ON the morning of the ninth day, before the battle began, Duryodhana
wascloseted with the grandsire. He gave vent to his bitter feelings of disappointment over
the way the battle was going. He uttered words which were like the sharp spears and pained
the grandsire greatly but the latter was patient, and said sadly:
"Like ghee on the sacrificial fire I am pouring my life out for
you. Why do you seek to mortify me, who have been doing my very utmost for you? You speak
like a man of no under standing, not knowing what is right and what is wrong. They say
that, when a man is nearing his death, the tree appears to him to be made of gold.
You see things now, not as they are; your vision is clouded. You are
now reaping the harvest of the hatred you deliberately sowed. The best course for you are
to go on fighting, as well as you can. This is also the plain path of duty. It is not
possible for me to fight Sikhandin, for I can never raise my hand against a woman.
Nor can I with my hands kill the Pandavas, for my mind revolts against
it. I will do every thing barring these two and fight all the 'warriors opposed to you.
Nothing is gained by losing heart. Fight as a kshatriya should and honour will be yours
whatever the events."