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

Part 2 out of 7

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"Vasudeva said, 'When Salwa had left the city of the Anarttas, I
returned to it, O king, on the completion of thy great _Rajasuya_
sacrifice! On my arrival I found Dwaraka shorn of its splendour, and, O
great monarch, there were not sounds of Vedic recitation or sacrificial
offering. And the excellent damsels were all destitute of ornaments, and
the gardens were devoid of beauty. And alarmed by the aspect, I asked
the son of Hridika saying, "Why is it that the men and women of the city
of the Vrishnis are so woe-begone, O tiger among men?" O thou best of
kings thus asked the son of Hridika (Kritavarman) relate to me in detail
the invasion of the city by Salwa, and his subsequent departure from it.
And, O thou foremost of Bharatas, hearing all, even then I made up my
mind to slay Salwa. And encouraging the citizens, O best of Bharatas, I
cheerfully addressed king Ahuka, and Anakdundhuvi, and the chief heroes
of the Vrishni race, saying, "Do ye, O bulls among the Yadavas, stay in
the city, taking every care, and know that I go to slay Salwa! I return
not to the city of Dwaravati without slaying him. I will again come to
ye having compassed the destruction of Salwa together with his car of
precious metals. Do ye strike up the sharp and middle and flat notes of
the Dundhuvi so dreadful to foes!" And O thou bull of the Bharata race,
thus adequately encouraged by me, those heroes cheerfully said unto me,
"Go and slay the enemies!" And thus receiving the benedictions of those
warriors with glad hearts, and causing the Brahmanas to utter auspicious
words and bowing down to the best of the regenerate ones, and to Siva
also, I set out on my car unto which were yoked the horses _Saivya_, and
_Sugriva_, filling all sides with the clatter (of my wheels) and blowing
that best of conchs, the _Panchajanya_! And, O king, O tiger among men,
accompanied by my redoubted and victorious army consisting of the four
kinds of the forces so persevering in battle, I set out. And leaving
many countries, and mountains, crowned with trees, and pieces of water,
and streams, I at last arrived at the country of Matrikavarta. It is
there, O thou tiger among men, that I heard that Salwa was coursing on
his car of precious metals near the ocean, and I followed in his
pursuit. And, O thou slayer of thy foes, having reached the main, Salwa
on his car of costly metals was in the midst of the deep heaving with
billows! And on seeing me from a distance, O Yudhishthira, that one of
wicked soul himself challenged me repeatedly to the fight. And many
arrows capable of piercing to the quick, discharged from my bow reached
not his car. And at this I was wroth! And, O king, that essentially
sinful wretch of a Daitya's son of irrepressible energy, on his part
began to shoot thousand upon thousands of arrows in torrents! And, O
Bharata, he rained shafts upon my soldiers and upon my charioteer and
upon my steeds! But without thinking of the shafts, we continued the
conflict. Then the warriors following Salwa poured on me straight arrows
by thousands. And the Asuras covered my horses and my car and Daruka
with arrows capable of piercing the very vitals. And, O hero, I could
not at that time see either my horses, or my car, or my charioteer
Daruka! And I with my army was covered with weapons. And, O son of
Kunti, superhumanly skilled in weapons, I also let fly from my bow
arrows by tens of thousands, inspiring them with _mantras_! But as that
car of costly metals was in the sky, full two miles off, it could not, O
Bharata, be seen by my troops. They could therefore only remaining on
the field of battle look on like spectators in a place of amusement,
cheering me on by shouts loud as the roar of the lion, and also by the
sound of their clapping. And the tinted arrows shot by the fore-part of
hand penetrated into the bodies of the Danavas like biting insects. And
then arose cries in the car of precious metals from those that were
dying of wounds by those sharp arrows and falling into the waters of the
mighty ocean. And the Danavas deprived of their arms, necks, and wearing
the form of _Kavandhas_,--fell, sending up tremendous roars. And as they
fell they were devoured by animals living in the waters of the ocean.
And then I powerfully blew the _Panchajanya_ obtained from the waters
and graceful as the lotus-stalk and white as milk or the _Kunda_ flower
or the moon or silver. And seeing his soldiers fall, Salwa the possessor
of the car of precious metals, began to fight with the help of illusion.
And then he began to ceaselessly hurl at me maces, and ploughshares, and
winged darts and lances, and javelins, and battle-axes, and swords and
arrows blazing like javelins and thunderbolts, and nooses, and broad
swords, and bullets from barrels, and shafts, and axes, and rockets. And
permitting them to come towards me, I soon destroyed them all by
counter-illusion. And on this illusion being rendered ineffectual, he
began the contest with mountain peaks. And, O Bharata, then there was
darkness and light alternately, and the day was now fair, and now
gloomy, and now hot, and now cold. And there was a perfect shower of
coals, and ashes, and weapons. And creating such illusion the enemy
fought with me. And ascertaining it I destroyed his illusion by
counter-illusion. And in the due time I showered arrows all round. And
then, O mighty king, the dome of heaven blazed as with a hundred suns,
and, O son of Kunti, with one hundred moons, and thousands and ten
thousands of stars! And then none could ascertain whether it was day or
night, or distinguish the points of the horizon. And, becoming
bewildered, I fixed on my bowstring the weapon called _Pragnastra_. And,
O son of Kunti, the weapon went like unto flakes of pure cotton blown
away by the winds! And a great fight took place, calculated to make the
down on one's body stand on end. And O best of monarchs, having regained
light, I again fought with the enemy!'"


"Vasudeva said, 'O thou tiger among men, my great enemy king Salwa, thus
encountered by me in battle, again ascended the sky. And O mighty
monarch, inspired with the desire of victory, that wicked one hurled at
me _Sataghnis_, and mighty maces, and flaming lances, and stout clubs,
and as the weapons came along the sky, I speedily resisted them with my
swift arrows, and cut them in two or three pieces before they came at
me. And there was a great noise in the welkins. And Salwa covered
Daruka, and my steeds, and my car also with hundreds of straight shafts.
Then, O hero, Daruka, evidently about to faint, said unto me, "Afflicted
with the shafts of Salwa I stay in the field, because it is my duty to
do so. But I am incapable of doing so (any longer). My body hath become
weak!" Hearing these piteous words of my charioteer, I looked at him,
and found the driver wounded with arrows. Nor was there a spot on his
breasts or the crown of his head, or body or his arms which was not, O
thou foremost of sons of Pandu, covered with shafts! And blood flowed
profusely from his wounds inflicted by arrows, and he looked like unto a
mountain of red chalk after a heavy shower. And, O thou of mighty arms,
seeing the charioteer with the reins in his hands thus pierced and
enfeebled by the shafts of Salwa in the field of battle, I cheered him

"'And, O Bharata, about this time, a certain person, having his home in
Dwaraka quickly coming to my car, addressed me like a friend, delivering
to me, O hero, a message from Ahuka! He seemed to be one of Ahuka's
followers. And sadly and in a voice choked in sorrow, know, O
Yudhishthira, he said words--"O warrior, Ahuka, the lord of Dwaraka,
hath said these words unto thee! O Kesava, hear what thy father's friend
sayeth: _O son of the Vrishni race, O thou irrepressible one, in thy
absence today Salwa, coming to Dwaraka, hath by main force killed
Vasudeva! Therefore, no need of battle any more. Cease, O Janardana! Do
thou defend Dwaraka! This is thy principal duty!_"--Hearing these words
of his, my heart became heavy, and I could not ascertain what I should
do and what I should not. And, O hero, hearing of that great misfortune,
I mentally censured Satyaki, and _Baladeva_, and also that mighty
Pradyumna. Having reposed on them the duty of protecting Dwaraka and
Vasudeva, I had gone, O son of the Kuru race, to effect the destruction
of Salwa's city. And in a sorrowful heart, I asked myself,--Doth that
destroyer of foes, the mighty-armed _Baladeva_, live, and Satyaki, and
the son of Rukmini and Charudeshna possessed of prowess, and Shamva and
others? For, O thou tiger among men, these living, even the bearer
himself of the thunderbolt could by no means destroy Suta's son
(Vasudeva)! And, thought I, _It is plain that Vasudeva is dead and
equally plain that the others with Baladeva at their head have been
deprived of life_--This was my certain conclusion. And, O mighty king,
thinking of the destruction of those all, I was overwhelmed with grief!
And it was in this state of mind that I encountered Salwa afresh. And
now I saw, O great monarch, Vasudeva himself falling from the car of
precious metals! And, O warrior I swooned away, and, O king of men, my
sire seemed like unto Yayati after the loss of his merit, falling
towards the earth from heaven! And like unto a luminary whose merit hath
been lost saw my father falling, his head-gear foul and flowing loosely,
and his hair and dress disordered. And then the bow _Sharanga_ dropped
from my hand, and, O son of Kunti I swooned away! I sat down on the side
of the car. And, O thou descendant of the Bharata race, seeing me
deprived of consciousness on the car, and as if dead, my entire host
exclaimed _Oh_! and _Alas_! And my prone father with out-stretched arms
and lower limbs, appeared like a dropping bird. And him thus falling, O
thou of mighty arms, O hero, the hostile warriors bearing in their hands
lances and axes struck grievously! And (beholding this) my heart
trembled! and soon regaining my consciousness, O warrior, I could not
see in that mighty contest either the car of costly metals, or the enemy
Salwa, or my old father! Then I concluded in my mind that it was
certainly illusion. And recovering my senses, I again began to discharge
arrows by hundreds.'"


"Vasudeva continued, 'Then O thou foremost of the Bharata race, taking
up my beautiful bow, I began to cut off with my arrows the heads of the
enemies of the celestials, from off that car of costly metals! And I
began to discharge from the _Sharanga_ many well-looking arrows of the
forms of snakes, capable of going at a great height and possessing
intense energy. And, O perpetuator of the Kuru race, I could not then
see the car of costly metals, for it had vanished, through illusion! I
was then filled with wonder! That host of Danavas then, O Bharata, of
frightful visages and hair, set up a loud howl while I was waiting for
it, in that fierce battle. I then, with the object of destroying them,
fixed on my bow-string the weapon capable of piercing the foes if but
his sound was inaudible. Upon this, their shouts ceased. But those
Danavas that had sent up that shout were all slain by those shafts of
mine blazing as the Sun himself, and capable of striking at the
perception of sound alone. And after the shout had ceased at one place,
O mighty king, another yell proceeded from another quarter. Thitherto
also I sent my shafts. In this way, O Bharata, the Asuras began to send
up yells in all the ten quarters above and across. These were all slain
by me, _viz_., those that were in the skies and that were invisible,
with arrows of diverse forms, and celestial weapons inspired with
_mantras_. Then, O hero, that car of precious metals capable of going
anywhere at will, bewildering my eyes, reappeared at Pragjyotisha! And
then the destroying Danavas of fierce forms suddenly drowned me with a
mighty shower of rocks. And, O thou foremost of monarchs, torrents of
rocks falling upon me covered me up, and I began to grow like an
ant-hill (with its summits and peaks)! And covered along with my horses
and charioteer and flagstaffs, with crags on all sides, I disappeared
from sight altogether. Then those foremost of heroes of the Vrishni race
who were of my army were struck with panic, and all on a sudden began to
fly in all directions. And beholding me in that plight, O king, the
heaven, the firmament, and the earth were filled with exclamation of
_Oh!_ and _Alas!_ And then, O monarch, my friends filled with sorrow and
grief began to weep and wail with heavy hearts! And delight filled the
hearts of the enemies. And O thou who never waverest, I heard of this
after I had defeated the foe! And then wielding the thunderbolt, that
favourite (weapon) of Indra, capable of riving stones, I destroyed that
entire mass of crags! But my steeds, afflicted with the weight of the
stones and almost on the point of death began to tremble. And beholding
me, all my friends rejoiced again even as men rejoice on seeing the sun
rise in the sky, dispersing the clouds. And seeing my horses almost in
their last gasp for breath, afflicted with that load of stones, my
charioteer said unto me in words suitable to the occasion, "O thou of
the Vrishni race, behold Salwa the owner of the car of precious metals
sitting (yonder). Do not disregard him! Do thou exert thyself! Do thou
abandon thy mildness and consideration for Salwa. Slay Salwa, O thou of
mighty arms! O Kesava, do not let him live! O hero, O thou destroyer of
those that are not thy friends (enemies), an enemy should be slain with
every exertion! Even a weak enemy who is under the feet of a man endued
with strength, should not be disregarded by the latter: that (shall I
say) of one that dareth us to the fight? Therefore, O thou tiger among
men, putting forth every exertion, slay him, O lord, O thou foremost of
the Vrishni race! Do thou not delay again! This one is not capable of
being vanquished by milder measures. And he cannot in my opinion be thy
friend who is fighting thee and who devastated Dwaraka!" O Kaunteya,
hearing such words of my charioteer, and knowing that what he said was
true, I directed my attention to the fight (afresh), with the view of
slaying Salwa and destroying the car of costly metals! And, O hero,
saying unto Daruka, "_Stay a moment_" I fixed on my bow-string my
favourite weapon of fire, blazing and of celestial origin, of
irresistible force, and incapable of being baffled, bursting with
energy, capable of penetrating into everything, and of great splendour!
And saying, "_Destroy the car of precious metals together with all those
enemies that are in it_" I launched with the might of my arms and in
wrath with _mantras_, the great powerful discus _Sudarsana_ which
reduceth to ashes in battle Yakshas and Rakshasas and Danavas and kings
born in impure tribes, sharp-edged like the razor, and without stain,
like unto Yama the destroyer, and incomparable, and which killeth
enemies. And rising into the sky, it seemed like a second sun of
exceeding effulgence at the end of the _Yuga_. And approaching the town
of Saubha whose splendour had disappeared, the discus went right through
it, even as a saw divideth a tall tree. And cut in twain by the energy
of the Sudarsana it fell like the city of Tripura shaken by the shafts
of Maheswara. And after the town of Saubha had fallen, the discus came
back into my hands. And taking it up I once more hurled it with force
saying, "_Go thou unto Salwa_." The discus then cleft Salwa in twain who
in that fierce conflict was at the point of hurling a heavy mace. And
with its energy it set the foe ablaze. And after that brave warrior was
slain, the disheartened Danava women fled in all directions, exclaiming
_Oh!_ and _Alas!_ And taking my chariot in front of the town of Saubha I
cheerfully blew my conch and gladdened the hearts of my friends. And
beholding their town, high as the peak of the Meru, with its palaces and
gate-ways utterly destroyed, and all ablaze, the Danavas fled in fear.
And having thus destroyed the town of Saubha and slain Salwa, I returned
to the Anarttas and delighted my friends. And, O king, it is for this
reason that I could not come to the city named after the elephant
(Hastinapura), O destroyer of hostile heroes! O warrior, if I had come,
Suyodhana would not have been alive or the match at dice would not have
taken place. What can I do now? It is difficult to confine the waters
after the dam is broken!'"

