THE MAHABHARATA OF KRISHNA-DWAIPAYANA, PART 2
Sri Veda Vyasa
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Title: The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Part 2
Author: Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa
Release Date: April, 2005 [EBook #7965] [This file was first posted on June 6, 2003]
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The Mahabharata of
Translated into English Prose from the Original Sanskrit Text
Kisari Mohan Ganguli
Vaisampayana said,--"Then, in the presence of Vasudeva, Maya Danava, having worshipped Arjuna, repeatedly spoke unto him with joined hands and in amiable words,--'O son of Kunti, saved have I been by thee from this Krishna in spate and from Pavaka (fire) desirous of consuming me. Tell me what I have to do for thee.'
"Arjuna said,--'O great Asura, everything hath already been done by thee (even by this offer of thine). Blest be thou. Go whithersoever thou likest. Be kind and well-disposed towards me, as we are even kind to and well-pleased with thee!'
"Maya said,--'O bull amongst men, what thou hast said is worthy of thee, O exalted one. But O Bharata, I desire to do something for thee cheerfully. I am a great artist, a Viswakarma among the Danavas. O son of Pandu, being what I am, I desire to do something for thee.'
"Arjuna said,--'O sinless one, thou regardest thyself
as saved (by me) from imminent death. Even if it hath been so, I cannot make
thee do anything for me. At the same time, O Danava, I do not wish to frustrate
thy intentions. Do thou something for
Vaisampayana said,--"Then, O bull of the Bharata race,
urged by Maya, Vasudeva reflected for a moment as to what he should ask Maya to
Vaisampayana continued,--"Having heard those words,
Maya became exceedingly glad. And he forthwith built a magnificent palace for
the son of Pandu like unto the palace of the celestials themselves. Then
Vaisampayana said,--"Janardana deserving the worship of
all, having lived happily at Khandavaprastha for some time, and having been
treated all the while with respectful love and affection by the sons of Pritha,
became desirous one day of leaving Khandavaprastha to behold his father. That
possessor of large eyes, unto whom was due the obeisance of the universe, then
saluted both Yudhishthira and Pritha and made obeisance with his head unto the
feet of Kunti, his father's sister. Thus revered by Kesava, Pritha smelt his
head and embraced him. The illustrious Hrishikesa approached his own sister
Subhadra affectionately, with his eyes filled with tears, and spoke unto her
words of excellent import and truth, terse proper, unanswerable and fraught
with good. The sweet-speeched Subhadra also, saluting him in return and
worshipping him repeatedly with bent head, told him all that she wished to be
conveyed to her relatives on the paternal side. And bidding her farewell and
uttering benedictions on his handsome sister, he of the Vrishni race, next saw
Draupadi and Dhaumya. That best of men duly made obeisance unto Dhaumya, and
consoling Draupadi obtained leave from her. Then the learned and mighty
Vaisampayana continued,--"Meanwhile king Yudhishthira of unfading glory, accompanied by his brothers and surrounded by friends, entered his excellent capital. And that tiger among men, dismissing all his relatives, brothers, and sons, sought to make himself happy in the company of Draupadi. And Kesava also, worshipped by the principal Yadavas including Ugrasena, entered with a happy heart his own excellent city. And worshipping his old father and his illustrious mother, and saluting (his brother) Valadeva, he of eyes like lotus-petals took his seat. Embracing Pradyumna, Shamva, Nishatha, Charudeshna, Gada, Aniruddha and Bhanu, and obtaining the leave of all the elderly men, Janardana entered the apartments of Rukmini."
Vaisampayana said,--"Then Maya Danava addressed Arjuna,
that foremost of successful warriors, saying,--'I now go with thy leave, but
shall come back soon. On the north of the Kailasa peak near the mountains of
Mainaka, while the Danavas were engaged in a sacrifice on the banks of Vindu
lake, I gathered a huge quantity of delightful and variegated vanda (a kind of
rough materials) composed of jewels and gems. This was placed in the
Vaisampayana said,--"Then that chief of men, king Yudhishthira, entered that palatial sabha having first fed ten thousand Brahmanas with preparations of milk and rice mixed with clarified butter and honey with fruits and roots, and with pork and venison. The king gratified those superior Brahmanas, who had come from various countries with food seasoned with seasamum and prepared with vegetables called jibanti, with rice mixed with clarified butter, with different preparations of meat--with indeed various kinds of other food, as also numberless viands that are fit to be sucked and innumerable kinds of drinks, with new and unused robes and clothes, and with excellent floral wreaths. The king also gave unto each of those Brahmanas a thousand kine. And, O Bharata, the voice of the gratified Brahmanas uttering,--'What an auspicious day is this!' became so loud that it seemed to reach heaven itself. And when the Kuru king entered the palatial sabha having also worshipped the gods with various kinds of music and numerous species of excellent and costly perfumes, the athletes and mimes and prize-fighters and bards and encomiasts began to gratify that illustrious son of Dharma by exhibiting their skill. And thus celebrating his entry into the palace, Yudhishthira with his brothers sported within that palace like Sakra himself in heaven. Upon the seats in that palace sat, along with the Pandavas, Rishis and kings that came from various countries, viz., Asita and Devala, Satya, Sarpamali and Mahasira; Arvavasu, Sumitra, Maitreya, Sunaka and Vali; Vaka, Dalvya, Sthulasira, Krishna-Dwaipayana, and Suka Sumanta, Jaimini, Paila, and the disciples of Vyasa, viz., ourselves; Tittiri, Yajanavalkya, and Lomaharshana with his son; Apsuhomya, Dhaumya, Animandavya; and Kausika; Damoshnisha and Traivali, Parnada, and Varayanuka, Maunjayana, Vayubhaksha, Parasarya, and Sarika; Valivaka, Silivaka, Satyapala, and Krita-srama; Jatukarna, and Sikhavat. Alamva and Parijataka; the exalted Parvata, and the great Muni Markandeya; Pavitrapani, Savarna, Bhaluki, and Galava. Janghabandhu, Raibhya, Kopavega, and Bhrigu: Harivabhru, Kaundinya, Vabhrumali, and Sanatana, Kakshivat, and Ashija, Nachiketa, and Aushija, Nachiketa, and Gautama; Painga, Varaha, Sunaka, and Sandilya of great ascetic merit: Kukkura, Venujangha, Kalapa and Katha;--these virtuous and learned Munis with senses and souls under complete control, and many others as numerous, all well-skilled in the Vedas and Vedangas and conversant with (rules of) morality and pure and spotless in behaviour, waited on the illustrious Yudhishthira, and gladdened him by their sacred discourses. And so also numerous principal Kshatriyas, such as the illustrious and virtuous Mujaketu, Vivarddhana, Sangramjit, Durmukha, the powerful Ugrasena; Kakshasena, the lord of the Earth, Kshemaka the invincible; Kamatha, the king of Kamvoja, and the mighty Kampana who alone made the Yavanas to ever tremble at his name just as the god that wieldeth the thunder-bolt maketh those Asuras, the Kalakeyas, tremble before him; Jatasura, and the king of the Madrakas, Kunti, Pulinda the king of the Kiratas, and the kings of Anga and Vanga, and Pandrya, and the king of Udhara, and Andhaka; Sumitra, and Saivya that slayer of foes; Sumanas, the king of the Kiratas, and Chanur the King of the Yavanas, Devarata, Bhoja, and the so called Bhimaratha, Srutayudha--the king of Kalinga, Jayasena the king of Magadha; and Sukarman, and Chekitana, and Puru that slayer of foes; Ketumata, Vasudana, and Vaideha and Kritakshana: Sudharman, Aniruddha, Srutayu endued with great strength; the invincible Anuparaja, the handsome Karmajit; Sisupala with his son, the king of Karusha; and the invincible youths of the Vrishni race, all equal in beauty unto the celestials, viz., Ahuka, Viprithu, Sada, Sarana, Akrura, Kritavarman, and Satyaka, the son of Sini; and Bhismaka, Ankriti, and the powerful Dyumatsena, those chief of bowmen viz., the Kaikeyas and Yajnasena of the Somaka race; these Kshatriyas endued with great might, all well-armed and wealthy, and many others also regarded as the foremost, all waited upon Yudhishthira, the son of Kunti, in that Sabha, desirous of ministering to his happiness. And those princes also, endued with great strength, who dressing themselves in deer-skins learnt the science of weapons under Arjuna, waited upon Yudhishthira. And O king, the princes also of the Vrishni race, viz., Pradyumna (the son of Rukmini) and Samva, and Yuyudhana the son of Satyaki and Sudharman and Aniruddha and Saivya that foremost of men who had learnt the science of arms under Arjuna these and many other kings, O lord of the Earth, used to wait on Yudhishthira on that occasion. And that friend of Dhananjaya, Tumvuru, and the Gandharva Chittasena with his ministers, any many other Gandharvas and Apsaras, well-skilled in vocal and instrumental music and in cadence and Kinnaras also well-versed in (musical) measures and motions singing celestial tunes in proper and charming voices, waited upon and gladdened the sons of Pandu and the Rishis who sat in that Sabha. And seated in that Sabha, those bull among men, of rigid vows and devoted to truth, all waited upon Yudhishthira like the celestials in heaven waiting upon Brahma."
Vaisampayana said,--"While the illustrious Pandavas were seated in that Sabha along with the principal Gandharvas, there came, O Bharata, unto that assembly the celestial Rishi Narada, conversant with the Vedas and Upanishadas, worshipped by the celestials acquainted with histories and Puranas, well-versed in all that occurred in ancient kalpas (cycles), conversant with Nyaya (logic) and the truth of moral science, possessing a complete knowledge of the six Angas (viz., pronunciation, grammar, prosody, explanation of basic terms, description of religious rites, and astronomy). He was a perfect master in reconciling contradictory texts and differentiating in applying general principles to particular cases, as also in interpreting contraries by reference to differences in situation, eloquent, resolute, intelligent, possessed of powerful memory. He was acquainted with the science of morals and politics, learned, proficient in distinguishing inferior things from superior ones, skilled in drawing inference from evidence, competent to judge of the correctness or incorrectness of syllogistic statements consisting of five propositions. He was capable of answering successively Vrihaspati himself while arguing, with definite conclusions properly framed about religion, wealth, pleasure and salvation, of great soul and beholding this whole universe, above, below, and around, as if it were present before his eyes. He was master of both the Sankhya and Yoga systems of philosophy, ever desirous of humbling the celestials and Asuras by fomenting quarrels among them, conversant with the sciences of war and treaty, proficient in drawing conclusions by judging of things not within direct ken, as also in the six sciences of treaty, war, military campaigns, maintenance of posts against the enemy and stratagems by ambuscades and reserves. He was a thorough master of every branch of learning, fond of war and music, incapable of being repulsed by any science or any course of action, and possessed of these and numberless other accomplishments. The Rishi, having wandered over the different worlds, came into that Sabha. And the celestial Rishi of immeasurable splendour, endued with great energy was accompanied, O monarch, by Parijata and the intelligent Raivata and Saumya and Sumukha. Possessing the speed of the mind, the Rishi came thither and was filled with gladness upon beholding the Pandavas. The Brahmana, on arriving there, paid homage unto Yudhishthira by uttering blessings on him and wishing him victory. Beholding the learned Rishi arrive, the eldest of the Pandavas, conversant with all rules of duty, quickly stood up with his younger brothers. Bending low with humility, the monarch cheerfully saluted the Rishi, and gave with due ceremonies a befitting seat unto him. The king also gave him kine and the usual offerings of the Arghya including honey and the other ingredients. Conversant with every duty the monarch also worshipped the Rishi with gems and jewels with a whole heart. Receiving that worship from Yudhishthira in proper form, the Rishi became gratified. Thus worshipped by the Pandavas and the great Rishis, Narada possessing a complete mastery over the Vedas, said unto Yudhishthira the following words bearing upon religion, wealth, pleasures and salvation.
"Narada said--'Is the wealth thou art earning being spent on proper objects? Doth thy mind take pleasure in virtue? Art thou enjoying the pleasures of life? Doth not thy mind sink under their weight? O chief of men, continuest thou in the noble conduct consistent with religion and wealth practised by thy ancestors towards the three classes of subjects, (viz., good, indifferent, and bad)? Never injurest thou religion for the sake of wealth, or both religion and wealth for the sake of pleasure that easily seduces? O thou foremost of victorious men ever devoted to the good of all, conversant as thou art with the timeliness of everything, followest thou religion, wealth, pleasure and salvation dividing thy time judiciously? O sinless one, with the six attributes of kings (viz., cleverness of speech, readiness in providing means, intelligence in dealing with the foe, memory, and acquaintance with morals and politics), dost thou attend to the seven means (viz., sowing dissensions, chastisement, conciliation, gifts, incantations, medicine and magic)? Examinest thou also, after a survey of thy own strength and weakness, the fourteen possessions of thy foes? These are the country, forts, cars, elephants, cavalry, foot-soldiers, the principal officials of state, the zenana, food supply, computations of the army and income, the religious treatises in force, the accounts of state, the revenue, wine-shops and other secret enemies. Attendest thou to the eight occupations (of agriculture, trade, &c), having examined, O thou foremost of victorious monarchs, thy own and thy enemy's means, and having made peace with thy enemies? O bull of the Bharata race, thy seven principal officers of state (viz., the governor of the citadel, the commander of forces, the chief judge, the general in interior command, the chief priest, the chief physician, and the chief astrologer), have not, I hope, succumbed to the influence of thy foes, nor have they, I hope, become idle in consequence of the wealth they have earned? They are, I hope, all obedient to thee. Thy counsels, I hope, are never divulged by thy trusted spies in disguise, by thyself or by thy ministers? Thou ascertainest, I hope, what thy friends, foes and strangers are about? Makest thou peace and makest thou war at proper times? Observest thou neutrality towards strangers and persons that are neutral towards thee? And, O hero, hast thou made persons like thyself, persons that are old, continent in behaviour, capable of understanding what should be done and what should not, pure as regards birth and blood, and devoted to thee, thy ministers? O Bharata, the victories of kings can be attributed to good counsels. O child, is thy kingdom protected by ministers learned in Sastras, keeping their counsels close? Are thy foes unable to injure it? Thou hast not become the slave of sleep? Wakest thou at the proper time? Conversant with pursuits yielding profit, thinkest thou, during the small hours of night, as to what thou shouldst do and what thou shouldst not do the next day? Thou settlest nothing alone, nor takest counsels with many? The counsels thou hast resolved upon, do not become known all over thy kingdom? Commencest thou soon to accomplish measures of great utility that are easy of accomplishment? Such measures are never obstructed? Keepest thou the agriculturists not out of thy sight? They do not fear to approach thee? Achievest thou thy measures through persons that are trusted incorruptible, and possessed of practical experience? And, O brave king, I hope, people only know the measures already accomplished by thee and those that have been partially accomplished and are awaiting completion, but not those that are only in contemplation and uncommenced? Have experienced teachers capable of explaining the causes of things and learned in the science of morals and every branch of learning, been appointed to instruct the princes and the chiefs of the army? Buyest thou a single learned man by giving in exchange a thousand ignorant individuals? The man that is learned conferreth the greatest benefit in seasons of distress. Are thy forts always filled with treasure, food, weapons, water, engines and instruments, as also with engineers and bowmen? Even a single minister that is intelligent, brave, with his passions under complete control, and possessed of wisdom and judgment, is capable of conferring the highest prosperity on a king or a king's son. I ask thee, therefore, whether there is even one such minister with thee? Seekest thou to know everything about the eighteen Tirthas of the foe and fifteen of thy own by means of three and three spies all unacquainted with one another? O slayer of all foes, watchest thou all thy enemies with care and attention, and unknown to them? Is the priest thou honourest, possessed of humility, and purity of blood, and renown, and without jealousy and illiberality? Hath any well-behaved, intelligent, and guileless Brahmana, well-up in the ordinance, been employed by thee in the performance of thy daily rites before the sacred fire, and doth he remind thee in proper time as to when thy homa should be performed? Is the astrologer thou hast employed skilled in reading physiognomy, capable of interpreting omens, and competent to neutralise the effect of the disturbances of nature? Have respectable servants been employed by thee in offices that are respectable, indifferent ones in indifferent offices, and low ones in offices that are low? Hast thou appointed to high offices ministers that are guileless and of well conduct for generations and above the common run? Oppressest thou not thy people with cruel and severe punishment? And, O bull of the Bharata race, do thy ministers rule thy kingdom under thy orders? Do thy ministers ever slight thee like sacrificial priests slighting men that are fallen (and incapable of performing any more sacrifices) or like wives slighting husbands that are proud and incontinent in their behaviour? Is the commander of thy forces possessed of sufficient confidence, brave, intelligent, patient, well-conducted, of good birth, devoted to thee, and competent? Treatest thou with consideration and regard the chief officers of thy army that are skilled in every kind of welfare, are forward, well-behaved, and endued with prowess? Givest thou to thy troops their sanctioned rations and pay in the appointed time? Thou dost not oppress them by withholding these? Knowest thou that the misery caused by arrears of pay and irregularity in the distribution of rations driveth the troops to mutiny, and that is called by the learned to be one of the greatest of mischiefs? Are all the principal high-born men devoted to thee, and ready with cheerfulness to lay down their lives in battle for thy sake? I hope no single individual of passions uncontrolled is ever permitted by thee to rule as he likes a number of concerns at the same time appertaining to the army? Is any servant of thine, who hath accomplished well a particular business by the employment of special ability, disappointed in obtaining from thee a little more regard, and an increase of food and pay? I hope thou rewardest persons of learning and humility, and skill in every kind of knowledge with gifts of wealth and honour proportionate to their qualifications. Dost thou support, O bull in the Bharata race, the wives and children of men that have given their lives for thee and have been distressed on thy account? Cherishest thou, O son of Pritha, with paternal affection the foe that hath been weakened, or him also that hath sought thy shelter, having been vanquished in battle? O lord of Earth, art thou equal unto all men, and can every one approach thee without fear, as if thou wert their mother and father? And O bull of the Bharata race, marchest thou, without loss of time, and reflecting well upon three kinds of forces, against thy foe when thou hearest that he is in distress? O subjugator of all foes beginnest thou thy march when the time cometh, having taken into consideration all the omens you might see, the resolutions thou hast made, and that the ultimate victory depends upon the twelve mandalas (such as reserves, ambuscades, &c, and payment of pay to the troops in advance)? And, O persecutor of all foes, givest thou gems and jewels, unto the principal officers of enemy, as they deserve, without thy enemy's knowledge? O son of Pritha, seekest thou to conquer thy incensed foes that are slaves to their passions, having first conquered thy own soul and obtained the mastery over thy own senses? Before thou marchest out against thy foes, dost thou properly employ the four arts of reconciliation, gift (of wealth) producing disunion, and application of force? O monarch, goest thou out against thy enemies, having first strengthened thy own kingdom? And having gone out against them, exertest thou to the utmost to obtain victory over them? And having conquered them, seekest thou to protect them with care? Are thy army consisting of four kinds of forces, viz., the regular troops, the allies, the mercenaries, and the irregulars, each furnished with the eight ingredients, viz., cars, elephants, horses, offices, infantry, camp-followers, spies possessing a thorough knowledge of the country, and ensigns led out against thy enemies after having been well trained by superior officers? O oppressor of all foes, O great king, I hope thou slayest thy foes without regarding their seasons of reaping and of famine? O king, I hope thy servants and agents in thy own kingdom and in the kingdoms of thy foes continue to look after their respective duties and to protect one another. O monarch, I hope trusted servants have been employed by thee to look after thy food, the robes thou wearest and the perfumes thou usest. I hope, O king, thy treasury, barns, stables arsenals, and women's apartments, are all protected by servants devoted to thee and ever seeking thy welfare. I hope, O monarch, thou protectest first thyself from thy domestic and public servants, then from those servants of thy relatives and from one another. Do thy servants, O king, ever speak to thee in the forenoon regarding thy extravagant expenditure in respect of thy drinks, sports, and women? Is thy expenditure always covered by a fourth, a third or a half of thy income? Cherishest thou always, with food and wealth, relatives, superiors, merchants, the aged, and other proteges, and the distressed? Do the accountants and clerks employed by thee in looking after thy income and expenditure, always appraise thee every day in the forenoon of thy income and expenditure? Dismissest thou without fault servants accomplished in business and popular and devoted to thy welfare? O Bharata, dost thou employ superior, indifferent, and low men, after examining them well in offices they deserve? O monarch, employest thou in thy business persons that are thievish or open to temptation, or hostile, or minors? Persecutest thou thy kingdom by the help of thievish or covetous men, or minors, or women? Are the agriculturists in thy kingdom contented. Are large tanks and lakes constructed all over thy kingdom at proper distances, without agriculture being in thy realm entirely dependent on the showers of heaven? Are the agriculturists in thy kingdom wanting in either seed or food? Grantest thou with kindness loans (of seed-grains) unto the tillers, taking only a fourth in excess of every measure by the hundred? O child, are the four professions of agriculture, trade, cattle-rearing, and lending at interest, carried on by honest men? Upon these O monarch, depends the happiness of thy people. O king, do the five brave and wise men, employed in the five offices of protecting the city, the citadel, the merchants, and the agriculturists, and punishing the criminals, always benefit thy kingdom by working in union with one another? For the protection of thy city, have the villages been made like towns, and the hamlets and outskirts of villages like villages? Are all these entirely under thy supervision and sway? Are thieves and robbers that sack thy town pursued by thy police over the even and uneven parts of thy kingdom? Consolest thou women and are they protected in thy realm? I hope thou placest not any confidence in them, nor divulgest any secret before any of them? O monarch, having heard of any danger and having reflected on it also, liest thou in the inner apartments enjoying every agreeable object? Having slept during the second and the third divisions of the night, thinkest thou of religion and profit in the fourth division wakefully. O son of Pandu, rising from bed at the proper time and dressing thyself well, showest thou thyself to thy people, accompanied by ministers conversant with the auspiciousness or otherwise of moments? O represser of all foes, do men dressed in red and armed with swords and adorned with ornaments stand by thy side to protect thy person? O monarch! behavest thou like the god of justice himself unto those that deserve punishment and those that deserve worship, unto those that are dear to thee and those that thou likest not? O son of Pritha, seekest thou to cure bodily diseases by medicines and fasts, and mental illness with the advice of the aged? I hope that the physicians engaged in looking after thy health are well conversant with the eight kinds of treatment and are all attached and devoted to thee. Happeneth it ever, O monarch, that from covetousness or folly or pride thou failest to decide between the plaintiff and the defendant who have come to thee? Deprivest thou, through covetousness or folly, of their pensions the proteges who have sought thy shelter from trustfulness or love? Do the people that inhabit thy realm, bought by thy foes, ever seek to raise disputes with thee, uniting themselves with one another? Are those amongst thy foes that are feeble always repressed by the help of troops that are strong, by the help of both counsels and troops? Are all the principal chieftains (of thy empire) all devoted to thee? Are they ready to lay down their lives for thy sake, commanded by thee? Dost thou worship Brahmanas and wise men according to their merits in respect of various branches of learning? I tell thee, such worship is without doubt, highly beneficial to thee. Hast thou faith in the religion based on the three Vedas and practised by men who have gone before thee? Dost thou carefully follow the practices that were followed by them? Are accomplished Brahmanas entertained in thy house and in thy presence with nutritive and excellent food, and do they also obtain pecuniary gifts at the conclusion of those feasts? Dost thou, with passions under complete control and with singleness of mind, strive to perform the sacrifices called Vajapeya and Pundarika with their full complement of rites? Bowest thou unto thy relatives and superiors, the aged, the gods, the ascetics, the Brahmanas, and the tall trees (banian) in villages, that are of so much benefit to people? O sinless one, causest thou ever grief or anger in any one? Do priests capable of granting thee auspicious fruits ever stand by thy side? O sinless one, are thy inclinations and practices such as I have described them, and as always enhance the duration of life and spread one's renown and as always help the cause of religion, pleasure, and profit? He who conducteth himself according to this way, never findeth his kingdom distressed or afflicted; and that monarch, subjugating the whole earth, enjoyeth a high degree of felicity. O monarch, I hope, no well-behaved, pure-souled, and respected person is ever ruined and his life taken, on a false charge or theft, by thy ministers ignorant of Sastras and acting from greed? And, O bull among men, I hope thy ministers never from covetousness set free a real thief, knowing him to be such and having apprehended him with the booty about him? O Bharata, I hope, thy ministers are never won over by bribes, nor do they wrongly decide the disputes that arise between the rich and the poor. Dost thou keep thyself free from the fourteen vices of kings, viz., atheism, untruthfulness, anger, incautiousness, procrastination, non-visit to the wise, idleness, restlessness of mind, taking counsels with only one man, consultation with persons unacquainted with the science of profit, abandonment of a settled plan, divulgence of counsels, non-accomplishment of beneficial projects, and undertaking everything without reflection? By these, O king, even monarchs firmly seated on their thrones are ruined. Hath thy study of the Vedas, thy wealth and knowledge of the Sastras and marriage been fruitful?'"
Vaisampayana continued,--"After the Rishi had finished, Yudhishthira asked,--'How, O Rishi, do the Vedas, wealth, wife, and knowledge of the Sastras bear fruit?'
"The Rishi answered,--'The Vedas are said to bear fruit when he that hath studied them performeth the Agnihotra and other sacrifices. Wealth is said to bear fruit when he that hath it enjoyeth it himself and giveth it away in charity. A wife is said to bear fruit when she is useful and when she beareth children. Knowledge of the Sastras is said to bear fruit when it resulteth in humility and good behaviour.'"
Vaisampayana continued,--"The great ascetic Narada, having answered Yudhishthira thus, again asked that just ruler,--'Do the officers of thy government, O king, that are paid from the taxes levied on the community, take only their just dues from the merchants that come to thy territories from distant lands impelled by the desire of gain? Are the merchants, O king, treated with consideration in thy capital and kingdom, capable of bringing their goods thither without being deceived by the false pretexts of (both the buyers and the officers of government)?
"'Listenest thou always, O monarch, to the words, fraught with instructions in religion and wealth, of old men acquainted with economic doctrines? Are gifts of honey and clarified butter made to the Brahmanas intended for the increase of agricultural produce, of kine, of fruits and flowers, and for the sake of virtue? Givest thou always, O king, regularly unto all the artisans and artists employed by thee the materials of their works and their wages for periods not more than four months? Examinest thou the works executed by those that are employed by thee, and applaudest thou them before good men, and rewardest thou them, having shewn them proper respect? O bull of the Bharata race, followest thou the aphorisms (of the sage) in respect of every concern particularly those relating to elephants, horses, and cars? O bull of the Bharata race, are the aphorisms relating to the science of arms, as also those that relate to the practice of engines in warfare--so useful to towns and fortified places, studied in thy court? O sinless one, art thou acquainted with all mysterious incantations, and with the secrets of poisons destructive of all foes? Protectest thou thy kingdom from the fear of fire, of snakes and other animals destructive of life, of disease, and Rakshasas? As acquainted thou art with every duty, cherishest thou like a father, the blind, the dumb, the lame, the deformed, the friendless, and ascetics that have no homes. Hast thou banished these six evils, O monarch, viz., sleep, idleness, fear, anger, weakness of mind, and procrastination?'"
Vaisampayana continued,--"The illustrious bull among the Kurus, having heard these words of that best of Brahmanas, bowed down unto him and worshipped his feet. And gratified with everything he heard, the monarch said unto Narada of celestial form,--'I shall do all that thou hast directed, for my knowledge hath expanded under thy advice!' Having said this the king acted conformably to that advice, and gained in time the whole Earth bounded by her belt of seas. Narada again spoke, saying,--'That king who is thus employed in the protection of four orders, Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, and Sudras, passeth his days here happily and attaineth hereafter to the region of Sakra (heaven).'"
Vaisampayana said,--"At the conclusion of Narada's words, king Yudhishthira the just worshipped him duly; and commanded by him the monarch began to reply succinctly to the questions the Rishi had asked.
"Yudhishthira said--'O holy one, the truths of religion and morality thou hast indicated one after another, are just and proper. As regards myself, I duly observe those ordinances to the best of my power. Indeed, the acts that were properly performed by monarchs of yore are, without doubt, to be regarded as bearing proper fruit, and undertaken from solid reasons for the attainment of proper objects. O master, we desire to walk in the virtuous path of those rulers that had, besides, their souls under complete control.'"
Vaisampayana continued,--"Yudhishthira, the son of Pandu, possessed of great glory, having received with reverence the words of Narada and having also answered the Rishi thus, reflected for a moment. And perceiving a proper opportunity, the monarch, seated beside the Rishi, asked Narada sitting at his ease and capable of going into every world at will, in the presence of that assembly of kings, saying,--'Possessed of the speed of mind, thou wanderest over various and many worlds created in days of yore by Brahma, beholding everything. Tell me, I ask thee, if thou hast, O Brahmana, ever beheld before anywhere an assembly room like this of mine or superior to it!' Hearing these words of Yudhishthira the just, Narada smilingly answered the son of Pandu in these sweet accents,--
"Narada said,--'O child, O king I did neither see nor hear of ever before amongst men, any assembly room built of gems and precious stones like this of thine, O Bharata. I shall, however, describe unto thee the rooms of the king of the departed (Yama), of Varuna (Neptune) of great intelligence, of Indra, the King of Gods and also of him who hath his home in Kailasha (Kuvera). I shall also describe unto thee the celestial Sabha of Brahma that dispelleth every kind of uneasiness. All these assembly rooms exhibit in their structure both celestial and human designs and present every kind of form that exists in the universe. And they are ever worshipped by the gods and the Pitris, the Sadhyas, (under-deities called Gana), by ascetics offering sacrifices, with souls under complete command, by peaceful Munis engaged without intermission in Vedic sacrifices with presents to Brahmanas. I shall describe all these to you if, O bull of the Bharata race, thou hast any inclinations to listen to me!'"
Vaisampayana continued,--"Thus addressed by Narada, the high-souled king Yudhishthira the just, with his brothers and all those foremost of Brahmanas (seated around him), joined his hands (in entreaty). And the monarch then asked Narada, saying,--'Describe unto us all those assembly rooms. We desire to listen to thee. O Brahmana, what are the articles with which each of the Sabhas are made of? What is the area of each, and what is the length and breadth of each? Who wait upon the Grandsire in that assembly room? And who also upon Vasava, the Lord of the celestials and upon Yama, the son of Vivaswana? Who wait upon Varuna and upon Kuvera in their respective assembly rooms. O Brahmana Rishi, tell us all about these. We all together desire to hear thee describe them. Indeed, our curiosity is great.'" Thus addressed by the son of Pandu, Narada replied, saying,--"O monarch, hear ye all about those celestial assembly rooms one after another."
