Why Duryodhana Felt Insulted at the End of the Rājasūya Sacrifice
King Yudhiṣṭhira was known as ajāta-śatru, or a person who had no enemy. Therefore, when all the men, demigods, kings, sages and saints saw the successful termination of the Rājasūya-yajña performed by King Yudhiṣṭhira, they were very happy. That Duryodhana alone was unhappy was astonishing to Mahārāja Parīkṣit, and therefore he requested Śukadeva Gosvāmī to explain this.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī said, “My dear King Parīkṣit, your grandfather King Yudhiṣṭhira was a great soul. His congenial disposition attracted everyone to be his friend, and therefore he was known as ajāta-śatru, one who never created an enemy. He engaged all the members of the Kuru dynasty in taking charge of different departments for the management of the Rājasūya sacrifice. For example, Bhīmasena was put in charge of the kitchen department, Duryodhana in charge of the treasury department, Sahadeva in charge of the reception department, Nakula in charge of the supplies department, and Arjuna in charge of looking after the comforts of the elderly persons. The most astonishing feature was that Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, took charge of washing the feet of all the incoming guests. The Queen, the goddess of fortune Draupadī, was in charge of administering the distribution of food, and because Karṇa was famous for giving charity, he was put in charge of the charity department. In this way Sātyaki, Vikarṇa, Hārdikya, Vidura, Santardana and Bhūriśravā, the son of Bāhlīka, were all engaged in different departments for managing the affairs of the Rājasūya sacrifice. They were all so bound in loving affection for King Yudhiṣṭhira that they simply wanted to please him.
After Śiśupāla died by the mercy of Lord Kṛṣṇa and merged into the spiritual existence, and after the end of the Rājasūya-yajña, when all the friends, guests and well-wishers had been fully honored and rewarded, King Yudhiṣṭhira went to bathe in the Ganges. The city of Hastināpura stands today on the bank of the Yamunā, and the statement of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam that King Yudhiṣṭhira went to bathe in the Ganges indicates, therefore, that during the time of the Pāṇḍavas the river Yamunā was also known as the Ganges. While the king was taking the avabhṛtha bath, different musical instruments vibrated, such as mṛdaṅgas, conch shells, paṇava drums, kettledrums and bugles, and the ankle bells of the dancing girls jingled. Many groups of professional singers sang as vīṇās, flutes, gongs and cymbals were played, and thus a tumultuous sound vibrated in the sky. The princely guests from many kingdoms, like Sṛñjaya, Kāmboja, Kuru, Kekaya and Kośala, were present with their different flags and gorgeously decorated elephants, chariots, horses and soldiers. All of them passed in a procession, with King Yudhiṣṭhira in the forefront. The executive members who had performed the sacrifice – the priests, religious ministers and brāhmaṇas – all loudly chanted the Vedic hymns. The demigods and the inhabitants of Pitṛloka and Gandharvaloka, as well as many sages, showered flowers from the sky. The men and women of Hastināpura, or Indraprastha, their bodies smeared with scents and floral oils, were nicely dressed in colorful garments and decorated with garlands, jewels and ornaments. Enjoying the ceremony, they threw on one another liquid substances like water, oil, milk, butter and yogurt. Some even smeared these on each other’s bodies. In this way, they enjoyed the occasion. The professional prostitutes jubilantly smeared these liquid substances on the bodies of the men, and the men reciprocated in the same way. All the liquid substances had been mixed with turmeric and saffron, and their color was a lustrous yellow.
