The Mahabharata Home
"Vaisampayana said, 'Disregarding these words of grave import, spoken by his mother, Duryodhana went away, in anger, from that place to the presence of wicked persons. And wending away from the court, the Kuru prince began to consult with Suvala's royal son, Sakuni, most clever in dice. And this was the resolution which Duryodhana and Karna and Suvala's son Sakuni, with Dussasana as their fourth, arrived at, 'This Janardana, quick in action, seeketh, with the king Dhritarashtra and Santanu's son, to seize us first. We, however, shall forcibly seize this tiger among men, Hrishikesa, first, like Indra forcibly seizing Virochana's son (Vali). Hearing that this one of Vrishni's race hath been seized, the Pandavas will lose their heart and become incapable of exertion, like snakes whose fangs have been broken. This mighty-armed one is, indeed, the refuge and protection of them all. If this grantor of wishes, this bull of all the Satwatas, be confined, the Pandavas with the Somakas will become depressed and incapable of any exertion. Therefore, disregarding Dhritarashtra's cries, we will seize even here this Kesava, who is quick in action, and then fight with the foe.' After those sinful men of wicked souls had come to this sinful resolution, highly intelligent Satyaki, capable of reading the heart by signs, soon came to know of it. And because of that knowledge, he soon issued out of the court, accompanied by Hridika's son (Kritavarman). And Satyaki addressed Kritavarman, saying, 'Array the troops soon. And accoutred in mail and with thy troops arrayed for battle, wait thou at the entrance of the court, till I represent this matter unto Krishna, unwearied by exertion.' Saying this, that hero re-entered the court, like a lion entering a mountain-cave. And he (first) informed the high-souled Kesava and then Dhritarashtra, and then Vidura of that conspiracy. And having informed them of that resolution, he laughingly said, 'These wicked men intended to commit an act here, that is disapproved by the good from consideration of virtue, profit, and desire. They will, however, never be able to actually achieve it. These fools of sinful souls assembled together, these wretches overwhelmed by lust, anger and yielding themselves up to wrath and covetousness, are about to perpetrate a highly unbecoming deed. Those wretches of little understanding and desirous of seizing the lotus-eyed, are like idiots and children desiring to seize a blazing fire by
means of their garments.' Hearing these words of Satyaki, Vidura, endued with great foresight, said these words unto the mighty-armed Dhritarashtra in the midst of the Kurus, 'O king, O chastiser of foes, the hour of all thy sons is come, for they are endeavouring to perpetrate a highly infamous act, however incapable they may be of actually accomplishing it. Alas, united together they desire to vanquish this younger brother of Vasava, and seize this lotus-eyed one. Indeed, encountering this tiger among men, this invincible and irresistible one, they will all perish like insects in a blazing fire. If Janardana wisheth, he can send all of them, even if they fight in a body, unto the abode of Yama, like an enraged lion dispatching a herd of elephants. He will, however, never do any such sinful and censurable act. This best of persons, of unfading glory, will never deviate from virtue.' After Vidura had said these words, Kesava, casting his eyes on Dhritarashtra, said in the midst of those well-meaning persons, who listen to others' words, 'O king, if these (men) desire to chastise me by using violence, permit them to chastise me. O monarch, as regards my chastising them, for I dare chastise all of them together that are so excited with rage, I will not, however, perpetrate any sinful and censurable act. Coveting the possessions of the Pandavas, thy sons will lose their own. If they desire to perpetrate such a deed, Yudhishthira's object will then be (easily) accomplished, for, this very day, O Bharata, seizing these with all that follow them, I can make them over to the sons of Pritha. What is there that is difficult of attainment by me? I will not, however, O Bharata, commit in thy presence, O great monarch, any such censurable deed, that can proceed only from wrath and a sinful understanding. Let it be, O king, as this Duryodhana desireth. I give permission, O monarch, to all thy sons to do it.'
"Hearing these words (of Kesava), Dhritarashtra addressed Vidura saying, 'Quickly bring hither sinful Duryodhana, who is so covetous of sovereignty, with his friends, counsellors, brothers, and followers. I shall see if indeed, making one more effort I can bring him to the right path.
'Thus addressed by Dhritarashtra, Kshattri once more caused unwilling Duryodhana to enter the court with his brothers, and surrounded by the kings (that followed him). King Dhritarashtra then addressed Duryodhana, surrounded by Karna and Dussasana and all those kings, saying, 'O wretch of accumulated sins, having for thy allies men of despicable acts, infamous is the deed that thou, uniting with sinful friends, seekest to do. Of little understanding, thou, infamy of thy race, one like thee alone can seek to do an act so infamous and disapproved by the good, however impossible it may be of being actually achieved. Uniting with sinful allies, wishest thou to chastise this invincible and irresistible one of eyes like lotus-leaves? Like a child wishing to have the moon, seekest thou, O fool, to do what cannot be done by the very gods, headed by Vasava with all their strength? Knowest thou not, that Kesava is incapable of being withstood in battle by gods and men and
[paragraph continues] Gandharvas and Asuras and Uragas? Like the wind which none can seize of being seized with his hands, like the moon which no hand can reach, like the Earth which none can support on his head, Kesava is incapable by force.'
"After Dhritarashtra had said these words, Vidura (casting) his eyes on Duryodhana, addressed that vindictive son of Dhritarashtra, saying, 'O Duryodhana, listen now to these words of mine. At the gates of Saubha, that foremost of monkeys, known by the name of Dwivida, covered Kesava with a mighty shower of stones. Desirous of seizing Madhava by putting forth all his prowess and exertion, he did not yet succeed in seizing him. Seekest thou to apprehend that Kesava by force? When Sauri went to Pragjyotisha, Naraka with all the Danavas succeeded not in seizing him there. Seekest thou to seize him by force? Slaying that Naraka in battle, he brought away (from his city) a thousand damsels and married them all, according to the ordinance. In the city of Nirmochana, six thousand mighty Asuras failed to seize him with their nooses. Seekest thou to seize that Kesava by force? While only a child, he slew Putana and two Asuras assuming the shape of birds, and O bull of Bharata's race, he held up the mountains of Govardhana (on his little finger) for protecting the kine (from a continuous rain). He hath also slain Aristha, and Dhenuka and Chanura of great strength, and Aswaraja, and Kansa, the doer of evil. He hath slain Jarasandha, and Vakra, and Sisupala of mighty energy, and Vana in battle, and numerous other kings also have been slain by him. Of immeasurable might, he vanquished king Varuna and also Pavaka (Agni), and on the occasion of bringing (down from the celestial regions) the (heavenly flower called) Parijata, he defeated the lord of Sachi himself. While floating on the vast deep, he slew Madhu and Kaitabha, and in another birth he slew Hayagriva (Horse-necked). He is the maker of everything but is himself made by none. He is the Cause of all power. Whatever Sauri wisheth, he accomplisheth without any effort. Knowest thou not sinless Govinda, of terrible prowess and incapable of deterioration? This one, resembling an angry snake of virulent poison, is the never-ending source of energy. In seeking to use violence towards Krishna, endued with mighty arms and unwearied by exertion, thou wilt, with all thy followers, perish like an insect failing into fire.'"
Next: section CXXXI