"Narada said,--'the celestial assembly room of Sakra is full of lustre. He hath obtained it as the fruit of his own acts. Possessed of the splendour of the sun, it was built, O scion of the Kuru race, by Sakra himself. Capable of going everywhere at will, this celestial assembly house is full one hundred and fifty yojanas in length, and hundred yojanas in breadth, and five yojanas in height. Dispelling weakness of age, grief, fatigue, and fear, auspicious and bestowing good fortune, furnished with rooms and seats and adorned with celestial trees, it is delightful in the extreme. There sitteth in that assembly room, O son of Pritha, on an excellent seat, the Lord of celestials, with his wife Sachi endowed with beauty and affluence. Assuming a form incapable of description for its vagueness, with a crown on his head and bright bracelets on the upper arms, attired in robes of pure white and decked with floral wreaths of many hues, there he sitteth with beauty, fame, and glory by his side. And the illustrious deity of a hundred sacrifices is daily waited upon, O monarch, in that assembly by the Marutas in a body, each leading the life of a householder in the bosom of his family. And the Siddhyas, celestial Rishis, the Sadhyas in all, the gods, and Marutas of brilliant complexion and adorned with golden garlands,--all of them in celestial form and decked in ornaments, always wait upon and worship the illustrious chief of the immortals, that mighty represser of all foes. And O son of Pritha, the celestial Rishis also, all of pure souls, with sins completely washed off and resplendent as the fire, and possessed of energy, and without sorrow of any kind, and freed from the fever of anxiety, and all performers of the Soma sacrifice, also wait upon and worship Indra. And Parasara and Parvata and Savarni and Galava; and Sankha, and the Muni, Gaursiras, and Durvasa, and Krodhana and Swena and the Muni Dhirghatamas; and Pavitrapani, Savarni, Yajnavalkya and Bhaluki; and Udyalaka, Swetaketu, and Tandya, and also Bhandayani; and Havishmat, and Garishta, and king Harischandra; and Hridya, Udarshandilya. Parasarya, Krishivala; Vataskandha, Visakha, Vidhatas and Kala. Karaladanta, Tastri, and Vishwakarman, and Tumuru; and other Rishis, some born of women and others living upon air, and others again living upon fire, these all worship Indra, the wielder of the thunderbolt, the lord of all the worlds. And Sahadeva, and Sunitha, and Valmiki of great ascetic merit; and Samika of truthful speech, and Prachetas ever fulfilling their promises, and Medhatithi, and Vamadeva, and Pulastya, Pulaha and Kratu; and Maruta and Marichi, and Sthanu of great ascetic merit; and Kakshivat, and Gautama, and Tarkhya, and also the Muni Vaishwanara; and the Muni Kalakavrikhiya and Asravya, and also Hiranmaya, and Samvartta, and Dehavya, and Viswaksena of great energy; and Kanwa, and Katyayana, O king, and Gargya, and Kaushika;--all are present there along with the celestial waters and plants; and faith, and intelligence, and the goddess of learning, and wealth, religion, and pleasure; and lightning, O son of Pandu; and the rain-charged clouds, and the winds, and all the loud-sounding forces of heaven; the eastern point, the twenty seven fires conveying the sacrificial butter, Agni and Soma, and the fire of Indra, and Mitra, and Savitri, and Aryaman; Bhaga, Viswa the Sadhyas, the preceptor (Vrihaspati), and also Sukra; and Vishwavasu and Chitrasena, and Sumanas, and also Taruna; the Sacrifices, the gifts to Brahmanas, the planets, and the stars, O Bharata, and the mantras that are uttered in sacrifices--all these are present there. And, O King, many Apsaras and Gandharvas, by various kinds of dances and music both instrumental and vocal, and by the practice of auspicious rites, and by the exhibition of many feats of skill, gratify the lord of the celestials--Satakratu--the illustrious slayer of Vala and Vritra. Besides these, many other Brahmanas and royal and celestial Rishis, all resplendent as the fire, decked in floral wreaths and ornaments, frequently come to and leave that assembly, riding on celestial cars of various kinds. And Vrihaspati and Sukra are present there on all occasions. These and many other illustrious ascetics of rigid vows, and Bhrigu and the seven Rishis who are equal, O king, unto Brahma himself, come to and leave that assembly house, riding on cars beautiful as the car of Soma, and themselves looking as bright therein as Soma himself. This, O mighty armed monarch, is the assembly house, called Pushkaramalini, of Indra of a hundred sacrifices that I have seen. Listen now to the account of Yama's assembly house.'
"Narada said,--'O Yudhisthira, I shall now describe the assembly house of Yama, the son of Vivaswat, which, O son of Pritha, was built by Viswakarma. Listen now to me. Bright as burnished gold, that assembly house, O monarch, covers an area of much more than a hundred yojanas. Possessed of the splendour of the sun, it yieldeth everything that one may desire. Neither very cool nor very hot, it delighteth the heart. In that assembly house there is neither grief nor weakness of age, neither hunger nor thirst. Nothing disagreeable findeth a place there, nor any kind of evil feelings there. Every object of desire, celestial or human, is to be found in that mansion. And all kinds of enjoyable articles, as also of sweet, juicy, agreeable, and delicious edibles in profusion that are licked, sucked, and drunk, are there, O chastiser of all enemies. The floral wreaths in that mansion are of the most delicious fragrance, and the trees that stand around it yield fruits that are desired of them. There are both cold and hot waters and these are sweet and agreeable. In that mansion many royal sages of great sanctity and Brahmana sages also of great purity, cheerfully wait upon, O child, and worship Yama, the son of Vivaswat. And Yayati, Nahusha, Puru, Mandhatri, Somaka, Nriga; the royal sage Trasadasyu, Kritavirya, Sautasravas; Arishtanemi, Siddha, Kritavega, Kriti, Nimi, Pratarddana, Sivi, Matsya, Prithulaksha, Vrihadratha, Vartta, Marutta, Kusika, Sankasya, Sankriti, Dhruva, Chaturaswa, Sadaswormi and king Kartavirya; Bharata and Suratha, Sunitha, Nisatha, Nala, Divodasa, and Sumanas, Amvarisha, Bhagiratha; Vyaswa, Vadhraswa, Prithuvega, Prithusravas, Prishadaswa, Vasumanas, Kshupa, and Sumahavala, Vrishadgu, and Vrishasena, Purukutsa, Dhwajin and Rathin; Arshtisena, Dwilipa, and the high-souled Ushinara; Ausinari, Pundarika, Saryati, Sarava, and Suchi; Anga, Rishta, Vena, Dushmanta, Srinjaya and Jaya; Bhangasuri, Sunitha, and Nishada, and Bahinara; Karandhama, Valhika, Sudymna, and the mighty Madhu; Aila and the mighty king of earth Maruta; Kapota, Trinaka, and Shadeva, and Arjuna also. Vysawa; Saswa and Krishaswa, and king Sasavindu; Rama the son of Dasaratha, and Lakshmana, and Pratarddana; Alarka, and Kakshasena, Gaya, and Gauraswa; Rama the son of Jamadagnya, Nabhaga, and Sagara; Bhuridyumna and Mahaswa, Prithaswa, and also Janaka; king Vainya, Varisena, Purujit, and Janamejaya; Brahmadatta, and Trigarta, and king Uparichara also; Indradyumna, Bhimajanu, Gauraprishta, Nala, Gaya; Padma and Machukunda, Bhuridyumna, Prasenajit; Aristanemi, Sudymna, Prithulauswa, and Ashtaka also; a hundred kings of the Matsya race and hundred of the Vipa and a hundred of the Haya races; a hundred kings of the name of Dhritarashtra, eighty kings of the name of Janamejaya; a hundred monarchs called Brahmadatta, and a hundred kings of the name of Iri; more than two hundred Bhishmas, and also a hundred Bhimas; a hundred Prativindhyas, a hundred Nagas, and a hundred Palasas, and a hundred called Kasa and Kusa; that king of kings Santanu, and thy father Pandu, Usangava, Sata-ratha, Devaraja, Jayadratha; the intelligent royal sage Vrishadarva with his ministers; and a thousand other kings known by the name of Sasa-vindu, and who have died, having performed many grand horse-sacrifices with large presents to the Brahmanas--these holy royal sages of grand achievements and great knowledge of the Sastras, wait upon, O King, and worship the son of Vivaswat in that assembly house. And Agastya and Matanga, and Kala, and Mrityu (Death), performers of sacrifices, the Siddhas, and many Yogins; the Prtris (belonging to the classes--called Agniswattas, Fenapa, Ushampa, Swadhavat, and Verhishada), as also those others that have forms; the wheel of time, and the illustrious conveyer himself of the sacrificial butter; all sinners among human beings, as also those that have died during the winter solstice; these officers of Yama who have been appointed to count the allotted days of everybody and everything; the Singsapa, Palasa, Kasa, and Kusa trees and plants, in their embodied forms, these all, O king, wait upon and worship the god of justice in that assembly house of his. These and many others are present at the Sabha of the king of the Pitris (manes). So numerous are they that I am incapable of describing them either by mentioning their names or deeds. O son of Pritha, the delightful assembly house, moving everywhere at the will of its owner, is of wide extent. It was built by Viswakarma after a long course of ascetic penances. And, O Bharata, resplendent with his own effulgence, it stands glorified in all its beauty. Sannyasis of severe ascetic penance, of excellent vows, and of truthful speech, peaceful and pure and sanctified by holy deeds, of shining bodies and attired in spotless robes, decked with bracelets and floral garlands, with ear-rings of burnished gold, and adorned with their own holy acts as with the marks of their order (painted over their bodies), constantly visit that Sabha (Assembly). Many illustrious Gandharvas, and many Apsaras fill every part of that mansion with music; both instrumental and vocal and with sounds of laughter and dance. And, O son of Pritha, excellent perfumes, and sweet sounds and garlands of celestial flowers always contribute towards making that mansion supremely blest. And hundreds of thousands of virtuous persons, of celestial beauty and great wisdom, always wait upon and worship the illustrious Yama, the lord of created beings in that assembly house. Such, O monarch, is the Sabha, of the illustrious king of the Pitris! I shall now describe unto the assembly house of Varuna also called Pushkaramalini!'
"Narada said--'O Yudhishthira, the celestial Sabha of Varuna is unparalleled in splendour. In dimensions it is similar to that of Yama. Its walls and arches are all of pure white. It hath been built by Viswakarma (the celestial architect) within the waters. It is surrounded on all sides by many celestial trees made of gems and jewels and yielding excellent fruits and flowers. And many plants with their weight of blossoms, blue and yellow, and black and darkish, and white and red, that stand there, or excellent bowers around. Within those bowers hundreds and thousands of birds of diverse species, beautiful and variegated, always pour forth their melodies. The atmosphere of that mansion is extremely delightful, neither cold nor hot. Owned by Varuna, that delightful assembly house of pure white consists of many rooms and is furnished with many seats. There sitteth Varuna attired in celestial robe, decked in celestial ornaments and jewels, with his queen, adorned with celestial scents and besmeared with paste of celestial fragrance. The Adityas wait upon and worship the illustrious Varuna, the lord of the waters. And Vasuki and Takshaka, and the Naga called Airavana; Krishna and Lohita; Padma and Chitra endued with great energy; the Nagas called Kamvala and Aswatara; and Dhritarashtra and Valahaka; Matimat and Kundadhara and Karkotaka and Dhananjaya; Panimat and the mighty Kundaka, O lord of the Earth; and Prahlada and Mushikada, and Janamejaya,--all having auspicious marks and mandalas and extended hoods;--these and many other snakes, O Yudhishthira, without anxiety of any kind, wait upon and worship the illustrious Varuna. And, O king, Vali the son of Virochana, and Naraka the subjugator of the whole Earth; Sanghraha and Viprachitti, and those Danavas called Kalakanja; and Suhanu and Durmukha and Sankha and Sumanas and also Sumati; and Ghatodara, and Mahaparswa, and Karthana and also Pithara and Viswarupa, Swarupa and Virupa, Mahasiras; and Dasagriva, Vali, and Meghavasas and Dasavara; Tittiva, and Vitabhuta, and Sanghrada, and Indratapana--these Daityas and Danavas, all bedecked with ear-rings and floral wreaths and crowns, and attired in the celestial robes, all blessed with boons and possessed of great bravery, and enjoying immortality, and all well of conduct and of excellent vows, wait upon and worship in that mansion the illustrious Varuna, the deity bearing the noose as his weapon. And, O king, there are also the four oceans, the river Bhagirathee, the Kalindi, the Vidisa, the Venwa, the Narmada of rapid current; the Vipasa, the Satadu, the Chandrabhaga, the Saraswati; the Iravati, the Vitasta, the Sindhu, the Devanadi; the Godavari, the Krishnavenwa and that queen of rivers the Kaveri; the Kimpuna, the Visalya and the river Vaitarani also; the Tritiya, the Jeshthila, and the great Sone (Soane); the Charmanwati and the great river Parnasa; the Sarayu, the Varavatya, and that queen of rivers the Langali, the Karatoya, the Atreyi, the red Mahanada, the Laghanti, the Gomati, the Sandhya, and also the Trisrotasi--these and other rivers which are all sacred and are world-renowned places of pilgrimage, as also other rivers and sacred waters and lakes and wells and springs, and tanks, large or small, in their personified form, O Bharata, wait upon and worship the lord Varuna. The points of the heavens, the Earth, and all the Mountains, as also every species of aquatic animals, all worship Varuna there. And various tribes of Gandharvas and Apsaras, devoted to music, both vocal and instrumental, wait upon Varuna, singing eulogistic hymns unto him. And all those mountains that are noted for being both delightful and rich in jewels, wait (in their personified forms) in that Sabha, enjoying sweet converse with one another. And the chief minister of Varuna, Sunabha by name, surrounded by his sons and grandsons, also attend upon his master, along with (the personified form) of a sacred water called go. These all, in their personified forms, worship the deity. O bull of the Bharata race, such is the assembly room of Varuna seen by me before, in the course of my wanderings. Listen now to the account I give of the assembly room of Kuvera.'
"Narada said,--'Possessed of great splendour, the assembly house of Vaisravana, O king, is a hundred yojanas in length and seventy yojanas in breadth. It was built, O king, by Vaisravana himself using his ascetic power. Possessing the splendour of the peaks of Kailasa, that mansion eclipses by its own the brilliance of the Moon himself. Supported by Guhyakas, that mansion seems to be attached to the firmament. Of celestial make, it is rendered extremely handsome with high chambers of gold. Extremely delightful and rendered fragrant with celestial perfumes, it is variegated with numberless costly jewels. Resembling the peaks of a mass of white clouds, it seems to be floating in the air. Painted with colours of celestial gold, it seems to be decked with streaks of lightning. Within that mansion sitteth on an excellent seat bright as the sun and covered with celestial carpets and furnished with a handsome footstool, king Vaisravana of agreeable person, attired in excellent robes and adorned with costly ornaments and ear-rings of great brilliance, surrounded by his thousand wives. Delicious and cooling breezes murmuring through forests of tall Mandaras, and bearing fragrance of extensive plantations of jasmine, as also of the lotuses on the bosom of the river Alaka and of the Nandana-gardens, always minister to the pleasure of the King of the Yakshas. There the deities with the Gandharvas surrounded by various tribes of Apsaras, sing in chorus, O king, notes of celestial sweetness. Misrakesi and Rambha, and Chitrasena, and Suchismita; and Charunetra, and Gritachi and Menaka, and Punjikasthala; and Viswachi Sahajanya, and Pramlocha and Urvasi and Ira, and Varga and Sauraveyi, and Samichi, and Vududa, and Lata--these and a thousand other Apsaras and Gandharvas, all well-skilled in music and dance, attend upon Kuvera, the lord of treasures. And that mansion, always filled with the notes of instrumental and vocal music, as also with the sounds of dance of various tribes of Gandharvas, and Apsaras hath become extremely charming and delicious. The Gandharvas called Kinnaras, and others called Naras, and Manibhadra, and Dhanada, and Swetabhadra and Guhyaka; Kaseraka, Gandakandu, and the mighty Pradyota; Kustumvuru, Pisacha, Gajakarna, and Visalaka, Varaha-Karna, Tamraushtica, Falkaksha, and Falodaka; Hansachuda, Sikhavarta, Vibhishana, Pushpanana, Pingalaka, Sonitoda and Pravalaka; Vrikshavaspa-niketa, and Chiravasas--these O Bharata, and many other Yakshas by hundred and thousands always wait upon Kuvera. The goddess Lakshmi always stayeth there, also Kuvera's son Nalakuvera. Myself and many others like myself often repair thither. Many Brahmana Rishis and celestial Rishis also repair there often. Many Rakshasas, and many Gandharvas, besides those that have been named, wait upon the worship, in that mansion, the illustrious lord of all treasures. And, O tiger among kings, the illustrious husband of Uma and lord of created things, the three-eyed Mahadeva, the wielder of the trident and the slayer of the Asura called Bhaga-netra, the mighty god of the fierce bow, surrounded by multitudes of spirits in their hundreds and thousands, some of dwarfish stature, some of fierce visage, some hunch-backed, some of blood-red eyes, some of frightful yells, some feeding upon fat and flesh, and some terrible to behold, but all armed with various weapons and endued with the speed of wind, with the goddess (Parvati) ever cheerful and knowing no fatigue, always waiteth here upon their friend Kuvera, the lord of treasures. And hundreds of Gandharva chiefs, with cheerful hearts and attired in their respective robes and Viswavasu, and Haha and Huhu; and Tumvuru and Parvatta, and Sailusha; and Chitrasena skilled in music and also Chitraratha,--these and innumerable Gandharvas worship the lord of treasures. And Chakradhaman, the chief of the Vidyadharas, with his followers, waiteth in that mansion upon the lord of treasures. And Kinnaras by hundreds and innumerable kings with Bhagadatta as their chief, and Druma, the chief of the Kimpurushas, and Mahendra, the chief of the Rakshasas, and Gandhamadana accompanied by many Yakshas and Gandharvas and many Rakshasas wait upon the lord of treasures. The virtuous Vibhishana also worshippeth there his elder brother the lord Kuvera (Croesus). The mountains of Himavat, Paripatra, Vindhya, Kailasa, Mandara, Malaya, Durdura, Mahendra, Gandhamadana, Indrakila, Sunava, and Eastern and the Western hills--these and many other mountains, in their personified forms, with Meru standing before all, wait upon and worship the illustrious lord of treasures. The illustrious Nandiswaras, and Mahakala, and many spirits with arrowy ears and sharp-pointed mouths, Kaksha, Kuthimukha, Danti, and Vijaya of great ascetic merit, and the mighty white bull of Siva roaring deep, all wait in that mansion. Besides these many other Rakshasas and Pisachas (devils) worship Kuvera in that assembly house. The son of Pulastya (Kuvera) formerly used always to worship in all the modes and sit, with permission obtained, beside the god of gods, Siva, the creator of the three worlds, that supreme Deity surrounded by his attendants. One day the exalted Bhava (Siva) made friendship with Kuvera. From that time, O king, Mahadeva always sitteth on the mansion of his friend, the lord of treasures. Those best of all jewels, those princes of all gems in the three worlds, viz., Sankha and Padma, in their personified forms, accompanied by all the jewels of the earth (also in their personified forms) worship Kuvera.'
"'This delightful assembly house of Kuvera that I have seen, attached to the firmament and capable of moving along it, is such, O king. Listen now to the Sabha I describe unto thee, belonging to Brahma the Grandsire.'
"Narada said,--'Listen to me, O child, as I tell thee of the assembly house of the Grandsire, that house which none can describe, saying it is such. In the Krita (golden) age of old, O king, the exalted deity Aditya (once) came down from heaven into the world of men. Having seen before the assembly-house of Brahma the Self-created, Aditya was cheerfully wandering over the Earth in human form, desirous of beholding what could be seen here. It was on that occasion, O son of Pandu, that the god of day spoke unto me, O bull of the Bharata race, of that celestial Sabha (assembly) of the Grandsire, immeasurable and immaterial and indescribable, as regards form and shape, and capable of delighting the heart of every creature by its splendour. Hearing, O bull of the Bharata race, of the merits of that Sabha, I became, O king, desirous of beholding it. I then asked Aditya, saying,--"O exalted one, I desire to behold the sacred Sabha of the Grandsire. O lord of light, tell me, O exalted one, by what ascetic penances, or by what acts, or by what charms or by what rites, I may be enabled to behold that excellent sin-cleaning Sabha."--Hearing these words of mine, Aditya the god of day, the deity of a thousand rays, answered me, "O chief of the Bharata race, thus: Observe thou, with mind rapt in meditation, the Brahma vow extending for a thousand years." Repairing then to the breast of the Himavat, I commenced that great vow, and after I had completed it the exalted and sinless deity Surya endued with great energy, and knowing no fatigue, took me with him to the Sabha of the Grandsire. O king, it is impossible to describe that Sabha, saying--it is such, for within a moment it assumes a different form that language fails to paint. O Bharata, it is impossible to indicate its dimensions or shape. I never saw anything like it before. Ever contributing to the happiness of those within it, its atmosphere is neither cold nor warm. Hunger and thirst or any kind of uneasiness disappear as soon as one goeth thither. It seems to be made up of brilliant gems of many kinds. It doth not seem to be supported on columns, it knoweth no deterioration, being eternal. That self effulgent mansion, by its numerous blazing, celestial indications of unrivalled splendour, seems to surpass the moon, the sun and the fire in splendour. Stationed in heaven, it blazes forth, censuring as it were the maker of the day. In that mansion O king, the Supreme Deity, the Grand-sire of all created things, having himself created everything by virtue of his creative illusion, stayeth ever. And Daksha, Prachetas, Pulaha, Marichi, the master Kasyapa, Bhrigu, Atri, and Vasistha and Gautama, and also Angiras, and Pulastya, Kraut, Prahlada, and Kardama, these Prajapatis, and Angirasa of the Atharvan Veda, the Valikhilyas, the Marichipas; Intelligence, Space, Knowledge, Air, Heat, Water, Earth, Sound, Touch, Form, Taste, Scent; Nature, and the Modes (of Nature), and the elemental and prime causes of the world,--all stay in that mansion beside the lord Brahma. And Agastya of great energy, and Markandeya, of great ascetic power, and Jamadagni and Bharadwaja, and Samvarta, and Chyavana, and exalted Durvasa, and the virtuous Rishyasringa, the illustrious Sanatkumara of great ascetic merit and the preceptor in all matters affecting Yoga; Asita and Devala, and Jaigishavya acquainted with truth; Rishava, Ajitasatru, and Mani of great energy; and the Science of healing with its eight branches--all in their personified forms, O Bharata; the moon with all the stars and the stellar conjunctions; Aditya with all his rays; the winds; the Sacrifices, the Declarations of purpose (in sacrifices), the Vital principles,--these illustrious and vow-observing beings in their personified forms, and many others too numerous to mention, attend all upon Brahma in that mansion. Wealth and Religion and Desire, and Joy, and Aversion, and Asceticism and Tranquillity--all wait together upon the Supreme Deity in that palace. The twenty tribes of the Gandharvas and Apsaras, as also their seven other tribes, and all the Lokapalas (chief protectors of several regions), and Sukra, and Vrihaspati, and Vudha, and Angaraka (Mangala), Sani, Rahu, and the other planets; the Mantras (of the Sama Veda), the special Mantras (of the same Veda); (the rites of) Harimat and Vasumat, the Adityas with Indra, the two Agnis mentioned by name (viz. Agnisoma and Indragni), the Marutas, Viswakarman, and the Vasus, O Bharata; the Pitris, and all kinds of sacrificial libations, the four Vedas. viz., Rig, Sama, Yajuh, and Atharva; all Sciences and branches of learning; Histories and all minor branches of learning; the several branches of the Vedas; the planets, the Sacrifices, the Soma, all the deities; Savitri (Gayatri), the seven kinds of rhyme; Understanding, Patience, Memory, Wisdom, Intelligence, Fame, Forgiveness; the Hymns of the Sama Veda; the Science of hymns in general, and various kinds of Verses and Songs; various Commentaries with arguments;--all in their personified forms, O king, and various Dramas and Poems and Stories and abridged Glosses--these also, and many others wait upon the Supreme Deity in that Sabha, Kshanas, Lavas, Muhurtas, Day, Night, Fortnights, Months, the six Seasons, O Bharata, Years, Yugas, the four kinds of Days and Nights (viz., appearing to man, to the Pitris, to the gods, and to Brahma) and that eternal, indestructible, undeteriorating, excellent Wheel of Time and also the Wheel of Virtue,--these always wait there, O Yudhishthira; and Aditi, Diti, Danu, Surasa, Vinata, Ira, Kalika, Suravi, Devi, Sarama, Gautami and the goddesses Pradha, and Kadru;--these mothers of the celestials, and Rudrani, Sree, Lakshmi, Bhadra, Shashthi, the Earth, Ganga, Hri, Swaha, Kriti, the goddess Sura, Sachi Pushti, Arundhati, Samvritti, Asa, Niyati, Srishti, Rati,--these and many other goddesses wait upon the Creator of all. The Adityas, Vasus, Rudras, Marutas, Aswinas, the Viswadevas Sadhyas, and the Pitris gifted with the speed of the mind; these all wait there upon the Grandsire. And, O bull amongst men, know thou that there are seven classes of Pitris, of which four classes have embodied forms and the remaining three without embodied forms. It is well known that the illustrious Vairajas and Agniswattas and Garhapattyas (three classes of Pitris) range in heaven. And those amongst the Pitris that are called the Somapas, the Ekasringras, the Chaturvedas, and the Kalas, are ever worshipped amongst the four orders of men. Gratified with the Soma (juice), first, these gratify Soma afterwards. All these tribes of Pitris wait upon the Lord of the creation and cheerfully worship the Supreme Deity of immeasurable energy. And Rakshasas, Pisachas, the Danavas and Guhyakas; Nagas, Birds, and various animals; and all mobile and immobile great beings;--all worship the Grandsire. And Purandara the chief of the celestials, and Varuna and Kuvera and Yama, and Mahadeva accompanied by Uma, always repair thither. And, O king of kings, Mahasena (Kartikeya) also adoreth there the Grandsire. Narayana himself, and the celestial Rishis, and those Rishis called Valakhillyas, and all beings born of females and all those not born of females, and whatever else is seen in the three worlds--both mobile and immobile, were all seen by me there, know O king. And eighty thousand Rishis with vital seed drawn up, and O Pandu, fifty thousand Rishis having sons, were all seen by me there. And all the dwellers in heaven repairing thither behold the Supreme Deity when they please, and worshipping him with a bow of their head return whence they came. And, O king of men, the Grandsire of all created beings, the Soul of the universe, the Self create Brahma of immeasurable intelligence and glory, equally kind unto all creatures, honoureth as they deserve, and gratifieth with sweet speech and gift of wealth and other enjoyable articles, the gods, the Daityas, the Nagas, the Brahmanas, the Yakshas, the Birds, the Kaleyas, the Gandharvas, the Apsaras, and all other exalted beings that came to him as his guests. And that delicious Sabha, O child, is always crowded with persons coming and going. Filled with every kind of energy, and worshipped by Brahmarshis, that celestial Sabha blazes forth with the graceful possessions of Brahma and looks extremely handsome, O tiger among kings as this Sabha of yours is unrivalled in the world of men, so is that Sabha of Brahma, seen by me unrivalled in all the worlds. I have seen these Sabhas, O Bharata, in regions of the celestials. This thy Sabha is unquestionably the foremost in the world of men!'
"Yudhishthira said,--'O thou foremost of eloquent men, as thou hast described the different Sabhas unto me, it appeareth that almost all the monarchs of the earth are to be found in the Sabha of Yama. And, O master, almost all the Nagas, and principal Daityas, and rivers, and oceans, are to be found in the Sabha of Varuna. And so the Yakshas, the Guhyakas, the Rakshasas, the Gandharvas and Apsaras and the Deity (Yama) having the bull for his vehicle, are to be found in the Sabha of the lord of treasures. Thou hast said that in the Sabha of the Grandsire are to be seen all the great Rishis, all the gods, all the branches of learning. As regards the Sabha of Sakra, however, thou hast named, O Muni, all the gods, the Gandharvas, and various Rishis. But, O great Muni, thou hast mentioned one and only one king, viz., the royal Rishi Harishchandra as living in the Sabha of the illustrious chief of the gods. What act was performed by that celebrated king, or what ascetic penances with steady vows, in consequence of which he hath been equal to Indra himself? O Brahmana, how didst thou also meet with my father, the exalted Pandu, now a guest in the region of the Pitris? O exalted one of excellent vows hath he told thee anything? O tell me all as I am exceedingly curious to hear all this from thee.'
"Narada said,--'O king of kings, I shall tell thee all
that thou askest me about Harischandra, I shall presently tell thee of his high
excellence. He was a powerful king, in fact, an emperor over all the kings of
the earth. Indeed, all the kings of the earth obeyed his sway. O monarch,
mounted alone upon a victorious car adorned with gold, that king by the prowess
of his weapons brought the whole earth with her seven islands under his sway.
And, O monarch, having subjugated the whole earth with her mountains, forests,
and woods, he made preparations for the great sacrifice called the Rajasuya.
And all the kings of the earth brought at his command wealth unto that
sacrifice. All of them consented to become distributors of food and gifts unto
the Brahmanas that were fed on the occasion. At that sacrifice king
Harishchandra gave away unto all who asked, wealth that was five times what
each had solicited. At the conclusion of the sacrifice, the king gratified the
Brahmanas that came from various countries with large presents of various kinds
of wealth. The Brahmanas gratified with various kinds of food and enjoyable
articles, given away unto them to the extent of their desires, and with the
heaps of jewels distributed amongst them, began to say,--"King
Harischandra is superior to all kings in energy and renown."--And know, O
monarch, O bull of the Bharata race, it was for this reason that Harischandra
shone more brightly than thousands of other kings. The powerful Harischandra
having concluded his great sacrifice, became installed, O king, in the
sovereignty of the earth and looked resplendent on his throne. O bull of the
Bharata race, all those monarchs that perform the sacrifice of Rajasuya,
(attaining to the region of Indra) pass their time in felicity in Indra's
company. And, O bull of the Bharata race, those kings also that yield up their
lives without turning their backs on the field of battle attain to the
Vaisampayana said,--"O Janamejaya, having said this unto the son of Pritha, Narada went away, accompanied by those Rishis with whom he had come. And after Narada had gone away, king Yudhishthira, O thou of the Kuru race, began to think, along with his brothers, of that foremost of sacrifices called Rajasuya."
Vaisampayana said,--"Yudhishthira, having heard these words of Narada, began to sigh heavily. And, O Bharata, engaged in his thoughts about the Rajasuya, the king had no peace of mind. Having heard of this glory of the illustrious monarchs (of old) and being certain about the acquisition of regions of felicity by performers of sacrifices in consequence of their sacred deeds, and thinking especially of that royal sage Harischandra who had performed the great sacrifice king Yudhishthira desired to make preparations for the Rajasuya sacrifice. Then worshipping his counsellors and others present at his Sabha, and worshipped by them in return, he began to discuss with them about that sacrifice. Having reflected much, that king of kings, that bull amongst the Kurus, inclined his mind towards making preparations for the Rajasuya. That prince of wonderful energy and prowess, however, reflecting upon virtue and righteousness, again set his heart to find out what would be for the good of all his people. For Yudhishthira, that foremost of all virtuous men, always kind unto his subjects, worked for the good of all without making any distinctions. Indeed, shaking off both anger and arrogance, Yudhishthira always said,--'Give unto each what is due to each,'--and the only sounds that he could hear were,--'Blessed be Dharma! Blessed be Dharma!' Yudhishthira conducting himself thus and giving paternal assurance to everybody, there was none in the kingdom who entertained any hostile feelings towards him. He therefore came to be called Ajatasatru (one with no enemy at all). The king cherished every one as belonging to his family, and Bhima ruled over all justly. Arjuna, used to employing both his hands with equal skill, protected the people from (external) enemies. And the wise Sahadeva administered justice impartially. And Nakula behaved towards all with humility that was natural to him. Owing to all this, the kingdom became free from disputes and fear of every kind. And all the people became attentive to their respective occupations. The rain became so abundant as to leave no room for desiring more; and the kingdom grew in prosperity. And in consequence of the virtues of the king, money-lenders, the articles required for sacrifices, cattle-rearing, tillage, and traders, all and everything grew in prosperity. Indeed, during the reign of Yudhishthira who was ever devoted to truth, there was no extortion, no stringent realisation of arrears of rent, no fear of disease, of fire, or of death by poisoning and incantations, in the kingdom. It was never heard at that time that thieves or cheats or royal favourites ever behaved wrongfully towards the king or towards one another amongst themselves. Kings conquered on the six occasions (of war, treaty, &c) were wont to wait upon him in order to do good unto the monarch and worship him ever, while the traders of different classes came to pay him the taxes leviable on their respective occupations. And accordingly during the reign of Yudhishthira who was ever devoted to virtue, his dominion grew in prosperity. Indeed, the prosperity of the kingdom was increased not by these alone but even by persons wedded to voluptuousness and indulging in all luxuries to their fill. And the king of kings, Yudhishthira, whose sway extended over all, was possessed of every accomplishment and bore everything with patience. And, O king, whatever countries the celebrated and illustrious monarch conquered, the people everywhere, from Brahmanas to swains, were all more attached to him than to their own fathers and mothers."
