Created by Jijith Nadumuri at 23 Jul 2011 13:16 and updated at 23 Jul 2011 13:16


vp.5.38 The son of Pritha, Arjuna, halted the people he had brought from Dwaraka in the Panchanada country 5, in a rich and fertile spot; but the desires of the robbers (of the neighbourhood) were excited, when they observed so many widowed females, also such great riches, in the possession of Arjuna alone. Inflamed by their cupidity, they assembled the villainous abhiras 6, and said to them, "Here is this Arjuna, immensely rich, and having numerous women, whose husbands have been slain, passing confidently amongst us; a disgrace to all brave men. His pride is raised by the death of Bhishma, Drona, Jayadratha, Karna, and others, whom he has slain: he does not know the prowess of simple villagers. Up, up; take your long thick staves: this stupid fellow despises us. Why should we not lift up our arms?" So saying, they rushed, armed with cudgels and clods of earth, upon the people, who were without their lord. Arjuna encountered them, and said to them in derision, "Retire, wretches, ignorant of what is right, unless ye are desirous of dying." But they disregarded his menaces, and seized his treasures and his women, the wives of Viswaksena. Thereupon Arjuna began to brace his heavenly bow Gandiva, irresistible in battle; but it was in vain; for,
vp.5.38 in spite of all his efforts to tighten it, it continued flaccid: neither could he call to recollection the incantations of the superhuman weapons. Losing all patience, he launched, as best he might, his shafts upon the enemy; but those shot from Gandiva merely scratched the skin. The arrows given him by Agni to carry certain destruction now were themselves destroyed, and were fatal to Arjuna in his contest with herdsmen. He endeavoured to recall the might of Krishna; animated by which, his numerous arrows had overthrown mighty kings; but he tried in vain, for now they were put aside by the peasants, or they flew at random, wide of their aim. His arrows being expended, he beat the banditti with the horn of his bow; but they only laughed at his blows: and the barbarians, in the sight of Arjuna, carried off all the women of the Vrishni and Andhaka tribes, and went their way 7.
vp.5.38 Arjuna, having sighed deeply, related to Vyasa all the circumstances of his discomfiture, and continued; Hari", who was our strength, our might, our heroism, our prowess, our prosperity, our brightness, has left us, and departed. Deprived of him, our friend, illustrious, and ever kindly speaking, we have become as feeble as if made of straw. Purushottama, who was the living vigour of my weapons, my arrows and my bow, is gone. As long as we looked upon him, fortune, fame, wealth, dignity never abandoned us: but Govinda is gone from amongst us. That Krishna has quitted earth, through whose power Bhishma, Drona, the king of Anga, Duryodhana, and the rest, were consumed. Not I alone, but Earth, has grown old, miserable, and lustreless, in the absence of the holder of the discus. Krishna, through devotion to whom Bhishma and other mighty men perished like moths in the flame of my valour, is gone; and I am now overcome by cowherds. The bow Gandiva, that was famed throughout the three worlds, has been foiled, since he has departed, by the sticks of peasants: the myriads of women over whom I was lord have been carried off from me by thieves, armed but with cudgels: the whole household of Krishna, O Krishna 8, has been forcibly carried away by peasants, who with their staves have put my strength to shame. That I am shorn of my lustre I do not marvel: it is wonderful that I live. Surely, grandsire, I alone am so shameless as to survive the stain of indignity inflicted by the vile."

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