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Chapter 93

Mahabharata English - UDYOGA PARAVA

“The holy one said, ‘That, indeed, which should be said by a person ofgreat wisdom: that, indeed, which should be said by one possessed ofgreat foresight; that indeed, which should be said by one like thee to afriend like me; that indeed, which is deserving of thee, being consistentwith virtue and profit, and truth; that, O Vidura, hath been said bythee, father and mother-like, unto me. That which thou hast told me iscertainly true, worthy of approbation and consistent with reason. Listen,however, with attention, O Vidura, to the reason of my coming. Wellknowing the wickedness of Dhritarashtra’s son and the hostility of theKshatriyas that have sided with him. I have still, O Vidura, come to theKurus. Great will be the merit earned by him who will liberate from themeshes of death the whole earth, with her elephants, cars and steeds,overwhelmed with a dreadful calamity. If a man striving to the best ofhis abilities to perform a virtuous act meets with failure, I have notthe least doubt that the merit of that act becomes his, notwithstandingsuch failure. This also is known to those that are conversant withreligion and scripture, that if a person having intended mentally tocommit a sinful act does not actually commit it, the demerit of that actcan never be his. I will sincerely endeavour, O Vidura, to bring aboutpeace between the Kurus and the Srinjayas who are about to be slaughteredin battle. That terrible calamity (which hangs over them all) hath itsorigin in the conduct of the Kurus, for it is directly due to the actionof Duryodhana and Karna, the other Kshatriyas only following the lead ofthese two. The learned regard him to be a wretch who doth not by hissolicitation seek to save a friend who is about to sink in calamity.Striving to the best of his might, even to the extent of seizing him bythe hair, one should seek to dissuade a friend from an improper act. Inthat case, he that acteth so, instead of incurring blame, reapeth praise.It behoveth Dhritarashtra’s son, therefore, O Vidura, with hiscounsellors, to accept my good and beneficial counsels that areconsistent with virtue and profit and competent to dispel the presentcalamity. I will, therefore, sincerely endeavour to bring about the goodof Dhritarashtra’s sons and of the Pandavas, as also of all theKshatriyas on the face of the earth. If while endeavouring to bring aboutthe good (of my friends), Duryodhana judgeth me wrongly, I shall have thesatisfaction of my own conscience, and a true friend is one who assumeththe functions of an intercessor when dissensions break out betweenkinsmen. In order, again, that unrighteous, foolish, and inimical personsmay not afterwards say that though competent, still Krishna did not makeany attempt to restrain the angry Kurus and the Pandavas fromslaughtering one another I have come here. Indeed, it is to serve bothparties that I have come hither. Having striven to bring about peace, Iwill escape the censure of all the kings. If after listening to myauspicious words, fraught with virtue and profit, the foolish Duryodhanaaccept them not, he will only invite his fate. If without sacrificing theinterests of the Pandavas I can bring about peace among the Kurus, myconduct will be regarded as highly meritorious, O high-souled one, andthe Kauravas themselves will be liberated from the meshes of death. Ifthe sons of Dhritarashtra reflect coolly on the words I shallutter–words fraught with wisdom, consistent with righteousness, andpossessed of grave import,–then that peace which is my object will bebrought about and the Kauravas will also worship me (as the agentthereof). If, on the other hand, they seek to injure me, I tell thee thatall the kings of the earth; united together, are no match for me, like aherd of deer incapable of standing before an enraged lion.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Having said these words, that bull of theVrishni race and delighter of Yadavas, then laid himself down on his softbed for sleep.'”

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