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Chapter 41

Mahabharata English - SABHAKRIYA PARVA

“Sisupala said,–“That mighty king Jarasandha who desired not to fightwith Krishna, saying ‘He is a slave,’ was worthy of my greatest esteem.

Who will regard as praiseworthy the act which was done by Kesava, as alsoby Bhima and Arjuna, in the matter of Jarasandha’s death? Entering by animproper gate, disguised as a Brahmana, thus Krishna observed thestrength of king Jarasandha. And when that monarch offered at first untothis wretch water to wash his feet, it was then that he denied hisBrahmanahood from seeming motives of virtue. And when Jarasandha, O thouof the Kuru race, asked Krishna and Bhima and Dhananjaya to eat, it wasthis Krishna that refused that monarch’s request. If this one is the lordof the universe, as this fool representeth him to be, why doth he notregard himself as a Brahmana? This, however, surpriseth me greatly thatthough thou leadest the Pandavas away from the path of the wise, they yetregard thee as honest. Or, perhaps, this is scarcely a matter of surprisein respect of those that have thee, O Bharata, womanish in dispositionand bent down with age, for their counsellor in everything.”

“Vaisampayana continued,–Hearing these words of Sisupala, harsh both inimport and sound, that foremost of mighty men, Bhimasena endued withenergy became angry. And his eyes, naturally large and expanding and likeunto lotus leaves became still more extended and red as copper under theinfluence of that rage. And the assembled monarchs beheld on his foreheadthree lines of wrinkles like the Ganga of treble currents on thetreble-peaked mountain. When Bhimasena began to grind his teeth in rage,the monarchs beheld his face resembling that of Death himself, at the endof the Yuga, prepared to swallow every creature. And as the hero enduedwith great energy of mind was about to leap up impetuously, themighty-armed Bhishma caught him like Mahadeva seizing Mahasena (thecelestial generalissimo). And, O Bharata, Bhima’s wrath was soon appeasedby Bhishma, the grand-sire of the Kurus, with various kinds of counsel.And Bhima, that chastiser of foes, could not disobey Bhishma’s words,like the ocean that never transgresseth (even when swollen with thewaters of the rainy season) its continents. But, O king, even thoughBhima was angry, the brave Sisupala depending on his own manhood, did nottremble in fear. And though Bhima was leaping up impetuously everymoment, Sisupala bestowed not a single thought on him, like a lion thatrecks not a little animal in rage. The powerful king of Chedi, beholdingBhima of terrible prowess in such rage, laughingly said,–‘Release him, OBhishma! Let all the monarchs behold him scorched by my prowess like aninsect in fire.’ Hearing these words of the ruler of the Chedis, Bhishma,that foremost of the Kurus and chief of all intelligent men, spoke untoBhima these words.”

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