Vaisampaayana continued to tell Janamejaya the story of Mahabharata thus:
The marriage of Uttara and Abhimanyu was performed on a grand scale. Four days have elapsed. One day, Dharmaja, followed by his brothers and his sons, visited the court of King Virata. There, King Virata, King Drupada, Sri Krishna, Bala rama, his brothers and other invitees to the marriage were chatting with each other.
Sri Krishna addressed the gathering thus:
It is known to you all, how this Yudhishthira was deceitfully
defeated at dice game by Sakuni and how he was robbed of his kingdom
and how a stipulation was made by him concerning his exile in the forest.
You all know about the character and conduct of Pandavas. That being so, it is for you to consider what will be for the good of both Yudhishthira and Duryodhana, and what, as regards the Kauravas and the Pandavas, will be consistent with the rules of righteousness and, propriety.
The virtuous king Yudhishthira would not unrighteously acquire even the celestial kingdom of Indra. But righteously he would accept even a single village.
Pandavas got a part of kingdom as ancestral property. Later, they performed Rajasooya Yaga and expanded their kingdom. But their entire kingdom was grabbed by Suyodhana in a dice game played by Sakuni.
This is well known to all of us how Dharmaja and his brothers passed a life of unendurable hardships. Still Dharmaja did not get angry. He tolerated all the insults caused to him. He never intended to cause any harm to Kauravas.
Therefore, the entire Kourava kingdom belongs to Both Kouravas and Pandavas. Both are entitled to rule it. Now, we have to take a wise decision in this regard. I will tell my opinion.
The Pandavas have always had a regard for truth. They have fulfilled their promise in all respects. Now they intend to show their prowess to the outside world.
Suyodhana is now thinking to conquer Pandavas while they are helpless. He is consolidalting his army. However powerful he may be, without sufficient army, one cannot conquer the enemy. Thereofore, I request all of you, who intend to help Pandavas, to express your solidarity. Then only Pandavas will be ready for the war with Kauravas. This is our prime task.
What Duryodhana is now thinking is not exactly known, nor what he may do. When the mind of the other side is not known, what opinion can be formed by you as to what is best to be done? Therefore, let a person, virtuous and honest and of respectable birth, an able ambassador, set out to beseech them mildly, for inducing them to give half the kingdom to Yudhishthira. If Suryodhana agrees for our proposal and give back half of the kingdom to Pandavas, it is well and good. Otherwise, we will think about the future course of action." said Sri Krishna.
Then Balarama rose to his feet and spoke thus: “What Sri Krishna said is just and proper. I entirely agree with him as it is agreeable to both sides. Besides that, it is righteous. We can pacify both sides in this way. Pandavas lost their half share in their ancentral kingdom. They are now claiming it. It would be better if Suyodhana gives back their half share in the kingdom and satisfy himself with the remaining kingdom. With this proposal no harm will be caused to anybody. Pandavas also give up their enmity towards Kouravas and mingle with Kouravas as relatives.
Therefore, we have to send one virtuous person to Suyodhana with a view to amicably settle the matter between Kouravas and Pandavas. He should ascertain what is in the mind of Duryodhana and explain the views of Yudhishthira.
Because of his soft mindedness, Yudhishtira was won over by Suyodhana. As Suyodhana was not well-versed in Dice game, he deputed his uncle, Sakuni to play on his behalf. As Sakuni was an expert in Dice game, he won the bet. Therefore, I do not find any fault in the behaviour of Suyodhana. Therefore, we cannot blame Suyodhana.” said Balarama.
Satyaki rose to his feet with great anger. “Is it just on your part to speak like this? You need not be blamed. Those who are hearing your words patiently that Suyodhana is a virtuous man, should be blamed. What? What are you saying? Did Dharmaja himself play diace game with Suyodhana for fun sake? Did they not invite Dharmaja for Dice game and win the bet by playing fraud? Can anybody find fault with Dharmaja?
As Pandavas have fulfilled the agreement, their half share in the kingdom has to be given. For their half share in the Kingdom, they need not beg anybody. To acquire kingdom by war is a virtue of Kshatriya. If Suyodhana does not heed our words, he will taste the power of my arrows. Are there any warriors equivalent to Bhima and Arjuna? If myself, Bheema and Arjuna are in the warfield, can anybody stand before us? If Nakula, Sahadeva, Panchala, Vrushni and other Kings are engaged in war, Suyodhana and his brothers will be reduced to ashes. Do you mean to say that Virata is an ordinary King. Therefore, war is imminent.
In the meanwhile, you can send any suitable person to Suyodhana. But he should not beg for their due share in the kingdom. If Suyodhana gives us the due share in the kingdom we will receive it. Otherwise, we will meet him in the impending war.” said Satyaki.
Then Drupada rose to his feet and said:
“Satyaki well said. Balarama’s words are not acceptable. As has been said by Satyaki if Suyodhana does not give half share in the kingdom, the last resort is nothing but war. Bheeshma and Drona will naturally support Suyodhana as they are sailing with him. Dhrutarashtra is more affectionate towards his son. Karna and others will always praise Suyodhana. Therefore, Suyodhana will never heed to our words for peace. War is imminent. We have to send word to all the kings who are in our favour, inviting them to help us in the war. Suyodhana might have already been on this job. Rightminded persons, however, respond to the request of those that first beseech them. Therefore, we have to invite all the kings even earlier than Suyodhana and seek their help. Let our men be sent to Salya, Kekaya, Drushtaketu, Jarasandha’s son and other kings seeking their help in the war. This is my sincere advice.
