The Mahabharata Home
"Baladeva said, 'You have all listened to the speech of him who is the elder brother of Gada, characterised as it is by a sense of virtue and prudence, and salutary alike to Yudhishthira and king Duryodhana. These valiant sons of Kunti are ready to give up half their kingdom, and they make this sacrifice for the sake of Duryodhana. The sons of Dhritarashtra, therefore, should give up half of the kingdom, and should rejoice and be exceedingly happy with us that the quarrel can be so satisfactorily settled. These mighty persons having obtained the kingdom would, no doubt, be pacified and happy, provided the opposite party behave well. For them to be pacified will redound to the welfare of men. And I should be well-pleased if somebody from here, with the view of pacifying both the Kurus and the Pandavas, should undertake a journey and ascertain what is the mind of Duryodhana and explain the views of Yudhishthira. Let him respectfully salute Bhishma the heroic scion of Kuru's race, and the magnanimous son of Vichitravirya, and Drona along with his son, and Vidura and Kripa, and the king of Gandhara, along with the Suta's son. Let him also pay his respects to all the other sons of Dhritarashtra, to all who are renowned for strength and learning, devoted to their proper duties, heroic, and conversant with signs of the times. When all these persons are gathered together and when also the elderly citizens are assembled, let him speak words full of humility and likely to serve the interests of Yudhishthira, At all events, let them not be provoked, for they have taken possession of the kingdom with a strong hand. When Yudhishthira had his throne, he forgot himself by being engaged in gambling and was dispossessed by them of his kingdom. This valiant Kuru, this descendant of Ajamida, Yudhishthira, though not skilled in dice and though dissuaded by all his friends, challenged the son of the king of Gandhara, an adept at dice, to the match. There were then at that place thousands of dice-players whom Yudhishthira could defeat in a match. Taking however, no notice of any of them, he challenged Suvala's son of all men to the game, and so he lost. And although the dice constantly went against him, he would still have Sakuni alone for his opponent. Competing with Sakuni in the play, he sustained a crushing defeat. For this, no blame can attach to Sakuni. Let the messenger make use of words characterised by humility, words intended to conciliate Vichitravirya's son. The messenger may thus bring round Dhritarashtra's son to his own views. Do not seek war with the Kurus; address Duryodhana in only a conciliatory tone, The object may possibly fail to be gained by war, but it may be gained by conciliation, and by this means also it may be gained enduringly.'
"Vaisampayana continued, 'While that valiant scion of Madhu's race was even continuing his speech, the gallant son of the race of Sini suddenly
rose up and indignantly condemned the words of the former by these words of his.'
Next: Section III