Subtitles prepared by human
Do you know how to write? No. Why? I’ve composed a great poem. I’ve composed it all, but nothing is written. I need someone to write down what I know. What’s your name? Vyasa. What’s your poem about? It’s about you. - Me? - Yes It’s the story of your race, how your ancestors were born, how they grew up, how a vast war arose. And it’s the poetical history of mankind. If you listen carefully, at the end, you’ll be someone else. Ganesha! Welcome. Rumour has it that you’re looking for a scribe for the poetical history of mankind. I’m at your service You’re really Ganesha? Yes. Ganesha. In person. I’m ready You can begin Come and sit down. There’s something… secret about a beginning.
I don’t know how to start May I offer a suggestion? You are most welcome As you claim to be the author of the poem, why don’t you begin with yourself? - Right - Hm. A king, hunting in a forest, fell asleep. He dreamed of his wife, and there was a joyful explosion of sperm. Very good start. When the king awoke, and saw the sperm on a leaf, he called a falcon and said, But the falcon was attacked by another falcon. The sperm fell into a river. A fish swallowed it. A few months later, a fisherman caught the fish, cut it open and found in its stomach - a tiny little girl… - Ahh! …whom he called Satyavati. - Satyavati - She grew up. She became very beautiful,
but unfortunately she smelled most dreadfully of fish. This made her very sad. No-one would come near her. But one day… …a wandering hermit saw her and said “I like you! Let’s make love here right away and I promise to turn your dreadful stench into a most delicious odour” She cried “Now? Here? I can’t!” So the hermit drew a thick mist across the river and the fields She opened herself to him And as she did so, she became fragrant, irresistible. They had a son? Yes. I am that son, Vyasa. Keep going, son of the mist. You haven’t started yet. What happened at the beginning? It was a golden age. There was no war, no misery. Men were close to the gods. There was a prince called Bhishma
a perfect prince His mind was clear his body strong his heart noble But he couldn’t be king Why? Because it was impossible for him to marry to have children Why? Because his father had cast his eyes on Satyavati and he burned with passion for her Satyavati? Your mother? Yes, my mother. Your mother’s playing a part in your story? - Any objection? - No, no objection at all. Did she marry Bhishma’s father? Satyavati refused to marry unless her sons could be king So Bhishma sacrificed himself for his father’s happiness To avoid all family conflicts he swore the oath of absolute renunciation I abjure for ever the love of woman. He said that? He said just that, in all solemnity.
I abjure for ever the love of woman. And the gods applauded his act In fact, they were so pleased with Bhishma that they gave him the power to choose the time of his death. Is it possible? It was possible, in those days So Satyavati had another child? Yes, but he was a poor weakling. But, you know, in the olden days, if a king wanted to get married, he had to win a wife in a tournament. But this young king was far too feeble to even take part so Bhishma fought in his place He swept everyone off the field and came back with three wives instead of one The youngest was crying Amba, why these tears? Before you won me at the tournament, I had already chosen a husband… …in secret. He knows it, and he loves me.
It’s King Salva. How can you, who so revere fidelity, how can you marry me to your half-brother, when I am already bound by love to another man? Salva is waiting for me. Let me join him. What you say is true, Amba. You can go. It’s me. Amba. So Bhishma let you go? Yes. Go back to him, Amba. What are you saying? You’re his prize. You’re soiled. I couldn’t for anything in the world let someone else’s woman penetrate into my palace. But I’m not his! He’s never touched me, He’s not even wanted me. Salva, I’m a virgin. My eyes know only you. Please, leave. I can’t. Where could I go? I repeat, I don’t want you any more.
Bhishma frightens me, and you are his prize. You no longer exist. Go away. Did the king marry the two other princesses? Yes but he died on his wedding night - So there were no children? - Naturally. But without children, this story can’t go on. Precisely. So the poetical history of mankind is already over. No. My mother found a solution. It was up to me to do the necessary. Why did you close your eyes? So as not to see me? You will have a son. He will be called Dhritharashtra. But as you closed your eyes on seeing me, he will be born blind. A blind son? Yes But a king cannot be blind. What happened with the second princess? Why is your colour draining away?
Am I so loathsome? You too will have a son but he will be white as milk And he will be known as Pandu, the pale. Bhishma! Bhishma… …save me. I’ve been rejected by the man I love, and you are the cause of my misery. You can’t abandon me now. You won me. I’m your wife. - Marry me. - No. I can’t marry you, Amba. No women can come into my life. As Salva has rejected you, you are free. Go back to your father. No, I’m not free! And I refuse to go back to my father, who bartered me like an animal. Listen. Hear what I’ll do. I will walk straight ahead, in ripped clothes, begging my way. And I will live with one thought, only one, a thought like a blade:
how to find someone to fight you to your death. No-one can kill me. It’s impossible. I will do so all the same. I too pronounce a vow. In one of the worlds, There is now on this earth a woman who will always think of you. Never forget me, Bhishma. I am your death. Pandu the Pale and his brother Dhritharashtra Who became king? Pandu because his brother was blind - You see this woman? - Yes. Her name is Kunti. She doesn’t know it but she’s carrying the fate of the earth in her belly Her children will be glorious And without them, you wouldn’t be here. Why is she looking so persistently at the sun? It’s a secret King Pandu married Kunti and he took another wife as well called Madri
No sooner married King Pandu went hunting Who could have imagined that a simple hunt - Ah! could seal the fate of the world? Who are you? I had taken the form of a gazelle to join my lover. How could you kill us? You have not respected the joys of love! Pitiless man, I show you no pity. I curse you. If one day you take one of your wives in your arms, at that moment, you will die, as I do now. I am cursed. I must vanish without a trace into the mountains. I will live without anger, without fear, far from the need to kill. Dhritharashtra, my brother, you are king. And Madri, and me?
I have nothing to offer you. We only want poverty and solitude. Until we die. So they left the palace Pandu followed by his two faithful loving wives Kunti and Madri They walked for many days until they came to the furthest reaches of the Himalayas the roof of the world There in the brutal cold they made their new home But the shadow of the gazelle’s curse darkened their lives They knew how deeply Pandu longed for children And they knew also that if he ever made love to one of his wives he would die Sadly he accepted the inevitable This he thought was his destiny How wrong we can be For Kunti held in her heart an ancient secret When Kunti was very young a hermit gave her a magic formula as a reward for serving him well
With this mantra she could evoke any god she chose Kunti! I am the Sun. You sent for me, and I am here. I am going to be your lover, and I’ll give you a child. I can reassure you, your virginity will remain intact. Abandon all your fears, and come into my arms. Instantly they had a son a radiant son But Kunti was afraid She hid her fault She put the child in a basket and left him to a river’s whim A chariot driver found him and brought him up Karna was a magnificent child who grew up to be a divinely gifted man But in his heart there was a bitter shadow He didn’t know who he was Pandu? I have a confession to make I possess a magic power, a mantra. What power does this mantra give you?
The power to call down a god at will. And to have a child by him? Yes. How can you be so sure? I am sure. Don’t hesitate. Quick, say your mantra. Which god should I call down first? Evoke… Dharma. Beyond him, all thought must stop. This is Y udhishthira our firstborn son of Dharma born to be king I beseech you, give me another child. Evoke Vayu, god of the wind. He is Bhima son of the wind strong as thunder Now I call on Indra, king of gods. He is Arjuna the perfect warrior, born to conquer.
Kunti, lend me your mantra so that I can have children too. Madri, evoke the Aswins, Here are our two sons Nakula and Sahadeva as inseparable as patience and wisdom Five sons, descended from the gods. They are the five sons of Pandu the Pandava We’ll never leave them. They are the heart of my poem. And I have the same blood? I come from the gods? That’s what the story tells There was a beautiful princess from the north called Gandhari She’d set out on a long journey to the blind king’s city All she knew was that her marriage had been prepared While waiting for the wedding she lived in seclusion Each day her servant visited the city and told her of its thousand wonders
- Princess… - What’s the matter? I saw your future husband. Yes. Is he handsome? Strong? Yes, he’s strong. Very strong. - Then why are you crying? - Princess… you’ve been betrayed. Dhritharashtra is blind. Born blind. That’s impossible. A king cannot be blind. I asked an old guard His eyes are dead. If he’s blind he could only reign over the night amidst the cries of a diseased people What’s the use of my paint, of my dresses, if my husband will never see me? Why my hair, why my flesh? And my eyes… Give me my veil. - What are you looking at? - At you. You are my last image in this world.
What are you doing? I’m putting a veil on my eyes. I’m tying it firmly. I will never take it off. Give me your hand. Lead me to my husband Now, I can never reproach him his misfortune. Soon Gandhari felt life in her womb But two years went by Her belly was hard Nothing stirred Gandhari, Kunti has just given birth to a son. His name is Yudhishthira. The people say he will be king. Get an iron bar. What? Obey me. Get an iron bar. Strike me on the belly. Do what I tell you. Argh! Harder. Harder still Again. Strike! Go on! Again! Strike! You are delivering me! What has just come out of my womb?
A ball of flesh. It’s crying? It moves? No. It’s cold and hard, like metal. Throw the ball into a well, and leave me alone. No. Cut the ball into a hundred pieces. Put them into a hundred earthenware jars. Sprinkle them with fresh water. Out of them will come a hundred sons. The first to be born was called Duryodhana Bhishma, what are the sounds? Winds, animals, angry birds of prey… …and the screams of your son. What do these omens mean? They say Duryodhana comes to destroy. If you wish to preserve your race, sacrifice him. Even if he howls, no-one will kill my firstborn child without killing me myself.
Madri, the birds chuckle, the insects tremble with joy, the flowers open. It’s the first day of spring… …and the sun streams through your dress. Pandu, don’t touch me. If you love me, you die! I know. But when I look at you, I prefer love to life. Ssh! Not a word. Don’t tempt death. Death is seducing you! Keep away. There is no risk for you. Lie down. No. You will need to take me by force. Kunti! I wanted to save him, You… you are happier than I am, because you have seen his face glow with desire. I will follow him to the other shore. No. It’s in my arms that he breathed his last breath. I will die.
I give you my sons, who no longer have a father in this world. They will be like my sons. They will share everything. Burn my body along with the king. Come. Help me to die. Ganesha you’re writing everything? Ooh! I’m writing everything, and I understand everything. Now we skip… - 20 years? …20 years. Simple! - So your heroes are now grown up? - Exactly. No, don’t kill me! One day a stranger walked into the blind king’s palace where Bhishma was trying to educate all the cousins together Oww! Bhishma! - Take your hands away! Let go! - No! Aaagh! Let go of me! Hui! Dushassana! Bhima! Put down that tree!
No! Who are you? I am the new teacher. - What’s your name? - Who has sent you? My name is Drona. No-one has sent me. - Drona? - I am here for your education. - Are you really Drona? - Yes. I’ve heard much of you. Bhishma! Is it true that you know all the possible forms of war? As well as you, Bhishma. And you also know secret weapons? Yes, I know them too. - I am happy you have come to our city. - Arbas, arbas… These are the sons of Pandu… …and the sons of Dhritharashtra… - Ah-ha. …the Kaurava and the Pandava. - Ah! After the death of Pandu, But since childhood, Aha. So I see. - Duryodhana and all his brothers want to kill us! - No! - Bhima tries to strangle us, day after day. Eh, eh!
Duryodhana wants the kingdom! He wants to destroy us! Silence! When do you begin? I begin. On top of this wall I have placed a vulture made of straw and rags Y udhishthira! Aim! What do you see? I see the vulture. Do you see the wall? Yes, I see the wall. Back to your place! Tchu! Nakula, come here. You too, Bhima. You too, Duryodhana. Aim at the bird. What do you see? - I see the bird, the sky. - My hand. I see the bird, I see my bow. - I see the top of the wall. - I see a cloud in the sky. Back, all of you! Two, three! Hah! Arjuna! One, two! Aim! What do you see? The vulture
Describe the vulture. I can’t. Why? I can only see… its eye. Raise your arrow! I make you the finest archer in the world But …I need you to make a promise. If, one day, destiny places us face to face… …you must fight me. And you must fight to kill. Yes, I promise. Who’s this? Wait. You will see. Drona, you are my master. I know it. My name is Ekalavya. I come from the other side of the world to receive your teaching. Take me in your school. No. Why? Like you, Drona, I can give up riches and pleasure. I only wish to learn. I have enough pupils. Go away.
Thus rejected the adolescent withdrew to the depths of a wood And there alone he moulded out of the earth a living likeness of Drona Each day devoutly he worshipped this idol and trained himself under its gaze Watched over by the statue he acquired the most astonishing skills Drona, you haven’t kept your promise! - In what way? - You promised I would be the best. None of your pupils would be my rival. Ekalavya has planted seven arrows in the jaws of a barking dog, and Ekalavya says he’s your pupil! Master I kiss the earth before you I am your pupil. Your visit brings me unexpected joy. If you are my pupil, you must pay me for my lessons. Ask what you wish. I owe you everything. Give me the thumb of your right hand. Here it is.