In the meanwhile, I will send my Chief Priest, a virtuous brahmin, to Dhrutarashtra to explain our stand clearly. He can speak tactfully with Dhrutarashtra, his sons, Bheeshma Drona and others.” said Drupada.
Then Sri Krishna told Dharmaja “Dharmaja! follow the words of Drupada. We have all come for the marriage. It is not proper to stay here any more. We will go back. King Drupada! you are an elderly person. We all will treat you as our Guru. Dhrutarashtra and Bheeshma will always respect your words. Both Drona and Krupacharya are your friends. Therefore, you have to take the responsibility of sending a virtuous person to Dhrutarashtra. We all will abide by your word. I request all of you to go back to your respective places and make preparations for the ensuing war between Pandavas and Kouravas." said Sri Krishna
Accordingly Sri Krishna, Balarama and others went back to Dwaraka. King Virata and King Drupada are engaged in making preparatiosn for war.
King Drupada called his Cheif Priest and said: “O virtuous Brahmin! You are distinguished both for age and learning. You know what kind of man Suyodhana is, and what kind of man also is Yudhishthira. It was with Dhrutarashtra’s knowledge that the Pandavas were deceived by his sons. If you speak words of righteousness to Dhrutarashtra, you will certainly gain his heart. You have heard what Sri Krishna said. You have to convey those words tactfully and timely to Dhrutarashtra, Bheeshma and others. If by God’s grace, Suyodhana agrees for our proposal, it will be well and good.” said Drupada. After taking leave from Drupada, that virtuous brahmin left for Hastinapuram.
Here in Hastinapura, such kind of talks were going on . Suyodhana got an idea of sending a person to Sri Krishna for help. Later, he himself thought of going to Dwaraka and meet Sri Krishna. On the same day, Arjuna also came down to Dwaraka to meet Sri Krishna. Both Arjuna and Suyodhana met at the palace of Sri Krishna.
At that time Sri Krishna was sleeping on a couch. Suyodhana arrived earlier than Arjuna. He chose to sit on a seat kept near the head of Sri Krishna. Arjuna who arrived later sat on a seat kept at the feet of Sri Krishna.
Sri Krishna woke up and first saw Arjuna who was sitting near his feet. Then he saw Suyodhana. Sri Krishna greeted both of them and asked them about the purpose of their visit.
Suyodhana said: “Krishna! Arjuna and myself are both equally your friends. Of course, some relaltionship also is there. I have been the first to come to you. Right-minded persons take up the cause of him who comes first to them. Hence I request you to lend me your help in the impending war.”asked Suyodhana.
“That you have come first, O Suyodhana, I agree but I have seen Arjuna first. Anyhow I will lend my assistance to both of you. There is a large number of warriors, ten thousand in number, rivalling me in strength and known as Narayanas, and who fight in the battle, are on one side. And I alone, resolved not to fight, laying down arms, will be on the otherside. But who is younger should have the first choice. Therefore, Arjuna, choose either me or the ten thousand warriors. Arjuna, Choice is yours.” said Sri Krishna.
Arjuna selected Sri Krishna and Suyodhana selected for himself the entire army. Suyodhana was exceedingly delighted for having secured the army possessed of terrible prowess. Then Suyodhana proceeded to the palace of Balarama. Balarama received Suyodhana and greeted him. Suyodhana requested Balarama for his help in the war.
Balarama said: “Suyodhana! Once I supported you and your actions. But many opposed it. I kept quiet. Therefore I dont want to take anybody’s side. I will be aloof.” said Balarama. Suyodhana then approached Krutavarma and sought his help. Krutavarma promised to join Suyodhana with one Akshouhini of army. Then Suyodhana returned back to Hastinapuram.
Sri Krishna asked Arjuna “What Arjuna! what is this! How foolish you are? Why you have chosen me, an unarmed one, without choosing ten thousand strong army. In what way it is helpful to you” said Sri Krishna.
“Krishna! you are unconquerable. Whereever you are, that side will be victorious. You will get the name and fame. If you are on the otherside, it is very difficult to defeat you. The help of a virtuous person like you is always desirable for us. Hence I chose you. You need not take part in the war. If you are on our side, we will won. Since a long time I have got a desire. You should be my charioteer and bless me with success. That is all what I want” said Arjuna.
Sri Krishna smiled at Arjuna and said: “Arjuna! It is my duty to fulfil your desire. In the impending war, I will be your charioteer. Letus go to Dharmaja and decide the future course of action.” said Sri Krishna. Then Sri Krishna and Arjuna arrived at Upaplaavyam.
The messengers sent by Dharmaja met King Salya and informed him about the war. Then King Salya started along with his army to Upaplaavyam. Suyodhana came to know about the arrival of King Salya. Suyodhana made all arrangements, like sumptuous food, luxurious beds, temporary residences for the comfortable stay of King Salya whereever he made a halt.
King Salya was thinking that those arrangements were made by the officials on behalf of Dharmaja. He was very much satisfied with the arrangements made. He ordered his men to call those who are making those arrangements.
King Suyodhana appeared before King Salya, intgroduced himself and said that he made all those arrangements. King Salya was very much satisfied and asked him to choose whatever he wants. Waiting for this opportunity, Suyodhana said with folded hands: “King Salya! me and Pandavas are equal to you. Bless me also with your help.” asked Suyodhana.
