The Mahabharata Home
"Sanjaya said, 'Beholding Duryodhana felled upon the earth like a gigantic Sala uprooted (by the tempest) the Pandavas became filled with joy. The Somakas also beheld, with hair standing on end, the Kuru king felled upon the earth like an infuriated elephant felled by a lion. Having struck Duryodhana down, the valiant Bhimasena, approaching the Kuru chief, addressed him, saying, "O wretch, formerly laughing at the disrobed Draupadi in the midst of the assembly, thou hadst, O fool, addressed us as 'Cow, Cow!' Bear now the fruit of that insult!" Having said these words, he touched the head of his fallen foe with his left foot. Indeed, he struck the head of that lion among kings with his foot. With eyes red in wrath, Bhimasena, that grinder of hostile armies, once more said these words. Listen to them, O monarch! "They that danced at us insultingly, saying, 'Cow, Cow!' we shall now dance at them, uttering the same words, 'Cow, Cow!' We have no guile, no fire, no match, at dice, no deception! Depending upon the might of our own arms we resist and check our foes!" Having attained to the other shores of those fierce hostilities, Vrikodara once more laughingly said these words slowly unto Yudhishthira and Keshava and Srinjaya and Dhananjaya and the two sons of Madri, "They that had dragged Draupadi, while ill, into the assembly and had disrobed her there, behold those Dhartarashtras slain in battle by the Pandavas through the ascetic penances of Yajnasena's daughter! Those wicked-hearted sons of king Dhritarashtra who had called us 'Sesame seeds without kernel,' have all been slain by us with their relatives and followers! It matters little whether (as a consequence of those deeds) we go to heaven or fall into hell!" Once more, uplifting the mace that lay on his shoulders, he struck with his left foot the head of the monarch who was prostrate on the earth, and addressing the deceitful Duryodhana, said these words. Many of the foremost warriors among the Somakas, who were all of righteous souls, beholding the foot of the rejoicing Bhimasena of narrow heart placed upon the head of that foremost one of Kuru's race, did not at all approve of it. While Vrikodara, after having struck down thy son, was thus bragging and dancing madly, king Yudhishthira addressed him, saying, "Thou hast paid off thy hostility (towards Duryodhana) and accomplished thy vow by a fair or an unfair act! Cease now, O Bhima! Do not crush his head with thy foot! Do not act sinfully! Duryodhana is a king! He is, again, thy kinsman! He is fallen! This conduct of thine, O sinless one, is not proper. Duryodhana was the lord of eleven Akshauhinis of troops. He was the king of the Kurus. Do not, O Bhima, touch a king and a kinsman with thy foot. His kinsmen are slain. His friends and counsellors are gone. His troops have been exterminated. He has been struck down in battle. He is to be pitied in every respect. He deserves not to be insulted, for remember that he is a king. He is ruined. His friends and kinsmen have been slain. His brothers have been killed. His sons too have been slain. His funeral cake hath been taken away. He is our brother. This that thou doest unto him is not proper. 'Bhimasena is a man of righteous behaviour': people used to say this before of thee! Why then, O Bhimasena, dost thou insult the king in this way?" Having said these words unto Bhimasena, Yudhishthira, with voice choked in tears, and afflicted with grief, approached Duryodhana, that chastiser of foes, and said unto him, "O sire, thou shouldst not give way to anger nor grieve for thyself. Without doubt thou bearest the dreadful consequences of thy own former acts. Without doubt this sad and woeful result had been ordained by the Creator himself, that we should injure thee and thou shouldst injure us, O foremost one of Kuru's race! Through thy own fault this great calamity has come upon thee, due to avarice and pride and folly, O Bharata! Having caused thy companions and brothers and sires and sons and grandsons and others to be all slain, thou comest now by thy own death. In consequence of thy fault, thy brothers, mighty car-warriors all, and thy kinsmen have been slain by us. I think all this to be the work of irresistible Destiny. Thou art not to be pitied. On the other hand, thy death, O sinless one, is enviable. It is we that deserve to be pitied in every respect, O Kaurava! We shall have to drag on a miserable existence, reft of all our dear friends and kinsmen. Alas, how shall I behold the widows, overwhelmed with grief and deprived of their senses by sorrow, of my brothers and sons and grandsons! Thou, O king, departest from this world! Thou art sure to have thy residence in heaven! We, on the other hand, shall be reckoned as creatures of hell, and shall continue to suffer the most poignant grief! The grief-afflicted wives of Dhritarashtra's sons and grandsons, those widows crushed with sorrow, will without doubt, curse us all!" Having said these words, Dharma's royal son, Yudhishthira, deeply afflicted with grief, began to breathe hard and indulge in lamentations.'"
Next: Section 60