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Chapter 3

Mahabharata English - UDYOGA PARAVA

“Satyaki said, ‘Even as a man’s heart is, so doth he speak! Thou artspeaking in strict conformity with the nature of thy heart. There arebrave men, and likewise those that are cowards. Men may be divided intothese two well defined classes. As upon a single large tree there may betwo boughs one of which beareth fruits while the other doth not, so fromthe self-same line of progenitors may spring persons that are imbecile aswell as those that are endowed with great strength O thou bearing thesign of a plough on thy banner, I do not, in sooth, condemn the wordsthou hast spoken, but I simply condemn those, O son of Madhu, who arelistening to thy words! How, indeed, can he, who unblushingly daresattach even the slightest blame in the virtuous king Yudhishthira bepermitted to speak at all in the midst of the assembly? Persons clever inthe game of dice challenged the magnanimous Yudhishthira unskilled as heis in play, and confiding in them he was defeated! Can such persons besaid to have virtuously won the game? If they had come to Yudhishthirawhile playing in this house with his brothers and defeated him there,then what they would have won would have been righteously won. But theychallenged Yudhishthira who was bound in conscience to follow the rulesobserved by the military caste, and they won by a trick. What is there inthis conduct of theirs that is righteous? And how can this Yudhishthirahere, having performed to the utmost the stipulations entered into by wayof stakes in the play, freed from the promise of a sojourn in the forest,and therefore entitled to his ancestral throne, humble himself? Even ifYudhishthira coveted other people’s possessions, still it would notbehove him to beg! How can they be said to be righteous and not intent onusurping the throne when, although the Pandavas have lived out theirsojourn of concealment unrecognised, they still say that the latter hadbeen recognised? They were besought by Bhishma and the magnanimous Drona,but they would not yet consent to give back to the Pandavas the thronethat belongeth to them by right of birth. The means with which I wouldbeseech them would be sharp arrows. I shall fight and with a strong handforce them to prostrate themselves at the feet of the illustrious son ofKunti. If, however, they do not bow at the feet of the wise Yudhishthira,then they and their partisans must go to the regions of Yama. WhenYuyudhana (myself) is enraged and resolved to fight, they, to be sure,are unequal to withstand his impetus, as mountains are unable to resistthat of the thunderbolt. Who can withstand Arjuna in fight, or him whohath the discus for his weapon in battle, or myself as well? Who canwithstand the unapproachable Bhima? And who, having regard for his life,would come near the twin brothers who firmly grasp their bows andresemble the death-dealing Yama in intelligence? Who would approachDhrishtadyumna, the son of Drupada, or these five sons of the Pandavaswho have added lustre to Draupadi’s name, rivalling their fathers invalour, equal to them in every respect and full of martial pride, or himof the powerful bow, Subhadra’s son, irresistible by even the godsthemselves; or Gada, or Pradyumna, or Samva, resembling Yama or thethunderbolt or fire? We shall slay Dhritarashtra’s son and Sakuni andKarna in battle, and place the Pandava on the throne. There is no sin inslaying them that are bent on slaying us: but to be a beggar before foesis both impious and infamous. I ask you to be diligent in doing thatwhich is heartily desired by Yudhishthira. Let Pandu’s son get back thekingdom resigned by Dhritarashtra! Either Yudhishthira should get backhis kingdom this very day or all our enemies shall lie down on the earthslain by me!’

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