MAHABHARATA – BHISHMA PARVA

THE MAHABHARATA
CONDENSED IN THE POET’S OWN WORDS
By PANDIT A. M. SRINIVASACHARIAR
                                   
                          || भीष्मपर्व ||
                       BHISHMA PARVA
               ततस्ते समयं चक्रुः कुरुपाण्डवसोमकाः।
             धर्मान्संस्थापयामासुर्युद्धानां [भरतर्शभ]॥
Then, those Kauravas,
Pandavas and Somakas made an agreement and established rules for fighting.
            ‘निवृत्ते विहिते युद्धे स्यात्प्रीतिर्नः परस्परम्।
            निष्क्रान्ताः पृतनामध्यान्न हन्तव्याः कदाचन।
            रथी च रथिना योध्यो गजेन गजधूर्गतः।
            अश्वेनाश्वी पदातिश्च पादातेनैव (भारत)।
            परेण सह संयुक्तो प्रमत्तो विमुखस्तथा।
            क्षीणशस्त्रो विवर्मा च न हन्तव्यः कदाचन॥’
“When
the battle is fought and finished, there shall be mutual friendship between us.
Those who have gone out of the ranks shall never be killed.  One mounted on a chariot shall be fought by
one on a chariot, one on an elephant with an elephant, one on a horse with a
horse, and a foot soldier only by a foot soldier. One engaged with another, one
inattentive, or disinclined to fight or one who was turned away from the field,
one who has lost his weapons and one without armour shall never be killed.”
             बृहतीं धार्तराष्ट्रस्य सेनां दृष्ट्वा समुद्यताम्।
             विषादमगमद्राजा विवर्णोऽर्जुनमब्रवीत् ॥
Seeing the huge army of
Duryodhana ready for the battle, king Yudhishthira became worried and with a
pale face, said to Arjuna.
            
‘धनञ्जय कथं शक्यमस्माभिर्योद्धुमाहवे।
              धार्तराष्ट्रैर्महाबाहो येषां योद्धा पितामहः ॥
“Mighty Arjuna! how can we
fight the warriors on Dhritarashtra’s side for whom (our) grandfather, Bhishma,
fights.”
               अर्जुनः-
               ’प्रज्ञयाऽभ्यधिकाञ्शूरान्गुणयुक्तान्बहूनपि।
                जयन्त्यल्पतरा येन तन्निबोध विशांपते॥‘
Arjuna-
“King,
hearken how the  inferior conquer even
those who are superior in knowledge, who are (greater) warriors, (more) endowed
with qualities and (greater) in numbers.”
               ‘न तथा बलवीर्याभ्यां जयन्ति विजिगीषवः।
                यथा सत्यानृशंस्याभ्यां धर्मेणैवोद्यमेन च॥’
“Those
who desire victory achieve it not so much by strength and valour as by their
(qualities of) truthfulness, benevolence, and effort which is strictly righteous.
                ’त्यक्त्वाऽधर्मं तथा सर्वे धर्मं चोत्तममास्थिताः।
                 युध्यध्वमनहङ्कारा यतो धर्मस्ततो जयः ॥
“Avoiding Adharma and basing
yourselves on best Dharma, fight without egoism; where Dharma is, there victory
is.”
                 ‘एवं राजन्विजानीहि ध्रुवोऽस्माकं रणे जयः।
                  यथा तु नारदः प्राह यतः कृष्णस्ततो जयः।
                  गुणभूतो जयः कृष्णे पृष्ठतोऽभ्येति माधवम्॥
“Knowing
it, king, thus is victory certain for us in (this) battle; even as Narada said,
where Krishna is, there victory is. 
Victory is an attribute of Krishna; it follows Him at His back.”
                  ततो युधिष्ठिरो राजा स्वां सेनां समचोदयत्।
                  प्रतिव्यूहन्ननीकानि भीष्मस्य  (भरतर्षभ)॥
Then king Yudhishthira
arrayed his army against Bhishma and directed it (to attack).
                   मध्ये शिखण्डिनोऽनीकं रक्षितं सव्यसाचिना।
In the centre (of that army)
were the forces of Shikhandi protected by Arjuna, the archer who shoots with
either hand.
                    रथोऽर्जुनस्याग्निरिवार्चिमाली
                        विभ्राजते श्वेतहयस्सुचक्रः।
                    तमास्थितः केशवसंगृहीतं
                        कपिध्वजो गाण्डिवबाणपाणिः॥
Arjuna’s
chariot with its white horses and firm wheels, shone like fire, emitting a
corona of rays. On that chariot the reins of whose horses Krishna was holding,
was the monkey-bannered Arjuna with the Gandiva bow and arrows in his hands.
                     अथापश्यत्स्थितान्पार्थः पितॄनथ पितामहान्।
                     आचर्यान्मातुलान्भ्रातॄन्पुत्रान्पौत्रान्सखींस्तथा।
                     श्वशुरान्सुहृदश्चैव सेनयोरुभयोरपि॥
                    
