- Arjun Vanavasa
- (Extract from 'The Mahabharata' of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa BOOK 1 "Adi-parva"
- Translated into English Prose from the Original Sanskrit Text
- by Kisari Mohan Ganguli [1883-1896]
- "Vaisampayana said, 'The Pandavas, having established such a rule,
- continued to reside there. By the prowess of their arms they brought many
- kings under their sway. And Krishna became obedient unto all the five
- sons of Pritha, those lions among men, of immeasurable energy. Like the
- river Saraswati decked with elephants, which again take pleasure in that
- stream, Draupadi took great delight in her five heroic husbands and they
- too took delight in her. And in consequence of the illustrious Pandavas
- being exceedingly virtuous in their practice, the whole race of Kurus,
- free from sin, and happy, grew in prosperity.
- "After some time, O king, it so happened that certain robbers lifted the
- cattle of a Brahmana, and while they were carrying away the booty, the
- Brahmana, deprived of his senses by anger, repaired to Khandavaprastha,
- and began to reprove the Pandavas in accents of woe. The Brahmana said,
- 'Ye Pandavas, from this your dominion, my kine are even now being taken
- away by force by despicable and wicked wretches! Pursue ye the thieves.
- Alas, the sacrificial butter of a peaceful Brahmana is being taken away
- by crows! Alas, the wretched jackal invadeth the empty cave of a lion! A
- king that taketh the sixth part of the produce of the land without
- protecting the subject, hath been called by the wise to be the most
- sinful person in the whole world. The wealth of a Brahmana is being taken
- away by robbers! Virtue itself is sustaining a diminution! Take me up by
- the hand, ye Pandavas for I am plunged in grief!"
- "Vaisampayana continued, 'Dhananjaya, the son of Kunti, heard those
- accents of the Brahmana weeping in bitter grief. As soon as he heard
- those accents, he loudly assured the Brahmana, saying, 'No fear!' But it
- so happened that the chamber where the illustrious Pandavas had their
- weapons was then occupied by Yudhishthira the just with Krishna. Arjuna,
- therefore, was incapable of entering it or, going alone with the
- Brahmana, though repeatedly urged (to do either) by the weeping accents
- of the Brahmana. Summoned by the Brahmana, Arjuna reflected, with a
- sorrowful heart, Alas, this innocent Brahmana's wealth is being robbed! I
- should certainly dry up his tears. He hath come to our gate, and is
- weeping even now. If I do not protect him, the king will be touched with
- sin in consequence of my indifference; our own irreligiousness will be
- cited throughout the kingdom, and we shall incur a great sin. If,
- disregarding the king, I enter the chamber, without doubt I shall be
- behaving untruthfully towards the monarch without a foe. By entering the
- chamber, again, I incur the penalty of an exile in the woods. But I must
- overlook everything. I care not if I have to incur sin by disregarding
- the king. I care not if I have to go to the woods and die there. Virtue
- is superior to the body and lasteth after the body hath perished!'
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