Dhritarastra’s Message

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Dhritarastra’s Message

The Brahmana who had been sent by Drupada as an ambassador returned from Hastinapura without any positive results. Duryodhana had been very arrogant and threatening in his responses and therefore the last chances of avoiding the war were gradually fading. Meanwhile Bhishma, in conversation with Dhritarastra, had made him understand that in an armed confrontation his children would not survive, and the latter, scared to death, decided to send Sanjaya to Upaplavya with a message.

The disciple of Vyasa was received by all with great respect; then, with a heart full of embarrassment for what he was forced to say, he relayed the message he was carrying:

“Dhritarastra sends me to tell you this: It is strange that you, so virtuous and righteous, are preparing for a war against your own relatives. Why are you doing this? You have lost your kingdom in an honest game that you have freely accepted because it is sanctioned by the Kshatriya customs. Now, then what do you expect?”

As the message went on in the same tone, loud murmurs of indignation began to rise as Sanjaya spoke. Yudhisthira was astonished by those words, Bhima was furious, and Satyaki trembled with impatience to have the sons of the author of that sinister message in his hands. But despite that umpteenth provocation, Yudhisthira’s pure heart still felt inclined to peace.

“Our beloved Sanjaya,” he said, “go back to Hastinapura and say these words from me to my dear uncle:

“If you return Indra-prastha to me, I will forget your evil plots and insults, and I will withdraw the armies. If you do this, you will have avoided war; otherwise the weapons will decide who is right. There is no more to say.”

The same day Sanjaya left.

It was clear that reaching a peace agreement would be practically impossible, but Krishna, wanting to try again, decided to personally go to Hastinapura to speak with the Kuravas.


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

To buy the complete book, click above

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