The Mahabharata Home
"Vaisampayana said, 'Having heard these words of Sanjaya, the monarch endued with the eye of wisdom, took that speech into his consideration as regards its merits and demerits. And having counted in detail the merits and demerits as far as he could, and having exactly ascertained the strength and weakness of both parties, the learned and intelligent king, ever desirous of victory to his sons, then began to compare the powers of both sides. And having at last ascertained that the Pandavas were endued with strength and energy both human and divine, and that the Kurus were much weaker Dhritarashtra said unto Duryodhana, 'This anxiety, O Duryodhana, always filleth me. Indeed, it doth not leave me. Truly, it seemeth that I behold it with my eye. This conviction is not a matter of inference. All created beings show great affection for their offsprings, and do, to the best of their power, what is agreeable and beneficial to them. This is generally to be seen also in the case of benefactors. They that are good always desire to return the good done to them and to do what is highly agreeable to their benefactors. Remembering what was done to him to Khandava, Agni will, no doubt, reader aid to Arjuna in this terrible encounter between the Kurus and the Pandavas. And from parental affection, Dharma. and other celestials duly invoked, will come together to the aid of the Pandavas. I think that to save them from Bhishma and Drona and Kripa, the celestials will be filled with wrath, resembling the thunderbolt in its effects. Endued with energy and well-versed in the use of weapons, those tigers among men, the sons of Pritha, when united with the celestials, will be incapable of being even gazed upon by human warriors, He who hath the irresistible, excellent and celestial Gandiva for his bow, he who hath a couple of celestial quivers obtained from Varuna,--large, full of shafts, and inexhaustible, he on whose banner, that is unobstructed like smoke in its action, is stationed the monkey-image of celestial origin, whose car is unequalled on the earth girt by the four seas, and the rattle of which as heard by men is like the roar of the clouds, and which like the rolling of the thunder frightens the foe; he whom the whole world regards as superhuman in energy; he whom all the kings of the earth know to be the vanquisher of the very gods in battle; he that taketh up five hundred arrows at a time and in the twinkling of the eye, shooteth them, unseen by other, to a great distance; that son of Pritha and tiger among car-warriors and chastiser of foes, whom Bhishma and Drona and Kripa and Drona's son and Salya, the king of the Madras, and in fact, all impartial persons, regard as incapable of being vanquished by even earthly kings of superhuman prowess, when ready for fight who shooteth at one stretch full five hundred arrows, and who is equal unto Kartavirya in strength of arms; that great bowman, Arjuna, equal unto Indra or Upendra in prowess,--I behold that great warrior committing a great havoc in this
terrible battle. O Bharata, reflecting day and night on this, I am unhappy and sleepless, through anxiety for the welfare of the Kurus. A terrible destruction is about to overtake the Kurus, if there is nothing but Peace for ending this quarrel. I am for peace with the Parthas and not for war. O child, I always deem the Pandavas mightier than the Kurus.'"
Next: Section LXI