Shanti Parva Mahabharata Book XII Chapter 82

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Mahabharata - Shanti Parva

Mahabharata Book XII Chapter 82: English


"Yudhishthira said, 'If one does not succeed in winning over one's kinsmen and relatives (by this course), they that are intended for becoming friends become foes. How should one, then, conduct one's self so that the hearts of both friends and foes may be won?'

"Bhishma said, 'In this connection is cited the old history of a discourse between Vasudeva and the celestial sage Narada. On a certain occasion Vasudeva said, 'Neither an illiterate and foolish friend, nor a learned friend of fickle soul, deserves, O Narada, to know one's secret counsels. Relying on thy friendship for me, I shall say something to thee, O sage! O thou that canst go to heaven at thy pleasure, one should speak to another if one be convinced

p. 176

of the intelligence of that other. I never behave with slavish obsequiousness towards my kinsmen by flattering speeches about their prosperity. I give them half of what I have, and forgive their evil speeches. As a fire-stick is grinded by a person desirous of obtaining fire, even so my heart is ground by my kinsmen with their cruel speeches. Indeed, O celestial Rishi, those cruel speeches burn my heart every day. Might resides in Sankarshana; mildness in Gada; and as regards Pradyumna, he surpasses even myself in beauty of person. (Although I have all these on my side) yet I am helpless, O Narada! Many others among the Andhakas and the Vrishnis are possessed of great prosperity and might, and during courage and constant perseverance. He on whose side they do not range themselves meets with destruction. He, on the other hand, on whose side they do range themselves, achieves everything. Dissuaded (in turns) by both (viz., Ahuka and Akrura,) I do not side either of them. What can be more painful for a person than to have both Ahuka and Akrura on his side? What, again, can be more painful for one than not to have both of them on his side? 1 I am like the mother of two brothers gambling against each other, invoking victory to both. I am thus, O Narada, afflicted by both. It behoveth thee to tell me that which is for the good of both myself and my kinsmen.'

"Narada said, 'Calamities, O Krishna, are of two kinds, viz., external and internal. They arise, O thou of Vrishni's race, from one's own acts or from the acts of others. The calamity that has now overtaken thee is an internal one and is born of thy own acts. Valadeva and others of the Bhoja race are partisans of Akrura, and have taken up his side either for the sake of wealth, or mere caprice, or moved by words or by hate. As regards thyself, thou hast given away wealth obtained by thee to another. Though possessed of men who should be your friends, thou hast, however, by thy own act, brought calamity over thy head. Thou canst not take back that wealth, even as one cannot swallow again the food that he has vomited himself. The kingdom cannot be taken back from Babhu and Ugrasena (unto whom it has been given). Thyself, O Krishna, cannot, in particular, take it back (from them) from fear of producing intestine dissensions. Supposing the endeavour succeeds, it will do so after much trouble and after the accomplishment of the most difficult feats. A great slaughter and a great loss of wealth will ensue, perhaps, even total destruction. Use then a weapon that is not made of steel, that is very mild and yet capable of piercing all hearts. Sharpening and resharpening that weapon correct the tongues of thy kinsmen.'

"Vasudeva said, 'What is that weapon, O sage, which is not made of steel, which is mild, which still pierces all hearts, and which I must use for correcting the tongues of my kinsmen?'

