All you wanted to know about Dice Game which led to Kurucherta War.

1. How many times Dice game was played ..... by Sakuni?

There are two dice game-episodes within the interval of few days.

Draupadi freed Pandavas after first dice game.

Duryodhana secured his doting father's reluctant and ominous approval to a plan to entice Yudhishthira once again to a game of dice for the second time.

2. How many times Yudhistra rolled/ handled the Dice and how many times Sakuni handled the dice .... in each game?

There is no mention of Yudhistra handled the dice in both the dice episodes of Vyasa Mahabharata.

Sakuni’s dice throwing is clearly mentioned in the first episode on three times, at the beginning and at the stake of Nakula.

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At last, during the stack of Draupati, it is mentioned as Sakuni played the dice AGAIN.

Sakuni played the dice in the single throw of the second dice-game episode.

3. How many times did Yudhistra win ..... he lost in each game?

Yudhistra lost all the stakes in the first dice episode and also lost the only stake in the second dice episode.

First episode has twenty stakes by Yudhistra and has thus twenty dice throws.

4. Did Yudhistra handle the Sakuni's Dice or a different Dice for his play?

There is no mention of Yudhistra handled the dice in both the dice game-episodes of Vyasa Mahabharata.

5. What was the stake Yudhistra pledged in his second game?

The stake played for the second dice episode was that the defeated party should go WITH HIS BROTHERS into EXILE to the forest and remain there for TWELVE YEARS and spend the THIRTEENTH YEAR INCOGNITO. If they were recognised in the thirteenth year, they should go AGAIN into exile for twelve years.

Needless to say, Yudhishthira met with defeat on this occasion also, and the Pandavas took the vows of those who are to go to the forest.

6 Why Yudhistra did not stop playing after the first game?

A messenger was accordingly dispatched after Yudhisthira who had taken his departure for Indraprastha. He came up with Yudhishthira before the latter had reached his destination and invited him on behalf of king Dhritarashtra to come back to play dice for a second time.

On hearing this invitation, Yudhishthira said: "Good and evil come from destiny and cannot be avoided. If we must play again we must, that is all. A challenge to dice cannot in honor be refused. I must accept it." Truly, as Sri Vyasa says: "There never was and never can be an antelope of gold! Yet, Rama went in vain pursuit of what seemed one. Surely, when calamities are imminent, the judgment is first destroyed."

Dharmaputra returned to Hastinapura and set again for a game with Sakuni, though everyone in the assembly tried to dissuade him.

He seemed a mere pawn moved by Kali to relieve the burden of the world.

7. When Sri Krishna could help Draupati from humiliation, why He did not stop Yudhistra from playing Dice game?

(i) Lord Krishna was not present at Hastinapura during the game of dice.

(ii) Nobody can beat Lord Krishna in Gambling (Srimad Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 10, Verse 36).

IF Lord Krishna was at Hastinapura and IF Yadhishtra preferred his Uncle Krishna to play dice on his behalf, Mahabharata story could be different. The truth is the real Sutradhari Krishna took care of the course of the story.

Rules of dice games:

(i) Available facts:

Yudhishthira's first stake was wealth of pearls and Duryodhana first and only stake was many jewels and much wealth.

Afterwards stakes were mentioned only for Yudhishthira.

Sakuni rolled or played the first dice throw, fifteenth throw (Nakula) and twentieth throw (Draupati).

Before the Draupati was won Sakuni said, ‘Bid with with Draupati and by winning that You can be relieved by yourself.’

(ii) Assumptions made:

The first throw was done on mutual consent.

If the thrower wins any round, he would continue to throw for the next throw.

The stake is to be told by the loser alone to the subsequent bid. (If the loser wins in the next game he could have gained previous lost bid).

(iii) Deductions:

Yudhishthira was ready with His dice or play with Sakuni's dice, but He could not do that because he did not win even a single game.

These rules were rudiments and did not mention in Vyasa Mahabharata!!

This is based on the indirect evidence and with the Tamil Version, Villi Bharatam.

also based on the English Translation of Kisari Mohan Ganguli

Here every stake ends with,

'Hearing these words, Sakuni ready with the dice, adopting unfair means, said unto Yudhishthira. 'Lo, I have won!'

Yudhishthira was ready with His dice but did not cast it due to the assumed rule of the game, his hands could be burned as per Bheema's thought.

In this answer seeming contradictions are set right.

A compromise for both views and this is purely based on Vyasa Mahabharata.

Yahoo answers

Vidya C Raja Gopalan

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