They had to give the first sacrifice to someone, Bhishma said Krishna should get it but Shishupala objected to it. Sahadeva said this is right and he challenged anyone to oppose it. No one did but every one was angry.
Krishna kills Shishupala.
This is the gambling chapter and a little surprisingly after they’ve lost everything, Dhritarashtra restores the wealth and kingdom of Pandavas and sends them back.
Duryodhana complains to Dhritarashtra and the king agrees to call the Pandavas back and play dice one final time for the stake of the 13 year exile.
Pandavas lose and go to the exile, interesting story on how each of them leave.
Aranyaka means forest. Pandavas go to the forest followed by brahmans and Yudhishthara is worried how he will sustain these brahmans and this is where another Brahman gives him a teaching about the evils of attachment and living dispassionately and performing acts because they need to be performed and not because of desire.
In this chapter Vidura and Krishna Dwayapayana or Vedavyas himself advises Dhritarashtra that he should reinstate the Pandavas but they are unable to convince Duryodhana. A sage Maitreya comes and tries to reason with Duryodhana but he doesn’t listen, Maitreya tries to scare him saying that Bhima is so powerful that he just killed he rakshasa Kirmira but Duryodhana though worried doesn’t listen to him.
Kirmira Vadha Parva
Bhima wrestles with Kirmira who is Baka’s brother who was related to Hidimba and kills Kirmira as well and they start living in that forest.
Very long chapter about the Pandavas initial stay in the forest.
Krishna pays them a visit, promises that at the end of 13 years, all Kauravas will die. He recounts his story about his fight with Shalva who lived in the flying city Soubha.
It’s also where Draupadi asks Yudhishthara why isn’t he angry seeing the bad condition of his brothers and accuses him of having no anger left since anger is very important part of being a Kshatriya.
She recounts the story of Prahlada and Bali and the lesson about whether forgiveness or punishment is better.
Yudhishthara says anger destroys everything and only forgiveness and conciliation can save the world.
Draupadi says he’s confused about this. She says that Yudhishthara always follows dharma even in the forest but he was led astray by a simple game of dice. She also says that the supreme creator God is rewarding Kauravas while punishing Pandavas and this is unfair and she can’t understand this.
Yudhishthara says blaming God is atheism and she shouldn’t do it. You should follow dharma for the sake of following Dharma and not because of its fruits and he asks her to cast aside her doubts.
Draupadi disagrees again and says that he must at least make an effort to win the kingdom back. Bhima backs her and says that dharma, artha and kama should be served equally and that serving just one out of three like Yudhishthara is wrong and weak.
Yudhishthara says that he doesn’t blame Bhima because it’s his fault that this calamity has occurred but they have already made a pact and that pact should be followed. He tells Bhima that he should have burned Yudhishthara’s hand in the Sabha when he wanted to and had a chance (he waa restrained by Arjun) and now it’s too late.
Bhima urged him to fight again and not be a coward so to speak. He said they have been in the forest for thirteen months, consider that thirteen years and consider the vanvas done. Yudhishthara reflects but this time he says that the Kauravas have a large army and lot of allies and can’t be defeated at the current moment. Bhima agrees to this and silently accepts it.
At this point Vyasa visits Yudhishthara and tells him he has divined Yudhishthara’s fear and has come to dispel it. He tells him that Arjun should visit Indra, Rudra, Varuna and Yama and thereby acquire weapons that will help him defeat the mighty warriors like Karna, Drona, Bhishma according to law. He also advised Yudhishthara to move.