                     तान्समीक्ष्य स कौन्तेयः सर्वान्बन्धूनवस्थितान्।
                     कृपया परयाऽऽविष्टो विषीदन्निदमब्रवीत्॥
Then Arjuna saw there (on
the battle-field) fathers, grandfathers, preceptors, uncles,
brothers, sons, grand-sons,
fathers-in-law and friends standing in both the armies.  Seeing all those kinsmen standing (determined
for fighting), Arjuna was overcome by great compassion and he said (to Krishna,
his charioteer) in sorrow:
                     ‘दृष्ट्वेमं स्वजनं कृष्ण युयुत्सुं समुपस्थितम्।
                      सीदन्ति मम गात्राणि मुखं च परिशुष्यति।
                     
                       गाण्डीवं स्रंसते हस्तात्त्वक् चैव परिदह्यते।
                       न च शक्नोम्यवस्थातुं भ्रमतीव च मे मनः॥
                      न काङ्क्षे विजयं कृष्ण न च राज्यं सुखानि च।
                      किं नो राज्येन गोविन्द किं भोगैर्जीवितेन वा॥
स्वजनं हि कथं हत्वा सुखिनस्स्याम माधव।
अहो बत महत्पापं कर्तुं व्यवसिता वयम्।
यद्राज्यसुखलोभेन हन्तुं स्वजनमुद्यताः॥
“Krishna!
seeing these kinsmen of ours come with the desire to fight, my limbs fail, my
mouth becomes parched, the Gandiva slips from my hand, my skin burns and I am
not able to stand firm; my mind seems to whirl. 
Krishna! I do not wish for victory, or kingdom, or happiness; of what
use is the kingdom to us, or pleasures or even life? How can we be happy,
Krishna, after killing our own kinsmen? Alas! we have resolved to commit a
great sin, we who are out to kill our own kinsmen through our avarice for the
pleasures of a kingdom.”
                      एवमुक्त्वा हृषीकेशं गुडाकेशः (परन्तप)।
                      न योत्स्य इति गोविन्दमुक्त्वा तूष्णीं बभूव ह ॥
Having said this to Krishna,
Arjuna added “I will not fight,” and kept quiet.                       
                       तमुवाच हृषीकेशः प्रहसन्निव (भारत)।
                       ’धर्म्याद्धि युद्धाच्छ्रेयोऽन्यत् क्षत्रियस्य न विद्यते॥
                       अथ चेत्त्वमिमं धर्म्यं सङ्ग्रामं न करिष्यसि।
                       ततस्स्वधर्मं कीर्तिं च हित्वा पापमवाप्स्यसि।
                       भयाद्रणादुपरतं मंस्यन्ते त्वां महारथाः॥
                       हतो वा प्राप्स्यसि स्वर्गं जित्वा वा भोक्ष्यसे महीम्॥
                       सुखदुःखे समे कृत्वा लाभालाभौ जयाजयौ।
                       ततो युद्धाय युज्यस्व नैवं पापमवाप्स्यसि॥                    
                       कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन॥
                        न हि कश्चित् क्षणमपि जातु तिष्ठत्यकर्मकृत्।
                        न मे
पार्थाऽस्ति कर्तव्यं वर्त एव च कर्मणि॥
                        मयि सर्वाणि कर्माणि संन्यस्याध्यात्मचेतसा।
                        निराशीर्निर्ममो भूत्वा युद्ध्यस्व विगतज्वरः॥
                        श्रेयान्स्वधर्मो विगुणः परधर्मात्स्वनुष्ठितात्॥
                        अनाश्रितः कर्मफलं कार्यं कर्म करोति यः।
                        स सन्यासी च योगी च न निरग्निर्न चाक्रियः॥
                             ऋतेऽपि त्वां न भविष्यन्ति सर्वे
                                येऽवस्थिताः प्रत्यनीकेषु योधाः।
                              मयैवेते निहताः पूर्वमेव
                                 निमित्तमात्रं भव सव्यसाचिन्॥
                         मच्चित्तस्सर्वदुर्गाणि मत्प्रसादात्तरिष्यसि॥
                             यद्यहंकारमाश्रित्य न योत्स्य इति
मन्यसे।                     
                             मिथ्यैष व्यवसायस्ते  प्रकृतिस्त्वां नियोक्ष्यति।
