58.THE PANDAVA GENERALISSIMO
GOVINDA reached Upaplavya and told
the Pandavas what had happened in
"I spoke urging what was right and what
was also good for them. But, it was all in
vain. There is now no way out except the
fourth, that is, the last alternative of war.
The foolish Duryodhana would not listen
to the advice tendered to him by the elders
in the assembly. We must now prepare for
war without delay. Kurukshetra is waiting
for the holocaust."
"There is no longer any hope of peace,"
said Yudhishthira, addressing his brothers,
and issued orders for marshalling their
forces in, battle array.
They formed the army in seven divisions
and appointed Drupada, Virata,
Dhrishtadyumna, Sikhandin, Satyaki,
Chekitana and Bhimasena at the head of
each division. They then considered who
should be appointed Generalissimo.
Addressing Sahadeva, Yudhishthira said:
"We should select one of these seven to be
Supreme Commander. He should be one
capable of successfully facing the great
Bhishma, who can burn enemies to ashes.
He should be one who knows how to
dispose his forces as circumstances
require from time to time. Who do you
think is most fitted for this
In the olden days, it was the practice to
ascertain the views of younger people
first, before consulting elders. This
instilled enthusiasm and self-confidence
in the younger folk. If the elders were
consulted first, it would not be possible
for others to speak with freedom, and
even honest differences of opinion might
savor of disrespect.
"Let us take as our Supreme Commander
the king of Virata who helped us when we
lived in disguise and with whose support
we now demand our share of the
kingdom," replied Sahadeva.
"It seems to me best to make Drupada the
Generalissimo, for, in point of age,
wisdom, courage, birth and strength, he is
supreme," said Nakula.
"Drupada, the father of Draupadi, has
learnt archery from Bharadwaja, and has
for long been waiting for an encounter