Vaisampayana said,--"King Yudhishthira, then, that foremost of speakers, summoning together his counsellors and brothers, asked them repeatedly about the Rajasuya sacrifice. Those ministers in a body, thus asked by the wise Yudhishthira desirous of performing the sacrifice, then told him these words of grave import,--'One already in possession of a kingdom desireth all the attributes of an emperor by means of that sacrifice which aideth a king in acquiring the attributes of Varuna. O prince of Kuru race, thy friends think that as thou art worthy of the attributes of an emperor, the time is even come for thee for the performance of the Rajasuya sacrifice. The time for the performance of that sacrifice in which Rishis of austere vows kindle six fires with mantras of the Sama Veda, is come for thee in consequence of thy Kshatriya possessions. At the conclusion of the Rajasuya sacrifice when the performer is installed in the sovereignty of the empire, he is rewarded with the fruits of all sacrifices including the Agnihotra. It is for this that he is called the conqueror of all. Thou art quite able, O strong-armed one, to perform this sacrifice. All of us are obedient to thee. Soon will you be able, O great king, to perform the Rajasuya sacrifice. Therefore, O great king, let thy resolution be taken to perform this sacrifice without further discussion.' Thus spoke unto the king all his friends and counsellors separately and jointly. And, O king, Yudhishthira that slayer of all enemies, having heard these virtuous, bold, agreeable and weighty words of theirs, accepted them mentally. And having heard those words of his friends and counsellors, and knowing his own strength also, the king, O Bharata, repeatedly thought over the matter. After this the intelligent and virtuous Yudhishthira, wise in counsel, again consulted with his brothers, with the illustrious Ritwijas about him, with his ministers and with Dhaumya and Dwaipayana and others."
"Yudhishthira said,--'How may this wish that I entertain of performing the excellent sacrifice of Rajasuya that is worthy of an emperor, bear fruit, in consequence of my faith and speech alone.'"
Vaisampayana said,--"O thou of eyes like lotus-petals,
thus asked by the king, they replied at that time unto Yudhishthira the just in
these words,--'Being conversant with the dictates of morality, thou art, O
king, worthy to perform the grand sacrifice of Rajasuya.' After the Ritwijas
and the Rishis had told these words unto the king, his ministers and brothers
highly approved of the speech. The king, however, possessed of great wisdom,
and with mind under complete control, actuated by the desire of doing good unto
the world, again resolved the matter in his mind, thinking of his own strength
and means, the circumstances of time and place and his income and expenditure.
For he knew that the wise never come to grief owing to their always acting
after full deliberation. Thinking that the sacrifice should not be commenced,
pursuant to his own resolution only, Yudhishthira, carefully bearing upon his
shoulder the weight of affairs thought of Krishna that persecutor of all
sinners as the fittest person to decide the matter, in as much as he knew him
to be the foremost of all persons, possessed of immeasurable energy,
strong-armed, without birth but born amongst men from Will alone. Reflecting
upon his god-like feats the son of Pandu concluded that there was nothing that
was unknown to him, nothing that he could not achieve, and nothing that he
could not bear, and Yudhishthira, the son of Pritha, having come to this
settled resolution soon sent a messenger unto that master of all beings, conveying
through him blessings and speeches such as one senior in age might send to one
that is younger. And that messenger riding in a swift car arrived amongst the
Yadavas and approached
"Yudhishthira said,--'I have wished to perform the Rajasuya sacrifice. That sacrifice, however, cannot be performed by one's wishing alone to perform it. Thou knowest, O Krishna, even thing about the means by which it may be accomplished. He alone can achieve this sacrifice in whom everything is possible, who is worshipped everywhere and who is the king of kings. My friends and counsellors approaching me have said that I should perform that sacrifice. But, O Krishna, in respect of that matter, thy words shall be my guide. Of counsellers some from friendship do not notice the difficulties; others from motives of self-interest say only what is agreeable. Some again regard that which is beneficial to themselves as worthy of adoption. Men are seen to counsel thus on matters awaiting decision. But thou, O Krishna, art above such motives. Thou hast conquered both desire and anger. It behoveth thee to tell me what is most beneficial to the world.'
"Yudhishthira said,--'Intelligent as thou art, thou hast said what none else is capable of saying. There is none else on earth who is settler of all doubts. Behold, there are kings in every province employed in benefiting their respective selves. But no one amongst them hath been able to achieve the imperial dignity. Indeed, the title emperor is difficult of acquisition. He that knoweth the valour and strength of others never applaudeth himself. He, indeed, is really worthy of applause (worship) who, engaged in encounters with his enemies, beareth himself commendably. O thou supporter of the dignity of the Vrishni race, man's desires and propensities, like the wide earth itself adorned with many jewels, are varied and extensive. As experience can seldom be gained but by travelling in regions remote from one's home, so salvation can never be attained except by acting according to principles that are very high, compared with the ordinary level of our desire and propensities. I regard peace of mind as the highest object here, for from that quality may proceed my prosperity. In my judgment, if I undertake to celebrate this sacrifice, I shall never win the highest reward. O Janardana, endued with energy and intelligence, these that have been born in our race think that some one amongst them will at one time become the foremost amongst all Kshatriyas. But, O exalted one, we also were all frightened by the fear of Jarasandha and, O sinless one, by the wickedness of that monarch. O thou invincible in battle, the might of thy arm is my refuge. When, therefore, thou taken fright at Jarasandha's might, how should I regard myself strong in comparison with him? Madhava, O thou of the Vrishni race, I am repeatedly depressed by the thought whether Jarasandha is capable or not of being slain by thee, by Rama, by Bhimasena, or by Arjuna. But what shall I say, O Keshava? Thou art my highest authority on everything.'
"On hearing these words, Bhima well-skilled in speech
said,--'That king who is without exertion, or who being weak and without
resources entereth into hostility with one that is strong, perisheth like an
ant-hill. It may be generally seen, however, that even a king that is weak may
vanquish an enemy that is strong and obtain the fruition of all his wishes, by
wakefulness and by the application of policy. In
"Yudhishthira said,--'Desirous of the imperial dignity but acting from selfish motives and relying upon courage alone, how, O Krishna, can I despatch ye (unto Jarasandha)? Both Bhima and Arjuna, I regard as my eyes, and thee, O Janardana as my mind. How shall I live, deprived of my eyes and mind. Yama himself cannot vanquish in battle the mighty host of Jarasandha that is endued, besides, with terrible valour. What valour can ye exhibit against it. This affair that promises to terminate otherwise may lead to great mischief. It is my opinion, therefore, that the proposed task should not be undertaken. Listen, O Krishna, to what I for one think. O Janardana, desisting from this act seemeth to me to be beneficial. My heart to-day is afflicted. The Rajasuya appeareth to me difficult of accomplishment.'"
Vaisampayana said,--"Arjuna who had obtained that excellent of bows and that couple of inexhaustible quivers, and that car with that banner, as also that assembly room, now addressed Yudhishthira and said,--'I have obtained, O king, a bow and weapons and arrows and energy and allies and dominions and fame and strength. Those are always difficult of acquisition, however much they may be desired. Learned men of repute always praise in good society nobleness of descent. But nothing is equal to might. Indeed, O monarch, there is nothing I like more than prowess. Born in a race noted for its valour, one that is without valour is scarcely worthy of regard. One, however, possessed of valour, that is born in a race not noted for it, is much superior to the former. He, O king, is a Kshatriya in every thing who increaseth his fame and possessions by the subjugation of his enemies. And he that is possessed of valour, though destitute of all (other) merits, will vanquish his foes. One, however, that is destitute of valour, though possessed of every (other) merit, can scarcely accomplish anything. Every merit exists by the side of valour in an incipient state. Concentration of attention, exertion and destiny exist as the three causes of victory. One, however, that is possessed of valour doth not yet deserve success if he acts carelessly. It is for this that an enemy endued with strength sometimes suffers death at the hands of his foes. As meanness overtakes the weak, so folly sometimes overtakes the strong. A king, therefore, that is desirous of victory, should avoid both these causes of destruction. If, for the purpose of our sacrifice, we endeavour to slay Jarasandha and rescue the kings kept by him for a cruel purpose, there is no higher act which we could employ ourselves in. If, however, we do not undertake the task, the world will always think us incompetent. We have certainly the competence, O king! Why should you, therefore, regard us as incompetent? Those that have become Munis desirous of achieving tranquillity of souls, obtain yellow robes with ease. So if we vanquish the foe, the imperial dignity will easily be ours. We shall, therefore fight the foe.'
"Vasudeva said,--'Arjuna hath indicated what the inclination should be of one that is born in the Bharata race, especially of one who is the son of Kunti. We know not when death will overtake us, in the night or in the day. Nor have we ever heard that immortality hath been achieved by desisting from fight. This, therefore, is the duty of men, viz., to attack all enemies in accordance with the principles laid down in the ordinance. This always gives satisfaction to the heart. Aided by good policy, if not frustrated by Destiny, an undertaking becomes crowned with success. If both parties aided by such means encounter each other, one must obtain ascendency over the other, for both cannot win or lose. A battle however, if directed by bad policy which again is destitute of the well-known arts, ends in defeat or destruction. If, again, both parties are equally circumstanced, the result becomes doubtful. Both, however, cannot win. When such is the case, why should we not, aided by good policy, directly approach the foe; and destroy him, like the current of the river uprooting a tree? If, disguising our own faults, we attack the enemy taking advantage of his loopholes, why should we not succeed? Indeed, the policy of intelligent men, is that one should not fight openly with foes that are exceedingly powerful and are at the head of their well-arrayed forces. This too is my opinion. If, however, we accomplish our purpose secretly entering the abode of our foe and attacking his person, we shall never earn obloquy. That bull among men--Jarasandha--alone enjoyeth unfaded glory, like unto him who is the self in the heart of every created being. But I see his destruction before me. Desirous of protecting our relatives we will either slay him in battle or shall ascend to heaven being ourselves slain in the end by him.'
"Yudhishthira said--'O Krishna, who is this Jarasandha? What is his energy and what is his prowess, that having touched thee he hath not been burnt like an insect at the touch of fire?'
"Krishna said,--'some time after this, the great
ascetic, the exalted Chandakausika, again came into the country of the
Vaisampayana continued,--"King Vrihadratha, having
lived for some time in the woods and practised ascetic penances, ascended to
heaven at last with his wives. King Jarasandha, also, as uttered by Kausika,
having received those numerous boons ruled his kingdom like a father. Some time
after when king Kansa was slain by Vasudeva, an enmity arose between him and
Vaisampayana continued,--"Thus addressed by the exalted
one, Yudhishthira, beholding both Bhima and Arjuna standing with cheerful
faces, replied, saying--'O Achyuta, O Achyuta, thou slayer of all enemies, say
not so. Thou art the lord of the Pandavas! We are dependent on thee. What thou
sayest, O Govinda, is consistent with wise counsels. Thou never leadest those
upon whom Prosperity hath turned her back. I who stay under thy command regard
that Jarasandha is already slain, that the monarchs confined by him have
already been set free, that the Rajasuya hath already been accomplished by me.
O lord of the universe, O thou best of persons, watchfully act thou so that
this task may be accomplished. Without ye then I dare not live, like a
sorrowful man afflicted with disease, and bereft of the three attributes of
morality, pleasure and wealth. Partha cannot live without Sauri (
"Vasudeva said,--'behold, O Partha, the great capital
Vaisampayana said,--"Thus saying those brothers of
abundant energy, viz., he of the Vrishni race and the two Pandavas entered the
"Jarasandha said,--'I do not recollect if I ever acted injuriously towards ye! Even upon a careful mental scrutiny I fail to see the injury I did unto ye. When I have never done ye an injury, why, ye Brahmanas do ye regard me, who am innocent, as your foe? O, answer me truly, for this, indeed, is the rule followed by the honest. The mind is pained at the injury to one's pleasure and morality. That Kshatriya who injures an innocent man's (sources of) pleasure and morality even if he be otherwise a great warrior and well-versed in all rules of morality, obtains, without any doubt the fate of sinners (hereafter) and falls off from prosperity. The practices of the Kshatriyas are the best of those that are honest in the three worlds. Indeed, those that are acquainted with morality applaud the Kshatriya practices. Adhering to those practices of my order with steady soul, I never injure those that are under me. In bringing this charge, therefore, against me, it appears that ye speak erroneously!'
"Jarasandha said,--'I never make a captive of a king without first vanquishing him. Who hath been kept here that hath not been defeated in war? This, O Krishna, it hath been said, is the duty that should be followed by the Kshatriyas, viz., to bring others under sway by the exhibition of prowess and then to treat them as slaves. Having gathered these monarchs with the intention of offering them as sacrifices unto the god, how shall I, O Krishna, from fear liberate them to-day, when I recollect also the duty I have recited of a Kshatriya? With troops against troops arrayed in order of battle, or alone against one, or against two, or against three, at the same time or separately, I am ready to fight.'"
Vaisampayana said,--"Having spoken thus, and desiring to fight with those heroes of terrible achievements, king Jarasandha ordered (his son) Sahadeva to be installed on the throne. Then, O bull of the Bharata race, the king, on the eve of battle, thought of his two generals Kausika and Chitrasena. These two, O king, were formerly called by everybody in the world of men by the respectful appellations of Hansa and Dimvaka. And, O monarch, that tiger among men, the lord Sauri ever devoted to truth, the slayer of Madhu, the younger brother of Haladhara, the foremost of all persons having their senses under complete control, keeping in view the command of Brahma and remembering that the ruler of Magadha was destined to be slain in battle by Bhima and not by the descendant of Madhu (Yadavas), desired not to slay himself king Jarasandha, that foremost of all men endued with strength, that hero possessed of the prowess of a tiger, that warrior of terrible valour."
Vaisampayana said,--"then that foremost of all
Vaisampayana said,--"thus addressed, Bhima firmly
resolved upon slaying Jarasandha, replied unto Krishna of the Yadu race,
saying,--'O tiger of the Yadu race, O Krishna, this wretch that yet stayeth
before me with sufficient strength and bent upon fight, should not be forgiven
by me.' Hearing these words of Vrikodara (Bhima), that tiger among men,
Krishna, desiring to encourage that hero to accomplish the death of Jarasandha
without any delay, answered,--'O Bhima, exhibit today upon Jarasandha the
strength thou hast luckily derived, the might thou hast obtained from (thy
father), the god Maruta.' Thus addressed by
"Then the son of Jarasandha, the high-souled Sahadeva,
accompanied by his relatives and the principal officers of state, and with his
priest in front came thither. And the prince, bending himself low and making
large presents of jewels and precious stones, worshipped Vasudeva, that god
among men. Then that best of men,
"And after the illustrious Krishna, the son of Devaki, had departed (from Indraprastha) having acquired that great victory and having also dispelled the fears of the kings, that feat, O Bharata, swelled the fame of the Pandavas. And, O king, the Pandavas passed their days, continuing to gladden the heart of Draupadi. And at that time, whatever was proper and consistent with virtue, pleasure, and profit, continued to be properly executed by king Yudhishthira in the exercise of his duties of protecting his subjects."
Vaisampayana said,--"Arjuna, having obtained that best of bows and that couple of inexhaustible quivers and that car and flag-staff, as also that assembly-house, addressing Yudhisthira said,--'Bow, weapons, great energy, allies, territory, fame, army--those, O king, difficult of acquisition however desirable, have all been obtained by me. I think, therefore, that what should now be done is for the swelling up of our treasury. I desire, O best of monarchs, to make the kings (of the earth) pay tributes to us. I desire to set out, in an auspicious moment of a holy day of the moon under a favourable constellation for the conquest of the direction that is presided over by the Lord of treasures (viz. the North).'"
Vaisampayana continued,--"King Yudhisthira the just, hearing these words of Dhananjaya, replied unto him in a grave and collected tone, saying,--'O bull of the Bharata race, set thou out, having made holy Brahmanas utter benedictions on thee, to plunge thy enemies in sorrow and to fill thy friend with joy. Victory, O son of Pritha, will surely be thine, and thou wilt surely obtain thy desires fulfilled.'
"Thus addressed, Arjuna, surrounded by a large host, set out in that celestial car of wonderful achievements he had obtained from Agni. And Bhimasena also, and those bull among men, the twins, dismissed with affection by Yudhishthira the just set out, each at the head of a large army. And Arjuna, the son of the chastiser of Paka then brought under subjugation that direction (the North) which was presided over by the Lord of treasures. And Bhimasena overcome by force the East and Sahadeva the South, and Nakula, O king, acquainted with all the weapons, conquered the West. Thus while his brothers were so employed, the exalted king Yudishthira the just stayed within Khandavaprastha in the enjoyment of great affluence in the midst of friends and relatives."
"Bhagadatta, hearing this, said,--'O thou who hast Kunto for thy mother, as thou art to me, so is Yudhishthira also. I shall do all this. Tell me, what else I may do for thee.'"
Vaisampayana continued,--"thus addressed, Dhananjaya
replied unto Bhagadatta, saying,--'If thou wilt give thy promise to do this,
thou hast done all I desire.' And having thus subjugated the king of
Pragjyotisha, Dhananjaya of long arms, the son of Kunti, then marched towards
the north--the direction presided over by the lord of treasures. That bull
amongst men, that son of Kunti, then conquered the mountainous tracts and their
outskirts, as also the hilly regions. And having conquered all the mountains
and the kings that reigned there, and bringing them under his sway, he exacted
tributes from all. And winning the affections of those kings and uniting
himself with them, he next marched, O king, against Vrihanta, the king of
Uluka, making this earth tremble with the sound of his drums, the clatter of
his chariot-wheels, and the roar of the elephants in his train. Vrihanta,
however, quickly coming out of his city followed by his army consisting of four
kinds of troops, gave battle to Falguna (Arjuna). And the fight that took place
between Vrihanta and Dhananjaya was terrible. It so happened that Vrihanta was
unable to bear the prowess of the son of Pandu. Then that invincible king of
the mountainous region regarding the son of Kunti irresistible, approached him
with all his wealth. Arjuna snatched out the kingdom from Vrihanta, but having
made peace with him marched, accompanied by that king, against Senavindu whom
he soon expelled from his kingdom. After this he subjugated Modapura, Vamadeva,
Sudaman, Susankula, the
Vaisampayana said,--"that heroic and foremost of the
Pandavas endued with great energy, crossing the White mountains, subjugated the
country of the Limpurushas ruled by Durmaputra, after a collision involving a
great slaughter of Kshatriyas, and brought the region under his complete sway.
Having reduced that country, the son of Indra (Arjuna) with a collected mind
marched at the head of his troops to the country called Harataka, ruled by the
Guhakas. Subjugating them by a policy of conciliation, the Kuru prince beheld
(in that region) that excellent of lakes called Manasa and various other lakes
and tanks sacred to the Rishis. And the exalted prince having arrived at the
"It was thus that tiger among men subjugated the
countries that lay to the North, having fought numberless battles with both
Kshatriya and robber tribes. And having vanquished the chiefs and brought them
under his sway he exacted from them much wealth, various gems and jewels, the
horses of the species called Tittiri and Kalmasha, as also those of the colour
of the parrot's wings and those that were like the peacocks in hue and all
endued with the speed of the wind. And surrounded, O king, by a large army
consisting of the four kinds of forces, the hero came back to the excellent
Vaisampayana said,--"in the meantime, Bhimasena also endued with great energy, having obtained the assent of Yudhishthira the just marched towards the eastern direction. And the tiger among the Bharatas, possessed of great valour and ever increasing the sorrows of his foes, was accompanied by a mighty host with the full complement of elephants and horses and cars, well-armed and capable of crushing all hostile kingdoms. That tiger among men, the son of Pandu, going first into the great country of the Panchalas, began by various means to conciliate that tribe. Then that hero, that bull of the Bharata race, within a short time, vanquished the Gandakas and the Videhas. That exalted one then subjugated the Dasarnas. There in the country of the Dasarnas, the king called Sudharman with his bare arms fought a fierce battle with Bhimasena. And Bhimasena, beholding that feat of the illustrious king, appointed the mighty Sudharman as the first in command of his forces. Then Bhima of terrible prowess marched towards the east, causing the earth itself to tremble with the tread of the mighty host that followed him. Then that hero who in strength was the foremost of all strong men defeated in battle Rochamana, the king of Aswamedha, at the head of all his troops. And the son of Kunti, having vanquished that monarch by performing feats that excelled in fierceness, subjugated the eastern region. Then that prince of the Kuru race, endued with great prowess going into the country of Pulinda in the south, brought Sukumara and the king Sumitra under his sway. Then, O Janamejaya, that bull in the Bharata race, at the command of Yudhishthira the just marched against Sisupala of great energy. The king of Chedi, hearing of the intentions of the son of Pandu, came out of his city. And that chastiser of all foes then received the son of Pritha with respect. Then, O king, those bulls of the Chedi and the Kuru lines, thus met together, enquired after each other's welfare. Then, O monarch, the king of Chedi offered his kingdom unto Bhima and said smilingly,--'O sinless one, upon what art thou bent?' And Bhima thereupon represented unto him the intentions of king Yudhishthira. And Bhima dwelt there, O king, for thirty nights, duly entertained by Sisupala. And after this he set out from Chedi with his troops and vehicles."
Vaisampayana said,--"that chastiser of all foes then
vanquished king Srenimat of the country of Kumara, and then Vrihadvala, the
king of Kosala. Then the foremost of the sons of Pandu, by performing feats
excelling in fierceness, defeated the virtuous and mighty king Dirghayaghna of
Ayodhya. And the exalted one then subjugated the country of Gopalakaksha and
the northern Kosalas and also the king of Mallas. And the mighty one, arriving
then in the moist region at the foot of the
Vaisampayana said,--"thus also Sahadeva, dismissed with
affection by king Yudhisthira the just, marched towards the southern direction
accompanied by a mighty host. Strong in strength, that mighty prince of the
Kuru race, vanquishing completely at the outset the Surasenas, brought the king
of Matsya under his sway. And the hero then, defeating Dantavakra, the mighty
king of the Adhirajas and making him pay tribute, re-established him on his
throne. The prince then brought under his sway Sukumara and then king Sumitra,
and he next vanquished the other Matsyas and then the Patacharas. Endued with
great intelligence, the Kuru warrior then conquered soon enough the country of
the Nishadas and also the high hill called Gosringa, and that lord of earth
called Srenimat. And subjugating next the country called Navarashtra, the hero
marched against Kuntibhoja, who with great willingness accepted the sway of the
conquering hero. And marching thence to the banks of the Charmanwati, the Kuru
warrior met the son of king Jamvaka, who had, on account of old hostilities,
been defeated before by Vasudeva. O Bharata, the son of Jamvaka gave battle to
Sahadeva. And Sahadeva defeating the prince marched towards the south. The
mighty warrior then vanquished the Sekas and others, and exacted tributes from
them and also various kinds of gems and wealth. Allying himself with the
vanquished tribes the prince then marched towards the countries that lay on the
banks of the
Janamejaya said,--"O regenerate one, why was it that the god Agni become hostile in battle unto Sahadeva, who was fighting simply for the accomplishment of a sacrifice (and therefore, for the gratification of Agni himself)?"
Vaisampayana said,--"It is said, O Janamejaya, that the
god Agni while residing in Mahishmati, earned the reputation of a lover. King
Nila had a daughter who was exceedingly beautiful. She used always to stay near
the sacred fire of her father, causing it to blaze up with vigour. And it so
happened that king Nila's fire, even if fanned, would not blaze up till
agitated by the gentle breath of that girl's fair lips. And it was said in King
Nila's palace and in the house of all his subjects that the god Agni desired
that beautiful girl for his bride. And it so happened that he was accepted by
the girl herself. One day the deity assuming the form of a Brahmana, was
happily enjoying the society of the fair one, when he was discovered by the
king. And the virtuous king thereupon ordered the Brahmana to be punished
according to law. At this the illustrious deity flamed up in wrath. And
beholding this, the king wondered much and bent his head low on the ground. And
after some time the king bowing low bestowed the daughter of his upon the god
Agni, disguised as a Brahmana. And the god Vibhabasu (Agni) accepting that
fair-browed daughter of king Nila, became gracious unto that monarch. And Agni,
the illustrious gratifier of all desires also asked the monarch to beg a boon
of him. And the king begged that his troops might never be struck with panic
while engaged in battle. And from that time, O king, those monarchs who from
ignorance of this, desire to subjugate king Nila's city, are consumed by
Hutasana (Agni). And from that time, O perpetuator of the Kuru race, the girls
of the city of
"'I bow unto thee, O thou whose track is always marked with smoke. These my exertions are all for thee. O thou sanctifier of all, thou art the mouth of the gods and thou art Sacrifice personified. Thou art called Pavaka because thou sanctifiest everything, and thou art Havyavahana, because thou carriest the clarified butter that is poured on thee. The Veda have sprung for ministering unto thee, and, therefore, thou art called Jataveda. Chief of the gods as thou art, thou art called Chitrabhanu, Anala, Vibhavasu, Hutasana, Jvalana, Sikhi, Vaiswanara, Pingesa, Plavanga, Bhuritejah. Thou art he from whom Kumara (Kartikeya) had his origin; thou art holy; thou art called Rudragarva and Hiranyakrit. Let thee, O Agni, grant me energy, let Vayu grant me life, let Earth grant me nourishment and strength, and let Water grant me prosperity. O Agni, thou who art the first cause of the waters, thou who art of great purity, thou for ministering unto whom the Vedas have sprung, thou who art the foremost of the deities, thou who art their mouth, O purify me by thy truth. Rishis and Brahmanas, Deities and Asuras pour clarified butter every day, according to the ordinance into thee during sacrifices. Let the rays of truth emanating from thee, while thou exhibitest thyself in those sacrifices, purify me. Smoke-bannered as thou art and possessed of flames, thou great purifier from all sins born of Vayu and ever present as thou art in all creatures, O purify me by the rays of thy truth. Having cleansed myself thus cheerfully, O exalted one, do I pray unto thee. O Agni, grant me now contentment and prosperity, and knowledge and gladness.'"
Vaisampayana continued.--"He that will pour clarified butter into Agni reciting these mantras, will ever be blessed with prosperity, and having his soul under complete control will also be cleansed from all his sins.
"Sahadeva, addressing Agni again, said,--'O carrier of
the sacrificial libations, it behoveth thee not to obstruct a sacrifice!'
Having said this, that tiger among men--the son of Madri--spreading some kusa
grass on earth sat down in expectation of the (approaching) fire and in front
of those terrified and anxious troops of his. And Agni, too, like the ocean
that never transgresseth its continents, did not pass over his head. On the
other hand approaching Sahadeva quietly and addressing that prince of the Kuru
race, Agni that god of men gave him every assurance and said,--'O thou of the
Kuru race, rise up from this posture. O rise up, I was only trying thee. I know
all thy purpose, as also those of the son of Dharma (Yudhisthira). But, O best
of the Bharata race, as long as there is a descendant of king Nila's line, so
long should this town be protected by me. I will, however O son of Pandu,
gratify the desires of thy heart.' And at these words of Agni, O bull of the
Bharata race, the son of Madri rose up with a cheerful heart, and joining his hands
and bending his head worshipped that god of fire, sanctifier of all beings. And
at last, after Agni had disappeared, king Nila came there, and at the command
of that deity, worshipped with due rites Sahadeva, that tiger among men--that
master of battle. And Sahadeva accepted that worship and made him pay tribute.
And having brought king Nila under his sway thus, the victorious son of Madri
then went further towards the south. The long-armed hero then brought the king
of Tripura of immeasurable energy under his sway. And next turning his forces
against the Paurava kingdom, he vanquished and reduced to subjection the
monarch thereof. And the prince, after this, with great efforts brought Akriti,
the king of Saurashtra and preceptor of the Kausikas under his sway. The
virtuous prince, while staying in the
"Thus it was, O king, that slayer of all foes, having vanquished by conciliation and war numerous kings and having also made them pay tribute, came back to his own city. The bull of the Bharata race, having presented the whole of that wealth unto king Yudhisthira the just regarded himself, O Janamejaya, as crowned with success and continued to live happily."
Vaisampayana said,--"I shall now recite to you the
deeds and triumphs of Nakula, and how that exalted one conquered the direction
that had once been subjugated by Vasudeva. The intelligent Nakula, surrounded
by a large host, set out from Khandavaprastha for the west, making this earth
tremble with the shouts and the leonine roars of the warriors and the deep
rattle of chariot wheels. And the hero first assailed the mountainous country
called Rohitaka that was dear unto (the celestial generalissimo) Kartikeya and
which was delightful and prosperous and full of kine and every kind of wealth
and produce. And the encounter the son of Pandu had with the Mattamyurakas of
that country was fierce. And the illustrious Nakula after this, subjugated the
whole of the desert country and the region known as Sairishaka full of plenty,
as also that other one called Mahetta. And the hero had a fierce encounter with
the royal sage Akrosa. And the son of Pandu left that part of the country
having subjugated the Dasarnas, the Sivis, the Trigartas, the Amvashtas, the
Malavas, the five tribes of the Karnatas, and those twice born classes that
were called the Madhyamakeyas and Vattadhanas. And making circuitous journey
that bull among men then conquered the (Mlechcha) tribes called the
Utsava-sanketas. And the illustrious hero soon brought under subjection the
mighty Gramaniya that dwelt on the shore of the sea, and the Sudras and the
Abhiras that dwelt on the banks of the Saraswati, and all those tribes that
lived upon fisheries, and those also that dwelt on the mountains, and the whole
of the country called after the five rivers, and the mountains called Amara, and
the country called Uttarayotisha and the city of Divyakutta and the tribe
called Dwarapala. And the son of Pandu, by sheer force, reduced to subjection
the Ramathas, the Harahunas, and various kings of the west. And while staying
there Nakula sent, O Bharata, messengers unto Vasudeva. And Vasudeva with all
the Yadavas accepted his sway. And the mighty hero, proceeding thence to
Sakala, the city of the
"Thus, O king, did Nakula subjugate the countries that lay to the west--the direction that is presided over by the god Varuna, and that had once before been subjugated by Vasudeva himself!"
Vaisampayana said,--"in consequence of the protection
afforded by Yudhisthira the just, and of the truth which he ever cherished in
his behaviour, as also of the check under which he kept all foes, the subjects
of that virtuous monarch were all engaged in their respective avocations. And
by reason of the equitable taxation and the virtuous rule of the monarch,
clouds in his kingdom poured as much rain as the people desired, and the cities
and the town became highly prosperous. Indeed as a consequence of the monarch's
acts every affair of the kingdom, especially cattle breeding, agriculture and
trade prospered highly. O king, during those days even robbers and cheats never
spoke lies amongst themselves, nor they that were the favourites of the
monarch. There were no droughts and floods and plagues and fires and premature
deaths in those days of Yudhishthira devoted to virtue. And it was only for
doing agreeable services, or for worshipping, or for offering tributes that
would not impoverish, that other kings used to approach Yudhisthira (and not
for hostility or battle.) The large treasure room of the king became so much
filled with hoards of wealth virtuously obtained that it could not be emptied
even in a hundred years. And the son of Kunti, ascertaining the state of his
treasury and the extent of his possessions, fixed his heart upon the
celebration of a sacrifice. His friends and officers, each separately and all
together, approaching him said,--'The time hath come, O exalted one, for thy sacrifice.
