FOURTH CHAPTER (IN PART)
Saint Vaisampaayana continued to tell Janamejaya, the
story of Mahabharata.
After taking leave from all the elders in the Kuru Assembly, Sri Krishna
came out of the assembly building. All the elders in the Kuru assembly
accompanied him to give send off. At the main gate Daruka was waiting
with the chariot. Sri Krishna took leave from all the elders with folded
hands and requested them to remain there.
Dhrutarashtra told Sri Krishna "Krishna! You have, , indeed, witnessed
all with your own eyes. Nothing now is unknown to you. Seeing my endeavour
to bring about peace between the Kurus, and the Pandavas, in fact, knowing
the state in which I am, you should not entertain any suspicion regarding
me. I have no sinful feelings towards the Pandavas. You know what words
have been spoken by me to Suyodhana. The Kauravas and all the kings of
the Earth, also know, that I have made every endeavour to bring about
peace." said Dhrutarashtra.
Then Sri Krishna told Baahlika, Bheeshma, Drona, Krupa and other elders
"'You have yourselves witnessed all that has happened in the assembly
of the Kurus, how wicked Duryodhana, like an uneducated wretch, left the
court from anger, and how king Dhritarashtra also described himself to
be powerless. With the permission of you all, I shall now go back to Yudhishthira
and tell him what had happened." said Sri Krishna.
Then he mounted the chariot. Some of the elders also followed his chariot.
All of them went to the apartment of Kunti. Krishna told her what had
happened in the Kuru assembly and asked her to convey her message, if
any, to Pandavas. Then Kunti said thus:
"Kshatriyas should trust their vigour and valour and other ways of
living are prohibited for Kshatriyas. Foolish people live as they like
in some way or other. Pandavas tried for reconciliation but in vain. Kshatriyas
have to live with the prowess of their arms. If Arjuna will not show his
vigour and valour in the battle, he will be belittled. How Bhima has accepted
for this mediation proposal. Krishna! Pandavas might have follishly thought
about mediation. How you have come here at their instance? By God's grace
it failed. Krishna! Did Pandavas forget the insult meted out by Droupadi
in the Kuru assembly? According to the prevailing Dharma, they might have
gone to forests at that time. But now what had happened to them? Are they
not free now? If Kouravas refuse to give their due share in the kingdom,
Is it not their duty to fight for their due share? Is it not their duty
to chastise Kouravas while they are acting against Dharma. Krishna! tell
Pandavas in my own words. I am happy here. Let them live as heroes but
not as cowards." said Kunti.
Then Krishna requested all the elders who followed him upto the apartment
of Kunti to stop. He requested Karna to give him send off upto the outskirts
of the city and stretched his hand towards Karna. Karna holding the hand
of Krishna boarded his chariot. Karna's chariot followed the chariot of
Krishna. Krishna's chariot left Hastinapura.
Then Dhrutarashtra returned back to his assembly and discussed the events
that had happened. Bheeshma said:
"O King! have you heard what Kunti said. We are very much astonished
on hearing those words. Krishna also supported her. We do not know what
will happen!" said Bheeshma. Then Bheeshma and Drona addressed Suyodhana:
"Suyodhana! It is not too late. Immediately proceed to Upaplaavyam
and meet your eldler brother Dharmaja. Or meet Sri Krishna on the way
and settle the matter amicably. You know we are at the threshold of our
last days. At this late age, why you are forcing us to enter war field.
We told what all we can tell. Then it is your will and pleasure. We are
leaving." So saying Bhishma and Drona left the assembly. Dhrutarashtra
also retired to his apartment.
Sri Krishna along with Karna left Hastina pura and travelled for a distance.
At a place where there were none, Krishna stopped his chariot and alighted
the chariot along with Karna.
"Karna! I know you respect elders. Kindly listen to me carefully.
While Kunti was virgin, you were born to her through Sun God, by chanting
the Mantra initiated by Saint Doorvasa. Hence you are the son of Kunti
and eldest of Pandavas. If Dharmaja knows about this, he will prostrate
before you. He will enthrone you. You wil become the King and Emperor
of the entire Kuru kingdom. While you are coming on a chariot, Yudhishtira
will stand by your side with a vinjaamaram (fan like object). Bheema will
hold the umbrella. Arjuna will be your charioteer. Kings of Panchala,
Yadava and other kingdoms will accompany you. Abhimanyu and others will
be by your side. . You will enjoy royal pleasures like Mahendra and rule
the entire Universe. There is one more gift for you. Along with her five
husbands, Droupadi will accept you as her sixth husband. It is true"
said Krishna secretely only for the ears of Karna.
