Mahabharat The Dharmshastra Essay

3909 words - 16 pages

The Game of Dice
The pivotal movement in Mahabharata is the game of dice. Several questions arise: why should a
game be a part of a ceremony as solemn as Rajsuya Yagya? Even if there has to be a game why
should it be a game of dice rather than a game of skill and valor? Further, why should the whole
action turn on the outcome of this game of dice?. One reason could be that the game of dice
represents the unforeseen challenges that a king must endure during his reign. India.
Significance of a Game or a Sport
A sport or a game can be seen on at least two levels. Creation in Hinduism is regarded as
God’s ‘lila’. This ‘lila’ takes place both on the level of God and the level of man. Hence, we ...view middle of the document...

Man parallels God’s ‘lila’ by himself performing ‘lila’ through which
several issues pertaining to human life can be explored and resolved for the moment.2
At another level, a sport or a game too can be seen as a make-believe arena or even a theater
of war in which winning or losing becomes a life and death matter3. In Mahabharata, the game of dice
is an attempt to settle an issue through play that can otherwise only get resolved through a decisive
war. As Sakuni says,
The fortune over which you have been grieving after you saw it at Pandu’s son Yudhishthira’s,
I shall take it from him, let the enemy be challenged ! I shall take no risk, nor fight a battle in front of
armies; I shall throw the dice and, whole of body and wise, defeat the fools! Be sure, the dice are my
bows and arrows, the heart of dice my string, the dicing rug, my chariot! 4 The Dicing (51.1)
Why a Game of Dice
Dicing is a part of the religious and cultural history of India. Gambling has two significance
in religion. It is usually discouraged or prohibited. In Hinduism gamblers are associated with thieves,
assassins and other depraved characters. They are dangerous characters utterly devoid of
truth. Dhritrashtra himself knows the perils of dicing. He tells Duryodhana:
Enough of dicing, son of Gandhari, Vidura does not approves of it. Nor would he, in his great sagacity,
tell us aught that is in bad faith that I think Vidura is speaking ……for gambling is found to be
divisive. At a breach the kingdom perishes, therefore avoid it, son. The Dicing (46.1)
Yudhishthira too knows the dangers. When Vidura goes to invite him to the game on behalf of
Dhritrashtra, he says :
At a dicing, Steward, we surely shall quarrel.
Who, knowing this, will consent to a game? The Dicing (52.1)
Vidura is equally sure that the game will bring disaster. The most dangerous gamblers have been
assembled by Dhritrashtra but, Yudhishthira feels compelled to accept :
It is the King Dhritrashtra’s behest
So, I will not refuse, sage to go to the game
A son will always respect the father:
I shall, Vidura, do as thou tellest me.
I am not, unwilling to play Sakuni,
I were, would recklessly challenge
In that hall….Once challenged I will not refuse,
For so I have sworn for eternity. The Dicing (52.1)
Yudhishthira is well aware that he is going to his ruin:
Fate takes away our reason

As glare blinds the eye.
Man bound as with nooses
Obeys the Placer’s sway. The Dicing (52.1)
Then why does Yudhishthira knowingly go to his doom? Perhaps because it is a part of the
Rajasuya Yagya that Yudhisthira is performing and he feels he is honor bound to follow the rules and
not because he has a weakness for gambling as Sakuni would have us believe. In any case up to this
point there is no incident, which exhibits this weakness in Yudhishthira. The dice game follows the
unction and the chariot drive in the ritual. However, the question still remains why should a game and
that too a game of dice be a part of the rituals of...

Other Essays Like Mahabharat the Dharmshastra

The French And Indian War: The "Real" First World War

1955 words - 8 pages The Seven Years War, or more commonly referred to as “The French and Indian War”, has been called the true First World War. In this book The French and Indian War: Deciding the Fate of North America, the author and historian Walter R. Borneman paints a detailed and elaborate picture that justifies the claim of it being the first true war of global proportions. If ever there truly was a climax to the never ending feud of the European

Is The Use Of Animals In Medical Research A Necessary Measure?

