The Mahabharata Home
"Duryodhana said, 'All that Vidura hath said about Krishna, hath indeed, been truly said; for Janardana is greatly devoted to the Pandavas and can never be separated from them. All the diverse kinds of wealth, O foremost of kings, that are proposed to be bestowed upon Janardana ought never to be bestowed upon him. Kesava is, of course, not unworthy of our worship, but both time and place are against it, for he (Krishna), O king, on receiving our worship, will very likely think that we are worshipping him out of fear. This is my certain conviction, O king, that an intelligent Kshatriya must not do that which may bring disgrace upon him. It is well-known to me that the large-eyed Krishna deserveth the most reverential worship of the three worlds. It is quite out of place, therefore, O illustrious king, to give him anything now, for war having been decided upon, it should never be put off by hospitality.'
"Vaisampayana. continued, 'Hearing these words of his, the Grandsire of the Kurus spoke these words unto the royal son of Vichitravirya, 'Worshipped or not worshipped, Janardana never becometh angry. None, however, can treat him with disrespect, for Kesava is not contemptible. Whatever, O mighty one, he purposeth to do is incapable of being frustrated by anybody by every means in his power. Do without hesitation what Krishna of mighty arms sayeth and bring about peace with the Pandavas through Vasudeva as the means. Truly Janardana, possessed of virtuous soul, will say what is consistent with religion and profit. It behoveth thee, therefore, with all thy friends, to tell him what only is agreeable to him.'
"Duryodhana said, 'O Grandsire, I can, by no means, live by sharing this swelling prosperity of mine with the Pandavas. Listen, this, indeed, is a great resolution which I have formed. I will imprison Janardana who is the refuge of the Pandavas. He will come here tomorrow morning; and when he is confined, the Vrishnis and the Pandavas, aye, the whole earth, will submit to me. What may be the means for accomplishing it, so that Janardana may not guess our purpose, and so that no danger also may overtake us, it behoveth thee to say.'
"Vaisampayana continued, 'Hearing these fearful words of his son about imprisoning Krishna, Dhritarashtra, with all his counsellors, was very much pained and became deeply afflicted. King Dhritarashtra then spoke those words unto Duryodhana, 'O ruler of men, never say this again, this is not immemorial custom. Hrishikesa cometh here as an ambassador. He is, besides, related to and is dear to us. He hath done us no wrong; how then doth he deserves imprisonment?'
"Bhishma said, 'This wicked son of thine, O Dhritarashtra, hath his hour come. He chooseth evil, not good, though entreated by his well-' wishers. Thou also followest in the wake of this wicked wretch of sinful surroundings, who treadeth a thorny path setting at naught the words of his well-wisher. This exceedingly wicked son of thine with all his counsellors coming in contact with Krishna of unstained acts, will be destroyed in a moment. I dare not listen to the words of this sinful and wicked wretch that hath abandoned all virtue.'
'Having said this, that aged chief of the Bharata race, Bhishma of unbaffled prowess, inflamed with rage rose and left that place.'"
Next: Section LXXXIX