Mahabharata Quotes - Virata Parva

The Virata Parva is the fourth parva in the Mahabharata, and the shortest of the first four, clocking in at under two thousand shlokas, and covers the thirteenth year of exile in incognito the Pandavas have to spend, which they do in the King Virata's kingdom.
Covers of Vols 1 - 6
These quotes are from the unabridged translation of the Mahabharata by Dr Bibek Debroy (my reviews: Vol.1Vol.2Vol. 3Vol. 4Vol.5 (12), Vol. 6 (123)). The Virata Parva begins with the fourth volume of the translation, and ends someway around the half-way mark. Then starts the Udyoga Parva, which also features the story of Amba.
The start of the parva, where the Pandava's consiglieri, Sage Dhoumya, advises them on how to conduct themselves while in exile, could well have been taken from an HR manual for executives at a Fortune 500 company.
On to the quotes.


  • "When you are shown the door, take to the door."
    [Sage Dhoumya advising the Pandavas on how to conduct themselves while in hiding, Vairata Parva, Virata Parva, Ch 4]


  • "If evil-minded ones are suspicious of the seat that you occupy, do not ascent there again."
    [Sage Dhoumya advising the Pandavas on how to conduct themselves while in hiding, Vairata Parva, Virata Parva, Ch 4]



  • "Kings dislike those who disagree and people who speak lies."
    [Sage Dhoumya advising the Pandavas on how to conduct themselves while in hiding, Vairata Parva, Virata Parva, Ch 4]


  • "When there is occasion for laughter, one should laugh gently, and not like one who is mad."
    [Sage Dhoumya advising the Pandavas on how to conduct themselves while in hiding, Vairata Parva, Virata Parva, Ch 4]


  • "Yudhishtra gave them the names they would secretly address each other by - Jaya, Jayanta, Vijaya, Jayatsena and Jayadbala."
    [Vairata Parva, Virata Parva, Ch 5]
    These names, as best as I could tell, were used only once while the Pandavas were in exile, and that is when Droupadi was carried off after Keechaka's death, and she cried out for help, addressing her husbands by these code names.


  • "How can a woman, who as Yudhishtra as a husband, not be sorrowful?"
    [Droupadi lamenting to Bheema, Keechaka-vadha  Parva, Virata Parva, Ch 17]


  • "Because of Yudhishtra, I am afflicted with a hundred different kinds of miseries."
    [Droupadi lamenting to Bheema, Keechaka-vadha  Parva, Virata Parva, Ch 18]


  • "While all of you seek to observe dharma, a great dharma is being destroyed."
    [Droupadi lamenting to Bheema, Keechaka-vadha  Parva, Virata Parva, Ch 20]


  • "Though he would soon be freed of all his prosperity, he seemed to increase in prosperity."
    [Keechaka, thinking of his approaching meeting with Droupadi, Keechaka-vadha  Parva, Virata Parva, Ch 21]


  • "I do not think that you have ever been caressed the way you are going to be caressed now."
    [Bhimasena to Keechaka, Keechaka-vadha  Parva, Virata Parva, Ch 21]
    This is one heck of a funny line in the entire Mahabharata. I hope you agree. I would love to read the Sanskrit shloka.


  • ""Where is the neck? where are the feet? Where are the hands? Where is the head?""
    [Guards on discovering Keechaka's mangled body, Keechaka-vadha  Parva, Virata Parva, Ch 21]


  • "With those who are stronger, we will use sama, bheda, dana, and danda. With those who are weak in strength, we will use force in the appropriate way."
    [Drona counsels Duryodhana, Go-grahana Parva, Virata Parva, Ch 28]


  • "... my soul has begun to tremble.
    ... I am alone against many and I am only a child."
    [Prince Uttara on seeing the Kuru warriors, Go-grahan Parva, Virata Parva, Ch 36]


  • "Horses always neigh, whether they are walking or standing. The wind always blows. ... What does this have to do with Partha and why should he be praised?"
    [Karna to Drona on hearing him praise Arjuna, Go-grahan Parva, Virata Parva, Ch 42]
    As far as Karna was concerned, when it came to Arjuna, there was nothing that Arjuna did that he could bring himself to acknowledge as special or worthy of praise.


  • ""... there is no manliness in boasting. The fire burns without a word. The sun shines in silence.""
    [Aswhatthama to Karna, Go-grahan Parva, Virata Parva, Ch 45]


  • "..it is known on earth that deeds are superior to words."
    [Karna taunting Arjuna, Go-grahan Parva, Virata Parva, Ch 55]



  • Previous Parvas:
    Adi Parva
    Sabha Parva
    Aranyaka Parva

    © 2013, Abhinav Agarwal (अभिनव अग्रवाल). All rights reserved.