Let arrangements, therefore, be made without loss of time.' While they were
thus talking, Hari (Krishna), that omniscient and ancient one, that soul of the
Vedas, that invincible one as described by those that have knowledge, that
foremost of all lasting existences in the universe, that origin of all things,
as also that in which all things come to be dissolved, that lord of the past,
the future, and the present Kesava--the slayer of Kesi, and the bulwark of all
Vrishnis and the dispeller of all fear in times of distress and the smiter of
all foes, having appointed Vasudeva to the command of the (Yadava) army, and
bringing with him for the king Yudhishthira just a large mass of treasure;
entered that excellent city of cities. Khandava, himself surrounded by a mighty
host and filling the atmosphere with the rattle of his chariot-wheels. And
Madhava, that tiger among men enhancing that limitless mass of wealth the
Pandavas had by that inexhaustible ocean of gems he had brought, enhanced the
sorrows of the enemies of the Pandavas. The capital of the Bharata was
"'O Krishna it is for thee that the whole earth is under my sway. And, O thou of the Vrishni race, it is through thy grace that vast wealth had been got by me. And, O son of Devaki, O Madhava, I desire to devote that wealth according to the ordinance, unto superior Brahmanas and the carrier of sacrificial libations. And, O thou of the Dasarha race, it behoveth thee, O thou of mighty arms, to grant me permission to celebrate a sacrifice along with thee and my younger brothers. Therefore, O Govinda, O thou of long arms, install thyself at that sacrifice; for, O thou of the Dasarha race, if thou performed the sacrifice, I shall be cleansed of sin. Or, O exalted one, grant permission for myself being installed at the sacrifice along with these my younger brothers, for permitted by thee, O Krishna, I shall be able to enjoy the fruit of an excellent sacrifice.'"
Vaisampayana continued,--"Unto Yudhisthira after he had
Vaisampayana continued,--"Commanded by
"Simultaneously with these words of king Yudhisthira the just, Sahadeva that foremost of warriors, having accomplished everything, represented the matter to the king. And Dwaipayana, O king, then appointed as sacrificial priests exalted Brahmanas that were like the Vedas themselves in embodied forms. The son of Satyavati became himself the Brahma of that sacrifice. And that bull of the Dhananjaya race, Susaman, became the chanter of the Vedic (Sama) hymns. Yajnavalkya devoted to Brahma became the Adhyaryu, and Paila--the son of Vasu and Dhaumya became the Hotris. And O bull of the Bharata race, the disciples and the sons of these men, all well-acquainted with the Vedas and the branches of the Vedas, became Hotragis. And all of them, having uttered benedictions and recited the object of the sacrifice, worshipped, according to the ordinance the large sacrificial compound. Commanded by the Brahmanas, builders and artificers erected numerous edifices there that were spacious and well-perfumed like unto the temples of the gods. After these were finished, that best of kings and that bull among men Yudhishthira commanded his chief adviser Sahadeva, saying,--'Despatch thou, without loss of time, messengers endued with speed to invite all to the sacrifice. And Sahadeva, hearing these words of the king, despatched messengers telling them,--"Invite ye all the Brahmanas in the kingdom and all the owners of land (Kshatriyas) and all the Vaisyas and also all the respectable Sudras, and bring them hither!"'"
Vaisampayana continued,--"Endued with speed, these messengers then, thus commanded, invited everybody according to the orders of the Pandava, without losing any time, and brought with them many persons, both friends and strangers. Then, O Bharata, the Brahmanas at the proper time installed Yudhishthira the son of Kunti at the Rajasuya sacrifice. And after the ceremony of installation was over, that foremost of men, the virtuous king Yudhishthira the just like the god Dharma himself in human frame, entered the sacrificial compound, surrounded by thousands of Brahmanas and his brothers and the relatives and friends and counsellors, and by a large number of Kshatriya kings who had come from various countries, and by the officers of State. Numerous Brahmanas, well-skilled in all branches of knowledge and versed in the Vedas and their several branches, began to pour in from various countries. Thousands of craftsmen, at the command of king Yudhishthira the just, erected for those Brahmanas with their attendants separate habitations well-provided with food and clothes and the fruits and flowers of every season. And, O king, duly worshipped by the monarch the Brahmanas continued to reside there passing their time in conversation on diverse topics and beholding the performances of actors and dancers. And the clamour of high-souled Brahmanas, cheerfully eating and talking, was heard there without intermission. 'Give,' and 'Eat' were the words that were heard there incessantly and every day. And, O Bharata, king Yudhishthira the just gave unto each of those Brahmanas thousands of kine and beds and gold coins and damsels.
"Thus commenced on earth the sacrifice of that unrivalled hero, the illustrious son of Pandu, like the sacrifice in heaven of Sakra himself. Then that bull among men, king Yudhishthira despatched Nakula the son of Pandu unto Hastinapura to bring Bhishma and Drona, Dhritarashtra and Vidura and Kripa and those amongst his cousins that were well-disposed towards him."
Vaisampayana said,--"the ever-victorious Nakula, the son of Pandu, having reached Hastinapura, formally invited Bhishma and Dhritarashtra. The elder of the Kuru race with the preceptor at their head, invited with due ceremonies, came with joyous hearts to that sacrifice, with Brahmanas walking before them. And, O bull of the Bharata race, having heard of king Yudhishthira's sacrifice, hundreds of other Kshatriyas acquainted with the nature of the sacrifice, with joyous hearts came there from various countries, desiring to behold king Yudhishthira the son of Pandu and his sacrificial mansion, and brought with them many costly jewels of various kinds. And Dhritarashtra and Bhishma and Vidura of high intelligence; and all Kaurava brothers with Duryyodhana at their head; and Suvala the king of Gandhara and Sakuni endued with great strength; and Achala, and Vrishaka, and Karna that foremost of all charioteers; and Salya endued with great might and the strong Valhika; and Somadatta, and Bhuri of the Kuru race, and Bhurisravas and Sala; and Aswatthama, Kripa, Drona, and Jayadratha, the ruler of Sindhu; and Yajnasena with his sons, and Salya that lord of earth and that great car warrior king Bhagadatta of Pragjyotisha accompanied by all Mlechcha tribes inhabiting the marshy regions on the sea-shore; and many mountain kings, and king Vrihadvala; and Vasudeva the king of the Paundrayas, and the kings of Vanga and Kalinga; and Akastha and Kuntala and the kings of the Malavas and the Andhrakas; and the Dravidas and the Singhalas and the king of Kashmira, and king Kuntibhoja of great energy and king Gauravahana, and all the other heroic kings of Valhika; and Virata with his two sons, and Mavella endued with great might; and various kings and princes ruling in various countries; and, O Bharata king Sisupala endued with great energy and invincible in battle accompanied by his son--all of them came to the sacrifice of the son of Pandu. And Rama and Aniruddha and Kanaka and Sarana; and Gada, Pradyumna, Shamva, and Charudeshna of great energy; and Ulmuka and Nishatha and the brave Angavaha; and innumerable other Vrishnis--all mighty car-warriors--came there.
"These and many other kings from the middle country came, O monarch, to that great Rajasuya sacrifice of the son of Pandu. And, O king, at the command of king Yudhishthira the just, mansions were assigned to all those monarchs, that were full of various kinds of edibles and adorned with tanks and tall trees. And the son of Dharma worshipped all those illustrious monarchs as they deserved. Worshipped by the king they retired to mansions that were assigned to them. Those mansions were (white and high) like the cliffs of Kailasa, and delightful to behold, and furnished with every kind of furniture. They were enclosed on all sides with well-built and high white-washed walls; their windows were covered with net-works of gold and their interiors were furnished with rows of pearls. Their flights of stairs were easy of ascent and the floors were all laid over with costly carpets. They were all hung over with garlands of flowers and perfumed with excellent aloes. White as snow or the moon, they looked extremely handsome even from the distance of a yojana. Their doors and entrances were set uniformly and were wide enough to admit a crowd of persons. Adorned with various costly articles and built with various metals, they looked like peaks of the Himavat. Having rested a while in those mansions the monarchs beheld king Yudhishthira the just surrounded by numerous Sadasyas (sacrificial priests) and ever performing sacrifices distinguished by large gifts to Brahmanas. That sacrificial mansion wherein were present the kings and Brahmanas and great Rishis looked, O king, as handsome as heaven itself crowded with the gods!"
Thus ends the thirty-fourth section in the Rajasuyika Parva of the Sabha Parva.
Vaisampayana said,--"then, O king, Yudhishthira, having approached and worshipped his grandfather and his preceptor, addressed Bhishma and Drona and Kripa and the son of Drona and Duryyodhana and Vivingsati, and said,--'Help me ye all in the matter of this sacrifice. This large treasure that is here is yours. Consult ye with one another and guide me as ye desire.'
"The eldest of the sons of Pandu, who had been installed at the sacrifice, having said this unto all, appointed every one of them to suitable offices. He appointed Dussasana to superintend the department of food and other enjoyable articles. Aswatthama was asked to attend on the Brahmanas. Sanjaya was appointed to offer return-worship unto the kings. Bhishma and Drona, both endued with great intelligence, were appointed to see what was done and what was left undone. And the king appointed Kripa to look after the diamonds and gold and the pearls and gems, as also after the distribution of gifts to Brahmanas. And so other tigers among men were appointed to similar offices. Valhika and Dhritarashtra and Somadatta and Jayadratha, brought thither by Nakula, went about, enjoying themselves as lords of the sacrifice. Vidura otherwise called Kshatta, conversant with every rule of morality, became the disburser. Duryyodhana became the receiver of the tributes that were brought by the kings. Krishna who was himself the centre of all worlds and round whom moved every creature, desirous of acquiring excellent fruits, was engaged at his own will in washing the feet of the Brahmanas.
"And desirous of beholding that sacrificial mansion, as also king Yudhishthira the just, none came there with tribute less than a thousand (in number, weight or measure). Everyone honoured the king Yudhishthira the just with large presents of jewels. And each of the kings made a present of his wealth, flattering himself with the proud belief that the jewels he gave would enable the Kuru king Yudhisthira to complete his sacrifice. And, O monarch, the sacrificial compound of the illustrious son of Kunti looked extremely handsome--with the multitude of palaces built so as to last for ever and crowded with guards and warriors. These were so high that their tops touched the cars of the gods that came to behold that sacrifice; as also with the cars themselves of the celestials, and with the dwelling of the Brahmanas and the mansions made there for the kings resembling the cars of the celestials and adorned with gems and filled with every kind of wealth, and lastly with crowds of the kings that came there all endued with beauty and wealth. Yudhisthira, as though vying with Varuna himself in wealth, commenced the sacrifice (of Rajasuya) distinguished by six fires and large gifts to Brahmanas. The King gratified everybody with presents of great value and indeed with every kind of object that one could desire. With abundance of rice and of every kind of food, as also with a mass of jewels brought as tribute, that vast concourse consisted of persons every one of whom was fed to the full. The gods also were gratified at the sacrifice by the Ida, clarified butter, Homa and libations poured by the great Rishis versed in mantras and pronunciation. Like the gods, the Brahmanas also were gratified with the sacrificial gifts and food and great wealth. And all the other orders of men also were gratified at that sacrifice and filled with joy."
Vaisampayana said,--"On the last day of the sacrifice
when the king was to be sprinkled over with the sacred water, the great
Brahmana Rishis ever deserving of respectful treatment, along with the invited
kings, entered together the inner enclosure of the sacrificial compound. And
those illustrious Rishis with Narada as their foremost, seated at their ease
with those royal sages within that enclosure, looked like the gods seated in
"And Narada, beholding the fortunate Yudhisthira's
prosperity that was born of that sacrifice, became highly gratified. Beholding
that vast concourse all the Kshatriyas, the Muni Narada, O king of men, became
thoughtful. And, O bull amongst men, the Rishi began to recollect the words he
had heard of old in the
"Then Bhishma, O king, addressing king Yudhisthira the just, said, 'O Bharata, let Arghya (an article of respect) be offered unto the kings as each of them deserveth. Listen, O Yudhishthira, the preceptor, the sacrificial priest, the relative, the Snataka, the friend, and the king, it hath been said are the six that deserve Arghya. The wise have said that when any of these dwell with one for full one year he deserveth to be worshipped with Arghya. These kings have been staying with us for some time. Therefore, O king, let Arghyas be procured to be offered unto each of them. And let an Arghya be presented first of all unto him among those present who is the foremost.'
"Hearing these words of Bhishma, Yudhishthira said--'O Grandsire, O thou of the Kuru race, whom thou deemest the foremost amongst these and unto whom the Arghya should be presented by us, O tell me.'"
Vaisampayana continued,--"Then, O Bharata, Bhishma the
son of Santanu, judged it by his intelligence that on earth
"Sisupala said--'O thou of the Kuru race, this one of
the Vrishni race doth not deserve royal worship as if he were a king, in the
midst of all these illustrious monarchs. O son of Pandu, this conduct of thine
in thus willingly worshipping him with eyes like lotus-petals is not worthy of
the illustrious Pandavas. Ye sons of Pandu. Ye are children. Ye know not what
morality is, for that is very subtle. Bhishma, this son also of
"Having spoken these words, Sisupala rose from his excellent seat, and accompanied by the kings, went out of that assembly."
Vaisampayana said,--"Then the king Yudhishthira hastily
ran after Sisupala and spoke unto him sweetly and in a conciliating tone the
following words,--'O lord of earth, what thou hast said is scarcely proper for
thee. O king, it is highly sinful and needlessly cruel. Insult not Bhishma, O
king, by saying that he doth not know what virtue is. Behold, these many kings,
older than thou art, all approve of the worship offered unto
"Bhishma also, after this, said,--'He that approveth
not the worship offered unto
Vaisampayana said,--"The mighty Bhishma ceased, having said
this. Sahadeva then answered (Sisupala) in words of grave import, saying,--'If
amongst ye there be any king that cannot bear to see Kesava of dark hue, the
slayer of Kesi, the possessor of immeasurable energy, worshipped by me, this my
foot is placed on the heads of all mighty ones (like him). When I say this, let
that one give me an adequate reply. And let those kings that possess
intelligence approve the worship of
"When Sahadeva thus showed his foot, no one among those intelligent and wise and proud and mighty monarchs said anything. And a shower of flowers fell on Sahadeva's head, and an incorporeal voice said--'Excellent, excellent.' Then Narada clad in black deer-skin, speaking of both the future and the past, that dispeller of all doubts, fully acquainted with all the worlds, said in the midst of innumerable creatures, these words of the clearest import,--'Those men that will not worship the lotus-eyed Krishna should be regarded as dead though moving, and should never be talked to on any occasion.'"
Vaisampayana continued,--"Then that god among men,
Sahadeva cognisant of the distinction between a Brahmana and a Kshatriya, having
worshipped those that deserved worship, completed that ceremony. But upon
Krishna having received the first worship, Sunitha (Sisupala) that mower of
foes--with eyes red as copper from anger, addressed those rulers of men and
said,--'When I am here to head ye all, what are ye thinking of now? Arrayed let
us stand in battle against the assembled Vrishnis and the Pandavas?' And the
bull of the Chedis, having thus stirred the kings up, began to consult with
them how to obstruct the completion of the sacrifice. All the invited monarchs
who had come to the sacrifice, with Sunitha as their chief, looked angry and
their faces became pale. They all said, 'We must so act that the final
sacrificial rite performed by Yudhishthira and the worship of
Vaisampayana said,--"Beholding that vast assembly of kings agitated with wrath, even like the terrific sea agitated by the winds that blow at the time of the universal dissolution, Yudhishthira addressing the aged Bhishma, that chief of intelligent men and the grandsire of the Kurus, even like Puruhita (Indra) that slayer of foes, of abundant energy addressing Vrihaspati, said,--'This vast ocean of kings, hath been agitated by wrath. Tell me, O Grandsire, what I should do in view of this. O Grandsire, now what I should do that my sacrifice may not be obstructed and my subjects may not be injured.'
"When king Yudhishthira the just, conversant with morality, said this, Bhishma the grandsire of the Kurus, spoke these words in reply,--'Fear not, O tiger of the Kurus. Can the dog slay the lion? I have before this found out a way that is both beneficial and comfortable to practise. As dogs in a pack approaching the lion that is asleep bark together, so are all these lords of earth. Indeed, O child, like dogs before the lion, these (monarchs) are barking in rage before the sleeping lion of the Vrishni race. Achyuta now is like a lion that is asleep. Until he waketh up, this chief of the Chedis--this lion among men--maketh these monarchs look like lions. O child, O thou foremost of all monarchs, this Sisupala possessed of little intelligence is desirous of taking along with him all these kings, through the agency of him who is the soul of the universe, to the regions of Yama. Assuredly, O Bharata Vishnu hath been desirous of taking back unto himself the energy that existeth in this Sisupala. O Chief of all intelligent men, O son of Kunti, the intelligence of this wicked-minded king of the Chedis, as also of all these monarchs, hath become perverse. Indeed, the intelligence of all those whom this tiger among men desireth to take unto himself, becometh perverse even like that of this king of the Chedis. O Yudhishthira, Madhava is the progenitor as also the destroyer of all created beings of the four species, (oviparous, etc.,) existing in the three worlds.'"
Vaisampayana continued--"Then the ruler of Chedis, having heard these words of Bhishma, addressed the latter, O Bharata, in words that were stern and rough.
"Sisupala said,--'Old and infamous wretch of thy race,
art thou not ashamed of affrighting all these monarchs with these numerous
false terrors! Thou art the foremost of the Kurus, and living as thou dost in
the third state (celibacy) it is but fit for thee that thou shouldst give such
counsel that is so wide of morality. Like a boat tied to another boat or the
blind following the blind, are the Kurus who have thee for their guide. Thou
hast once more simply pained our hearts by reciting particularly the deeds of
this one (
"'There lived of yore an old swan on the sea-coast. Ever speaking of morality, but otherwise in his conduct, he used to instruct the feathery tribe. "Practise ye virtue and forego sin,"--these were the words that other truthful birds, O Bhishma, constantly heard him utter. And the other oviparous creatures ranging the sea, it hath been heard by us, O Bhishma use for virtue's sake to bring him food. And, O Bhishma, all those other birds, keeping their eggs, with him, ranged and dived in the waters of the sea. And the sinful old swan, attentive to his own pursuits, used to eat up the eggs of all those birds that foolishly trusted in him. After a while when the eggs were decreasing in number, a bird of great wisdom had his suspicions roused and he even witnessed (the affair) one day. And having witnessed the sinful act of the old swan, that bird in great sorrow spoke unto all the other birds. Then, O thou best of the Kurus, all those birds witnessing with their own eyes the act of the old swan, approached that wretch of false conduct and slew him.
"'Thy behaviour, O Bhishma, is even like that of the old swan. These lords of earth might slay thee in anger like those creatures of the feathery tribe slaying the old swan. Persons conversant with the Puranas recite a proverb, O Bhishma, as regards this occurrence, I shall, O Bharata, repeat it to thee fully. It is even this: O thou that supportest thyself on thy wings, though thy heart is affected (by the passions), thou preachest yet (of virtue); but this thy sinful act of eating up the eggs transgresseth thy speech!'
"Sisupala said,--'That mighty king Jarasandha who
desired not to fight with
Vaisampayana continued,--"Hearing these words of
Sisupala, harsh both in import and sound, that foremost of mighty men,
Bhimasena endued with energy became angry. And his eyes, naturally large and
expanding and like unto lotus leaves became still more extended and red as
copper under the influence of that rage. And the assembled monarchs beheld on
his forehead three lines of wrinkles like the
"Bhishma said,--'This Sisupala was born in the line of
the king of Chedi with three eyes and four hands. As soon as he was born, he
screamed and brayed like an ass. On that account, his father and mother along
with their relatives, were struck with fear. And beholding these extraordinary
omens, his parents resolved to abandon him. But an incorporeal voice, about
this time, said unto the king and his wife with their ministers and priest, all
with hearts paralysed by anxiety, those words,--"This thy son, O king,
that hath been born will become both fortunate and superior in strength.
Therefore thou hast no fear from him. Indeed cherish the child without anxiety.
He will not die (in childhood). His time is not yet come. He that will slay him
with weapons hath also been born." Hearing these words, the mother,
rendered anxious by affection for her son, addressed the invisible Being and
said,--"I bow with joined hands unto him that hath uttered these words
respecting my son; whether he be an exalted divinity or any other being, let
him tell me another word. I desire to hear who will be the slayer of this my
son." The invisible Being then said,--"He upon whose lap this child
being placed the superfluous arms of his will fall down upon the ground like a
pair of five-headed snakes, and at the sight of whom his third eye on the
forehead will disappear, will be his slayer?" Hearing of the child's three
eyes and four arms as also of the words of the invisible Being, all the kings
of the earth went to Chedi to behold him. The king of Chedi worshipping, as
each deserved, the monarchs that came, gave his child upon their laps one after
another. And though the child was placed upon the laps of a thousand kings, one
after another, yet that which the incorporeal voice had said came not to pass.
And having heard of all this at Dwaravati, the mighty Yadava heroes Sankarshana
and Janarddana also went to the capital of the Chedis, to see their father's
sister--that daughter of the Yadavas (the queen of Chedi). And saluting
everybody according to his rank and the king and queen also, and enquiring
after every body's welfare, both Rama and Kesava took their seats. And after
those heroes had been worshipped, the queen with great pleasure herself placed
the child on the lap of Damodara. As soon as the child was placed on his lap,
those superfluous arms of his fell down and the eye on his forehead also disappeared.
And beholding this, the queen in alarm and anxiety begged of
"Bhishma continued,--'Even thus, O Bhima, is this wretch of a king--Sisupala of wicked heart, who, proud of the boon granted by Govinda, summons thee to battle!'
"Bhishma said,--'The will under which the ruler of
Chedi summoneth thee to fight though thou art of strength that knoweth no
deterioration, is scarcely his own intention. Assuredly, this is the purpose of
Vaisampayana continued,--"Hearing these words of Bhishma, the king of Chedi could bear no more. He then replied in rage unto Bhishma in these words.--
"'Let our foes, O Bhishma, be endued with that prowess
which this Kesava hath, whom thou like a professional chanter of hymns
praisest, rising repeatedly from thy seat. If thy mind, O Bhishma, delighteth
so in praising others, then praise thou these kings, leaving off
Vaisampayana continued,--"Hearing these harsh words of the ruler of Chedi, Bhishma, O king, said in the hearing of the king of Chedi,--'Truly am I alive at the pleasure of these rulers of earth. But I do regard these kings as not equal to even a straw.' As soon as these words were spoken by Bhishma, the kings became inflamed with wrath. And the down of some amongst them stood erect and some began to reprove Bhishma. And hearing those words of Bhishma, some amongst them, that were wielders of large bows exclaimed, 'This wretched Bhishma, though old, is exceedingly boastful. He deserveth not our pardon. Therefore, ye kings, incensed with rage as this Bhishma is, it is well that this wretch were slain like an animal, or, mustering together, let us burn him in a fire of grass or straw.' Hearing these words of the monarchs, Bhishma the grand-sire of the Kurus, endued with great intelligence, addressing those lords of earth, said,--'I do not see the end of our speeches, for words may be answered with words. Therefore, ye lords of earth, listen ye all unto what I say. Whether I be slain like an animal or burnt in a fire of grass and straw, thus do I distinctly place my foot on the heads of ye all. Here is Govinda, that knoweth no deterioration. Him have we worshipped. Let him who wisheth for speedy death, summon to battle Madhava of dark hue and the wielder of the discus and the mace; and falling enter into and mingle with the body of this god!'"
Vaisampayana said,--"Hearing these words of Bhishma,
the ruler of Chedi endued with exceeding prowess, desirous of combating with
Vasudeva addressed him and said,--'O Janarddana, I challenge thee. Come, fight
with me until I slay thee today with all the Pandavas. For, O Krishna, the sons
of Pandu also, who disregarding the claims of all these kings, have worshipped
thee who art no king, deserve to be slain by me along with thee. Even this is
my opinion, O Krishna, that they who from childishness have worshipped thee, as
if thou deservest it, although thou art unworthy of worship, being only a slave
and a wretch and no king, deserve to be slain by me.' Having said this, that
tiger among kings stood there roaring in anger. And after Sisupala had ceased,
Krishna addressing all the kings in the presence of the Pandavas, spoke these
words in a soft voice.--'Ye kings, this wicked-minded one, who is the son of a
daughter of the Satwata race, is a great enemy of us of the Satwata race; and
though we never seek to injure him, he ever seeketh our evil. This wretch of
cruel deeds, ye kings, hearing that we had gone to the city of
Vaisampayana continued,--"Hearing these words of Vasudeva, all the assembled monarchs began to reprove the ruler of Chedi. But the powerful Sisupala, having heard these words, laughed aloud and spoke thus,--'O Krishna, art thou not ashamed in saying in this assembly, especially before all these kings that Rukmini (thy wife) had been coveted by me? O slayer of Madhu, who else is there than thee, who regarding himself a man would say in the midst of respectable men that his wife had been intended for some body else? O Krishna, pardon me if thou pleasest, or pardon me not. But angry or friendly, what canst thou do unto me?'
"And while Sisupala was speaking thus, the exalted
slayer of Madhu thought in his mind of the discus that humbleth the pride of
the Asuras. And as soon as the discus came into his hands, skilled in speech
the illustrious one loudly uttered these words,--'Listen ye lords of earth, why
this one had hitherto been pardoned by me. As asked by his mother, a hundred
offences (of his) were to be pardoned by me. Even this was the boon she had asked,
and even this I granted her. That number, ye kings, hath become full. I shall
now slay him in your presence, ye monarchs.' Having said this, the chief of the
Yadus, that slayer of all foes, in anger, instantly cut off the head of the
ruler of Chedi by means of his discus. And the mighty-armed one fell down like
a cliff struck with thunder. And, O monarch, the assembled kings then beheld a
fierce energy, like unto the sun in the sky, issue out of the body of the king
of Chedi, and O king, that energy then adored Krishna, possessed of eyes like
lotus leaves and worshipped by all the worlds, and entered his body. And all
the kings beholding the energy which entered that mighty-armed chief of men
regarded it as wonderful. And when
"Yudhishthira then commanded his brothers to perform without delay the funeral rites of king Sisupala, the brave son of Damaghosha, with proper respect. The sons of Pandu obeyed the behest of their brother. And Yudhishthira then, with all the kings, installed the son of king Sisupala in the sovereignty of the Chedis.
"Then that sacrifice, O monarch, of the king of the Kurus possessed of great energy, blessed with every kind of prosperity, became exceedingly handsome and pleasing unto all young men. And commenced auspiciously, and all impediments removed, and furnished with abundance of wealth and corn, as also with plenty of rice and every kind of food, it was properly watched by Kesava. And Yudhishthira in due time completed the great sacrifice. And the mighty-armed Janarddana, the exalted Sauri, with his bow called Saranga and his discus and mace, guarded that sacrifice till its completion. And all the Kshatriya monarchs, having approached the virtuous Yudhishthira who had bathed after the conclusion of the sacrifice, said these words: 'By good fortune thou hast come out successful. O virtuous one, thou hast obtained the imperial dignity. O thou of the Ajamida race, by thee hath been spread the fame of thy whole race. And, O king of kings, by this act of thine, thou hast also acquired great religious merit. We have been worshipped by thee to the full extent of our desires. We now tell thee that we are desirous of returning to our own kingdoms. It behoveth thee to grant us permission.'
"Hearing these words of the monarchs, king Yudhishthira the just, worshipping each as he deserved, commanded his brothers, saying, 'These monarchs had all come to us at their own pleasure. These chastisers of foes are now desirous of returning to their own kingdoms, bidding me farewell. Blest be ye, follow ye these excellent kings to the confines of our own dominions.' Hearing these words of their brother, the virtuous Pandava princes followed the kings, one after another as each deserved. The powerful Dhrishtadyumna followed without loss of time king Virata: and Dhananjaya followed the illustrious and mighty charioteer Yajnasena; and the mighty Bhimasena followed Bhishma and Dhritarashtra: and Sahadeva, that master of battle, followed the brave Drona and his son; and Nakula, O king, followed Suvala with his son; and the sons of Draupadi with the son of Subhadra followed those mighty warriors--the kings of the mountainous countries. And other bulls among Kshatriyas followed other Kshatriyas. And the Brahmanas by thousands also went away, duly worshipped.
"After all the Kings and the Brahmanas had gone away,
the powerful Vasudeva addressing Yudhishthira said,--'O son of the Kuru race,
with thy leave, I also desire to go to Dwaraka. By great good fortune, thou
hast accomplished the foremost of sacrifices--Rajasuya!' Thus addressed by
Janarddana, Yudhishthira replied, 'Owing to thy grace, O Govinda, I have
accomplished the great sacrifice. And it is owing to thy grace that the whole
Kshatriya world having accepted my sway, had come hither with valuable tribute.
O hero, without thee, my heart never feeleth any delight. How can I, therefore,
O hero, give thee, O sinless one, leave to go? But thou must have to go to the
Vaisampayana said,--"when that foremost of sacrifices, the Rajasuya so difficult of accomplishment, was completed, Vyasa surrounded by his disciples presented himself before Yudhishthira. And Yudhishthira, upon beholding him quickly rose from his seat, surrounded by his brothers, and worshipped the Rishi who was his grand-father, with water to wash his feet and the offer of a seat. The illustrious one having taken his seat on a costly carpet inlaid with gold, addressed king Yudhishthira the just and said.--'Take thy seat'. And after the king had taken his seat surrounded by his brothers, the illustrious Vyasa, truthful in speech said,--'O son of Kunti, thou growest from good fortune. Thou hast obtained imperial sway so difficult of acquisition. And O perpetuator of the Kuru race, all the Kauravas have prospered in consequence of thee. O Emperor, I have been duly worshipped. I desire now to go with thy leave!' King Yudhishthira the just, thus addressed by the Rishi of dark hue, saluted (him) his grandfather and touching his feet said,--'O chief of men, a doubt difficult of being dispelled, hath risen within me. O bull among regenerate ones, save thee there is none to remove it. The illustrious Rishi Narada said that (as a consequence of the Rajasuya sacrifice) three kinds of portents, viz., celestial, atmospherical and terrestrial ones happen. O grandsire, have those portents been ended by the fall of the king of the Chedis?'"
Vaisampayana continued,--"Hearing these words of the king, the exalted son of Parasara, the island-born Vyasa of dark hue, spoke these words,--'For thirteen years, O king, those portents will bear mighty consequences ending in destruction, O king of kings, of all the Kshatriyas. In course of time, O bull of the Bharata race, making thee the sole cause, the assembled Kshatriyas of the world will be destroyed, O Bharata, for the sins of Duryodhana and through the might of Bhima and Arjuna. In thy dream, O king of kings thou wilt behold towards the end of this might the blue throated Bhava, the slayer of Tripura, ever absorbed in meditation, having the bull for his mark, drinking off the human skull, and fierce and terrible, that lord of all creatures, that god of gods, the husband of Uma, otherwise called Hara and Sarva, and Vrisha, armed with the trident and the bow called Pinaka, and attired in tiger skin. And thou wilt behold Siva, tall and white as the Kailasa cliff and seated on his bull, gazing unceasingly towards the direction (south) presided over by the king of the Pitris. Even this will be the dream thou wilt dream today, O king of kings. Do not grieve for dreaming such a dream. None can rise superior to the influence of Time. Blest be thou! I will now proceed towards the Kailasa mountain. Rule thou the earth with vigilance and steadiness, patiently bearing every privation!'"
