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Chapter 154

Mahabharata English - UDYOGA PARAVA

“Janamejaya said, ‘Hearing that Yudhishthira had, with his troops marchedfrom the desire of battle and encamped on Kurukshetra, protected byVasudeva, and aided by Virata and Drupada with their sons, and surroundedby the Kekayas, the Vrishnis, and other kings by hundreds, and watchedover by numerous mighty car-warriors, like the great Indra himself by theAdityas, what measures were concerted by king Duryodhana? O high-souledone, I desire to hear in detail all that happened in Kurujangala on thatfrightful occasion. The son of Pandu, with Vasudeva and Virata andDrupada and Dhrishtadyumna, the Panchala prince and that mightycar-warrior Sikhandin and powerful Yudhamanyu, incapable of beingresisted by the very gods, might trouble the deities themselves in battlewith Indra at their head. I, therefore, desire to hear in detail, O thouthat art possessed of wealth of asceticism, all the acts of the Kurus andthe Pandavas as they had happened.’

“Vaisampayana said, ‘When he of Dasarha’s race had departed (from theKuru court), king Duryodhana, addressing Karna and Dussasana and Sakuni,said these words, ‘Kesava hath gone to the sons of Pritha, without havingbeen able to achieve his object. Filled with wrath as he is, he willsurely stimulate the Pandavas. A battle between myself and Pandavas ismuch desired by Vasudeva. Bhimasena and Arjuna are ever of the same mindwith him. Yudhishthira, again, is very much under the influence ofBhimasena. Before this, Yudhishthira with all his brothers was persecutedby me. Virata and Drupada whom I had waged hostilities with, obedient toVasudeva, both of them have become the leaders of Yudhishthira’s host.The battle, therefore, that will take place, will be a fierce andterrific one. Casting off all sloth, cause every preparation to be madefor the encounter. Let the kings (my allies) pitch their tents byhundreds and thousands on Kurukshetra, all of which must be spacious,incapable of being approached by enemies, near enough to places aboundingwith water and fuel, in such positions that the communications theretofor sending supplies may not be stopped at any time by the foe,–full ofweapons of diverse kinds, and decked with streamers and flags. Let theroad from our city to the camp be made level for their march. Let it beproclaimed this very day, without loss of time, that our march willcommence tomorrow.’ (Hearing these words of the king), they said, ‘So beit,’–and when the morrow came, those high-souled persons did everythingthey had been commanded to do for the accommodation of the monarchs. Andall those monarchs (meanwhile), hearing the king’s command, rose up fromtheir costly seats, with wrath having the foe for its objects. And theybegan to slowly rub their mace-like arms, blazing with bracelets of gold,and decked with the paste of sandal and other fragrant substances. Andthey also commenced, with those lotus-like hands of theirs, to wear theirhead-gears and lower and upper garments and diverse kinds of ornaments.And many foremost of car-warriors began to superintend the furnishing oftheir cars, and persons conversant with horse-lore began to harness theirsteeds, while those versed in matters relating to elephants began toequip those huge animals. And all those warriors began to wear diversekinds of beautiful armour made of gold, and arm themselves with diverseweapons. And the foot-soldiers began to take up various kinds of arms andcase their bodies in various kinds of armour decorated with gold. And, OBharata. the city of Duryodhana then, filled as it was with rejoicingmillions, wore the bright aspect of a festive occasion. And, O king, theKuru capital at the prospect of battle looked like the ocean on theappearance of the moon, with the vast crowds of humanity representing itswaters with their eddies; the cars, elephants, and horses representingits fishes; the tumult of conchs and drums, its roar; thetreasure-chests, its jewels and gems; the diverse kinds of ornaments andarmour its waves; the bright weapons its white foam; the rows of housesthe mountains on its beach; and the roads and shops, like lakes!'”

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