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axles that do not creak, and with standard that bears the ape.
Thou bearest a sword attached to that belt of gold and silk. This
thy bow Gandiva is full six cubits long. Thou hast Kecava for
thy driver. Why then, through fear of Kama, hast thou come
away from battle, O Partha ! 17 If, O thou of wicked soul, thou
hadst given this bow to Kecava and become his driver, then
Kecava would have (by this time) slain the fierce Kama like
(Cakra) the lord of the Maruts slaying with his thunder the
Asura Vritra! 18 If thou art unable to resist the fierce son of
Radha. today as he is careering in battle, give this thy Gandiva
today to some other king, that may be thy superior in (the use
and knowledge of) weapons !' 19 If that be done, the world will
not then behold us bereft of sons and wives, deprived of happi-
ness in consequence of the loss of kingdom, and sunk, son
of Pandu, in an unfathomable hell of great misery ! 20 It
would have been better for thee if thou hadst never been born
in the womb of Kunti, or, having taken thy birth there, if
thou hadst come out on the fifth month an abortion, than to
have, O prince, thus come away from battle, O thou of wicked
soul ! ai Fie on thy Gandiva, fie on the might of thy arms, fie
on thy inexhaustible arrows ' Fie on thy banner with the
gigantic ape on it, and fie on thy car given thee by the god
. f fi r e !_' "***



* The Bombay edition contains about 8 more verses in this section.
It is difficult to decide whether they are genuine. I prefer, however,
to fellow the Bengal texts in such matters.— T.



Section LXIX.

"Samrjaya said, — 'Thus addressed by Yudhishthira, Kunti'g
son owning white steeds, filled with rage, drew his sword for
slaying that bull of Bharata's race. 1 Beholding his wrath,
Kecava, conversant with the workings of the (human) heart,
kid,— Why, Partha, dost thou draw thy sword ? 2 I do not,

Dhananjaya, behold any one here with whom thou hast to
fight ! The Dhartarashtraa have now been assailed by the in-
telligent Bhimasena ! 3 Thou earnest from battle, son of
Kunti, for seeing the king ! The king has been seen by thee.
Indeed, Yudhishthira is well.* Having seen that tiger among
kings who is endued with prowess equal to that of a tiger, why
this folly at a time when thou shouldst rejoice ? 5 I do not
see here, O son of Kunti, the person whom- thou mayst slay !
Why then dost thou desire to strike ? What is this delusion
of thy mind . ;5 Why dost thou, with such speed, take up that
formidable sword? I ask thee this, O son of Kunti ! Whit
is this that thou art about, inasmuch as, O thou of inconceiv-
able prowess, thou graspest that sword in anger V — Thus ad-
dressed by Krishna, Arjuna, casting his eyes on Yudhishthira,
and breathing like an angry snake, said unto Govinda, 8 — I
would cut off the head of that man who would tel! me — Give
thy Gdndiva to another person ! — Even this is my secret vow. 3
Those words have been spoken by this king, thou of im-
measurable prowess, in thy presence, Govinda ! I dare not
forgive them ! 10 I will for that slay this king who himself fears
the slightest falling off from virtue. Slaying this best of men,

1 will keep my vow ! a It is for this that I have drawn the
sword, O delighter of the Yailus ! Even I, slaying Yudhish-
thira, will pay off my debt to truth ! 19 By that I will dispeT
my grief and fever, O Janarddana ! I ask thee, what do you
think suitable to the circumstances that have arisen ?' s Thou,

sire, knowest the entire past and future of this universe!'

1 will do that which thou wilt tell me !'* — '
"Sanjaya continued, — 'Govinda then said — Fl> /'■ — unto

Tartha and once more continued to say/ 5 — I now know, Par-



252 MAHABHAIUTA,

tha, that thou hast nob waited upon the old, since, tiger
among men, thou hast yielded to wrath at a time when thou
shouldst not have done so ! IS No one that is acquainted with
the distinctions of morality would act in the way, Dhananjaya,
in which thou, O son of Pandu, that art unacquainted with
them are for acting today ! 17 He. O Partha, is the worst of men
who achieveth acts that should not be done and acts that are
apparently proper but condemned by the scriptures. 18 * Thou
knowest not the conclusions of those learned men who, waited
upon by pupils, declare their opinions, following the dictates
of morality. n -f- The man that is not acquainted with those
conclusions becomes confounded and stupified, O Partha, even as
thou hast been stupified, in discriminating between what should
be done and what should not. 20 AVhat should be done and what
.should not, cannot be ascertained easily. Everything can be
asc3rtained by the aid of the scriptures. Thou, however, art
not acquainted with the scriptures. 2 ' Since (believing thyself )
conversant with morality thou art desirous of observing moral-
ity (in this way, it seems) thou art actuated by ignorance.
Thou belie vest thyself to be conversant with virtue, but thou
dost not know, O Partha, that the slaughter of living creatures
is a sin. 22 Abstention from injury to animals is, I think, the
highest virtue. One may even speak an untruth, but one
should never kill. 28 How then, foremost of men, couldst thou
wish, like an ordinary person, to slay thy eldest brother, the
King, who is conversant with morality? 24 The slaughter of
a person not engaged in battle, or of a foe, Bharaia, who has
turned his face from battle or who Hies away or seeks protection
or joins his hands or yields himself up or is careless, is never

* Akdrydnam Kriyanam means acts that should not be done. Kurya-
nam Akriydnam, i. e.\ acts condemned (by the scriptures) but neverthe-
less appearing as proper, such as the slaughter of the eldest brother for
keeping a vow. — T.

+ Sumusavistdravit, lit., one acquainted with a subject both in detail
and io the gross ; in other words, a learned person, or a man of great
expHrience. UpzsthitiU is explain cd by Nilakantha as waited upon hy
pupils. Kath'ycyuz is. lit., speak ur preach. — T



KAUNA PAIIVA. 253






applauded by the righteous. All these attributes ore in thy
superior.*' 5 "' This vow, Pfirtha, was adopted by thee be-
fore from foolishness. In consequence of that vow thou art
now, from folly, desirous of perpetrating a sinful act. 47 Why,
O Partha, dost thou rush towards thy reverend superior for
slaying him, without having resolved the exceedingly subtile
course of morality that is, again, difficult of being under-
stood ? 14 I will now tell thee, O son of Pandu, this mystery
connected with morality,— this mystery that was declared
by Bhishma, by the righteous Yudhishthira," by Vidura
otherwise called Kshatri, and by Kunti of great celebrity. I
will tell thee that mystery in all its details. Listen to it,
Dhananjaya '. so One who speaks truth is righteous. There is
nothing higher than truth. Behold, however, truth as prac-
tised is exceedingly difficult to be understood as regards its
essential attributes. 31 Truth may be unutterable, and even
falsehood may be utterablc where falsehood would become
truth and truth would become falsehood. 83 In a situation of
peril to life and in marriage, falsehood becomes utterable. In
a situation involving the loss of one's entire property, falsehood
becomes utterable. 33 On an occasion of marriage, or of enjoy-
ing a woman, or when life is in danger, or when one's entire
property is about to be taken away, or for the sake of a
Brahmana, falsehood may be uttered. These five kinds of
falsehood have been declared to be sinless. 5 * On those occa-
sions falsehood would become truth and truth would become
falsehood. 58 He is a fool that practises truth without knowing
the difference between truth and falsehood. One is said to be
conversant with morality when one is able to distinguish be-
tween truth and falsehood. 36 What wonder then in this that
a man of wisdom, by perpetrating even a cruel act, may ob-
tain great merit like Valaka by the slaughter of the blind
beast? 57 What wonder, again, in this that a foolish and igno-
rant person, from even the desire of winning merit, earns great
sin like Kaucika (living) among the rivers? — S8

* /. A, all the attributes that wouh.l make slaughter censurable uecur
iu Yudhiohthna.— T.



254 MAHABHARATA.

" 'Arjuna said,— Tell me, O holy one, this story that I may
understand it, viz., this illustration about Valaka and about
Kaucika (living) among rivers ! — S9

" 'Vasudeva said, — There was a certain hunter of animals,
O Bharata, of the name of Valaka. He used, for the liveli-
hood of his sons and wives and not from will, to slay animals. 40
Devoted to the duties of his own order and always, speaking
the truth and never harbouring malice, he used also to support
his parents and others that depended upon him. 41 One day,
searching for animals even with perseverance and care, he found
none. At last he saw a beast of prey whose sense of smell sup-
plied the defect of his eyes, employed in drinking water. 42 Al-
though he had never seen such an animal before, still he slew it
immediately. After the slaughter of that blind beast, a floral
shower fell from the skies (upon the head of the hunter). 43
A celestial car also, exceedingly delightful and resounding with
the songs of Apsaras and the music of their instruments, came
from heaven for taking away that hunter of animals. 41 That
beast of prey, having undergone ascetic austerities, had obtain-
ed a boon and had become the cause of the destruction of all
creatures. For this reason he was made blind by the Self-born. 48
Having slain that animal which had resolved to slay all crea-
tures, Valaka went to heaven. Morality is even so difficult of
being understood. 46 There was an ascetic of the name of Kau-
cika without much knowledge of the scriptures.* He lived on
a spot not much removed from a village, at a point where many
rivers met. 47 He made a vow, saying, — I must always speak
the truth ! — He then became celebrated, Dhananjaya, as a
speaker of truth. 43 At that time certain persons, from fear of
robbers, entered that wood (where Kaucika dwelt). Thither
even, the robbers, filled with rage, searched for them carefully. 43
Approaching Kaucika then, that speaker of truth, they asked
him, saying, — [0 holy one, by which path have a multitude of
men gone a little while before ? Asked in the name of Truth,