(In this context it is pertinent to note what has been written in the
original texts. Because, everybody will doubt how Sri Krishna, a man of
such an eminent stature, will speak in such a manner about Droupadi.
In Sanskrit text written by Vyasa it was written thus:
"shashTE chatvaam tathaa kaalE droupadyupagamishyati".
In Telugu Maha Bharata written by Tikkana it was written thus:
'Paancaala raaja putriyu samchitamuga
ninnu pondu naarava varusan"
Here, there are two words, "pondu", "varasa".
The meanings of these words are flexible.
There is a famous play in Telugu "Paandavodyogamu" written by
Tirupati Venkata kavulu. It was enacted, by eminent artistes, in Andhra
Pradesh and many parts of the country and world at large, thousands of
In that play, it was written like this.
"ninna sati penDli yaaDu naarava bhartaga soorya nandanaa"
the words "pendli" (marriage), and "bharta" (husband)
are heard only in this play and no where else.
Therefore, in my view, it may not be the intention of
Sri Krishna that Droupadi will marry Karna as her sixth husband. What
he meant might be that Droupadi will be in the marriageable order (Devar).
If we take the meaning of the above words like this, it will not affect
the high stature of Sri Krishna.).
On hearing the words of Sri Krishna patiently, Karna replied thus: "Krishna!
I also heard about my birth secret long back. Kunti delivered me while
she was virgin and left me in the river mercilessly. One soota brought
me up and gave me life along with his sons, equivalently. His wife also
showered her love and affection upon me by giving her breast as if I was
her own son. As all the rituals, to be performed in Soota community, were
performed by Soota and his wife. I also married a Soota girl as my wife.
You have just now told that I will always respect elders and act according
to Dharma. Therefore, I am bound to discharge my duties as a dutiful son
to my Soota father and mother. Forgetting all these things, If I proclaim
now, suddenly, that i am a Kshatriya and approach Pandavas, will it be
called Dharma and justice? Tell me. I got number of relations, brothers,
friends in Soota community. How can I leave them suddenly. Besides all
these things, Suyodhana, without considering me as Soota, honoured my
vigour and valour, and enthroned me as a King for Anga Kingdom and he
is more affectionate towards me than all his 99 brothers. When we are
at the threshold of war, how I can leave him mercilessly? Will it be proper
on my part? Moreover, Suyodhana is more confident that I am more powerful
than Arjuna. How can I betray him? If I join Pandavas and do not fight
with Arjuna, the entire world will laugh at me and Arjuna. Does it not
amount to insult to Arjuna?
Krishna! you told me what you meant. Kindly keep it in your heart and
dont reveal these facts to outside world. If Yudhishtira knows that I
am his elder brother, he will refuse to be the King of Kuru Dynasty. In
my view, Dharmaja is the proper person to rule the entire earth. Dharmaja
is performing Dharma Yajna. All the four brothers are Ritviks.You are
their chief. Pandavas will kill Kouravas and burn them in the Sacred fire.
We all will be killed in that Dharma Yajna to be performed in kuruskhetra
which is a Dharma Kshetra and we will attain higher paths." said
"Karna! you are not paying heed to my words. You bear grudge and
jealousy on Arjuna. Either you will be defeated or killed at the hands
of Arjuna. You will never win Arjuna. Pandavas will triumph. You go back
to Hastinapura and tell Bheeshma and others to fix a date for war."
"Krishna! what you predict is correct. Hence I refuse to join Pandavas.
Along with me, Sakuni and Dussaasana are the root cause for this war.
If they also join Pandavas, I will certainly join. As that is not possible,
this is also impossible. If I win the war, I will see you back. Otherwise,
I will meet you in heaven. Permit me to leave." said Karna and left
that place on his chariot. Krishna also left Hastina for Upaplaavyam.
At that time, Vidura went to the apartment of Kunti. "Kunti! War
is imminent to destroy the entire Kuru Dynasti. Nobody cared for the words
of Krishna. Nobody tried to stop war. We do not know what will happen"
said Vidura. Kunti kept quiet. Vidura went back to his apartment.
But Kunti was with a wavering mind. "Is it Dharma to kill ones own
kith and kin for the sake of kingdom and royal pleasures? Waging war is
nothing but acquiring sorrow. How can it be a pleasure and free from troubles.
