மஹாபாரத செம்பதிப்புகள், மொழிபெயர்ப்புகள், அதை மூலமாக வைத்து எழுதப்பட்ட படைப்புகளைப் பற்றி பட்டியல் போட்டபோதிலிருந்தே உறுபங்கம் எங்காவது கிடைக்குமா என்று தேடிக் கொண்டிருந்தேன். archive.org தளத்தில் ஒரு scanned காப்பிதான் கிடைத்தது. ஆனால் சரியாக scan ஆகவில்லை, பல எழுத்துப் பிழைகள். படிக்கவே முடியவில்லை. கடைசியில் நானே தம் கட்டி பிழைகளை எனக்குத் தெரிந்த வரையில் திருத்தினேன். ஆர்வம் உள்ள எல்லாருக்கும் உதவியாக இருக்குமே என்று இங்கே பதித்திருக்கிறேன்.
இது செம்பதிப்பு எல்லாம் கிடையாது. (எனக்குத் தெரிந்த வரையில்) பிழை திருத்தல் மட்டுமே.
உறுபங்கம் நடிக்கப்பட்டால் powerful ஆக இருக்கும் என்று தோன்றுகிறது. வெறும் வசனங்களை வைத்துக் கொண்டே போர்க்களக் காட்சிகளை காட்டிவிடுகிறார். ஆனால் கடைசி சொட்டு வரை மெலோட்ராமாவாக பிழிந்து தள்ளிவிடுகிறார். நாடக மரபின்படி இறப்பை மேடையில் காட்டக் கூடாதாம். பாசர் இதைப் பற்றி எல்லாம் கவலைப்பட்டதாகத் தெரியவில்லை. துரியோதனனின் இறப்பைக் காட்டாவிட்டால் நாடகத்தின் power குறைவாகத்தான் இருக்கும்.
பாரத் ஏக் கோஜ் தொடரில் சில நிமிஷங்கள் இந்த நாடகம் காட்டப்படுகிறது. ஓம் புரி துரியோதனனாக நடித்திருக்கிறார். கீழே உள்ள வீடியோவில் கிட்டத்தட்ட மூன்றாவது நிமிஷத்திலிருந்து இந்த நாடகத்தின் சில காட்சிகளைக் காணலாம்.
The Broken Thighs
The great battle of the Kauravas and the Pandavas culminated in the duel between the gigantic Bhima and Duryodhana, the champion of the Kauravas. They fought with maces. Bhima was all but defeated when with a mighty effort he struck a foul blow and broke Duryodhana’s thighs. This play is the tragedy of Duryodhana’s defeat and death.
In the Mahabharata there Is a section called Gadayuddha Parva. Duryodhana challenges the Pandavas to a single combat. Yudhishtra agrees, but Krishna says he has made a mistake. Nobody can defeat Duryodhana In an honest fight. Bhima defies Duryodhana. Baladeva comes to see the fight and the two champions fall upon each other.
After a digression the story goes on. All repair to Samantapanchaka. Bhima and Duryodhana face each other; the princes make a circle round them. The champions abuse each other and fall to with their maces. Duryodhana breaks Bhima’s coat-of-mail. Krishna tells Arjuna that Bhima cannot win by honest fighting. Then Arjuna slaps his left thigh, so that Bhima sees him. Bhima smashes Duryodhana’s thighs. Bhima scorns the fallen warrior and mishandles him. Yudhishtra restrains Bhima and speaks solicitous words to Duryodhana. Baladeva blames Bhima for breaking the law of fighting. Krishna holds him back and argues the point. Baladeva is not convinced; he praises Duryodhana and promises Bhima a bad reputation. He takes himself off.
