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Keechak-Vadha

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  1. Keechak-Vadha
  2. =============
  3.  
  4. (Extract from 'The Mahabharata' of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa BOOK 4 "Virata-parva"
  5.  
  6. Translated into English Prose from the Original Sanskrit Text
  7.  
  8. by Kisari Mohan Ganguli [1883-1896]
  9. ========================
  10.  
  11. "Thereat king Yudhishthira, apprehensive
  12. of discovery, squeezed his thumbs and commanded Bhima to forbear. And
  13. Bhima who then looked like an infuriate elephant eyeing a large tree, was
  14. thus forbidden by his elder brother. And the latter said, 'Lookest thou,
  15. O cook, for trees for fuel. If thou art in need of faggots, then go out
  16. and fell trees.' And the weeping Draupadi of fair hips, approaching the
  17. entrance of the court, and seeing her melancholy lords, desirous yet of
  18. keeping up the disguise duty-bound by their pledge, with eyes burning in
  19. fire, spoke these words unto the king of the Matsyas...."
  20.  
  21. (long discussion with king Virata and Yudhisthir, who is sitting there in disguise)
  22.  
  23. "Then the courtiers, having learnt every thing, applauded
  24. Krishna, and they all exclaimed, 'Well done!' 'Well done!' and censured
  25. Kichaka. And the courtiers said, 'That person who owneth this large-eyed
  26. lady having every limb of hers endued with beauty for his wife,
  27. possesseth what is of exceeding value and hath no occasion to indulge in
  28. any grief. Surely, such a damsel of transcendent beauty and limbs
  29. perfectly faultless is rare among men. Indeed, it seems to us that she is
  30. a goddess.'
  31.  
  32. "Vaisampayana continued, 'And while the courtiers, having beheld Krishna
  33. (under such circumstances), were applauding her thus, Yudhishthira's
  34. forehead, from ire, became covered with sweat. And that bull of the Kuru
  35. race then addressed that princess, his beloved spouse, saying, 'Stay not
  36. here, O Sairindhri; but retire to the apartments of Sudeshna. The wives
  37. of heroes bear affliction for the sake of their husbands, and undergoing
  38. toil in ministering unto their lords, they at last attain to region where
  39. their husbands may go. Thy Gandharva husbands, effulgent as the sun, do
  40. not, I imagine, consider this as an occasion for manifesting their wrath,
  41. inasmuch as they do not rush to thy aid. O Sairindhri, thou art ignorant
  42. of the timeliness of things, and it is for this that thou weepest as an
  43. actress, besides interrupting the play of dice in Matsya's court. Retire,
  44. O Sairindhri; the Gandharvas will do what is agreeable to thee. And they
  45. will surely display thy woe and take the life of him that hath wronged
  46. thee.' Hearing these words the Sairindhri replied, 'They of whom I am the
  47. wedded wife are, I ween, extremely kind. And as the eldest of them all is
  48. addicted to dice, they are liable to be oppressed by all.'"
  49. ===========================
  50.  
  51. (Draupadi appeals to Bhima)
  52.  
  53. "the daughter of Drupada entered her husband's quarters, saying, 'How canst
  54. thou sleep while that wretched commander of Virata's forces, who is my
  55. foe, yet liveth, having perpetrated today that (foul act)?'
  56.  
  57. "Vaisampayana continued, 'Then the chamber where Bhima slept, breathing
  58. hard like a lion, being filled with the beauty of Drupada's daughter and
  59. of the high-souled Bhima, blazed forth in splendour. And Krishna of sweet
  60. smiles, finding Bhimasena in the cooking apartments, approached him with
  61. the eagerness of a three-year old cow brought up in the woods,
  62. approaching a powerful bull, in her first season, or of a she-crane
  63. living by the water-side approaching her mate in the pairing season. And
  64. the Princess of Panchala then embraced the second son of Pandu, even as a
  65. creeper embraces a huge and mighty Sala on the banks of the Gomati. And
  66. embracing him with her arms, Krishna of faultless features awaked him as
  67. a lioness awaketh a sleeping lion in a trackless forest. And embracing
  68. Bhimasena even as a she-elephant embraceth her mighty mate, the faultless
  69. Panchali addressed him in voice sweet as the sound of a stringed
  70. instrument emitting Gandhara note. And she said, 'Arise, arise! Why dost
  71. thou, O Bhimasena, lie down as one dead? Surely, he that is not dead,
  72. never suffereth a wicked wretch that hath disgraced his wife, to live.'
  73. And awakened by the princess, Bhima of mighty arms, then rose up, and sat
  74. upon his couch overlaid with a rich bed. And he of the Kuru race then
  75. addressed the princess--his beloved wife, saying, 'For what purpose hast
  76. thou come hither in such a hurry? Thy colour is gone and thou lookest
  77. lean and pale. Tell me everything in detail. I must know the truth.
  78. Whether it be pleasurable or painful, agreeable, or disagreeable, tell me
  79. all. Having heard everything, I shall apply the remedy. I alone, O
  80. Krishna, am entitled to thy confidence in all things, for it is I who
  81. deliver thee from perils again and again! Tell me quickly what is thy
  82. wish, and what is the purpose that is in thy view, and return thou to thy
  83. bed before others awake.'"
  84.  
