Mahabharata Stories: 34 – Mission Possible

You can’t have the cake and eat it too – so goes the saying. Not many are destined to have the best of both worlds. Those who do are fortunate, but if it means placing somebody else’s rights at stake, it is not proper to even wish for both, leave alone have them.

King Drupada had an emissary sent to hold peace talks with the Kauravas on behalf of the Pandavas. The Brahmana, learned and wise, was welcomed by Bheeshma, Vidura and Dhritarashtra and was treated with all the honour due to an ambassador.

He addressed the assembly thus: This hall holds great men. You all know that this kingdom belongs to both the Kauravas and the Pandavas. The Pandavas, during their regime, worked hard to protect and expand their kingdom. Through deceit, they were made to live in great difficulty for thirteen years. The stipulated period having now come to a close, they ask to be returned what is rightfully theirs. Yudhishtira does not want war. The odds of war lie in your hands. On the other hand, if fight you must, Yudhishtira has the support of many a powerful king. There are numerous valiant warriors on his side. Arjuna has for his charioteer, the Lord Himself. I beseech you all to persuade Duryodhana to give up war and return to the Pandavas their rightful due.


Bheeshma said: I am happy to know that the Pandavas are well and have accumulated great strength on their side. They are powerful indeed as Sri Krishna is on their side! Though you are here as ambassador, there is no diplomacy in your speech; what you say is true and the words you use are sharp and cutting, leaving nothing unsaid. The Pandavas, though subjected to hardships, have adhered to dharma. The right thing to do would be to restore their kingdom…

Karna interrupted Bheeshma: Is there no end to these repetitions? Do not try to threaten Duryodhana. After all, Yudhishtira has the support of only Matsya and Panchala! The Pandavas have not fulfilled the condition set during the game of dice. Before the thirteenth year was spent, they were exposed. As per the stipulation they should return to the forest for another twelve years and then they can live as humble subjects under Duryodhana!

Bheeshma, angered, said: O Radheya! Stop your foolish talk! If Duryodhana does not act as this Brahmana says, all of us are foredoomed to destruction.

The furor and excitement in the court caused Dhritarashtra to intervene. He said: O Radheya, it is not right to talk thus to a messenger and well-wisher.

He then turned to the Brahmana and said: Please convey to the Pandavas that I shall send to them Sanjaya as my messenger as soon as I take counsel of my court.

The Brahmana returned to Matsya and briefed the Pandavas of the happenings in the court as also the extent of the war preparations on the Kaurava side.

Yudhishtira eagerly awaited the coming of Sanjaya with fond hopes of peace.


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