King Salya agreed for it and said: “I am going
to meet Dharmaja. After meeting him, I will come and join you.”
Dharmaja said: “It is just and proper on your part to bless Suyodhana for the services he had done. You have to extend your help to him. But please bless me also. In the impending war, Sri Krishna will be the charioteer of Arjuna. On the side of Suyodhana, Karna is the equivalent warrior. Hence you should be the charioteer of Karna. But during critical times, you have to discourage Karna and discourge him with your pungent words and save Arjuna from Karna. Dont think that this is an untoward act. Please help us” requested Dharmaja.
King Salya understood the situation. He also thought
that it is good. “Yudhishtira! What you said is correct. If Suyodhana
requests me to be the charioteer of Karna, I will certainly accept it
and do as you say. Not only this, I will do whatever you like. How any
body can forget the insult meted out by you in the open assembly and
also in the forests and in exile.
Then Dharmaja asked Salya “O King Salya! kindly tell me how Devendra also suffered exile like us” asked Dharmaja.
King Salya continued to say:
"In the ancient days, there was a saint called Tvashta. He was a righteous man. He was having enmity with Indra. He created a three-headed creature named Visvaroopa. Aspiring the post of Indira, Visvaroopa was doing penance. Indira was afraid of him. He thought he will certainly replace him. He sent apsarasas (divine ladies) to spoil his penance but in vain.
As a last resort, Indra killed Visvaroopa. Indra suppressed that killing for a period of one year. Somehow it was known to one and all. Everbody condemned the action of Indira. To get rid of that sin, he performed several religious ceremonies and distributed his sin of killing a brahmin, to all the seas, ladies in this universe equally and got rid of the sin. Indra was very happy.
Tvashta came to know all these developments. He was very much annoyed. He became angry. He performed a Homa (sacred fire) out of which, he created a magnificent power in human form. He was called Vruthra. Tvashta told Vruthra about the fate of Visvaroopa and ordered him to attack Indra and conquer him.
Accordingly Vruthra waged war against Indra and defeated him. Vruthra opened his mouth and swallowed Indra. But Indra miraculously transformed himself into a smallest creature and when Vruthra opened his mouth, Indra jumped out of his mouth.
Again there was a fight between Indra and Vruthrasura. Unable to attack Vruthra, Indra along with Devatas and sages and saints, fled away to Mandhara mountain and remained there as rufugees. They were all thinking about ways and means to kill Vruthrasura.
All of them approached Lord Vishnu and prayed for his help. Vishnu said: ‘I am no doubt bound to do what is for your good. I shall, therefore, tell you a plan to kill Vrutra. All sages and saints shall goback to the place where Vritra is and adopt towards him a conciliatory policy. You will thus succeed in overthrowing him. By virtue of my power, I shall enter into Vajrayudha and remain invisible. At appropriate time, Indira will kill Vruthra. Let there be no delay in effecting a peace between Indra and Vritra.” said Vishnu.
Then all of them approached Vritra and tried for reconciliation between Vritra and Indra. All the sages and saints said:”O Vritra! Indra is unconquerable. You cannot overpower simply with your prowess. Likewise, Indra also cannot won over you. Therefore, it is better if both of you come to an agreement and make friendship and be happy.” said a great saint.
“I have no objection to make friendship with Indra but on one condition. You should bless me like this: Either Indra or any god do not kill me either by a dry or wet object, either by stone or by woodden object, either by a weapon or missile, either in day time or night time. If you agree for this,I have no objection to make friendship with Indira. All the saints agreed for this proposal and effected friendship between Indra and Vritra. But Indra was always searching for a loop hole to kill Vritra. .
One day evening, Vritra, unarmed, was strolling on the sea shore. It was neither day nor night. Indra thought that was the proper time to kill him. As Indra thought of all this, bearing Vishnu in mind, he beheld at that time in the sea a mass of foam as large as a hill. Indra thought “This is neither dry, nor wet, nor is it a weapon; let me hurl it at Vritra. Without doubt, he will die immediately.” Indra threw at Vritra that mass of foam blended with his Vijrayudha. Vishnu, having entered within that foam, put an end to the life of Vritra. Vitra was killed.
All the divine personalities, sages and saints praised Indra and glorified him with joy. Indra went back to Indra loka. But all the living beings in all the Lokas turned against Indra and cursed him for committing Brahma Hatya. Indra could not bear that sin. He was unseated. Indra went to Nishadhaacala mountain and took refuge.
All the Divine Bodies and Sages and saints were in search of a proper personality to occupy the seat of Indra. In Bhooloka, there was a king called Nahusha. He performed 100 Asvamedha Yagas and was qualified to occupy the seat of Indra. All the divine bodies and divine saints approached Nahusha and offered him to occupy the seat of Indra. But Nahusha did not agree.
He said: “I am feeble. I am not capable of protecting you. A most powerful person should be your Indira because Indra should always possessed of great strength” said Nahusha.
“Nahusha! you need not worry about it. We all will confer on you all our powers. With those divine powers, you can rule as Indra.” said the divine bodies. Then Yama, Varuna, Agni and other divine bodies conferred their powers on Nahusha. Nahusha became more powerful. Then Nahusha was crowned as Indra.
