The Mahabharata Home
"Arjuna said, 'O Janardana, Yudhishthira hath already said what should be said. But, O chastiser of foes, hearing what thou hast said, it seemeth to me that thou, O lord, does not think peace to be easily obtainable either in consequence of Dhritarashtra's covetousness or from our present weakness. Thou thinkest also that human prowess alone is fruitless, and also that without putting forth one's prowess one's purposes cannot be achieved. What thou hast said may be true, but at the same time it may not always be true. Nothing, however, should be regarded as impracticable. It is true, peace seemeth to thee to be impossible in consequence of our distressful condition, yet they are still acting against us without reaping the fruits of their acts. Peace, therefore, if properly proposed, O lord, may be concluded. O Krishna, strive thou, therefore, to bring about peace with the foe. Thou, O hero, art the foremost of all friends of both the Pandavas and the Kurus, even as Prajapati is of both the gods and the Asuras. Accomplish thou, therefore, that which is for the good of both the Kurus and the Pandavas. The accomplishment of our good is not, I believe, difficult for thee. If thou strivest, O Janardana, such is this act that it will be soon effected. As soon as thou goest thither, it will be accomplished. If, O hero, thou purposest to treat the evil-minded Duryodhana in any other way, that purpose of thine will be carried out exactly as thou wishest. Whether it be peace or war with the foe that thou wishest, any wish, O Krishna, that thon mayest entertain, will certainly be honoured by us. Doth not the evil-minded Duryodhana with his sons and kinsmen deserve destruction when, unable to bear the sight of Yudhishthira's prosperity and finding no other faultless expedient, that wretch, O slayer of Madhu, deprived us of our kingdom by the sinful expedient of deceitful dice? What bowman is there, who, born in the Kshatriya order, and invited to combat, turneth away from the fight even if he is sure to die? Beholding ourselves vanquished by sinful means and banished to the woods, even then, thou of the Vrishni race, I thought that Suyodhana deserved death at my hands. What thou, however, O Krishna, wishest to do for thy friends is scarcely strange, although it seems inexplicable how the object In view is capable of being effected by either mildness or its reverse. Or, if thou deemest their immediate destruction to be preferable, let it be effected soon without further deliberation. Surely, thou knowest how Draupadi was insulted in the midst of the assembly by Duryodhana of sinful soul and how also we bore it with patience. That Duryodhana, O Madhava, will behave with justice towards the Pandavas is what I cannot believe. Wise counsels will be lost on him like seed sown in a barren soil. Therefore, do without delay what thou, O thou of Vrishni race, thinkest to be proper and beneficial for the Pandavas, or what, indeed, should next be done.'"
Next: Section LXXIX