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Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa Bk. 3 Pt. 1 by Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa

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The Mahabharata of

Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa



Translated into English Prose from the Original Sanskrit Text


Kisari Mohan Ganguli






(Aranyaka Parva)

Om! Having bowed down to Narayana, and Nara the foremost of male beings,
and the goddess Saraswati also, must the word _Jaya_ be uttered.

Janamejaya said, "O thou foremost of regenerate ones, deceitfully
defeated at dice by the sons of Dhritarashtra and their counsellors,
incensed by those wicked ones that thus brought about a fierce
animosity, and addressed in language that was so cruel, what did the
Kuru princes, my ancestors--the sons of Pritha--(then) do? How also did
the sons of Pritha, equal unto Sakra in prowess, deprived of affluence
and suddenly overwhelmed with misery, pass their days in the forest? Who
followed the steps of those princes plunged in excess of affliction? And
how did those high souled ones bear themselves and derive their
sustenance, and where did they put up? And, O illustrious ascetic and
foremost of Brahmanas, how did those twelve years (of exile) of those
warriors who were slayers of foes, pass away in the forest? And
undeserving of pain, how did that princess, the best of her sex, devoted
to her husbands, eminently virtuous, and always speaking the truth,
endure that painful exile in the forest? O thou of ascetic wealth tell
me all this in detail, for, O Brahmana, I desire to hear thee narrate
the history of those heroes possessed of abundant prowess and lustre.
Truly my curiosity is great."

Vaisampayana said, "Thus defeated at dice and incensed by the wicked
sons of Dhritarashtra and their counsellors, the sons of Pritha set out
from Hastinapura. And issuing through _Vardhamana_ gate of the city, the
Pandavas bearing their weapons and accompanied by Draupadi set out in a
northerly direction. Indrasena and others, with servants numbering
altogether fourteen, with their wives, followed them on swift cars. And
the citizens learning of their departure became overwhelmed with sorrow,
and began to censure Bhishma and Vidura and Drona and Gautama. And
having met together they thus addressed one another fearlessly.

"'Alas, our families, we ourselves, and our homes are all gone, when the
wicked Duryodhana, backed by the son of Suvala, by Karna and Dussasana,
aspireth to this kingdom. And, Oh, our families, our (ancestral) usages,
our virtue and prosperity, are all doomed where this sinful wretch
supported by wretches as sinful aspireth to the kingdom! And, Oh, how
can happiness be there where these are not! Duryodhana beareth malice
towards all superiors, hath taken leave of good conduct, and quarreleth
with those that are near to him in blood. Covetous and vain and mean, he
is cruel by nature. The whole earth is doomed when Duryodhana becometh
its ruler. Thither, therefore, let us proceed whither the merciful and
high-minded sons of Pandu with passions under control and victorious
over foes, and possessed of modesty and renown, and devoted to pious
practices, repair!'"

Vaisampayana said, "And saying this, the citizens went after the
Pandavas, and having met them, they all, with joined hands, thus
addressed the sons of Kunti and Madri.

"'Blest be ye! Where will ye go, leaving us in grief? We will follow you
whithersoever ye will go! Surely have we been distressed upon learning
that ye have been deceitfully vanquished by relentless enemies! It
behoveth you not to forsake us that are your loving subjects and devoted
friends always seeking your welfare and employed in doing what is
agreeable to you! We desire not to be overwhelmed in certain destruction
living in the dominions of the Kuru king. Ye bulls among men, listen as
we indicate the merits and demerits springing respectively from
association with what is good and bad! As cloth, water, the ground, and
sesame seeds are perfumed by association with flowers, even so are
qualities ever the product of association. Verily association with fools
produceth an illusion that entangleth the mind, as daily communion with
the good and the wise leadeth to the practice of virtue. Therefore, they
that desire emancipation should associate with those that are wise and
old and honest and pure in conduct and possessed of ascetic merit. They
should be waited upon whose triple possessions, _viz_., knowledge (of
the _Vedas_), origin and acts, are all pure, and association with them
is even superior to (the study of the) scriptures. Devoid of the
religious acts as we are, we shall yet reap religious merit by
association with the righteous, as we should come by sin by waiting upon
the sinful. The very sight and touch of the dishonest, and converse and
association with them, cause diminution of virtue, and men (that are
doomed to these), never attain purity of mind. Association with the base
impaireth the understanding, as, indeed, with the indifferent maketh it
indifferent, while communion with the good ever exalteth it. All those
attributes which are spoken of in the world as the sources of religious
merit, of worldly prosperity and sensual pleasures, which are regarded
by the people, extolled in the _Vedas_, and approved by the
well-behaved, exist in you, separately and jointly! Therefore, desirous
of our own welfare, we wish to live amongst you who possess those

"Yudhishthira said, 'Blessed are we since the people with the Brahmanas
at their head, moved by affection and compassion credit us with merits
we have not. I, however, with my brothers, would ask all of you to do
one thing. Ye should not, through affection and pity for us, act
otherwise! Our grandfather Bhishma, the king (Dhritarashtra), Vidura, my
mother and most of my well-wishers, are all in the city of Hastinapura.
Therefore, if ye are minded to seek our welfare, cherish ye them with
care, uniting together as they are overwhelmed with sorrow and
afflictions. Grieved at our departure, ye have come far! Go ye back, and
let your hearts be directed with tenderness towards the relatives I
entrust to you as pledges! This, of all others, is the one act upon
which my heart is set, and by doing this ye would give me great
satisfaction and pay me your best regards!'"

Vaisampayana continued, "Thus exhorted by Yudhishthira the just, the
people in a body set up a loud wail exclaiming,--_Alas, O king!_ And
afflicted and overwhelmed with sorrow on remembering the virtues of
Pritha's son, they unwillingly retraced their steps asking leave of the

"The citizens having ceased to follow, the Pandavas ascended their cars,
and setting out reached (the site of) the mighty banian tree called
_Pramana_ on the banks of the Ganges. And reaching the site of the
banian tree about the close of the day, the heroic sons of Pandu
purified themselves by touching the sacred water, and passed the night
there. And afflicted with woe they spent that night taking water alone
as their sole sustenance. Certain Brahmanas belonging to both classes,
_viz_., those that maintained the sacrificial fire and those that
maintained it not, who had, with their disciples and relatives, out of
affection followed the Pandavas thither also passed the night with them.
And surrounded by those utterers of _Brahma_, the king shone resplendent
in their midst. And that evening, at once beautiful and terrible, those
Brahmanas having lighted their (sacred) fires, began to chant the
_Vedas_ and hold mutual converse. And those foremost of Brahmanas, with
swan-sweet voices spent the night, comforting that best of Kurus--the


Vaisampayana said, "When that night passed away and day broke in, those
Brahmanas who supported themselves by mendicancy, stood before the
Pandavas of exalted deeds, who were about to enter the forest. Then king
Yudhishthira, the son of Kunti, addressed them, saying, 'Robbed of our
prosperity and kingdom, robbed of everything, we are about to enter the
deep woods in sorrow, depending for our food on fruits and roots, and
the produce of the chase. The forest too is full of dangers, and abounds
with reptiles and beasts of prey. It appeareth to me that ye will
certainly have to suffer much privation and misery there. The sufferings
of the Brahmanas might overpower even the gods. That they would
overwhelm me is too certain. Therefore, O Brahmana, go ye back
whithersoever ye list!'

"The Brahmanas replied, 'O king, our path is even that on which ye are
for setting out! It behoveth thee not, therefore, to forsake us who are
thy devoted admirers practising the true religion! The very gods have
compassion upon their worshippers,--specially upon Brahmanas of
regulated lives!'

"Yudhishthira said, 'Ye regenerate ones, I too am devoted to the
Brahmanas! But this destitution that hath overtaken me overwhelmed me
with confusion! These my brothers that are to procure fruits and roots
and the deer (of the forest) are stupefied with grief arising from their
afflictions and on account of the distress of Draupadi and the loss of
our kingdom! Alas, as they are distressed, I cannot employ them in
painful tasks!'

"The Brahmanas said, 'Let no anxiety, O king, in respect of our
maintenance, find a place in thy heart! Ourselves providing our own
food, we shall follow thee, and by meditation and saying our prayers we
shall compass thy welfare while by pleasant converse we shall entertain
thee and be cheered ourselves.'

"Yudhishthira said, 'Without doubt, it must be as ye say, for I am ever
pleased with the company of the regenerate ones! But my fallen condition
maketh me behold in myself an object of reproach! How shall I behold you
all, that do not deserve to bear trouble, out of love for me painfully
subsisting upon food procured by your own toil? Oh, fie upon the wicked
sons of Dhritarashtra!'"

Vaisampayana continued, "Saying this, the weeping king sat himself down
upon the ground. Then a learned Brahmana, Saunaka by name versed in
self-knowledge and skilled in the _Sankhya_ system of yoga, addressed
the king, saying, 'Causes of grief by thousands, and causes of fear by
hundreds, day after day, overwhelm the ignorant but not the wise.
Surely, sensible men like thee never suffer themselves to be deluded by
acts that are opposed to true knowledge, fraught with every kind of
evil, and destructive of salvation. O king, in thee dwelleth that
understanding furnished with the eight attributes which is said to be
capable of providing against all evils and which resulteth from a study
of the _Sruti (Vedas)_ and scriptures! And men like unto thee are never
stupefied, on the accession of poverty or an affliction overtaking their
friends, through bodily or mental uneasiness! Listen, I shall tell the
_slokas_ which were chanted of old by the illustrious Janaka touching
the subject of controlling the self! This world is afflicted with both
bodily and mental suffering. Listen now to the means of allaying it as I
indicate them both briefly and in detail. Disease, contact with painful
things, toil and want of objects desired.--these are the four causes
that induce bodily suffering. And as regards disease, it may be allayed
by the application of medicine, while mental ailments are cured by
seeking to forget them by _yoga_-meditation. For this reason, sensible
physicians first seek to allay the mental sufferings of their patients
by agreeable converse and the offer of desirable objects. And as a hot
iron bar thrust into a jar maketh the water therein hot, even so doth
mental grief bring on bodily agony. And as water quencheth fire, so doth
true knowledge allay mental disquietude. And the mind attaining ease,
the body findeth ease also. It seemeth that affection is the root of all
mental sorrow. It is affection that maketh every creature miserable and
bringeth on every kind of woe. Verily affection is the root of all
misery and of all fear, of joy and grief of every kind of pain. From
affection spring all purposes, and it is from affection that spring the
love of worldly goods! Both of these (latter) are sources of evil,
though the first (our purposes) is worse than the second. And as (a
small portion of) fire thrust into the hollow of a tree consumeth the
tree itself to its roots, even so affection, ever so little, destroyeth
both virtue and profit. He cannot be regarded to have renounced the
world who hath merely withdrawn from worldly possessions. He, however,
who though in actual contact with the world regardeth its faults, may be
said to have truly renounced the world. Freed from every evil passion,
soul dependent on nothing with such a one hath truly renounced the
world. Therefore, should no one seek to place his affections on either
friends or the wealth he hath earned. And so should affection for one's
own person be extinguished by knowledge. Like the lotus-leaf that is
never drenched by water, the souls of men capable of distinguishing
between the ephemeral and the everlasting, of men devoted to the pursuit
of the eternal, conversant with the scriptures and purified by
knowledge, can never be moved by affection. The man that is influenced
by affection is tortured by desire; and from the desire that springeth
up in his heart his thirst for worldly possessions increaseth. Verily,
this thirst is sinful and is regarded as the source of all anxieties. It
is this terrible thirst, fraught with sin that leaneth unto unrighteous
acts. Those find happiness that can renounce this thirst, which can
never be renounced by the wicked, which decayeth not with the decay of
the body, and which is truly a fatal disease! It hath neither beginning
nor end. Dwelling within the heart, it destroyeth creatures, like a fire
of incorporeal origin. And as a faggot of wood is consumed by the fire
that is fed by itself, even so doth a person of impure soul find
destruction from the covetousness born of his heart. And as creatures
endued with life have ever a dread of death, so men of wealth are in
constant apprehension of the king and the thief, of water and fire and
even of their relatives. And as a morsel of meat, if in air, may be
devoured by birds; if on ground by beasts of prey; and if in water by
the fishes; even so is the man of wealth exposed to dangers wherever he
may be. To many the wealth they own is their bane, and he that beholding
happiness in wealth becometh wedded to it, and knoweth not true
happiness. And hence accession of wealth is viewed as that which
increaseth covetousness and folly. Wealth alone is the root of
niggardliness and boastfulness, pride and fear and anxiety! These are
the miseries of men that the wise see in riches! Men undergo infinite
miseries in the acquisition and retention of wealth. Its expenditure
also is fraught with grief. Nay, sometimes, life itself is lost for the
sake of wealth! The abandonment of wealth produces misery, and even they
that are cherished by one's wealth become enemies for the sake of that
wealth! When, therefore, the possession of wealth is fraught with such
misery, one should not mind its loss. It is the ignorant alone who are
discontented. The wise, however, are always content. The thirst of
wealth can never be assuaged. Contentment is the highest happiness;
therefore, it is, that the wise regard contentment as the highest object
of pursuit. The wise knowing the instability of youth and beauty, of
life and treasure-hoards, of prosperity and the company of the loved
ones, never covet them. Therefore, one should refrain from the
acquisition of wealth, bearing the pain incident to it. None that is
rich is free from trouble, and it is for this that the virtuous applaud
them that are free from the desire of wealth. And as regards those that
pursue wealth for purposes of virtue, it is better for them to refrain
altogether from such pursuit, for, surely, it is better not to touch
mire at all than to wash it off after having been besmeared with it.
And, O Yudhishthira, it behoveth thee not to covet anything! And if thou
wouldst have virtue, emancipate thyself from desire of worldly

"Yudhishthira said, 'O Brahmana, this my desire of wealth is not for
enjoying it when obtained. It is only for the support of the Brahmanas
that I desire it and not because I am actuated by avarice! For what
purpose, O Brahmana, doth one like us lead a domestic life, if he cannot
cherish and support those that follow him? All creatures are seen to
divide the food (they procure) amongst those that depend on them.[1] So
should a person leading a domestic life give a share of his food to
_Yatis_ and _Brahmacharins_ that have renounced cooking for themselves.
The houses of the good men can never be in want of grass (for seat),
space (for rest), water (to wash and assuage thirst), and fourthly,
sweet words. To the weary a bed,--to one fatigued with standing, a
seat,--to the thirsty, water,--and to the hungry, food should ever be
given. To a guest are due pleasant looks and a cheerful heart and sweet
words. The host, rising up, should advance towards the guest, offer him
a seat, and duly worship him. Even this is eternal morality. They that
perform not the _Agnihotra_,[2] do not wait upon bulls, nor cherish
their kinsmen and guests and friends and sons and wives and servants,
are consumed with sin for such neglect. None should cook his food for
himself alone and none should slay an animal without dedicating it to
the gods, the _pitris_, and guests. Nor should one eat of that food
which hath not been duly dedicated to the gods and _pitris_. By
scattering food on the earth, morning and evening, for (the behoof of)
dogs and _Chandalas_ and birds, should a person perform the _Viswedeva_
sacrifice.[3] He that eateth the _Vighasa_, is regarded as eating
ambrosia. What remaineth in a sacrifice after dedication to the gods and
the _pitris_ is regarded as ambrosia; and what remaineth after feeding
the guest is called _Vighasa_ and is equivalent to ambrosia itself.
Feeding a guest is equivalent to a sacrifice, and the pleasant looks the
host casteth upon the guest, the attention he devoteth to him, the sweet
words in which he addresseth him, the respect he payeth by following
him, and the food and drink with which he treateth him, are the five
_Dakshinas_[4] in that sacrifice. He who giveth without stint food to a
fatigued wayfarer never seen before, obtaineth merit that is great, and
he who leading a domestic life, followeth such practices, acquireth
religious merit that is said to be very great. O Brahmana, what is thy
opinion on this?'

