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Chapter 79

Mahabharata English - SABHAKRIYA PARVA

Vaisampayana said,–“defeated at dice, after the Pandavas had gone to thewoods, Dhritarashtra, O king, was overcome with anxiety.

And while he wasseated restless with anxiety and sighing in grief, Sanjaya approachinghim said, ‘O lord of the earth having now obtained the whole earth withall its wealth and sent away the sons of Pandu into exile, why is it, Oking, that thou grievest so?”

Dhritarashtra said,–‘What have they not to grieve for who will have toencounter in battle those bulls among warriors–the sons ofPandu–fighting on great cars and aided by allies?’

“Sanjaya said,–“O king, all this great hostility is inevitable onaccount of thy mistaken action, and this will assuredly bring about thewholesale destruction of the whole world. Forbidden by Bhishma, by Drona,and by Vidura, thy wicked-minded and shameless son Duryodhana sent hisSuta messenger commanding him to bring into court the beloved andvirtuous wife of the Pandavas. The gods first deprive that man of hisreason unto whom they send defeat and disgrace. It is for this that sucha person seeth things in a strange light. When destruction is at hand,evil appeareth as good unto the understanding polluted by sin, and theman adhereth to it firmly. That which is improper appeareth as proper,and that which is proper appeareth as improper unto the man about to beoverwhelmed by destruction, and evil and impropriety are what he liketh.The time that bringeth on destruction doth not come with upraised cluband smash one’s head. On the other hand the peculiarity of such a time isthat it maketh a man behold evil in good and good in evil. The wretcheshave brought on themselves this terrible, wholesale, and horribledestruction by dragging the helpless princess of Panchala into the court.Who else than Duryodhana–that false player of dice could bring into theassembly, with insults, the daughter of Drupada, endued with beauty andintelligence, and conversant with every rule of morality and duty, andsprung not from any woman’s womb but from the sacred fire? The handsomeKrishna, then in her season, attired in one piece of stained cloth whenbrought into the court cast her eyes upon the Pandavas. She beheld them,however, robbed of their wealth, of their kingdom, of even their attire,of their beauty, of every enjoyment, and plunged into a state of bondage.Bound by the tie of virtue, they were then unable to exert their prowess.And before all the assembled kings Duryodhana and Karna spake cruel andharsh words unto the distressed and enraged Krishna undeserving of suchtreatment. O monarch, all this appeareth to me as foreboding fearfulconsequences.’

Dhritarashtra said,–‘O Sanjaya, the glances of the distressed daughterof Drupada might consume the whole earth. Can it be possible that even asingle son of mine will live? The wives of the Bharatas, uniting withGandhari upon beholding virtuous Krishna, the wedded wife of thePandavas, endued with beauty and youth, dragged into the court, set upfrightful wail. Even now, along with all my subjects, they weep everyday. Enraged at the ill treatment of Draupadi, the Brahmanas in a bodydid not perform that evening their Agnihotra ceremony. The winds blewmightily as they did at the time of the universal dissolution. There wasa terrible thunder-storm also. Meteors fell from the sky, and Rahu byswallowing the Sun unseasonably alarmed the people terribly. Ourwar-chariots were suddenly ablaze, and all their flagstaffs fell downforeboding evil unto the Bharatas. Jackals began to cry frightfully fromwithin the sacred fire-chamber of Duryodhana, and asses from alldirections began to bray in response. Then Bhishma and Drona, and Kripa,and Somadatta and the high-souled Vahlika, all left the assembly. It wasthen that at the advice of Vidura I addressed Krishna and said, ‘I willgrant thee boons, O Krishna, indeed, whatever thou wouldst ask? Theprincess of the Panchala there begged of me the liberation of thePandavas. Out of my own motion I then set free the Pandavas, commandingthem to return (to their capital) on their cars and with their bows andarrows. It was then that Vidura told me, ‘Even this will prove thedestruction of the Bharata race, viz., this dragging of Krishna into thecourt. This daughter of the King of Panchala is the faultless Sreeherself. Of celestial origin, she is the wedded wife of the Pandavas. Thewrathful sons of Pandu will never forgive this insult offered unto her.Nor will the mighty bowmen of the Vrishni race, nor the mighty warriorsamongst the Panchalas suffer this in silence. Supported by Vasudeva ofunbaffled prowess, Arjuna will assuredly come back, surrounded by thePanchala host. And that mighty warrior amongst them, Bhimasena enduedwith surpassing strength, will also come back, whirling his mace likeYama himself with his club. These kings will scarcely be able to bear theforce of Bhima’s mace. Therefore, O king, not hostility but peace forever with the sons of Pandu is what seemeth to me to be the best. Thesons of Pandu are always stronger than the Kurus. Thou knowest, O king,that the illustrious and mighty king Jarasandha was slain in battle byBhima with his bare arms alone. Therefore, O bull of the Bharata race, itbehoveth thee to make peace with the sons of Pandu. Without scruples ofany kind, unite the two parties, O king. And it thou actest in this way,thou art sure to obtain good luck, O king. It was thus, O son ofGavalgani, that Vidura addressed me in words of both virtue and profit.And I did not accept this counsel, moved by affection for my son.”

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