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Chapter 21

Mahabharata English - BHISHMA PARVA

Sanjaya said,–“Beholding the vast Dhartarashtra army ready for battle,king Yudhisthira, the son of Kunti, gave way to grief. Seeing thatimpenetrable array formed by Bhishma and regarding it as reallyimpenetrable, the king became pale and addressed Arjuna, saying,–O,mighty-armed Dhananjaya, how shall we be able to fight in battle with theDhartarashtras who have the Grandsire for their (chief) combatant?Immovable and impenetrable is this array that hath been designed,according to the rules laid down in the scriptures, by that grinder offoes, Bhishma, of transcendent glory. With our troops we have becomedoubtful (of success), O grinder of foes. How, indeed, will victory beours in the face of this mighty array?’–Thus addressed, that slayer offoes Arjuna answered Yudhisthira, the son of Pritha, who had been plungedinto grief at sight, O king, of thy army, in these words,–Hear, O king,how soldiers that are few in number may vanquish the many that arepossessed of every quality. Thou art without malice; I shall, therefore,tell thee means, O king. The Rishi Narada knows it, as also both Bhishmaand Drona. Referring to this means, the Grandsire himself in days of oldon the occasion of the battle between the Gods and the Asuras said untoIndra and the other celestials.–They that are desirous of victory do notconquer by might and energy so much as by truth, compassion,righteousness and energy.[112] Discriminating then between righteousness,and unrighteousness, and understanding what is meant by covetousness andhaving recourse to exertion fight without arrogance, for victory is therewhere righteousness is.–For this know, O king, that to us victory iscertain in (this) battle. Indeed, as Narada said,–There is victory whereKrishna is.–Victory is inherent to Krishna. Indeed, it followethMadhava. And as victory is one of its attributes, so humility is hisanother attribute. Govinda is possessed of energy that is infinite. Evenin the midst of immeasurable foes he is without pain. He is the mosteternal of male beings. And there victory is where Krishna is. Even he,indestructible and of weapons incapable of being baffled, appearing asHari in olden days, said in a loud voice unto the Gods and theAsuras,–Who amongst you would be victorious?–Even the conquered whosaid.–With Krishna in the front we will conquer.[113]–And it wasthrough Hari’s grace that the three worlds were obtained by the godsheaded by Sakra. I do not, therefore, behold the slightest cause ofsorrow in thee, thee that hast the Sovereign of the Universe and the Lordhimself of the celestials for wishing victory to thyself.”

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