1513 words - 7 pages Throughout history, animals have been used in experiments to test product safety and obtain medical knowledge that benefits both humans and animals alike. Every year there are numerous medical breakthroughs, such as medications and surgical instruments, which are tested on animals to insure their safety before they are deemed acceptable for human use. Even though the results of the experiments saved millions of human lives, they are also

Education And The Evolving Job Market

2363 words - 10 pages The lives of students today are changing. They are preparing for lives and jobs that have never before existed. If teachers hope to have a significant and worthwhile impact on these quickly changing lives, they must change the way they think, prepare, and instruct our future generations. Children cannot afford to have teachers who remain stagnant in their methods and ideals. Students crave instructors that are willing to allow them to tap

Young And Relentless

1737 words - 7 pages There are numerous influences that can be responsible of teenager’s behaviors and attitude as they develop. One factor that is important to these behaviors is parental figures being over involved or uninvolved in their children’s lives. Many of these effects include illegal substance abuse, rising sexual activity, underage alcohol consumption, and tobacco use. Studies show parental participation plays a key role in the characteristics developed

The Natural Law Theory

1231 words - 5 pages Obeying by the natural law theory is the only true and moral way to live life; especially a life lived in God’s image. God’s presence is a guiding factor to obtaining a moral and virtuous life, which can only be obtained by following the natural law theory. God created a set of laws as a supreme guide for humans to live life, like any law these laws were created to ensure wellbeing for everyone. The laws he created are the civil law, the natural

Resolved: Presidential Signing Statements Threaten To Undermine The Rule Of Law And The Separation Of Powers

1811 words - 8 pages The subject of signing statements has created much debate among the houses of Congress, government officials, and the public alike. These signing statements fall under the categories of constitutional and legislative history signing statements. Constitutional signing statements are those in which the president deems certain provisions of the legislation as unconstitutional, therefore they should not be enforced (Bradley & Posner, 2006

Oppressive Systems Of Government In Egypt And Animal Farm

1529 words - 7 pages As in Egypt, Orwell demonstrates through his allegorical novel “Animal Farm” that leaders are able to establish and maintain power over a people, and in turn create an oppressive and corrupt government system. Orwell shows the significant difference in the education and levels of knowledge in the animals, and how the government takes advantage of this difference. The split between the levels of intelligence is portrayed in the first chapter

The Pathway To Psychosis

1415 words - 6 pages “How all occasions do inform against me” is a line from act IIII, scene IIII of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. This line, spoken by Hamlet, expresses his emotional state as he is currently overwhelmed by the death of his father, the king of Denmark, and the situation surrounding it. After Hamlet learns of his father’s death he finds out that his mother has married Claudius, Hamlet’s uncle. On top of all of that, Hamlet soon after

Rated “M” For “More Censorship Not Needed”

1241 words - 5 pages Since the moment video games became a commercial success there have been people who have pushed for unfair amounts of censorship to be placed upon the content of the games and its availability to children. These groups push for increased regulations on content but there is already an appointed group to handle this issue, the ESRB. Even though there has been an increase in mature content in the video game industry, increased censorship is not

Four Components Of A Legally Astute Social Media Marketing Manager

1914 words - 8 pages With the advances in technology constantly changing companies have to find better ways to market their products to consumers. The explosion of Facebook has given companies a way to market products to consumers. Examine how a legally astute manager can use social media to his advantage. Review different forms of dispute resolution and determine which one works the best. What is the best course of action, the government can use to

Obama's Values

1217 words - 5 pages As individuals, we don’t tend to take action unless it’s for self-interest; however, in Dreams from My Father, Obama spends three years, after college, as a community organizer in Chicago. Obama goes through tribulations, disappointments, and even complete failures organizing meaningful events, decisive meetings, and humble gatherings but he keeps working toward achieving any possible change in the community. Even though results give him every

Related Papers

The Separation Of Capital Ownership And Control

1577 words - 7 pages The argument of whether the separation of capital ownership and control is an efficient form of organization has constantly been a controversial issue. The criticism whether the controllers’ act is in the best interest of the owners’ wills never end as long as hired managers operate management. As the number of public companies has been increasing over the course of this century, meanwhile the American style of contact based corporation has

The Versatility And Flexibility Of Oled's

1014 words - 5 pages In April 1, 2002, organic light emitting diodes gain rise in the scientific community with their published, more practical form at Ames Laboratory. “Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory, in collaboration with scientists at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, have developed and demonstrated a novel, fluorescence-based chemical sensor that is more compact, versatile and less expensive than existing technology of its

Comparing The Moral Virtues Of Antony And Julian The Apostate

1103 words - 5 pages Roman emperor Julian the Apostate and Christian leader Antony both exhibited many qualities of character during their existence. Both of them led very distinctive lives although shared several ethical values. Book 25 of “The Later Roman Empire” and the book “Early Christian Lives” show concrete evidence of this. In the following essay, I will argue how both leaders’ lives were devoted to their religious beliefs and their mutual cardinal virtues

Living In A Cashless Society Essay

1637 words - 7 pages Money in a traditional sense no longer exists. Money is becoming much of a concept than a physical material, and most ordinary bitter have not see the reality of the switch. People today are using credit and debit cards on a regular basis and in everyday situations such as meal purchased at fast food, highway tolls, clothing, groceries, gas stations, etc. all of these means of systems could be regarded as a cashless society or world. The