In the initial times, Nahusha was ruling all the Three Universes with his righteous character. All Kinnaras, Kimpurushas, Garudas, Gandharvas, Siddhas, Vidyaadharas, were making their offerings to the new Indra. All the divine saints were serving Nahusha. Tumbura and Narada was singing before him. Rambha, Oorvasi, Menaka, Tilottama and other divine ladies were dancing before him entertaining him. While enjoying such divine plealsures, Nahusha’s mind became vicious. He always indulged in sensual pleasures.
While Nahusha was thus enjoying himself in Devaloka, on one occasion Sachi, who was the favourite queen of Indra, came in his sight. And that vicious soul, having looked at her, said to the courtiers, "Why do not this goddess, the queen of Indra, attend upon me? I am the monarch of the gods, and also the ruler of the worlds. Let Sachi visit me at my house.” ordered Nahusha.
Saddened at hearing this, Sachi said to Brihaspati, "Protect me, O Brahmana, from this Nahusha.” prayed Sachi. Brahspati assured her safety. “Sachi! Dont fear. Your husband will certainly meet you.” consoled Brahaspati.
Now Nahusha came to hear that Indra’s queen had taken refuge with Brihaspati, He became highly enraged. “Afterall I ordered one lady to come to me. How Brihaspati will stop it. How can he save her.” asked Nahusha.”
"You are now Indra. It is not just on your part to have lust on Indra’s wife or any other’s wife.” said the divine bodies.”
"What about your previous Indira? Did he not lust Ahalya, Goutama’s wife? Did he not enjoy sensual pleasures with her while her husband was away. Why all of you kept quiet at that time without preaching these sermans? Ask Brihaspati to send Sachi to my palace immediately” ordered Nahusha.
Then all the divine bodies and rishis went to Brihaspati and requested him “You know that Nahusha is our King. He is entitled to enjoy all pleasures including the wife of Indra. Therefore please send Sachi to Nahusha”
Brahspati grew angry: “What? What are you talking? Nahusha has a desire on Sachi. You are supporting him. Is it your duty? Is it in the interest of one and all. You know what Lord Brahma said: If anybody, who is able to save a refugee, does not save him, it is a sin. I shall not abandon Sachi who sought my protection.” said Brahaspati firmly.
Then he told Sachi “Sachi! you do one thing. You better go to Nahusha and seek some time to join him. For the present the problem will be solved” said Brihaspati.
Sachi accordingly approached Nahusha and said: “O Nahusha! I am the wife of Indra. My name is Sachi. My husband’s whereabouts are not known. Without knowing his whereabouts, how can I join you. Let us not hasten. Please give me some time.” requested Sachi. Nahusha gladly agreed for the proposal.
Then all the divine personalities and divine saints met Lord Vishnu and sought his advice. Lord Vishnu said “Let Indra perform Asvamedha Yaga. His Brahma Hatya sin will vanish.” said Vishnu.
Then all of them approached Indira. Indra performed Asvamedha Yaga and divided the sin among trees and rivers and mountains and the earth and women and got rid of the sin caused by killing Vrithra. Indira returned to Indra Loka. Indra looked at Nahusha who is sitting on the seat of India. Indira thought that Nahusha was unapproachable and unconquerable by virtue of the boons and powers the Rishis and divine bodies had granted to him. He thought that he was no match to Nahusha. Without informing anybody, even to Sachi, Indra went into exile.
Sachi was very much annoyed. She worshipped one deity named Upasruti. Upasruti appeared before Sachi. She took Sachi to a hill called Manju Hill situated to the northern side of Himalayas. They both entered into a pond and they found a lotus flower. In the stem of that lotus flower, Indra was hiding. sachi met her husband.
“How could you know that I am here?” asked Indra. Sachi told about Upasruti and prayed Indra to save her from Nahusha.
“Sachi! this is not the time for putting forth our valour. Nahusha is stronger than me. Nahusha has been strengthened by the powers of Rishis and divine bodies. Now he has a desire on you. It is his first down fall. We have to use it in our favour. Now you have to do one thing. You must do it secretly and must not disclose it to any person. After going to Nahusha in private, tell him that he must visit you mounted on a vehicle borne by Rishis. What will happen, you will see.” said Indra.
Sachi returnedback to Svarga Loka. Nahusha approached Sachi and requested her to quench his lust. “Nahusha! I request you for some time. It is coming to an end. I will certainly join you. But I have got a desire. You are great and more powerful than Indra. I wish to see you, coming to me on a vehicle borne by Rishis. I feel very happy.” said Sachi.
As Nahusha was under the influence of lust on Sachi, he could not use his brain and think about a while about the propriety of her request. His mind was filled with lust and pride. “Sachi! You are right. I am now Indra. I can only ascend a vehicle borne by Divine Rishis. None can get such an honour. I will fulfil your desire by coming to you on a palanquin borne by Seven Divine Rishis." said Nahusha
Immediately he called all the Rishis and ordered to bear his palanquin. They agreed for his foolish proposal. Since then Nahusha was moving in a palanquin borne by Rishis.
Sachi went to Brihaspati and said: “Gurudeva! The time limit fixed by me is expiring. I do not know what to do. Please save me” prayed Sachi.
“Dont worry Sachi. His down fall started with his proposal to move in a palanquin borne by Rishis. He will no longer retain his power.” said Brihaspati.
