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"Dhritarashtra said, 'Beholding the (Kuru) king struck down unfairly, what O Suta, did the mighty Baladeva, that foremost one of Yadu's race, say? Tell me, O Sanjaya, what Rohini's son, well-skilled in encounters with the mace and well acquainted with all its rules, did on that occasion!'

"Sanjaya said, 'Beholding thy son struck at the thighs, the mighty Rama, that foremost of smiters, became exceedingly angry. Raising his arms aloft the hero having the plough for his weapon, in a voice of deep sorrow, said in the midst of those kings, "Oh, fie on Bhima, fie on Bhima! Oh, fie, that in such a fair fight a blow hath been struck below the navel! Never before hath such an act as Vrikodara hath done been witnessed in an encounter with the mace! No limb below the navel should be struck. This is the precept laid down in treatises! This Bhima, however, is an ignorant wretch, unacquainted with the truths of treatises! He, therefore, acteth as he likes!" While uttering these words, Rama gave way to great wrath. The mighty Baladeva then, uplifting his plough, rushed towards Bhimasena! The form of that high-souled warrior of uplifted arms then became like that of the gigantic mountains of Kailasa variegated with diverse kinds of metals. The mighty Keshava, however, ever bending with humanity, seized the rushing Rama encircling him with his massive and well-rounded arms. Those two foremost heroes of Yadu's race, the one dark in complexion and the other fair, looked exceedingly beautiful at that moment, like the Sun and the Moon, O king, on the evening sky! For pacifying the angry Rama, Keshava addressed him, saying, "There are six kinds of advancement that a person may have: one's own advancement, the advancement of one's friends, the advancement of one's friends', the decay of one's enemy, the decay of one's enemy's friends, and the decay of one's enemy's friends' friends. When reverses happen to one's own self or to one's friends, one should then understand that one's fall is at hand and, therefore, one should at such times look for the means of applying a remedy. The Pandavas of unsullied prowess are our natural friends. They are the children of our own sire's sister! They had been greatly afflicted by their foes! The accomplishment of one's vow is one's duty. Formerly Bhima had vowed in the midst of the assembly that he would in great battle break with his mace the thighs of Duryodhana. The great Rishi Maitreya also, O scorcher of foes, had formerly cursed Duryodhana, saying, 'Bhima will, with his mace, break thy thighs!' In consequence of all this, I do not see any fault in Bhima! Do not give way to wrath, O slayer of Pralamva! Our relationship with the Pandavas is founded upon birth and blood, as also upon an attraction of hearts. In their growth is our growth. Do not, therefore, give way to wrath, O bull among men!" Hearing these words of Vasudeva the wielder of the plough, who was conversant with rules of morality, said, "Morality is well practised by the good. Morality, however, is always afflicted by two things, the desire of Profit entertained by those that covet it, and the desire for Pleasure cherished by those that are wedded to it. Whoever without afflicting Morality and Profit, or Morality and Pleasure, or Pleasure and Profit, followeth all three--Morality, Profit and Pleasure--always succeeds in obtaining great happiness. In consequence, however, of morality being afflicted by Bhimasena, this harmony of which I have spoken hath been disturbed, whatever, O Govinda, thou mayst tell me!" Krishna replied, saying, "Thou art always described as bereft of wrath, and righteous-souled and devoted to righteousness! Calm thyself, therefore, and do not give way to wrath! Know that the Kali age is at hand. Remember also the vow made by the son of Pandu! Let, therefore, the son of Pandu be regarded to have paid off the debt he owed to his hostility and to have fulfilled his vow!"

"Sanjaya continued, 'Hearing this fallacious discourse from Keshava, O king, Rama failed to dispel his wrath and became cheerful. He then said in that assembly, "Having unfairly slain king Suyodhana of righteous soul, the son of Pandu shall be reputed in the world as a crooked warrior! The righteous-souled Duryodhana, on the other hand, shall obtain eternal blessedness! Dhritarashtra's royal son, that ruler of men, who hath been struck down, is a fair warrior. Having made every arrangement for the Sacrifice of battle and having undergone the initiatory ceremonies on the field, and, lastly, having poured his life as a libation upon the fire represented by his foes, Duryodhana has fairly completed his sacrifice by the final ablutions represented by the attainment of glory!" Having said these words, the valiant son of Rohini, looking like the crest of a white cloud, ascended his car and proceeded towards Dwaraka. The Pancalas with the Vrishnis, as also the Pandavas, O monarch, became rather cheerless after Rama had set out for Dwaravati. Then Vasudeva, approaching Yudhishthira who was exceedingly melancholy and filled with anxiety, and who hung down his head and knew not what to do in consequence of his deep affliction, said unto him these words:

"'Vasudeva said, "O Yudhishthira the just, why dost thou sanction this unrighteous act, since thou permittest the head of the insensible and fallen Duryodhana whose kinsmen and friends have all been slain to be thus struck by Bhima with his foot. Conversant with the ways of morality, why dost thou, O king, witness this act with indifference?"

"'Yudhishthira answered, "This act, O Krishna, done from wrath, of Vrikodara's touching the head of the king with his foot, is not agreeable to me, nor am I glad at this extermination of my race! By guile were we always deceived by the sons of Dhritarashtra! Many were the cruel words they spoke to us. We were again exiled into the woods by them. Great is the grief on account of all those acts that is in Bhimasena's heart! Reflecting on all this, O thou of Vrishni's race, I looked on with indifference! Having slain the covetous Duryodhana bereft of wisdom and enslaved by his passions, let the son of Pandu gratify his desire, be it righteousness or unrighteousness!"

"Sanjaya continued, 'After Yudhishthira had said this, Vasudeva, that perpetuator of Yadu's race, said with difficulty, "Let it be so!" Indeed, after Vasudeva had been addressed in those words by Yudhishthira, the former, who, always wished what was agreeable to and beneficial for Bhima, approved all those acts that Bhima had done in battle. Having struck down thy son in battle, the wrathful Bhimasena, his heart filled with joy, stood with joined hands before Yudhishthira and saluted him in proper form. With eyes expanded in delight and proud of the victory he had won, Vrikodara of great energy, O king, addressed his eldest brother, saying, "The Earth is today thine, O king, without brawls to disturb her and with all her thorns removed! Rule over her, O monarch, and observe the duties of thy order! He who was the cause of these hostilities and who fomented them by means of his guile, that wretched wight fond of deception, lieth, struck down, on the bare ground, O lord of earth! All these wretches headed by Duhshasana, who used to utter cruel words, as also those other foes of thine, the son of Radha, and Shakuni, have been slain! Teeming with all kinds of gems, the Earth, with her forests and mountains, O monarch, once more cometh to thee that hast no foes alive!"

"'Yudhishthira said, "Hostilities have come to an end! King Suyodhana hath been struck down! The earth hath been conquered (by us), ourselves having acted according to the counsels of Krishna! By good luck, thou hast paid off thy debt to thy mother and to thy wrath! By good luck, thou hast been victorious, O invincible hero, and by good luck, thy foe hath been slain!"'"

Next: Section 61