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p. 44


(Jarasandhta-badha Parva)

"Krishna said,--both Hansa and Dimvaka have fallen; Kansa also with all his followers has been slain. The time hath, therefore come for the destruction of Jarasandha. He is incapable of being vanquished in battle even by all the celestials and the Asuras (fighting together). We think, however, that he should be vanquished in a personal struggle with bare arms. In me is policy, in Bhima is strength and in Arjuna is triumph; and therefore, as prelude to performing the Rajasuya, we will certainly achieve the destruction of the ruler of Magadha. When we three approach that monarch in secret, and he will, without doubt, be engaged in an encounter with one of us. From fear of disgrace, from covetousness, and from pride of strength he will certainly summon Bhima to the encounter. Like death himself that slays a person however swollen with pride, the long-armed and mighty Bhimasena will effect the destruction of the king. If thou knowest my heart, if thou hast any faith in me, then make over to me, as a pledge, Bhima and Arjuna without loss of time!"

"Vaisampayana continued,--Thus addressed by the exalted one, Yudhishthira, beholding both Bhima and Arjuna standing with cheerful faces, replied, saying--'O Achyuta, O Achyuta, thou slayer of all enemies, say not so. Thou art the lord of the Pandavas! We are dependent on thee. What thou sayest, O Govinda, is consistent with wise counsels. Thou never leadest those upon whom Prosperity hath turned her back. I who stay under thy command regard that Jarasandha is already slain, that the monarchs confined by him have already been set free, that the Rajasuya hath already been accomplished by me. O lord of the universe, O thou best of persons, watchfully act thou so that this task may be accomplished. Without ye then I dare not live, like a sorrowful man afflicted with disease, and bereft of the three attributes of morality, pleasure and wealth. Partha cannot live without Sauri (Krishna), nor can Sauri live without Partha. Nor is there anything in the world that is unconquerable by these two, viz., Krishna and Arjuna. This handsome Bhima also is the foremost of all persons endued with might. Of great renown, what can he not achieve when with ye two? Troops, when properly led, always do excellent service. A force without a leader hath been called inert by the wise. Forces, therefore, should always be led by experienced commanders. Into places that are low, the wise always conduct the water. Even fishermen cause the water (of tank) to run out through holes. (Experienced leaders always lead their forces noting the loopholes and assailable points of the foe). We shall, therefore, strive to accomplish our purpose following the leadership

p. 45

of Govinda conversant with the science of politics, that personage whose fame hath spread all over the world. For the successful accomplishment of one's purposes one should ever place Krishna in the van, that foremost of personages whose strength consists in wisdom and policy and who possesseth a knowledge of both method and means. For the accomplishment of one's purpose let, therefore, Arjuna, the son of Pritha, follow Krishna the foremost of the Yadavas and let Bhima follow Arjuna. Policy and good fortune and might will (then) bring about success in a matter requiring valour.' Vaisampayana said,--'Thus addressed by Yudhishthira, the trio Krishna, Arjuna and Bhima, all possessed of great energy, set out for Magadha attired in the garb of Snataka Brahmanas of resplendent bodies, and blessed by the agreeable speeches of friends and relatives. Possessed of superior energy and of bodies already like the Sun, the Moon, and the Fire, inflamed with wrath at the sad lot of their relative kings, those bodies of theirs became much more blazing. And the people, beholding Krishna and Arjuna, both of whom had never before been vanquished in battle, with Bhima in the van, all ready to achieve the same task, regarded Jarasandha as already slain. For the illustrious pair (Krishna and Arjuna) were masters that directed every operation (in the universe), as also all acts relating to the morality, wealth, and pleasure of every being. Having set out from the country of the Kurus, they passed through Kuru-jangala and arrived at the charming lake of lotuses. Passing over the hills of Kalakuta, they then went on crossing the Gandaki, the Sadanira (Karatoya), and the Sarkaravarta and the other rivers taking their rise in the same mountains. They then crossed the delightful Sarayu and saw the country of Eastern Kosala. Passing over that country they went to Mithila and then crossing the Mala and Charamanwati, the three heroes crossed the Ganges and the Sone and went on towards the east. At last those heroes of unfaded glory arrived at Magadha in the heart of (the country of) Kushamva. Reaching then the hills of Goratha, they saw the city of Magadha that was always filled with kine and wealth and water and rendered handsome with the innumerable trees standing there.'"

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