"Narada said, 'The giving of food to the best of thy power, forgiveness,

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sincerity, mildness, and honour to whom honour is due, these constitute a weapon that is not made of steel. With soft words alone turn away the anger of kinsmen about the utter cruel speeches, and mollify their hearts and minds and slanderous tongues. None who is not a great man with cleansed soul and possessed of accomplishments and friends can bear a heavy burthen. Take up this great weight (of governing the Vrishnis) and bear it on thy shoulders. All oxen can bear heavy burthens on a level road. The stronger ones only among them can bear such burthens on a difficult road. From disunion destruction will spring and overtake all the Bhojas and the Vrishnis. Thou, O Kesava, art the foremost one among them. Do thou act in such a manner that the Bhojas and the Vrishnis may not meet with destruction. Nothing but intelligence and forgiveness, restraint of the senses, and liberality are present in a person of wisdom. Advancing one's own race is always praiseworthy and glorious and conducive to long life. Do thou, O Krishna, act in such a way that destruction may not overtake thy kinsmen. There is nothing unknown to thee in respect of policy and the art of war, O Lord! The Yadavas, the Kukuras, the Bhojas, the Andhakas, and the Vrishnis, are all dependent on thee even as all the worlds and all the regents of those worlds, O mighty-armed one! The Rishis, O Madhava, always pray for thy advancement. Thou art the lord of all creatures. Thou knowest the past, the present, and the future. Thou art the foremost one among all the Yadavas. Relying on thee, they expect to live in happiness.'"


176:1 The fact is that Ahuka and Akrura were bitterly opposed to each other. Both of them, however, loved Krishna. Ahuka always advised Krishna to shun Akrura, and Akrura always advised him to shun Ahuka. Krishna valued the friendship of both and could ill dispense with either. What he says here is that to have them both is painful and yet not to have them both is equally painful.

Mahabharata Book XII Chapter 82: Sanskrit

1  एवम अग्राह्यके तस्मिञ ज्ञातिसंबन्धिमण्डले
     मित्रेष्व अमित्रेष्व अपि च कदं भावॊ विभाव्यते
 2 अत्राप्य उथाहरन्तीमम इतिहासं पुरातनम
     वासुथेवस्य संवाथं सुरर्षेर नारथस्य च
 3 नासुहृत परमं मन्त्रं नारथार्हति वेथितुम
     अपण्डितॊ वापि सुहृत पण्डितॊ वापि नात्मवान
 4 स ते सौहृथम आस्दाय किं चिथ वक्ष्यामि नारथ
