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Chapter 82

Mahabharata English - UDYOGA PARAVA

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Hearing the peaceful words of the king that werefraught with both virtue and profit, king Drupada’s daughter Krishna, oflong black tresses, afflicted with great grief, applauding Sahadeva andthat mighty car-warrior Satyaki, addressed Madhava seated by his side.And beholding Bhimasena declare for peace, that intelligent lady,overwhelmed with woe and with eyes bathed in tears, said, ‘O slayer ofMadhu, it is known to thee, O thou of mighty arms, by what deceitfulmeans, O righteous one, the son of Dhritarashtra with his counsellorsrobbed the Pandavas, O Janardana. of their happiness. Thou knowest also,O thou of Dasarha’s race, what message was privately delivered to Sanjayaby the king. Thou hast also heard all that was said unto Sanjaya. O thouof great effulgence, these words were even these, ‘Let only five villagesbe granted to us, viz., Avishthala, and Vrikasthala, and Makandi, andVaranavata, and for the fifth, any other,–O thou of mighty arms, OKesava, even this was the message that was to have been delivered toDuryodhana and his counsellors. But, O Krishna, O thou of Dasarha’s race,hearing those words of Yudhishthira, endued with modesty and anxious forpeace, Suyodhana hath not acted according to them. If, O Krishna,Suyodhana desireth to make peace without surrendering the kingdom, thereis no necessity of going thither for making such a peace. The Pandavaswith the Srinjayas, O thou of mighty arms, are quite able to withstandthe fierce Dhritarashtra host inflamed with rage. When they are no longeramenable to this arts of conciliation, it is not proper, O slayer ofMadhu, that thou shouldst show them mercy. Those enemies, O Krishna, withwhom peace cannot be established by either conciliation or presents,should be treated with severity by one desirous of saving his life.Therefore, O mighty-armed Achyuta, heavy should be the punishment thatdeserves to be speedily inflicted upon them by thyself aided by thePandavas and the Srinjayas. Indeed, even this would become the son ofPritha, and add to thy glory, and if accomplished, will, O Krishna, be asource of great happiness to the whole Kshatriya race. He that iscovetous, whether belonging to the Kshatriya or any other order, save ofcourse a Brahmana, even if most sinful, ought surely to be slain by aKshatriya, who is true to the duties of his own order. The exception inthe case of a Brahmana, O sire, is due to a Brahmana’s being thepreceptor of all the other orders, as also the first sharer ofeverything. Persons conversant with the scriptures declare, O Janardana,that sin is incurred in slaying one that deserveth not to be slain. Sothere is equal sin in not slaying one that deserveth to be slain. Actthou, therefore, O Krishna, in such a way with the forces of the Pandavasand the Srinjayas, that sin may not touch thee. From excess of confidencein thee, O Janardana, I will repeat what hath been said again and again.Whatever woman, O Kesava, is there on earth like me? I am the daughter ofking Drupada, risen from the sacrificial alter. I am the sister ofDhrishtadyumna, thy dear friend, O Krishna. I have by marriage become alady of Ajamida’s race,–the daughter-in-law of the illustrious Pandu. Iam the queen of Pandu’s sons, who resemble five Indras in splendour. Ihave, by these five heroes, five sons that are all mighty car-warriors,and that are morally bound to thee, O Krishna, as Abhimanyu himself.Being such, O Krishna, I was seized by the hair, dragged into theassembly and insulted in the very sight of the sons of Pandu and in thylife-time. O Kesava, the sons of Pandu, the Panchalas, and the Vrishnisbeing all alive, exposed to the gaze of the assembly I was treated as aslave by those sinful wretches. And when the Pandavas beholding it allsat silent without giving way to wrath, in my heart I called upon thee. OGovinda, saying,–Save me, O save me!–Then the illustrious kingDhritarashtra, my father-in-law, said unto me, ‘Ask thou any boon, Oprincess of Panchala. Thou deservest boons and even honour at my hands.’Thus addressed I said, ‘Let the Pandavas be free men with their cars andweapons.’ Upon this the Pandavas, O Kesava, were freed but only to beexiled into the woods. O Janardana, thou knowest all these sorrows ofmine. Rescue me, O lotus-eyed one, with my husbands, kinsmen, andrelatives, from that grief. Morally, O Krishna, I am the daughter-in-lawof both Bhishma and Dhritarashtra. Though such, I was yet forcibly made aslave. Fie to Partha’s bowmanship, oh, fie to Bhimasena’s might sinceDuryodhana, O Krishna, liveth for even a moment. If I deserve any favourat thy hands, if thou hast any compassion for me, let thy wrath, OKrishna, be directed towards the sons of Dhritarashtra.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Having said this, the beautiful Krishna of eyesthat were black in hue and large like lotus leaves, bathed in tears, andwalking like a cow-elephant, approached the lotus-eyed Krishna, andtaking with her left hand her own beautiful tresses of curly ends,deep-blue in hue and scented with every perfume, endued with everyauspicious mark, and though gathered into a braid, yet soft and glossylike a mighty snake, spake these words, ‘Lotus-eyed one that art anxiousfor peace with the enemy, thou shouldst, in all thy acts, call to thymind these tresses of mine seized by Dussasana’s rude hands! If Bhima andArjuna, O Krishna, have become so low as to long for peace, my agedfather then with his war like sons will avenge for me in battle. My fivesons also that are endued with great energy, with Abhimanyu, O slayer ofMadhu, at their head, will fight with the Kauravas. What peace can thisheart of mine know unless I behold Dussasana’s dark arm severed from histrunk and pulverised to atoms? Thirteen long years have I passed inexpectation of better times, hiding in my heart my wrath like asmouldering fire. And now pierced by Bhima’s wordy darts that heart cfmine is about to break, for the mighty-armed Bhima now casteth his eye onmorality. Uttering these words with voice choked in tears, the large-eyedKrishna began to weep aloud, with convulsive sobs, and tears gushed downher cheeks. And that lady, with hips full and round, began to drench herclose and deep bosom by the tears she shed which were hot as liquid fire.The mighty-armed Kesava then spoke, comforting her in these words, ‘Soonwilt thou, O Krishna, behold the ladies of Bharata’s race weep as thoudost. Even they, O timid one, will weep like thee, their kinsmen andfriends being slain. They with whom, O lady, thou art angry, have theirkinsmen and warriors already slain. With Bhima and Arjuna and the twins,at Yudhishthira’s command, and agreeably to fate, and what hath beenordained by the Ordainer, I will accomplish all this. Their hour havingarrived, the sons of Dhritarashtra, if they do not listen to my words,will surely lie down on the earth turned as morsels of dogs and jackals.The mountains of Himavat might shift their site, the Earth herself mightspilt into a hundred fragments, the firmament itself with its myriads ofstars might fall down, still my words can never be futile. Stop thytears, I swear to thee, O Krishna, soon wilt thou see thy husbands, withtheir enemies slain, and with prosperity crowning them.'”

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