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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,984 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 2.

SECTION LXXIX

“The holy one said, ’It shall be, O thou of mighty arms, what thou, O Pandavas, sayest, I will strive to bring about that which would be beneficial to both the Pandavas and the Kurus.  Between the two kinds of acts, war and peace, the latter, O Vibhatsu, is perhaps within my power.  Behold, the soil is moistened and divested of weeds by human exertion.  Without rain, however, O son of Kunti, is never yieldeth crops.  Indeed, in the absence of rain some speak of artificial irrigation, as a means of success due to human exertion, but even then it may be seen that the water artificially let in is dried up in consequence of providential drought.  Beholding all this, the wise men of old have said that human affairs are set agoing in consequence of the cooperation of both providential and human expedients.  I will do all that can be done by human exertion at its best.  But I shall, by no means, be able to control what is providential.  The wicked-souled Duryodhana acteth, defying both virtue and the world.  Nor doth he feel any regret in consequence of his acting in that way.  Moreover, his sinful inclinations are fed by his counsellors Sakuni and Karna and his brother Dussasana.  Suyodhana will never make peace by giving up the kingdom, without, O Partha, undergoing at our hands a wholesale destruction with his kinsmen.  King Yudhishthira the just doth not wish to give up the kingdom submissively.  The wicked-minded Duryodhana also will not at our solicitation surrender the kingdom.  I, therefore, think that it is scarcely proper to deliver Yudhishthira’s message to him.  The sinful Duryodhana of Kuru’s race will not, O Bharata, accomplish the objects spoken of by Yudhishthira.  If he refuses compliance, he will deserve death at the hands of all.  Indeed, he deserves death at my hands, as also, O Bharata, of every one since in your childhood he always persecuted you all, and since that wicked and sinful wretch robbed you of your kingdom and could not bear the sight of Yudhishthira’s prosperity.  Many a time, O Partha, he strove to withdraw me from thee, but I never reckoned those wicked attempts of his.  Thou knowest, O thou of mighty arms, what the cherished intentions of Duryodhana are, and thou knowest also that I seek the welfare of king Yudhishthira the just.  Knowing, therefore, Duryodhana’s heart and what my most cherished wishes are, why then dost thou, O Arjuna, entertain such apprehensions in respect of myself like one unacquainted with everything?  That grave act also which was ordained in heaven is known to thee, How then, O Partha, can peace be concluded with the foe?  What, however, O Pandavas, is capable of being done by either speech or act, will all be done by me.  Do not, however, O Partha, expect peace to be possible with the foe.  About a year ago, on the occasion of attacking Virata’s kine, did not Bhishma, on their way back, solicit Duryodhana about this very peace so beneficial to all?  Believe me, they have been defeated even then when their defeat was resolved by thee.  Indeed, Suyodhana doth not consent to part with the smallest portion of the kingdom for even the shortest period of time.  As regards myself, I am ever obedient to the commands of Yudhishthira, and, therefore, the sinful acts of that wicked wretch must have again to be revolved in my mind!’”

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