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Chapter 7

Mahabharata English - ARANYAKA PARVA

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Hearing that Vidura had returned, and that the kinghad consoled him, the evil-minded son of Dhritarashtra began to burn ingrief. His understanding clouded by ignorance, he summoned the son ofSuvala, and Karna and Dussasana, and addressed them saying, ‘The learnedVidura, the minister of the wise Dhritarashtra, hath returned! The friendof the sons of Pandu, he is ever engaged in doing what is beneficial tothem. So long as this Vidura doth not succeed in inducing the king tobring them back, do ye all think of what may benefit me! If ever I beholdthe sons of Pritha return to the city, I shall again be emaciated byrenouncing food and drink, even though there be no obstacle in my path!And I shall either take poison or hang myself, either enter the pyre orkill myself with my own weapons. But I shall never be able to behold thesons of Pandu in prosperity!

“Sakuni said, ‘O king, O lord of the earth, what folly hath takenpossession of thee! The Pandavas have gone to the forest, having given aparticular pledge, so that what thou apprehendest can never take place! Obull of the Bharata race, the Pandavas ever abide by the truth. They willnever, therefore, accept the words of thy father! If however, acceptingthe commands of the king, they come back to the capital, violating theirvow, even this would be our conduct, viz., assuming, an aspect ofneutrality, and in apparent obedience to the will of the monarch, we willclosely watch the Pandavas, keeping our counsels!’

“Dussasana said, ‘O uncle of great intelligence, it is even as thousayest! The words of wisdom thou utterest always recommend themselves tome!'”Karna said, ‘O Duryodhana, all of us seek to accomplish thy willand, O king, I see that unanimity at present prevaileth among us! Thesons of Pandu, with passions under complete control, will never returnwithout passing away the promised period. If, however, they do returnfrom failing sense, do thou defeat them again at dice.’

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Thus addressed by Karna, king Duryodhana withcheerless heart, averted his face from his counsellors. Marking all this,Karna expanding his beautiful eyes, and vehemently gesticulating inanger, haughtily addressed Duryodhana and Dussasana and Suvala’s sonsaying, ‘Ye princes, know ye my opinion! We are all servants of the king(Duryodhana) waiting upon him with joined palms! We should, therefore, dowhat is agreeable to him! But we are not always able to seek his welfarewith promptness and activity (owing to our dependence on Dhritarashtra)!But let us now, encased in mail and armed with our weapons, mount ourcars and go in a body to slay the Pandavas now living in the forest!After the Pandavas have been quieted and after they have gone on theunknown journey, both ourselves and the sons of Dhritarashtra will findpeace! As long as they are in distress, as long as they are in sorrow, aslong as they are destitute of help, so long are we a match for them! Thisis my mind!’

‘Hearing those words of the charioteer’s son, they repeatedly applaudedhim, and at last exclaimed, ‘Very well!’ And saying this each of themmounted his car, and sanguine of success, they rushed in a body to slaythe sons of Pandu. And knowing by his spiritual vision that they had goneout, the master Krishna-Dwaipayana of pure soul came upon them, andcommanded them to desist. And sending them away, the holy one, worshippedby all the worlds, quickly appeared before the king whose intelligenceserved the purposes of eye-sight, and who was then seated (at his ease).And the holy one addressed the monarch thus.'”

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