇa, by not allowing them to leave. Lord Kṛṣṇa could not refuse the request of the King. He therefore sent back all the heroes of the Yadu dynasty, like Sāmba and others. All of them returned to Dvārakā, and Lord Kṛṣṇa personally remained in order to give pleasure to the King.  id9

In the material world, everyone has a particular type of desire to be fulfilled, but one is never able to fulfill his desires to his full satisfaction. But King Yudhiṣṭhira, because of his unflinching devotion to Kṛṣṇa, could fulfill all his desires successfully by the performance of the Rājasūya yajña. From the description of the execution of the Rājasūya yajña, it appears that such a function is a great ocean of opulent desires. It is not possible for an ordinary man to cross over such an ocean; nevertheless, by the grace of Lord Kṛṣṇa, King Yudhiṣṭhira was able to cross over it very easily, and thus he became freed from all anxieties.  id10

When Duryodhana saw that Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira had become very famous after performance of the Rājasūya yajña and was fully satisfied in every respect, he began to burn with the fire of envy because his mind was always poisonous. For one thing, he envied the imperial palace which had been constructed by the demon Maya for the Pāṇḍavas. The palace was excellent in its puzzling artistic workmanship and was befitting the position of great princes, kings or leaders of the demons. In that great palace, the Pāṇḍavas were living with their family members, and Queen Draupadī was serving her husbands very peacefully. And because in those days Lord Kṛṣṇa was also there, the palace was also decorated by His thousands of queens. When the queens, with their heavy breasts and thin waists, moved within the palace, and their ankle bells rang very melodiously with their movement, the whole palace appeared more opulent than the heavenly kingdoms. Because a portion of their breasts was sprinkled with saffron powder, the pearl necklaces on their breasts appeared to be reddish. With their full earrings and flowing hair, the queens appeared very beautiful. After looking at such beauties in the palace of King Yudhiṣṭhira, Duryodhana became envious. He became especially envious and lustful upon seeing the beauty of Draupadī because he had cherished a special attraction for her from the very beginning of her marriage with the Pāṇḍavas. In the marriage selection assembly of Draupadī, Duryodhana had also been present, and with other princes he had been very much captivated by the beauty of Draupadī, but had failed to achieve her.  id11

Once upon a time, King Yudhiṣṭhira was sitting on the golden throne in the palace constructed by the demon Maya. His four brothers and other relatives, as well as his great well-wisher, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, were present and the material opulence of King Yudhiṣṭhira seemed no less than that of Lord Brahmā. When he was sitting on the throne surrounded by his friends, and the reciters were offering prayers to him in the form of nice songs, Duryodhana, with his younger brother, came to the palace. Duryodhana was decorated with a helmet, and he carried a sword in his hand. He was always in an envious and angry mood, and therefore, on a slight provocation, he spoke sharply with the doorkeepers and became angry. He was irritated because he failed to distinguish between water and land. By the craftsmanship of the demon Maya, the palace was so decorated in different places that one who did not know the tricks would consider water to be land and land to be water. Duryodhana was also illusioned by this craftsmanship, and when he was crossing water thinking it to be land, he fell down. When Duryodhana, out of his foolishness, had thus fallen, the queens enjoyed the incident by laughing. King Yudhiṣṭhira, could understand the feelings of Duryodhana, and he tried to restrain the queens from laughing, but Lord Kṛṣṇa indicated that King Yudhiṣṭhira should not restrain them from enjoying the incident. Kṛṣṇa desired that Duryodhana might be fooled in that way and that all of them might enjoy his foolish behavior. When everyone laughed, Duryodhana felt very insulted, and his hairs stood up in anger. Being thus insulted, he immediately left the palace, bowing his head. He was silent and did not protest. When Duryodhana left in such an angry mood, everyone regretted the incident, and King Yudhiṣṭhira also became very sorry. But despite all occurrences, Kṛṣṇa was silent. He did not say anything against or in favor of the incident. It appeared that Duryodhana had been put into illusion by the supreme will of Lord Kṛṣṇa, and this was the beginning of the enmity between the two sects of the Kuru dynasty. It appeared that it was a part of Kṛṣṇa’s plan in His mission to decrease the burden of the world.  id12

King Parīkṣit had inquired from Śukadeva Gosvāmī as to why Duryodhana was not satisfied after the termination of the great Rājasūya sacrifice, and thus it was explained by Śukadeva Gosvāmī.  id13

Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Seventy-fifth Chapter of Kṛṣṇa, “Why Duryodhana Felt Insulted at the End of the Rājasūya Sacrifice.” id14

Previous PageBack to overviewNext Page