                             कर्तुं नेच्छसि यन्मोहात्करिष्यस्यवशोऽपि तत्॥
                             ईश्वरस्सर्वभूतानां हृद्देशेऽर्जुन तिष्ठति।
                             भ्रामयन्सर्वभूतानि यंत्रारूढानि मायया॥
                             तमेव शरणं गच्छ सर्वभावेन भारत।
                             सर्वधर्मान् परित्यज्य मामेकं शरणं व्रज।
                             अहं त्वा सर्वपापेभ्यो मोक्षयिष्यामि मा शुचः॥’
Krishna
said to Arjuna, laughing a little: “To a 
Kshatriya, there is no other good than righteous warfare.  In case you do not fight this righteous
battle, you neglect your duty, throw away fame and incur sin.  Warriors will think that you have desisted from
the battle out of fear.  If you are
killed you will attain to heaven, or if you win, you will enjoy the world. Viewing
alike happiness and misery, gain and loss, victory and defeat, you then get
ready for battle; doing thus you will not incur sin.  To work alone you are entitled, never to
(its) fruits.  Never does anybody stand
even a moment without doing an act. 
There is nothing to be done for me still I am active.  Offering up all acts to me with a spiritual
mind, without any wish and disinterested, fight without any mental fever.  Though ill-performed, one’s own duty is
better than another’s duty well-performed. 
He who does the act that ought to be done, without intent on the fruit
of the action, is the man of renunciation and the Yogin; not he who has left off
the worship of fire and not he who does not do anything.
Even
without you, all these warriors who stand in the opposite ranks, will cease to
be; they have been already killed  by
myself; you archer who shoots with either arm! be simply the apparent cause (of
the destruction of these warriors).
With
your mind fixed on me, you will surmount all difficulties by my grace. If
resorting to egoism, you think you will not fight, this resolve of yours is
futile; Nature will impel you. What in delusion, you do not want to do, you
will do even in spite of yourself. 
Arjuna, god is in the heart of all beings, making all beings whirl by
his power as if in a whirling machine. Take refuge  in him completely.  Discarding all Dharmas, seek me alone as
refuge; I will free you from all sins; grieve not.”  
               अर्जुनः-
              ’स्थितोऽस्मि गतसन्देहः करिष्ये वचनं तव’
Arjuna said to Krishna-
“ I stand here with all my
doubts cleared; I will do what you say.”
                 ततो धनञ्जयं दृष्ट्वा बाणगाण्डीवधारिणम्।   
                 पुनरेव महानादं व्यसृजन्त महारथाः॥
Then, seeing Arjuna taking
up the arrows and his Gandiva bow, the warriors sent a peal again.
                 ततो युधिष्ठिरो दृष्ट्वा युद्धाय समवस्थिते।
                 सेने विमुच्य कवचं निक्षिप्य च वरायुधम्।
                 अवरुह्य रथात्क्षिप्रं पद्भ्यामेव कृताञ्जलिः।
                 भीष्ममेवाभ्ययात्तूर्णं भ्रातृभिः परिवारितः ॥
Seeing then those two armies
standing ready for fighting, the heroic Yudhishthira laid down his armour and
excellent arms, descended from his chariot quickly and with folded arms and surrounded
by his brothers, hastened on foot to Bhishma.
                   तमुवाच ततः पादौ
कराभ्यां पीड्य पाण्डवः।
                   अनुजानीहि मां तात आशिषश्च प्रयोजय॥ 
                                                     
