Sanjaya and Vidura’s Advice

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Sanjaya and Vidura’s Advice

Sanjaya entered the council chamber with a look of disgust on his face, and Dhritarastra anxiously asked him what his nephews had replied. His answer was:

“I come directly from Upaplavya and only now I do realize the different atmosphere that hovers there. Here, in your court, there is an air of impiety and sin, while there the Supreme Personality of God reigns with all his spiritual energies. I saw the Pandavas and their allies, and I have talked to everyone. Oh king, I can tell you this: do not start the war against the Pandavas, because you could never win it. You want everything, which is a symptom of excessive greed; in a conflict you would lose what you already own. Follow my advice, make peace with the Pandavas.”

Vidura intervened saying:

“Brother, all the wisest people, like Bhishma, Drona, Sanjaya, and so many others, have offered you advice to benefit you. Over the years they have done nothing but tell you the same thing: ‘don’t let your son Duryodhana declare war against the Pandavas because you’ll lose everything’.

“It is true that you possess immense military forces; and it is true that soldiers like Bhishma, Drona, Karna, Bhagadatta and others are virtually invincible, but it is also true that no material power will ever destroy Brahman, the spiritual energy of which Sri Krishna is the origin.

“No army can fight the Lord, who came to restore the principles of religion that the Asuras, like your son, have repeatedly trampled on. He could, with a single gesture, or even with less, simply by wanting to, destroy your warrior’s celestial weapons.

“Instead, he wants his devotee Arjuna’s bow, Bhima’s and Dhristadyumna’s maces, and Sahadeva’s sword to do it. This is only to satisfy his innate spirit of inner exuberance, which leads him to carry out transcendental activities in the company of His devotees. But your children’s fate is already sealed. Get Duryodhana to make peace, to change his demonic nature, so that the Lord’s plan can come true without unnecessary bloodshed.”

 At those words, Karna and Duryodhana’s other friends snapped like snakes do when their tails are stepped on.

“Words! Words!” cried Surya’s son. “Now the weapons must speak. Krishna has already promised that he will not fight, and therefore it is us against them, bow against bow, sword against sword. It will be us who will give the victory to the Kuravas, and certainly not the courageless words of a philosopher.”

Everyone was talking excitedly, but Dhritarastra wasn’t listening; the terror of Bhima’s mighty arms and Arjuna’s bow had invaded his heart, depriving him of all serenity. Then he stood up and scolded his son harshly.

Sanjaya intervened:

“You don’t have to blame your sons. You are actually responsible for everything. You, who never wanted to listen to the advice of your true well wishers. Have you forgotten what Vidura said to you on the night Duryodhana was born? Didn’t they predict these bitter moments? And how many thousands of truth-inspired suggestions full of wisdom Bhishma and Drona have offered you for years that you have never heard?

“On my own, I tell you one thing: your children will be lucky compared to you, because they will die on the battlefield, while you will live long tormented by remorse.”

That harsh speech struck Dhritarastra to the bottom of his heart. Duryodhana, seeing that he was listening to him without replying, came over to reassure him.

“Father, don’t you understand that these are friends of Pandu’s sons infiltrated in our court to obtain with gossip what they would never conquer with weapons? You must not fear anything. We are the strongest. Our army is more powerful than theirs, and also individually we have the best warriors. We will win, don’t worry unnecessarily. Don’t lose your peace for those cruel words.”

It was Sanjaya who replied:

“Duryodhana, you don’t have the slightest chance of victory. But listen to what the pure and spotless Pandavas have said:

“While we are sure we can conquer everything, we want to avoid an immense bloodshed, so we will be content with five villages. Just give us five villages, and there will be no war”.

At these words, the Kurava jumped to his feet, his face twisted by a violent rush of anger.

“They won’t get from me even enough soil to plant a pin. And let this be my final word.”

Then, furious, he left the hall.


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

To buy the complete book, click above

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