by Kisari Mohan Ganguli | 1,056,585 words | ISBN-10: 8121505933
The English translation of the Mahabharata is a large text describing ancient India. It is authored by Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa and contains the records of ancient humans. Also, it documents the fate of the Kauravas and the Pandavas family. Another part of the large contents, deal with many philosophical dialogues such as the goals of life. Book...
'This O Bharata, that I am going to tell you is another great grief of mine. You should not blame me, for I tell you this from sadness of heart. Who is there whose grief is not enhanced at sight of you, O bull of the Bharata race, engaged in the ignoble office of a cook, so entirely beneath you and calling thyself as one of Vallava caste? What can be sadder than this, that people should know you as Virata’s cook, Vallava by name, and therefore one that is sunk in servitude? Alas, when your work of the kitchen is over, you humbly sittest beside Virata, calling thyself as Vallava the cook, then despondency seizeth my heart. When the king of kings in joy makes you fight with elephants, and the women of the inner apartments (of the palace) laugh all the while, then I am sorely distressed. When you fightest in the inner apartments with lions, tigers, and buffaloes, the princess Kaikeyi looking on, then I almost swoon away.
And when Kaikeyi and those maidservants, leaving their seats, come to assist me and find that instead of suffering any injury in limbs mine is only a swoon, the princess speaks unto her women, saying,
’surely, it is from affection and the duty begot of intercourse that this lady of sweet smiles grieves for the exceedingly powerful cook when he fights with the beasts. Sairindhri is possessed of great beauty and Vallava also is eminently handsome. The heart of woman is hard to know, and they, I fancy, are deserving of each other. It is, therefore, likely that the Sairindhri invariably weepes (at such times) on account of her connection with her lover. And then, they both have entered this royal family at the same time. And speaking such words she always upbraids me. And beholding me wroth at this, she suspects me to be attached to you.'
When she speaks thus, great is the grief that I feel. Indeed, on beholding you, O Bhima of terrible prowess, afflicted with such calamity, sunk as I already am in grief on account of Yudhishthira. I do not desire to live. That youth who on a single car had vanquished all celestials and men, is now, alas, the dancing master of king Virata’s daughter. That Pritha’s son of immeasurable soul, who had gratified Agni in the forest of Khandava, is now living in the inner apartments (of a palace) like fire hid in a well. Alas, the bull among men, Dhananjaya, who was ever the terror of foes, is now living in a guise that is despaired by all. Alas, he whose mace-like arms have been cicatrized in consequence of the strokes of his bow-string, alas that Dhananjaya is passing the days in grief covering his wrists with bracelets of conchs. Alas, that Dhananjaya the twang of whose bow-string and the sound of whose leathern fences made every foe tremble, now entertains only gladdened women with his songs.
Oh, that Dhananjaya whose head was formerly decked with a diadem of solar splendour, is now wearing braids ending in unsightly curls. O Bhima, beholding that terrible bowman, Arjuna, now wearing braids and in the midst of women, my heart is stricken with woe. That high-souled hero who is master of all the celestial weapons, and who is the repository of all the sciences, now wears ear-rings (like one of the fair sex). That youth whom kings of incomparable prowess could not overpower in fight, even as the waters of the mighty ocean cannot overleap the continents, is now the dancing-master of king Virata’s daughters and waits upon them in disguise.
O Bhima, that Arjuna the clatter of whose car-wheels caused the entire earth with her mountains and forests, her mobile and immobile things to tremble, and whose birth dispelled all the sorrows of Kunti, that exalted hero, that younger brother of thine, O Bhimasena, now makes me weep for him. Beholding him coming towards me, decked in golden ear-rings and other ornaments, and wearing on the wrists bracelets of conchs, my heart is afflicted with despondency. And Dhananjaya who has not a bowman equal unto him on earth in prowess, now passes his days in singing, surrounded by women. Beholding that son of Pritha who in virtue, heroism and truth, was the most admired in the world, now living in the guise of a woman, my heart is afflicted with sorrow. When I behold, the godlike Partha in the music-hall like an elephant with rent temples surrounded by she-elephants in the midst of females, waiting before Virata the king of the Matsyas, then I lose all sense of directions. Surely, my mother-in-law does not know Dhananjaya to be afflicted with such extreme distress. Nor does she know that descendant of the Kuru race, Ajatasatru, addicted to disastrous dice, to be sunk in misery.
O Bharata, beholding the youngest of you all, Sahadeva, superintending the kine, in the guise of a cowherd, I grow pale. Always thinking of Sahadeva’s plight, I cannot, O Bhimasena, obtain sleep,—what to speak you of the rest? I do not know, O mighty-armed one, what sin Sahadeva may have committed for which that hero of unbaffled prowess suffers such misery. O foremost of the Bharatas, beholding that beloved brother of thine, that bull among men, employed by Matsya in looking after his kine, I am filled with woe. Seeing that hero of proud disposition gratifying Virata, by living at the head of his cowherds, attired in robes dyed in red. I am attacked with fever. My mother-in-law always applauds the heroic Sahadeva as one possessed of nobility, excellent behaviour, and rectitude of conduct. Ardently attached to her sons, the weeping Kunti stood, embracing Sahadeva while he was about to set out (with us) for the great forest. And she addressed me saying, "Sahadeva is bashful and sweet-speeched, and virtuous. He is also my favourite child. Therefore, O Yajnaseni, tend him in the forest day and night. Delicate and brave, devoted to the king, and always worshipping his elder brother, do you, O Pancali, feed him thyself.'
O Pandava, beholding that foremost of warriors, Sahadeva, engaged in tending kine, and sleeping at night on calf-skins, how can I bear to live? He again who is crowned with the three attributes of beauty, arms, and intelligence, is now the superintendent of Virata’s steeds. Behold the change brought on by time. Granthika (Nakula), at sight of whom hostile hosts fled from the field of battle, now trains horses in the presence of the king, driving them with the speed. Alas, I now see that handsome youth wait upon the gorgeously decked and excellent Virata, the king of the Matsyas, and display horses before him. O son of Pritha, afflicted as I am with all these hundred kinds of misery on account of Yudhishthira, why dost you, O chastiser of foes, yet deem me happy? Listen now to me, O son of Kunti, as I tell you of other woes far surpassing these. What can be sadder to me than miseries so various as these should emaciate me while you are alive.'"