Why this act of cruelty? Because the earth has lost its youth It’s gone by like a happy dream Now each day brings us closer to destruction to barrenness In the palace the young men only thought of war As Arjuna showed his extraordinary skills his cousins watched with growing jealousy and fear Dhritharashtra, he is incomparable. Even his thoughts are arrows! Son of Kunti. Who is it? - A stranger. Son of Kunti I can do all that you have done, as well as you. Even better Watch. Ah! I hit it in the left eye… …which was there. - What’s your name? - Karna. Welcome. Come into my arms.
You are here, but you haven’t been invited. You speak, but you have not been addressed. Isn’t this place of arms open to all? That is the custom. Arjuna, wherever you look, I will always be ahead. Prepare yourself. We are going to fight. Why are you waiting? I am ready. Arjuna comes from a Kshatriya family. He is of royal birth, and he cannot fight an inferior person. Tell us your father’s name. At least tell us your mother’s name, and I will let you fight. You don’t reply. Karna, are you ashamed of your mother, or don’t you know her? I don’t know her What is your origin? I am called… the Driver’s Son. Withdraw. This is not your place.
Karna! If you have to be a prince to fight, I consecrate you here. Come. I give you the land of Anga. I name you king. What can I give you in exchange? - Your friendship. - It’s yours Forever true. Now the fight can begin. The son of a driver! Sweet heaven! Hey - give him a whip and a shovel for the shit. - Bhima, quiet, or I’ll tear our your tongue. - Ha-ha-ha! - They set a driver’s son on the throne of Anga! - Enough! Shut your mouth and don’t speak of birth. Birth is obscure, and men are like rivers, Drona. I look at Karna, and I am not mistaken. I see his power, edged with mystery, and he’ll forever be my friend. The setting sun seems to whisper it’s true Come Karna The day is over.
Arjuna, you have rejected me. Inevitably, one day we will fight… …and I will kill you. Mother. Guess what I’ve won? You must share it with your brothers. But it’s a woman. I won her in a tournament All the princes of the world wanted her but I won What did I say? You said, “You must share it with your brothers.” I can’t take back my word. You must do as I say What’s her name? Draupadi. You must do as I say. You must share Draupadi between you. But she mustn’t suffer in any way. There is only one question. Do we all love Draupadi? Yes. I already feel I love her. I love her. Deeply. - So do I. - So do I. Yes, I love her too. All of a sudden love has appeared among us like a light
We will marry her. All five of us. Yes. This is how it should be. Draupadi will have five husbands. But if she likes one of us more than another if there is one she despises, if jealousy tears us apart? What I’ve said is said. Destiny slipped into my words, without warning. Draupadi must be your wife. And she can be. Vyasa? Why did my family murder one another? Because they forgot the essential. And nothing could save them? Listen to me. The worlds swarm with an infinity of creatures - those we see, those we never see. Naga snakes, who live in the depths of the earth. Rakshasas,
monsters of the forest’s night, who live off human flesh. Gandharvas, frail creatures who glide between us and the sky. Apsaras, danavas, yakshas, and the long, glittering chain of gods, who live, like all beings, in the shadow of death. Three gods rule the universe. Three, who are also one. Rama, the creator. Shiva, the destroyer, always present when history ends. The third is Vishnu, who is quite the reverse. It’s he who maintains the worlds. It’s he who makes them endure. When chaos threatens, as it does now, Vishnu takes on human form and descends among us to play his role.
Some hint that he might have come down as Krishna. Is it true? One can never be sure. ♪ Flute I’m going to see Krishna. It’s his flute I hear. He’s on his way? Perhaps he’s already here. In what form? In the form of a man. Watch carefully. His action is subtle, mysteriously clear. At the same instant, Here, there. He is water, the trembling of a leaf. He’s you. He’s fire. He’s the heart of all that’s invisible. He’s you as well? Naturally. Krishna, why have you sent for us? I heard the earth complain. What did she say? She said, “Men have become arrogant. Every day they give me fresh wounds.
There are more and more of them. They are violent, driven by thoughts of conquest. Foolish men trample me. I shudder, and I ask myself, what will they do next?” What can save the earth? I send men with huge ears into the crowd. This is what they say. “The people want a king who will be calm and just, a legitimate king.” Am I this king? Who else? Even if this title is mine, if I claim it, They will plunge us into war. How can you call me a legitimate king if I condemn the earth to a horrifying death? Dhritharashtra calls us his sons. He should be proud to see one of his sons on the highest throne. I am too unprepared. I have no desire for the crown. Destruction never approaches weapon in hand
but comes slyly, on tiptoe, making you see bad in good and good in bad. Don’t deceive yourself. You are the son of Dharma I am your eyes and your hand. I am your neck and shoulders. We are your arms and legs. Resist what resists in you. Become yourself. Our youth is over. We will go to the king. Why did you agree to see them? Do you want to give them a land of their own? Cut into pieces what should remain one? Why treat the Pandava as your sons when they are our enemies? Our natural enemies. I am guided by Bhishma. Bhishma has always been on their side! But how could you have noticed it, you who see nothing? What should I do? Tell me. Regain your calm. They are here. My sons, for you are my sons,
welcome to you all. We come to you as our father. Greetings, Krishna. I know you come with them. Greetings, Dhritharashtra. We all respect your wisdom. So that peace can always shine on our family, I am giving away part of my kingdom. I give you the land of Khandavaprastha. What? Those stinking bogs? Those gruesome forests? Silence, Bhima. I accept, and I thank you. Why take charity like a beggar? Yudhishthira, Calm down Why do you grovel at their feet? They have only one thought, to throw us out of the kingdom. Well, our rights are as good as theirs! And you - you say, “Thank you, I touch your feet, I am most grateful.” What do you put above justice? - Above our destiny? What? - Keep calm. - No! No! - Bhima!
Go. Dry up the marshes. Plough the harsh earth that awaits you. Build a dazzling city, and draw the universe to it. We accept, and take our leave. Father, you thought you had made peace. You have launched a war. We must surprise Bhima and destroy him. We must separate them from Krishna by cunning. They have one wife for five. Call in experts in erotics and ask them how to sow jealousy. Don’t despise them, Dushassana. Nothing can separate them from Krishna. No amount of cunning can bring them down. If you want to destroy them, I’ve said so before, attack them head-on. I’m your friend. Why are you afraid? Bhishma, have I done well? Yes. The sons of my brother Pandu are my sons. But in your heart, you have a secret preference.
So have you, Gandhari. And when one prefers one’s own children to the children of others, war is near. Bhishma, in the event of war, which side will you take? I will unfortunately be loyal to you. And you, Drona? I am at your service. Everything I saw there drives me mad Their palace is incomparable It was built for them by Maya the supreme architect It’s a palace of illusions where thoughts become real Arjuna said to me… Look at the crystal walls Those streaks of sunlight are golden beams And I saw them. Suddenly, I ran into an invisible wall. Arjuna laughed and said: It’s Maya’s masterpiece! You think of a wall and the wall is there! I go farther. Bhima shouts: Watch out! There’s a pool in front of you!
A pool? I don’t see any pool, yet my feet are wet. I run, I open a door - there’s no door. I crash into the wall and hurt myself. And Draupadi cries out: - He’s blind! Blind father blind son! Bhima jeered at me. - Draupadi laughed. Her laugh… cut me to the heart. Who is it? It’s Shakuni, your brother. - What are you doing here? - I’ve come to see my nephews. They are bitter and restless. Duryodhana, my eldest son, doesn’t eat, doesn’t sleep. Why? Because I’ve seen all the kings of the earth surround Yudhishthira. I’ve seen his people happy, even the aged, even the children. Yudhishthira - respected, loved… while I… I love nothing. I am nothing. There is a way to ruin Yudhishthira, and I know it.
What are you hatching? Tell me your way. Yudhishthira has one weakness. He loves gambling. A double weakness, because he loves Challenge him to a game of dice. He won’t be able to refuse. But I’m here, and I know every throw, every dangerous combination. No-one can beat me. Let me play in your place, my nephew, and I will win. - We must play high. - We will play high. Dhritharashtra, I greet you. Shakuni, welcome. What do you want? To distract your son. Let us arrange a game of dice, and… invite Yudhishthira. What do you intend to stake? Whatever he proposes Gandhari, what do you think of a game of dice? Don’t touch the game, my son. You’ll find nothing but love in this palace. You are the eldest. You rule over everyone. What more do you want?
A man says, “I have enough to eat and wear. Ineed nothing more.” Shame. He says, “I don’t know anger.” Shame! No. I am like a dried-up stream, like a wooden elephant - all because my father was born blind, because one does not give a throne to a blind man. Calm yourself. Send for your wives. But I want to be discontented! Dissatisfied! A man’s body grows from birth, and everyone is delighted. In the same way, his desire grows, his desire for power. I have doubts about myself. Sometimes I even question my value. I must resolve these doubts. You have a shadow in your mind. It sweeps you away with incredible force. Why? Why refuse a simple game of dice? The gods created the world as a game. Insects play with flowers,
the stars dance their secret patterns in the sky. Why, Dhritharashtra, must you always frown on pleasure? The game of dice is being prepared I know. What do you want? Bhishma, here your authority is not disputed. If I come like a shadow to speak with you, it is to ask a favour. Whatever you see in the course of the game, whatever you hear, you must not interrupt the match. In no circumstances? In no circumstances. Wouldn’t it be better to avoid the worst? What is the worst? Destruction. Destruction of what? Of the way of truth, of the order of the world. The destruction of dharma That is the worst. And if your race had to be destroyed so as to save dharma
would you be prepared to sacrifice your race? What is your answer? That question is with me always, sharpening my thoughts and destroying my sleep, making my heart pound all night long. It is why I ask you, do not intervene. Let each one go to his limit. Shakuni, it’s you who are going to play? Yes. I’ll play for my nephew. You spend your life playing. People have seen you perform unbelievable tricks. But cheating is a crime. The powerful player, who knows how to play and who ponders calmly, is not worried by cheating. Here… there is no crime, only the game. Nothing but the game. A seasoned warrior fights against beginners. You call that cheating? Science is not cheating. You always enter a game with a wish to win. That’s how life is.
No cheat can ever defeat a master Withdraw from the match if you are afraid. You know I cannot refuse to play, once I am challenged. I have a gold necklace and pearls without equal, churned in the vortex of the ocean. I play them against you. I have won. I have gold and jewels, locked in 400 coffers. I have gold and jewels. That’s not what I want. I have 100,000 female slaves, young, beautiful trained in 64 skills. I have won! - Stop! Swift-fingered Shakuni, I have as many male slaves, obedient, adroit, dressed in the finest silk. I have won. I have 16,000 chariots with golden shafts. - I have won - Y udhishthira - My cows, my bulls, my goats, my elephants. I have won - My forests! I have won
My capital! I have won. - My lands! - I have won - My kingdom! All that I possess! Yudhishthira! Bhishma! Stop the match. You say nothing? Yudhishthira, do you wish to stop the game? No. Let’s proceed. I have won. I have won everything! Have you still something left? I still have my brothers Nakula and Sahadeva, the twins with golden eyes the sons of Madri They are beyond all value I play them against you. I have won Madri’s sons are ours. Bhar jao. I still have Arjuna, he who can never lose, Krishna’s friend. When he plucks the coat of his bow Gandiva, every living creature trembles He is as precious to me as life I now play him against you.
I have won I still have Bhima, built like a lion, the mightiest of men. He is strength itself. I play him against you. Ha! I have won. Bhar jao. Have you still something left? Of all my brothers, I remain alone. I stake myself. Y udhishthira I play myself I have won. And nothing is worse than to lose oneself. For when one loses everything, freedom is the only wealth that remains. But… you have one last possession, and you forget it - What? - You possess a wife She’s the only treasure I have not won. Stake Draupadi, and win back everything, thanks to her. She is a woman who is neither too short nor too tall…
neither pale nor dark She is the earth’s most perfect creation and the pole of all men’s desire I play her against you. Draupadi. What do you want? You are requested to come to the palace. Who requests me? Why? Because Yudhishthira has lost you. What do you mean, he has lost me? He has lost you at dice. Had he nothing else to play? He played all he had, and lost it all. He even played and lost himself. - He lost himself? - That’s what I said. Before losing me, or after? Before losing you. Return to the hall and ask him this. “Is it true that you lost yourself first, before losing me? And if you yourself were lost, had you the right to play me?” You were staked and lost. You’re ours. Come. Allow me to dress. I have only one robe, and it is stained in blood.