Holding Bhishma’s
 feet with his hands, Yudhishthira said
to him: “ Unassailable warrior, I take your permission; we shall fight with
you; permit me, father, and    give(us) (your) blessings.
                  
                   भीष्मः-
                    ’प्रीतोऽहं पुत्र युध्यस्व जयमाप्नुहि पाण्डव’।
Bhishma-
“My son, I am pleased; fight
and win, Yudhishthira.”
                    ततो युधिष्ठिरः प्रायादाचार्यस्य रथं प्रति।   
                    स द्रोणमभिवाद्याथ कृत्वा चाभिप्रदक्षिणम्।
                    उवाच राजा दुर्धर्षमात्मनिःश्रेयसं वचः॥
Then
Yudhishthira proceeded towards his preceptor Drona’s chariot.  Saluting Drona and going around him, king
Yudhishthira addressed to that unassailable Drona these words intended for his
own welfare:
              
         ’आमन्त्रये त्वां भगवन् योत्स्ये विगतकल्मषः॥’
’I take your leave,
illustrious preceptor, and will fight with a pure heart.’
          द्रोणः –
           ’ध्रुवस्ते विजयो राजन् यस्य मन्त्री हरिस्तव।
           यतो धर्मस्ततः कृष्णो यतः कृष्णस्ततो जयः ॥’
Drona-
“King, victory is certain
for you for whom Krishna is the counsellor. 
Where Dharma is, there Krishna is and where Krishna is, there victory is.”
               अनुमान्य तमाचार्यं प्रायाच्छारद्वतं प्रति।
               तं गौतमः प्रत्युवाच ’युध्यस्व जयमाप्नुहि’॥
Taking the permission of his
preceptor, Yudhishthira went towards Kripa, and Kripa said to him: “Fight and
attain victory.”
               अनुमान्याथ कौन्तेयो मातुलं मद्रकेश्वरम्।
               निर्जगाम महासैन्याद् भ्रातृभिः परिवारितः॥
Taking then the permission
of his uncle, the king of the Madrakas, (Salya), Yudhishthira went out of that
huge army, surrounded by his brothers.
              वासुदेवस्तु राधेयं उवाचेदं गदाग्रजः।
              ’श्रुतं मे कर्ण भीष्मस्य द्वेषात्किल न योत्स्यसे ।
               अस्मान् वरय कौन्तेय यावद्भीष्मो न हन्यते॥
Krishna
said this to Karna: ‘Karna, I heard that you would not fight because of your
hatred towards Bhishma. Choose us (our side) for such time as Bhishma is not
killed.’
            कर्णः-
            न विप्रियं करिष्यामि धार्तराष्ट्रस्य केशव।
            त्यक्तप्राणं हि मां विद्धि दुर्योधनहितैषिणम्॥
Karna-
“Krishna, I will not do that
which will displease Duryodhana; know me as having laid down my life for the
good of Duryodhana.”
            अथ सैन्यस्य मध्ये तु प्राक्रोशत्पाण्डवाग्रजः।
            ’’योऽस्मान्वृणोति तमहं वरये साह्यकारणात् ॥
Then Yudhishthira said aloud
in the midst of the army: “ I seek for my aid him who chooses to join us.”
              ततो युयुत्सुः कौरव्यान् परित्यज्य सुतांस्तव        
              जगाम पाण्डुपुत्राणां सेनां विश्राव्य दुन्दुभिम् ॥
Then, leaving the sons of
Dhritarashtra, the Kauravas, Yuyutsu went over to the army of the Pandavas
after sounding the drum.
[Note:
The account of the battle in the Epic is given as narrated by Sanjaya to the
blind Dhritarashtra who is addressed here and in subsequent passages in the
second person.  These addresses are
omited in the translation or given in the third person.]
          अथ शान्तनवो (राजन्)
अभ्यधावद्धनञ्जयम्।
          अर्जुनोऽपि धनुर्गृह्य गाङ्गेयं रणमूर्धनि॥
          प्रावर्तत ततो युद्धं तुमुलं रोमहर्षणम् ॥
Then,
Bhishma attacked Arjuna, and Arjuna taking his bow, attacked Bhishma on the
battle-front. Then began a thick battle that made one’s hair stand on end.
          तत्र भीष्मश्शान्तनवो दर्शयन्पाणिलाघवम्।
          अलातचक्रवद् (राजन्)
तत्र तत्र स्म दृश्यते ॥
Exhibiting
his hands’ ease (in shooting arrows) Bhishma was seen there (in the army)
everywhere like a whirling fire-brand.
             अदर्शयद्वासुदेवो हययाने परं बलम्।
             मोघान् कुर्वन् शरांस्तस्य मण्डलान्व्यचरँल्लघु॥                  
   
