Friday, 4 May 2012

Pandavas meet Bheeshma in the night. Mahabhara 140

 I thought I will use Samhita's interpretation of the meeting with Bheeshma.

Pandavas walk quietly to meet Bheeshma
It was a dark night, Five unarmed figures advanced towards Bheeshma's tent, in the kauravas camp. When the tent flap opened, they entered. 

Bheeshma's tent

In the lamplight  they removed their cloaks to reveal their identities. They were no other than the five pandavas. Bheeshma smiled and said, 'What can I do for you? Ah, it is good to see you here, rather than on the battlefield.'

'Bheeshma, our forces are being vanquished by you. We need to know how you can be killed, so that we  can win this war.' Bheeshma smiled again,  'That is an easier task than you think. All you have to do is to place Shikandin in front of me and Arjuna behind him, Since she was a woman in her previous birth and spent part of her life being a woman, I cannot and will not confront Shikandin.'

Yudhisthira thanked him. Pandavas departed from the kaurava camp.

Vachana Bharata has some more detail:
Arjuna is not happy that he has to kill Bheeshma. He thinks about  Bheeshma their guru, the oldest in the Vamsha, intelligent and wise. He remembers his childhood, when very young, dirty and muddy after playing, how  he  sat on his lap and called him 'appa' and Bheeshma replied, 'I am your appa's appa'. With such memories he is reluctant to fight, 'Krishna, even if our army is depleted further, I will not fight Bheeshma. I do not care whether I win or loose! Let Bheeshma kill me.'

Krishna again reminds Arjuna, 'Having  taken a vow to kill Bheeshma, how can you  say now you cannot? Is it khsatriya dharma? If you do not kill Gangeya, there is no hope of victory. It is god's will, and it will happen. Excepting you, there is no other who can kill him.'

Arjuna gets back to reality and tells Krishna, 'Bheeshma has to meet his death through Shikandi. I will  keep Shikandi in front and find a way to bring Bheeshma down. If  Bheeshma attacks Shikandi , I will see that Shikandi is protected. I will drive out the others who try to kill him'. The plan is thus set for the next day.

1 comment:

Raghunath said...

a la' Trojan horse!