Duryodhana was the son of a king and should be made the next king but still generally all people consider Yudhishthira to be the righteous owner of the throne. Why should Yudhishthira be the crown prince when Pandu and his wives had already left their kingdom and appointed Dhritarashtra as the king?

Also, Yudhishthira was not a direct son of Pandu. Pandu himself was not the righteous owner of the throne. He got the throne because Bhishma said that Dhritarashtra will have problems due to his blindness, but later on also he became the king. So, it was Dhritarashtra's right to be king and later on he became the king and therefore rightful owner to succeed him should be Duryodhana. I also think, between Yudhishthira and Duryodhana, if there was no such confusion as to who should be the next king, then there wouldn't have been any Mahabharata.

  • If there was no such confusion as to who should be the king between Bahubali and Bhallaldev, then there wouldn't have been any movie like Bahubali. Bahubali's father became king because Bhallaldev's father was paralyzed. After death of Bahubali's father, Bhallaldev's mother was the ruler. So rightful owner to succeed her should be Bhallaldev but all the people wanted Bahubali as king because he was more worthy of becoming a king than Bhallaldev.
    – YDS
    Commented Oct 21, 2017 at 9:11
  • By shastras King should not have any physical disabilities then only he can be made king that is the reason satyavati asked vedavyas to do another niyoga with other princess because this child is ineligible to rule the kingdom. Natural hier to the throne is Pandu and his sons(even its adopted) but here they are manasik putras of pandus its more than adoption.. After Pandus passing away naturally the king should have been yudishtir not duryodhan .. Since Pandav went to exile on his own with no other option left this blind dhridhrastra was made king by bhimsa overruling shastras..
    – Prasanna R
    Commented Jul 21, 2019 at 6:48
  • But I believe as king the formal cermony of pattabhisheka not done that is why krishna even mention this in his sandhana to hastinapura
    – Prasanna R
    Commented Nov 25, 2020 at 17:41

5 Answers 5


In Bharata dynasty (in which Yudhishthira and Duryodhana were born), it was not necessary that only the eldest son of a king will become the next king. The one who was worthy of becoming a king used to be chosen. Even king Bharata himself didn't appoint his eldest son as his successor:

And Bharata begat upon his three wives nine sons in all. But none of them were like their father and so Bharata was not at all pleased with them...

The monarch then performed a great sacrifice and through the grace of Bharadwaja obtained a son named Bhumanyu. And then Bharata, the great descendant of Puru, regarding himself as really possessing a son, installed, O foremost one of Bharata's race, that son as his heir-apparent.

~ The Mahabharata: Adi Parva: Sambhava Parva

Yudhishthira was best choice for Yuvaraja because Yudhishthira was more worthy of becoming a king than Duryodhan:

Vaisampayana continued, 'After the expiration, O king, of a year from this, Dhritarashtra, moved by kindness for the people, installed Yudhishthira, the son of Pandu, as the heir-apparent of the kingdom on account of his firmness, fortitude, patience, benevolence, frankness and unswerving honesty (of heart). And within a short time Yudhishthira, the son of Kunti, by his good behaviour, manners and close application to business, overshadowed the deeds of his father.

~ Mahabharata: Adi Parva: Sambhava Parva

The citizens were also happy with the heir-apparent Yudhishthira and wanted to make him king:

Then the citizens, beholding the son of Pandu possessed of accomplishments, began, O Bharata, to speak of them in all places of public resort. And assembled in courtyards and other places of gathering, they talked of the eldest son of Pandu (Yudhishthira) as possessed of the qualifications for ruling the kingdom. And they said, 'Dhritarashtra, though possessed of the eye of knowledge, having been (born) blind, had not obtained the kingdom before. How can he (therefore) become king now? Then Bhishma, the son of Santanu, of rigid vows and devoted to truth, having formerly relinquished the sovereignty would never accept it now. We shall, therefore, now install (on the throne) with proper ceremonies the eldest of the Pandavas endued with youth, accomplished in battle, versed in the Vedas, and truthful and kind.

~ Mahabharata, Book 1: Adi Parva: Jatugriha Parva

But later evil Duryodhana tried to kill Yudhishthira and his brothers in lakshagriha with their mother. And only on the false news of Yudhishthira's death in lakshagriha, Duryodhana was chosen as Yuvaraja.

By birth (direct son), neither Duryodhana nor Yudhishthira had a right on the throne because technically neither Duryodhana nor Yudhishthira was Kuruvanshi (Kaurava), a new name of Bharata dynasty after king Kuru. Because king Shantanu had three sons Bhishma, Chitrangada and Vichitravirya; Bhishma was bhramachari and other two died before producing any child. By the grace of Vedavyasa, all three Dhritarashtra, Pandu and Vidura were born after death of their father Vichitravirya. However, by the grace of Gods (Dharmaraja, Indra, Vayu, Ashvinis), all 5 Pandavas were born in front of their father Pandu. By birth (direct son), only Bhishma had right on the throne because he was the only Kuruvanshi/Kaurava (direct son of Shantanu) at that time.