Vaisampayana continued,--"Having said this, the illustrious and island-born Vyasa of dark hue, accompanied by his disciples ever following the dictates of the Vedas, proceeded towards Kailasa. And after the grand-father had thus gone away, the king afflicted with anxiety and grief, began to think continuously upon what the Rishi hath said. And he said to himself, 'Indeed what the Rishi hath said must come to pass. We will succeed in warding off the fates by exertion alone?' Then Yudhishthira endued with great energy addressing all his brothers, said, 'Ye tigers among men, ye have heard what the island-born Rishi hath told me. Having heard the words of the Rishi, I have arrived at this firm resolution viz., that I should die, as I am ordained to be the cause of the destruction of all Kshatriyas. Ye my dear ones, if Time hath intended so what need is there for me to live?' Hearing these words of the king, Arjuna replied, 'O king, yield not thyself to this terrible depression that is destructive of reason. Mustering fortitude, O great king, do what would be beneficial.' Yudhishthira then, firm in truth, thinking all the while of Dwaipayana's words answered his brothers thus,--'Blest be ye. Listen to my vow from this day. For thirteen years, what ever purpose have I to live for, I shall not speak a hard word to my brothers or to any of the kings of the earth. Living under the command of my relatives, I shall practise virtue, exemplifying my vow. If I live in this way, making no distinction between my own children and others, there will be no disagreement (between me and others). It is disagreement that is the cause of war in the world. Keeping war at a distance, and ever doing what is agreeable to others, evil reputation will not be mine in the world, ye bulls among men.' Hearing these words of their eldest brother, the Pandavas, always engaged in doing what was agreeable to him, approved of them. And Yudhishthira the just, having pledged so, along with his brothers in the midst of that assembly, gratified his priests as also the gods with due ceremonies. And, O bull of the Bharata race, after all the monarchs had gone away, Yudhishthira along with his brothers, having performed the usual auspicious rites, accompanied by his ministers entered his own palace. And, O ruler of men, king Duryodhana and Sakuni, the son of Suvala, continued to dwell in that delightful assembly house."
Vaisampayana said,--"That bull among men, Duryodhana, continued to dwell in that assembly house (of the Pandavas). And with Sakuni, the Kuru prince slowly examined the whole of that mansion, and the Kuru prince beheld in it many celestial designs, which he had never seen before in the city called after the elephant (Hastinapore). And one day king Duryodhana in going round that mansion came upon a crystal surface. And the king, from ignorance, mistaking it for a pool of water, drew up his clothes. And afterwards finding out his mistake the king wandered about the mansion in great sorrow. And sometime after, the king, mistaking a lake of crystal water adorned with lotuses of crystal petals for land, fell into it with all his clothes on. Beholding Duryodhana fallen into the lake, the mighty Bhima laughed aloud as also the menials of the palace. And the servants, at the command of the king, soon brought him dry and handsome clothes. Beholding the plight of Duryodhana, the mighty Bhima and Arjuna and both the twins--all laughed aloud. Being unused to putting up with insults, Duryodhana could not bear that laugh of theirs. Concealing his emotions he even did not cast his looks on them. And beholding the monarch once more draw up his clothes to cross a piece of dry land which he had mistaken for water, they all laughed again. And the king sometime after mistook a closed door made of crystal as open. And as he was about to pass through it his head struck against it, and he stood with his brain reeling. And mistaking as closed another door made of crystal that was really open, the king in attempting to open it with stretched hands, tumbled down. And coming upon another door that was really open, the king thinking it as closed, went away from it. And, O monarch, king Duryodhana beholding that vast wealth in the Rajasuya sacrifice and having become the victim of those numerous errors within the assembly house at last returned, with the leave of the Pandavas, to Hastinapore."
"And the heart of king Duryodhana, afflicted at sight of the prosperity of the Pandavas, became inclined to sin, as he proceeded towards his city reflecting on all he had seen and suffered. And beholding the Pandavas happy and all the kings of the earth paying homage to them, as also everybody, young and old, engaged in doing good unto them, and reflecting also on the splendour and prosperity of the illustrious sons of Pandu, Duryodhana, the son of Dhritarashtra, became pale. In proceeding (to his city) with an efflicted heart, the prince thought of nothing else but that assembly house and that unrivalled prosperity of the wise Yudhishthira. And Duryodhana, the son of Dhritarashtra, was so taken up with his thoughts then that he spoke not a word to Suvala's son even though the latter addressed him repeatedly. And Sakuni, beholding him absent-minded, said,--'O Duryodhana, why art thou proceeding thus'?
"Duryodhana replied,--'O uncle, beholding this whole earth owning the sway of Yudhishthira in consequence of the might of the illustrious Arjuna's weapons and beholding also that sacrifice of the son of Pritha like unto the sacrifice of Sakra himself of great glory among the celestials, I, being filled with jealousy and burning day and night, am being dried up like a shallow tank in the summer season. Behold, when Sisupala was slain by the chief of the Satwatas, there was no man to take the side of Sisupala. Consumed by the fire of the Pandava, they all forgave that offence; otherwise who is there that could forgive it? That highly improper act of grave consequence done by Vasudeva succeeded in consequence of the power of the illustrious son of Pandu. And so many monarchs also brought with them various kinds of wealth for king Yudhishthira, the son of Kunti, like tribute-paying Vaisyas! Beholding Yudhishthira's prosperity of such splendour, my heart burneth, efflicted with jealously, although it behoveth me not to be jealous.'
"Having reflected in this way, Duryodhana, as if burnt by fire, addressed the king of Gandhara again and said,--'I shall throw myself upon a flaming fire or swallow poison or drown myself in water. I cannot live. What man is there in the world possessed of vigour who can bear to see his foes in the enjoyment of prosperity and himself in destitution? Therefore I who bear to see that accession of prosperity and fortune (in my foes) am neither a woman nor one that is not a woman, neither also a man nor one that is not a man. Beholding their sovereignty over the world and vast affluence, as also that sacrifice, who is there like me that would not smart under all that? Alone I am incapable of acquiring such royal prosperity; nor do I behold allies that could help me in the matter. It is for this that I am thinking of self-destruction. Beholding that great and serene prosperity of the son of Kunti, I regard Fate as supreme and exertions fruitless. O son of Suvala, formerly I strove to compass his destruction. But baffling all my efforts he hath grown in prosperity even like the lotus from within a pool of water. It is for this that I regard Fate as supreme and exertions fruitless. Behold, the sons of Dhritarashtra are decaying and the sons of Pritha are growing day by day. Beholding that prosperity of the Pandavas, and that assembly house of theirs, and those menials laughing at me, my heart burneth as if it were on fire. Therefore, O uncle, know me now as deeply grieved and filled with jealousy, and speak of it to Dhritarashtra.'
"Sakuni said.--'O Duryodhana, thou shouldst not be jealous of Yudhishthira. The sons of Pandu are enjoying what they deserve in consequence of their own good fortune. O slayer of foes, O great king, thou couldst not destroy them by repeatedly devising numberless plans, many of which thou hadst even put to practice. Those tigers among men out of sheer luck escaped all those machinations. They have obtained Draupadi for wife and Drupada with his sons as also Vasudeva of great prowess as allies, capable of helping them in subjugating the whole world. And O king, having inherited the paternal share of the kingdom without being deprived of it they have grown in consequence of their own energy. What is there to make thee sorry for this? Having gratified Hustasana, Dhananjaya hath obtained the bow Gandiva and the couple of inexhaustible quivers and many celestial weapons. With that unique bow and by the strength of his own arms also he hath brought all the kings of the world under his sway. What is there to make thee sorry for this? Having saved the Asura Maya from a conflagration, Arjuna, that slayer of foes, using both his hands with equal skill, caused him to build that assembly house. And it is for this also that commanded by Maya, those grim Rakshasas called Kinkaras supported that assembly house. What is there in this to make thee sorry? Thou hast said, O king, that thou art without allies. This, O Bharata, is not true. These thy brothers are obedient to thee. Drona of great prowess and wielding the large bow along with his son, Radha's son Karna, the great warrior Gautama (Kripa), myself with my brothers and king Saumadatti--these are thy allies. Uniting thyself with these, conquer thou the whole of the earth.'
"Duryodhana said,--'O king, with thee, as also with these great warriors, I shall subjugate the Pandavas, if it pleases thee. If I can now subjugate them, the world will be mine and all the monarchs, and that assembly house so full of wealth.'
"Sakuni replied,--'Dhananjaya and Vasudeva, Bhimasena and Yudhishthira, Nakula and Sahadeva and Drupada with his sons,--these cannot be vanquished in battle by even the celestials, for they are all great warriors wielding the largest bows, accomplished in weapons, and delighting in battle. But, O king, I know the means by which Yudhishthira himself may be vanquished. Listen to me and adopt it.'
"Duryodhana said,--'without danger to our friends and other illustrious men, O uncle, tell me if there is any way by which I may vanquish him.'
"Sakuni said,--'The son of Kunti is very fond of dice-play although he doth not know how to play. That king if asked to play, is ill able to refuse. I am skillful at dice. There is none equal to me in this respect on earth, no, not even in the three worlds, O son of Kuru. Therefore, ask him to play at dice. Skilled at dice, I will win his kingdom, and that splendid prosperity of his for thee, O bull among men. But, O Duryodhana, represent all this unto the king (Dhritarashtra). Commanded by thy father I will win without doubt the whole of Yudhishthira's possessions.'
"Duryodhana said 'O son of Suvala, thou thyself represent properly all this to Dhritarashtra, the chief of the Kurus. I shall not be able to do so.'"
Vaisampayana said--"O king, impressed with the great Rajasuya sacrifice of king Yudhishthira, Sakuni, the son of Suvala, having learnt before the intentions of Duryodhana, while accompanying him in the way from the assembly house, and desirous of saying what was agreeable to him, approached Dhritarashtra endued with great wisdom, and finding the monarch deprived of his eye seated (in his throne), told him these words,--'Know, O great king, O bull of the Bharata race, that Duryodhana, having lost colour, hath become pale and emaciated and depressed and a prey to anxiety. Why dost thou not, after due enquiry, ascertain the grief that is in the heart of thy eldest son, the grief that is caused by the foe?'
"Dhritarashtra said,--'Duryodhana, what is the reason of thy great affliction, O son of the Kuru race? If it is fit for me to hear it, then tell me the reason. This Sakuni here says that thou hast lost colour, become pale and emaciated, and a prey to anxiety. I do not know what can be the reason of the sorrow. This vast wealth of mine is at thy control. Thy brothers and all our relations never do anything that is disagreeable to thee. Thou wearest the best apparel and eatest the best food that is prepared with meat. The best of horse carries thee. What it is, therefore, that hath made thee pale and emaciated? Costly beds, beautiful damsels, mansions decked with excellent furniture, and sport of the delightful kind, without doubt these all wait but at thy command, as in the case of the gods themselves. Therefore, O proud one, why dost thou grieve, O son, as if thou wert destitute.'
"Duryodhana said,--'I eat and dress myself like a wretch and pass my time all the while a prey to fierce jealousy. He indeed is a man, who incapable of bearing the pride of the foe, liveth having vanquished that foe with the desire of liberating his own subjects from the tyranny of the foe. Contentment, as also pride, O Bharata, are destructive of prosperity; and those other two qualities also, viz., compassion and fear. One who acteth under the influence of these, never obtaineth anything high. Having beheld Yudhishthira's prosperity, whatever I enjoy brings me no gratification. The prosperity of Kunti's son that is possessed of such splendour maketh me pale. Knowing the affluence of the foe and my own destitution, even though that affluence is not before me, I yet see it before me. Therefore, have I lost colour and become melancholy, pale and emaciated. Yudhishthira supporteth eighty-eight thousand Snataka Brahmanas leading domestic lives, giving unto each of them thirty slave-girls. Beside this, thousand other Brahmanas daily eat at his palace the best of food on golden plates. The king of Kambhoja sent unto him (as tribute) innumerable skins, black, darkish, and red, of the deer Kadali, as also numberless blankets of excellent textures. And hundreds and thousands and thousands of she-elephants and thirty thousand she-camels wander within the palace, for the kings of the earth brought them all as tribute to the capital of the Pandavas. And, O lord of earth, the kings also brought unto this foremost of sacrifices heaps upon heaps of jewels and gems for the son of Kunti. Never before did I see or hear of such enormous wealth as was brought unto the sacrifice of the intelligent sons of Pandu. And, O king, beholding that enormous collection of wealth belonging to the foe, I can not enjoy peace of mind. Hundreds of Brahmanas supported by the grants that Yudhishthira hath given them and possessing wealth of kine, waited at the palace gate with three thousands of millions of tribute but were prevented by the keepers from entering the mansion. Bringing with them clarified butter in handsome Kamandalus made of gold, they did not obtain admission into the palace, and Ocean himself brought unto him in vessels of white copper the nectar that is generated within his waters and which is much superior to that which flowers and annual plants produce for Sakra. And Vasudeva (at the conclusion of the sacrifice) having brought an excellent conch bathed the Sun of Pritha with sea water brought in thousand jars of gold, all well adorned with numerous gems. Beholding all this I became feverish with jealousy. Those jars had been taken to the Eastern and the Southern oceans. And they had also been taken on the shoulders of men to the Western ocean, O bull among men. And, O father, although none but birds only can go to the Northern region Arjuna, having gone thither, exacted as tribute a vast quantity of wealth. There is another wonderful incident also which I will relate to thee. O listen to me. When a hundred thousand Brahmanas were fed, it had been arranged that to notify this act every day conches would be blown in a chorus. But, O Bharata, I continually heard conches blown there almost repeatedly. And hearing those notes my hair stood on end. And, O great king, that palatial compound, filled with innumerable monarchs that came there as spectators, looked exceedingly handsome like the cloudless firmament with stars. And, O king of men, the monarchs came into that sacrifice of the wise son of Pandu bringing with them every kind of wealth. And the kings that came there became like Vaisyas the distributors of food unto the Brahmanas that were fed. And O king, the prosperity that I beheld of Yudhishthira was such that neither the chief himself of the celestials, nor Yama or Varuna, nor the lord of the Guhyakas owneth the same. And beholding that great prosperity of the son of Pandu, my heart burneth and I cannot enjoy peace.'
"Hearing these words of Duryodhana, Sakuni replied,--'Hear how thou mayest obtain this unrivalled prosperity that thou beholdest in the son of Pandu, O thou that hast truth for thy prowess. O Bharata, I am an adept at dice, superior to all in the world. I can ascertain the success or otherwise of every throw, and when to stake and when not. I have special knowledge of the game. The Son of Kunti also is fond of dice playing though he possesseth little skill in it. Summoned to play or battle, he is sure to come forward, and I will defeat him repeatedly at every throw by practising deception. I promise to win all that wealth of his, and thou, O Duryodhana, shalt then enjoy the same.'"
Vaisampayana continued,--"King Duryodhana, thus addressed by Sakuni, without allowing a moment to elapse, said unto Dhritarashtra,--'This, Sakuni, an adept at dice, is ready to win at dice, O king, the wealth of the sons of Pandu. It behoveth thee to grant him permission to do so.'
"Dhritarashtra replied,--'I always follow the counsels of Kshatta, my minister possessed of great wisdom. Having consulted with him, I will inform thee what my judgment is in respect of this affair. Endued with great foresight, he will, keeping morality before his eyes, tell us what is good and what is proper for both parties, and what should be done in this matter.'
"Duryodhana said,--'If thou consultest with Kshatta he will make thee desist. And if thou desist, O king, I will certainly kill myself. And when I am dead, O king, thou wilt become happy with Vidura. Thou wilt then enjoy the whole earth; what need hast thou with me?'"
Vaisampayana continued,--"Dhritarashtra, hearing these words of affliction uttered by Duryodhana from mixed feeling, himself ready to what Duryodhana had dictated, commanded his servant, saying,--'Let artificers be employed to erect without delay a delightful and handsome and spacious palace with an hundred doors and a thousand columns. And having brought carpenters and joiners, set ye jewels and precious stones all over the walls. And making it handsome and easy of access, report to me when everything is complete.' And, O monarch, king Dhritarashtra having made this resolution for the pacification of Duryodhana, sent messengers unto Vidura for summoning him. For without taking counsel with Vidura never did the monarch form any resolution. But as regards the matter at hand, the king although he knew the evils of gambling, was yet attracted towards it. The intelligent Vidura, however, as soon as he heard of it, knew that the arrival of Kali was at hand. And seeing that the way to destruction was about to open, he quickly came to Dhritarashtra. And Vidura approaching his illustrious eldest brother and bowing down unto his feet, said these words:
"'O exalted king, I do not approve of this resolution that thou hast formed. It behave thee, O king, to act in such a way that no dispute may arise between thy children on account of this gambling match.'
"Dhritarashtra replied,--'O Kshatta, if the gods be merciful unto us, assuredly no dispute will ever arise amongst my sons. Therefore, auspicious or otherwise, beneficial or otherwise, let this friendly challenge at dice proceed. Even this without doubt is what fate hath ordained for us. And, O son of the Bharata race, when I am near, and Drona and Bhishma and thou too, nothing evil that even Fate might have ordained is likely to happen. Therefore, go thou on a car yoking thereto horses endued with the speed of the wind, so that thou mayest reach Khandavaprastha even today and bring thou Yudhishthira with thee. And, O Vidura, I tell that even this is my resolution. Tell me nothing. I regard Fate as supreme which bringeth all this.' Hearing these words of Dhritarashtra and concluding that his race was doomed, Vidura in great sorrow went unto Bhishma with great wisdom."
Janamejaya said,--"O thou foremost of all conversant with the Vedas, how did that game at dice take place, fraught with such evil to the cousins and through which my grand-sires, the son of Pandu, were plunged into such sorrow? What kings also were present in that assembly, and who amongst them approved of the gambling match and who amongst them forbade it? O sinless one, O chief of regenerate ones, I desire thee to recite in detail all about this, which, indeed, was the cause of the destruction of the world."
Santi said,--"Thus addressed by the king, the disciple of Vyasa, endued with great energy and conversant with the entire Vedas, narrated everything that had happened."
Vaisampayana said,--"O best of the Bharatas, O great king, if thou desirest to hear, then listen to me as I narrate to thee everything again in detail.
"Ascertaining the opinion of Vidura, Dhritarashtra the son of Amvika, calling Duryodhana told him again in private--'O son of Gandhari, have nothing to do with dice. Vidura doth not speak well of it. Possessed of great wisdom, he will never give me advice that is not for my good. I also regard what Vidura sayeth as exceedingly beneficial for me. Do that, O son, for I regard it all as for thy good also. Indeed, Vidura knoweth with all its mysteries the science (of political morality) that the illustrious and learned and wise Vrihaspati, the celestial Rishi who is the spiritual guide of Vasava--had unfolded unto the wise chief of the immortals. And O son, I always accept what Vidura adviseth. O king, as the wise Uddhava is ever regarded amongst the Vrishnis, so is Vidura possessed of great intelligence esteemed as the foremost of the Kurus. Therefore, O son, have nothing to do with dice. It is evident that dice soweth dissensions. And dissensions are the ruin of the kingdom. Therefore, O son, abandon this idea of gambling. O son, thou hast obtained from us what, it hath been ordained, a father and a mother should give unto their son, viz., ancestral rank and possessions. Thou art educated and clever in every branch of knowledge, and hast been brought up with affection in thy paternal dwelling. Born the eldest among all thy brothers, living within thy own kingdom, why regardest thou thyself as unhappy? O thou of mighty arms, thou obtainest food and attire of the very best kind and which is not obtainable by ordinary men. Why dost thou grieve yet. O son, O mighty-armed one, ruling thy large ancestral kingdom swelling with people and wealth, thou shinest as splendidly as the chief of the celestials in heaven. Thou art possessed of wisdom. It behoveth thee to tell me what can be the root of this grief that hath made thee so melancholy.'
"Duryodhana replied,--'I am a sinful wretch, O king,
because I eat and dress beholding (the prosperity of the foes). It hath been
said that man is a wretch who is not filled with jealousy at the sight of his
enemy's prosperity. O exalted one, this kind of prosperity of mine doth not
gratify me. Beholding that blazing prosperity of the son of Kunti, I am very
much pained. I tell thee strong must be my vitality, in as much as I am living
even at the sight of the whole earth owning the sway of Yudhishthira. The
Nipas, the Chitrakas, the Kukkuras, the Karaskaras, and the Lauha-janghas are
living in the
"Duryodhana said,--'Listen now, O Bharata, about all
the most costly articles I saw, belonging unto the sons of Pandu, and brought
one after another by the kings of the earth. Beholding that wealth of the foe,
I lost my reason and scarcely knew myself. And, O Bharata, listen as I describe
that wealth consisting of both manufactures and the produce of the land. The
king of Kamboja gave innumerable skins of the best kind, and blankets made of
wool, of the soft fur of rodents and other burroughers, and of the hair of
cats,--all inlaid with threads of gold. And he also gave three hundred horses
of the Titteti and the Kalmasha species possessing noses like parrots. And he
also gave three hundred camels and an equal number of she-asses, all fattened
with the olives and the Pilusha. And innumerable Brahmanas engaged in rearing
cattle and occupied in low offices for the gratification of the illustrious
king Yudhishthira the just waited at the gate with three hundred millions of
tribute but they were denied admission into the palace. And hundred upon
hundreds of Brahmanas possessing wealth of kine and living upon the lands that
Yudhishthira had given them, came there with their handsome golden Kamandalus
filled with clarified butter. And though they had brought such tribute, they
were refused admission into the palace. And the Sudra kings that dwelt in the
regions on the seacoast, brought with them, O king, hundred thousands of
serving girls of the Karpasika country, all of beautiful features and slender
waist and luxuriant hair and decked in golden ornaments; and also many skins of
the Ranku deer worthy even of Brahmanas as tribute unto king Yudhishthira. And
the tribes Vairamas, Paradas, Tungas, with the Kitavas who lived upon crops
that depended on water from the sky or of the river and also they who were born
in regions on the sea-shore, in woodlands, or countries on the other side of
the ocean waited at the gate, being refused permission to enter, with goats and
kine and asses and camels and vegetable, honey and blankets and jewels and gems
of various kinds. And that great warrior king Bhagadatta, the brave ruler of
Pragjyotisha and the mighty sovereign of the mlechchas, at the head of a large
number of Yavanas waited at the gate unable to enter, with a considerable
tribute comprising of horses of the best breed and possessing the speed of the
wind. And king Bhagadatta (beholding the concourse) had to go away from the
gate, making over a number of swords with handles made of the purest ivory and well-adorned
with diamonds and every kind of gems. And many tribes coming from different
regions, of whom some possess two eyes, some three and some had eyes on their
foreheads, and those also called Aushmikas, and Nishadas, and Romakas, some
cannibals and many possessing only one leg, I say, O king, standing at the
gate, being refused permission to enter. And these diverse rulers brought as
tribute ten thousand asses of diverse hues and black necks and huge bodies and
great speed and much docility and celebrated all over the world. And these
asses were all of goodly size and delightful colour. And they were all bred on
the coast of
"Duryodhana said,--'O sinless one, listen to me as I
describe that large mass of wealth consisting of various kinds of tribute
presented unto Yudhishthira by the kings of the earth. They that dwell by the
side of the river Sailoda flowing between the mountains of Mer and Mandara and
enjoy the delicious shade of topes of the Kichaka bamboo, viz., the Khashas,
Ekasanas, the Arhas, the Pradaras, the Dirghavenus, the Paradas, the Kulindas,
the Tanganas, and the other Tanganas, brought as tribute heaps of gold measured
in dronas (jars) and raised from underneath the earth by ants and therefore
called after these creatures. The mountain tribes endued with great strength
having brought as tribute numerous Chamaras (long brushes) soft and black and
others white as moon-beam and sweet honey extracted from the flowers growing on
the Himavat as also from the Mishali champaka and garlands of flowers brought
from the region of the northern Kurus, and diverse kinds of plants from the
north even from Kailasa, waited with their heads bent down at the gate of king
Yudhishthira, being refused permission to enter. I also beheld there numberless
chiefs of the Kiratas armed with cruel weapons and ever engaged in cruel deeds,
eating of fruits and roots and attired in skins and living on the northern
slopes of the Himavat and on the mountain from behind which the sun rises and
in the region of Karusha on the sea-coast and on both sides of the Lohitya
mountains. And, O king, having brought with them as tribute loads upon loads of
sandal and aloe as also black aloe, and heaps upon heaps of valuable skins and
gold and perfumes, and ten thousand serving-girls of their own race, and many
beautiful animals and birds of remote countries, and much gold of great
splendour procured from mountains, the Kiratas waited at the gate, being
refused permission to enter. The Kairatas, the Daradas, the Darvas, the Suras,
the Vaiamakas, the Audumvaras, the Durvibhagas, the Kumaras, the Paradas along
with the Vahlikas, the Kashmiras, the Ghorakas, the Hansakayanas, the Sivis,
the Trigartas, the Yauddheyas, the ruler of Madras and the Kaikeyas, the
Amvashtas, the Kaukuras, the Tarkshyas, the Vastrapas along with the Palhavas,
the Vashatayas, the Mauleyas along with the Kshudrakas, and the Malavas, the
Paundrayas, the Kukkuras, the Sakas, the Angas, the Vangas, the Punras, the
Sanavatyas, and the Gayas--these good and well-born Kshatriyas distributed into
regular clans and trained to the use of arms, brought tribute unto king
Yudhishthira by hundreds and thousands. And the Vangas, the Kalingas, the
Magadhas, the Tamraliptas, the Supundrakas, the Dauvalikas, the Sagarakas, the
Patrornas, the Saisavas, and innumerable Karnapravaranas, who presented themselves
at the gate, were told by the gate-keepers at the command of the king, that if
they could wait and bring good tribute they could obtain admission. Then the
kings of those nations each gave a thousand elephants furnished with tusks like
unto the shafts of ploughs and decked with girdles made of gold, and covered
with fine blankets and therefore, resembling the lotus in hue. And they were
all darkish as rocks and always musty, and procured from the sides of the
Kamyaka lake, and covered with defensive armour. And they were also exceedingly
patient and of the best breed. And having made these presents, those kings were
permitted to enter. O king, these and many others, coming from various regions,
and numberless other illustrious kings, brought jewels and gems unto this
sacrifice. And Chitraratha, also the king of Gandharvas, the friend of Indra,
gave four hundred horses gifted with the speed of the wind. And the Gandharva
Tumvuru gladly gave a hundred horses of the colour of mango leaf and decked in gold.
And, O thou of the Kuru race, the celebrated king of the Mlechcha tribe, called
the Sukaras, gave many hundreds of excellent elephants. And Virata, the king of
Matsya, gave as tribute two thousand elephants decked in gold. And king
Vasudana from the kingdom of Pansu presented unto the son of Pandu six and
twenty elephants and two thousand horses, O king, all decked in gold and endued
with speed and strength and in full vigour of youth, and diverse other kinds of
wealth. And Yajnasena presented unto the sons of Pandu for the sacrifice,
fourteen thousand serving-girls and ten thousand serving-men with their wives,
many hundreds of excellent elephants, six and twenty cars with elephants yoked
unto them, and also his whole kingdom. And Vasudeva of the Vrishni race, in
order to enhance the dignity of Arjuna, gave fourteen thousands of excellent
elephants. Indeed, Krishna is the soul of Arjuna and Arjuna is the soul of
Krishna, and whatever Arjuna may say
"'And beholding the kings of the earth to present unto the
foes such excellent and valuable presents, I wished for death out of grief. And
O king, I will now tell thee of the servants of the Pandavas, people for whom
Yudhishthira supplieth food, both cooked and uncooked. There are a hundred
thousand billions of mounted elephants and cavalry and a hundred millions of
cars and countless foot soldiers. At one place raw provisions are being
measured out; at another they are being cooked; and at another place the foods
are being distributed. And the notes of festivity are being heard everywhere.
And amongst men of all orders I beheld not a single one in the
"Duryodhana said,--'Those kings that are revered over
all the world, who are devoted to truth and who are pledged to the observance
of rigid vows, who are possessed of great learning and eloquence, who are fully
conversant with the Vedas and their branches as also with sacrifices, who have
piety and modesty, whose souls are devoted to virtue, who possess fame, and who
have enjoyed the grand rites of coronation, all wait upon and worship
Yudhishthira. And, O king, I beheld there many thousands of wild kine with as
many vessels of white copper for milking them, brought thither by the kings of
the earth as sacrificial presents to be given away by Yudhishthira unto the
Brahmana. And, O Bharata, for bathing Yudhishthira at the conclusion of the
sacrifice, many kings with the greatest alacrity, themselves brought there in a
state of purity many excellent jars (containing water). And king Vahlika
brought there a car decked with pure gold. And king Sudakshina himself yoked
thereto four white horses of Kamboja breed, and Sunitha of great might fitted
the lower pole and the ruler of Chedi with his own hands took up and fitted the
flag-staff. And the king of the Southern country stood ready with the coat of
mail; the ruler of Magadha, with garlands of flowers and the head-gear; the
great warrior Vasudana with a sixty years old elephant, the king of Matsya,
with the side-fittings of the car, all encased in gold; king Ekalavya, with the
shoes; the king of Avanti, with diverse kinds of water for the final bath; king
Chekitana, with the quiver; the king of Kasi, with the bow; and Salya, with a
sword whose hilt and straps were adorned with gold. Then Dhaumya and Vyasa, of
great ascetic merit, with Narada and Asita's son Devala, standing before
performed the ceremony of sprinkling the sacred water over the king. And the
great Rishis with cheerful hearts sat where the sprinkling ceremony was
performed. And other illustrious Rishis conversant with the Vedas, with
Jamadagni's son among them, approached Yudhishthira, the giver of large
sacrificial presents, uttering mantras all the while, like the seven Rishis,
approaching the great Indra in heaven. And Satyaki of unbaffled prowess held
the umbrella (over the king's head). And Dhananjaya and Bhima were engaged in
tanning the king; while the twins held a couple of chamaras in their hands. And
the Ocean himself brought in a sling that big conch of Varuna which the
celestial artificer Viswakarman had constructed with a thousand Nishkas of
gold, and which Prajapati had in a former Kalpa, presented unto Indra. It was
with that conch that
"Dhritrashtra said,--'Thou art my eldest son and born also of my eldest wife. Therefore, O son, be not jealous of the Pandavas. He that is jealous is always unhappy and suffereth the pangs of death. O bull of the Bharata race, Yudhishthira knoweth not deception, possesseth wealth equal unto thine, hath thy friends for his, and is not jealous of thee. Why shouldst thou, therefore, be jealous of him? O king, in respect of friends and allies thou art equal unto Yudhishthira. Why shouldst thou, therefore, covet, from folly, the property of thy brother? Be not so. Cease to be jealous. Do not grieve. O bull of the Bharata race, if thou covetest the dignity attaching to the performance of a sacrifice, let the priests arrange for thee the great sacrifice, called the Saptatantu. The kings of the earth will then, cheerfully and with great respect, bring for thee also much wealth and gems and ornaments. O child, coveting other's possessions is exceedingly mean. He, on the other hand, enjoyeth happiness, who is content with his own being engaged in the practices of his own order. Never striving to obtain the wealth of others, persevering in one's own affairs, and protecting what hath been earned,--these are the indications of true greatness. He that is unmoved in calamity, skilled in his own business, ever exerting vigilance and humble, always beholdeth prosperity. The sons of Pandu are as thy arms. Do not lop off those arms of thine. Plunge not into internal dissensions for the sake of that wealth of thy brothers. O king, be not jealous of the sons of Pandu. Thy wealth is equal unto that of thy brothers in his entirety. There is great sin in quarrelling with friends. They that are thy grandsires are theirs also. Give away in charity on occasions of sacrifices, gratify every dear object of thy desire, disport in the company of women freely, and enjoy thou peace.'