Then Brihaspati called Agni and requested him to find out the whereabouts of Indra. And endued with speed of the mind, Agni searched everywhere, mountains and forests, earth and sky, and came back to Brihaspati and said, “Brihaspati, nowhere in these places do I find Indra. The waters alone remain to be searched. I am always backward in entering the waters. I have no ingress therein. Fire rose from water, kshatriyas rose from the Brahmins; and iron had its origin in stone. The power of these which can penetrate all other things, has no operation upon the sources from which they spring. Hence I cannot enter water which is my birth place” said Agni.
"O Agni! You are the carrier of secred offerings (Havya vahana). I will give you the power to enter even Agni. Go and search” said Brihaspati. Accordingly, Agni entered the pond where Indra was in exile and informed the same to Brihaspati. Then Brihaspati along with other divine bodies went toIndra.
“O Indra! By killing Vrithra you have saved the universe. You are not at fault.Unnecessarily, you have relinquished your power. Now The human Nahusha, a king, having obtained the throne of heaven by virtue of the power of the divine saints, is giving us exceeding trouble. This is the proper time to pull him down.You have performed Asvamedha Yaga and relieved of your Brahma Hatya sin. At that time Nahusha was righteous. Hence you coult not get back your power. Now Nahusha lost his virtues and power by insulting the great sages and saints.Now you can conquer him and getback your Indra power." said Brihaspati.
In the meanwhile Yama, Varuna,Kubera and Chandra also arrived there. Indra was very happy. when Indra, was talking with the other deities upon the means of defeating Nahusha, there appeared at that spot the great saint Agastya.
Agastya said: "Indra! Dont worry. Nahusha has been hurled from the throne of heaven. You can now ascend the throne of Indra” said Agastya.
“O saint! I am very delighted to hear this. How Nahusha was unseated. Kindly tell me” asked Indira.
“Indra! listen. I will tell you how the wicked
Nahusha, intoxicated with pride of strength, had been unseated from
heaven. One day Nahusha was talking with the Brahmins and Rishis. The
Brahmins asked Nahusha whether the hymns in vedas, called Brahmanas,
are to be recited while sprinkling the cows and whether they are authentic.
Nahusha, who lost his senses by his pride of strength, said that Brahmanas
are not authentic. I condemned his words. He grew angry. Nahusha hit
me on my head with his foot. Hence I cursed him: “O Nahusha! You
have said that the sacred vedic hymns, Brahmanas as spurious. You have
insulted the great Rishis by making them to carry your palanquin. You
have hit me on my head with your feet. With these untoward acts, you
lost all your powers. You will fall from heaven to earth head-long and
will remain on earth for so many years as a great serpant."
" In this manner, Nahusha lost his power. The throne of Indra is ready for your occupation.” said saint Agastya.
Then Mahendra wroshipped Agastya. Followed by Yama, Varuna, Vaayu and other divine bodies Mahendra returned back to heaven and occupied the throne of heaven and lived with his wife Sachi happily.”
Therefore, Dharmaja, however high he may be, he has to undergo the woes and exile according to his fate. There is no exception even to Indra. You need not worry about it. The wicked Suyodhana will have his downfall as Nahusha and You will get back your kingdom as Indra.” said Salya.
Then Salya went to Hastinapura to meet Suyodhana as per his word.
Satyaki joined Dharmaja with one Akshouhini army.
(The above Information was taken from the Mahabharat published by T.T.D.).
The Chedi King, Dhrushtaketu, King Sahadeva son of Jarasandha, the five Kekaya Kings also joined Pandavas with one akshouhini army each. King Drupada, King of Pandya and the King of Hill Area also joined Pandavas with one akhouhini army each. In this manner, the Pandava army rose to seven akshouhinis.
In Hastinapura also, Suyodhana consolidated his army. Bhagadatta, Bhoorisrava, Salya, Sudakshina, the King of Kambhoja, Jayadhradha, the King of Singhu, King Neela, the king of Maahishmati, Yadava King Krutavarma, Vinda and Anuvinda, the kings of Avanti joined Suyodhana with one akshouni of army each. Besides them, many kings all over the earth joined suyodhana.
Thus the army of Suyodhana was 11 akhouhinis.
(The total army participated in Mahabhara was was 18 akshouhinis. The period of Mahabharata war was18 days. The Geeta spoken to by Sri Krishna during Mahabharata war contains 18 chapters.)
The Purohit sent by King Drupada reached Hastinapura. He met King Dhrutarashtra, Bheeshma, Drona, Krupacharya, and Vidura. Next day while King Dhrutarashtra was in his assembly, to the hearing of one and all, the Purohit spoke thus:
"King Dhrutarashtra and King Pandu are brothers. Pandavas are the sons of Pandu and Suyodhana and his brothers are the sons of Dhrutarashtra. It is settled law that they both have right over their ancestral property.You all know that it is just and proper and righteous.You also know pretty well about their past history. The attempts made by Kouravas to kill pandavas and how all those attempts were foiled. Pandavas performed Rajasooya Yaga and acquired and extended their Kingdom by their strength and prowess. But that Kingdom was grabbed by Suyodhana in dice game, with the approval of King Dhrutarashtra. Not satisfied with that, they dragged Droupadi to the open court and tried to remove her clothes. Pandavas were sent to forest and exile. Now Pandavas have completed their Aranya and Ajnatavasa as agreed. They are now claiming their share in the kingdom.
