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Pradyumna: (leads chanting of verse)
visan mahagneh purusada-darsanad
mrdhe mrdhe 'neka-maharathastrato
drauny-astratas casma hare 'bhiraksitah
Prabhupada: Word meanings.
Pradyumna: "Visat -- from poison; maha-agneh -- from the great fire; purusa-ada -- the man-eaters; darsanat -- by combating; asat -- vicious; sabhayah -- assembly; vana-vasa -- exiled to the forest; krcchratah -- sufferings; mrdhe mrdhe -- again and again in battle; aneka -- many; maha-ratha -- great generals; astratah -- weapons; drauni -- the son of Dronacarya; astratah -- from the weapon of; ca -- and; asma -- indicating past tense; hare -- by the Personality of Godhead; abhiraksitah -- protected completely. Translation. My dear Krsna, Your Lordship has protected us from a poisoned cake, from a great fire, from cannibals, from the vicious assembly, from sufferings during our exile in the forest and from the battle where great generals fought. And now You have saved us from the weapon of Asvatthama."
Prabhupada: So Kunti is remembering all the dangers that she had passed before getting the kingdom. Kaunteya pratijanihi na me bhaktah pranasyati. These Pandavas, they were great devotees of Lord Krsna. And in the material world, because people are interested in material things, so they were put into so many dangerous condition of life. That was the policy of Dhrtarastra, how to kill the sons of Pandu and usurp the kingdom for his own sons. That was his policy from the very beginning. But they were very obedient because Dhrtarastra was their guardian.
So Dhrtarastra constructed a house of lac. Lac means as soon as you touch one match stick, immediately takes fire. So he asked his nephews and sister-in-law, Kunti, that "For some times you go. I have constructed a very nice house. You can go and live there." Vidura informed that "This is the policy: Dhrtarastra wants you to burn into ashes by going that house." Duryodhana could understand that Vidura had already informed. Therefore he was very angry. These are politics. So although they knew that "This is the plan of my uncle to send into that house and set fire," but they agreed, "Yes," not disobedient to the order of the superior. In this way the house was set into fire, but they digged a subway within that house, and they escaped.
So that is one incidence. Another incidence is giving them poison cakes when they were at home. That also they escaped. Then purusada-darsanat. They met one Hidimba Raksasa, man-eater demon. So Bhima fought with him and killed him. Similarly, asat-sabhayah, in the assembly of asat... Asat means those who are not gentle, not gentlemen. In the sabha, in the assembly, there was Dhrtarastra, there was Bhismadeva, Dronacarya, all elderly persons, and there was trick of playing chess. So somehow or other, Draupadi was taken as bet: "If we lose, then Draupadi is no longer our wife. It is up to you." So lost the game. So immediately Karna and Duhsasana captured her: "Now you are not your husbands'. You are our property. We can deal with you as we like."
So Karna was insulted during Draupadi's svayamvara. In the svayamvara... Svayamvara means big, big princess, very qualified princess, they used to select her own husband. Just like in your country, the selection of husband is given to the girl, as she likes. This is not very good for common, but those who are uncommon, highly qualified, one who knows how to select, to such girl the facility was given to select her husband and under very strict condition. Just like Draupadi's father made it condition -- there was a fish on the ceiling, and one has to pierce the eye of the fish not directly seeing but seeing the shadow in the water down. So there were so many princes. As soon as such declaration is there, all the princes come to combat. That is ksatriya principle.
So in that assembly of Draupadi's svayamvara there was Karna also. Draupadi knew... Draupadi's real purpose was to accept Arjuna as her husband. But she knew that Karna is there. If Karna competes, then Arjuna will not be able to succeed. Therefore she said that "In this competition, except the ksatriyas, nobody can compete." That means Karna at that time was not known that he was a ksatriya. He was the son of Kunti before her marriage. So people did not know. It was secret. So Karna was maintained by a carpenter. Therefore he was known as a sudra. So Draupadi took advantage of this and said that "I do not wish that any carpenter shall come here and compete. I don't want that." So Karna was not allowed. So Karna took it as great insult.
Now, when Draupadi was lost in the game, he was first of all forward. He was Duryodhana's great friend. "Now we want to see naked beauty of Draupadi." So there were elderly persons in the meeting. Dhrtarastra was. Bhisma was there, Dronacarya. Still, they did not protest, "Oh, what is this, that you are going to make naked one lady in this assembly?" They did not protest. Therefore asat-sabhayah, "assembly of uncultured men." Uncultured man wants to see a woman naked. But that has become a fashion nowadays. A woman is not to be, supposed not to be naked in anyone's, before except her husband. This is Vedic culture. But because these rascals wanted to see Draupadi naked in that great assembly, so they were all rascals, asat. Sat means gentle, and asat means rude. So asat sabhayah, "In that assembly of rudes, You saved" -- Krsna saved. Draupadi was being naked, her sari was being taken away, and the sari would not be finished. Krsna was supplying sari.
