By Subrata Mukherjee
In love with Golapi, Subratagolapi.
As per the version of the epic of The Mahabharata, Dhritarashtra was the king of Kuru kingdom with his capital at Hastinapur. He was born to Vichitravirya’s first wife Ambika. He was born blind. Dhritarashtra with his wife Gandhari gave birth to One hundred sons and one daughter. Duryodhana was the eldest of the sons followed by Dushasana, Vikarna, Vindha and more others and Dushyala was the only daughter. In the sign of her respect and duty as a loyal wife to understand the pain of her husband Gandhari blindfolded herself and she made herself not able to see.
The sons and daughters of Dhritarashtra were called Kauravas who were brought up with the sons of Pandu, the brother of Dhritarashtra and were called Pandavas headed by Yudhishthira.
Vichitravirya died of sickness and all of a sudden there was a crisis of succession in Hastinapur in the absence of Vichitravirya and Vishma already took a vow not to marry in his life ever therefore, in order to bring a solution Satyabati called her son Vyasa to impregnate Ambika under Niyoga practice. As Ambika was frightened to see the appearance of Vyasa she closed her eyes during the union and her son Dhritarashtra was born blind.
Both Dhritarashtra and Pandu got military training from Vishma and Kripacharya. Obstacled by his blindness Dhritarashtra was unable to weild the weapons but he was strong enough to hold the power of hundred elephants in his two arms and was able to crush even the irons and heavy stones with his great powerful hands.
Dhritarashtra ascended the throne of Hastinapur after the death of his brother Pandu and though was blind had a resounding ambitious mind to rule all the subjects under his tenure as the king and ruler of Hastinapur.The New World (Natun Prithibi)
Dhritarashtra during his reign did not hold good and strong as in accordance with the name and fame of dynasties of Bharata rather he bowed before the will and evil acts of Duryadhana, his eldest son and Dhritarashtra acted meekly and hardly reacted otherwise from the line and dictum of Duryadhana and completely distracted from his path of ‘Rajdharma’ that means the duty of the king.
His blindness extended to the extent of blindness to his duty as the king and ruler of Hastinapur and he gradually deviated from his noble acts to be performed as the king. As the time came in succession it went completely out of his control and set the stage prepared for the horrific war at Kurukshetra!
After the most devastating war between the Kauravas and Pandavas the names in the Kauravas were all killed and five Pandavas Yudhisthira, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva along with Parikshita, the son of Abhimanyu survived.
Lord Krishna taking a very vital role to settle the disputes between Kauravas and Pandavas, as a peace emissary of Pandavas visited the Court of Dhritarashtra. He, despite his all magical powers and superiority pleaded Dhritarashtra and Duryadhana to recall Pandavas and donated them just five small villages to bring peace and happiness for ever in the Kuru kingdom of Hastinapur. That very noble mission from the Lord Krishna turned fruitless as Duryadhana out of his highest grade of arrogance and pride turned down the message of the Lord Krishna and even went further to arrest him. This was a massive blow to the attempt of peace mission by the Lord Krishna on behalf of Pandavas.
Dhritarashtra could not come out with a strong and courageous intention to read the message of Lord Krishna and being the king and head of the administration he failed to differentiate bad from good and darkness from the enlightenment as a result, future of entire Hastinapur was pushed towards an uncertain and gloomy affairs of extinction!
Dhritarashtra could have restrained Duryadhana in the path of his evil will and destructive activities out of his ambitious mind carried away by Shakuni but the irony of fate had pre destined something different and the consequences reached a level where all good qualities of Dhritarashtra vanished completely and Hastinapur became ready to face an aspersion of blood shed and killing of own clans by own ones which was absolutely unprecedented in such form and in such fashion.
Dhritarashtra was lucky in the sense he did not have to witness the scenes of fights and ravages in the battlefield of kurukshetra and he seated on the throne got the description from the voice of Sanjay who continued the commentary on the battle between Kauravas and Pandavas in Kurukshetra.
Dhritarashtra was blind in his eyes but not in vision and he could have anticipated the fate and consequences of war between Kauravas led by Dronacharya, Vishma, Duryadhana for proving their might to explore against Pandavas guided and protected by Lord Krishna as a charioteer of Arjuna for their interest of self-respect, honour and Justice in the path of truth and religion.