  85. "Draupadi said, 'What grief hath she not who hath Yudhishthira for her
  86. husband? Knowing all my griefs, why dost thou ask me? The Pratikamin
  87. dragged me to the court in the midst of an assembly of courtiers, calling
  88. me a slave. That grief, O Bharata, consumeth me. What other princess,
  89. save Draupadi, would live having suffered such intense misery? Who else,
  90. save myself, could bear such second insult as the wicked Saindhava
  91. offered me while residing in the forest? Who else of my position, save
  92. myself, could live, having been kicked by Kichaka in the very sight of
  93. the wicked king of the Matsyas? Of what value is life, O Bharata, when
  94. thou, O son of Kunti, dost not think me miserable, although I am
  95. afflicted with such woes? That vile and wicked wretch, O Bharata, known
  96. by the name of Kichaka, who is the brother-in-law of king Virata and the
  97. commander of his forces, every day, O tiger among men, addresses me who
  98. am residing in the palace as a Sairindhri, saying, 'Do thou become my
  99. wife.'--Thus solicited, O slayer of foes, by that wretch deserving to be
  100. slain, my heart is bursting like a fruit ripened in season. Censure thou
  101. that elder brother of thine addicted to execrable dice, through whose act
  102. alone I have been afflicted with such woe. Who else, save him that is a
  103. desperate gambler, would play, giving up kingdom and everything including
  104. even myself, in order to lead a life in the woods? If he had gambled
  105. morning and evening for many years together, staking nishkas by thousand
  106. and other kinds of substantial wealth, still his silver, and gold, and
  107. robes, and vehicles, and teams, and goats, and sheep, and multitudes of
  108. steeds and mares and mules would not have sustained any diminution. But
  109. now deprived of prosperity by the rivalry of dice, he sits dumb like a
  110. fool, reflecting on his own misdeeds. Alas, he who, while sojourning, was
  111. followed by ten thousand elephants adorned with golden garlands now
  112. supports himself by casting dice. That Yudhishthira who at Indraprastha
  113. was adored by kings of incomparable prowess by hundreds of thousands,
  114. that mighty monarch in whose kitchen a hundred thousand maid-servants,
  115. plate in hand, used every day to feed numerous guests day and night, that
  116. best of liberal men, who gave (every day) a thousand nishkas, alas, even
  117. he overwhelmed with woe in consequence of gambling which is the root of
  118. all evil, now supporteth himself by casting dice. Bards and encomiasts by
  119. thousands decked with ear-rings set with brilliant gems, and gifted with
  120. melodious voice, used to pay him homage morning and evening. Alas, that
  121. Yudhishthira, who was daily waited upon by a thousand sages of ascetic
  122. merit, versed in the Vedas and having every desire gratified, as his
  123. courtiers,--that Yudhishthira who maintained eighty-eight thousands of
  124. domestic Snatakas with thirty maid-servants assigned unto each, as also
  125. ten thousand yatis not accepting anything in gift and with vital seed
  126. drawn up,--alas, even that mighty king now liveth in such guise. That
  127. Yudhishthira who is without malice, who is full of kindness, and who
  128. giveth every creature his due, who hath all these excellent attributes,
  129. alas--even he now liveth in such guise. Possessed of firmness and
  130. unbaffled prowess, with heart disposed to give every creature his due,
  131. king Yudhishthira, moved by compassion, constantly maintained in his
  132. kingdom the blind, the old, the helpless, the parentless and all others
  133. in his dominions in such distress. Alas, that Yudhishthira becoming a
  134. dependant and a servant of Matsya, a caster of dice in his court, now
  135. calls himself Kanka. He unto whom while residing at Indraprastha, all the
  136. rulers of earth used to pay timely tribute,--alas, even he now begs for
  137. subsistence at another's hands. He to whom the kings of the earth were in
  138. subjection,--alas, even that king having lost his liberty, liveth in
  139. subjection to others. Having dazzled the entire earth like the sun by his
  140. energy, that Yudhishthira, alas, is now a courtier of king Virata. O
  141. Pandu's son, that Pandava who was respectfully waited upon in court by
  142. kings and sages, behold him now waiting upon another. Alas, beholding
  143. Yudhishthira a courtier sitting beside another and breathing adulatory
  144. speeches to the other, who can help being afflicted with grief? And
  145. beholding the highly wise and virtuous Yudhishthira, undeserving as he is
  146. of serving others, actually serving another for sustenance, who can help
  147. being afflicted with grief? And, O hero, that Bharata who was worshipped
  148. in court by the entire earth, do thou now behold him worshipping another.
  149. Why then, O Bharata, dost thou not regard me as one afflicted with
  150. diverse miseries, like one forlorn and immersed in a sea of sorrow?'"
  151.  
  152. ....
  153.  
  154. "Vaisampayana continued, 'Then that slayer of hostile heroes, Vrikodara,
  155. covering his face with those delicate hands of his wife marked with
  156. corns, began to weep. And that mighty son of Kunti, holding the hands of
  157. Draupadi in his, shed copious tears. And afflicted with great woe, he
  158. spoke these words.'"
  159.  
  160. "Bhima said, 'Fie on the might of my arms and fie on the Gandiva of
  161. Falguni, inasmuch as thy hands, red before, now become covered with
  162. corns. I would have caused a carnage in Virata's court but for the fact
  163. that Kunti's son eyed me (by way of forbidding it), or like a mighty
  164. elephant. I would, without ado, have crushed the head of Kichaka
  165. intoxicated with the pride of sovereignty. When, O Krishna, I beheld thee
  166. kicked by Kichaka, I conceived at that instant a wholesale slaughter of
  167. the Matsyas. Yudhishthira, however, forbade me by a glance, and, O
  168. beauteous lady, understanding his intention I have kept quiet."
  169.  
  170. ....
  171.  
  172. (Bhima then proceeds to kill Kichaka, exposing the presence of the Pandava's in Matsya Kingdom)
  173. =============
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