  • "through the grace of Bharadwaja obtained a son named Bhumanyu" - was it through a putrakameshti yagna like rama, or a divine fruit/payas like gokarna/vishvamitra ? either way, he is still his son.
    – ram
    Commented Oct 7, 2020 at 23:57
  • Correct but he was youngest..
    – YDS
    Commented Oct 8, 2020 at 9:59

This was the initial conflict and mostly politics up until this point in my opinion. Reason for Mahabharat was not just this conflict of interest, this was a starting point, yes, but this was not the entire reason.

Duryodhan started to get antagonized after he insulted Draupadi and had Pandavas exiled. This not only earned pandavas more sympathy, but also more credibility for living as laymen in exile. Having Krishna on their side didn't hurt them either.

Duryodhan may have been in line of inheritance, but his actions made him unsuitable (not to mention unpopular) choice to be king.

  • 2
    Welcome to Hinduism.SE! You should cite sources. Commented Jul 22, 2015 at 20:22

Ok i have read many answers. Let me make it clear to you with. Lineage.

» shantanu was the last king before every problem. Hehad 3 sons devavratha aka beeshma, vichithra veerya & Chitrāngada.

» first son beeshma rejected the crown for stepbrothers

» chitthrangatha got killed while vichitraveerya died after marrage.

Now the complicated part. Who can be the kind according to lineage?

He have to be child born from worm of Queen from one of the following Methods

  1. child of king

  2. child of relative of king ( pandu& dridharastra. Since vyasa is step brother of vichithraveerya)

3)child from gods(pandavas)

This is the reason why vidura was not choosen. He was son of vyasa but not the child of queens.

»so children of ambalika or ambika becomes next king Here comes the next problem. There are some qualifications A king need. One of them is EYE SIGHT. thats why instead Of dridharastra, pandu became king since having discoloration in skin won't Effect The duty of king.

» now next part did dridharastra became king after death of pandu? No he was self made king. He never crowned like in movies or serials. He was a representative not real king thats why yudhistira was crowned next king by dridharastra. Since he is the son of LAST KING.

» reason 2, out of the all princes ( since dridharastra Never became king) yudhistira is the oldest so he is the rightful king in next generation. Note: thats why gandari got angry when heard kunti became mOther first since that make kunti's son next king.

I think now its clear why Yudhistira. Is the rightful king due to lineage...

» » » »

  • 2
    Welcome to Hinduism SE! Could you please add authentic sources for your answer? To learn more please visit how-to-answer section.
    – TheLittleNaruto
    Commented Oct 8, 2020 at 6:20
  • Read bori. I refer it since they made it through research ing for 50+ years Commented Dec 24, 2020 at 4:35
  • Yeah Can you add Bori reference? Like which page number of which work/book.
    – TheLittleNaruto
    Commented Dec 24, 2020 at 6:33

Very much well posed question. If we step back a few years we will see that the doubt of "who will inherit the throne" arose just after Duryodhana was born.

Question no. 1: Who could question the inheritance of the King's son?
Ans: He/They have to be someone holding similar power (if not less) than the king (Dhritarashtra) himself. Now, here we sense a bit of politics. So, the threat - that someone else (obviously, Yudhishthira) was going to claim the throne in future - persisted from the very beginning. Quite naturally, Dhritarashtra, the King, and also his son Duryodhana would not like it.

Question no. 2: Why couldn't the all-powerful king reject Kunti with her five juvenile sons' plea for asylum in the kingdom?
Ans: The reason is again the same. It is quite sure that a had conspiracy cropped up and the king could do nothing to check it.

This answers the Question.

Selection of the heir was beyond the scope of Dhritarashtra.


Everyone is moving on the periphery of the problem. The real problem of that era or even now has been a patriarchial, Verna, and caste system. Because of these problems, a deserving person was refused his right. After the Bhisma's refusal to the throne, Satyavati was the most deserving candidate, but she was denied the coveted position as she was a woman. Amongst the three heirs, namely Dhritarashtra, Pandu, and Vidur, Vidur was the most deserving candidate, but he was refused the coveted position because his mother was shudra. And last, but not least, between the Suyodhan (Duryodhan) and Yudhishtra, Duryodhan was a more knowledgeable, powerful, judicious, and righteous person. However, Yudhishtra, on the other hand, a gambler, polygamous, a believer in the varna and caste system did not deserve to be the king. But finally, with the help of Krishna (Relative of Kunti and brother-in-law of Arjun) and power, he dethroned a deserving person.

  • 3
    Welcome to Hinduism SE! Could you add authentic source for this statement of yours? "Duryodhan was a more knowledgeable, powerful, judicious, and righteous person. However, Yudhishtra, on the other hand, a gambler, polygamous, a believer in the varna and caste system did not deserve to be the king."
    – TheLittleNaruto
    Commented Oct 7, 2020 at 10:51

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