So they became tired in trying to make her naked. (laughter) And she never became naked, and heaps of cloth was stacked. They could understand, "It is impossible." And Draupadi was also first of all trying to save her cloth. And what she can do? She is woman, and they were two men. Karna and Duhsasana was trying to make her naked. So she was crying and praying to Krsna, "Save my honor." But she was trying also herself to save. When she thought that "It is impossible to save myself, my honor, in this way," then he (she) left the hands. She simply got up her arms and prayed, "Krsna, if You like, You can save."
So this is the position. So long we try to save ourself, then that is not very good. If you simply depend on Krsna, "Krsna, if You save me, that is all right. Otherwise kill me, as You like." You see? Marobi rakhobi -- –jo iccha tohara. Bhaktivinoda Thakura says, "I surrender unto You." Manasa, deho, geho, jo kichu mor, "My dear Lord, whatever I have got, my possession... And what I have got? I have got this body. I have got my mind. I have got a little home and my wife, my children. This is my possession." So manasa, deho, geho, jo kichu mor. "So whatever I have got -- this body, this mind, this wife, these children, this home, everything I surrender unto You." Manasa, deho, geho, jo kichu mor, arpilun tuwa pade, nanda-kisor. Krsna is known as Nanda-kisora.
So this is surrender, no reservation, fully surrender, akincana. Therefore Krsna..., a devotee is called akincana. Akincana. Kincana means something, something reserved for me. Of course, actually that should be position, but still... In the material world one should not imitate, but as Rupa Gosvami has shown the path, that whatever possession you have got, 50% for Krsna, 25% for the relatives -- they also expect something -- and 25% for personal emergency. This example is shown by Rupa Gosvami. Before his retirement he did it. But actually that everything was spent. When Sanatana Gosvami was arrested, it was spent. So this is full surrender. When Draupadi fully surrendered to Krsna without trying herself to save her, then unlimited yards of cloth was supplied, and she could not be made naked. But because the attempt was made in an assembly of crude, rude men, therefore it is said, asat-sabhayah.
Vana-vasa-krcchratah. And then next game was that if they lose the game, they will go, they would go twelve years in the forest. So that was also happened. For twelve years. And the condition was: after twelve years, one year they should remain incognito. If they are detected that "They are living in such and such place," then again twelve years. So hard condition. And that also performed. In that incognito condition they married Draupadi. Arjuna was at that time in a incognito. He went there as a brahmana, in the dress of a brahmana. Because if he went there in the dress of a ksatriya they would be detected again. "Oh, here is Arjuna." Then again they will have to go again for twelve years.
So these things are there described in the Mahabharata. Mahabharata means... Maha means great, greater, and bharata means India. It is the history, history of greater India, Mahabharata. They take it as stories, as mythology. That is nonsense. It is history. Mahabharata is the history. So we take it as history. All these Puranas, Mahabharata, they are history. But not this chronological history. Chronological history, if you keep, then how many pages you have to keep, so many things? Simply selected incidences, they are described there, select, most important incidences. But that is history. So these very important incidents, they are described in the Mahabharata.
Then mrdhe, mrdhe. Mrdha means battlefield. Mrdhe mrdhe. Aneka-maha-ratha astratah. There were great, great fighters, maha-ratha. These are just like in modern days they are given title, lieutenant, commander, commander-in-chief, like that. Formerly these titles were for the military man: eka-ratha, maha-ratha, koti-ratha. Ratha means chariot. So if one could fight with one charioteer, he is eka-ratha. And if he could fight with one thousand charioteer, then he is called maha-ratha. So all the commanders there in the battlefield of Kuruksetra were maha-rathas. Maha-ratha. They are described in the Bhagavad-gita. Especially Bhisma and Karna, Dronacarya, they were very, very great commanders. Still, Arjuna could kill them by the grace of Krsna. Arjuna was nothing in front of them. They were so great fighter. Arjuna was also maha-ratha. Still, these commanders were very, very powerful. But by the grace of Krsna he could kill Karna, he could kill Bhisma, he could kill Dronacarya and came out victorious. And Pariksit Maharaja, when he was talking with Sukadeva Gosvami, he also referred this, that "The battlefield of Kuruksetra was just like ocean, and there were so many ferocious aquatic animals. But by the grace of Krsna my grandfather crossed over it very easily."