Vaisampayana continued, "Having addressed the Kaurava thus, that
foremost of male persons, of mighty arms, the slayer of Madhu, possessed
of every grace, saluting the Pandavas, prepared for departure. And the
mighty-armed hero reverentially saluted Yudhishthira the just, and the
king in return and Bhima also smelt the crown of his head. And he was
embraced by Arjuna, and the twins saluted him with reverence. And he was
duly honoured by Dhaumya, and worshipped with tears by Draupadi. And
causing Subhadra and Abhimanyu to ascend his golden car, Krishna mounted
it himself, worshipped by the Pandavas. And consoling Yudhishthira,
Krishna set out for Dwaraka on his car resplendent as the sun and unto
which were yoked the horses _Saivya_ and _Sugriva_. And after he of the
Dasharha race had departed, Dhrishtadyumna, the son of Prishata, also set
out for his own city, taking with him the sons of Draupadi. And the king
of Chedi, Dhrishtaketu also, taking his sister with him set out for his
beautiful city of Suktimati, after bidding farewell to the Pandavas.
And, O Bharata, the Kaikeyas also, with the permission of Kunti's son
possessed of immeasurable energy, having reverentially saluted all the
Pandavas, went away. But Brahmanas and the Vaisyas and the dwellers of
Yudhishthira's kingdom though repeatedly requested to go, did not leave
the Pandavas. O foremost of kings, O bull of the Bharata race, the
multitude that surrounded those high-souled ones in the forest of
Kamyaka looked extraordinary. And Yudhishthira, honouring those
high-minded Brahmanas, in due time ordered his men, saying '_Make ready
the car_.'"


Vaisampayana continued, "After the chief of the Dasharhas had departed,
the heroic Yudhishthira, and Bhima, and Arjuna, and the twins, each
looking like unto Shiva, and Krishna, and their priest, ascending costly
cars unto which were yoked excellent steeds, together went into the
forest. And at time of going they distributed _Nishkas_ of gold and
clothes and kine unto Brahmanas versed in _Siksha_ and _Akshara_ and
_mantras_. And twenty attendants followed them equipped with bows, and
bowstrings, and blazing weapons, and shafts and arrows and engines of
destruction. And taking the princess's clothes and the ornaments, and
the nurses and the maid-servants, Indrasena speedily followed the
princes on a car. And then approaching the best of Kurus, the
high-minded citizens walked round him. And the principal Brahmanas of
Kurujangala cheerfully saluted him. And together with his brothers,
Yudhishthira the just, on his part saluted them cheerfully. And the
illustrious king stopped there a little, beholding the concourse of the
inhabitants of Kurujangala. And the illustrious bull among the Kurus
felt for them as a father feeleth for his sons, and they too felt for
the Kuru chief even as sons feel for their father! And that mighty
concourse, approaching the Kuru hero, stood around him. And, O king,
affected, with bashfulness, and with tears in their eyes, they all
exclaimed, 'Alas, O lord! O Dharma!' And they said, 'Thou art the chief
of the Kurus, and the king of us, thy subjects! Where dost thou go, O
just monarch, leaving all these citizens and the inhabitants of the
country, like a father leaving his sons? Fie on the cruel-hearted son of
Dhritarashtra! Fie on the evil-minded son of Suvala! Fie on Karna! For,
O foremost of monarchs, those wretches ever wish unto thee who art firm
in virtue! Having thyself established the unrivalled city of
Indraprastha of the splendour of Kailasa itself, where dost thou go,
leaving it, O illustrious and just king, O achiever of extraordinary
deeds! O illustrious one, leaving that peerless palace built by Maya,
which possesseth the splendour of the palace of the celestials
themselves, and is like unto a celestial illusion, ever guarded by the
gods, where dost thou go, O son of Dharma?' And Vibhatsu knowing the
ways of virtue, pleasure, and profit said unto them in a loud voice,
'Living in the forest, the king intendeth to take away the good name of
his enemies! O we with the regenerate ones at your head, versed in
virtue and profit, do you approaching the ascetics separately and
inclining them to grace, represent unto them what may be for our supreme
good!' Upon hearing these words of Arjuna, the Brahmanas and the other
orders, O king, saluting him cheerfully walked round the foremost of
virtuous men! And bidding farewell unto the son of Pritha, and
Vrikodara, and Dhananjaya and Yajnaseni, and the twins, and commanded by
Yudhishthira, they returned to their respective abodes in the kingdom
with heavy hearts."


Vaisampayana said, "After they had departed, Yudhishthira the virtuous
son of Kunti, unwavering in his promises, addressed all his brothers,
saying, 'We shall have to dwell in the solitary forest for these twelve
years. Search ye, therefore, in this mighty forest for some spot
abounding in birds and deer and flowers and fruits, beautiful to behold,
and auspicious, and inhabited by virtuous persons and where we may dwell
pleasantly for all these years!' Thus addressed by Yudhishthira,
Dhananjaya replied unto the son of Dharma, after reverencing the
illustrious king as if he were his spiritual preceptor. And Arjuna said,
'Thou hast respectfully waited upon all the great and old _Rishis_.
There is nothing unknown to thee in the world of men. And O bull of the
Bharata race, thou hast always waited with reverence upon Brahmanas
including Dwaipayana and others, and Narada of great ascetic merit, who
with senses under control, ever goeth to the gates of all the world from
the world of the gods unto that of Brahma, including that of the
Gandharvas and Apsaras! And thou knowest, without doubt, the opinions of
the Brahmanas, and, O king, their prowess also! And O monarch, thou
knowest what is calculated to do us good! And O great king, we will live
wherever thou likest! Here is this lake, full of sacred water, called
_Dwaitavana_, abounding with flowers, and delightful to look at, and
inhabited by many species of birds. If, O king, it pleaseth thee, here
should we like to dwell these twelve years! Thinkest thou otherwise?'
Yudhishthira replied, 'O Partha, what thou hast said recommendeth itself
to me! Let us go that sacred and celebrated and large lake called

Vaisampayana continued, "Then the virtuous son of Pandu, accompanied by
numerous Brahmanas, all went to the sacred lake called _Dwaitavana_. And
Yudhishthira was surrounded by numerous Brahmanas some of whom
sacrificed with fire and some without it and some of whom, devoted to
the study of the Vedas, lived upon alms or were of the class called
_Vanaprasthas_. And the king was also surrounded by hundreds of
_Mahatmas_ crowned with ascetic success and of rigid vows. And those
bulls of the Bharata race, the sons of Pandu setting out with those
numerous Brahmanas, entered the sacred and delightful woods of _Dwaita_.
And the king saw that mighty forest covered on the close of summer with
_Salas_, and palms, and mangoes, and _Madhukas_, and _Nipas_ and
_Kadamvas_ and _Sarjjas_ and _Arjunas_, and _Karnikars_, many of them
covered with flowers. And flocks of peacocks and _Datyuhas_ and
_Chakoras_ and _Varhins_ and _Kokilas_, seated on the tops of the
tallest trees of that forest were pouring forth their mellifluous notes.
And the king also saw in that forest mighty herds of gigantic elephants
huge as the hills, with temporal juice trickling down in the season of
rut, accompanied by herds of she-elephants. And approaching the
beautiful Bhogavati (Saraswati), the king saw many ascetics crowned with
success in the habitations in that forest, and virtuous men of
sanctified souls clad in barks of trees and bearing matted locks on
their heads. And descending from their cars, the king that foremost of
virtuous men with his brothers and followers entered that forest like
Indra of immeasurable energy entering heaven. And crowds of _Charanas_
and _Siddhas_, desirous of beholding the monarch devoted to truth, came
towards him. And the dwellers of that forest stood surrounding that lion
among kings possessed of great intelligence. And saluting all the
_Siddhas_, and saluted by them in return as a king or a god should be,
that foremost of virtuous men entered the forest with joined hands
accompanied by all those foremost of regenerate ones. And the
illustrious and virtuous king, saluted in return by those virtuous
ascetics that had approached him, sat down in their midst at the foot of
a mighty tree decked with flowers, like his father (Pandu) in days
before. And those chiefs of the Bharata race _viz_., Bhima and
Dhananjaya and the twins and Krishna and their followers, all fatigued,
leaving their vehicles, sat themselves down around that best of kings.
And that mighty tree bent down with the weight of creepers, with those
five illustrious bowmen who had come there for rest sitting under it,
looked like a mountain with (five) huge elephants resting on its side."


Vaisampayana said, "Having fallen into distress, those princes thus
obtained at last a pleasant habitation in that forest. And there in
those woods abounding with _Sala_ trees and washed by the Saraswati,
they who were like so many Indras, began to sport themselves. And the
illustrious king, that bull of the Kuru race, set himself to please all
the _Yatis_ and _Munis_ and the principal Brahmanas in that forest, by
offerings of excellent fruits and roots. And their priest, Dhaumya
endued with great energy, like unto a father to those princes, began to
perform the sacrificial rites of _Ishti_ and _Paitreya_ for the Pandavas
residing in that great forest. And there came, as a guest, unto the
abode of the accomplished Pandavas living in the wood after loss of
their kingdom, the old Rishi Markandeya, possessed of intense and
abundant energy. And that bull of the Kuru race, the high-souled
Yudhishthira, possessed of unrivalled strength and prowess, paid his
homage unto that great _Muni_, reverenced by celestials and Rishis of
men, and possessed of the splendour of blazing fire. And that
illustrious and all-knowing _Muni_, of unrivalled energy, beholding
Draupadi and Yudhishthira and Bhima and Arjuna, in the midst of the
ascetics, smiled, recollecting Rama in his mind. And Yudhishthira the
just, apparently grieved at this, asked him, saying, 'All these ascetics
are sorry for seeing me here. Why is it that thou alone smilest, as if
in glee, in the presence of these?' Markandeya replied, 'O child, I too
am sorry and do not smile in glee! Nor doth pride born of joy possess my
heart! Beholding to-day the calamity, I recollect Rama, the son of
Dasaratha, devoted to truth! Even that Rama, accompanied by Lakshman,
dwelt in the woods at the command of his father. O son of Pritha, I
beheld him in days of old ranging with his bow on the top of the
_Rishyamuka_ hills! The illustrious Rama was like unto Indra, the lord
of Yama himself, and the slayer of Namuchi! Yet that sinless one had to
dwell in the forest at the command of his father, accepting it as his
duty. The illustrious Rama was equal unto Sakra in prowess, and
invincible in battle. And yet he had to range the forest renouncing all
pleasures! Therefore should no one act unrighteously, saying,--_I am
mighty!_ Kings Nabhaga and Bhagiratha and others, having subjugated by
truth this world bounded by the seas, (finally) obtained, O child, all
the region hereafter. Therefore, should no one act unrighteously,
saying,--_I am mighty!_ And, O exalted of men, the virtuous and truthful
king of Kasi and Karusha was called a mad dog for having renounced his
territories and riches! Therefore, should no one act unrighteously,
saying,--_I am mighty!_ O best of men, O son of Pritha, the seven
righteous Rishis, for having observed the ordinance prescribed by the
Creator himself in the Vedas, blaze in the firmament. Therefore, should
no one act unrighteously, saying,--_I am mighty!_ Behold, O king, the
mighty elephants, huge as mountain cliffs and furnished with tusks,
transgress not, O exalted of men, the laws of the Creator! Therefore,
should none act unrighteously saying, _Might is mine!_ And, O foremost
of monarchs, behold all the creatures acting according to their species,
as ordained by the Creator. Therefore, should none act unrighteously,
saying, _Might is mine_. O son of Pritha, in truth, and virtue, and
proper behaviour, and modesty, thou hast surpassed all creatures, and
thy fame and energy are as bright as fire or the Sun! Firm in thy
promises, O illustrious one, having passed in the woods thy painful
exile, thou wilt again, O king, snatch from the Kauravas thy blazing
prosperity with the help of thy own energy!'"