Krishna approves what has happened and congratulates the king on regaining the realm. Warriors praise Bhima. Krishna advises them to go home and reviles Duryodhana. Duryodhana raises himself half-way up and abuses Krishna for his cunning. Krishna answers with repeated reproaches. Duryodhana congratulates himself that he has had the greatest loss on earth and will now go to heaven. Heaven indicates its concurrence. All are depressed at this, but Krishna assures them that their powerful opponents could not have been killed In lawful warfare and dismisses them to their homes. They go to the camp. Krishna is sent to Hastinapura to conciliate Gandhari. Krishna endeavors to console Dhritarashtra and Gandhari and then returns. When the remaining Kurus hear what has happened they seek out Duryodhana. Asvatthama swears he will destroy the Pandavas. At Duryodhana’s command Kripa brings a vessel of water and Asvatthama is consecrated to the command of the army. The three Kurus leave Duryodhana and depart. The next section is called Sauptika Parva and describes the night attack on the Pandava camp. At the end of it Duryodhana expresses his satisfaction and goes to heaven.
It will be obvious on reading this play that our dramatist represents the story in a very different way from that in the epic.
First we may note a feature of the construction of the play. There is only one act with as many as sixty-six verses, but this is introduced by an interlude or introductory scene (Vishkambhaka), in which three soldiers, reciting verses in turn, give us a description of battle, of the battleground, and of innumerable corpses. Then they tell us of the fight with maces between Bhima and Duryodhana, that Bhima is struck down, and Duryodhana taunts him. Then that Krishna makes a secret sign, striking his own thigh; that Bhima with a mighty effort and with both his arms hurls the mace on his opponent’s thighs. Bhima is led away by the Pandavas and Balarama is very angry.
This long description of what is happening reminds us of the three priests describing the sacrifice in The Five Nights, and, to a lesser degree, of the descriptions of the fight in the same play.
Baladeva opens the next scene, and Duryodhana crawls in with both thighs broken. Baladeva threatens vengeance, but Duryodhana, the wicked prince, shows a saintly resignation.
Then the dramatist brings on to the field of battle the old blind king Dhritarashtra and his devoted wife Gandhari, who according to the epic story, were miles away at Hastinapura. With them come two queens of the fallen prince and his little son. There is a poignant passage, with the boy attempting to climb on his father’s knees. All this has been invented. Duryodhana preaches reconciliation to his son and looks for death.
Asvatthama, the son of the old preceptor Drona, enters and declares he will slay the Pandavas. Duryodhana attempts to dissuade him, but he swears he will do it by a raid at night. Baladeva bears witness to the oath. Asvatthama declares Durjaya the heir to the kingdom. (By the compact the realm should go to the Pandavas and Asvatthama was made commander in the epic.) Then Duryodhana is satisfied.
There is nothing about a son of Duryodhana in the epic. Duryodhana has a vision of his ancestors, which recalls the old king’s death in the same play, and he dies. They cover him with a cloth.
As we have seen, Duryodhana in the epic died after the night raid, and between his wounding and his death showed a much fiercer spirit.
This death on the stage is remarkable. It has been introduced deliberately, though not in place according to the story, to round off the tragedy. It is against the canons of orthodox Sanskrit dramaturgy. Whoever be the author, we have here a tragedy written for the Indian stage.
Does it date from a time before the convention was fixed, or does it represent a defiance of that convention at a later date? If the play were ancient, it might be expected that later editors would try their hands in adding descriptive verses of their own. This might account for minor inconsistencies.
Compare also the death of Vali in “The Consecration”.
Dramatis Personae (In order of appearance)
Assistant to the manager
Three Soldiers of Duryodhana’s army, who describe the battlefield and then the duel with maces.
Baladeva or Balarama, the wielder of the Plough (Halayudha), elder brother of Krishna.
Duryodhana, eldest of the hundred sons of the blind king Dhritarashtra, leader of the Kurus.
Dhritarashtra, the old blind king.
Gandhari, his wife, who wore a bandage on her eyes.
Malavi, one of Duryodhana’s Queens.
Pauravi, another of Duryodhana’s Queens.
Durjaya, Duryodhana’s young son.
Asvatthama, son of the old preceptor Drona
[Enter the Stage Manager]
Stage-manager: May the Lord Kesava ferry you over a flood of enemies, as he ferried Arjuna over the torrent of his foes, a torrent gravelly with blades and shafts, with Bhishma and Drona as the guiding banks; wherein the King of Sind represents the river water, Gandhara’s king a whirlpool, and Magadhas’ king a wave; a stream with Drona’s son as alligator, with Kripa as a crocodile, and with Duryodhana as the tearing current. With these words, my lords and gentlemen, I have to announce to you…
But what is that? I thought I heard a noise just as I was to make my announcement. Well, I must see what it is.
