The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1
by Kisari Mohan Ganguli
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"Vasudeva said, 'O thou tiger among men, my great enemy king Salwa, thus encountered by me in battle, again ascended the sky. And O mighty monarch, inspired with the desire of victory, that wicked one hurled at me Sataghnis, and mighty maces, and flaming lances, and stout clubs, and as the weapons came along the sky, I speedily resisted them with my swift arrows, and cut them in two or three pieces before they came at me. And there was a great noise in the welkins. And Salwa covered Daruka, and my steeds, and my car also with hundreds of straight shafts. Then, O hero, Daruka, evidently about to faint, said unto me, 'Afflicted with the shafts of Salwa I stay in the field, because it is my duty to do so. But I am incapable of doing so (any longer). My body hath become weak!' Hearing these piteous words of my charioteer, I looked at him, and found the driver wounded with arrows. Nor was there a spot on his breasts or the crown of his head, or body or his arms which was not, O thou foremost of sons of Pandu, covered with shafts! And blood flowed profusely from his wounds inflicted by arrows, and he looked like unto a mountain of red chalk after a heavy shower. And, O thou of mighty arms, seeing the charioteer with the reins in his hands thus pierced and enfeebled by the shafts of Salwa in the field of battle, I cheered him up!

"'And, O Bharata, about this time, a certain person, having his home in Dwaraka quickly coming to my car, addressed me like a friend, delivering to me, O hero, a message from Ahuka! He seemed to be one of Ahuka's followers. And sadly and in a voice choked in sorrow, know, O Yudhishthira, he said words'—O warrior, Ahuka, the lord of Dwaraka, hath said these words unto thee! O Kesava, hear what thy father's friend sayeth: O son of the Vrishni race, O thou irrepressible one, in thy absence today Salwa, coming to Dwaraka, hath by main force killed Vasudeva! Therefore, no need of battle any more. Cease, O Janardana! Do thou defend Dwaraka! This is thy principal duty!—Hearing these words of his, my heart became heavy, and I could not ascertain what I should do and what I should not. And, O hero, hearing of that great misfortune, I mentally censured Satyaki, and Baladeva, and also that mighty pradyumna. Having reposed on them the duty of protecting Dwaraka and Vasudeva, I had gone, O son of the Kuru race, to effect the destruction of Salwa's city. And in a sorrowful heart, I asked myself,—Doth that destroyer of foes, the mighty-armed Baladeva, live, and Satyaki, and the son of Rukmini and Charudeshna possessed of prowess, and Shamva and others? For, O thou tiger among men, these living, even the bearer himself of the thunderbolt could by no means destroy Suta's son (Vasudeva)! And thought, I, It is plain that Vasudeva is dead and equally plain that the others with Baladeva at their head have been deprived of life—This was my certain conclusion. And, O mighty king, thinking of the destruction of those all, I was overwhelmed with grief! And it was in this state of mind that I encountered Salwa afresh. And now I saw, O great monarch, Vasudeva himself falling from the car of precious metals! And, O warrior I swooned away, and, O king of men, my sire seemed like unto Yayati after the loss of his merit, falling towards the earth from heaven! And like unto a luminary whose merit hath been lost saw my father falling, his head-gear foul and flowing loosely, and his hair and dress disordered. And then the bow Sharanga dropped from my hand, and, O son of Kunti I swooned away! I sat down on the side of the car. And, O thou descendant of the Bharata race, seeing me deprived of consciousness on the car, and as if dead, my entire host exclaimed Oh! and Alas! And my prone father with out-stretched arms and lower limbs, appeared like a dropping bird. And him thus falling, O thou of mighty arms, O hero, the hostile warriors bearing in their hands lances and axes struck grievously! And (beholding this) my heart trembled! and soon regaining my consciousness, O warrior, I could not see in that mighty contest either the car of costly metals, or the enemy Salwa, or my old father! Then I concluded in my mind that it was certainly illusion. And recovering my senses, I again began to discharge arrows by hundreds."


"Vasudeva continued, 'Then O thou foremost of the Bharata race, taking up my beautiful bow, I began to cut off with my arrows the heads of the enemies of the celestials, from off that car of costly metals! And I began to discharge from the Sharanga many well-looking arrows of the forms of snakes, capable of going at a great height and possessing intense energy. And, O perpetuator of the Kuru race, I could not then see the car of costly metals, for it had vanished, through illusion! I was then filled with wonder! That host of Danvas then, O Bharata, of frightful visages and hair, set up a loud howl while I was waiting for it. In that fierce battle. I then, with the object of destroying them, fixed on my bow-string the weapon capable of piercing the foes if but his sound was inaudible. Upon this, their shouts ceased. But those Danavas that had sent up that shout were all slain by those shafts of mine blazing as the Sun himself, and capable of striking at the perception of sound alone. And after the shout had ceased at one place, O mighty king, another yell proceeded from another quarter. Thitherto also I sent my shafts. In this way, O Bharata, the Asuras began to send up yells in all the ten quarters above and across. These were all slain by me, viz., those that were in the skies and that were invisible, with arrows of diverse forms, and celestial weapons inspired with mantras. Then, O hero, that car of precious metals capable of going anywhere at will, bewildering my eyes, reappeared at Pragjyotisha! And then the destroying Danavas of fierce forms suddenly drowned me with a mighty shower of rocks. And, O thou foremost of monarchs, torrents of rocks falling upon me covered me up, and I began to grow like an ant-hill (with its summits and peaks)! And covered along with my horses and charioteer and flagstaffs, with crags on all sides, I disappeared from sight altogether. Then those foremost of heroes of the Vrishni race who were of my army were, struck with panic, and all on a sudden began to fly in all directions. And beholding me in that plight, O king, the heaven, the firmament, and the earth were filled with exclamation of Oh! and Alas! And then, O monarch, my friends filled with sorrow and grief began to weep and wail with heavy hearts! And delight filled the hearts of the enemies. And O thou who never waverest, I heard of this after I had defeated the foe! And then wielding the thunderbolt, that favourite (weapon) of Indra, capable of riving stones, I destroyed that entire mass of crags! But my steeds, afflicted with the weight of the stones and almost on the point of death began to tremble. And beholding me, all my friends rejoiced again even as men rejoice on seeing the sun rise in the sky, dispersing the clouds. And seeing my horses almost in their last gasp for breath, afflicted with that load of stones, my charioteer said unto me in words suitable to the occasion, 'O thou of the Vrishni race, behold Salwa the owner of the car of precious metals sitting (yonder). Do not disregard him! Do thou exert thyself! Do thou abandon thy mildness and consideration for Salwa. Slay Salwa, O thou of mighty arms! O Kesava, do not let him live! O hero, O thou destroyer of those that are not thy friends (enemies), an enemy should be slain with every exertion! Even a weak enemy who is under the feet of a man endued with strength, should not be disregarded by the latter: that (shall I say) of one that dareth us to the fight? Therefore, O thou tiger among men, putting forth every exertion, slay him, O lord, O thou foremost of the Vrishni race! Do thou not delay again! This one is not capable of being vanquished by milder measures. And he cannot in my opinion be thy friend who is fighting thee and who devastated Dwaraka!' O Kaunteya, hearing such words of my charioteer, and knowing that what he said was true, I directed my attention to the fight (afresh), with the view of slaying Salwa and destroying the car of costly metals! And, O hero, saying unto Daruka, 'Stay a moment' I fixed on my bow-string my favourite weapon of fire, blazing and of celestial origin, of irresistible force, and incapable of being baffled, bursting with energy, capable of penetrating into everything, and of great splendour! And saying, 'Destroy the car of precious metals together with all those enemies that are in it.' I launched with the might of my arms and in wrath with mantras, the great powerful discus Sudarsana which reduceth to ashes in battle Yakshas and Rakshasas and Danavas and kings born in impure tribes, sharp-edged like the razor, and without stain, like unto Yama the destroyer, and incomparable, and which killeth enemies. And rising into the sky, it seemed like a second sun of exceeding effulgence at the end of the Yuga. And approaching the town of Saubha whose splendour had disappeared, the discus went right through it, even as a saw divideth a tall tree. And cut in twain by the energy of the Sudarsana it fell like the city of Tripura shaken by the shafts of Maheswara. And after the town of Saubha had fallen, the discus came back into my hands, And taking it up I once more hurled it with force saying, 'Go thou unto Salwa.' The discus then cleft Salwa in twain who in that fierce conflict was at the point of hurling a heavy mace. And with its energy it set the foe ablaze. And after that brave warrior was slain, the disheartened Danava women fled in all directions, exclaiming Oh! and Alas! And taking my chariot in front of the town of Saubha I cheerfully blew my conch and gladdened the hearts of my friends. And beholding their town, high as the peak of the Meru, with its palaces and gate-ways utterly destroyed, and all ablaze, the Danavas fled in fear. And having thus destroyed the town of Saubha and slain Salwa, I returned to the Anarttas and delighted my friends. And, O king, it is for this reason that I could not come to the city named after the elephant (Hastinapura), O destroyer of hostile heroes! O warrior, if I had come, Suyodhana would not have been alive or the match at dice would not have taken place. What can I do now? It is difficult to confine the waters after the dam is broken!'"

