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Chapter 36

Mahabharata English - SABHAKRIYA PARVA

“Sisupala said–‘O thou of the Kuru race, this one of the Vrishni racedoth not deserve royal worship as if he were a king, in the midst of allthese illustrious monarchs. O son of Pandu, this conduct of thine in thuswillingly worshipping him with eyes like lotus-petals is not worthy ofthe illustrious Pandavas.

Ye sons of Pandu. Ye are children. Ye know notwhat morality is, for that is very subtle. Bhishma, this son also ofGanga is of little knowledge and hath transgressed the rules of morality(by giving ye such counsel). And, O Bhishma, if one like thee, possessedof virtue and morality acteth from motives of interest, he is deservingof censure among the honest and the wise. How doth he of the Dasarharace, who is not even a king, accept worship before these kings and howis it that he hath been worshipped by ye? O bull of the Kuru race, ifthou regardest Krishna as the oldest in age, here is Vasudeva, and howcan his son be said so in his presence? Or, if thou regardest Vasudeva asyour well-wisher and supporter, here is Drupada; how then can Madhavadeserve the (first) worship? Or, O son of Kuru, regardest thou Krishna aspreceptor? When Drona is here, how hast thou worshipped him of theVrishni race? Or, O son of Kuru, regardest thou Krishna as the Ritwija?When old Dwaipayana is here, how hath Krishna been worshipped by thee?Again when old Bhishma, the son of Santanu, that foremost of men who isnot to die save at his own wish is here, why, O king, hath Krishna beenworshipped by thee? When the brave Aswatthaman, versed in every branch ofknowledge is here, why, O king, hath Krishna, O thou of the Kuru race,been worshipped by thee? When that King of kings, Duryyodhana, thatforemost of men, is here, as also Kripa the preceptor of the Bharataprinces, why hath Krishna been worshipped by thee? How, O son of Pandu,passing over Druma, the preceptor of the Kimpurusas, hast thou worshippedKrishna? When the invincible Bhishmaka and king Pandya possessed of everyauspicious mark, and that foremost of kings–Rukmi and Ekalavya andSalya, the king of the Madras, are here, how, O son of Pandu, hast thouoffered the first worship unto Krishna? Here also is Karna ever boastingof his strength amongst all kings, and (really) endued with great might,the favourite disciple of the Brahmana Jamadagnya, the hero whovanquished in battle all monarchs by his own strength alone. How, OBharata, hast thou, passing him over, offered the first worship untoKrishna? The slayer of Madhu is neither a sacrificial priest nor apreceptor, nor a king. That thou hast notwithstanding all theseworshipped him, O chief of the Kurus, could only have been from motivesof gain. If, O Bharata, it was your wish to offer the first worship untothe slayer of Madhu, why were these monarchs brought here to be insultedthus? We have not paid tributes to the illustrious son of Kunti fromfear, from desire of gain, or from having been won over by conciliation.On the other hand, we have paid him tribute simply because he hath beendesirous of the imperial dignity from motives of virtue. And yet he it isthat thus insulteth us. O king, from what else, save motives of insult,could it have been that thou hast worshipped Krishna, who possesseth notthe insignia of royalty, with the Arghya in the midst of the assembledmonarchs? Indeed, the reputation for virtue that the son of Dharma hathacquired, hath been acquired by him without cause, for who would offersuch undue worship unto one that hath fallen off from virtue. This wretchborn in the race of the Vrishnis unrighteously slew of old theillustrious king Jarasandha. Righteousness hath today been abandoned byYudhishthira and meanness only hath been displayed by him in consequenceof his having offered the Arghya to Krishna. If the helpless sons ofKunti were affrighted and disposed to meanness, thou, O Madhava, ought tohave enlightened them as to thy claims to the first worship? Why also, OJanarddana, didst thou accept the worship of which thou art unworthy,although it was offered unto thee by those mean-minded princes? Thouthinkest much of the worship unworthily offered unto thee, like a dogthat lappeth in solitude a quantity of clarified butter that it hathobtained. O Janarddana, this is really no insult offered unto themonarchs; on the other hand it is thou whom the Kurus have insulted.Indeed, O slayer of Madhu, as a wife is to one that is without virilepower, as a fine show is to one that is blind, so is this royal worshipto thee who art no king. What Yudhishthira is, hath been seen; whatBhishma is, hath been seen; and what this Vasudeva is hath been seen.Indeed, all these have been seen as they are!”

“Having spoken these words, Sisupala rose from his excellent seat, andaccompanied by the kings, went out of that assembly.”

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