Bhishma Charitra

by Kartik Pandya | 2011 | 48,028 words | ISBN-10: 8171101966

The English translation of the Bhishma Charitra, an important Mahakavya (epic poem) consisting of 20 cantos. This book details the life and legends of Devavrata Bhishma: a major character in the Mahabhara and relative to both the Pandavas and Kauravas. The Bhisma Charitra (Bhismacaritam) was written by Dr. Hari Narayan Dikshit, an important author...

Canto 13 - Description of the Cause of Broil Between Pāṇḍavas and Kauravas

1. I believe that sugar is liked and is delighted by all in taste. But, on eating too much, that sugar only gives birth to the disease called diabetes in the body of an eater.

2. There is no doubt in the fact that food makes the body robust. But, on eating too much, that food only spoils the system of digestion of one who eats.

3. It is true that clarified butter increases the longevity; and is liked by all while eating. But, on eating too much, this clarified butter only gives birth to the disease sprue by name in the body of one who eats it.

4. Television is worth watching and I do not doubt in the fact that it increases knowledge too. But, on watching too much, this television only decays the eye-sight of an onlooker.

5. Liquor indeed gives frolicsomeness (wantonness); and brings energy to the sense-organs. But, on drinking too much, this liquor only destroys the consciousness and discretion of a person who drinks it.

6. The sensual love (pleasure) is indeed beautiful (lovely); and its enjoyment is more tempting. But, it becomes the cause of decay of intelligence when it is enjoyed constantly.

7. It is true that a beautiful woman is winsome; and it is also the fact that the youths like the sensual enjoyment with beautiful woman the most. But, that beautiful woman only becomes the cause of the disease tuberculosis by name in a person who constantly gets involved in sensual enjoyment.

8. Intercourse, constantly done, like that of flames, increases because of the sensual enjoyment of wives like that of clarified butter, fire of lust, alas, burnt into ashes the body of Vicitravīrya like that of wood.

9. The king Vicitravīrya, who was too much involved in sexual pleasure, became the victim of the last stage of tuberculosis. As a result, all the efforts made by doctors became futile; and he left for heaven making all cry after him.

10. In the royal family, there suddenly spread the darkness on getting quenched the lamp of Kuru-race by the storm of tuberculosis.

11. The great queen Satyavatī was filled with sorrow on seeing this tender legislation of the almighty God. The child suffers the results of the actions performed by his father.

12. She thought, ‘This Bharata clan, which is continued since last so many years, is, alas, getting vanished because of me. O Lord! How can I protect this race of my husband?

13. She, thinking so for a long time in her mind, called Bhīṣma; and insisted him again and again to get married.

14. Bhīṣma, who was very firm in his resolution, did not accept this suggestion of Satyavatī. The cerebrotonic (single-minded) person does not give up his resolution even in great calamities.

15. Thereupon, the great queen Satyavatī became extremely sad on assuming her to be the cause of the destruction of Kuru race. Thereafter, she, for the protection and growth of the race of her husband, recalled her son Vedavyāsa, who was begotten by her when she was unmarried.

16. She, asking the great soul and righteous Bhīṣma; and with his permission, called her son Vedavyāsa Kṛṣṇadvaipāyana.

17. Vedavyāsa accepted the responsibility of continuing the race of the husband of his mother. As a result, he begot two sons (to the wives of Vicitravīrya) through Niyogavidhi.

18. Blind Dhṛtarāṣṭra was born to the wife Ambikā of Vicitravīrya. Pāṇḍu was born to the wife Ambālikā respectively; and Vidura was born in the same manner to the maid-servant of Ambikā.

19. Blind Dhṛtarāṣṭra though being the eldest could not get the price-hood. Therefore, Pāṇḍu attained the royal throne of Kuru race.

20. Bhīṣma arranged the marriage of Dhṛtarāṣṭra with Gāndhārī, that of Pāṇḍu with Kunti and Mādrī with an intension of protecting the family.

21. Kunti gave birth to Yudhiṣṭhira, Bhīma and Arjuna; Mādrī gave birth to Nakula and Sahadeva; and Gāndhārīto hundred sons by name Duryodhana etc.