Vaisampayana continued, "Having addressed the Kaurava thus, that foremost of male persons, of mighty arms, the slayer of Madhu, possessed of every grace, saluting the Pandavas, prepared for departure. And the mighty-armed hero reverentially saluted Yudhishthira the just, and the king in return and Bhima also smelt the crown of his head. And he was embraced by Arjuna, and the twins saluted him with reverence. And he was duly honoured by Dhaumya, and worshipped with tears by Draupadi. And causing Subhadra and Abhimanyu to ascend his golden car, Krishna, mounted it himself, worshipped by the Pandavas. And consoling Yudhishthira, Krishna set out for Dwaraka on his car resplendent as the sun and unto which were yoked the horses Saivya and Sugriva. And after he of the Dasharha race had departed, Dhristadyumna, the son of Prishata, also set out for his own city, taking with him the sons of Draupadi. And the king of Chedi, Dhrishtaketu also, taking his sister with him set out for his beautiful city of Suktimati, after bidding farewell to the Pandavas. And, O Bharata, the Kaikeyas also, with the permission of Kunti's son possessed of immeasurable energy, having reverentially saluted all the Pandavas, went away. But Brahmanas and the Vaisyas and the dwellers of Yudhishthira's kingdom though repeatedly requested to go, did not leave the Pandavas. O foremost of king, O bull of the Bharata race, the multitude that surrounded those high-souled ones in the forest of Kamyaka looked extraordinary. And Yudhishthira, honouring those high-minded Brahmanas, in due time ordered his men, saying 'Make ready the car.'"


Vaisampayana continued, "After the chief of the Dasharhas had departed, the heroic Yudhishthira, and Bhima, and Arjuna, and the twins, each looking like unto Shiva, and Krishna, and their priest, ascending costly cars unto which were yoked excellent steeds, together went into the forest. And at time of going they distributed Nishkas of gold and clothes and kine unto Brahmanas versed in Siksha and Akshara and mantras. And twenty attendants followed them equipped with bows, and bowstrings, and blazing weapons, and shafts and arrows and engines of destruction. And taking the princess's clothes and the ornaments, and the nurses and the maid-servants, Indrasena speedily followed the princes on a car. And then approaching the best of Kurus, the high-minded citizens walked round him. And the principal Brahmanas of Kurujangala cheerfully saluted him. And together with his brothers, Yudhishthira the just, on his part saluted them cheerfully. And the illustrious king stopped there a little, beholding the concourse of the inhabitants of Kurujangala. And the illustrious bull among the Kurus felt for them as a father feeleth for his sons, and they too felt for the Kuru chief even as sons feel for their father! And that mighty concourse, approaching the Kuru hero, stood around him. And, O king, affected, with bashfulness, and with tears in their eyes, they all exclaimed, 'Alas, O lord! O Dharma!' And they said, 'Thou art the chief of the Kurus, and the king of us, thy subjects! Where dost thou go, O just monarch, leaving all these citizens and the inhabitants of the country, like a father leaving his sons? Fie on the cruel-hearted son of Dhritarashtra! Fie on the evil-minded son of Suvala! Fie on Karna! For, O foremost of monarchs, those wretches ever wish unto thee who art firm in virtue! Having thyself established the unrivalled city of Indraprastha of the splendour of Kailasa itself, where dost thou go, leaving it, O illustrious and just king, O achiever of extraordinary deeds! O illustrious one, leaving that peerless palace built by Maya, which possesseth the splendour of the palace of the celestials themselves, and is like unto a celestial illusion, ever guarded by the gods, where dost thou go, O son of Dharma?' And Vibhatsu knowing the ways of virtue, pleasure, and profit said unto them in a loud voice, 'Living in the forest, the king intendeth to take away the good name of his enemies! O we with the regenerate ones at your head, versed in virtue and profit, do you approaching the ascetics separately and inclining them to grace, represent unto them what may be for our supreme good!' Upon hearing these words of Arjuna, the Brahmanas and the other orders, O king, saluting him cheerfully walked round the foremost of virtuous men! And bidding farewell unto the son of Pritha, and Vrikodara, and Dhananjaya and Yajnaseni, and the twins, and commanded by Yudhishthira, they returned to their respective abodes in the kingdom with heavy hearts."


Vaisampayana said, "After they had departed, Yudhishthira the virtuous son of Kunti, unwavering in his promises, addressed all his brothers, saying, 'We shall have to dwell in the solitary forest for these twelve years. Search ye, therefore, in this mighty forest for some spot abounding in birds and deer and flowers and fruits, beautiful to behold, and auspicious, and inhabited by virtuous persons and where we may dwell pleasantly for all these years!' Thus addressed by Yudhishthira, Dhananjaya replied unto the son of Dharma, after reverencing the illustrious king as if he were his spiritual preceptor. And Arjuna said, 'Thou hast respectfully waited upon all the great and old Rishis. There is nothing unknown to thee in the world of men. And O bull of the Bharata race, thou hast always waited with reverence upon Brahmanas including Dwaipayana and others, and Narada of great ascetic merit, who with senses under control, ever goeth to the gates of all the world from the world of the gods unto that of Brahma, including that of the Gandharvas and Apsaras! And thou knowest, without doubt, the opinions of the Brahmanas, and, O king, their prowess also! And O monarch, thou knowest what is calculated to do us good! And O great king, we will live wherever thou likest! Here is this lake, full of sacred water, called Dwaitavana, abounding with flowers, and delightful to look at, and inhabited by many species of birds. If, O king, it pleaseth thee, here should we like to dwell these twelve years! Thinkest thou otherwise?' Yudhishthira replied, 'O Partha, what thou hast said recommendeth itself to me! Let us go that sacred and celebrated and large lake called Dwaitavana!"

"Vaisampayana continued, "Then the virtuous son of Pandu, accompanied by numerous Brahmanas, all went to the sacred lake called Dwaitavana. And Yudhishthira was surrounded by numerous Brahmanas some of whom sacrificed with fire and some without it and some of whom, devoted to the study of the Vedas, lived upon alms or were of the class called Vanaprasthas. And the king was also surrounded by hundreds of Mahatmas crowned with ascetic success and of rigid vows. And those bulls of the Bharata race, the sons of Pandu setting out with those numerous Brahmanas, entered the sacred and delightful woods of Dwaita. And the king saw that mighty forest covered on the close of summer with Salas, and palms, and mangoes, and Madhukas, and Nipas and Kadamvas and Sarjjas and Arjunas, and Karnikars, many of them covered with flowers. And flocks of peacocks and Datyuhas and Chakoras and Varhins and Kokilas, seated on the tops of the tallest trees of that forest were pouring forth their mellifluous notes. And the king also saw in that forest mighty herds of gigantic elephants huge as the hills, with temporal juice trickling down in the season of rut, accompanied by herds of she-elephants. And approaching the beautiful Bhogavati (Saraswati), the king saw many ascetics crowned with success in the habitations in that forest, and virtuous men of sanctified souls clad in barks of trees and bearing matted locks on their heads. And descending from their cars, the king that foremost of virtuous men with his brothers and followers entered that forest like Indra of immeasurable energy entering heaven. And crowds of Charanas and Siddhas, desirous of beholding the monarch devoted to truth, came towards him. And the dwellers of that forest stood surrounding that lion among king possessed of great intelligence. And saluting all the Siddhas, and saluted by them in return as a king or a god should be, that foremost of virtuous men entered the forest with joined hands accompanied by all those foremost of regenerate ones. And the illustrious and virtuous king, saluted in return by those virtuous ascetics that had approached him, sat down in their midst at the foot of a mighty tree decked with flowers, like his father (Pandu) in days before. And those chiefs of the Bharata race viz., Bhima and Dhananjaya and the twins and Krishna and their followers, all fatigued, leaving their vehicles, sat themselves down around that best of kings. And that mighty tree bent down with the weight of creepers, with those five illustrious bowmen who had come there for rest sitting under it, looked like a mountain with (five) huge elephants resting on its side."


Vaisampayana said, "Having fallen into distress, those princes thus obtained at last a pleasant habitation in that forest. And there in those woods abounding with Sala trees and washed by the Saraswati, they who were like so many Indras, began to sport themselves. And the illustrious king, that bull of the Kuru race, set himself to please all the Yatis and Munis and the principal Brahmanas in that forest, by offerings of excellent fruits and roots. And their priest, Dhaumya endued with great energy, like unto a father to those princes, began to perform the sacrificial rites of Ishti and Paitreya for the Pandavas residing in that great forest. And there came, as a guest, unto the abode of the accomplished Pandavas living in the wood after loss of their kingdom, the old Rishi Markandeya, possessed of intense and abundant energy. And that bull of the Kuru race, the high-souled Yudhishthira, possessed of unrivalled strength and prowess, paid his homage unto that great Muni, reverenced by celestials and Rishis of men, and possessed of the splendour of blazing fire. And that illustrious and all-knowing Muni, of unrivalled energy, beholding Draupadi and Yudhishthira and Bhima and Arjuna, in the midst of the ascetics, smiled, recollecting Rama in his mind. And Yudhishthira the just, apparently grieved at this, asked him, saying, 'All these ascetics are sorry for seeing me here. Why is it that thou alone smilest, as if an glee, in the presence of these?' Markandeya replied, 'O child', I too am sorry and do not smile in glee! Nor doth pride born of joy possess my heart! Beholding to-day the calamity, I recollect Rama, the son of Dasaratha, devoted to truth! Even that Rama, accompanied by Lakshman, dwelt in the woods at the command of his father. O son of Pritha, I beheld him in days of old ranging with his bow on the top of the Rishyamuka hills! The illustrious Rama was like unto Indra, the lord of Yama himself, and the slayer of Namuchi! Yet that sinless one had to dwell in the forest at the command of his father, accepting it as his duty. The illustrious Rama was equal unto Sakra in prowess, and invincible in battle. And yet he had to range the forest renouncing all pleasures! Therefore should no one act unrighteously, saying,—I am mighty! Kings Nabhaga and Bhagiratha and others, having subjugated by truth this world bounded by the seas, (finally) obtained, O child, all the region hereafter. Therefore, should no one act unrighteously, saying,—I am mighty! And, O exalted of men, the virtuous and truthful king of Kasi and Karusha was called a mad dog for having renounced his territories and riches! Therefore, should no one act unrighteously, saying,—I am mighty! O best of men, O son of Pritha, the seven righteous Rishis, for having observed the ordinance prescribed by the Creator himself in the Vedas, blaze in the firmament. Therefore, should no one act unrighteously, saying,—I am mighty! Behold, O king, the mighty elephants, huge as mountain cliffs and furnished with tusks, transgress not, O exalted of men, the laws of the Creator! Therefore, should none act unrighteously saying, Might is mine! And, O foremost of monarchs, behold all the creatures acting according to their species, as ordained by the Creator. Therefore, should none act unrighteously, saying, Might is mine. O son of Pritha, in truth, and virtue, and proper behaviour, and modesty, thou hast surpassed all creatures, and thy fame and energy are as bright as fire or the Sun! Firm in thy promises, O illustrious one, having passed in the woods thy painful exile, thou wilt again, O king, snatch from the Kauravas thy blazing prosperity with the help of thy own energy!'"

