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(Viduragamana Parva continued)

"Vaisampayana said, 'After Bhishma had concluded, Drona spoke, saying, 'O king Dhritarashtra, it hath been heard by us that friends summoned for consultation should always speak what is right, true, and conductive to fame. O sire, I am of the same mind in this matter with the illustrious Bhishma. Let a share of the kingdom be given unto the Pandavas. This is eternal virtue. Send, O Bharata, unto Drupada without loss of time some messenger of agreeable speech, carrying with him a large treasure for the Pandavas. And let the man go unto Drupada carrying costly presents for both the bridegrooms and the bride, and let him speak unto that monarch of thy increase of power and dignity arising from this new alliance with him. And, O monarch, let the man know also that both thyself and Duryodhana have become exceedingly glad in consequence of what hath happened. Let him say this repeatedly unto Drupada and Dhrishtadyumna. And let him speak also about the alliance as having been exceedingly proper, and agreeable unto thee, and of thyself being worthy of it. And let the man repeatedly propitiate the sons of Kunti and those of Madri (in proper words). And at thy command, O king, let plenty of ornaments of pure gold be given unto Draupadi. And let, O bull of Bharata's race, proper presents be given unto all the sons of Drupada. Let the messenger then propose the return of the Pandavas to Hastinapura. After the heroes will have been permitted (by Drupada), to come hither, let Duhsasana and Vikarna go out with a handsome train to receive them. And when they will have arrived at Hastinapura, let those foremost of men be received with affection by thee. And let them then be installed on their paternal throne, agreeably to the wishes of the people of the realm. This, O monarch of

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[paragraph continues] Bharata's race, is what I think should be thy behaviour towards the Pandavas who are to thee even as thy own sons.'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'After Drona had ceased, Karna spake again, 'Both Bhishma and Drona have been pampered with wealth that is thine and favours conferred by thee! They are also always regarded by thee as thy trusted friends! What can therefore be more amusing than that they both should give thee advice which is not for thy good? How can the wise approve that advice which is pronounced good by a person speaking with wicked intent but taking care to conceal the wickedness of his heart? Indeed, in a season of distress, friends can neither benefit nor injure. Every one's happiness or the reverse dependeth on destiny. He that is wise and he that is foolish, he that is young (in years) and he that is old, he that hath allies and he that hath none, all become, it is seen everywhere, happy or unhappy at times. It hath been heard by us that there was, of old, a king by name Amvuvicha. Having his capital at Rajagriha, he was the king of all the Magadha chiefs. He never attended to his affairs. All his exertion consisted in inhaling the air. All his affairs were in the hands of his minister. And his minister, named Mahakarni, became the supreme authority in the state. Regarding himself all powerful, he began to disregard the king. And the wretch himself appropriated everything belonging unto the king, his queens and treasures and sovereignty. But the possession of all these, instead of satisfying his avarice, only served to inflame him the more. Having appropriated everything belonging to the king, he even coveted the throne. But it hath been heard by us that with all his best endeavours he succeeded not in acquiring the kingdom of the monarch, his master, even though the latter was inattentive to business and content with only breathing the air. What else can be said, O king, than that monarch's sovereignty was dependent on destiny? If, therefore, O king, this kingdom be established in thee by destiny, it will certainly continue in thee, even if the whole world were to become thy enemy! If, however, destiny hath ordained otherwise, howsoever mayest thou strive, it will not last in thee! O learned one, remembering all this, judge of the honesty or otherwise of thy advisers. Ascertain also who amongst them are wicked and who have spoken wisely and well.'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'Hearing these words of Karna, Drona replied, 'As thou art wicked it is evident thou sayest so in consequence of the wickedness of thy intent. It is for injuring the Pandavas that thou findest fault with us. But know, O Karna, what I have said is for the good of all and the prosperity of the Kuru race. If thou regardest all this as productive of evil, declare thyself what is for our good. If the good advice I have given be not followed, I think the Kurus will be exterminated in no time.'"

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