22. Gāndhārī also gave birth to a daughter Duḥśalā by name. And the wife of Vidura, happy in every way, also gave birth to many sons.

23. The king Pāṇḍu died immediately when just got involved in the activity of sensual pleasure with the great queen Mādrī dut to the curse of sage Kindama. Then, the great queen Mādrī also left this world after him giving his two sons in the hands of the great queen Kunti.

24. Thereafter, blind Dhṛtarāṣṭra only became the king of Kuru race. His sons were jealous of the sons of Pāṇḍu.

25. Yudhiṣṭhira, the son of Pāṇḍu, being the eldest among all the princes and because of being more virtuous, was made the prince. He immediately became the swan of the minds of wise persons like that of Mānasarovara.

26. But, Duryodhana could not bear Yudhiṣṭhira as the future king of the Kuru race. Therefore, he made his father Dhṛtarāṣṭra’s mind away from the Pāṇḍavas.

27. As a result, Dhṛtarāṣṭra suddenly get embroiled into the trap due to infatuations towards his sons; and started thinking of removing Pāṇḍavas away.

28. Duryodhana treacherously tried to burn the Pāṇḍavas alive in the (lac palace) fort of the city Vārṇāvata by name after discussing with Karṇa, Śakuni and Duḥśāsana.

29. These Pāṇḍavas, protected by Vidura from that conflagration, started passing their time in forests and cities in the disguise form. Here Duryodhana and others became happy on knowing them burnt into the fire.

30. Vidura, seeing Bhīṣma sad because of the news that Pāṇḍavas were burnt alive in that arson, told him everything in solitude. The destiny is very powerful, for this reason only Kunti, who has given birth to the brave sons like Bhīma and Arjuna, is also experiencing the pain created by enemies, this thought came together in the minds of Bhīṣma and Vidura.

31. Those Pāṇḍavas, wandering here and there, reached to the Pāṅcāla country. There Arjuna won Draupadī, the princess of Pāṅcāla in the Svayaṃvara.

32. On this occasion there was a great war of Arjuna with Kauravas and many other kings. But, Bhīma and Arjuna immediately defeated them.

33. Draupadī became the common wife of all the five Pāṇḍava brothers by chance. As a result, those Pāṇḍavas set a marvellous example in the history of marriage-life.

34. On this occasion only, Pāṇḍavas were introduced to Balarāma and Śrīkṛṣṇa. The king Drupada became extremely happy on knowing the fact that a person who fulfilled the condition of shooting the fish in the Svayaṃvara was not any Brāhmin but Arjuna, the son of Pāṇḍu, only; and he welcomed all the Pāṇḍavas in his royal court and honoured them very well.

35. Thereupon, the five Pāṇḍavas were duly married to Draupadī in the presence of Balarāma and Śrīkṛṣṇa. But, the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra got afflicted by such progress of Pāṇḍavas.

36. This news speedily spread amongst people in the same manner a drop of oil spreads in the water. The wise persons like Droṇa, Bhīṣma and Vidura became extremely happy through this news.

37. Dhṛtarāṣṭra, being made to understand by Bhīṣma and others, even though he was not wishing, getting happy sent Vidura to the capital of Pāṅcālanareśa in order to call the Pāṇḍavas back.

38. As a result, the five Pāṇḍavas with the permission of Pāṅcālarāja, Drupada, entered into the city Hastināpura along with Balarāma, Śrīkṛṣṇa, mother Kunti and the wife Draupadī.

39. The people of Hastināpura, seeing those Pāṇḍavas so affluent, became very happy. At that time, Bhīṣma, Droṇācārya and Kṛpācārya gained the highest happiness.

40. Dhṛtarāṣṭra was tensed because of being partial towards his sons though he was welcoming his married nephews.

41. It is a matter of great distress that Duryodhana, being scorched by the fire of aversion, could not bear the arrival of Pāṇḍavas in Hastināpura and their marriage with Draupadī.