[Voices behind the scene]: Oh! Here we are, here we are!
Manager: Good. I understand.
[Enter an Assistant.]
Assistant: Where do these people come from, Master ?
Officers are rushing to and fro, touchstones of each other’s valor, ready to sacrifice their, persons in the van of battle for the sake of heaven. Their limbs are jagged with a hundred arrows and javelins, their bodies chiseled by the tusks of raging elephants.
Manager: Don’t you understand, my lad? Duryodhana is the sole survivor on the side of Dhritarashtra bereft of a hundred sons and wisdom. On Yudhishtra’s side only the Pandavas and Janardana remain. Kurukshetra’s plains are strewn with the corpses of kings. Here is a picture crammed with soldiers and kings, horses and elephants slain in battle; the drawing seems confused. The combat of Bhima and Suyodhana begins. Their warriors have entered the one house of death for lords of men.
End of the Prologue
Samantapanchaka, the place in Kurukshetra where Parasurama (Rama with the axe) is said to have slain, the Kshatriya race
[Enter three soldiers.]
All together: Oh! here we are, here we are!
First Soldier: We have arrived at the hermitage called battle, the home of hostility and touchstone of valor. This is the abode of pride and glory. This is where warriors assemble to be chosen as bridegrooms by the nymphs of heaven. This is the place of manly prowess, a hero’s couch for the death of kings, a burnt sacrifice of lives, a prince’s bridge to heaven.
Second Soldier: You speak truly. The ground is rugged with heaps of elephants’ corpses like huge boulders. On every side are vultures’ nests. Chariots are empty of their champions. Kings of the earth have gone to heaven; yet such deeds have they done face to face in the battle, where all are busy with death, that they are not killed, though slain long since.
Third Soldier: It is even so. The battle rite proceeds; a sacrifice, where warriors fall as victims, and roars, as of lions, supply the sacred chanting. In that rite, lit with the fire of hostility, sacrificial posts are seen in the trunks of elephants, sacrificial grass in the litter of arrows, the wood stack in the pile of slaughtered tuskers and in the floating banners, the celestial cars.
First Soldier: Look you on this other side. Kings lie heaped upon the battleground bereft of life by each other’s shafts, and these birds with blood-stained beaks loosen the ornaments from their bodies.
Second Soldier: An elephant arrayed and ready for battle is overthrown by the force of a shower of arrows and sinks down with armor broken, like a royal arsenal, with bows and arrows.
Third Soldier: Here’s another thing, look you. As women-folk help a daughter’s husband down from the car, so do eager jackals drag down the dead warrior from the front of the chariot with his jeweled quiver, and a necklace of skulls made of garlands fallen from the top of banner poles.
All together: Oh! How frightful is this battleground, Samantapanchaka. The ground is soaked with the blood of horses, men, and elephants, wounded and slain. There is a confused mass of torn mail, skins, umbrellas, javelins, arrows, spears, and armor mixed with headless trunks, and a litter of every sort of weapon – pikes and darts, spears and cross-bolts, spikes and maces, hammers, boars, lances, arrows, swords, and clubs.
First Soldier: Here, indeed. Rivers of blood are crossed by bridges of elephants’ corpses. Steeds draw chariots devoid of princes, whence the charioteers have fallen. When heads are severed, trunks rush on by force of habit. Maddened elephants without a rider are wandering everywhere.
Second Soldier: Again, see this. Vultures with tawny eyes, with beaks as sharp as goads, and huge long wings outspread, gleam in the sky like fans, with bits of flesh for coral.
Third Soldier: The earth shows clearly all around in the pitiless rays of the sun slaughtered warriors and kings, elephants and chargers; it seems to support a host of fallen stars, covered as it is with darts and lances, arrows, javelins, and swords.
