The Mahabharata Home
"Vaisampayana said, 'Hearing, O bull of Bharata's race, these words of Kesava, Bhishma, the son of Santanu, then said unto vindictive Duryodhana, Krishna hath spoken to thee, desirous of bringing about peace between kinsmen. O sire, follow those counsels, and do not yield to the influence of wrath. If thou dost not act, O sire, according to the words of the high-souled Kesava, neither prosperity, nor happiness nor what is for thy good, wilt thou ever have. The mighty-armed Kesava, O sire, hath said unto thee what is consistent with virtue and profit. Accept thou that object, and do not, O king, exterminate the population of the earth. This resplendent prosperity of the Bharatas amongst all the kings of the earth, thou wilt, during the very life of Dhritarashtra, destroy through thy wickedness, and thou wilt also, through this arrogant disposition of thine, deprive thyself with all thy counsellors, sons,
brothers, and kinsmen, of life, if, O thou foremost of Bharata's race, thou transgressest the words of Kesava, thy father, and of wise Vidura,--words that are consistent with truth and fraught with benefit to thyself. Be not the exterminator of thy race, be not a wicked man, let not thy heart be sinful, do not tread the path of unrighteousness. Do not sink thy father and mother into an ocean of grief.' After Bhishma had concluded, Drona also said these words unto Duryodhana, who, filled with wrath, was then breathing heavily, 'O sire, the words that Kesava hath spoken unto thee are fraught with virtue and profit, Santanu's son Bhishma also hath said the same. Accept those words, O monarch. Both of them are wise, endued with great intelligence, with souls under control, desirous of doing what is for thy good, and possessed of great learning. They have said what is beneficial. Accept their words, O king, O thou possessed of great wisdom, act according to what both Krishna and Bhishma have said. O chastiser of foes, do not, from delusion of understanding, disregard Madhava. They that are always encouraging thee, are unable to give thee victory. During the time of battle they will throw the burthen of hostility on other's necks. Do not slaughter the Earth's population. Do not slay thy sons and brothers. Know that host is invincible in the midst of which are Vasudeva and Arjuna. If, O Bharata, thou dost not accept the truthful words of thy friends, Krishna and Bhishma, then, O sire, thou wilt surely have to repent. Arjuna is even greater than what Jamadagni's son hath described him to be. As regards Krishna, the son of Devaki, he is incapable of being resisted by even the gods. O bull of Bharata's race, what use is there in telling thee what is really conducive to thy happiness and good? Everything hath now been said unto thee. Do what thou wishest. I do not wish to say anything more unto thee, O foremost of Bharata's race.'
"Vaisampayana continued, 'After Drona had ceased, Vidura also, otherwise called Kshattri, casting his eyes on Duryodhana, said unto that vindictive son of Dhritarashtra, 'O Duryodhana, O bull of Bharata's race, I do not grieve for thee. I grieve, however, for this old couple, viz., Gandhari and thy father. Having thee, of wicked soul for their protector (of whom they will shortly be deprived), they will have to wander with anybody to look after them, and deprived also of friends and counsellors, like a pair of birds shorn of their wings. Having begotten such a wicked son who is the exterminator of his race, alas, these two will have to wander over the earth in sorrow, subsisting on alms.' After this, king Dhritarashtra, addressing Duryodhana, seated in the midst of his brothers and surrounded by all the kings, said, 'Listen, O Duryodhana, to what the high-souled Sauri hath said. Accept those words which are eternal, highly beneficial and conducive to what is for thy highest good. With the aid of this Krishna of faultless deeds, we amongst all the kings, are sure to have all our cherished objects. Firmly united by Kesava, be reconciled, O sire, with Yudhishthira. Seek thou this great good of the Bharatas like unto an august ceremony of
propitiation. Through Vasudeva's agency, bind thyself closely with the Pandavas. I think, the time for that is come. Do not let the opportunity pass away. If, however, thou disregardest Kesava, who from a desire of achieving what is for good, is soliciting thee to make peace, then victory will never be thine.'"
Next: Section CXXVI