Vaisampayana continued, "Having spoken these words unto Yudhishthira
(seated) in the midst of the ascetics with friends, the great Rishi
having also saluted Dhaumya and all the Pandavas set out in a northerly


Vaisampayana said, "While the illustrious son of Pandu continued to
dwell in the _Dwaita_ woods, that great forest became filled with
Brahmanas. And the lake within that forest, ever resounding with Vedic
recitations, became sacred like a second region of Brahma. And the
sounds of the _Yajus_, the _Riks_, the _Samas_, and other words uttered
by the Brahmanas, were exceedingly delightful to hear. And the Vedic
recitations of the Brahmanas mingling with the twang of bows of the sons
of Pritha, produced a union of the Brahmana and Kshatriya customs that
was highly beautiful. And one evening the Rishi Vaka of the _Dalvya_
family addressed Yudhishthira, the son of Kunti seated in the midst of
the Rishis, saying, 'Behold, O chief of the Kurus, O son of Pritha, the
_homa_ time is come of these Brahmanas devoted to ascetic austerities,
the time when the (sacred) fires have all been lit up! These all, of
rigid vows, protected by thee, are performing the rites of religion in
this sacred region! The descendants of Bhrigu and Angiras, along with
those of Vasishta and Kasyapa, the illustrious sons of Agastya, the
offspring of Atri all of excellent vows, in fact, all the foremost
Brahmanas of the whole, are now united with thee! Listen, O son of the
Kuru race born of Kunti, thyself with thy brothers, to the words I speak
to thee! As are aided by the wind consumeth the forest, so _Brahma_
energy mingling with _Kshatriya_ energy, and _Kshatriya_ might mingling
with Brahma power, might, when they gathered force, consume all enemies!
O child, he should never desire to be without Brahmanas who wisheth to
subdue this and the other world for length of days! Indeed, a king
slayeth his enemies having obtained a Brahmana conversant, with religion
and worldly affairs and freed from passion and folly. King Vali
cherishing his subjects practised those duties that lead to salvation,
and knew not of any other means in this world than Brahmanas. It was for
this that all the desires of Virochana's son, the Asura (Vali), were
ever gratified, and his wealth was ever inexhaustible. Having obtained
the whole earth through the aid of the Brahmanas, he met with
destruction when he began to practise wrong on them! This earth with her
wealth never adoreth long as her lord a Kshatriya living without a
Brahmana! The earth, however, girt by the sea, boweth unto him who is
ruled by a Brahmana and taught his duties by him! Like an elephant in
battle without his driver, a Kshatriya destitute of Brahmanas decreaseth
in strength! The Brahmana's sight is without compare, and the
Kshatriya's might also is unparalleled. When these combine, the whole
earth itself cheerfully yieldeth to such a combination. As fire becoming
mightier with the wind consumeth straw and wood, so kings with Brahmanas
consume all foes! An intelligent Kshatriya, in order to gain what he
hath not, and increase what he hath, should take counsel of Brahmanas!
Therefore, O son of Kunti, for obtaining what thou hast not and
increasing what thou hast, and spending what thou hast on proper objects
and persons, keep thou with thee a Brahmana of reputation, of a
knowledge of the Vedas, of wisdom and experience! O Yudhishthira. Thou
hast ever highly regarded the Brahmanas. It is for this that thy fame is
great and blazeth in the three world!'"

Vaisampayana continued, "Then all those Brahmanas who were with
Yudhishthira worshipped Vaka of the Dalvya race, and having heard him
praise Yudhishthira became highly pleased. And Dwaipayana and Narada and
Jamadagnya and Prithusravas; and Indradyumna and Bhalaki and Kritachetas
and Sahasrapat; and Karnasravas and Munja and Lavanaswa and Kasyapa; and
Harita and Sthulakarana and Agnivesya and Saunaka; and Kritavak and
Suvakana, Vrihadaswa and Vibhavasu; and Urdharetas and Vrishamitra and
Suhotra and Hotravahana; these and many other Brahmanas of rigid vows
then adored Yudhishthira like Rishis adoring Purandara in heaven!"


Vaisampayana said, "Exiled to the woods the sons of Pritha with Krishna
seated in the evening, conversed with one another afflicted with sorrow
and grief. And the handsome and well informed Krishna dear unto her
lords and devoted to them, thus spake unto Yudhishthira, 'The sinful,
cruel, and wicked-minded son of Dhritarashtra certainly feeleth no
sorrow for us, when, O king, that evil-hearted wretch having sent thee
with myself into the woods dressed in deer-skin feeleth no regret! The
heart of that wretch of evil deeds must surely be made of steel when he
could at that time address thee, his virtuous eldest brother, in words
so harsh! Having brought thee who deservest to enjoy every happiness and
never such woe, into such distress, alas, that wicked-minded and sinful
wretch joyeth with his friends! O Bharata, when dressed in deer-skin
thou hast set out for the woods, only four persons, O monarch, _viz_.,
Duryodhana, Karna, the evil-minded Sakuni, and Dussasana that bad and
fierce brother of Duryodhana, did not shed tears! With the exception of
these, O thou best of the Kurus, all other Kurus filled with sorrow shed
tears from their eyes! Beholding this thy bed and recollecting what thou
hadst before, I grieve, O king, for thee who deservest not woe and hast
been brought up in every luxury! Remembering that seat of ivory in thy
court, decked with jewels and beholding this seat of _kusa_ grass, grief
consumeth me, O king! I saw thee, O king, surrounded in thy court by
kings! What peace can my heart know in not beholding thee such now? I
beheld thy body, effulgent as the sun, decked with sandal paste! Alas,
grief depriveth me of my senses in beholding thee now besmeared with mud
and dirt! I saw thee before, O king, dressed in silken clothes of pure
white! But I now behold thee dressed in rags! Formerly, O king, pure
food of every kind was carried from thy house on plates of gold for
Brahmanas by thousands! And, O king, food also of the best kind was
formerly given by thee unto ascetics both houseless and living in
domesticity! Formerly, living in dry mansion thou hadst ever filled with
food of every kind plates by thousands, and worshipped the Brahmanas
gratifying every wish of theirs! What peace, O king, can my heart know
in not beholding all this now? And, O great king, these thy brothers,
endued with youth and decked with ear-rings, were formerly fed by cook
with food of the sweet flavour and dressed with skill! Alas, O king, I
now behold them all, so undeserving of woe, living in the woods and upon
what the wood may yield! My heart, O King knoweth no peace! Thinking of
this Bhimasena living in sorrow in the woods, doth not thy anger blaze
up, even though it is time? Why doth not thy anger, O king, blaze up
upon beholding the illustrious Bhimasena who ever performeth everything
unaided, so fallen into distress, though deserving of every happiness?
Why, O king, doth not thy anger blaze up on beholding that Bhima living
in the woods who was formerly surrounded with numerous vehicles and
dressed in costly apparel? This exalted personage is ready to slay all
the Kurus in battle. He beareth, however, all this sorrow, only because
he waiteth for the fufilment of thy promise! This Arjuna, O king, though
possessed of two hands, is equal, for the lightness of his hand in
discharging shafts, to (Kaitavirya) Arjuna of a thousand arms! He is
even (to foes), like unto Varna himself at the end of the _Yuga_! It was
by the prowess of his weapons that all the kings of the earth were made
to wait upon the Brahmanas at thy sacrifice! Beholding that Arjuna that
tiger among men worshipped by both the celestials and the Danavas so
anxious, why, O king, dost thou not feel indignant? I grieve, O Bharata,
that thy wrath doth not blaze up at sight of that son of Pritha in
exile, that prince who deserveth not such distress and who hath been
brought up in every luxury! Why doth not thy wrath blaze up at sight of
that Arjuna in exile, who, on a single car, hath vanquished celestials
and men and serpents? Why, O king, doth not thy wrath blaze up at sight
of that Arjuna in exile who, honoured with offerings of cars and
vehicles of various forms and horses and elephants, forcibly took from
the kings of the earth their treasures, who is the chastiser of all
foes, and who at one impetus can throw full five hundred arrows? Why, O
king, doth not thy wrath blaze up at sight of Nakula, in exile, who so
fair and able-bodied and young, is the foremost of all swordsmen? Why, O
king, dost thou pardon the foe, O Yudhishthira, at sight of Madri's son,
the handsome and brave Sahadeva in exile? Why doth not thy anger blaze
up, O king, it sight of both Nakula and Sahadeva overwhelmed with grief,
though so undeserving of distress? Why also, O king, dost thou pardon
the foe at sight of myself in exile who, born in the race of Drupada
and, therefore, the sister of Dhrishtadyumna, am the daughter-in-law of
the illustrious Pandu and the devoted wife of heroes? Truly, O thou best
of the Bharatas, thou hast no anger, else why is it that thy mind is not
moved at sight of thy brothers and myself (in such distress)? It is said
that there is no Kshatriya in the world who is bereft of anger. I now
behold in thee, however, a refutation of the proverb! That Kshatriya, O
son of Pritha, who discovereth not his energy when the opportunity
cometh, is ever disregarded by all creatures! Therefore, O king, thou
shouldst not extend thy forgiveness to the foe. Indeed, with thy energy,
without doubt, thou mayst slay them all! So also, O king, that Kshatriya
who is not appeased when the time for forgiveness cometh, becometh
unpopular with every creature and meeteth with destruction both in this
and the other world!'"


"Draupadi continued, 'On this subject, the ancient story of the
conversation between Prahlada and Vali, the son of Virochana, is quoted
as an example. One day Vali asked his grand-father Prahlada, the chief
of the Asuras and the Danavas, possessed of great wisdom and well-versed
in the mysteries of the science of duty, saying, "O sire, is forgiveness
meritorious or might and energy such? I am puzzled as regards this; O
sire, enlighten me who ask thee this! O thou conversant with all duties,
tell me truly which of these is meritorious? I will strictly obey
whatever thy command may be!" Thus asked (by Vali), his wise
grandfather, conversant with every conclusion, replied upon the whole
subject unto his grand-son who had sought at his hands the resolution of
his doubts. And Prahlada said, "Know, O child, these two truths with
certainty, viz., that might is not always meritorious and forgiveness
also is not always meritorious! He that forgiveth always suffereth many
evils. Servants and strangers and enemies always disregard him. No
creature ever bendeth down unto him. Therefore it is, O child, that the
learned applaud not a constant habit of forgiveness! The servants of an
ever-forgiving person always disregard him, and contract numerous
faults. These mean-minded men also seek to deprive him of his wealth.
Vile-souled servants also appropriate to themselves his vehicles and
clothes and ornaments and apparel and beds and seats and food and drink
and other articles of use. They do not also at the command of their
master, give unto others the things they are directed to give. Nor do
they even worship their master with that respect which is their master's
due. Disregard in this world is worse than death. O child, sons and
servants and attendants and even strangers speak harsh words unto the
man who always forgiveth. Persons, disregarding the man of an
ever-forgiving temper, even desire his wife, and his wife also, becometh
ready to act as she willeth. And servants also that are ever fond of
pleasure, if they do not receive even slight punishments from their
master, contract all sorts of vices, and the wicked ever injure such a
master. These and many other demerits attach to those that are

"'"Listen now, O son of Virochana, to the demerits of those that are
never forgiving! The man of wrath who, surrounded by darkness, always
inflicteth, by help of his own energy, various kinds of punishment on
persons whether they deserve them or not, is necessarily separated from
his friends in consequence of that energy of his. Such a man is hated by
both relatives and strangers. Such a man, because he insulteth others,
suffereth loss of wealth and reapeth disregard and sorrow and hatred and
confusion and enemies. The man of wrath, in consequence of his ire,
inflicteth punishments on men and obtaineth (in return) harsh words. He
is divested of his prosperity soon and even of life, not to say, of
friends and relatives. He that putteth forth his might both upon his
benefactor and his foe, is an object of alarm to the world, like a snake
that hath taken shelter in a house, to the inmates thereof. What
prosperity can he have who is an object of alarm to the world? People
always do him an injury when they find a hole. Therefore, should men
never exhibit might in excess nor forgiveness on all occasions. One
should put forth his might and show his forgiveness on proper occasions.
He that becometh forgiving at the proper time and harsh and mighty also
at the proper time, obtaineth happiness both in this world and the

"'"I shall now indicate the occasions in detail of forgiveness, as laid
down by the learned, and which should ever be observed by all. Hearken
unto me as I speak! He that hath done thee a service, even if he is
guilty of a grave wrong unto thee, recollecting his former service,
shouldst thou forgive that offender. Those also that have become
offenders from ignorance and folly should be forgiven for learning and
wisdom are not always easily attainable by man. They that having
offended thee knowingly, plead ignorance should be punished, even if
their offences be trivial. Such crooked men should never be pardoned.
The first offence of every creature should be forgiven. The second
offence, however, should be punished, even if it be trivial. If,
however, a person committeth an offence unwillingly, it hath been said
that examining his plea well by a judicious enquiry, he should be
pardoned. Humility may vanquish might, humility may vanquish weakness.
There is nothing that humility may not accomplish. Therefore, humility
is truly fiercer (than it seemeth)! One should act with reference to
place and time, taking note of his own might or weakness. Nothing can
succeed that hath been undertaken without reference to place and time.
Therefore, do thou ever wait for place and time! Sometimes offenders
should be forgiven from fear of the people. These have been declared to
be times of forgiveness. And it hath been said that on occasions besides
these, might should be put forth against transgressors."'

