LXXIII The holy one said, I have heard Sanjaya's words and now I have heard thine. I know all about his purposes as also of thyself. Thy heart inclineth to righteousness, whereas their inclination is towards enmity. That which is obtained without war is of great value to thee. A long-life Brahmacharya is not, O lord of earth, the duty of a Kshatriya. Indeed, men of all the four orders have said that a Kshatriya should never subsist on alms; victory or death in battle, hath been eternally ordained by the Creator; even that is the duty of a Kshatriya.
Cowardice is not applauded in a Kshatriya. Subsistence, O Yudhishthira, is not possible by Cowardice, O thou of mighty arms. Display thy prowess, and vanquish, O chastiser of foes, thy enemies. The covetous son of Dhritarashtra, O chastiser of foes, living for a long time with many kings has by affection and friendship become very powerful. Therefore, O king, there is no hope of making his peace with thee. They regard themselves strong, having Bhishma and Drona and Kripa and others with them. As long, O king, as thou, O grinder of foes, wilt behave with them mildly, they will withhold thy kingdom. Neither from compassion, nor from mildness, nor from a sense of righteousness, will the sons of Dhritarashtra, O chastiser of foes, fulfil thy wishes. This, O son of Pandu, is another proof that they will not make peace with thee. Having pained thee so deeply by making thee put on a Kaupina, they were not stung with remorse.
In the very sight of the Grandsire Bhishma and Drona and the wise Vidura, of many holy Brahmanas, the king, the citizens, and all the chief Kauravas, the cruel Duryodhana, deceitfully defeating thee at dice, thee that are charitable, gentle, self-restrained, virtuous, and of rigid vows was not, O king, ashamed of his vile act. Do not, O monarch, show any compassion for that wretch of such disposition. They deserve death at the hands of all, how much more then of thee, O Bharata? O Bharata, with what improper speeches did Duryodhana with his brothers, filled with gladness and indulging in many a boast, afflict thee with thy brothers! He said, The Pandavas now have nothing of their own in this wide earth. Their very names and lineage are extinct. In time, which is never-ending, defeat will be theirs. All their virtues having merged in me, they will now be reduced to the five elements' While the match at dice was in progress, the wretched Dussasana of most wicked soul, seizing that weeping lady by the hair dragged princess Draupadi, as if she had no protectors, to the assembly of kings, and in the presence of Bhishma and Drona and others, repeatedly called her, cow, cow! Restrained by thee, thy brothers of terrible prowess, bound also by the bonds of virtue, did nothing to avenge it; and after thou hadst been exiled to the woods, Duryodhana having uttered such and other cruel words, boasted amid his kinsmen.
Knowing thee innocent, they that were assembled sat silent in the assembly-house, weeping with choked voice. The assembled kings with the Brahmanas did not applaud him for this. Indeed, all the courtiers present there censured him. To a man of noble descent, O grinder of foes, even censure is death. Death is even many times better than a life of blame. Even then, O king, he died when, upon being censured by all the kings of the earth, he felt no shame! He whose character is so abominable may easily be destroyed even like a rootless tree standing erect on a single weak root. The sinful and evil-minded Duryodhana deserveth death at the hands of every one, even like a serpent. Slay him, therefore, O killer of foes, and hesitate not in the least. It behoveth thee, O sinless one, and I like it too, that thou shouldst pay homage unto thy father Dhritarashtra and also unto Bhishma.
Going thither I will remove the doubts of all men who are still undecided as to the wickedness of Duryodhana. Thither in the presence of all kings I will enumerate all those virtues of thine that are not to be met in all men, as also all the vices of Duryodhana. And hearing me speak beneficial words, pregnant with virtue and profit, the rulers of various realms will regard thee as possessed of a virtuous soul, and as a speaker of truth, while at the same time, they will understand how Duryodhana is actuated by avarice. I will also tell the vice of Duryodhana, before both the citizens and the inhabitants of the country, before both the young and the old, of all the four orders that will be collected there. And as thou askest for peace no one will charge thee sinful, while all the chiefs of the earth will censure the Kurus and Dhritarashtra; and when Duryodhana will be dead in consequence of his being forsaken by all men, there will be nothing left to do. Do then what should now be done. Going unto the Kurus, I shall strive to make peace without sacrificing thy interests, and marking their inclination for war and all their proceedings, I will soon come back, O Bharata, for thy victory. I think war with the enemy to be certain. All the omens that are noticeable by me point to that. Birds and animals set up frightful screeches and howls at the approach of dusk.
The foremost of elephants and steeds assume horrible shapes; the very fire exhibiteth diverse kinds of terrible hues! This would never have been the case but for the fact of the world-destroying Havoc's self coming into our midst! Making ready their weapons, machines, coats of mail, and cars, elephants, and steeds, let all thy warriors be prepared for battle, and let them take care of their elephants and horses and cars. And, O king, collect everything that thou needest for the impending war. As long as he liveth, Duryodhana will, by no means, be able to give back unto thee. O king, that kingdom of thine which, abounding in prosperity, have before been taken by him at dice