I am in my period. Don’t show me in this state to the kings. Who cares? We have won you at dice. You are now no more than a slave. Enough! Come. Argh! Argh! Argh! Here is the new servant. There is not a breath of life in Bhishma or Drona. They see this shame and they do nothing. Yudhishthira, did you have the right to lose me? If you lost yourself first before playing me, I was no longer yours. Can one belong to someone who has lost himself? Bhishma, answer me. I am troubled. The question is obscure. When Y udhishthira made this wager he had already lost himself. So… he could not play his wife. She was designated by name, and well and truly won. Draupadi satisfies five men She’s clearly public property Whether he lost her before or after, Draupadi has been won.
I regret to have to say it, but it is so. Everything has been won Their clothes, down to the last clasp. Oh… And Draupadi as well. We want to see her naked. Dushassana, take off her robe. Listen to what I say When the battle comes, And I’ll drink his blood I swear I will I will eat his guts and drink his blood Oh, bellow. You only frighten the flies. ♪… pahi Govinda ♪ Guru madyhe ♪ Fasidethi… Krishna! - Krishna! Silence Watch. A miracle is taking place under our eyes. It’s a prodigy of Krishna. A prodigy? Where do you see a prodigy?
She’s wearing layers and layers of cloth Stop Dushassana Let her go Take her away. Put her with the slaves to scrape the dishes. Let me go. Where is Dharma? I see nothing clearly Draupadi your new masters are here Choose a new husband. - Karna! And you hold your tongue. You don’t own yourself any more. You haven’t even the right to be angry. Draupadi, you want another man. Look at my thigh. Duryodhana, Dushassana, and all your brothers… …and you, Karna, and you also, Shakuni, are lost. A savage death will drag you to the ground. Dushassana, I will wash my hair in your blood. And you, Duryodhana, death will strike you in the thigh. A jackal cried. Yes, near the temple. Draupadi. Choose a favour, What do you choose? That Yudhishthira be free. Yes. He’s free.
But you deserve a second favour. Choose. That Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva be free. They are free. But you deserve a third favour. Choose. I don’t want a third favour. Why? Because greed devours all beings, and is dharma’s ruin. I refuse greed. Save my husbands. You ask nothing for yourself? I want nothing. Above all, no favour. The husbands were drowning. Draupadi is the raft that saves them. Have no fear Y udhishthira Go towards happiness. Take back your clothes, and leave in freedom. Don’t let them go, otherwise it’s war. We’ve humiliated Draupadi. They can never forgive us. They want to recover everything. They are already preparing a massacre. Call them back. Let’s play a final round. Father, call them back. Yes. Call them back.
Our son is right. Better a game than a war. - One moment! - What do you want? You are recalled for a final match. The hall is ready. You hesitate. What does this call of destiny conceal? Leave destiny alone We need to make ourselves strong to recover our possessions Come. - You said the hall was ready? - Yes. For the final round. With one throw you can win back your wealth, your kingdom and more besides. With one throw. Leave this place. You are in a dream. It leads to darkness. - Come with us. - No. I must play. - Why? - I can ‘t refuse my rivals’ last chance of salvation. What are you saying? Shakuni condemns to death those who asked him to cheat. I repeat, I can’t deny them a last chance of salvation. I follow you. We will play one single throw. Listen carefully. If we lose,
we will spend 12 years in exile, clothed in rags, and the 1 th year in an unknown place, hidden and disguised. If during the course of the 13th year we are discovered we will spend a further 12 years in exile If you lose, the exile is yours. At the end of the 13th year, either you or we will regain the kingdom. - Let’s play. - All our treasure all our women, all our lands, all our herds, against exile in the wilderness. Let’s play. They have lost, the Pandava. They thought they were on top of the world, and now they are rejected and cast out. Draupadi, choose a husband amongst us. One day, I will remind you of your words. And I will drink your blood, vile swine.
The big beast. The fat cow. - Dushassana! I will open your belly! And Arjuna will kill Karna. Yes, I will kill Karna. I said so and I will do it I will always be ahead of you. Don’t forget. Take your bow with you, and practise. I won’t forget. And each day, I will think of your death. Death? The nature of your thoughts, each breath brings you nearer to death. I made a vow. I’ll say no more. Starving, naked… …what will you live off in the desert? Vyasa? - I’m here. Describe their departure. They walk barefoot. The whole city watches them in silence. Yudhishthira walks ahead. Then comes Bhima, With each step he takes, Arjuna stirs up clouds of sand.
Sahadeva and Nakula are soiled with dust and mud, from head to foot. Draupadi is last, her head bowed towards the ground. Why? What do these attitudes mean? Bhima is contracting his arms the most powerful arms in the world In the grains of sand he scatters Arjuna sees a thousand arrows fly The twins hide their beauty so that no woman will be tempted to follow And Draupadi murmurs, in her bloodstained robe, “One day we will see widows, their children dead, their hair unbound, on the day of their period, honouring cold corpses with their cries.” I can’t see them any more. Bhima! Where is Bhima? I’m looking for Bhima. Where is he?
Bhima! Bhima! I’m looking for Bhima. I’m looking for Bhima. Where is he? I am Bhima. - What do you want? - I was told I would find you in the forest and that you are the strongest man in the world. - It’s true. - You must fight for me. - Against whom? - Against an old man. A proud and ferocious old man. Against Bhishma. Bhishma? Impossible. I love and respect him. No-one would risk himself against him. He can only die if he wishes for death. He is invincible. Who are you? I am Amba. Because of Bhishma, You are really Amba? It was more than 40 years ago Hate keeps me young. I only live to kill Bhishma. I swore it. But all the men to whom I turn, …you all tell me he can’t be killed. Nonetheless… I will kill him. To find the moment that ends his life…
…I have all eternity. Rest. Free yourself from this wish to kill. Why do you always propose peace, forgiveness? Amba, don’t only search in this world. Pray to the demigods. Call upon invisible forces. For 40 years I have been searching everywhere. No force can outwit death. Except death itself Except death itself - Who spoke? - Except death itself Who said, “Except death itself?” How can death outwit death? Explain. Don’t leave me in this void. Search Amba, would you like to eat? I only eat what the wind brings. I never sleep. All my life I walk and question. I need nothing. Someone is laughing at us. What are you saying? A magician makes us blind. He’s torturing us. - What magician? - We had a kingdom Or did I dream it? I was dragged in front of all the men, clothed in a single robe, stained in my own blood.
The sight of a woman made men laugh. My husbands were there. Ineeded their aid and Duryodhana is still alive. I despise your strength I have another question. You are just. You only speak words of truth. How did the idea of the game take hold of you? How did you agree to play it to lose everything? Your brothers, your wife. Yudhishthira, I don’t understand. Sometimes I tell myself that a man is nothing. He has his nature imposed upon him. Nothing comes from himself. All that we do, all that we think, is just a game, just moving shadows. Yes, I suspect a magician. Destiny is vicious. And it plays tricks with us and even the creator takes sides. - I condemn him. - I have the same questions as you Draupadi Why is this act rewarded and this one not, no-one can answer. It’s the secret of all time. But whether there is a reward or not with all my strength I do what I must do That is my dharma Without this obligation nothing would be stable any more
And the world would lose its honour in darkness. I have more than love for you. I have respect. Since the very first day. But something in your heart eludes me and saps my strength. A man who doesn’t know why he’s alive. Where is his will? What hope sustains him? Happiness is for a man who acts. And if silence were necessary for the harmony of the world? Silence. Solitude. Thought. Rise, take up your weapons. Don’t leave us in this wilderness. Yudhishthira. Yudhishthira, we all want what is good. That’s natural. Money, for example. Wealth. All the abundance of the earth. That’s good. That’s excellent. And love. That’s delicious. Sometimes it’s divine. But I say, my brother, there’s nothing like love. It’s honey. It’s bliss. Love, well made, can lead to wisdom.
You, you know dharma better than anyone. But wealth… You will hold out a begging bowl and enjoy wealth? And love. You will sit alone in a bush and enjoy love? Get up. You must protect the earth. That’s the truth! Yudhishthira, you can’t answer lies with silence. Our kingdom and our power are in the hands of a thief. Yudhishthira… arise! I have promised to spend 1 years in exile. And I will keep my promise. At the end of 13 years, if Duryodhana refuses to give us back our kingdom, and he will refuse, then I will be as resolute as you are. One day, Draupadi… wolves and birds will laugh while eating our enemies’ flesh. The flesh of those who laughed when they saw you played for and lost. One day… in 12 years, when the time is ripe… but not before. Bhima. - Why do you embrace me? - Because I’m going.
Nakula, Sahadeva. My arms are idle. My will grows weaker every day. I can’t wait here any longer. - Where are you going? - Somewhere in the north there are weapons. I’m going to find them, as those we have will not be sufficient. - Where are these weapons? - Humans do not know them. They are buried deep in the mountains. They say that to obtain them you must forget everything, even your body, even your life. I’m ready. I’m going because ever since childhood I have been marked for war. And I know now that one day this war will come and I will lead it. I know it. I won’t miss out on my life. - How long before seeing you? - I don’t know. I’ve said all I know. I will be back. Duryodhana? Yes What? My dreams are poisoning me. I’ve seen Yudhishthira and his brothers clutching winged demons and swarming towards us. Bhima had red teeth.
Blood streamed from his mouth and he cried, “You dragged my wife by the hair. I will tear open your belly, I will eat your guts.” - Ssh. Calm down. Give me your hands. Our enemies are growing stronger. We must attack them - now. We must destroy them. Otherwise very soon it will be too late. Dushassana, my brother, their exile protects them. The game they lost protects them. I am bound by its rules. Yes. But the Pandava are stamping the rules into dust. They are preparing for a war. You must preserve your empire. You must kill them. Announce a hunt. You can say they died in an accident. I will help you. I hear breathing. Who is there? Your sons I am with Dushassana Up so early? We’re preparing a hunt. What game? Stag. - Fowl. - Boar.
I know your voices. What’s disturbing you? A bad night. Yes. We wander through the palace from room to room… but even sleep’s been banished. All the time I think of them, out there, miserable, wretched, I think of nothing else. I spend all my nights with them. I see them in the dark, But strong. Stronger and stronger. Exile strengthens them, I know it. Friends and allies are rallying, they’re stocking arms. All they speak of is my death. My son, your reign is a good reign. Don’t let your anguish destroy it. If my reign is a good reign, where’s your sleep? Power is brief. Yes, I am disturbed. Anguished. He is right. You have given him your power because you can’t rule the world in the dark. Well, if your son is your king… let him rule. Trust him - and stop pacing through the palace all night long.
In his heart he is blind. And he attracts disaster. If danger is approaching the Pandava in the forest, warn them… send them a secret message. No. I can’t betray my son. No, not that. Hidimbi, my sister. - I think I’m dreaming. - Yes, brother. I smell human flesh. Look. Mmm. Bring me their corpses. Hurry. When we have eaten, Who are you? You I see. Bhima. And who are you? You I don’t see. My name is Hidimbi. This forest is my kingdom. You are a Rakshashi? Yes! - Show yourself! - No! I don’t want to. - Why? - I’m not what humans like I’m black and hairy and I stink. - I want to see you! - No, wait! First I must give myself the face and the body of a gorgeous woman.
You can do that? Look. You find me… beautiful? Like the night. Then tell me where you come from, splendid young man. Tell me how you live, what you do. I watch. This forest is ruled by a terrifying Rakshasa - my brother - who sent me to take your life. But at the sight of you, love grasped my soul. You bewitched me. I love you, I can’t kill you. Love me as I love you and be my husband. I fly in the air, I do what I please. I will save you. I can’t be your husband. I already have a wife. - Where is she? - There. But she is sleeping beside another man - Who is he? - He is my brother He’s also her husband. - She has two husbands? - She has five. Five! And you refuse to make me your second wife. What’s this riddle? I don’t understand. I hear him. He’s running towards us!
Quick, all of you jump on my back! I’ll carry you far from here. You don’t know him He’s wild Hidimbi… I have absolutely no fear of your brother. Don’t look down on me because I am just a man. Whoo! Whoo-oo! Hidimbi! It’s disgusting. You look like a woman. You vile depraved pervert I’m going to kill you and all these slugs as well. Stop! Before killing this woman, fight with me. - With me alone. Argh! Uh. Argh. Rrrarrgh! Arrrrgh! Yearrrgh! Arrrgh-ha! Barrgh! - Argh! - Yearrgh! - Rrrarrgh! Ha-ha! Ha, ha-ha, ha! Yearrgh-arrgh! - Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh! - Yearrgh! Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh! Yearrgh!
