Chapter 65

Mahabharata English - BHISHMA PARVA

Dhritarashtra said, ‘Hearing of those feats of the sons of Pandu whichare incapable of being achieved by the gods themselves, my heart, OSanjaya, is filled with fear and wonder. Hearing also of the humiliationof my sons in every way, great hath been my anxiety as to the consequencethat will ensue. The words uttered by Vidura will, no doubt, consume myheart. Everything that hath happened seemeth to be due to Destiny, OSanjaya. The combatants of the Pandava army are encountering and smitingthose best of warriors having Bhishma for their head, those heroesconversant with every weapon. What ascetic penances have been performedby the high-souled and mighty sons of Pandu, what boon hath theyobtained, O son, or what science is known to them, in consequence ofwhich, like the stars in the firmament, they are undergoing nodiminution? I cannot bear it that my army should be repeatedlyslaughtered by the Pandavas. The divine chastisement, highly severe, bothfallen on me alone. Tell me everything truly, O Sanjaya, about that forwhich the sons of Pandu have become unslayable and mine slayable. I donot see the other shore of this (sea of) distress.[383] I am like a mandesirous of crossing the vastly deep ocean with my two arms alone. Icertainly think that a great calamity hath overtaken my sons. Withoutdoubt, Bhima will slay all my sons. I do not see that hero who is able toprotect my sons in battle. The death of my sons in this battle, OSanjaya, is certain. It behoveth thee, therefore, O Suta, to tell me, whoasketh thee, everything about the true cause of all these. Beholding hisown troops retreating from battle, what did Duryodhana do? And what oldBhishma and Drona, and Kripa, and Suvala’s son, and Jayadratha, and thatmighty bowman, viz., Drona’s son and Vikarna of great strength do? Whenalso, O thou of great wisdom, my sons turned back from the fight, what OSanjaya, became the resolve of those high-souled warriors?”

Sanjaya said, “Listen, O king, with attention, and having listened, letit go to thy heart. Nothing (in this) is the result of incantation,nothing the result of illusion of any king. Nor have the sons of Panducreated any new terrors. They are endued with might; and they arefighting by fair means in this battle. Desirous of high fame, the sons ofPritha always do every act, including even the support of their lives,agreeably to the way of morality. Endued with every kind of prosperity,and possessed of great strength, they never desist from battle, keepingtheir eyes on righteousness. And victory is there where righteousness is.It is for this, O king, that the sons of Pritha are unslayable in battleand always victorious. Thy sons are of wicked souls and are addicted tosinfulness. They are cruel and wedded to mean acts. It is for this thatthey are being weakened in battle. Thy sons, O king, like despicable men,did many cruel and deceitful acts to the sons of Pandu. Disregarding,however, all those offences of thy sons, the sons of Pandu alwaysconcealed those acts, O elder brother of Pandu. Thy sons also, O king, onnumerous occasions humiliated the Pandavas. Let them now reap theterrible fruit, like poison, of that persistent course ofsinfulness.[384] That fruit should be enjoyed by thee also, O king, withthy sons and kinsmen, since thou, O king, could not be awakened eventhough counselled by thy well-wishers. Repeatedly forbidden by Vidura, byBhishma, by the high-souled Drona, and by myself also thou didst notunderstand, rejecting our words intended for thy good and worthy of thyacceptance, like a sick man rejecting the medicine prescribed. Acceptingthe views of thy sons thou hadst regarded the Pandavas as alreadyvanquished. Listen again, O king, to what thou hast asked me, viz., thetrue cause, O chief of the Bharatas, of the victory of the Pandavas. Iwill tell thee whit I have heard, O chastiser of foes. Duryodhana hadasked the grandsire this very question. Beholding his brothers, allmighty car-warriors, vanquished in battle, thy son Duryodhana, O Kaurava,with heart confounded with grief, repairing with humility during thenight to the grandsire possessed of great wisdom, asked him thisquestion. Listen to me, O monarch, about it all.

