The Mahabharata Home
"Sanjaya said.. 'Hearing of the slaughter of his sire by Dhrishtadyumna, of sinful deeds, Drona's son was filled with grief and rage, O bull among men. Filled with rage, O king, his body seems to blaze forth like that of the Destroyer while engaged in slaughtering creatures at the end of Yuga. Repeatedly
wiping his tearful eyes, and breathing hot sighs in rage, he said unto Duryodhana, I have now learnt how my sire has been slain by those low wretches after he laid aside his weapons, and how also has a sinful act been perpetrated by Yudhishthira disguised in the grab of virtue! 1 I have now heard of that unrighteous and exceedingly cruel act of Dharma's son. Indeed, to those engaged in battle, either of the two things must happen, viz., victory or defeat. Death in battle is always to be applauded. That death, in battle, of a person engaged in fight, which takes place under circumstances of righteousness, is not deserving of grief, as has been observed by the sages. Without doubt, my sire has gone to the region of heroes. He having met with such a death, I should not grieve for him. The humiliation, however, of a seizure of his locks, that he sustained in the very sight of all the troops, while he was righteously engaged in battle, is tearing the very core of my heart. Myself alive, my sire's locks were seized, why should sonless people then entertain a desire of offspring? 2 People perpetrate unrighteous acts or humiliate others, moved by lust or wrath or folly or hatred or levity. The cruel and wicked-souled son of Prishata hath perpetrated this exceedingly sinful act in total disregard of me Dhrishtadyumna, therefore, shall surely suffer the dreadful consequence of that act, as also the false-speeched son of Pandu, that has acted so wrongly. Today, the earth shall certainly drink the blood of that king Yudhishthira the just, who caused the preceptor, by an act of deceit to lay aside his weapons. I swear by truth, O Kauraveya, as also by my religious acts, that I shall never bear the burden of life if I fail to exterminate the Panchalas. By every means I contend with the Panchalas in dreadful strife. I shall certainly slay in battle Dhrishtadyumna, that perpetrator of unrighteous deeds. Mild or violent, let the means be what they will, I shall effect the destruction of all the Panchalas before peace becomes mine. O Kaurava! O tiger among men, persons desire children so that obtaining them they may be rescued from great fears both here and hereafter. My sire, however, fell unto that plight, like a friendless creature, although myself am alive, his disciple and son, resembling a mountain (in might). Fie on my celestial weapons. Fie on my arms. Fie on my prowess. Since Drona, although he had a son in me, had his locks seized! I shall, therefore, O chief of the Bharatas, now achieve that by which I may be freed from the debt I owe to my sire, now gone to the other world. He that is good never indulges in self-praise. Unable, however, to brook the slaughter of my sire, I speak of my prowess. Let the Pandavas, with Janardana among them, behold my energy today, while I grind all their troops, achieving what is done (by the destroyer himself) at the end of the Yuga. Neither the gods, nor the Gandharvas, nor the Asuras, the Uragas, and the Rakshasas, nor all
the foremost of men, shall today be able to vanquish me on my car in battle. There is none in the world equal to me or Arjuna in knowledge of weapons. Entering into the midst of the troops, like the sun himself in the midst of his blazing rays, I shall today use my celestial weapons. Today, applied by me, innumerable shafts, sped from my bow in dreadful battle, displaying their terrible energy, I shall grind the Pandavas. Today, all the points of the compass, O king will be seen by the warriors of our army shrouded with my winged arrows of keen points, as if with torrents of rain. Scattering showers of shafts on all sides with a loud noise, I shall overthrow my foes, like a tempest felling trees. Neither Vibhatsu, nor Janardana, nor Bhimasena, nor Nakula, nor Sahadeva, nor king Yudhishthira, nor Prishata's wicked-souled son (Dhrishtadyumna), nor Sikhandin, nor Satyaki, O Kauravya, knoweth that weapon which I have, along with the mantras, for hurting and withdrawing it. Formerly on one occasion, Narayana, assuming the from of a Brahmana, came to my father. Bowing unto him, my father presented his offerings unto him in due form. Taking them himself, the divine Lord offered to give him a boon. My father then solicited that supreme weapon called Narayana. The divine Lord, the foremost of all gods, addressing my sire, said, No man shall ever become thy equal in battle. This weapon, however, O Brahmana, should never be used in haste. It never comes back without effecting the destruction of the foe. I know none whom it may not slay, O lord! Indeed, It would slay even the unslayable. Therefore, it should not be used (without the greatest deliberation). This mighty weapon, O scorcher of foes, should never be hurled upon persons that abandon their cars or weapons in battle, or upon those that seek for quarter or those that wield themselves up. He who seeketh to afflict in battle the unslayable with it, is himself exceedingly afflicted by it! 1'--My sire thus received that weapon. Then Lord Narayana, addressing myself also, said, 'With the aid of this weapon, thou too shalt pour diverse showers of celestial weapons in battle and blaze with energy in consequence of it. Having said these words, the divine Lord ascended to heaven. Even this is the history of the Narayana weapon which has been obtained by my sire's son. With that I will rout and slay the Pandavas, the Panchalas, the Matsyas, and the Kaikeyas, in battle, like Sachi's lord routing and slaying the Asuras. My shafts, O Bharata, will fall upon the contending foes, in those particular forms which I shall wish them to assume. Staying in battle, I will pour showers of weapons as I desire. I will rout and slay all the foremost of car warriors with sky-ranging arrows of iron-points. Without doubt, I will shower innumerable battle-axes upon the foe. With the mighty Narayana weapon, a scorcher of foes that I am, I will destroy the Pandavas, causing an immense carnage amongst them. That wretch amongst the Panchalas, (viz., Dhrishtadyumna), who is an injurer of friends and Brahmanas and of his own preceptor, who is a deceitful wretch of the most reprehensible conduct, shall never escape from me today with
life.' Hearing these words of Drona's son, the (Kuru) army rallied. Then many foremost of men blew their gigantic conchs. And filled with delight, they beat their drums and dindimas by thousands. The earth resounded with loud noises, afflicted with the hoofs of steeds and the wheels of cars. That loud uproar made the earth, and the firmament also echo with it. Hearing that uproar, deep as the roll of the clouds, the Pandavas, those foremost of car-warriors, uniting together, took counsel of one another. Meanwhile, Drona's son, having said those words, O Bharata, touched water and invoked the celestial weapon called the Narayana.'"
458:1 Dharmadhwajin literally means a person bearing the standard of virtue, hence, hypocrite, sanctimoniously talking only virtue and morality but acting differently.
458:2 I think the correct reading is aputrinas and not putrinas. If it is putrinas, literally rendered, the meaning is, 'Why should persons having children, feel any affection for the latter?' It the worthy of remark that the author of Venisamhara has bodily adopted this verse, putting it in the mouth of Aswatthaman when introduced in the third Act.
459:1 The last line of 37 is read differently in the Bombay edition. Nilakantha accepts that reading, and explains it in his gloss remarking that the grammatical solecism occuring in it is a license. The Bengal reading, however, is more apposite.
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