93.THE PANDAVAS REPROACHED
Krishna's words did not change Balarama's opinion, but his anger subsided. "Duryodhana will attain the happy regions reserved for the brave. Bhima's fame has been tarnished for all time. It will be said among men that the son of Pandu broke the laws of war in attacking Duryodhana. It will remain forever a great blot on his good name. I hate to stay here any longer." So saying the indignant Balarama immediately left for Dwaraka. "Yudhishthira, why this strange silence?" asked Krishna. "O Madhava, it hurts me to see Bhima leap on cousin Duryodhana's mortally wounded body and trample on his head. I see the end of the glory of our race. We were wronged by the Kauravas. I know the full measure of grief and anger in Vrikodara's heart, and don't wish to blame him beyond reason. We have killed Duryodhana, who was afflicted by uncontained greed and poverty of understanding. What serves it now to debate the ethics of it or nicely to weigh the propriety of a much wronged man's revenges?" Yudhishthira was greatly oppressed in mind. When men transgress the law, extenuations and excuses are of no avail in giving mental satisfaction. Arjuna, of penetrating intellect, was silent. He did not show approval of Bhima's act. Nor did he say anything by way of detraction. The rest of the people, who were there, were however loud in condemnation of Duryodhana and were reminding one another of all his misdeeds and errors. Krishna turned towards them and said: "Warriors, it is not proper that we go on speaking against an enemy who has been defeated and is lying mortally wounded. We should not speak ill of a dying man. He was stupid and brought about his own end. He fell into the company of bad men and was ruined. Let us go." Duryodhana, who was stretched on the ground in intense, agony, when he heard Krishna say this, went into a paroxysm of rage. He half raised himself on his arms in spite of the excruciating pain, and exclaimed: "Wretch! Son of a slave! Was not your father Vasudeva Kamsa's slave? You have no business to sit or move with princes. You speak like a shameless wretch. I saw you instigate Bhima to aim his blow at my thigh!