Lift him off the ground. Squeeze the wind out of him. Yarrgh! Yearrgh! I am going to restore this one to happiness. Yearrrgh! - Grargh! Is he dead? Yes. His monster heart is still. Listen to me. I know that love is a woman’s affliction and the time has come for me to suffer. I have chosen your brother - Bhima. If he rejects me, I die. Call me a poor idiot, but grant me this man. You have other husbands. Give me this one. I want him. If you give him to me, I’ll do everything for you. I’ll protect you all my life. Yes. Enjoy my brother Bhima from sunrise to sunset. As long as there’s light in the sky, he’s yours. But don’t forget to bring him back with the dark. - Are you still afraid of me? - I’ve never been afraid. - What can you still refuse me? - Nothing.
The sun is rising. Carry me away. I’ll stay with you… until we are given a son. So, transfigured by joy, Hidimbi became a woman of almost incredible beauty. She got hold of Bhima. She swept him up into the air and everywhere. On mountain peaks. On sky-blue beaches. In the secret lairs of gazelles. On the shores of forgotten lakes. Everywhere. She gave him her love. We had a son. An enormous son - called Ghatotkacha. - Here he is. - It’s him? - He’s our son? - Yes Isn’t he beautiful? Already so big… so black. Oh, he’s a magnificent boy. He has red eyes. He doesn’t seem to know how to walk. Well, he’s only just been born. But he’ll be very strong. A great magician. I can already feel his power. Son. Son, come into my arms.
- My father. - Yes, son, it’s me. Come! - My father. - Come, son. Yes! - Father. - Come. - Father. Father. - Yes. Come, come. Father! Ghatotkacha my son - Stay with us. - I can’t. - Why? - I live in another world. And I must go back with my mother. But if one day you need me, I’ll hear your call. I’ll be there… by your side. - Hidimbi… wait. - No, don’t look at me. I’m leaving. Hidimbi. Hidimbi! I was told that I’d find the king of kings in the desert. The supreme ruler. Could it be you? Where is Arjuna? - Where is he? - He’s on a journey. Wasn’t he bound to spend 12 years in exile? Why has he broken his word? Where is he travelling? - With whom? - He is travelling alone. No word has been broken. Is he looking for allies? Answer me. Put down that weapon, Dushassana! Obey! No crime should corrupt this poem.
- Vyasa. - Vyasa. Vyasa. It’s a joy to see you again. Thank you. Vyasa… have you condemned us to spend the rest of our days here, to watch our life ebb away in this desert? Now… go. Profit from exile… to see and listen, walk, pause beside wise men, question savages and madmen and listen to stories. It’s always pleasant and sometimes it improves you. Duryodhana go back to the city Today’s hunt has not been very good. Dushassana! Do me a favour. As you go back through the forest, be very careful. Keep your throat well away from tigers and wolves. Stay alive. Save your blood for me If you can stop crimes, you could prevent the war. There are some acts a word can check, others… nothing can stop. Who is there? Kunti.
What do you want? Uncover your eyes, Gandhari. Your son has launched a hunt against my sons. Not satisfied with their exile, He is defending his kingdom. Take off your veil. Come out of your dark hiding place. To each one his darkness, Kunti. I am used to the night. You never look at the earth, the palace, nor the colours of the sky. That I understand. But how can you live without ever seeing your sons? A spark of courage. That’s all you need. Look around you, see things as they are. I’m going to tear off your veil. Don’t touch me. You don’t like me, Gandhari. My first son was born before yours… …and you haven’t forgotten. I suffered for a long time, it’s true. I even asked myself what fathers could have given you your sons. But I don’t think of it any more.
Listen to me, Kunti. Your children are united and they are strong enough to protect themselves. It is for mine that I fear the worst. The raging Duryodhana’s heart makes a whittling of him. He is a blind man’s son. He lives blindly. He’s bringing death upon himself. I see it clearly. You must help me to keep him alive. Even if you hate him. Even if the earth fears him. He’s my son. Did you see them? Yes. - Arjuna has left his brothers. - I know. My spies saw him heading north… alone. - What’s he doing? - He’s looking for weapons. Sacred weapons. Where is he? I must know exactly. You can see him. Concentrate your thoughts on him. Be calm. Pronounce the necessary words. Evoke him. Don’t touch that boar. Who are you? I hunt in these vast mountains. This boar is mine. Why did you shoot it down?
This boar is mine. I hit it first. It was I who hit it before you. What brings you here alone? Don’t come near this boar. I lift the boar onto my shoulders. It is mine. If your hand touches the skin of this animal, you won’t escape alive. You can’t frighten me. The earth here knows my step. You shot at the boar and you missed. Don’t put your clumsiness onto others. I’m taking my boar. Again Again. More. Use up all your arrows. You can’t touch me. Ahh! Har! You can do nothing to me. I master you. Look. I lift you in my arms. I block your lungs. I draw out your life. Shiva. Shiva. Shiva. Shiva. You, the most subtle of beings. Blue-necked Shiva with your third eye. I came to these mountains drawn by a longing to see you. I fought without recognising you. I am confused.
Forgive me. You are forgiven. I am pleased with you. Ask me a favour. Whatever you wish. What I wish… …is an absolute weapon that you possess. - Pasupata. - Yes. - It can destroy the world. - I know. You can launch it with your bow. But also with your eye, your word, your thought. It’s a weapon you can’t recall. - It’s without limit, without mercy. - I know that, too. You could never dispose of it, nor give it back. I need this weapon. I give it to you. Pasupata. The mountains quiver when they hear that name. The trees, the wind, the whole earth shakes. Arjuna will never dare use it. - He doesn’t know how. - Karna you are mistaken Listen to what happened to me. Listen carefully. When Shiva disappeared, I heard a tumult in the sky like a hundred thousand claps of thunder…
…and an immense chariot appeared, scattering the clouds. Who are you in the form of Arjuna? An apparition? A phantom? The voice of the driver said to me, “Mount.” My heart beat wildly. I climbed onto the immense chariot. Drawn by a prodigious force, it bore me to the regions of light which the earth calls stars. Yes, Karna… I saw thousands of fiery spheres… …making music in endless space. I saw bodies glowing with their own light. I passed beyond the world of man. I arrived at Amaravati… …a city that no-one may describe, where Indra, my father, lives. He took me on his knee. Yes, Karna. He caressed me… with a hand burnt black with tracks of thunder. And for five years with him… …I deepened my understanding of the use of this weapon.
You don’t exist. I don’t believe you. I will find you again. Karna, you too must acquire Pasupata. We will have it. It is night. Yes. You still dread the night? I don’t like it. I like the sun… …when it wraps me in its warmth. Every evening, when shadows lengthen, I feel cold. I look behind me, I sleep badly. But when the first rays touch me, my strength returns intact. Arjuna. Who are you? There is a strong wind. Why hasn’t it put out your lamp? My name is Urvasi. What do you want of me? You are alone here… in the icy wind… …without a woman to give you her warmth. Look… I circled my eyes with shadow… …and my arms with gold. I scented my skin, I drank a little wine and I came rapidly through the garden.
Are you a creature of the sky? An Apsara? Don’t come near me. I am a man. We Apsaras are free to choose. We are not tied to a single man. What I offer you is neither frightening nor dangerous. It is only love. I am too far from the earth. I’ve forgotten pleasure’s shape… …even her scent. Love is the same in all the world. Go away, Urvasi, we cannot love each other. I came to you. Don’t reject me. - I love you. - I love you too. And I respect you like a mother. I bow to you. Treat me as your son. Look at my skin. It is seething with fury. Treat you as my son? Remember my words. Because you have insulted a woman who came to love you… …you will live like a woman, you too, amongst women you will be despised. And you will be deprived of your virility.
Walah! Walah! Jateau, jata, bamba! For many months you have lived in this forest… …silent and willing. I want to grant you a favour. I don’t know the colour of your eyes. I don’t know your name. I don’t know the sound of your voice. But I tell you, you deserve a reward. And I have many well-hidden secrets. What is your wish? Pasupata. What? Give me the secret of Pasupata. - Who are you? - I am your servant. Liar! You want a weapon. That means you are a warrior. You belong to that arrogant caste that I detest - the Kshatriya. - Why do you detest the Kshatriya? - There is nothing to explain. I hate them. I felled 21 generations of Kshatriya with my axe. I came down from heaven to destroy them. I’m not of that caste. - I am a simple man. - That’s very true.
I’m called… the driver’s son. I swear it. Here. I’m a man of my word. The formula is written here. Learn it by heart. Quick. Hurry. The formula will fade away Finished. It’s only a scrap of bark. You remember what was on it? When you utter those words, a creature will come down from the sky… …and will give you the weapon that you wish. Now I will sleep a little. I’m more than a thousand years old and I’m beginning to grow tired. Where does this blood come from? Is this your doing? A worm bored a hole in my thigh while you slept. A tiny worm. Forgive me. Why didn’t you yell? I didn’t want to wake you. You have tricked me. Only a Kshatriya could display such idiotic courage. An intelligent man would have yelled. You are a Kshatriya. You lied to worm out my secret.
But listen to me. Whoever you are, at the last minute listen to me carefully. The secret will slip from your memory. You will forget it entirely and that will be the moment of your death. Garrghh! Garrghh! Walah! No don’t drink Answer my questions before you drink We must drink. - The sons of Madri are dead. Answer my questions Answer me Show yourself. - Show yourself! - Speak - Answer my questions - Show yourself. Don’t excite yourself for nothing First answer my questions I’m devoured by thirst. Who has killed my brothers? Don’t drink First answer my questions Who has struck them down? There is no trace of blows. I don’t understand. First answer my questions
Then I’ll let you drink Who are you? - I don’t see you. - Answer Are you in here? - Are you in the water? - I am neither fish nor bird I struck down your brothers because they wanted to drink without answering my questions Examine me. What is quicker than the wind? Thought. What can cover the earth? Darkness. Who are more numerous the living or the dead? The living… because the dead are no longer. Give me an example of space My two hands… as one. An example of grief Ignorance. Of poison Desire. An example of defeat Victory. Which came first day or night? Day. But… it was only a day ahead. What is the cause of the world? Love. What is your opposite?
Myself. What is madness? A forgotten way. And revolt? Why do men revolt? To find beauty. Either in life or in death. And what for each of us is inevitable? Happiness. And what is the greatest wonder? Each day death strikes… …and we live as though we were immortal. This is the greatest wonder. Then the voice from the lake said… May all your brothers come back to life. - Who are you? - I am Dharma your father I am constancy lightness the order of the world You’ve taken the form of a lake? I am all forms Y udhishthira I am very satisfied Choose a favour Our stay in the woods is coming to an end. We must now spend a 1 th year unseen, unrecognised. Tell me what our disguise should be.
Choose the disguise of your most secret desire Where can we hide? For the 13th year you must hide so skilfully that no-one could recognise you not even me Now you can drink Vyasa… why are you inventing this poem? So as to engrave dharma in the hearts of men. - Is that possible? - It will be long and difficult, even dangerous. But the earth is listening to my poem. It’s wondering, “Will he find a way to help me?” - Where are we going now? - I don’t know yet. Are you really the author of this poem? Do you doubt it? At times you hesitate. I’ve composed everything. But nothing is written down and, yes, there are moments when my thoughts escape me. And Krishna. Did you invent him as well? Vyasa, which of us has invented the other? - Krishna! - Greetings. What are you looking for in this land? Vyasa… I was looking for you. I’m a little cold. Who are you?
People say Vishnu has come down to save the world. And some say he has taken your shape. Is it true? What would you say, Vyasa, you who are narrating me? Haven’t you already traced out my path? No path is traced completely, as well you know. You are in life and you live. The days of my youth passed joyfully and I tasted many wonders. Now your hairs go grey. Ah. Deep in myself I see… a black lake. Often in the dark, I hear them too. What do you do? At night, I sleep. And in the morning, I wake… I wait. But you must know what is being prepared. One of you must know. - Where are we? - This is the court of King Virata. The five Pandava and their wife have been here for many months. Hiding, disguised. Look.
Discreetly. But the Brahmin there is Yudhishthira. He’s playing dice? I’ve won. Yes. In the course of his journeys, he learned the science of dice. Now he can never lose. - Oh, it’s Bhima. Balhava. He’s now the cook. They call him the Prince of Pots. The master of 4,000 sauces. Over there is Nakula. And here with the musicians - Sahadeva. And he is… Is he a man or a woman? I am both - a man and a woman. I’ve won. Ah. Oh Kitchaka my general My king. At last you are back. I can’t run my country without you. - Why have you been so long? - I’ve been with Duryodhana. Ah The Pandava have disappeared. He is furious. His spies have been searching the earth for them. But… if I find them, he will give us gold.