* I prefer the reading lapaswi navahufrulas. The other reading,
noticed by Nilakantha, is tapnswinoi'aki'gnitas, meauing the foremost of
ascetic?, &c.,— T.



KARNA PAKVA. 255

answer us. If thou hast seen them, tell us this.] 50 — Thus adjured,
Kaucika bold them the truth, saying, — [Those men have entered
this wood crowded with many trees and creepers and plants.] 11
— Even thus, O Partha, did Kaucika give them the informa-
tion. Then those cruel men, it is heard, finding out the
persons they sought, slew thorn all. 52 In consequence of that
great sin consisting in the words spoken, Kaucika, ignorant of
the subtilities of morality, foil into a grievous hell, 53 even as a
foolish man, of little knowledge, and unacquainted with the
distinctions of morality, falleth into painful hell by nut having
asked persons of age for the solution of his doubts. 84 There
must be some indications for distinguishing virtue from sin.
Sometimes that high and unattainable knowledge may be had
by the exercise of reason. 55 Many persons say, on the one
hand, that the scriptures indicate morality. I do not contra-
dict this. The scriptures, however, do not provide for every
case. 56 For the growth of creatures have precepts of morality
been declared. 57 That which is connected. with abstention from
injury must, for certain, be morality. The precepts of morality
were made for making creatures abstain from injury. 53 And
because it upholdeth all, therefore is morality called Dharma.
In fact, morality upholdeth all creatures. Therefore, that is
morality, without doubt, which is calculated to uphold (crea-
tures). 59 One should never have any intercourse with those
persons that on any occasion hope to acquire virtue by actii
according to the precepts of unassisted reason, or to win salva-
tion, as regards situations about which the scriptures are
silent, by the same means.* (In situations again whore neither
the scriptures nor wisdom of the reason affords any light),
■when the necessity to speak arises, one should maintain
silence, or, if silence produces any risk (to one's ownself or
to others), it is hotter to spoak an untruth. Verily, that
untruth is truth. 61 Ho that, in view of certain purposes,
makes a vow which ho does n ■'. keep by liis acts, obtains not
the fruit of that vow. 5 ** On occasions of dan ei bo life, or



Verse.3 60, 61, and 62 are whal ire called cnices or VyOsak
I hare followed the jlo33 )f Nilakautha ia rea lei iem, Ny9yena in



256 MAHARHARATA.

of marriage, or of risk of destruction to one's entire body of
relatives and kinsmen, or of jests, that which is said will not
be regarded as falsehood. 63 They that are conversant with
the truths of morality do not behold sin in all this. There
where by even an oath one may escape from the company of
thieves and robbers," it is better to swear falsely, for that
falsehood would, without doubt, be truth. No one should
give his wealth to thieves, if. of course, he can avoid it by
any means/ 5 The gift of one's wealth to sinful men afflicts
the giver himself. Therefore, a falsehood uttered for the sake
of a righteous end docs not become falsehood. 65 I have now
duly declared unto thee the indications by which morality or
its reverse) may be ascertained. Having heard all this, tell me,
O Partha, if Yudhishthira deserves to be slain by thee ! 67 —

"Arjuna said, — Thou, Krishna, art of great wisdom
and great intelligence! That which thou hast said for our
good is undoubtedly true ! 68 Thou art as a mother unto us
as also a father ! Thou, O Krishna, art our great refuge ! It
is for this that thou givest us excellent counsel ! 63 There is
nothing in the three worlds, Krishna, that is not known to
thee ! Therefore, thou knowest high morality in all its de-
tails. 70 I certainly regard king Yudhishthira the just to be



