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Chapter 1

Mahabharata English - SHALYA PARVA

Om! Having bowed down unto Narayana and Nara, the most exalted of malebeings, and the goddess Sarasvati, must the word Jaya be uttered.

Janamejaya said, “After Karna had thus been slain in battle by Savyasaci,what did the small (unslaughtered) remnant of the Kauravas do, Oregenerate one? Beholding the army of the Pandavas swelling with mightand energy, what behaviour did the Kuru prince Suyodhana adopt towardsthe Pandavas, thinking it suitable to the hour? I desire to hear allthis. Tell me, O foremost of regenerate ones, I am never satiated withlistening to the grand feats of my ancestors.”

Vaishampayana said, “After the fall of Karna, O king, Dhritarashtra’s sonSuyodhana was plunged deep into an ocean of grief and saw despair onevery side. Indulging in incessant lamentations, saying, ‘Alas, oh Karna!Alas, oh Karna!’ he proceeded with great difficulty to his camp,accompanied by the unslaughtered remnant of the kings on his side.Thinking of the slaughter of the Suta’s son, he could not obtain peace ofmind, though comforted by those kings with excellent reasons inculcatedby the scriptures. Regarding destiny and necessity to be all-powerful,the Kuru king firmly resolved on battle. Having duly made Shalya thegeneralissimo of his forces, that bull among kings, O monarch, proceededfor battle, accompanied by that unslaughtered remnant of his forces.Then, O chief of Bharata’s race, a terrible battle took place between thetroops of the Kurus and those of the Pandavas, resembling that betweenthe gods and the Asuras. Then Shalya, O monarch, having made a greatcarnage in battle at last lost a large number of his troops and was slainby Yudhishthira at midday. Then king Duryodhana, having lost all hisfriends and kinsmen, fled away from the field of battle and penetratedinto the depths of a terrible lake from fear of his enemies. On theafternoon of that day, Bhimasena, causing the lake to be encompassed bymany mighty car-warriors, summoned Duryodhana and having obliged him tocome out, slew him speedily, putting forth his strength. AfterDuryodhana’s slaughter, the three car-warriors (of the Kuru side) thatwere still unslain (Ashvatthama and Kripa and Kritavarma), filled withrage, O monarch, slaughtered the Pancala troops in the night. On the nextmorning Sanjaya, having set out from the camp, entered the city (the Kurucapital), cheerless and filled with grief and sorrow. Having entered thecity, the Suta Sanjaya, raising his arms in grief, and with limbstrembling, entered the palace of the king. Filled with grief, O tigeramong men, he wept aloud, saying, ‘Alas, O king! Alas, all of us areruined by the slaughter of that high-souled monarch. Alas, Time isall-powerful, and crooked in his course, since all our allies, enduedwith might equal to that of Shakra himself, have been slain by thePandavas.’ Seeing Sanjaya come back to the city, O king, in thatdistressful plight, all the people, O best of kings, filled with greatanxiety, wept loudly, saying, ‘Alas, O king! The whole city, O tigeramong men, including the very children, hearing of Duryodhana’s death,sent forth notes of lamentation from every side. We then beheld all themen and women running about, deeply afflicted with grief, their sensesgone, and resembling people that are demented.’ The Suta Sanjaya then,deeply agitated, entered the abode of the king and beheld that foremostof monarchs, that lord of men, having wisdom for his eyes. Beholding thesinless monarch, that chief of Bharata’s race, seated, surrounded by hisdaughters-in-law and Gandhari and Vidura and by other friends and kinsmenthat were always his well-wishers, and engaged in thinking on that verysubject–the death of Karna–the Suta Sanjaya, with heart filled withgrief, O Janamejaya, weepingly and in a voice choked with tears, saidunto him, ‘I am Sanjaya, O tiger among men. I bow to thee, O bull ofBharata’s race. The ruler of the Madras, Shalya, hath been slain.Similarly, Subala’s son Shakuni, and Uluka, O tiger among men, thatvaliant son of the gamester (Shakuni), have been slain. All theSamsaptakas, the Kambojas together with the Sakas, the Mlecchas, theMountaineers, and the Yavanas, have also been slain. The Easterners havebeen slain, O monarch, and all the Southerners. The Northerners have allbeen slain, as also the Westerners, O ruler of men. All the kings and allthe princes have been slain, O monarch. King Duryodhana also has beenslain by the son of Pandu after the manner he had vowed. With his thighsbroken, O monarch, he lieth now on the dust, covered with blood.Dhrishtadyumna also hath been slain, O king, as also the vanquishedShikhandi. Uttamauja and Yudhamanyu, O king, and the Prabhadrakas, andthose tiger among men, the Pancalas, and the Cedis, have been destroyed.The sons have all been slain as also the (five) sons of Draupadi, OBharata. The heroic and mighty son of Karna, Vrishasena, hath been slain.All the men that had been assembled have been slain. All the elephantshave been destroyed. All the car-warriors, O tiger among men, and all thesteeds, have fallen in battle. Very few are alive on thy side, O lord. Inconsequence of the Pandavas and the Kauravas having encountered eachother, the world, stupefied by Time, now consists of only women. On theside of the Pandavas seven are alive, they are the five Pandava brothers,and Vasudeva, and Satyaki and amongst the Dhartarashtras three are so,Kripa, Kritavarma, and Drona’s son, that foremost of victors. These threecar-warriors, O monarch, are all that survive, O best of kings, of allthe akshauhinis mustered on thy side, O ruler of men. These are thesurvivors, O monarch, the rest have perished. Making Duryodhana and hishostility (towards the Pandavas) the cause, the world, it seems, hathbeen destroyed, O bull of Bharata’s race, by Time.'”

