Mahabharata -Rajagopalachari 179

Mahabharata -Chakravarti Rajagopalachari


This is the reward I ask of you." Salya was stunned. The Puranas wherein right conduct is always preached, sometimes set out stories in which conduct, not in conformity with Dharma, seems condoned. Is it right, one may ask, for religious books thus to seem to justify wrong? A little reflection will enable one to see the matter in proper light. It is necessary to bring home the fact that even wise, good and great men are liable to fall into error. That is why the Puranas, although ever seeking to instil Dharma, contain narratives to show how in this world even good people sometimes sin against Dharma, as though irresistibly driven to do so. This is to press home the truth that howsoever learned one may be, humility and constant vigilance are absolutely necessary if one wishes to avoid evil. Why indeed, did the great authors of our epics write about the lapses of Rama in the Ramayana and Yudhishthira in the Mahabharata? Where was the need to make mention of them and then labor arguments to explain them away, thereby disturbing men's minds? It was not as though others had discovered the lapses and Vyasa and Valmiki had to defend their heroes. The stories are artistic creations in which lapses they impress the desired moral. The parts dealing with the lapses deeply distress the reader's mind and serve as solemn warnings of pitfalls, which wait to engulf the careless. They dispose the mind to humility and watchfulness and make it realise the need for divine guidance. The modern cinema also projects on the screen much that is bad and immoral. Whatever may be the explanation offered by the protagonists of the cinema, evil is presented on the screen in an attractive fashion that grips people's minds and tempts them into the path of wickedness. This is not so in the Puranas. Although they do point out that even great men now and again fell into error and committed wrong, the presentation is such as to warn the reader and not to allure him into evil ways. This is the striking difference between our epics and the modern talkies, which arises from the difference in the character of the people who produced them. "You are the same unto us both. I must mean as much to you as the Pandavas. You must agree to come to my aid," said Duryodhana. Salya answered: "Be it so." Flattered by Duryodhana's splendid reception, Salya deserted the Pandavas who were entitled to his love and esteem and pledged his word to fight on Duryodhana's side which shows what dangers may lurk in receiving the hospitality of kings. Feeling that it would not be right to go back without meeting Yudhishthira, Salya then turned to Duryodhana saying: "Duryodhana, believe me. I have given you my word of honor. I must however meet Yudhishthira and tell him what I have done." "Go, see him and return soon. And do not forget your promise to me," said Duryodhana. "Good luck to you. Go back to your palace. I will not betray you." Saying this, Salya went to the city of Upaplavya where Yudhishthira was camping. The Pandavas received the ruler of Madra with great eclat. Nakula and Sahadeva were joyous beyond measure to see their uncle to whom the Pandavas narrated all their hardships and sufferings. When they started talking about obtaining his help in the war that was impending, Salya related to them the story of his promise to Duryodhana. Yudhishthira saw at once that it had been a mistake to take Salya's assistance for granted, thereby letting Duryodhana forestall them. Concealing his disappointment as best he could, Yudhishthira addressed Salya thus: "Great warrior, you are bound to keep the promise you have made to, Duryodhana. You are the equal of Vasudeva in battle and Karna will have you as his charioteer when he seeks Arjuna's life in the battlefield. Are you going to be the cause of Arjuna's death? Or are you going to save him then? I know I cannot fairly ask this of you. Still I do." To which Salya rejoined: "My lad, I have been tricked into giving Duryodhana my word and I shall be ranged against you in battle. But when Karna proceeds to attack Arjuna, if I happen to be his charioteer, you may take it he will go to battle disheartened and Arjuna shall be saved. Fear not. The sorrows and insults, which were visited on Draupadi and you all, will soon be an avenged memory. Henceforth, yours will be good luck. No one can prevent or alter what has been ordained by fate. I have acted wrongly. Bear with me."



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Mahabharata -Chakravarti Rajagopalachari
Chapter Chapter Name Page No.
1. Ganapati The Scribe Bhagwan Vyasa 1
2. Devavrata 4
3. Bhishma's Vow 7
4. Amba and Bhishma 9
5. Devayani and Kacha 13
6. The Marriage of Devayani 18
7. Yayati 24
8. Vidura 26
9. Kunti Devi 29
10. Death of Pandu 31
11. Bhima 32
12. Karna 34
13. Drona 37
14. The Wax Palace 40
15. The Escape of the Pandvas 44
16. The Slaying of Bakasura 48
17. Draupadi's Swayamvaram 54
18. Indraprastha 58
19. The Saranga Birds 64
20. Jarasandha 67
21. The Slaying of Jarasandha 70
22. The First Honor 73
23. Sakuni Comes In 76
24. The Invitation 79
25. The Wager 82
26. Draupadi's Grief 86
27. Dhritarashtra's Anxiety 90
28. Krishna's Vow 93
29. Pasupata 96
30. Affliction is Nothing New 101
31. Agastya 105
32. Rishyasringa 109
33. Fruitless Penance 113
34. Yavakrida's End 115
35. Mere Learning is Not Enough 118
36. Ashtavakra 120
37. Bhima and Hanuman 122
38. I am No Crane 127
39. The Wicked Are Never Satisfied 130
40. Duryodhna Disgraced 133
41. Shri Krishna's Hunger 136
42. The Enchanted Pool 140
43. Domestic Service 146
44. Virtue Vindicated 151
45. Matsya Defended 155
46. Prince Uttara 159
47. Promise Fulfilled 163
48. Virata's Delusion 167
49. Taking Counsel 171
50. Arjuna's Charioteer 176
51. Salya Against his Nephews 178
52. Vritra 180
53. Nahusha 183
54. Sanjaya's Mission 187
55. Not A Needle-Point of Territor 191
56. Krishna's Misssion 194
57. Attachment and Duty 199
58. The Pandava Generalissimo 202
59. Balarama 202
60. Rukmini 205
61. Non-Cooperation 210
62. Krishna Teaches 213
63. Yudhishthira Seeks Benediction 215
64. The First Day's Battle 217
65. The Second Day 220
66. The Third Day's Battle 223
67. The Fourth Day 227
68. The Fifth Day 231
69. The Sixth Day 233
70. The Seventh Day 236
71. The Eighth Day 239
72. The Ninth Day 242
73. The Passing Of Bhishma 244
74. Karna and the Grandsire 246
75. Drona in Command 248
76. To Seize Yudhishthira Alive 249
77. The Twelfth Day 252
78. Brave Bhagadatta 255
79. Abhimanyu 260
80. The Death Of Abhimanyu 264
81. A Father's Grief 267
82. The Sindhu King 271
83. Borrowed Armor 275
84. Yudhishthira's Misgivings 279
85. Yudhishthira's Fond Hope 283
86. Karna And Bhima 286
87. Pledge Respected 290
88. Somadatta's End 293
89. Jayadratha Slain 297
90. Drona Passes Away 299
91. The Death Of Karna 302
92. Duryodhana 305
93. The Pandavas Reproached 309
94. Aswatthama 313
95. Avenged 316
96. Who Can Give Solace? 318
97. Yudhishthira's Anguish 321
98. Yudhishthira Comforted 324
99. Envy 326
100. Utanga 329
101. A Pound Of Flour 332
102. Yudhishthira Rules 336
103. Dhritarashtra 338
104. The Passing Away Of The Three 341
105. Krishna Passes Away 342
106. Yudhishthira's Final Trial 345