“Duryodhana said, ‘Drona and thou, and Salya, and Kripa, and Drona’s son,and Kritavarman the son of Hridika, and Sudakshina the ruler of theKamvojas, and Bhurisravas, and Vikarna, and Bhagadatta of exceedingprowess, are all regarded as mighty car-warriors. All of these, again,are high-born, and prepared to throw away their lives in battle. It is myopinion that these are a match for even the three worlds (unitedtogether). Even all the warriors of the Pandava army (united together)cannot bear your prowess. A doubt has arisen in my mind. Explain it to mewho enquireth of thee. Who it is, relying on whom the Pandavas arevanquishing us repeatedly.’

“Bhishma said, ‘Listen, O king, to the words that I will speak unto thee,O thou of Kuru’s race. Frequently wert thou addressed by me to the sameeffect but thou didst not do what I said. Let peace be made with thePandavas, O best of the Bharatas. I regard this to be beneficial both tothe world and thee, O lord. Enjoy this earth, O king, with thy brothersand be happy, gratifying all thy well-wishers and delighting thykinsfolk. Although I cried myself hoarse before this, thou didst not yetlisten to me, O sire. Thou hadst always disregarded the sons of Pandu.The effect of all that hath now overtaken thee. Listen also, O king, fromme as I speak of it, O Lord, to the reason why the Pandavas, whoseachievements tire them not, are unslayable.[385] There is not, was not,will not be, the being in all the worlds who would or will be able tovanquish the sons of Pandu who are all protected by the wielder ofSaranga. Listen truly, O thou that art conversant with morality, to thatancient history which was recited to me by sages of souls under control.In days of yore, all the celestials and the Rishis, united together,waited reverentially on the Grandsire upon the mountains of Gandhamadana.And the Lord of all creatures, seated at his case in their midst, beheldan excellent car stationed in the firmament, blazing with effulgence.Having ascertained (everything about it) by meditation, joining his handswith restrained heart, Brahman, with delighted soul, made his salutationsto the highest Divine Being. And the Rishis and the celestials, beholdingin the firmament (the form thus) displayed, all stood up with joinedhands, their eyes fixed on that wonder of wonders. Worshipping him duly,Brahma, the foremost of all conversant with Brahman, the Creator of theuniverse, acquainted with the highest morality, uttered these high words:Thou art the Glory of the Universe for thy form. Thou art the Lord of theUniverse. O thou whose protection extendeth through the whole Universe, Othou that hath the Universe for thy work, O thou that hath thy soul undercontrol, Thou art the Supreme Master of the Universe. Thou art Vasudeva.Therefore, I seek refuge in Thee that art the soul of Yoga and thehighest Divinity. Victory to Thee that art the Supreme God of theUniverse. Victory to Thee that art ever employed in the good of theworlds. Victory to Thee that art the Lord of Yoga. Thee that artall-powerful. Victory to Thee that art prior, and subsequent to Yoga.Having the lotus springing from thy navel, and having large expansiveeyes, victory to Thee that art Lord of Lords of the Universe. O Lord ofthe Past, the Present, and the Future, victory to Thee that art theembodiment of gentleness. Thee that art the sun of suns. O thou that artthe receptacle of untold attributes, victory to Thee that art the refugeof all things. Thou art Narayana, thou art incapable of being understood,victory to Thee that art the wielder of the bow called Saranga. Victoryto Thee that art endued with every attribute, O thou that hast theUniverse for thy form, O thou that art ever hale. O Lord of the Universe,O thou of mighty arms, victory to Thee that art always ready forbenefitting the worlds. O great Snake, O huge Boar, O first Cause, O thouof tawny locks, victory to Thee that art Almighty. O thou of yellowrobes, O Lord of the cardinal and the subsidiary points of the compass, Othou that hast the Universe for thy abode, O thou that art Infinite, Othou that hast no decay, O thou that art the Manifest, O thou that artthe Unmanifest, O thou that art the immeasurable Space, O thou that hastall