Vaisampayana continued, "Having spoken these words unto Yudhishthira (seated) in the midst of the ascetics with friends, the great Rishi having also saluted Dhaumya and all the Pandavas set out in a northerly direction!"


Vaisampayana said, "While the illustrious son of Pandu continued to dwell in the Dwaita woods, that great forest became filled with Brahmanas. And the lake within that forest, ever resounding with Vedic recitations, became sacred like a second region of Brahma. And the sounds of the Yajus, the Riks, the Samas, and other words uttered by the Brahmanas, were exceedingly delightful to hear. And the Vedic recitations of the Brahmanas mingling with the twang of bows of the sons of Pritha, produced a union of the Brahmana and Kshatriya customs that was highly beautiful. And one evening the Rishi Vaka of the Dalvya family addressed Yudhishthira, the son of Kunti seated in the midst of the Rishis, saying, 'Behold, O chief of the Kurus, O son of Pritha, the homa time is come of these Brahmanas devoted to ascetic austerities, the time when the (sacred) fires have all been lit up! These all, of rigid vows, protected by thee, are performing the rites of religion in this sacred region! The descendants of Bhrigu and Angiras, along with those of Vasishta and Kasyapa, the illustrious sons of Agastya, the offspring of Atri all of excellent vows, in fact, all the foremost Brahmanas of the whole, are now united with thee! Listen, O son of the Kuru race born of Kunti, thyself with thy brothers, to the words I speak to thee! As are aided by the wind consumeth the forest, so Brahma energy mingling with Kshatriya energy, and Kshatriya might mingling with Brahma power, might, when they gathered force, consume all enemies! O child, he should never desire to be without Brahmanas who wisheth to subdue this and the other world for length of days! Indeed, a king slayeth his enemies having obtained a Brahmana conversant, with religion and worldly affairs and freed from passion and folly. King Vali cherishing his subjects practised those duties that lead to salvation, and knew not of any other means in this world than Brahmanas. It was for this that all the desires of Virochana's son, the Asura (Vali), were ever gratified, and his wealth was ever inexhaustible. Having obtained the whole earth through the aid of the Brahmanas, he met with destruction when he began to practise wrong on them! This earth with her wealth never adoreth long as her lord a Kshatriya living without a Brahmana! The earth, however, girt by the sea, boweth unto him who is ruled by a Brahmana and taught his duties by him! Like an elephant in battle without his driver, a Kshatriya destitute of Brahmanas decreaseth in strength! The Brahmana's sight is without compare, and the Kshatriya's might also is unparalleled. When these combine, the whole earth itself cheerfully yieldeth to such a combination. As fire becoming mightier with the wind consumeth straw and wood, so kings with Brahmanas consume all foes! An intelligent Kshatriya, in order to gain what he hath not, and increase what he hath, should take counsel of Brahmanas! Therefore, O son of Kunti, for obtaining what thou hast not and increasing what thou hast, and spending what thou hast on proper objects and persons, keep thou with thee a Brahmana of reputation, of a knowledge of the Vedas, of wisdom and experience! O Yudhishthira. Thou hast ever highly regarded the Brahmanas. It is for this that thy fame is great and blazeth in the three worlds!"

Vaisampayana continued, "Then all those Brahmanas who were with Yudhishthira worshipped Vaka of the Dalvya race, and having heard him praise Yudhishthira became highly pleased. And Dwaipayana and Narada and Jamadagnya and Prithusravas; and Indradyumna and Bhalaki and Kritachetas and Sahasrapat; and Karnasravas and Munja and Lavanaswa and Kasyapa; and Harita and Sthulakarana and Agnivesya and Saunaka; and Kritavak and Suvakana Vrihadaswa and Vibhavasu; and Urdharetas and Vrishamitra and Suhotra and Hotravahana; these and many other Brahmanas of rigid vows then adored Yudhishthira like Rishis adoring Purandara in heaven!"


Vaisampayana said, "Exiled to the woods the sons of Pritha with Krishna seated in the evening, conversed with one another afflicted with sorrow and grief. And the handsome and well informed Krishna dear unto her lords and devoted to them, thus spake unto Yudhishthira, Then sinful, cruel, and wicked-minded son of Dhritarashtra certainly feeleth no sorrow for us, when, O king, that evil-hearted wretch having sent thee with myself into the woods dressed in deer-skin feeleth no regret! The heart of that wretch of evil deeds must surely be made of steel when he could at that time address thee, his virtuous eldest brother, in words so harsh! Having brought thee who deservest to enjoy every happiness and never such woe, into such distress, alas, that wicked-minded and sinful wretch joyeth with his friends! O Bharata, when dressed in deer-skin thou hast set out for the woods, only four persons, O monarch, viz., Duryodhana, Karna, the evil-minded Sakuni, and Dussasana that bad and fierce brother of Duryodhana, did not shed tears! With the exception of these, O thou best of the Kurus, all other Kurus filled with sorrow shed tears from their eyes! Beholding this thy bed and recollecting what thou hadst before, I grieve, O king, for thee who deservest not woe and hast been brought up in every luxury! Remembering that seat of ivory in thy court, decked with jewels and beholding this seat of kusa grass, grief consumeth me, O king! I saw thee, O king, surrounded in thy court by kings! What peace can my heart know in not beholding thee such now? I beheld thy body, effulgent as the sun, decked with sandal paste! Alas, grief depriveth me of my senses in beholding thee now besmeared with mud and dirt! I saw thee before, O king, dressed in silken clothes of pure white! But I now behold thee dressed in rags? Formerly, O king, pure food of every kind was carried from thy house on plates of gold for Brahmanas by thousands! And, O king, food also of the best kind was formerly given by thee unto ascetics both houseless and living in domesticity! Formerly, living in dry mansion thou hadst ever filled with food of every kind plates by thousands, and worshipped the Brahmanas gratifying every wish of theirs! What peace, O king, can my heart know in not beholding all this now? And, O great king, these thy brothers, endued with youth and decked with ear-rings, were formerly fed by cook with food of the sweet flavour and dressed with skill! Alas, O king, I now behold them all, so undeserving of woe, living in the woods and upon what the wood may yield! My heart, O King knoweth no peace! Thinking of this Bhimasena living in sorrow in the woods, doth not thy anger blaze up, even though it is time? Why doth not thy anger, O king, blaze up upon beholding the illustrious Bhimasena who ever performeth everything unaided, so fallen into distress, though deserving of every happiness? Why, O king, doth not thy anger blaze up on beholding that Bhima living in the woods who was formerly surrounded with numerous vehicles and dressed in costly apparel? This exalted personage is ready to slay all the Kurus in battle. He beareth, however, all this sorrow, only because he waiteth for the fufilment of thy promise! This Arjuna, O king, though possessed of two hands, is equal, for the lightness of his hand in discharging shafts, to (Kartavirya) Arjuna of a thousand arms! He Is even (to foes), like unto Yama himself at the end of the Yuga! It was by the prowess of his weapons that all the kings of the earth were made to wait upon the Brahmanas at thy sacrifice? Beholding that Arjuna that tiger among men worshipped by both the celestials and the Danavas so anxious, why, O king, dost thou not feel indignant? I grieve, O Bharata, that thy wrath doth not blaze up at sight of that son of Pritha in exile, that prince who deserveth not such distress and who hath been brought up in every luxury! Why doth not thy wrath blaze up at sight of that Arjuna in exile, who, on a single car, hath vanquished celestials and men and serpents? Why, O king, doth not thy wrath blaze up at sight of that Arjuna in exile who, honoured with offerings of cars and vehicles of various forms and horses and elephants, forcibly took from the kings of the earth their treasures, who is the chastiser of all foes, and who at one impetus can throw full five hundred arrows? Why, O king, doth not thy wrath blaze up at sight of Nakula, in exile, who so fair and able-bodied and young, is the foremost of all swordsmen? Why, O king, dost thou pardon the foe. O Yudhishthira, at sight of Madri's son, the handsome and brave Sahadeva in exile? Why doth not thy anger blaze up, O king, it sight of both Nakula and Sahadeva overwhelmed with grief, though so undeserving of distress? Why also, O king, dost thou pardon the foe at sight of myself in exile who, born in the race of Drupada and, therefore, the sister of Dhrishtadyumna, am the daughter-in-law of the illustrious Pandu and the devoted wife of heroes? Truly, O thou best of the Bharatas, thou hast no anger, else why is it that thy mind is not moved at sight of thy brothers and myself (in such distress)? It is said that there is no Kshatriya in the world who is bereft of anger. I now behold in thee, however, a refutation of the proverb! That Kshatriya, O son of Pritha, who discovereth not his energy when the opportunity cometh, is ever disregarded by all creatures! Therefore, O king, thou shouldst not extend thy forgiveness to the foe. Indeed, with thy energy, without doubt, thou, mayst slay them all! So also, O king, that Kshatriya who is not appeased when the time for forgiveness cometh, becometh unpopular with every creature and meeteth with destruction both in this and the other world!'"