     कृत्स्नां च बुथ्धिं संप्रेक्ष्य संपृच्छे तरिथिवं गम
 5 थास्यम ऐश्वर्यवाथेन ज्ञातीनां वै करॊम्य अहम
     अर्धभॊक्तास्मि भॊगानां वाग थुर उक्तानि च कषमे
 6 अरणीम अग्निकामॊ वा मद्नाति हृथयं मम
     वाचा थुर उक्तं थेवर्षे तन मे थहति नित्यथा
 7 बलं संकर्षणे नित्यं सौकुमार्यं पुनर गथे
     रूपेण मत्तः परथ्युम्नः सॊ ऽसहायॊ ऽसमि नारव
 8 अन्ये हि सुमहाभागा बलवन्तॊ थुर आसथाः
     नित्यॊत्दानेन संपन्ना नारथान्धकवृष्णयः
 9 यस्य न सयुर न वै स सयाथ यस्य सयुः कृच्छ्रम एव तत
     थवाभ्यां निवारितॊ नित्यं वृणॊम्य एकतरं न च
 10 सयातां यस्याहुकाक्रूरौ किं नु थुःखतरं ततः
    यस्य वापि न तौ सयातां किं नु थुःखतरं ततः
11 सॊ ऽहं कितव मातेव थवयॊर अपि महामुने
    एकस्य जयम आशंसे थवितीयस्यापराजयम
12 ममैवं कलिश्यमानस्य नारथॊभयतः सथा
    वक्तुम अर्हसि यच छरेयॊ ज्ञातीनाम आत्मनस तदा
13 आपथॊ थविविधाः कृष्ण बाह्याश चाभ्यन्तराश च ह
    पराथुर्भवन्ति वार्ष्णेय सवकृता यथि वान्यतः
14 सेयम आभ्यन्तरा तुभ्यम आपत कृच्छ्रा सवकर्म जा
    अक्रूर भॊजप्रभवाः सर्वे हय एते तथ अन्वयाः
15 अर्दहेतॊर हि कामाथ वाथ्वारा बीभत्सयापि वा
    आत्मना पराप्तम ऐश्वर्यम अन्यत्र परतिपाथितम
16 कृतमूलम इथानीं तज ज्ञातशब्थं सहायवत
    न शक्यं पुनर आथातुं वान्तम अन्नम इव तवया
17 बभ्रूग्रसेनयॊ राज्यं नाप्तुं शक्यं कदं चन
    ज्ञातिभेथ भयात कृष्ण तवया चापि विशेषतः
18 तच चेत सिध्येत परयत्नेन कृत्वा कर्म सुथुष करम
    महाक्षयव्ययं वा सयाथ विनाशॊ वा पुनर भवेत
19 अनायसेन शस्त्रेण मृथुना हृथयछिथा
    जिह्वाम उथ्धर सर्वेषां परिमृज्यानुमृज्य च
20 अनायसं मुने शस्त्रं मृथु विथ्याम अहं कदम
    येनैषाम उथ्धरे जिह्वां परिमृज्यानुमृज्य च
21 शक्त्यान्न थानं सततं तितिक्षा थम आर्जवम
    यदार्ह परतिपूजा च शस्त्रम एतथ अनायसम
22 ज्ञातीनां वक्तुकामानां कटूनि च लघूनि च
    गिरा तवं हृथयं वाचं शमयस्व मनांसि च
23 नामहा पुरुषः कश चिन नानात्मा नासहाय वान
    महतीं धुरम आथत्ते ताम उथ्यम्यॊरसा वह
24 सर्व एव गुरुं भारम अनड्वान वहते समे
    थुर्गे परतीकः सुगवॊ भारं वहति थुर वहम
25 भेथाथ विनाशः संघानां संघमुख्यॊ ऽसि केशव
    यदा तवां पराप्य नॊत्सीथेथ अयं संघस तदा कुरु
26 नान्यत्र बुथ्धिक्षान्तिभ्यां नान्यत्रेन्थ्रिय निग्रहात
    नान्यत्र धनसंत्यागाथ गणः पराज्ञे ऽवतिष्ठते
27 धन्यं यशस्यम आयुष्यं सवपक्षॊथ्भावनं शुभम
    ज्ञातीनाम अविनाशः सयाथ यदा कृष्ण तदा कुरु
28 आयत्यां च तथात्वे च न ते ऽसत्य अविथितं परभॊ
    षाड्गुण्यस्य विधानेन यात्रा यानविधौ तदा
29 माधवाः कुकुरा भॊजाः सर्वे चान्धकवृष्णयः (Andhaka+Vrishni)
    तवय्य आसक्ता महाबाहॊ लॊका लॊकेश्वराश च ये
30 उपासते हि तवथ बुथ्धिम ऋषयश चापि माधव
    तवं गुरुः सर्वभूतानां जानीषे तवं गतागतम
    तवाम आसाथ्य यथुश्रेष्ठम एधन्ते ज्ञातिनः सुखम

