Chapter 80

Mahabharata English - ASWAMEDHA PARVA

“Vaisampayana said, ‘That lady of eyes like lotus petals, having indulgedin copious lamentations, and burning with grief, at last lost her sensesand fell down on the Earth. Regaining consciousness and seeing Ulupi, thedaughter of the snake chief, queen Chitrangada endued with celestialbeauty, said unto her these words, ‘Behold. O Ulupi, our ever-victorioushusband slain in battle, through thee, by my son of tender years. Artthou conversant with the practices of the respectable? Art thou a wifedevoted to thy lord? It is through thy deed that thy husband is laid low,slain in battle. If Dhananjaya hath offended against thee in everyrespect, do thou forgive him I solicit thee, do thou revive that hero. Orighteous lady, thou art conversant with piety. Thou art, O blessed one,known (for thy virtues) over the three worlds. How is it that havingcaused thy husband to be slain by my son, thou dost not indulge in grief?O daughter of the snake chief, I do not grieve for my slain son. I grievefor only my husband who has received this hospitality from his son.’Having said these words unto the queenly Ulupi, the daughter of the snakechief, the illustrious Chitrangada proceeded to where her husband lay onthe Earth and addressing him, said, ‘Rise, O dear lord, thou occupiestthe foremost place in the affections of the Kuru king (Yudhishthira).Here is that steed of thine. It has been set free by me. Verily, Opuissant one, this sacrificial steed of king Yudhishthira the just,should be followed by thee. Why then dost thou lie still on the Earth? Mylife-breaths depend on thee, O delighter of the Kurus. How is it that hewho is the giver of other people’s life-breaths casts off his ownlife-breaths today? Behold, O Ulupi, this goodly sight of thy husbandlying prostrate on the ground. How is it that thou dost not grieve,having caused him to be slain through my son when thou didst excite withthy words? It is fit that this boy should succumb to the power of deathand lie thus on the ground beside his own sire. Oh, let Vijaya, let himthat is called Gudakesa, let this hero with reddish eyes, come back Olife. O blessed lady, polygamy is not fault with men. Women only incurfault by taking more than one husband. Do not, therefore, harbour suchthoughts (of vengeance).[196] This relationship was ordained by theSupreme ordainer himself. It is, besides, an eternal and unchangeableone. Do thou attend to that relationship. Let thy union (with Dhananjaya)be made true. If, having slain thy husband through my son, thou dost notrevive him today before my eyes, I shall then cast off my life-breaths.Without doubt, O reverend lady, afflicted as I am with grief and deprivedas I am of both husband and son, I shall sit here today in Praya in thyvery sight!’ Having said so unto the daughter of the snake chief, who wasa co-wife with her to Arjuna, the princess Chaitravahini sat in Praya, Oking, restraining speech.'[197]