This is very significant, that you may have many enemies or many fighters, very powerful fighters, but if you remain at the protection of Krsna, then nobody can do you anything, harm. Rakhe krsna mare ke: "If Krsna protects you, nobody can kill you." But if Krsna kills you nobody can give you protection. That is this, rakhe krsna mare ke, mare krsna rakhe ke. This is the... If Krsna desires to kill you, nobody can save you. Just like a big man, a rich man, is suffering from disease. All first-class physician, medicine, hospital, available for him, but still, he dies. That means Krsna desires that "This man must die." So these things will not help you. The so-called protective methods that we have discovered, they will be useless if Krsna does not desire that you should live. They will be useless.
Just like Ravana. He as very powerful. But when Krsna desired, Lord Ramacandra desired, nobody could give protection. He was a great devotee of Lord Siva, and he was praying Lord Siva, "Please come and save me in this danger." So Lord Siva did not come. And Parvati, Lord Siva's wife, asked that "Why is that? Your devotee, such a great devotee, he has served you so much, and now he is in danger. He is asking your help. You are not going?" And Lord Siva replied, "My dear Parvati, what shall I do? I cannot give him protection. It is not possible. Why shall I go?" So this is the position, that if God wants to kill you, nobody can give you protection. And if God wants to give you protection, nobody can kill you. This is the position. Rakhe krsna mare ke, mare krsna rakhe ke.
So Kuntidevi is remembering one after another how Krsna saved them. That is thinking of Krsna, smaranam, that "Krsna, You are so kind upon us. You saved us in so many big, big dangerous position. It is for You. Otherwise there was no hope." And the last is drauny-astra. Drauny-astra. This Asvatthama, he executed very abominable task. He came... Of course, there was fight. Both the parties belonged to the same family. So everyone died. So only five sons of the Pandavas, they were living. So Asvatthama thought that "If I kill these five sons of Pandavas and present the head to Duryodhana, he will be very much pleased." So what did he do? When the five sons were sleeping, inhumanly he cut off. He separated the heads of the five sons and presented to Duryodhana. Duryodhana was at that time in a incapable state. His, this waist was broken. He could not move. And he lied that "I have brought the five heads of the Pandavas, my dear Duryodhana." "Oh, you have brought?" He was very glad. But he knew how to test it. But when he pressed the head, it immediately became collapsed. "Oh," he said, "this is not Pandavas head. It must be their sons' head." Then he admitted, "Yes." He became fainted that "You have killed all the hopes. I hoped that in our family at least five sons will... You have killed also." So in that lamentment he died.
So he was arrested. He was arrested by Arjuna, and he was to be killed. Krsna ordered that "Kill him. He is not a brahmana. He is less than sudra." So when he was arrested, then he was let loose by the request of Draupadi that "I am suffering for the death of my sons, and this rascal is the son of our Guru Maharaja, Dronacarya, who has done so much for us. If he dies also, then mother guru will be very much unhappy. So let him go away." So, being insulted, he threw atom bomb, brahmastra. The brahmastra is something like atomic weapon, nuclear weapon. It can go to the enemy wherever the enemy is. It doesn't matter. It will go and kill him. That is called brahmastra. So the brahmastra was... He knew that "The rest of the Kuru family is Pariksit, the son of Abhimanyu. He is in the womb of Uttara. So let me kill him also. Then everything finished."
So drauny-astra. So when that weapon was let loose, Pariksit Maharaja mother, Uttara, felt that she is going to discharge the womb. And she approached Krsna, "Save me." And Krsna entered the womb of Uttara and saved the child, the posthumous child. So in this way the Pandava family was saved. Simply Pariksit Maharaja remained. That also within the womb of his mother. And in mature time, when Pariksit Maharaja came out, the grandfathers only (were) there. Pariksit Maharaja's father was sixteen years old, and he went to fight. Seven big, big commanders killed him, seven. He was so great fighter, Arjuna's son. Subhadra's son. This Subhadra is here. The Subhadra is sister of Krsna. She was married to Arjuna, and she got only one child, this Pariksit Maharaja. So as soon as Pariksit Maharaja became grown up, the whole estate was entrusted to him, and all the Pandavas left home and went to Himalayas. This is the history of Mahabharata.
Thank you very much. Hare Krsna. (end)
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.8.24 -- Los Angeles, April 16, 1973