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Chapter 147

Mahabharata English - DRONA PARVA

“Sanjaya said, Upon the fall, O king, of the ruler of the Sindhus, thyson Suyodhana, his face bedewed with tears, and himself filled with griefand breathing hot sighs like a snake whose fangs have been broken, thatoffender against the whole world, viz., thy son, experienced bitteraffliction. Beholding that great terrible slaughter of his troops causedby Jishnu and Bhimasena and Satwata in battle, he became pale, dejectedand melancholy, and his eyes became filled with tears. And he came tothink no warrior existed on the earth that could be compared with Arjuna.Neither Drona, nor the son of Radha, nor Aswatthaman, nor Kripa, O sire,is competent to stand before Arjuna when the latter is excited withwrath, And Suyodhana, said unto himself, ‘Having vanquished in battle allthe mighty car-warriors of my army, Partha slew the ruler of the Sindhus.None could resist him. This my vast host hath almost been exterminated bythe Pandavas. I think, there is no one that can protect my army, no, noteven Purandara himself. He, relying upon whom I have been engaged in thispassage-at-arms in battle, alas, that Karna hath been defeated in battleand Jayadratha slain. That Karna relying upon whose energy I regardedKrishna as straw who came to sue me for peace, alas, that Karna hath beenvanquished in battle.’ Grieving so within his heart, that offenderagainst the whole world, O king, went to Drona, O bull of Bharata’s race,for seeing him. Repairing unto him, he informed Drona of that immenseslaughter of the Kurus, the victory of his foes, and the dire calamity ofthe Dhartarashtras.[180] And Suyodhana said, ‘Behold, O preceptor, thisimmense slaughter of kings.[181] I came to battle, placing that grandsireof mine, viz., the heroic Bhishma, at our head. Having slain him,Sikhandin, his aspiration fulfilled, stayeth at the very van of all thetroops, surrounded by all the Panchalas, covetous of anothertriumph.[182] Another disciple of thine, viz., the invincibleSavyasachin, having slain seven. Akshauhinis of troops hath despatchedking Jayadratha to Yama’s abode. How, O preceptor, shall I be freed fromthe debt I owe to those allies of mine who, desirous of victory to me andever engaged in my good, have gone to Yama’s abode? Those lords of earthwho had desired the sovereignty of the earth, are now lying on the earth,abandoning all their earthly prosperity. Truly, I am a coward. Havingcaused such a slaughter of friends, I dare not think that I shall besanctified by performing even a hundred horse-sacrifices. I am covetousand sinful and a transgressor against righteousness. Through my actsalone, these lords of earth, in their desire for victory, have gone toYama’s abode. Why, in presence of those kings, does not the earth yieldme a hole (through which to sink), since I am so sinful in behaviour andsuch a fomenter of internecine dissensions![183] Alas, what will thegrandsire with blood-red eyes, that invincible hero who hath conqueredthe other world, tell me in the midst of the kings when he meets me?[184]Behold that mighty bowman, Jalasandha, slain by Satyaki. That greatcar-warrior, that hero, came proudly to battle for my sake, prepared tolay down his life. Beholding the ruler of the Kamvojas slain, as alsoAlamvusha and many other allies of mine, what object can I have forpreserving my life? Those unretreating heroes who, fighting for my sakeand struggling to the utmost of their powers to vanquish my foes, havelaid down their lives. I shall today, O scorcher of foes, exerting theutmost measure of my might, free myself from the debt that I owe them andgratify them with oblations of water by repairing to the Yamuna. Oforemost of all bearers of arms, I tell thee truly and swear by the goodacts I have performed, by the prowess I possess and by my sons, thatslaying all the Panchalas with the Pandavas, I shall obtain peace ofmind, or slain by them in battle I shall repair to those regions whitherthose allies of mine have gone. I shall certainly proceed thither whitherthose bulls among men, slain, while engaged in battle for my sake, byArjuna have gone! Our allies, seeing that they are not well-protected byus, no longer desire to stand by us. O thou of mighty arms, they nowregard the Pandavas to be preferable to ourselves. Thyself, of sure aim,hast ordained our extermination in battle, for thou treatest Arjunaleniently, since he is thy disciple. It is for this that all those havebeen slain who had endeavoured to secure victory to us. It seems thatonly Karna now wishes us victory. The man of weak understanding whowithout duly examining another, accepteth him for a friend and engagethhim in concerns that require friends for their accomplishment, is certainto suffer injury even so hath this affair of mine been managed by my bestfriend![185] I am exceedingly covetous, sinful, crooked-hearted, andcharacterised by avarice! Alas, king Jayadratha hath been slain, andSomadatta’s son also of great energy, and the Abhishahas, the Surasenas,the Sivis, and the Vasatis! I shall go thither today whither those bullsamong men, slain, while engaged in battle for my sake, by Arjuna, havegone. In the absence of those bulls among men, I have no need for life. Opreceptor of the sons of Pandu, let me have thy permission in this.

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