[1] This seems to be the obvious. There is a different reading
however. For _Drie-cyate_--seen, some texts have
_Sasyate_--applauded. Nilakantha imagines that the meaning is
"As distribution (of food) amongst the various classes of beings
like the gods, the _Pitris_, &c., is applauded &c., &c."

[2] A form of sacrifice which consists in pouring oblations of
clarified butter with prayers into a blazing fire. It is
obligatory on Brahmanas and Kshatriyas, except those that accept
certain vows of great austerity.

[3] The Viswedeva sacrifice is the offer of food to all
creatures of the earth (by scattering a portion).

[4] A gift. It may be of various kinds. The fees paid to
Brahmanas assisting at sacrifices and religious rites, such as
offering oblations to the dead, are _Dakshinas_, as also gifts
to Brahmanas on other occasions particularly when they are fed,
it being to this day the custom never to feed a Brahmana without
paying him a pecuniary fee. There can be no sacrifice, no
religious rite, without _Dakshina_.

"Saunaka said, 'Alas, this world is full of contradictions! That which
shameth the good, gratifieth the wicked! Alas, moved by ignorance and
passion and slaves of their own senses, even fools perform many acts of
(apparent merit) to gratify in after-life their appetites! With eyes
open are these men led astray by their seducing senses, even as a
charioteer, who hath lost his senses, by restive and wicked steeds! When
any of the six senses findeth its particular object, the desire
springeth up in the heart to enjoy that particular object. And thus when
one's heart proceedeth to enjoy the objects of any particular sense a
wish is entertained which in its turn giveth birth to a resolve. And
finally, like unto an insect falling into a flame from love of light,
the man falleth into the fire of temptation, pierced by the shafts of
the object of enjoyment discharged by the desire constituting the seed
of the resolve! And thenceforth blinded by sensual pleasure which he
seeketh without stint, and steeped in dark ignorance and folly which he
mistaketh for a state of happiness, he knoweth not himself! And like
unto a wheel that is incessantly rolling, every creature, from ignorance
and deed and desire, falleth into various states in this world,
wandering from one birth to another, and rangeth the entire circle of
existences from a _Brahma_ to the point of a blade of grass, now in
water, now on land, and now against in the air!

"'This then is the career of those that are without knowledge. Listen
now to the course of the wise they that are intent on profitable virtue,
and are desirous of emancipation! The _Vedas_ enjoin act but _renounce_
(interest in) action. Therefore, shouldst thou act, renouncing
_Abhimana_,[5] performance of sacrifices, study (of the _Vedas_), gifts,
penance, truth (in both speech and act), forgiveness, subduing the
senses, and renunciation of desire,--these have been declared to be the
eight (cardinal) duties constituting the true path. Of these, the four
first pave the way to the world of the _pitris_. And these should be
practised without _Abhimana_. The four last are always observed by the
pious, to attain the heaven of the gods. And the pure in spirit should
ever follow these eight paths. Those who wish to subdue the world for
purpose of salvation, should ever act fully renouncing motives,
effectually subduing their senses, rigidly observing particular vows,
devotedly serving their preceptors, austerely regulating their fare,
diligently studying the _Vedas_, renouncing action as mean and
restraining their hearts. By renouncing desire and aversion the gods
have attained prosperity. It is by virtue of their wealth of yoga[6]
that the _Rudras_, and the _Sadhyas_, and the _Adityas_ and the _Vasus_,
and the twin _Aswins_, rule the creatures. Therefore, O son of Kunti,
like unto them, do thou, O Bharata, entirely refraining from action with
motive, strive to attain success in _yoga_ and by ascetic austerities.
Thou hast already achieved such success so far as thy debts to thy
ancestors, both male and female concerned, and that success also which
is derived from action (sacrifices). Do thou, for serving the regenerate
ones endeavour to attain success in penances. Those that are crowned
with ascetic success, can, by virtue of that success, do whatever they
list; do thou, therefore, practising asceticism realise all thy

[5] Reference to self, i.e. without the motive of bettering
one's own self, or without any motive at all. (This contains the
germ of the doctrine preached more elaborately in the _Bhagavad

[6] This _Yoga_ consists, in their case, of a combination of
attributes by negation of the contrary ones, i.e. by
renunciation of motives in all they do.


Vaisampayana said, "Yudhishthira the son of Kunti, thus addressed by
Saunaka, approached his priest and in the midst of his brothers said,
'The Brahmanas versed in the _Vedas_ are following me who am departing
for the forest. Afflicted with many calamities I am unable to support
them. I cannot abandon them, nor have I the power to offer them
sustenance: Tell me, O holy one, what should be done by me in such a

Vaisampayana said, "After reflecting for a moment seeking to find out
the (proper) course by his _yoga_ powers, Dhaumya, that foremost of all
virtuous men, addressed Yudhishthira, in these words, 'In days of old,
all living beings that had been created were sorely afflicted with
hunger. And like a father (unto all of them), _Savita_ (the sun) took
compassion upon them. And going first into the northern declension, the
sun drew up water by his rays, and coming back to the southern
declension, stayed over the earth, with his heat centered in himself.
And while the sun so stayed over the earth, the lord of the vegetable
world (the moon), converting the effects of the solar heat (vapours)
into clouds and pouring them down in the shape of water, caused plants
to spring up. Thus it is the sun himself, who, drenched by the lunar
influence, is transformed, upon the sprouting of seeds, into holy
vegetable furnished with the six tastes. And it is these which
constitute the food of all creatures upon the earth. Thus the food that
supporteth the lives of creatures is instinct with solar energy, and the
sun is, therefore, the father of all creatures. Do thou, hence, O
Yudhishthira, take refuge even in him. All illustrious monarchs of pure
descent and deeds are known to have delivered their people by practising
high asceticism. The great Karttavirya, and Vainya and Nahusha, had all,
by virtue of ascetic meditation preceded by vows, delivered their people
from heavy afflictions. Therefore, O virtuous one, as thou art purified
by the acts do thou likewise, entering upon a file of austerities. O
Bharata, virtuously support the regenerate ones.'"

Janamejaya said, "How did that bull among the Kurus, king Yudhishthira,
for the sake of the Brahmanas adore the sun of wonderful appearance?"

Vaisampayana said, "Listen attentively, O king, purifying thyself and
withdrawing thy mind from every other thing. And, O king of kings,
appoint thou a time. I will tell thee everything in detail, And, O
illustrious one, listen to the one hundred and eight names (of the sun)
as they were disclosed of old by Dhaumya to the high-souled son of
Pritha. Dhaumya said, 'Surya, Aryaman, Bhaga, Twastri, Pusha, Arka,
Savitri, Ravi, Gabhastimat, Aja, Kala, Mrityu, Dhatri, Prabhakara,
Prithibi, Apa, Teja, Kha, Vayu, the sole stay, Soma, Vrihaspati, Sukra,
Budha, Angaraka, Indra, Vivaswat, Diptanshu, Suchi, Sauri, Sanaichara,
Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra, Skanda, Vaisravana, Yama, Vaidyutagni,
Jatharagni, Aindhna, Tejasampati, Dharmadhwaja, Veda-karttri, Vedanga,
Vedavahana, Krita, Treta, Dwapara, Kali, full of every impurity, Kala,
Kastha, Muhurtta, Kshapa, Yama, and Kshana; Samvatsara-kara, Aswattha,
Kalachakra, Bibhavasu, Purusha, Saswata, Yogin, Vyaktavyakta, Sanatana,
Kaladhyaksha, Prajadhyaksha, Viswakarma, Tamounda, Varuna, Sagara, Ansu,
Jimuta, Jivana, Arihan, Bhutasraya, Bhutapati, Srastri, Samvartaka,
Vanhi, Sarvadi, Alolupa, Ananta, Kapila, Bhanu, Kamada, Sarvatomukha,
Jaya, Visata, Varada, Manas, Suparna, Bhutadi, Sighraga, Prandharana,
Dhanwantari, Dhumaketu, Adideva, Aditisuta, Dwadasatman, Aravindaksha,
Pitri, Matri, Pitamaha, Swarga-dwara, Prajadwara, Mokshadwara,
Tripistapa, Dehakarti, Prasantatman, Viswatman, Viswatomukha,
Characharatman, Sukhsmatman, the merciful Maitreya. These are the
hundred and eight names of Surya of immeasurable energy, as told by the
self-create (Brahma). For the acquisition of prosperity, I bow down to
thee, O Bhaskara, blazing like unto gold or fire, who is worshipped of
the gods and the _Pitris_ and the Yakshas, and who is adored by Asuras,
Nisacharas, and Siddhas. He that with fixed attention reciteth this hymn
at sunrise, obtaineth wife and offspring and riches and the memory of
his former existence, and by reciting this hymn a person attaineth
patience and memory. Let a man concentrating his mind, recite this hymn.
By doing so, he shall be proof against grief and forest-fire and ocean
and every object of desire shall be his.'"

Vaisampayana continued, "Having heard from Dhaumya these words suitable
to the occasion, Yudhishthira the just, with heart concentrated within
itself and purifying it duly, became engaged in austere meditation,
moved by the desire of supporting the Brahmanas. And worshipping the
maker of day with offerings of flowers and other articles, the king
performed his ablutions. And standing in the stream, he turned his face
towards the god of day. And touching the water of the Ganges the
virtuous Yudhishthira with senses under complete control and depending
upon air alone for his sustenance, stood there with rapt soul engaged in
_pranayama_.[7] And having purified himself and restrained his speech,
he began to sing the hymn of praise (to the sun).

