Chapter 15: The Pândavas Retire
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    Welcome, Guest · RSS 2018-11-13, 1:23 AM
    Chapter 15: The Pândavas Retire
    (1) Sûta said: "Arjuna, the friend of Krishna, emaciated as he was because of his separation from Krishna, thus was subjected to the various forms of doubt and speculation of his elder brother the king. (2) Because of his grief his mouth and lotuslike heart had dried up and his bodily luster had vanished. Preoccupied with thoughts about the Supreme Lord S'rî Krishna he wasn't able to reply properly. (3) The more he with great difficulty checked the force of his sadness while he wiped the tears out of his eyes, the more he eagerly thought about Him in his affection and the more distressed he became. (4) Remembering Him as well-wisher, benefactor, intimate associate and charioteer, Arjuna, overwhelmed and heavily breathing, began to speak to his eldest brother the king. Arjuna sad(5) He said: 'Oh my King, the Personality of Godhead Hari who treated me like His intimate friend has left me. Now I am bereft of the astounding power that even astonished the gods. (6) I lost Him from whom being separated but for a moment all universes appear unfavorable and void of all life, like they are all dead bodies. (7) By the strength of His mercy I could vanquish all the princes who lusted for power during the selection of the bridegroom at King Drupada's palace where I gained Draupadî's hand by piercing the fish-target with my bow. (8) Because of His support I was able to defeat Indra and his godly associates, I managed to enable the god of fire to set ablaze his forest, and we could realize our wonderfully decorated assembly house built by Maya [out of gratitude for saving him from that fire in the forest named Khândava] where all the princes assembled to your honor bringing presents collected from everywhere. (9) Under His influence our younger brother [Bhîma], who has the strength of a thousand elephants, for the sake of the [râjasûya] sacrifice managed to kill him [Jarâsandha] who was worshiped by many a king. It was He who saved the kings who by Jarâsandha had been brought [to his capital] to be sacrificed to the lord of the ghosts [Mahâbhairava]. They all paid you tribute afterwards. (10) He [in turn] took the life of the husbands of the wives [of the Kurus] whose hair was condemned to be loosened because of the fact that the cluster of your wife's [Draupadî's] hair had been loosened, which was beautifully dressed and blessed for the great ceremony. Being caught by the miscreants [the Kurus headed by Duhs'âsana] she in tears fell down at the Feet. (11) He protected us when we ran into trouble, being endangered in the forest by the intrigue of our enemies in association with Durvâsâ Muni who arrived there to eat with his ten thousand disciples. By simply before they came to it accepting the remnants of the food, He satisfied the three worlds as well as the munis who at the moment were bathing, by giving them the thought that they had been fed already. (12) Under His influence I once could astonish the Personality of God with the Trident [Lord S'iva] and his wife the daughter of the Himalaya, because of which he and other gods rewarded me with their own weapons. And thus I living in this body succeeded to obtain a half-elevated seat in the House of Indra. (13) As a guest of that heaven I could with both my arms, with my bow Gândîva, Indra and all the gods, because of being empowered by Him, the Supreme Personality whom at present I am bereft of, kill the demon Nivâtakavaca oh descendant of King Ajamîdha. (14) Because of His friendship alone I, seated on the chariot, could cross the insurmountable ocean of the invincible existence of the military strength of the Kauravas, and thanks alone to His friendship, I could return with the enormous wealth of the enemy; the brilliance of all the jewels I by force took from their heads. (15) It was He who by the power of His glance ended the mental agitation that sprouted from the motivation for results of all the fighters who with the wealth of their chariots were positioned on the battlefield oh great King, and from whose ranks I stepped forward with before my eyes the immensity of great royal personalities like Bhîshma, Karna, Drona and S'alya. (16) Under His protection the very powerful invincible weapons wielded by Drona, Bhîshma, Karna, Bhûris'ravâ, King Sus'armâ, S'alya, King Jayadratha, Bâhlika [a brother of Bhîshma] etc., could not touch me, just like when Prahlâda [the famous devotee of Nrisimhadev, the lion-incarnation] was threatened by the demons. (17) Thinking erroneously of Him as being only my chariot driver He to whose feet the intelligent ones for the sake of salvation render service delivered me. By His mercy my enemies were absentminded and did not attack me when I alighted for my thirsty horses. (18) With His smiling face He made jokes and being frank with me He addressed me with 'son of Prithâ', 'friend' and 'son of the Kuru dynasty' and such; heartfelt sayings of my Mâdhava [Krishna] that touch and overwhelm my soul as I remember them. (19) When we were sleeping, sitting, walking and dining together and truthfully confronted each other and so on, I took Him by mistake for a friend just like me, while He, despite of my seeing Him lower in my offenses, tolerated me in the glory of His magnanimity the way a friend accepts a friend or a father accepts his child. (20) Oh Emperor, without the Supreme Personality, my dear most friend and well-wisher, my heart and soul are vacant. Recently I, just like a weak woman, was defeated by infidel cowherds while I was protecting Krishna's wives. (21) Having the same bow, arrows, chariot and horses, and being the same Arjuna and chariot fighter to whom all the kings offered their respects, all of this in a single moment, with me missing Him, has become as useless as butter offered to ashes, as money obtained by magic or as seeds sown on barren land.

