Chapter 16

Mahabharata English - SABHAKRIYA PARVA

“Yudhishthira said,–‘Desirous of the imperial dignity but acting fromselfish motives and relying upon courage alone, how, O Krishna, can Idespatch ye (unto Jarasandha)? Both Bhima and Arjuna, I regard as myeyes, and thee, O Janardana as my mind.

How shall I live, deprived of myeyes and mind. Yama himself cannot vanquish in battle the mighty host ofJarasandha that is endued, besides, with terrible valour. What valour canye exhibit against it. This affair that promises to terminate otherwisemay lead to great mischief. It is my opinion, therefore, that theproposed task should not be undertaken. Listen, O Krishna, to what I forone think. O Janardana, desisting from this act seemeth to me to bebeneficial. My heart to-day is afflicted. The Rajasuya appeareth to medifficult of accomplishment.'”

“Vaisampayana said,–“Arjuna who had obtained that excellent of bows andthat couple of inexhaustible quivers, and that car with that banner, asalso that assembly room, now addressed Yudhishthira and said,–‘I haveobtained, O king, a bow and weapons and arrows and energy and allies anddominions and fame and strength. Those are always difficult ofacquisition, however much they may be desired. Learned men of reputealways praise in good society nobleness of descent. But nothing is equalto might. Indeed, O monarch, there is nothing I like more than prowess.Born in a race noted for its valour, one that is without valour isscarcely worthy of regard. One, however, possessed of valour, that isborn in a race not noted for it, is much superior to the former. He, Oking, is a Kshatriya in every thing who increaseth his fame andpossessions by the subjugation of his enemies. And he that is possessedof valour, though destitute of all (other) merits, will vanquish hisfoes. One, however, that is destitute of valour, though possessed ofevery (other) merit, can scarcely accomplish anything. Every merit existsby the side of valour in an incipient state. Concentration of attention,exertion and destiny exist as the three causes of victory. One, however,that is possessed of valour doth not yet deserve success if he actscarelessly. It is for this that an enemy endued with strength sometimessuffers death at the hands of his foes. As meanness overtakes the weak,so folly sometimes overtakes the strong. A king, therefore, that isdesirous of victory, should avoid both these causes of destruction. If,for the purpose of our sacrifice, we endeavour to slay Jarasandha andrescue the kings kept by him for a cruel purpose, there is no higher actwhich we could employ ourselves in. If, however, we do not undertake thetask, the world will always think us incompetent. We have certainly thecompetence, O king! Why should you, therefore, regard us as incompetent?Those that have become Munis desirous of achieving tranquillity of souls,obtain yellow robes with ease. So if we vanquish the foe, the imperialdignity will easily be ours. We shall, therefore fight the foe.”

Chapter 17
Chapter 15
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