Those who are righteous prefer to enter the fire and give up their lives, rather than stay in the company of their enemies, even if it is for an instant…
“My king, a dedicated person devotes himself to achieving the goal, and does not bother about the pains endured in the process. It is said…
उपनत-भये यो यो मार्गो हितार्थ-करो भवेत्- स स निपुणया बुद्ध्या सेव्यो महान् कृपणो ऽपि वा ।
करिकर-निभौ ज्याघाता कौ महास्त्र-विशारदौ वलय-रचितौ स्त्रीवद् बाहू कृतौ न किरीटिना ॥ २२६ ॥
upanata-bhaye yo yo mārgo hitārtha-karo bhavet- sa sa nipuṇayā buddhyā sevyo mahān kṛpaṇo ‘pi vā |
karikara-nibhau jyāghātā kau mahāstra-viśāradau valaya-racitau strīvad bāhū kṛtau na kirīṭinā || 226 ||
In hard times, using one’s intelligence and adeptness, one should endeavor to try all those means and methods that can help oneself. if the method is bad or disliked, but helps tide over the situation, then it should be attempted. Didn’t even the mighty Arjun, adept in archery and the arts of war, wear bangles on his hands in times of need?
शक्तेनापि सता जनेन विदुषा कालान्तरापेक्षिणा वस्तव्यं खलु वाक्य-वज्र-विषमे क्षुद्रेऽपि पापे जने ।
दर्वी-व्यग्र-करेण धूम-मलिनेनायास-युक्ते च भीमेनातिबलेन मत्स्य-भवने किं नोषितं सूदवत् ॥ २२७ ॥
śaktenāpi satā janena viduṣā kālāntarāpekṣiṇā vastavyaṃ khalu vākya-vajra-viṣame kṣudre’pi pāpe jane |
darvī-vyagra-kareṇa dhūma-malinenāyāsa-yukte ca bhīmenātibalena matsya-bhavane kiṃ noṣitaṃ sūdavat || 227 ||
In hard times, a wise man should, even if he is capable and strong, be patient and wait for the right opportunity. If needed, he should also bear living in adverse conditions. Didn’t the mighty Bheema live as a cook in the palace of Virāta, and work hard in the dark, smoky kitchens of the palace?
यद् वा तद् वा विषम-पतितः साधु वा गर्हितं वा कालापेक्षी हृदय-निहितं बुद्धिमान् कर्म कुर्यात् ।
किं गाण्डीव-स्फुरद्-उरु-गुणास्फालन-क्रूर-पाणिर् नासील् लीला-नटन-विलसन् मेखली सव्यसाची ॥ २२८ ॥
yad vā tad vā viṣama-patitaḥ sādhu vā garhitaṃ vā kālāpekṣī hṛdaya-nihitaṃ buddhimān karma kuryāt |
kiṃ gāṇḍīva-sphurad-uru-guṇāsphālana-krūra-pāṇir nāsīl līlā-naṭana-vilasan mekhalī savyasācī || 228 ||
When trapped in adverse circumstances, a wise man, even if he knows everything, should close his eyes and silently go about his tasks, good or bad. It does not matter if those tasks befit one’s stature – didn’t the mighty Arjuna, who handled the divine Gandēva bow, use the same hands to tighten the cloth around his waist and dance?
सिद्धिं प्रार्थयता जनेन विदुषा तेजो निगृह्य स्वकं सत्त्वोत्साहवतापि दैव-विधिषु स्थैर्यं प्रकार्य क्रमात् ।
देवेन्द्र-द्रविणेश्वरान्तक-समैर् अप्य् अन्वितो भ्रातृभिः किं क्लिष्टः सुचिरं त्रिदण्डमवहच्छ्रीमान्न धर्मात्मजः ॥ २२९ ॥
siddhiṃ prārthayatā janena viduṣā tejo nigṛhya svakaṃ sattvotsāhavatāpi daiva-vidhiṣu sthairyaṃ prakārya kramāt |
devendra-draviṇeśvarāntaka-samair apy anvito bhrātṛbhiḥ kiṃ kliṣṭaḥ suciraṃ tridandamavahachatrimān dharmātmajaḥ || 229 ||
A wise man, who wishes to attain his highest goals, should hide his own capabilities, his strengths and his wisdom, and endure what fate has in store for him during bad times. He should keep a stable mind and wait for the right moment. Even though he had brothers who were as strong and capable as Indra, Kubera and Yama, didn’t the great Dharmarāja bear all his sufferings and serve the king of Virāta?
The word tridandin used in the Sanskrit version denotes three sticks that are bound together. The tridandin is usually carried around by a man who has no worldly attachments. He carries this in his right hand, to show that he has control of thought, word and deed.
रूपाभिजन-सम्पन्नो माद्री-पुत्रौ बलान्वितौ ।
गोकर्म-रक्षा-व्यापारे विराट-प्रेष्यतां गतौ ॥ २३० ॥
rūpābhijana-sampanno mādrī-putrau balānvitau |
gokarma-rakṣā-vyāpāre virāṭa-preṣyatāṃ gatau || 230 ||
The two sons of Kunti, though endowed with beauty and strength, also served the king of Virāta, taking care of the cows and working as servants.
रूपेणाप्रतिमेन यौवन-गुणैः श्रेष्ठे कुले जन्मना कान्त्या श्रीर् इव यात्र सापि विदशां काल-क्रमाद् आगता ।
सैरन्ध्रीति स-गर्वितं युवतिभिः साक्षेपम् आख्यातया द्रौपद्या ननु मत्स्य-राज-भवने धृष्टं न किं चन्दनम् ॥ २३१ ॥
rūpeṇāpratimena yauvana-guṇaiḥ śreṣṭhe kule janmanā kāntyā śrīr iva yātra sāpi vidaśāṃ kāla-kramād āgatā |
sairandhrīti sa-garvitaṃ yuvatibhiḥ sākṣepam ākhyātayā draupadyā nanu matsya-rāja-bhavane dhṛṣṭaṃ na kiṃ candanam || 231 ||
Even the most beautiful Draupadi, one who was born in the best of families, and shone like Shree Laxmi herself, the wife of the powerful Pāndavās, also had to endure so much pain. Did she not spend her time serving the ladies of the palace of Virāta, being addressed as Sairandhree (maid servant)?
MeghaVarna said “What you say is true, oh Sthirajeevin. Also, staying with the enemy would have been very hard for you…”
Sthirajeevin replied “Yes, my king. It was hard, but I haven’t seen a greater assembly of fools! And likewise, I haven’t seen a man as intelligent, well-versed in politics, and wise as Raktāksha. Only he understood my true intentions, and he did so the moment he laid his eyes on me.”
“The other ministers however, were all fools. They were ministers only in name. They were so foolish that…”
to be continued…