A blind King, yet more powerful than Bheem

The Mahabharat is an epic which speaks about how Dharma should be protected at any costs, be it the sacrifice of family, near and dear ones. The characters of Mahabharat, both good and bad possess immense powers and intelligence and create their own identity with their distinct personalities. However, torn between good and bad, eventually the good ones won and the bad ones succumbed. One such torn character between the good and bad was the King of Hastinapur, Dhirtarashtr, who was good by heart, but at the same time blinded by the love for his son Duryodhan and ended up with conflict situations in life.

 

ImageSource

Dhrtirashtr was born blind, but had great strength and power. He was a noble king who ruled his subjects in a righteous way. But there was only one flaw in him, which was the blind love for his son Duryodhan. Dhritarashtr loved his son so much that he always chose to overlook his false virtues like greed, jealousy and hatred towards the Pandavas, and thus indirectly supported Duryodhan to go against Dharma. Despite many efforts of Gandhari and the noble Vidur in trying to make him understand the same, Dhritarshtr could never overcome this weakness which gave Duryodhan immense freedom to scheme his evil plans against the Pandavas.

After all the great fights and feuds and a period of exile, finally as feared, the war of Kurukshetra starts. With Shri Krishna and Dharma on their side, the Pandavas fight a great war and emerge victorious. All the Kauravas including Duryodhan perish in the war. Dhritarashtr is left grief stricken. With the blessings of Shri Krishna, Yudhisthir becomes the king of Hastinapur and all the Pandavas along with Shri Krishna come to take the blessings of Dhirtarashtr and Gandhari.
Although in sorrow, the elderly couple welcomes them and blesses Yudhisthir. Dhritarashtr asks for Bheem to come forward to take his blessings. But Shri Krishna silently warns Bheem to stand behind and instead creates an iron figure of Bheem and gets it towards Dhirtarashtr. In a gesture of embrace, Dhritarashtr embraces the iron figure in his arms thinking it to be Bheem. While all think it’s a normal embrace, they are shocked to see that the iron figure smashes into a thousand pieces and falls as dust on the ground. Such was the strength of the blind king Dhirtarashtr that he could crunch Bheem who had the strength of thousand elephants. It was only Shri Krishna who knew the might of Dhrtarashtr. Shri Krishna knew that Dhirtarashtr was mighty angry on Bheem for having slayed Duryodhan and knew that Dhritarshtr would take his revenge when a chance came. Hence, when Bheem was called for, Shri Krishna put ahead an iron figure instead of Bheem and saved the Pandav’s life.

Dhritarashtr after understanding that it was not originally Bheem who had been there, now realises the mistake he made. Then Shri Krishna mentions to Dhritarashtr about the consequences of favouritism and blind love which made Dhritarshtr lose everything he had. With a heavy heart, the old king agrees and then leaves with Gandhari, Kunti and Vidur to the Vanaprasth Ashram to lead the rest of his life peacefully.

Dhritarashtr is seen as an example of not to parent the child in giving him whatever is asked for. It is the father who lets know the child the path of Dharma, and had Dhritarshtr showed it to Duryodhan, the Mahabharat would be an entirely different story.