Mahabharata (English)

by Kisari Mohan Ganguli | 2,566,952 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...

Section 20

"Gandhari said, ‘He whose might and courage were regarded, O Keshava, as a one and half times superior to those of his sire and you, he who resembled a fierce and proud lion, he who, without a follower, alone pierced the impenetrable array of my son, he who proved to be the death of many, alas, he now sleeps there, having himself succumbed to death! I see, O Krishna, the splendour of that son of Arjuna, of that hero of immeasurable energy, Abhimanyu, has not been dimmed even in death. There, the daughter of Virata, the daughter-in-law of the wielder of gandiva, that girl of faultless beauty overwhelmed with grief at sight of her heroic husband, is indulging in lamentations! That young wife, the daughter of Virata, approaching her lord, is gently rubbing him, O Krishna, with her hand. Formerly, that highly intelligent and exceedingly beautiful girl, inebriated with honeyed wines, used bashfully to embrace her lord, and kiss the face of Subhadra’s son, that face which resembled a full-blown lotus and which was supported on a neck adorned with three lines like those of a conch-shell. Taking of her lord’s golden coat of mail, O hero, that damsel is gazing now on the blood-dyed body of her spouse. Beholding her lord, O Krishna, that girl addresses you and says, "O lotus-eyed one, this hero whose eyes resembled thine, has been slain. In might and energy, and prowess also, he was your equal, O sinless one! He resembled you very much in beauty. Yet he sleeps on the ground, slain by the enemy!" Addressing her own lord, the damsel says again, "You were brought up in every luxury. You usedst to sleep on soft skins of the ranku deer. Alas, does not your body feel pain today by lying thus on the bare ground? Stretching your massive arms adorned with golden angadas, resembling a couple of elephant’s trunks and covered with skin hardened by frequent use of the bow, you sleepest, O lord, in peace, as if exhausted with the toil of too much exercise in the gymnasium. Alas, why dost you not address me that am weeping so? I do not remember to have ever offended you. Why dost you not speak to me then? Formerly, you usedst to address me even when you wouldst see me at a distance. O reverend sir, whither will you go, leaving behind you the much-respected Subhadra, these your sires that resemble the very celestials, and my own wretched self distracted with woe?" Behold, O Krishna, gathering with her hands the blood-dyed locks of her lord and placing his head on her lap, the beautiful damsel is speaking to him as if he were alive, "How couldst those great car-warriors slay you in the midst of battle,—you that art the sister’s son of Vasudeva and the son of the wielder of gandiva? Alas, fie on those warriors of wicked deeds, Kripa and Karna and Jayadratha and Drona and Drona’s son, by whom you were deprived of life. What was the state of mind of those great car-warriors at that time when they surrounded you, a warrior of tender years, and slew you to my grief? How couldst you, O hero, who had so many protectors, be slain so helplessly in the very sight of the Pandavas and the Pancalas? Beholding you, O hero, slain in battle by many persons united together, how is that tiger among men, that son of Pandu, your sire, able to bear the burden of life? Neither the acquisition of a vast kingdom nor the defeat of their foes conduces to the joy of the Parthas bereft of you, O lotus-eyed one! By the practice of virtue and self-restraint, I shall very soon repair to those regions of bliss which you have acquired by the use of weapons. Protect me, O hero, when I repair to those regions. When one’s hour does not come, one cannot die, since, wretched that I am, I still draw breath after seeing you slain in battle. Having repaired to the region of the pitris, whom else, like me, dost you address now, O tiger among men, in sweet words mingled with smiles? Without doubt, you will agitate the hearts of the apsaras in heaven, with your great beauty and your soft words mingled with smiles! Having obtained the regions reserved for persons of righteous deeds, you are now united, O son of Subhadra, with the apsaras! While sporting with them, recollect at times my good acts towards you. Your union with me in this world had, it seems, been ordained for only six months, for in the seventh, O hero, you have been bereft of life!" O Krishna, the ladies of the royal house of Matsya are dragging away the afflicted Uttara, baffled of all her purposes, while lamenting in this strain. Those ladies, dragging away the afflicted Uttara, themselves still more afflicted than that girl, are weeping and uttering loud wails at sight of the slain Virata. Mangled with the weapons and shafts of Drona, prostrate on the ground, and covered with blood, Virata is encompassed by screaming vultures and howling jackals and crowing ravens. Those black-eyed ladies, approaching the prostrate form of the Matsya king over which carnivorous birds are uttering cries of joy, are endeavouring to turn the body. Weakened by grief and exceedingly afflicted, they are unable to do what they intend. Scorched by the Sun, and worn out with exertion and toil, their faces have become colourless and pale. Behold also, O Madhava, those other children besides Abhimanyu—Uttara, Sudakshina the prince of the Kambhojas, and the handsome Lakshmana—all lying on the field of battle!’"


This concludes Section 20 of Book 11 (Stri Parva) of the Mahabharata, of which an English translation is presented on this page. This book is famous as one of the Itihasa, similair in content to the eighteen Puranas. Book 11 is one of the eighteen books comprising roughly 100,000 Sanskrit metrical verses.

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