51. SALYA AGAINST HIS NEPHEWS
SALYA, the ruler of Madradesa, was the
brother of Madri, the mother of Nakula
and Sahadeva. He heard that the Pandavas
were camping in the city of Upaplavya
and making preparations for war.
He collected a very big army and set off
towards that city to join the Pandavas.
Salya's army was so large that where it
halted for rest, the encampment extended
over a length of nearly fifteen miles.
News of Salya and his marching forces
reached Duryodhana. Deciding that Salya
should somehow be persuaded to join his
side, Duryodhana instructed his officers to
provide him and his great army with all
facilities and treat them to sumptuous
In accordance with Duryodhana's
instruction, several beautifully decorated
rest houses were erected at several places
on the route, at which Salya and his men
were treated to wondrous hospitality.
Food and drink were lavishly provided.
Salya was exceedingly pleased with the
attentions paid to him but assumed that his
nephew, Yudhishthira, had arranged all
this. Salya's army marched on, the earth
shaking beneath their heavy strides.
Feeling very pleased with the hospitality,
he called the waiting attendants one day
and said to them:
"I must reward you all who have treated
me and my soldiers with so much love
and attention. Please tell Kunti's son that
he should let me do this, and bring me his
The servants went and told their master,
Duryodhana, this. Duryodhana, who was
all the time moving unobserved with the
party waiting on Salya and his soldiers, at
once took this opportunity to present
himself before Salya, and say how
honored he felt at Salya's acceptance of
the Kaurava hospitality.
This amazed Salya whom till then had no
suspicion of the truth, and he was also
touched by the chivalry of Duryodhana in
lavishing kingly hospitality on a partisan
of the Pandavas.
Greatly moved, he exclaimed, "How noble
and kind of you! How can I repay you?"
Duryodhana replied: "You and your forces
should fight on my side.