74. Why Duryodhana Felt Insulted at the End of the Rajasuya Sacrifice
20 / Why Duryodhana Felt Insulted at the End of the Räjasüya Sacrifice
King Yudhiñöhira was known as ajätaçatru, or a person who has no enemy. Therefore, when all men, all demigods, all kings, sages and saints saw the successful termination of the Räjasüya yajïa performed by King Yudhiñöhira, they became very happy. That Duryodhana alone was not happy was astonishing to Mahäräja Parékñit, and therefore he requested Çukadeva Gosvämé to explain this.
Çukadeva Gosvämé said, "My dear King Parékñit, your grandfather, King Yudhiñöhira, was a great soul. His congenial disposition attracted everyone as his friend, and therefore he was known as ajätaçatru, one who never created an enemy. He engaged all the members of the Kuru dynasty in taking charge of different departments for the management of the Räjasüya sacrifice. For example, Bhémasena was put in charge of the kitchen department, Duryodhana in charge of the treasury department, Sahadeva in charge of the reception department, Nakula in charge of the store department, and Arjuna was engaged in looking after the comforts of the elderly persons. The most astonishing feature was that Kåñëa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, took charge of washing the feet of all the incoming guests. The Queen, the goddess of fortune Draupadé, was in charge of administering the distribution of food, and because Karëa was famous for giving charity, he was put in charge of the charity department. In this way Sätyaki, Vikarëa, Härdikya, Vidura, Bhüriçravä, and Santardana, the son of Bähléka, were all engaged in different departments for managing the affairs of the Räjasüya sacrifice. They were all so bound in loving affection for King Yudhiñöhira that they simply wanted to please him.
After Çiçupäla had died by the mercy of Lord Kåñëa and had become merged in the spiritual existence, and after the end of the Räjasüya yajïa, when all friends, guests and well-wishers had been sufficiently honored and rewarded, King Yudhiñöhira went to bathe in the Ganges. The city of Hastinäpura is today standing on the bank of the Yamunä, and the statement of Çrémad-Bhägavatam that King Yudhiñöhira went to bathe in the Ganges indicates, therefore, that during the time of the Päëòavas, the river Yamunä was also known as the Ganges. While the King was taking the avabhåtha bath, different musical instruments, such as mådaìgas, conchshells, drums, kettledrums and bugles, vibrated. In addition, the ankle bells of the dancing girls jingled. Many groups of professional singers played véëäs, flutes, gongs and cymbals, and thus a tumultuous sound vibrated in the sky. The princely guests from many kingdoms, like Såïjaya, Kämboja, Kuru, Kekaya and Koçala, were present with their different flags and gorgeously decorated elephants, chariots, horses and soldiers. All were passing in a procession, and King Yudhiñöhira was in the forefront. The executive members such as the priests, religious ministers and brähmaëas, were performing a sacrifice and all were loudly chanting the Vedic hymns. The demigods, the inhabitants of the Pitåloka and Gandharvaloka, as well as many sages, showered flowers from the sky. The men and women of Hastinäpura, Indraprastha, their bodies smeared with scents and floral oils, were nicely dressed in colorful garments and decorated with garlands, jewels and ornaments. They were all enjoying the ceremony, and they threw on each other liquid substances like water, oil, milk, butter and yogurt. Some even smeared these on each other's bodies. In this way, they were enjoying the occasion. The professional prostitutes were also engaged by jubilantly smearing these liquid substances on the bodies of the men, and the men reciprocated in the same way. All the liquid substances had been mixed with turmeric and saffron, and their color was a lustrous yellow.