Mahabharata Book XII Chapter 82: Transliteration

 1  evam agrāhyake tasmiñ jñātisaṃbandhimaṇḍale
     mitreṣv amitreṣv api ca kathaṃ bhāvo vibhāvyate
 2 atrāpy udāharantīmam itihāsaṃ purātanam
     vāsudevasya saṃvādaṃ surarṣer nāradasya ca
 3 nāsuhṛt paramaṃ mantraṃ nāradārhati veditum
     apaṇḍito vāpi suhṛt paṇḍito vāpi nātmavān
 4 sa te sauhṛdam āsthāya kiṃ cid vakṣyāmi nārada
     kṛtsnāṃ ca buddhiṃ saṃprekṣya saṃpṛcche tridivaṃ gama
 5 dāsyam aiśvaryavādena jñātīnāṃ vai karomy aham
     ardhabhoktāsmi bhogānāṃ vāg dur uktāni ca kṣame
 6 araṇīm agnikāmo vā mathnāti hṛdayaṃ mama
     vācā dur uktaṃ devarṣe tan me dahati nityadā
 7 balaṃ saṃkarṣaṇe nityaṃ saukumāryaṃ punar gade
     rūpeṇa mattaḥ pradyumnaḥ so 'sahāyo 'smi nārava
 8 anye hi sumahābhāgā balavanto dur āsadāḥ
     nityotthānena saṃpannā nāradāndhakavṛṣṇayaḥ
 9 yasya na syur na vai sa syād yasya syuḥ kṛcchram eva tat
     dvābhyāṃ nivārito nityaṃ vṛṇomy ekataraṃ na ca
 10 syātāṃ yasyāhukākrūrau kiṃ nu duḥkhataraṃ tataḥ
    yasya vāpi na tau syātāṃ kiṃ nu duḥkhataraṃ tataḥ
11 so 'haṃ kitava māteva dvayor api mahāmune
    ekasya jayam āśaṃse dvitīyasyāparājayam
12 mamaivaṃ kliśyamānasya nāradobhayataḥ sadā
    vaktum arhasi yac chreyo jñātīnām ātmanas tathā
13 āpado dvividhāḥ kṛṣṇa bāhyāś cābhyantarāś ca ha
    prādurbhavanti vārṣṇeya svakṛtā yadi vānyataḥ
14 seyam ābhyantarā tubhyam āpat kṛcchrā svakarma jā
    akrūra bhojaprabhavāḥ sarve hy ete tad anvayāḥ
15 arthahetor hi kāmād vādvārā bībhatsayāpi vā
    ātmanā prāptam aiśvaryam anyatra pratipāditam
16 kṛtamūlam idānīṃ taj jātaśabdaṃ sahāyavat
    na śakyaṃ punar ādātuṃ vāntam annam iva tvayā
17 babhrūgrasenayo rājyaṃ nāptuṃ śakyaṃ kathaṃ cana
    jñātibheda bhayāt kṛṣṇa tvayā cāpi viśeṣataḥ
18 tac cet sidhyet prayatnena kṛtvā karma suduṣ karam
    mahākṣayavyayaṃ vā syād vināśo vā punar bhavet
19 anāyasena śastreṇa mṛdunā hṛdayachidā
    jihvām uddhara sarveṣāṃ parimṛjyānumṛjya ca
20 anāyasaṃ mune śastraṃ mṛdu vidyām ahaṃ katham
    yenaiṣām uddhare jihvāṃ parimṛjyānumṛjya ca
21 śaktyānna dānaṃ satataṃ titikṣā dama ārjavam
    yathārha pratipūjā ca śastram etad anāyasam
22 jñātīnāṃ vaktukāmānāṃ kaṭūni ca laghūni ca
    girā tvaṃ hṛdayaṃ vācaṃ śamayasva manāṃsi ca
23 nāmahā puruṣaḥ kaś cin nānātmā nāsahāya vān
    mahatīṃ dhuram ādatte tām udyamyorasā vaha
24 sarva eva guruṃ bhāram anaḍvān vahate same
    durge pratīkaḥ sugavo bhāraṃ vahati dur vaham
25 bhedād vināśaḥ saṃghānāṃ saṃghamukhyo 'si keśava
    yathā tvāṃ prāpya notsīded ayaṃ saṃghas tathā kuru
26 nānyatra buddhikṣāntibhyāṃ nānyatrendriya nigrahāt
    nānyatra dhanasaṃtyāgād gaṇaḥ prājñe 'vatiṣṭhate
27 dhanyaṃ yaśasyam āyuṣyaṃ svapakṣodbhāvanaṃ śubham
    jñātīnām avināśaḥ syād yathā kṛṣṇa tathā kuru
28 āyatyāṃ ca tadātve ca na te 'sty aviditaṃ prabho
    ṣāḍguṇyasya vidhānena yātrā yānavidhau tathā
29 mādhavāḥ kukurā bhojāḥ sarve cāndhakavṛṣṇayaḥ
    tvayy āsaktā mahābāho lokā lokeśvarāś ca ye
30 upāsate hi tvad buddhim ṛṣayaś cāpi mādhava
    tvaṃ guruḥ sarvabhūtānāṃ jānīṣe tvaṃ gatāgatam
    tvām āsādya yaduśreṣṭham edhante jñātinaḥ sukham