"Draupadi continued, 'On this subject, the ancient story of the conversation between Prahlada and Vali, the son of Virochana, is quoted as an example. One day Vali asked his grand-father Prahlada, the chief of the Asuras and the Danavas, possessed of great wisdom and well-versed in the mysteries of the science of duty, saying, 'O sire, is forgiveness meritorious or might and energy such? I am puzzled as regards this; O sire, enlighten me who ask thee this! O thou conversant with all duties, tell me truly which of these is meritorious? I will strictly obey whatever thy command may be! Thus asked (by Vali), his wise grandfather, conversant with every conclusion, replied upon the whole subject unto his grand-son who had sought at his hands the resolution of his doubts. And Prahlada said, 'Know, O child, these two truths with certainty, viz., that might is not always meritorious and forgiveness also is not always meritorious! He that forgiveth always suffereth many evils. Servants and strangers and enemies always disregard him. No creature ever bendeth down unto him. Therefore it is, O child, that the learned applaud not a constant habit of forgiveness! The servants of an ever-forgiving person always disregard him, and contract numerous faults. These mean-minded men also seek to deprive him of his wealth. Vile souled servants also appropriate to themselves his vehicles and clothes and ornaments and apparel and beds and seats and food and drink and other articles of use. They do not also at the command of their master, give unto others the things they are directed to give Nor do they even worship their master with that respect which is their master's due. Disregard in this world is worse than death. O child, sons and servants and attendants and even strangers speak harsh words unto the man who always forgiveth. Persons, disregarding the man of an ever-forgiving temper, even desire his wife, and his wife also, becometh ready to act as she willeth. And servants also that are ever fond of pleasure, if they do not receive even slight punishments from their master, contract all sorts of vices, and the wicked ever injure such a master. These and many other demerits attach to those that are ever-forgiving!

"Listen now, O son of Virochana, to the demerits of those that are never forgiving! The man of wrath who, surrounded by darkness, always inflicteth, by help of his own energy, various kinds of punishment on persons whether they deserve them or not, is necessarily separated from his friends in consequence of that energy of his. Such a man is hated by both relatives and strangers. Such a man, because he insulteth others, suffereth loss of wealth and reapeth disregard and sorrow and hatred and confusion and enemies. The man of wrath, in consequence of his ire, inflicteth punishments on men and obtaineth (in return) harsh words. He is divested of his prosperity soon and even of life, not to say, of friends and relatives. He that putteth forth his might both upon his benefactor and his foe, is an object of alarm to the world, like a snake that hath taken shelter in a house, to the inmates thereof. What prosperity can he have who is an object of alarm to the world? People always do him an injury when they find a hole. Therefore, should men never exhibit might in excess nor forgiveness on all occasions. One should put forth his might and show his forgiveness on proper occasions. He that becometh forgiving at the proper time and harsh and mighty also at the proper time, obtaineth happiness both in this world and the other.

"'I shall now indicate the occasions in detail of forgiveness, as laid down by the learned, and which should ever be observed by all. Hearken unto me as I speak! He that hath done thee a service, even if he is guilty of a grave wrong unto thee, recollecting his former service, shouldst thou forgive that offender. Those also that have become offenders from ignorance and folly should be forgiven for learning and wisdom are not always easily attainable by man. They that having offended thee knowingly, plead ignorance should be punished, even if their offences be trivial. Such crooked men should never be pardoned. The first offence of every creature should be forgiven. The second offence, however, should be punished, even if it be trivial. If, however, a person commiteth an offence unwillingly, it hath been said that examining his plea well by a judicious enquiry, he should be pardoned. Humility may vanquish might, humility may vanquish weakness. There is nothing that humility may not accomplish. Therefore, humility is truly fiercer (than it seemeth)! One should act with reference to place and time, taking note of his own might or weakness. Nothing can succeed that hath been undertaken without reference to place and time. Therefore, do thou ever wait for place and time! Sometimes offenders should be forgiven from fear of the people. These have been declared to be times of forgiveness. And it hath been said that on occasions besides these, might should be put forth against transgressors.'

"Draupadi continued, 'I, therefore, regard, O king, that the time hath come for thee to put forth thy might! Unto those Kurus the covetous sons of Dhritarashtra who injure us always, the present is not the time for forgiveness! It behoveth thee to put forth thy might. The humble and forgiving person is disregarded; while those that are fierce persecute others. He, indeed, is a king who hath recourse to both, each according to its time!'"


Yudhishthira said, 'Anger is the slayer of men and is again their prosperor. Know this, O thou possessed of great wisdom, that anger is the root of all prosperity and all adversity. O thou beautiful one, he that suppresseth his anger earneth prosperity. That man, again, who always giveth way to anger, reapeth adversity from his fierce anger. It is seen in this world that anger is the cause of destruction of every creature. How then can one like me indulge his anger which is so destructive of the world? The angry man commiteth sin. The angry man killeth even his preceptors. The angry man insulteth even his superiors in harsh words. The man that is angry faileth to distinguish between what should be said and what should not. There is no act that an angry man may not do, no word that an angry man may not utter. From anger a man may slay one that deserveth not to be slain, and may worship one that deserveth to be slain. The angry man may even send his own soul to the regions of Yama. Beholding all these faults, the wise control their anger, desirous of obtaining high prosperity both in this and the other world. It is for this that they of tranquil souls have banished wrath. How can one like us indulge in it then? O daughter of Drupada, reflecting upon all this, my anger is not excited One that acteth not against a man whose wrath hath been up, rescueth himself as also others from great fear. In fact, he may be regarded to be the physician of the two (viz., himself and angry man). If a weak man, persecuted by others, foolishly becometh angry towards men that are mightier than he, he then becometh himself the cause of his own destruction. And in respect of one who thus deliberately throweth away his life, there are no regions hereafter to gain. Therefore, O daughter of Drupada, it hath been said that a weak man should always suppress his wrath. And the wise man also who though presecuted, suffereth not his wrath to be roused, joyeth in the other world—having passed his persecutor over in indifference. It is for this reason hath it been said that a wise man, whether strong or weak, should ever forgive his persecutor even when the latter is in the straits. It is for this, O Krishna, that the virtuous applaud them that have conquered their wrath. Indeed, it is the opinion of the virtuous that the honest and forgiving man is ever victorious. Truth is more beneficial than untruth; and gentleness than cruel behaviour. How can one like me, therefore, even for the purpose of slaying Duryodhana, exhibit anger which hath so many faults and which the virtuous banish from their souls? They that are regarded by the learned of foresight, as possessed of (true) force of character, are certainly those who are wrathful in outward show only. Men of learning and of true insight call him to be possessed of force of character who by his wisdom can suppress his risen wrath. O thou of fair hips, the angry man seeth not things in their true light. The man that is angry seeth not his way, nor respecteth persons. The angry man killeth even those that deserve not to be killed. The man of wrath slayeth even his preceptors. Therefore, the man possessing force of character should ever banish wrath to a distance. The man that is overwhelmed with wrath acquireth not with ease generosity, dignity, courage, skill, and other attributes belonging to real force of character. A man by forsaking anger can exhibit proper energy, whereas, O wise one, it is highly difficult for the angry man to exhibit his energy at the proper time! The ignorant always regard anger as equivalent to energy. Wrath, however hath been given to man for the destruction of the world. The man, therefore, who wisheth to behave properly, must ever forsake anger. Even one who hath abandoned the excellent virtues of his own order, it is certain, indulgeth in wrath (if behaveth properly). If fools, of mind without light, transgress in every respect, how, O faultless one, can one like me transgress (like them)? If amongst men there were not persons equal unto the earth in forgiveness, there would be no peace among men but continued strife caused by wrath. If the injured return their injuries, if one chastised by his superior were to chastise his superior in return, the consequence would be the destruction of every creature, and sin also would prevail in the world. If the man who hath ill speeches from another, returneth those speeches afterwards; if the injured man returneth his injuries: if the chastised person chastiseth in return; if fathers slay sons, and sons fathers and if husbands slay wives, and wives husbands; then, O Krishna, how can birth take place in a world where anger prevaileth so! For, O thou of handsome face, know that the birth of creatures is due to peace! If the kings also, O Draupadi, giveth way to wrath, his subjects soon meet with destruction. Wrath, therefore, hath for its consequence the destruction and the distress of the people. And because it is seen that there are in the world men who are forgiving like the Earth, it is therefore that creatures derive their life and prosperity. O beautiful one, one should forgive under every injury. It hath been said that the continuation of species is due to man being forgiving. He, indeed, is a wise and excellent person who hath conquered his wrath and who showeth forgiveness even when insulted, oppressed, and angered by a strong person. The man of power who controleth his wrath, hath (for his enjoyment) numerous everlasting regions; while he that is angry, is called foolish, and meeteth with destruction both in this and the other world. O Krishna, the illustrious and forgiving Kashyapa hath, in this respect, sung the following verses in honour of men that are ever forgiving, 'Forgiveness is virtue; forgiveness is sacrifice, forgiveness is the Vedas, forgiveness is the Shruti. He that knoweth this is capable of forgiving everything. Forgiveness is Brahma; forgiveness is truth; forgiveness is stored ascetic merit; forgiveness protecteth the ascetic merit of the future; forgiveness is asceticism; forgiveness is holiness; and by forgiveness is it that the universe is held together. Persons that are forgiving attain to the regions obtainable by those that have preformed meritorious sacrifices, or those that are well-conversant with the Vedas, or those that have high ascetic merit. Those that perform Vedic sacrifices as also those that perform the meritorious rites of religion obtain other regions. Men of forgiveness, however, obtain those much-adored regions that are in the world of Brahma. Forgiveness is the might of the mighty; forgiveness is sacrifice; forgiveness is quiet of mind. How, O Krishna, can one like us abandon forgiveness, which is such, and in which are established Brahma, and truth, and wisdom and the worlds? The man of wisdom should ever forgive, for when he is capable of forgiving everything, he attaineth to Brahma. The world belongeth to those that are forgiving; the other world is also theirs. The forgiving acquire honours here, and a state of blessedness hereafter. Those men that ever conquer their wrath by forgiveness, obtain the higher regions. Therefore hath it been said that forgiveness is the highest virtue.' Those are the verses sung by Kashyapa in respect of those that are everforgiving. Having listened, O Draupadi, to these verses in respect of forgiveness, content thyself! Give not way to thy wrath! Our grandsire, the son of Santanu, will worship peace; Krishna, the son of Devaki, will worship peace; the preceptor (Drona) and Vidura called Kshatri will both speak of peace; Kripa and Sanjaya also will preach peace. And Somadatta and Yuyutshu and Drona's son and our grandsire Vyasa, every one of them speaketh always of peace. Ever urged by these towards peace, the king (Dhritarashtra) will, I think, return us our kingdom. If however, he yieldeth to temptation, he will meet with destruction. O lady, a crisis hath come in the history of Bharatas for plunging them into calamity! This hath been my certain conclusion from some time before! Suyodhana deserveth not the kingdom. Therefore hath he been unable to acquire forgiveness. I, however, deserve the sovereignty and therefore is it that forgiveness hath taken possession of me. Forgiveness and gentleness are the qualities of the self-possessed. They represent eternal virtue. I shall, therefore, truly adopt those qualities."


