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Chapter 15

Mahabharata English - BHISHMA PARVA

Sanjaya said,–“Deserving as thou art, this question is, indeed, worthyof thee, O great king. It behoveth thee not, however, to impute thisfault to Duryodhana. The man who incurreth evil as the consequence of hisown misconduct, should not attribute that misconduct to others. O greatking, the man that doth every kind of injury to other men, deserveth tobe slain by all men in consequence of those censurable deeds of his. ThePandavas unacquainted with the ways of wickedness had, for a long time,with their friends and counsellors, looking up to thy face, borne theinjuries (done to them) and forgiven them, dwelling in the woods.

“Of steeds and elephants and kings of immeasurable energy that which hathbeen seen by the aid of Yoga-power, hear, O lord of earth, and do not setthy heart on sorrow. All this was pre-destined, O king. Having bowed downto thy father, that (wise and high-souled[88]) son of Parasara, throughwhose grace, (through whose boon bestowed on me,) I have obtainedexcellent and celestial apprehension, sight beyond the range of thevisual sense, and hearing, O king, from great distance, knowledge ofother people’s hearts and also of the past and the future, a knowledgealso of the origin of all persons transgressing the ordinances,[89] thedelightful power of coursing through the skies, and untouchableness byweapons in battles, listen to me in detail as I recite the romantic andhighly wonderful battle that happened between the Bharatas, a battle thatmakes one’s hair stand on end.

“When the combatants were arrayed according to rule and when they wereaddrest for battle. Duryodhana, O king, said these words to Dussasana,–ODussasana, let cars be speedily directed for the protection of Bhishma,and do thou speedily urge all our divisions (to advance). That hath nowcome to me of which I had been thinking for a series of years, viz., themeeting of the Pandavas and the Kurus at the head of their respectivetroops. I do not think that there is any act more important (for us) inthis battle than the protecting of Bhishma. If protected he will slay thePandavas, the Somakas, and the Srinjayas. That warrior of pure soulsaid,–‘I will not slay Sikhandin. It is heard that he was a femalebefore. For this reason he should be renounced by me in battle. For this,Bhishma should be particularly protected. Let all my warriors take uptheir positions, resolved to slay Sikhandin. Let also all the troops fromthe east, the west, the south, and the north, accomplished in every kindof weapon, protect the grandsire. Even the lion of mighty strength, ifleft unprotected may be slain by the wolf. Let us not, therefore, causeBhishma to be slain by Sikhandin like the lion slain by the jackal.Yudhamanyu protects the left wheel, and Uttamauja protects the rightwheel of Phalguni. Protected by those two, Phalguni himself protectsSikhandin. O Dussasana, act in such a way that Sikhandin who is protectedby Phalguni and whom Bhishma will renounce, may not slay Ganga’s son.”

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