I think you should search in remote hamlets. Yes. - In faraway mines. - Yes Caves. Grottos. Yes. I will track them down, - Who are these men? - My new servants. They served Yudhishthira in the forest. - Yudhishthira? - Yes. Come! One, two, three, four, five. They are five - like the Pandava. This one is very strong. And this one… Tsk. What have you got in your hand? A game of dice. Ah. You play at dice. Oh, yes, very often. So… tell me… you win or you lose? He wins every time. Then you can’t be Yudhishthira. Who is this beauty? Tell. I don’t know. She is just a servant. Beloved sister… Sell her to me. I must have her. - I give you emeralds. - Very good.
- I’ll send her to you tomorrow. - Good. Ah. Come. Sit down. From now on, all my wives are your servants. Yes. There is no-one like you. You shine like the moon. Your two breasts. Your lips. Don’t push me away. You’ll regret it. - Come. - You are sick. I see you already in ashes. In ashes? Just the reverse. Come. Come into my fire. Who do you think you are to say no to me? Hm? Open your arms. Wait. Later. Tonight? Tonight. Good. Good. Bhima, stop cooking. Listen to me. Draupadi, what are you doing here? I don’t care any more. I think all your brothers are dead. - What do you mean? - Your elder brother lives only for his dice.
He once nourished the earth and today he eats from a stranger’s hands. And you, stewing rice in a kitchen. And Arjuna, the great conqueror, teaching dance to the king’s daughter. I’m ashamed. Look at this miserable dress, I know some people are beginning to suspect us, but I am in agony. My heart is racing. Listen. Kitchaka’s violence terrifies me. I’ve promised to meet him again, but I would rather swallow poison than fall into his hands. Draupadi… …you know the new pavilion? Are you there? I received your message. I am here. Hey, you see. I’ve spent hours dressing and… scenting myself for you. It’s a very expensive scent. When I left, my servants gasped. They said I was the king of beauty. Ah. I am happy. It’s like a dream. I’m in ecstasy. Yes, yes, yes. Caress me. Yes.
Ah… I see. You know the ancient art. Again. Again. I’ve never been caressed so strongly. My whole body’s tingling. Speak to me. Tell me something. It’s true you are the king - What? - It’s true you are the king of beauty! No wonder women adore you That voice… - No! - Take you in my arms now. Yes! You didn’t know, did you, that you came here looking for death? No! Argh! My fingers sink into your flesh. I will grind you to powder. My love. - Uh. Argh. What’s this? Is this Kitchaka? These are certainly his clothes… and his perfume. But… where’s his neck? Where are his feet? Where’s his head?
- Who killed him? - He’s been killed by greed, by pride. But who turned him into a ball? - Only a demon could do that. - No It was my brother. Who are you? I am Y udhishthira I can’t lie to you. And here is my brother Bhima… …who killed Kitchaka to protect our wife Draupadi. Here are Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva. I have to close my eyes. Is it true? You have honoured my palace in secret. What can I do for you? Our time of exile is over. We must now demand the return of what is ours. And if Duryodhana refuses? I will fight. You - would you launch a war? Yes. With my brothers. Yudhishthira, they say that we have entered the age of destruction. Is it true? Don’t go away without answering me. I see the coming of another age…
…where barbaric kings rule over a vicious, broken world. Where puny, fearful, hard men… …live tiny lives. White hair at 16. Copulating with animals. Their women, perfect whores, making love with greedy mouths. The cows dry, sterile. Trees stunted, lifeless. No more flowers. No more purity. Ambition, corruption, commerce. This is the age of Kali. The black time. The countryside a desert Crime stalks the cities. Beasts drink blood and sleep in the streets. All the water is sucked up by the sky. Scalded earth… …scorched to dead ash. The fire rises, borne by the wind. Fire pierces the earth, cracks open the underground world. Wind and fire calcinate the world. Immense clouds gather.
Blue, yellow and red. They rise like deep-sea monsters, like shattered cities. Forked with lightning, the rains fall. The rains fall and engulf the earth. 12 years of storm. The mountains split the waters. I no longer see the world. Then… the primary god, when all that remains is a grey sea without man, beast or tree - the creator - drinks the terrible wind and falls asleep. You said everything will be destroyed. So… what’s the use of fighting? Welcome to you both. Why this visit? War is drawing near. Krishna, I come to ask you to be our ally. I make the same request… in the name of my brothers. I love you all. - I cannot take sides. - It is true Our family bonds are the same. But I was the first to enter here.
I have priority. Yes, you were the first to enter, but when I opened my eyes, they fell on Arjuna. It’s for him to say what he would prefer. On one side I set the mass of my warriors, fully equipped, ready for war. And on the other side, myself - alone, unarmed, taking no part in the battle. - What do you choose? - I choose you. Me? Alone, unarmed? Yes. That means I have the entire mass of your warriors. They are yours Fully equipped? Determined to fight? Determined and faithful. Even to fight against Arjuna? Even against him You yourself won’t fight? I will not fight. Jaya. Arjuna Has everything been done to prevent the war? Absolutely everything? Can it be prevented? Arjuna, I can tell you with absolute conviction, you won’t have a choice between peace and war. What will be my choice?
Between war… and another war. The other war - where will it take place? On a battlefield? Or in my heart? I don’t see a real difference. You say that war is inevitable, yet you do everything to prevent it. Yes. When you chose me… what was in your mind? I am strong, I don’t need your strength. But I need you to drive my chariot. Be my driver. Yes. I will drive your chariot. Karna, each day I feel the breath of war come closer. I know your power and your influence. If you wished, you could avert it. It’s not me who decides if there’ll be a war. But if the day comes, I will fight. Your sons are my enemies. They have despised, soiled and rejected me. You can never beat them. You see this lance. Touch it Feel how it vibrates
When I was born I had a golden breastplate, like a second skin. One day a god, disguised as a beggar, said to me, “Give me your breastplate.” I heard a voice in the sky crying, “Don’t part with that breastplate.” But I couldn’t refuse. I can never refuse anything. Without the least hesitation, It was then that the god held out to me this lance… …with these words, “It will kill a living being, whoever you choose - man, god or demon.” But it will only kill once. Bhishma, we must make the last offer of peace. It’s too late. Death is already here, observing us. The Pandava are preparing for war. Yes. They will come to inform me of the death of my children. And of my children’s children. Our friends laugh at your fears. They would throw themselves into the fire for us. We have eleven complete armies against seven.
Victory is a fruit in my hand. It’s the truth and I will govern the earth. Or else I will die. Your reign has been rich and calm. Yes. So the poets say. All around me… I see happiness. - Is it true, Drona? Is it true, Bhishma? It’s true. Nobody is calling for our enemies to return. I was given a kingdom which I stamped with a number. One. I won’t mutilate this kingdom. I won’t skin it alive. I will leave it intact, just as it was given. I will never share it. I give nothing. I will kill Arjuna. I learned this in a dream. Karna, this earth that you despise and walk on with such pride will strike you one day. You always treat me like an imbecile and a coward. Is it because of your great age? Old I may be, as you enjoy repeating, still I don’t know a warrior anywhere who is my equal.
Not even Drona? Not even Drona. Then I ask you and you can’t refuse. Take command. Be our general. - Me? - Aren’t you the best? The one it’s impossible to kill? Duryodhana, don’t impose this burden on me. Everything that’s threatening us, everything that’s tearing us apart comes from you, from the lunatic promise you made long before we were born. Never a woman, never a child. Your interminable, useless life you’ve spent here eating and drinking from the king’s hand. If you shrink from this battle… your white life will be stained. Bhishma, accept the commandment. With you and Drona dead, there’ll be no more risk. You accept? Or you’re afraid of death… after all. I’m afraid of everything except death. Yes, I accept. But on one condition. Karna must not fight. Why? I can’t say why.
Are you afraid his light might outshine yours? Not, that’s not what I fear. Then why leave Karna idle? Here. I will only fight… …after your death. Bhishma - Yes - Is it night? - Yes It’s already dark. - Gandhari. - I’m here. Something keeps me awake every night. I dread the moment of sleep. Your sons are burning with hatred. The same hate is clouding your reason. You want to keep what isn’t yours. Stay close to me all night. Krishna is on his way. - Krishna? - He comes in embassy, sent by Yudhishthira. This is the perfect moment. Let’s seize Krishna and put him in irons. Yes. I already have all his armies. I will keep him prisoner. No, Krishna brings danger. Don’t touch him. Duryodhana! Prepare him a dais. Let all the city gaze upon him. Sprinkle water before him. It’s not worth the trouble. I’m here. Ambassadors only receive honours at the end of their mission. These refreshments must be eaten. Enjoy.
Dhritharashtra, my words are for you. The Pandava, your five nephews, are like your sons. You must give them what is theirs. There’s nothing more to say. Krishna… I am not the master. I can’t answer for myself. Speak to my son You wish to listen? I am listening. You’re of noble blood You’re learned Your qualities are real But you’re destroying your life. The man who scorns advice, His friends groan for a moment, then disaster catches up with him. The earth loathes and rejects him. Krishna, I think what I say is possible. Otherwise, I wouldn’t say it. But in your heart, if you listen without lying… …don’t you hear the growl of war? Can a war without a winner be a war?
Could a man with his eyes open plunge into war… knowing that everyone will die? You all keep telling me I can’t win. Very well. Death by arms is a glorious death. I will never bow down. As I was leaving, Yudhishthira called me back and said, “Let Dhritharashtra leave us five villages… …and there’ll be no war.” A king does not stake his kingdom. A king does not stoop to ask for five villages. I will not give five villages, I will not give one village. I will not give… the point of a needle of earth. Let one thing be certain. You will have your glorious death. If the earth is clamouring for victims, we will see a splendid massacre! Dhritharashtra, call them back. Like madmen, like children. Your son wants to make me his hostage. It’s a mistake. - Stop. - My son.
Your hatred’s for yourself, after 1 years of anger. Try to be calm. Duryodhana, you think I’m alone. You want to take hold of Krishna? - You don’t know who he is. - You think he’s defenceless. Look. Look, carefully. When he laughs, 1 tongues of fire spring from his mouth. Brahma sits on his bow. The guardians of the world stand on his arms. From his eyes, his ears, his nose, billow fire and smoke. Rays of light stream from his skin. Heavenly universal terrible form Krishna. Lighten my eyes for a moment. I beg you, let me see you. Yes. Here are eyes. I see you. Out of chaos, a miracle. My sons can you see as I do? Can you see? Where are you going? Come back, listen to us. Look.
Darkness covers me again. I can no longer distinguish anything. Krishna… I did what I could. So did I. Kunti I’m leaving What should I tell your sons? That I found you sad and silent because of this war which is drawing nearer and nearer and which fills you with horror? No. Tell Yudhishthira that a bad king is a contagious disease. That he perverts his age. Say to him, “Awake, arise.” Your son could answer, More pleasure? More life?” Answer him he is not alone. For all the creatures around him, And if he says, “You have shot your heart to pity?” Tell him to forge himself a heart of iron. Tell him pity is a poison. He will say he feels tenderly towards his body.
What right have we to destroy our bodies? I would tell my son, “Your body is beautiful. Your body is noble. But if you live with the fear of death, why were you given life? Burn like a torch if only for an instant” - You were with Kunti? - Yes. You were looking for me? No. I was walking by myself in the palace. Sometimes I like to be alone. I go my own way, you know. Closed… confused… …plagued by rumours. Him whom I call father and her whom I call mother… …are not my father and mother. Karna, you’re the son of Kunti. Your enemies are your brothers - They know it? - No But if I reveal your birth to them, they’ll bring you perfumes and gold. And on the sixth day, Draupadi will be your wife. Your brothers, your friends, your mother will be happy. Duryodhana will no longer dare to fight
My mother abandoned me. A chariot driver found me and took me home. Neither the earth itself, nor mountains of gold, neither joy nor fear could make me change my mind. I have given my word. I won’t take it back. Don’t reveal my birth. Yudhishthira will want to give me his crown and I will pass it on to Duryodhana. May Yudhishthira have a long reign. Everything I’ve said to wound him, I regret. Krishna. Go in to celebrate the great sacrifice of arms… …and the eye that lights on everything will be yours. We will have drums and cries of war. We will have blood and skulls in which to drink the blood. The sacrifice will invade the night. Dispose of everything. I know what you want. I give you the earth and you reject it. Put Arjuna in front of me and do not tell him I’m his mother’s son. The victory of the Pandava is assured.