"Draupadi said, 'I bow down unto Dhatri and Vidhatri who have thus clouded thy sense! Regarding the burden (thou art to bear) thou thinkest differently from the ways of thy fathers and grand-fathers! Influenced by acts men are placed in different situations of life. Acts, therefore, produce consequences that are inevitable; emancipation is desired from mere folly. It seemeth that man can never attain prosperity in this world by virtue, gentleness, forgiveness, straight-forwardness and fear of censure! If this were not so, O Bharata, this insufferable calamity would never have overtaken thee who art so undeserving of it, and these thy brothers of great energy! Neither in those days of prosperity nor in these days of thy adversity, thou, O Bharata, hath ever known anything so dear to thee as virtue, which thou hast even regarded as dearer to thee than life? That thy kingdom is for virtue alone, that thy life also is for virtue alone, is known to Brahmanas and thy superiors and even the celestials! I think thou canst abandon Bhimasena and Arjuna and these twin sons of Madri along with myself but thou canst not abandon virtue! I have heard that the king protecteth virtue; and virtue, protected by him, protecteth him (in return)! I see, however, that virtue protecteth thee not! Like the shadow pursuing a man, thy heart, O tiger among men, with singleness of purpose, ever seeketh virtue. Thou hast never disregarded thy equals, and inferiors and superiors. Obtaining even the entire world, thy pride never increased! O son of Pritha, thou ever worshippest Brahmanas, and gods, and the Pitris, with Swadhas, and other forms of worship! O son of Pritha, thou hast ever gratified the Brahmanas by fulfilling every wish of theirs! Yatis and Sannyasins and mendicants of domestic lives have always been fed in thy house from off plates of gold where I have distributed (food) amongst them. Unto the Vanaprasthas thou always givest gold and food. There is nothing in thy house thou mayest not give unto the Brahmanas! In the Viswadeva sacrifice, that is, for thy peace, performed in thy house, the things consecrated are first offered unto guests and all creatures while thou livest thyself with what remaineth (after distribution)! Ishtis Pashubandhas, sacrifices for obtaining fruition of desire, the religions rites of (ordinary) domesticity, Paka sacrifices, and sacrifices of other kinds, are ever performed in thy house. Even in this great forest, so solitary and haunted by robbers, living in exile, divested of thy kingdom, thy virtue hath sustained no diminution! The Aswamedha, the Rajasuya, the Pundarika, and Gosava, these grand sacrifices requiring large gifts have all been performed by thee! O monarch, impelled by a perverse sense during that dire hour of a losing match at dice, thou didst yet stake and loss thy kingdom, thy wealth, thy weapons, thy brothers, and myself! Simple, gentle, liberal, modest, truthful, how, O king could thy mind be attracted to the vice of gambling? I am almost deprived of my sense, O king, and my heart is overwhelmed with grief, beholding this thy distress, and this thy calamity! An old history is cited as an illustration for the truth that men are subjects to the will of God and never to their own wishes! The Supreme Lord and Ordainer of all ordaineth everything in respect of the weal and woe, the happiness and misery, of all creatures, even prior to their births guided by the acts of each, which are even like a seed (destined to sprout forth into the tree of life). O hero amongst men, as a wooden doll is made to move its limbs by the wire-puller, so are creatures made to work by the Lord of all. O Bharata, like space that covereth every object, God, pervading every creature, ordaineth its weal or woe. Like a bird tied with a string, every creature is dependent on God. Every one is subject to God and none else. No one can be his own ordainer. Like a pearl on its string, or a bull held fast by the cord passing through its nose, or a tree fallen from the bank into the middle of the stream, every creature followeth the command of the Creator, because imbued with His Spirit and because established in Him. And man himself, dependent on the Universal Soul, cannot pass a moment independently. Enveloped in darkness, creatures are not masters of their own weal or woe. They go to heaven or hell urged by God Himself. Like light straws dependent on strong winds, all creatures, O Bharatas, are dependent on God! And God himself, pervading all creatures and engaged in acts right and wrong, moveth in the universe, though none can say This is God! This body with its physical attributes is only the means by which God—the Supreme Lord of all maketh (every creature) to reap fruits that are good or bad. Behold the power of illusion that hath been spread by God, who confounding with his illusion, maketh creatures slay their fellows! Truth-knowing Munis behold those differently. They appear to them in a different light, even like the rays of the Sun (which to ordinary eyes are only a pencil of light, while to eyes more penetrating seem fraught with the germs of food and drink). Ordinary men behold the things of the earth otherwise. It is God who maketh them all, adopting different processes in their creation and destruction. And, O Yudhishthira, the Self-create Grandsire, Almighty God, spreading illusion, slayeth his creatures by the instrumentality of his creatures, as one may break a piece of inert and senseless wood with wood, or stone with stone, or iron with iron. And the Supreme Lord, according to his pleasure, sporteth with His creatures, creating and destroying them, like a child with his toy (of soft earth). O king, it doth seem to me that God behaveth towards his creatures like a father or mother unto them. Like a vicious person, He seemeth to bear himself towards them in anger! Beholding superior and well-behaved and modest persons persecuted, while the sinful are happy, I am sorely troubled. Beholding this thy distress and the prosperity of Suyodhana, I do not speak highly of the Great Ordainer who suffereth such inequality! O sir, what fruits doth the Great Ordainer reap by granting prosperity to Dhritarashtra's son who transgresseth the ordinances, who is crooked and covetous, and who injureth virtue and religion! If the act done pursueth the doer and none else, then certainly it is God himself who is stained with the sin of every act. If however, the sin of an act done doth not attach to the doer, then (individual) might (and not God) is the true cause of acts, and I grieve for those that have no might!'"


