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.Vrish.

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.Vrish.

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Posted: 06 September 2011 at 5:43am | IP Logged
Okay, here's another topic I wanted to discuss, which seemed a bit broad for the Doubts & Discussions thread, so I made it a topic of its own.  I particularly wanted to discuss the game of dice, as it was played out in the epics and elsewhere. While it seemed to feature prominently in the Dwapar Yuga, ASR once showed Rama playing w/ Sita and losing, and in RSK, in the Banasura episodes (which they're now showing), they showed Mahadev & Parvati play it, and even fight over it LOL

In all pictorial representations of this that I've seen, it looks like a plain Ludo board.  But the way it seemed to be played - sorta like a guess the number, seemed more like a coin toss.  And did they use real cubes that were numbered, or different objects, such as shells, which had to land on one side or another?

Some of the famous games I've gathered over everything I've read include
  • Shakuni's game w/ Yudhisthir
  • Nala's games w/ Pushkar (they played 2, Pushkar won the first time & sent Nala to exile, Nala won the next w/ Rituparna's training.  But Pushkar didn't cheat or ill-treat Damayanti)
  • Balarama's game w/ Rukmi (which ended w/ Balarama killing Rukmi due to the latter's incessant insults to him)
  • Krishna's game w/ Rukmini (while his sudarshan chakra was sent against an ally of Paundra Vasudeva)
Does anyone know how this game was played, what were the rules and so on?  Was it really a custom of kshatriyas that if challenged to such a game, a kshatriya couldn't decline, as BRC showed Yudhisthir argue?  If it was a random case of throwing dice (and surely, there would have been rules against just 'putting' the dice w/ the number one wants on the board, just like w/ other dice games like Ludo and Monopoly), how could one develop 'techniques' to win?  That's what King Rituparna did for Nala, in return for Nala teaching him how to drive a chariot extra fast.  Similarly, how was Balarama so 'bad' @ it that Rukmi thought it would be a good backdoor way of defeating him?  And how do you 'cheat' @ this game?

Shakuni was said to have made his dice out of the bones of rakshashas that Bhima killed, like Hidimba and Bakasura, but couldn't any challengee have objected to and insisted on the grounds of combat, instead of being just taunted into playing by their opponent rules, as Yudhisthir was?  And if Rituparna could teach Nala how to win it, couldn't someone have done the same for Yudhisthir, so that he'd have won back his kingdom, and Bhima, Arjun & Sahadev could separately have fought and killed Duryodhan, Dushashan, Karna & Shakuni?

Also, I can understand people being angry when losing a game they have full control over, like chess, and to a lesser extent, physical games.  But the anger shown sometimes at people losing what's purely a game of luck somewhat baffles me.  Or were the players expected to know mantras that would cause the dice to give them the results they wanted Question

Feel free to post your insights, but for this thread, please restrict the discussions to this game. LOL

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Posted: 06 September 2011 at 8:06am | IP Logged
wow, interesting thread!Clap

well i read somewhere that shakuni's dice had black magic in it, thats why no one could win against him not only yudhisthir, no matter how great they were !! and for challening someone, i don't think any kshatriya in treta yug or dwapar yug refused any challenge, be it dice game or combat, because it was thought of as being cowardly and they got bad reputation after that !Ermm

and am not suree, but i don't think dice game was just rolling around the dice, i guess there was other rules and techniques to it that made it more of skill game than just luck and chance ! even yudhisthir learned dice from raja virata during 13 th year of exile, and he got boon from someone that after that, no one would be able to defeat him so guess even shakuni did not try.Embarrassed

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Posted: 06 September 2011 at 8:08am | IP Logged
i found this online about our indian dice game, am not sure whether its the same one from our mythos but it looks very similar !!

Chaupar

A very similar but more skilful, complex and older game game called Chausar, Chaupar or Chaupad also exists.  This is the form of the game that the Emperor Akbar 1 of India would have played using slave girls for pieces in the sixteenth century and the game probably dates back to well before the time of Christ.  Again, there are no standard rules, but Masters Games has compiled a typical set of rules that should be enjoyable.  Play is the same as Pachisi with the following differences:

