The Price of Arrogance       

Epics for children.

Published: 15th May 2022 05:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th May 2022 12:03 PM   |  A+A-

The Pandavas had been banished to the forest after losing the gambling match. Duryodhana’s angry and jealous mind was not at peace even after this. He kept worrying that the Pandavas would come back and reclaim their share in the kingdom. To please him, Karna proposed to him, Shakuni and Duhshasana that they should go together to the forest, where the Pandavas were roaming, and kill them. They liked his idea and set out for the forest.

Rishi Veda Vyasa got to know of his evil intentions and swiftly came to pacify him. After this, Veda Vyasa advised Dhritarashtra that if the Kauravas were to live, Duryodhana should go to the forest and make peace with the Pandavas. Dhritarashtra knew that the arrogant Duryodhana would not listen to him. He requested Veda Vyasa to talk to Duryodhana. Veda Vyasa told Dhritarashtra that Rishi Maitreya had arrived after spending time with the Pandavas and would counsel Duryodhana.

Rishi Maitreya spoke to Duryodhana.
‘The words I utter are for your welfare. Do not fight with the Pandavas. They are brave warriors. They have killed mighty rakshasas like Hidimba, Baka and Kirmira. Kirmira was huge like a mountain, but when he dared to block the path of the Pandavas, the mighty Bhima killed him like a tiger kills a small animal. The mighty king Jarasandha, with the strength of 10,000 elephants, was killed in battle by Bhima. You should strive for peace with the Pandavas, else you will expose yourself to death.’

While Maitreya was counselling Duryodhana, he was arrogantly smiling and drawing patterns on the ground with his feet. When Maitreya finished speaking, Duryodhana slapped his thighs with his arms and did not reply to the Rishi. Slapping of thighs in front of elders was considered an offensive gesture. Rishi Maitreya became overcome with anger at Duryodhana’s behaviour. He touched water and cursed Duryodhana.

‘Since you ignored my words of advice, you shall soon reap the fruits of your arrogance. The enmity created by you will result in a great war, in which, the powerful Bhima will smash your thigh with a club.’
The Rishi’s words came true in the battle of Kurukshetra. After the entire Kaurava army was decimated, Duryodhana went and hid in a lake. He was soon discovered by the Pandavas and challenged to a duel. In the ensuing duel, Bhima hit and broke Duryodhana’s thighs with a club; just as Rishi Maitreya had prophesied. Almost everyone who cared for Duryodhana had, at one time or the other, tried to convince him to abandon the path of enmity with the Pandavas.  However, drunk in the arrogance of his strength, Duryodhana did not listen and had to pay the price.


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