Yudhishthira, “he who is steadfast in war,” is the oldest of the five PANDAVAS brothers of the MAHAB-HARATA story. He is the son of Kunti by the god Dharma. Yudhisthira has a prominent place in the story. He is addicted to gambling and, therefore, the source of sorrow for his brothers and their mutual wife DRAUPADI. Twice he loses in dice to the brothers’ rivals the KAURAVAS; on the second occasion he loses everything, forcing the Pandavas and their wife into 13 years of exile. Generally, however, Yudhishthira is regarded as wise, righ-teous, and pure and is given the title “king of the right” (dharmaraja).
   Further reading: Peter Brook, director, The Mahabharata (videorecording), produced by Michael Prop-per (Chatsworth, Calif.: Image Entertainment, 2002); William Buck, The Mahabharata (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1973); J. A. van Buitenen, The Mahabharata, 3 vols. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1973–78); E. Washburn Hopkins, Epic Mythology (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1986).

Encyclopedia of Hinduism. . 2007.

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