Vaishampayana continued, “Hearing these cruel words, Dhritarashtra, thatruler of men, fell down, O monarch, on the earth, deprived of his senses.As soon as the king fell down, Vidura also, of great fame, O monarch,afflicted with sorrow on account of the king’s distress, fell down on theearth. Gandhari also, O best of kings, and all the Kuru ladies, suddenlyfell down on the ground, hearing those cruel words. That entire conclaveof royal persons remained lying on the ground, deprived of their sensesand raving deliriously, like figures painted on a large piece of canvas.Then king Dhritarashtra, that lord of earth, afflicted with the calamityrepresented by the death of his sons, slowly and with difficulty regainedhis life-breaths. Having recovered his senses, the king, with tremblinglimbs and sorrowful heart, turned his face on every side, and said thesewords unto Kshattri (Vidura). ‘O learned Kshattri, O thou of greatwisdom, thou, O bull of Bharata’s race, art now my refuge. I am lordlessand destitute of all my sons.’ Having said this, he once more fell down,deprived of his senses. Beholding him fallen, all his kinsmen that werepresent there sprinkled cold water over him and fanned him with fans.Comforted after a long while, that lord of earth, afflicted with sorrowon account of the death of his sons, remained silent, sighing heavily, Omonarch, like a snake put into a jar. Sanjaya also wept aloud, beholdingthe king so afflicted. All the ladies too, with Gandhari of greatcelebrity, did the same. After a long while, O best of men,Dhritarashtra, having repeatedly swooned, addressed Vidura, saying, ‘Letall the ladies retire, as also Gandhari of great fame, and all thesefriends. My mind hath become greatly unsettled.’ Thus addressed, Vidura,repeatedly trembling, slowly dismissed the ladies, O bull of Bharata’srace. All those ladies retired, O chief of the Bharatas, as also allthose friends, beholding the king deeply afflicted. Then Sanjayacheerlessly looked at the king, O scorcher of foes, who, having recoveredhis senses, was weeping in great affliction. With joined hands, Vidurathen, in sweet words, comforted that ruler of men who was sighingincessantly.'”

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