Now you have to put a word to Dhrutarashtra and see that the Kingdom is divided equally between brothers. Pandavas never intended to be inimical towards Kouravas. But they are not helpless. Now they got 7 akshouhini army strength. You may have 11 akshouhini army strength. The great warrior Bheemasena and Satyaki are equal to 1000 akshouhini army. Who will challenge Arjuna if he is on the warfront with his Gaandeeva? Besides all, Sri Krishna, the embodiment of Dharma is on their side. What else they want?
Therefore, please invite Pandavas, honor them and give their due share of kingdom. It is in the interests of one and all” said the prienst sent by Drupada.
Then Bheeshma rose to his feet and said:
“The Priest said well. It is so fortunate that Sri Krishna and Pandavas are intending to solve this problem peacefully. Though your words are bit harsh, but they are acceptable by one and all.We all know what had happened in this assembly on that fateful day. Pandavas should not be troubled any more. Dhrutarashtra should invite Pandavas, treat them as his sons and give their due share in the kingdom and honour them.Otherwise, all will perish in the flames of anger emanated from Arjuna.” said Bheeshma.
Then Karna rose to his feet and said: “Why you are repeating time and again, what had happened on that day. It is quite unnecessary. On behalf of Suyodhana, Sakuni played the Dice game with Dharmaja and defeated him. What is wrong in this? Without completing their period of 13 years, they are shamelessly coming forward to claim kingdom. Simply because they have the support of King Virata and King Drupada, they are forcing Suyodhana and threatening us with war. Shall we have to succumb to their threats and give away the kingdom. Is it just? Do you find this kind of justice anywhere in the world?” said Karna.
Bheeshma was very much annoyed with his words. “Karna! You are also speaking like a great hero. Dont you know that Arjuna defeated all of us in the battle few days back.You are now conquering him with your words. Do you remember, when Arjuna came to take back the cows captured by us, you asked Suyodhana about the calculation of 13 years and I made it clear to the hearing of Drona, Krupa and Asvathaama including you, I calculated and said that Pandavas have successfully completed their 13 years period as per the agreement. Did you not hear that? Why you are unnecessarly again making it an issue.” said Bheeshma with fierceful voice.
Then Dhrutarashtra intervened and pacified Bheeshma. Dhrutarashtra told the Priest:
“We have heard patiently what all you have said. We will discuss the matter amongst ourselves, and we will send a softspoken person to Dharmaja to express our views and thoughts. You can take leave” said Dhrutarashtra.
The priest was rewarded with many presents.The priest went back to Dharmaja and reported him what had happened.
Then Dhrutarashtra called for Sanjaya and told him:
“Sanjaya! Pandavas are in Upaplaavyamu. You have to start immediately to Upaplaavyamu and meet Dharmaja and Sri Krishna and told them like this:
"I am very happy that you have completed the period of 13 years in forests and in exile. All these unhappy incidents happened because of Suyodhana does not know what to do or what not to do." You also said that Pandavas are not at fault. I wish that all the brothers should live amicably like milk and water. Pandavas are entitled to enjoy their due share in the ancestral property.
I know Pandavas never believe me. But there is Dharmaja who is a virtuous man.We cannot deny their due share in the kingdom. If we deny, all the three universes will perish at the hands of Arjuna under the guidance of Sri Krishna as his charioteer. What about Bheema, Nakula, Sahadeva, Drupada and Satyaki? If they are aided by Pandayas and Kekaya kings, nobody will conquer them.
Therefore, you speak to Dharmaja while he was surrounded by his brothers, Sri Krishna, and his relatives and brothers, my words in pleasing manner and pacify them and mend them so that they should not think about war. You should make them to shed their anger and hatredness and restore peace in the kingdom. You start immediately” said Dhrutarashtra.
Accordingly, Sanjaya left Hastinapura and reached Upaplaavyam.
At first he met Sri Krishna and sought his blessings.
"Dharmaja! I am very happy to see you on the throne. Your paternal uncle, Dhrutarashtra also is very happy and sent me to enquire about your welfare” said Sanjaya.
Then Dharmaja replied: “O Sanjaya! With the blessings of King Dhrutarashtra, we are all safe here. I am very glad to know that he has sent you here to enquire about our welfare. Is Dhrutarashtra is doing well? What about his sons? Are they happy. Kindly convey my regards to Bheeshma, Drona, Krupa, Asvathaama. Are they being treated well by Suyodhana.
Are Brahmins being honoured in his kingdom. Kindly
tell me whether the charities made by us to Brahmins are still being
enjoyed by them. Whether Kouravas are remembering us and our prowess.
Whether the word of Karna is still being regarded in the palace of Suyodhana.
Sanjaya please tell me impartially whether anybody will face Arjuna
in war.” said Dharmaja.
With good and plain heart, you have made efforts for mediation and sent your emissary. But Dhrutarashtra is old. His mind is wavering. He is unable to say "No" to his sons. But he is suffering a lot in his mind. You have to understand his inability and helplessness.
Dharmaja! Will anybody grab the charities made to Brahmins? All the people of Hastinapura are always remembering you and your brothers and your prowess. Everybody says that you are peaceloving persons and you will never do any harm even to your enemies.
Dharmaja! In your presence, and in the presence of Sri Krishna, your brothers and other elders I will say some few words. Kindlyu listen. Your paternal uncle, Dhrutarashtra sent me to effect mediation between you and Suyodhana. Therefore, we have to act now wisely. You are all righteous people and you will never resort to any immoral acts. But due to the immoral acts of Suyodhana, Kuru Dynasty was blamed by one and all. You have to wipe out that blame.
