Sabha Parva – 1

Continued from Adi Parva – 5

Maya, the asura who is pardoned by Arjuna is the architect of the demons. He wants to help Arjuna and Krishna asks him to build a grand palace with an assembly hall. Maya creates a wondrous palace with many illusions in it. He also gifts a mace to Bheema and the conch Devadatta to Arjuna.

Narada visits the Pandavas and tells them about the sabhas or assembly halls of different celestials like Indra, Yama, and Varuna. He tells that the assembly hall they have built is unparalleled in the world of humans. He then advises Yudhishtira to perform the Rajasuya yajna to assert his supremacy over the entire earth.

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Bheema kills Jarasandha

Yudhishtira then seeks Krishna’s advice. Krishna tells them that as long as the Emperor of Magadha Jarasandha was alive, they would not complete the Rajasuya. Krishna then goes to Magadha along with Bheema and Arjuna disguised as Brahmanas.

They then challenge Jarasandha for a wrestling match. He chooses Bheema as his opponent. There is a fierce duel between the two. With the guidance of Krishna, Bheema kills Jarasandha.

The Pandavas then set out to the four corners of the world on a Digvijaya yatra to conquer various kingdoms. Arjuna conquers the north, Bheema the east, Sahadeva the south, and Nakula the west. They force the kingdoms to accept the rule of Yudhishtira and offer tributes. Some like Sishupala of Chedi voluntarily accept while others wage a war and accept after being defeated.

Yudhishtira then organizes a grand Rajasuya yajna. Revered sages and brahmanas are worshipped as the sacrifice proceeds. The Kurus of Hastinapura are invited and Duryodhana is tasked with receiving tributes from the participating kings. He is astounded to see the wealth received and becomes envious.

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Krishna beheads Sishupala

During the yajna, when the time comes to honour the guests, there is a debate over who should be honoured first. Bheeshma names Krishna and everyone agrees. But Sishupala insults Krishna repeatedly. Even as the Pandavas are angry, Krishna decides to deal with Sishupala himself. Telling them he had pardoned Sishupala for a hundred offenses, it was time to now punish him. He then uses his discus to behead the king of Chedi.

The Rajasuya yajna concludes and Duryodhana decides to stay back. One day he visits Maya’s hall of illusions and is bewildered. He falls into a water body bewildered by the illusions. He also dashes into a mirror thinking it is a door. Seeing his condition, Bheema laughs loudly along with Arjuna and the twins.

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Duryodhana humiliated

A humiliated Duryodhana decides to kill himself but is convinced by Shakuni and Karna to stop. He then tells his humiliation to Dhritarashtra saying that Draupadi laughed at him and insulted him when he fell. As per Shakuni’s plan, he proposes that the king invite Yudhishtira for a game of dice. Shakuni would then defeat him and claim his kingdom.

.... Sabha Parva – 2

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