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Gandhari Advices Against The Game Of Dice In Mahabharata

In the Mahabharata, the episode involving the game of dice and Gandhari's advice against it is a crucial moment in the unfolding of the epic. Here's an expansion on the key points that Gandhari discussed with Dhritarashtra:

1. Duryodhana's Scheme: Duryodhana, driven by his animosity towards the Pandavas, proposes another game of dice. This time, the stakes are even higher, involving a twelve-year exile in the forest and an additional year in disguise for the loser. Shakuni, known for his deceitful tactics, is expected to ensure Duryodhana's victory.

2. Gandhari's Warning: Gandhari, having foreseen the disastrous consequences of her son's actions, adamantly advises against agreeing to Duryodhana's proposal. She reminds Dhritarashtra of Vidura's earlier prediction that Duryodhana would bring calamity to the Kuru clan. Gandhari's wisdom and maternal concern prompt her to counsel her husband against yielding to Duryodhana's dangerous demands.

3. Past Predictions: Gandhari recalls the predictions made at the time of Duryodhana's birth, emphasizing the importance of those warnings. This serves as a poignant reminder of the potential harm that Duryodhana could inflict on the Kuru lineage. Gandhari believes that the time has come to heed those warnings and prevent further calamity.

4. The Pacification of the Pandavas: Gandhari argues that the Pandavas have already been pacified and reconciled after the first game of dice. Provoking them again would only lead to widespread destruction. She uses metaphors such as not destroying a dam built to protect a city from floods and not reigniting a dangerous fire that has been put out. Gandhari's words carry a profound message about the consequences of needlessly provoking conflicts.

5. Wisdom of Age vs. Impulsiveness of Youth: Gandhari differentiates between the impulsive nature of youth and the wisdom that comes with age. She suggests that while youngsters may make unreasonable demands due to their lack of experience, older individuals must exercise prudence and adhere to dharma (righteousness). Gandhari advocates the importance of following the Sastras (ancient scriptures) and learning from them, provided one has an open mind.

6. The Dangers of Adharmic Wealth: Gandhari underscores the importance of earning wealth through lawful means, as it benefits future generations. She warns against acquiring wealth through adharmic (unrighteous) means, as it could lead to the destruction of the family.

7. Dhritarashtra's Dilemma: Despite Gandhari's wise counsel, Dhritarashtra's love for Duryodhana blinds him to the righteous path. His attachment to his son and his desire to see him triumph outweigh his commitment to dharma. This inner conflict in Dhritarashtra's character sets the stage for the tragic events that follow.

In essence, Gandhari's advice serves as a moral compass, urging Dhritarashtra to prioritize righteousness over personal attachments, and foreshadowing the dire consequences that will unfold due to the unchecked ambition and malevolence of Duryodhana.