Chapter XVIII - 65 Home | Index | Previous | Next

"But, Agni pursued the snake; He sought the help of the wind-God to catch up with his fleeing speed. So, Thakshaka sought refuge with Maya, the architect of the Devas and the Danavas; he and Maya were moving fast towards Kurukshethra. Krishna noticed this and He pursued them. Just then, Maya surrendered to Arjuna and sought his protection for himself and his protégé, Thakshaka. Arjuna granted his wish and so, Maya, out of a sense of gratefulness, fell at his feet and said, 'O son of Pandu, I will never forget this kindness. Whatever is in my power, I shall gladly do for you. You have only to indicate your desire'."

"Your grandfather reflected for a while and replied, 'Maya! If you yearn to satisfy me, I demand but one thing: Build a Sabha (assembly hall) for my brother to hold court, the like of which is not to be found on earth. It must be so grand that no Deva or Danava or Gandharva can ever hope to build such a one for himself. It must fill all who see it with amazement. I have no desire, other than this'. Krishna too added a suggestion. 'In that hall of wonder, you must establish a throne of wonder for Dharmaraja to be seated; then only will the hall be fully magnificent'."

"Did you note, Parikshit, how much Krishna loved your grandfather? Do you need any more convincing proof than this to know that He is ever mindful of the welfare of His devotees? The wicked Duryodhana was overcome with envy, at the sight of that amazing hall. Duryodhana and Dussasana and their companions were puzzled and discomfited into humiliation, when they were led to believe that there was water where there was none and that there were doors in places where there were no doors! They fell in so many places and knocked their heads against so many walls that they nurtured unquenchable hatred against the Pandavas. The Kauravas plotted incessantly to destroy the Pandavas; but, since the Pandavas had the grace of Krishna in a large measure, they were able to overcome them as if they were mere child's play and to enjoy varied manifestations of His mercy. The Kauravas developed violent hatred against Krishna too, for they knew that the son of Yasoda was the bestower of fortune on the Pandavas. But, what can any one do to the very Lord of all creation? To cultivate hatred against Him is a sign of their ignorance that is all."

When Vyasa was thus relating the story of Thakshaka, Parikshith was listening with rapt attention; when he finished, Parikshith queried in wonder, "What was the reason which provoked the wicked Kaurava to ill-treat and insult my grandmother, Droupadi? How did grandfathers bear the insults they heaped on their spouse? How did it happen that they were mere onlookers, unable to retaliate or punish, in spite of their prowess and undoubted manliness, when their spouse was dishonoured publicly, in the royal court? I find it beyond me to understand how these incidents came about. Tell me the real facts, and enlighten me. You can clear my doubts, I am sure."