Pandavas were the rightful heirs to the throne of Hastinapur
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Through this debate, I wish to challenge the highly decorated belief that the Pandavas were the rightful heirs to the throne of Hastinapur. I am of the opinion that the Kauravas instead were the ones who deserved to rule the throne.
It is my simple argument that once you renounce any power/authority/status, you lose all rights to command any sort of control over it. Building on the aforementioned argument, I believe that when Pandu renounced the power to rule Hastinapur and his brother Dhritarashtra was crowned the king, the latter assumed all rights to rule the kingdom in any way he wanted, i.e., he became the ultimate owner of it. As a consequence of that, naturally the sons of Dhritarashtra would hold the rights to inherit the kingdom from their father.
I firmly believe that it was wrong of Pandavas to even demand any stake to the throne of Hastinapur.
I would expect the following from my challenger,
but Pandu having the upper hand(due to obvious reasons) took the throne while Dhritarashtra assisted him. But after the passing of Pandu the throne was of Dhritarashtra.
Now coming back to your question;Duryodhan was rightfully the crown prince for two main reasons:
He was the eldest son to the present king.
This automatically makes him the crown prince and justifies his claim to the throne.Also he was theoretically elder to Yudhishtir which further justifies his claim over that of Yudhishthir.
Yudhishthir was adopted.
As we all know, the Pandavas were not exactly sons of Pandu.Each one of them were a "gift"(which I presonally doubt) from the Gods which in no way makes them the royal blood. Pandu could not touch either one of his wives due to the curse and hence could not impregnate them. All the five Pandavas were merely adopted by Pandu just so that he has someone to carry his name.
So when Duryodhana claimed the throne of Hastinapur,he actually deserved it being the eldest Kaurava. Yudhishthir, on the other hand, didn't even deserve Indraprastha for crying out loud!
Written 30 Aug 2014 " View Upvotes
More Answers Below.
Why did Kunti stay back in Hastinapur?
If Duryodhana was hungry for the throne of Hastinapur, why would he have attempted to kill Bheema not Yudhishtir by poisoning him?
Did Duryodhan go to heaven? Why?
Why was Vrishakethu, the son of Karna, not chosen as a descendant of the throne of Hastinapur after Yudhisthir?
How could Yudhisthir lay claim to the throne? Isn't Duryodhan the rightful heir?
1.5k Views " Mac has 10 answers in Mahabharata (Hindu epic).
I agree with Khushai's take on the principles of succession. It was the same in pre-English ruled Scotland as well. The next ruler would be chosen by either the people or the elders from amongst the sons and nephews of the King, or even the daughters in some cases. The one chosen would be judged to be the most worthy to rule. So on that count I agree and it was obviously the case in Kuru at the time as Pandu, the younger brother was chosen ahead of his blind elder brother and indeed the whole story points to the fact that Dhritarashtra was a weak and bumbling leader.
But where I differ to Khushai is on whom I would choose given that I may have been in the position to do so.
Yudisthera is everyone's popular choice as the eldest Pandava and because of his high standards of morality. Except even those standards failed him miserably at least twice - once when he gambled his wife away and then when he lied on the battlefield in order to bring about the death of his Guru.
I actually could not imagine a crime considered worse in india than murdering one's Guru through deceit and then claiming that God told me to do it?
But the other thing that makes me question his capacity to lead is that he actually doesn't. Most of his decisions are made for him by either Krishna, Draupadi, Kunti or his brothers. He is successively happy to rule half the kingdom, only five villages and then after the battle, not at all and wishes that Karna was still alive to do it. Yudisthera was more of an ascetic than a King and you get the feeling that he , at least, had no problems with living in the forest.
Duryodhana. The eldest Kaurava gets a shocking rap throughout the story but even in some parts he is described in terms of great, and honorable amongst other superlatives. It makes you wonder if he gets a bad rap because, as we know very well, history and it's narratives are at the total mercy of the victors. But even putting that aside he at least is hell bent on not breaking up the Kingdom. What if that was his real motive?. To not weaken the Kingdom by partition like happened to India in 1947?
That decision to divide the kingdom was taken by a blind King and an aging grandsire that was beginning to show signs that he was losing his marbles.
