The Mahabharata Home
"Bhima said, 'Speak thou, O slayer of Madhu, in such a strain that there may be peace with the Kurus. Do not threaten them with war. Resenting everything, his wrath always excited, hostile to his own good and arrogant, Duryodhana should not be roughly addressed. Do thou behave towards him with mildness. Duryodhana is by nature sinful of heart like that of a robber, intoxicated with the pride of prosperity, hostile to the Pandavas, without foresight, cruel in speech, always disposed to censure others, of wicked prowess, of wrath not easily to be appeased, not susceptible of being taught, of wicked soul, deceitful in behaviour, capable of giving up his very life rather than break or give up his own opinion. Peace with such a one, O Krishna, is, I suppose, most difficult. Regardless of the words of even his well-wishers, destitute of virtue, loving falsehood, he always acts against the words of his counsellors and wounds their hearts. Like a serpent hid within reeds, he naturally commits sinful acts, depending on his own wicked disposition, and obedient to the impulse of wrath. What army Duryodhana hath, what his conduct is, what his nature, what his might, and what his prowess, are all well-known to thee. Before this, the Kauravas with their son passed their days in cheerfulness, and we also with our friends rejoiced like the younger brother of Indra, with Indra himself. Alas, by Duryodhana's wrath, O slayer of Madhu, the Bharatas will all be consumed, even like forests by fire at the end of the dewy seasons, and, O slayer of Madhu, well-known are those eighteen kings that annihilated their kinsmen, friends, and relatives. Even as, when Dharma became extinct, Kali was born in the race of Asuras flourishing with prosperity and blazing with energy, so was born Udavarta among the Haihayas. Janamejaya among the Nepas, Vahula among the Talajanghas, proud Vasu among the Krimis, Ajavindu among
the Suviras, Rushardhik among the Surashtras, Arkaja among the Valihas, Dhautamulaka among the Chinas, Hayagriva among the Videhas, Varayu among the Mahaujasas, Vahu among the Sundaras, Pururavas among the Diptakshas, Sahaja among the Chedis and Matsyas, Vrishaddhaja among the Praviras, Dharana among the Chandra-batsyas, Bigahana among the Mukutas and Sama among the Nandivegas. These vile individuals, O Krishna, spring up, at the end of each Yuga, in their respective races, for the destruction of their kinsmen. So hath Duryodhana, the very embodiment of sin and the disgrace of his race, been born, at the end of the Yuga, amongst us the Kurus. Therefore, O thou of fierce prowess, thou shouldst address him slowly and mildly, not in bitter but sweet words fraught with virtue and profit, and discourse fully on the subject so as to attract his heart. All of us, O Krishna, would rather in humiliation follow Duryodhana submissively, but, oh, let not the Bharatas be annihilated. O Vasudeva, act in such a way that we may rather live as strangers to the Kurus than incurring the sin of bringing about the destruction of the whole race should touch them, O Krishna, let the aged Grandsire and the other counsellors of the Kurus be asked to bring about brotherly feelings between brothers and to pacify the son of Dhritarashtra. Even this is what I say. King Yudhishthira also approveth of this, and Arjuna too is averse to war, for there is great compassion in him.'"
Next: Section LXXV