60 alludes to the numerous precepts of a moral character referrible to the
human wisdom unassisted by inspiration or the scriptures, such as "the
wise man should make otrhers happy. Even that is worship offered to the
Deity." Ahijanena haa reference to the silence of the scriptures on any
particular matter. Grammatically, icch.ff.nti is understood after 3fohham
in the second line of 60. Refrardin.ir the morality of what is said in Gl,
one of the fictions of Sir Walter Scott, viz., Woodstod; furnishes an apt
illustration in the answer of Sir Henry Lee to Oliver Cromwell when the
former was asked about the presence or otherwise of Low's Karneguy in
the house. However casuists may argue, no reader, whatever his prin-
ciples, would despise the honest cavalier for a lie whose object was the
safety of his king. In 62, what is said, parhaps, is that Arjuna, by not
keeping his vow, incurred only the loss of the fruits of that vow, and as
his vow had been motiveless or had proceeded at best from'vanity or self-
conceit, lus loss would be immaterial. At any rate, he ran no risk of sin
by not keening his foolish vow.— T



KARNA PAR VI, 2 .17

unslayable by me. In this, however, that is my present pur-
pose, tell mo graciously something that I may do. Listen now
to something else in my heart and which I will now declare ! 71
Thou knowest, O thou of Dacarha's raoo, what my vow is ! I
would, putting forth my might, slay him among men that would
toll me these words, viz., — [(iive thy Gandiva to some other
person, Partha, who is thy superior in weapons and energy !]
— So Bhima also will slay the person that will call him bread-
less* The king hath repoatedly used those vory words to me,
in thy presence, O hero, viz., — [Give thy bow !] 72-73 — If I slay
him, O Kecava, I will not be able to live in this world for even
a moment. Having intended again the slaughter of the king
through folly and the loss of my mental faculties, I have been
polluted by sin ! 7 * It behoveth thee today, foremost of all
righteous persons, to give me such counsel that my vow, known
throughout the world, may become true while at the same time
both myself and the eldest son of Pandu may live ! 76 —

" Vasudeva said, — The king was fatigued, and under the in-
fluence of grief. He had been mangled in battle by Kama with
numerous arrows. After that, O hero, he was repeatedly struck
by the Suta's son (with his shafts), while he was retreating from
battle. 76 -f It was for this that, laboring under a load of sorrow,
he spoke those improper words unto thee in wrath. He pro-
voked thoe by those words so that thou mightst slay Kama
in battle. 77 The son of Pandu knows that the wretched Kama
is incapable of being borne by any one else in the world (save
thee) ! It was for this, Partha, that the king in great wrath
said those harsh words to thy face. 78 The stake in the game of
today's battle has been made to lie in the ever alert and always



* Tt is difiicult for foreigners to catch the sense of this word as a
term of abuse or reproach. The fact is, the Indian races believe that a
beardless person is more of a woman than a man, the hirsute appendages
of manhood are so highly prized by them. In Bengal the word t-hosd
(Sanskrit — Tuvaraka ) is still a terra of reproach. No person, in the
morning, rising from bed, should see the fare of a man that is destitute
of the hirsute honors of manhood. — T.

t The Bengal reading Ayuddhyamtinas scema to be correct.— T.
33



258 MAHABHARATA,

-unbearable Kama, That Kama being slain, the Kauravas
would necessarily be vanquished. Even this is what the royal
son of Dharma had thought. 79 For this, the son of Dharma
does not deserve death. Thy vow also, O Arjuna, should be
kept. Listen now to my counsels that will be agreeable to
thee, — to counsels in consequence of which Yudhishthira with-
out being actually deprived of life may yet be dead. 80 As long
as one that is deserving of respect continues to receive respect,
he is said to live in the world of men. When, however, such a
person meets with disrespect, he is spoken of as one that is
dead though alive. 81 This king hath always been respected by
thee and by Bhima and the twins, as also by all heroes and all
persons in the world that are venerable for years. In some
trifle then show him disrespect. 82 Therefore, Partha, address
this Yudhishthira as thou when his usual form of address is
your honor. A superior, O Bharata, by being addressed as
•thou, is killed though not deprived of life ! 83 Bear thyself
^hus, son of Kunti, 'towards king Yudhishthira the just.
Adopt this censurable behaviour, O perpetuater of Kuril's race ! 84
This best audition of all auditions, hath been declared by both
Atharvan and Angiras.* Men desiring good should always act
in this way without scruples of any kind. 85 Without being
deprived of life a superior is yet said to be killed if that vener-
able one is addressed as thou. Conversant with duty as thou
art, address king Yudhishthira the just in the manner I have
indicated. 86 This death, son of Pandu, at thy hands, king
Yudhishthira will never regard as an offence committed by
thee. Having addressed him in this way, thou mayst then
worship his feet and speak words of respect unto this son of
Pritha, and soothe his wounded honor. 87 Thy brother is wise.
The royal son of Pandu, therefore, will never be angry with
thee. Freed from falsehood as also from fratricide, thou wilt
then, O Partha, cheerfully slay the Suta's son Kama! — '" 88



* Cruel is rendered 'audition,' having been first declared by Brahman
to a hearer. — *■



Section LX\.