"Duryodhana said,--'He that is devoid of intellect but hath merely heard of many things, can scarcely understand the real import of the scriptures, like the spoon that hath no perception of the taste of the soup it toucheth. Thou knowest everything, but yet confoundest me. Like a boat fastened to another, thou and I are tied to each other. Art thou unmindful of thy own interests? Or, dost thou entertain hostile feeling towards me? These thy sons and allies are doomed to destruction, inasmuch as they have thee for their ruler, for thou describest as attainable in the future what is to be done at the present moment. He often trippeth whose guide acts under the instructions of others. How then can his followers expect to come across a right path? O king, thou art of mature wisdom; thou hast the opportunity to listen to the words of old, and thy senses also are under thy control. It behoveth thee not to confound us who are ready to seek our own interests. Vrihaspati hath said that the usage of kings are different from those of common people. Therefore kings should always attend to their own interests with vigilance. The attainment of success is the sole criterion that should guide the conduct of a Kshatriya. Whether, therefore, the means is virtuous or sinful, what scruples can there be in the duties of one's own order? He that is desirous of snatching the blazing prosperity of his foe, should, O bull of the Bharata race, bring every direction under his subjection like the charioteer taming the steeds with his whip. Those used to handling weapons say that, a weapon is not simply an instrument that cuts but is a means, whether covert or overt, that can defeat a foe. Who is to be reckoned a foe and who a friend, doth not depend on one's figure or dimensions. He that paineth another is, O king, to be regarded a foe by him that is pained. Discontent is the root of prosperity. Therefore, O king, I desire to be discontented. He that striveth after the acquisition of prosperity is, O king, a truly politic person. Nobody should be attached to wealth and affluence, for the wealth that hath been earned and hoarded may be plundered. The usages of kings are even such. It was during a period of peace that Sakra cut off the head of Namuchi after having given a pledge to the contrary, and it was because he approved of this eternal usage towards the enemy that he did so. Like a snake that swalloweth up frogs and other creatures living in holes, the earth swalloweth up a king that is peaceful and a Brahmana that stirreth not out of home. O king, none can by nature be any person's foe. He is one's foe, and not anybody else, who hath common pursuits with one. He that from folly neglecteth a growing foe, hath his vitals cut off as by a disease that he cherished without treatment. A foe, however insignificant, if suffered to grow in prowess, swalloweth one like the white ants at the root of a tree eating off the tree itself. O Bharata, O Ajamida, let not the prosperity of the foe be acceptable to thee. This policy (of neglecting the foe) should always be borne on their heads by the wise even like a load. He that always wisheth for the increase of his wealth, ever groweth in the midst of his relatives even like the body naturally growing from the moment of birth. Prowess conferreth speedy growth. Coveting as I do the prosperity of the Pandavas, I have not yet made it my own. At present I am a prey to doubts in respect of my ability. I am determined to resolve those doubts of mine. I will either obtain that prosperity of theirs, or lie down having perished in battle. O king when the state of my mind is such, what do I care now for life, for the Pandavas are daily growing while our possessions know no increase?'
"Sakuni said,--'O thou foremost of victorious persons, I will snatch (for thee) this prosperity of Yudhishthira, the son of Pandu, at the sight of which thou grievest so. Therefore, O king, let Yudhishthira the son of Kunti be summoned. By throwing dice a skilful man, himself uninjured, may vanquish one that hath no skill. Know, O Bharata, that betting is my bow, the dice are my arrows, the marks on them my bow-string, and the dice-board my car.'
"Duryodhana said,--'This Sukuni skilled at dice, is ready, O king, to snatch the prosperity of the son of Pandu by means of dice. It behoveth thee to give him permission.'
"Dhritarashtra said,--'I am obedient to the counsels of my brother, the illustrious Vidura. Consulting with him, I shall tell what should be done in this matter.'
"Duryodhana said,--'Vidura is always engaged in doing good to the sons of Pandu. O Kaurava, his feelings towards us are otherwise. He will, therefore, without doubt, withdraw thy heart from the proposed act. No man should set himself to any task depending upon the counsels of another, for, O son of Kuru's race, the minds of two persons seldom agree in any particular act. The fool that liveth shunning all causes of fear wasteth himself like an insect in the rainy season. Neither sickness nor Yama waiteth till one is in prosperity. So long, therefore, as there is life and health, one should (without waiting for prosperity) accomplish his purpose.'
"Dhritarashtra said,--'O son, hostility with those that are strong, is what never recommendeth itself to me. Hostility bringeth about a change of feelings, and that itself is a weapon though not made of steel. Thou regardest, O Prince, as a great blessing what will bring in its train the terrible consequences of war. What is really fraught with mischief. If once it beginneth, it will create sharp swords and pointed arrows.'
"Duryodhana replied,--'Men of the most ancient times invented the use of dice. There is no destruction in it, nor is there any striking with weapons. Let the words of Sakuni, therefore, be acceptable to thee, and let thy command be issued for the speedy construction of the assembly house. The door of heaven, leading us to such happiness, will be opened to us by gambling. Indeed, they that betake to gambling (with such aid) deserve such good fortune. The Pandavas then will become thy equals (instead of, as now, superiors); therefore, gamble thou with the Pandavas.'
"Dhritarashtra said.--'The words uttered by thee do not recommend themselves to me. Do what may be agreeable to thee, O ruler of men. But thou shall have to repent for acting according to these words; for, words that are fraught with such immorality can never bring prosperity in the future. Even this was foreseen by the learned Vidura ever treading the path of truth and wisdom. Even the great calamity, destructive of the lives of the Kshatriyas, cometh as destined by fate.'"
Vaisampayana continued--"Having said this, the weak-minded Dhritarashtra regarded fate as supreme and unavoidable. And the king deprived of reason by Fate, and obedient to the counsels of his son, commanded his men in loud voice, saying--'Carefully construct, without loss of time, an assembly house of the most beautiful description, to be called the crystal-arched palace with a thousand columns, decked with gold and lapis lazuli, furnished with a hundred gates, and full two miles in length and in breadth the same.' Hearing those words of his, thousands of artificers endued with intelligence and skill soon erected the palace with the greatest alacrity, and having erected it brought thither every kind of article. And soon after they cheerfully represented unto the king that the palace had been finished, and that it as delightful and handsome and furnished with every kind of gems and covered with many-coloured carpets inlaid with gold. Then king Dhritarashtra, possessed of learning, summoning Vidura the chief of his ministers, said:--'Repairing, (to Khandavaprastha), bring prince Yudhishthira here without loss of time. Let him come hither with his brothers, and behold this handsome assembly house of mine, furnished with countless jewels and gems, and costly beds and carpets, and let a friendly match at dice commence here.'"
Vaisampayana said,--"King Dhritarashtra, ascertaining the inclinations of his son and knowing that Fate is inevitable, did what I have said. Vidura, however, that foremost of intelligent men, approved not his brother's words and spoke thus, 'I approve not, O king, of this command of thine. Do not act so. I fear, this will bring about the destruction of our race. When thy sons lose their unity, dissension will certainly ensue amongst them. This I apprehend, O king, from this match at dice.'
"Dhritarashtra said,--'If Fate be not hostile, this quarrel will not certainly grieve me. The whole universe moveth at the will of its Creator, under the controlling influence of Fate. It is not free. Therefore, O Vidura, going unto king Yudhishthira at my command, bring thou soon that invincible son of Kunti.'"
Vaisampayana said,--"Vidura then, thus commanded
against his will by king Dhritarashtra, set out, with the help of horses of
high mettle and endued with great speed and strength, and quiet and patient,
for the abode of the wise sons of Pandu. Possessed of great intelligence,
Vidura proceeded by the way leading to the capital of the Pandavas. And having
arrived at the city of king Yudhishthira, he entered it and proceeded towards
the palace, worshipped by numberless Brahmanas. And coming to the palace which
was even like unto the
"Vidura said,--'The illustrious king, with his sons, is well and happy, and surrounded by his relatives he reigneth even like Indra himself. The king is happy with his sons who are all obedient to him and hath no grief. The illustrious monarch is bent on his own aggrandisement. The king of the Kurus hath commanded me to enquire after thy peace and prosperity, and to ask thee to repair to Hastinapore with thy brothers and to say, after beholding king Dhritarashtra's newly erected palace, whether that one is equal to thy own. Repairing thither, O son of Pritha, with thy brothers, enjoy ye in that mansion and sit to a friendly match at dice. We shall be glad if thou goest, as the Kurus have already arrived there. And thou wilt see there those gamblers and cheats that the illustrious king Dhritarashtra hath already brought thither. It is for this, O king, that I have come hither. Let the king's command be approved by thee.'
"Yudhishthira said,--'O Kshatta, if we sit to a match at dice, we may quarrel. What man is there, who knowing all this, will consent to gamble? What dost thou think fit for us? We all are obedient to thy counsels.'
"Vidura said,--'I know that gambling is the root of misery, and I strove to dissuade the king from it. The king, however, hath sent me to thee. Having known all this, O learned one, do what is beneficial.'
"Yudhishthira said,--'Besides the sons of Dhritarashtra what other dishonest gamblers are there ready for play? Tell us, O Vidura, who they are and with whom we shall have to play, staking hundreds upon hundreds of our possessions.'
"Vidura said,--'O monarch, Sakuni, the king of Gandhara, an adept at dice, having great skill of hand and desperate in stakes, Vivingati, king Chitrasena, Satyavrata, Purumitra and Jaya, these, O king, are there.'
"Yudhishthira said,--'It would seem then that some of the most desperate and terrible gamblers always depending upon deceit are there. This whole universe, however, is at the will of its Maker, under the control of fate. It is not free. O learned one, I do not desire, at the command of king Dhritarashtra to engage myself in gambling. The father always wisheth to benefit his son. Thou art our master, O Vidura. Tell me what is proper for us. Unwilling as I am to gamble, I will not do so, if the wicked Sakuni doth not summon me to it in the Sabha? If, however, he challengeth me, I will never refuse. For that, as settled, is my eternal vow.'"
Vaisampayana continued,--"King Yudhishthira the just
having said this unto Vidura, commanded that preparations for his journey might
be made without loss of time. And the next day, the king accompanied by his
relatives and attendants and taking with him also the women of the household
with Draupadi in their midst, set out for the capital of the Kurus. 'Like some
brilliant body falling before the eyes, Fate depriveth us of reason, and man,
tied as it were with a cord, submitteth to the sway of Providence,' saying
this, king Yudhishthira, that chastiser of the foe, set out with Kshatta,
without deliberating upon that summons from Dhritarashtra. And that slayer of
hostile heroes, the son of Pandu and Pritha, riding upon the car that had been
given him by the king of Valhika, and attired also in royal robes, set out with
his brothers. And the king, blazing as it were with royal splendour, with
Brahmanas walking before him, set out from his city, summoned by Dhritarashtra
and impelled by what hath been ordained by Kala (Time). And arriving at
Hastinapore he went to the
Vaisampayana said,--"The sons of Pritha with Yudhishthira at their head, having entered that assembly house, approached all the kings that were present there. And worshipping all those that deserved to be worshipped, and saluting others as each deserved according to age, they seated themselves on seats that were clean and furnished with costly carpets. After they had taken their seats, as also all the kings, Sakuni the son of Suvala addressed Yudhishthira and said, 'O king, the assembly is full. All had been waiting for thee. Let, therefore, the dice be cast and the rules of play be fixed, O Yudhishthira.'
"Yudhishthira replied, 'Deceitful gambling is sinful. There is no Kshatriya prowess in it. There is certainly no morality in it. Why, then, O king, dost thou praise gambling so? The wise applaud not the pride that gamesters feel in deceitful play. O Sakuni, vanquish us, not like a wretch, by deceitful means.'
"Sakuni said,--'That high-souled player who knoweth the secrets of winning and losing, who is skilled in baffling the deceitful arts of his confrere, who is united in all the diverse operations of which gambling consisteth, truly knoweth the play, and he suffereth all in course of it. O son of Pritha, it is the staking at dice, which may be lost or won that may injure us. And it is for that reason that gambling is regarded as a fault. Let us, therefore, O king, begin the play. Fear not. Let the stakes be fixed. Delay not!'
"Yudhishthira said,--'That best of Munis, Devala, the son of Asita, who always instructeth us about all those acts that may lead to heaven, hell, or the other regions, hath said, that it is sinful to play deceitfully with a gamester. To obtain victory in battle without cunning or stratagem is the best sport. Gambling, however, as a sport, is not so. Those that are respectable never use the language of the Mlechchas, nor do they adopt deceitfulness in their behaviour. War carried on without crookedness and cunning, this is the act of men that are honest. Do not, O Sakuni, playing desperately, win of us that wealth with which according to our abilities, we strive to learn how to benefit the Brahmanas. Even enemies should not be vanquished by desperate stakes in deceitful play. I do not desire either happiness or wealth by means of cunning. The conduct of one that is a gamester, even if it be without deceitfulness, should not be applauded.'
"Sakuni said,--'O Yudhishthira, it is from a desire of winning, which is not a very honest motive, that one high-born person approacheth another (in a contest of race superiority). So also it is from a desire of defeating, which is not a very honest motive, that one learned person approacheth another (in a contest of learning). Such motives, however, are scarcely regarded as really dishonest. So also, O Yudhishthira, a person skilled at dice approacheth one that is not so skilled from a desire of vanquishing him. One also who is conversant with the truths of science approacheth another that is not from desire of victory, which is scarcely an honest motive. But (as I have already said) such a motive is not really dishonest. And, O Yudhishthira, so also one that is skilled in weapons approacheth one that is not so skilled; the strong approacheth the weak. This is the practice in every contest. The motive is victory, O Yudhishthira. If, therefore, thou, in approaching me, regardest me to be actuated by motives that are dishonest, if thou art under any fear, desist then from play.'
"Yudhishthira said,--'Summoned, I do not withdraw. This is my established vow. And, O king, Fate is all powerful. We all are under the control of Destiny. With whom in this assembly am I to play? Who is there that can stake equally with me? Let the play begin.'
"Duryodhana said,--'O monarch, I shall supply jewels and gems and every kind of wealth. And it is for me that this Sakuni, my uncle, will play.'
"Yudhishthira said,--'Gambling for one's sake by the agency of another seemeth to me to be contrary to rule. Thou also, O learned one, will admit this. If, however, thou art still bent on it, let the play begin.'"
Vaisampayana said,--"When the play commenced, all those kings with Dhritarashtra at their head took their seats in that assembly. And, O Bharata, Bhishma and Drona and Kripa and the high-souled Vidura with cheerless hearts sat behind. And those kings with leonine necks and endued with great energy took their seats separately and in pairs upon many elevated seats of beautiful make and colour. And, O king, that mansion looked resplendent with those assembled kings like heaven itself with a conclave of the celestials of great good fortune. And they were all conversant with the Vedas and brave and of resplendent countenances. And, O great king, the friendly match at dice then commenced.
"Yudhishthira said,--'O king, this excellent wealth of pearls of great value, procured from the ocean by churning it (of old), so beautiful and decked with pure gold, this, O king, is my stake. What is thy counter stake, O great king,--the wealth with which thou wishest to play with me?'
"Duryodhana said,--'I have many jewels and much wealth. But I am not vain of them. Win thou this stake.'"
Vaisampayana continued,--"Then Sakuni, well-skilled at dice, took up the dice and (casting them) said unto Yudhishthira, 'Lo, I have won!'
"Yudhishthira said,--'Thou hast won this stake of me by unfair means. But be not so proud, O Sakuni. Let us play staking thousands upon thousands. I have many beautiful jars each full of a thousand Nishkas in my treasury, inexhaustible gold, and much silver and other minerals. This, O king, is the wealth with which I will stake with thee!'"
Vaisampayana continued,--"Thus addressed, Sakuni said unto the chief of the perpetuators of the Kuru race, the eldest of the sons of Pandu, king Yudhishthira, of glory incapable of sustaining any diminution. 'Lo, I have won!'
"Yudhishthira said,--'This my sacred and victorious and royal car which gladdeneth the heart and hath carried us hither, which is equal unto a thousand cars, which is of symmetrical proportions and covered with tiger-skin, and furnished with excellent wheels and flag-staffs which is handsome, and decked with strings of little bells, whose clatter is even like the roar of the clouds or of the ocean, and which is drawn by eight noble steeds known all over the kingdom and which are white as the moon-beam and from whose hoofs no terrestrial creature can escape--this, O king, is my wealth with which I will stake with thee!'"
Vaisampayana continued,--"Hearing these words, Sakuni ready with the dice, and adopting unfair means, said unto Yudhishthira, 'Lo, I have won!'
"Yudhishthira said,--'I have a hundred thousand serving-girls, all young, and decked with golden bracelets on their wrists and upper arms, and with nishkas round their necks and other ornaments, adorned with costly garlands and attired in rich robes, daubed with the sandal paste, wearing jewels and gold, and well-skilled in the four and sixty elegant arts, especially versed in dancing and singing, and who wait upon and serve at my command the celestials, the Snataka Brahmanas, and kings. With this wealth, O king, I will stake with thee!'"
Vaisampayana continued,--"Hearing these words, Sakuni ready with the dice, adopting unfair means, said unto Yudhishthira. 'Lo, I have won!'
"Yudhishthira said,--'I have thousands of serving-men, skilled in waiting upon guests, always attired in silken robes, endued with wisdom and intelligence, their senses under control though young, and decked with ear-rings, and who serve all guests night and day with plates and dishes in hand. With this wealth, O king, I will stake with thee!'"
Vaisampayana continued,--"Hearing these words, Sakuni, ready with the dice, adopting unfair means said unto Yudhishthira, 'Lo, I have won!'
"Yudhishthira said,--'I have, O son of Suvala, one thousand musty elephants with golden girdles, decked with ornaments, with the mark of the lotus on their temples and necks and other parts, adorned with golden garlands, with fine white tusks long and thick as plough-shafts, worthy of carrying kings on their backs, capable of bearing every kind of noise on the field of battle, with huge bodies, capable of battering down the walls of hostile towns, of the colour of new-formed clouds, and each possessing eight she-elephants. With this wealth, O king, I will stake with thee.'"
Vaisampayana continued,--"Unto Yudhishthira who had said so, Sakuni, the son of Suvala, laughingly said, 'Lo, I have won it!'
"Yudhishthira said,--'I have as many cars as elephants, all furnished with golden poles and flag-staffs and well-trained horses and warriors that fight wonderfully and each of whom receiveth a thousand coins as his monthly pay whether he fighteth or not. With this wealth, O king, I will stake with thee!'"
Vaisampayana continued,--"When these words had been spoken, the wretch Sakuni, pledged to enmity, said unto Yudhishthira, 'Lo, I have won it.'
"Yudhishthira said.--'The steeds of the Tittiri, Kalmasha, and Gandharva breeds, decked with ornaments, which Chitraratha having been vanquished in battle and subdued cheerfully gave unto Arjuna, the wielder of the Gandiva. With this wealth, O king, I will stake with thee.'"
Vaisampayana continued, "Hearing this, Sakuni, ready at dice, adopting unfair means, said unto Yudhishthira: 'Lo, I have won!'
"Yudhishthira said,--'I have ten thousand cars and vehicles unto which are yoked draught animals of the foremost breed. And I have also sixty thousand warriors picked from each order by thousands, who are all brave and endued with prowess like heroes, who drink milk and eat good rice, and all of whom have broad chests. With this wealth, O king, I will stake with thee.'"
Vaisampayana continued,--"Hearing this, Sakuni ready at dice, adopting unfair means said unto Yudhishthira, 'Lo, I have won!'
"Yudhishthira said,--'I have four hundred Nidis (jewels of great value) encased in sheets of copper and iron. Each one of them is equal to five draunikas of the costliest and purest leaf gold of the Jatarupa kind. With this wealth, O king, I will stake with thee.'"
Vaisampayana continued,--"Hearing this, Sakuni ready at dice, adopting foul means, said unto Yudhishthira, 'Lo, I have won it!'"
Vaisampayana said,--"During the course of this
gambling, certain to bring about utter ruin (on Yudhishthira), Vidura, that
dispeller of all doubts, (addressing Dhritarashtra) said, 'O great king, O thou
of the Bharata race, attend to what I say, although my words may not be
agreeable to thee, like medicine to one that is ill and about to breathe his
last. When this Duryodhana of sinful mind had, immediately after his birth,
cried discordantly like a jackal, it was well known that he had been ordained
to bring about the destruction of the Bharata race. Know, O king, that he will
be the cause of death of ye all. A jackal is living in thy house, O king, in
the form of Duryodhana. Thou knowest it not in consequence of thy folly. Listen
now to the words of the Poet (Sukra) which I will quote. They that collect
honey (in mountains), having received what they seek, do not notice that they
are about to fall. Ascending dangerous heights, abstracted in the pursuit of
what they seek, they fall down and meet with destruction. This Duryodhana also,
maddened with the play at dice, like the collector of honey, abstracted in what
he seeketh, marketh not the consequences. Making enemies of these great
warriors, he beholdeth not the fall that is before him. It is known to thee, O
thou of great wisdom, that amongst the Bhojas, they abandoned, for the good of
the citizens a son that was unworthy of their race. The Andhakas, the Yadavas,
and the Bhojas uniting together, abandoned Kansa. And afterwards, when at the
command of the whole tribe, the same Kansa had been slain by
"Vidura said,--'Gambling is the root of dissensions. It bringeth about disunion. Its consequences are frightful. Yet having recourse to this, Dhritarashtra's son Duryodhana createth for himself fierce enmity. The descendants of Pratipa and Santanu, with their fierce troops and their allies the Vahlikas, will, for the sins of Duryodhana meet with destruction. Duryodhana, in consequence of this intoxication, forcibly driveth away luck and prosperity from his kingdom, even like an infuriate bull breaking his own horns himself. That brave and learned person who disregarding his own foresight, followeth, O king, (the bent of) another man's heart, sinketh in terrible affliction even like one that goeth into the sea in a boat guided by a child. Duryodhana is gambling with the son of Pandu, and thou art in raptures that he is winning. And it is such success that begeteth war, which endeth in the destruction of men. This fascination (of gambling) that thou has well-devised only leadeth to dire results. Thus hast thou simply brought on by these counsels great affliction to thy heart. And this thy quarrel with Yudhishthira, who is so closely related to thee, even if thou hadst not foreseen it, is still approved by thee. Listen, ye sons of Santanu, ye descendants of Pratipa, who are now in this assembly of the Kauravas, to these words of wisdom. Enter ye not into the terrible fire that hath blazed forth following the wretch. When Ajatasatru, the son of Pandu, intoxicated with dice, giveth way to his wrath, and Vrikodara and Arjuna and the twins (do the same), who, in that hour of confusion, will prove your refuge? O great king, thou art thyself a mine of wealth. Thou canst earn (by other means) as much wealth as thou seekest to earn by gambling. What dost thou gain by winning from the Pandavas their vast wealth? Win the Pandavas themselves, who will be to thee more than all the wealth they have. We all know the skill of Suvala in play. This hill-king knoweth many nefarious methods in gambling. Let Sakuni return whence he came. War not, O Bharata, with the sons of Pandu!'
"Duryodhana said,--'O Kshatta, thou art always boasting of the fame of our enemies, deprecating the sons of Dhritarashtra. We know, O Vidura, of whom thou art really fond. Thou always disregardest us as children. That man standeth contest, who wisheth for success unto those that are near to him and defeat unto those that are not his favourites. His praise and blame are applied accordingly. Thy tongue and mind betray thy heart. But the hostility thou showeth in speech is even greater than what is in thy heart. Thou hast been cherished by us like a serpent on our lap. Like a cat thou wishest evil unto him that cherisheth thee. The wise have said that there is no sin graver than that of injuring one's master. How is it, O Kshatta, that thou dost not fear this sin? Having vanquished our enemies we have obtained great advantages. Use not harsh words in respect of us. Thou art always willing to make peace with the foes. And it is for this reason that thou hatest us always. A man becometh a foe by speaking words that are unpardonable. Then again in praising the enemy, the secrets of one's own party should not be divulged. (Thou however, transgressest this rule). Therefore, O thou parasite, why dost thou obstruct us so? Thou sayest whatever thou wishest. Insult us not. We know thy mind. Go and learn sitting at the feet of the old. Keen up the reputation that thou hast won. Meddle not with the affairs of other men. Do not imagine that thou art our chief. Tell us not harsh words always, O Vidura. We do not ask thee what is for our good. Cease, irritate not those that have already borne too much at thy hands. There is only one Controller, no second. He controlleth even the child that is in the mother's womb. I am controlled by Him. Like water that always floweth in a downward course, I am acting precisely in the way in which He is directing me. He that breaketh his head against a stone-wall, and he that feedeth a serpent, are guided in those acts of theirs by their own intellect. (Therefore, in this matter I am guided by my own intelligence). He becometh a foe who seeketh to control others by force. When advice, however, is offered in a friendly spirit, the learned bear with it. He again that hath set fire to such a highly inflammable object as camphor, beholdeth not its ashes, if he runneth immediately to extinguish it. One should not give shelter to another who is the friend of his foes, or to another who is ever jealous of his protector or to another who is evil-minded. Therefore, O Vidura, go whither-so-ever thou pleasest. A wife that is unchaste, however well-treated, forsaketh her husband yet.'
"Vidura addressing Dhritarashtra, said, 'O monarch, tell us (impartially) like a witness what thou thinkest of the conduct of those who abandon their serving-men thus for giving instruction to them. The hearts of kings are, indeed, very fickle. Granting protection at first, they strike with clubs at last. O prince (Duryodhana), thou regardest thyself as mature in intellect, and, O thou of bad heart, thou regardest me as a child. But consider that he is a child who having first accepted one for a friend, subsequently findeth fault with him. An evil-hearted man can never be brought to the path of rectitude, like an unchaste wife in the house of a well-born person. Assuredly, instruction is not agreeable to this bull of the Bharata race like a husband of sixty years to a damsel that is young. After this, O king, if thou wishest to hear words that are agreeable to thee, in respect of all acts good or bad, ask thou women and idiots and cripples or persons of that description. A sinful man speaking words that are agreeable may be had in this world. But a speaker of words that are disagreeable though sound as regimen, or a hearer of the same, is very rare. He indeed, is a king's true ally who disregarding what is agreeable or disagreeable to his master beareth himself virtuously and uttereth what may be disagreeable but necessary as regimen. O great king, drink thou that which the honest drink and the dishonest shun, even humility, which is like a medicine that is bitter, pungent, burning, unintoxicating, disagreeable, and revolting. And drinking it, O king, regain thou thy sobriety. I always wish Dhritarashtra and his sons affluence and fame. Happen what may unto thee, here I bow to thee (and take my leave). Let the Brahmanas wish me well. O son of Kuru, this is the lesson I carefully inculcate, that the wise should never enrage such as adders as have venom in their very glances!'
"Sakuni said,--'Thou hast, O Yudhishthira, lost much wealth of the Pandavas. If thou hast still anything that thou hast not yet lost to us, O son of Kunti, tell us what it is!'
"Yudhishthira said,--'O son of Suvala, I know that I have untold wealth. But why is it, O Sakuni, that thou askest me of my wealth? Let tens of thousands and millions and millions and tens of millions and hundreds of millions and tens of billions and hundreds of billions and trillions and tens of trillions and hundreds of trillions and tens of quadrillions and hundreds of quadrillions and even more wealth be staked by thee. I have as much. With that wealth, O king, I will play with thee.'"
Vaisampayana said,--"Hearing this, Sakuni, ready with the dice, adopting unfair means, said unto Yudhishthira, 'Lo, I have won!'
"Yudhishthira said,--'I have, O son of Suvala, immeasurable kine and horses and milch cows with calves and goats and sheep in the country extending from the Parnasa to the eastern bank of the Sindu. With this wealth, O king, I will play with thee.'"
Vaisampayana said,--"Hearing this Sakuni, ready with the dice, adopting unfair means, said unto Yudhishthira, 'Lo, I have won!'
"Yudhishthira said,--'I have my city, the country, land, the wealth of all dwelling therein except of the Brahmanas, and all those persons themselves except Brahmanas still remaining to me. With this wealth, O king, I will play with thee.'"
Vaisampayana said,--"Hearing this, Sakuni, ready with the dice, adopting foul means, said unto Yudhishthira, 'Lo! I have won.'
"Yudhishthira said,--'These princes here, O king, who look resplendent in their ornaments and their ear-rings and Nishkas and all the royal ornaments on their persons are now my wealth. With this wealth, O king, I play with thee.'"
Vaisampayana said,--"Hearing this, Sakuni, ready with his dice, adopting foul means, said unto Yudhishthira, 'Lo! I have won them.'
"Yudhishthira said,--'This Nakula here, of mighty arms and leonine neck, of red eyes and endued with youth, is now my one stake. Know that he is my wealth.'
"Sakuni said,--'O king Yudhishthira, prince Nakula is dear to thee. He is already under our subjection. With whom (as stake) wilt thou now play?'"
Vaisampayana said,--"Saying this, Sakuni cast those dice, and said unto Yudhishthira, 'Lo! He hath been won by us.'
"Yudhishthira said,--'This Sahadeva administereth justice. He hath also acquired a reputation for learning in this world. However undeserving he may be to be staked in play, with him as stake I will play, with such a dear object as it, indeed, he were not so!'"
Vaisampayana said,--"Hearing this, Sakuni, ready with the dice, adopting foul means, said unto Yudhishthira, 'Lo! I have won.'
"Sakuni continued,--'O king, the sons of Madri, dear unto thee, have both been won by me. It would seem, however, that Bhimasena and Dhananjaya are regarded very much by thee.'
"Yudhishthira said,--'Wretch! thou actest sinfully in thus seeking to create disunion amongst us who are all of one heart, disregarding morality.'
"Sakuni said,--'One that is intoxicated falleth into a pit (hell) and stayeth there deprived of the power of motion. Thou art, O king, senior to us in age, and possessed of the highest accomplishments. O bull of the Bharata race, I (beg my pardon and) bow to thee. Thou knowest, O Yudhishthira, that gamesters, while excited with play, utter such ravings that they never indulge in the like of them in their waking moments nor even in dream.'
"Yudhishthira said,--'He that taketh us like a boat to the other shore of the sea of battle, he that is ever victorious over foes, the prince who is endued with great activity, he who is the one hero in this world, (is here). With that Falguna as stake, however, undeserving of being made so, I will now play with thee.'"
Vaisampayana said,--"Hearing this, Sakuni, ready with the dice, adopting foul means, said unto Yudhishthira, 'Lo! I have won.'
"Sakuni continued,--'This foremost of all wielders of the bow, this son of Pandu capable of using both his hands with equal activity hath now been won by me. O play now with the wealth that is still left unto thee, even with Bhima thy dear brother, as thy stake, O son of Pandu.'
"Yudhishthira said,--'O king, however undeserving he may be of being made a stake, I will now play with thee by staking Bhimasena, that prince who is our leader, who is the foremost in fight,--even like the wielder of the thunder-bolt--the one enemy of the Danavas,--the high-souled one with leonine neck and arched eye-brows and eyes looking askance, who is incapable of putting up with an insult, who hath no equal in might in the world, who is the foremost of all wielders of the mace, and who grindeth all foes,'"
Vaisampayana said,--"Hearing this, Sakuni, ready with the dice adopting foul means, said unto Yudhishthira. 'Lo! I have won.'
"Sakuni continued,--'Thou hast, O son of Kunti, lost much wealth, horses and elephants and thy brothers as well. Say, if thou hast anything which thou hast not lost.'
"Yudhishthira, said--'I alone, the eldest of all my brothers and dear unto them, am still unwon. Won by thee, I will do what he that is won will have to do.'"
Vaisampayana said,--"Hearing this Sakuni, ready with the dice, adopting foul means, said unto Yudhishthira, 'Lo! I have won.'
"Sakuni continued,--'Thou hast permitted thyself to be won. This is very sinful. There is wealth still left to thee, O king. Therefore, thy having lost thyself is certainly sinful.'"
Vaisampayana continued,--"Having said this, Sakuni,
well-skilled at dice, spoke unto all the brave kings present there of his
having won, one after another, all the Pandavas. The son of Suvala then,
addressing Yudhishthira said,--'O king, there is still one stake dear to thee
that is still unwon. Stake thou
"Yudhishthira said,--'With Draupadi as stake, who is neither short nor tall, neither spare nor corpulent, and who is possessed of blue curly locks, I will now play with thee. Possessed of eyes like the leaves of the autumn lotus, and fragrant also as the autumn lotus, equal in beauty unto her (Lakshmi) who delighteth in autumn lotuses, and unto Sree herself in symmetry and every grace she is such a woman as a man may desire for wife in respect of softness of heart, and wealth of beauty and of virtues. Possessed of every accomplishment and compassionate and sweet-speeched, she is such a woman as a man may desire for wife in respect of her fitness for the acquisition of virtue and pleasure and wealth. Retiring to bed last and waking up first, she looketh after all down to the cowherds and the shepherds. Her face too, when covered with sweat, looketh as the lotus or the jasmine. Of slender waist like that of the wasp, of long flowing locks, of red lips, and body without down, is the princess of Panchala. O king, making the slender-waisted Draupadi, who is even such as my stake, I will play with thee, O son of Suvala.'"
