The Mahabharata Home
Vaisampayana said, "After the conclusion of Arjuna's speech, Bhimasena of great wrath and energy, mustering all his patience, said these words unto his eldest brother, 'Thou art, O monarch, conversant with all duties. There is nothing unknown to thee. We always wish to imitate thy conduct, but, alas, we cannot do it!--"I will not say anything! I will not say anything--! Even this is what I had wished! Impelled, however, by great grief I am constrained to say something. Listen to these words of mine, O ruler of men! Through the stupefaction of thy faculties, everything is endangered, and ourselves are being made cheerless and weak. How is it that thou that art the ruler of the world, thou that art conversant with all branches of knowledge, sufferest thy understanding to be clouded, in consequence of cheerlessness, like a coward? The righteous and unrighteous paths of the world are known to thee. There is nothing belonging either to the future or the present that is also unknown to thee, O puissant one! When such is the case, O monarch, I will indicate, O ruler of men, the reasons in favour of your assuming sovereignty. Listen to me with undivided attention. There are two kinds of diseases, viz., physical and mental. Each springs from the other. None of them can be seen existing independently. Without doubt, mental diseases
spring from physical ones. Similarly physical diseases spring from mental ones. This is the truth. He that indulgeth in regrets on account of past physical or mental woes, reapeth woe from woe and suffereth double woe. Cold, heat, and wind,--these three are the attributes of the body. 1 Their existence in harmony is the sign of health. If one of the three prevails over the rest, remedies have been laid down. Cold is checked by heat, and heat is checked by cold. Goodness, passion, and darkness are the three attributes of the mind. The existence of these three in harmony is the sign of (mental) health. If one of these prevails over the rest, remedies have been prescribed. Grief is checked by joy, and joy is checked by grief. One, living in the present enjoyment of this, wishes to recollect his past woes. Another, living in the present suffering of woe, wishes to recollect his past bliss. Thou, however, wert never sad in grief or glad in bliss. 2 Thou, shouldst not, therefore, use thy memory for becoming sad during times of bliss, or glad during times of woe. It seems that Destiny is all-powerful. Or, if it be thy nature, in consequence of which thou art thus afflicted, how is it that it does not behove thee to recollect the sight thou sawest before, viz., the scantily-clad Krishna dragged, while in her season, before the assembly. 3 Why does it not behove thee to recollect our expulsion from the (Kuru) city and our exile (into the woods) dressed in deerskins, as also our living in the great forests? Why hast thou forgotten the woes inflicted by Jatasura, the battle with Chitrasena, and the distress suffered at the hands of the Sindhu king? Why hast thou forgotten the kick received by the princess Draupadi from Kichaka white we were living in concealment? A fierce battle, O chastiser of foes, like that which thou hast fought with Bhishma and Drona is now before thee, to be fought (however) with thy mind alone. In deed, that battle is now before thee in which there is no need of arrows, of friends, of relatives and kinsmen, but which will have to be fought with thy mind alone. If thou givest up thy life-breath before conquering in this battle, then, assuming another body, thou shalt have to fight these very foes again. 4 Therefore, fight that battle this very day, O bull of Bharata's race, disregarding the concerns of thy body, and aided by thy own acts, conquer and identify with thy mind's foe. 5 If thou canst not win that battle, what wilt be thy condition?
[paragraph continues] On the other hand, by winning it, O monarch, thou shalt have attained the great end of life. Applying thy intellect to this, and ascertaining the right and the wrong paths of creatures, follow thou the course adopted by thy sire before thee and govern properly thy kingdom. By good luck, O king, the sinful Duryodhana hath been stain with all his followers. By good luck, thou too hast attained to the condition of Draupadi's locks. 1 Perform with due rites and profuse presents the horse-sacrifice. We, are thy servants, O son of Pritha, as also Vasudeva of great energy!'"
29:1 Otherwise named phlegm, bile and wind.
29:2 The sense is that thou wert ever superior to joy and grief and never sufferedst thyself, to be elated with joy or depressed with grief.
29:3 The argument seems to be this: if it is thy nature to call back thy woes even when happiness is before thee, why dost thou not then recollect the insult to your wife? The recollection of this insult will fill thee with wrath and convince thee that in slaying thy foes,--those insulters of thy wife--thou hast acted very properly.
29:4 The meaning is that in consequence of thy abandonment of prosperity and kingdom and, therefore, of the means of effecting thy salvation by sacrifice and gifts and other act, of piety, thou shalt have to he re-born and to renew this mental battle with thy doubts.
29:5 This is a difficult verse, and I am not sure that I have understood it correctly. Gantavyam is explained by Nilakantha as connected with paramavyaktarupasya. According to Nilakantha, this means that thou shouldst go to, i.e. conquer, and identify thyself with, the param or foe of that which is of unmanifest form, the mind; of course, this would mean that Yudhishthira should identify himself with his own soul, for it is the soul which is his foe and p. 30 with which he is battling. Such conquest and identification implies the cessation of the battle and, hence, the attainment of tranquillity.
30:1 The condition of Draupadi's lock,--i.e., thou hast been restored to the normal condition. Draupadi had kept her locks dishevelled since the day they had been seized by Duhsasana. After the slaughter of the Kurus, those locks were bound up as before, or restored to their normal condition.
Next: Section XVII