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Chapter 193

Mahabharata English - UDYOGA PARAVA

“Bhishma said, ‘Thus addressed, O king, by that messenger, king Drupada,like a thief caught (in the act), could not speak. He exerted himselfgreatly, by sending sweet-speeched emissaries with his own instruction tothem, saying,–This is not so,–in order to pacify his brother. KingHiranyavarman, however, ascertaining once again, that the child of theking of the Panchalas was really a daughter, issued out of his citywithout losing any time. He then sent messages unto all his powerfulfriends about that deception practised on his daughter, of which he hadheard from her nurses. Then, that best of kings, having mustered a largearmy, resolved, O Bharata, to march against Drupada. Then, O monarch,king Hiranyavarman held a consultation with his ministers about the rulerof the Panchalas. And it was settled among those high-souled kings thatif, O monarch, Sikhandin was really a daughter, they should bind theruler of the Panchalas and drag him from his city, and installing anotherking over the Panchalas they should slay Drupada with Sikhandin. Takingthat to be the fixed resolution (of all whom he had summoned) kingHiranyavarman once more sent an envoy to the descendant of Prishata,saying ‘I will slay thee, be calm.’

“Bhishma continued, ‘King Drupada was not naturally courageous. Inconsequence, again, of that offence of his, he became filled with fear.Sending his envoys again to the ruler of the Dasarnakas, king Drupada,afflicted with grief, approached his wife and took counsel with her. Andpossessed with great fright and with heart afflicted with grief, the kingof the Panchalas said unto his favourite wife, the mother of Sikhandin,these words, ‘My powerful brother, king Hiranyavarman, having mustered alarge force, is coming towards me in anger. Fools that we both are, whatare we now to do in respect of this our daughter? Thy son, Sikhandin,hath been suspected to be a daughter. Under this suspicion, Hiranyavarmanwith his allies and followed by his army wisheth to slay me thinking thathe hath been received by me! O thou of beautiful hips, tell us now whatis true or false in this, O beautiful lady! O blessed lady, hearing fromthee first, I will settle how to act. I am very much endangered and thischild, Sikhandin, also is equally so. Indeed, O queen, O lady of thefairest complexion, thou too art threatened with danger! For the reliefof all, tell me who asketh thee what the truth is! O thou of beautifulhips and sweet smiles, hearing what thou hast to say I shall actsuitably. Although I have been deceived by thee as to the duties I owetowards a son, yet, O beautiful lady, from kindness I will act towardsyou both in a suitable manner. Therefore, do not fear, nor let thisdaughter of thine fear anything. Indeed, I have deceived the king of theDasarnakas. Tell me, O highly blessed lady, how may I act towards him sothat all may yet turn up well!’ Indeed, although the king kneweverything, yet he addressed his wife in the presence of others in thisway, to proclaim his own innocence before others. His queen then answeredhim in the following words.'”

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