Vaisampayana continued,--"When the intelligent king Yudhishthira the just has spoken thus,--'Fie!' 'Fie!' were the words that were uttered by all the aged persons that were in the assembly. And the whole conclave was agitated, and the kings who were present there all gave way to grief. And Bhishma and Drona and Kripa were covered with perspiration. And Vidura holding his head between his hands sat like one that had lost his reason. He sat with face downwards giving way to his reflections and sighing like a snake. But Dhritarashtra glad at heart, asked repeatedly, 'Hath the stake been won?' 'Hath the stake been won?' and could not conceal his emotions. Karna with Dussassana and others laughed aloud, while tears began to flow from the eyes of all other present in the assembly. And the son of Suvala, proud of success and flurried with excitement and repeating. Thou hast one stake, dear to thee, etc. said,--'Lo! I have won' and took up the dice that had been cast.
"Duryodhana said,--'Come, Kshatta, bring hither Draupadi the dear and loved wife of the Pandavas. Let her sweep the chambers, force her thereto, and let the unfortunate one stay where our serving-women are.'
"Vidura said,--'Dost thou not know, O wretch, that by
uttering such harsh words thou art tying thyself with cords? Dost thou not
understand that thou art hanging on the edge of a precipice? Dost thou not know
that being a deer thou provokest so many tigers to rage? Snakes of deadly
venom, provoked to ire, are on thy head! Wretch, do not further provoke them
lest thou goest to the region of Yama. In my judgement, slavery does not attach
Vaisampayana said,--"Intoxicated with pride, the son of Dhritarashtra spake,--'Fie on Kshatta! and casting his eyes upon the Pratikamin in attendance, commanded him, in the midst of all those reverend seniors, saying,--'Go Pratikamin, and bring thou Draupadi hither. Thou hast no fear from the sons of Pandu. It is Vidura alone that raveth in fear. Besides, he never wisheth our prosperity!'"
Vaisampayana continued,--"Thus commanded, the Pratikamin, who was of the Suta caste, hearing the words of the king, proceeded with haste, and entering the abode of the Pandavas, like a dog in a lion's den, approached the queen of the sons of Pandu. And he said,--'Yudhishthira having been intoxicated with dice, Duryodhana, O Draupadi, hath won thee. Come now, therefore, to the abode of Dhritarashtra. I will take thee, O Yajnaseni, and put thee in some menial work.'
"Draupadi said,--'Why, O Pratikamin, dost thou say so? What prince is there who playeth staking his wife? The king was certainly intoxicated with dice. Else, could he not find any other object to stake?'
"The Pratikamin said,--'When he had nothing else to stake, it was then that Ajatasatru, the son of Pandu, staked thee. The king had first staked his brothers, then himself, and then thee, O princess.'
"Draupadi said,--'O son of the Suta race, go, and ask that gambler present in the assembly, whom he hath lost first, himself, or me. Ascertaining this, come hither, and then take me with thee, O son of the Suta race.'"
Vaisampayana continued,--"The messenger coming back to the assembly told all present the words of Draupadi. And he spoke unto Yudhishthira sitting in the midst of the kings, these words,--'Draupadi hath asked thee, Whose lord wert thou at the time thou lost me in play? Didst thou lose thyself first or me?' Yudhishthira, however sat there like one demented and deprived of reason and gave no answer good or ill to the Suta.
"Duryodhana then said,--'Let the princess of Panchala come hither and put her question. Let every one hear in this assembly the words that pass between her and Yudhishthira.'"
Vaisampayana continued,--"The messenger, obedient to the command of Duryodhana, going once again to the palace, himself much distressed, said unto Draupadi,--'O princess, they that are in the assembly are summoning thee. It seemeth that the end of the Kauravas is at hand. When Duryodhana, O princess, is for taking thee before the assembly, this weak-brained king will no longer be able to protect his prosperity.'
"Draupadi said,--'The great ordainer of the world hath, indeed, ordained so. Happiness and misery pay their court to both the wise and unwise. Morality, however, it hath been said, is the one highest object in the world. If cherished, that will certainly dispense blessings to us. Let not that morality now abandon the Kauravas. Going back to those that are present in that assembly, repeat these my words consonant with morality. I am ready to do what those elderly and virtuous persons conversant with morality will definitely tell me.'"
Vaisampayana continued,--"The Suta, hearing these words of Yajnaseni, came back to the assembly and repeated the words of Draupadi. But all sat with faces downwards, uttering not a word, knowing the eagerness and resolution of Dhritarashtra's son.
"Yudhishthira, however, O bull of the Bharata race, hearing of Duryodhana's intentions, sent a trusted messenger unto Draupadi, directing that although she was attired in one piece of cloth with her navel itself exposed, in consequence of her season having come, she should come before her father-in-law weeping bitterly. And that intelligent messenger, O king, having gone to Draupadi's abode with speed, informed her of the intentions of Yudhishthira. The illustrious Pandavas, meanwhile, distressed and sorrowful, and bound by promise, could not settle what they should do. And casting his eyes upon them, king Duryodhana, glad at heart, addressed the Suta and said,--'O Pratikamin, bring her hither. Let the Kauravas answer her question before her face.' The Suta, then, obedient to his commands, but terrified at the (possible) wrath of the daughter of Drupada, disregarding his reputation for intelligence, once again said to those that were in the assembly,--'what shall I say unto Krishna?'
"Duryodhana, hearing this, said,--'O Dussasana, this
son of my Suta, of little intelligence, feareth Vrikodara. Therefore, go thou
thyself and forcibly bring hither the daughter of Yajnasena. Our enemies at
present are dependent on our will. What can they do thee?' Hearing the command
of his brother, prince Dussasana rose with blood-red eyes, and entering the
abode of those great warriors, spake these words unto the princess, 'Come,
come, O Krishna, princess of Panchala, thou hast been won by us. And O thou of
eyes large as lotus leaves, come now and accept the Kurus for thy lords. Thou
hast been won virtuously, come to the assembly.' At these words, Draupadi,
rising up in great affliction, rubbed her pale face with her hands, and
distressed she ran to the place where the ladies of Dhritarashtra's household were.
At this, Dussasana roaring in anger, ran after her and seized the queen by her
locks, so long and blue and wavy. Alas! those locks that had been sprinkled
with water sanctified with mantras in the great Rajasuya sacrifice, were now
forcibly seized by the son of Dhritarashtra disregarding the prowess of the
Pandavas. And Dussasana dragging
Vaisampayana continued,--"With hair dishevelled and half her attire loosened, all the while dragged by Dussasana, the modest Krishna consumed with anger, faintly said--'In this assembly are persons conversant with all the branches of learning devoted to the performance of sacrifices and other rites, and all equal unto Indra, persons some of whom are really my superiors and others who deserve to be respected as such. I can not stay before them in this state. O wretch! O thou of cruel deeds, drag me not so. Uncover me not so. The princes (my lords) will not pardon thee, even if thou hast the gods themselves with Indra as thy allies. The illustrious son of Dharma is now bound by the obligations of morality. Morality, however, is subtle. Those only that are possessed of great clearness of vision can ascertain it. In speech even I am unwilling to admit an atom of fault in my lord forgetting his virtues. Thou draggest me who am in my season before these Kuru heroes. This is truly an unworthy act. But no one here rebuketh thee. Assuredly, all these are of the same mind with thee. O fie! Truly hath the virtue of the Bharata gone! Truly also hath the usage of those acquainted with the Kshatriya practice disappeared! Else these Kurus in this assembly would never have looked silently on this act that transgresseth the limits of their practices. Oh! both Drona and Bhishma have lost their energy, and so also hath the high-souled Kshatta, and so also this king. Else, why do these foremost of the Kuru elders look silently on this great crime?'"
Vaisampayana continued,--"Thus did
"Draupadi said,--'The king was summoned to this assembly and though possessing no skill at dice, he was made to play with skilful, wicked, deceitful and desperate gamblers. How can he said then to have staked voluntarily? The chief of the Pandavas was deprived of his senses by wretches of deceitful conduct and unholy instincts, acting together, and then vanquished. He could not understand their tricks, but he hath now done so. Here, in this assembly, there are Kurus who are the lords of both their sons and their daughters-in-law! Let all of them, reflecting well upon my words, duly decide the point that I have put.'"
Vaisampayana continued,--"Unto Krishna who was thus weeping and crying piteously, looking at times upon her helpless lord, Dussasana spake many disagreeable and harsh words. And beholding her who was then in her season thus dragged, and her upper garments loosened, beholding her in that condition which she little deserved, Vrikodara afflicted beyond endurance, his eyes fixed upon Yudhishthira, gave way to wrath.
"Bhima said,--'O Yudhishthira, gamblers have in their houses many women of loose character. They do not yet stake those women having kindness for them even. Whatever wealth and other excellent articles the king of Kasi gave, whatever, gems, animals, wealth, coats of mail and weapons that other kings of the earth gave, our kingdom, thyself and ourselves, have all been won by the foes. At all this my wrath was not excited for thou art our lord. This, however, I regard as a highly improper act--this act of staking Draupadi. This innocent girl deserveth not this treatment. Having obtained the Pandavas as her lords, it is for thee alone that she is being thus persecuted by the low, despicable, cruel, and mean-minded Kauravas. It is for her sake, O king, that my anger falleth on thee. I shall burn those hands of thine. Sahadeva, bring some fire.'
"Arjuna hearing this, said,--'Thou hast never, O Bhimasena, before this uttered such words as these. Assuredly thy high morality hath been destroyed by these cruel foes. Thou shouldst not fulfil the wishes of the enemy. Practise thou the highest morality. Whom doth it behave to transgress his virtuous eldest brother? The king was summoned by the foe, and remembering the usage of the Kshatriyas, he played at dice against his will. That is certainly conducive to our great fame.'
"Bhima said,--'If I had not known, O Dhananjaya, that the king had acted according to Kshatriya usage, then I would have, taking his hands together by sheer force, burnt them in a blazing fire.'"
Vaisampayana continued,--"Beholding the Pandavas thus
distressed and the princess of Panchala also thus afflicted, Vikarna the son of
Dhritarashtra said--'Ye kings, answer ye the question that hath been asked by
Yajnaseni. If we do not judge a matter referred to us, all of us will assuredly
have to go to hell without delay. How is that Bhishma and Dhritarashtra, both
of whom are the oldest of the Kurus, as also the high-souled Vidura, do not say
anything! The son of Bharadwaja who is the preceptor of us, as also Kripa, is
here. Why do not these best of regenerate ones answer the question? Let also
those other kings assembled here from all directions answer according to their
judgment this question, leaving aside all motives of gain and anger. Ye kings,
answer ye the question that hath been asked by this blessed daughter of king
Drupada, and declare after reflection on which side each of ye is.' Thus did
Vikarna repeatedly appeal to those that were in that assembly. But those kings
answered him not one word, good or ill. And Vikarna having repeatedly appealed
to all the kings began to rub his hands and sigh like a snake. And at last the
prince said--'Ye kings of the earth, ye Kauravas, whether ye answer this
question or not, I will say what I regard as just and proper. Ye foremost of
men, it hath been said that hunting, drinking, gambling, and too much enjoyment
of women, are the four vices of kings. The man, that is addicted to these,
liveth forsaking virtue. And people do not regard the acts done by a person who
is thus improperly engaged, as of any authority. This son of Pandu, while
deeply engaged in one of these vicious acts, urged thereto by deceitful
gamblers, made Draupadi a stake. The innocent Draupadi is, besides, the common
wife of all the sons of Pandu. And the king, having first lost himself offered
her as a stake. And Suvala himself desirous of a stake, indeed prevailed upon
the king to stake this
"Hearing these words, a loud uproar rose from among
those present in that assembly. And they all applauded Vikarna and censured the
son of Suvala. And at that sound, the son of Radha, deprived of his senses by
anger, waving his well-shaped arms, said these words,--'O Vikarna, many
opposite and inconsistent conditions are noticeable in this assembly. Like fire
produced from a faggot, consuming the faggot itself, this thy ire will consume
thee. These personages here, though urged by
Vaisampayana continued,--"When the attire of Draupadi
was being thus dragged, the thought of Hari, (And she herself cried aloud,
saying), 'O Govinda, O thou who dwellest in Dwaraka, O Krishna, O thou who art
fond of cow-herdesses (of Vrindavana). O Kesava, seest thou not that the
Kauravas are humiliating me. O Lord, O husband of Lakshmi, O Lord of Vraja
(Vrindavana), O destroyer of all afflictions, O Janarddana, rescue me who am
sinking in the
"And Bhima said,--'Hear these words of mine, ye Kshatriyas of the world. Words such as these were never before uttered by other men, nor will anybody in the future ever utter them. Ye lords of earth, if having spoken these words I do not accomplish them hereafter, let me not obtain the region of my deceased ancestors. Tearing open in battle, by sheer force, the breast of this wretch, this wicked-minded scoundrel of the Bharata race, if I do not drink his life-blood, let me not obtain the region of my ancestors.'"
Vaisampayana continued,--"Hearing these terrible words of Bhima that made the down of the auditors to stand on end, everybody present there applauded him and censured the son of Dhritarashtra. And when a mass of clothes had been gathered in that assembly, all dragged from the person of Draupadi, Dussasana, tired and ashamed, sat down. And beholding the sons of Kunti in that state, the persons--those gods among men--that were in that assembly all uttered the word 'Fie!' (on the son of Dhritarashtra). And the united voices of all became so loud that they made the down of anybody who heard them stand on end. And all the honest men that were in that assembly began to say,--'Alas! the Kauravas answer not the question that hath been put to them by Draupadi.' And all censuring Dhritarashtra together, made a loud clamour. Then Vidura, that master of the science of morality, waving his hands and silencing every one, spake these words;--'Ye that are in this assembly, Draupadi having put her question is weeping helplessly. Ye are not answering her. Virtue and morality are being persecuted by such conduct. An afflicted person approacheth an assembly of good men, like one that is being consumed by fire. They that are in the assembly quench that fire and cool him by means of truth and morality. The afflicted person asketh the assembly about his rights, as sanctioned by morality. They that are in the assembly should, unmoved by interest and anger, answer the question. Ye kings, Vikarna hath answered the question, according to his own knowledge and judgment. Ye should also answer it as ye think proper. Knowing the rules of morality, and having attended an assembly, he that doth not answer a query that is put, incurreth half the demerit that attacheth to a lie. He, on the other hand, who, knowing the rules of morality and having joined an assembly answereth falsely, assuredly incurreth the sin of a lie. The learned quote as an example in this connection the old history of Prahlada and the son of Angirasa.
"'There was of old a chief of the Daityas of the name Prahlada. He had a son named Virochana. And Virochana, for the sake of obtaining a bride, quarrelled with Sudhanwan, the son of Angiras. It hath been heard by us that they mutually wagered their lives, saying--"I am superior,"--"I am superior,"--for the sake of obtaining a bride. And after they had thus quarrelled with each other, they both made Prahlada the arbitrator to decide between them. And they asked him, saying;--"Who amongst us is superior (to the other)? Answer this question. Speak not falsely." Frightened at this quarrel, Prahlada cast his eyes upon Sudhanwan. And Sudhanwan in rage, burning like unto the mace of Yama, told him,--"If thou answerest falsely, or dost not answer at all thy head will then be split into a hundred pieces by the wielder of the thunderbolt with that bolt of his."--Thus addressed by Sudhanwan, the Daitya, trembling like a leaf of the fig tree, went to Kasyapa of great energy, for taking counsel with him. And Prahlada said,--"Thou art, O illustrious and exalted one, fully conversant with the rules of morality that should guide both the gods and the Asuras and the Brahmanas as well. Here, however, is a situation of great difficulty in respect of duty. Tell me, I ask thee, what regions are obtainable by them who upon being asked a question, answer it not, or answer it falsely." Kasyapa thus asked answered.--"He that knoweth, but answereth not a question from temptation, anger or fear, casteth upon himself a thousand nooses of Varuna. And the person who, cited as a witness with respect to any matter of ocular or auricular knowledge, speaketh carelessly, casteth a thousand nooses of Varuna upon his own person. On the completion of one full year, one such noose is loosened. Therefore, he that knoweth, should speak the truth without concealment. If virtue, pierced by sin, repaireth to an assembly (for aid), it is the duty of every body in the assembly to take off the dart, otherwise they themselves would be pierced with it. In an assembly where a truly censurable act is not rebuked, half the demerit of that act attacheth to the head of that assembly, a fourth to the person acting censurably and a fourth unto those others that are there. In that assembly, on the other hand, when he that deserveth censure is rebuked, the head of the assembly becometh freed from all sins, and the other members also incur none. It is only the perpetrator himself of the act that becometh responsible for it. O Prahlada, they who answer falsely those that ask them about morality destroy the meritorious acts of their seven upper and seven lower generations. The grief of one who hath lost all his wealth, of one who hath lost a son, of one who is in debt, of one who is separated from his companions, of a woman who hath lost her husband, of one that hath lost his all in consequence of the king's demand, of a woman who is sterile, of one who hath been devoured by a tiger (during his last struggles in the tiger's claws), of one who is a co-wife, and of one who hath been deprived of his property by false witnesses, have been said by the gods to be uniform in degree. These different sorts of grief are his who speaketh false. A person becometh a witness in consequence of his having seen, heard, and understood a thing. Therefore, a witness should always tell the truth. A truth-telling witness never loseth his religious merits and earthly possessions also." Hearing these words of Kasyapa, Prahlada told his son, "Sudhanwan is superior to thee, as indeed, (his father) Angiras is superior to me. The mother also of Sudhanwan is superior to thy mother. Therefore, O Virochana, this Sudhanwan is now the lord of the life." At these words of Prahlada, Sudhanwan said, "Since unmoved by affection for thy child, thou hast adhered to virtue, I command, let this son of thine live for a hundred years."'
"Vidura continued,--'Let all the persons, therefore, present in this assembly hearing these high truths of morality, reflect upon what should be the answer to the question asked by Draupadi.'"
Vaisampayana continued,--"The kings that were there
hearing these words of Vidura, answered not a word, yet Karna alone spoke unto
Dussasana, telling him. Take away this serving-woman
"Draupadi said,--'Wait a little, thou worst of men, thou wicked-minded Dussasana. I have an act to perform--a high duty that hath not been performed by me yet. Dragged forcibly by this wretch's strong arms, I was deprived of my senses. I salute these reverend seniors in this assembly of the Kurus. That I could not do this before cannot be my fault.'"
Vaisampayana said,--"Dragged with greater force than before, the afflicted and helpless Draupadi, undeserving of such treatment, falling down upon the ground, thus wept in that assembly of the Kurus,--
"'Alas, only once before, on the occasion of the Swayamvara, I was beheld by the assembled kings in the amphitheatre, and never even once beheld afterwards. I am to-day brought before this assembly. She whom even the winds and the sun had seen never before in her palace is to-day before this assembly and exposed to the gaze of the crowd. Alas, she whom the sons of Pandu could not, while in her palace, suffer to be touched even by the wind, is to-day suffered by the Pandavas to be seized and dragged by this wretch. Alas, these Kauravas also suffer their daughter-in-law, so unworthy of such treatment, to be thus afflicted before them. It seemeth that the times are out of joint. What can be more distressing to me, than that though high-born and chaste, I should yet be compelled to enter this public court? Where is that virtue for which these kings were noted? It hath been heard that the kings of ancient days never brought their wedded wives into the public court. Alas, that eternal usage hath disappeared from among the Kauravas. Else, how is it that the chaste wife of the Pandavas, the sister of Prishata's son, the friend of Vasudeva, is brought before this assembly? Ye Kauravas, I am the wedded wife of king Yudhishthira the just, hailing from the same dynasty to which the King belonged. Tell me now if I am a serving-maid or otherwise. I will cheerfully accept your answer. This mean wretch, this destroyer of the name of the Kurus, is afflicting me hard. Ye Kauravas, I cannot bear it any longer. Ye kings, I desire ye to answer whether ye regard me as won or unwon. I will accept your verdict whatever it be.'
"Hearing these words, Bhishma answered, 'I have already said, O blessed one that the course of morality is subtle. Even the illustrious wise in this world fail to understand it always. What in this world a strong man calls morality is regarded as such by others, however otherwise it may really be; but what a weak man calls morality is scarcely regarded as such even if it be the highest morality. From the importance of the issue involved, from its intricacy and subtlety, I am unable to answer with certitude the question thou hast asked. However, it is certain that as all the Kurus have become the slaves of covetousness and folly, the destruction of this our race will happen on no distant date. O blessed one, the family into which thou hast been admitted as a daughter-in-law, is such that those who are born in it, however much they might be afflicted by calamities, never deviate from the paths of virtue and morality. O Princess of Panchala, this conduct of thine also, viz. that though sunk in distress, thou still easiest thy eyes on virtue and morality, is assuredly worthy of thee. These persons, Drona and others, of mature years and conversant with morality, sit heads downwards like men that are dead, with bodies from which life hath departed. It seemeth to me, however, that Yudhishthira is an authority on this question. It behoveth him to declare whether thou art won or not won.'"
Vaisampayana said,--"The kings present in that assembly, from fear of Duryodhana, uttered not a word, good or ill, although they beheld Draupadi crying piteously in affliction like a female osprey, and repeatedly appealing to them. And the son of Dhritarashtra beholding those kings and sons and grand sons of kings all remaining silent, smiled a little, and addressing the daughter of the king of Panchala, said,--'O Yajnaseni, the question thou hast put dependeth on thy husbands--on Bhima of mighty strength, on Arjuna, on Nakula, on Sahadeva. Let them answer thy question. O Panchali, let them for thy sake declare in the midst of these respectable men that Yudhishthira is not their lord, let them thereby make king Yudhishthira the just a liar. Thou shalt then be freed from the condition of slavery. Let the illustrious son of Dharma, always adhering to virtue, who is even like Indra, himself declare whether he is not thy lord. At his words, accept thou the Pandavas or ourselves without delay. Indeed, all the Kauravas present in this assembly are floating in the ocean of thy distress. Endued with magnanimity, they are unable to answer thy question, looking at thy unfortunate husbands.'"
Vaisampayana continued,--"Hearing these words of the Kuru king, all who were present in the assembly loudly applauded them. And shouting approvingly, they made signs unto one another by motions of their eyes and lips. And amongst some that were there, sounds of distress such as 'O!' and 'Alas!' were heard. And at these words of Duryodhana, so delightful (to his partisans), the Kauravas present in that assembly became exceedingly glad. And the kings, with faces turned sideways, looked upon Yudhishthira conversant with the rules of morality, curious to hear what he would say. And every one present in that assembly became curious to hear what Arjuna, the son of Pandu never defeated in battle, and what Bhimasena, and what the twins also would say. And when that busy hum of many voices became still, Bhimasena, waving his strong and well-formed arms smeared with sandalpaste spake these words,--'If this high-souled king Yudhishthira the just, who is our eldest brother, had not been our lord, we would never have forgiven the Kuru race (for all this). He is the lord of all our religious and ascetic merits, the lord of even our lives. If he regardeth himself as won, we too have all been won. If this were not so, who is there amongst creatures touching the earth with their feet and mortal, that would escape from me with his life after having touched those locks of the princess of Panchala? Behold these mighty, well-formed arms of mine, even like maces of iron. Having once come within them, even he of a hundred sacrifices is incapable of effecting an escape. Bound by the ties of virtue and the reverence that is due to our eldest brother, and repeatedly urged by Arjuna to remain silent, I am not doing anything terrible. If however, I am once commanded by king Yudhishthira the just, I would slay these wretched sons of Dhritarashtra, making slaps do the work of swords, like a lion slaying a number of little animals.'"
Vaisampayana continued,--"Unto Bhima who had spoken these words Bhishma and Drona and Vidura said, 'Forbear, O Bhima. Everything is possible with thee.'
"Karna said,--'Of all the persons in the assembly, three, viz., Bhishma, Vidura, and the preceptor of the Kurus (Drona) appear to be independent; for they always speak of their master as wicked, always censure him, and never wish for his prosperity. O excellent one, the slave, the son, and the wife are always dependent. They cannot earn wealth, for whatever they earn belongeth to their master. Thou art the wife of a slave incapable of possessing anything on his own account. Repair now to the inner apartments of king Dhritarashtra and serve the king's relatives. We direct that that is now thy proper business. And, O princess, all the sons of Dhritarashtra and not the sons of Pritha are now thy masters. O handsome one, select thou another husband now,--one who will not make thee a slave by gambling. It is well-known that women, especially that are slaves, are not censurable if they proceed with freedom in electing husbands. Therefore let it be done by thee. Nakula hath been won, as also Bhimasena, and Yudhishthira also, and Sahadeva, and Arjuna. And, O Yajnaseni, thou art now a slave. Thy husbands that are slaves cannot continue to be thy lords any longer. Alas, doth not the son of Pritha regards life, prowess and manhood as of no use that he offereth this daughter of Drupada, the king of Panchala, in the presence of all this assembly, as a stake at dice?'"
Vaisampayana continued,--"Hearing these words, the wrathful Bhima breathed hard, a very picture of woe. Obedient to the king and bound by the tie of virtue and duty, burning everything with his eyes inflamed by anger, he said,--'O king, I cannot be angry at these words of this son of a Suta, for we have truly entered the state of servitude. But O king, could our enemies have said so unto me, it thou hadst not played staking this princess?'"
Vaisampayana continued,--"Hearing these words of
Bhimasena king Duryodhana addressed Yudhishthira who was silent and deprived of
his senses, saying,--'O king, both Bhima and Arjuna, and the twins also, are
under thy sway. Answer thou the question (that hath been asked by Draupadi).
Say, whether thou regardest
"Vidura then, addressing everybody, said,--'Ye kings of Pratipa's race, behold the great danger that ariseth from Bhimasena. Know ye for certain that this great calamity that threatens to overtake the Bharatas hath been sent by Destiny itself. The sons of Dhritarashtra have, indeed, gambled disregarding every proper consideration. They are even now disputing in this assembly about a lady (of the royal household). The prosperity of our kingdom is at an end. Alas, the Kauravas are even now engaged in sinful consultations. Ye Kauravas, take to your heart this high precept that I declare. If virtue is persecuted, the whole assembly becometh polluted. If Yudhishthira had staked her before he was himself won, he would certainly have been regarded as her master. If, however a person staketh anything at a time when he himself is incapable of holding any wealth, to win it is very like obtaining wealth in a dream. Listening to the words of the king of Gandhara, fall ye not off from this undoubted truth.'
"Duryodhana, hearing Vidura thus speak, said,--'I am willing to abide by the words of Bhima, of Arjuna and of the twins. Let them say that Yudhishthira is not their master. Yajnaseni will then be freed from her state of bondage.'
"Arjuna at this, said,--'This illustrious son of Kunti, king Yudhishthira the just, was certainly our master before he began to play. But having lost himself, let all the Kauravas judge whose master he could be after that.'"
Vaisampayana continued,--"Just then, a jackal began to cry loudly in the homa-chamber of king Dhritarashtra's palace. And, O king, unto the jackal that howled so, the asses began to bray responsively. And terrible birds also, from all sides, began to answer with their cries. And Vidura conversant with everything and the daughter of Suvala, both understood the meaning of those terrible sounds. And Bhishma and Drona and the learned Gautama loudly cried,--Swashti! Swashti! [Footnote 1] Then Gandhari and the learned Vidura beholding that frightful omen, represented everything, in great affliction, unto the king. And the king (Dhritarashtra) thereupon said,--
[Footnote 1. A word of benediction, similar to 'Amen.']
"'Thou wicked-minded Duryodhana, thou wretch, destruction hath all ready overtaken thee when thou insultest in language such as this the wife of these bulls among the Kurus, especially their wedded wife Draupadi.' And having spoken those words, the wise Dhritarashtra endued with knowledge, reflecting with the aid of his wisdom and desirous of saving his relatives and friends from destruction, began to console Krishna, the princess of Panchala, and addressing her, the monarch said,--'Ask of me any boon, O princess of Panchala, that thou desirest. Chaste and devoted to virtue, thou art the first of all my daughters-in-law.'
"Draupadi said,--'O bull of the Bharata race, if thou will grant me a boon, I ask the handsome Yudhishthira, obedient to every duty, be freed from slavery. Let not unthinking children call my child Prativindhya endued with great energy of mind as the son of a slave. Having been a prince, so superior to all men, and nurtured by kings it is not proper that he should be called the child of a slave.'
"Dhritarashtra said unto her,--'O auspicious one, let it be as thou sayest. O excellent one, ask thou another boon, for I will give it. My heart inclineth to give thee a second boon. Thou dost not deserve only one boon.'
"Draupadi said,--'I ask, O king, that Bhimasena and Dhananjaya and the twins also, with their cars and bows, freed from bondage, regain their liberty.'
"Dhritarashtra said,--'O blessed daughter, let it be as thou desirest. Ask thou a third boon, for thou hast not been sufficiently honoured with two boons. Virtuous in thy behaviour, thou art the foremost of all my daughters-in-law.'
"Draupadi said,--'O best of kings, O illustrious one, covetousness always bringeth about loss of virtue. I do not deserve a third boon. Therefore I dare not ask any. O king of kings, it hath been said that a Vaisya may ask one boon; a Kshatriya lady, two boons; a Kshatriya male, three, and a Brahmana, a hundred. O king, these my husbands freed from the wretched state of bondage, will be able to achieve prosperity by their own virtuous acts!'
"Karna said,--'We have never heard of such an act (as this one of Draupadi), performed by any of the women noted in this world for their beauty. When the sons of both Pandu and Dhritarashtra were excited with wrath, this Draupadi became unto the sons of Pandu as their salvation. Indeed the princess of Panchala, becoming as a boat unto the sons of Pandu who were sinking in a boatless ocean of distress, hath brought them in safety to the shore.'"
Vaisampayana continued,--"Hearing these words of Karna in the midst of the Kurus,--viz., that the sons of Pandu were saved by their wife,--the angry Bhimasena in great affliction said (unto Arjuna),--'O Dhananjaya, it hath been said by Devala three lights reside in every person, viz., offspring, acts and learning, for from these three hath sprung creation. When life becometh extinct and the body becometh impure and is cast off by relatives, these three become of service to every person. But the light that is in us hath been dimmed by this act of insult to our wife. How, O Arjuna, can a son born from this insulted wife of ours prove serviceable to us?'
"Bhima said,--'Shall I, O king, slay, without loss of time all these foes assembled together, even here, or shall I destroy them, O Bharata, by the roots, outside this palace? Or, what need is there of words or of command? I shall slay all these even now, and rule thou the whole earth, O king, without a rival.' And saying this, Bhima with his younger brothers, like a lion in the midst of a herd of inferior animals, repeatedly cast his angry glances around. But Arjuna, however, of white deeds, with appealing looks began to pacify his elder brother. And the mighty-armed hero endued with great prowess began to burn with the fire of his wrath. And, O king, this fire began to issue out of Vrikodara's ears and other senses with smoke and sparks and flames. And his face became terrible to behold in consequence of his furrowed brows like those of Yama himself at the time of the universal destruction. Then Yudhishthira forbade the mighty hero, embracing him with his arms and telling him 'Be not so. Stay in silence and peace.' And having pacified the mighty-armed one with eyes red in wrath, the king approached his uncle Dhritarashtra, with hands joined in entreaty.
"Yudhishthira said,--'O king, thou art our master. Command us as to what we shall do. O Bharata, we desire to remain always in obedience to thee.'
