The Mahabharata Home
"Bhishma said, 'Drona's son observeth well, and Kripa, too observeth rightly. As for Kama, it is only out of regard for the duties of the Kshatriya order that he desireth to fight. No man of wisdom can blame the preceptor. I, however, am of opinion that fight we must, considering both the time and the place. Why should not that man be bewildered
who hath five adversaries effulgent as five suns, who are heroic combatants and who have just emerged from adversity? Even those conversant with morality are bewildered in respect of their own interests. It is for this, O king, that I tell thee this, whether my words be acceptable to you or not. What Karna said unto thee was only for raising our (drooping) courage. As regards thyself, O preceptor's son, forgive everything. The business at hand is very grave. When the son of Kunti hath come, this is not the time for quarrel. Everything should now be forgiven by thyself and the preceptor Kripa. Like light in the sun, the mastery of all weapons doth reside in you. As beauty is never separated from Chandramas, so are the Vedas and the Brahma weapon both established in you. It is often seen that the four Vedas dwell in one object and Kshatriya attributes in another. We have never heard of these two dwelling together in any other person than the preceptor of the Bharata race and his son. Even this is what I think. In the Vedantas, in the Puranas, and in old histories, who save Jamadagni, O king, would be Drona's superior? A combination of the Brahma weapon with the Vedas,--this is never to be seen anywhere else. O preceptor's son, do thou forgive. This is not the time for disunion. Let all of us, uniting, fight with Indra's son who hath come. Of all the calamities that may befall an army that have been enumerated by men of wisdom, the worst is disunion among the leaders. Aswatthaman said, 'O bull among men, these thy just observations, need not be uttered in our presence; the preceptor, however, filled with wrath, had spoken of Arjuna's virtues. The virtues of even an enemy should be admitted, while the faults of even one's preceptor may be pointed out; therefore one should, to the best of his power, declare the merits of a son or a disciple.'
"Duryodhana said, 'Let the preceptor grant his forgiveness and let peace be restored. If the preceptor be at one with us, whatever should be done (in view of the present emergency) would seem to have been already done.'
"Vaisampayana continued, 'Then, O Bharata, Duryodhana assisted by Kama and Kripa, and the high-souled Bhishma pacified Drona.'
"Drona said, 'Appeased I have already been at the words first spoken by Bhishma, the son of Santanu. Let such arrangements be made that Partha may not be able to approach Duryodhana in battle. And let such arrangements be made that king Duryodhana may not be captured by the foe, in consequence either of his rashness or want of judgment. Arjuna hath not, to be sure, revealed himself before the expiry of the term of exile. Nor will he pardon this act (of ours) today, having only recovered the kine. Let such arrangements, therefore, be made that he may not succeed in attacking Dhritarashtra's son and defeating our troops. Like myself (who am doubtful of the completion of period of exile) Duryodhana also had said so before. Bearing it in mind, it behoveth the son of Ganga to say what is true.'"
Next: Section LII