The Mahabharata Home
"Sisupala said--'O thou of the Kuru race, this one of the Vrishni race doth not deserve royal worship as if he were a king, in the midst of all these illustrious monarchs. O son of Pandu, this conduct of thine in thus willingly worshipping him with eyes like lotus-petals is not worthy of the illustrious Pandavas. Ye sons of Pandu. Ye are children. Ye know not what morality is, for that is very subtle. Bhishma, this son also of Ganga is of little knowledge and hath transgressed the rules of morality (by giving ye such counsel). And, O Bhishma, if one like thee, possessed of virtue and morality acteth from motives of interest, he is deserving of censure among the honest and the wise. How doth he of the Dasarha race, who is not even a king, accept worship before these kings and how is it that he hath been worshipped by ye? O bull of the Kuru race, if thou regardest Krishna as the oldest in age, here is Vasudeva, and how can his son be said so in his presence? Or, if thou regardest Vasudeva as your well-wisher and supporter, here is Drupada; how then can Madhava deserve the (first) worship? Or, O son of Kuru, regardest thou Krishna as preceptor? When Drona is here, how hast thou worshipped him of the Vrishni race? Or, O son of Kuru, regardest thou Krishna as the Ritwija? When old Dwaipayana is here, how hath Krishna been worshipped by thee? Again when old Bhishma, the son of Santanu, that foremost of men who is not to die save at his own wish is here, why, O king, hath Krishna been worshipped by thee? When the brave Aswatthaman, versed in every branch of knowledge is here, why, O king, hath Krishna, O thou of the Kuru race, been worshipped by thee? When that King of kings, Duryyodhana, that foremost
of men, is here, as also Kripa the preceptor of the Bharata princes, why hath Krishna been worshipped by thee? How, O son of Pandu, passing over Druma, the preceptor of the Kimpurusas, hast thou worshipped Krishna? When the invincible Bhishmaka and king Pandya possessed of every auspicious mark, and that foremost of kings--Rukmi and Ekalavya and Salya, the king of the Madras, are here, how, O son of Pandu, hast thou offered the first worship unto Krishna? Here also is Karna ever boasting of his strength amongst all kings, and (really) endued with great might, the favourite disciple of the Brahmana Jamadagnya, the hero who vanquished in battle all monarchs by his own strength alone. How, O Bharata, hast thou, passing him over, offered the first worship unto Krishna? The slayer of Madhu is neither a sacrificial priest nor a preceptor, nor a king. That thou hast notwithstanding all these worshipped him, O chief of the Kurus, could only have been from motives of gain. If, O Bharata, it was your wish to offer the first worship unto the slayer of Madhu, why were these monarchs brought here to be insulted thus? We have not paid tributes to the illustrious son of Kunti from fear, from desire of gain, or from having been won over by conciliation. On the other hand, we have paid him tribute simply because he hath been desirous of the imperial dignity from motives of virtue. And yet he it is that thus insulteth us. O king, from what else, save motives of insult, could it have been that thou hast worshipped Krishna, who possesseth not the insignia of royalty, with the Arghya in the midst of the assembled monarchs? Indeed, the reputation for virtue that the son of Dharma hath acquired, hath been acquired by him without cause, for who would offer such undue worship unto one that hath fallen off from virtue. This wretch born in the race of the Vrishnis unrighteously slew of old the illustrious king Jarasandha. Righteousness hath today been abandoned by Yudhishthira and meanness only hath been displayed by him in consequence of his having offered the Arghya to Krishna. If the helpless sons of Kunti were affrighted and disposed to meanness, thou, O Madhava, ought to have enlightened them as to thy claims to the first worship? Why also, O Janarddana, didst thou accept the worship of which thou art unworthy, although it was offered unto thee by those mean-minded princes? Thou thinkest much of the worship unworthily offered unto thee, like a dog that lappeth in solitude a quantity of clarified butter that it hath obtained. O Janarddana, this is really no insult offered unto the monarchs; on the other hand it is thou whom the Kurus have insulted. Indeed, O slayer of Madhu, as a wife is to one that is without virile power, as a fine show is to one that is blind, so is this royal worship to thee who art no king. What Yudhishthira is, hath been seen; what Bhishma is, hath been seen; and what this Vasudeva is hath been seen. Indeed, all these have been seen as they are!"
"Having spoken these words, Sisupala rose from his excellent seat, and accompanied by the kings, went out of that assembly."
Next: Section XXXVII