"Draupadi continued, 'I, therefore, regard, O king, that the time hath
come for thee to put forth thy might! Unto those Kurus the covetous sons
of Dhritarashtra who injure us always, the present is not the time for
forgiveness! It behoveth thee to put forth thy might. The humble and
forgiving person is disregarded; while those that are fierce persecute
others. He, indeed, is a king who hath recourse to both, each according
to its time!'"


"Yudhishthira said, 'Anger is the slayer of men and is again their
prosperor. Know this, O thou possessed of great wisdom, that anger is
the root of all prosperity and all adversity. O thou beautiful one, he
that suppresseth his anger earneth prosperity. That man, again, who
always giveth way to anger, reapeth adversity from his fierce anger. It
is seen in this world that anger is the cause of destruction of every
creature. How then can one like me indulge his anger which is so
destructive of the world? The angry man commiteth sin. The angry man
killeth even his preceptors. The angry man insulteth even his superiors
in harsh words. The man that is angry faileth to distinguish between
what should be said and what should not. There is no act that an angry
man may not do, no word that an angry man may not utter. From anger a
man may slay one that deserveth not to be slain, and may worship one
that deserveth to be slain. The angry man may even send his own soul to
the regions of Yama. Beholding all these faults, the wise control their
anger, desirous of obtaining high prosperity both in this and the other
world. It is for this that they of tranquil souls have banished wrath.
How can one like us indulge in it then? O daughter of Drupada,
reflecting upon all this, my anger is not excited. One that acteth not
against a man whose wrath hath been up, rescueth himself as also others
from great fear. In fact, he may be regarded to be the physician of the
two (_viz_., himself and angry man). If a weak man, persecuted by
others, foolishly becometh angry towards men that are mightier than he,
he then becometh himself the cause of his own destruction. And in
respect of one who thus deliberately throweth away his life, there are
no regions hereafter to gain. Therefore, O daughter of Drupada, it hath
been said that a weak man should always suppress his wrath. And the wise
man also who though persecuted, suffereth not his wrath to be roused,
joyeth in the other world--having passed his persecutor over in
indifference. It is for this reason hath it been said that a wise man,
whether strong or weak, should ever forgive his persecutor even when the
latter is in the straits. It is for this, O Krishna, that the virtuous
applaud them that have conquered their wrath. Indeed, it is the opinion
of the virtuous that the honest and forgiving man is ever victorious.
Truth is more beneficial than untruth; and gentleness than cruel
behaviour. How can one like me, therefore, even for the purpose of
slaying Duryodhana, exhibit anger which hath so many faults and which
the virtuous banish from their souls? They that are regarded by the
learned of foresight, as possessed of (true) force of character, are
certainly those who are wrathful in outward show only. Men of learning
and of true insight call him to be possessed of force of character who
by his wisdom can suppress his risen wrath. O thou of fair hips, the
angry man seeth not things in their true light. The man that is angry
seeth not his way, nor respecteth persons. The angry man killeth even
those that deserve not to be killed. The man of wrath slayeth even his
preceptors. Therefore, the man possessing force of character should ever
banish wrath to a distance. The man that is overwhelmed with wrath
acquireth not with ease generosity, dignity, courage, skill, and other
attributes belonging to real force of character. A man by forsaking
anger can exhibit proper energy, whereas, O wise one, it is highly
difficult for the angry man to exhibit his energy at the proper time!
The ignorant always regard anger as equivalent to energy. Wrath, however
hath been given to man for the destruction of the world. The man,
therefore, who wisheth to behave properly, must ever forsake anger. Even
one who hath abandoned the excellent virtues of his own order, it is
certain, indulgeth in wrath (if behaveth properly). If fools, of mind
without light, transgress in every respect, how, O faultless one, can
one like me transgress (like them)? If amongst men there were not
persons equal unto the earth in forgiveness, there would be no peace
among men but continued strife caused by wrath. If the injured return
their injuries, if one chastised by his superior were to chastise his
superior in return, the consequence would be the destruction of every
creature, and sin also would prevail in the world. If the man who hath
ill speeches from another, returneth those speeches afterwards; if the
injured man returneth his injuries; if the chastised person chastiseth
in return; if fathers slay sons, and sons fathers and if husbands slay
wives, and wives husbands; then, O Krishna, how can birth take place in
a world where anger prevaileth so! For, O thou of handsome face, know
that the birth of creatures is due to peace! If the kings also, O
Draupadi, giveth way to wrath, his subjects soon meet with destruction.
Wrath, therefore, hath for its consequence the destruction and the
distress of the people. And because it is seen that there are in the
world men who are forgiving like the Earth, it is therefore that
creatures derive their life and prosperity. O beautiful one, one should
forgive under every injury. It hath been said that the continuation of
species is due to man being forgiving. He, indeed, is a wise and
excellent person who hath conquered his wrath and who showeth
forgiveness even when insulted, oppressed, and angered by a strong
person. The man of power who controleth his wrath, hath (for his
enjoyment) numerous everlasting regions; while he that is angry, is
called foolish, and meeteth with destruction both in this and the other
world. O Krishna, the illustrious and forgiving Kashyapa hath, in this
respect, sung the following verses in honour of men that are ever
forgiving, "Forgiveness is virtue, forgiveness is sacrifice, forgiveness
is the Vedas, forgiveness is the _Shruti_. He that knoweth this is
capable of forgiving everything. Forgiveness is _Brahma_; forgiveness is
truth; forgiveness is stored ascetic merit; forgiveness protecteth the
ascetic merit of the future; forgiveness is asceticism; forgiveness is
holiness; and by forgiveness is it that the universe is held together.
Persons that are forgiving attain to the regions obtainable by those
that have preformed meritorious sacrifices, or those that are
well-conversant with the Vedas, or those that have high ascetic merit.
Those that perform Vedic sacrifices as also those that perform the
meritorious rites of religion obtain other regions. Men of forgiveness,
however, obtain those much-adored regions that are in the world of
Brahma. Forgiveness is the might of the mighty; forgiveness is
sacrifice; forgiveness is quiet of mind. How, O Krishna, can one like us
abandon forgiveness, which is such, and in which are established
_Brahma_, and truth, and wisdom and the worlds? The man of wisdom should
ever forgive, for when he is capable of forgiving everything, he
attaineth to _Brahma_. The world belongeth to those that are forgiving;
the other world is also theirs. The forgiving acquire honours here, and
a state of blessedness hereafter. Those men that ever conquer their
wrath by forgiveness, obtain the higher regions. Therefore hath it been
said that forgiveness is the highest virtue." Those are the verses sung
by Kashyapa in respect of those that are everforgiving. Having listened,
O Draupadi, to these verses in respect of forgiveness, content thyself!
Give not way to thy wrath! Our grandsire, the son of Santanu, will
worship peace; Krishna, the son of Devaki, will worship peace; the
preceptor (Drona) and Vidura called _Kshatri_ will both speak of peace;
Kripa and Sanjaya also will preach peace. And Somadatta and Yuyutshu and
Drona's son and our grandsire Vyasa, every one of them speaketh always
of peace. Ever urged by these towards peace, the king (Dhritarashtra)
will, I think, return us our kingdom. If however, he yieldeth to
temptation, he will meet with destruction. O lady, a crisis hath come in
the history of Bharatas for plunging them into calamity! This hath been
my certain conclusion from some time before! Suyodhana deserveth not the
kingdom. Therefore hath he been unable to acquire forgiveness. I,
however, deserve the sovereignty and therefore is it that forgiveness
hath taken possession of me. Forgiveness and gentleness are the
qualities of the self-possessed. They represent eternal virtue. I shall,
therefore, truly adopt those qualities.'"


"Draupadi said, 'I bow down unto _Dhatri_ and _Vidhatri_ who have thus
clouded thy sense! Regarding the burden (thou art to bear) thou thinkest
differently from the ways of thy fathers and grand-fathers! Influenced
by acts men are placed in different situations of life. Acts, therefore,
produce consequences that are inevitable; emancipation is desired from
mere folly. It seemeth that man can never attain prosperity in this
world by virtue, gentleness, forgiveness, straight-forwardness and fear
of censure! If this were not so, O Bharata, this insufferable calamity
would never have overtaken thee who art so undeserving of it, and these
thy brothers of great energy! Neither in those days of prosperity nor in
these days of thy adversity, thou, O Bharata, hath ever known anything
so dear to thee as virtue, which thou hast even regarded as dearer to
thee than life! That thy kingdom is for virtue alone, that thy life also
is for virtue alone, is known to Brahmanas and thy superiors and even
the celestials! I think thou canst abandon Bhimasena and Arjuna and
these twin sons of Madri along with myself but thou canst not abandon
virtue! I have heard that the king protecteth virtue; and virtue,
protected by him, protecteth him (in return)! I see, however, that
virtue protecteth thee not! Like the shadow pursuing a man, thy heart, O
tiger among men, with singleness of purpose, ever seeketh virtue. Thou
hast never disregarded thy equals, and inferiors and superiors.
Obtaining even the entire world, thy pride never increased! O son of
Pritha, thou ever worshippest Brahmanas, and gods, and the _Pitris_,
with _Swadhas_, and other forms of worship! O son of Pritha, thou hast
ever gratified the Brahmanas by fulfilling every wish of theirs! _Yatis_
and _Sannyasins_ and mendicants of domestic lives have always been fed
in thy house from off plates of gold where I have distributed (food)
amongst them. Unto the _Vanaprasthas_ thou always givest gold and food.
There is nothing in thy house thou mayest not give unto the Brahmanas!
In the _Viswadeva_ sacrifice, that is, for thy peace, performed in thy
house, the things consecrated are first offered unto guests and all
creatures while thou livest thyself with what remaineth (after
distribution)! _Ishtis Pashubandhas_, sacrifices for obtaining fruition
of desire, the religious rites of (ordinary) domesticity, _Paka_
sacrifices, and sacrifices of other kinds, are ever performed in thy
house. Even in this great forest, so solitary and haunted by robbers,
living in exile, divested of thy kingdom, thy virtue hath sustained no
diminution! The _Aswamedha_, the _Rajasuya_, the _Pundarika_, and
_Gosava_, these grand sacrifices requiring large gifts have all been
performed by thee! O monarch, impelled by a perverse sense during that
dire hour of a losing match at dice, thou didst yet stake and lose thy
kingdom, thy wealth, thy weapons, thy brothers, and myself! Simple,
gentle, liberal, modest, truthful, how, O king could thy mind be
attracted to the vice of gambling? I am almost deprived of my sense, O
king, and my heart is overwhelmed with grief, beholding this thy
distress, and this thy calamity! An old history is cited as an
illustration for the truth that men are subjects to the will of God and
never to their own wishes! The Supreme Lord and Ordainer of all
ordaineth everything in respect of the weal and woe, the happiness and
misery, of all creatures, even prior to their births guided by the acts
of each, which are even like a seed (destined to sprout forth into the
tree of life). O hero amongst men, as a wooden doll is made to move its
limbs by the wirepuller, so are creatures made to work by the Lord of
all. O Bharata, like space that covereth every object, God, pervading
every creature, ordaineth its weal or woe. Like a bird tied with a
string, every creature is dependent on God. Every one is subject to God
and none else. No one can be his own ordainer. Like a pearl on its
string, or a bull held fast by the cord passing through its nose, or a
tree fallen from the bank into the middle of the stream, every creature
followeth the command of the Creator, because imbued with His Spirit and
because established in Him. And man himself, dependent on the Universal
Soul, cannot pass a moment independently. Enveloped in darkness,
creatures are not masters of their own weal or woe. They go to heaven or
hell urged by God Himself. Like light straws dependent on strong winds,
all creatures, O Bharatas, are dependent on God! And God himself,
pervading all creatures and engaged in acts right and wrong, moveth in
the universe, though none can say _This is God!_ This body with its
physical attributes is only the means by which God--the Supreme Lord of
all maketh (every creature) to reap fruits that are good or bad. Behold
the power of illusion that hath been spread by God, who confounding with
his illusion, maketh creatures slay their fellows! Truth-knowing _Munis_
behold those differently. They appear to them in a different light, even
like the rays of the Sun (which to ordinary eyes are only a pencil of
light, while to eyes more penetrating seem fraught with the germs of
food and drink). Ordinary men behold the things of the earth otherwise.
It is God who maketh them all, adopting different processes in their
creation and destruction. And, O Yudhishthira, the Self-create Grandsire,
Almighty God, spreading illusion, slayeth his creatures by the
instrumentality of his creatures, as one may break a piece of inert and
senseless wood with wood, or stone with stone, or iron with iron. And
the Supreme Lord, according to his pleasure, sporteth with His
creatures, creating and destroying them, like a child with his toy (of
soft earth). O king, it doth seem to me that God behaveth towards his
creatures like a father or mother unto them. Like a vicious person, He
seemeth to bear himself towards them in anger! Beholding superior and
well-behaved and modest persons persecuted, while the sinful are happy,
I am sorely troubled. Beholding this thy distress and the prosperity of
Suyodhana, I do not speak highly of the Great Ordainer who suffereth
such inequality! O sir, what fruits doth the Great Ordainer reap by
granting prosperity to Dhritarashtra's son who transgresseth the
ordinances, who is crooked and covetous, and who injureth virtue and
religion! If the act done pursueth the doer and none else, then
certainly it is God himself who is stained with the sin of every act. If
however, the sin of an act done doth not attach to the doer, then
(individual) might (and not God) is the true cause of acts, and I grieve
for those that have no might!'"


