Kissaa Kahaani

July 24, 2014

Yudhishthira- Dharmraj, Really??

Was Yudhishthira really a dharmaraj? Was that title only because he was sired by Yama or Dhrama? I have my own doubts and so do many others.

What is Dharma? The word has been defined in many ways in our holy books- it can mean Justice, Truth, Virtue, Code of Conduct, Character, Manner, Etiquette, Law, Truth and what not! But doesn’t Dharma mean Conscience as well!? Isn’t it about morality too?

Yudhishthira, the so called paragon of righteousness, ignored the calling of his heart and soul and went ahead with what was the “law”. Doesn’t dharma mean doing right, not betraying the conscience, not twisting the truth, taking a stand? Was he really obliged to play the game of dice and lose all he had and also deprive his brothers, mother and wife at the same time? Would abandoning the vile addiction of the game make him a coward as per Kshatriya rule of not backing down under any circumstance? Doesn’t this law of Dharma apply solely to the battlefield? Wasn’t this most pathetic excuse for continuing his weakness of the game? When Krishna admonished the warriors in Kaurava army saying, “Where was your Dharma when Draupadi was being insulted and robbed off her humility in the game of dice”, shouldn’t he have admonished Yudhishthira instead, “Where was your Dharma when you gambled away your wife, making her face the severest trauma a wife can feel?”

Was Yudhishthira really noble and great? Wasn’t he the shrewdest, most opportunistic man ever in the great war of Kurukshetra, wearing the mask of Dharma? And why do I doubt Yudhishthira on the front of Dharma? Let me recount my reasons.

The Lakshagriha- the house made of lac

When Pandavas and Kunti were given the gift of the Lac palace- highly inflammable substance, by Kauravas, and when Vidura apprised the Pandavas of the situation and informed of a secret tunnel he had made sure to be constructed to help Pandavas escape, the Pandavas with the consent of their mother Kunti, gave shelter to 6 Nishads- 5 sons and a widow mother, unbeknownst to Kauravas. The purpose was that when Kauravas would see the charred corpses of the unknown Nihads, they will think of them to be of Pandavas. Was it not murder? Pure cold blooded murder? Why didn’t Yudhishthira spoke up and refused to be a part of the conspiracy? Where was his call of duty when he decided to brutally sacrifice his innocent subjects? Was it about survival? Is survival worth it when it costs others’ lives? Wasn’t survival possible by just escaping and not killing anyone in the process?

The Shared Wedding

When Arjuna won Draupadi’s hands in marriage fair and square and took her home as his legally wedded lawful wife and when Kunti unknowingly told the brothers to divide the “offerings” amongst themselves, Yudhishthira ordered that all brothers would have to abide by the words of his mother and would have to wed Draupadi. Was that right? Was this the Dharma which objectified Draupadi as a plaything for all brothers? Was it Dharma to snatch away Draupadi from her beloved Arjuna? Was it not purely his desire to obtain Draupadi and the only way he could do so was by making sure that Draupadi is shared by all brothers? Does desire become a part of Dharma? If Dharma means to follow the words of elders and superiors, doesn’t Dharma also mean to respect womanhood, respect the integrity and sanctity of a marriage? How is it that Yudhishthira is hailed as a supreme son then? Didn’t he misuse and twist his mother’s words to meet his own terms?

The Vices of Gambling Addiction

Isn’t Dharma all about letting go of the vices and embracing virtues? Then this vile addiction of Gambling was not a step towards Adharma? Yes, Shakuni cheated. But was Yudhishthira not wrong to quit when he could? What kind of Dharmaraj was he that he kept on losing his all possessions, and not only had he lost all the possessions of his brothers as well? Were the brothers’ belongings his as well?  Didn’t he knowingly and deliberately threw his wives to the vultures just to fulfill his gambling habits? Was his wife his belonging, a possession? If that is the case, then why didn’t he gamble away his second wife Devika- who belonged only to him? Why Draupadi? Because she was a shared wife?

The Great Kurukshetra war

When Yudhishthira uttered the words that Ashwathhama died to Dronacharya, wasn’t that not exactly a truth- but twisted half-truth? And isn’t half-truth much more vile that a lie? Didn’t he betray the trust of his Guru who had the firm belief that Yudhishthira would never ever utter a lie? And wasn’t this half-truth the result of his desires to win? Where was his Dharma then?

And what about allowing a young boy to penetrate the Chakravyuh? That also when the boy’s father was not present? Was that again not his desire to win at any cost- may that life he is throwing away belong to his brothers’ young son who is newly married and who is soon going to be a father? Why couldn’t he have entered the Chakravyuh himself and be forever known as the valiant warrior? Was it because he was scared of death?





  1. Yudhisthir, just to keep his path of saying the truth, has affected others negatively. He is following theoretical Dharma which says one should say the truth at all times. But he is not looking into the practical aspects wherein someone is losing his life because of his dharma. This is a bigger adharma I feel.

    Comment by latasun — July 24, 2014 @ 12:52 pm | Reply

    • bigger dharma as you said is inside us and not an scripture or theory.

      thank you so much for reading my posts. means a lot. 🙂

      Comment by MK — July 24, 2014 @ 1:04 pm | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: