Pratap Chandra Roy.

The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (Volume 5) online

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The swans then, that were capable of going everywhere at will,
addressed the crow, saying,' 1 — [We are swans, having our
abode in the Manasa lake. We traverse the whole Earth,
and amongst winged creatures we are always applauded for the
length of the distances we traverse !" Being, as thou art, only
a crow, how canst thou, O fool, challenge a swan endued with
might, capable of going everywhere at will, and doing large
distances in course of his flight ? Tell us, O crow, how thou
shalt fly with us !] iS — The boastful crow, in consequence of the
foolishness of his species, repeatedly finding fault with the words
of that swan, at last gave this answer. 8 * — The crow said, — [I
shall, without doubt, fly, displaying a hundred and one different
kinds of motion ! Doing every hundred Yojaoias in a separate
and beautiful kind of motion, I shall display all those motions ! 2S
Rising up, and swooping down, and whirling around, and
coursing straight, and proceeding gently, and advancing steadi-
ly, and performing the diverse courses up and down in a slant-
ing direction, 8 * and floating still, and wheeling around, and
receding back, and soaring high, and darting forward, and
soaring upwards with fiercer velocity, and once more proceeding
gently and then proceeding with great impetuosity, 87 * and once
again swooping down and whirling around, and advancing
steadily, and rising up and up by jerks, and soaring straight,
and once more falling down, 88 and wheeling in a circle, and
rushing proudly, and diverse other kinds of motion,-f" — these
all I shall display in the sight of all you ! Ye shall then
witness my strength ! 89 With one of these different kinds
of motion I shall presently rise into the sky. Point out
duly, ye swans, by which of these motions I shall course

* The second line of 27 I read as it is in the Bombay edition. — T.

+ I do not render the last few kinds of motion as these are not very
intelligible. Nilakantha appends a learned note, explaining all the
different kinds of motion mentioned here. Many of his meanings, how*
erer, are fauciful if not unintelligible.— T.


through space. 80 Settling tho kind of motion amongst your-
selves, you will have to course with me. Adopting all those
different motions, ye shall have to course with me through
supportless space !]•' — The crow having said these words, ono
of the swan3 addressed him. Listen, O son of Radha, to tho
words that the swan said. The swan spoke, — [Thou, O crow,
wilt doubtless fly the hundred and one different kinds of flight !
I shall, however, fly in that one kind of motion that all (other)
birds know, for I do not, crow, know any other ! As regards
thee, thou of red eyes, fly thou in any kind of course that
thou likest !"" s * — At these words, those crows that had been
assembled there laughed aloud, saying, — [How will the swan
by only one kind of flight get the better cf a hundred different
kinds of flight ?] 88 —

" ' — Then those two, viz., the swan and the crow, rose into
the sky, challenging each other. Capable of going everywhere
at will, the swan proceeded in one kind of motion, while the
crow coursed in a hundred different kinds. 87 And the swan flew
and the crow also flew, causing each other to wonder (at his
skill) and each speaking highly of his own achievements. 88 Be-
holding the diverse kinds of flight at successive instants of time,
the crows that were there were filled with great joy and began
to caw more loudly. 89 The swans also laughed in mockery,
uttering many remarks disagreeable (to the crows). And they
began to soar and alight repeatedly, here and there. 40 And they
began to come down and rise up from tree-tops anil the surface
of the Earth. And they uttered diverse cries indicative of
their victory.* 1 Tho swan, however, with that one kind of
slow motion (with which he was familiar) began to traverse
I the skies. For a moment, therefore, O sire, he seemed to yield
1 to the crow.** The crows, at this, disregarding the swans, said
i these words : — [That swan amongst you which has soared into
i the sky, is evidently yielding !] 4J — Hearing these words, the
j (soaring) swan flew westwards with great velocity to the ocean,
' that abode of Makaras.** Then fear entered the heart of the
crow who became almost senseless at not seeing any island or
trees whereon to porch when tired. And the crow thought
within his heart as to where he should alight when tired, upon


that vast expanse of water. 45 The ocean, being as it is the
abode of countless creatures, is irresistible. Dwelt in by hun-
dreds of monsters, it is grander than space. 4 ' Nothing can
exceed it in depth, Suta's son ! Men know, O Kama, that
the waters of the ocean are as limitless as space. For the
extent of its waters, O Kama, what is a crow to it? 47 The
swan, having traversed a great distance in a moment, looked
back at the crow, and (though capable) could not leave him be-
hind. 48 Having transgressed the crow, the swan cast his eyes
on him and waited, thinking, — [Let the crow come up.] 40 —
The crow then, exceedingly tired, came up to the swan, 50 Be-
holding him succumbing, and about to sink, and desirous of
rescuing him in remembrance of the practices of good folks,
the swan addressed him in these words : 51 — [Thou hadst repea-
tedly spoken of many kinds of flight while speaking on the sub-
ject ! Thou wouldst not speak of this (thy present motion)
because of its having been a mystery to us ? 52 What is the
name of this kind of flight, O crow, that thou hast now adopt-
ed ? Thou touchest the waters with thy wings and beak re-
peatedly. 58 Which amongst those diverse kinds of flight is
this, O crow, that thou art now practising ? Come, come,
quickly, O crow, for I am waiting for thee !] 54 —

" 'Cilya continued, — Exceedingly afflicted, and touching the
water with his wings and beak, O thou of wicked soul, the
crow, beheld in that state by the swan, addressed the latter. 55
Indeed, not seeing the limit of that watery expanse, and sink-
ing down in fatigue, and exhausted with the effort of his
flight, the crow said unto the swan, 56 — [We are crows, we
wander hither and thither, crying — caw, caiv ! — O swan, I
seek thy protection, placing my life-breaths at thy hands ! Oh,
take me to the shores of the ocean !] 57 — Exceedingly afflicted,
and touching the ocean with his wings and beak, the crow,
very much fatigued, suddenly fell down. 58 Beholding him
fallen upon the waters of the ocean with a melancholy heart,
the swan, addressing the crow who was on the point of death,
said these words : 5 '— [Remember, crow, what thou hadst
said in praise of thyself ! Thy words even were that thou
wouldst course through the sky in a hundred and one different


kinds of flight. 60 Thou, therefore, that wouldst lly a hundred
different kinds of flight, thou that art superior to me, alas,

why then art thou tired and fallen down on the ocean ; j ' —
Overcome with weakness, the crow then, casting his ejus
upwards at the swan, and seeking to gratify him, replied,
saying," — [Proud of the remains of others' dishes upon which
I fed, I had, O swan, regarded myself as the equal of Garuda,
and had disregarded all crows and many other birds '.' 8 I now,
however, seek thy protection and place my life-breaths at thy
hands! Oh, take me to the shores of some island! 64 If, ()
swan, I can, lord, return in safety to my own country, I
will never again disregard anybody ! Oh, rescue me now
from this calamity !] 6J — Him that said so and was so melan-
choly and weeping and deprived of his senses, him that was
sinking in the ocean, uttering cries of caw, caw,** him so
drenched by the water and so disgusting to look at and trem-
bling with fear, the swan, without a word, took up with his
feet and slowly caused to ride on his back. 67 Having caused
the crow wh<>se senses had deserted him to rido upon his back,
the swan quickly returned to that island whence thy had both
flown, challenging each other. 68 Placing down that ranger of
the sky on dry land and comforting him, the swan, fleet as tho
mind, proceeded to the region he desired. Thus was that crow,
fed on the remains of others' dinners, vanquished by the swan.
The crow, then, casting off the pride of might and energy,
adopted a life of peace and quiet. 60 " 70 Indeed, even as that crow,
fed upon the remains of the dinners of the Vaicya children,
disregarded his equals and superiors, so dost thou, Kami,
that art fed by the sons of Dhritarashtra upon the remains of
their dishes, disregard all thy equals and superiors! 71 Why
didst thou not slay Partha at Virata's city when thou hadst tho
advantage of being protected by Drona and Drona's son and
Kripa and Bhishma and the other Kauravas ?" There whore,
like a pack of jackals defeated by a lion, ye all were defeated
with great slaughter by the diadem-decked Arjuna, what be-
came of your prowess V* Beholding also thy brother slain by
Savyasachin, in the very sight of the Kuru heroes, it was thou
that didst fly away first'. 74 By the skirls also of the Dwaifa


lake, Kama, when thou werb assailed by the Gandhatvas, it
was thou that, deserting all the Kurus, didst first run away ! 7S
Having vanquished in battle the Gandharvas headed by Chitra-
sena, withgreat slaughter, it was Partha, O Kama, that liberated
Dnryodhana with his wife ! 76 llama himself, O Kama, before
the kings in the (Kuru) assembly, spake of the former prowess
of both Partha and Kecava. 77 Thou didst frequently hear the
Avords of Drona and Bhishma, speaking in the presence of all
the kings, that the two Krishnas are unslayable. 78 I have told
thee a little only regarding those matters in which Dhananjaya
is superior to thee like the Brahmana who is superior to all
created beings! 79 Soon wilt thou see, stationed on that fore-
most of cars, the son of Vasudeva and the son of Kunti and
Pandu. 80 As the crow (in the story), acting with intelligence,
had sought the protection of the swan, so do thou seek the
protection of him of Vrishni's race, and of Pandu's son
Dhananjaya ! 81 When thou shalt in battle behold Vasudeva
and Dhananjaya, those two endued with great prowess, station-
ed together on the same car, thou shalt not then, Kama,
utter such speeches P When Partha will, with hundreds of
arrows, quell thy pride, then wilt thou behold the difference
between thyself and Dhananjaya ! 8S Those two best of per-
sons are celebrated among the gods, the Asuras and human
beings ! Thou that art a fire-fly, do not, from folly, think
disrespectfully of those two resplendent luminaries! 84 Like
the Sun and the Moon, Ke$ava and Arjuna are celebrated for
their resplendence. Thou, however, art like a fire-fly among
men ! 86 O learned one, O son of a Suta, do not think disres-
pectfully of Achyuta and Arjuna! Those two high-souled
persons are lions among men ! Forbear indulging in such
boas ts !'— * " 8 «

Section XLII.

"Sanjaya said, — 'The high.-souled son of Adhiratha, having
listened unconvinced to these words of the rulor of the Madras,
adiressod Calya, saying, — That which Vasudeva and Arjuna
are, is well-known to me ! l The skill of Caurin in the manage-


mcnfc of cars, and the might and the high weapons of Arjuna
the son of P&ndu, arc well-known to me at this hour. Thou
however, Calya, hast no occular proof of those matters '*
I shall fearlessly fight with the two Krishnas, those two
foremost of all wielders of weapons. The curse, however, of
Rama, that best of regenerate persons, paincth me greatly to-
day '} I dwelt, in the disguise of a Briihmana, with Rama in
former days, desirous of obtaining celestial weapons from him.
On that occasion, O Calya, the chief of the gods, wishing to
benefit Phalguna, caused an obstacle, by approaching my thigh
and piercing it, having assumed the dire form of a worm !*
When my preceptor slept having laid his head thereon, th i
worm, approaching my thigh, began to pierce it through. In
consequence of the piercing of my thigh, a pool of thick blood
flowed from my body. 5 For fear of (disturbing the slumber
of) my preceptor I did not m)ve my limb. Awaking, the Brail-
mana, however, beheld what had taken place. Witnessing my
patience, he addressed me, saying, — [Thou art never a Brah-
mana ! Tell me truly who thou art !] 8 I then, Calya, truly
informed him of myself, saying that I was a Suta. Hearing my
word-, the groat ascetic, his heart filled with rage, cursed me,
saying, 7 — [In consequence of the deception, O Suta, by which
thou hast obtained this weapon, it will never, at the time of
need, when the hour of thy death comes, occur to thy memory !
Brahma cannot certainly reside in one- that is not a Brfihma-
na !]' — I havo forgotten that great weapm in this fierce and
terrible battle ! 3 He amongst the Bharatas, Calya, who is
accomplished, who is an effectual smitcr, who is a universal
itroyer, and who is exceedingly terrible, (viz., Arjuna), — that
mighty crusher, — I think, will burn many foremost of Kshatri-
yas. 10 Know, however, O Calya, that I will slay in battle that
fierce bowman, that foremost of warriors, that hero endued with
activity, that terrible person whose energy is unbearable, that
warrior whose premises are accomplished, that sun of Pandu • i
Dhananjava '." I have that w«;ipon (at least) under my control
today with which I will be able to destroy largo numbers of
, Toes! I will slay in battle that scorcher «>f enemies, that might)
warrior accomplished in weapons, that fierce bowman of ii


measurable energy, that cruel and terrible hero, that great re-
sister of enemies, viz., Dhananjaya ! 12 The immeasurable Ocean,
that lord of all wafers, rusheth with fierce impetuosity for over-
whelming innumerable creatures. The continents, however,
hold and check him. 18 Today, in this world, I will resist in
fiU'ht the son of Kunti. that foremost of all drawers of the
bowstring, while he will be engaged in ceaselessly shooting his
countless shafts equipt with goodly wings, destructive of heroes,
capable of penetrating into every limb, and nous of which be-
comes futile I 1 * Like the continent resisting the Ocean, I will
today resist that mightiest of the mighty, that great warrior
possessing the highest weapons, that hero like into the Ocean's
self, of far-reaching arrows, fierce, and having shafts for his
waves, while he will be engaged in overwhelming (hostile)
kings!" Behold today the fierce battle I fight with him that
hath no equal, I think, ammg men wielding the bow, and that
would vanquish the very gods united with the Asiwas ! 16 Ex-
ceedingly proud is that son of Pandu. Desirous of battle he
will approach me with his mighty and superhuman weapons !!
Baling his weapons with my own weapons in battle, I shall;
today overthrow that Partha with my own excellent shafts. 1 ']
Scorching his foes tike the Sun endued with fiery rays, and'
blazing with fame like that dispcller of darkness, I shall, like!
a mass of clouds, completely shroud Dhananjaya today with mjl
shafts ! 18 Like the clouds extinguishing a blazing fire of greaj
energy and sm jke-mixed flames, that seems ready to consumj
the whole Earth, I shall, with my showers of arrows, extinguish
the son of Kunti in battle !' a With my broad-headed shafts ]
shall still the son of Kunti, that terrible snake of virulerj
poison, that is exceedingly difficult of being captured, that i|
endued with keen fangs, that is even like a blazing fire, thff
finm?s up in wrath, and that always consumes his foes! 20 Lil.
Himavat bearing the mighty, all-crushing, fierce, and smitir
god of wind, I shall, without moving, bear the angry and vij
dictive Dhananjaya ! 21 I shall resist in battle Dhananjaya, th>
foremost of all wielders of bows in the world, that hero in figlj
that warrior who is always in the van and who is competent
moet all foeSj car-warrior who is conversant with all a



tracks !" Today I shall fight in battle with that person who
hath, I think, no equal among men wielding the bow and who
conquered the entire Earth !* 3 What other man desirous of

(saving his lite, except myself, will fight with that Savya-
sachin who vanquished all creatures including the very gods,
in the country called Khandava ! 2i Arjuna is proud ; his
weapons strike deep ; he is endued with great lightness of
hands ; he is conversant with steeds ; he agitates vast hosts ;
he is regarded an Atiratha ! Though such, I shall yet, with
my sharp shafts, strike his head from off his trunk today ! !8

Calya, ever keeping Death or Victory in battle before me,

1 shall today fight with Dhananjaya! There is none else,
save myself that would on a single car fight with that Pandava
who resembles the Destroyer himself ! 28 I myself will gladly
speak of the prowess of Phalguna in the midst of an assembly
of Kshatriyas. Why, however, dost thou, a foul as thou art
and of foolish understanding, speak to me of Phalguna's prow-
ess ! 97 Thou art a doer of disagreeable deeds ! Thou art cruel
and mean, and being thyself unforgiving, thou art a detractor of
one that is forgiving ! I can slay a hundred persons like thee,
but I forgive thee in consequence of my forgiving disposi-
tion, owing to the excigeney of the times! 28 Thou art of
sinful deeds. Like a fool, thou hast, for the sake of Panda's
son, rebuked me and told me many disagreeable things ! Crook-
ed-hearted as thou art, thou hast said all these words unto me
that am of a sincere heart ! Cursed art thou for thou art an
injurer of friends, — of friends, because friendship is seven-
paced !* 9 Terrible is the hour that is now passing. Duryo-
dhana hath himself come to battle. I am solicitous of seeing
his purposes achieved. Thou, however, art acting in such a
way that it shows thee to have no friendship (for the Kuru
king) '. i0 He is a friend who shows affection for another, who
gladdens another, who makes himself agreeable to another, who
protects another, who honors another, and who joys in the
joy of another. I tell thee that 'I have all those attributes, and
the king himself knows all this. 31 Be, on the other hand,
that destroys, chastises, sharpens his weapons, injures, cau

" bo ; h, makes u cho • and wrongs us in diverse W I


is a foe. All these attributes are to be found in thee and
thou discoverest all of them towards me. 88 For the sake of
Duryodhana, for the sake of doing what is agreeable to thee,
for the sake of victory, for the sake of myself, and for the sake
of God himself, I will, with vigorous exertion, fight with
Partha and Vasudeva ! Witness today my feats ! 33 Behold
today my excellent weapons, viz., my Brahma and other
celestial weapons, as also those that are human I I will today
slay that hero of fierce prowess, like an exceedingly infuriate
elephant slaying an infuriate compeer. 34 I shall, by my mind
alone, hurl today at Partha, for my victory, that weapon of
immeasurable energy, called the Brahma ! Arjuna will never
be able to escape that weapon, if only the wheels of my car do
not sink into the Earth in battle today ! 3S Know this, Calya,
that I would not take fright at Yama himself armed with his
rod, or Varuna himself armed with his noose, or Kuvera him-
self armed with his mace, or Vasava himself armed with the
thunder-bolt, or at any other foe whatever that may approach
for slaying me ! 3S " 37 Therefore, I have no fear from Partha, nor
from Janarddana ! On the other hand, I shall encounter them
both in today's destructive battle ! 38 Once on a time, while
wandering for the sake of practising weapons on my bow called
Vijaya, king, I had, by shooting many fierce shafts of
terrible forms, 39 heedlessly struck the calf of a (Brahmana's)
Homa cow with one of those shafts, and unwillingly killed it
while it was wandering in a solitary forest. The Brahmana then
addressed me, saying, 40 — [Since, becoming insensate, thou hast
slain the offspring of my Homa cow, the wheel (of thy car)
will sink into the Earth while at time of battle fear will
enter thy heart !] 41 — From these words of the Brahmana I am
experiencing great fear. These kings of the Lunar race that
are lords of (other people's) weal and woe, 42 offered to give that
Brahmana a thousand kine and six hundred bovine bulls.
With even such a gift, O Calya, the Brahmana could not be
gratified, O ruler of the Madras ! 43 I was then for giving him
seven hundred elephants of large tusks and many hundreds of
slaves male and female. That foremost of Brahmanas would
not still be gratified. 44 Collecting next full fourteen thousand

KAH.NA l'ARVA, 151

feine, each black in hue and having a white calf, I was still
unable to obtain the grace of that best of Brfihmanas. 45 A
wealthy mansion full of every object of desire, in fact, what-
ever wealth I had, I wished to give him, with due worship,
but he refused to accept tho gift. 46 Unto me then that had
offended and that begged so importunately for his pardon, tho
Brahmana said, — [That which, Suta, hath been uttered by me
is sure to happen. It cannot be otherwise. A false speech
would destroy creatures, and sin also would be mine ! There
fore, for the preservation of virtue I do not venture to speak
what is false ! 47 ' 18 Do not, again, destory the means of a Brahma-
na's support ! There is none in the world that would be able to
falsify my speech. Accept those words. It will be thy atone-
ment (for the sin of having slain a calf !] 49 — Though rebuked
by thee, still, for friendship's sake, I have disclosed to thee all
this ! I know thee that art rebuking me thus ! Be silent now,
and hear what I will presently say ! — ' " 60

Section XLIII.

"Sanjaya said, — 'That chastiser of foes, viz., the son of
Radha, thus silencing the ruler of the Madras, once more
addressed him, monarch, saying these words :' — In answer
to that which, Calya, thou hast said unto me by way
of instance, I tell thee that I am incapable of being fright-
ened by thee in battle with thy words 1* If all the gods
themselves with Vasava would fight with me I would nob
still feel any fear, what need be said then of my fears from
Partha and Kecava ? 3 I am incapable of being frightened
by means of words alone ! He, O Calya, whom thou wouldst
be able to frighten in battle is some other person (and not
myself ) !* Thou hast spoken many bitter words to me.
Therein lieth the strength of a person that is low. Incapable
of speaking of my merits, thou sayst many bitter things, O
thou of wicked heart I s Kama was never born, Madraka,
for fear in battle ! On the other hand, I was born for display-
ing valor as also for achieving glory for my own self'. 5 For the
sake of my friendship for thee, for my affection, and for thy


being an ally, — for those three reasons, — thou still livest,
Calya ! 7 Important is the task that has now to be done for king
Dhritarashtra. That task, Calya, depends on ine ! For this,
thou livest a moment ! 8 Before this, I made a compact with
thee that any disagreeable speeches thou mightst utter would
be pardoned by me ! That compact should be observed. It
is for this that thou livest, O Madraka ! 9 Without a thousand
Calyas, I would vanquish my foes !* He that injurcth a friend
is sinful. It is for this that thou livest for the present ! — ' " l0

Section XLIV.

" 'Calya said, — These, Kama, are ravings, that thou utter-
est regarding the foe ! As regards myself, without a thousand
Karnas, I am able to vanquish the foe in battle I' 1 *

"Sanjaya continued, — 'Unto the ruler of the Madras, of harsh
features, who was saying such disagreeable things unto Kama,
the latter once more said words that were twice bitter. 2

' ; 'Kama said, — Listen with devoted attention to this,
ruler of the Madras, that was heard by me while it was recited
in the presence of Dhritarashtra ! 3 In Dhritarashtra's abode
the Brahmanas used to narrate the accounts of diverse de-
lightful regions and many kings of ancient times. 4 A fore-
most one among Brahmanas, venerable in years, while reciting
old histories, said these words, blaming the Vahikas and
the Madrakas : s — [One should always avoid the Vahikas,
those impure people that are out of the pale of virtue, and
that live away from Himavat and Ganga and Saraswati and
Yamuna and Kurukshetra and the Sindhu and its five tri-
butary rivers. 6 " 7 I remember from the days of my youth

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