The Mahabharata Home
"Sanjaya said, 'I did thee farewell, O divine ruler of men. I will now depart, O son of Pandu. Let prosperity be thine. I hope, I have not carried away by the feelings of my heart, given utterance to anything offensive. I would also bid farewell to Janardana, to Bhima and Arjuna, to the son of Madri, to Satyaki, and to Chekitana, and take my departure. Let peace and happiness be yours. Let all the kings look at me with eyes of affection.'
"Yudhishthira said, 'Permitted by us, O Sanjaya, take your leave. Peace to thee! O learned man, thou never thinkest ill of us. Both they and we know thee to be a person of pure heart in the midst of all in the court (of the Kurus). Besides, being an ambassador now, O Sanjaya, thou art faithful, beloved by us, of agreeable speech and excellent conduct, and well-affected towards us. Thy mind is never clouded, and even if addressed harshly thou art never moved to wrath. O Suta, thou never utterest harsh and cutting words, or those that are false or bitter. We know that thy words, free from malice, are always fraught with morality and grave import. Amongst envoys thou art the most dear to us. Beside thee, there is another, who may come here, and that is Vidura. Formerly, we always used to see thee. Thou art, indeed, a friend to us as dear as Dhananjaya. Proceeding hence, O Sanjaya, with all speed, thou shouldst wait upon those Brahmanas of pure energy and devoted to study according to the Brahmacharya mode,--those, namely, that are
devoted to the study of the Vedas while leading lives of mendicancy, those ascetics that habitually dwell in the woods, as also the aged ones of other classes, should all be addressed by thee in my name, O Sanjaya, and then their welfare should be enquired into by thee. O Suta, repairing unto the priest of king Dhritarashtra as also unto his preceptors and Ritwijas, thou shouldst address them and enquire after their welfare. Even amongst them that are, though not well-born at least aged, endued with energy, and possessed of good behaviour and strength, who remembering speak of us and practise according to their might even the least virtue, should first be informed of my peace, O Sanjaya, and then shouldst thou enquire after their welfare. Thou shouldst also enquire after the welfare of those that live in the kingdom carrying on trade, and those that live there filling important offices of state. Our beloved preceptor Drona, who is fully versed in morality, who is our counsellor, who had practised the Brahmacharya vow for mastering the Vedas, who once again hath made the science of weapons full and complete, and who is always graciously inclined towards us, should be greeted by thee in our name. Thou shouldst also enquire into the welfare of Aswatthaman, endued with great learning, devoted to the study of the Vedas, leading the Brahmacharya mode of life, possessed of great activity, and like unto a youth of the Gandharva race, and who, besides, hath once again made the science of weapons full and complete. Thou must also, O Sanjaya, repair to the abode of Kripa, the son of Saradwat, that mighty car-warrior and foremost of all persons having a knowledge of self, and repeatedly saluting him in my name touch his feet with thy hand. Thou shouldst also, touching his feet, represent me as hale unto that foremost of the Kurus, Bhishma, in whom are combined bravery, and abstention from injury, and asceticism, and wisdom and good behaviour, and Vedic learning, and great excellence, and firmness. Saluting unto also the wise, venerable, and blind king (Dhritarashtra), who possessed of great learning and reverential to the old, is the leader of the Kurus. Thou shouldst also, O Sanjaya, enquire, O sire, about the welfare of the eldest of Dhritarashtra's sons, Suyodhana, who is wicked and ignorant and deceitful and vicious, and who now governs the entire world. Thou shouldst also enquire about the welfare of even the wicked Dussasana, that mighty bowman and hero among the Kurus, who is the younger of Duryodhana and who possesses a character like that of his elder brother. Thou shouldst, O Sanjaya, also salute the wise chief of the Vahlikas, who always cherishes no other wish save that there should be peace among the Bharatas. I think, thou shouldst also worship that Somadatta who is endued with numerous excellent qualities, who is wise and possesses a merciful heart, and who from his affection for the Kurus always controls his anger towards them. The son of Somadatta is worthy of the greatest reverence among the Kurus. He is my friend and is a brother to us. A mighty bowman and the foremost of car-warriors, he is worthy in all respects. Thou shouldst, O Sanjaya, enquire after his welfare along with
that of his friends and counsellors. Others there are of youthful age and of consideration amongst the Kurus, who bear a relationship to us like that of sons, grandsons, and brothers. Unto each of these thou must speak words which thou mayst consider suitable, enquiring, O Suta, after his welfare. Thou must also enquire about the welfare of those kings that have been assembled by Dhritarashtra's son for fighting with the Pandavas, viz., the Kekayas, the Vasatis, the Salwakas, the Amvashthas, and the leading Trigartas, and of those endued with great bravery that have come from the east, the north, the south, and the west, and of those that have come from hilly countries, in fact, of all amongst them that are not cruel and that lead good lives. Thou shouldst also represent unto all those persons who ride on elephants, and horses and cars, and who fight on foot,--that mighty host composed of honourable men,--that I am well, and then thou must enquire about