and fighteth wrathfully without seeking to fly.
I am a Kshatriya stationed in the practice of Kshatriya
duties. One doth not incur sin, nor doth one incur
any harm by behaving towards a person exactly as that
person deserveth. When a person acquainted with
the proprieties of time and place and well-versed in
matters affecting both profit and virtue, feels doubtful,
as regards anything, he should without scruples of
any kind, devote himself to the acquisition of virtue
which would confer the highest benefit on him.
And since thou, O Rama, in a matter connected with
profit of doubtful propriety, actest unrighteously,
I would certainly fight with thee in a great battle.
Behold the strength of my arms and my prowess that
is superhuman! In view of such circumstances,
I shall certainly do, O son of Bhrigu, what I can.
I shall fight with thee, O regenerate one, on the
field of Kurukshetra! O Rama of great effulgence,
equip thyself as thou listest for single combat!
Come and station thyself on the field of Kurukshetra
where, afflicted with my shafts in great battle, and
sanctified by my weapons, thou mayest obtain those
regions that have been won by thee (thought for thy
austerities). O thou of mighty arms and wealth
of asceticism, there I will approach thee for battle,—thee
that art so fond of battle! There, O Rama, where
in days of yore thou hadst propitiated thy (deceased)
fathers (with oblations of Kshatriya blood), slaying
thee there, O son of Bhrigu, I will propitiate the
Kshatriya slain by thee! Come there, O Rama,
without delay! There, O thou that art difficult
of being vanquished, I will curb thy old pride about
which the Brahmanas speak! For many long years,
O Rama, thou hast boasted, saying,—I have,
single-handed, vanquished all the Kshatriyas of the
Earth!—Listen now to what enabled thee to
indulge in that boast! In those days no Bhishma
was born, or no Kshatriyas like unto Bhishma!
Kshatriyas really endued with valour have taken their
births later on! As regards thyself, thou hast
consumed only heaps of straw! The person that
would easily quell thy pride of battle hath since been
born! He, O mighty-armed one, is no other than
myself, even Bhishma, that subjugator of hostile cities!
Without doubt, O Rama, I shall just quell thy pride
“Bhishma continued, ’Hearing these words
of mine. Rama addressed me, laughingly saying,
’By good luck it is, O Bhishma, that thou desirest
to fight with me in battle! O thou of Kuru’s
race, even now I go with thee to Kurukshetra!
I will do what thou hast said! Come thither, O
chastiser of foes! Let thy mother, Jahnavi, O
Bhishma, behold thee dead on that plain, pierced with
my shafts, and become the food of vultures, crows,
and other carnivorous birds! Let that goddess
worshipped by Siddhas and Charanas, that blessed daughter
of Bhagiratha, in the form of a river, who begat thy
wicked self, weep today, O king, beholding thee slain
by me and lying miserable on that plain, however undeserving