"Yudhishthira said, 'Thou art, O sun, the eye of the universe. Thou art
the soul of all corporeal existences. Thou art the origin of all things.
Thou art the embodiment of the acts of all religious men. Thou art the
refuge of those versed in the _Sankhya_ philosophy (the mysteries of the
soul), and thou art the support of the _Yogins_. Thou art a door
unfastened with bolts. Thou art the refuge of those wishing for
emancipation. Thou sustainest and discoverest the world, and sanctifiest
and supportest it from pure compassion. Brahmanas versed in the _Vedas_
appearing before thee, adore thee in due time, reciting the hymns from
the respective branches (of the _Vedas_) they refer. Thou art the adored
of the _Rishis_. The _Siddhas_, and the _Charanas_ and the _Gandharvas_
and the _Yakshas_, and the _Guhyakas_, and the _Nagas_, desirous of
obtaining boons follow thy car coursing through the skies. The
thirty-three gods[8] with Upendra (Vishnu) and Mahendra, and the order
of Vaimanikas[9] have attained success by worshipping thee. By offering
thee garlands of the celestial _Mandaras_[10] the best of the
_Vidyadharas_ have obtained all their desires. The _Guhyas_ and the
seven orders of the _Pitris_--both divine and human--have attained
superiority by adoring thee alone. The _Vasus_, the _Manilas_, and the
_Rudras_, the _Sadhyas_, the _Marichipas_, the _Valikhilyas_, and the
_Siddhas_, have attained pre-eminence by bowing down unto thee. There is
nothing that I know in the entire seven worlds, including that of Brahma
which is beyond thee. There are other beings both great and endued with
energy; but none of them hath thy lustre and energy. All light is in
thee, indeed, thou art the lord of all light. In thee are the (five)
elements and all intelligence, and knowledge and asceticism and the
ascetic properties.[11] The discus by which the wielder of the
_Saranga_[12] humbleth the pride of Asuras and which is furnished with a
beautiful nave, was forged by Viswakarman with thy energy. In summer
thou drawest, by thy rays, moisture from all corporeal existences and
plants and liquid substances, and pourest it down in the rainy season.
Thy rays warm and scorch, and becoming as clouds roar and flash with
lightning and pour down showers when the season cometh. Neither fire nor
shelter, nor woolen cloths give greater comfort to one suffering from
chilling blasts than thy rays. Thou illuminest by thy rays the whole
Earth with her thirteen islands. Thou alone are engaged in the welfare
of the three worlds. If thou dost not rise, the universe becometh blind
and the learned cannot employ themselves in the attainment of virtue,
wealth and profit. It is through thy grace that the (three) orders of
Brahmanas, Kshatriyas and Vaisyas are able to perform their various
duties and sacrifices.[13] Those versed in chronology say that thou art
the beginning and thou the end of a day of Brahma, which consisteth of a
full thousand _Yugas_. Thou art the lord of Manus and of the sons of the
Manus, of the universe and of man, of the _Manwantaras_, and their
lords. When the time of universal dissolution cometh, the fire
_Samvartaka_ born of thy wrath consumeth the three worlds and existeth
alone. And clouds of various hues begotten of thy rays, accompanied by
the elephant Airavata and the thunderbolt, bring about the appointed
deluges. And dividing thyself into twelve parts and becoming as many
suns, thou drinkest up the ocean once more with thy rays. Thou art
called Indra, thou art Vishnu, thou art Brahma, thou art Prajapati. Thou
art fire and thou art the subtle mind. And thou art lord and the eternal
_Brahma_. Thou art _Hansa_, thou art _Savitri_, thou art _Bhanu,
Ansumalin_, and _Vrishakapi_. Thou art _Vivaswan, Mihira, Pusha, Mitra_,
and _Dharma_. Thou art thousand-rayed, thou art _Aditya_, and _Tapana_,
and the lord of rays. Thou art _Martanda_, and _Arka_, and _Ravi_, and
_Surya_ and _Saranya_ and maker of day, and _Divakara_ and
_Suptasaspti_, and _Dhumakeshin_ and _Virochana_. Thou art spoken of as
swift of speed and the destroyer of darkness, and the possessor of
yellow steeds. He that reverentially adoreth thee on the sixth or the
seventh lunar day with humility and tranquillity of mind, obtaineth the
grace of Lakshmi. They that with undivided attention adore and worship
thee, are delivered from all dangers, agonies, and afflictions. And they
that hold that thou art everywhere (being the soul of all things) living
long, freed from sin and enjoying an immunity from all diseases. O lord
of all food, it behoveth thee to grant food in abundance unto me who am
desirous of food even for entertaining all my guests with reverence. I
bow also to all those followers of thine that have taken refuge at thy
feet--_Mathara_ and _Aruna_ and _Danda_ and others, including _Asani_
and _Kshuva_ and the others. And I bow also to the celestial mothers of
all creatures, _viz_., Kshuva and _Maitri_ and the others of the class.
O, let them deliver me their supplient.'"

[7] A form of _Yoga_ that is said to consist in the mingling of
some of the air supposed to exist in every animal body. These
airs are five: _Prana, Apana, Samana, Udana_, and _Vyana_.

[8] The 8 _Vasus_, the 11 _Rudras_, the 12 _Adityas_,
_Prajapati_, and _Vashatkara_.

[9] An order of celestials.

[10] Celestial flowers of much fragrance.

[11] The ascetic properties are _Anima_, _Laghima_, etc.

[12] The bow of Vishnu, as that of Siva is called _Pinaka_.

[13] The words of the text are _Adhana_, _Pashubandha_, _Ishti
Mantra_, _Yajana_ and _Tapa-kriya_.

Vaisampayana said, "Thus, O great king, was the sun that purifier of the
world, adored (by Yudhishthira). And pleased with the hymn, the maker of
day, self-luminous, and blazing like fire showed himself to the son of
Pandu. And Vivaswan said, 'Thou shall obtain all that thou desirest. I
shall provide thee with food for five and seven years together. And, O
king, accept this copper-vessel which I give unto thee. And, O thou of
excellent vows, as long as Panchali will hold this vessel, without
partaking of its contents fruits and roots and meat and vegetables
cooked in thy kitchen, these four kinds of food shall from this day be
inexhaustible. And, on the fourteenth year from this, thou shall regain
thy kingdom.'"

Vaisampayana continued, "Having said this, the god vanished away. He
that, with the desire of obtaining a boon, reciteth this hymn
concentrating his mind with ascetic abstraction, obtaineth it from the
sun, however difficult of acquisition it may be that he asketh for. And
the person, male or female, that reciteth or heareth this hymn day after
day, if he or she desireth for a son, obtaineth one, and if riches,
obtaineth them, and if learning acquireth that too. And the person male
or female, that reciteth this hymn every day in the two twilights, if
overtaken by danger, is delivered from it, and if bound, is freed from
the bonds. Brahma himself had communicated this hymn to the illustrious
Sakra, and from Sakra was it obtained by Narada and from Narada, by
Dhaumya. And Yudhishthira, obtaining it from Dhaumya, attained all his
wishes. And it is by virtue of this hymn that one may always obtain
victory in war, and acquire immense wealth also. And it leadeth the
reciter from all sins, to the solar region."

Vaisampayana continued, "Having obtained the boon, the virtuous son of
Kunti, rising from the water, took hold of Dhaumya's feet and then
embraced his brother's. And, O exalted one, wending then with Draupadi
to the kitchen, and adored by her duly, the son of Pandu set himself to
cook (their day's) food. And the clean food, however little, that was
dressed, furnished with the four tastes, increased and became
inexhaustible. And with it Yudhishthira began to feed the regenerate
ones. And after the Brahmanas had been fed, and his younger brothers
also, Yudhishthira himself ate of the food that remained, and which is
called _Vighasa_. And after Yudhishthira had eaten, the daughter of
Prishata took what remained. And after she had taken her meal, the day's
food became exhausted.

"And having thus obtained the boon from the maker of day, the son of
Pandu, himself as resplendent as that celestial, began to entertain the
Brahmanas agreeably to their wishes. And obedient to their priest, the
sons of Pritha, on auspicious lunar days and constellations and
conjunctions, performed sacrifices according to the ordinance, the
scriptures, and the _Mantras_. After the sacrifices, the sons of Pandu,
blessed by the auspicious rites performed by Dhaumya and accompanied by
him, and surrounded also by the Brahmanas set out for the woods of


Vaisampayana said,--"After the Pandavas had gone to the forest,
Dhritarashtra the son of Amvika, whose knowledge was his eye,[14] became
exceedingly sorrowful. And seated at his ease the king addressed these
words to the virtuous Vidura of profound intelligence, 'Thy
understanding is as clear as that of Bhargava.[15] Thou knowest also all
the subtleties of morality, and thou lookest on all the Kauravas with an
equal eye. O, tell me what is proper for me and them. O Vidura, things
having thus taken their course, what should we do now? How may I secure
the goodwill of the citizens so that they may not destroy us to the
roots? O, tell us all, since thou art conversant with every excellent

[14] Dhritarashtra being blind is described as _Pragnachakshu,
i.e._ having knowledge for his eye. It may also mean. "Of the
prophetic eye."

[15] The great preceptor of the Asuras, _viz., Sukra_,
possessing the highest intelligence as evidenced by his various
works on all manner of subjects particularly, the _Sukra-niti_.

"Vidura said, 'The three-fold purposes, O king (_viz_., profit,
pleasure, and salvation), have their foundations in virtue, and the
sages say that a kingdom also standeth on virtue as its basis.
Therefore, O monarch, according to the best of thy power, cherish thou
virtuously thy own sons and those of Pandu. That virtue had been
beguiled by wicked souls with Suvala's son at their head, when thy sons
invited the righteous Yudhishthira and defeated him in the match at
dice. O king, of this deed of utter iniquity I behold this expiation
whereby, O chief of the Kurus, thy son, freed from sin, may win back his
position among good men. Let the sons of Pandu, obtain that which was
given unto them by thee. For, verily, even this is the highest morality
that a king should remain content with his own, and never covet
another's possessions. Thy good name then would not suffer nor would
family dissensions ensue, nor unrighteousness be thine. This then is thy
prime duty now,--to gratify the Pandavas and disgrace Sakuni. If thou
wishest to restore to thy sons the good fortune they have lost, then, O
king, do thou speedily adopt this line of conduct. If thou dost not act
so, the Kurus will surely meet with destruction, for neither Bhimasena
nor Arjuna, if angry, will leave any of their foes unslain. What is
there in the world which is unattainable to those who cannot among their
warriors _Savyasachin_ skilled in arms; who have the Gandiva, the most
powerful of all weapons in the world, for their bow; and who have
amongst them the mighty Bhima also as a warrior? Formerly, as soon as
thy son was born, I told thee,--_Forsake thou this inauspicious child of
thine. Herein lieth the good of thy race._--But thou didst not then act
accordingly. Nor also, O king, have I pointed out to thee the way of thy
welfare. If thou doest as I have counselled, thou shalt not have to
repent afterwards. If thy son consent to reign in peace jointly with the
sons of Pandu, passing thy days in joy thou shalt not have to repent.
Should it be otherwise, abandon thou thy child for thy own happiness.
Putting Duryodhana aside, do thou install the son of Pandu in the
sovereignty, and let, O king, Ajatasatru, free from passion, rule the
earth virtuously. All the kings of the earth, then, like Vaisyas, will,
without delay, pay homage unto us. And, O king, let Duryodhana and
Sakuni and Karna with alacrity wait upon the Pandavas. And let
Dussasana, in open court, ask forgiveness of Bhimasena and of the
daughter of Drupada also. And do thou pacify Yudhishthira by placing him
on the throne with every mark of respect. Asked by thee, what else can I
counsel thee to do? By doing this, O monarch, thou wouldst do what was

"Dhritarashtra said, 'These words, O Vidura, then thou hast spoken in
this assembly, with reference to the Pandavas and myself, are for their
good but not for ours. My mind doth not approve them. How hast thou
settled all this in thy mind now? When thou hast spoken all this on
behalf of the Pandavas, I perceive that thou art not friendly to me. How
can I abandon my son for the sake of the sons of Pandu? Doubtless they
are my sons, but Duryodhana is sprung from my body. Who then, speaking
with impartiality, will ever counsel me to renounce my own body for the
sake of others? O Vidura, all that thou sayest is crooked, although I
hold thee in high esteem. Stay or go as thou likest. However much may
she be humoured, an unchaste will forsaketh her husband.'"

Vaisampayana said, "O king, saying this Dhritarashtra rose suddenly and
went into the inner apartments. And Vidura, saying 'This race is doomed'
went away to where the sons of Pritha were."


Vaisampayana said, "Desirous of living in the forest, those bulls of the
Bharata race, the Pandavas, with their followers, setting out from the
banks of the Ganges went to the field of Kurukshetra. And performing
their ablutions in the Saraswati, the Drisadwati and the Yamuna, they
went from one forest to another, travelling in an westernly direction.
And at length they saw before them the woods, Kamyaka, the favourite
haunt of _Munis_, situated by a level and wild plain on the banks of the
Saraswati. And in those woods, O Bharata, abounding in birds and deer,
those heroes began to dwell, entertained and comforted by the Munis. And
Vidura always longing to see the Pandavas, went in a single car to the
Kamyaka woods abounding in every good thing. And arriving at Kamyaka on
a car drawn by swift steeds, he saw Yudhishthira the just, sitting with
Draupadi at a retired spot, surrounded by his brothers and the
Brahmanas. And seeing Vidura approach from a distance with swift steps,
the virtuous king addressed brother Bhimasena, saying, 'With what
message doth Kshatta come to us? Doth he come hither, despatched by
Sakuni, to invite us again to a game of dice? Doth the little-minded
Sakuni intend to win again our weapons at dice? O Bhimasena, challenged
by any one addressing me,--Come, I am unable to stay. And if our
possession of the _Gandiva_ becomes doubtful, will not the acquisition
of our kingdom also be so.'"

Vaisampayana said, "O king, the Pandavas then rose up and welcomed
Vidura. And received by them, that descendant of the Ajamida line
(Vidura) sat in their midst and made the usual enquiries. And after
Vidura had rested awhile, those bulls among men asked him the reason of
his coming. And Vidura began to relate unto them in detail everything
connected with the bearing of Dhritarashtra the son of Amvika.

"Vidura said, 'O Ajatasatru, Dhritarashtra called me, his dependant,
before him and honouring me duly said, "Things have fared thus. Now, do
thou tell me what is good for the Pandavas as well as for me." I pointed
out what was beneficial to both the Kauravas and Dhritarashtra. But what
I said was not relished by him, nor could I hit upon any other course.
What I advised was, O Pandavas, highly beneficial, but the son of Amvika
heeded me not. Even as medicine recommendeth itself not to one that is
ill, so my words failed to please the king. And, O thou without a foe,
as all unchaste wile in the family of a man of pure descent cannot be
brought back to the path of virtue, so I failed to bring Dhritarashtra
back. Indeed, as a young damsel doth not like a husband of three score,
even so Dhritarashtra did not like my words. Surely, destruction will
overtake the Kuru race, surely Dhritarashtra will never acquire good
fortune. For, as water dropped on a lotus-leaf doth not remain there, my
counsels will fail to produce any effect to Dhritarashtra. The incensed
Dhritarashira told me, O Bharata, go thou thither where thou likest.
Never more shall I seek thy aid in ruling the earth or my capital,--O
best of monarchs, forsaken by king Dhritarashtra, I come to thee for
tendering good counsel. What I had said in the open court, I will now
repeat unto thee. Listen, and bear my words in mind,--that wise man who
bearing all the gross wrong heaped upon him by his enemies, patiently
bideth his time, and multiplieth his resources even as men by degrees
turn a small fire into a large one, ruleth alone this entire earth. He
that (in prosperity) enjoyeth his substance with his adherents findeth
in them sharers of his adversity,--this is the best means of securing
adherents, and it is said that he that hath adherents, winneth the
sovereignty of the world! And, O Pandava, divided thy prosperity with
thy adherents, behave truthfully towards them, and converse with them
agreeably! Share also your food with them! And never boast thyself in
their presence! This behaviour increaseth the prosperity of kings!'

