Chapter 164

Mahabharata English - UDYOGA PARAVA

“Sanjaya said, ‘Having heard those words of Duryodhana, Gudakesha ofgreat fame looked at the gambler’s son with eyes exceedingly red. Andeyeing Kesava also and tossing his massive arms, he addressed thegambler’s son, saying, ‘He, who, relying on his own strength, summonethhis foes and fighteth with them fearlessly, is spoken of as a man. He,however, who, relying on the strength of others, summoneth his foes, isan infamous Kshatriya. In consequence of his incapacity, such a one isregarded as the lowest of men. Relying on the strength of others, thou (ODuryodhana), being a coward thyself, desirest yet, O fool, to rebuke thyfoes. Having installed (Bhishma) the oldest of all the Kshatriyas, whoseheart is ever bent in doing what is good, who hath all his passions undercontrol, and who is endued with great wisdom, in the command of thytroops and made him liable to certain death, thou indulgest in brag! Othou of wicked understanding, thy object (in doing this) is fully knownto us, O wretch of thy race! Thou hast done it, believing that sons ofPandu will not, from kindness, slay the son of Ganga. Know, however, ODhritarashtra’s son, that I will slay that Bhishma first in the sight ofall the bowmen, relying upon whose strength thou indulgest in suchboasts! O gambler’s son, repairing (hence) unto the Bharatas andapproaching Duryodhana the son of Dhritarashtra, say unto him that Arjunahath said,–So be it! After this night will have passed away, the fierceencounter of arms will take place. Indeed, Bhishma of unfailing might andfirmly adhering to truth, hath told thee in the midst of the Kurus thesewords, viz.,–I will slay the army of the Srinjayas and the Salweyas. Letthat be my task. Excepting Drona I can slay the whole world. Thou needestnot, therefore, entertain any fear oil the Pandavas! At this, thou, ODuryodhana, regardest the kingdom as thy own and thinkest that thePandavas have sunk into distress. Thou hast been filled with pride atthis. Thou seest not, however, danger that is in thy own self. I shall,therefore, in battle, first slay before thy very eyes, Bhishma the eldestof the Kurus! At sunrise (tomorrow) at the head of the troops, withstandards and cars protect ye that leader of thy forces firm in hispromises. I shall, with my arrows, throw him down who is your refuge fromhis car before the eyes of you all! When the morrow cometh, Suyodhanawill know what it is to indulge in brag, beholding the grandsire coveredwith my arrows! Thou shalt, O Suyodhana, very soon see the fulfilment ofthat which Bhimasena in anger had said, in the midst of the assembly,unto thy brother, that man of limited sight, viz., Dussasana, wedded tounrighteousness, always quarrelsome, of wicked understanding, and cruelin behaviour. Thou shalt soon see the terrible effects of vanity andpride, of wrath and arrogance, of bragging and heartlessness, cuttingwords and acts, of aversion from righteousness, and sinfulness andspeaking ill of others, of transgressing the counsels of the aged, ofoblique sight, and of all kinds of vices! O scum of humanity, how canstthou, O fool, hope for either life or kingdom, if I, having Vasudeva formy second, give way to anger? After Bhishma and Drona will have beenquieted and after the Suta’s son will have been overthrown, thou shalt behopeless of life, kingdom and sons! Hearing of the slaughter of thybrothers and sons, and struck mortally by Bhimasena, thou wilt, OSuyodhana, recollect all thy misdeeds!–Tell him, O gambler’s son, that Ido not vow a second time. I tell thee truly that all this will betrue!–Departing hence, O Uluka, say, O sire, these words of mine, untoSuyodhana! It behoveth thee not to apprehend my behaviour by the light ofthy own! Know the difference there is between thy conduct and mine, whichis even the difference between truth and falsehood! I do not wish harm toeven insects and ants. What shall I say, therefore, of my ever wishingharm to my kinsmen? O sire, it was for this that five villages only weresolicited by me! Why, O thou of wicked understanding, dost thou not seethe dire calamity that threatens thee? Thy soul overwhelmed with lust,thou indulgest in vauntings from defectiveness of understanding. It isfor this also thou acceptest not the beneficial words of Vasudeva. Whatneed now of much talk? Fight (against us) with all thy friends! Say, Ogambler’s son, unto the Kuru prince who always doth what is injurious tome (these words also, viz.,)–Thy words have been heard; their sense alsohath been understood. Let it be as thou wishest!’