"Yudhishthira said, 'Thy speech, O Yajnaseni, is delightful, smooth and full of excellent phrases. We have listened to it (carefully). Thou speakest, however, the language of atheism. O princess, I never act, solicitous of the fruits of my actions. I give away, because it is my duty to give; I sacrifice because it is my duty to sacrifice! O Krishna, I accomplish to the best of my power whatever a person living in domesticity should do, regardless of the fact whether those acts have fruits or not. O thou of fair hips, I act virtuously, not from the desire of reaping the fruits of virtue, but of not transgressing the ordinances of the Veda, and beholding also the conduct of the good and wise! My heart, O Krishna, is naturally attracted towards virtue. The man who wisheth to reap the fruits of virtue is a trader in virtue. His nature is mean and he should never be counted amongst the virtuous. Nor doth he ever obtain the fruits of his virtues! Nor doth he of sinful heart, who having accomplished a virtuous act doubteth in his mind, obtain the fruits of his act, in consequence of that scepticism of his! I speak unto thee, under the authority of the Vedas, which constitute the highest proof in such matters, that never shouldst thou doubt virtue! The man that doubteth virtue is destined to take his birth in the brute species. The man of weak understanding who doubteth religion, virtue or the words of the Rishis, is precluded from regions of immortality and bliss, like Sudras from the Vedas! O intelligent one, if a child born of a good race studieth the Vedas and beareth himself virtuously, royal sages of virtuous behaviour regard him as an aged sage (not withstanding his years)! The sinful wretch, however, who doubteth religion and transgresseth the scriptures, is regarded as lower even than Sudras and robbers! Thou hast seen with thy own eyes the great ascetic Markandeya of immeasurable soul come to us! It is by virtue alone that he hath acquired immortality in the flesh. Vyasa, and Vasistha and Maitreya, and Narada and Lomasa, and Suka, and other Rishis have all, by virtue alone, become of pure soul! Thou beholdest them with thy own eyes as furnished with prowess of celestial asceticism, competent to curse or bless (with effect), and superior to the very gods! O sinless one, these all, equal to the celestials themselves, behold with their eyes what Is written in the Vedas, and describe virtue as the foremost duty! It behoveth thee not, therefore, O amiable Queen, to either doubt or censure God or act, with a foolish heart. The fool that doubteth religion and disregardeth virtue, proud of the proof derived from his own reasoning, regardeth not other proofs and holdeth the Rishis, who are capable of knowing the future as present as mad men. The fool regardeth only the external world capable of gratifying his senses, and is blind to everything else. He that doubteth religion hath no expiation for his offence. That miserable wretch is full of anxiety and acquireth not regions of bliss hereafter. A rejector of proofs, a slanderer of the interpretation of the Vedic scriptures, a transgressor urged by lust and covetousness, that fool goeth to hell. O amiable one, he on the other hand, who ever cherisheth religion with faith, obtaineth eternal bliss in the other world. The fool who cherisheth not religion, transgressing the proofs offered by the Rishis, never obtaineth prosperity in any life, for such transgression of the scriptures. It is certain, O handsome one, that with respect to him who regardeth not the words of the Rishis or the conduct of the virtuous as proof, neither this nor the other world existeth. Doubt not, O Krishna, the ancient religion that is practised by the good and framed by Rishis of universal knowledge and capable of seeing all things! O daughter of Drupada, religion is the only raft for those desirous of going to heaven, like a ship to merchants desirous of crossing the ocean. O thou faultless one, if the virtues that are practised by the virtuous had no fruits, this universe then would be enveloped in infamous darkness. No one then would pursue salvation, no one would seek to acquire knowledge not even wealth, but men would live like beasts. If asceticism, the austerities of celibate life, sacrifices, study of the Vedas, charity, honesty,—these all were fruitless, men would not have practised virtue generation after generation. If acts were all fruitless, a dire confusion would ensue. For what then do Rishis and gods and Gandharvas and Rakshasas who are all independent of human conditions, cherish virtue with such affection? Knowing it for certain that God is the giver of fruits in respect of virtue, they practise virtue in this world. This, O Krishna, is the eternal (source of) prosperity. When the fruits of both knowledge and asceticism are seen, virtue and vice cannot be fruitless. Call to thy mind, O Krishna, the circumstances of thy own birth as thou that heard of them, and recall also the manner in which Dhrishtadyumna of great prowess was born! These, O thou of sweet smiles, are the best proofs (of the fruits of virtue)! They that have their minds under control, reap the fruits of their acts and are content with little. Ignorant fools are not content with even that much they get (here), because they have no happiness born of virtue to acquire to in the world hereafter. The fruitlessness of virtuous acts ordained in the Vedas, as also of all transgressions, the origin and destruction of acts are, O beautiful one, mysterious even to the gods. These are not known to any body and everybody. Ordinary men are ignorant in respect of these. The gods keep up the mystery, for the illusion covering the conduct of the gods is unintelligible. Those regenerate ones that have destroyed all aspirations, that have built all their hopes on vows and asceticism, that have burnt all their sins and have acquired minds where quest and peace and holiness dwell, understand all these. Therefore, though you mayst not see the fruits of virtue, thou shouldst not yet doubt religion or gods. Thou must perform sacrifices with a will, and practise charity without insolence. Acts in this world have their fruits, and virtue also is eternal. Brahma himself told this unto his (spiritual) sons, as testified to by Kashyapa. Let thy doubt, therefore, O Krishna, be dispelled like mist. Reflecting upon all this, let thy scepticism give way to faith. Slander not God, who is the lord of all creatures. Learn how to know him. Bow down unto him. Let not thy mind be such. And, O Krishna, never disregard that Supreme Being through whose grace mortal man, by piety, acquireth immortality!'"


"Draupadi said, 'I do not ever disregard or slander religion, O son of Pritha! Why should I disregard God, the lord of all creatures? Afflicted with woe, know me, O Bharata, to be only raving I will once more indulge in lamentations; listen to me with attention O persecutor of all enemies, every conscious creature should certainly act in this world. It is only the immobile, and not other creatures, that may live without acting. The calf, immediately after its birth, sucketh the mothers' teat. Persons feel pain in consequence of incantations performed with their statues. It seemeth, therefore, O Yudhishthira, that creatures derive the character of their lives from their acts of former lives. Amongst mobile creatures man differeth in this respect that he aspireth, O bull of the Bharata race, to affect his course of life in this and the other world by means of his acts. Impelled by the inspiration of a former life, all creatures visibly (reap) in this world the fruits of their acts. Indeed, all creatures live according to the inspiration of a former life, even the Creator and the Ordainer of the universe, like a crane that liveth on the water (untaught by any one.) If a creature acteth not, its course of life is impossible. In the case of a creature, therefore, there must be action and not inaction. Thou also shouldest act, and not incur censure by abandoning action. Cover thyself up, as with an armour, with action. There may or may not be even one in a thousand who truly knoweth the utility of acts or work. One must act for protecting as also increasing his wealth; for if without seeking to earn, one continueth to only spend, his wealth, even if it were a hoard huge as Himavat, would soon be exhausted. All the creatures in the world would have been exterminated, if there were no action. If also acts bore no fruits, creatures would never have multiplied. It is even seen that creatures sometimes perform acts that have no fruits, for without acts the course of life itself would be impossible. Those persons in the world who believe in destiny, and those again who believe in chance, are both the worst among men. Those only that believe in the efficacy of acts are laudable. He that lieth at ease, without activity, believing in destiny alone, is soon destroyed like an unburnt earthen pot in water. So also he that believeth in chance, i.e., sitteth inactive though capable of activity liveth not long, for his life is one of weakness and helplessness. If any person accidentally acquireth any wealth, it is said he deriveth it from chance, for no one's effort hath brought about the result. And, O son of Pritha, whatever of good fortune a person obtaineth in consequence of religious rites, that is called providential. The fruit, however that a person obtaineth by acting himself, and which is the direct result of those acts of his, is regarded as proof of personal ability. And, O best of men, know that the wealth one obtaineth spontaneously and without cause is said to be a spontaneous acquisition. Whatever is thus obtained by chance, by providential dispensation, spontaneously, of as the result of one's acts is, however, the consequence of the acts of a former life. And God, the Ordainer of the universe, judging according to the acts of former lives, distributeth among men their portions in this world. Whatever acts, good or bad, a person performeth, know that they are the result of God's, arrangements agreeably to the acts of a former life. This body is only the instruments in the hands of God, for doing the acts that are done. Itself, inert, it doth as God urgeth it to do. O son of Kunti, it is the Supreme Lord of all who maketh all creatures do what they do. The creatures themselves are inert. O hero, man, having first settled some purpose in his mind, accomplisheth it, himself working with the aid of his intelligence. We, therefore, say that man is himself the cause (of what he doeth). O bull among men, it is impossible to number the acts of men, for mansions and towns are the result of man's acts. Intelligent men know, by help of their intellect, that oil may be had from sesame, curds from milk, and that food may be cooked by means of igniting fuel. They know also the means for accomplishing all these. And knowing them, they afterwards set themselves, with proper appliances, to accomplish them. And creatures support their lives by the results achieved in these directions by their own acts. If a work is executed by a skilled workman, it is executed well. From differences (in characteristics), another work may be said to be that of an unskilful hand. If a person were not, in the matter of his acts, himself the cause thereof, then sacrifices would not bear any fruits in his case nor would any body be a disciple or a master. It is because a person is himself the cause of his work that he is applauded when he achieved success. So the doer is censured if he faileth. If a man were not himself the cause of his acts, how would all this be justified? Some say that everything is the result of Providential dispensation; others again, that this is not so, but that everything which is supposed to be the result of destiny or chance is the result of the good or the bad acts of former lives. It is seen, possessions are obtained from chance, as also from destiny Something being from destiny and something from chance, something is obtained by exertion. In the acquisition of his objects, there is no fourth cause in the case of man. Thus say those that are acquainted with truth and skilled in knowledge. If, however, God himself were not the giver of good and bad fruits, then amongst creatures there would not be any that was miserable. If the effect of former acts be a myth, then all purposes for which man would work should be successful. They, therefore, that regard the three alone (mentioned above) as the doors of all success and failure in the world, (without regarding the acts of former life), are dull and inert like the body itself. For all this, however, a person should act. This is the conclusion of Manu himself. The person that doth not act, certainly succumbeth, O Yudhishthira. The man of action in this world generally meeteth with success. The idle, however, never achieveth success. If success, becometh impossible, then should one seek to remove the difficulties that bar his way to success. And, O king, if a person worketh (hard), his debt (to the gods) is cancelled (whether he achieveth success or not). The person that is idle and lieth at his length, is overcome by adversity; while he that is active and skillful is sure to reap success and enjoy prosperity. Intelligent persons engaged in acts with confidence in themselves regard all who are diffident as doubting and unsuccessful. The confident and faithful, however, are regarded by them as successful. And this moment misery hath overtaken us. If, however, thou betakest to action, that misery will certainly be removed. If thou meetest failure, then that will furnish a proof unto thee and Vrikodara and Vivatsu and the twins (that ye are unable to snatch the kingdom from the foe). The acts of others, it is seen, are crowned with success. It is probable that ours also will be successful. How can one know beforehand what the consequence will be? Having exerted thyself thou wilt know what the fruit of thy exertion will be. The tiller tilleth with the plough the soil and soweth the seeds thereon. He then sitteth silent, for the clouds (after that) are the cause that would help the seeds to grow into plants. If however, the clouds favour him not, the tiller is absolved from all blame. He sayeth unto himself, 'What others do, I have done. If, notwithstanding this, I meet with failure, no blame can attach to me.' Thinking so, he containeth himself and never indulgeth in self-reproach. O Bharata, no one should despair saying, 'Oh, I am acting, yet success is not mine! For there are two other causes, besides exertion, towards success. Whether there be success or failure, there should be no despair, for success in acts dependeth upon the union; of many circumstances. If one important element is wanting, success doth not become commensurate, or doth not come at all. If however, no exertion is made, there can be no success. Nor is there anything to applaud in the absence of all exertion. The intelligent, aided by their intelligence, and according to their full might bring place, time, means, auspicious rites, for the acquisition of prosperity. With carefulness and vigilance should one set himself to work, his chief guide being his prowess. In the union of qualities necessary for success in work, prowess seemeth to be the chief. When the man of intelligence seeth his enemy superior to him in many qualities, he should seek the accomplishment of his purposes by means, of the arts of conciliation and proper appliances. He should also wish evil unto his foe and his banishment. Without speaking of mortal man, if his foe were even the ocean or the hills, he should be guided by such motives. A person by his activity in searching for the holes of his enemies, dischargeth his debt to himself as also to his friends. No man should ever disparage himself for the man that disparageth himself never earneth high prosperity. O Bharata, success in this world is attainable on such conditions! In fact, success in the World is said to depend on acting according to time and circumstances. My father formerly kept a learned Brahmana with him. O bull of the Bharata race, he said all this unto my father. Indeed, these instructions as to duty, uttered by Vrihaspati himself, were first taught to my brothers. It was from them that I heard these afterwards while in my father's house. And, O Yudhishthira, while at intervals of business, I went out (of the inner apartments) and sat on the lap of my father, that learned Brahmana used to recite unto me these truths, sweetly consoling me therewith!"