"Yudhishthira said, 'Having recourse to such high intelligence,
undisturbed by passion, I will do as thou counsellest! And whatever else
thou mayst counsel in respect of time and place, I will carefully follow


Vaisampayana said, "O king, after Vidura had gone to the abode of the
Pandavas, Dhritarashtra, O Bharata, of profound wisdom, repented of his
action. And thinking of the great intelligence of Vidura in matters
connected with both war and peace, and also of the aggrandisement of the
Pandavas in the future, Dhritarashtra, pained at the recollection of
Vidura, having approached the door of the hall of state fell down
senseless in the presence of the monarchs (in waiting). And regaining
consciousness, the king rose from the ground and thus addressed Sanjaya
standing by, 'My brother and friend is even like the god of justice
himself! Recollecting him today, my heart burneth in grief! Go, bring
unto me without delay my brother well-versed in morality!' Saying this,
the monarch wept bitterly. And burning in repentance, and overwhelmed
with sorrow at the recollection of Vidura, the king, from brotherly
affection, again addressed Sanjaya saying, 'O Sanjaya, go thou and
ascertain whether my brother, expelled by my wretched self through
anger, liveth still! That wise brother of mine of immeasurable
intelligence hath never been guilty of even the slightest transgression,
but, on the other hand, he it is who hath come by grievous wrong at my
hands! Seek him, O wise one, and bring him hither; else, O Sanjaya, I
will lay down my life!'"

Vaisampayana continued, "Hearing these words of the king, Sanjaya
expressed his approbation, and saying 'So be it,' went in the direction
of the Kamyaka woods. And arriving without loss of time at the forest
where the sons of Pandu dwelt, he beheld Yudhishthira clad in deer-skin,
seated with Vidura, in the midst of Brahmanas by thousands and guarded
by his brothers, even like Purandara in the midst of the celestials! And
approaching Yudhishthira, Sanjaya worshipped him duly and was received
with due respect by Bhima and Arjuna and the twins. And Yudhishthira
made the usual enquiries about his welfare and when he had been seated
at his ease, he disclosed the reason of his visit, in these words, 'King
Dhritarashtra, the son of Amvika, hath, O Kshatta! remembered thee!
Returning unto him without loss of time, do thou revive the king! And, O
thou best of men, with the permission of these Kuru princes--these
foremost of men--it behoveth thee, at the command of that lion among
kings, to return unto him!'"

Vaisampayana continued, "Thus addressed by Sanjaya, the intelligent
Vidura, ever attached to his relatives, with the permission of
Yudhishthira returned to the city named after the elephant. And after he
had approached the king, Dhritarashtra of great energy, the son of
Amvika, addressed him, saying, 'From my good luck alone, O Vidura, thou,
O sinless one, of conversant with morality, hast come here remembering
me! And, O thou bull of the Bharata race, in thy absence I was beholding
myself, sleepless through the day and the night, as one that hath been
lost on earth!' And the king then took Vidura on his lap and smelt his
head, and said, 'Forgive me, O sinless one, the words in which thou wert
addressed by me!' And Vidura said, 'O king, I have forgiven thee. Thou
art my superior, worthy of the highest reverence! Here am I, having come
back, eagerly wishing to behold thee! All virtuous men, O tiger among
men, are (instinctively) partial towards those that are distressed!
This, O king, is scarcely the result of deliberation! (My partiality to
the Pandavas proceedeth from this cause)! O Bharata, thy sons are as
dear to me as the sons of Pandu, but as the latter are now in distress,
my heart yearneth after them!'"

Vaisampayana continued, "And addressing each other thus in apologetic
speeches, the two illustrious brothers, Vidura and Dhritarashtra, felt
themselves greatly happy!"


Vaisampayana said, "Hearing that Vidura had returned, and that the king
had consoled him, the evil-minded son of Dhritarashtra began to burn in
grief. His understanding clouded by ignorance, he summoned the son of
Suvala, and Karna and Dussasana, and addressed them saying, 'The learned
Vidura, the minister of the wise Dhritarashtra, hath returned! The
friend of the sons of Pandu, he is ever engaged in doing what is
beneficial to them. So long as this Vidura doth not succeed in inducing
the king to bring them back, do ye all think of what may benefit me! If
ever I behold the sons of Pritha return to the city, I shall again be
emaciated by renouncing food and drink, even though there be no obstacle
in my path! And I shall either take poison or hang myself, either enter
the pyre or kill myself with my own weapons. But I shall never be able
to behold the sons of Pandu in prosperity!'

"Sakuni said, 'O king, O lord of the earth, what folly hath taken
possession of thee! The Pandavas have gone to the forest, having given a
particular pledge, so that what thou apprehendest can never take place!
O bull of the Bharata race, the Pandavas ever abide by the truth. They
will never, therefore, accept the words of thy father! If however,
accepting the commands of the king, they come back to the capital,
violating their vow, even this would be our conduct, viz., assuming, an
aspect of neutrality, and in apparent obedience to the will of the
monarch, we will closely watch the Pandavas, keeping our counsels!'

"Dussasana said, 'O uncle of great intelligence, it is even as thou
sayest! The words of wisdom thou utterest always recommend themselves to
me!' Karna said, 'O Duryodhana, all of us seek to accomplish thy will
and, O king, I see that unanimity at present prevaileth among us! The
sons of Pandu, with passions under complete control, will never return
without passing away the promised period. If, however, they do return
from failing sense, do thou defeat them again at dice.'"

Vaisampayana said, "Thus addressed by Karna, king Duryodhana with
cheerless heart, averted his face from his counsellors. Marking all
this, Karna expanding his beautiful eyes, and vehemently gesticulating
in anger, haughtily addressed Duryodhana and Dussasana and Suvala's son
saying, 'Ye princes, know ye my opinion! We are all servants of the king
(Duryodhana) waiting upon him with joined palms! We should, therefore,
do what is agreeable to him! But we are not always able to seek his
welfare with promptness and activity (owing to our dependence on
Dhritarashtra)! But let us now, encased in mail and armed with our
weapons, mount our cars and go in a body to slay the Pandavas now living
in the forest! After the Pandavas have been quieted and after they have
gone on the unknown journey, both ourselves and the sons of
Dhritarashtra will find peace! As long as they are in distress, as long
as they are in sorrow, as long as they are destitute of help, so long
are we a match for them! This is my mind!'

"Hearing those words of the charioteer's son, they repeatedly applauded
him, and at last exclaimed, 'Very well!' And saying this each of them
mounted his car, and sanguine of success, they rushed in a body to slay
the sons of Pandu. And knowing by his spiritual vision that they had
gone out, the master Krishna-Dwaipayana of pure soul came upon them, and
commanded them to desist. And sending them away, the holy one,
worshipped by all the worlds, quickly appeared before the king whose
intelligence served the purposes of eye-sight, and who was then seated
(at his ease). And the holy one addressed the monarch thus."


"Vyasa said, 'O wise Dhritarashtra, hear what I say! I will tell thee
that which is for the great good of all the Kauravas! O thou of mighty
arms, it hath not pleased me that the Pandavas have gone to the forest
dishonestly defeated (at dice) by Duryodhana and others! O Bharata, on
the expiration of the thirteenth year, recollecting all their woes, they
may shower death-dealing weapons, even like virulent poison, upon the
Kauravas! Why doth thy sinful son of wicked heart, ever inflamed with
ire, seek to slay the sons of Pandu for the sake of their kingdom? Let
the fool be restrained; let thy son remain quiet! In attempting to slay
the Pandavas in exile, he will only lose his own life. Thou art as
honest as the wise Vidura, or Bhishma, or ourselves, or Kripa, or Drona.
O thou of great wisdom, dissension with one's own kin are forbidden,
sinful and reprehensible! Therefore, O king, it behoveth thee to desist
from such acts! And, O Bharata, Duryodhana looketh with such jealousy
towards the Pandavas that great harm would be the consequence, if thou
didst not interfere. Or let this wicked son of thine, O monarch, along
and unaccompanied, himself go to the forest and live with the sons of
Pandu. For then, if the Pandavas, from association, feel an attachment
for Duryodhana, then, O king of men, good fortune may be thine. (This,
however, may not be)! For it hath been heard that one's congenital
nature leaveth him not till death. But what do Bhishma and Drona and
Vidura think? What also dost thou think? That which is beneficial should
be done while there is time, else thy purposes will be unrealised.'"


"Dhritarashtra said, 'O holy one, I did not like this business of
gambling, but, O Muni, I think, I was made to consent to it drawn by
fate! Neither Bhishma, nor Drona, nor Vidura, nor Gandhari liked this
game at dice. No doubt, it was begot of folly. And, O thou who
delightest in the observance of vows, O illustrious one, knowing
everything yet influenced by paternal affection, I am unable to cast off
my senseless son, Duryodhana!'

"Vyasa said, 'O king, O son of Vichitravirya, what thou sayest is true!
We know it well that a son is the best of all things and that there is
nothing that is so good as a son. Instructed by the tears of Suravi,
Indra came to know that the son surpasseth in worth other valuable
possessions. O monarch, I will, in this connection, relate to thee that
excellent and best of stories, the conversation between Indra and
Suravi. In days of yore, Suravi, the mother of cows was once weeping in
the celestial regions. O child, Indra took compassion upon her, and
asked her, saying, "O auspicious one! why dost thou weep? Is everything
well with the celestials? Hath any misfortune, ever so little, befallen
the world of men or serpents?" Suravi replied, "No evil hath befallen
thee that I perceive. But I am aggrieved on account of my son, and it is
therefore, O Kausika, that I weep! See, O chief of the celestials,
yonder cruel husbandman is belabouring my weak son with the wooden
stick, and oppressing him with the (weight of the) plough, in
consequence of which my child agitated with agony is falling upon the
ground and is at the point of death. At sight of this, O lord of the
celestials, I am filled with compassion, and my mind is agitated! The
one that is the stronger of the pair is bearing his burthen of greater
weight (with ease), but, O Vasava, the other is lean, and weak and is a
mass of veins and arteries! He beareth his burthen with difficulty! And
it is for him that I grieve. See, O Vasava, sore inflicted with the
whip, and harassed exceedingly, he is unable to bear his burthen. And it
is for him that, moved by grief, I weep in heaviness of heart and these
tears of compassion trickle down my eyes!

"'Sakra said, "O fair one, when thousands of thy son are (daily)
oppressed, why dost thou grieve for one under infliction?" Suravi
replied. "Although I have a thousand offspring, yet my affections flow
equally towards all! But, O Sakra, I feel greater compassion for one
that is weak and innocent!'

"Vyasa continued, 'Then Indra having heard these words of Suravi, was
much surprised, and O thou of the Kuru race, he became convinced that a
son is dearer than one's life! And the illustrious chastiser of Paka
thereupon suddenly poured there a thick shower and caused obstruction to
the husbandman's work. And as Suravi said, thy affections, O king,
equally flow towards all thy sons. Let them be greater towards those
that are weak! And as my son Pandu is to me, so art thou, O son, and so
also Vidura of profound wisdom! It is out of affection that I tell you
all this! O Bharata, thou art possessed of a hundred and one sons, but
Pandu hath only five. And they are in a bad plight and passing _their_
days in sorrow. _How may they save their lives, how may they thrive_
such thoughts regarding the distressed sons of Pritha continually
agitate my soul! O king of the earth, if thou desirest all the Kauravas
to live, let thy son Duryodhana make peace with the Pandavas!'"


"Dhritarashtra said, 'O Muni of profound wisdom, it is even as thou
sayest! I know it well as do all these kings! Indeed, what thou
considerest to be beneficial for the Kurus was pointed out to me, O
Muni, by Vidura and Bhishma and Drona. And, if I deserve thy favour, and
if thou hast kindness for the Kurus, do thou exhort my wicked son

"Vyasa said, 'O king, after having seen the Pandava brothers, here
cometh the holy Rishi Maitreya, with the desire of seeing us. That
mighty Rishi, O king, will admonish thy son for the welfare of this
race. And, O Kauravya, what he adviseth must be followed undoubtingly,
for if what he recommendeth is not done, the sage will curse thy son in

Vaisampayana continued, "Saying this, Vyasa departed, and Maitreya made
his appearance. And the king with his son respectfully received that
way-worn chief of Munis, with offerings of the Arghya and other rites.
And king Dhritarashtra, the son of Amvika, in words of respect thus
addressed the sage, 'O holy one, hath journey from the _Kuru-jangala_
been a pleasant one? Are those heroes, the five Pandavas living happily?
Do those bulls of the Kuru race intend to stay out their time? Will the
brotherly affection of the Kauravas ever be impaired?'

"Maitreya said, 'Setting out on a pilgrimage to the different shrines, I
arrived at _Kuru-jangala_, and there I unexpectedly saw Yudhishthira the
just in the woods of Kamyaka. And, O exalted one, many Munis had come
there to behold the high-souled Yudhishthira, dwelling in an ascetic
asylum, clad in deer-skin and wearing matted locks. It was there, O king
of kings, that I heard of the grave error committed by thy sons and the
calamity and terrible danger arisen from dice that had overtaken them.
Therefore, it is that I have come to thee, for the good of the Kauravas,
since, O exalted one, my affection is great for thee and I am delighted
with thee! O king, it is not fit that thy sons should on any account
quarrel with one another, thyself and Bhishma living. Thou art, O king,
the stake at which bulls are tied (in treading cord), and thou art
competent to punish and reward! Why dost thou overlook then this great
evil that is about to overtake all? And, O descendant of the Kurus, for
those wrongs that have been perpetrated in thy court, which are even
like the acts of wretched outcasts, thou art not well-thought amongst
the ascetics!'"