  • Three long dice are used instead of cowry shells.  Each long die has 1 and 6 on opposing faces and 2 and 5 (or sometimes 3 and 4) on the other faces.
  • There are no graces or extra throws.
  • Castle squares are absent or, if played upon a Pachisi board, are ignored.
  • Pieces start on specific squares instead of the Charkoni although captured pieces are returned to the Charkoni.  To prepare to start the game, position each set of four pieces on squares 6, 7, 23 and 24 from the Charkoni.
  • Pieces can be melded together to form a "super-pieces".  If two pieces of the same shade land on the same space, then those pieces are lumped together and thereafter play as a single piece with double the power.  Triple and quadruple pieces can be formed in the same way.  Conglomerate pieces move using the throw of the dice as if they were a single piece.  However, a double piece can only be captured by a double, triple or quadruple piece, a triple piece is only vulnerable to a triple or quadruple piece and a quadruple piece can only be captured by another quadruple piece.
  • Each throw can be split into its constituent parts and shared across the pieces. For instance, if a 1, 2 and 6 is thrown, a player might choose to move one piece 9 squares or three pieces 1, 2 and 6 squares respectively. It would also be possible to move a piece 2 squares to form a double piece and then move the double piece 7 further squares, for instance.
  • A throw cannot be passed in whole or part unless a player cannot move.
  • An exact throw is required for a piece to get home.
  • All the blacks must be got home before a yellow piece can go home. All the reds must be got home before a green piece can go home.

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...Mina...

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Posted: 06 September 2011 at 8:10am | IP Logged
i found two websites that mention shakuni mama playing chausar in mahabharat, so i guess that was the game!

Chausar, the game of dice

When the Pandavas were given the arid part of Hastinapura, with their great labor and effort, they managed to convert this arid and barren land into a great city called Indraprastha. Soon word of this fabulous city spread and Duryodhana himself got a chance to see the palace on the occasion of the Rajasuya Yagna performed by Yudhishthira. He mistook the water flooring of a hall of wonders for an actual concrete floor, and fell into it as a result. Draupadi, the wife of the five Pandavas, burst out laughing and insulted Duryodhana by saying that the son of a blindman can only be a blindman. Enraged, Duryodhana returned to Hastinapur. Reading his nephew's state of mind, Shakuni plotted a clever plan to strip Pandavas of Indraprastha. He invited the Pandavas to a friendly game of dice against Duryodhana, being a pastmaster of the game himself. When the game started, he stoked Yudhisthira's gambling urges by letting him win a few minor victories. Soon however, Shakuni used his skills in the game to good effect, and before Yudhishtir could be persuaded to stop playing, he had already lost all his wealth and kingdom. Then Shakuni suggested that he would return all Yudhistir had lost and more if he would put up his brothers at stake. He also taunted Yudhisthira whenever he hesitated from playing. After two more rounds of play, Yudhisthira lost his brothers and their wife, Draupadi, to Duryodhana, thus ensuring his revenge.

Shakuni took Duryodhana's side in the great war at Kurukshetra. He was killed on the battlefield by Sahadeva, one of the Pandava brothers.


Sharing

Chausar is an intelligence and skill building game, which is played since the time of Mahabharata. As a free game software is designed with an easy to use interface and appealing graphics.

Chausar is generally constructed of cloth; 6 cowry shells are thrown to determine the moves; the counters are made of wood in a beehive shape.

The game of chausar is played on a board in the shape of a cross, each arm being divided into three adjacent tracks of 6 squares. The four arms/limbs of the chausar board are conjoined at the center called "HOME". The middle track is often the home track, as this track leads the counters to the home. Each arm has six marked squares in red, orange, green, white and dark violet colours to distinguish them from each other. Each of the exterior track has one safety space marked with either star symbol or two opposite small triangles. There are four counter platforms at each four corners of the board where a set of 4 counters each of red, green, black and white are stationed before the start of the play.


http://www.thefreewindows.com/1444/use-your-mind-playing-chausar-game/


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.Vrish.

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.Vrish.

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Posted: 06 September 2011 at 10:25pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by -RamSitaKiDasi-

even yudhisthir learned dice from raja virata during 13 th year of exile, and he got boon from someone that after that, no one would be able to defeat him so guess even shakuni did not try.Embarrassed


The last was not exactly true - Virata may have taught Yudhisthir such that he wouldn't lose, but Shakuni didn't know it.  That's why, following Drona's appointment as the senapati of the Kaurava army, Duryodhan asked him to capture Yudhisthir, but not kill him.  The idea being that if captured, Yudhisthir could be made to play another game again, and if he lost, restart another 13 years of exile.  The Pandavas and Krishna probably decided that it was important to punish Duryodhan, Dushashan, Karna and Shakuni, and therefore decided that Yudhisthir had to be protected.  From days 11-14, Drona kept trying and failing to capture Yudhisthir so that Duryodhan could carry out his plan, and finally, on day 15, got killed.

I think the Pandavas should have played again, but this time w/ Krishna rolling the dice for them, just like Shakuni did for Duryodhan, and do it under the condition that if the Kauravas lost, Bhima would get to kill Duryodhan & Dushashan, Arjun Karna, and Sahadev Shakuni, and Dhritarashtra would have to step down from the throne and go into exile alone w/ Gandhari (no Kunti, no Vidura, no nobody).