First Soldier: Even in such a plight warriors do not lose their splendor but look magnificent. For here kings’ faces, free from fear, represent a still lotus of the land; their eyes turned up once for ever are the swarming bees, then dark red lips supply a multitude of shoots; their knitted brows portray the curving filaments; raised aloft on arrow stalks in the van of battle they sleep unstirred by the sun of valor.
Second Soldier: Death prevails over even such warriors as these. It is impossible for less fortunate men to support the power of a king.
Third Soldier: What, then does death prevail over warriors?
First Soldier: No doubt of it.
Second Soldier: Nay, say not so. It was Arjuna today that perforce did introduce to Death those proud and insolent kings with arrows remaining from his fierce fight with Siva, Arjuna twanging his bow in the van of battle, with the string blackened by the smoke of the Khandava forest, that bow that destroyed the sworn confederates, sacrificed the life of demons in impenetrable armor, and removed the distress of heaven.
All Together: Aha! a sound. Is it thunder in the clouds? Are mountains being powdered by a flight of thunderbolts? Or is the earth being torn asunder by convulsions reverberating with tumultuous roar? Or is it the roaring of the sea, seething with a multitude of billows lashed into wild fury by the wind and breaking against the caves in the cliff of Mandara? Well, let us see.
First Soldier: Ah! here has begun the duel with maces between the middle Pandava, Bhimasena, furious at the dragging of Draupadi by the hair, and the emperor Duryodhana enraged at the slaughter of a hundred brothers. Dvaipayana, Halayudha, Krishna, Vidura, and the other worshipful chiefs of the Kuru and Yadu races are looking on.
Second Soldier: Bhima’s chest, broad as a slab of burnished gold, is struck a violent blow. Duryodhana’s muscular shoulders, hard as the trunk of Indra’s elephant, are torn open. Weapons cling betwixt and beside their two arms. And with it all there goes up the din made by the violent strokes of the maces.
Third Soldier: Here is the Emperor. His crest is quivering with a skillful shake, his face and eyes are swollen with rage, his body dwarfed as he approaches crouching, and his hands held high aloft. The mace uplifted in his right hand and soaked with his enemy’s blood shines like Indra’s thunderbolt resting on the highest peaks of Mount Kailasa.
First Soldier: Behold the Pandava with limbs besmeared with blood from mighty blows. The blood gushes from his broken forehead, the points of each shoulder are shattered; his huge chest is drenched in gore running in streams from his wounds. Sorely wounded and bleeding from strokes of the mace, Bhima shines like the mountain Meru with its boulders dyed by streams red with minerals.
Second Soldier: He hurls the dreadful mace. He roars as he leaps aside; he quickly lifts his arm and parries the other’s stroke. He takes a forward step and strikes without remission. The king is well trained, but Bhima is the stronger.
Third Soldier: Bhima now, matchless in battles, huge as a mountain, with a deep cut on his head drenching his limbs with blood, sinks on the earth like Golden Peak, the king of mountains, struck by a thunderbolt, and running with ruddy ores dislodged. Seeing Bhima falling, his limbs loosened by a blow of the mace, Vyasa stands amazed, his face upturned resting on a single finger.
Second Soldier: Yudhishtra is dismayed, Vidura is blinded with tears.
Third Soldier: Arjuna is fingering the Gandiva bow, Krishna is gazing at the sky.
All Together: Balarama, a spectator of the battle, from love of his pupil brandishes his plough.
First Soldier: Here the Emperor, abiding place of valor, his crest flashing with many a jewel, endowed with pride and dignity with majesty and fortitude, speaks a word in mockery. “Fear not, Bhima, no hero smites a foe prostrate in battle.”
Second Soldier: Now seeing Bhimasena ridiculed, Krishna makes a secret sign striking his own thigh.
Third Soldier: That sign has comforted the Wind God’s son. Knitting a frown on his forehead, wiping away the sweat, then grasping his mace ‘Chitrangada’ with both hands, with strength renewed by the Wind God, who saw his son prostrate, he rises once more from the ground roaring like a bull-lion.