No power however is appearing invincible and insurmountable set on the track of vanity, arrogance and wrongful intention has ever been victorious against the force which may appear tiny and ordinary but has been generated from the source of religion, honesty and trust for the truth!
Kauravas were giants in power, position and name but Pandavas were far away from such looks of dazzling representation except the principle of loyalty, self respect and morality of life with the flow of truth and justice.
Dhritarashtra was a king who knew everything to be surfaced and realised soon after the battle of Kurukshetra. Hastinapur was lightless for the incompetence of Dhritarashtra as the ruler and king. The fight was on always between Dhritarashtra as the king of Hastinapur and Dhritarashtra as the father of Duryadhana, Dushyasana and his other sons.
The post of the king unfortunately bent before the desire of a father. The noble cause of the power and position of a king became vulnerable to the mundane demands of a father who was blind to his sons who all again were equally blind by their greed and unsatisfied desires of life, driven by zealous wickedness, conspiracy and bare falsehood wrongly set on the roads of mistrust and destructive consequences.
Dhritarashtra if was not able to make his own way correctly was not for his lack of eyes but for his open and exposed ambition which was astutely suppressed and kept hidden in his mind for many years and at last found avenues with the rise of numbers and powers of his son Duryadhana and his ill intended associates!
The blindness of Dhritarashtra extended to the world of ignorance exposed and unlimited with the short-sighted ness of Duryadhana and his association who were all whole heartedly deviated from the truth of religion. Dhritarashtra was fortunate that he could not see the faces of the subjects of Hastinapur.
A war is the outcome of several and many such contentions that remain unresolved for years. Hastinapur had such conditions and contentions many in numbers prevailing in its history for a long time. Dhritarashtra ascended the throne in the flow of troubles generated even before his position. Injustice was not uncommon and rare in the ‘Bharat Bangsh’ or the clan of Bharat dynasty.
The result of the battle of Kurukshetra was expected as it came with the victory of Pandavas and demise of Kauravas but the heart of a father could not be anyway compensated for the loss of lives of his sons, one, two and in hundred! Dhritarashtra was hardly prepared for this bare truth that the war of religion at Kurukshetra would be so irrevocably cruel and irretrievably devastating to bring irreparable loss for the heart of a helpless father like him.
Truth when takes the shape of a reality becomes often unbearable and shocking for a heart who knows well the fate of the fact has to go as it is destined! Same was happened with Dhritarashtra who received the same kind of experience as he always expected with his painful inner heart.
Bheema the second Pandava killed Duryadhana in the fight that obliterated the last ray of hope in the heart of Dhritarashtra and that news of Duryadhana crippled him completely. If the moment of ascending on the throne of Hastinapur was the biggest in the life of Dhritarashtra, the news of death of Duryadhana was undoubtedly the saddest of the moments of his life. Between those two contrasting moments the entire life of the most important post of Hastinapur faced twists and turns several times in the hands of destiny!
The powerful character with all his post and position bore the brunt of illfated lines written by his followers led by his sons shrunk to ignominious humiliation in the entire world before himself, before his members, before his subjects for ever only for the reason of mistaken belief on the miraculous escape from his deviated postures as the king and saviour of the people.
The battlefield of Kurukshetra left no glory for Dhritarashtra and raised millions of questions on his capacity as the king state. Destruction of name and fame all were surfaced against the stature of Dhritarashtra.
He left his kingdom delivering the power to Yudhishthira and went to Banaprastha the self excilement in the forest with his wife Gandhari along with Sanjay and Kunti, the wife of Pandu and one incident of fire in the forest killed the old aged, broken, devastated Dhritarashtra who was once, the all and powerful in the kingdom of Hastinapur could have engraved such magnanimous feats and achievements in his name to restore peace, happiness and prosperity for everyone.
Dhritarashtra went in to oblivion in the legacy of glory of success and survived as a name of tragedy in the darkest corner of vulnerable world which could be fragile and susceptible to collapse in the face of the slightest pretext and provocation from the desire of greed, conspiracy and bare falsehood of the meanest nature of the power hungry people!The New World (Natun Prithibi)
Written by Subrata Mukherjee
The New World (Natun Prithibi)