SRIMAD MAHABHARATA > AADI PARVA > SANGRAAHA PARVA > CHAPTER 2(C)
(BRIEF OF UDYOGA PARVA)
“Soota continues, ‘Listen then to (the contents of) the fifth Parva which must be known as Udyoga. While Paandavaas, desirous of victory, were residing in the place called Upaplavya, Duryodhana and Arjuna both went at the same time to Vaasudeva (Sri Krishna), and said, ‘You should render us assistance in this war.’ The high-souled (Sri) Krishna, upon these words being uttered, replied, ‘O you first of men, an adviser in myself who will not fight and one Akshauhini of troops (21,870 chariots; 21,870 elephants; 65,610 cavalry; 109,350 infantry), which of these shall I give to which of you?’ Blind to his own interests, the foolish Duryodhana asked for the (Akshauhini) troops; while Arjuna requested (Sri) Krishna as an unfighting adviser. Then is described how, when the king of Madra (Shalya) was coming for the assistance of Paandavaas, Duryodhana, having deceived him on the way by presents and hospitality, induced him to grant a boon and then requested his (Shalya’s) assistance in battle; how Shalya, having passed his word to Duryodhana, went to Paandavaas and consoled them by reciting the history of (Lord) Indra’s victory (over Vritra).
“Then comes the despatch by Paandavaas of their Purohita to Kauravaaas. Then is described how king Dhritarashtra of great skills, having heard the word of the Purohita of Paandavaas and the story of (Lord) Indra’s victory decided upon sending his Purohita and ultimately despatched Sanjaya as envoy to Paandavaas from desire for peace. Here has been described the sleeplessness of Dhritarashtra from anxiety upon hearing all about Paandavaas and their friends, Vaasudeva (Sri Krishna) and others. It was on this occasion that Vidura addressed to the wise king Dhritarashtra various counsels that were full of wisdom (popularly known as Vidura Neeti). It was here also that Saanat-sujaata recited to the anxious and sorrowing monarch (Dhritarashtra) the excellent truths of spiritual philosophy. On the next morning Sanjaya spoke, in the court of the King (Dhritarashtra), of the identity of Vaasudeva and Arjuna.
“It was then that the illustrious (Sri) Krishna, moved by kindness and a desire for peace, went himself to the Kauravaaa capital, Hastinaapura, for bringing about peace. Then comes the rejection by prince Duryodhana of the embassy of (Sri) Krishna who had come to request peace for the benefit of both parties. Here has been recited the story of Damvodvava; then the story of the high-souled Maatuli’s search for a husband for his daughter; then the history of the great sage Galava; then the story of the training and discipline of the son of Bidula.
“Then the exhibition by (Sri) Krishna, before the assembled Rajas, of His Yoga powers upon learning the evil counsels of Duryodhana and Karna; then (Sri) Krishna’s taking Karna in His chariot and His tendering to him of advice, and Karna’s rejection of the same from pride. Then the return of (Sri) Krishna, the punisher of enemies from Hastinaapura to Upaplavya, and His narration to Paandavaas of all that had happened. It was then that those oppressors of enemies, the Paandavaas, having heard all and consulted properly with each other, made every preparation for war.
“Then comes the march from Hastinaapura, for battle, of foot-soldiers, horses, charioteers and elephants. Then the tale of the troops by both parties. Then the despatch by prince Duryodhana of Uluka as ambassador to Paandavaas on the day previous to the battle. Then the tale of charioteers of different classes. Then the story of Amba.
“These all have been described in the fifth Parva called Udyoga of the (Maha)Bharata, abounding with incidents concerning to war and peace. O you Rishis, the great Vyaasa has composed one hundred and eighty-six (186) sections in this Parva. The number of shlokas also composed in this by the Maharishi (Vyaasa) is six thousand, six hundred and ninety-eight (6,698).