The Mahabharata Home
"Sanjaya said, 'Having heard those words of Duryodhana, Gudakesha of great fame looked at the gambler's son with eyes exceedingly red. And eyeing Kesava also and tossing his massive arms, he addressed the gambler's son, saying, 'He, who, relying on his own strength, summoneth his foes and fighteth with them fearlessly, is spoken of as a man. He, however, who, relying on the strength of others, summoneth his foes, is an infamous Kshatriya. In consequence of his incapacity, such a one is
regarded as the lowest of men. Relying on the strength of others, thou (O Duryodhana), being a coward thyself, desirest yet, O fool, to rebuke thy foes. Having installed (Bhishma) the oldest of all the Kshatriyas, whose heart is ever bent in doing what is good, who hath all his passions under control, and who is endued with great wisdom, in the command of thy troops and made him liable to certain death, thou indulgest in brag! O thou of wicked understanding, thy object (in doing this) is fully known to us, O wretch of thy race! Thou hast done it, believing that sons of Pandu will not, from kindness, slay the son of Ganga. Know, however, O Dhritarashtra's son, that I will slay that Bhishma first in the sight of all the bowmen, relying upon whose strength thou indulgest in such boasts! O gambler's son, repairing (hence) unto the Bharatas and approaching Duryodhana the son of Dhritarashtra, say unto him that Arjuna hath said,--So be it! After this night will have passed away, the fierce encounter of arms will take place. Indeed, Bhishma of unfailing might and firmly adhering to truth, hath told thee in the midst of the Kurus these words, viz.,--I will slay the army of the Srinjayas and the Salweyas. Let that be my task. Excepting Drona I can slay the whole world. Thou needest not, therefore, entertain any fear oil the Pandavas! At this, thou, O Duryodhana, regardest the kingdom as thy own and thinkest that the Pandavas have sunk into distress. Thou hast been filled with pride at this. Thou seest not, however, danger that is in thy own self. I shall, therefore, in battle, first slay before thy very eyes, Bhishma the eldest of the Kurus! At sunrise (tomorrow) at the head of the troops, with standards and cars protect ye that leader of thy forces firm in his promises. I shall, with my arrows, throw him down who is your refuge from his car before the eyes of you all! When the morrow cometh, Suyodhana will know what it is to indulge in brag, beholding the grandsire covered with my arrows! Thou shalt, O Suyodhana, very soon see the fulfilment of that which Bhimasena in anger had said, in the midst of the assembly, unto thy brother, that man of limited sight, viz., Dussasana, wedded to unrighteousness, always quarrelsome, of wicked understanding, and cruel in behaviour. Thou shalt soon see the terrible effects of vanity and pride, of wrath and arrogance, of bragging and heartlessness, cutting words and acts, of aversion from righteousness, and sinfulness and speaking ill of others, of transgressing the counsels of the aged, of oblique sight, and of all kinds of vices! O scum of humanity, how canst thou, O fool, hope for either life or kingdom, if I, having Vasudeva for my second, give way to anger? After Bhishma and Drona will have been quieted and after the Suta's son will have been overthrown, thou shalt be hopeless of life, kingdom and sons! Hearing of the slaughter of thy brothers and sons, and struck mortally by Bhimasena, thou wilt, O Suyodhana, recollect all thy misdeeds!--Tell him, O gambler's son, that I do not vow a second time. I tell thee truly that all this will be true!--Departing hence, O Uluka, say, O sire, these words of mine, unto Suyodhana! It behoveth thee not to apprehend my behaviour by the light of thy own!
[paragraph continues] Know the difference there is between thy conduct and mine, which is even the difference between truth and falsehood! I do not wish harm to even insects and ants. What shall I say, therefore, of my ever wishing harm to my kinsmen? O sire, it was for this that five villages only were solicited by me! Why, O thou of wicked understanding, dost thou not see the dire calamity that threatens thee? Thy soul overwhelmed with lust, thou indulgest in vauntings from defectiveness of understanding. It is for this also thou acceptest not the beneficial words of Vasudeva. What need now of much talk? Fight (against us) with all thy friends! Say, O gambler's son, unto the Kuru prince who always doth what is injurious to me (these words also, viz.,)--Thy words have been heard; their sense also hath been understood. Let it be as thou wishest!'