Vaisampayana continued, "Then turning to the wrathful prince Duryodhana,
the illustrious Rishi Maitreya addressed him in these soft words, 'O
mighty-armed Duryodhana, O best of all eloquent men, O illustrious one,
give heed unto the words I utter for my good! O king, seek not to
quarrel with the Pandavas! And, O bull among men, compass thou thy own
good as also of the Pandavas, of the Kurus and of the world! All those
tigers among men are heroes of high prowess in war, gifted with the
strength of ten thousand elephants, with bodies hard as the thunderbolt,
holding fast by their promises, and proud of their manliness! They have
slain the enemies of the celestials--those Rakshasas capable of assuming
any form at will, such as were headed by Hidimva and Kirmira! When those
high-souled ones went from hence that Rakshasa of fierce soul obstructed
their nocturnal path even like an immoveable hill. And even as a tiger
slayeth a little deer, Bhima, that foremost of all endued with strength,
and ever delighted in fight, slew that monster. Consider also, O king,
how while out on his campaign of conquest, Bhima slew in battle that
mighty warrior, Jarasandha, possessing the strength of ten thousand
elephants. Related to Vasudeva and having the sons of king Drupada as
their brothers-in-law, who that is subject to decrepitude and death
would undertake to cope with them in battle? O bull of the Bharata race,
let there be peace between thee and Pandavas! Follow thou my counsels
and surrender not thyself to anger!'

"O king, thus admonished by Maitreya, Duryodhana began to slap his thigh
resembling the trunk of the elephant, and smilingly began to scratch the
ground with his foot. And the wicked wretch spake not a word, but hung
down his head. And, O monarch, beholding Duryodhana thus offer him a
slight by scratching the earth silently, Maitreya became angry. And, as
if commissioned by fate, Maitreya, the best of Munis, overwhelmed by
wrath, set his mind upon cursing Duryodhana! And then, with eyes red in
anger, Maitreya, touching water, cursed the evil-minded son of
Dhritarashtra, saying, 'Since, slighting me thou declinest to act
according to my words, thou shalt speedily reap the fruit of this thy
insolence! In the great war which shall spring out of the wrongs
perpetrated by thee, the mighty Bhima shall smash that thigh of thine
with a stroke of his mace!'

"When the Muni had spoken so, king Dhritarashtra began to pacify the
sage, in order that what he had said might not happen. But Maitreya
said, 'O king, if thy son concludeth peace with the Pandavas, this curse
of mine, O child, will not take effect, otherwise it must be as I have

Vaisampayana said, "Desirous of ascertaining the might of Bhima, that
foremost of kings, the father of Duryodhana, then asked Maitreya,
saying, 'How was Kirmira slain by Bhima?'

"Maitreya said, 'I shall not speak again unto thee, O king, for my words
are not regarded by thy son. After I have gone away, Vidura will relate
everything unto thee!' And saying this, Maitreya went away to the place
whence he had come. And Duryodhana also went out perturbed at the
tidings of Kirmira's death (at the hand of Bhima)."


(Kirmirabadha Parva)

"Dhritarashtra said, 'O Kshatta, I am desirous to hear of the
destruction of Kirmira! Do thou tell me how the encounter took place
between the Rakshasa and Bhimasena!'

"Vidura said, 'Listen to the story of that feat of Bhimasena of
superhuman achievements! I have often heard of it in course of my
conversation with the Pandavas (while I was with them). O foremost of
kings, defeated at dice the Pandavas departed from hence and travelling
for three days and nights they at length reached those woods that go by
the name of Kamyaka. O king, just after the dreadful hour of midnight
when all nature is asleep, when man-eating Rakshasas of terrible deeds
begin to wander, the ascetics and the cowherds and other rangers of the
forest used to shun the woods of Kamyaka and fly to a distance from fear
of cannibals. And, O Bharata, as the Pandavas were at this hour entering
those woods a fearful Rakshasa of flaming eyes appeared before them with
a lighted brand, obstructing their path. And with outstretched arms and
terrible face, he stood obstructing the way on which those perpetuators
of the Kuru race were proceeding. With eight teeth standing out, with
eyes of coppery hue, and with the hair of his head blazing and standing
erect, the fiend looked like a mass of clouds reflecting the rays of the
sun or mingled with lightning flashes and graced with flocks of cranes
underneath on their wings. And uttering frightful yells and roaring like
a mass of clouds charged with rain, the fiend began to spread the
illusion proper to his species. Hearing that terrible roar, birds along
with other creatures that live on land or in water, began to drop down
in all directions, uttering cries of fear. And in consequence of the
deer and the leopards and the buffaloes and the bears flying about in
all directions, it seemed as if the forest itself was in motion. And
swayed by the wind raised by the sighs of the Rakshasa, creepers growing
at a great distance seemed to embrace the trees with their arms of
coppery leaves. And at that moment, a violent wind began to blow, and
the sky became darkened with the dust that covered it. And as grief is
the greatest enemy of the object of the five senses, even so appeared
before the Pandavas that unknown foe of theirs. And beholding the
Pandavas from a distance clad in black deer-skins, the Rakshasa
obstructed their passage through the forest even like the _Mainaka_
mountain. And at the sight of him never seen before the lotus-eyed
Krishna, agitated with fear, closed her eyes. And she whose braids had
been dishevelled by the hand of Dussasana, stationed in the midst of the
five Pandavas, looked like a stream chafing amid five hills. And seeing
her overwhelmed with fear the five Pandavas supported her as the five
senses influenced by desire adhere to the pleasures relating to their
objects. And Dhaumya of great (ascetic) energy, in the presence of the
sons of Pandu, destroyed the fearful illusion that had been spread by
the Rakshasa, by applying various _mantras_, calculated to destroy the
Rakshasa. And beholding his illusion dispelled, the mighty Rakshasa of
crooked ways, capable of assuming any form at will, expanded his eyes in
wrath and seemed like death himself. Then king Yudhishthira, endued with
great wisdom, addressed him saying, 'Who art thou, and whose (son)? Tell
us what we should do for thee.' The Rakshasa thus addressed, answered
Yudhishthira the just, saying, 'I am the brother of Vaka, the celebrated
Kirmira. I live at ease in these deserted woods of Kamyaka, daily
procuring my food by vanquishing men in fight. Who are ye that have come
near me in the shape of my food? Defeating ye all in fight, I will eat
ye with pleasure.'"

Vaisampayana continued, "O Bharata, hearing these words of the wretch,
Yudhishthira announced his own name and lineage, saying, 'I am king
Yudhishthira the just, the son of Pandu, of whom thou mayst have heard.
Deprived of my kingdom, I have with my brothers Bhimasena and Arjuna and
the others, in course of my wanderings, come into this terrible forest
which is thy dominion, desirous of passing my period of exile here!'

"Vidura continued, 'Kirmira said unto Yudhishthira, "By good luck it is
that fate hath accomplished today my long-accomplished desire! With
weapons upraised have I been continually ranging the entire earth with
the object of slaying Bhima. But Bhima I had found not. By good luck it
is that slayer of my brother, whom I had been seeking so long, hath come
before me! It was he who in the disguise of a Brahmana slew my dear
brother Vaka in the _Vetrakiya_ forest by virtue of his science. He hath
truly no strength of arms! It is also this one of wicked soul who
formerly slew my dear friend Hidimva, living in this forest and ravished
his sister! And that fool hath now come into this deep forest of mine,
when the night is half spent, even at the time when we wander about!
Today I will wreak my long-cherished vengeance upon him, and I will
today gratify (the manes of) Vaka with his blood in plenty! By slaying
this enemy of the Rakshasas, I shall today be freed from the debt I owe
to my friend and my brother, and thereby attain supreme happiness! If
Bhimasena was let free formerly by Vaka, today, I will devour him in thy
sight, O Yudhishthira! And even as Agastya ate up and digested the
mighty Asura (Vatapi) I will eat up and digest this Bhima!"'

"Vidura continued, 'Thus addressed by the Rakshasa, the virtuous
Yudhishthira, steadfast in his pledges, said, "It can never be so,"--and
in anger rebuked the Rakshasa. The mighty-armed Bhima then tore up in
haste a tree of the length of ten _Vyasas_ and stripped it of its
leaves. And in the space of a moment the ever-victorious Arjuna stringed
his bow _Gandiva_ possessing the force of the thunderbolt. And, O
Bharata, making Jishnu desist, Bhima approached that Rakshasa still
roaring like the clouds and said unto him, "_Stay! Stay!_" And thus
addressing the cannibal, and tightening the cloth around his waist, and
rubbing his palms, and biting his nether lip with his teeth, and armed
with the tree, the powerful Bhima rushed towards the foe. And like unto
Maghavat hurling his thunderbolt, Bhima made that tree, resembling the
mace of Yama himself descend with force on the head of the cannibal. The
Rakshasa, however, was seen to remain unmoved at that blow, and wavered
not in the conflict. On the other hand, he hurled his lighted brand,
flaming like lightning, at Bhima. But that foremost of warriors turned
it off with his left foot in such a way that it went back towards the
Rakshasa. Then the fierce Kirmira on his part, all on a sudden uprooting
a tree darted to the encounter like unto the mace bearing Yama himself.
And that fight, so destructive of the trees, looked like the encounter
in days of yore between the brothers Vali and Sugriva for the possession
of the same woman. And the trees struck at the heads of the combatants,
were broken into shivers, like lotus-stalks thrown on the temples of
infuriate elephants. And in that great forest, innumerable trees,
crushed like unto reeds, lay scattered as rags. That encounter with
trees between that foremost of Rakshasas and that best of men, O thou
bull of the Bharata race, lasted but for a moment. Then taking up a
crag, the angry Rakshasa hurled it at Bhima standing before him, but the
latter wavered not. Then like unto Rahu going to devour the sun
dispersing his rays with extended arms, the Rakshasa with out-stretched
arms darted towards Bhima, who had remained firm under the blow
inflicted with the crag. And tugging at and grappling with each other in
diverse ways they appeared like two infuriate bulls struggling with each
other. Or like unto two mighty tigers armed with teeth and claws, the
encounter between them waxed fierce and hard. And remembering their
(late) disgrace at the hands of Duryodhana, and proud of the strength of
his arms, and conscious also of Krishna looking at him, Vrikodara began
to swell in vigour. And fried with anger, Bhima seized the Rakshasa with
his arms, as one elephant in rut seizeth another. And the powerful
Rakshasa also in his turn seized his adversary, but Bhimasena that
foremost of all men endued with strength, threw the cannibal down with
violence. The sounds that in consequence of those mighty combatants
pressing each other's hands, were frightful and resembled the sounds of
splittering bamboos. And hurling the Rakshasa down, seized him by the
waist, and began to whirl him about, even as fierce hurricane shaketh a
tree. And thus seized by the mighty Bhima, the fatigued Rakshasa, became
faint, and trembling all over, he still pressed the (Pandava) with all
his strength. And finding him fatigued, Vrikodara, twined his own arms
round the foe, even as one bindeth a beast with cord. And the monster
thereupon began to roar frightfully, as a trumpet out of order. And the
mighty Vrikodara for a long while whirled the Rakshasa till the latter
appeared to be insensible, and began to move convulsively. And finding
the Rakshasa exhausted, the son of Pandu without loss of time took him
up in his arms, and slew him like a beast. And placing his knee on the
waist of that wretch of Rakshasa, _Vrikodara_ began to press the neck of
the foe with his hands. Then Bhima, dragging along the earth the bruised
body of the Rakshasa with the eye-lids about to close, said, "O sinful
wretch, thou wilt no more have to wipe away the tears of Hidimva or
Vaka, for thou too art about to go to the mansions of Yama!" And saying
this, that foremost of men, his heart filled with wrath, beholding the
Rakshasa destitute of clothing and ornaments, and insensible, and
undergoing convulsions, left him dead. And after that Rakshasa of hue
like the clouds had been slain, the son of that best of kings (Pandu)
praised Bhima for his many qualities, and placing Krishna in their
front, set out for the Dwaita woods.'

"Vidura said, 'It was thus, O lord of men, that Kirmira was slain in
combat by Bhima, in obedience, O Kaurava, to the commands of
Yudhishthira the just! And having rid the forest of its pest, the
victorious Yudhishthira the just, began to live in that dwelling of
theirs, with Draupadi. And those bulls of the Bharata race comforting
Draupadi began to cheerfully extol Bhima with glad hearts. And after the
Rakshasa had been slain, borne down by the might of Bhima's arms, those
heroes entered into the peaceful forest freed from its annoyance.
Passing through the great forest I saw lying the body of the wicked and
fearless Rakshasa slain by Bhima's might. And, O Bharata, there I heard
of this achievement of Bhima from those Brahmanas who have assembled
round the Pandavas.'"

Vaisampayana continued, "Hearing the account of the slaughter in combat
of Kirmira, that foremost of Rakshasas, the king sighed in sorrow and
became absorbed in thought."


(Arjunabhigamana Parva)

Vaisampayana said, "Hearing that the Pandavas had been banished, the
Bhojas, the Vrishnis, and the Andhakas went to those heroes residing in
affliction in the great forest. And the consanguinous relatives of
Panchala, and Dhrishtaketu the king of Chedi, and those celebrated and
powerful brothers the Kaikeyas, their hearts fired with wrath, went to
the forest to see the sons of Pritha. And reproaching the sons of
Dhritarashtra, they said, 'What should we do?' And those bulls of the
Kshatriya race, with Vasudeva at their head, sat themselves down round
Yudhishthira the just. And respectfully saluting that foremost of the
Kurus, Kesava mournfully said, 'The earth shall drink the blood of
Duryodhana and Karna, of Dussasana and the wicked Sakuni! Slaying these
in battle and defeating their followers along with their royal allies,
will we all install Yudhishthira the just on the throne! The wicked
deserve to be slain! Verily, this is eternal morality.'"

Vaisampayana continued, "And when on account of the wrongs of Pritha's
sons, Janardana had thus got into a passion, and seemed bent upon
consuming ail created things, Arjuna exerted himself to pacify him. And
beholding Kesava angry, Phalguna began to recite the feats achieved in
his former lives by that soul of all things, himself immeasurable, the
eternal one, of infinite energy, the lord of _Prajapati_ himself, the
supreme ruler of the worlds, Vishnu of profound wisdom!'