Krishna showed great skill
in (directing) the movement of the horses; rendering Bhishma’s arrows futile,
he made swift circuits (with the chariot).
             तथा भीष्मस्तु सुदृढं वासुदेवधनञ्जयौ।
             विव्याध निशितैर्बाणैस्सर्वगत्रेषु (भारत)
 Bhishma severely pierced Krishna and Arjuna in
every limb with his sharp arrows. 
             ततस्तु कृष्णस्समरे महाबाहुरचिन्तयत्।
             अहं भीष्मं निहन्म्यद्य
पाण्डवार्थाय दंशितः॥
The
mighty Krishna then thought in the battle: “I will kill Bhishma now, arming myself in the cause of the
Pandavas”.
                                                                        
              इतीदमुक्त्वा स महानुभावः
                    क्षुरान्तमुद्यम्य भुजेन चक्रम्।
               रथादवप्लुत्य विसृज्य वाहान्
                     वेगेन कृष्णः प्रससार भीष्मम्॥
Saying this, the magnanimous
Krishna lifted his razor-edged discus by his hand, and jumping down from the
chariot and leaving off the horses, advanced speedily towards Bhishma.
               उवाच भीष्मस्तमनन्तपौरुषं
                गोविन्दमाजावविमूढचेताः ॥
Unconfounded in mind in that
battle, Bhishma said to that Krishna of unbounded valour
                   एह्येहि फुल्लाम्बुजपत्रनेत्र
                       नमोऽस्तु ते माधव चक्रपणे।
                    प्रसह्य मां पातय लोकनाथ
                        रथोत्तमात्सर्वशरण्य संख्ये॥
“Come, come, Krishna with
eyes like the petals of a blown lotus! discus-armed Madhava, salutation to you;
Lord of the world, and refuge of all! throw me down forcibly in this battle
from my excellent chariot.”
                    त्वया हतस्यापि ममाद्य कृष्ण
                       श्रेयः परस्मिन्निह चैव लोके।
                   संभावितोऽन्धकवृष्णिनाथ
                       लोकैस्त्रिभिर्वीर तवाभियानात् ॥
“For me who am even killed
by you, Krishna, there is good in the other world as well as in this.  Lord of the Andhakas and the Vrishnis!
Warrior! by your advancing against me, I have been honoured in all the three
worlds.”
                   रथादवप्लुत्य ततस्त्वरावान्
                      पार्थोऽप्यनुद्रुत्य यदुप्रवीरम्।
                   बलान्निजग्राह हरिं किरीटी
                       पदेऽथ (राजन्)
दशमे कथञ्चित्।
                   उवाच कोपं प्रतिसंहरेति
                        रथं सचक्रः पुनरारुरोह ॥
Jumping down from his
chariot then and running after Krishna in haste, Arjuna stopped him by force
and with difficulty at his tenth step and said: “Check your anger.”  (And) Krishna, with his discus, mounted the
chariot again.     
                                 