‘O son of king, Bhimasena then once more said these words, ‘O Uluka, saythose words of mine unto the wicked-minded, deceitful, and unrighteousSuyodhana, who is an embodiment of sin, who is wedded to guile, and whosebehaviour is exceedingly wicked. Thou shalt have to dwell in the stomachof a vulture or in Hastinapura. O scum of human kind, I shall assuredlyfulfil the vow I have made in the midst of the assembly. I swear in thename of Truth, slaying Dussasana in battle, I shall quaff his life-blood!Slaying also thy (other) brothers, I shall smash thy own thighs. Withoutdoubt, O Suyodhana, I am the destroyer of all the sons of Dhritarashtra,as Abhimanyu is of all the (younger) princes! I shall by my deeds,gratify you all! Hearken once more to me. O Suyodhana, slaying thee, withall thy uterine brothers, I shall strike the crown of thy head with myfoot in the sight of the king Yudhishthira the Just!’

‘Nakula, then, O king, said these words, ‘O Uluka, say untoDhritarashtra’s son, Suyodhana, of Kuru’s race that all the words utteredby him have now been heard and their sense understood. I shall, OKauravya, do all that thou hast commended me to do.’

‘And Sahadeva also, O monarch, said these words of grave import, ‘OSuyodhana, it will all be as thou wishest! Thou shalt have to repent, Ogreat king, along with thy children, kinsmen, and counsellors, even asthou art now bragging joyously in view of our sufferings.’

‘Then Virata and Drupada, both venerable in years, said these words untoUluka, It is even our wish that we become slaves of a virtuous person!Whether, however, we are slaves or masters, will be known tomorrow, asalso who owns what manliness!’

‘After them, Sikhandin said these words unto Uluka, ‘Thou must say untoking Duryodhana who is always addicted to sinfulness, these words,viz.,–See, O king, what fierce deed is perpetrated by me in battle! Ishall slay grandsire of thine from his car, relying upon whose prowessthou art certain of success in battle! Without doubt, I have been createdby the high-souled Creator for the destruction of Bhishma. I shallassuredly slay Bhishma in the sight of all bowmen.’

‘After this, Dhrishtadyumna also said unto Uluka, the gambler’s son,these words, ‘Say unto prince Suyodhana these my words, viz., I shallslay Drona with all his followers and friends. And I shall do a deedwhich none else will ever do.’

‘King Yudhishthira once more said these high words fraught with clemency,viz.,–O monarch, I never desire the slaughter of my kinsmen. O thou ofwicked understanding, it is from thy fault that all this will assuredlytake place. I shall, of course, have to sanction the fulfilment of theirgreat feats by all these (around me). Go hence, O Uluka, without delay orstay here, O sire, for, blessed be thou, we too are thy kinsmen.’

‘Uluka, then, O king, thinking permission of Yudhishthira, the son ofDharma, went thither where king Suyodhana was. Thus addressed, thegambler’s son carefully bearing in mind all he had heard, returned to theplace from which he had come. And arriving there, he fully representedunto the vindictive Duryodhana all that Arjuna had charged him with. Andhe also faithfully communicated unto Dhritarashtra’s son the words ofVasudeva, of Bhima, of king Yudhishthira the Just, of Nakula and Virataand Drupada, O Bharata and the words of Sahadeva and Dhrishtadyumna andSikhandin, and the words also that were spoken (subsequently) by Kesavaand Arjuna. And having listened to the words of the gambler’s son,Duryodhana, that bull of Bharata’s race, ordered Dussasana and Karna andSakuni, O Bharata, and their own troops and the troops of the allies, andall the (assembled) kings, to be arrayed in divisions and be ready forbattle before sunrise (next morrow). Messengers then, instructed by Karnaand hastily mounting on cars and camels and mares and good steeds enduedwith great fleetness, quickly rode through the encampment. And at Karna’scommand they promulgated the order–Array (yourselves) before sunrisetomorrow!'”

Chapter 165
Chapter 163
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