"Arjuna said, 'In days of old, thou, O Krishna, hadst wandered on the
Gandhamadana mountains for ten thousand years as a _Muni_ having his
home where evening fell! Living upon water alone, thou hadst, in days of
old, O Krishna, also dwelt for full eleven thousand years by the lake of
Pushkara! And, O slayer of Madhu, with arms upraised and standing on one
leg, thou hadst passed a hundred years on the high hills of Vadari,[16]
living all the while upon air! And leaving aside thy upper garment, with
body emaciated and looking like a bundle of veins, thou hadst lived on
the banks of the Saraswati, employed in thy sacrifice extending for
twelve years! And, O Krishna of mighty energy, in observance of thy vow
thou hadst stood on one leg for the length of a thousand years of the
celestials, on the plains of _Prabhasa_ which it behoveth the virtuous
to visit! Vyasa hath told me that thou art the cause of the creation and
its course! And, O Kesava, the lord of _Kshetra_,[17] thou art the mover
of all minds, and the beginning and end of all things! All asceticism
resteth in thee, and thou too art the embodiment of all sacrifices, and
the eternal one! Slaying the Asura Naraka, offspring of the Earth-first
begotten, thou hadst obtained his ear-rings, and performed, O Krishna,
the first horse-sacrifice (offering up that Asura as the sacrificial
horse)! And, O bull of all the worlds, having performed that feat, thou
hast become victorious over all! Thou hadst slain all the _Daityas_ and
_Danavas_ mustered in battle, and giving the lord of _Sachi_ (Indra) the
sovereignty of the universe, thou hast, O Kesava of mighty arms, taken
thy birth among men! O slayer of all foes, having floated on the
primordial waters, thou subsequently becamest _Hari_,[18] and _Brahma_
and _Surya_ and _Dharma_, and _Dhatri_ and _Yama_ and _Anala_ and
_Vasu_, and _Vaisravana_, and _Rudra_, and _Kala_ and the firmament the
earth, and the ten directions! Thyself increate, thou art the lord of
the mobile and the immobile universe, the Creator of all, O thou
foremost of all existences! And, O slayer of Madhu, O thou of abundant
energy, in the forest of Chitraratha thou didst, O Krishna, gratify with
thy sacrifice the chief of all the gods, the highest of the high! O
Janardana, at each sacrifice thou didst offer, according to shares, gold
by hundreds and thousands. And, O son of the Yadava race, becoming the
son of Aditi, O exalted one of the supreme attributes, thou hast been
known as the younger brother of Indra! And, O thou chastiser of foes,
even while a child thou didst, O Krishna, in consequence of thy energy,
fill by three steps only the heaven, the firmament, and the earth! And,
O thou soul of all covering the heaven and the firmament (while thou
wert thus transformed), thou didst dwell in the body of the sun and
afflict him with thy own splendour! And, O exalted one, in thy
incarnations on those thousand occasions, thou hadst slain, O Krishna,
sinful Asuras by hundreds! By destroying the _Mauravas_ and the
_Pashas_, and slaying Nisunda and Naraka. Thou hast again rendered safe
the road to Pragjyotisha! Thou hast slain Ahvriti at Jaruthi, and Kratha
and Sisupala with his adherents, and Jarasandha and Saivya and
Satadhanwan! And on thy car roaring like unto clouds and effulgent like
the sun, thou didst obtain for thy queen the daughter of Bhoja,
defeating Rukmi in battle! Thou didst in fury slay Indradyumna and the
_Yavana_ called Kaseruman! And slaying Salwa the lord of Saubha, thou
didst destroy that city of Saubha itself! These have all been slain in
battle; listen to me as I speak of others (also slain by thee)! At
Iravati thou hast slain king Bhoja equal unto Karttavirya in battle, and
both Gopati and Talaketu also have been slain by thee! And, O Janardana,
thou hast also appropriated unto thyself the sacred city of Dwarka,
abounding in wealth and agreeable unto the _Rishi_ themselves, and thou
wilt submerge it at the end within the ocean! O slayer of Madhu, how can
crookedness be in thee, devoid as thou art, O thou of the Dasarha race,
of anger and envy and untruth and cruelty? O thou who knowest no
deterioration, all the _Rishis_, coming unto thee seated in thy glory on
the sacrificial ground, seek protection of thee! And, O slayer of Madhu,
thou stayest at the end of the _Yuga_, contracting all things and
withdrawing this universe into thy own self, thou repressor of all foes!
O thou of the Vrishni race, at the beginning of the Yuga, there sprang
from thy lotus-like navel, Brahma himself, and lord of all mobile and
immobile things, and whose is this entire universe! When the dreadful
Danavas Madhu and Kaitava were bent on slaying Brahma, beholding their
impious endeavour thou wert angry, and from thy forehead, O Hari, sprang
Sambhu, the holder of the trident. Thus these two foremost of the
deities have sprung from thy body in order to do thy work! Even Narada
it was who hath told me this! O Narayana, thou didst, in the forest of
Chaitraratha, celebrate with plentiful gifts a grand sacrifice
consisting of a multitude of rites! O God, O thou of eyes like lotus
leaves, the deeds thou hast performed while still a boy, having recourse
to thy might and aided by Baladeva, have never been done by others, nor
are they capable of being achieved by others in the future! Thou didst
even dwell in Kailasa, accompanied by Brahmanas!'"

[16] Also called _Vadarika_, a hermitage on the Himalaya near
the sources of the Ganges.

[17] Nilakantha explains _kshetra_ as including _Mahabhuta_,
consciousness, intellect, the unmanifest (primordial elements),
the ten senses, the five objects of the senses, viz., earth,
water, &c., desire, aversion, pleasure, pain, the combinations
of elements, and _chaitanya_.

[18] _Hari_ here means the developed seed that is to expand into
the vast whole of the universe.

Vaisampayana continued, "Having addressed Krishna thus, the illustrious
Pandava, who was the soul of Krishna, became dumb, when Janardana (in
reply addressed that son of Pritha) saying, 'Thou art mine and I am
thine, while all that is mine is thine also! He that hateth thee hateth
me as well, and he that followeth thee followeth me! O thou
irrepressible one, thou art _Nara_ and I am _Narayana_ or Hari! We are
the _Rishis_ Nara and Narayana born in the world of men for a special
purpose. O Partha, thou art from me and I am from thee! O bull of the
Bharata race, no one can understand the difference that is between us!'"

Vaisampayana continued, "When the illustrious Kesava had said so in the
midst of that assembly of brave kings, all excited with anger, Panchali
surrounded by Dhrishtadyumna and her other heroic brothers, approached
him of eyes like lotus leaves seated with his cousins, and, desirous of
protection, addressed in angry accents that refuge of all, saying,
'Asita and Devala have said that in the matter of the creation of all
things, thou hast been indicated (by the sages) as the only _Prajapati_
and the Creator of all the worlds! And, O irrepressible one, Jamadagnya
sayeth that thou art _Vishnu_, and, O slayer of Madhu, that thou art
(embodiment of) _Sacrifice, Sacrificer_ and he for whom the sacrifice is
performed! And, O best of male beings, the _Rishis_ indicate thee as
Forgiveness and Truth! Kasyapa hath said that thou art Sacrifice sprung
from Truth! O exalted one, Narada calleth thee the god of the Sadhyas,
and of the Sivas, as alone the Creator and the Lord of all things. And,
O tiger among men, thou repeatedly sportest with the gods including,
Brahma and Sankara and Sakra even as children sporting with their toys!
And, O exalted one, the firmament is covered by thy head, and the earth
by thy feet; these worlds are as thy womb and thou art the Eternal one!
With _Rishis_ sanctified by Vedic lore and asceticism, and whose souls
have been purified by penance, and who are contented with soul-vision,
thou art the best of all objects! And, O chief of all male beings, thou
art the refuge of all royal sages devoted to virtuous acts, never
turning their backs on the field of the battle, and possessed of every
accomplishment! Thou art the Lord of all, thou art Omnipresent, thou art
the Soul of all things, and thou art the active power pervading
everything! The rulers of the several worlds, those worlds themselves,
the stellar conjunctions, the ten points of the horizon, the firmament,
the moon, and the sun, are all established in thee! And, O mighty-armed
one, the morality of (earthly) creatures, the immortality of the
universe, are established in thee! Thou art the Supreme lord of all
creatures, celestial or human! Therefore it is, O slayer of Madhu, that
impelled by the affection thou bearest me that I will relate to thee my
griefs! O Krishna, how could one like me, the wife of Pritha's sons, the
sister of Dhrishtadyumna, and the friend of thee, be dragged to the
assembly! Alas, during my season, stained with blood, with but a single
cloth on, trembling all over, and weeping, I was dragged to the court of
the Kurus! Beholding me, stained with blood in the presence of those
kings in the assembly, the wicked sons of Dhritarashtra laughed at me! O
slayer of Madhu, while the sons of Pandu and the Panchalas and the
Vrishnis lived, they dared express the desire of using me as their
slave! O Krishna, I am according to the ordinance, the daughter in-law
of both Dhritarashtra and Bhishma! Yet, O slayer of Madhu, they wished
to make of me a slave by force! I blame the Pandavas who are mighty and
foremost in battle, for they saw (without stirring) their own wedded
wife known over all the world, treated with such cruelty! Oh, fie on the
might of Bhimasena, fie on the _Gandiva_ of Arjuna, for they, O
Janardana, both suffered me to be thus disgraced by little men! This
eternal course of morality is ever followed by the virtuous--_viz_, that
the husband, however weak, protecteth his wedded wife! By protecting the
wife one protecteth his offspring and by protecting the offspring one
protecteth his own self! One's own self is begotten on one's wife, and
therefore it is that the wife is called _Jaya_. A wife also should
protect her lord, remembering that he is to take his birth in her womb!
The Pandavas never forsake the person that soliciteth their protection,
and yet they abandoned me who solicited it! By my five husbands five
sons of exceeding energy have been born of me: Prativindhya by
Yudhishthira, Sutasoma by Vrikodara, Srutakirti by Arjuna, Satanika by
Nakula and Srutakarman by the youngest, all of them of energy that
cannot be baffled. For their sake, O Janardana, it was necessary to
protect me! Even as (thy son) Pradyumna, they are, O Krishna, mighty
warriors all! They are foremost of bowmen, and invincible in battle by
any foe! Why do they bear the wrongs inflicted (on me) by the sons of
Dhritarashtra of such contemptible strength? Deprived of their kingdom
by deception, the Pandavas were made bondsmen and I myself was dragged
to the assembly while in my season, and having only a single cloth on!
Fie on that _Gandiva_ which none else can string save Arjuna and Bhima
and thyself, O slayer of Madhu! Fie on the strength of Bhima, and fie on
the prowess of Arjuna, since, O Krishna, Duryodhana (after what he had
done) hath drawn breath even for a moment! He it is, O slayer of Madhu,
who formerly drove the guileless Pandavas with their mother from the
kingdom, while they were children still engaged in study and the
observance of their vows. It is that sinful wretch, who, horrible to
relate, mixed in Bhima's food fresh and virulent poison in full dose.
But, O Janardana, Bhima digested that poison with the food, without
sustaining any injury, for, O best of men and mighty-armed one, Bhima's
days had not been ended! O Krishna, it is Duryodhana who at the house
standing by the banyan called _Pramana_ bound Bhima sleeping
unsuspectingly, and casting him into the Ganges returned to the city.
But the powerful Bhimasena the son of Kunti, possessed of mighty arms,
on waking from sleep, tore his bonds and rose from the water. It is
Duryodhana, who caused venomous black-cobras to bite all over the body
of Bhimasena, but that slayer of foes died not. Awaking, the son of
Kunti smashed all the serpents and with his left hand killed (the agent,
_viz_.) the favourite charioteer of Duryodhana. Again, while the
children were asleep at Varanavata with their mother, it is he who set
fire to the house intending to burn them to death. Who is there capable
of doing such an act? It was then that the illustrious Kunti, overtaken
by this calamity, and surrounded by the flames, began to cry out in
terror, speaking to the children, "Alas, I am undone! How shall we
escape from this fire today! Alas, I shall meet with destruction with my
little children!" Then Bhima, possessed of mighty arms, and prowess like
unto the force of the wind, comforted his illustrious mother as also his
brothers, saying, "Like that king of birds, Garuda, the son of Vinata, I
will spring up into the air. We have no fear from this fire." And then
taking his mother on his left flank, and the king in his right, and the
twins on each shoulder, and Vibhatsu on his back, the mighty Vrikodara,
thus taking all of them, at one leap cleared the fire and delivered his
mother and brother from the conflagration. Setting out that night with
their renowned mother, they came near the forest of Hidimva. And while
fatigued and distressed, they were sleeping fast with her, a Rakshasa
woman called Hidimva approached them. Beholding the Pandavas with their
mother asleep on the ground, influenced by desire she sought to have
Bhimasena for her lord. The weak one then took up Bhima's feet on her
lap to press them with her soft hands. The mighty Bhima of immeasurable
energy, of prowess that could not be baffled, then woke from sleep, and
asked her, saying, "O thou of faultless features, what dost thou wish
here?" Thus asked by him, the Rakshasa lady of faultless features,
capable, besides, of assuming any form at will, replied unto the
high-souled Bhima, saying, "Do ye speedily fly from this place! My
brother gifted with strength will come to slay ye! Therefore speed and
tarry not!" But Bhima haughtily said, "I do not fear him! If he cometh
here, I will slay him!" Hearing their converse, that vilest of cannibals
came to the spot. Of frightful form and dreadful to behold, uttering
loud cries as he came, the Rakshasa said, "O Hidimva, with whom dost
thou converse? Bring him unto me, I will eat him up. It behoveth thee to
tarry not." But moved by compassion, the Rakshasa lady of faultless
features and pure heart said nothing out of pity. Then the man-eating
monster, uttering dreadful cries, rushed at Bhima with great force. And
approaching him furiously, the mighty cannibal, possessed with rage,
caught hold of Bhima's hand with his own and clenching fast his other
hand and making it hard as the thunder-bolt of Indra, suddenly struck
Bhima a blow that descended with the force of lightning. His hand having
been seized by the Rakshasa, Vrikodara, without being able to brook it,
flew into a rage. Then a dreadful combat took place between Bhimasena
and Hidimva, both skilled in all weapons and which was like unto the
encounter of Vasava with Vritra. And, O sinless one, after sporting with
the Rakshasa for a long while the powerful Bhima of mighty energy slew
the cannibal when the latter had become weak with exertion. Then having
slain Hidimva, and taking (his sister) Hidimva at their head, of whom
was (subsequently) born Ghatotkacha, Bhima and his brothers went away.
Then all those repressers of their foes, accompanied by their mother and
surrounded by many Brahmanas proceeded towards Ekachakra. In the matter
of this their journey, Vyasa ever engaged in their welfare had become
their counsellor. Then arriving at Ekachakra, the Pandavas of rigid vows
there also slew a mighty cannibal, Vaka by name, terrible as Hidimva
himself. And having slain that fierce cannibal, Bhima that foremost of
smiters, went with all his brothers to the capital of Drupada. And, O
Krishna, as thou hadst acquired Rukmim, the daughter of Bhishmaka, even
so Savyasachin, while residing there, obtained me! O slayer of Madhu,
Arjuna won me in the _Swayamvara_, having performed a feat difficult of
achievement by others and having fought also with the assembled kings!

