Chapter 151

Mahabharata English - UDYOGA PARAVA

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Hearing these words of Janardana, king Yudhishthirathe Just, of virtuous soul, addressed his brothers in the presence ofKesava and said, ‘Ye have heard all that had happened in the court of theassembled Kurus. Ye have also understood the words uttered by Kesava. Ye,best of men, draw up, therefore, my troops now in battle-array in whichthey are to fight. Here are seven Akshauhinis of troops assembled for ourvictory. Hear the names of those seven celebrated warriors that wouldlead those seven Akshauhinis. They are Drupada, and Virata, andDhristadyumna, and Sikhandin, and Satyaki, Chekitana, and Bhimasena ofgreat energy. Those heroes will be the leaders of my troops. All of themare conversant with the Vedas. Endued with great bravery, all of themhave practised excellent vows. Possessed of modesty, all of them areconversant with policy, and accomplished in war. Well-skilled in arrowsand weapons, all of them are competent in the use of every kind ofweapon. Tell us now, O Sahadeva, O son of Kuru’s race, who that warrior,is conversant with all kinds of battle-array, that may become the leaderof these seven and may also withstand in battle Bhishma who is like untoa fire having arrows for its flames. Give us thy own opinion, O tigeramong men, as who is fit to be our generalissimo.’

“Sahadeva said, ‘Closely related to us, sympathising with us in ourdistress, endued with great might, conversant with every virtue, skilledin weapons, and irresistible in battle, the mighty king of the Matsyas,Virata, relying upon whom we hope to recover our share of the kingdom,will be able to bear in battle both Bhishma and all those mightycar-warriors.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘After Sahadeva had said this, eloquent Nakulathen said these words, ‘He that in years, in knowledge of scriptures, inperseverance, in family and birth, is respectable; he that is endued withmodesty, strength, and prosperity; he that is well-versed in all branchesof learning; he that studied the science of weapons (with the sageBharadwaja); he, who is irresistible and firmly devoted to truth; he thatalways challenges Drona and mighty Bhishma; he that belongs to one of theforemost of royal houses; he that is a famous leader of hosts; he thatresembles a tree of hundred branches in consequence of sons and grandsonsthat surround him; that king, who, with his wife, performed, moved bywrath, the austerest of penances for the destruction of Drona; that hero,who is an ornament of assemblies; that bull among monarchs who alwayscherishes us like a father; that father-in-law of ours, Drupada, shouldbe our generalissimo. It is my opinion that he will be able to withstandboth Drona and Bhishma rushing to battle, for that king is the friend ofAngira’s descendant Drona and is conversant with celestial weapons.’

‘After the two sons of Madri had thus expressed their individualopinions, Vasava’s son, Savyasachin, who was equal to Vasava himself,said these words, ‘This celestial person of the hue of fire and enduedwith mighty arms, who sprang into life through the power of asceticpenances and the gratification of sages; who issued from the sacrificialfire-hole armed with bow and sword, accoutred in armour of steel, mountedon a car unto which were yoked excellent steeds of the best breed, andthe clatter of whose car-wheels was as deep as the roar of mighty massesof clouds; this hero endued with that energy and strength and resemblingthe very lion in his frame of body and prowess, and possessed of leonineshoulders, arms, chest, and voice like the lion’s roar; this hero ofgreat effulgence; this warrior of handsome brows, fine teeth, roundcheeks, long arms, of stout make, excellent thighs, large expansive eyes,excellent legs, and strong frame; this prince who is incapable of beingpenetrated by weapons of any kind, and who looks like an elephant withrent temples; this Dhrishtadyumna, truthful in speech, and with passionsunder control, was born for the destruction of Drona. It is thisDhrishtadyumna, I think, that will be able to bear Bhishma’s arrows whichstrike with the vehemence of the thunderbolt and look like snakes withblazing mouths, which resemble the messengers of Yama in speed, and falllike flames of fire (consuming everything they touch), and which wereborne before by Rama alone in battle. I do not, O king, see the manexcept Dhrishtadyumna, who is able to withstand Bhishma of great vows.This is just what I think. Endued with great lightness of hand andconversant with all the modes of warfare, accoutred in coat of mail thatis incapable of being penetrated by weapons, this handsome hero,resembling the leader of a herd of elephants, is according to my opinion,fit to be our generalissimo.’

“Bhima then said, ‘That son of Drupada, Sikhandin, who is born for thedestruction of Bhishma, as is said, ‘O king, by the sages and Siddhasassembled together, whose form on the field of battle, while displayingcelestial weapons, will be seen by men to resemble that of theillustrious Rama himself, I see not, O king, the person who is able topierce with weapons that Sikhandin, when he is stationed for battle onhis car, accoutred in mail. Except the heroic Sikhandin, there is noother warrior who is able to slay Bhishma in single combat. It is forthis, O king, that I think Sikhandin is fit to be our generalissimo.’

“Yudhishthira said, ‘O sire, the strength and weakness, might andfeebleness, of everything in the universe, and the intentions of everyperson here, are well-known to virtuous Kesava. Skilled or unskilled inweapons, old or young, let him be the leader of my forces, who may beindicated by Krishna of Dasarha’s race. Even he is the root of oursuccess or defeat. In him are our lives, our kingdom, our prosperity andadversity, our happiness and misery. Even he is the Ordainer and Creator.In him is established the fruition of our desires. Let him, therefore, bethe leader of our host, who may be named by Krishna. Let that foremost ofspeakers say, for the night approacheth. Having selected our leader,worshipped our weapons with offerings of flowers and perfumes, we will,at day-break, under Krishna’s orders march to the field of battle!’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Hearing these words of the intelligent king,Yudhishthira the Just, the lotus-eyed Krishna said, eyeing Dhananjaya,the white, O king, I fully approve of all those powerful warriors whom yehave named for becoming the leaders of thy troops. All of them arecompetent to withstand thy foes. Indeed, they can frighten Indra himselfin great battle, let alone the covetous and wicked-minded sons ofDhritarashtra. O thou of mighty arms, for thy good I made great effortsto prevent the battle by bringing about peace. By that we have been freedfrom the debt we owed to virtue. Fault-finding persons will not be ableto reproach us for anything. Foolish Duryodhana, destitute ofunderstanding, regardeth himself as skilled in weapons, and though reallyweak thinketh himself to be possessed of strength. Array thy troops soon,for slaughter is the only means by which they can be made to yield to ourdemands. Indeed, the sons of Dhritarashtra will never be able to keeptheir ground when they will behold Dhananjaya with Yuyudhana as hissecond, and Abhimanyu, and the five sons of Draupadi, and Virata, andDrupada, and the other kings of fierce prowess,–all lords ofAkshauhinis. Our army is possessed of great strength, and is invincibleand incapable of being withstood. Without doubt, it will slay theDhartarashtra host. As regards our leader, I would name that chastiser offoes, Dhrishtadyumna.'”

Chapter 152
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