An Emotion Leak.

An untold tale of Shakuni

Myth and Mythology 33

PART – 1

To almost every Indian, the story of Mahabharata is synonyms. To those of you who don’t know, it’s an epic poem written by the great sage Veda Vyasa. It is the longest and the most exquisite piece of poetry that depicts the events of the great Bharata war and the tragedy that is intertwined with it. The story is majorly based on two groups of brothers the Kauravas ( bad people ) and the Pandavas ( good people). There is a feud between the two, right from their childhood and reaches its peak when the Pandavas are tricked in a gamble to lose all their wealth, kingdom and even their wife Draupathi. The climax is as to how the Pandavas defeat the Kauravas to balance justice. The entire epic has numerous branching stories that make up significant roles throughout. For comparison assume this to be a further elaborate version of the game of thrones. Just like the game of thrones the fate of many are decided by two people Krishna, the supreme god himself (Tyrion Lannister) and Shakuni ( Little Finger), one of the princes with the thoughts of vengeance. It is a book of historical records, philosophy and spirituality that is revered by all around the world for its greater values.

But my talk today shall not be of the story, but of the two characters and the contrast between the rest. When asked about to any, as to who is the most poignant of all of them, hands would go up for Kunthi, Karnan, the Pandavas, and even for Bhishma. But truly the most tragic of them all was the Gandhar siblings.

Shakuni or Saubala :

Shakuni or Saubala is the youngest of the King Subala of Gandhar province ( present-day Afghanistan) . He was a kind and a dutiful brother and loved his elder sister Gandhari dearly. He was so devout that he would risk his life every day to collect fireflies from the treacherous mountaintops for his sister and release them into her room for illumination as she was afraid of the dark. The bond between the two was truly great. Despite all this good portrayal, the family abhorred their neighbouring kingdom Hasthinapur  for the injustice done to their ancestors. Under this condition,  the grand regent of the Hasthinapur, Bhishma raids the kingdom and threatens to destroy every living being using his celestial powers on the request of the ultimatum sent by the queen mother Satyavati to ask for the hands of Gandhari in marriage for her blind son. This enrages Shakuni, but as a victim of circumstance they comply knowing that they can’t resist the forces standing outside their gate. Shakuni’s heart breaks, at the thought of his sister getting married to a blind man out of force and he being unable to stop this.  For her part Gandhari as dutiful wife blindfolds her eyes to feel the suffering of her husband for the rest of her life. This added more fuel to the raging fire. Few years later, due to some misunderstanding Gandharis husband the king of Hastinapur, Dridrastsh arrests the entire Gandhar royals, confiscated their assets and put them in the dungeons. To worsen the conditions, Shakuni and his parents were only given a fist full of rice each to eat. They were doomed to be starved to death.  Shakuni’s father knew of this and wanted to save at least one of them gave up his share and his wife’s to his son so that he may live. He but without an option had to watch his parents die. But before the death of his mother she whispered an ordain that shook him and will forever resonate through time. She had asked to take a bone from his father’s thigh and fashion him a dice to gamble as Shakuni was one of the greatest players of his time. His mother further told that whenever he rolled the dice he would have a number that he decided and passed away. She knew that without a kingdom or a place to stay he needed some sort of way to earn his living thus giving him a darkest way to earn his living. All these humiliations, frustration and losses paved way for his ultimate revenge. His only desire now was to destroy the Kuru lineage. Darkness seeped in his heart as he did the bidding of his mother. The pain of all these loses made him to break his own leg and made him a limp as a reminder to all the atrocities committed by the Kuru clan over them . After a considerable amount of time in his prison he was released by the grand regent of Hastinapur who pitted him. He gave a choice to him, either return to his kingdom or stay with them. Vengeance in his heart was greater than the earning to return his kingdom. He ordered his son Ulook to take over the kingdom. He stayed back and plotted the downfall of great empire. With this begins the story of deceit, blood and war. Later through the timeline at the 18th day of the Great War he is faced with his nephew from the Pandavas and meets his end in a gruesome manner.

A visious victim :

Throughout the story, Shakuni is always portrayed as an evil mastermind and a devious madman of sorcery. But many overlook all the details that were present evidently thought the story about him being a gentle soul.

