Before the game began, the players had to agree on the stake - on what the loser was to
give up. Both Duryodhana and Yudhishtira offered their jewels as the stake. Shakuni threw
the dice, got the count he wanted, and won the game. The match went on and on. Yudhishtira
offered thousands of gold coins,chariots, ele- phants, horses and his retinue of servants,
and he lost them all.
Vidura, who was watching the game, shuddered to think of what might happen. He begged
Dhritharashtra to put an end to the game. His advice was not heeded.
Yudhishtira went on betting, and lost all his riches, his brothers, and even his own
The cunning and vile Shakuni coaxed Yudhishtira to play another game, and said:
"Yudhishtira, there is one excellent gem still left with you. That is Draupacli, a
gem of a woman. You may bet her and win the next game, and get back all that you have so
Yudhishtira was silent for a moment. 'That's an idea! Why not win back all that I have
lost with one try?' So he thought, as all gamblers naturally do; and he declared,
"Here is Draupadi, my bet for the next and last game." The assembled spectators
sat spellbound, in anxious expectancy. Some were astonished at Yudhishtira's step. Some
exclaimed angrily, "What is this that Dharmaraja has done!" some were pained at
the thought of the misfortune awaiting the Pandavas. Bhishma and Drona were bewildered;
Vidura did not know what to do. But Duryodhana and his companions watched gleefully.
Shakuni rolled the pair of dice, and exclaimed, I win!"
Duryodhana turned to Vidura and said, "Vidural go and bring
Draupadi. From now on, she is our slave!" Vidura, however, would not agree to do such
a shameful act. Then, Duryodhana sent prathikami, a son of his charioteer, to bring her.
Draupadi placed her trust in God, and came to the gambling hall without even changing her
dress. At the behest of Duryodhana, Dusshasana dragged her by her hair to the midst of the
gathering. Draupadi cast an angry and anguished look at her husbands;
Dharmaputhra was unmoved. But his brothers were enraged, and looked to him for his word of
command. Yudhishtira remained calm. But Bhima could not contain his rage, and stared at
the huge door-bolt. Yudhishtira understood that Bhima had lost his temper, and made a sign
to him to be patient.
But Duryodhana's brothers were not men who knew decency or restraint. Dusshasana began to
pull at Draupadi's sari; but by the grace of God, the sari grew endless. Duryodhana
addressed Draupadi as his slave; he patted his thigh and exposed it to her. Draupadi felt
outraged and cursed him: "Let your accursed thigh bring you death."
Draupadi had been subjected to the most shameful humiliation in the open court; and
Bhima could no longer check his fury. He roared with rage, and vowed vengeance against
Duryodhana and Dusshasana: I
will kill Dusshasana in battle, and drink his blood. And I will break Duryodhana's thigh
with my mace." Bad omens were seen in the palace at that time.