thy senses under control, O thou that always achievest what is good,O thou that art immeasurable, O thou that alone knowest thy own nature,victory to Thee that art deep, O thou that art the giver of all wishes, Othou that art without end, O thou that art known as Brahma, O thou thatart Eternal, O thou that art the Creator of all creatures, O thou thatart ever successful, O thou whose acts always display wisdom, O thou thatart conversant with morality, O thou that givest victory, O thou ofmysterious Self, O thou that art the Soul of all Yoga, O thou that artthe Cause of everything that hath sprung into existence, O thou that artthe knowledge of the selves of all beings, O Lord of the worlds, victoryto thee that art the Creator of all beings. O thou that hath thyself forthy origin, O thou that art highly blessed, O thou that art the Destroyerof everything, O thou that art the inspirer of all mental thoughts,victory to Thee that art dear to all conversant with Brahma. O thou thatart busy in creation and destruction, O controller of all wishes, OSupreme Lord, O thou that art the Cause of Amrita, O thou that artAll-existent, O thou that art the first that appears at the end of theYuga, O thou that art the giver of victory, O Divine Lord of the Lord ofall creatures, O thou that hast the lotus springing from thy navel, Othou of mighty strength, O thou that art sprung from Thyself, O thou thatart the great elements in their primeval state, O thou that art the soulof all (religious) rites, victory to Thee that givest all. The goddessEarth represents thy two feet, the cardinal and the subsidiary directionsthy arms, and the heavens thy head. I am thy form, the celestialsconstitute thy limbs, and the Sun, the moon are thy two eyes. Asceticausterities and Truth born of morality and (religious) rites, constitutethy strength. Fire is thy energy, the wind is thy breath, and the watershave sprung from thy sweat. The twins Aswins constitute thy ears, and thegoddess Saraswati is thy tongue. The Vedas are thy Knowledge, and uponthee resteth this Universe. O Lord of Yoga and Yogins, we do not know thyextent, thy measure, thy energy, thy prowess, thy might, thy origin. OGod, O Vishnu, filled with devotion in thee, and depending upon thee withvows and observances, we ever worship Thee as the highest Lord, the Godof gods. The Rishis, the gods, Gandharvas, the Yakshas, the Rakshasas,the Pannagas, the Pisachas, human beings, beasts, birds, reptiles,–allthese were created by me on Earth through Thy grace. O thou having thelotus springing from thy navel, O thou of large expansive eyes, OKrishna, O Dispeller of all woe, Thou art the Refuge of all creatures,and Thou art their Guide. Thou hast the Universe for thy mouth. Throughthy grace, O Lord of the gods, the gods are ever happy. Through thy gracethe Earth hath always been freed from terrors. Therefore, O thou of largeeyes, take birth in the race of Yadu.[386] For the sake of establishingrighteousness, for slaying the sons of Diti, and for upholding theUniverse, do what I have said, O Lord. O Vasudeva, that which is thysupreme mystery, that, O Lord hath been sung by me through Thy grace.Having created the divine Sankarshana out of thy own Self by Thyself,thou didst then, O Krishna, create Thyself as Pradyumna born of thyself.From Pradyumna thou didst then create Aniruddha who is known as theeternal Vishnu. And it was Aniruddha who created me as Brahma, theupholder of the Universe. Created out of Vasudeva’s essence I have,therefore, been created by thee. Dividing Thyself into portions, takebirth, O Lord, among human beings. And slaughtering the Asuras there forhappiness of all the worlds, and establishing righteousness, and winningrenown, Thou wilt again truly attain to Yoga. The regenerate Rishis onEarth and the gods, O thou of infinite prowess, devoted to thee, sing ofthy wonderous Self under those names that belong to thee. O thou ofexcellent arms, all classes of creatures rest on thee, having takenrefuge in Thee, thou giver of boons. The regenerate ones sing Thee as theworld’s bridge, having no beginning, middle and end, and as possessed ofunlimited Yoga.'”

Chapter 67
Chapter 64
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