"Yudhishthira said, 'Thy speech, O Yajnaseni, is delightful, smooth and
full of excellent phrases. We have listened to it (carefully). Thou
speakest, however, the language of atheism. O princess, I never act,
solicitous of the fruits of my actions. I give away, because it is my
duty to give; I sacrifice because it is my duty to sacrifice! O Krishna,
I accomplish to the best of my power whatever a person living in
domesticity should do, regardless of the fact whether those acts have
fruits or not. O thou of fair hips, I act virtuously, not from the
desire of reaping the fruits of virtue, but of not transgressing the
ordinances of the Veda, and beholding also the conduct of the good and
wise! My heart, O Krishna, is naturally attracted towards virtue. The
man who wisheth to reap the fruits of virtue is a trader in virtue. His
nature is mean and he should never be counted amongst the virtuous. Nor
doth he ever obtain the fruits of his virtues! Nor doth he of sinful
heart, who having accomplished a virtuous act doubteth in his mind,
obtain the fruits of his act, in consequence of that scepticism of his!
I speak unto thee, under the authority of the Vedas, which constitute
the highest proof in such matters, that never shouldst thou doubt
virtue! The man that doubteth virtue is destined to take his birth in
the brute species. The man of weak understanding who doubteth religion,
virtue or the words of the Rishis, is precluded from regions of
immortality and bliss, like Sudras from the Vedas! O intelligent one, if
a child born of a good race studieth the Vedas and beareth himself
virtuously, royal sages of virtuous behaviour regard him as an aged sage
(not withstanding his years)! The sinful wretch, however, who doubteth
religion and transgresseth the scriptures, is regarded as lower even
than Sudras and robbers! Thou hast seen with thy own eyes the great
ascetic Markandeya of immeasurable soul come to us! It is by virtue
alone that he hath acquired immortality in the flesh. Vyasa, and
Vasistha and Maitreya, and Narada and Lomasa, and Suka, and other Rishis
have all, by virtue alone, become of pure soul! Thou beholdest them with
thy own eyes as furnished with prowess of celestial asceticism,
competent to curse or bless (with effect), and superior to the very
gods! O sinless one, these all, equal to the celestials themselves,
behold with their eyes what is written in the Vedas, and describe virtue
as the foremost duty! It behoveth thee not, therefore, O amiable Queen,
to either doubt or censure God or act, with a foolish heart. The fool
that doubteth religion and disregardeth virtue, proud of the proof
derived from his own reasoning, regardeth not other proofs and holdeth
the Rishis, who are capable of knowing the future as present as mad men.
The fool regardeth only the external world capable of gratifying his
senses, and is blind to everything else. He that doubteth religion hath
no expiation for his offence. That miserable wretch is full of anxiety
and acquireth not regions of bliss hereafter. A rejector of proofs, a
slanderer of the interpretation of the Vedic scriptures, a transgressor
urged by lust and covetousness, that fool goeth to hell. O amiable one,
he on the other hand, who ever cherisheth religion with faith, obtaineth
eternal bliss in the other world. The fool who cherisheth not religion,
transgressing the proofs offered by the Rishis, never obtaineth
prosperity in any life, for such transgression of the scriptures. It is
certain, O handsome one, that with respect to him who regardeth not the
words of the Rishis or the conduct of the virtuous as proof, neither
this nor the other world existeth. Doubt not, O Krishna, the ancient
religion that is practised by the good and framed by Rishis of universal
knowledge and capable of seeing all things! O daughter of Drupada,
religion is the only raft for those desirous of going to heaven, like a
ship to merchants desirous of crossing the ocean. O thou faultless one,
if the virtues that are practised by the virtuous had no fruits, this
universe then would be enveloped in infamous darkness. No one then would
pursue salvation, no one would seek to acquire knowledge nor even
wealth, but men would live like beasts. If asceticism, the austerities
of celibate life, sacrifices, study of the Vedas, charity,
honesty,--these all were fruitless, men would not have practised virtue
generation after generation. If acts were all fruitless, a dire
confusion would ensue. For what then do Rishis and gods and Gandharvas
and Rakshasas who are all independent of human conditions, cherish
virtue with such affection? Knowing it for certain that God is the giver
of fruits in respect of virtue, they practise virtue in this world.
This, O Krishna, is the eternal (source of) prosperity. When the fruits
of both knowledge and asceticism are seen, virtue and vice cannot be
fruitless. Call to thy mind, O Krishna, the circumstances of thy own
birth as thou that heard of them, and recall also the manner in which
Dhrishtadyumna of great prowess was born! These, O thou of sweet smiles,
are the best proofs (of the fruits of virtue)! They that have their
minds under control, reap the fruits of their acts and are content with
little. Ignorant fools are not content with even that much they get
(here), because they have no happiness born of virtue to acquire to in
the world hereafter. The fruitlessness of virtuous acts ordained in the
Vedas, as also of all transgressions, the origin and destruction of acts
are, O beautiful one, mysterious even to the gods. These are not known
to any body and everybody. Ordinary men are ignorant in respect of
these. The gods keep up the mystery, for the illusion covering the
conduct of the gods is unintelligible. Those regenerate ones that have
destroyed all aspirations, that have built all their hopes on vows and
asceticism, that have burnt all their sins and have acquired minds where
quest and peace and holiness dwell, understand all these. Therefore,
though you mayst not see the fruits of virtue, thou shouldst not yet
doubt religion or gods. Thou must perform sacrifices with a will, and
practise charity without insolence. Acts in this world have their
fruits, and virtue also is eternal. Brahma himself told this unto his
(spiritual) sons, as testified to by Kashyapa. Let thy doubt, therefore,
O Krishna, be dispelled like mist. Reflecting upon all this, let thy
scepticism give way to faith. Slander not God, who is the lord of all
creatures. Learn how to know him. Bow down unto him. Let not thy mind be
such. And, O Krishna, never disregard that Supreme Being through whose
grace mortal man, by piety, acquireth immortality!'"


"Draupadi said, 'I do not ever disregard or slander religion, O son of
Pritha! Why should I disregard God, the lord of all creatures? Afflicted
with woe, know me, O Bharata, to be only raving I will once more indulge
in lamentations; listen to me with attention. O persecutor of all
enemies, every conscious creature should certainly act in this world. It
is only the immobile, and not other creatures, that may live without
acting. The calf, immediately after its birth, sucketh the mothers's
teat. Persons feel pain in consequence of incantations performed with
their statues. It seemeth, therefore, O Yudhishthira, that creatures
derive the character of their lives from their acts of former lives.
Amongst mobile creatures man differeth in this respect that he aspireth,
O bull of the Bharata race, to affect his course of life in this and the
other world by means of his acts. Impelled by the inspiration of a
former life, all creatures visibly (reap) in this world the fruits of
their acts. Indeed, all creatures live according to the inspiration of a
former life, even the Creator and the Ordainer of the universe, like a
crane that liveth on the water (untaught by any one.) If a creature
acteth not, its course of life is impossible. In the case of a creature,
therefore, there must be action and not inaction. Thou also shouldest
act, and not incur censure by abandoning action. Cover thyself up, as
with an armour, with action. There may or may not be even one in a
thousand who truly knoweth the utility of acts or work. One must act for
protecting as also increasing his wealth; for if without seeking to
earn, one continueth to only spend, his wealth, even if it were a hoard
huge as Himavat, would soon be exhausted. All the creatures in the world
would have been exterminated, if there were no action. If also acts bore
no fruits, creatures would never have multiplied. It is even seen that
creatures sometimes perform acts that have no fruits, for without acts
the course of life itself would be impossible. Those persons in the
world who believe in destiny, and those again who believe in chance, are
both the worst among men. Those only that believe in the efficacy of
acts are laudable. He that lieth at ease, without activity, believing in
destiny alone, is soon destroyed like an unburnt earthen pot in water.
So also he that believeth in chance, i.e. sitteth inactive though
capable of activity liveth not long, for his life is one of weakness and
helplessness. If any person accidentally acquireth any wealth, it is
said he deriveth it from chance, for no one's effort hath brought about
the result. And, O son of Pritha, whatever of good fortune a person
obtaineth in consequence of religious rites, that is called
providential. The fruit, however that a person obtaineth by acting
himself, and which is the direct result of those acts of his, is
regarded as proof of personal ability. And, O best of men, know that the
wealth one obtaineth spontaneously and without cause is said to be a
spontaneous acquisition. Whatever is thus obtained by chance, by
providential dispensation, spontaneously, of as the result of one's acts
is, however, the consequence of the acts of a former life. And God, the
Ordainer of the universe, judging according to the acts of former lives,
distributeth among men their portions in this world. Whatever acts, good
or bad, a person performeth, know that they are the result of God's,
arrangements agreeably to the acts of a former life. This body is only
the instruments in the hands of God, for doing the acts that are done.
Itself, inert, it doth as God urgeth it to do. O son of Kunti, it is the
Supreme Lord of all who maketh all creatures do what they do. The
creatures themselves are inert. O hero, man, having first settled some
purpose in his mind, accomplisheth it, himself working with the aid of
his intelligence. We, therefore, say that man is himself the cause (of
what he doeth). O bull among men, it is impossible to number the acts of
men, for mansions and towns are the result of man's acts. Intelligent
men know, by help of their intellect, that oil may be had from sesame,
curds from milk, and that food may be cooked by means of igniting fuel.
They know also the means for accomplishing all these. And knowing them,
they afterwards set themselves, with proper appliances, to accomplish
them. And creatures support their lives by the results achieved in these
directions by their own acts. If a work is executed by a skilled
workman, it is executed well. From differences (in characteristics),
another work may be said to be that of an unskilful hand. If a person
were not, in the matter of his acts, himself the cause thereof, then
sacrifices would not bear any fruits in his case nor would any body be a
disciple or a master. It is because a person is himself the cause of his
work that he is applauded when he achieved success. So the doer is
censured if he faileth. If a man were not himself the cause of his acts,
how would all this be justified? Some say that everything is the result
of providential dispensation; others again, that this is not so, but
that everything which is supposed to be the result of destiny or chance
is the result of the good or the bad acts of former lives. It is seen,
possessions are obtained from chance, as also from destiny. Something
being from destiny and something from chance, something is obtained by
exertion. In the acquisition of his objects, there is no fourth cause in
the case of man. Thus say those that are acquainted with truth and
skilled in knowledge. If, however, God himself were not the giver of
good and bad fruits, then amongst creatures there would not be any that
was miserable. If the effect of former acts be a myth, then all purposes
for which man would work should be successful. They, therefore, that
regard the three alone (mentioned above) as the doors of all success and
failure in the world, (without regarding the acts of former life), are
dull and inert like the body itself. For all this, however, a person
should act. This is the conclusion of Manu himself. The person that doth
not act, certainly succumbeth, O Yudhishthira. The man of action in this
world generally meeteth with success. The idle, however, never achieveth
success. If success becometh impossible, then should one seek to remove
the difficulties that bar his way to success. And, O king, if a person
worketh (hard), his debt (to the gods) is cancelled (whether he
achieveth success or not). The person that is idle and lieth at his
length, is overcome by adversity; while he that is active and skillful
is sure to reap success and enjoy prosperity. Intelligent persons
engaged in acts with confidence in themselves regard all who are
diffident as doubting and unsuccessful. The confident and faithful,
however, are regarded by them as successful. And this moment misery hath
overtaken us. If, however, thou betakest to action, that misery will
certainly be removed. If thou meetest failure, then that will furnish a
proof unto thee and Vrikodara and Vivatsu and the twins (that ye are
unable to snatch the kingdom from the foe). The acts of others, it is
seen, are crowned with success. It is probable that ours also will be
successful. How can one know beforehand what the consequence will be?
Having exerted thyself thou wilt know what the fruit of thy exertion
will be. The tiller tilleth with the plough the soil and soweth the
seeds thereon. He then sitteth silent, for the clouds (after that) are
the cause that would help the seeds to grow into plants. If however, the
clouds favour him not, the tiller is absolved from all blame. He sayeth
unto himself, "What others do, I have done. If, notwithstanding this, I
meet with failure, no blame can attach to me." Thinking so, he
containeth himself and never indulgeth in self-reproach. O Bharata, no
one should despair saying, "Oh, I am acting, yet success is not mine!"
For there are two other causes, besides exertion, towards success.
Whether there be success or failure, there should be no despair, for
success in acts dependeth upon the union of many circumstances. If one
important element is wanting, success doth not become commensurate, or
doth not come at all. If however, no exertion is made, there can be no
success. Nor is there anything to applaud in the absence of all
exertion. The intelligent, aided by their intelligence, and according to
their full might bring place, time, means, auspicious rites, for the
acquisition of prosperity. With carefulness and vigilance should one set
himself to work, his chief guide being his prowess. In the union of
qualities necessary for success in work, prowess seemeth to be the
chief. When the man of intelligence seeth his enemy superior to him in
many qualities, he should seek the accomplishment of his purposes by
means of the arts of conciliation and proper appliances. He should also
wish evil unto his foe and his banishment. Without speaking of mortal
man, if his foe were even the ocean or the hills, he should be guided by
such motives. A person by his activity in searching for the holes of his
enemies, dischargeth his debt to himself as also to his friends. No man
should ever disparage himself for the man that disparageth himself never
earneth high prosperity. O Bharata, success in this world is attainable
on such conditions! In fact, success in the world is said to depend on
acting according to time and circumstances. My father formerly kept a
learned Brahmana with him. O bull of the Bharata race, he said all this
unto my father. Indeed, these instructions as to duty, uttered by
Vrihaspati himself, were first taught to my brothers. It was from them
that I heard these afterwards while in my father's house. And, O
Yudhishthira, while at intervals of business, I went out (of the inner
apartments) and sat on the lap of my father, that learned Brahmana used
to recite unto me these truths, sweetly consoling me therewith!'"