In order to observe the great ceremony, many wives of the demigods had come in different airplanes, and they were visible in the sky. Similarly the queens of the royal family arrived gorgeously decorated and surrounded by bodyguards on the surface of different palanquins. During this time, Lord Kåñëa, the maternal cousin of the Päëòavas, and His special friend Arjuna, were both throwing the liquid substances on the bodies of the queens. The queens became bashful, but at the same time their beautiful smiling brightened their faces. Because of the liquid substances thrown on their bodies, the saris covering them became completely wet. The different parts of their beautiful bodies, particularly their breasts and their waists, became partially visible because of the wet cloth. The queens also brought in buckets of liquid substances and sprinkled them on the bodies of their brothers-in-law. As they engaged in such jubilant activities, their hair fell loose, and the flowers decorating their bodies began to fall. When Lord Kåñëa, Arjuna and the queens were thus engaged in these jubilant activities, persons who were not clean in heart became agitated by lustful desires. In other words, such behavior between pure males and females is enjoyable, but persons who are materially contaminated become lustful.
King Yudhiñöhira, in a gorgeous chariot yoked by excellent horses, was present with his queens, including Draupadé and others. The festivities of the sacrifice were so beautiful that it appeared as if Räjasüya was standing there in person with the functions of the sacrifice.
Following the Räjasüya sacrifice, there was the Vedic ritualistic duty known as patnésaàyäja. This sacrifice was performed along with one's wife, and it was also duly performed by the priests of King Yudhiñöhira. When Queen Draupadé and King Yudhiñöhira were taking their avabhåtha bath, the citizens of Hastinäpura as well as the demigods began to beat on drums and blow trumpets out of feelings of happiness, and there was a shower of flowers from the sky. When the King and the Queen finished their bath in the Ganges, all the other citizens, consisting of all the varëas or castes--the brähmaëas, the kñatriyas, the vaiçyas, and the çüdras--took their baths in the Ganges. Bathing in the Ganges is recommended in the Vedic literatures because by such bathing one becomes freed from all sinful reactions. This is still current in India, especially at particularly auspicious moments. At such times, millions of people bathe in the Ganges.
After taking his bath, King Yudhiñöhira dressed in a new silken cloth and wrapper and decorated himself with valuable jewelry. The King not only dressed himself and decorated himself, but he also gave clothing and ornaments to all the priests and to the others who had participated in the yajïas. In this way, they were all worshiped by King Yudhiñöhira. He constantly worshiped his friends, his family members, his relatives, his well-wishers and everyone present, and because he was a great devotee of Lord Näräyaëa, or because he was a Vaiñëava, he therefore knew how to treat everyone well. The Mäyävädi philosophers' endeavor to see everyone as God is an artificial way towards oneness, but a Vaiñëava or a devotee of Lord Näräyaëa sees every living entity as part and parcel of the Supreme Lord. Therefore, a Vaiñëava's treatment of other living entities is on the absolute platform. Since one cannot treat one part of his body differently from another part because they all belong to the same body, so a Vaiñëava does not see a human being as distinct from an animal because in both of them he sees the soul and the Supersoul seated simultaneously.
When everyone was refreshed after bathing and was dressed in silken clothing with jeweled earrings, flower garlands, turbans, long wrappers and pearl necklaces, they looked, all together, like the demigods from heaven. This was especially true of the women, who were very nicely dressed. Each wore a golden belt around the waist. They were all smiling. Spots of tilaka and curling hair were scattered here and there. This combination was very attractive.
Persons who had participated in the Räjasüya sacrifice--including the most cultured priests, the brähmaëas who had assisted in the performance of the sacrifice, the citizens of all varëas, kings, demigods, sages, saints and citizens of the Pitåloka--were all very much satisfied by the dealings of King Yudhiñöhira, and at the end they happily departed for their residences. While returning to their homes, they talked of the dealings of King Yudhiñöhira, and even after continuous talk of his greatness they were not satiated, just as one may drink nectar over and over again and never be satisfied. After the departure of all others, Mahäräja Yudhiñöhira restrained the inner circle of his friends, including Lord Kåñëa, by not allowing them to leave. Lord Kåñëa could not refuse the request of the King. He therefore sent back all the heroes of the Yadu dynasty, like Sämba and others. All of them returned to Dvärakä, and Lord Kåñëa personally remained in order to give pleasure to the King.
