The Mahabharata Home
"Dhritarashtra said, 'Kicked at the head, his thighs broken, prostrated on the ground, exceedingly proud, what, O Sanjaya, did my son then say? King Duryodhana was exceedingly wrathful and his hostility to the sons of Pandu was deep-rooted. When therefore this great calamity overtook him, what did he next say on the field?'
"Sanjaya said, 'Listen to me, O monarch, as I describe to thee what happened. Listen, O king, to what Duryodhana said when overtaken by calamity. With his thighs broken, the king, O monarch, covered with dust, gathered his flowing locks, casting his eyes on all sides. Having with difficulty gathered his locks, he began to sigh like a snake. Filled with rage and with tears flowing fast from his eyes, he looked at me. He struck his arms against the Earth for a while like an infuriated elephant. Shaking his loose locks, and gnashing his teeth, he began to censure the eldest son of Pandu. Breathing heavily, he then addressed me, saying, "Alas, I who had Santanu's son Bhishma for my protector, and Karna, that foremost of all wielders of weapons and Gotama's son, Shakuni, and Drona, that first of all wielders of arms, and Ashvatthama, and the heroic Shalya, and Kritavarma, alas, even I have come to this plight! It seems that Time is irresistible! I was the lord of eleven Chamus of troops and yet I have come to this plight! O mighty-armed one, no one can rise superior to Time! Those of my side that have escaped with life from this battle should be informed, how I have been struck down by Bhimasena in contravention of the rules of fair fight! Many have been the very unfair and sinful acts that have been perpetrated towards Bhurishrava, and Bhishma, and Drona of great prosperity! This is another very infamous act that the cruel Pandavas have perpetrated, for which, I am certain, they will incur the condemnation of all righteous men! What pleasure can a righteously disposed person enjoy at having gained a victory by unfair acts? What wise man, again, is there that would accord his approbation to a person contravening the rules of fairness? What learned man is there that would rejoice after having won victory by unrighteousness as that sinful wretch, Vrikodara the son of Pandu, rejoices? What can be more amazing than this, that Bhimasena in wrath should with his foot touch the head of one like me while lying with my thighs broken? Is that person, O Sanjaya, worthy of honour who behaveth thus towards a man possessed of glory endued with prosperity, living in the midst of friends? My parents are not ignorant of the duties of battle. Instructed by me, O Sanjaya, tell them that are afflicted with grief these words: I have performed sacrifices, supported a large number of servants properly, governed the whole earth with her seas! I stayed on the heads of my living foes! I gave wealth to my kinsmen to the extent of my abilities, and I did what was agreeable to friends. I withstood all my foes. Who is there that is more fortunate than myself? I have made progresses through hostile kingdoms and commanded kings as slaves. I have acted handsomely towards all I loved and liked. Who is there more fortunate than myself? I honoured all my kinsmen and attended to the welfare of all my dependants. I have attended to the three ends of human existence, Religion, Profit, and Pleasure! Who is there more fortunate than myself? I laid my commands on great kings, and honour, unattainable by others, was mine, I always made my journeys on the very best of steeds. Who is there more fortunate than myself? I studied the Vedas and made gifts according to the ordinance. My life has passed in happiness. By observance of the duties of my own order, I have earned many regions of blessedness hereafter. Who is there more fortunate than myself? By good luck, I have not been vanquished in battle and subjected to the necessity of serving my foes as masters. By good luck, O lord, it is only after my death that my swelling prosperity abandons me for waiting upon another! That which is desired by good Kshatriyas observant of the duties of their order, that death, is obtained by me! Who is there so fortunate as myself? By good luck, I did not suffer myself to be turned away from the path of hostility and to be vanquished like an ordinary person! By good luck, I have not been vanquished after I had done some base act! Like the slaughter of a person that is asleep or that is heedless, like the slaughter of one by the administration of poison, my slaughter hath taken place, for I have been slain as unrighteously, in contravention of the rules of fair fight! The highly blessed Ashvatthama, and Kritavarma of the Satwata race, and Saradwat's son Kripa, should be told these words of mine, 'You should never repose any confidence upon the Pandavas, those violators of rules, who have perpetrated many unrighteous acts!' After this, thy royal son of true prowess addressed our message-bearers in these words, "I have, in battle, been slain by Bhimasena most unrighteously! I am now like a moneyless wayfarer and shall follow in the wake of Drona who has already gone to heaven, of Karna and Shalya, of Vrishasena of great energy, of Shakuni the son of Subala, of Jalasandha of great valour, of king Bhagadatta, of Somadatta's son, that mighty bowman, of Jayadratha, the king of the Sindhus, of all my brothers headed by Duhshasana and equal unto myself, of Duhshasana's son of great prowess, and of Lakshmana, my son, and thousands of others that fought for me. Alas how shall my sister, stricken with woe, live sorrowfully, after hearing of the slaughter of her brothers and her husband! Alas, what shall be the plight of the old king, my sire, with Gandhari, and his daughters-in-law and grand-daughters-in-law! Without doubt, the beautiful and large-eyed mother of Lakshmana, made sonless and husbandless, will soon meet with her death! If Charvaka, the mendicant devotee who is a master of speech, learns everything, that blessed man will certainly avenge himself of my death! By dying upon the sacred field of Samantapanchaka, celebrated over the three worlds, I shall certainly obtain many eternal regions!" Then, O sire, thousands of men, with eyes full of tears, fled away in all directions, having heard these lamentations of the king. The whole Earth, with her forests and seas, with all her mobile and immobile creatures, began to tremble violently, and produce a loud noise. All the points of the compass became murky. The messengers, repairing to Drona's son, represented to him all that had happened regarding the conduct of the mace-encounter and the fall of the king. Having represented everything unto Drona's son, O Bharata, all of them remained in a thoughtful mood for a long while and then went away, grief-stricken, to the place they came from.'"
Next: Section 65