Vow to rescue Duryodhana

युधिष्ठिर उवाच अस्मानभिातांस्तात भयार्ताञ्छरणैषिणः। कौरवान् विषमप्राप्तान् कथं ब्रूयास्त्वमीदृशम्॥
Yudhishthira said : O child, why do you speak these cruel words to these frightened Kurus who are now in adversity and who have come to us for protection?

यदा तु भवन्ति भेदा ज्ञातीनां कलहाश्च वृकोदर। प्रसक्तानि च वैराणि कुलधर्मो न नश्यति॥
O Vrikodara, dissensions and disputes often take place among those that are connected in blood. Such hostilities always exist, but for it family honour is never suffered to be destroyed.

कश्चिज्ज्ञातीनां बाह्यः पोथयते कुलम्। न मर्षयन्ति तत् सन्तो बाह्येनाभिप्रधर्षणम्॥
If any stranger seeks to destroy the honour of a family, they that are good never tolerate such insult to be offered by the stranger.

जानात्येष हि दुर्बुद्धिरस्मानिह चिरोषितान्। स एवं परिभूयास्मानकादिदमप्रियम्॥
The wretched minded one (Gandharva king) knows that we are living here for some time. (Even knowing this), he has disregarded us and has done this which is disagreeable to us.

दुर्योधनस्य ग्रहणाद् गन्धर्वेण बलात् प्रभो। स्त्रीणां बाह्याभिमर्शाच्च हतं भवति नः कुलम्॥
O exalted one, from this forcible seizure of Duryodhana and from this insult offered to the ladies of our family by a stranger, our family honour is destroyed,

शरणं च प्रपन्नानां त्राणार्थं च कुलस्य च। उत्तिष्ठत नरव्याघ्राः सज्जीभवत मा चिरम्॥
O foremost of men, arise and arm yourselves without the least delay to rescue those that have sought protection and also to save the honour of our family.

अर्जुनश्च यमौ चैव त्वं च वीरापराजितः। मोक्षयध्वं नरव्याघ्रा ह्रियमाणं सुयोधनम्॥
Let Arjuna and the twins (Nakula and Sahadeva) and yourself and also those that are brave and invincible (at once go and) rescue Duryodhana who is even now being taken away as a prisoner.

एते रथा नरव्याघ्राः सर्वशस्त्रसमन्विताः। धृतराष्ट्रस्य पुत्राणां विमलाः काञ्चनध्वजाः॥ सस्वनानधिरोहध्वं नित्यसज्जानिमान् रथान्। इन्द्रसेनादिभिः सूतैः कृतशस्त्रैरधिष्ठितान्॥ एतानास्थाय वै यत्ता गन्धर्वान् यो माहवे। सुयोधनस्य मोक्षाय प्रयतध्वमतन्द्रिताः॥ य एव कश्चिद् राजन्यः शरणार्थमिहागतम्। परं शक्त्याभिरक्षेत किं पुनस्त्वं वृकोदर॥
These blazing cars with golden flag-staffs belonging to the son of Dhritarashtra are now all ready (before you). With Indrasena and other charioteers who are all skilled in arms, ride all of you these ever furnished cars with deep rattling noise. Ride on them and fight to your utmost power with the Gandharvas to rescue Duryodhana. Even an ordinary Kshatriya would try his best to protect one who has come to him for protection. What then, O Vrikodara, shall I speak to you?

क इहार्यो भवेत् त्राणमभिधावेति नोदितः। प्राञ्जलिं शरणापन्नं दृष्ट्वा शत्रुमपि ध्रुवम्॥ वरप्रदानं राज्यं च पुत्रजन्म च पाण्डवाः। शत्रोच मोक्षणं क्लेशात् त्रीणि चैकं च तत्समम्॥
Entreated for assistance in such words as these, “O hasten to my help,” who is there that is so mean as not to help even his enemy when he see him to crave for protection with joined hands? The bestowal of a boon, a sovereignty and the birth of a son are sources of great happiness. But to rescue an enemy from distress is equal to all three.

किं चाप्यधिकमेतस्माद् यदापन्नः सुयोधनः। त्वद्वाहुबलमाश्रित्य जीवितं परिमार्गते॥
What could be greater joy to you than that Duryodhana now in distress seeks his very life which now depends on the strength of your arms?

स्वयमेव प्रधावेयं यदि न स्याद् वृकोदर। विततो मे क्रतुर्वीर न हि मेऽत्र विचारणा॥
O Vrikodara, O hero, if the vow which I am engaged in observing were over, I would have certainly myself run to his assistance.

साम्नैव तु यथा भीम मोक्षयेथाः सुयोधनम्। तथा सर्वैरुपायैस्त्वं यतेथाः कुरुनन्दन॥ न साम्ना प्रतिपद्येत यदि गन्धर्वराडसौ। पराक्रमेण मृदुना मोक्षयेथाः सुयोधनम्॥
Try by all means, O Bhima, O Kuru prince, to rescue Duryodhana (first) by the act of conciliation. If however the Gandharva king cannot be managed by the act of conciliation, then you must try to rescue Duryodhana by light fighting.

अथासौ मृदुयुद्धेन न मुञ्चेद् भीम कौरवान्। सर्वोपायैविमोच्यास्ते निगृह्य परिपन्थिनः॥
If the Gandharvas do not let off the Kurus, even then, O Bhima, you must then rescue them by crushing the enemy by all means.

एतावद्धि मया शक्यं संदेष्टुं वै वृकोदर। वैताने कर्मणि तते वर्तमाने च भारत॥
O Vrikodara, all this I can tell you now, for my vow has begun, but it has not ended as yet."

वैशम्पायन उवाच अजातशत्रोर्वचनं तच्छ्रुत्वा तु धनंजयः। प्रतिजज्ञे गुरोर्वाक्यं कौरवाणां विमोक्षणम्॥
Having heard these words of Ajatshatru, Dhananjaya (Arjuna) at the command of his Guru, vowed to rescue the Kurus.

अर्जुन उवाच यदि साम्ना न मोक्ष्यन्ति गन्धर्वा धृतराष्ट्रजान्। अद्य गन्धर्वराजस्य भूमि: पास्यति शोणितम्॥ अर्जुनस्य तु तां श्रुत्वा प्रतिज्ञां सत्यवादिनः। कौरवाणां तदा राजन् पुनः प्रत्यागतं मनः॥
“If the Gandharvas do not peacefully let off the Dhritarashtra people, the earth shall this day drink the blood of the Gandharvas." Hearing the vow of the truthful Arjuna, O king, the Kurus were fully cheered up.