The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa Bk. 4 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 228 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa Bk. 4.
live undiscovered hath appeared before us.  And if Vibhatsu hath come before the term of exile is at end, the Pandavas shall have to pass another twelve years in the woods.  Whether it is due to forgetfulness (on their part) induced by desire of dominion, or whether it is a mistake of ours, it behoveth Bhishma to calculate the shortness or excess (of the promised period).  When an object of desire may or may not be attained, a doubt necessarily attaches to one of the alternatives, and what is decided in one way often ends differently.[55] Even moralists are puzzled in judging of their own acts.[56] As regards ourselves, we have come hither to fight with the Matsyas and to seize their kine stationed towards the north.  If, meanwhile, it is Arjuna that hath come, what fault can attach to us?  We have come hither to fight against the Matsyas on behalf of the Trigartas; and as numerous were the acts represented unto us of the oppressions committed by the Matsyas, it was for this that we promised aid to the Trigartas who were overcome with fear.  And it was agreed between us that they should first seize, on the afternoon of the seventh lunar day, the enormous wealth of kine that the Matsyas have, and that we should, at sunrise of the eighteen day of the moon, seize these kine when the king of the Matsyas would be pursuing those first seized.  It may be that the Trigartas are now bringing away the kine, or being defeated, are coming towards us for negotiating with the king of the Matsyas.  Or, it may be, that having driven the Trigartas off, the king of the Matsyas, at the head of this people and his whole army of fierce warriors, appeareth on the scene and advanceth to make night-attacks upon us.  It may be that some one leader among them, endued with mighty energy, is advancing for vanquishing us, or, it may be that the king himself of the Matsyas is come.  But be it the king of the Matsyas or Vibhatsu, we must all fight him.  Even this hath been our pledge.  Why are all these of foremost car-warriors,—­Bhishma and Drona and Kripa and Vikarna and Drona’s son,—­now sitting on their cars, panic-stricken?  At present there is nothing better than fighting.  Therefore, make up your minds.  If, for the cattle we have seized, an encounter takes place with the divine wielder himself of the thunderbolt or even with Yama, who is there that will be liable to reach Hastinapura?  Pierced by the shafts (of the foe), how will the foot-soldiers, in flying through the deep forest with their backs on the field, escape with life, when escape for the cavalry is doubtful?’ Hearing these words of Duryodhana, Karna said, ’Disregarding the preceptor, make all arrangements.  He knoweth well the intentions of the Pandavas and striketh terror in our hearts.  I see that his affection for Arjuna is very great.  Seeing him only coming, he chanteth his praises.  Make ye such arrangements that our troops may not break.  Everything is in confusion for Drona’s having only heard the neigh of (Arjuna’s) steeds. 
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The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa Bk. 4 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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