First Soldier: Oh! the duel with maces has begun again. The son of Pandu rubs his palms upon the ground, bites his lips with intense force, roars with furious rage and with a swift long sweep of both his arms, forgetting love of righteousness, forsaking rules of war, but following Krishna’s sign he hurls the mace on Duryodhana’s thighs.
All Together: Alas! the Emperor has fallen.
Third Soldier: Seeing the Kuru king falling with limbs bled white, the blessed Vyasa has risen to the sky. Lightly covering his eyes Balarama shuts out the view. Bhima sees the Wielder of the Plough has shut his eyes in anger on Duryodhana’s behalf, and at Vyasa’s bidding is led away by the startled Pandavas in their hands enlaced, while Krishna supports his steps.
First Soldier: Why Balarama with eyes closed in anger, has perceived the flight of Bhimasena and conies this very way. Here he is, his lovely crest in disarray, his eyes dilated red with rage, he draws up a little way the garland bitten by bees. Dragging the garments hanging loose on his dark body he looks like a moon with a halo descended to the ground.
Second Soldier: Come let us attend on the Emperor.
The other two: Very well, a good suggestion.
End of Interlude
Baladeva: Ho, ye kings! this is not right. Unmindful of my plough that is death to the force of foes, recking nothing, in his pride, of me or the violation of the law of battle, he hurled that mace on Duryodhana’s thighs in the forefront of the fight bringing him low with the fortune of his house. Duryodhana, live on a little while, till today on the broad chest of Bhima, ripely wet with sweat and blood, I make my plough groan as it furrows heavily through that field. To that ploughshare still cling remains of Saubha. It was a hook for the high rampart of the great Asura city, a guide to Yamuna’s waters, appeased by the oblations of countless foes’ lives.
[Voice behind the scene]: Be merciful, blessed Wielder of the Plough, be merciful.
Baladeva: Even in this plight the wretched Duryodhana follows me. He is glorious, his lustre smeared wet with blood, the sandal paste of battle. Arms dusty white from crawling on the ground, he has taken an infant’s role. He is like Vasuki set loose from the mountain by gods and demons, after the churning of the ocean was complete; abandoned and exhausted it drags its coils in the ocean waters.
[Enter Duryodhana with both thighs broken.]
Duryodhana: Here, alas, am I, both thighs crushed with a mace-blow by Bhima, who has broken the law of fighting, crawling on the ground with my two arms I drag along my body half extinct. Be merciful, blessed Wielder of the Plough, be merciful. For the first time, today my head falls at thy feet, myself fallen on the earth. Quench thy wrath. Victory to the funeral clouds of the Kuru race. An end has come to our hostility, to the reason of the war, and to ourselves.
Baladeva: O Duryodhana, live on a little while.
Duryodhana: What are you going to do?
Baladeva: Listen, to thy warriors slain in battle with chariots, elephants, and horses and faring to heaven, I will give the sons of Pandu, their bodies furrowed by my ploughshare hurled upon them, their hearts and shoulders torn asunder by pestle blows.
Duryodhana: Nay, say not so, Bhima has fulfilled his vow, my hundred brothers have gone to heaven, myself have come to such a pass, Balarama. What can war do now?
Baladeva: He tricked you before my eyes. That has made me angry.
Duryodhana: You think that I was tricked?
Baladeva: No doubt of it.
Duryodhana: Alas! My life it seems is the price I pay. Bhima had the wit to extricate himself from the dreadful house of lac all ablaze. In the battle in Kubera’s abode he matched the onrush of mountain rocks. He it was that took the life of Hidimba, the lord of giants. If you think that Bhima has vanquished me today by a trick, why, Balarama, he has not beaten me.
Baladeva: Having tricked you in the fight is Bhimasena to survive?
Duryodhana: What, was I tricked by Bhimasena?
Baladeva: Why, what brought you to this plight?
Duryodhana: Hearken! He that defied Indra and likewise stole his coral tree, he that for a whim slept a thousand celestial years in the ocean waters, ’twas he, Hari, the darling of the world, with his innate love of battle, that suddenly entered into Bhima’s sharp mace and gave me over to death.
[Voice behind the scene]: Out of the way, sirs, out of the way.
