Along with her sisters, Amba and Ambika, Ambalika was taken by force by Bhishma from their Swayamvara, the latter having challenged and defeated the assembled royalty. He presented them to Satyavati for marriage to Vichitravirya. Ambalika and her sister spent seven years in their husband’s company. Vichitravirya was affected with phthisis, (tuberculosis) and died from the disease. After Vichitravirya’s death, his mother Satyavati sent for her first born, Rishi Veda Vyasa. She asked him to father children on the widowed queens of Vichitravirya according to the prevalent custom of Niyoga. Veda Vyasa had come from years of intense meditation and as a result, he looked tremendously unkempt. When he approached Ambika, she closed her eyes in fear. As a result the blind Dhritrashtra was born. When he approached Ambalika, she turned pale in fear. Her son Pandu, the result of the niyoga, was born with a pale appearance. After the death of Pandu, Ambalika accompanied her mother-in-law Satyavati and sister Ambika to the forest and spent the rest of her days in spiritual retreat.
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Shakuni, Duryodhana’s uncle, now arranges a dice game, playing against Yudhishthira with loaded dice. Yudhishthira loses all his wealth, then his kingdom. He then even gambles his brothers, himself, and finally his wife into servitude. The jubilant Kauravas insult the Pandavas in their helpless state and even try to disrobe Draupadi in front of the entire court, but her honour is saved by Krishna who miraculously creates lengths of cloth to replace the ones being removed. Dhritarashtra, Bhishma, and the other elders are aghast at the situation, but Duryodhana is adamant that there is no place for two crown princes in Hastinapura. Against his wishes Dhritarashtra orders for another dice game. The Pandavas are required to go into exile for 12 years, and in the 13th year must remain hidden. If discovered by the Kauravas, they will be forced into exile for another 12 years.
Along with her sisters, Amba and Ambika, Ambalika was taken by force by Bhishma from their Swayamvara, the latter having challenged and defeated the assembled royalty. He presented them to Satyavati for marriage to Vichitravirya. Ambalika and her sister spent seven years in their husband’s company. Vichitravirya was affected with phthisis, (tuberculosis) and died from the disease.
After “seeing” the carnage, Gandhari, who had lost all her sons, curses Krishna to be a witness to a similar annihilation of his family, for though divine and capable of stopping the war, he had not done so. Krishna accepts the curse, which bears fruit 36 years later.
Barring Krishna, Vidura was most respected as an adviser by the Pandavas, whom he forewarned on various occasions of Duryodhana’s plots to exterminate them, such as Duryodhana’s plan to burn them alive in the house of wax. Excepting the prince Vikarna, Vidura was the only one who protested against the humiliation of Draupadi in the Kaurava court. In that moment, Duryodhana viciously rebuked Vidura, calling him ungrateful. Dhritarashtra moved to rebuke Duryodhana for insulting Duryodhana’s uncle, but, remembering Vidura saying that a blind man cannot be king, holds his tongue, and instead reprimanded Duryodhana for insulting the prime minister. It is that incident that Vidura brought up years later when he severed ties with the Kurus and sided with the Pandavas at the onset of the Kurukshetra war. Unlike Bhishma, Dronacharya, Kripacharya, Karna, etc., Vidura did not have an obligation to Hastinapur or Duryodhana, but to his family. Hearing Dhritarashtra not acknowledge that relationship, Vidura felt compelled to side with dharma and the Pandavas.