In order to understand this post please go through my previous post.
Bhisma: Bhisma was the uncle of Pandavas as well as the Kauravas. He is well known for his oath of life-long celebacy. It was Bhisma who had proposed Gandhari’s marriage with the blind Dhritarashtra. He was a very respected figure in the family.
Shakuni: Shakuni was Duryodhana’s maternal uncle ( and Gandhari’s brother). He was very intelligent but very devious too. He saw Bhisma’s proposal as demeaning. He wanted to destroy Bhisma’s clan. Gandhari ( Dhritarashtra’s wife) was married to a goat initially on the Sooth Sayers advice. Dhritarashtra was unaware of this fact. When he got to know this after his marriage, he imprisoned all the members of Gandhari’s family. Shakuni was the youngest brother of Gandhari, among her 100 other brothers. They all were sparsely fed in the prison, only one speck of rice per person for a day. The family thought that by giving all the rice to Shakuni at least one of them could survive and he could live on to take his revenge.
He got himself very close to the volatile Duryodhana. He expressed his discontentment at Bhsima’s decision to chose the eldest Pandava (Yudhisthira) as the next successor to the throne. He said that his nephew Duryodhana should have been chosen. Shakuni is believed to be the mastermind behind the Mahabharata war.
Shakuni is often depicted as a man dressed in black clothes, sporting a white beard, wearing a half-kireetam, rubbing dice in his hands often and limping slightly while walking.
He was an evil genius who was shrewd to see through things and confident of his skills to undo the opponents. Though his designs to destroy the Pandavas failed one by one, he was still unshaken in his faith to destroy the lineage of Bhisma. He played on the virtues of the Pandavas themselves, to bring problems of serious nature. His main objective was to instigate Duryodhana against the Pandavas. He knew that only a battle between the two could destroy Dhritarashtra’s kingdom so that his revenge could be complete.
Shakuni was a renowned gambler. He always played with a loaded dice and hence enjoyed good fortune in the game. He asked Duryodhana to invite Yudhisthira for a game of gamble, put him to shame and win his kingdom from the game. When Yudhisthira got the proposal he could not refuse to play as being a true Kshatriya he could not refuse to accept a challenge. Inside his heart, he didn’t want to play the game.