'Vaisampayana said, "Hearing these words of Yajnaseni, Bhimasena, sighing in wrath, approached the king and addressed him, saying, 'Walk, O monarch, in the customary path trodden by good men, (before thee) in respect of kingdoms. What do we gain by living in the asylum of ascetics, thus deprived of virtue, pleasure, and profit? It is not by virtue, nor by honesty, nor by might, but by unfair dice, that our kingdom hath been snatched by Duryodhana. Like a weak offal-eating jackal snatching the prey from mighty lions, he hath snatched away our kingdom. Why, O monarch, in obedience to the trite merit of sticking to a promise, dost thou suffer such distress, abandoning that wealth which is the source of both virtue and enjoyments? It was for thy carelessness, O king, that our kingdom protected by the wielder of the Gandiva and therefore, incapable of being wrested by Indra himself, was snatched from us in our very sight. It was for thee, O monarch, that, ourselves living, our prosperity was snatched away from us like a fruit from one unable to use his arms, or like kine from one incapable of using his legs. Thou art faithful in the acquisition of virtue. It was to please thee, O Bharata, that we have suffered ourselves to be overwhelmed with such dire calamity. O bull of the Bharata race, it was because we were subject to thy control that we are thus tearing the hearts of our friends and gratifying our foes. That we did not, in obedience to thee, even then slay the sons of Dhritarashtra, is an act of folly on our part that grieveth me sorely. This thy abode, O king, in the woods, like that of any wild animal, is what a man of weakness alone would submit to. Surely, no man of might would ever lead such a life. This thy course of life is approved neither by Krishna, nor Vibhatsu, nor by Abhimanyu, nor by the Srinjayas, nor by myself, nor by the sons of Madri. Afflicted with the vows, thy cry is Religion! Religion! Hast thou from despair been deprived of thy manliness? Cowards alone, unable to win back their prosperity, cherish despair, which is fruitless and destructive of one's purposes. Thou hast ability and eyes. Thou seest that manliness dwelleth in us. It is because thou hast adopted a life of peace that thou feelest not this distress. These Dhritarashtras regard us who are forgiving, as really incompetent. This, O king, grieveth me more than death in battle. If we all die in fair fight without turning our backs on the foe, even that would be better than this exile, for then we should obtain regions of bliss in the other world. Or, if, O bull of the Bharata race, having slain them all, we acquire the entire earth, that would be prosperity worth the trial. We who ever adhere to the customs of our order, who ever desire grand achievements, who wish to avenge our wrongs, have this for our bounden duty. Our kingdom wrested from us, if we engage in battle, our deeds when known to the world will procure for us fame and not slander. And that virtue, O king, which tortureth one's own self and friends, is really no virtue. It is rather vice, producing calamities. Virtue is sometimes also the weakness of men. And though such a man might ever be engaged in the practice of virtue, yet both virtue and profit forsake him, like pleasure and pain forsaking a person that is dead. He that practiseth virtue for virtue's sake always suffereth. He can scarcely be called a wise man, for he knoweth not the purposes of virtue like a blind man incapable of perceiving the solar light. He that regardeth his wealth to exist for himself alone, scarcely understandeth the purposes of wealth. He is really like a servant that tendeth kine in a forest. He again that pursueth wealth too much without pursuing virtue and enjoyments, deserveth to be censured and slain by all men. He also that ever pursueth enjoyments without pursuing virtue and wealth, loseth his friends and virtue and wealth also. Destitute of virtue and wealth such a man, indulging in pleasure at will, at the expiration of his period of indulgence, meeteth with certain death, like a fish when the water in which it liveth hath been dried up. It is for these reasons that they that are wise are ever careful of both virtue and wealth, for a union of virtue and wealth is the essential requisite of pleasure, as fuel is the essential requisite of fire. Pleasure hath always virtue for its root, and virtue also is united with pleasure. Know, O monarch, that both are dependent on each other like the ocean and the clouds, the ocean causing the clouds and the clouds filling the ocean. The joy that one feeleth in consequence of contact with objects of touch or of possession of wealth, is what is called pleasure. It existeth in the mind, having no corporeal existence that one can see. He that wisheth (to obtain) wealth, seeketh for a large share of virtue to crown his wish with success. He that wisheth for pleasure, seeketh wealth, (so that his wish may be realised). Pleasure however, yieldeth nothing in its turn. One pleasure cannot lead to another, being its own fruit, as ashes may be had from wood, but nothing from those ashes in their turn. And, O king, as a fowler killeth the birds we see, so doth sin slay the creatures of the world. He, therefore, who misled by pleasure or covetousness, beholdeth not the nature of virtue, deserveth to be slain by all, and becometh wretched both here and here-after. It is evident, O king, that thou knowest that pleasure may be derived from the possession of various objects of enjoyment. Thou also well knowest their ordinary states, as well as the great changes they undergo. At their loss or disappearance occasioned by decrepitude or death, ariseth what is called distress. That distress, O king, hath now overtaken us. The joy that ariseth from the five senses, the intellect and the heart, being directed to the objects proper to each, is called pleasure. That pleasure, O king, is, as I think, one of the best fruits of our actions.