In the material world, everyone has a particular type of desire to be fulfilled, but one is never able to fulfill his desires to his full satisfaction. But King Yudhiñöhira, because of his unflinching devotion to Kåñëa, could fulfill all his desires successfully by the performance of the Räjasüya yajïa. From the description of the execution of the Räjasüya yajïa, it appears that such a function is a great ocean of opulent desires. It is not possible for an ordinary man to cross over such an ocean; nevertheless, by the grace of Lord Kåñëa, King Yudhiñöhira was able to cross over it very easily, and thus he became freed from all anxieties.
When Duryodhana saw that Mahäräja Yudhiñöhira had become very famous after performance of the Räjasüya yajïa and was fully satisfied in every respect, he began to burn with the fire of envy because his mind was always poisonous. For one thing, he envied the imperial palace which had been constructed by the demon Maya for the Päëòavas. The palace was excellent in its puzzling artistic workmanship and was befitting the position of great princes, kings or leaders of the demons. In that great palace, the Päëòavas were living with their family members, and Queen Draupadé was serving her husbands very peacefully. And because in those days Lord Kåñëa was also there, the palace was also decorated by His thousands of queens. When the queens, with their heavy breasts and thin waists, moved within the palace, and their ankle bells rang very melodiously with their movement, the whole palace appeared more opulent than the heavenly kingdoms. Because a portion of their breasts was sprinkled with saffron powder, the pearl necklaces on their breasts appeared to be reddish. With their full earrings and flowing hair, the queens appeared very beautiful. After looking at such beauties in the palace of King Yudhiñöhira, Duryodhana became envious. He became especially envious and lustful upon seeing the beauty of Draupadé because he had cherished a special attraction for her from the very beginning of her marriage with the Päëòavas. In the marriage selection assembly of Draupadé, Duryodhana had also been present, and with other princes he had been very much captivated by the beauty of Draupadé, but had failed to achieve her.
Once upon a time, King Yudhiñöhira was sitting on the golden throne in the palace constructed by the demon Maya. His four brothers and other relatives, as well as his great well-wisher, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kåñëa, were present and the material opulence of King Yudhiñöhira seemed no less than that of Lord Brahmä. When he was sitting on the throne surrounded by his friends, and the reciters were offering prayers to him in the form of nice songs, Duryodhana, with his younger brother, came to the palace. Duryodhana was decorated with a helmet, and he carried a sword in his hand. He was always in an envious and angry mood, and therefore, on a slight provocation, he spoke sharply with the doorkeepers and became angry. He was irritated because he failed to distinguish between water and land. By the craftsmanship of the demon Maya, the palace was so decorated in different places that one who did not know the tricks would consider water to be land and land to be water. Duryodhana was also illusioned by this craftsmanship, and when he was crossing water thinking it to be land, he fell down. When Duryodhana, out of his foolishness, had thus fallen, the queens enjoyed the incident by laughing. King Yudhiñöhira, could understand the feelings of Duryodhana, and he tried to restrain the queens from laughing, but Lord Kåñëa indicated that King Yudhiñöhira should not restrain them from enjoying the incident. Kåñëa desired that Duryodhana might be fooled in that way and that all of them might enjoy his foolish behavior. When everyone laughed, Duryodhana felt very insulted, and his hairs stood up in anger. Being thus insulted, he immediately left the palace, bowing his head. He was silent and did not protest. When Duryodhana left in such an angry mood, everyone regretted the incident, and King Yudhiñöhira also became very sorry. But despite all occurrences, Kåñëa was silent. He did not say anything against or in favor of the incident. It appeared that Duryodhana had been put into illusion by the supreme will of Lord Kåñëa, and this was the beginning of the enmity between the two sects of the Kuru dynasty. It appeared that it was a part of Kåñëa's plan in His mission to decrease the burden of the world.
King Parékñit had inquired from Çukadeva Gosvämé as to why Duryodhana was not satisfied after the termination of the great Räjasüya sacrifice, and thus it was explained by Çukadeva Gosvämé.
Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Second Volume, Twentieth Chapter, of Kåñëa, "Why Duryodhana Felt Insulted at the End of the Räjasüya Sacrifice."