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Chapter 14

Mahabharata English - ARANYAKA PARVA

“Yudhishthira said, ‘O Krishna, why wert thou absent (from the Anarttacountry)? And, O descendant of the Vrishni race, while thou wert away,where didst thou dwell? And what didst thou do while out of thy kingdom?’

“Krishna said, ‘O bull of the Bharata race, I had gone for the purpose ofdestroying the (arranging) city Salwa. And, O foremost of the Kauravas,listen to the reasons I had for so doing! The heroic son of Damaghosha,the well-known king Sisupala of mighty arms and great energy, was slainby me, O best of Bharatas, at thy Rajasuya sacrifice, because that wickedone could not from anger bear to see the first worship offered to me!Hearing that he had been slain, Salwa, burning with fierce anger, came toDwaraka, while, O Bharata, it was empty, myself being away, residing withyou here. And having arrived there on a car made of precious metals andhence called the Souva, he had an encounter with the youthful princes ofthe Vrishni race–those bulls of that line–and fought With themmercilessly. And slaughtering many youthful Vrishnis of heroic valour,the wicked one devastated all the gardens of the city. And, O thou ofmighty arms, he said, ‘Where is that wretch of the Vrishni race,Vasudeva, the evil-souled son of Vasudeva? I will humble in battle thepride of that person so eager for fight! Tell me truly, O Anarttas! Iwill go there where he is. And after killing that slayer of Kansa andKesi, will I return! By my weapon I swear that I will not return with outslaying him!’ And exclaiming repeatedly–Where is he? Where is he? thelord of Saubha rusheth to this place and that, desirous of encounteringme in battle? And Salwa also said, ‘Impelled by wrath for the destructionof Sisupala I shall today send to the mansion of Yama that treacherousmiscreant of mean mind?’ And, O king, he further said, ‘That Janardanashall I slay, who, wretch that he is, hath killed my brother who was buta boy of tender years, and who was slain not on the field of battle,unprepared as he was!’ Having, O great king, wailed thus, and having, Oson of the Kuru race, abused me thus, he rose into the sky on his car ofprecious metals capable of going anywhere at will! On returning (to mykingdom) I heard what, O Kaurava, the evil-minded and wicked king ofMaticka had said regarding myself! And, O descendant of the Kuru race, Iwas agitated with wrath, and, O king, having reflected upon everything, Iset my heart upon slaying him! And, learning, O Kauravya, of hisoppression of the Anarttas, of his abuse of myself, and of his excessivearrogance, I resolved upon the destruction of that wretch! And, O lord ofearth, I accordingly set out (from my city), for slaying the (lord of)the Saubha. And searching him here and there, I found him in an island inthe midst of the ocean! Then, O king, blowing my conch called thePanchajanya obtained from the sea, and challenging Salwa to combat, Istood for the fight! At that instant, I had an encounter with numerousDanavas, all of whom, however, I subdued and prostrated on the ground. Omighty-armed one, it was owing to this affair that I could not then come(unto thee)! As soon as I heard of the unfair game of dice at Hastinapur,I have come here desirous of seeing ye who have been plunged indistress.'”

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