Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Viewing Guide. Peter Brook's Mahabharata 3. The Gambling Match

Peter Brook's Mahabharata 3. The Gambling Match

53 minute mark: Krishna

LINK. Ganesha tells the boy about the world: "The worlds swarm with an infinity of creatures, who we see, those we never see. Naga snakes who live in the depth sof the earth or in vast palaces on the sea's bed; Rakshasas, monsers of the forest's night who live off human flesh..." And then the gods: Brahma, Shiva, Vishnu: "When chaos threatens, as it does now, Vishnu takes on a human form and descends among us to play his role. Some hint that he might have come down as Krishna." A flute plays. Ganesha says: "Perhaps he is already here." He removes the Ganesha mask: it is Krishna.

56 minute mark: King Yudhishthira

LINK. The Pandavas and Draupadi come to Krishna. He tells them the Earth needs a just king. Yudhishthira is that king, Yudhishthira has doubts. Krishna and Yudhishthira's brothers seeks to calm his doubts.

LINK. Duryodhana is upset that Dhritarashtra might regard the Pandavas as his sons. Dhritarashtra is torn. He addresses the Pandavas as his sons, and he greets Krishna also. He gives them part of the kingdom: Khandavaprastha. Bhima is outraged. Yudhishthira accepts and thanks him. Bhishma sends them on their way and wishes them well.

1 hour 2 minute mark: The Coming War

LINK. As they leave, Duryodhana tells his father that this will be war. Duhshasana and Karna give him advice about how to defeat the Pandavas.

LINK. Bhishma reassures Dhritarashtra that he did well, but Gandhari and Dhritarashtra know that they favor their own sons. In the war, Bhishna will be loyal to Dhritarashtra and his sons, as well Drona.

1 hour 4 minute mark: Palace of Illusions

LINK. Duryodhana visits the crystal palace of the Pandavas: "It is a palace of illusions where thoughts become real." Duryodhana runs into invisible walls, and they mock him; he is fooled by many illusions, and the brothers laugh at him as does Draupadi.

1 hour 5 minute mark: Shakuni

LINK. Gandhari's brother Shakuni arrives. Duryodhana tells him of his jealousy and anger at the Pandavas. Shakuni proposes a game of dice, and he will throw for Duryodhana, and he promises that he will win. Dhritarashtra approves, but Gandhari is afraid. Duryodhana protests: "But I want to be discontented! Dissatisfied! A man's body grows from birth and everyone is delighted. In the same way, his desire grows, his desire for power. I have doubts about myself. Sometimes I even question my value. I must resolve these doubts."

LINK. Krishna speaks with Bhishma about the game. He tells Bhishma not to interrupt the match for any reason. Bhishma fears the end of the world, the destruction of Dharma. Krishna asks Bhishma what he would do if the destruction of his race were required to save Dharma. Krishna: "Let each one go to his limit."

1 hour 10 minute mark: The Gambling Match

LINK. Dhritarashtra and his court arrive for the match. Then the Pandavas come. Yudhishthira is shocked that Shakuni will play instead of Duryodhana as Shakuni is a known cheater. Shakuni tells Yudhishthira that a true master fears no cheater. They gamble, and Shakuni wins every time: "I have won."

LINK. As Yudhishthira gambles all his possessions, Gandhari asks Bhishma to stop the game. Duryodhana asks Yudhishthira whether he wants to stop; he chooses to go on. Shakuni wins everything. Now Yudhishthira begins to gamble his brothers. Shakuni wins every time.

1 hour 19 minute mark: Draupadi is Lost

LINK. Finally, Yudhishthira stakes himself and loses. Shakuni then prompts Yudhishthira to stake Draupadi. He stakes her and loses.

LINK. Duryodhana sends Duhshasana to summon Draupadi to the assembly. She protests that he could not have gambled her after losing himself, and she tries to refuse to come to the hall, but Duhshasana drags her by the hair.

1 hour 22 minute mark: Krishna's Miracle

LINK. Draupadi denounces Bhishma and Yudhishthira. Bhishma will not express an opinion. Duryodhana demands the Pandavas' clothes, and he orders Duhshasana to take Draupadi's clothes. Bhima vows to kill Duhshasana and drink his blood. Draupadi prays to Govinda (Krishna), and as Duhshasana pulls at her sari, it extends endlessly.

1 hour 26 minute mark: Dhritarashtra and Draupadi

LINK. Duryodhana then orders her to join the slaves. Karna tells her to choose a new husband. Duryodhana shows her his thigh. Draupadi vows that she will wash her hair in Duhshasana's blood and that Duryodhana will die from a blow to the thigh. Dhritarashtra agrees to give Draupadi whatever she wants. She asks for Yudhishthira's freedom. A second favor: she asks for the freedom of the other Pandavas. She refuses a third favor because "greed devours all beings and is Dharma's ruin; I refuse greed; save my husbands." Karna observes: "Her husbands were drowning. Draupadi is the raft that saves them." Dhritarashtra tells them to take back their clothes and leave in freedom.

1 hour 29 minute mark: The Re-Match

LINK. Duryodhana tells his father that this will result in a terrible war. He proposes one final round of gambling. Dhritarashtra agrees: "Better a game than a war." When summoned, Yudhishthira asks, "What does this call of destiny conceal?" His brothers and Draupadi urge him to refuse. Yudhishthira: "I can't refuse my rivals a last chance of salvation." He goes back to play again.

1 hour 31 minute mark: Exile

LINK. There will be one throw. The stakes: twelve years of exile and a further one year of disguise. Shakuni wins again. Duhshasana taunts them, and Bhima repeats his vow to drink Duhshasana's blood, and Arjuna vows to kill Karna. Kunti despairs; she will remain behind, while Draupadi joins the Pandavas in exile.

LINK. Vyasa describes their departure to Dhritarashtra.

This part stops at one hour, 36 minutes. Credits roll.

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