Legacy YM

Chapter 55 - Not a Needle-Point Of Territory

193

AFTER he had despatched Sanjaya to the Pandavas, Dhritarashtra, filled with anxiety, could not get a wink of sleep that night. He sent for Vidura and spent the whole night talking to him.

"To give the Pandavas their share of the kingdom is the safest plan," said Vidura. "Only this can bring good to both sides. Treat the Pandavas and your own sons with equal affection. In this case, the right course is also the wise one."

Vidura counselled Dhritarashtra in this manner at great length.

The next morning Sanjaya returned to Hastinapura. And gave a full account of what had taken place in Yudhishthira's court.

"Chiefly, Duryodhana should know what Arjuna said: 'Krishna and I are going to destroy Duryodhana and his followers, root and branch. Make no mistake about it. The Gandiva bow is impatient for war. My bowstring is throbbing even without my stretching it and from my quiver, arrows keep peeping out impatiently, demanding when? When? Sanjaya, evil stars make the foolish Duryodhana seek war with Krishna and myself. Not even Indra and the gods can defeat us.' Thus spoke Dhananjaya," said Sanjaya.

Bhishma counselled Dhritarashtra against opposing the combined might of Arjuna and Krishna. "Karna, who boasts repeatedly that he will slay the Pandavas", said Bhishma, "is not equal to a sixteenth part of the Pandavas. Your sons are heading for destruction, listening to his words. When Arjuna beat back your son's attack on Virata's capital and humbled his pride, what was Karna able to do? When the Gandharvas took your son prisoner, where did the invincible Karna bide himself? Was it not Arjuna who drove back the Gandharvas?" Thus did Bhisma taunt Karna and warn the Kauravas.

"What grandfather Bhisma says is the only proper thing to do," said Dhritarashtra. "All wise men say, and I know, that it is best to seek peace. But what can I do? These fools would go their own way, however loudly I protest."

194

Duryodhana, who had been listening to all this, stood up. "Father, do not worry and tremble about our safety. We know how strong we are. That we shall win is certain. Yudhishthira knows it too, for, giving up all hope of kingdom, he only begs now for five villages. Is it not clear from this that he is already scared about our eleven divisions? What can the Pandavas oppose to our eleven divisions? Why then do you doubt our victory?" Duryodhana said to his father and tried to cheer him up.

"My son, let us not have war," said Dhritarashtra. "Be satisfied with half the kingdom. It is enough if we govern that half well." Duryodhana could stand it no longer. "The Pandavas will not receive even a needle-point of territory," he exclaimed, and left the court. In the excitement that prevailed, the court broke up.

Let us now relate what the Pandavas were saying among themselves. After Sanjaya left Upaplavya for Hastinapura, Yudhishthira said to Krishna: "Vasudeva, Sanjaya is Dhritarashtra's alter ego. From his speech, I have divined what is in Dhritarashtra's mind. Dhritarashtra is trying to secure peace without giving us any territory. In my simplicity, I was glad at first when I heard Sanjaya speak. But it soon became clear that my joy was unfounded. He then struck a middle line and spoke desiring peace. But the words with which he ended his message seemed to commend meekness to us, even if our just rights were denied. Dhritarashtra has not been playing fair with us. The crisis is approaching. There are none but you to protect us. I made my offer that we would be content with only five villages. The wicked Kauravas will refuse even this. How can we tolerate this height of intransigence? Only you can advise us in this crisis. There is none but you who knows what our duty is now and can guide us in dharma as well as in statesmanship."

195

Krishna said in reply: "For the good of you both, I have decided to go to Hastinapura. I shall go to Dhritarashtra's court and try to secure your rights without war. If my mission succeeds, it will be for the good of the world."

Yudhishthira said: "Krishna, pray do not go. What is the good of your going to the enemies' place now? The perverse Duryodhana will stick to his folly. I do not like your going among those unscrupulous men. We cannot let you jeopardise your safety, for the Kauravas will stop at nothing."

Krishna answered: "Dharmaputra, I know how wicked Duryodhana is. But still we should make all attempts at a peaceful solution so as to give the world no cause to accuse us of not having done everything possible to avert war. We must omit nothing, no matter how slender our hopes of success. Have no fears for my safety, for, if the Kauravas offer me, a messenger of peace, any threat of bodily harm, I will reduce them to ashes."

Said Yudhishthira: "You are all-knowing. You know our hearts as well as theirs. In expounding matters and in the art of persuasion, there is none better than you."

