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Shakuni Story – Reason For His Hatred For Kuru Clan And How He Got Limp

The story of Shakuni of Mahabharata found in the folklore tradition in India gives explanation for his hatred for the Kuru clan. The stories also explain how he got limp.

Shakuni was the son of King Suvala of Gandhara and brother of Gandhari. He was maternal uncle of Duryodhana and his chief adviser.

When Gandhari was born astrologers had foretold that her first husband would die soon. Therefore, King Suvala, father of Gandhari, got her married to a goat, which was sacrificed soon after. Now, as per custom Gandhari was a widow. This incident was not revealed to Bhishma and the Kuru clan before Gandhari getting married to Dhritarashtra.

Bhishma, who came to know about the first marriage of Gandhari from his spies, was enraged. He imprisoned King Suvala and his sons. Only a fistful of rice was provided to them. It was believed that as the rice would not be enough they would starve and die.

King Suvala then came up with a solution. He told his sons that the intelligent among them only should eat as he would take revenge on the Kuru clan. Shakuni, the youngest, was fed and the rest of the family starved to death.

Before dying, king Suvala hit the foot of Shakuni with a stick, breaking his ankle, so he would remember the great crime against his family every time he limped.

Shakuni later came to live in Hastinapur with the Kauravas. He fed all kinds of hatred and jealousy in the minds of Kauravas and turned them against the Pandavas. He plotted the downfall of the Kuru clan till his death.

There are numerous stories of Shakuni folklore and in some it is mentioned that he was furious that his beloved sister was married to a blind man.