Karna will always be burning with jealous and anger. If I approach Karna
and tell him his birth secret and sow seeds of love and affection in his
mind towards Pandavas, what will happen. Will Karna give up war? Any how
I should meet Karna." thought Kunti.
Kunti went to Karna while Karna was performing morning rituals on the
banks of river Ganges. Karna saw Kunti sitting there at a distance. Karna
went near her, told his name and Gotra and introduced himself to Kunti.
"May I know the purpose for which you have come here" asked
"Karna! you are the son of a Soota. You were not born in Soota community.
Prior to my marriage, while I was staying in the house of Kunti Bhoja,
God Surya appeared before me and blessed me with a male child. You were
born to me. As per the existing Dharma, you are also the son of King Pandu
and you are Kshatriya. You need not serve others like Soota. You are the
eldest of all. You are the king and emperor of this Kuru Dynasty. Rule
the entire universe. You need not remain as Radheya any more." said
At that time, an invisible voice came from Lord Surya echoing "It
On hearing all this, Karna said:
"What you said is true. I believe it. Kindly listen to my words also.
Since my birth, on account of you, I was denied with all the Kshatriya
rituals. Now is it proper for you to say that I am Kshatriya and I am
your son. I was born to you through Sun god. But that fact was kept in
darkness. How can I bring it to light now? While Arjuna was getting name
and fame as a great warrior, if I join them now, people will think that
I joined Pandavas having afraid of Arjuna. King Suyodhana enthroned me
as King of Anga kingdom. Now, how can I leave him while the war is imminent.
I am living at the mercy of Suyodhana. I cannot betray him. If I do so,
the entire Kshatriya community will curse me. Therefore, I will fight
with Pandavas for the sake of Suyodhana. But one thing is certain. I will
never kill Dharmaja, Bheema, Nakula and Sahadeva and I will never leave
Arjuna without killing him. Even if I am killed, you will have five sons.
Even otherwise, you will have five sons, including me. You will never
have six sons." said Karna.
"Karna! Nobody will decide the fate. I will agree for your proposal.
You can kill Arjuna but leave the rest." said Kunti and left that
Sri Krishna arrived at Upaplaavyam. Yudhishtira and others received Sri
Krishna at the outskirts and brought him to their palace. Sri Krishna
told Yudhishtira "Suyodhana and others are deaf and blind. They did
not heed my words. War is certain. I will narrate in detail what had happened
in Kuru assembly, later" so saying Krishna went to his apartment.
On that night, Sri Krishna went to Dharmaja. "Dharmaja! I addressed
Dhrutarashtra in a very friendly manner. But Suyodhana paid a deaf ear
and heckled me. I need not repeat them as it is of no use. Dhrutarashtra
tried his level best to convince his son Suyodhana but in vain. I also
addressed the Kuru assembly about King Santana, birth of Dhrutarashtra,
expansion of Kuru Kingdom by your father, King Pandu, yours' performing
of Rajasooya Yaga, playing of wicked dice game and your exile to forests
and your woes in the forests, all in detail. I also said that if your
due share in the kingdom is not given, there will be total disaster of
Kuru Vamsa. Other elders, sages and saints assembled there, also pleaded
for an amicable settlement. Suyodhana left the assembly along with his
followers. Dhrutarashtra called for Gandhari. Gandhari also chastised
Suyodhana. But Suyodhana never heed her words. I also spoke some harsh
words in anger but later remained peaceful. Suyodhana tried to manhandle
me. I exhibited some miracles. Yudhishtira, I tried my level best for
a peaceful settlement. But all my efforts are of no use. Now the war is
certain. You can do as you like" said Sri Krishna.
"You all have heard what Krishna said. Make preparations for war."
said Yudhishtira to his brothers.
"Krishna! you know much better than us. Please decide the future
course of action. We all abide by your decision" said Dharmaja.
"Yudhishtira! It is not only my word, but the word of your mother
Kunti also. She also told me to convey that the immediate task before
you is war." said Krishna.
"Not only Sri Krishna but our mother also decided to wage war. Now
we need not discuss about Dharma and Adharma. With the words of our mother,
Kunti, all our doubts are dispelled. Let us proceed with war" said
"Krishna! we are having seven akshouhini army. Who will head that
army, we have to find out. An eminent personality, who is equivalent to
Bhishma, should be our Chief of Army. Find out such a personality"
MAHA BHARAT – UDYOGA PARVA – Chapter 4Part
FOURTH CHAPTER (INPART).