In order to observe the great ceremony, many wives of the demigods had come in different airplanes, and they were visible in the sky. Similarly, the queens of the royal family, gorgeously decorated and surrounded by bodyguards, arrived on different palanquins. During this time, Lord Kṛṣṇa, the maternal cousin of the Pāṇḍavas, and His special friend Arjuna were both throwing the liquid substances on the bodies of the queens. The queens became bashful, but at the same time their beautiful smiling brightened their faces. Because of the liquids thrown on their bodies, the saris covering them became completely wet. The different parts of their beautiful bodies, particularly their breasts and their waists, became partially visible because of the wet cloth. The queens brought buckets of the same liquid substances and with syringes sprinkled them on the bodies of their brothers-in-law. As they engaged in such jubilant activities, their hair fell loose, and the flowers decorating their bodies began to fall. When Lord Kṛṣṇa, Arjuna and the queens were thus engaged in these jubilant activities, persons who were not clean in heart were agitated by lustful desires. In other words, such behavior between pure males and females is enjoyable, but it makes persons who are materially contaminated become lustful.
King Yudhiṣṭhira, in a gorgeous chariot yoked to excellent horses, was present there along with his queens, including Draupadī, and their features were so beautiful that it appeared as if the great Rājasūya sacrifice were standing there in person, along with the different functions of the sacrifice.
Following the Rājasūya sacrifice, there was the Vedic ritualistic duty known as patnī-saṁyāja. This sacrifice, which one performs along with one’s wife, was also duly conducted by the priests of King Yudhiṣṭhira. As Queen Draupadī and King Yudhiṣṭhira were taking their avabhṛtha bath, the citizens of Hastināpura as well as the demigods began to beat on drums and blow trumpets out of feelings of happiness, and there was a shower of flowers from the sky. When the king and the queen finished their bath in the Ganges, all the other citizens, consisting of all the varṇas, or castes – the brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas, vaiśyas and śūdras – took their baths in the Ganges. Bathing in the Ganges is recommended in the Vedic literatures because by such bathing one is freed from all sinful reactions. This is still current in India, especially at particularly auspicious moments. At such times, millions of people bathe in the Ganges.
After taking his bath, King Yudhiṣṭhira dressed in a new silken cloth and wrapper and decorated himself with valuable jewelry. The king not only dressed himself and decorated himself but also gave clothing and ornaments to all the priests and the others who had participated in the yajñas. In this way, he worshiped them all. He constantly worshiped his friends, his family members, his relatives, his well-wishers and everyone present, and because he was a Vaiṣṇava, a great devotee of Lord Nārāyaṇa, he knew how to treat everyone well. The Māyāvādī philosophers’ endeavor to see everyone as God is an artificial attempt at oneness, but a Vaiṣṇava, or a devotee of Lord Nārāyaṇa, sees every living entity as part and parcel of the Supreme Lord. Therefore, a Vaiṣṇava’s treatment of other living entities is on the absolute platform. As one cannot treat one part of his body differently from another part, because they all belong to the same body, a Vaiṣṇava does not see a human being as distinct from an animal because in both he sees the soul and the Supersoul seated together.
When everyone was refreshed after bathing and was dressed in silken clothing with jeweled earrings, flower garlands, turbans, long wrappers and pearl necklaces, they looked, all together, like the demigods from heaven. This was especially true of the women, who were very nicely dressed. Each wore a golden belt around the waist. They were all smiling, with spots of tilaka and curling hair scattered here and there. This combination was very attractive.
Those persons who had participated in the Rājasūya sacrifice – including the most cultured priests, the brāhmaṇas who had assisted, the citizens of all the varṇas, and the kings, demigods, sages, saints and citizens of Pitṛloka – were all very much satisfied by the dealings of King Yudhiṣṭhira, and at the end they happily departed for their residences. While returning to their homes, they talked of the dealings of King Yudhiṣṭhira, and even after continuous talk of his greatness they were not satiated, just as one may drink nectar over and over again and never be satisfied. After the departure of all the others, Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira restrained the inner circle of his friends, including Lord Kṛṣṇa, not allowing them to leave. Lord Kṛṣṇa could not refuse the request of the king. Kṛṣṇa therefore sent back all the heroes of the Yadu dynasty – Sāmba and others. All of them returned to Dvārakā, and Lord Kṛṣṇa personally remained to give pleasure to the king.
