mountains of Himavat by means of a handful of grass.
O son of Pritha, known as thou art over whole earth,
thou wilt not be able to live unknown, like the sun
that can never course through the sky unknown to men.
Like a large tree in a well-watered region with spreading
branches and flowers and leaves, or like Indra’s
elephant, how will Jishnu live unknown? How also
will these children, the brothers, Nakula and Sahadeva,
equal unto a couple of young lions, both live in secret?
How, O son of Pritha, will Krishna—the daughter
of Drupada—a princess and mother of heroes,
of virtuous deeds and known over all the world, live
unknown? Me also, everybody knoweth from my boyhood.
I do not see how I can live unknown. As well
mighty mountains of Meru be sought to be concealed.
Then, again, many kings had been expelled by us from
their kingdom. These kings and princes will all
follow the bad son of Dhritarashtra, for robbed and
exiled by us, they have not still become friendly.
Desiring to do good unto Dhritarashtra, they will certainly
seek to injure us. They will certainly set against
us numerous spies in disguise. If these discover
us and report their discovery, a great danger will
overtake us. We have already lived in the woods
full thirteen months. Regard them, O king, for
their length as thirteen years. The wise have
said that a month is a substitute for a year, like
the pot-herb that is regarded as a substitute for the
. Or, (if thou breakest thy pledge),
O king, thou mayst free thyself from this sin by offering
good savoury food to a quiet bull carrying sacred burdens.
Therefore, O king resolve thou to slay thy enemies.
There is no virtue higher than fighting, for every
Vaisampayana said, “Hearing those words of Bhima,
Yudhishthira, the son of Kunti—tiger among
men and slayer of all foes—began to sigh
heavily, and reflect in silence. And he thought
within himself, ’I have heard recited the duties
of kings, also all truths about the duties of the
different orders. He is said to observe those
duties truly who keepeth them before his eyes, so
as to regulate his conduct both in the present and
the future. Knowing as I do the true course of
virtue, which, however is so very difficult of being
known, how can I forcibly grind virtue down like grinding
the mountains of Meru?’ Having reflected so
for a moment, and settled what he should do, he replied
unto Bhima as follows without allowing him another
“’O thou of mighty arms, it is even so
as thou hast said. But, O thou foremost of speakers,
listen now to another word I say. Whatever sinful
deeds, O Bhima, one seeketh to achieve, depending on
his courage alone, become always a source of pain.
But, O thou of mighty arms, whatever is begun with
deliberation, with well-directed prowess, with all
appliances, and much previous thought, is seen to succeed.
The gods themselves favour such designs. Hear