Mahabharata Stories: 35 – Mission Continues

We always expect to find happiness in anything we do. This quest for happiness leads us to expect more and more out of all out acts. On the other hand, wisdom states, ”Expectations are the root to unhappiness”. But with no expectation, there can hardly be anything happening in the world. So, where could the answer to this apparent paradox lie?

Sanjaya, Dhritarashtra’s charioteer, reached Matsya and received a hearty welcome from the Pandavas. After the customary pleasantries, Yudhishtira said: I hope you bring good news, and that Duryodhana and others remember us, as he should. I hope he understands the strength of Arjuna, Bhima, Nakula and Sahadeva who fought the gandharvas and saved his life.

Sanjaya said: King Dhritarashtra conferred with his court and has sent his message. He relies on your Dharma and hopes you would not lead to war between brothers. This is what the king says – My best wishes to my dear sons. Yudhishtira, I request you for peace. You have led a life of righteousness and committing a sin now would taint your name forever. There can be nothing like sacrificing one’s life for the family for then, one is blessed. If, on the other hand, you insist on fighting the Kauravas, you may destroy them, but in the process you destroy your own lives. You have many a great hero to fight on your side and they may lead you to victory. Also, the Kaurava army has great warriors. Think before deciding on war. I beseech Krishna and Drupada to do all they can to avert war.

Yudhishtira, exceedingly vexed, said: Why is Uncle accusing me? I never did ask for war. Indeed after all that happened, would I wish for war? The whole world knows that we are always on the path of Dharma. I come to realise that my uncle’s mind is like fire, which can never be satiated. He abetted all the sins of his son and goaded him on. He never listened to Vidura, their best friend endowed with wisdom. Rather, they treated him like an undesirable prick. Even during the game of dice, the king only wanted to know who won, and did not listen to Vidura and stop the game. Please tell the king that I do not want war. Let Duryodhana return Indraprastha to us and there shall be no war.


Sanjaya said: I have not yet conveying the complete message – Life is short and do not earn infamy. The Kauravas may not yield the kingdom, unless there is war. Yet, it would be better if you spend the rest of your lives begging for alms. Earthly desires lead man toward sin. Why then do you desire war? Thirteen years ago you bore patiently the injustice perpetrated against you. And now you want to wage war. Why did you give a false sense of security? Return to the forest and spend the rest of your life righteously. Renounce all thoughts of war.

Sanjaya now sat silent. Bhima, Arjuna and Sahadeva paced about impatiently. After a long pause, Yudhishtira said: I do not know what to say. I seek refuge in the Lord. I leave it to Krishna to reply for me.

Krishna, deeply moved by Yudhishtira’s words, said: Sanjaya, first I want the welfare of the Pandavas. Then Dhritarashtra’s sons too can be long-lived. I do not understand the king’s message clearly. You know very well the path taken by the Pandavas. The king has nothing of Dharma left in him while Yudhishtira is the epitome of Dharma. Hence he cannot talk of Dharma to Yudhishtira. Give the Pandavas back their kingdom and we shall stop all preparations for war at once. Please tell the king that I shall come to Hastinapura and try to convince Duryodhana against war.

Sanjaya, expressing his embarrassing situation, prepared to leave. Yudhishtira said: We are very fond of you. You are only doing what you have to. Tell Duryodhana that we do not want war with him. If everything else fails, tell him that if he gives us just five villages we would be happy.

After seeing around the Pandava army camp, Sanjaya returned to Hastinapura.


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