The Mahabharata Home
"Kunti said, 'Say unto Arjuna, these words, when thou wert brought forth in the lying-in room and when I was sitting in the hermitage surrounded by ladies, a celestial and delightful voice was heard in the sky, saying, 'O Kunti, this thy son will rival the deity of a thousand eyes. This one will vanquish in battle all the assembled Kurus. Aided by Bhima, he will conquer the whole Earth and his fame will touch the very heavens. With Vasudeva as his ally, he will slay the Kurus in battle and recover his lost paternal share in the kingdom. Endued with great prosperity, he will, with his brothers, perform three great sacrifices.' O thou of unfading glory, thou knowest how steady, in truth, is Vibhatsu,
otherwise called Savyasachin, how irresistible he is. O thou of Dasarha's race, let it be as that (celestial) voice said. If, O thou of Vrishni's race, there is anything like righteousness, those words will be true, for then, Krishna, thou wilt thyself accomplish it all. I do not doubt what that voice said. I bow to righteousness which is superior to all. It is righteousness that supports all creatures. Thou shalt say these words unto Dhananjaya. Unto Vrikodara again, who is always ready for exertion, thou shalt say these words, 'The time hath come for that in view of which Kshatriya lady bringeth forth a son! They that are foremost among men never become cheerless when they have hostilities to wage--Thou knowest what the state of Bhima's mind is. That grinder of foes is never pacified until he exterminates his foes. Thou shalt, O Madhava, next say unto the auspicious Krishna of great fame, that daughter-in-law of the high-souled Pandu, who is conversant with the details of every virtue, these words, 'O thou that art highly blessed, O thou of noble parentage, O thou that art endued with great fame, that becoming behaviour which thou always showest towards my sons is, indeed, worthy of thee.' Thou must also say unto the sons of Madri who are always devoted to Kshatriya virtues, these words, 'Covet ye more than life itself, those enjoyments that are acquired by prowess. Objects won by prowess always please the heart of a person that liveth according to Kshatriya practices. Engaged as ye are in acquiring every kind of virtue, before your eyes the princess of Panchala was addressed in cruel and abusive epithets. Who is there that can forgive that insult? The deprivation of their kingdom grieved me not. Their defeat at dice grieved me not. But that noble and fair Draupadi, however, while weeping in the midst of the assembly, had to hear those cruel and insulting words is what grieveth me most. Alas, exceedingly beautiful Krishna, ever devoted to Kshatriya virtues, found no protector on that occasion, though she was wedded to such powerful protectors. O thou of mighty arms, say unto that tiger among men, Arjuna, that foremost of all wielders of weapons, that he should always tread in the path that may be pointed out by Draupadi. Thou knowest it very well, Kesava, that Bhima and Arjuna,--that pair of fierce and all-destroying Yamas, are capable of making the very gods go the way of all creatures. Is not this an insult to them that (their wife) Krishna was dragged into the assembly? O Kesava, recall to their remembrance all those cruel and harsh words that Dussasana said unto Bhima in the very presence of all the warriors of Kuru's race. Enquire (in my name) after the welfare of the Pandavas with their children and Krishna. Say unto them, O Janardana, that I am well. Go thou on thy auspicious way, and protect my sons!'
"Vaisampayana continued, 'Saluting and walking round her, the mighty-armed Krishna whose gait resembled the majestic gait of the lion, then issued out of Pritha's abode. And he then dismissed those chiefs among the Kurus with Bhishma at their head (who had followed him), and taking Karna upon his chariot, left (the Kuru city), accompanied
by Satyaki. And after he of Dasarha's race had departed, the Kurus assembled together and began to talk of that highly wonderful and marvellous incident connected with him. And they said, 'Overcome with ignorance, the whole earth hath been entangled in the meshes of death!' And they also said, 'Through Duryodhana's folly, all this is doomed to destruction.'
'Having issued out of the (Kuru) city, that foremost of persons proceeded, deliberating with Karna for a long time. And that delighter of all the Yadavas then dismissed Karna and urged his steeds to greater speed. And driven by Daruka, those swift coursers endued with the speed of the tempest of the mind, went on as if drinking the skies. And quickly traversing a long way like fleet hawks, they reached Upaplavya very soon, bearing the wielder of Saranga.'"
Next: Section CXXXVIII