"'Thus, O Krishna, afflicted with numerous griefs, and in great
distress, am I living, with Dhaumya at our head, but deprived of the
company of the adorable Kunti! Why do these that are gifted with
strength and possessed of the prowess of the lion, sit indifferently,
beholding me thus afflicted by enemies so despicable? Suffering such
wrongs at the hands of wicked and evil-doing foes of small strength, am
I to burn in grief so long? Born I was in a great race, coming into the
world in an extraordinary way! I am also the beloved wife of the
Pandavas, and the daughter-in-law of the illustrious Pandu! The foremost
of women and devoted to my husbands, even I, O Krishna, was seized by
hair, O slayer of Madhu, in the sight of the Pandavas, each of whom is
like an Indra himself!'

"Saying this the mild-speeched Krishna hid her face with her soft hands
like the buds of lotus, and began to weep. And the tears of Panchali
begot of grief washed her deep, plump and graceful breasts crowned with
auspicious marks. And wiping her eyes and sighing frequently she said
these words angrily and in a choked voice, 'Husbands, or sons, or
friends, or brothers, or father, have I none! Nor have I thee, O thou
slayer of Madhu, for ye all, beholding me treated so cruelly by inferior
foes, sit still unmoved! My grief at Karna's ridicule is incapable of
being assuaged! On these grounds I deserve to be ever protected by thee,
O Kesava, _viz_., our relationship, thy respect (for me), our
friendship, and thy lordship (over me).'"

Vaisampayana continued, "In that assembly of heroes Vasudeva then spake
unto the weeping Draupadi as follows, 'O fair lady, the wives of those
with whom thou art angry, shall weep even like thee, beholding their
husbands dead on the ground, weltering in blood and their bodies covered
with the arrows of Vivatsu! Weep not, lady, for I will exert to the
utmost of my powers for the sons of Pandu! I promise thou shalt (once
more) be the queen of kings! The heavens might fall, or the Himavat
might split, the earth might be rent, or the waters of the ocean might
dry up, but my words shall never be futile!' Hearing those words of
Achyuta in reply, Draupadi looked obliquely at her third husband
(Arjuna). And, O mighty king, Arjuna said unto Draupadi, 'O thou of
beautiful coppery eyes, grieve not! O illustrious one, it shall be even
as the slayer of Madhu hath said! It can never be otherwise, O beautiful

"Dhrishtadyumna said, 'I will slay Drona, Sikhandin will slay the
grandfather. And Bhimasena will slay Duryodhana, and Dhananjaya will
slay Karna. And, O sister, assisted by Rama and Krishna, we are
invincible in battle by even the slayer himself of Vritra--what are the
sons of Dhritarashtra?'"

Vaisampayana continued, "After these words had been spoken, all the
heroes there turned their faces towards Vasudeva, who then in their
midst began to speak as follows."


"Vasudeva said, 'O lord of earth, if I had been present at Dwaraka,
then, O king, this evil would not have befallen thee! And, O
irrepressible one, coming unto the gambling-match, even if uninvited by
the son of Amvika (Dhritarashtra), or Duryodhana, or by the other
Kauravas, I would have prevented the game from taking place, by showing
its many evils, summoning to my aid Bhishma and Drona and Kripa, and
Vahlika! O exalted one, for thy sake I would have told the son of
Vichitravirya--_O foremost of monarchs, let thy sons have nothing to do
with dice!_--I would have shown the many evils (of dice) through which
thou hast fallen into such distress and the son of Virasena was formerly
deprived of his kingdom! O king, unthought of evils, befall a man from
dice! I would have described how a man once engaged in the game
continueth to play (from desire of victory). Women, dice, hunting and
drinking to which people become addicted in consequence of temptation,
have been regarded as the four evils that deprive a man of prosperity.
And those versed in the _Sastras_ are of opinion that evils attend upon
all these. They also that are addicted to dice know all its evils. O
thou of mighty arms, appearing before the son of Amvika, I would have
pointed out that through dice men in a day lose their possessions, and
fall into distress, and are deprived of their untasted wealth, and
exchange harsh words! O perpetuator of the Kuru race, I would have
pointed out these and other attendant evils! If he had accepted my words
thus addressed, the welfare of the Kurus as also virtue itself would
both have been secured! And, O foremost of kings, if he had rejected my
gentle counsels offered as medicine, then, O best of the Bharata race, I
would have compelled him by force! And, if those who wait at his court,
professing to be his friends but in reality his foes, had supported him,
then I would have slain them all, along with those gamblers, there
present! O Kauravya, it is owing to my absence from the _Anartta_
country at that time that thou hast fallen into such distress begot of
dice! O thou best of Kurus, O son of Pandu, on arriving at Dwarka I
learnt from Yuyudhana all about thy calamity! And, O foremost of kings,
directly I heard it with a heart sore agitated by grief, have I speedily
come here wishing to see thee, O king! Alas! O bull of the Bharata race,
ye have all fallen into dire distress! I see thee with thy brothers
plunged in misfortune!'"


"Yudhishthira said, 'O Krishna, why wert thou absent (from the Anartta
country)? And, O descendant of the Vrishni race, while thou wert away,
where didst thou dwell? And what didst thou do while out of thy

"Krishna said, 'O bull of the Bharata race, I had gone for the purpose
of destroying the (arranging) city Salwa. And, O foremost of the
Kauravas, listen to the reasons I had for so doing! The heroic son of
Damaghosha, the well-known king Sisupala of mighty arms and great
energy, was slain by me, O best of Bharatas, at thy _Rajasuya_
sacrifice, because that wicked one could not from anger bear to see the
first worship offered to me! Hearing that he had been slain, Salwa,
burning with fierce anger, came to Dwaraka, while, O Bharata, it was
empty, myself being away, residing with you here. And having arrived
there on a car made of precious metals and hence called the _Souva_, he
had an encounter with the youthful princes of the Vrishni race--those
bulls of that line--and fought with them mercilessly. And slaughtering
many youthful Vrishnis of heroic valour, the wicked one devastated all
the gardens of the city. And, O thou of mighty arms, he said, "Where is
that wretch of the Vrishni race, Vasudeva, the evil-souled son of
Vasudeva? I will humble in battle the pride of that person so eager for
fight! Tell me truly, _O Anarttas_! I will go there where he is. And
after killing that slayer of Kansa and Kesi, will I return! By my weapon
I swear that I will not return without slaying him!" And exclaiming
repeatedly--_Where is he? Where is he?_ the lord of Saubha rusheth to
this place and that, desirous of encountering me in battle. And Salwa
also said, "Impelled by wrath for the destruction of Sisupala I shall
today send to the mansion of Yama that treacherous miscreant of mean
mind." And, O king, he further said, "That Janardana shall I slay, who,
wretch that he is, hath killed my brother who was but a boy of tender
years, and who was slain not on the field of battle, unprepared as he
was!" Having, O great king, wailed thus, and having, O son of the Kuru
race, abused me thus, he rose into the sky on his car of precious metals
capable of going anywhere at will! On returning (to my kingdom) I heard
what, O Kaurava, the evil-minded and wicked king of Maticka had said
regarding myself! And, O descendant of the Kuru race, I was agitated
with wrath, and, O king, having reflected upon everything, I set my
heart upon slaying him! And, learning, O Kauravya, of his oppression of
the _Anarttas_, of his abuse of myself, and of his excessive arrogance,
I resolved upon the destruction of that wretch! And, O lord of earth, I
accordingly set out (from my city), for slaying the (lord of) the
Saubha. And searching him here and there, I found him in an island in
the midst of the ocean! Then, O king, blowing my conch called the
_Panchajanya_ obtained from the sea, and challenging Salwa to combat, I
stood for the fight! At that instant, I had an encounter with numerous
Danavas, all of whom, however, I subdued and prostrated on the ground. O
mighty-armed one, it was owing to this affair that I could not then come
(unto thee)! As soon as I heard of the unfair game of dice at
Hastinapura, I have come here desirous of seeing ye who have been
plunged in distress.'"


"Yudhishthira said, 'O illustrious Vasudeva of mighty arms, tell thou in
detail of the death of the lord of Saubha. My curiosity hath not been
appeased by the narration.'

"Vasudeva said, 'O mighty-armed king, hearing that the son of
Srutaslavas (Sisupala) had been slain by me, Salwa, O best of the
Bharata race, came to the city of Dwaravati! And, O son of Pandu, the
wicked king, stationing his forces in array, besieged that city around
and above. And stationing himself in the upper regions, the king began
his fight with the city. And that encounter commenced with a thick
shower of weapons from all sides. And, O bull of the Bharata race, the
city at that time was well-fortified on all sides, according to the
science (of fortification), with pennons, and arches, and combatants,
and walls and turrets, and engines, and miners, and streets barricaded
with spiked wood-works and towers and edifices with gate-ways
well-filled with provisions, and engines for hurling burning brands and
fires, and vessels, of deer-skins (for carrying water), and trumpets,
tabors, and drums, lances and forks, and _Sataghnis_, and plough-shares,
rockets, balls of stone and battle-axes and other weapons and shield
embossed with iron, and engines for hurling balls and bullets and hot
liquids! And the city was also well-defended by numerous cars, and, O
tiger among Kurus, by Gada and Shamva and Uddhava and others, and by
warriors of prowess tried in battle, all well-born and capable of
encountering any foe! And these all placing themselves on commanding
posts, aided by cavalry and standard-bearers, began to defend the town.
And Ugrasena and Uddhava and others, to prevent carelessness, proclaimed
throughout the city that nobody should drink. And all the Vrishnis and
the Andhakas, well-knowing that they would be slain by Salwa if they
behaved carelessly, remained sober and watchful. And the police soon
drove out of the city all mimes and dancers and singers of the Anartta
country. And all the bridges over rivers were destroyed, and boats
forbidden to ply, and the trenches (around the city) were spiked with
poles at the bottom. And the land around the city for full two miles was
rendered uneven, and holes and pits were dug thereon, and combustibles
were secreted below the surface. Our fort, O sinless one, is naturally
strong and always well-defended and filled with all kinds of weapons!
And in consequence of the preparations made, our city was more prepared
than ever to meet the foe. And, O chief of the Bharatas, in consequence
of all this, the city looked like that of Indra himself. And, O king, at
the time of Salwa's approach, nobody could either enter or leave the
town of the Vrishnis and the Andhakas without presenting the sign that
had been agreed upon. And all the streets of the town and the open
spaces were filled with numerous elephants and horses! And, O thou of
mighty arms, the combatants were all specially gratified with allowances
and wages, and rations, and weapons, and dresses! And amongst the
combatants there was none who was not paid in gold, and none who was not
paid at all, and none who was not somehow obliged, and none who was not
of tried valour! And, O thou of eyes like lotus-leaves, it was thus
Dwaraka, abounding in well-ordered arrangements, was defended by Ahuka


