The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 2 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 2,393 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 2.
(his preceptor in arms) as also of the words of a Brahmana (who cursed him on another occasion), owing also to his deprivation of the accoutrements of battle, he, in my judgment, is only half a Ratha.  Having approached Falguni (in battle), he will not certainly escape with life!’ Hearing this, Drona, that foremost of all wielders of weapons, said, ’It is even so as thou hast said.  That is not untrue!  He boasteth on the eve of every battle, but yet he is seen to retreat from every engagement.  Kind (out of season) and blundering, it is for this that Karna, in my judgment, is only half a Ratha!’

“Hearing these words, Radha’s son, expanding his eyes in rage, and afflicting Bhishma with words like sharp hooks, said unto Ganga’s son these words, ’O grandsire, though I am innocent yet from thy aversion to me, thou manglest me thus, according to thy pleasure, with thy wordy arrows at every step.  I tolerate, however, all this for the sake of Duryodhana.  Indicating me as only half a Ratha, thou regardest me worthless, as if, indeed, I were a coward!  What doubt is there in this?  I do not speak an untruth when I say that thou, O Ganga’s son, art an enemy of the whole universe, and especially of all the Kurus!  The king, however, doth not know this!  Who else is there that would thus seek to disunite and abate the energy of these kings that are all equal and that are all equally brave, as thou, from thy hatred of merit, seekest to do?  O Kaurava, neither years, nor wrinkles, nor wealth, nor possession of friends, would entitle a Kshatriya to be regarded as a Maharatha!  It hath been said that a Kshatriya acquireth eminence only through might, as Brahmanas acquire eminence through superiority in mantras, as Vaisyas through wealth, and Sudras through age.  Influenced, however, by lust and envy, and acting from ignorance, thou hast indicated Rathas and Atirathas according only to thy own caprice!  Blessed be thou, O mighty-armed Duryodhana, judge properly!  Let this wicked Bhishma, who only wrongeth thee, be abandoned by thee!  Thy warriors, once disunited, can with difficulty be united again.  O tiger among men, thy main army, under such circumstances, can with difficulty be united; far greater will the difficulty be in uniting an army gathered from various provinces!  Behold, O Bharata, doubt (of success) hath already arisen in the hearts of thy warriors!  This Bhishma weakeneth our energy in our very presence!  Where is the task of ascertaining the merits of Rathas, and where is Bhishma of little understanding?  I alone will withstand the army of Pandavas.  Coming in contact with me, whose arrows never go for nothing, the Pandavas and the Panchalas will fly away in all directions like oxen when they come in contact with a tiger!  Where, Oh, are battle, the press of armed encounter, good counsels and well-expressed words, and where is Bhishma, who is superannuated and of wicked soul, and who is impelled by the very fates to become their victim?  Alone he challengeth the

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The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 2 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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