"Thus, O monarch, one should regard virtue, wealth and pleasure one after another. One should not devote one self to virtue alone, nor regard wealth as the highest object of one's wishes, nor pleasure, but should ever pursue all three. The scriptures ordain that one should seek virtue in the morning, wealth at noon, and pleasure in the evening. The scriptures also ordain that one should seek pleasure in the first portion of life, wealth in the second, and virtue in the last. And, O thou foremost of speakers, they that are wise and fully conversant with proper division of time, pursue all three, virtue, wealth, and pleasure, dividing their time duly. O son of the Kuru race, whether independence of these (three), or their possession is the better for those that desire happiness, should be settled by thee after careful thought. And thou shouldst then, O king, unhesitatingly act either for acquiring them, or abandoning them all. For he who liveth wavering between the two doubtingly, leadeth a wretched life. It is well known that thy behaviour is ever regulated by virtue. Knowing this thy friends counsel thee to act. Gift, sacrifice, respect for the wise, study of the Vedas, and honesty, these, O king, constitute the highest virtue and are efficacious both here and hereafter. These virtues, however, cannot be attained by one that hath no wealth, even if, O tiger among men, he may have infinite other accomplishments. The whole universe, O king, dependeth upon virtue. There is nothing higher than virtue. And virtue, O king, is attainable by one that hath plenty of wealth. Wealth cannot be earned by leading a mendicant life, nor by a life of feebleness. Wealth, however, can be earned by intelligence directed by virtue. In thy case, O king, begging, which is successful with Brahmanas, hath been forbidden. Therefore, O bull amongst men, strive for the acquisition of wealth by exerting thy might and energy. Neither mendicancy, nor the life of a Sudra is what is proper for thee. Might and energy constitute the virtue of the Kshatriya in especial. Adopt thou, therefore, the virtue of thy order and slay the enemies. Destroy the might of Dhritarashtra's sons, O son of Pritha, with my and Arjuna's aid. They that are learned and wise say that sovereignty is virtue. Acquire sovereignty, therefore, for it behoveth thee not to live in a state of inferiority. Awake, O king, and understand the eternal virtues (of the order). By birth thou belongest to an order whose deeds are cruel and are a source of pain to man. Cherish thy subjects and reap the fruit thereof. That can never be a reproach. Even this, O king, is the virtue ordained by God himself for the order to which thou belongest! If thou tallest away therefrom, thou wilt make thyself ridiculous. Deviation from the virtues of one's own order is never applauded. Therefore, O thou of the Kuru race, making thy heart what it ought to be, agreeably to the order to which thou belongest, and casting away this course of feebleness, summon thy energy and bear thy weight like one that beareth it manfully. No king, O monarch, could ever acquire the sovereignty of the earth or prosperity or affluence by means of virtue alone. Like a fowler earning his food in the shape of swarms of little easily-tempted game, by offering them some attractive food, doth one that is intelligent acquire a kingdom, by offering bribes unto low and covetous enemies. Behold, O bull among kings, the Asuras, though elder brothers in possession of power and affluence, were all vanquished by the gods through stratagem. Thus, O king, everything belongeth to those that are mighty. And, O mighty-armed one, slay thy foes, having recourse to stratagem. There is none equal unto Arjuna in wielding the bow in battle. Nor is there anybody that may be equal unto me in wielding the mace. Strong men, O monarch, engage in battle depending on their might, and not on the force of numbers nor on information of the enemy's plans procured through spies. Therefore, O son of Pandu exert thy might. Might is the root of wealth. Whatever else is said to be its root is really not such. As the shade of the tree in winter goeth for nothing, so without might everything else becometh fruitless. Wealth should be spent by one who wisheth to increase his wealth, after the manner, O son of Kunti, of scattering seeds on the ground. Let there be no doubt then in thy mind. Where, however, wealth that is more or even equal is not to be gained, there should be no expenditure of wealth. For investment of wealth are like the ass, scratching, pleasurable at first but painful afterwards. Thus, O king of men, the person who throweth away like seeds a little of his virtue in order to gain a larger measure of virtue, is regarded as wise. Beyond doubt, it is as I say. They that are wise alienate the friends of the foe that owneth such, and having weakened him by causing those friends to abandon him thus, they then reduce him to subjection. Even they that are strong, engage in battle depending on their courage. One cannot by even continued efforts (uninspired by courage) or by the arts of conciliation, always conquer a kingdom. Sometimes, O king, men that are weak, uniting in large numbers, slay even a powerful foe, like bees killing the despoiler of the honey by force of numbers alone. (As regards thyself), O king, like the sun that sustaineth as well as slayeth creatures by his rays, adopt thou the ways of the sun. To protect one's kingdom and cherish the people duly, as done by our ancestors, O king, is, it hath been heard by us, a kind of asceticism mentioned even in the Vedas. By ascetism, O king, a Kshatriya cannot acquire such regions of blessedness as he can by fair fight whether ending in victory or defeat. Beholding, O king, this thy distress, the world hath come to the conclusion that light may forsake the Sun and grace the Moon. And, O king, good men separately as well as assembling together, converse with one another, applauding thee and blaming the other. There is this, moreover, O monarch, viz., that both the Kurus and the Brahmanas, assembling together, gladly speak of thy firm adherence to truth, in that thou hast never, from ignorance, from meanness, from covetousness, or from fear, uttered an untruth. Whatever sin, O monarch, a king committeth in acquiring dominion, he consumeth it all afterwards by means of sacrifices distinguished by large gifts. Like the Moon emerging from the clouds, the king is purified from all sins by bestowing villages on Brahmanas and kine by thousands. Almost all the citizens as well as the inhabitants of the country, young or old, O son of the Kuru race, praise thee, O Yudhishthira! This also, O Bharata, the people are saying amongst themselves, viz., that as milk in a bag of dog's hide, as the Vedas in a Sudra, as truth in a robber, as strength in a woman, so is sovereignty in Duryodhana. Even women and children are repeating this, as if it were a lesson they seek to commit to memory. O represser of foes, thou hast fallen into this state along with ourselves. Alas, we also are lost with thee for this calamity of thine. Therefore, ascending in thy car furnished with every implement, and making the superior Brahmanas utter benedictions on thee, march thou with speed, even this very day, upon Hastinapura, in order that thou mayst be able to give unto Brahmanas the spoils of victory. Surrounded by thy brothers, who are firm wielders of the bow, and by heroes skilled in weapons and like unto snakes of virulent poison, set thou out even like the slayer Vritra surounded by the Marutas. And, O son of Kunti, as thou art powerful, grind thou with thy might thy weak enemies, like Indra grinding the Asuras; and snatch thou from Dhritarashtra's son the prosperity he enjoyeth. There is no mortal that can bear the touch of the shafts furnished with the feathers of the vulture and resembling snakes of virulent poison, that would be shot from the Gandiva. And, O Bharata, there is not a warrior, nor an elephant, nor a horse, that is able to bear the impetus of my mace when I am angry in battle. Why, O son of Kunti, should we not wrest our kingdom from the foe, fighting with the aid of the Srinjayas and Kaikeyas, and the bull of the Vrishni race? Why, O king, should we not succeed in wresting the (sovereignty of the) earth that is now in the hands of the foe, if, aided by a large force, we do but strive?"


Vaisampayana said, "Thus addressed by Bhimasena, the high-souled king Ajatasatru firmly devoted to truth, mustering his patience, after a few moments said these words, 'No doubt, O Bharata, all this is true. I cannot reproach thee for thy torturing me thus by piercing me with thy arrowy words. From my folly alone hath this calamity come against you. I sought to cast the dice desiring to snatch from Dhritarashtra's son his kingdom with the sovereignty. It was therefore that, that cunning gambler—Suvala's son—played against me on behalf of Suyodhana. Sakuni, a native of the hilly country, is exceedingly artful. Casting the dice in the presence of the assembly, unacquainted as I am with artifices of any kind, he vanquished me artfully. It is, therefore, O Bhimasena, that we have been overwhelmed with this calamity. Beholding the dice favourable to the wishes of Sakuni in odds and evens, I could have controlled my mind. Anger, however, driveth off a person's patience. O child, the mind cannot be kept under control when it is influenced by hauteur, vanity, or pride. I do not reproach thee, O Bhimasena, for the words thou usest. I only regard that what hath befallen us was pre-ordained. When king Duryodhana, the son of Dhritarashtra, coveting our kingdom, plunged us into misery and even slavery, then, O Bhima, it was Draupadi that rescued us. When summoned again to the assembly for playing once more, thou knowest as well as Arjuna what Dhritarashtra's son told me, in the presence of all the Bharatas, regarding the stake for which we were to play. His words were, O prince Ajatsatru, (if vanquished), thou shalt have with all thy brothers, to dwell, to the knowledge of all men, for twelve years in the forest of thy choice, passing the thirteenth year in secrecy. If during the latter period, the spies of the Bharatas, hearing of thee, succeed in discovering thee, thou shalt have again to live in the forest for the same period, passing once more the last year in secrecy. Reflecting upon this, pledge thyself to it. As regards myself, I promise truly in this assembly of the Kurus, that if thou canst pass this time confounding my spies and undiscovered by them, then, O Bharata, this kingdom of the five rivers is once more thine. We also, O Bharata, if vanquished by thee, shall, all of us, abandoning all our wealth, pass the same period, according to the same rules. Thus addressed by the prince, I replied unto him in the midst of all the Kurus, 'So be it!' The wretched game then commenced. We were vanquished and have been exiled. It is for this that we are wandering miserably over different woody regions abounding with discomfort. Suyodhana, however, still dissatisfied, gave himself up to anger, and urged the Kurus as also all those under his sway to express their joy at our calamity. Having entered into such an agreement in the presence of all good men, who dareth break it for the sake of a kingdom on earth? For a respectable person, I think, even death itself is lighter than the acquisition of sovereignty by an act of transgression. At the time of the play, thou hadst desired to burn my hands. Thou wert prevented by Arjuna, and accordingly didst only squeeze thy own hands. If thou couldst do what thou hadst desired, could this calamity befall us? Conscious of thy prowess, why didst thou not, O Bhima, say so before we entered into such an agreement? Overwhelmed with the consequence of our pledge, and the time itself having passed, what is the use of thy addressing me these harsh words? O Bhima, this is my great grief that we could not do anything even beholding Draupadi persecuted in that way. My heart burneth as if I have drunk some poisonous liquid. Having, however, given that pledge in the midst of the Kuru heroes, I am unable to violate it now. Wait, O Bhima, for the return of our better days, like the scatterer of seeds waiting for the harvest. When one that hath been first injured, succeedeth in revenging himself upon his foe at a time when the latter's enmity hath borne fruit and flowers, he is regarded to have accomplished a great thing by his prowess. Such a brave person earneth undying fame. Such a man obtaineth great prosperity. His enemies bow down unto him, and his friends gather round him, like the celestials clustering round Indra for protection. But know, O Bhima, my promise can never be untrue. I regard virtue as superior to life itself and a blessed state of celestial existence. Kingdom, sons, fame, wealth,—all these do not come up to even a sixteenth part of truth.'

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