Arjuna And Duryodhana In Dvaraka

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Arjuna And Duryodhana In Dvaraka

After being properly instructed on what to say in front of the Kurava’s assembly, the ambassador left. On the same day, the allies of the Pandavas had returned to their kingdoms in order to begin preparations for the departure of their armies.

As already mentioned, intense diplomatic maneuvers were also in full swing to secure the help of the monarchs of the various kingdoms of Bharata-varsha. The Pandavas personally traveled in hopes of securing alliances and friendships.

In those days Arjuna learned that Duryodhana intended to ask Krishna to fight on his side, and for this reason he had already left for Dvaraka. In a hurry, he rushed to the city of the Lord, but when he got there he realized that Duryodhana had arrived a few minutes before him. Side by side they entered the opulent palace and asked to speak with the divine Lord of Dvaraka.

“Right now He is sleeping,” Satyaki told them, “but you are his relatives, so you have free access to His private rooms. Go.”

Impetuously, the Kurava entered first and feeling not at all inferior to the Lord sat down next to him, at face level. Arjuna, instead, bowed at his feet with his hands clasped together in reverence. When Krishna opened his eyes he first saw Arjuna, in a praying position.

“Dear friend,” Krishna said then, “are you here? Why did you come to see me? If you have any problem and you want help from me to solve it, I will give it to you without a doubt.”

It was at that point that he became aware of Duryodhana’s presence at his side, who offered him respectful greetings.

“You too are here? What reason did you come for?”

“In case there is war, I have come to ask you to fight on my side,” replied the Kurava.

With a nod, Arjuna made it clear that he was there for the same reason.

“But I arrived first, so it is fair that you fulfill my request before his,” said Duryodhana.

“Even though you arrived earlier,” Krishna replied “when I opened my eyes I first saw Arjuna standing at the foot of my bed, and I promised him that I would give him whatever he wishes. It is up to him to ask first. But despite your impiety, you are also my relative and you have traveled so long to visit me that I will not disappoint you by sending you away with nothing. Arjuna can choose between two possibilities: on the one hand there is me, who will not actively fight in the battle and on the other, there is my mighty army, the Narayana.”

Without even thinking about it for a moment, Arjuna chose to have Krishna beside him. In his innermost, Duryodhana smiled; he thought that because of a gesture of sentimentality, the Pandavas had lost one of the most powerful armies in the world, made up of an akshauhini of troops, which would now all be his. Having established everything, giving thanks, Duryodhana left the room. He headed for his master Balarama’s house.

“I am your disciple,” he said humbly, “and I depend on you. Fight on my side and secure victory for me.”

Balarama didn’t look very happy that day.

“You, the Dhritarastra’s children, are to me as dear as Pandu’s children, therefore I could never raise my arms against one or the other. I have always fostered peace between you, and in any case I advised my brother to refrain from defending any of you. But I know that Krishna will take the side of the Pandavas, and I also know the reasons for such decision. I could never fight against my brother, nor against you, and for this I have chosen not to participate at all in this war; and since I don’t even want to witness such a massacre, in a few days I will leave for a tirtha-yatra. In any case, you should know one thing: if Krishna is on their side, you have no hope of victory.”

Duryodhana did not take the master’s last words very seriously; what harm could cause a man who will not fight in a war? Krishna had promised that he would not actively participate in the hostilities, and this made him feel safe.

 Having greeted Balarama, Duryodhana rushed to Kritavarma and convinced him to take his side.

That same day he left being satisfied with his work. He had enlisted the help of the Narayanas and Kritavarma with his vast army and had even managed to prevent Krishna and Balarama from fighting on the side of the Pandavas.

But if Duryodhana could have read into Balarama’s most secret thoughts, he would have suddenly lost all enthusiasm. Immersed in meditation, with his perfect vision, he had already foretold that the Pandavas, by having Krishna with them, were destined to exterminate the Kuravas.

 

This is a section of the book “Maha-bharata, Vol. 2”.

To buy the complete book, click above

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