Chapter 163

Mahabharata English - UDYOGA PARAVA

“Sanjaya said, ‘O monarch, provoking Arjuna still further who was like asnake of virulent poison, by means of those wordy strokes of his Ulukaonce more repeated the words he had once spoken. The Pandavas had beforesuch repetition, been sufficiently provoked, but hearing these words (asecond time) and receiving those censures through the gambler’s son, theywere provoked beyond endurance. They all stood up, and began to stretchtheir arms. And looking like enraged snakes of virulent poison, theybegan to cast their eyes on one another. And Bhimasena, with facedownwards, and breathing heavily like a snake, began to glance obliquelyat Kesava, directing the blood-red corners of his eyes towards him. Andbeholding the Wind-god’s son to be greatly afflicted and extremelyprovoked with rage, he of Dasarha’s race smilingly addressed thegambler’s son and said, ‘Depart hence without a moment’s delay. Ogambler’s son, and say unto Suyodhana these words, viz.,–Thy words havebeen heard and sense understood. Let that take place which  thoudesirest.’ Having said this, O best of monarchs, the mighty-armed Kesavalooked once more at Yudhishthira endued with great wisdom. Then in themidst and presence of all the Srinjayas, of Krishna possessed of greatfame, of Drupada with his sons, of Virata, and all the kings (thereassembled), Uluka once more repeated unto Arjuna the words he had said,provoking him still further thereby, like one annoying wrathful snake ofvirulent poison by means of a stake. And he also said unto all of them,viz.,–Krishna and others, those words that Duryodhana had instructed himto say. And hearing those harsh and highly disagreeable words uttered byUluka, Partha was greatly excited and wiped the sweat off his forehead.And beholding Partha, O king, in that condition, that assembly ofmonarchs could not bear it at all. And at that insult to Krishna and thehigh-souled Partha, the car-warriors of the Pandavas were greatlyagitated. Though endued with great steadiness of mind, those tigers amongmen began to burn with anger. And Dhrishtadyumna and Sikhandin and thatmighty car-warrior, Satyaki, and the five Kekaya brothers, and theRakshasa Ghatotkacha, the sons of Draupadi, and Abhimanyu, and kingDhrishtaketu, and Bhimasena, endued with great prowess, and those mightycar-warriors–the twins,–jumped up from their seats, their eyes red withanger, tossing their handsome arms decked with red sandal-paste andornaments of gold. Then Vrikodara, the son of Kunti, understanding theirgestures and hearts, sprang up from his seat. And gnashing his teeth, andlicking with his tongue the corners of his mouth, and burning with rage,and squeezing his hands and turning his eyes fiercely, said these wordsunto Uluka, Ignorant fool, thy words have now been heard which Duryodhanasaid unto thee for the object of provoking us as if we were a set ofimbeciles! Hear now the words which I say and which thou art to repeatunto the inaccessible Suyodhana in the midst of all the Kshatriyas and inthe hearing of the Suta’s son and the wicked-hearted Sakuni. We alwaysseek to gratify our elder brother! It was for this, O thou of wickedbehaviour, that we tolerated thy acts. Dost thou not regard this ashighly fortunate for thee? It was for only the good of our race that kingYudhishthira the Just, endued with great intelligence, sent Hrishikesa tothe Kurus for bringing about a peace! Impelled by Fate, without doubt,thou art desirous of repairing unto Yama’s abode! Come, fight with us.That, however, is certainly to take place tomorrow! I have, indeed, vowedto slay thee with thy brothers! O sinful fool, do not entertain theslightest doubt, for it will be as I have vowed! The very ocean, theabode of Varuna-may all on a sudden transgress its continents. The verymountains may split, yet my words can never be false! If Yama himself, orKuvera, or Rudra, assisteth thee, the Pandavas will still accomplish whatthey have vowed! I shall certainly drink Dussasana’s blood according tomy pleasure! And I also vow that Kshatriya whatsoever may then angrilyapproach me, even if he cometh with Bhishma himself at the van, I willsend him to Yama’s abode! That which I have said in the midst of aKshatriya assembly will certainly be true. I swear this by my soul!