their own welfare. Thou must also enquire about the welfare of those that serve the king in the matter of his revenue or as his door-keepers, or as the leaders of his troops, or as the accountants of his income and outlay, or as officers constantly occupied in looking after other important concerns. Thou must, O sire, also enquire about the welfare of Dhritarashtra's son by his Vaisya wife,--that youth who is one of the best of the Kuru race,--who never falls into error, who possesseth vast wisdom, who is endued with every virtue, and who never cherishes a liking for this war! Thou shouldst also ask about the welfare of Chitrasena who is unrivalled in the tricks of dice, whose tricks are never detected by others, who plays well, who is well-versed in the art of handling the dice, and who is unconquerable in play but not in fight. Thou must also, O sire, enquire about the welfare of Sakuni, the king of the Gandharas, that native of the hilly country, who is unrivalled in deceitful games at dice, who enhances the pride of Dhritarashtra's son, and whose understanding naturally leads to falsehood. Thou must also enquire about the welfare of Karna, the son of Vikartana, that hero who is ready to vanquish, alone and unassisted, mounted on his car, the Pandavas whom no one dares assail in battle, that Karna who is unparalleled in deluding those that are already deluded. Thou must also enquire about the welfare of Vidura, O sire, who alone is devoted to us, who is our instructor, who reared us, who is our father and mother and friend, whose understanding finds obstruction in nought, whose ken reaches far, and who is our counsellor. Thou must also salute all the aged dames and those who are known to be possessed of merit, and those who are like mothers to us, meeting them gathered together in one place. Thou must tell them, O Sanjaya, these words at first,--Ye mothers of living sons, I hope, your sons comfort themselves towards you in a kindly, considerate, and worthy way.--Thou must then tell them that Yudhishthira is doing well with his sons. Those ladies, O Sanjaya, who are in the rank of our wives, thou must ask as to their welfare also addressing them in these words,--I hope, you are well-protected. I hope, your fair fame hath
suffered no injury. I hope, you are dwelling within your abodes blamelessly and carefully. I hope, you are comforting yourselves towards your fathers-in-law in a kindly, praise-worthy and considerate way. You must steadily adopt such a conduct for yourselves as will help you to win your husband's favour! Those young ladies, O Sanjaya, who bear a relationship to us like that of your daughters-in-law, who have been brought from high families, who are possessed of merit and who are mothers of children,--thou must meet them all and tell them that Yudhishthira send his kindly greetings to them. Thou must, O Sanjaya, embrace the daughters of your house, and must ask them about their welfare on my behalf. Thou must tell them,--May your husbands be kindly and agreeable; may you be agreeable to your husbands; may you have ornaments and clothes and perfumery and cleanliness; may you be happy and have at your command the joys of life; may your looks be pretty and words pleasant; Thou must ask, O sire, the women of the house as to their welfare. Thou must also represent unto the maid-servants and man-servants there, may be of the Kurus, and also the many humpbacked and lame ones among them, that I am doing well, and thou must then ask them about their welfare. Thou must tell them,--I hope, Dhritarashtra's son still vouchsafes the same kindly treatment to you. I hope, he gives you the comforts of life.--Thou must also represent unto those that are defective in limb, those that are imbecile, the dwarfs to whom Dhritarashtra gives food and raiment from motives of humanity, those that are blind, and all those that are aged, as also to the many that have the use only of their hands being destitute of legs, that I am doing well, and that I ask them regarding their welfare, addressing them in the following words,--Fear not, nor be dispirited on account of your unhappy lives so full of sufferings; no doubt, sins must have been committed by you in your former lives. When I shall check my foes, and delight my friends, I shall satisfy you by gifts of food and clothes.--Thou shouldst also, O sire, at our request, enquire after the welfare of those that are masterless and weak, and of those that vainly strive to earn a living, and of those that are ignorant, in fact, of all those persons that are in pitiable circumstances. O charioteer, meeting those others, that coming from different quarters, have sought the protection of the Dhritarashtras, and in fact, all who deserve our greetings, thou shouldst also enquire about their welfare and peace. Thou shouldst also enquire about the welfare of those who have come to the Kurus of their own accord or who have been invited, as also of all the ambassadors arrived from all sides and then represent unto them that I am well. As regards the warriors that have been obtained by Dhritarashtra's son, there are none equal to them on earth. Virtue, however, is eternal, and virtue is my power for the destruction of my enemies. Thou shouldst, O Sanjaya, also represent unto Suyodhana, the son of Dhritarashtra, the following,--That desire of thine which torments thy heart, viz., the desire of ruling the Kurus without a rival, is very unreasonable. It had no justification. As
for ourselves, we will never act in such a way as to do anything that may be disagreeable to thee! O foremost of heroes anwng the Bharatas, either give me lack my own Indraprastha or fight with me!'"
Next: Section XXXI