Jan 102015


(Viduragamana Parva continued)

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Asked by Dhritarashtra to give his opinion, Bhishma
replied, ‘O Dhritarashtra, a quarrel with the Pandavas is what I can
never approve of. As thou art to me, so was Pandu without doubt. And the
sons of Gandhari are to me, as those of Kunti. I should protect them as
well as I should thy sons, O Dhritarashtra! And, O king, the Pandavas are
as much near to me as they are to prince Duryodhana or to all the other
Kurus. Under these circumstances a quarrel with them is what I never
like. Concluding a treaty with those heroes, let half the land be given
unto them. This is without doubt, the paternal kingdom of those foremost
ones of the Kuru race. And, O Duryodhana, like thee who lookest upon this
kingdom as thy paternal property, the Pandavas also look upon it as their
paternal possession. If the renowned sons of Pandu obtain not the
kingdom, how can it be thine, or that of any other descendant of the
Bharata race? If thou regardest thyself as one that hath lawfully come
into the possession of the kingdom, I think they also may be regarded to
have lawfully come into the possession of this kingdom before thee. Give
them half the kingdom quietly. This, O tiger among men, is beneficial to
all. If thou actest otherwise, evil will befall us all. Thou too shall be
covered with dishonour. O Duryodhana, strive to maintain thy good name. A
good name is, indeed, the source of one’s strength. It hath been said
that one liveth in vain whose reputation hath gone. A man, O Kaurava,
doth not die so long as his fame lasteth. One liveth as long as one’s
fame endureth, and dieth when one’s fame is gone. Follow thou, O son of
Gandhari, the practice that is worthy of the Kuru race. O thou of mighty
arms, imitate thy own ancestors. We are fortunate that the Pandavas have
not perished. We are fortunate that Kunti liveth. We are fortunate that
the wretch Purochana without being able to accomplish his purpose hath
himself perished. From that time when I heard that the sons of
Kuntibhoja’s daughter had been burnt to death, I was, O son of Gandhari,
ill able to meet any living creature. O tiger among men, hearing of the
fate that overtook Kunti, the world doth not regard Purochana so guilty
as it regardeth thee. O king, the escape, therefore, of the sons of Pandu
with life from that conflagration and their re-appearance, do away with
thy evil repute. Know, O thou of Kuru’s race, that as long as those
heroes live, the wielder of the thunder himself cannot deprive them of
their ancestral share in the kingdom. The Pandavas are virtuous and
united. They are being wrongly kept out of their equal share in the
kingdom. If thou shouldst act rightly, if thou shouldst do what is
agreeable to me, if thou shouldst seek the welfare of all, then give half
the kingdom unto them.'”

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