The Mahabharata Home
Vaisampayana said, "Exiled to the woods the sons of Pritha with Krishna seated in the evening, conversed with one another afflicted with sorrow and grief. And the handsome and well informed Krishna dear unto her lords and devoted to them, thus spake unto Yudhishthira,
[paragraph continues] Then sinful, cruel, and wicked-minded son of Dhritarashtra certainly feeleth no sorrow for us, when, O king, that evil-hearted wretch having sent thee with myself into the woods dressed in deer-skin feeleth no regret! The heart of that wretch of evil deeds must surely be made of steel when he could at that time address thee, his virtuous eldest brother, in words so harsh! Having brought thee who deservest to enjoy every happiness and never such woe, into such distress, alas, that wicked-minded and sinful wretch joyeth with his friends! O Bharata, when dressed in deer-skin thou hast set out for the woods, only four persons, O monarch, viz., Duryodhana, Karna, the evil-minded Sakuni, and Dussasana that bad and fierce brother of Duryodhana, did not shed tears! With the exception of these, O thou best of the Kurus, all other Kurus filled with sorrow shed tears from their eyes! Beholding this thy bed and recollecting what thou hadst before, I grieve, O king, for thee who deservest not woe and hast been brought up in every luxury! Remembering that seat of ivory in thy court, decked with jewels and beholding this seat of kusa grass, grief consumeth me, O king! I saw thee, O king, surrounded in thy court by kings! What peace can my heart know in not beholding thee such now? I beheld thy body, effulgent as the sun, decked with sandal paste! Alas, grief depriveth me of my senses in beholding thee now besmeared with mud and dirt! I saw thee before, O king, dressed in silken clothes of pure white! But I now behold thee dressed in rags? Formerly, O king, pure food of every kind was carried from thy house on plates of gold for Brahmanas by thousands! And, O king, food also of the best kind was formerly given by thee unto ascetics both houseless and living in domesticity! Formerly, living in dry mansion thou hadst ever filled with food of every kind plates by thousands, and worshipped the Brahmanas gratifying every wish of theirs! What peace, O king, can my heart know in not beholding all this now? And, O great king, these thy brothers, endued with youth and decked with ear-rings, were formerly fed by cook with food of the sweet flavour and dressed with skill! Alas, O king, I now behold them all, so undeserving of woe, living in the woods and upon what the wood may yield! My heart, O King knoweth no peace! Thinking of this Bhimasena living in sorrow in the woods, doth not thy anger blaze up, even though it is time? Why doth not thy anger, O king, blaze up upon beholding the illustrious Bhimasena who ever performeth everything unaided, so fallen into distress, though deserving of every happiness? Why, O king, doth not thy anger blaze up on beholding that Bhima living in the woods who was formerly surrounded with numerous vehicles and dressed in costly apparel? This exalted personage is ready to slay all the Kurus in battle. He beareth, however, all this sorrow, only because he waiteth for the fufilment of thy promise! This Arjuna, O king, though possessed of two hands, is equal, for the lightness of his hand in discharging shafts,
to (Kartavirya) Arjuna of a thousand arms! He Is even (to foes), like unto Yama himself at the end of the Yuga! It was by the prowess of his weapons that all the kings of the earth were made to wait upon the Brahmanas at thy sacrifice? Beholding that Arjuna that tiger among men worshipped by both the celestials and the Danavas so anxious, why, O king, dost thou not feel indignant? I grieve, O Bharata, that thy wrath doth not blaze up at sight of that son of Pritha in exile, that prince who deserveth not such distress and who hath been brought up in every luxury! Why doth not thy wrath blaze up at sight of that Arjuna in exile, who, on a single car, hath vanquished celestials and men and serpents? Why, O king, doth not thy wrath blaze up at sight of that Arjuna in exile who, honoured with offerings of cars and vehicles of various forms and horses and elephants, forcibly took from the kings of the earth their treasures, who is the chastiser of all foes, and who at one impetus can throw full five hundred arrows? Why, O king, doth not thy wrath blaze up at sight of Nakula, in exile, who so fair and able-bodied and young, is the foremost of all swordsmen? Why, O king, dost thou pardon the foe. O Yudhishthira, at sight of Madri's son, the handsome and brave Sahadeva in exile? Why doth not thy anger blaze up, O king, it sight of both Nakula and Sahadeva overwhelmed with grief, though so undeserving of distress? Why also, O king, dost thou pardon the foe at sight of myself in exile who, born in the race of Drupada and, therefore, the sister of Dhrishtadyumna, am the daughter-in-law of the illustrious Pandu and the devoted wife of heroes? Truly, O thou best of the Bharatas, thou hast no anger, else why is it that thy mind is not moved at sight of thy brothers and myself (in such distress)? It is said that there is no Kshatriya in the world who is bereft of anger. I now behold in thee, however, a refutation of the proverb! That Kshatriya, O son of Pritha, who discovereth not his energy when the opportunity cometh, is ever disregarded by all creatures! Therefore, O king, thou shouldst not extend thy forgiveness to the foe. Indeed, with thy energy, without doubt, thou, mayst slay them all! So also, O king, that Kshatriya who is not appeased when the time for forgiveness cometh, becometh unpopular with every creature and meeteth with destruction both in this and the other world!'"
Next: Section XXVIII