Krishna said: "Yes, I know you both. Your mind ever clings to righteousness and theirs is always steeped in hatred, jealousy and enmity. I will do all I can to secure the result, which I know is dear to you, a settlement reached without war even though it may have, but little for you. The signs are ominous and portend war. Still duty demands that we should make the attempt for peace."

Thus saying, Krishna took leave of the Pandavas and set off in his chariot to Hastinapura.


Chapter1 - Ganapati
Chapter2 - Devavrata
Chapter3 - Bhishma's Vow
Chapter4 - Amba And Bhishma
Chapter5 - Devayani And Kacha
Chapter6 - The Marriage Of Devayani
Chapter7 - Yayati
Chapter8 - Vidura
Chapter9 - Kunti Devi
Chapter10 - Death Of Pandu
Chapter11 - Bhima
Chapter12 - Karna
Chapter13 - Drona
Chapter14 - The Wax Palace
Chapter15 - The Escape Of The Pandavas
Chapter16 - The Slaying Of Bakasura
Chapter17 - Draupadi's Swayamvaram
Chapter18 - Indraprastha
Chapter19 - The Saranga Birds
Chapter20 - Jarasandha
Chapter21 - The Slaying Of Jarasandha
Chapter22 - The First Honor
Chapter23 - Sakuni Comes In
Chapter24 - The Invitation
Chapter25 - The Wager
Chapter26 - Draupadi's Grief
Chapter27 - Dhritarashtra's Anxiety
Chapter28 - Krishna's Vow
Chapter29 - Pasupata
Chapter30 - Affliction Is Nothing New
Chapter31 - Agastya
Chapter32 - Rishyasringa
Chapter33 - Fruitless Penance
Chapter34 - Yavakrida's End
Chapter35 - Mere Learning Is Not Enough
Chapter36 - Ashtavakra
Chapter37 - Bhima And Hanuman
Chapter38 - I am No Crane
Chapter39 - Wicked Are Never Satisfied
Chapter40 - Duryodhana Disgraced
Chapter41 - Sri Krishna's Hunger
Chapter42 - The Enchanted Pool
Chapter43 - Domestic Service
Chapter44 - Virtue Vindicated
Chapter45 - Matsya Defended
Chapter46 - Prince Uttara
Chapter47 - Promise Fulfilled
Chapter48 - Virata's Delusion
Chapter49 - Taking Counsel
Chapter50 - Arjuna's Charioteer
Chapter51 - Salya Against His Nephews
Chapter52 - Vritra
Chapter53 - Nahusha
Chapter54 - Sanjaya's Mission
Chapter55 - Not a Needle-Point Of Territory
Chapter56 - Krishna's Mission
Chapter57 - Attachment and Duty
Chapter58 - The Pandava Generalissimo
Chapter59 - Balarama
Chapter60 - Rukmini
Chapter61 - Non-Cooperation
Chapter62 - Krishna Teaches
Chapter63 - Yudhishthira Seeks Benediction
Chapter64 - The First Day's Battle
Chapter65 - The Second Day
Chapter66 - The Third Day's Battle
Chapter67 - The Fourth Day
Chapter68 - The Fifth Day
Chapter69 - The Sixth Day
Chapter70 - The Seventh Day
Chapter71 - The Eighth Day
Chapter72 - The Ninth Day
Chapter73 - The Passing Of Bhishma
Chapter74 - Karna and the Grandsire
Chapter75 - Drona in Command
Chapter76 - To Seize Yudhishthira Alive
Chapter77 - The Twelfth Day
Chapter78 - Brave Bhagadatta
Chapter79 - Abhimanyu
Chapter80 - The Death Of Abhimanyu
Chapter81 - A Father's Grief
Chapter82 - The Sindhu King
Chapter83 - Borrowed Armor
Chapter84 - Yudhishthira's Misgivings
Chapter85 - Yudhishthira's Fond Hope
Chapter86 - Karna And Bhima
Chapter87 - Pledge Respected
Chapter88 - Somadatta's End
Chapter89 - Jayadratha Slain
Chapter90 - Drona Passes Away
Chapter91 - The Death Of Karna
Chapter92 - Duryodhana
Chapter93 - The Pandavas Reproached
Chapter94 - Aswatthama
Chapter95 - Avenged
Chapter96 - Who Can Give Solace?
Chapter97 - Yudhishthira's Anguish
Chapter98 - Yudhishthira Comforted
Chapter99 - Envy
Chapter100 - Utanga
Chapter101 - A Pound Of Flour
Chapter102 - Yudhishthira Rules
Chapter103 - Dhritarashtra
Chapter104 - The Passing Away Of The Three
Chapter105 - Krishna Passes Away
Chapter106 - Yudhishthira's Final Trial

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