"Sanjaya said, — 'Thus addressed by Janarddana, Pritha r s son
Arjun;\, applauding those counsels of his friend, then vehe-
mently addressed king Yudhishthira the just in language that
was harsh and the like of which he had never used before. 1

."'Arjuna said, — Do thou not, O king, address these up-
braidings to me, — thou that art passing thy time full two miles
away from battle ! Bhima, however, who is battling with
the foremost heroes of the world may upbraid me S* Having
atllieted his foes at the proper time in battle, and slain
many brave lords of Earth and many foremost of car-warriors
and hu^e elephants and many heroic horsemen and countless
brave combatants, 8 he hath, in addition, slain a thousand
elephants and ten thousand Kamvoja mountaineers, and is
uttering loud leonine roars in battle like a lion after slaying
innumerable smaller animals !* That hero achieveth the most
difficult feats, the like of which thou canst never achieve !
Jumping down from his car, mace in hand, he hath destroyed
a large number of steeds and cars and elephants in battle !*
With also his foremost of swords he hath destroyed many
horsemen and cars and steeds and elephants ' With the broken
limbs of cars, and with his bow also, he consumeth his foes !
Endued with the prowess of Indra, with his feet and also
his bare arms he slayeth numerous foes. 6 Possessed of great
might and resembling Kuvera or Tama, he destroyeth the
hostile army, putting for^h his strength. That Bhimasena
hath the right to upbraid me, but not thou that art always
protected by friends ' 7 Agitating the foremost of car-warriors
aud elephants and steeds and foot-soldiers, Bhima, single-
handed, is now in the midst of the Dhartarashtras ! That
chastiser of foes hath the right to upraid me ! 8 That chastiser
of foes who is slaying the Kalingas, the Vangas, the Angas,
the Nishadas, and the Magadhas, and large numbers of hostile
elephants that are ever infuriate and that look like masses of
blue clouds, is competent to upbraid me ! 3 Hiding on a suit-
able car, shaking his bow at the proper time, and with shafts in
his (other) hand ; that hero poureth showers of arrows in great



260 MAHABHARATA.

battle like th« clouds pouring torrents of rain. 10 Eight hundred
elephants, I have seen, with their frontal globes split open and
the ends of their tusks cut off, have today been slain by Bhima
with shafts in battle. That slayer of foes is competent to tell
me harsh words. 11 The learned say that the strength of fore-
most of Brahmanas lies in speech, and that the Kshatriya's
strength is in his arms. Thou, Bharata, art strong in words
and very unfeeling ! Thou thinkest me to be like thyself ! u
I always strive to do thee good with my soul, life, sons,
and wives ! Since, notwithstanding all this, thou still piercest
me with such wordy darts, it is evident that we cannot expect
any happiness from thee. 13 Lying on Draupadi's bed thou
insultest me, though for thy sake I slay the mightiest of car-
warriors ! Thou art without any anxiety, O Bharata, and
thou art cruel ! I have never obtained any happiness from
thee ! 14 It was for thy good, chief of men, that Bhishma,
firmly devoted to truth, himself told thee the means of his death
in battle, and was slain by the heroic and high-sou led Cikhan-
din, the son of Drupada, protected by me ! 1S I do not derive
any pleasure from the thought of thy restoration to sovereignty,
since thou art addicted to the evil practice of gambling ! Hav-
ing thyself committed a wicked act to which they only are
addicted that are low, thou desirest now to vanquish thy foes
through our aid ! 16 Thou hadst heard of the numerous faults
and the great sinfulness of dice that Sahadeva spoke about.
Yet dice, which is worshipped by the wicked, thou couldst not
abandon ! It was for this that all of us have fallen into hell ! 17
We have never derived any happiness from thee since thou
wert engaged in gambling with dice. Having, son of Pandu,
thyself caused all this calamity, thou art, again, addressing
these harsh words to me ! 18 Slain by us, hostile troops are
lying on the field, with mangled bodies and uttering loud wails !
It was thou that didst that cruel act in consequence of which
the Kauravas have become offenders and are being destroyed ! 19
Nations from the North, the West, the East, and the South,
arc being struck, wounded, and slain, after the performance of
incomparable feats in battle by great warriors of both sides. 20
It was. thou that hadst gambled ' It was for thee that we lost



KARXA TARVA, 201

our kingdom! Our calamity arose from thcc, O king ! Strik-
ing us, again, with the cruel goad of thy speeches, O king,
do not pruvoke our wrath ! 21 —



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