    (22-23) Oh King, in reply to your question about our friends and relatives in Dvârakâ I can say that they were cursed by the brahmins. As a consequence of that curse they, being drunk with rice wine, like fools killed one another with sticks, not even recognizing each other in that intoxicated state. Only four or five of them remained. (24) It is the Supreme Personality, our Lord, His program that sometimes the living beings kill and at other times protect each other. (25-26) Like in the ocean where the bigger ones eat the smaller and the stronger ones devour the weaker oh King, the same way the Omnipotent One removed the burden of all the Yadus in one stroke from the earth by having the stronger Yadu kill the weaker one and the bigger Yadu kill the smaller one in a fight. (27) Bearing in mind the words spoken by Govinda, I remember how attractive they are, and how they, imbued with importance and appropriate to the time and circumstance, put an end to the pain in the heart.' "

    (28) Sûta said: "Thus thinking of the lotus feet of the Lord and what He had instructed in the intimacy of deep friendship, Arjuna with his mind freed from all material concerns found his calm. (29) Constantly remembering the feet of Vâsudeva, Arjuna's devotion increased rapidly and the endless ruminations ended. (30) Recalling the instructions of the Supreme Lord about the transcendental in the midst of the battle and thinking of His time and actions he dispelled the darkness of his ignorance and became master of his senses. (31) Free from lamentation, by his spiritual capacity managing to cut with the doubts that were raised by the duality of being identified with the material world, he, due to the transcendence of being without a material form, was freed from the entanglement of birth and death. (32) Listening to the deliberations about the disappearance of the Supreme Lord to His abode and the end of the Yadu dynasty, Yudhishthhira for the sake of the soul decided to withdraw and also left. (33) Also Queen Kuntî, who had overheard what Arjuna told about the end of the Yadus and the disappearance of the Lord, found, as well as all the others did who were undivided in their devotion for the Lord's transcendence, in her soulful commitment release from her material existence. (34) By taking away the burden of the world that body [of the Yadu dynasty] by the Unborn One was relinquished the way a thorn is thrown away after having been used to extract another thorn, because all those thorns to the Lord are one and the same. (35) Just like with His Matsya incarnation and other incarnations, as a magician giving up one body in order to accept another, He relinquished the body He manifested to diminish the burden of the world. (36) When Mukunda [the Lord of Liberation] the Fortunate One so worthwhile to hear about, left this earth from that very day on Kali[-yuga] manifested itself in full, being inauspicious to all whose minds have not awakened.

    (37) Yudhishthhira who keenly in his capital, state and home as also in the self saw things grow worse with the vicious circle of avarice, falsehood, dishonesty, irreligion and violence and such, understood that it was time to leave and dressed himself accordingly. (38) His grandson [Parîkchit], who was properly trained and as for his qualities was alike himself in all respects, was by the emperor for the occasion in the capital of Hastinâpura enthroned as the master of all land bordered by the seas. (39) At Mathurâ he made Vajra [the son of Aniruddha] king of S'ûrasena, after which he had a prâjâpatya sacrifice performed for being able to find the fire in himself in order to attain his goal. (40) Renouncing his belt, ornaments and all of that, he became uninterested perfectly being detached from the unlimited bondage. (41) He withdrew his speech into his mind, his mind with his other senses into his breath, his breath he withdrew in death, and in full dedication he united that with the body made of the five elements. (42) Having offered those five elements to the three qualities of nature, he united the thoughtfulness in one indifference, fixing the sum total of that in the soul directed to the spiritual soul of the inexhaustible Brahman. (43) Accepting torn clothes, refusing solid food, stopping to talk and untying his hair, he began to look like a dumb madman and an unengaged urchin not listening to anyone as if he had become deaf. (44) Heading for the north he trod, as all others do who go there, the path of his mindful forefathers, passing his days constantly thinking from within his heart of the Supreme Beyond wherever he went.

    (45) In accord with their friend seeing that the Age of Kali and its irreligion had overtaken the citizens on earth, all the brothers followed the eldest one and left home. (46) All of them having performed with all the virtue and knowledge of holiness, kept themselves, with the ultimate goal of the living being in mind, steadfast to the lotus feet of the Lord of Vaikunthha. (47-48) That is the destination of those who by positive meditation being purified in devotion found liberation in fixing their mind on the transcendental feet of the One Nârâyana. They with their material contaminations washed away, attained in the same bodies as they were born with, the abode which for the materialists absorbed in material concerns is so very difficult to attain. (49) Also Vidura who with his mind and actions was devoted to Krishna returned to his own abode [Yama's realm] after quitting his physical self at Prabhâsa in the company of his forefathers. (50) Also Draupadî who realized that her husbands did not care anymore, concentrated on Lord Vâsudeva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and reached Him thus. (51) Anyone who with devotion hears about this departure for the ultimate goal of the sons of Pându who are so dear to the Supreme Lord, will find nothing but good fortune and purity and will, gaining in perfection, thus arrive at the devotional service of the Lord."