‘Hearing these words of Bhimasena, the wrathful Sahadeva also, with eyesred in anger, said these words in the presence of the (assembled)troops,–words that become that proud hero. And he said, ‘Listen, Osinful one, to the words I utter and which must be repeated to thyfather! A difference would never have arisen between us and the Kurus, ifDhritarashtra had no relationship with thee! Of sinful acts and theexterminator of thy own race, thou hast been born as an embodiment ofquarrel for the destruction of the whole world as also for thedestruction of Dhritarashtra’s race! From our very birth, O Uluka, thatsinful father of thine hath always sought to do us injury and evil. Idesire to attain the opposite shore of that hostile relation. Slayingthee first before the very eyes of Sakuni, I shall then slay Sakunihimself in the sight of all bowmen!’

‘Hearing these words of both Bhima and Sahadeva, Falguni smilinglyaddressed Bhima, saying, ‘O Bhimasena, they that have provokedhostilities with thee, cannot live! Though they may dwell happily intheir homes, those fools become yet entangled in the meshes of death! Obest of men, Uluka doth not deserve to be addressed harshly by thee! Whatfault do envoys commit, repeating as they only do what they areinstructed (to say)?’ And having thus addressed Bhima of terrible prowessthat mighty-armed hero then addressed his heroic allies and well-wishersheaded by Dhrishtadyumna, saying, ‘Ye have heard the words of the sinfulson of Dhritarashtra in dispraise of Vasudeva and especially of myself!And hearing them ye have been filled with anger because ye wish us well!But through Vasudeva’s might and your endeavours, I do not reckon evenall the Kshatriyas of the earth assembled together! With your permissionI will now communicate to Uluka what the reply to those words is, what,indeed, he should say unto Duryodhana!–When the morrow cometh, stationedat the head of my division, the answer to these words shall I givethrough Gandiva! For they that are eunuchs, answer in words!’

‘Hearing this, all those best of kings applauded Dhananjaya, wondering atthe ingenuity of that reply. King Yudhishthira the Just, then, havingspoken mildly unto all the kings each according to his age and as eachdeserved said, at last, unto Uluka these words so that he might carrythem to Duryodhana. And Yudhishthira said, ‘No good king should patientlybear an insult. Having so long heard what thou hadst to say, I shall nowtell thee what my reply is!’

‘Having heard then, O best of Bharata’s race, those words of Duryodhana,Yudhishthira, that bull of the Bharata race, with eyes exceedingly red inanger and himself sighing like a snake of virulent poison, licking thecorners of his mouth with his tongue, as if swelling with wrath, andcasting his eyes on Janardana and his own brothers, said unto Uluka thesewords that were fraught with both mildness and vigour. And tossing hismassive arms he said unto the gambler’s son, ‘Go, O Uluka, and say untoDuryodhana, that ungrateful, wicked-minded embodiment of hostilities,that infamous wretch of his race, these words, viz.,–O sinful wretch,thou always behavest with crookedness towards the Pandavas! O sinfulfool, he that displayeth his prowess relying on his own might andsummoneth his foes (to battle) and fulfilleth his own words, even he is aman of the Kshatriya order! Be thou a Kshatriya, O sinful wretch, andsummon us to battle! O infamous one of thy race, do not come to battle,placing at thy head others for whom we profess respect! O Kaurava,relying on thy own might and on that of thy servants, summon the sons ofPritha to battle! Be Kshatriya in every way! He, who summoneth his foes,relying on the might of others, and incapable of receiving them himselfis, indeed, a eunuch! Thou, however, thinkest highly of thyself, relyingon the might of others! Being weak and unable thyself, why then dost thouroar so (in words) at us?’

“Krishna said, ‘My words also, O gambler’s son, should be communicatedunto Suyodhana. Let that morrow come to thee on which the battle is totake place. O thou of wicked soul, be a man! O fool, thou thinkestJanardana will not fight, since he hath been chosen by the Pandavas toact only as a charioteer, so thou art not alarmed. That, however, willnot be, even for a moment. If my wrath is excited, I may then consume allthe kings (assembled by thee) like a fire consuming a heap of straw. AtYudhishthira’s command, however, I shall only discharge the functions ofcharioteer to the high-souled Falguni, of senses under complete controland who alone, (amongst us two) will fight! If thou fliest beyond thelimits of the three worlds, if thou sinkest into the depths of the earth,thou shalt, even at these places, behold Arjuna’s car tomorrow morning.Thou thinkest that Bhima’s words have been spoken in vain! But know thatDussasana’s blood hath already been quaffed. Know this also that althoughthou hast uttered such cross and perverse words, yet neither Partha, norking Yudhishthira, nor Bhimasena, nor any of the twins, regardeth thee asstraw!'”

Chapter 164
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