"Dhritarashtra replied.--'O Ajatasatru, blest be thou. Go thou in peace and safety. Commanded by me, go, rule thy own kingdom with thy wealth. And, O child, take to heart this command of an old man, this wholesome advice that I give, and which is even a nutritive regimen. O Yudhishthira, O child, thou knowest the subtle path of morality. Possessed of great wisdom, thou art also humble, and thou waitest also upon the old. Where there is intelligence, there is forbearance. Therefore, O Bharata, follow thou counsels of peace. The axe falleth upon wood, not upon stone. (Thou art open to advice, not Duryodhana). They are the best of men that remember not the acts of hostility of their foes; that behold only the merits, not the faults, of their enemies; and that never enter into hostilities themselves. They that are good remember only the good deeds of their foes and not the hostile acts their foes might have done unto them. The good, besides, do good unto others without expectation of any good, in return. O Yudhishthira, it is only the worst of men that utter harsh words in quarrelling; while they that are indifferent reply to such when spoken by others. But they that are good and wise never think of or recapitulate such harsh words, little caring whether these may or may not have been uttered by their foes. They that are good, having regard to the state of their own feelings, can understand the feelings of others, and therefore remember only the good deeds and not the acts of hostility of their foes. Thou hast acted even as good men of prepossessing countenance do, who transgress not the limits of virtue, wealth, pleasure and salvation. O child, remember not the harsh words of Duryodhana. Look at thy mother Gandhari and myself also, if thou desirest to remember only what is good. O Bharata, look at me, who am thy father unto you and am old and blind, and still alive. It was for seeing our friends and examining also the strength and weakness of my children, that I had, from motives of policy, suffered this match at dice to proceed. O king those amongst the Kurus that have thee for their ruler, and the intelligent Vidura conversant with every branch of learning for their counsellor, have, indeed, nothing to grieve for. In thee is virtue, in Arjuna is patience, in Bhimasena is prowess, and the twins, those foremost of men, is pure reverence for superiors. Blest be thou, O Ajatasatru. Return to Khandavaprastha, and let there be brotherly love between thee and thy cousins. Let thy heart also be ever fixed on virtue.'"
Vaisampayana continued,--"That foremost of the Bharatas--king Yudhishthira the just--then, thus addressed by his uncle, having gone through every ceremony of politeness, set out with his brothers for Khandavaprastha. And accompanied by Draupadi and ascending their cars which were all of the hue of the clouds, with cheerful hearts they all set out for that best of cities called Indraprastha."
Janamejaya said,--"How did the sons of Dhritarashtra feel, when they came to know that the Pandavas had, with Dhritarashtra's leave, left Hastinapore with all their wealth and jewels?"
Vaisampayana said,--"O king, learning that the Pandavas had been commanded by the wise Dhritarashtra to return to their capital, Dussasana went without loss of time unto his brother. And, O bull of the Bharata race, having arrived before Duryodhana with his counsellor, the prince, afflicted with grief, began to say,--'Ye mighty warriors, that which we had won after so much trouble, the old man (our father) hath thrown away. Know ye that he hath made over the whole of that wealth to the foes.' At these words, Duryodhana and Karna and Sakuni, the son of Suvala, all of whom were guided by vanity, united together, and desirous of counteracting the sons of Pandu, approaching in haste saw privately the wise king Dhritarashtra--the son of Vichitravirya and spake unto him these pleasing and artful words. Duryodhana said,--
"'Hast thou not heard, O king, what the learned Vrihaspati the preceptor of the celestials, said in course of counselling Sakra about mortals and politics? Even these, O slayer of foes, were the words of Vrihaspati, "Those enemies that always do wrong by stratagem or force, should be slain by every means." If, therefore, with the wealth of the Pandavas, we gratify the kings of the earth and then fight with the sons of Pandu, what reverses can overtake us? When one hath placed on the neck and back of venomous snakes full of wrath for encompassing his destruction, is it possible for him to take them off? Equipped with weapon and seated on their cars, the angry sons of Pandu like wrathful and venomous snakes will assuredly annihilate us, O father. Even now Arjuna proceedeth, encased in mail and furnished with his couple of quivers, frequently taking up the Gandiva and breathing hard and casting angry glances around. It hath (also) been heard by us that Vrikodara, hastily ordering his car to be made ready and riding on it, is proceeding along, frequently whirling his heavy mace. Nakula also is going along, with the sword in his grasp and the semi-circular shield in his hand. And Sahadeva and the king (Yudhishthira) have made signs clearly testifying to their intentions. Having ascended their cars that are full of all kinds of arms, they are whipping their horses (for going to Khandava soon) and assembling their forces. Persecuted thus by us they are incapable of forgiving us those injuries. Who is there among them that will forgive that insult to Draupadi? Blest be thou. We will again gamble with the son of Pandu for sending them to exile. O bull among men, we are competent to bring them thus under our sway. Dressed in skins, either we or they defeated at dice, shall repair to the woods for twelve years. The thirteenth year shall have to be spent in some inhabited country unrecognised; and, if recognised, an exile for another twelve years shall be the consequence. Either we or they shall live so. Let the play begin, casting the dice, let the sons of Pandu once more play. O bull of the Bharata race, O king, even this is our highest duty. This Sakuni knoweth well the whole science of dice. Even if they succeed in observing this vow for thirteen years, we shall be in the meantime firmly rooted in the kingdom and making alliances, assemble a vast invincible host and keep them content, so that we shall, O king, defeat the sons of Pandu if they reappear. Let this plan recommend itself to thee, O slayer of foes.'
"Dhritarashtra said,--'Bring back the Pandavas then, indeed, even if they have gone a great way. Let them come at once again to cast dice.'"
Vaisampayana continued,--"Then Drona, Somadatta and Valhika, Gautama, Vidura, the son of Drona, and the mighty son of Dhritarashtra by his Vaisya wife, Bhurisravas, and Bhishma, and that mighty warrior Vikarna,--all said, 'Let not the play commence. Let there be peace.' But Dhritarashtra, partial to his sons, disregarding the counsels of all his wise friends and relatives, summoned the sons of Pandu."
Vaisampayana said,--"O monarch, it was then that the virtuous Gandhari, afflicted with grief on account of her affection for her sons, addressed king Dhritarashtra and said, 'When Duryodhana was born, Vidura of great intelligence had said, "It is well to send this disgrace of the race to the other world. He cried repeatedly and dissonantly like a jackal. It is certain he will prove the destruction of our race." Take this to heart, O king of the Kurus. O Bharata, sink not, for thy own fault, into an ocean of calamity. O lord, accord not thy approbation to the counsels of the wicked ones of immature years. Be not thou the cause of the terrible destruction of this race. Who is there that will break an embankment which hath been completed, or re-kindle a conflagration which hath been extinguished? O bull of the Bharata race, who is there that will provoke the peaceful sons of Pritha? Thou rememberest, O Ajamida, everything, but still I will call thy attention to this. The scriptures can never control the wicked-minded for good or evil. And, O king, a person of immature understanding will never act as one of mature years. Let thy sons follow thee as their leader. Let them not be separated from thee for ever (by losing their lives). Therefore, at my word, O king, abandon this wretch of our race. Thou couldst not, O king, from parental affection, do it before. Know that the time hath come for the destruction of race through him. Err not, O king. Let thy mind, guided by counsels of peace, virtue, and true policy, be what it naturally is. That prosperity which is acquired by the aid of wicked acts, is soon destroyed; while that which is won by mild means taketh root and descendeth from generation to generation.'
"The king, thus addressed by Gandhari who pointed out to him in such language the path of virtue, replied unto her, saying,--'If the destruction of our race is come, let it take place freely. I am ill able to prevent it. Let it be as they (these my sons) desire. Let the Pandavas return. And let my sons again gamble with the sons of Pandu.'"
Vaisampayana said,--"The royal messenger, agreeably to the commands of the intelligent king Dhritarashtra, coming upon Yudhishthira, the son of Pritha who had by that time gone a great way, addressed the monarch and said,--'Even these are the words of thy father-like uncle, O Bharata, spoken unto thee, "The assembly is ready. O son of Pandu, O king Yudhisthira, come and cast the dice."'
"Yudhishthira said,--'Creatures obtain fruits good and ill according to the dispensation of the Ordainer of the creation. Those fruits are inevitable whether I play or not. This is a summons to dice; it is, besides the command of the old king. Although I know that it will prove destructive to me, yet I cannot refuse.'"
Vaisampayana continued,--"Although (a living) animal made of gold was an impossibility, yet Rama suffered himself to be tempted by a (golden) deer. Indeed, the minds of men over whom calamities hang, became deranged and out of order. Yudhishthira, therefore, having said these words, retraced his steps along with his brothers. And knowing full well the deception practised by Sakuni, the son of Pritha came back to sit at dice with him again. These mighty warriors again entered that assembly, afflicting the hearts of all their friends. And compelled by Fate they once more sat down at ease for gambling for the destruction of themselves.
"Sakuni then said,--'The old king hath given ye back all your wealth. That is well. But, O bull of the Bharata race, listen to me, there is a stake of great value. Either defeated by ye at dice, dressed in deer skins we shall enter the great forest and live there for twelve years passing the whole of the thirteenth year in some inhabited region, unrecognised, and if recognised return to an exile of another twelve years; or vanquished by us, dressed in deer skins ye shall, with Krishna, live for twelve years in the woods passing the whole of the thirteenth year unrecognised, in some inhabited region. If recognised, an exile of another twelve years is to be the consequence. On the expiry of the thirteenth year, each is to have his kingdom surrendered by the other. O Yudhishthira, with this resolution, play with us, O Bharata, casting the dice.'
"At these words, they that were in that assembly, raising up their arms said in great anxiety of mind, and from the strength of their feelings these words,--'Alas, fie on the friends of Duryodhana that they do not apprise him of his great danger. Whether he, O bull among the Bharatas, (Dhritarashtra) understandeth or not, of his own sense, it is thy duty to tell him plainly.'"
Vaisampayana continued,--"King Yudhishthira, even hearing these various remarks, from shame and a sense of virtue again sat at dice. And though possessed of great intelligence and fully knowing the consequences, he again began to play, as if knowing that the destruction of the Kurus was at hand.
"And Yudhishthira said,--'How can, O Sakuni, a king like me, always observant of the uses of his own order, refuse, when summoned to dice? Therefore I play with thee.'
"Sakuni answered,--'We have many kine and horses, and milch cows, and an infinite number of goats and sheep; and elephants and treasures and gold and slaves both male and female. All these were staked by us before but now let this be our one stake, viz., exile into the woods,--being defeated either ye or we will dwell in the woods (for twelve years) and the thirteenth year, unrecognised, in some inhabited place. Ye bulls among men, with this determination, will we play.'
"O Bharata, this proposal about a stay in the woods was uttered but once. The son of Pritha, however, accepted it and Sakuni took up the dice. And casting them he said unto Yudhishthira,--'Lo, I have won.'"
Vaisampayana said,--"Then the vanquished sons of Pritha prepared for their exile into the woods. And they, one after another, in due order, casting off their royal robes, attired themselves in deer-skins. And Dussasana, beholding those chastisers of foes, dressed in deer-skins and deprived of their kingdom and ready to go into exile, exclaimed 'The absolute sovereignty of the illustrious king Duryodhana hath commenced. The sons of Pandu have been vanquished, and plunged into great affliction. Now have we attained the goal either by broad or narrow paths. For today becoming superior to our foes in point of prosperity as also of duration of rule have we become praiseworthy of men. The sons of Pritha have all been plunged by us into everlasting hell. They have been deprived of happiness and kingdom for ever and ever. They who, proud of their wealth, laughed in derision at the son of Dhritarashtra, will now have to go into the woods, defeated and deprived by us of all their wealth. Let them now put off their variegated coats of mail, their resplendent robes of celestial make, and let them all attire themselves in deer-skins according to the stake they had accepted of the son of Suvala. They who always used to boast that they had no equals in all the world, will now know and regard themselves in this their calamity as grains of sesame without the kernel. Although in this dress of theirs the Pandavas seem like unto wise and powerful persons installed in a sacrifice, yet they look like persons not entitled to perform sacrifices, wearing such a guise. The wise Yajnasena of the Somake race, having bestowed his daughter--the princess of Panchala--on the sons of Pandu, acted most unfortunately for the husbands of Yajnaseni--these sons of Pritha are as eunuchs. And O Yajnaseni, what joy will be thine upon beholding in the woods these thy husbands dressed in skins and thread-bare rags, deprived of their wealth and possessions. Elect thou a husband, whomsoever thou likest, from among all these present here. These Kurus assembled here, are all forbearing and self-controlled, and possessed of great wealth. Elect thou one amongst these as thy lord, so that these great calamity may not drag thee to wretchedness. The sons of Pandu now are even like grains of sesame without the kernel, or like show-animals encased in skins, or like grains of rice without the kernel. Why shouldst thou then longer wait upon the fallen sons of Pandu? Vain is the labour used upon pressing the sesame grain devoid of the kernel!'
"Thus did Dussasana, the son of Dhritarashtra, utter in the hearing of the Pandavas, harsh words of the most cruel import. And hearing them, the unforbearing Bhima, in wrath suddenly approaching that prince like a Himalayan lion upon a jackal, loudly and chastisingly rebuked him in these words,--'Wicked-minded villain, ravest thou so in words that are uttered alone by the sinful? Boastest thou thus in the midst of the kings, advanced as thou art by the skill of the king of Gandhara. As thou piercest our hearts here with these thy arrowy words, so shall I pierce thy heart in battle, recalling all this to thy mind. And they also who from anger or covetousness are walking behind thee as thy protectors,--them also shall I send to the abode of Yama with their descendants and relatives.'"
Vaisampayana continued,--"Unto Bhima dressed in deer-skins and uttering these words of wrath without doing any thing, for he could not deviate from the path of virtue, Dussasana abandoning all sense of shame, dancing around the Kurus, loudly said, 'O cow! O cow!'
"Bhima at this once more said,--'Wretch darest thou, O Dussasana, use harsh words as these? Whom doth it behove to boast, thus having won wealth by foul means? I tell thee that if Vrikodara, the son of Pritha, drinketh not thy life-blood, piercing open thy breast in battle, let him not attain to regions of blessedness, I tell thee truly that by slaying the sons of Dhritarashtra in battle, before the very eyes of all the warriors, I shall pacify this wrath of mine soon enough.'"
Vaisampayana continued,--"And as the Pandavas were going away from the assembly, the wicked king Duryodhana from excess of joy mimiced by his own steps the playful leonine trade of Bhima. Then Vrikodara, half turning towards the king said, 'Think not ye fool that by this thou gainest any ascendency over me; slay thee shall I soon with all thy followers, and answer thee, recalling all this to thy mind.' And beholding this insult offered to him, the mighty and proud Bhima, suppressing his rising rage and following the steps of Yudhishthira, also spake these words while going out of the Kaurava court, 'I will slay Duryodhana, and Dhananjaya will slay Karna, and Sahadeva will slay Sakuni that gambler with dice. I also repeat in this assembly these proud words which the gods will assuredly make good, if ever we engage in battle with the Kurus, I will slay this wretched Duryodhana in battle with my mace, and prostrating him on the ground I will place my foot on his head. And as regards this (other) wicked person--Dussasana who is audacious in speech, I will drink his blood like a lion.'
"And Arjuna said,--'O Bhima, the resolutions of superior men are not known in words only. On the fourteenth year from this day, they shall see what happeneth.'
"And Bhima again said,--'The earth shall drink the blood of Duryodhana, and Karna, and the wicked Sakuni, and Dussasana that maketh the fourth.'
"And Arjuna said,--'O Bhima, I will, as thou directest, slay in battle this Karna so malicious and jealous and harsh-speeched and vain. For doing what is agreeable to Bhima, Arjuna voweth that he will slay in battle with his arrows this Karna with all his followers. And I will send unto the regions of Yama also all those other kings that will from foolishness fight against me. The mountains of Himavat might be removed from where they are, the maker of the day lose his brightness, the moon his coldness, but this vow of mine will ever be cherished. And all this shall assuredly happen if on the fourteenth year from this, Duryodhana doth not, with proper respect, return us our kingdom.'"
Vaisampayana continued,--"After Arjuna had said this, Sahadeva the handsome son of Madri, endued with great energy, desirous of slaying Sakuni, waving his mighty arms and sighing like snake, exclaimed, with eyes red with anger--'Thou disgrace of the Gandhara kings, those whom thou thinkest as defeated are not really so. Those are even sharp-pointed arrows from whose wounds thou hast run the risk in battle. I shall certainly accomplish all which Bhima hath said adverting to thee with all thy followers. If therefore thou hast anything to do, do it before that day cometh. I shall assuredly slay thee in battle with all thy followers soon enough, it thou, O son of Suvala, stayest in the light pursuant to the Kshatriya usage.'
"Then, O monarch hearing these words of Sahadeva, Nakula the handsomest of men spake these words,--'I shall certainly send unto the abode of Yama all those wicked sons of Dhritarashtra, who desirous of death and impelled by Fate, and moved also by the wish of doing what is agreeable to Duryodhana, have used harsh and insulting speeches towards this daughter of Yajnasena at the gambling match. Soon enough shall I, at the command of Yudhishthira and remembering the wrongs to Draupadi, make the earth destitute of the sons of Dhritarashtra.'"
Vaisampayana continued,--"And those tigers among men, all endued with long arms, having thus pledged themselves to virtuous promises approached king Dhritarashtra.
"Yudhishthira said,--'I bid farewell unto all the Bharatas, unto my old grand-sire (Bhishma), king Somadatta, the great king Vahlika, Drona, Kripa, all the other kings, Aswathaman, Vidura, Dhritarashtra, all the sons of Dhritarashtra, Yayutsu, Sanjaya, and all the courtiers, I bid fare well, all of ye and returning again I shall see you.""
Vaisampayana continued,--"Overcome with shame none of those that were present there, could tell Yudhishthira anything. Within their hearts, however, they prayed for the welfare of that intelligent prince.
"Vidura then said,--'The reverend Pritha is a princess by birth. It behoveth her not to go into the woods. Delicate and old and ever known to happiness the blessed one will live, respected by me, in my abode. Known this, ye sons of Pandu. And let safety be always yours.'"
Vaisampayana continued,--"The Pandavas thereupon said,--'O sinless one, let it be as thou sayest. Thou art our uncle, and, therefore like as our father. We also are all obedient to thee. Thou art, O learned one, our most respected superior. We should always obey what thou choosest to command. And, O high-souled one, order thou whatever else there is that remaineth to be done.'
"Vidura replied,--'O Yudhishthira, O bull of the
Bharata race, know this to be my opinion, that one that is vanquished by sinful
means need not be pained by such defeat. Thou knowest every rule of morality;
Dhananjaya is ever victorious in battle; Bhimasena is the slayer of foes;
Nakula is the gatherer of wealth; Sahadeva hath administrative talents, Dhaumya
is the foremost of all conversant with the vedas; and the well-behaved Draupadi
is conversant with virtue and economy. Ye are attached to one another and feel
delight at one another's sight and enemies can not separate you from one another,
and ye are contented. Therefore, who is there that will not envy ye? O Bharata,
this patient abstraction from the possession of the world will be of great
benefit to thee. No foe, even if he were equal to sakra himself, will be able
to stand it. Formerly thou wert instructed on the mountains of Himavat by Meru
Savarni; in the town of
Vaisampayana continued,--"Thus addressed by Vidura, Yudhishthira the son of Pandu, of prowess incapable of being baffled, saying, 'So be it,' bowing low unto Bhishma and Drona, went away."
Vaisampayana said,--"Then when Draupadi was about to set out she went unto the illustrious Pritha and solicited her leave. And she also asked leave of the other ladies of the household who had all been plunged into grief. And saluting and embracing every one of them as each deserved, she desired to go away. Then there arose within the inner apartments of the Pandavas a loud wail of woe. And Kunti, terribly afflicted upon beholding Draupadi on the eve of her journey, uttered these words in a voice choked with grief,--
"'O child, grieve not that this great calamity hath overtaken thee. Thou art well conversant with the duties of the female sex, and thy behaviour and conduct also are as they should be. It behoveth me not, O thou of sweet smiles, to instruct thee as to thy duties towards thy lords. Thou art chaste and accomplished, and thy qualities have adorned the race of thy birth as also the race into which thou hast been admitted by marriage. Fortunate are the Kauravas that they have not been burnt by thy wrath. O child, safely go thou blest by my prayers. Good women never suffer their hearts to the unstung at what is inevitable. Protected by virtue that is superior to everything, soon shalt thou obtain good fortune. While living in the woods, keep thy eye on my child Sahadeva. See that his heart sinketh not under this great calamity.'
"Saying 'So be it!' the princess Draupadi bathed in tears, and clad in one piece of cloth, stained with blood, and with hair dishevelled left her mother-in-law. And as she went away weeping and wailing Pritha herself in grief followed her. She had not gone far when she saw her sons shorn of their ornaments and robes, their bodies clad in deerskins, and their heads down with shame. And she beheld them surrounded by rejoicing foes and pitied by friends. Endued with excess of parental affection, Kunti approached her sons in that state, and embracing them all, and in accents choked by woe, She said these words,--
"'Ye are virtuous and good-mannered, and adorned with all excellent qualities and respectful behaviour. Ye are all high-minded, and engaged in the service of your superiors. And ye are also devoted to the gods and the performance of sacrifices. Why, then, hath this calamity overtaken you. Whence is this reverse of fortune? I do not see by whose wickedness this sin hath overtaken you. Alas I have brought you forth. All this must be due to my ill fortune. It is for this that ye have been overtaken by this calamity, though ye all are endued with excellent virtues. In energy and prowess and strength and firmness and might, ye are not wanting. How shall ye now, losing your wealth and possessions, live poor in the pathless woods? If I had known before that ye were destined to live in the woods, I would not have on Pandu's death come from the mountains of Satasringa to Hastinapore. Fortunate was your father, as I now regard, for he truly reaped the fruit of his asceticism, and he was gifted with foresight, as he entertained the wish of ascending heaven, without having to feel any pain on account of his sons. Fortunate also was the virtuous Madri, as I regard her today, who had, it seems, a fore-knowledge of what would happen and who on that account, obtained the high path of emancipation and every blessing therewith. Ah, Madri looked upon me as her stay, and her mind and her affections were ever fixed on me. Oh, fie on my desire of life, owing to which suffer all this woe. Ye children, ye are all excellent and dear unto me. I have obtained you after much suffering. I cannot leave you. Even I will go with you. Alas, O Krishna, (Draupadi), why dost thou leave me so? Everything endued with life is sure to perish. Hath Dhata (Brahma) himself forgotten to ordain my death? Perhaps, it is so, and, therefore, life doth not quit me. O Krishna, O thou who dwellest in Dwaraka, O younger brother of Sankarshana, where art thou? Why dost thou not deliver me and these best of men also from such woe? They say that thou who art without beginning and without end deliverest those that think of thee. Why doth this saying become untrue. These my sons are ever attached to virtue and nobility and good fame and prowess. They deserve not to suffer affliction. Oh, show them mercy. Alas, when there are such elders amongst our race as Bhishma and Drona and Kripa, all conversant with morality and the science of worldly concerns, how could such calamity at all come? O Pandu, O king, where art thou? Why sufferest thou quietly thy good children to be thus sent into exile, defeated at dice? O Sahadeva, desist from going. Thou art my dearest child, dearer, O son of Madri, than my body itself. Forsake me not. It behoveth thee to have some kindness for me. Bound by the ties of virtue, let these thy brothers go. But then, earn thou that virtue which springeth from waiting upon me.'"
Vaisampayana continued,--"The Pandavas then consoled
their weeping mother and with hearts plunged in grief set out for the woods.
And Vidura himself also much afflicted, consoling the distressed Kunti with
reasons, and led her slowly to his house. And the ladies of Dhritarashtra's
house, hearing everything as it happened, viz., the exile (of the Pandavas) and
the dragging of
"At this summons, Vidura quickly came to Dhritarashtra's palace. And as soon as he came, the monarch asked him with great anxiety how the Pandavas had left Hastinapore."
Vaisampayana said,--"As soon as Vidura endued with great foresight came unto him king Dhritarashtra, the son of Amvika, timidly asked his brother,--'How doth Yudhishthira, the son of Dharma, proceed along? And how Arjuna? And how the twin sons of Madri? And how, O Kshatta, doth Dhaumya proceed along? And how the illustrious Draupadi? I desire to hear everything, O Kshatta; describe to me all their acts.'
"Vidura replied,--'Yudhishthira, the son of Kunti, hath
gone away covering his face with his cloth. And Bhima, O king, hath gone away
looking at his own mighty arms. And Jishnu (Arjuna) hath gone away, following the
king spreading sand-grains around. And Sahadeva, the son of Madri, hath gone
away besmearing his face, and Nakula, the handsomest of men, O king, hath gone
away, staining himself with dust and his heart in great affliction. And the
large-eyed and beautiful
"Dhritarashtra asked,--'Tell me, O Vidura, why is it that the Pandavas are leaving Hastinapore in such varied guise.'
"Vidura replied,--'Though persecuted by thy sons and robbed of his kingdom and wealth the mind of the wise king Yudhishthira the just hath not yet deviated from the path of virtue. King Yudhishthira is always kind, O Bharata, to thy children. Though deprived (of his kingdom and possessions) by foul means, filled with wrath as he is, he doth not open eyes. "I should not burn the people by looking at them with angry eyes,"--thinking so, the royal son of Pandu goeth covering his face. Listen to me as I tell thee, O bull of the Bharata race, why Bhima goeth so. "There is none equal to me in strength of arms," thinking so Bhima goeth repeatedly stretching forth his mighty arms. And, O king, proud of the strength of his arms, Vrikodara goeth, exhibiting them and desiring to do unto his enemies deeds worthy of those arms. And Arjuna the son of Kunti, capable of using both his arms (in wielding the Gandiva) followeth the footsteps of Yudhishthira, scattering sand-grains emblematical of the arrows he would shower in battle. O Bharata, he indicateth that as the sand-grains are scattered by him with ease, so will he rain arrows with perfect ease on the foe (in time of battle). And Sahadeva goeth besmearing his face, thinking "None may recognise me in this day of trouble." And, O exalted one, Nakula goeth staining himself with dust thinking, "Lest otherwise I steal the hearts of the ladies that may look at me." And Draupadi goeth, attired in one piece of stained cloth, her hair dishevelled, and weeping, signifying--"The wives of those for whom I have been reduced to such a plight, shall on the fourteenth year hence be deprived of husbands, sons and relatives and dear ones and smeared all over with blood, with hair dishevelled and all in their feminine seasons enter Hastinapore having offered oblations of water (unto the manes of those they will have lost)." And O Bharata, the learned Dhaumya with passions under full control, holding the kusa grass in his hand and pointing the same towards the south-west, walketh before, singing the mantras of the Sama Veda that relate to Yama. And, O monarch, that learned Brahamana goeth, also signifying, "When the Bharatas shall be slain in battle, the priests of the Kurus will thus sing the Soma mantras (for the benefit of the deceased)." And the citizens, afflicted with great grief, are repeatedly crying out, "Alas, alas, behold our masters are going away! O fie on the Kuru elders that have acted like foolish children in thus banishing heirs of Pandu from covetousness alone. Alas, separated from the son of Pandu we all shall become masterless. What love can we bear to the wicked and avaricious Kurus?" Thus O king, have the sons of Kunti, endued with great energy of mind, gone away,--indicating, by manner and signs, the resolutions that are in their hearts. And as those foremost of men had gone away from Hastinapore, flashes of lightning appeared in the sky though without clouds and the earth itself began to tremble. And Rahu came to devour the Sun, although it was not the day of conjunction. And meteors began to fall, keeping the city to their right. And jackals and vultures and ravens and other carnivorous beasts and birds began to shriek and cry aloud from the temples of the gods and the tops of sacred trees and walls and house-tops. And these extraordinary calamitous portents, O king, were seen and heard, indicating the destruction of the Bharatas as the consequence of thy evil counsels.'"
Vaisampayana continued,--"And, O monarch, while king
Dhritarashtra and the wise Vidura were thus talking with each other, there
appeared in that assembly of the Kauravas and before the eyes of all, the best
of the celestial Rishis. And appearing before them all, he uttered these
terrible words, On the fourteenth year hence, the Kauravas, in consequence of
Duryodhana's fault, will all be destroyed by the might of Bhima and Arjuna. And
having said this, that best of celestial Rishis, adorned with surpassing Vedic
grace, passing through the skies, disappeared from the scene. Then Duryodhana
and Karna and Sakuni, the son of Suvala regarding Drona as their sole refuge,
offered the kingdom to him. Drona then, addressing the envious and wrathful
Duryodhana and Dussasana and Karna and all the Bharata, said, 'The Brahamanas
have said that the Pandavas being of celestial origin are incapable of being
slain. The sons of Dhritarashtra, however, having, with all the kings, heartily
and with reverence sought my protection, I shall look after them to the best of
my power. Destiny is supreme, I cannot abandon them. The sons of Pandu,
defeated at dice, are going into exile in pursuance of their promise. They will
live in the woods for twelve years. Practising the Brahmacharyya mode of life
for this period, they will return in anger and to our great grief take the
amplest vengeance on their foes. I had formerly deprived Drupada of his kingdom
in a friendly dispute. Robbed of his kingdom by me, O Bharata, the king
performed a sacrifice for obtaining a son (that should slay me). Aided by the
ascetic power of Yaja and Upayaja, Drupada obtained from the (sacrificial) fire
a son named Dhrishtadyumna and a daughter, viz., the faultless
Vaisampayana continued,--"Hearing these words of Drona, Dhritarashtra said,--'O Kshatta, the preceptor hath uttered what is true. Go thou and bring back the Pandavas. If they do not come back, let them go treated with respect and affection. Let those my sons go with weapons, and cars, and infantry, and enjoying every other good thing.'"
Vaisampayana said,--"defeated at dice, after the Pandavas had gone to the woods, Dhritarashtra, O king, was overcome with anxiety. And while he was seated restless with anxiety and sighing in grief, Sanjaya approaching him said, 'O lord of the earth having now obtained the whole earth with all its wealth and sent away the sons of Pandu into exile, why is it, O king, that thou grievest so?'
"Dhritarashtra said,--'What have they not to grieve for who will have to encounter in battle those bulls among warriors--the sons of Pandu--fighting on great cars and aided by allies?'
"Sanjaya said,--'O king, all this great hostility is inevitable
on account of thy mistaken action, and this will assuredly bring about the
wholesale destruction of the whole world. Forbidden by Bhishma, by Drona, and
by Vidura, thy wicked-minded and shameless son Duryodhana sent his Suta
messenger commanding him to bring into court the beloved and virtuous wife of
the Pandavas. The gods first deprive that man of his reason unto whom they send
defeat and disgrace. It is for this that such a person seeth things in a
strange light. When destruction is at hand, evil appeareth as good unto the
understanding polluted by sin, and the man adhereth to it firmly. That which is
improper appeareth as proper, and that which is proper appeareth as improper
unto the man about to be overwhelmed by destruction, and evil and impropriety
are what he liketh. The time that bringeth on destruction doth not come with
upraised club and smash one's head. On the other hand the peculiarity of such a
time is that it maketh a man behold evil in good and good in evil. The wretches
have brought on themselves this terrible, wholesale, and horrible destruction
by dragging the helpless princess of Panchala into the court. Who else than
Duryodhana--that false player of dice could bring into the assembly, with
insults, the daughter of Drupada, endued with beauty and intelligence, and
conversant with every rule of morality and duty, and sprung not from any
woman's womb but from the sacred fire? The handsome
"Dhritarashtra said,--'O Sanjaya, the glances of the
distressed daughter of Drupada might consume the whole earth. Can it be
possible that even a single son of mine will live? The wives of the Bharatas,
uniting with Gandhari upon beholding virtuous
The End of Sabha Parva
END OF PART 2