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Chapter 68

Mahabharata English - ASWAMEDHA PARVA

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Thus addressed, O king, (by his sister and others),the slayer of Kesin, exceedingly afflicted by grief, answered,–‘So beit!’–These words were uttered with sufficient loudness and theygladdened all the inmates of the inner apartments of the palace. Thepuissant Krishna, that foremost of men, by uttering these words,gladdened all the people assembled there, like one pouring cold water ona person afflicted with sweat. He then quickly entered the lying-in roomin which thy sire was born. It was duly sanctified, O chief of men, withmany garlands of white flowers, with many well-filled water pots arrangedon every side; with charcoal, soaked in ghee, of Tinduka wood, andmustard seeds, O thou of mighty arms; with shining weapons properlyarrayed, and several fires on every side. And it was peopled by manyagreeable and aged dames summoned for waiting (upon thy grandmother). Itwas also surrounded by many well-skilled and clever physicians, O thou ofgreat intelligence. Endued with great energy, he also saw there allarticles that are destructive of Rakshasas, duly placed by personsconversant with the subject. Beholding the lying-in room in which thysire was born thus equipt, Hrishikesa became very glad andsaid,–‘Excellent, Excellent!’ When he of Vrishni’s race said so andpresented such a cheerful countenance, Draupadi, repairing thither withgreat speed, addressed the daughter of Virata, saying,–‘O blessed lady,here comes to thee thy father-in-law, the slayer of Madhu, that ancientRishi of inconceivable soul, that unvanquished one.’–Virata’s daughter,checking her tears, said these words in a voice suffocated with grief.Covering herself properly, the princess waited for Krishna like thedeities reverentially waiting for him. The helpless lady, with heartagitated by grief, beholding Govinda coming, indulged in theselamentations; O lotus-eyed one, behold us two deprived of our child. OJanarddana, both Abhimanyu and myself have been equally slain. O thou ofVrishni’s race, O slayer of Madhu, I seek to gratify thee by bending myhead, O hero, unto thee. Do thou revive this child of mine that has beenconsumed by the weapon of Drona’s son. If king Yudhishthira the just, orBhimasena, or thyself, O lotus-eyed one, had, on that occasion, said,’Let the blade of grass (inspired by Aswatthaman into a Brahma-weapon)destroy the unconscious mother’–O puissant one, then I would have beendestroyed and this (sad occurrence) would not have happened. Alas, whatbenefit has been reaped by Drona’s son by accomplishing this cruel deed,viz., the destruction of the child in the womb by his Brahma-weapon. Theself-same mother now seeks to gratify thee, O slayer of foes, by bendingher head. Surely, O Govinda, I shall cast off my life-breaths if thischild does not revive. In him, O righteous one, were placed manyexpectations by me. Alas, when these have been frustrated by Drona’s son,what need have I, O Kesava, to bear, the burden of life? The hope, OKrishna, was cherished by me that with my child on my lap, O Janarddana,I would salute thee with reverence. Alas, O Kesava, that hope has beendestroyed. O foremost of all beings, at the death of this heir ofAbhimanyu of restless eyes, all the hopes in my breast have beendestroyed. Abhimanyu of restless eyes, O slayer of Madhu, was exceedinglydear to thee. Behold this child of his slain by the Brahma-weapon. Thischild is very ungrateful and very heartless, like his sire, for, behold,disregarding the prosperity and affluence of the Pandavas, he has gone toYama’s abode. I had, before this, vowed, O Kesava, that if Abhimanyu fellon the field of battle, O hero, I would follow him without any loss oftime. I did not, however, keep my vow, cruel that I am and fond of life.If I repair to him now, what, indeed, will Phalguna’s son say?'”

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