Sorry, that was unnecessary disrespect.
What Duryodhana didn't have going for him seemed to be diplomacy and tact and it is doubtful if he ever could have truly unified the Kingdom under his rule but even then, we hear nothing about Hastinapura falling apart during his 13 years of virtual reign.
Now, who would I have chosen given that all the Pandavas and Kauravas were eligible. Who was the most likely, the most worthy amongst them?
Not Arjuna who seems to be have been mainly occupied with war, military prowess and women. And his great friendship with Krishna too.
Not Bhima who was basically a thug of high standing and birth. And besides, neither Bhima or Arjuna would have ever considered ruling instead of their loved elder brother, weak and vacillating as he was most of the time.
Sahadeva may have been an interesting choice. Wise intelligent with great hindsight and foresight but we get no indication that he was a leader of men,
My choice by a long shot would have been Karna. Karna it was said had all the abilities of each of the other pandas combined. The wisdom of Yudisthera, the strength of Bhima, the warrior abilities of Arjuna, the animistic intuition of Nakula and the knowledge and foresight of Sahadeva.
Karna, was the only one who could have unified and kept great the Kingdom of Kuru. Once he was known to be their brother he would have been loved by the Pandavas. He was already loved by Duryodhana though the eldest Kaurava would have been somewhat blind sided by Karma acceding to the throne ahead of him. He was honorable, generous and a great military tactician and warrior.
A pity that he had three people who constantly thwarted and plagued his life and made him such a tragic character instead of a great leader>
Kunit, his mother, out of shame and fear.
Bhishma, the grandsire and his own Gurubhai who seemed to be unreasonably jealous of him and in constant competition with him.
Krishna who deceived him at every turn of events. The latter I can only assume did so because Karnas' greatness constantly threatened Krishna's grand plan - the onset of the Kali Yuga.
Written 12 May 2015 " View Upvotes " Not for Reproduction
Vallish Nagendra, MD from Grant Govt Medical College Mumbai. Medical Pharmacologist. Teacher.
In addition to other answers that validate Duryodhana's claim to the throne of Hastinapura, one more point that works in his favour is that the likes of Bhishma and Drona fought with Duryodhana, rather than against him. This validates Duryodhana's claim further, because if Duryodhana was not the legal heir, Bhishma and Drona would obviously have sided along with the Pandavas, who had the blessings of Krishna.
Further, Duryodhana firmly believed that the Pandavas did not belong to the Kuru lineage. To certain extent, he was right. The word 'Pandava' literally means 'son of Pandu'. Technically speaking, however, none of the five Pandavas were actually, 'Pandavas'. Though the Mahabharatha speaks of the 'boon' granting Kunti and Madri with sons, we all know how it had to happen. That way, Yudhisthira, Bhima and Arjuna, being sons of Kunti, are 'Kaunteyas', and Nakula-Sahadeva twins are 'Madreyas'.
That was why Duryodhana never wanted Dhritarashtra to have given the Pandavas the right to rule Khandavaprastha in the first place. He thought that Khandavaprastha, which was later converted to Indraprastha, was an essential part of the larger kingdom of Hastinavati, and since the Pandavas were not a part of Kuru lineage, it was his duty to get the 'lost' kingdom back.
That was also the reason why he declined to return the Pandavas their kingdom after their vanavasa: he believed that he had restored to the Kuru kingdom, what land was originally lost to the Pandavas.
Edit: Duryodhana has been portrayed as the embodiment of Adharma, and the Pandavas as embodiment of Dharma. Does that mean that all the actions by Duryodhana were wrong, and all the actions by Pandavas were right? Certainly n
Thank you for your argument.
But I'd be remiss if I didn't clarify my stand in this argument to you. I am against the belief that Pandavas had any right to inherit the throne of Hastinapur. Basically, I am of the view that Duryodhan WAS the rightful heir to the throne. From your argument, you have only substantiated on my viewpoint. You have posted all your arguments in my favour.
Hence, I request you to read the topic, your side and my argument at least once.
If you agreed with my viewpoint, I don't see any reason why you should challenge me.
Nevertheless, it was nice arguing.
Thank you and all the best!
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