– 17 –
Rajasuyarambha Parva – continued
The birth of Jarasandha
1Krishna said. Arjuna has shown what should be the inclination of one bom in the Bharata race, specially of one who is the son of Kunti.
2We do not know when death will overtake us, whether in the night or in the day; nor have we heard the immortality has been obtained by desisting from battle.
3Therefore, the duty of a man (a hero) is to attack all enemies with the help of the policy indicated in the ordinance. This always gives satisfaction to the heart.
4If aided by good policy, and if not frustrated by destiny, an undertaking is sure to be crowned with success. If both the parties are aided by such means, and if they fight with each other, one must get the better of the other, for both cannot win or lose.
5If aided by bad policy which is destitute of all well-known arts, a man is sure to be defeated and meet with destruction. If, however, both parties are equally circumstance, the result becomes doubtful, but booth cannot win.
6When such is the case, why should we not, with the aid of good policy, go to the enemy and kill him as a river uproots a tree? if hiding our own drawbacks and taking advantage of his holes (faults), we attack the enemy, why should we not be successful?
7It is the policy of all intelligent men that one should fight with enemies who are exceedingly powerful and who stand at the head of their well-arrayed forces. It is my opinion also.
8If we can accomplish our purpose by secretly entering the abode of our enemy and attacking his person, we shall never meet with obloquy.
9That best of men (Jarasandha) alone enjoys unfading prosperity like him who is inner-soul of every created being. But I see his destruction (before me).
10Desirous as we are of protecting our relatives we shall either kill him, in battle or being ourselves killed by him we shall ascend to heaven.
11Yudhishthira said: O Krishna, who is this Jarasandha? What is his might, and what is his prowess that he has not been burnt by touching you as a insect is burnt at the touch of fire?
12Krishna said: O king, hear who is Jarasandha, what is his might and prowess, and why he has been spared by us, though he repeatedly offended us.
13There was a king, named Brihadratha who was the heroic lord of Magadha. He was proud in battle and had any army of three Akshauhinis of soldiers.
14He was handsome, mighty, wealthy and matchlessly powerful. He always bore (sacrificial) marks on his person and looked like a second Shakra (Indra).
15He was like Surya in glory, like earth in patience, like the destroyer Yama in anger and like Vaishravana (Kubcra) in wealth.
16O best of the Bharata race, as the rays of the sun (covers the whole earth), so the whole earth was covered by his merits which descended to him from a long line of ancestors.
17-20O best of the Bharata race, that greatly powerful hero married the two beautiful twindaughters of the king of Kashi. That best of men made an engagement in secret with his two wives, namely that he would equally love them both, and that he would never show a preference for any of them. Like a mighty elephant in the company of two femaleelephants, or like the ocean in his personified form in the company of the Ganga and the Yamuna, that lord of the earth passed his days in joy in the company of his two wives, both of whom suited him well. His youth passed away in the enjoyment of his wealth.
21No son was (however) bom to him to perpetuate his line; though he performed many auspicious rites, Homas, and sacrifices with the desire of getting a son, yet that best of men did not get a son who could perpetuate his line.
22-23He heard one day that the illustrious Chandakaushika, the son of Kakshivana of the Goutama race, having been tired of ascetic penances, have come to his city in his wandering at pleasure, and that he sat under a tree. The king with his wives gratified the Rishi with presents of Jewels.
24That best of Rishis ever truthful in speech and firmly devoted to truth, thus spoke to him (the king), “O king of kings I have been much gratified. 0 hero of excellent vows, ask from me a boon.
25Thereupon Brihadratha with his wives bowed down to the Rishi, and he spoke thus to him, his voice being choked with tears in consequences of his despair to obtain a son.
26The king said: O exalted one, I am about to give up my kingdom and to go into the forest to lead an ascetic life. I am unfortunate, (for not having a son), what shall I do with the kingdom or with a boon?
27Krishna said: Having heard this the Rishi, sitting in the shade of that every mangoes tree where he was, controlled his outer senses and entered into the Yoga meditation.
28There fell in the lap of the seated Rishi a juicy mango, untouched by the beak of parrots or other birds.
29That best of Rishis, taking up the fruit and mentally pronouncing some mantras over it, gave it to the king as the means of his obtaining a son.
30That greatly learned Rishi spoke thus to the king, “O king, go, your wish is fulfilled. O king, desist from going to the forest.” uftute# fteur jifumeti mi gft/W R5W: U TT: Wjft 7TU:tl? W
31Having heard these words of the Rishi, the greatly intelligent king bowed down his head before the Rishi and returned to his own house.
32O best of the Bharata race, recollecting his former promise, that best of kings gave that one fruit to his two wives.
33-34His two beautiful wives ate the mango, dividing it into two equal parts. In consequence of the certainty of the Muni’s words and his truthfulness both of them conceived as an effect of their having eaten that fruit. Seeing them in that state, the king was filled with great joy.
35O greatly wise (king), sometime after when the (proper) season came, each of the two queens brought forth two fragmentary bodies.
36Each of those two bodies had one eye, one arm, one leg, half a stomach, half a face, and half an anus. Seeing the fragmentary bodies, they (the queens) trembled much.
37The helpless sisters then a great anxiety consulted with each other; and they abandoned in sorrow the fragments that had life in them.
38The two midwives then carefully wrapped up those still-born fragments and went out of the inner apartments (of the palace), by the back door. Throwing away the bodies, they returned in haste.
39O best of men, sometime after a Rakshasas woman, named, Jara who lived on flesh and blood, took up the fragments that lay on a crossing (or roads).
40Being impelled by fate, that Rakshasas woman united the fragments to make them easier to carry.
41O best of men, as soon as the fragments were united, they formed into a heroic child of one body.
42O king, the Rakshasas woman, with her eyes wide opened in wonder, found herself unable to carry that child who had a body as hard and strong as the thunderbolt.
43Closing his coppery red fists and inserting it into its mouth, that child roared as terribly as the clouds charged with rains.
44O best of men, O chastiser of foes, being much alarmed by the sound, the inmates of the palace along with the king all came out (to see what was the matter).
45The helpless, disappointed and the sad queens also, with their breasts full of milk suddenly came out to get back their child.
46Seeing them (the queens) in that condition and the king also, who was so much desirous of getting a son, and also the child which was so very strong, the Rakshasas woman reflected thus.
47“I live in the kingdom of the king who is so eager to get a son. I should not therefore, kill the child so such a virtuous and illustrious king.
48Then hiding the child in her arms as the clouds envelope the sun, and assuming a human form, she thus spoke to the lord of earth (Brihadratha).
49The Rakshasi Said: O Brihadratha, this is your son. It is given to you by me. Take it. It is bom in the wombs of your two wives in consequence of the boon granted to you by the Brahmana. It was abandoned by the midwives, but it was protected by me.
50Krishna said: O best of the Bharata race, having obtained the child, the handsome daughters of the king of Kashi drenched it with their lacteal streams.
51having ascertained everything, the king was filled with joy. He then spoke thus to the Rakshasas woman who was in the guise of a human female possessing the complexion of gold.
52“O lotus-complexioned lady, who are you that give me the child? O blessed lady, you appear to me as a goddess roaming (over the earth) at pleasure.”