  1. He loved his sister dearly and would risk his life for her happiness
  2. Was an obedient son to his parents and never crossed their path
  3. When he was  mocked and hurt by his in-laws he never even once left the side of his sister and endured all of them
  4. His anger was only directed towards the grand regent and to no other, including the Pandavas. That’s why when Duryodhana his nephew proposed to lock up all the Pandavas into the dungeons, Shakuni swayed him to let them be banished.
  5. He made a lot of offering to people and was kind to others, as a proof to this there is a temple dedicated to him in Kerala, India. Many are not aware of this and it exists to this day. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shakuni.

All these evidence suggest that he was not a man full of evil thoughts but only a man seeking his revenge for the fall of his family and for the pitiful life of his sister whom he loved dearly. One of the accounts states that despite knowing his sure doom he entered the battle on the last day to meet his end. At one point in the battle when he was faced by his nephew Sahadeva, who questioned his morality and his thoughts of vengeance for annihilation. This made Shakuni rethink his actions and confess of his crimes to Sahadeva. He reveals his story to Sahadev and tells of the injustice done to him right from his childhood and even cries to him. All he ever wanted was justice for all that he endured, he wanted justice for his beloved sister, and he wanted justice for all the wrongdoings of Beshma in the name of dharma. Finally, he attacks Sahadev to enrage him into battle and letting go of his life.

A face of Fate:

In the end, the even the all the good that a man has done is all but reduced to dust for the single act of crime that he did. In this case, Shakuni’s vengeance ruined him. Lord Krishna on an account told the Pandavas that despite their love they are not the ones that think of him all the time but it was Shakuni who does always thinks of him day and night out of fear of flaying his plans. Similarly, he tells that after Vithura the great and Bishma the greatest knowledge resides only inside Shakuni. Though his cause was right, the path that he chose was not. No one knows what one goes through in his life to react so. There is always a second side to a story. So before you judge someone has a look from their perspective and decide the truth for yourself. Remember there is always light in darkness and darkness in light. Through this, I do not advocate or justify the actions of Shakuni, but I simply point out the possibilities that lie outside a story. Also how circumstances turn a man into an animal when things turn out for the worse. If that’s so is it right to punish a man who was fuelled to do wrong or is it wise to punish the person who fuelled it in the first place? In this case, Shakuni was not only a villain but also a victim of the events who was punished accordingly to the sins he had committed. But, what of Gandhari? , what did she do to deserve such a fate? Let’s see it in my next article….

 

PC: Google Images

5 Comments

  1. My spouse and i ended up being absolutely lucky that Chris could finish up his homework from the precious recommendations he got when using the blog. It is now and again perplexing just to always be giving out guidance which usually other folks might have been making money from. And we all acknowledge we now have the writer to appreciate because of that. The entire explanations you made, the straightforward blog menu, the friendships you assist to foster – it is mostly amazing, and it’s facilitating our son and us know that the idea is cool, which is certainly incredibly essential. Many thanks for all!

  2. I just wanted to type a quick note to be able to thank you for all of the precious guidelines you are giving on this website. My extensive internet research has at the end of the day been honored with excellent points to write about with my family and friends. I ‘d assume that most of us readers actually are unequivocally fortunate to exist in a great place with many perfect individuals with valuable things. I feel truly happy to have used your entire web page and look forward to so many more amazing times reading here. Thank you once more for all the details.

  3. A lot of thanks for each of your hard work on this site. My aunt enjoys making time for research and it’s really simple to grasp why. My partner and i hear all regarding the dynamic mode you deliver simple tactics on this blog and as well boost participation from other ones on that issue and our own princess is without question becoming educated a lot. Have fun with the rest of the year. You are performing a tremendous job.

  4. My wife and i felt quite relieved that Michael could carry out his reports out of the ideas he gained in your web pages. It’s not at all simplistic to simply be releasing tricks that many others could have been selling. And we recognize we’ve got the blog owner to give thanks to for this. Those explanations you have made, the easy web site menu, the relationships you aid to instill – it’s most impressive, and it’s assisting our son in addition to the family do think that topic is cool, and that is wonderfully essential. Thank you for the whole lot!

  5. Thanks so much for giving everyone a very brilliant chance to read articles and blog posts from this website. It’s usually very good and full of amusement for me personally and my office co-workers to visit your blog a minimum of 3 times in one week to learn the newest guidance you have. And definitely, we’re actually satisfied with your gorgeous pointers you give. Selected 3 areas in this posting are particularly the simplest I’ve ever had.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All rights reserved to Wanderersink