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Chapter 2

Mahabharata English - ASWAMEDHA PARVA

“Vaisampayana said, “Thus addressed by the intelligent king DhritarashtraYudhishthira, possessed of understanding, became calm. And then Kesava(Krishna) accosted him,–‘If a person indulges excessively in sorrow forhis departed forefathers, he grieves them. (Therefore, banishing grief),do thou (now) celebrate many a sacrifice with suitable presents to thepriests; and do thou gratify the gods with Soma liquor, and the manes ofthy forefathers with their due food and drink. Do thou also gratify thyguests with meat and drink and the destitute with gifts commensurate withtheir desires. A person of thy high intelligence should not bear himselfthus. What ought to be known hath been known by thee; what ought to bedone, hath also been performed. And thou hast heard the duties of theKshatriyas, recited by Bhishma, the son of Bhagirathi, by KrishnaDwaipayana, Narada and Vidura. Therefore thou shouldst not walk the wayof the stupid; but pursuing the course of thy forefathers, sustain theburthen (of the empire). It is meet that a Kshatriya should attain heavenfor certain by his (own) renown. Of heroes, those that came to be slainnever shall have to turn away (from the celestial regions). Renounce thygrief, O mighty sovereign. Verily, what hath happened was destined tohappen so. Thou canst in no wise see those that have been slain in thiswar.–Having said this unto Yudhishthira, prince of the pious, thehigh-spirited Govinda paused; and Yudhishthira answered him thus, ‘OGovinda, full well do I know thy fondness for me. Thou hast ever favouredme with thy love and thy friendship. And, O holder of the mace and thediscus. O scion of Yadu’s race, O glorious one, if (now) with a pleasedmind thou dost permit me to go to the ascetic’s retreat in the woods,then thou wouldst compass what is highly desired by me. Peace find I noneafter having slain my grand-father, and that foremost of men, Karna, whonever fled from the field of battle. Do thou, O Janarddana, so order thatI may be freed from this heinous sin and that my mind may be purified. AsPritha’s son was speaking thus, the highly-energetic Vyasa, cognisant ofthe duties of life, soothing him, spoke these excellent words, My child,thy mind is not yet calmed; and therefore thou art again stupefied by achildish sentiment. And wherefore, O child, do we over and over againscatter our speech to the winds? Thou knowest duties of the Kshatriyas,who live by warfare. A king that hath performed his proper part shouldnot suffer himself to be overwhelmed by sorrow. Thou hast faithfullylistened to the entire doctrine of salvation; and I have repeatedlyremoved thy misgivings arising out of desire. But not paying due heed towhat I have unfolded, thou of perverse understanding hast doubtlessforgotten it clean. Be it not so. Such ignorance is not worthy of thee. Osinless one, thou knowest all kinds, of expiation; and thou hast alsoheard of the virtues of kings as well as the merits of gifts. Whereforethen, O Bharata, acquainted with every morality and versed in all theAgamas, art thou overwhelmed (with grief) as if from ignorance?'”

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