Chapter 155

Mahabharata English - UDYOGA PARAVA

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Recollecting the words spoken by Vasudeva,Yudhishthira once more addressed that scion of Vrishni’s race, saying,’How, O Kesava, could wicked Duryodhana say it? O thou of unfading glory,what should we do in view of the occasion that hath come? By acting inwhat way may we keep on the track of our duty? Thou, O Vasudeva, artacquainted with the views of Duryodhana, Karna, and Sakuni, the son ofSuvala. Thou knowest also what views are entertained by myself and mybrothers. Thou hast heard the words uttered by both Vidura and Bhishma. Othou of great wisdom, thou hast also heard in their entirety the words ofwisdom spoken by Kunti. Overlooking all these, tell us, O thou of mightyarms, after reflection, and without hesitation, what is for our good.’

“Hearing these words of king Yudhishthira the Just, that were fraughtwith virtue and profit. Krishna replied, in a voice deep as that of theclouds or cymbals, saying, ‘Responding to his advantage and consistentwith both virtue and profit, those words that were uttered by me in theKuru court found no response in the Kuru prince Duryodhana with whomdeceit supplieth the place of wisdom. That wretch of wicked understandinglisteneth not in the least to the counsels of Bhishma or Vidura or mine.He transgresseth everybody. He wisheth not to earn virtue, nor doth hewish for fame. That wicked-souled wight, relying upon Karna, regardetheverything as already won. Indeed, Suyodhana of wicked heart and sinfulin his resolves, even ordered my incarceration but he did not, however,obtain the fruition of that wish. Neither Bhishma nor Drona said anythingon that subject. Indeed, all of them follow Duryodhana, except Vidura, Othou of unfading glory, Sakuni, the son of Suvala, and Karna, andDussasana, all equally foolish, gave foolish and vindictive Duryodhanamuch improper advice regarding thee. Indeed, what use is there in myrepeating to thee all that the Kuru prince hath said? In brief, thatwicked-souled wight beareth no good will towards thee. Not even in allthese kings together, that form thy army, is that measure of sinfulnessand wickedness which resideth in Duryodhana alone. As regards ourselves,we do not desire to make peace with the Kauravas by abandoning ourproperty. War, therefore, is that which should now take place.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Hearing these words uttered by Vasudeva, allthe kings (there present), O Bharata, without saying anything, looked atYudhishthira’s face. And Yudhishthira, understanding the intention ofthose monarchs, said, with Bhima and Arjuna and the twins, ‘Draw up thetroops in battle array.’ And the word of command having been passed, agreat uproar rose amongst the Pandava army and all the soldiers werefilled with joy. King Yudhishthira the Just, however, beholding the(impending) slaughter of those that deserved not to be slain, began tosigh deeply, and addressing Bhimasena and Vijaya, said, ‘That for thesake of which I accepted an exile into the woods and for which I sufferedso much misery, that great calamity overtaketh us of a set purpose. Thatfor which we strove so much leaveth us as if on account of our verystriving. On the other hand, a great distress overtaketh us, although wedid nothing to invite it. How shall we fight with those reverendsuperiors (of ours) whom we on no account can slay? What kind of victoryshall we achieve by slaying our preceptors of venerable age?’

“Hearing these words of king Yudhishthira the Just, Savyasachin repeatedto his elder brother all those words that Vasudeva had said. Andaddressing Yudhishthira, Arjuna continued, ‘Thou hast, O king, certainlyunderstood all the words spoken by Kunti and Vidura, that were repeatedto thee by Devaki’s son. I know it for certain that neither Vidura norKunti would say anything that is sinful. Besides this, O son of Kunti, wecannot withdraw without engaging in battle.’

“Hearing this speech of Savyasachin, Vasudeva also said unto Partha, ‘Itis even so (as thou hast said). The sons of Pandu then, O great king,made up their minds for war, and passed that night with their soldiers ingreat happiness.'”

Chapter 156
Chapter 154