War is destructive. It will never give happiness even to the conqueror. No wise man will think about war.War means killing of young and old, friends and relatives. Who else will enjoy happiness after losing all their kith and kin in war?.
When you are aided by Sri Krishna, Satyaki, Virata, Drupada, who else will defeat you in the war. On the side of Suyodhana, Bheeshma, Drona, Krupa, Asvathaama, Karna, Salya are ready to give up their lives for the sake of their King Suyodhana. The brothers and sons of Suyodhana, Somadatta, Baahlika are unconquerable. If these equal forces fight with each other, who will be benefited. In my view, it is not good for both sides.
Krishna I will salute you. Arjuna I pray you with
folded hands. I am requesting the other Pandavas and their friends and
relatives. Shed hatredness. Renounce anger. Be peaceful. Dharmaja! I
pray you to be peaceful. Bheeshma and Drona will be happy if this matter
is settled by peaceful means. It will be acclaimed by one and all in
the entire world.” said Sanjaya.
Sanjaya! My paternal uncle is preaching to follow right path while he is going on a wrong path. Now we are helpless and without kingdom. Is he mad to invite us and honour us. He paid a deaf ear to the words of elders even on that day.
He strongly believes that his son Suyodhana is a great warrior. He will even consume even poison if Suyodhana gives but he never heed any thing good. Had he followed the advise of Vidura, the matter will never reach this stage. Dhrutarashtra will always heed the words of Suyodhana, Dussaasana, Karna and Sakuni and never pay heed to others words. That is his mentality. Knowing fully well about his mentality, you are speaking like this.
Suyodhana believes Karna and his prowess. He is never afraid of Sri Krishna and Arjuna. Bheeshma and others knows much about war. You have praised us and our vigour and valour. Still you are saying that we are unable to defeat kouravas. Please leave your partisan attitude.
Whether we get victory in the war or not is quite immaterial. You are a righteous person. Listen to me. We will maintain patience. So far, we have patiently tolerated all the insults. Hereinafter also we will keep patience. We will never cause harm or hardship to anybody. Believe us.
If at all Dhrutarashtra has soft corner towards us and wants to maintain relationship with us, let him invite us and convice his sons to give us our due share in the kingdom. We will satisfy if we are given Indra Prastha or any other city.” said Dharmaja.
Then Sanjaya said: “Dharmaja! I know your patience. You will tolerate any amount of mistakes. Truth and non-violance alone are your riches. In case Kouravas deny your share in the kingdom, I know you will prefer even for begging than waging a war.
You are a virtuous person who has performed Rajasooya Yaga. Your history shall not be tainted with violence. With your patience and tolerance, you made the world to curse those who insulted you and sent you and your wife and brothers to forests. You suffered a lot in the forests. Is it just and proper for such a great person like you to resort to such a heinous thing like a war and kill your kith kin.
Therefore, Dharmaja, shed your anger and retain your name and fame as Ajatasatru.” said Sanjaya.
Dharmaja said: “Sanjaya! What all you said is correct. Some deeds which appear to be righteous in their outward apearance, a deep study will reveal that they are wrongs. But some wrong deeds will transform themselves into righteous things in course of time. If you want to curse me, you can do so after proving that what I did was wicked and sinful.
Certainly anger should be avoided. Non-violence is greatest virue. But killing those who are bad and sinful is a great virtue. I think war is the duty of Kshatriya. Any how, Lord Sri Krishna is there to guide us and tell us good and bad, proper and improper. Under his guidance only Kingdoms like Yadu, Bhoja, Andhaka, Vrushni, Srunjaya and Kekaya are flourishing. His word is final for us” said Dharmaja.
Then Sri Krishna stood up and said: “Sanjaya! I am the well wisher of Pandavas. Dhrutarashtra is the well wisher of his sons. Now he became wiser and sent you to enquire about the welfare of Pandavas.You also expressed his words coupled with your opinion in a pleasing and obliging manner. We were very much pleased with your words propagating peace. Everything appears to be good in its outward appearance. But as per the words of Dharmaja, it appears that an peaceful and amicable settlement is impossible. Ofcourse, Dharmaja is right in his own way.
We know about Suyodhana and Dhrutarashtra. You told us about his sweet words and generosity.
Will Pandavas satsify with his generosity and remain silent without asking fortheir due share in the kingdo? Without digging out the past, Pandavas are desirous to live peacefully and amicably with Kouravas. It shows their greatness and compassion. If the Kouravas deny their due share in the Kingdom, will it be unfaithful on their part to wage war against Kouravas?
Sanjaya! in my opinion, it is better to wage war instead of living with sufferings and insults. Dharmaja asked you whether war is the virtue of Kshatriyas. It is a well known principle that Kshatriyas will always give to others but will never beg others for anything. Besides that Kshatriyas are the guardians of Varna Ashrama Dharmas. Such Kshatriyas will never give up their own dharma viz, war and beg others. All these Dharmas and Principles are formulated only to safeguard the interests of virtuous persons who are enjoying their legally earned assets in a righteous manner.
Sanjaya! you would have told all these dharmas even to Kauravas also. It is well known to all how wicked they are while trying to remove the clothes of Droupadi in a fully crowded assembly, in the presence of her husbands. How many have played dice game in this world? Will any body treat their defeated partners like this? Tell Sanjaya” asked Sri Krishna.