               दशमेऽहनि संप्राप्ते दर्शयन् शक्तिमात्मनः।
               प्रजज्वाल रणे भीष्मो विधूम इव पावकः॥
The tenth day (of the
battle) was reached and exhibiting his ability, Bhishma blazed forth in the
battle like a smokeless fire.
               ततोऽर्जुनो (महाराज) भीष्ममभ्यद्रवद् द्रुतम्।
               शिखण्डिनं पुरस्कृत्य अदद्भुतमिवाभवत् ॥
Keeping Sikhandi in the
forefront, Arjuna then ran up in speed aginst Bhishma.  It seemed a wonder.
                शिखण्डी तु रणे भीष्ममाजघान स्तनान्तरे।
                शिखण्डिनं तु  गाङ्गेयः क्रोधदीप्तेन चक्षुषा।
                संप्रैक्षत कटाक्षेण निर्दहन्निव (भारत)
                स्त्रीत्वं तस्य स्मरन् (राजन्)
सर्वलोकस्य पश्यतः।
                नाजघान रणे भीष्मस्स च तन्नावबुद्धवान् ॥
Sikhandi hit Bhishma on the
chest. With eyes flaming with anger, Bhishma stared at him a little, as if
burning him.  Remembering that Shikhandi
had been a woman, Bhishma did not strike him, even as the whole world was
watching.  And Sikhandi knew this not.
                तत प्रहस्य बीभत्सुस्तथा मर्मस्वताडयत्।
                शिखण्डी तु रणे बाणान्व्यामुमोच महारथः ॥
Laughing, Arjuna then hit
Bhishma at the mortal spots.  And the
warrior Shikhandi also shot arrows in that encounter.
                ततो दुश्शासनं भीष्मः स्मयमान इवाब्रवीत्।
                ’अर्जुनस्य इमे बाणा नेमे बाणाश्शिखण्डिनः।
                 कृन्तन्ति मम गात्राणि माघमां सेगवा इव॥’
Smiling a little, Bhishma
said to Dussasana at athat time: “These are Arjuna’s arrows; these are not sikhandi’s
arrows; they tear my limbs, as the young crabs their mother.”
                  न तस्यासीदनिर्भिन्नं गात्रे द्व्यङ्गुलमन्तरम्।
                  एवंभूतस्तव पिता शरैर्विशकलीकृतः ।
                  शिताग्रैः फल्गुनेनाजौ प्राक्छिराः प्रापतद्रथात्
There
was not two fingers’ space in Bhishma’s body untorn.  Reduced to pieces thus  by the sharp-tipped arrows of Arjuna in the
battle, Dhritarashtra’s uncle, Bhishma, fell from the chariot, with his head
towards the east.
                  सह भीष्मेन स्रर्वेषां प्रापतन्हृदयानि नः॥
Along with Bhishma, the
hearts of all the Kauravas fell.
                  धरणीं न स पस्पर्श शरसंघैस्समावृतः॥
Strewn over as he was with
heaps of arrows, Bhishma did not touch the ground.
                शरतल्पे महेष्वासं शयानं पुरुषर्षभम्।
                रथात्प्रपतितं चैनं दिव्यो भावस्समाविशत् ॥
Divinity entered that
illustrious person, that great archer, fallen from the chariot, as he lay on a
bed of arrows.
                 व्युपरम्य ततो युद्धात् योधाश्शतसहस्रशः।
                 उपतस्थुर्महात्मानं प्रजापतिमिवामराः ॥
Stopping from fighting then,
warriors came by hundreds and thousands, and stood by his side, like gods
attending upon Brahma.            
        
                
                  अथ पाण्डून् कुरूंश्चैव प्रणिपत्याग्रतस्स्थितान्।
                  अभ्यभाषत धर्मात्मा भीष्मश्शान्तनवस्तदा।
                  ’शिरो मे लम्बतेऽत्यर्थमुपधानं प्रदीयताम् ॥
At that
time then, the righteous Bhishma said to the Pandavas and Kauravas who were
standing in front bowing to him: “My head droops down very much; let a pillow
be given.”
                   ततो नृपास्समाजह्रुस्तनूनि च मृदूनि च।
                   उपधानानि मुख्यानि नैच्छत्तानि पितामहः॥
The kings then brought fine,
soft and excellent pillows; the grandfather did not like them.
                  
