The Rajasuya Yagna

Dhrithrashtra totally ignored the Pandavas. He seemed to have forgotten that they were his brother’s children. Their popularity and prosperity were unbearable to him. Hence, when he was forced into giving half the kingdom to the Pandavas, he deliberately allotted a barren and desolated land to them. Without grudging this offer, Yudhishtira accepted it and with his brothers, Draupadi and Kunthi, settled down in the place. Soon the Pandavas turned the barren land into a golden land. They built palaces and forts and also provided all the enities fit for a great city. Thus a small place grew into a mighty capital called Indraprastha.
Soon, the people of the neighbouring places accepted Yudhishtira as their
king and several kings also sought his patronage by offering monetary tributes. In no time Yudhishtira’s coffers were full. He therefore wanted to expand his kingdom. After all, he had the support of his valiant brothers.
At that time Yudhishtira’s friends suggested that he conduct the Rajasuya Yagna so that he could become the emperor of a vast kingdom. But since they had to ensure whether there were other kings who could oppose him, Yudhishtira consulted his friend Krishna about this. Krishna told him that Magadha’s king Jarasandha was the only king who was capable of challenging Yudhishtira’s sovereignty. Hence, Jarasandha had to be defeated. Jarasandha was a wicked king. He had terrorized the entire world and Krishna wanted him to be annihilated. But Dharmaraja did not want to confront war with anybody.
After devoting a lot of thought, Yudhishtira, Krishna and other Pandavas went in disguise to see Jarasandha’s capital Girivraja.
Jarasandha was born as two halves of a body. A lady named Jara, out of her capability had enjoined the two parts so that it became a baby and blessed him with immense power. Thus Jarasandha became very powerful. Krishna and the Pandavas in guise of being brahmins, participated in the Yagna that was taking place in Girivraj. But, Jarasandha’s sharp eye noticed some scars and immediately realised that these ought to be war scars. He even identified Bhima. When Jarasandha demanded the truth of them, Pandavas replied frankly that they had come to seek combat with him. Undaunted, Jarasandha invited Bhima for a fight without weapons. Bhima and Jarasandha were so strong that they fought for a fortnight without any signs of exhaustion. Even when Bhima managed to split Jarasandha’s body into two halves, they would immediately adhere together and Lo! Jarasandha was ready for a fight.
Not knowing what to do, Bhima looked at Krishna for guidance and he saw Krishna tearing a straw into half and throwing them in totally opposite directions. Bhima took the hint and he tore Jarasandha into two halves and threw them so far away from each other that they could not come back together. Thus, Jarasandha died and Pandavas were victorious.
Pandavas freed all the princes who were imprisoned by Jarasandha and crowned his son as the king of Magadha. Now Yudhishtira could proclaim himself as the emperor of the entire world.
Yudhishtira made hectic preparations for the Rajasuya Yagna. He invited many kings for the event. Duryodhana, Kama, Bhishma, Drona, Shakuni the King of Gandhara, Sishupala, Krishna and several others accepted his invitation and reached Indraprastha to witness the Yagna.
On the ultimate day of the Yagna, Yudhishtira was to be proclaimed the emperor and a custom to render first honour to the guest who was considered most worthy among all others was to be followed. It was a huge congregation and Yudhishtira was of the opinion that Krishna should be honored first.
Sisupala the king of Chedi, hated Krishna and could not tolerate him. Laughing in derision he ridiculed Krishna of being a thief, of being the son of a cowherd and heaped many more insults on him. Unable to tolerate
Krishna being ridiculed, the elderly Bhishma stood up and revealed the secret behind Sisupala’s birth.
Sisupala was Krishna’s relative through his father Vasudeva. Sisupala was born ugly with three eyes and four arms and the royal astrologer had predicted that he would meet his death at the hands of the one who would cure him of his ugliness. Sisupala’s mother roamed from town to town in search of a cure for her son’s ugliness and in Dwaraka, Krishna touched the baby and the baby turned out to be a normal looking one. But, she was grieved to think that her son would die at the hands of Krishna. Krishna consoled her by saying, “Dear Aunt! I can condone one hundred mistakes of Sisupala, if he exceeds this limit, he is bound to die.”
Enraged at Bhishma, Sisupala turned his ire towards Krishna and
ridiculed him further. Since his insults crossed the one hundred mark, Krishna stood up and used his Sudarshana Chakra towards Sisupala which chopped his head. He was thus slain.
Rajasuya Yagna was celebrated with a lot of pomp and pageantry and Yudhishtira was recognized as the emperor. The princes, priests, and other elders who had gathered for the occasion praised the magnificence of the Yagna and returned to their places. Duryodhana burned with jealousy at the thought of Pandava’s prosperity. His jealousy knew no bounds when he saw the artistically built palace with its crystal floors so exquisitely designed that it was difficult to differentiate between a fountain of water and a crystal floor. Duryodhana was so lost in his jealousy and mistaking the floor, he slipped on water and fell down. Draupadi who witnessed this scene from her balcony burst into uncontrollable laughter. Duryodhana was enraged, to say the least. He was all the more determined to punish the Pandavas by driving them out of Indraprastha by hook or by crook.

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