Yudhishthira (Dharmaraja) – towards Kurukshetra WAR
In Mahabharata, Yudhishthira(Dharmaputhra) was the eldest son of King Pandu and Queen Kunti. He was the king of Hastinapura and Indraprastha was the principal protagonist of the Kurukshetra War.
Pandu, due to a curse, was unable to father children and asked his wife, Queen Kunti to invoke the wish granted to her by Rishi Dhurvasa in order to give birth to children. Urged by Pandu, Kunti gave birth to Yudhishthira by invoking the Lord of Righteousness, Dharma. Yudhishthira's four younger brothers were Bhima, (born by invoking Vayu); Arjuna, (born by invoking Indra); and the twins Nakula and Sahadeva, (born by invoking the Ashwini Gods). As Karna, the son of Kunti was born before her marriage by invocation of Surya, Yudhishthira was considered as the eldest. Yudhishthira's dharma was markedly distinct from that of other righteous kings. He married Draupadi along with his four brothers, the dharma that modifies itself to suit the times.
Yudhishthira was trained in religion, science, administration and military arts by the Kuru preceptors Kripa and Drona. He was a master of the spear weapon, and a maharatha, capable of combating 10,000 opponents all together at a time. Yudhishthira's true prowess was shown in his unflinching adherence to satya (truth) and dharma (righteousness), which were more precious to him than any royal ambitions, material pursuits and family relations.
Being Pandu's eldest son, Yudhishthira was the rightful heir to the throne. However, this claim was contested by the Dhritarashtra's son, Duryodhana. Yudhishthira is also known as Bharata (Descendent of the line of Bharata) and Ajatashatru (One without Enemies).
Yudhishthira rescued Bhima from Yama, and all of his four brothers from death by exemplifying not only his immense knowledge of dharma but also his very own way of understanding the finer implications of dharma, as judged by Yama, who was testing him in the guise of a Crane and a Yaksha.
Yudhishthira learned dice play from Narada Muni and assumed the guise of a brahmin courtier and dice player in the Matsya Rajya of king Virata. Yudhishthira was unable to refuse when Duryodhana's maternal uncle Shakuni, challenged him to a game of dice. Thanks to Shakuni's cheating, Yudhishthira lost each throw, eventually gambling away his kingdom, his wealth, his brothers and finally his wife. Owing to the protests of Vidura, Bhishma and Drona, Dhritarashtra returned all these losses. However, Shakuni challenged Yudhishthira one more time, and Yudhishthira once more lost. This time, he, his brothers and his wife were forced to discharge the debt by spending thirteen years in exile, with the condition of anonymity in the last year, in the forest before they could reclaim their kingdom.
When the period of exile was completed, Duryodhana and Shakuni nevertheless refused to return Yudhishthira's kingdom. Yudhishthira made numerous diplomatic efforts to retrieve his kingdom peacefully; all failed. To go to war to reclaim his birthright would mean fighting and killing his own relatives, an idea that appalled Yudhishthira. But Krishna, Yudhishthira's most trusted advisor (whom he recognized as the Avatar of Vishnu, the Supreme God), pointed out that Yudhishthira's claim was righteous, and the deeds of Duryodhana were evil. If all peace efforts failed, war was therefore a most righteous course.
Thus, Yudhishthira agreed for the Kurukshetra war.