42. At this situation, not only Dhṛtarāṣṭra, but his wife Gāndhārī was also tensed. Therefore, the king Dhṛtarāṣṭra distributed the kingdom for the welfare of his sons.

43. He gave the deserted forest Khāṇḍavaprastha by name to the Pāṇḍavas as a share; and the consecrated ceremony of Yudhiṣṭhira was performed there.

44. Pāṇḍavas with the help of Lord Kṛṣṇa established a grand, divine and mind-pleasing city Indraprastha by name.

45. Righteous king Yudhiṣṭhira was always keeping his subjects happy while staying in the city. After sometime he with the help and support of younger brothers organised a Rājasūya sacrifice.

46. Duryodhana, who has come there on the invitation, was pained very much by seeing the prosperity of Pāṇḍavas. At that time, his maternal uncle Śakuni, the king of Gāndhāra, convinced him very much; but his fire of jealous did not get extinguished.

47. Thereafter, the chief of all, crooked Śakuni, to make him happy, mentioned his strength of abducting the entire property of Pāṇḍavas through the game of dice.

48. Duryodhana became happy through this thought of Śakuni; but Dhṛtarāṣṭra, being aware of the strength of Pāṇḍavas, did not consider it proper.

49. After this, Dhṛtarāṣṭra, though being stopped by Vidura, because of an obstinacy of Duryodhana, arranged the game of dice by allowing Duryodhana to walk on the curved path.

50. Śakuni, playing on behalf of Duryodhana won the entire property of Yudhiṣṭhira in the game of dice. Then, he put his younger brothers, consequently himself and being conquered at last great queen Draupadī on the stake.

51. Śakuni, with the help of guile, won everything that of Pāṇḍavas in the game of dice; seeing and hearing this, the king Dhṛtarāṣṭra became happy within heart, plunged into the illusion because of partiality towards his sons.

52. The younger brother of Duḥśāsana, with his permission, brought the great queen Draupadī in the royal assembly by dragging her hair and understanding her to be a common woman won in the game of dice.

53. By the inspiration of Karṇa, he started removing the sārī;of that great queen Draupadī. Then Draupadī being poor called out Lord Kṛṣṇa.

54. Lord Kṛṣṇa, hearing the pathetic call of the great queen Draupadī, immediately came there; and without appearing there he made her sārī; long.

55. Duḥśāsana got tired by pulling the sārī; of the great queen Draupadī; but he could not pull even the border of that sārī;. Does any jackal become able to complete the flow of river Gaṅgā by drinking it? Never.

56. In that assembly, arrogant Duryodhana showed his thigh to Draupadī for sitting on it. It was like an unwise jackal who wished to make a helpless lioness his wife.

57. Bhīmasena could not tolerate the above mentioned insults of the great queen Draupadī. Any giant elephant cannot tolerate the rudeness of any bullock for a long time.

58. At that time, his eyes became red because of anger. He took the terrible oaths of drinking Duḥśāsana’s blood and breaking the thighs of Duryodhana.

59. At that time only, the crows started making unpleasant sound in the houses of the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra; and inauspicious jackals also started making unpleasant sound loudly; by hearing which the king Dhṛtarāṣṭra was frightened.

60. Therefore, Dhṛtarāṣṭra solicitated Draupadī, being scorched in the flames of fire of insult, to ask for a boon to give her consolation quickly.

61. Extremely intelligent Draupadī made her five husbands free from the servility of Duryodhana in the form of a boon. Dhṛtarāṣṭra returned the entire property to the Pāṇḍavas, which they have lost in the game of dice, with an intension to make them satisfied.

62. And, he immediately sent the Pāṇḍavas off for Indraprastha by persuading them all. Duryodhana became unhappy by seeing this all.

63. Blunt Duryodhana, having discussed with Śakuni and Karṇa etc., made his father King Dhṛtarāṣṭra agree to win the Pāṇḍavas again treacherously.

64. At that time, Dhṛtarāṣṭra, though being stopped by Grandsire Bhīṣma, Droṇācārya, Kṛpācārya, Vidura and many persons, again invited Pāṇḍavas for playing the game of dice.

