The major bane of swayamvara is that the sore losers always have a glad eye on the princess. Jayadratha was no exception. No matter how blessed he was as a son of a Rajarshi and being a capable warrior, but he had the wrong intent and was on the wrong side of dharma. His fall was inevitable.

Shalya was also the father (or maybe uncle) of Bhanumati. She was intended to me married to Arjuna but Duryodhana kidnapped her and eloped with her. Hence she became the wife of Duryodhana and Shalya his father in law. Besides, just yielding to his warm reception, Duryodhana also had this relation with Shalya to seek his side in the war. That was a world war of a sort. Everyone HAD TO pick sides.

An employee who depends on his employers for sustenance, despite all intellect and skills is always submissive in opinions. That was the case with Kripa. I always wonder what virtues did he practice to attain immortality. Was it a reward for his life's journey or was immortality a curse upon him to live and suffer his sins?

Did Satyavati stink like a fish and hence called Matsyagandha? Yes. She stinked like a low bred woman but yet was an ambitious seductress who was found irresistible by Parashar and Shantanu. If Vyasa stinked because of that then Ambika would have pinched her nose instead of shutting her eyes…

Good or bad omen depends on how one interprets a source of inspiration. The owl inspired Ashwatthama to commit treachery in the darkness of the night. Kripa soiled his hands with that sin. They remained immortals to lick their wounds and suffer their sins.

Also, Krishna did not avert the killings of Dhrishtadhyumna and Shikhandi because their roles were done. Even though Draupadi was his friend, he knew ho ambitious she was and how she was inwardly jealous of Abhimanyu. Arjuna was Krishna's favorite hence he ensured in his way to protect and promote Arjuna's grandson Parikshit as the next king.

History has it that as he killed Draupadi's five sons, Ashwatthama falsely believed that he actually killed the five Pandavas. That made the Kauravas a bit off guard for the next day's battle.

Bhishma said it very well: "You would not have got your share of prosperity in life. We cannot transit to God with virility and bravery alone." To perform one's duty is one thing but to stay on the side of dharma is another..

This is a great article on communication skills of Duryodhana as a leader who could motivate. He always had to speak up for himself to convince people about his unjust actions. That made him a good orator. He could not follow dharma but he knew how to play with the rules.

I love the way you bring out the side stream stories. I always had this question in mind and I hope to get an answer from you. We know Parshurama would not take a Kshatriya as a disciple because he was vengeful against them. We know how he cursed Karna when he disguised himself as a brahmin to learn from him. I wonder then how he took Bhishma as a disciple knowing well that he was Kshatriya?

"Weapons can conquer men and lands, but can they conquer the hunger pangs of a person? Drona understood the futility of weapons at that time." That's my key learning from this story. Also, abject poverty often compels a person to behave in an uncouth manner devoid of any maturity but Drona maintained his calm composure and focused on long term strategy. That's a good lesson.

Vikram Khaitan

Author, Trainer, Mentor, Philosopher

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