Mahabharata Udyoga Parva - Translation by KM Ganguly

Mahabharata Adiparva


"Vaisampayana said, 'Reflecting (for a moment), with eyes red in anger, he, of Dasarha's race, addressing Duryodhana in that assembly of the Kurus, then said these words, 'Wishest thou for a bed of heroes? Verily, thou shalt have it, with thy consellors. Wait (for a short while), a great slaughter will ensue. Thou thinkest, O thou of little understanding, that thou hast committed no offence against the Pandavas? Let the (assembled) monarchs judge. Grieved at the prosperity of the high-souled Pandavas, thou conspirest, O Bharata, with Suvala's son about the gambling match. O sire, how could those virtuous, honest, and superior kinsmen of thine (otherwise) engage in such a wicked act with the deceitful Sakuni? O thou that art endued with great wisdom, gambling robs even the good of their understanding, and as regards the wicked, disunion and dire consequence spring from it. It was thou who hadst devised with thy wicked counsellors, that terrible source of calamity in the form of the gambling match, without consulting with persons of righteous behaviour. Who else is there, capable of insulting a brother's wife in the way thou didst or of dragging her into the assembly and addressing her in language thou hadst used towards Draupadi? Of noble parentage, and endued with excellent behaviour, and dearer to them than their very lives, the queen-consort of Pandu's sons was treated even thus by thee. All the Kauravas know what words were addressed in their assembly by Dussasana unto those chastisers of foes,--the sons of Kunti,--when they were about to set out for the woods. Who is there capable of behaving so wretchedly towards his own honest kinsmen, that are ever engaged in the practice of virtue, that are untainted by avarice, and that are always correct in their behaviour? Language such as becomes only those that are heartless and despicable, was frequently repeated by Karna and Dussasana and also by thee. Thou hadst taken great pains to burn to death, at Varanavata, the sons of Pandu with their mother, while they were children, although that effort of thine was not crowned with success. After this, the Pandavas with their mother were obliged to live for a long while, concealed in the town of Ekachakra in the abode of a Brahmana. With poison, with snakes and cords, thou hadst, by every means, sought the destruction of the Pandavas, although none of thy designs was successful. With such feelings when thou hadst always acted towards them so deceitfully, how canst thou say that thou hast not offended against the high-souled Pandavas? Thou art not, O sinful man, willing to give them their paternal share in the kingdom, although they are begging it of thee. Thou shalt have to give it them, this, when divested of prosperity, thou shalt be laid low. Having, like a heartless fellow, done innumerable wrongs to the Pandavas and behaved so deceitfully towards them, thou seekest now to appear in a different garb. Though repeatedly solicited by thy parents, by Bhishma, Drona, and Vidura, to make peace, thou dost not yet, O king, make peace. Great is the advantage in peace, O king, both to thyself and Yudhishthira. Peace, however, does not recommend itself to thee. To what else can it be due, but to thy loss of understanding? Transgressing the words of thy friends, thou canst never attain to what is for thy benefit. Sinful and disreputable is that act, which thou, O king, art about to do.'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'While he, of Dasarha's race, was saying this, Dussasana addressed vindictive Duryodhana and said unto him these words in the midst of the Kurus, If, O king, thou dost not willingly make peace with the Pandavas, verity the Kauravas will bind thee (hand and foot) and make over thee to the son of Kunti. Bhishma, and Drona, and thy (own) father, O bull amongst men, will make over us three, viz., Vikartana's son, thyself, and myself, to the Pandavas!'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'Hearing these words of his brother, Dhritarashtra's son, wicked, shameless, disobedient, disrespectful, and vain Suyodhana, breathing heavily like a great snake rose up from his seat in anger, and disregarding Vidura, and Dhritarashtra and the great king Vahlika, and Kripa, and Somadatta, and Bhishma, and Drona, and Janardana, in fact, all of them, went out of the court, And beholding that bull among men leave the court, his brother and all his counsellors, and all the kings, followed him. And seeing Duryodhana rise and leave the court in anger with his brothers, Santanu's son, Bhishma said, 'The enemies of that person, who, abandoning both virtue and profit, followeth the impulses of wrath, rejoice on beholding him plunged into distress at no distant date. This wicked son of Dhritarashtra, this one unacquainted with the true means (of accomplishing his objects), this fool that is wrongly vain of his sovereignty, obeyeth only the dictates of wrath and avarice. I see also, O Janardana, that the hour of all those Kshatriyas is arrived, for all those kings, from delusion, have with their counsellors followed Duryodhana.' Hearing these words of Bhishma, the lotus-eyed hero of Dasarha's race, possessed of great powers, addressing all those (that were still there) headed by Bhishma and Drona, said, 'Even this is great transgression, of which all the elders of the Kuru race are becoming guilty, for they do not forcibly seize and bind this wicked king in the enjoyment of sovereignty. Ye chastiser of foes, I think the time hath come for doing this. If this is done, it may still be productive of good. Listen to me, ye sinless ones. The words I will speak will soon lead to beneficial results, if, indeed, ye Bharatas, ye accept what I say in consequence of its recommending itself to you. The wicked son, of ill-regulated soul, of the old Bhoja king, having usurped his father's sovereignty during the latter's life-time, subjected himself to death. Indeed, Kansa, the son of Ugrasena, abandoned by his relatives, was slain by me in a great encounter, from desire of benefiting my kinsmen. Ourselves with our kinsmen then, having paid due honours to Ugrasena, the son of Ahuka, installed that extender of Bhoja's kingdom on the throne. And all the Yadavas and Andhakas and the Vrishnis, abandoning a single person, viz., Kansa for the sake of their whole race, have prospered and obtained happiness. O king, when the gods and Asuras were arrayed for battle and weapons were upraised for striking, the lord of all creatures, Parameshthin said thus (something which applies to the case at hand). Indeed, O Bharata, when the population of the worlds was divided into two parties and was about to be slaughtered, the divine and holy Cause of the universe, viz., the Creator, said, 'The Asuras and the Daityas with the Danavas will be vanquished, and the Adityas, the Vasus, the Rudras and other dwellers of heaven will be victorious. Indeed, the gods, and Asuras, and human beings, and Gandharvas, and Snakes, and Rakshasas, will in rage slaughter one another in this battle.' Thinking so, the Lord of all creatures, Parameshthin, commanded Dharma, saying, 'Binding fast, the Daityas and the Danavas, make them over to Varuna.' Thus addressed, Dharma, at the command of Parameshthin, binding the Daityas and the Danavas, made them over to Varuna. And Varuna, the Lord of the waters, having bound those Danavas, with Dharma's noose, as also with his own, keepeth them within the depths of the ocean, always guarding them carefully. Binding in the same way Duryodhana and Karna and Sakuni, the son of Suvala, and Dussasana, make them over to the Pandavas. For the sake of a family, an individual may be sacrificed. For a village, a family may be sacrificed. For the sake of a province, a village may be sacrificed. And lastly, for the sake of one's self, the whole earth may be sacrificed. O monarch, binding Duryodhana fast, make peace with the Pandavas. O bull among Kshatriyas, let not the whole Kshatriya race be slaughtered on thy account.'"