                   अथाब्रवीन्नरव्याघ्रः प्रहसन्निव तान्नृपान्।
                   धनञ्जयं ’महाबाहो शिरो मे
तात लम्बते।
                   दीयतामुपधानं वै यद्युक्तमिह मन्यसे’॥
As if laughing at those
kings, that greatest of men, Bhishma, said to Arjuna:
“You of mighty arms! My
son!  My head droops; let such a rest as
you think proper be given (to my head).”
               फल्गुनोऽपि त्रिभिस्तीक्ष्णैरुदगृह्णाच्छिरश्शरैः ॥
And Arjuna propped up his
head with three sharp arrows.
               अतुष्यद्भरतश्रेष्ठस्सर्वांस्तानब्रवीद्वचः।
               ’पश्यत्वमुपधानं मे पाण्डवेनाभिसन्धितम्।
               शयेयमस्यां शय्यायां यावदावर्तनं रवेः।
               ये तदा धारयिष्यन्ति ते च प्रेक्ष्यन्ति मां नृपाः॥
Bhishma,
the greatest of the Bharatas, was satisfied, and he said to all of them:
“Kings, see the pillow designed for me by Arjuna.  I will be lying in this bed till the sun
turns northward from the south.  Those
who will be alive at that time shall see me.”
                अभ्यभाषत धर्मात्मा भीष्मः प्रीतो धनञ्जयम्
                ’दह्यतीव शरीरं मे प्रयच्छापो ममार्जुन ॥
Pleased with him, the
righteous Bhishma told Arjuna: “My body seems to be burning; Arjuna, give me
water.”
               सन्धाय च शरं दीप्तमभिमन्त्र्य स पाण्डवः।
               अविध्यत्पृथिवीं पार्थः पार्श्वे भीष्मस्य दक्षिणे।
               उत्पपात ततो धारा वारिणो
विमला शुभा॥
Setting a bright arrow on
the string and charging it with incantation, Arjuna pierced the ground on Bhishma’s
right.  From there, gushed forth a pure
jet of water.
                तृप्तश्शान्तनवश्चापि (राजन्)
बीभत्सुमब्रवीत्।
                सर्वपार्थिववीराणां सन्निधौ पूजयन्निव ॥
Seeming to honour Arjuna
before all those royal warriors, Bhishma, whose thirst was quenched, said:
                 दृष्टं दुर्योधनैतत्ते यथा पार्थेन धीमता।
                 जलस्य धारा जनिता शीतस्यामृतगन्धिनः ॥
“Duryodhana, you saw how a
jet of cool and nectar-like water was created by the intelligent Arjuna.”
                  एतस्य कर्ता लोकेऽस्मिन् नान्यः कश्चन विद्यते।
                  अमानुषाणि कर्माणि यस्यैतानि महात्मनः।
                  तेन सत्त्ववता संख्ये सन्धिर्भवतु मा चिरम्।
                  युद्धं मदन्तमेवास्तु तात संशाम्य पाण्डवैः ॥
“There
is none else who can do this in the world. 
Delay not; let there be peace for you in this battle with that mighty
person, to whom belong these exploits impossible for men.  Let the war end with me.  My son, come to peace with the Pandavas.”
                 धर्मार्थसहितं वाक्यं श्रुत्वा हितमनामयम्।
                 नारोचयत पुत्रस्ते मुमूर्षुरिव भेषजम् ॥
Hearing
these words of moral and material good, beneficent and wholesome, Duryodhana
did not relish them, even as a dying person does not like medicine.
                ततस्ते पर्थिवास्सर्वे जग्मुस्स्वानालयान्पुनः ।
Then all those kings
returned to their abodes.
                 श्रुत्वा तु निहतं भीष्मं राधेयः पुरुषर्षभः।
                