In the material world, everyone has a particular type of desire to be fulfilled, but one is never able to fulfill his desires to his full satisfaction. But King Yudhiṣṭhira, because of his unflinching devotion to Kṛṣṇa, could fulfill all his desires successfully by the performance of the Rājasūya sacrifice. From the description of the Rājasūya-yajña, such a function appears to be a great ocean of opulent desires. Such an ocean is not possible for an ordinary man to cross; nevertheless, by the grace of Lord Kṛṣṇa, King Yudhiṣṭhira was able to cross it very easily, and thus he became freed from all anxieties.
When Duryodhana saw that Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira had become very famous after performing the Rājasūya-yajña and was fully satisfied in every respect, he began to burn with the fire of envy because his mind was always poisonous. For one thing, he envied the imperial palace constructed by the demon Maya for the Pāṇḍavas. The palace was excellent in its puzzling artistic workmanship and was befitting the position of great princes, kings or leaders of the demons. In that great palace, the Pāṇḍavas lived with their family members, and Queen Draupadī served her husbands very peacefully. And because in those days Lord Kṛṣṇa was also there, the palace was also decorated by His thousands of queens. When the queens, with their heavy breasts and thin waists, moved within the palace and their ankle bells rang very melodiously with their movement, the whole palace appeared more opulent than the heavenly kingdom. Because a portion of their breasts was sprinkled with saffron powder, the pearl necklaces on their breasts appeared reddish. With their beautiful earrings and flowing hair, the queens appeared very attractive. After seeing such beauties in the palace of King Yudhiṣṭhira, Duryodhana was envious. He was especially envious and lustful upon seeing the beauty of Draupadī because he had cherished a special attraction for her from the very beginning of her marriage with the Pāṇḍavas. In the marriage selection assembly of Draupadī, Duryodhana had also been present, and along with other princes he had been very much captivated by the beauty of Draupadī, but he had failed to achieve her.
Once upon a time, King Yudhiṣṭhira was sitting on his golden throne in the palace constructed by the demon Maya. His four brothers and other relatives, as well as his great well-wisher Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, were present, and the material opulence of King Yudhiṣṭhira seemed no less than that of Lord Brahmā. When he was sitting on the throne surrounded by his friends and the reciters were offering prayers to him in the form of nice songs, Duryodhana came to the palace with his younger brothers. Duryodhana was decorated with a helmet, and he carried a sword in his hand. He was always in an envious and angry mood, and therefore on a slight provocation he spoke sharply with the doorkeepers and became angry. By the craftsmanship of the demon Maya, the palace was so decorated in different places that one who did not know the tricks would consider water to be land and land to be water. Duryodhana was illusioned by this craftsmanship, and when crossing water, thinking it to be land, he fell in. When Duryodhana, out of his foolishness, had thus fallen, the queens enjoyed the incident by laughing. King Yudhiṣṭhira could understand the feelings of Duryodhana, and he tried to restrain the queens, but Lord Kṛṣṇa indicated that King Yudhiṣṭhira should not restrain them from enjoying the incident. Kṛṣṇa desired that Duryodhana be fooled in that way and that all of them enjoy his foolish behavior. When everyone laughed, Duryodhana felt very insulted, and his bodily hairs stood up in anger. Being thus insulted, he immediately left the palace, bowing his head. He was silent and did not protest. When Duryodhana left in such an angry mood, everyone regretted the incident, and King Yudhiṣṭhira also was very sorry. But despite all these occurrences, Kṛṣṇa was silent. He did not say anything against or in favor of the incident. It appeared that Duryodhana had been put into illusion by the supreme will of Lord Kṛṣṇa, and this was the beginning of the enmity between the two sects of the Kuru dynasty. This appeared to be a part of Kṛṣṇa’s plan in His mission to decrease the burden of the world.
King Parīkṣit had inquired from Śukadeva Gosvāmī why Duryodhana was not satisfied after the termination of the great Rājasūya sacrifice, and thus it was explained by Śukadeva Gosvāmī.
Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the seventy-fifth chapter of Kṛṣṇa, “Why Duryodhana Felt Insulted at the End of the Rājasūya Sacrifice.”