Tell your friends, “Look, it’s spring. The buds are sweet, the water sparkles. Everyone is joyful. We’re going to die.” You… …who know me so well, why do you trouble me? If you’re here to bring the earth to its end, very well. The time has come. No, I’m not here to destroy. Flesh and blood rain from the sky. Bodiless voices cry in the night. Horses weep. One-eyed, one-legged monstrosities hop across the land. Birds perch on flags with fire in their beaks crying, “Rape. It’s rape.” A cow gives birth to an ass, a woman, a jackal. Newborn babies dance. Cripples laugh. The different races merge. Vultures come to pray. The setting sun is surrounded by disfigured corpses. Time… will destroy the universe.
I’m racked all night by my dreams. I dreamed of you, surrounded by bleeding entrails. I dreamed of Yudhishthira, radiant, mounted on I know from where victory will come. Must be right. If I can’t touch your heart… the ruin of the earth is near. One thing is certain, Krishna. We will make a great journey together. Yes. And we will find each other again… one day. Hai! Hai! Hai! The two armies are face to face, ready to throw themselves on one another. 14 years I have waited for this moment. Krishna is preparing your chariot. He’s talking to your horses, he’s checking your weapons. Everything is in your hands, you know it. Duryodhana, you have chosen war. It is here. Now all is ready. My warriors, my horses, my chariots. Many millions of weapons, convoys, food stores, forges,
tents for the wounded, logs for the funeral pyres, musicians, soothsayers… poisonous snakes. My orders are given My armies shake the earth Arjuna, with Krishna at his reins, will give the signal and the battle you wish for will begin. We must fix the rules of war. Speak. Never fight at night. Never strike a fallen man, an unarmed man, And never strike in the back, nor on the legs. Bhishma, I touch your feet. We are going to fight against you - you whom no-one can kill. Grant me leave to strike you. If you hadn’t come to me, Yudhishthira, I would have hated and despised you. I am chained to your enemies. Commit yourself to this struggle… and fight until you win. Drona, I touch your feet. We will fight against you, you who made us.
Grant me leave to strike you. If you hadn’t come to me, I too would have despised you. I too am chained to your enemies. I too wish for your victory. Fight with them, but think of me. You cannot be beaten. You promise us victory? So long as Bhishma and I are alive, that victory is impossible. Victory and defeat are impossible? That’s what I see. Is there a way of killing you? No. Not unless I lay down my arms to prepare for death. Before whom could you lay down your arms? Before a man of truth, the day he chooses to lie. Who will give the signal to launch the battle? Arjuna. He’s led by Krishna. He’s advancing between the two armies. Krishna, my legs grow weak. My mouth is dry, my body trembles. My bow slips from my hand. Uncle, cousins, nephews. And Drona, my teacher, they are all there.
I can’t bring death to my own family. My resolution’s gone. I can’t defend myself. I will wait here for death. Arjuna has thrown down his bow and his arrows. He has thrown down his bow and his arrows? Why does he bow his head? Where is his pride? Where is his wish to fight? What is this mad and shameful weakness? - Stand up and fight - I’m in anguish. I can’t see where my duty lies. Teach me What is Krishna doing? - He’s speaking to Arjuna. - What is he saying? - He’s telling Arjuna that victory and defeat are the same. He’s urging him to act, but not to reflect on the fruit of the act. He says to him, “Seek detachment. Fight without desire.” You say forget desire, seek detachment. Yet you urge me to battle, to massacre. Your words are ambiguous. I am confused. Krishna tells him “Don’t withdraw into solitude Renunciation is not enough
You must act Yet action mustn’t dominate you” In the heart of action, How can I put into practice what you are demanding of me? The mind is capricious, unstable. It’s evasive, feverish, turbulent, tenacious. It’s harder to subdue than taming the wind. You must learn to see with the same eye… …a mound of earth and a heap of gold, a cow and a sage, a dog and the man who eats the dog. There’s another intelligence… …beyond the mind. Passion drags us away. Darkness dulls our senses. How can I find this intelligence? With what will? To reply to this question, Krishna led Arjuna through the tangled forest of illusion. He began to teach him the ancient yoga of wisdom… …and the mysterious path of action. He spoke for a long time. A very long time. Between the two armies preparing to destroy themselves.
All men are born into illusion. How can one reach the truth if one is born in illusion? Slowly, Krishna led Arjuna through all the fibres of his spirit. He showed him the deepest movements of his being, and his true battlefield where you need neither warriors or arrows where each man must fight alone It’s the most secret knowledge He showed him the whole of truth He taught him how the world unfolds I feel my illusions vanish one by one. Now… if I’m capable of contemplating it… …show me your universal form. I see you. In one point, I see the entire world. All the worlds hurl themselves into your mouth. And you grind them between your teeth. They wish to be destroyed. And you destroy them. Through your body, I see the stars. I see life and death.
I see silence. Tell me who you are. I’m shaken to the depths. I am afraid. I am all that you think, all that you say. Everything hangs on me, like pearls on a thread. I am the earth’s scent and the fire’s heat. I am appearance and disappearance. I am the trickster’s hoax. I am the radiance of all that shines. I am time grown old. All beings fall into the night and all beings are brought back to daylight. I have already defeated all these warriors. But he who thinks he can kill and he who thinks he can be killed are both mistaken. No weapon can pierce the life that informs you. No fire can burn it. No water can drench it. No wind can make it dry. Have no fear and rise up. Because I love you. Now you can dominate your mysterious and incomprehensible spirit
You can see its other side Act as you must act I myself am never without action Rise up My illusion is dissolved. My error destroyed. By your grace now I am firm. My doubts are dispersed. I will act according to your word. When will they stop talking? If Arjuna refuses to fight, if he is paralysed with fear, let him and his brothers go back to the woods and let me reign. Vyasa, you who are composing this poem, do you know who will win? The future doesn’t exist, Dhritharashtra. But I can give you eyes to see the battle. No. I don’t want to see my children die. Already torn flesh. Stomachs ripped. Stamping horses crushing chests. Fathers can’t recognise their sons. The dying cry, “It’s me. Do I know you? Don’t move. Don’t leave me.” Stop. The day is over.
Bhishma, you’ve launched these attacks and you’ve been thrown back. By what sorcery? You, whose strength is legendary, you are the only stranger to death. Are you on our enemies’ side? I have Arjuna and Bhima against me. Krishna is their guide. Bhishma loves battles The cries, the frenzy. Blood feeds his pride. Yet he pities those he fights. Let him withdraw, and I will take his place. Yes, if you have fear or pity, withdraw. The man who is about to die sees all the trees covered with gold. You are going to die. I saw Bhima hurl himself towards me crying, “I’ll kill you, I’ll kill you!” Bhishma… You have failed me. Now I demand victory. Tomorrow will be my greatest battle. Leave me alone. Drona, ask your son to leave. Aswatthaman. Go. - You love your son? - Yes.
He’s all I have. I saw a stranger in a dream. He cried out, “I beg Drona’s death.” Did he say why he wanted to kill me? He said you know. No-one knows why he has to die. No-one. Except you, Bhishma. Is that you, Amba? As you see. I wait for you every night I know. Stop hunting me across the earth Accept to be at peace at last. I bring you strange news No-one wished to fight against you. Alone, I climbed to the snows that cover the roof of the world, seeking to know how death can outwit death. In the icy fog, in the biting wind, for 12 years, I stayed upright and rigid on one toe, waiting for the voice of a god. I turned into rock. I became snow. After 12 years, a voice rang out,
commanding, “Gather bark, twigs, moss.” I did so. “Make a pile of dry wood.” I did so. “Rub flints together. Light the wood. Wait until the flames hide the sky.” My eyes opened. I threw myself into the fire. My skin crackled. The smell reached my nostrils. I choked. I was in pain. I cried out. I’m dead, Bhishma. - You are dead? - Yes So you’ve lost your desire to kill me? No. In death’s grey zone, I waited for my new strength, with one single image before my eyes. Yours, Bhishma. I’d burnt myself for you. And now I knew another birth. Here is my second surprise. I’m taking part in this battle and I am now a man. What is your name? I have a man’s shape, a man’s sex. One thing is sure. It never wavers.
In the depths of my heart, a woman’s heart, there is only you. You alone for all time. My name now is Sikhandin. Sikhandin Bhishma After nine days of battle, victory eludes us. Our chariots are smashed, our finest horsemen beheaded. Death and blood spurt from your hand and we are drowning in them. Bhishma, how can we defeat you? You must tell us. As long as I’m alive, that is impossible. You must kill me first. But you can choose when to die. How can we kill you? No-one can kill me so long as I carry my arms. And if you laid down your arms? Yes, if I laid down my arms, and I accepted to die, yes, then you could kill me. What could make you lay down your arms? You want me to die, Yudhishthira? You are asking me to die? - You brought us up. How could I want that? Yet you must understand
As no-one can kill you, the massacre will continue until no life remains. Yes, that’s true. I’ve made my decision. If you can’t help us, Bhishma, I will stop the war. No. There is a man fighting in your ranks, the only man capable of killing me. - Who? - Sikhandin Yes If I saw Sikhandin before me, I could not fight, and he could kill me. Why? No. I’ll say no more. Kill me if you wish. But grant me the secret of my death. Arjuna put Sikhandin there tomorrow. Tell him to raise his bow and strike. It’s lawful to kill an old man when he comes towards you bearing your death. Do you recognise me? You are Sikhandin. Go close to him. Only you can kill him. My hand shakes. How can I kill this immense old man? The spirit has already left him. Attack him! Go close to him!
I can’t raise my arm Amba! In memory of a long past today, I now bring the slaughter to its end. Arjuna! And Yudhishthira! Listen to me My body drops away. It’s one deed and it is made. The day and the moment have come. Your arrow. You threw yourself into the fire to kill him. Why does he call me Amba? Why such hate? I can’t remember. Shoot an arrow. Don’t let him take back his life. I can’t. Shoot an arrow. The precise arrow that kills me, Sikhandin, is not yours. You didn’t shoot it It enters my flesh like a snake It is Arjuna’s arrow. All my life, he has been my guide. - Is he dead? - Not yet. But he will die. And others will die.
Your friends, your sons. They will die because of you. You didn’t kill him. He decided to end his own life. I loved him. You’re my best friend. Yet, no doubt, you’ll see me die. Arjuna. Give me the pillow I need. Bhishma, can you really die? I’ll remain on this bed until the day the sun reaches its zenith. Then I will die. Arjuna, I am thirsty. Karna. I have always been an object of hate for you. Give me your hand. Come. You betray your nature. You detest those who have the qualities you lack. But you are strong and profound. As strong as Arjuna I ask you, Karna, unite. Paralyse the war. Live peacefully on this earth. Duryodhana gave me everything. I will keep faith with him.
Grant me your permission to fight. I beg you, speak to me favourably before you enter the world of the dead. Can you fight… without anger? Without pride? Yes. Give me your leave. Go, then. Join the battle, since life seems to you so trifling. And set me facing the East. Towards the rising sun. Karna. Who’s there? It’s me, Kunti. I remember that day long ago. And in the middle of a tournament, you appeared glowing, radiant. - What do you want? - I’ve come to find you to hold you by the hand, to take you with me. Your voice draws me deep into the past back to my childhood. The sound of your voice. I feel a hand on my forehead Often in my sleep, a veiled woman would come to me. Are you still a dream?
Why does the mother of my enemies suddenly make me a child? Come with me. Rage, hate, passion for victory… All seem false, like fevers at night. Where do you want to take me? Over there, to the other camp, towards those lights. - Towards my enemy? - Yes. - Towards Arjuna? - Yes. - And there I’ll find my mother again. - Yes. She rejected me from the very first. She put me in a cradle and gave me over to a river. The cruellest enemy couldn’t have done me so much harm. She never gave me a mother’s tenderness. Her warmth. Kunti… …tonight, for the first time, you are concerned with me. Why? I want to give you back your rights, your position. It’s not true. You know I intend to fight and you’re afraid I will kill Arjuna. Karna, you are my son. My eldest son.
You were born of me. Your mother asks your pardon. I was so young. Go… …and join Arjuna. When you’re reunited, everything will be possible. Give me your hand. Come with me towards the lights. I’m the son of a driver. What you have torn, nothing can repair. Leave me alone… …naked once again… …on this great… …red river. Go. Kunti… I can do one thing for you. I will not kill Yudhishthira, I promise you. I will not kill Bhima, I promise you. Nor the twins, sons of Madri, I will not kill them. I will only kill your son, Arjuna. For one of us must die. Him or me. In that way, after the battle, you will keep the same number of sons.
