Sabha Parva, or the Book of the Assembly Hall, is the second book of the Mahabharata. It tells the story of the construction of the Pandavas’ magnificent palace and assembly hall in Indraprastha, and the events that follow, including the Rajasuya yagna, the game of dice, and the exile of the Pandavas.
The Sabha Parva begins with the description of the palace and assembly hall built by Maya, the architect of the gods. The assembly hall was so magnificent and luxurious that it was said to be even more impressive than the palaces of the gods.
After the completion of the palace and assembly hall, the Pandavas performed a Rajasuya yagna, a sacrifice that was performed by emperors to assert their dominance over other kings. The yagna was a great success, and Yudhishthira, the eldest of the Pandavas, was crowned as the emperor of India.
During the Rajasuya yagna, Shishupala, a king from Eastern India, insulted Krishna. Krishna had previously saved Shishupala’s life from Indra, the king of the gods, but Shishupala was ungrateful and arrogant. Krishna forgave Shishupala a hundred times, but when Shishupala insulted him for the hundredth and first time, Krishna killed him with his Sudarshana Chakra.
The killing of Shishupala angered Duryodhana, the eldest of the Kauravas, who were jealous of the Pandavas’ success. Duryodhana plotted to destroy the Pandavas, and he manipulated his uncle Shakuni to challenge Yudhishthira to a game of dice. Yudhishthira was a righteous man, but he had a weakness for gambling. He agreed to the game, and he lost everything, including his kingdom, his brothers, and his wife Draupadi.
The Pandavas were exiled to the forest for thirteen years, and the Kauravas took control of the kingdom. The Sabha Parva ends with the Pandavas setting off on their exile.
The Sabha Parva is a pivotal book in the Mahabharata, as it sets the stage for the conflict between the Pandavas and the Kauravas. It is also a cautionary tale about the dangers of gambling and arrogance.
Here are some of the key events in the Sabha Parva:
- Construction of the Pandavas’ palace and assembly hall in Indraprastha
- Rajasuya yagna performed by the Pandavas
- Killing of Shishupala by Krishna
- Game of dice between Yudhishthira and Shakuni
- Exile of the Pandavas
The Sabha Parva is a complex and fascinating book that explores a variety of themes, including dharma, adharma, karma, and the nature of good and evil. It is a must-read for anyone interested in the Mahabharata or Indian mythology.