this way. If I had been slain by the Gandharvas,
my fame would have spread over the whole earth, and
I should have obtained auspicious regions of eternal
bliss in the heaven of Indra. Listen to me therefore,
ye bulls among men, as to what I intend to do now.
I will stay here forgoing all food, while ye all return
home. Let all my brothers also go to Hastinapura.
Let all our friends, including Karna, and all our
relatives headed by Dussasana, return now to the capital.
Insulted by the foe, I myself will not repair thither.
I who had before wrested from the foe his respect,
I who had always enchanced the respect of my friends,
have now become a source of sorrow unto friends and
of joy unto enemies. What shall I now say unto
the king, going to the city named after the elephant?
What will Bhishma and Drona, Kripa, and Drona’s
son, Vidura and Sanjaya, Vahuka and Somadatta and other
revered seniors,—what will the principal
men of the other orders and men of independent professions,
say to me and what shall I say unto them in reply?
Having hitherto stayed over the heads of my enemies,
having hitherto trod upon their breasts, I have fallen
away from my position. How shall I ever speak
with them? Insolent men having obtained prosperity
and knowledge and affluence, are seldom blest for any
length of time like myself puffed up with vanity.
Alas, led by folly I have done a highly improper and
wicked act, for which, fool that I am, I have fallen
into such distress. Therefore, will I perish
by starving, life having become insupportable to me.
Relieved from distress by the foe, what man of spirit
is there who can drag on his existence? Proud
as I am, shorn of manliness, the foe hath laughed
at me, for the Pandavas possessed of prowess have
looked at me plunged in misery!”
Vaisampayana continued, ’While giving way to
such reflections Duryodhana spoke unto Dussasana thus:
’O Dussasana, listen to these words of mine,
O thou of the Bharata race! Accepting this installation
that I offer thee, be thou king in my place.
Rule thou the wide earth protected by Karna and Suvala’s
sons. Like Indra himself looking after the Maruts,
cherish thou thy brothers in such a way that they
may all confide in thee. Let the friends and
relatives depend on thee like the gods depending on
him of a hundred sacrifices. Always shouldst
thou bestow pensions on Brahmanas, without idleness,
and be thou ever the refuge of thy friends and relatives.
Like Vishnu looking after the celestials, thou shouldst
always look after all consanguineous relatives.
Thou shouldst also ever cherish thy superiors.
Go, rule thou the earth gladdening thy friends and
reproving thy foes.’ And clasping his neck,
Duryodhana said, ‘Go!’ Hearing these words
of his, Dussasana in perfect cheerlessness and overwhelmed
with great sorrow, his voice choked in tears, said,
with joined hands and bending his head unto his eldest
brother, ‘Relent!’ And saying this he
fell down on earth with heavy heart. And afflicted