65. This time Śakuni on the behalf of Duryodhana kept this condition of the game of dice that, “The defeated party will surely stay in the forest for twelve years. Thereafter, that will stay in any city in the disguise form for a year”.

66. “If that party becomes successful in fulfilling this condition, then he will become able to acquire its kingdom back. Otherwise it has to follow the same condition in order to acquire own kingdom.”

67. “As long as this condition of twelve years in forest and a year incognito stay, does not get over, till then the victorious party will rule the kingdom of a defeated one.”

68. Śakuni, having put this condition from the side of Duryodhana, threw the dice; and in this way that crooked one made the Pāṇḍavas destitute within a moment.

69. The five Pāṇḍavas, declared defeated with the permission of elders and by taking their wife Draupadī with them; with the determination of walking on the path of righteousness, started moving towards the forest.

70. The king Yudhiṣṭhira along with his wife Draupadī and younger brothers sent back all the folks of the town coming after them by persuading them; and then entered into a dense forest.

71. Lord Kṛṣṇa and Vedavyāsa timely gave consolation to the Pāṇḍavas who were worshipping the Lord, righteousness, patience and valour in the forest.

72. Those all Pāṇḍavas, believing righteousness alone as their property, having spent their twelve years in the forest, passed the thirteenth year in the house of King Virāṭa in the disguise form.

73. Duryodhana could not find out the Pāṇḍavas even though trying very much during the period of incognito. As a result, that sinful one started remaining always pained and worried.

74. At last, on hearing the news of the slaughter of Kīcaka, his hope was raised of finding Pāṇḍavas. Therefore, by taking Bhīṣma Pitāmaha, Droṇācārya, Kṛpācārya, Karṇa and Suśarmā together and by dividing his army in two groups, he besieged the cows of the king Virāṭa.

75. In that battle, Arjuna, protecting the cows of King Virāṭa, alone defeated them all. But that chief of knaves, Duryodhana did not feel shame.

76. He accused the Pāṇḍavas breaching the incognito;and being under the influence of greed, he denied them to return their kingdom which was their right.

77. Duryodhana was spoilt by caressing of Dhṛtarāṣṭra. Therefore, he did not respect the opinion of even Grandsire Bhīṣma, which was proving the completion of incognito period that of Pāṇḍavas. A seed does not grow on a stone.

78. The king Virāṭa respectfully worshipped the Pāṇḍavas who have come out after completing their state of incognito. He also arranged the marriage of his daughter Uttarā with Abhimanyu, the son of Arjuna.

79. In this marriage, Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Lord of Pāṇḍavas, Balarāma, king Drupada etc. gathered in it. All of them got assembled in the court of the king Virāṭa on the completion of marriage ceremony.

80. In that meeting, the sufficient discussion was made on the topic of gaining back the abducted state of Pāṇḍavas from Duryodhana. At last, Lord Kṛṣṇa made a resolution that a messenger should be sent to the king Dhṛtarāṣṭra in this matter.

81. But, Duryodhana, plunged in the arrogance of greed, aversion and heroism (strength), rejected the message of Pāṇḍavas which was sent through a messenger. Grandsire Bhīṣma etc. convinced him very much to return the Pāṇḍavas their righteous kingdom. But he did not respect to his talk also.

82. As a result, both the parties (Kauravas and Pāṇḍavas) called the kings of their respective parties for helping in an impending war. There the number of troops of kings assembled in both the parties became eighteen Akṣauhiṇī; (an ancient division of armies).

83. Lord Kṛṣṇa on the behalf of Pāṇḍavas went Himself to the court of the king Dhṛtarāṣṭra with the proposal of collaboration. But, He also could not succeed. The outcome of one’s deed is indeed the strongest.

84. After this, gallant Pāṇḍavas and rare Kauravas, desirers of war, mighty and introduced here in this verse gradually (in Dvandva compound)–As engaged in righteousness and unrighteousness, of auspicious and inauspicious conduct, protector of good deeds as well as bad deeds, following the path of truth and untruth, depositer of merits and demerits respectively, descended in the battle-field.

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