Vaisampayana said, "Hearing these words of Yajnaseni, Bhimasena, sighing
in wrath, approached the king and addressed him, saying, 'Walk, O
monarch, in the customary path trodden by good men, (before thee) in
respect of kingdoms. What do we gain by living in the asylum of
ascetics, thus deprived of virtue, pleasure, and profit? It is not by
virtue, nor by honesty, nor by might, but by unfair dice, that our
kingdom hath been snatched by Duryodhana. Like a weak offal-eating
jackal snatching the prey from mighty lions, he hath snatched away our
kingdom. Why, O monarch, in obedience to the trite merit of sticking to
a promise, dost thou suffer such distress, abandoning that wealth which
is the source of both virtue and enjoyments? It was for thy
carelessness, O king, that our kingdom protected by the wielder of the
_Gandiva_ and therefore, incapable of being wrested by Indra himself,
was snatched from us in our very sight. It was for thee, O monarch,
that, ourselves living, our prosperity was snatched away from us like a
fruit from one unable to use his arms, or like kine from one incapable
of using his legs. Thou art faithful in the acquisition of virtue. It
was to please thee, O Bharata, that we have suffered ourselves to be
overwhelmed with such dire calamity. O bull of the Bharata race, it was
because we were subject to thy control that we are thus tearing the
hearts of our friends and gratifying our foes. That we did not, in
obedience to thee, even then slay the sons of Dhritarashtra, is an act
of folly on our part that grieveth me sorely. This thy abode, O king, in
the woods, like that of any wild animal, is what a man of weakness alone
would submit to. Surely, no man of might would ever lead such a life.
This thy course of life is approved neither by Krishna, nor Vibhatsu,
nor by Abhimanyu, nor by the Srinjayas, nor by myself, nor by the sons
of Madri. Afflicted with the vows, thy cry is _Religion! Religion_! Hast
thou from despair been deprived of thy manliness? Cowards alone, unable
to win back their prosperity, cherish despair, which is fruitless and
destructive of one's purposes. Thou hast ability and eyes. Thou seest
that manliness dwelleth in us. It is because thou hast adopted a life of
peace that thou feelest not this distress. These Dhritarashtras regard
us who are forgiving, as really incompetent. This, O king, grieveth me
more than death in battle. If we all die in fair fight without turning
our backs on the foe, even that would be better than this exile, for
then we should obtain regions of bliss in the other world. Or, if, O
bull of the Bharata race, having slain them all, we acquire the entire
earth, that would be prosperity worth the trial. We who ever adhere to
the customs of our order, who ever desire grand achievements, who wish
to avenge our wrongs, have this for our bounden duty. Our kingdom
wrested from us, if we engage in battle, our deeds when known to the
world will procure for us fame and not slander. And that virtue, O king,
which tortureth one's own self and friends, is really no virtue. It is
rather vice, producing calamities. Virtue is sometimes also the weakness
of men. And though such a man might ever be engaged in the practice of
virtue, yet both virtue and profit forsake him, like pleasure and pain
forsaking a person that is dead. He that practiseth virtue for virtue's
sake always suffereth. He can scarcely be called a wise man, for he
knoweth not the purposes of virtue like a blind man incapable of
perceiving the solar light. He that regardeth his wealth to exist for
himself alone, scarcely understandeth the purposes of wealth. He is
really like a servant that tendeth kine in a forest. He again that
pursueth wealth too much without pursuing virtue and enjoyments,
deserveth to be censured and slain by all men. He also that ever
pursueth enjoyments without pursuing virtue and wealth, loseth his
friends and virtue and wealth also. Destitute of virtue and wealth such
a man, indulging in pleasure at will, at the expiration of his period of
indulgence, meeteth with certain death, like a fish when the water in
which it liveth hath been dried up. It is for these reasons that they
that are wise are ever careful of both virtue and wealth, for a union of
virtue and wealth is the essential requisite of pleasure, as fuel is the
essential requisite of fire. Pleasure hath always virtue for its root,
and virtue also is united with pleasure. Know, O monarch, that both are
dependent on each other like the ocean and the clouds, the ocean causing
the clouds and the clouds filling the ocean. The joy that one feeleth in
consequence of contact with objects of touch or of possession of wealth,
is what is called pleasure. It existeth in the mind, having no corporeal
existence that one can see. He that wisheth (to obtain) wealth, seeketh
for a large share of virtue to crown his wish with success. He that
wisheth for pleasure, seeketh wealth, (so that his wish may be
realised). Pleasure however, yieldeth nothing in its turn. One pleasure
cannot lead to another, being its own fruit, as ashes may be had from
wood, but nothing from those ashes in their turn. And, O king, as a
fowler killeth the birds we see, so doth sin slay the creatures of the
world. He, therefore, who misled by pleasure or covetousness, beholdeth
not the nature of virtue, deserveth to be slain by all, and becometh
wretched both here and hereafter. It is evident, O king, that thou
knowest that pleasure may be derived from the possession of various
objects of enjoyment. Thou also well knowest their ordinary states, as
well as the great changes they undergo. At their loss or disappearance
occasioned by decrepitude or death, ariseth what is called distress.
That distress, O king, hath now overtaken us. The joy that ariseth from
the five senses, the intellect and the heart, being directed to the
objects proper to each, is called pleasure. That pleasure, O king, is,
as I think, one of the best fruits of our actions.

"'Thus, O monarch, one should regard virtue, wealth and pleasure one
after another. One should not devote one self to virtue alone, nor
regard wealth as the highest object of one's wishes, nor pleasure, but
should ever pursue all three. The scriptures ordain that one should seek
virtue in the morning, wealth at noon, and pleasure in the evening. The
scriptures also ordain that one should seek pleasure in the first
portion of life, wealth in the second, and virtue in the last. And, O
thou foremost of speakers, they that are wise and fully conversant with
proper division of time, pursue all three, virtue, wealth, and pleasure,
dividing their time duly. O son of the Kuru race, whether independence
of these (three), or their possession is the better for those that
desire happiness, should be settled by thee after careful thought. And
thou shouldst then, O king, unhesitatingly act either for acquiring
them, or abandoning them all. For he who liveth wavering between the two
doubtingly, leadeth a wretched life. It is well known that thy behaviour
is ever regulated by virtue. Knowing this thy friends counsel thee to
act. Gift, sacrifice, respect for the wise, study of the Vedas, and
honesty, these, O king, constitute the highest virtue and are
efficacious both here and hereafter. These virtues, however, cannot be
attained by one that hath no wealth, even if, O tiger among men, he may
have infinite other accomplishments. The whole universe, O king,
dependeth upon virtue. There is nothing higher than virtue. And virtue,
O king, is attainable by one that hath plenty of wealth. Wealth cannot
be earned by leading a mendicant life, nor by a life of feebleness.
Wealth, however, can be earned by intelligence directed by virtue. In
thy case, O king, begging, which is successful with Brahmanas, hath been
forbidden. Therefore, O bull amongst men, strive for the acquisition of
wealth by exerting thy might and energy. Neither mendicancy, nor the
life of a Sudra is what is proper for thee. Might and energy constitute
the virtue of the Kshatriya in especial. Adopt thou, therefore, the
virtue of thy order and slay the enemies. Destroy the might of
Dhritarashtra's sons, O son of Pritha, with my and Arjuna's aid. They
that are learned and wise say that sovereignty is virtue. Acquire
sovereignty, therefore, for it behoveth thee not to live in a state of
inferiority. Awake, O king, and understand the eternal virtues (of the
order). By birth thou belongest to an order whose deeds are cruel and
are a source of pain to man. Cherish thy subjects and reap the fruit
thereof. That can never be a reproach. Even this, O king, is the virtue
ordained by God himself for the order to which thou belongest! If thou
fallest away therefrom, thou wilt make thyself ridiculous. Deviation
from the virtues of one's own order is never applauded. Therefore, O
thou of the Kuru race, making thy heart what it ought to be, agreeably
to the order to which thou belongest, and casting away this course of
feebleness, summon thy energy and bear thy weight like one that beareth
it manfully. No king, O monarch, could ever acquire the sovereignty of
the earth or prosperity or affluence by means of virtue alone. Like a
fowler earning his food in the shape of swarms of little easily-tempted
game, by offering them some attractive food, doth one that is
intelligent acquire a kingdom, by offering bribes unto low and covetous
enemies. Behold, O bull among kings, the Asuras, though elder brothers
in possession of power and affluence, were all vanquished by the gods
through stratagem. Thus, O king, everything belongeth to those that are
mighty. And, O mighty-armed one, slay thy foes, having recourse to
stratagem. There is none equal unto Arjuna in wielding the bow in
battle. Nor is there anybody that may be equal unto me in wielding the
mace. Strong men, O monarch, engage in battle depending on their might,
and not on the force of numbers nor on information of the enemy's plans
procured through spies. Therefore, O son of Pandu exert thy might. Might
is the root of wealth. Whatever else is said to be its root is really
not such. As the shade of the tree in winter goeth for nothing, so
without might everything else becometh fruitless. Wealth should be spent
by one who wisheth to increase his wealth, after the manner, O son of
Kunti, of scattering seeds on the ground. Let there be no doubt then in
thy mind. Where, however, wealth that is more or even equal is not to be
gained, there should be no expenditure of wealth. For investment of
wealth are like the ass, scratching, pleasurable at first but painful
afterwards. Thus, O king of men, the person who throweth away like seeds
a little of his virtue in order to gain a larger measure of virtue, is
regarded as wise. Beyond doubt, it is as I say. They that are wise
alienate the friends of the foe that owneth such, and having weakened
him by causing those friends to abandon him thus, they then reduce him
to subjection. Even they that are strong, engage in battle depending on
their courage. One cannot by even continued efforts (uninspired by
courage) or by the arts of conciliation, always conquer a kingdom.
Sometimes, O king, men that are weak, uniting in large numbers, slay
even a powerful foe, like bees killing the despoiler of the honey by
force of numbers alone. (As regards thyself), O king, like the sun that
sustaineth as well as slayeth creatures by his rays, adopt thou the ways
of the sun. To protect one's kingdom and cherish the people duly, as
done by our ancestors, O king, is, it hath been heard by us, a kind of
asceticism mentioned even in the Vedas. By asceticism, O king, a
Kshatriya cannot acquire such regions of blessedness as he can by fair
fight whether ending in victory or defeat. Beholding, O king, this thy
distress, the world hath come to the conclusion that light may forsake
the Sun and grace the Moon. And, O king, good men separately as well as
assembling together, converse with one another, applauding thee and
blaming the other. There is this, moreover, O monarch, _viz_., that both
the Kurus and the Brahmanas, assembling together, gladly speak of thy
firm adherence to truth, in that thou hast never, from ignorance, from
meanness, from covetousness, or from fear, uttered an untruth. Whatever
sin, O monarch, a king committeth in acquiring dominion, he consumeth it
all afterwards by means of sacrifices distinguished by large gifts. Like
the Moon emerging from the clouds, the king is purified from all sins by
bestowing villages on Brahmanas and kine by thousands. Almost all the
citizens as well as the inhabitants of the country, young or old, O son
of the Kuru race, praise thee, O Yudhishthira! This also, O Bharata, the
people are saying amongst themselves, _viz_., that as milk in a bag of
dog's hide, as the Vedas in a Sudra, as truth in a robber, as strength
in a woman, so is sovereignty in Duryodhana. Even women and children are
repeating this, as if it were a lesson they seek to commit to memory. O
represser of foes, thou hast fallen into this state along with
ourselves. Alas, we also are lost with thee for this calamity of thine.
Therefore, ascending in thy car furnished with every implement, and
making the superior Brahmanas utter benedictions on thee, march thou
with speed, even this very day, upon Hastinapura, in order that thou
mayst be able to give unto Brahmanas the spoils of victory. Surrounded
by thy brothers, who are firm wielders of the bow, and by heroes skilled
in weapons and like unto snakes of virulent poison, set thou out even
like the slayer Vritra surrounded by the Marutas. And, O son of Kunti,
as thou art powerful, grind thou with thy might thy weak enemies, like
Indra grinding the Asuras; and snatch thou from Dhritarashtra's son the
prosperity he enjoyeth. There is no mortal that can bear the touch of
the shafts furnished with the feathers of the vulture and resembling
snakes of virulent poison, that would be shot from the _Gandiva_. And, O
Bharata, there is not a warrior, nor an elephant, nor a horse, that is
able to bear the impetus of my mace when I am angry in battle. Why, O
son of Kunti, should we not wrest our kingdom from the foe, fighting
with the aid of the Srinjayas and Kaikeyas, and the bull of the Vrishni
race? Why, O king, should we not succeed in wresting the (sovereignty of
the) earth that is now in the hands of the foe, if, aided by a large
force, we do but strive?'"