ईषदागतसंत्रासः शरतल्पगतं तदा।
                 अभ्येत्य पादयोस्तस्य निपपात महाद्युतिः॥
Hearing Bhishma struck down,
the resplendent Karna, the best of men, somewhat afraid, approached Bhishma
lying on the bed of arrows and fell at his feet.
                  ‘राधेयोऽहं कुरुश्रेष्ठ नित्यमक्षिगतस्तव।
                  द्वेष्योऽत्यन्तमनागास्सन्’ इति चैनमुवाच ह॥
“Chief of the Kurus! I am
Karna, the son of Radha, an eternal eye-sore to you, hated by you to the last,
though innocent.” – so said he to Bhishma.
                   तच्छ्रुत्वा कुरुवृद्धो हि शरैस्संवृतलोचनः।
                   रहितं धिष्ण्यमालोक्य समुत्सार्य च रक्षिणः।
                   पितेव पुत्रं गाङ्गेयः परिरभ्यैकपाणिना।
                   शनैरुद्वीक्ष्य सस्नेहमिदं वचनमब्रवीत् ॥
Hearing
that, the Kuru elder, whose eyes were covered with arrows, seeing the place
bereft of anybody, sending away the guards, embracing Karna with one hand, as a
father would a son, and slowly looking up at him with love, said this:
              ‘कौन्तेयस्त्वं न राधेयो विदितो नारदान्मया।
               न च द्वेषोऽस्ति मे तात त्वयि सत्यं ब्रवीमि ते॥
“ You are the son of Kunti,
not Radha; so have I known you through Narada.
My son, I tell you in truth,
I have no hatred towards you.“
            
                  
               ‘अकस्मात्पाण्डवान् हि त्वं द्विषसीति मतिर्मम।
                तेनासि बहुशो रूक्षं श्रावितः कुरुसंसदि ॥’
“I think you are hating the
Pandavas for no reason.  Therefore, you
have been told harsh words (by me) many times in the Kuru assembly.”
                ’जानामि समरे वीर्यं दाने च परमां स्थितिम्।
                सदृशः फल्गुनेनासि कृष्णेन च महात्मना॥’
’I know your heroism in
battle and your great and steady practice of munificence. You are equal to
Arjuna and the great Krishna.’
                ’सोदर्याः पाण्डवा वीर भ्रातरस्तेऽरिसूदन।
                 सङ्गच्छ तैर्महाबाहो मम चेदिच्छसि प्रियम्।
                 मया भवतु निर्वृत्तं वैरमादित्यनन्दन’॥
“Mighty warrior! Annihilator
of your enemies! the Pandavas are your brothers born of the same womb; if you
want to do what is dear to me, join them. Child of the Sun! Let your enmity end
with me.”
                 कर्णः-
                 ’जानाम्येव महाबाहो कौन्तेयोऽहं न सूतजः।
                  भुक्त्वा दुर्योधनैश्वर्यं न मिथ्याकर्तुमुत्सहे।
                  अनुजानीष्व मां तात युद्धाय कृतनिश्चयम्।
                  दुरुक्तं विप्रतीपं वा तन्मे त्वं
क्षन्तुमर्हसि॥
Karna-
“Mighty
Bhishma, I know I am Kunti’s son and not the son of the charioteer. Having
enjoyed Duryodhana’s wealth, I do not bear proving faithless. Permit me,
father, I have resolved to fight. What I have said wrongly or done against you,
you must pardon.”
            भीष्मः-
             ’अनुजानामि कर्ण त्वां युध्यस्व स्वर्गकाम्यया।
              प्रशमे हि कृतो यत्नस्सुमहान्सुचिरं मया।
              न चैव शकितः कर्तुं यतो धर्मस्ततो जयः॥
Bhishma-
“I permit you, Karna; fight
with the desire for heaven.  Very great
effort was made by me and for long to secure complete peace; it could not be
secured.  Where there is Dharma, there
victory shall be.”
               इत्युक्तवति गाङ्गेये अभिवाद्योपमन्त्र्य च।
               राधेयो रथमारुह्य प्रायात्तव सुतं प्रति॥
When Bhishma said so, Karna
bowed to him, took leave of him and mounting his chariot, went towards Duryodhana.
                  ॥ इति भीष्मपर्व समाप्तम्॥
               THUS ENDS THE BHISHMA
PARVA              

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