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Ceasing to lament, the cheerless queen, takingupon her lap the feet of her husband, sat there, sighing heavily andwishing also the restoration of her son to life. King Vabhruvahana then,regaining consciousness, saw his mother seated in that guise on the fieldof battle. Addressing her he said, ‘What can be more painful than thesight of my mother, who has been brought up in luxury, lying on the bareground beside her heroic husband stretched thereon? Alas, this slayer ofall foes, this foremost of all wielders of weapons, hath been slain by mein battle, It is evident that men do not die till their hour comes.[198]Oh, the heart of this princess seems to be very hard since it does notbreak even at the sight of her mighty-armed and broad-chested husbandlying dead on the ground. It is evident that one does not die till one’shour comes, since neither myself, nor my mother is deprived of life (ateven such a sight). Alas, alas, the golden coat of mail of this foremosthero of Kuru’s race, slain by me, his son, knowingly, is lying on theground, cut off from his body. Alas, ye Brahmanas, behold my heroic sirelying prostrate on the Earth, on a hero’s bed, slain by his son. Whatbenefit is done to this hero, slain by me in battle, by those Brahmanaswho were commissioned to attend upon this foremost one of Kuru’s raceengaged in following the steed? Let the Brahmanas direct what expiationshould now be undergone by me, a cruel and sinful wretch, that has slainhis own sire in battle. Having slain my own sire, I should, sufferingevery kind of misery, wander over the Earth, cruel that I am, coveringmyself with his skin. Give me the two halves of my sire’s head to day,(so that I may wander over the Earth with them for that period), forthere is no other expiation for me that have slain my own sire. Behold, Odaughter of the foremost of snakes, thy husband slain by me. Verily, byslaying Arjuna in battle I have accomplished what is agreeable to thee. Ishall today follow in the track by which my sire has gone. O blessed one,I am unable to comfort myself. Be happy today, O mother, seeing myselfand the wielder of Gandiva both embrace death today. I swear to thee bytruth itself (that I shall castoff my life-breaths).’ Having said thesewords, the king, deeply afflicted with grief, O monarch, touched water,and exclaimed in sorrow, ‘Let all creatures, mobile and immobile, listento me. Do thou also listen to me, O mother. I say the truth, O best ofall daughters of the snakes. If this best of men, Jaya, my sire, does notrise up, I shall emaciate my own body, sitting on the field of battle.Having slain my sire, there is no rescue for me (from that dire sin).Afflicted as I am with the sin of slaying my sire, I shall without doubthave to sink in Hell. By slaying a heroic Kshatriya one becomes cleansedby making a gift of a hundred kine. By slaying my sire, however, so direhas been my sin that my I rescue is impossible. This Dhananjaya, the sonof Pandu, was the one hero endued with mighty energy. Possessed ofrighteous soul, he was the author of my being. How can I be rescued afterhaving slain him? Having uttered these lamentations, the high-souled sonof Dhananjaya, king Vabhruvahana, touched water and became silent, vowingto starve himself to death.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘When the king of Manipura, that chastiser offoes, afflicted with grief, along with his mother, sat down to starvehimself to death, Ulupi then thought of the gem that has the virtue ofreviving a dead man. The gem, the great refuge of the snakes, thusthought of, came there. The daughter of the prince of snakes taking itup, uttered these words that highly gladdened the combatants standing onthe field. ‘Rise up, O son. Do not grieve. Jishnu has not been vanquishedby thee. This hero is incapable of being vanquished by men as also by thedeities with Vasava himself at their head I have exhibited this illusion,deceiving your senses, for the benefit of this foremost of men, viz., thyillustrious sire. O thou of Kuru’s race, desirous of ascertaining theprowess of thyself, his son, this slayer of hostile heroes, O king, camehere for battling with thee. It was for that reason, O son, that thouwert urged by me to do battle. O puissant king, O son, do not suspectthat thou hast committed any, even the least, fault, by accepting hischallenge. He is a Rishi, of a mighty soul, eternal and indestructible. Odear son, Sakra himself is incapable of vanquishing him in battle. Thiscelestial gem has been brought by me, O king. It always revives thesnakes as often as they die. O puissant king, do thou place this gem onthe breast of thy sire. Thou shalt then see the son of Pandu revived.’Thus addressed, the prince who had committed no sin, moved by affectionfor his sire, then placed that gem on the breast of Pritha’s son ofimmeasurable energy. After the gem had been placed on his breast; theheroic and puissant Jishnu became revived. Opening his red eyes he roseup like one who had slept long. Beholding his sire, the high-souled heroof great energy, restored to consciousness and quite at his ease,Vabhruvahana worshipped him with reverence. When that tiger among men, Opuissant one, awoke from the slumber of death with every auspicious signof life, the chastiser of Paka rained down celestial flowers.Kettle-drums struck by nobody, produced their music deep as the roar ofthe cloud. A loud uproar was heard in the welkin consisting of thewords–Excellent, Excellent! The mighty-armed Dhananjaya, rising up andwell-comforted, embraced Vabhruvahana and smelled his head. He sawsitting at a distance from his son, this latter’s mother afflicted withgrief, in the company of Ulupi. Dhananjaya asked,–‘Why is it that everything in the field of battle seems to bear the indications of grief,wonder, and joy? If, O slayer of foes, the cause is known to thee, dothou then tell me. Why has thy mother come to the field of battle? Whyalso has Ulupi, the daughter of the prince of snakes, come here? I knowthat thou hadst fought this battle with me at my own command. I desire toknow what the cause is that has brought out the ladies.’ The intelligentruler of Manipura, thug questioned by Dhananjaya, gratified him bybending his head in reverence, and then said,–‘Let Ulupi be questioned.’

Chapter 81
Chapter 79
Rate This Article: