“Dhritarashtra said, ‘O Muni of profound wisdom, it is even as thousayest! I know it well as do all these kings! Indeed, what thouconsiderest to be beneficial for the Kurus was pointed out to me, O Muni,by Vidura and Bhishma and Drona. And, if I deserve thy favour, and ifthou hast kindness for the Kurus, do thou exhort my wicked sonDuryodhana!’
“Vyasa said, ‘O king, after having seen the Pandava brothers, here comeththe holy Rishi Maitreya, with the desire of seeing us. That mighty Rishi,O king, will admonish thy son for the welfare of this race. And, OKauravya, what he adviseth must be followed undoubtingly, for if what herecommendeth is not done, the sage will curse thy son in anger.’
“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Saying this, Vyasa departed, and Maitreya madehis appearance. And the king with his son respectfully received thatway-worn chief of Munis, with offerings of the Arghya and other rites.And king Dhritarashtra, the son of Amvika, in words of respect thusaddressed the sage, ‘O holy one, hath journey from the Kuru-jangala beena pleasant one? Are those heroes, the five Pandavas living happily? Dothose bulls of the Kuru race intend to stay out their time? Will thebrotherly affection of the Kauravas ever be impaired?’
“Maitreya said, ‘Setting out on a pilgrimage to the different shrines, Iarrived at Kuru-jangala, and there I unexpectedly saw Yudhishthira thejust in the woods of Kamyaka. And, O exalted one, many Munis had comethere to behold the high-souled Yudhishthira, dwelling in an asceticasylum, clad in deer-skin and wearing matted locks. It was there, O kingof kings, that I heard of the grave error committed by thy sons and thecalamity and terrible danger arisen from dice that had overtaken them.Therefore, it is that I have come to thee, for the good of the Kauravas,since, O exalted one, my affection is great for thee and I am delightedwith thee! O king, it is not fit that thy sons should on any accountquarrel with one another, thyself and Bhishma living. Thou art, O king,the stake at which bulls are tied (in treading cord), and thou artcompetent to punish and reward! Why dost thou overlook then this greatevil that is about to overtake all? And, O descendant of the Kurus, forthose wrongs that have been perpetrated in thy court, which are even likethe acts of wretched outcasts, thou art not well-thought amongst theascetics!’
“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Then turning to the wrathful prince Duryodhana,the illustrious Rishi Maitreya addressed him in these soft words, ‘Omighty-armed Duryodhana, O best of all eloquent men, O illustrious one,give heed unto the words I utter for my good! O king, seek not to quarrelwith the Pandavas! And, O bull among men, compass thou thy own good asalso of the Pandavas, of the Kurus and of the world! All those tigersamong men are heroes of high prowess in war, gifted with the strength often thousand elephants, with bodies hard as the thunderbolt, holding fastby their promises, and proud of their manliness! they have slain theenemies of the celestials–those Rakshasas capable of assuming any format will, such as were headed by Hidimva and Kirmira! When thosehigh-souled ones went from hence that Rakshasa of fierce soul obstructedtheir nocturnal path even like an immoveable hill. And even as a tigerslayeth a little deer, Bhima, that foremost of all endued with strength,and ever delighted in fight, slew that monster. Consider also, O king,how while out on his campaign of conquest, Bhima slew in battle thatmighty warrior, Jarasandha, possessing the strength of ten thousandelephants. Related to Vasudeva and having the sons of king Drupada astheir brothers-in-law, who that is subject to decrepitude and death wouldundertake to cope with them in battle? O bull of the Bharata race, letthere be peace between thee and Pandavas! Follow thou my counsels andsurrender not thyself to anger!
‘O king, thus admonished by Maitreya, Duryodhana began to slap his thighresembling the trunk of the elephant, and smilingly began to scratch theground with his foot. And the wicked wretch spake not a word, but hungdown his head. And, O monarch, beholding Duryodhana thus offer him aslight by scratching the earth silently, Maitreya became angry. And, asif commissioned by fate, Maitreya, the best of Munis, overwhelmed bywrath, set his mind upon cursing Duryodhana! And then, with eyes red inanger, Maitreya, touching water, caused the evil-minded son ofDhritarashtra, saying, ‘Since, slighting me thou declinest to actaccording to my words, thou shalt speedily reap the fruit of this thyinsolence! In the great war which shall spring out of the wrongsperpetrated by thee, the mighty Bhima shall smash that thigh of thinewith a stroke of his mace!
‘When the Muni had spoken so, king Dhritarashtra began to pacify thesage, in order that what he had said might not happen. But Maitreya said,’O king, if thy son concludeth peace with the Pandavas, this curse ofmine, O child, will not take effect, otherwise it must be as I have said!’
“Vaisampayana said, ‘Desirous of ascertaining the might of Bhima, thatforemost of kings, the father of Duryodhana, then asked Maitreya, saying,’How was Kirmira slain by Bhima?’
“Maitreya said, ‘I shall not speak again unto thee, O king, for my wordsare not regarded by thy son. After I have gone away, Vidura will relateeverything unto thee!’ And saying this, Maitreya went away to the placewhence he had come. And Duryodhana also went out perturbed at the tidingsof Kirmira’s death (at the hand of Bhima).'”