After their escape from Vāraṇāvata, the Pāṇḍavas went southward, moving quickly in the light of the stars, and reached a dense forest. By this time, all of them were exhausted, tormented by thirst and overcome by sleep; at that point, Dharmarāja told Bhīma, "Trapped in this dense forest, we are groping in the dark; we are unable to tell the directions; we are unable to walk any further; is there a greater difficulty than this? We don't know whether that wretched Purocana succumbed in the fire or not; how do we escape from our fear of him? We shouldn't be seen by anyone.
After Dhṛtarāṣṭra spoke to Yudhiṣṭhira [regarding the trip to Vāraṇāvata], Duryodhana was delighted and summoned Purocana to meet him in private. Duryodhana held Purocana’s right hand and said, “Look Purocana! It is now in your hands to make sure that this land, rich with resources will come under my control. There is nobody else who I can trust on this matter and there is no other person who can ever be as helpful as you are; therefore, please maintain utmost secrecy. I request you to act accordingly and extinguish my relatives who want a share of my kingdom.
At the fag-end of the tournament, when they heard the tumultuous sound at the gates, filled with wonder the spectators asked, “Have the mountains crumbled?” “Has the earth been torn apart?” as they looked in that direction. With naturally endowed armour (kavaca) and earrings (kuṇḍala), Karṇa walked to the center of the arena like a walking mountain.
There lived a teacher by name Kṛpācārya who taught archery to the kings of the Vṛṣṇi clan and other kṣatriya clans. The Kauravas and Pāṇḍavas were his disciples too. Bhīṣma was not content with this; he thought that his grandchildren should be trained under a person who was an expert in several śāstras and skilled in combat; he wanted the teacher to be a genius and nurture the grandchildren to turn them into extraordinary people. As he was looking for such a person, an interesting episode took place.
Back at Hastināpura, Gāndhārī too was pregnant; even as she was carrying, she heard that Kuntī had given birth to Yudhiṣṭhira. She hadn’t given birth even after two years of pregnancy; the pain was unbearable too. So one day, extremely upset, she squeezed her abdomen and pushed out the foetus. The foetus came out as a ball of flesh. “Is this what Īśvara blessed has me with in the past; is this what Vyāsa promised!” Thinking thus with disgust, she was about to throw the ball of flesh away.
The two children who were born to Satyavatī passed away at a young age. Satyavatī was saddened, thinking about her responsibility towards the lineage of her parents and husband. She called Bhīṣma and said, “O Bhīṣma! As you see, King Śantanu’s lineage has ended with you. You’re well-versed in the Vedas and the Vedāṅgas; you also have a good understanding of dharma. So I repose faith in you and will tell you something; you should carry out my request. My son and your younger brother, Vicitravīrya, left this world without begetting children.
नरञ्चैव नरोत्तमम् ।
देवीं सरस्वतीं व्यासं
ततो जयमुदीरयेत् ॥
Having saluted Nārāyaṇa,
the human and the divine;
Sarasvatī; and Vyāsa –
May Jaya be hailed!
With this part, we conclude the translation series of the preface to Vacanabhārata. The current article describes the literary approach of AR Krishna Sastri in composing the prose rendition of the Mahābhārata in Kannada. Drawing inspiration from his approach, the current translators, Arjun Bharadwaj and Hari Ravikumar are working on bringing out a prose rendition of the Mahābhārata in English.
The article also contains some autobiographical details that throw light on the meticulousness of the author.
The primary characteristics of the modern world are material wealth and individual freedom [c. 1950]. Today, an individual desires to be independent as much as possible. However, in practice, he seems to think that he should not have anything binding him, he will not pay heed to anyone’s words, and he would like to do whatever he desires without anyone questioning him—this has been the result.