Baladeva: Ah! Here comes his majesty Dhritarashtra led by Gandhari and Durjaya, and the ladies of the palace are with him. His heart is overcome with grief. He is a mine of fortitude, the sight of his eyes distributed among a hundred sons. Upstanding in his dignity, his long arms are like the golden pillars of the sacrifice. At his birth the gods misdoubted them of protecting heaven and smote his eyes with a handful of malignant darkness.
[Enter Dhritarashtra with Gandhari, two Queens and Durjaya.]
Dhritarashtra: My son, where are you?
Gandhari: My child, where are you?
Queens: Where are you, my lord?
Dhritarashtra: Alas! Today when I heard of my son struck down in the battle by a trick, my blind face was made still blinder by the tears streaming in my eyes.
Gandhari: Are you still there?
Duryodhana: Still bound to life, unhappy that I am.
Queens: Oh! Majesty, alas!
Duryodhana: Woe is me, even my queens are wailing. Before that I hardly felt the pain of the mace’s blow, but now I have it fully, when my women-folk come into the field with their tresses exposed to view.
Dhritarashtra: Gandhari, can you see that champion of our house, Duryodhana?
Gandhari: Majesty, I do not see him.
Dhritarashtra: What, not see him? Now am I cursed by fate that I cannot see my son at the time of need. Proud of begetting a hundred sons, wise and brave, splendid in pride and valor, destruction to the enemies’ ranks, does Dhritarashtra not deserve to have a funeral oblation scattered on the ground by one of his sons at least?
Gandhari: Suyodhana, my child, answer me, and his unhappy majesty bereaved of a hundred sons.
Baladeva: Ah! Queen Gandhari! Her eyes never yearned to see the faces of her sons and grandsons, but now her fortitude is exhausted by grief at Duryodhana’s downfall. She wears the bandage on her eyes symbol of devotion to her lord, but now it is ceaselessly wetted with her tears.
Dhritarashtra: Duryodhana, my son, sovereign commander of eighteen divisions, where are you?
Duryodhana: A fine sovereign today!
Dhritarashtra: Eldest of five score brothers, answer me.
Duryodhana: I’ll tell you another story! How this business shames me!
Dhritarashtra: Come, my son, and greet me.
Duryodhana: Here I come. [Makes as if to rise but falls again.] Alas! This is a second blow. Alack! Today when Bhimasena seized me by the hair and hurled his mace, he did not rob me of my thighs alone, but also of the salutation to my father’s feet.
Gandhari: Here, my daughters.
Queens: We are here, lady.
Gandhari: Seek out your husband.
Queens: I go, unhappy.
Dhritarashtra: Who is it leading me, pulling the hem of my robe?
Durjaya: ‘Tis I, grandpa, Durjaya.
Dhritarashtra: Go and look for your father, Durjaya.
Durjaya: I am so tired.
Dhritarashtra: Run along, you can rest on your father’s knees.
Durjaya: I am off, grandpa. [Approaching.] Daddy, where are you?
Duryodhana: Oh, he has come too. Come what may, my love for my boy is close to my heart, and now it burns me! For, Innocent of sorrows, eager to rest on my knees, what will Durjaya say when he sees me vanquished?
Durjaya: Here is the king, sitting on the ground.
Duryodhana: Why have you come, my son?
Durjaya: You were away so long.
Duryodhana: Ah me! Even in this plight my heart burns with love of my boy.
Durjaya: I’ll sit on your lap. [Tries to climb on to his knees.]
Duryodhana: [Preventing him.] Oh Durjaya, Durjaya, alas! This crescent moon, delight of my eyes and heart’s delight, by change of circumstance becomes a burning fire.
Durjaya: Why won’t you let me sit on your lap?
Duryodhana: My son, give up thy wonted seat. Sit anywhere, but from today, thou canst sit no more where thou wast wont to sit.
Durjaya: Why, where are you going?
Duryodhana: I’ll follow my hundred brothers.
Durjaya: Take me with you.
Duryodhana: Go, my son, and talk to Bhima.
Durjaya: Come, father, they are looking for you.
Duryodhana: Who are?