“Sri Krishna! If you too keep all these things in mind, how can we solve this problem amicably.” asked Sanjaya.
Sri Krishna continued: “On that day, in that assembly, Bheeshma, Drona, Krupa and other elders were present. Why did they not open their mouths? Even Dhrutharashtra did not speak a single word against his wicked son. Had he condemned the action of his son on that day itself, the entire universe would have felt happy. How did a father-in-law like Dhrutarashtra tolerate the situation while Dussasana was dragging Droupadi to the fully crowded assembly, abusing her in a filthy language? Did he not hear the cries of Droupadi? He is only blind but not deaf. Having heard the cries of Droupadi, how he kept quiet? Now, he sent you to enquire about their welfare.
You know, Sanjaya, when Droupadi was dragged to a public place, and when everybody kept quiet, knowing fully well that it was wrong, she saved herself. Is there no end for their sufferings?
Sanjaya! you were also present in that assembly. Did you not hear what Karna said on that day.
“Here you have no husbands. They have abandoned you by losing the bet in the dice game. You can choose anybody in this assembly as your husband.”
How much mental agony Droupadi suffered on hearing those heart breaking words, don’t you know? Has any body come forward to console her?
Besides that, Dussasana heckled Droupadi that “Though your husbands are here, they are worthless. None is here to come to your rescue”.
Yes Sanjaya. Pandavas are useless and worthless. But what they achieved by using those words in open assembly, I do not know.
Therefore, for the present, an amicable settlement cannot be achieved. However, I will come to Hastinapura, after due deliberations with Pandavas. If Kouravas agree for my proposal and part with half share in the kingdom, they will remain alive. I hope they will act wisely and accept my proposal. If they act wickedly, they will be digging their own grave. Their greediness and wickedness will destroy them.
Sanjaya! I will tell one more thing. Duryodhana is a big tree of evil passions; Karna is its trunk; Sakuni is its branches; Dussasana forms its abundant blossoms and fruits; while the wise king Dhritarashtra is its roots.
Yudhishthira is a big tree of righteousness; Arjuna is its trunk; and Bhima is its branches; the sons of Madri are its abundant flowers and fruits; and its roots are myself and religion and religious men. Without fear or favour tell me which is better.
If King Dhrutarashtra and his sons constitute a forest, Pandavas are Lions wandering in the forest. If lions leave the forest, the forest will be cut. If forest is cut, Lions cannot live. Therefore, both Kouravas and Pandavas should live amicably. Kng Dhrutarashtra should shower love and affection on Pandavas also and treat them as his own sons. Then Pandavas also will be faithful to Dhrutarashtra and friendly with Kouravas.
Any how I will come to Hastinapura. I will see whether Suyodhana will accept my proposal. Then we will decide future course of action. You tell these words to Dhrutarashtra.” said Sri Krishna.
Sanjaya patiently heard what all has been said by Sri Krishna. “Well Sri Krishna. I think my visit is fruitful. I request all of you to grant me leave to leave this assembly. I will go back to Hastinapura. Dharmaja! I think there is nothing wrong in what I said” asked Sanjaya.
“Yes Sanjaya! There is nothing wrong in what you have said. I never heard immoral or improper words through your mouth. I regard you equal to Vidura. You convey my salutations to Bheeshma,Drona, Krupacarya and also to my paternal uncle, Dhrutarashtra.
Convey my best wishes to Dussaasana. Tell Suyodhana that I enquired about his welfare. Convey my best wishes to my friend, Asvadhaama. Convey my regards to Bahlika, Somadatta and BhooriSrava.
Convey my salutations, regards and best wishes to all the kings arrived there to help Suyodhana. You also tell my paternal uncle in the open assembly thus: “We are living happily with your blessings. Even whle we were young, you have given us our due share in the kingdom. Even now also kindly solve this problem amicably and avert the wicked war and unwanted killings. The people, kings and Brahmins will praise you.
Then tell my grand father, Bheeshma: “Inspite of all insinuations meted out by them, Pandavas are peaceloving and they never think about war.”
Tell Suyodhana that though we were capable of attacking
them, we have forbore all the insults offered to us in the midst of
the assembly and we have no mind to take revenge against them. Let Suyodhana
and his brothers not die in the unnecessary war. Let them not greedy
about others' property. Let him give our due share in the kingdom. Let
us all live together forgetting our past rivalry.
If for any reason, Suyodhana is unable to give back our half share in the kingdom, let him give Kusa Sthali, Vruksha Sthali, Vaasanti and Vaaranaavatamu. Atleast with this arrangement, peace and prosperity will flourish among the brothers. Our friends and relatives and the Kings of Kuru, Panchala, Yadava, Matsya will live happily.
Please explain all these things both to my paternal uncle, Dhrutarashtra and my brother Suyodhana.” said Dharmaja.
“Dharmaja! I will do as you say. I hope Dhrutarashtra will do justice to you.” said Sanjaya.
Then Arjuna spoke to Sanjaya: “My friend Sanjaya! you are my bosom friend since my childhood. I know what you are. On that fateful day, the word of Dharmaja stopped Bheema. Even today also the position is same. Suyodhana need not worry about me and Bheema as long as we are controlled by Dharmaja. You can go” said Arjuna.
After taking leave from one and all, Sanjaya left Upaplavyamu for Hastinapura.