In Peter Brooks play/movie adaptation of Mahabharat the following conversation ensues between Krishna and Bhishma before the game of dice was to commence;[Given here below. Shortened/edited by me, but the theme remains the same.]

Krishna: Bhishma do me a favor. Whatever you see or hear in the course of the game, do not interrupt, in no circumstances.

Bhishma: But won't it be better to avoid the worst.

Krishna: What is the worst?

Bhishma: Destruction of dharma.

Krishna: And if your race has to be destroyed, so as to save dharma, would you be prepared to sacrifice your race?

[We need to remember here that Bhishma had vowed to protect his race at all costs and towards that goal remained celibate.]

Bhishma: [Bhishma entering into contemplation mood says;] This thought which is always with me has been disturbing my sleep and makes my heart pound all night along.

Krishna: That is why I ask you; do not intervene. Let each one go to his limit. [Saying so Krishna disappears.]

My querry: Is this scene and its dialogues, just a dramatized adaptation of the original, because I don't find this in the original Vyasa Mahabharata. Or does it have its base in any of the other versions of the story mentioned in other ancient scriptures? What is the basis for this scene. Or is it just a scene written for the script by Peter Brook, Jean-Claude Carrière and Marie-Hélène Estienne. Can anyone throw some light on this?

But please don't mention versions of modern authors. Thank you.

Edit 1: This not a duplicate by any standards. All the other questions mentioned here speak of "Why Krishna DID NOT STOP the game of dice?" But in Peter Brooks' adaptation Krishna WANTS THE GAME TO BE PLAYED, that too with NO LIMITS. And that [Whether Krishna asked Bhishma, not to interrupt the game in no circumstances?] is the thing I wanted to be confirmed by scriptures.

Edit 2: The link to Peter Brook's Mahabharat is here below;


The said scene begins exactly at 1:09:04.

  • 1
    Possible duplicate of Scriptural basis for Uddhava-Gita's conversation on "Why Krishna didn't stop the dice game?".... and also .... Krishna's role in game of dice. ==> Lord Krishna was not present during the time period of dice game, as he was out of city for a battle. He didn't have any contact with PAndava-s or Kauravas.
    – iammilind
    Commented May 1, 2018 at 14:58
  • 2
    Possible duplicate of Krishna's role in game of dice Commented May 1, 2018 at 15:35
  • You can also post this on movies.stackexchange.com. Use the tag 'book-adaptation'. Commented May 1, 2018 at 17:22
  • I think your question would be better phrased as: "In what version of Mahabharata did Krishna warn Bhishma not to interrupt any actions of Kauravas and Pandavas during the game of dice?" Also, YouTube link to the scene will help users understand the context, unless of course you don't want people watching it. Commented May 1, 2018 at 17:34
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    The subject of the post concerns both Hinduism & Movie fields. Information from the knowledgeable belonging to both fields could be helpful. Any informed person from the either fields is capable of answering it. So I thought it would help in resolving the query if posted on both forums. And would also help other people looking for the same information from both fields. I am not sure how far this is wrong. So I better leave it to the discretion of the more informed moderators to take the necessary action. I opine & request, this to be allowed, since it does no harm by being on both forums.
    – Anil Kagi
    Commented May 2, 2018 at 8:03

1 Answer 1


No, Krishna did not issue any such warning to Bhishma. This is not mentioned in the Mahabharata or any other scripture. And it runs contrary to what is stated in scripture about Krishna's attitudes in this regard. In this chapter of the Vana Parva of the Mahabharata, Krishna says that if he had been in Dwaraka when news or the dice game had come he would have put a stop to it, first with words and if that didn't work, with actions:

O lord of earth, if I had been present at Dwaraka, then, O king, this evil would not have befallen thee! And, O irrepressible one, coming unto the gambling-match, even if uninvited by the son of Amvika (Dhritarashtra), or Duryodhana, or by the other Kauravas, I would have prevented the game from taking place, by showing its many evils, summoning to my aid Bhishma and Drona and Kripa, and Vahlika! O exalted one, for thy sake I would have told the son of Vichitravirya--O foremost of monarchs, let thy sons have nothing to do with dice!--I would have shown the many evils (of dice) through which thou hast fallen into such distress and the son of Virasena was formerly deprived of his kingdom! O king, unthought of evils, befall a man from dice! I would have described how a man once engaged in the game continueth to play (from desire of victory). Women, dice, hunting and drinking to which people become addicted in consequence of temptation, have been regarded as the four evils that deprive a man of prosperity. And those versed in the Sastras are of opinion that evils attend upon all these. They also that are addicted to dice know all its evils. O thou of mighty arms, appearing before the son of Amvika, I would have pointed out that through dice men in a day lose their possessions, and fall into distress, and are deprived of their untasted wealth, and exchange harsh words! O perpetuator of the Kuru race, I would have pointed out these and other attendant evils! If he had accepted my words thus addressed, the welfare of the Kurus as also virtue itself would both have been secured! And, O foremost of kings, if he had rejected my gentle counsels offered as medicine, then, O best of the Bharata race, I would have compelled him by force! And, if those who wait at his court, professing to be his friends but in reality his foes, had supported him, then I would have slain them all, along with those gamblers, there present! O Kauravya, it is owing to my absence from the Anartta country at that time that thou hast fallen into such distress begot of dice!

And note the part in bold. He specifically says that he would have used Bhishma's help to stop the dice game. So he certainly would not have told Bhishma beforehand to not stop the dice game.

However, it is true that the larger purpose of Krishna's incarnation was to reduce the burden of the Earth, and that the Mahabharata war was part of Krishna's grand plan. But he wasn't going around telling people "Allow your race to be destroyed."

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