"Vasudeva continued, 'O king of kings, Salwa, the lord of Saubha, came
towards our city with an immense force consisting of infantry, cavalry
and elephants! And the army headed by king Salwa, consisting of four
kinds of forces, occupied a level ground commanding a copious
water-supply. And forsaking cemeteries and temples dedicated to the
gods, and sacred trees, and grounds covered by ant-hills, that host
occupied every other place. And the roads (leading to the city) were
blocked up by the divisions of the army, and the secret entrances also
were all blocked up by the enemy's camp. And, O Kauravya, like unto the
lord of birds (Garuda), the ruler of Saubha rushed towards Dwaraka,
bringing with him, O bull among men, his host equipped with all kinds of
arms, skilled in all weapons, consisting of a dense display of cars and
elephants and cavalry abounding in banners, and well-paid and well-fed
foot-soldiers possessed of great strength and bearing every mark of
heroism and furnished with wonderful chariots and bows. And beholding
the army of Salwa, the youthful princes of the Vrishni race resolved to
encounter it sallying out of the city. And, O king, Charudeshna, Samva,
and the mighty warrior Pradyumna, O descendant of the Kuru race, sallied
out, ascending on their chariots, and clad in mail, and decked with
ornaments, with colours flying, resolved to encounter the mighty and
countless host of Salwa! And Samva taking up his bows eagerly attacked
on the field of battle Kshemavriddhi, the commander of Salwa's forces
and his chief counsellor also! And, O thou foremost of Bharatas, the son
of Jambavati then began to shower arrows in a continuous stream even as
Indra showereth down rain! And, O mighty king, then Kshemavriddhi, the
commander of Salwa's forces, bore that shower of arrows, immovable as
the Himavat! And, O foremost of kings, Kshemavriddhi on his part,
discharged at Samva a mightier volley of shafts, aided by his powers of
illusion! And dispersing by counter illusion that discharge inspired by
illusion, Samva showered on his (adversary's) car a thousand arrows!
Then pierced by the shafts on Samva and overwhelmed there with
Kshemavriddhi, the commander of the hostile host, left the field by the
help of his fleet steed! And when the wicked general of Salwa had left
the field, a mighty Daitya called Vegavat rushed at my son! And, O best
of monarchs, thus attacked, the heroic Samva, the perpetuator of the
Vrishni race, bore that onset of Vegavat, keeping his ground. And, O son
of Kunti, the heroic Samva, of prowess incapable of being baffled,
whirling a quickly-going mace, hurled it speedily at Vegavat! And, O
king, struck with that mace, Vegavat fell down on the ground, like a
weather-beaten and faded lord of the forest of decayed roots! And on
that heroic Asura of mighty energy, being slain with the mace, my son
entered within that mighty host and began to fight with all. And, O
great king, a well-known Danava named Vivindhya, a mighty warrior
wielding a large and powerful bow, encountered Charudeshna! And, O
monarch, the encounter between Charudeshna and Vivindhya was as fierce
as that in days of yore between Vritra and Vasava! And enraged with each
other the combatants pierced each other with their arrows, uttering loud
roars like unto two powerful lions! Then the son of Rukmini fixed on his
bow-string a mighty weapon possessing the splendour of fire or the sun,
and capable of destroying all foes, having first vivified it with
incantations! Then, O monarch, that mighty warrior my son, fired with
wrath, challenged Vivindhya and discharged the weapon at him. And the
Danava struck with that weapon, fell down on the ground a lifeless
corpse! And beholding Vivindhya slain, and the whole host waver, Salwa
advanced again on his beautiful car capable of going everywhere. And, O
king of mighty arms, beholding Salwa on that beautiful car of his, the
combatants of Dwaraka wavered with fear! But, O thou of the Kuru race,
Pradyumna sailed out, and, O great king, bidding the Anarttas be of good
cheer, said, "Waver ye not, and staying behold me fight! Even I shall,
by force, repel that car with Salwa on it! Ye Yadavas, this day, I
shall, with my weapons like unto serpents discharged from my bow with my
hand, destroy this host of the lord of Saubha! Be of good cheer, ye all!
Fear not! The lord of Saubha will be slain today! Attached by me, the
wretch will meet with destruction together with his car!" O son of
Pandu, upon Pradyumna speaking thus with cheerful heart, the Yadava
host, O hero, remained on the field, and began to fight cheerfully!'"


"Vasudeva continued, 'O bull of the Bharata race, having spoken thus
unto the Yadavas, the son of Rukmini (Pradyumna) ascended his golden
car. And the car he rode was drawn by excellent steeds in mail. And over
it stood a standard bearing the figure of a _Makara_ with gaping mouth
and fierce as Yama. And with his steeds, more flying than running on the
ground, he rushed against the foe. And the hero equipped with quiver and
sword, with fingers cased in leather, twanged his bow possessed of the
splendour of the lightning, with great strength, and transferring it
from hand to hand, as if in contempt of the enemy, spread confusion
among the Danavas and other warriors of the city of Saubha. And as hot
in contempt of the foe, and continuously slew the Danavas in battle, no
one could mark the slightest interval between his successive shafts. And
the colour of his face changed not, and his limbs trembled not. And
people only heard his loud leonine roars indicative of wonderful valour.
And the aquatic monster with mouth wide open, that devourer of all
fishes, placed on golden flag-staff of that best of cars, struck terror
into the hearts of Salwa's warriors. And, O king, Pradyumna, the mower
of foes rushed with speed against Salwa himself so desirous of an
encounter! And, O perpetuator of the Kuru race, braved by the heroic
Pradyumna in that mighty battle, the angry Salwa could ill bear the
challenge! And that conqueror of hostile cities, Salwa, maddened by
anger, descended from his beautiful car of unchecked speed, resolved to
encounter Pradyumna. And the people beheld the fight between Salwa and
the foremost of Vrishni heroes, which was even like unto the encounter
between Vasava with Vali. And, O hero, mounting on his beautiful car
decked with gold and furnished with flags and flag-staffs and quivers,
the illustrious and mighty Salwa began to discharge his arrows at
Pradyumna! Pradyumna also by the energy of his arms, overwhelmed Salwa
in the combat by a thick shower of arrows. The king of Saubha, however,
thus attacked in battle by Pradyumna, endured him not, but discharged at
my son arrows that were like blazing fire. But the mighty Pradyumna
parried off that arrowy shower. Beholding this, Salwa rained on my son
other weapons of blazing splendour. Then, O foremost of monarchs,
pierced by the shafts of Salwa, the son of Rukmini discharged without
loss of time an arrow that was capable of entering the vitals of a foe
in fight. And that winged shaft shot by my son, piercing Salwa's mail,
entered his heart--whereupon he fell down, in a swoon. And beholding the
heroic king Salwa fallen down deprived of sense, the foremost of the
Danavas fled away rending the ground beneath their feet. And, O lord of
the earth, the army of Salwa sent up exclamations of _Oh!_ and _Alas!_
seeing their king, the lord of Saubha, drop down bereft of sense! And O
son of the Kuru race, regaining his senses, the mighty Salwa rose and
all of a sudden discharged his arrows on Pradyumna. Then the heroic and
mighty armed Pradyumna, sorely pierced by his adversary about his
throat, was enfeebled on his car. And, O mighty king, wounding the son
of Rukmini, Salwa sent up a shout like unto the roar of a lion, and
filling the entire earth with it! And, O Bharata, when my son became
senseless, Salwa, without losing a moment, again discharged at him other
shafts difficult to bear. And pierced with numberless arrows and
deprived of his senses, Pradyumna, O chief of the Kuru race, became
motionless on the field of battle!'"


"Vasudeva continued, 'O king, afflicted with the arrows of Salwa, when
Pradyumna became senseless the Vrishnis who had come to the fight were
all disheartened and filled with grief! And the combatants of the
Vrishni and Andhaka races burst into exclamations of _Oh!_ and _Alas!_
while great joy was felt by the enemy and beholding him thus deprived of
sense, his trained charioteer, the son of Daruka, soon carried him off
the field by the help of his steeds. The car had not gone far when that
best of warriors regained his senses, and taking up his bow addressed
his charioteer, saying, "O son of the Suta tribe, what hast thou done?
Why dost thou go leaving the field of battle? This is not the custom of
the Vrishni heroes in battle! O son of a Suta, hast thou been bewildered
at the sight of a Salwa in that fierce encounter? Or hast thou been
disheartened, beholding the fight? O! tell me truly thy mind!" The
charioteer answered, "O son of Janardana, I have not been confounded,
nor hath fear taken possession of me. On the other hand, O son of
Kesava, the task, I ween, of vanquishing Salwa is difficult for thee!
Therefore, O hero, I am slowly retiring from the field. This wretch is
stronger than thou art! It behoveth a charioteer to protect the warrior
on the car, however, when he is deprived of his senses! O thou gifted
with length of days, thou shouldst always be protected by me, even as it
behoveth thee to protect me! Thinking that the warrior on the car should
always be protected (by his charioteer), I am carrying thee away!
Further, O thou of mighty arms, thou art alone, while the Danavas are
many. Thinking, O son of Rukmini, that thou art not equal to them in the
encounter, I am going away!"'

"Vasudeva continued, 'When the charioteer had spoken thus, he, O
Kauravya, who hath the _makara_ for his mark replied unto him, saying,
"Turn the car! O son of Daruka, never do so again; never, O Suta, turn
thou from the fight, while I am alive! He is no son of the Vrishni race
who forsaketh the field or slayeth the foe fallen at his feet and crying
_I am thine!_ or killeth a woman, a boy, or an old man, or a warrior in
distress, deprived of his car or with his weapons broken! Thou art born
in the race of charioteers and trained to thy craft! And, O son of
Daruka, thou art acquainted with the customs of the Vrishnis in battle!
Versed as thou art with all the customs of the Vrishnis in battle, do
thou, O Suta, never again fly from the field as thou hast done! What
will the irrepressible Madhava, the elder brother of Gada, say to me
when he heareth that I have left the field of battle in bewilderment or
that I have been struck on the back--a run-away from the combat! What
will the elder brother of Kesava, the mighty-armed Baladeva, clad in
blue and inebriate with wine, say, when he returneth? What also, O Suta,
will that lion among men, the grand-son of Sini (Satyaki), that great
warrior, say on hearing that I have forsaken the fight? And, O
charioteer, what will the ever-victorious Shamva, the irrepressible
Charudeshna. and Gada, and Sarana, and Akrura also of mighty arms, say
unto me! What also will the wives of the Vrishni heroes when they meet
together, say of me who had hitherto been considered as brave and
well-conducted, respectable and possessed of manly pride? They will even
say _This Pradyumna is a coward who cometh here, leaving the battle! Fie
on him!_ They will never say, _Well done!_ Ridicule, with exclamation of
_Fie_, is to me or a person like me, O Suta, more than death! Therefore,
do thou never again leave the field of battle! Reposing the charge on
me, Hari the slayer of Madhu, hath gone to the sacrifice of the Bharata
lion (Yudhishthira)! Therefore, I cannot bear to be quiet now! O Suta,
when the brave Kritavarman was sallying out to encounter Salwa, I
prevented him, saying _I will resist Salwa. Do thou stay!_ For honouring
me the son of Hridika desisted! Having left the field of battle, what
shall I say unto that mighty warrior when I meet him? When that
irrepressible one of mighty arms--the holder of the conch, the discus,
and the mace--returneth, what shall I say unto him of eyes like lotus
leaves? Satyaki, and Valadeva, and others of the Vrishni and Andhaka
races always boast of me! What shall I say unto them? O Suta, having
left the field of battle and with wounds of arrows on my back while
being carried away by thee, I shall, by no means, be able to live!
Therefore, O son of Daruka, turn that car speedily, and never do so
again even in times of greatest danger! I do not, O Suta, think life
worth much, having fled from the field like a coward, and my back
pierced, with the arrows (of the enemy)! Hast thou ever seen me, O son
of Suta, fly in fear from the field of battle like a coward? O son of
Daruka, it behoved thee not to forsake the battle, while my desire of
fight was not yet gratified! Do thou, therefore, go back to the


"Vasudeva continued, 'Thus addressed, the son of Suta race replied in
haste unto Pradyumna, that foremost of all endued with strength, in
these sweet words, "O son of Rukmini, I fear not to guide the horses on
the field of battle, and I am acquainted also with the customs of the
Vrishnis in war! It is not otherwise in the least! But, O thou blest
with length of days, those that guide the car are taught that the
warrior on the car is, by all means, to be protected by his charioteer!
Thou wert also much afflicted! Thou wert much wounded by the arrows shot
by Salwa. Thou wert also deprived of thy senses, O hero! Therefore is it
that I retired from the field. But, O chief of the Satwatas, now that
thou hast regained thy senses without much ado, do thou, O son of
Kesava, witness my skill in guiding the horses! I have been begotten by
Daruka, and I have been duly trained! I will now penetrate into the
celebrated array of Salwa without fear!"'

"Vasudeva continued, 'Saying this, O hero, the charioteer, pulling the
reins, began to lead the horses with speed towards the field of battle.
And, O king, struck with the whip and pulled by the reins those
excellent steeds seemed to be flying in the air, performing various
beautiful motions, now circular, now similar, now dissimilar, now to the
right, now to the left. And, O king, those steeds understanding as it
were the intention of Daruka's son endued with such lightness of hand,
burned with energy, and seemed to go without touching the ground with
their feet! That bull among men wheeled round Salwa's host so easily
that they who witnessed it wondered exceedingly. And the lord of Saubha,
unable to bear that manoeuvre of Pradyumna, instantly sent three shafts
at the charioteer of his antagonist! The charioteer, however, without
taking any note of the force of those arrows, continued to go along the
right. Then the lord of Saubha, O hero, again discharged at my son by
Rukmini, a shower of various kinds of weapons! But that slayer of
hostile heroes, the son of Rukmini, showing with a smile his lightness
of hand, cut all those weapons off as they reached him. Finding his
arrows cut by Pradyumna, the lord of Saubha, having recourse to the
dreadful illusion natural to _Asuras_ began to pour a thick shower of
arrows. But cutting into pieces those powerful Daitya weapons shot at
him in mid-career by means of his _Brahma_ weapon, Pradyumna discharged
winged shafts of other kings. And these delighting in blood, warding off
the shafts of Daitya, pierced his head, bosom and face. And at those
wounds Salwa fell down senseless. And on the mean-minded Salwa falling
down, afflicted with Pradyumna's arrows, the son of Rukmini aimed
another arrow at him, capable of destroying every foe. And beholding
that arrow worshipped by all the Dasarhas, and flaming like fire and
fatal as a venomous snake, fixed on the bow-string, the firmament was
filled with exclamations of _Oh!_ and _Alas!_ Then all the celestials
with Indra and the lord of treasures (Kubera) at their head sent Narada
and the god of wind endued with the speed of the mind. And these two
approaching the son of Rukmini delivered unto him the message of the
celestial, saying, O hero, king Salwa is not to be slain by thee! Do
thou draw back the arrow. He is unslayable by thee in fight! There
breatheth not a person who cannot be killed by that arrow! O thou of
mighty arms, the Creator hath ordained his death at the hands of
Krishna, the son of Devaki! Let this be not falsified!--Thereupon with a
glad heart, Pradyumna withdrew that best of arrows from his excellent
bow and deposited it back in his quiver. And then, O foremost of kings,
the mighty Salwa, afflicted with the arrows of Pradyumna, rose
disheartened, and speedily went away. Then O king, the wicked Salwa,
thus afflicted by the Vrishnis, mounted on his car of precious metals,
and leaving Dwaraka scudded through the skies!'"

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