Chapter 160

Mahabharata English - UDYOGA PARAVA

“Janamejaya said, ‘After the soldiers had been arrayed thus in order ofbattle (on the field of Kurukshetra), what, O bull among Brahmanas, didthe Kauravas then do, urged as they were by destiny itself?’

“Vaisampayana said, ‘After the soldiers, O bull of the Bharata race, hadbeen arrayed thus in order of battle, Dhritarashtra, O, king, said thesewords to Sanjaya.’

“Dhritarashtra said, ‘Come, O Sanjaya, tell me with the fullest detailsall that hath happened in the encampment of the Kuru and the Pandavatroops. I regard destiny to be superior, and exertion useless, foralthough I understand the evil consequences of war that will lead only toruin, still I am unable to restrain my son who rejoices in gambling andconsiders deceit to be wisdom. Understanding everything, I am not yetable to secure my own welfare. O Suta, my understanding is capable ofseeing the defects (of measures), but when I approach Duryodhana, thatunderstanding of mine turneth away (from that right path). When such isthe case, O Sanjaya, that will be which must be. Indeed, the sacrifice ofone’s corporeal body in battle is the laudable duty of every Kshatriya.’

“Sanjaya said, ‘This question, O great king, that thou hast put, isindeed, worthy of thee. It behoveth thee not, however, to impute entirefault to Duryodhana only. Listen to me, O king, as I speak of thisexhaustively. That man who cometh by evil in consequence of his ownmisconduct, should never impute the fault to either time or the gods. Ogreat king, he amongst men who perpetrateth every wicked act, deservethto be slain in consequence of his perpetrating those acts. Afflicted withinjuries in consequence of the match at dice, the sons of Pandu, however,with all their counsellors quietly bore all those injuries, looking up, Obest of men, to thy face alone. Hear from me fully, O king, of theslaughter that is about to take place in battle, of steeds and elephantsand kings endued with immeasurable energy. Hearing patiently, O thou thatart endued with great wisdom, of the destruction of the world in thefierce battle that has been brought about, come to this conclusion and noother, viz., that man is never the agent of his acts right or wrong.Indeed, like a wooden machine, man is not an agent (in all he does). Inthis respect, three opinions are entertained; some say that everything isordained by God; some say that our acts are the result of free-will; andothers say that our acts are the result of those of our past lives.Listen then, therefore, with patience, to the evil that hath come uponus.'”

Chapter 161
Chapter 159