The Mahabharata Home
Dhritarashtra said, 'Tell me, O thou of great wisdom, what high-souled Vasudeva and Dhananjaya said. I am anxious to hear from thee all about this.'
"Sanjaya said, 'Listen, O king, as I tell thee the state in which I found Krishna and Dhananjaya. I will also, O Bharata, tell thee what those heroes said; O king, with looks bent down and hands joined together, and with senses well restrained, I entered the inner apartments for conferring with those gods among men. Neither Abhimanyu nor the Twins can repair to that place where are the two Krishnas and Draupadi and lady Satyabhama. There I beheld those chastisers of foes, exhilarated with Bassia wine, their bodies adorned with garlands of flowers. Attired in excellent robes and adorned with celestial ornaments, they sat on a golden dais, decked with numerous gems, and covered over with carpets of diverse texture and hue. And I beheld Kesava's feet resting upon Arjuna's lap while those of the high-souled Arjuna rested upon the laps of Krishna and Satyabhama. Partha then pointed out to me (for a seat) a foot-stool made of gold. Touching it with my hand, I seated myself down on the ground. And when he withdraw his feet from the foot-stool, I beheld auspicious marks on both his soles. Those consisted of two longitudinal lines running from heels to fore-toe, O sire, endued with black complexions, of high statures, and erect like Sala trunks, beholding those youthful heroes, both seated on the same
seat, a great fear seized me. They seemed to me to be Indra and Vishnu seated together, though Duryodhana of dull sense knoweth it no consequence of his reliance on Drona and Bhishma and on the loud vaunts of Karna. That very moment, I was convinced that the wishes of Yudhishthira the just, who had those two for obeying his orders, were certain to succeed. Being hospitably entertained with food and drink, and honoured with other courtesies, I conveyed to them thy message, placing my joined hands on my head. Then Partha, removing Kesava's auspicious foot from his lap, with his hand scarred by the flappings of the bow-string, urged him to speak. Sitting up erect like Indra's banner, adorned with every ornament, and resembling Indra himself in energy, Krishna then addressed me. And the words which that best of speakers said were sweet, charming and mild, though awful and alarming to the son of Dhritarashtra. Indeed, the words uttered by Krishna, who alone is fit to speak, were of correct emphasis and accent, and pregnant with meaning, though heart-rending in the end. And Vasudeva said, 'O Sanjaya, say thou these words unto the wise Dhritarashtra and in the hearing of that foremost of the Kurus, Bhishma, and also of Drona, having first saluted at our request, O Suta, all the aged ones and hawing enquired after the welfare of the younger ones, 'Do ye celebrate diverse sacrifices, making presents unto the Brahmanas, and rejoice with your sons and wives, for a great danger threatens ye? Do ye give away wealth unto deserving persons, beget desirable sons, and do agreeable offices to those that are dear to thee, for king Yudhishthira is eager for victory?' While I was at a distance, Krishna with tears addressing me said, 'That debt, accumulating with time, hath not yet been paid off by me. Ye have provoked hostilities with that Savyasachin, who hath for his bow the invincible Gandiva, of fiery energy, and who hath me for his helpmate. Who, even if he were Purandara himself, would challenge Partha having me for his help-mate, unless, of course, his span of life were full? He that is capable of vanquishing Arjuna in battle is, indeed, able to uphold the Earth with his two arms, to consume all created things in anger and hurl the celestials from Heaven. Among the celestials, Asuras, and men, among Yakshas, Gandharvas, and Nagas, I do not find the person that can encounter Arjuna in battle. That wonderful story which is heard of an encounter in the city of Virata between a single person on one side and innumerable warriors on the other, is sufficient proof of this. That ye all fled in all directions being routed in the city of Virata by that son of Pandu singly, is sufficient proof of this. Might, prowess, energy, speed, lightness of hand, indefatiguableness, and patience are not to be found in any one else save Partha.' Thus spoke Hrishikesa cheering up Partha by his words and roaring like rain-charged clouds in the firmament. Having heard these words of Kesava, the diadem-decked Arjuna, of white steeds, also spoke to the same effect.'"
Next: Section LX