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Mahabharata - The great epic of India

Mahabharata - The great epic of India

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Published by scribdmaverick
The Great Epic Mahabaratha in Easy English for everyday use.
The Great Epic Mahabaratha in Easy English for everyday use.

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Published by: scribdmaverick on Jul 10, 2010
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10/25/2012

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THE Pandavas were camping at
Upaplavya in Virata's territory. From
there, they sent emissaries to all friendly
rulers. Contingents arrived from all parts
of the country and soon, the Pandavas had
a mighty force of seven divisions. The
Kauravas did likewise and collected an
army of eleven divisions.
Then, as now, a division was made up of
all arms grouped together in accordance
with established military practice. In those
days, a division consisted of 21,870
chariots, an equal number of elephants,
thrice as many horses and five times as
many foot soldiers, and they were
provided with weapons of all kinds and
other war equipment.
Chariots were the "armored cars" of
ancient warfare and elephants, specially
trained for war, corresponded to the "
tanks" of modern times.
Drupada's brahmana messenger reached
Dhritarashtra's court. After the usual
ceremonial introduction and enquiries
were over, the messenger addressed the
assembled gathering on behalf of the
Pandavas:
"Law is eternal and of inherent validity.
You know this and I need not point it out
to you. Dhritarashtra and Pandu are both
Vichitravirya's sons and are, according to
our usages, equally entitled to their
father's property. In spite of this,
Dhritarashtra's sons have taken possession
of the whole kingdom, while Pandu's sons
are without their share of the common
inheritance. There can be no justification
for this. Scions of the Kuru dynasty, the
Pandavas desire peace. They are prepared
to forget the sufferings they have
undergone and to let bygones be bygones.
They are unwilling to resort to war,

because they fully know that war never
brings any good but only destruction.
Render unto them, therefore, the things
that are due to them. This would be in
accordance both with justice and with the
agreement previously reached. Let there
be no delay."
After this appeal of the messenger, the
wise and brave Bhishma spoke. "By the
grace of God," he said, "the Pandavas are
safe and well. Although they have
obtained the support of many princes and
are strong enough for battle, they are not
bent on war. They still seek peace. To
restore to them their property is the only
right thing to do."
Bhishma had not finished when Karna
angrily broke in and, turning to the
messenger, exclaimed: "O brahmana, is
there anything new in what you have said?
What tortures it to tell the same old story?
How can Yudhishthira claim the property
that he lost at the game board? If, now,
Yudhishthira wants anything, he must beg
for it as a gift! He arrogantly prefers this
absurd claim in fond reliance on the
strength of his allies, particularly Matsya
and Panchala. Let me tell you clearly that
nothing can be got out of Duryodhana by
threats. As the plighted word, that the
Pandavas should live undiscovered during
the thirteenth year, has been broken, they
must once again go back to the forest for
another twelve years and return
thereafter."
Bhishma interposed: "Son of Radha, you
speak foolishly. If we do not do as this
messenger tells us, war will be upon us in
which we are certain to be defeated. And
Duryodhana and all of us are doomed to
destruction." The disorder and excitement
in the assembly made Dhritarashtra
intervene.
He said to the messenger: "Having in
mind the good of the world and
considering the Pandava's welfare, I have

decided to send Sanjaya to them. Please
return at once and tell Yudhishthira this."
Then Dhritarashtra called Sanjaya aside
and instructed him thus: "Sanjaya, go to
the sons of Pandu and convey to them my
affectionate regards and my kind inquiries
about Krishna, Satyaki and Virata. Give
all the princes assembled there my
regards. Go there on my behalf and speak
conciliatingly so as to secure the
avoidance of war."
Sanjaya went to Yudhishthira on this
mission of peace. After the introductory
salutations, Sanjaya thus addressed
Yudhishthira in the midst of his court:
"Dharmaputra, it is my good fortune to be
able to see you again with my eyes.
Surrounded by princes, you present the
picture of Indra himself. The sight
gladdens my heart. King Dhritarashtra
sends you his best wishes and desires to
know that you are well and happy. The
son of Ambika (Dhritarashtra) detests all
talk of war. He desires your friendship
and yearns for peace."
When Dharmaputra heard Sanjaya say
this, he felt glad and answered: "If so,
Dhritarashtra's sons have been saved, nay,
we have all escaped a great tragedy. I, too,
desire only peace and hate war. If our
kingdom is returned to us, we will wipe
out all memories of the sufferings we have
undergone."
Sanjaya spoke again: "Dhritarashtra's sons
are perverse. Disregarding their father's
advice and their grandsire's wise words,
they are still as wicked as ever. But you
should not lose patience. Yudhishthira,
you stand ever for right conduct. Let us
eschew the great evil of war. Can
happiness be gained with possessions
obtained through war? What good can we
reap from a kingdom won after killing our
own relatives? Do not therefore
commence hostilities. Even if one were to
gain the whole earth bounded by the

ocean, old age and death are inescapable.
Duryodhana and his brothers are fools.
But that is no reason why you should
swerve from rectitude or lose patience.
Even if they do not give back your
kingdom, you should not abandon the
supreme path of dharma."
Yudhishthira answered: "Sanjaya, what
you say is true. Rectitude is the best of
possessions, but are we committing
wrong? Krishna knows the intricacies of
rectitude and dharma. He wishes both
sides well. I shall do as Vasudeva orders."
Krishna said: "I desire the welfare of the
Pandavas. I desire also that Dhritarashtra
and his sons should be happy. This is a
difficult matter. I think I can settle this
issue by myself going to Hastinapura. If I
could obtain peace from the Kauravas on
terms that do not conflict with the welfare
of all, nothing would make me and the
Pandavas happier. If I succeed in doing
so, the Kauravas will have been rescued
from the jaws of death. I shall also have
achieved something good and worthwhile.
Even if, through a peaceful settlement, the
Pandavas get back what is due to them,
they will still serve Dhritarashtra loyally.
They desire nothing else. But they are also
prepared for war if need be. Of these two
alternatives, peace and war, Dhritarashtra
can choose what he pleases."
And Yudhishthira said to Sanjaya:
"Sanjaya, go back to the Kaurava, court
and tell the son of Ambika this from me:
'Was it not through your generosity that
we obtained a share of the kingdom when
we were young? You, who made me a
king once, should not deny us our share
now and drive us to make a beggar's
living on the charity of others. Dear uncle,
there is enough room in the world for both
of us and the Kauravas. Let there be no
antagonism, therefore, between us.' Thus
should you request Dhritarashtra on my
behalf. Give the grandsire my love and

regards and ask him to devise some way
of ensuring that his grandchildren live
happily in amity. Convey the same
message to Vidura also. Vidura is the
person who can best see what is good for
all of us and advise accordingly. Explain
matters to Duryodhana and tell him on my
behalf: 'My dear brother, you made us,
who were princes of the realm, live in the
forest, clad in skins. You insulted and
harassed our weeping wife in the
assembly of princes. We bore all this
patiently. Give us back, at least now, what
is lawfully ours. Do not covet what
belongs to others. We are five. For the
five of us give at least five villages and
make peace with us. We shall be content.
Say thus to Duryodhana, Sanjaya. I am
prepared and ready for peace as well as
for war."
After Yudhishthira had said these words,
Sanjaya took leave of Kesava and the
Pandavas, and went back to Hastinapura.

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