Chapter 29

Mahabharata English - ARANYAKA PARVA

Yudhishthira said, ‘Anger is the slayer of men and is again theirprosperor. Know this, O thou possessed of great wisdom, that anger is theroot of all prosperity and all adversity. O thou beautiful one, he thatsuppresseth his anger earneth prosperity. That man, again, who alwaysgiveth way to anger, reapeth adversity from his fierce anger. It is seenin this world that anger is the cause of destruction of every creature.How then can one like me indulge his anger which is so destructive of theworld? The angry man commiteth sin. The angry man killeth even hispreceptors. The angry man insulteth even his superiors in harsh words.The man that is angry faileth to distinguish between what should be saidand what should not. There is no act that an angry man may not do, noword that an angry man may not utter. From anger a man may slay one thatdeserveth not to be slain, and may worship one that deserveth to beslain. The angry man may even send his own soul to the regions of Yama.Beholding all these faults, the wise control their anger, desirous ofobtaining high prosperity both in this and the other world. It is forthis that they of tranquil souls have banished wrath. How can one like usindulge in it then? O daughter of Drupada, reflecting upon all this, myanger is not excited One that acteth not against a man whose wrath hathbeen up, rescueth himself as also others from great fear. In fact, he maybe regarded to be the physician of the two (viz., himself and angry man).If a weak man, persecuted by others, foolishly becometh angry towards menthat are mightier than he, he then becometh himself the cause of his owndestruction. And in respect of one who thus deliberately throweth awayhis life, there are no regions hereafter to gain. Therefore, O daughterof Drupada, it hath been said that a weak man should always suppress hiswrath. And the wise man also who though presecuted, suffereth not hiswrath to be roused, joyeth in the other world–having passed hispersecutor over in indifference. It is for this reason hath it been saidthat a wise man, whether strong or weak, should ever forgive hispersecutor even when the latter is in the straits. It is for this, OKrishna, that the virtuous applaud them that have conquered their wrath.Indeed, it is the opinion of the virtuous that the honest and forgivingman is ever victorious. Truth is more beneficial than untruth; andgentleness than cruel behaviour. How can one like me, therefore, even forthe purpose of slaying Duryodhana, exhibit anger which hath so manyfaults and which the virtuous banish from their souls? They that areregarded by the learned of foresight, as possessed of (true) force ofcharacter, are certainly those who are wrathful in outward show only. Menof learning and of true insight call him to be possessed of force ofcharacter who by his wisdom can suppress his risen wrath. O thou of fairhips, the angry man seeth not things in their true light. The man that isangry seeth not his way, nor respecteth persons. The angry man killetheven those that deserve not to be killed. The man of wrath slayeth evenhis preceptors. Therefore, the man possessing force of character shouldever banish wrath to a distance. The man that is overwhelmed with wrathacquireth not with ease generosity, dignity, courage, skill, and otherattributes belonging to real force of character. A man by forsaking angercan exhibit proper energy, whereas, O wise one, it is highly difficultfor the angry man to exhibit his energy at the proper time! The ignorantalways regard anger as equivalent to energy. Wrath, however hath beengiven to man for the destruction of the world. The man, therefore, whowisheth to behave properly, must ever forsake anger. Even one who hathabandoned the excellent virtues of his own order, it is certain,indulgeth in wrath (if behaveth properly). If fools, of mind withoutlight, transgress in every respect, how, O faultless one, can one like metransgress (like them)? If amongst men there were not persons equal untothe earth in forgiveness, there would be no peace among men but continuedstrife caused by wrath. If the injured return their injuries, if onechastised by his superior were to chastise his superior in return, theconsequence would be the destruction of every creature, and sin alsowould prevail in the world. If the man who hath ill speeches fromanother, returneth those speeches afterwards; if the injured manreturneth his injuries: if the chastised person chastiseth in return; iffathers slay sons, and sons fathers and if husbands slay wives, and wiveshusbands; then, O Krishna, how can birth take place in a world whereanger prevaileth so! For, O thou of handsome face, know that the birth ofcreatures is due to peace! If the kings also, O Draupadi, giveth way towrath, his subjects soon meet with destruction. Wrath, therefore, hathfor its consequence the destruction and the distress of the people. Andbecause it is seen that there are in the world men who are forgiving likethe Earth, it is therefore that creatures derive their life andprosperity. O beautiful one, one should forgive under every injury. Ithath been said that the continuation of species is due to man beingforgiving. He, indeed, is a wise and excellent person who hath conqueredhis wrath and who showeth forgiveness even when insulted, oppressed, andangered by a strong person. The man of power who controleth his wrath,hath (for his enjoyment) numerous everlasting regions; while he that isangry, is called foolish, and meeteth with destruction both in this andthe other world. O Krishna, the illustrious and forgiving Kashyapa hath,in this respect, sung the following verses in honour of men that are everforgiving, ‘Forgiveness is virtue; forgiveness is sacrifice, forgivenessis the Vedas, forgiveness is the Shruti. He that knoweth this is capableof forgiving everything. Forgiveness is Brahma; forgiveness is truth;forgiveness is stored ascetic merit; forgiveness protecteth the asceticmerit of the future; forgiveness is asceticism; forgiveness is holiness;and by forgiveness is it that the universe is held together. Persons thatare forgiving attain to the regions obtainable by those that havepreformed meritorious sacrifices, or those that are well-conversant withthe Vedas, or those that have high ascetic merit. Those that performVedic sacrifices as also those that perform the meritorious rites ofreligion obtain other regions. Men of forgiveness, however, obtain thosemuch-adored regions that are in the world of Brahma. Forgiveness is themight of the mighty; forgiveness is sacrifice; forgiveness is quiet ofmind. How, O Krishna, can one like us abandon forgiveness, which is such,and in which are established Brahma, and truth, and wisdom and theworlds? The man of wisdom should ever forgive, for when he is capable offorgiving everything, he attaineth to Brahma. The world belongeth tothose that are forgiving; the other world is also theirs. The forgivingacquire honours here, and a state of blessedness hereafter. Those menthat ever conquer their wrath by forgiveness, obtain the higher regions.Therefore hath it been said that forgiveness is the highest virtue.’Those are the verses sung by Kashyapa in respect of those that areeverforgiving. Having listened, O Draupadi, to these verses in respect offorgiveness, content thyself! Give not way to thy wrath! Our grandsire,the son of Santanu, will worship peace; Krishna, the son of Devaki, willworship peace; the preceptor (Drona) and Vidura called Kshatri will bothspeak of peace; Kripa and Sanjaya also will preach peace. And Somadattaand Yuyutshu and Drona’s son and our grandsire Vyasa, every one of themspeaketh always of peace. Ever urged by these towards peace, the king(Dhritarashtra) will, I think, return us our kingdom. If however, heyieldeth to temptation, he will meet with destruction. O lady, a crisishath come in the history of Bharatas for plunging them into calamity!This hath been my certain conclusion from some time before! Suyodhanadeserveth not the kingdom. Therefore hath he been unable to acquireforgiveness. I, however, deserve the sovereignty and therefore is it thatforgiveness hath taken possession of me. Forgiveness and gentleness arethe qualities of the self-possessed. They represent eternal virtue. Ishall, therefore, truly adopt those qualities.”

Chapter 28
Chapter 30