Vaisampayana said, "Thus addressed by Bhimasena, the high-souled king
Ajatasatru firmly devoted to truth, mustering his patience, after a few
moments said these words, 'No doubt, O Bharata, all this is true. I
cannot reproach thee for thy torturing me thus by piercing me with thy
arrowy words. From my folly alone hath this calamity come against you. I
sought to cast the dice desiring to snatch from Dhritarashtra's son his
kingdom with the sovereignty. It was therefore that, that cunning
gambler--Suvala's son--played against me on behalf of Suyodhana. Sakuni,
a native of the hilly country, is exceedingly artful. Casting the dice
in the presence of the assembly, unacquainted as I am with artifices of
any kind, he vanquished me artfully. It is, therefore, O Bhimasena, that
we have been overwhelmed with this calamity. Beholding the dice
favourable to the wishes of Sakuni in odds and evens, I could have
controlled my mind. Anger, however, driveth off a person's patience. O
child, the mind cannot be kept under control when it is influenced by
hauteur, vanity, or pride. I do not reproach thee, O Bhimasena, for the
words thou usest. I only regard that what hath befallen us was
pre-ordained. When king Duryodhana, the son of Dhritarashtra, coveting
our kingdom, plunged us into misery and even slavery, then, O Bhima, it
was Draupadi that rescued us. When summoned again to the assembly for
playing once more, thou knowest as well as Arjuna what Dhritarashtra's
son told me, in the presence of all the Bharatas, regarding the stake
for which we were to play. His words were, O prince Ajatsatru, (if
vanquished), thou shalt have with all thy brothers, to dwell, to the
knowledge of all men, for twelve years in the forest of thy choice,
passing the thirteenth year in secrecy. If during the latter period, the
spies of the Bharatas, hearing of thee, succeed in discovering thee,
thou shalt have again to live in the forest for the same period, passing
once more the last year in secrecy. Reflecting upon this, pledge thyself
to it. As regards myself, I promise truly in this assembly of the Kurus,
that if thou canst pass this time confounding my spies and undiscovered
by them, then, O Bharata, this kingdom of the five rivers is once more
thine. We also, O Bharata, if vanquished by thee, shall, all of us,
abandoning all our wealth, pass the same period, according to the same
rules. Thus addressed by the prince, I replied unto him in the midst of
all the Kurus, "_So be it_!" The wretched game then commenced. We were
vanquished and have been exiled. It is for this that we are wandering
miserably over different woody regions abounding with discomfort.
Suyodhana, however, still dissatisfied, gave himself up to anger, and
urged the Kurus as also all those under his sway to express their joy at
our calamity. Having entered into such an agreement in the presence of
all good men, who dareth break it for the sake of a kingdom on earth?
For a respectable person, I think, even death itself is lighter than the
acquisition of sovereignty by an act of transgression. At the time of
the play, thou hadst desired to burn my hands. Thou wert prevented by
Arjuna, and accordingly didst only squeeze thy own hands. If thou
couldst do what thou hadst desired, could this calamity befall us?
Conscious of thy prowess, why didst thou not, O Bhima, say so before we
entered into such an agreement? Overwhelmed with the consequence of our
pledge, and the time itself having passed, what is the use of thy
addressing me these harsh words? O Bhima, this is my great grief that we
could not do anything even beholding Draupadi persecuted in that way. My
heart burneth as if I have drunk some poisonous liquid. Having, however,
given that pledge in the midst of the Kuru heroes, I am unable to
violate it now. Wait, O Bhima, for the return of our better days, like
the scatterer of seeds waiting for the harvest. When one that hath been
first injured, succeedeth in revenging himself upon his foe at a time
when the latter's enmity hath borne fruit and flowers, he is regarded
to have accomplished a great thing by his prowess. Such a brave person
earneth undying fame. Such a man obtaineth great prosperity. His enemies
bow down unto him, and his friends gather round him, like the celestials
clustering round Indra for protection. But know, O Bhima, my promise can
never be untrue. I regard virtue as superior to life itself and a
blessed state of celestial existence. Kingdom, sons, fame, wealth,--all
these do not come up to even a sixteenth part of truth.'"


"Bhima said, 'O king, unsubstantial as thou art like froth, unstable
like a fruit (falling when ripe), dependent on time, and mortal, having
entered into an agreement in respect of time, which is infinite and
immeasurable, quick like a shaft or flowing like a stream, and carrying
everything before it like death itself, how canst regard it as available
by thee? How can he, O son of Kunti, wait whose life is shortened every
moment, even like a quantity of collyrium that is lessened each time a
grain is taken up by the needle? He only whose life is unlimited or who
knoweth with certitude what the period of his life is, and who knoweth
the future as if it were before his eyes, can indeed wait for the
arrival of (an expected) time. If we wait, O king, for thirteen years,
that period, shortening our lives, will bring us nearer to death. Death
is sure to overtake every creature having a corporeal existence.
Therefore, we should strive for the possession of our kingdom before we
die. He that faileth to achieve fame, by failing to chastise his foes,
is like an unclean thing. He is a useless burden on the earth like an
incapacitated bull and perisheth ingloriously. The man who, destitute of
strength, and courage, chastiseth not his foes, liveth in vain, I regard
such a one as low-born. Thy hand can rain gold; thy fame spreadeth over
the whole earth; slaying thy foes, therefore, in battle, enjoy thou the
wealth acquired by the might of thy arms. O repressor of all foes, O
king, if a man slaying his injurer, goeth the very day into hell, that
hell becometh heaven to him. O king, the pain one feeleth in having to
suppress one's wrath is more burning than fire itself. Even now I burn
with it and cannot sleep in the day or the night. This son of Pritha,
called Vibhatsu, is foremost in drawing the bow-string. He certainly
burneth with grief, though he liveth here like a lion in his den. This
one that desireth to slay without aid all wielders of the bow on earth,
represseth the wrath that riseth in his breast, like a mighty elephant.
Nakula, Sahadeva, and old Kunti--that mother of heroes, are all dumb,
desiring to please thee. And all our friends along with the Srinjayas
equally desire to please thee. I alone, and Prativindhya's mother speak
unto thee burning with grief. Whatever I speak unto thee is agreeable to
all of them, for all of them plunged in distress, eagerly wish for
battle. Then, O monarch, what more wretched a calamity can overtake us
that our kingdom should be wrested from us by weak and contemptible foes
and enjoyed by them? O king, from the weakness of thy disposition thou
feelest shame in violating thy pledge. But, O slayer of foes, no one
applaudeth thee for thus suffering such pain in consequence of the
kindliness of thy disposition. Thy intellect, O king, seeth not the
truth, like that of a foolish and ignorant person of high birth who hath
committed the words of the Vedas to memory without understanding their
sense. Thou art kind like a Brahmana. How hast thou been born in the
Kshatriya order? They that are born in the Kshatriya order are generally
of crooked hearts. Thou hast heard (recited) the duties of kings, as
promulgated by Manu, fraught with crookedness and unfairness and
precepts opposed to tranquillity and virtue. Why dost thou then, O king,
forgive the wicked sons of Dhritarashtra? Thou hast intelligence,
prowess, learning and high birth. Why dost thou then, O tiger among men,
act in respect of thy duties, like a huge snake that is destitute of
motion? O son of Kunti, he that desireth to conceal us, only wisheth to
conceal the mountains of Himavat by means of a handful of grass. O son
of Pritha, known as thou art over whole earth, thou wilt not be able to
live unknown, like the sun that can never course through the sky unknown
to men. Like a large tree in a well-watered region with spreading
branches and flowers and leaves, or like Indra's elephant, how will
Jishnu live unknown? How also will these children, the brothers, Nakula
and Sahadeva, equal unto a couple of young lions, both live in secret?
How, O son of Pritha, will Krishna--the daughter of Drupada--a princess
and mother of heroes, of virtuous deeds and known over all the world,
live unknown? Me also, everybody knoweth from my boyhood. I do not see
how I can live unknown. As well mighty mountains of Meru be sought to be
concealed. Then, again, many kings had been expelled by us from their
kingdom. These kings and princes will all follow the bad son of
Dhritarashtra, for robbed and exiled by us, they have not still become
friendly. Desiring to do good unto Dhritarashtra, they will certainly
seek to injure us. They will certainly set against us numerous spies in
disguise. If these discover us and report their discovery, a great
danger will overtake us. We have already lived in the woods full
thirteen months. Regard them, O king, for their length as thirteen
years. The wise have said that a month is a substitute for a year, like
the pot-herb that is regarded as a substitute for the _Soma_. Or, (if
thou breakest thy pledge), O king, thou mayst free thyself from this sin
by offering good savoury food to a quiet bull carrying sacred burdens.
Therefore, O king resolve thou to slay thy enemies. There is no virtue
higher than fighting, for every Kshatriya!'"


Vaisampayana said, "Hearing those words of Bhima, Yudhishthira, the son
of Kunti--tiger among men and slayer of all foes--began to sigh heavily,
and reflect in silence. And he thought within himself, 'I have heard
recited the duties of kings, also all truths about the duties of the
different orders. He is said to observe those duties truly who keepeth
them before his eyes, so as to regulate his conduct both in the present
and the future. Knowing as I do the true course of virtue, which,
however is so very difficult of being known, how can I forcibly grind
virtue down like grinding the mountains of Meru?' Having reflected so
for a moment, and settled what he should do, he replied unto Bhima as
follows without allowing him another word:

"'O thou of mighty arms, it is even so as thou hast said. But, O thou
foremost of speakers, listen now to another word I say. Whatever sinful
deeds, O Bhima, one seeketh to achieve, depending on his courage alone,
become always a source of pain. But, O thou of mighty arms, whatever is
begun with deliberation, with well-directed prowess, with all
appliances, and much previous thought, is seen to succeed. The gods
themselves favour such designs. Hear from me something about what, proud
of thy might, O Bhima, and led away by thy restlessness, thou thinkest
should be immediately begun. Bhurisravas, Sala, the mighty Jarasandha,
Bhishma, Drona, Karna, the mighty son of Drona, Dhritarashtra's
sons--Duryodhana and others--so difficult of being vanquished, are all
accomplished in arms and ever ready for battle with us. Those kings and
chiefs of the earth also who have been injured by us, have all adopted
the side of the Kauravas, and are bound by ties of affection to them. O
Bharata, they are engaged in seeking the good of Duryodhana and not of
us. With full treasures and aided by large forces, they will certainly
strive their best in battle. All the officers also of the Kuru army
together with their sons and relatives, have been honoured by Duryodhana
with wealth and luxuries. Those heroes are also much regarded by
Duryodhana. This is my certain conclusion that they will sacrifice their
lives for Duryodhana in battle. Although the behaviour of Bhishma,
Drona, and the illustrious Kripa, is the same towards us as towards
them, yet, O thou of mighty arms, this is my certain conclusion that in
order to pay off the royal favours they enjoy, they will throw their
very lives, than which there is nothing dearer, in battle. All of them
are masters of celestial weapons, and devoted to the practice of virtue.
I think they are incapable of being vanquished even by gods led by
Vasava himself. There is again amongst them that mighty
warrior--Karna--impetuous, and ever wrathful, master of all weapons, and
invincible, and encased in impenetrable mail. Without first vanquishing
in battle all those foremost of men, unaided as thou art, how canst thou
slay Duryodhana? O Vrikodara, I cannot sleep thinking of the lightness
of hand of that _Suta's_ son, who, I regard, is the foremost of all
wielders of the bow!'"

Vaisampayana continued, "Hearing these words of Yudhishthira, the
impetuous Bhima became alarmed, and forbore from speaking anything. And
while the sons of Pandu were thus conversing with each other, there came
to that spot the great ascetic Vyasa, the son of Satyavati. And as he
came, the sons of Pandu worshipped him duly. Then that foremost of all
speakers, addressing Yudhishthira, said, 'O, Yudhishthira, O thou of
mighty arms, knowing by spiritual insight what is passing in thy heart,
I have come to thee, O thou bull among men! The fear that is in thy
heart, arising from Bhishma, and Drona, and Kripa, and Karna, and
Drona's son, and prince Duryodhana, and Dussasana, I will dispel, O
slayer of all foes, by means of an act enjoined by the ordinance.
Hearing it from me, accomplish it thou with patience, and having
accomplished it, O king, quell this fever of thine soon.'

