Chapter 73

Mahabharata English - UDYOGA PARAVA

“The holy one said, ‘I have heard Sanjaya’s words and now I have heardthine. I know all about his purposes as also of thyself. Thy heartinclineth to righteousness, whereas their inclination is towards enmity.That which is obtained without war is of great value to thee. A long-lifeBrahmacharya is not, O lord of earth, the duty of a Kshatriya. Indeed,men of all the four orders have said that a Kshatriya should neversubsist on alms; victory or death in battle, hath been eternally ordainedby the Creator; even that is the duty of a Kshatriya. Cowardice is notapplauded (in a Kshatriya). Subsistence, O Yudhishthira, is not possibleby Cowardice, O thou of mighty arms. Display thy prowess, and vanquish, Ochastiser of foes, thy enemies. The covetous son of Dhritarashtra, Ochastiser of foes, living for a long time (with many kings) has byaffection and friendship become very powerful. Therefore, O king, thereis no hope of making his peace with thee. They regard themselves strong,having Bhishma and Drona and Kripa and others with them. As long, O king,as thou, O grinder of foes, wilt behave with them mildly, they willwithhold thy kingdom. Neither from compassion, nor from mildness, norfrom a sense of righteousness, will the sons of Dhritarashtra, Ochastiser of foes, fulfil thy wishes. This, O son of Pandu, is anotherproof that they will not make peace with thee. Having pained thee sodeeply by making thee put on a Kaupina, they were not stung with remorse.In the very sight of the Grandsire (Bhishma) and Drona and the wiseVidura, of many holy Brahmanas, the king, the citizens, and all the chiefKauravas, the cruel Duryodhana, deceitfully defeating thee at dice,–theethat are charitable, gentle, self-restrained, virtuous, and of rigid vowswas not, O king, ashamed of his vile act. Do not, O monarch, show anycompassion for that wretch of such disposition. They deserve death at thehands of all, how much more then of thee, O Bharata? O Bharata, with whatimproper speeches did Duryodhana with his brothers, filled with gladnessand indulging in many a boast, afflict thee with thy brothers! He said,’The Pandavas now have nothing of their own in this wide earth. Theirvery names and lineage are extinct. In time, which is never-ending,defeat will be theirs. All their virtues having merged in me, they willnow be reduced to the five elements.’ While the match at dice was inprogress, the wretched Dussasana of most wicked soul, seizing thatweeping lady by the hair dragged princess Draupadi, as if she had noprotectors, to the assembly of kings, and in the presence of Bhishma andDrona and others, repeatedly called her–cow, cow! Restrained by thee,thy brothers of terrible prowess, bound also by the bonds of virtue, didnothing to avenge it; and after thou hadst been exiled to the woods,Duryodhana having uttered such and other cruel words, boasted amid hiskinsmen. Knowing thee innocent, they that were assembled sat silent inthe assembly-house, weeping with choked voice. The assembled kings withthe Brahmanas did not applaud him for this. Indeed, all the courtierspresent there censured him. To a man of noble descent, O grinder of foes,even censure is death. Death is even many times better than a life ofblame. Even then, O king, he died when, upon being censured by all thekings of the earth, he felt no shame! He whose character is so abominablemay easily be destroyed even like a rootless tree standing erect on asingle weak root. The sinful and evil-minded Duryodhana deserveth deathat the hands of every one, even like a serpent. Slay him, therefore, Okiller of foes, and hesitate not in the least. It behoveth thee, Osinless one, and I like it too, that thou shouldst pay homage unto thyfather Dhritarashtra and also unto Bhishma. Going thither I will removethe doubts of all men who are still undecided as to the wickedness ofDuryodhana. Thither in the presence of all kings I will enumerate allthose virtues of thine that are not to be met in all men, as also all thevices of Duryodhana. And hearing me speak beneficial words, pregnant withvirtue and profit, the rulers of various realms will regard thee aspossessed of a virtuous soul, and as a speaker of truth, while at thesame time, they will understand how Duryodhana is actuated by avarice. Iwill also tell the vice of Duryodhana, before both the citizens and theinhabitants of the country, before both the young and the old, of all thefour orders that will be collected there. And as thou askest for peace noone will charge thee sinful, while all the chiefs of the earth willcensure the Kurus and Dhritarashtra; and when Duryodhana will be dead inconsequence of his being forsaken by all men, there will be nothing leftto do. Do then what should now be done. Going unto the Kurus, I shallstrive to make peace without sacrificing thy interests, and marking theirinclination for war and all their proceedings, I will soon come back, OBharata, for thy victory. I think war with the enemy to be certain. Allthe omens that are noticeable by me point to that. Birds and animals setup frightful screeches and howls at the approach of dusk. The foremost ofelephants and steeds assume horrible shapes; the very fire exhibitethdiverse kinds of terrible hues! This would never have been the case butfor the fact of the world-destroying Havoc’s self coming into our midst!Making ready their weapons, machines, coats of mail, and cars, elephants,and steeds, let all thy warriors be prepared for battle, and let themtake care of their elephants and horses and cars. And, O king, collecteverything that thou needest for the impending war. As long as he liveth,Duryodhana will, by no means, be able to give back unto thee. O king,that kingdom of thine which, abounding in prosperity, have before beentaken by him at dice!'”

Chapter 74
Chapter 72
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