Durjaya: Granny and grandpa and all the ladies.
Duryodhana: Go, my son, I cannot come.
Durjaya: I’ll take you.
Duryodhana: You are too young, my son.
Durjaya: [Stepping round] Ladies, the king is here.
Queens: Woe, woe, the king!
Dhritarashtra: Where is the king?
Gandhari: Where is my child ?
Durjaya: He’s here sitting on the ground.
Dhritarashtra: Alas, is this the king? In stature he was like a golden pillar, the sole overlord of kings in the world, and now my miserable son lies on the ground no better than the broken bolt of a door.
Gandhari: Suyodhana, my child, are you tired?
Duryodhana: I am your ladyship’s son.
Dhritarashtra: Who is that?
Gandhari: Tis I, great king, that gave thee fearless sons.
Duryodhana: Now today I feel that I am born indeed. Come, father, there is now no need of anxiety.
Dhritarashtra: Why should I be anxious, son? Thy hundred brothers puffed up with strength and courage, consecrated for the sacrifice of battle, were already slain; with thy single death all is dead. [Falls.]
Duryodhana: Alas, the king has fallen. Oh, father, do console the queen.
Dhritarashtra: What consolation can I give, my son?
Duryodhana: Why, say that I was slain facing the foe. For my sake, father restrain your grief. At thy feet alone I bow my crest, without thought of the blazing fire within I depart for heaven, as proudly as I was born.
Dhritarashtra: I am an old man, blind from birth, with no desire for life. Bitter grief for my sons curbs my will, overspreads my soul and overwhelms me.
Baladeva: Alas! He has lost all hope for Duryodhana, his eyes are ever closed. I have no heart to announce myself in his exalted presence.
Duryodhana: I would ask a favor from your ladyship.
Gandhari: Speak out, my son.
Duryodhana: With folded hands I ask, if I have earned any merit, be thou my mother in another life.
Gandhari: ‘Tis my own wish you have expressed.
Duryodhana: Malavi, listen. My forehead was shattered by blows of a mace inflicted during a duel. On my breast there is no space for a necklace, such streams of blood are gushing forth. My two arms, look, are well adorned with wounds as golden bracelets. Thy husband fell in battle facing the foe. Why dost thou weep, warrior-lady?
Malavi: I’m but a woman, your wedded wife, and so I weep.
Duryodhana: Pauravi, listen. We have performed the desired sacrifices enjoined by scripture, and supported our kinsmen. The beloved five score brothers vanquished the foe. Our dependents were never deceived in us. The kings of eighteen armies were sore pressed in the battle. Think of my glory with pride. Wives of such men do not weep.
Pauravi: My mind is all made up where I shall go, and so I weep no more.
Duryodhana: Durjaya, you listen too.
Dhritarashtra: Gandhari, what is he going to say?
Gandhari: My own very thought.
Duryodhana: You must obey the Pandavas like myself. Follow the directions of the lady mother Kunti, Abhimanyu’s mother and Draupadi you must honor like your own mother. Look you, my son, grieve no more, but remember your father Duryodhana, of glorious splendor and a heart fired with pride, fell in battle face to face with an equal foe. Then you must touch Yudhishtra’s mighty arm, the right arm in its linen, and join the sons of Pandu to give me the last oblation uttering my name.
Baladeva: Ah! Hostility has melted to remorse. What, some noise it seems. All is still, with never a roll of the battle drums ; arrows and mail are cast aside with the chowries and umbrellas of state. Charioteers and warriors lie dead. Who is this then twanging his bow and filling the sky with flocks of frightened crows?
[Voice behind the scenes]: As a priest selects a great Horse-Sacrifice, so do I come to this crowded battle rite, that first I entered with Duryodhana spanning his bow.
Baladeva: Ah! hither comes Asvatthama, the preceptor’s son. Large eyes as clear as lotus petals fully blown, long arms outstretched as fair as posts of gold, as he eagerly draws his dread bow, he is like Mount Meru all ablaze with a rainbow resting on its peak.
