The Mahabharata Home
"Karna said,--'We have never heard of such an act (as this one of Draupadi), performed by any of the women noted in this world for their beauty. When the sons of both Pandu and Dhritarashtra were excited with wrath, this Draupadi became unto the sons of Pandu as their salvation. Indeed the princess of Panchala, becoming as a boat unto the sons of Pandu who were sinking in a boatless ocean of distress, hath brought them in safety to the shore.'"
Vaisampayana continued,--"Hearing these words of Karna in the midst of the Kurus,--viz., that the sons of Pandu were saved by their wife,--the angry Bhimasena in great affliction said (unto Arjuna),--'O Dhananjaya, it hath been said by Devala three lights reside in every person, viz., offspring, acts and learning, for from these three hath sprung creation. When life becometh extinct and the body becometh impure and is cast off by relatives, these three become of service to every person. But the light that is in us hath been dimmed by this act of insult to our wife. How, O Arjuna, can a son born from this insulted wife of ours prove serviceable to us?
"Arjuna replied,--'Superior persons, O Bharata, never prate about the harsh words that may or may not be uttered by inferior men. Persons that have earned respect for themselves, even if they are able to retaliate, remember not the acts of hostility done by their enemies, but, on the other hand, treasure up only their good deeds.'
'Bhima said,--'Shall I, O king, slay, without loss of time all these foes assembled together, even here, or shall I destroy them, O Bharata, by the roots, outside this palace? Or, what need is there of words or of command? I shall slay all these even now, and rule thou the whole earth, O king, without a rival. And saying this, Bhima with his younger brothers, like a lion in the midst of a herd of inferior animals, repeatedly cast his angry glances around. But Arjuna, however, of white deeds, with appealing looks began to pacify his elder brother. And the mighty-armed hero endued with great prowess began to burn with the fire of his wrath. And, O king, this fire began to issue out of Vrikodara's ears and other senses with smoke and sparks and flames. And his face became terrible to behold in consequence of his furrowed brows like those of Yama himself at the time of the universal destruction. Then Yudhishthira forbade the mighty hero, embracing him with his arms and telling him 'Be not so. Stay in silence and peace.' And having pacified the mighty-armed one with eyes red in wrath, the king approached his uncle Dhritarashtra, with hands joined in entreaty."
Next: Section LXXII