What do we hear? What’s this noise? The army lights up the night Thousands, thousands of flames. The shining rises from the earth. They are even fighting at night. It’s as though the trees of a forest were covered with glittering flies. The earth is burning. It’s like the last night of the world. They must be stopped They must be told to respect the rules. Vyasa… Go and tell them. Karna is going to destroy us! To arms! Where are you going? I am returning to the fight! No, I don’t advise you to face Karna tonight. That spear he clasps in his hand is for you. He’s been keeping it in reserve for a long time. It’s a divine spear that cannot fail to kill. What can save us? It’s a trick of darkness we need. No-one can stop Karna except… Who? I’m thinking of Ghatotkacha,
the son of Bhima and the Rakshashi. He swore that one day he would arise to save his father. Ha! Ha! Ha! Here I am. - Where is my father? - Fighting. But he’s wounded and threatened. - Who’s threatening him? - Karna. Listen carefully, Ghatotkacha. None other than you can stop the driver’s son. Karna’s power is terrifying, but it is not equal to yours. Demon of eclipses and illusions, you are your family’s last defence. In the secret of darkness, offer Karna to the gods. Describe Ghatotkacha to me His eyes are blood his beard green his mouth a gash like the gate of death He is cross-eyed, vast-bellied, sharp-toothed, his flag drenched in blood. It’s crowned with a wreath of guts and its pinnacle is a vulture whose wings touch the sky
Night increases my power. Elephants piss with fear. And Karna where is Karna? He prepares to fight You won’t escape from my hands alive! Ghatotkacha leaps - He howls into the clouds - Owwwwh! He calls down a rain of trees a hail of rocks Ha, ha, ha! - He has a hundred bellies a hundred heads Then he shrinks into a finger And Karna? He shoots razor arrows Reptile arrows Ha, ha, ha! Ghatotkacha becomes ferocious animals. Karna exterminates them all Get back! Aaargh! Our armies are crushed! Quick, kill him! Kill him with your lance! No. No, he must save his lance for Arjuna. He can only use it once. Only once! Quick! Kill him! Nothing can resist this vicious demon
Men are dying by millions. If you hesitate for one more moment we’re lost Quick hurry! No! He must keep his lance! Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why… Ghatotkacha! My son! - My son! Why? Why? Why? Why? Oh, my, my… Om namaya Why are you rejoicing? Ghatotkacha is dead. Tonight, we grieve, and you, you dance and laugh. Why? Ghatotkacha has just killed Karna. What are you saying? No-one could resist Karna so long as this lance was in his hands. Now, Arjuna, you can kill him. Did you thrust Ghatotkacha into the fight knowing he was going to die? Karna’s like the sun. You can’t fix your eyes on him. His arrows are his rays. Now he’s reduced to the simple condition of a man.
Yes, Ghatotkacha has saved you. To preserve your life, I sent him to his death. Tonight, I’m breathing in joy. I was born to destroy the destroyers. And I became your friend out of love for the world. Father, do you really know how to destroy the Pandava? Yes. I know it. I don’t believe you. If we can draw Arjuna away from the battle, I guarantee victory. How can you draw him away? By a trick. Father, these men whom you formed, whom you trained and brought up, whom you said were amongst the most beautiful flowers on the earth, are you ready to trick and slaughter them? Your son has asked you a question. You don’t answer. You said you loved the Pandava, that you wished for their victory. Now you must organise their death.
Is your loyalty and your commander’s pride strong enough for this? What’s your decision? I know the way. An attack from the north? Yes, a savage attack. It’s a trick of Drona’s to draw Arjuna away from the centre of the battle. But no-one can imagine the consequences. You’ve always told me Drona cannot be beaten. Today, he will bring victory to my son. Yes, you will have a glorious day. And your victory will be your defeat. Someone will die today because of you someone whom all the world loved - Father! Father, where are you going? They are attacking from the north. I’ll throw them back. - Take me with you. - Abhimanyu, you aren’t old enough for war. We are going to swim in blood. I’m your son. And I’m strong, as strong as you. - Are you afraid you’ll grow old in my shadow? Why leave me yawning in a tent surrounded by women? I need to fight! Take me with you!
Abhimanyu, your place is here. - Out of the way! - Go. Abhimanyu Arjuna’s favourite son conceived with Krishna’s own sister Abhimanyu will die Drona is advancing. There, look. He’s at the centre of his iron disc. He’s crushing everything. He’ll grind us to death. - Who can break it open? - Only Arjuna. No. I can do so, too. - Abhimanyu, you know how to force the disc? - Yes, I know how. Arjuna gave you the secret? No, but before my birth, as I lay in my mother’s womb, I heard my father speak of this secret. And you remember what he said? Word for word. Abhimanyu, we are lost. The disc will destroy us. Your father is far way. - I appeal to you… - He’s almost a child! Child I may be, but I’ll attack Drona’s iron wall. I’ll crack it apart. My family needs me. The entire earth today needs me. - Fetch me my arms. - Abhimanyu, these words are not your own. The thought of glory makes you blind. Go back to your mother. This could be your death.
Without me, it’s death for everyone. But I know the special secret and I’ll have miraculous powers. Only, in my mother’s womb, I didn’t hear all the secret. What exactly did you hear? I heard how to force a way into the disc. But if the disc should close, I don’t know how to come out. Open up a breach. That’s all we need, a breach, and we’ll follow you. Open a breach. I’ll be at your heels. Quick, the disc is approaching. I’ll lead the troops like a flame. All the armies will follow me. Arjuna is my father. And the thought of him comes to my aid. Drona will kill him. Vyasa, prevent him from fighting. I can’t. Go. Drona! Drona! I’m going to break open your disc! Your slaughter ends here! Bhima, watch where he goes. Abhimanyu! You want to die? Y udhishthira! The breach is open!
Follow me! Argh! Bhima, here! Bhima, help us! Bhima! Y udhishthira! Where are you? Follow me! Go! Aaaarh! Bhima! Bhima the disc is open! Come to me! - Come to me! - I can’t! Aaargh! It’s hard There’s an invisible wall Argh! Aaaarh! Drona, you seem fascinated by his extraordinary strength. Your iron disc shattered by a child Drona, where is your promise? Are you in love with our enemies, too? Kill him! Yaaar! I’m alone in the middle of the disc And the disc is closing They’re all around me Karna Drona Aswatthaman - Come closer! Break his bow! His bow is broken Break his sword. His sword is broken.
Father! Is Abhimanyu dead? He’s lying on the ground He doesn’t move. He’s like the wind when it dies down. Those who killed him weep in silence and say, “It’s just a child lying on the ground. Was this our duty?” Why am I greeted in silence? Normally, my son Abhimanyu runs eagerly to meet me. Who killed him? Who sent him to his death? I did. Only he knew how to force the iron disc. You didn’t defend my son? We were all behind him. He was leading us to victory. But the disc closed behind him. Impossible to break through. You sent my son to his death. Arjuna… they’re telling you the truth. Krishna… …did you let my son die so as to push me deeper into the fight? I’m crossing the great era of darkness with you.
This struggle is absolute. And your brothers are the world’s only light. Every moment, remember what I told you. If your heart breaks, closes up, if it becomes bitter, dark or dry, the light will be lost. Bhishma. I’ve killed a child. I’m responsible for his death. What can I do? How can I go on with the war? The Deathless Boy - very old and very young - once said to me, “Death doesn’t exist.” What did he mean? Ask him. He’s here. Are you the Deathless Boy? Yes. You said death doesn’t exist. I did Yet even gods make sacrifices so as not to die.
Both things are true. Poets pay homage to death. They glorify it in song. But I tell you, death is negligence, it is ignorance and vigilance is immortality. Death is a tiger crouching in the brush. Create children for death but death cannot devour a man who has shaken off his dust It is powerless against eternity. The wind, life… …flow from the infinite. The moon drinks the breath of life. The sun drinks the moon. And the infinite drinks the sun. The wise man soars between the worlds. When his body’s destroyed, when no trace of it remains then death itself is destroyed
And he contemplates… …infinity. All my life, I’ve heard wise people say, “When Dharma is protected, it protects. When it is destroyed, it destroys.” Are we protecting Dharma? Sometimes the only way to protect Dharma is to forget it I watch the fall of kings and I see contempt rise in their place. Drona, I thought you were my pillar. But you smiled when Abhimanyu slaughtered my men. You love Arjuna. Now, will you have pity for his grief? Or will you press on for victory? How can you still hope for victory? We are dying. We are dying because of you. I know it. My end is near. Drona, you are old and feeble. All that you love is over there on the other side. And in the depth of your heart, you hope for defeat. If you insult my father, I’ll tear off your head.
- Stop, Aswatthaman, throw down the weapon! - Karna! Aswatthaman! What madness is possessing you? Without your promises of victory, I would never have launched this war. You suspect us of being other than we are, and we accept to die for you. Halt! Don’t go near my father I am Vyasa. What are you looking for? I’m not looking for anything. I’m watching over your father in his last sleep. Who will kill him? Tell me. You see that shadow? It’s Drishtadyumna Draupadi’s brother Each time your father sleeps Drishtadyumna enters his dream and says to him “It is for this that I am born and you know it Because you are afraid.” My father has no fear He’s never committed the slightest error. He’s destroyed his life. Your father was a Brahmin,
a holy man. He was so poor he couldn’t even buy milk. But he was ashamed. And he used all his power to become a terrible warrior, the hardest of men. He was born for a life of peace. Yet he chose war. That was his error. Why don’t you sleep? Father… …why did you tell the chiefs you were going to die? No-one can defeat you. Drona Why did you agree to rest? Why not follow your advantage? Because I’m tired. I’m old. You’ve often told me so. Aswatthaman I’m giving you the northern army. Your men are waiting. Drona, day breaks. Take up your arms. Arjuna! Kill! Bad go, bad go. Arjuna! Arjuna! I’m losing all hope of beating Drona. He will massacre everyone.
He’s become war itself. How can we make him lay down his arms? There’s just one way. Drona’s only son is his whole life. He must be told that Aswatthaman is dead. He’ll be so discouraged, so desperate, he’ll drop his weapons. But Aswatthaman isn’t dead. It would be a lie. I know. I don’t agree. - Find another way. - Wait. There. It’s done. I’ve killed Aswatthaman. Who? An elephant called Aswatthaman. I’ve killed him. Drona! Drona! Drona! Drona! Drona! Can you hear me? What do you want? I’ve killed Aswatthaman. Aswatthaman is dead. I can’t believe my son is dead. I suspect a lie. Y udhishthira You…
…who can only tell the truth, I ask has… …Aswatthaman been killed? Yes or no? Aswatthaman… …has been killed. Drishtadyumna, why are you advancing on me? Has daybreak brought me my death? Your greed for victory has corrupted you. You have slipped into a lie like the rest of mankind. Now he’s part of the earth. Perhaps this weakness will bring him victory. Look at Drona. He’d like to fight still But he can’t His death is inconceivable. His death is natural. Look. His eyes are already closed His breath quietens He’s reached the furthest fringe of life His breath leaves him rises into the air Only his body stays.
Drishtadyumna will cut off a dead man’s head. Rise up, rejoice. We’ve committed a crime. Victory is meaningless now. I hear you calling our enemies, but the crime I don’t understand. Did Drona leap up to forbid Shakuni to cheat? And Dushassana to drag me by the hair? Yudishthira, I’ve endured shame and exile with you. And you went on repeating, “I’ll destroy them, I will destroy them.” And now you despise us. Yudhishthira, you sew glass in our wounds. Karna, your day has come. Your hate is pure, your strength intact. Drive away our darkness. I will only return in victory. Arjuna has Krishna as his driver. Where could I find someone of his power? You are looking for a driver, Karna. Who are you? I am King Salya. I’m looking for a driver. I don’t need a king. All the horses in the world obey me
You won’t find a better driver anywhere. I heard you say, “I’m superior to Arjuna.” Well, I’m superior to Krishna. Karna! Aaargh! Don’t be afraid. I promised your mother not to kill you Bhima. Who’s coming towards me? My eyes are full of blood. It’s me. Who are you? Bring your body over here. Try to see who I am It’s Dushassana Dushassana? They’ve told you I’ve been wounded, and you’re coming on tiptoe to kill me! Yaaar! You are slow and heavy! I am not afraid of you. I’m heavy with dead men’s blood. Thanks to me, your friends will be happy. You sweat like an old elephant. You can’t move any more! Think of your life, which ends… here! Dushassana! Dushassana! Dog! Miserable vehshi!