'O son of king, Bhimasena then once more said these words, 'O Uluka, say those words of mine unto the wicked-minded, deceitful, and unrighteous Suyodhana, who is an embodiment of sin, who is wedded to guile, and whose behaviour is exceedingly wicked. Thou shalt have to dwell in the stomach of a vulture or in Hastinapura. O scum of human kind, I shall assuredly fulfil the vow I have made in the midst of the assembly. I swear in the name of Truth, slaying Dussasana in battle, I shall quaff his life-blood! Slaying also thy (other) brothers, I shall smash thy own thighs. Without doubt, O Suyodhana, I am the destroyer of all the sons of Dhritarashtra, as Abhimanyu is of all the (younger) princes! I shall by my deeds, gratify you all! Hearken once more to me. O Suyodhana, slaying thee, with all thy uterine brothers, I shall strike the crown of thy head with my foot in the sight of the king Yudhishthira the Just!'
'Nakula, then, O king, said these words, 'O Uluka, say unto Dhritarashtra's son, Suyodhana, of Kuru's race that all the words uttered by him have now been heard and their sense understood. I shall, O Kauravya, do all that thou hast commended me to do.'
'And Sahadeva also, O monarch, said these words of grave import, 'O Suyodhana, it will all be as thou wishest! Thou shalt have to repent, O great king, along with thy children, kinsmen, and counsellors, even as thou art now bragging joyously in view of our sufferings.'
'Then Virata and Drupada, both venerable in years, said these words unto Uluka, It is even our wish that we become slaves of a virtuous person! Whether, however, we are slaves or masters, will be known tomorrow, as also who owns what manliness!'
'After them, Sikhandin said these words unto Uluka, 'Thou must say unto king Duryodhana who is always addicted to sinfulness, these words, viz.,--See, O king, what fierce deed is perpetrated by me in battle! I shall slay grandsire of thine from his car, relying upon whose prowess thou art certain of success in battle! Without doubt, I have been created by the high-souled Creator for the destruction of Bhishma. I shall assuredly slay Bhishma in the sight of all bowmen.'
'After this, Dhrishtadyumna also said unto Uluka, the gambler's son, these words, 'Say unto prince Suyodhana these my words, viz., I shall
slay Drona with all his followers and friends. And I shall do a deed which none else will ever do.'
'King Yudhishthira once more said these high words fraught with clemency, viz.,--O monarch, I never desire the slaughter of my kinsmen. O thou of wicked understanding, it is from thy fault that all this will assuredly take place. I shall, of course, have to sanction the fulfilment of their great feats by all these (around me). Go hence, O Uluka, without delay or stay here, O sire, for, blessed be thou, we too are thy kinsmen.'
'Uluka, then, O king, thinking permission of Yudhishthira, the son of Dharma, went thither where king Suyodhana was. Thus addressed, the gambler's son carefully bearing in mind all he had heard, returned to the place from which he had come. And arriving there, he fully represented unto the vindictive Duryodhana all that Arjuna had charged him with. And he also faithfully communicated unto Dhritarashtra's son the words of Vasudeva, of Bhima, of king Yudhishthira the Just, of Nakula and Virata and Drupada, O Bharata and the words of Sahadeva and Dhrishtadyumna and Sikhandin, and the words also that were spoken (subsequently) by Kesava and Arjuna. And having listened to the words of the gambler's son, Duryodhana, that bull of Bharata's race, ordered Dussasana and Karna and Sakuni, O Bharata, and their own troops and the troops of the allies, and all the (assembled) kings, to be arrayed in divisions and be ready for battle before sunrise (next morrow). Messengers then, instructed by Karna and hastily mounting on cars and camels and mares and good steeds endued with great fleetness, quickly rode through the encampment. And at Karna's command they promulgated the order--Array (yourselves) before sunrise tomorrow!'"
Next: Section CLXV