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Posted: 07 September 2011 at 8:45am | IP Logged
Wow, thanks for all the information, Mina. And nice thread Vrish, I've always been intrigued by the dice game from our mythos, because it was played many times by various characters both for simple, innocent fun and also with dangerous stakes.
 
Does anyone know whether Ram and Sita also played it like ASR showed, or was Anand Sagar inspired to show that scene from Krishna and Rukmini's dice game from Krishna Leela? Either way, it was a cute scene.Heart 
 
I never knew that Balaram killed Rukmi though!Shocked Why did he do it? I thought Rukmi was supposed to be kind of neutral towards the Yadavas after Rukmini's marriage to Krishna, instead of still harboring hatred towards them? Did this happen after the Mahabharat war?
 
And yeah, I agree that the Pandavas should have played another dice game with the Kauravas, using Krishna as their representative. It would have been wicked fun to read about it and see in mythos.Evil Smile

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Posted: 07 September 2011 at 12:49pm | IP Logged
I don't know about the authenticity (how far research based and how far devotion based since it's written by a big devotee) of this lovely book with attractive TOC so do check the preface Janaki but the Chapter 61 has got the story. It seems from the contents that the book is highly research based and not imaginary stories. It could be a compilation of Mahabharat, Harivansh, Vishnupuran and Bhaagwat (Vedo or Aishi may be able to tell). Earlier Semanti posted the link of Chapter 68 in the Game thread when I couldn't post due to keyboard problem (it still persists a bit).


So the game is Ludo only then basically. Good questions raised by Vrish. I would say  there is skill element in it as whether to move only single piece equal to the total number on 3 dice or moving 2 pieces or 3 pieces separately with numbers on each 3 different die. (choice between advancing 1 piece to reach near to the opponent's pieces to capture them & march forward vs advancing pieces parallel together to enhance the chances of making them double and triple to consolidate your position and minimizing the chance of your piece being captured). Attack vs Defense strategy. Skill element is definitely there. But that skill element is such that can't be taught by someone properly. It can only be developed by more practice and experience of the game like any game of cards or game of gambling like poker or game of business (buying cities on board). And that skill is more of intuitive and presence of mind nature than using intellect. It is only about discretionary power to shape the movements such that you can control and enhance the chance of winning but ultimately it's chance only. The strategic or skill element in the game is not even 1/10th as attractive as that in Chess (kaash bloodshed aur war ke vikalp me gambling ki jagah chess hoti Day DreamingLOL. What a brilliant game Chess is. Possibly the best ever indoor game one can find in the world.Star Star Star Star Star Clap


Did Yudhishthir learn or practice the Chausar game only in the 13th year with Viraat or did he better the game during 12 years in forest only learning from someone? I thought he learned or wished to learn it during his meetings with sages somewhere around Nal Damyanti story.  Wasn't he already master while playing against Virat? And lol. Meena I searched through google the same link of Pachisi and came here that day to post the link here and found your posts.Big smile Co-incidence.Smile


Edited by ShivangBuch - 08 September 2011 at 2:46am

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.Vrish.

.Vrish.

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.Vrish.

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Posted: 07 September 2011 at 10:20pm | IP Logged
Whenever I've read about the history of Chess, it mentioned both Indian Chaturanga and Persian Chausar as the predecessors to the game.  If that's the case, I can't imagine the Dice game being Chausar.  I think Shivang may be right - the game was Ludo only, and the skill involved was spotting which combinations would send an opponents pieces - particularly the ones that have gone far - back home, thereby setting the opponent back a great deal.  When I was a kid, one of my cousins was too good @ spotting such opportunities, and would taunt me if I missed such an opportunity during my turn LOL  So Ludo wouldn't be as childish as one thinks.

LJR, I too discovered about Balarama killing Rukmi recently - see one of the written updates from Rukmini's wedding and after - some posters noted how ahistorical it was for Rukmi to have made nice w/ Krishna, and recounted that story.

Last night, they showed Satyabhama playing a Dice game w/ Jambavati, and it was a hoot to watch.  The layout seemed pretty authentic - the long cuboid dice, the Ludo board layout, and so on.  Only thing that strikes me - every time you throw the dice, it counts as a win or a loss?  Jambavati threw the dice first and 'won', and after Satyabhama taunted her about Krishna getting the entire tree for her, Satyabhama threw the dice and this time, she won. Evil SmileLOL  Had I waited one more day, I might have started this thread in the DBSK forum. LOL

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