Duryodhana was the eldest of the 100 KAURAVAS, the evil sons of Dhritarashtra in the MAHAB-HARATA story. He was the chief conspirator among the Kauravas against their cousins the PANDA-VA S, whose kingdom they tried to seize. He was a fierce fighter, as his Sanskrit name implies: duryodhana means “tough in battle.” He had a particular rivalry with BHIMA, physically the strongest of the Pandavas.
   When Duryodhana’s cousin YUDHISHTHIRA was designated as heir to the throne, he persuaded his father to banish the Pandavas to a city where he had them placed in a house made of wax, where he planned to burn them to death. They escaped and went into hiding for some time. Later he challenged the Pandavas to a dice game in which he had the game fixed. After Yudhishthira lost everything in this game the Pandavas’ wife, DRAU-PADI, was publicly humiliated. The dice game was replayed and the Pandavas lost again and went into exile for 13 years.
   After they returned from exile, Duryodhana refused to split the kingdom with them and the great Mahabharata war began. Duryodhana was slain by his lifetime rival Bhima, and the Kauravas were defeated.
   Further reading: Manorama Bhavanagara, Duryod-hana (Delhi: Anila Prakashan, 2000); J. A. B. van Buitenen, trans., The Mahabharata, 3 vols. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1973–78); William Buck, trans., The Mahabharata (Berkeley: University of Cali-fornia Press, 1973).

Encyclopedia of Hinduism. . 2007.

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