The Mahabharata Home
Vaisampayana said,--"defeated at dice, after the Pandavas had gone to the woods, Dhritarashtra, O king, was overcome with anxiety. And while he was seated restless with anxiety and sighing in grief, Sanjaya approaching him said, 'O lord of the earth having now obtained the whole earth with all its wealth and sent away the sons of Pandu into exile, why is it, O king, that thou grievest so?"
Dhritarashtra said,--'What have they not to grieve for who will have to encounter in battle those bulls among warriors--the sons of Pandu--fighting on great cars and aided by allies?'
"Sanjaya said,--"O king, all this great hostility is inevitable on account of thy mistaken action, and this will assuredly bring about the wholesale destruction of the whole world. Forbidden by Bhishma, by Drona, and by Vidura, thy wicked-minded and shameless son Duryodhana sent his Suta messenger commanding him to bring into court the beloved and virtuous wife of the Pandavas. The gods first deprive that man of his reason unto whom they send defeat and disgrace. It is for this that such a person seeth things in a strange light. When destruction is at hand, evil appeareth as good unto the understanding polluted by sin, and the man adhereth to it firmly. That which is improper appeareth as proper, and that which is proper appeareth as improper unto the man about to be overwhelmed by destruction, and evil and impropriety are what he liketh. The time that bringeth on destruction doth not come with upraised club and smash one's head. On the other hand the peculiarity of such a time is that it maketh a man behold evil in good and good in evil. The wretches have brought on themselves this terrible, wholesale, and horrible destruction by dragging the helpless princess of Panchala into the court. Who else than Duryodhana--that false player of dice could bring into the assembly, with insults, the daughter of Drupada, endued with beauty and intelligence, and conversant with every rule of morality and duty, and sprung not from any woman's womb but from the sacred fire? The handsome Krishna, then in her season, attired in one piece of stained cloth when brought into the court cast her eyes upon the Pandavas. She beheld them, however, robbed of their wealth, of their kingdom, of even their attire, of their beauty, of every enjoyment, and plunged into a state of bondage. Bound by the tie of virtue, they were then unable to exert their prowess. And before all the assembled kings Duryodhana and Karna spake cruel and harsh words unto the distressed and enraged Krishna undeserving of such treatment. O monarch, all this appeareth to me as foreboding fearful consequences.'
Dhritarashtra said,--'O Sanjaya, the glances of the distressed daughter of Drupada might consume the whole earth. Can it be possible that even a single son of mine will live? The wives of the Bharatas, uniting with Gandhari upon beholding virtuous Krishna, the wedded wife of the Pandavas, endued with beauty and youth, dragged into the court, set up frightful wail. Even now, along with all my subjects, they weep every day. Enraged at the ill treatment of Draupadi, the Brahmanas in a body did not perform that evening their Agnihotra ceremony. The winds blew mightily as they did at the time of the universal dissolution. There was a terrible thunder-storm also. Meteors fell from the sky, and Rahu by swallowing the Sun unseasonably alarmed the people terribly. Our war-chariots were suddenly ablaze, and all their flagstaffs fell down foreboding evil unto the Bharatas. Jackals began to cry frightfully from within the sacred fire-chamber of Duryodhana, and asses from all directions began to bray in response. Then Bhishma and Drona, and Kripa, and Somadatta and the high-souled Vahlika, all left the assembly. It was then that at the advice of Vidura I addressed Krishna and said, 'I will grant thee boons, O Krishna, indeed, whatever thou wouldst ask? The princess of the Panchala there begged of me the liberation of the Pandavas. Out of my own motion I then set free the Pandavas, commanding them to return (to their capital) on their cars and with their bows and arrows. It was then that Vidura told me, 'Even this will prove the destruction of the Bharata race, viz., this dragging of Krishna into the court. This daughter of the King of Panchala is the faultless Sree herself. Of celestial origin, she is the wedded wife of the Pandavas. The wrathful sons of Pandu will never forgive this insult offered unto her. Nor will the mighty bowmen of the Vrishni race, nor the mighty warriors amongst the Panchalas suffer this in silence. Supported by Vasudeva of unbaffled prowess, Arjuna will assuredly come back, surrounded by the Panchala host. And that mighty warrior amongst them, Bhimasena endued with surpassing strength, will also come back, whirling his mace like Yama himself with his club. These kings will scarcely be able to bear the force of Bhima's mace. Therefore, O king, not hostility but peace for ever with the sons of Pandu is what seemeth to me to be the best. The sons of Pandu are always stronger than the Kurus. Thou knowest, O king, that the illustrious and mighty king Jarasandha was slain in battle by Bhima with his bare arms alone. Therefore, O bull of the Bharata race, it behoveth thee to make peace with the sons of Pandu. Without scruples of any kind, unite the two parties, O king. And it thou actest in this way, thou art sure to obtain good luck, O king. It was thus, O son of Gavalgani, that Vidura addressed me in words of both virtue and profit. And I did not accept this counsel, moved by affection for my son."
The End of Sabha Parva