How do you want me to kill you? Stop crying! Your black hour has come, Dushassana. This is where it all ends. Now! Draupadi! Draupadi, can you hear me? - Look I will drink his blood It’s your turn, Dushassana. And remember Draupadi drawn by the hair Let her be the last thing you see Karna! Help! My brother! I can’t hear you! There’s no-one to help you! And I’ll rip out your life! Aaaargh! Die! - Die! - Aaaargh! My enemy’s blood is more delicious than my mother’s milk, better than honey sweeter than the sweetest drink on earth Draupadi, don’t go away. Watch what I am doing for you Come you can wash your hair now
We weren’t born to be happy. Farewell. Om namaya shivay Om namoh Om Bhadra Kali What are you thinking about? A curse. The one that Parashurama made. The man with the axe. How do you know? I heard the story of the worm that pierced your thigh, how you resisted the pain so as not to wake Parashurama who was asleep. When he awoke, he burst with anger and cried, “You cheated me about who you are. At the moment of your death, you will lose your memory and suddenly, you will forget the secret of the weapon I taught you.” Have you forgotten it? No. The worm in your thigh was probably some god trying to protect Arjuna. Irresistible, incomparable Arjuna. You are coming towards me with your extraordinary weapons, with your godlike hands.
But I will kill you. I will lift your head from your body. I will kill you. If you are so sure of killing him, why are you afraid? Salya… …or whoever you are, I’m shrouded in omens, menaced by darkness. Another time, a Brahmin cursed me. He shouted, “The moment fear enters your flesh, your chariot wheel will plunge into the earth.” Yes… I think I’m afraid. Here I am Arjuna! I, the bastard! The obscure! You the prince! The conqueror! But the sky has opened up for me. And the sun… fills me with strength. You won’t end this day alive! Die Arjuna! Salya!
Argh! Salya! Salya! Wait! Wait until I free my wheel! You haven’t the right to strike and you know it! Strike! This is the moment. Don’t listen to him. Don’t wait I stand before you unarmed, threatened, weak. Law and honour protect me. Let me free my wheel! When Shakuni threw the dice where was your honour? What hole did you hide it in? Don’t scorch your mouth with that word. You won’t escape alive He’s crying with anger He’s yours. A chariot wheel does not stick without reason. Who has got hold of this wheel? Who is playing this final trick? I’ll tell you who’s caught hold of this wheel. It’s the earth herself. With her muddy hands, it’s she who’s grasping this wheel and she won’t let go. Yes, strike. Finish the war. Don’t let yourself be killed like a driver. Rise up! Call your irresistible weapon and release it. This is the moment. Quick!
Yes, Karna, refuse to die. Launch the final weapon! I know the secret formula. If I pronounce it, a heavenly creature will come and place the weapon in my hand. Strike! What’s paralysing you? Yes, I call. I call this… …distant creature. And I say to her What’s happening? Speak. What do I have to say? It was a simple phrase. Suddenly, I can’t remember it any more. Why has the sun fled? What’s this shadow? My wheel is buried in the mud. My head is dark. And an ancient mystery… …kills me. What do I have to say? All the signs are against him. Take his life When you asked him for anything, he always answered, “Yes, here it is.”
He didn’t know how not to give. Lifeless, glorious man. Everything bleeds. Everything weeps. Vyasa. I’m here My heart must be made of stone… …not to have broken by now. Om Brahma Guru Duryodhana, are you there? Yes, I see him. He’s there with his club The waters opened and let him in. Then he made them hard. No-one can break them now. Duryodhana, do you hear me? Can you hear me? Don’t disturb my peace. I am resting. What are you doing in these icy waters? Get up! Leave your conjuring. Come out and fight. Tomorrow. I fight tomorrow. I want to stay here all night and sing. - You are afraid? - It’s not fear that’s drawn me to this lake.
It’s fatigue. It’s good down here… …in the clear, clean water. I give you this earth ruined clothed in corpses The earth you give me isn’t yours Now it’s your life I want. Come out of the lake and fight! If you win, the kingdom is yours. Can I choose my weapon? Yes, choose your weapon. I choose clubs. Yaaaarh! I will put an end to your life! Come closer! Come, come! You’re heavy! You can’t keep up any longer! I could smash your skull! But one does not strike a fallen adversary! Get to your feet! - Are you wounded? - Yes! Badly? Don’t show it. You must convince him you’re strong Stay on your feet Attack. And aim low, hit his legs. His legs! I can’t! It’s not allowed.
I said, hit his legs. Strike his thigh. Bhima take clear your foot! Don’t insult him! He has the same blood as you and he was a king. The war is over. Yudhishthira, I was hit shamefully on the legs… against all the rules. Come. He’s neither a friend or an enemy. You don’t waste words on a block of wood. Let’s go. Argh! Krishna! You are the origin of evil Sikhandin was your idea. And who threw Ghatotkacha against us to force Karna to give up his lance? And the lie, “Aswatthaman is dead.” And when Karna’s wheel stuck in the mud, you said to Arjuna, “Take his life.” You. Always you. All that you say is false. And your only assassin is yourself Yes go your way! Stay in this unhappy world.
I am going to another world. Who is happier than I? I reigned on earth. I was just. I laughed. I sang. I loved my friends and my wives. I protected my servants I held out my hand to the afflicted I knew all human joys. Go and eat. and dance. Go! No good man is entirely good No bad man is entirely bad. Duryodhana, I salute you. I do not find any pleasure in your suffering But your defeat is a joy. Your victory is complete. Let’s go and celebrate If you still have breath, listen to me. After the battle, I hid in the forest. And there, in the darkness of a vast tree, I saw an owl… …ruthlessly exterminating baby crows in their sleep.
I said to myself, “My hour has come.” I withdrew I made a sacrifice The god welded this sword to my hand and infused my body with his power. I entered into the camp I slipped in softly towards Drishtadyumna’s tent where, on rare carpets, my father’s killer lay asleep. I kicked him awake. He tried to scream. I threw him to the ground. I crushed his throat with my knees. I killed him, as one kills cattle. Good That’s good. Then I hurled myself about the camp My force was superhuman. I massacred everyone. I killed Bhima’s son, Arjuna’s son, Yudhishthira’s son. I killed the twins’ sons. Draupadi hasn’t one son left
Good. I stabbed backs, I tore throats, I amputated heads, arms, ears. Then I withdrew in silence. I met Abhimanyu’s young widow. I killed the foetus in her womb. The Pandava have no more descendants. There. I’ve done what I needed to do. I’m calm Good. That’s good. We’ll see one another again. Now I die. Why are you kneeling beside Karna? Karna, whom you killed… Karna was your eldest brother, my first son. I was just 15. Karna was our brother? Yes, Arjuna. He knew it? Yes. He knew it. Why did you hide this from us? Constantly hated by you,
despised and rejected, he swore not to kill you, to spare you all. Except you, Arjuna, so that after the battle I would have the same number of sons Krishna, you knew it? Karna forbad me to reveal Kunti’s secret to you. His promise was absolute. He preferred his word to his brothers. Then you must respect his choice. I led my brother to his death. Now I’m going off into the woods. Y udhishthira don’t go Don’t despise this earth. You are the most upright. You are the truest of men. And it needed exile, long suffering, this desperate war, and this harsh battle in yourself, and your lie, and your anger, and your delirium,
for you now to be him whom the city awaits with all its garlands. Bhishma, this world is savage. How can one understand the savagery of this world? A man is walking in a dark, dangerous forest, filled with wild beasts. The forest is surrounded by a vast net. The man is afraid. He runs to escape from the beasts. He falls into a pitch-black hole. By a miracle, he’s caught in some twisted roots. He feels the hot breath of an enormous snake, its jaws wide open, lying at the bottom of the pit. He’s about to fall into these jaws. On the edge of the hole, a huge elephant is preparing to crush him. Black and white mice
gnaw the roots from which the man is hanging. Dangerous bees fly over the hole, letting fall drops of honey. Then the man holds out his finger. Slowly, cautiously, he holds out his finger to catch the drops of honey. Threatened by so many dangers, with hardly a breath between him and so many deaths, he still isn’t free from desire. The thought of honey holds him to life. But how can one escape? Come with me to the city. Krishna! You didn’t keep your word You took part in the battle with weapons more terrible than all the others. You rejoiced in our misfortune. You watched my son die. Krishna I curse you
One day, all that you are building will crumble. Your friends will be massacred by your friends. Dry blood will coat the walls of your dead city, where only vultures reign. Your shattered heart will crack. You will live solitary A passer-by will kill you Yes, Gandhari, what you say is true. I know. But even if you can’t see it, the light has been saved. Are you going to die, too? Yes, of course. Like any other life, time has fixed my limit. Gandhari’s vision was right. Later, 6 years later, terrible convulsions tore my kingdom apart. And I said to myself, “The time has come. I must go into the forest alone and die on the spot where I drop with fatigue.”
A hunter mistook my feet for the ears of a deer. Krishna… There’s no cause for concern. I die. It’s as it should be. Krishna, I’ve so many things to ask you. Tell me quickly. Why all your tricks and your bad directions? I fought against terrible powers. And I did what I could. What was it you said to Arjuna before the battle? I showed him the path of freedom, the true, right action. But he’s forgotten it all. What freedom? What path? These are very difficult questions. And I can never say anything twice. Please. 6 years have gone by since the great battle. I still hear the crash of steel and the cry of flesh. Last night, there were rings of light around the moon. You sighed, Gandhari. Are you sad?
It was not a sigh of sadness You were married without being told I was blind I destroyed your life. At first, you thought that I couldn’t hold out, that I’d take off the veil. You could have ordered me to take it off. You were the king. You could have said to me, “At least look at your children.” But you never said it. I felt your anger. I always felt it close to me. I still feel it. Our life is nearly over. Take off your veil No You cannot die with your eyes closed Take off your veil. It’s an order. Have you taken it off? Yes - What can you see? I can’t see anything clearly. My eyes must get accustomed to the light. And now? - Yes… I begin to distinguish shapes… …trees, the sky.
Two birds go by. - It’s you, Kunti? - Yes. It’s me. I’ve never seen you. I’ve never known the look in your eyes. Ah! What? I’ve just seen a whole army rise out of the river. All my sons, smiling. Their wounds healed, reconciled. An immense wave of men, all white, mounting into the air. I can’t see them any more. The river is quietly closing again. There is a fire somewhere in the forest. Yes, since morning, I’ve felt the smoke. I hear animals crying as they run away. The flame is coming towards us. Dive into the river. Save your life. Come, let’s both walk towards the flames. MAN’S VOICE: Who has come as far as this? Who are you? I am Yudhishthira. I am looking for the gate of Paradise.
It’s here Are you alone? Yes We decided to leave the earth, my brothers and Draupadi. But while climbing the mountain, they slipped. One after the other, they fell into the abyss. The twins, Draupadi… Even Arjuna. Even Bhima. Yes, I’ve come here alone. Your kingdom has known many years of happiness You have proved yourself to be the best of kings Leave this dog and enter I can’t leave this dog. Why? He’s followed me ever since I left the city. Paradise isn’t open to dogs. Leave him behind. - It’s no cruelty Your brothers are here already Enter - Come and join them Leave this dog. Abandon a creature who loves me? Who’s alone and defenceless? I can’t. You’ve given up everything. Give up this dog
Otherwise you won’t get past this door I will stay out here in the freezing cold with this dog. Enter The dog is another form of Dharma, your father. You remember a long time ago he took the shape of a lake? He’s always followed and observed you Enter the inconceivable region. Can I go in… …with my body? Yes. Come. - Is that Duryodhana? Yes He’s here? He’s here with his family, with all his brothers. Millions of men dead because of him and he’s here. He drinks, he smiles, he seems happy. He is happy. Here, all hates vanish. Kiss him. Don’t ask me to kiss him. I can’t. If this murderer is here, where are my brothers? Where is our wife? What is Paradise if I’m separated from my family? I want to see them.
I’ll show them to you. Come. Where are you taking me? To your brothers. Come. Where is this pathway leading? The stench is dreadful. It’s so black. The mist, it smells of putrefaction. - Follow me. Where are we? Where are my brothers? Further still. Go on a bit. I’m stopping here. If the smell upsets you, you can turn back with me. Y udhishthira don’t go Stay with us You bring us a fresh breeze Stay! Our pains are lighter when you are here Who are you? Who’s speaking? Don’t you know me? I’m Karna Your brother I’m Arjuna! I’m Bhima! - I’m Nakula! - I’m Sahadeva! I’m Draupadi We are all here
You… …here. Tortured… And this rotten smell of corpses. Who decided this? Am I awake? What act have they committed to be thrown down into Hell? I condemn the gods. I condemn Dharma. I will stay here… …forever… …with my family. Then the keeper of the last dwelling said to Yudhishthira… …you’ve known neither Paradise nor Hell. Here, there is no happiness, no punishment, no family, no enemies. Rise in tranquillity. Here, words end like thought. This was your last illusion. So they died without children, all of them?
Yes, all of them. But you told me this poem tells the story of your race. Am I born from a dead race? Look at this woman. She was Abhimanyu’s wife and she bears his child Krishna saved the life of this child because his blood is the blood of Arjuna his friend Centuries and centuries will go by …and you will come from this woman.
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