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Arjun Vanavasa

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  1. Arjun Vanavasa
  2. ==============
  3.  
  4. (Extract from 'The Mahabharata' of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa BOOK 1 "Adi-parva"
  5.  
  6. Translated into English Prose from the Original Sanskrit Text
  7.  
  8. by Kisari Mohan Ganguli [1883-1896]
  9. ========================
  10.  
  11. "Vaisampayana said, 'The Pandavas, having established such a rule,
  12. continued to reside there. By the prowess of their arms they brought many
  13. kings under their sway. And Krishna became obedient unto all the five
  14. sons of Pritha, those lions among men, of immeasurable energy. Like the
  15. river Saraswati decked with elephants, which again take pleasure in that
  16. stream, Draupadi took great delight in her five heroic husbands and they
  17. too took delight in her. And in consequence of the illustrious Pandavas
  18. being exceedingly virtuous in their practice, the whole race of Kurus,
  19. free from sin, and happy, grew in prosperity.
  20.  
  21. "After some time, O king, it so happened that certain robbers lifted the
  22. cattle of a Brahmana, and while they were carrying away the booty, the
  23. Brahmana, deprived of his senses by anger, repaired to Khandavaprastha,
  24. and began to reprove the Pandavas in accents of woe. The Brahmana said,
  25. 'Ye Pandavas, from this your dominion, my kine are even now being taken
  26. away by force by despicable and wicked wretches! Pursue ye the thieves.
  27. Alas, the sacrificial butter of a peaceful Brahmana is being taken away
  28. by crows! Alas, the wretched jackal invadeth the empty cave of a lion! A
  29. king that taketh the sixth part of the produce of the land without
  30. protecting the subject, hath been called by the wise to be the most
  31. sinful person in the whole world. The wealth of a Brahmana is being taken
  32. away by robbers! Virtue itself is sustaining a diminution! Take me up by
  33. the hand, ye Pandavas for I am plunged in grief!"
  34.  
  35. "Vaisampayana continued, 'Dhananjaya, the son of Kunti, heard those
  36. accents of the Brahmana weeping in bitter grief. As soon as he heard
  37. those accents, he loudly assured the Brahmana, saying, 'No fear!' But it
  38. so happened that the chamber where the illustrious Pandavas had their
  39. weapons was then occupied by Yudhishthira the just with Krishna. Arjuna,
  40. therefore, was incapable of entering it or, going alone with the
  41. Brahmana, though repeatedly urged (to do either) by the weeping accents
  42. of the Brahmana. Summoned by the Brahmana, Arjuna reflected, with a
  43. sorrowful heart, Alas, this innocent Brahmana's wealth is being robbed! I
  44. should certainly dry up his tears. He hath come to our gate, and is
  45. weeping even now. If I do not protect him, the king will be touched with
  46. sin in consequence of my indifference; our own irreligiousness will be
  47. cited throughout the kingdom, and we shall incur a great sin. If,
  48. disregarding the king, I enter the chamber, without doubt I shall be
  49. behaving untruthfully towards the monarch without a foe. By entering the
  50. chamber, again, I incur the penalty of an exile in the woods. But I must
  51. overlook everything. I care not if I have to incur sin by disregarding
  52. the king. I care not if I have to go to the woods and die there. Virtue
  53. is superior to the body and lasteth after the body hath perished!'
  54.  
  55. ===============
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