Asvatthama: [Repeats the verse,’ As a priest,’ ] Oh, hearken to me, ye kings renowned in war, though few survive and life is slowly ebbing with every breath, though your bodies be mutilated by those crocodiles, the weapons upraised when the two oceans of opposing forces flowed together in the battle-storm, hearken, I say, to me. ‘Twas the Kuru king had his thighs shattered by fraud, not I. ‘Twas the son of the charioteer had a sword that broke and failed, not I. Here to-day I stand alone. Drona’s son on the field of victory, with sword drawn in eagerness. But to me too what boots the glory of battle without tHe praise of victory?
Nay, not so. The Kuru King, ornament of the Kuru race, was tricked when I was busy with funeral oblations to my father. Who will believe it? For, Waiting on his word stood the sovereigns of eleven armies, with folded hands held high, mounted on cars and elephants, with bows as other hands; fighting in the fray was Bhishma, with his mail coat licked by Parasurama’s arrows and my father; ’tis manifest the hero Duryodhana was defeated by destiny. Now where is Gandhari’s son?
[Steps and looks around]
Ah, here is the king of the Kurus, he has crossed the ocean of war and lies amid a rampart of broken chariots and the corpses of men, elephants, and horses. Here he is, with the netted beams of his hair fallen disheveled from his crest, with limbs bleeding from blows of the mace lie sits on the stony seat, his last home, and sinks like the westering sun plunging into twilight.
[Going up to him]
Oh king of the Kurus, what is this?
Duryodhana: Oh son of my preceptor, the result of insatiable ambition.
Asvatthama: King of the Kuru, I am about to abandon the root of righteousness.
Duryodhana: What will you do?
Asvatthama: Listen. Krishna is ready for the fight, riding on Garuda’s back with his four dread arms, with his disc and bow aloft. But I will wipe out with a network of shafts the sons of Pandu with him, like a picture where the drawing Is confused.
Duryodhana: Nay, say not so. The whole host of anointed kings now lies in the lap of mother earth. Karna has gone to heaven. Shantanu’s son has fallen. My five score brethren have been slain in the van of battle facing the foe and I am brought to this plight. Preceptor’s son, unstring thy bow.
Asvatthama: O King of the heroes, when the Pandava in the fight today seized thy hair and struck thee with his mace he broke thy spirit along with thy two thighs.
Duryodhana: Say not so. Kings have pride incarnate. For pride’s sake I accepted war. Look you, my preceptor’s son, how Draupadi aforetime was dragged, at the gambling match by tresses grasped and twisted in my hand; how young Abhimanyu, still a boy, was slain in battle, how the Pandavas on the pretext of the dicing had to dwell In the forest with wild beasts; reflect on this, it is little that those chiefs have done to break my spirit.
Asvatthama: I take an oath by everything. By your Highness and by my own soul I swear, and by the heaven of the brave, I will make a raid by night and destroy the Pandavas in the fight.
Baladeva: Uttered by the preceptor’s son, that should come to pass.
Asvatthama: The worshipful Balarama.
Dhritarashtra: Alas, there was a witness to these crooked words.
Asvatthama: Durjaya, come here. Be thou king, though unanointed, at the bidding of a priest, of a kingdom inherited through the valor of thy sire, a conqueror by the might of his arms.
Duryodhana: Ah my heart’s desire is now fulfilled. My life is slipping away. Here are my revered ancestors Shantanu and the others. There rise my hundred brothers with Karna at their head. Here too is angry Abhimanyu seated on Indra’s elephant, scolding me. See his side locks and how Mahendra supports him in his palm. Urvasi and these other nymphs have come for me. Here are the great oceans manifest. There are the great rivers, Ganges and the rest. Death has sent an aerial car, the wain of heroes, drawn by a thousand swans to fetch me. Here I come. [Expires. They cover him with a cloth.]
Dhritarashtra: I’ll depart for the penance groves so rich in pious folk. Out on a realm made valueless by the loss of my sons.
Asvatthama: Now do I depart, my bowman’s hand uplifted for the slaughter of the sleepers. May the Gods destroy all my enemies and protect the earth.
தொகுக்கப்பட்ட பக்கம்: படைப்புகள்