"That foremost of speakers then, the son of Parasara, taking
Yudhishthira to a corner, began to address him in words of deep import,
saying, 'O best of the Bharatas, the time is come for thy prosperity,
when, indeed Dhananjaya--that son of Pritha--will slay all thy foes in
battle. Uttered by me and like unto success personified, accept from me
this knowledge called _Pratismriti_ that I impart to thee, knowing thou
art capable of receiving it. Receiving it (from thee), Arjuna will be
able to accomplish his desire. And let Arjuna, O son of Pandu, go unto
Mahendra and Rudra, and Varuna, and Kuvera, and Yama, for receiving
weapons from them. He is competent to behold the gods for his asceticism
and prowess. He is even a Rishi of great energy, the friend of Narayana;
ancient, eternal a god himself, invincible, ever successful, and knowing
no deterioration. Of mighty arms, he will achieve mighty deeds, having
obtained weapons from Indra, and Rudra, and the lokapalas, O son of
Kunti, think also of going from this to some other forest that may, O
king, be fit for thy abode. To reside in one place for any length of
time is scarcely pleasant. In thy case, it might also be productive of
anxiety to the ascetics. And as thou maintainest numerous Brahmanas
versed in the Vedas and the several branches thereof, continued
residence here might exhaust the deer of this forest, and be destructive
of the creepers and plants.'"

Vaisampayana continued, "Having addressed him thus, that illustrious and
exalted ascetic Vyasa, of great wisdom, acquired with the mysteries of
the world, then imparted unto the willing Yudhishthira the just, who had
meanwhile purified himself, that foremost of sciences. And bidding
farewell unto the son of Kunti, Vyasa disappeared then and there. The
virtuous and intelligent Yudhishthira, however, having obtained that
knowledge carefully retained it in his mind and always recited it on
proper occasions. Glad of the advice given him by Vyasa, the son of
Kunti then, leaving the wood _Dwaitavana_ went to the forest of
_Kamyaka_ on the banks of the Saraswati. And, O king, numerous Brahmanas
of ascetic merit and versed in the science of orthoepy and orthography,
followed him like the Rishis following the chief of the celestials.
Arrived at _Kamyaka_, those illustrious bulls amongst the Bharata took
up their residence there along with their friends and attendants. And
possessed of energy, those heroes, O king, lived there for some time,
devoted to the exercise of the bow and hearing all the while the
chanting of the Vedas. And they went about those woods every day in
search of deer, armed with pure arrows. And they duly performed all the
rites in honour of the _Pitris_, the celestials and the Brahmanas."


Vaisampayana said, "After some time, Yudhishthira the just, remembering
the command of the _Muni_ (Vyasa) and calling unto himself that bull
among men--Arjuna--possessed of great wisdom, addressed him in private.
Taking hold of Arjuna's hands, with a smiling face and in gentle
accents, that chastiser of foes--the virtuous Yudhishthira--apparently
after reflecting for a moment, spake these words in private unto
Dhananjaya, 'O Bharata, the whole science of arms dwelleth in Bhishma,
and Drona, and Kripa, and Karna, and Drona's son. They fully know all
sorts of _Brahma_ and celestial and human and _Vayavya_ weapons,
together with the modes of using and warding them off. All of them are
conciliated and honoured and gratified by Dhritarashtra's son who
behaveth unto them as one should behave unto his preceptor. Towards all
his warriors Dhritarashtra's son behaveth with great affection; and all
the chiefs honoured and gratified by him, seek his good in return. Thus
honoured by him, they will not fail to put forth their might. The whole
earth, besides, is now under Duryodhana's sway, with all the villages
and towns, O son of Pritha, and all the seas and woods and mines! Thou
alone art our sole refuge. On thee resteth a great burden. I shall,
therefore, O chastiser of all foes, tell thee what thou art to do now. I
have obtained a science from Krishna Dwaipayana. Used by thee, that
science will expose the whole universe to thee. O child, attentively
receive thou that science from me, and in due time (by its aid) attain
thou the grace of the celestials. And, O bull of the Bharata race,
devote thyself to fierce asceticism. Armed with the bow and sword, and
cased in mail, betake thyself to austerities and good vows, and go thou
northwards, O child, without giving way to anybody. O Dhananjaya, all
celestial weapons are with Indra. The celestials, from fear of Vritra,
imparted at the time all their might to Sakra. Gathered together in one
place, thou wilt obtain all weapons. Go thou unto Sakra, he will give
thee all his weapons. Taking the bow set thou out this very day in order
to behold Purandara.'"

Vaisampayana continued, "Having said this, the exalted Yudhishthira the
just, imparted that science unto Arjuna. And the elder brother having
communicated with due rites the Knowledge unto his heroic brother, with
speech and body and mind under perfect control, commanded him to depart.
And at the command of Yudhishthira, the strong-armed Arjuna, taking up
the _Gandiva_ as also his inexhaustible quivers, and accoutred in mail
and gauntlets and finger-protectors made of the skin of the guana, and
having poured oblations into the fire and made the Brahmanas to utter
benedictions after gifts, set out (from _Kamyaka_) with the objects of
beholding Indra. And armed with the bow, the hero, at the time of
setting out heaved a sigh and cast a look upwards for achieving the
death of Dhritarashtra's sons. And beholding Kunti's son thus armed and
about to set out, the Brahmanas and _Siddhas_ and invisible spirits
addressed him, saying, 'O son of Kunti, obtain thou soon what thou
wishest.' And the Brahmanas, also uttering benedictions said, 'Achieve
thou the object thou hast in view. Let victory be truly thine.' And
beholding the heroic Arjuna, of thighs stout as the trunks of the
_Sala_, about to set out taking away with him the hearts of all, Krishna
addressed him saying, 'O thou strong-armed one, let all that Kunti had
desired at thy birth, and let all that thou desirest, be accomplished, O
Dhananjaya! Let no one amongst us be ever again born in the order of
Kshatriyas. I always bow down unto the Brahmanas whose mode of living is
mendicancy. This is my great grief that the wretch Duryodhana beholding
me in the assembly of princes mockingly called me a _cow_! Besides this
he told me in the midst of that assembly many other hard things. But the
grief I experience at parting with thee is far greater than any I felt
at those insults. Certainly, in thy absence, thy brothers will while
away their waking hours in repeatedly talking of thy heroic deeds! If,
however, O son of Pritha, thou stayest away for any length of time, we
shall derive no pleasure from our enjoyments or from wealth. Nay, life
itself will be distasteful to us. O son of Pritha, our weal, and woe,
life and death, our kingdom and prosperity, are all dependent on thee. O
Bharata, I bless thee, let success be thine. O sinless one, thy
(present) task thou wilt be able to achieve even against powerful
enemies. O thou of great strength, go thou to win success with speed.
Let dangers be not thine. I bow to _Dhatri_ and _Vidhatri_! I bless
thee. Let prosperity be thine. And, O Dhananjaya, let _Hri, Sree, Kirti,
Dhriti, Pushti, Uma, Lakshmi, Saraswati_, all protect thee on thy way,
for thou ever worshippest thy elder brother and ever obeyest his
commands. And, O bull of the Bharata race, I bow to the Vasus, the
Rudras and Adityas, the Manilas, the Viswadevas, and the Sadhyas, for
procuring thy welfare. And, O Bharata, be thou safe from all spirits of
mischief belonging to the sky, the earth, and the heaven, and from such
other spirits generally.'"

Vaisampayana continued, "Krishna, the daughter of Yajnasena, having
uttered these benedictions, ceased. The strong-armed son of Pandu then,
having walked round his brothers and round Dhaumya also, and taking up
his handsome bow, set out. And all creatures began to leave the way that
Arjuna of great energy and prowess, urged by the desire of beholding
Indra, took. And that slayer of foes passed over many mountains
inhabited by ascetics, and then reached the sacred Himavat, the resort
of the celestials. And the high-souled one reached the sacred mountain
in one day, for like the winds he was gifted with the speed of the mind,
in consequence of his ascetic austerities. And having crossed the
Himavat, as also the Gandhamadana, he passed over many uneven and
dangerous spots, walking night and day without fatigue. And having
reached _Indrakila_, Dhananjaya stopped for a moment. And then he heard
a voice in the skies, saying, 'Stop!' And hearing that voice, the son of
Pandu cast his glances all around. And Arjuna, capable of using his left
hand with skill equal to that of his right hand, then beheld before him
an ascetic under the shade of a tree, blazing with _Brahma_ brilliancy,
of a tawny colour, with matted locks, and thin. And the mighty ascetic,
beholding Arjuna stop at that place, addressed him, saying, 'Who art
thou, O child, arrived hither with bow and arrows, and cased in mail and
accoutred in scabbard and gauntlet, and (evidently) wedded to the
customs of the Kshatriya? There is no need of weapons here. This is the
abode of peaceful Brahmanas devoted to ascetic austerities without anger
or joy. There is no use for the bow here, for there is no dispute in
this place of any kind. Therefore throw away, O child, this bow of
thine. Thou hast obtained a pure state of life by coming here. O hero,
there is no man who is like thee in energy and prowess.' That Brahmana
thus addressed Arjuna, with a smiling face, repeatedly. But he succeeded
not in moving Arjuna, firmly devoted to his purpose. The regenerate one,
glad at heart, smilingly addressed Arjuna once more, saying, 'O slayer
of foes, blest be thou! I am Sakra: ask thou the boon thou desirest.'
Thus addressed, that perpetuator of the Kuru race, the heroic Dhananjaya
bending his head and joining his hands, replied unto him of a thousand
eyes, saying, 'Even this is the object of my wishes; grant me this boon,
O illustrious one. I desire to learn from thee all the weapons.' The
chief of the celestials then, smiling, replied unto him cheerfully,
saying, 'O Dhananjaya, when thou hast reached this region, what need is
there of weapons? Thou hast already obtained a pure state of life. Ask
thou for the regions of bliss that thou desirest.' Thus addressed,
Dhananjaya replied unto him of a thousand eyes, saying, 'I desire not
regions of bliss, nor objects of enjoyment, nor the state of a
celestial; what is this talk about happiness? O chief of the celestials,
I do not desire the prosperity of all the gods. Having left my brothers
behind me in the forest, and without avenging myself on the foe, shall I
incur the opprobrium for all ages of all the world?' Thus addressed, the
slayer of Vritra, worshipped of the worlds, consoling him with gentle
words, spake unto the son of Pandu, saying, 'When thou art able to
behold the three-eyed trident-bearing Siva, the lord of all creatures,
it is then, O child, that I will give thee all the celestial weapons.
Therefore, strive thou to obtain the sight of the highest of the gods;
for it is only after thou hast seen him, O son of Kunti, that thou wilt
obtain all thy wishes.' Having spoken thus unto Phalguna, Sakra
disappeared then and there, and Arjuna, devoting himself to asceticism,
remained at that spot.'"


(Kairata Parva)

Janamejaya said, "O illustrious one, I desire to hear in detail the
history of the acquisition of weapons by Arjuna of spotless deeds. O
tell me how that tiger among men, Dhananjaya, of mighty arms and
possessed of great energy, entered that solitary forest without fear.
And, O thou foremost of those acquainted with the Veda, what also did
Arjuna do while dwelling there? How also were the illustrious Sthanu and
the chief of the celestials gratified by him? O thou best of regenerate
ones, I desire to hear all this under thy favour. Thou art omniscient;
thou knowest all about the gods and all about men. O Brahmana, the
battle that took place of old between Arjuna--that foremost of smiters
never defeated in battle--and Bhava was highly extraordinary and without
parallel. It maketh one's hair stand on end to hear of it. Even the
hearts of those lions among men--the brave sons of Pritha--trembled in
consequence of wonder and joy and a sense of their own inferiority. O
tell me in full what else Arjuna did, I do not see even the most trivial
thing to Jishnu that is censurable. Therefore, recite to me in full the
history of that hero."

Vaisampayana said, "O tiger among Kurus, I shall recite to thee that
narration, excellent and extensive and unrivalled, in connection with
the illustrious hero. O sinless one, hear in detail the particulars
about Arjuna's meeting with the three-eyed god of gods, and his contact
with the illustrious god's person!

"At Yudhishthira's command, Dhananjaya of immeasurable prowess set out
(from Kamyaka) to obtain a sight of Sakra, the chief of the celestials
and of Sankara, the god of gods. And the strong-armed Arjuna of great
might set out armed with his celestial bow and a sword with golden hilt,
for the success of the object he had in view, northwards, towards the
summit of the Himavat. And, O king, that first of all warriors in the
three worlds, the son of Indra, with a calm mind, and firmly adhering to
his purpose, then devoted himself, without the loss of any time, to
ascetic austerities. And he entered, all alone, that terrible forest
abounding with thorny plants and trees and flowers and fruits of various
kinds, and inhabited by winged creatures of various species, and
swarming with animals of diverse kinds, and resorted to by _Siddhas_ and
_Charanas_. And when the son of Kunti entered that forest destitute of
human beings, sounds of conchs and drums began to be heard in the
heavens. And a thick shower of flowers fell upon the earth, and the
clouds spreading over the firmament caused a thick shade. Passing over
those difficult and woody regions at the foot of the great mountains,
Arjuna soon reached the breast of the Himavat; and staying there for
sometime began to shine in his brilliancy. And he beheld there numerous
trees with expanding verdure, resounding with the melodious notes of
winged warblers. And he saw there rivers with currents of the _lapis
lazuli_, broken by the fierce eddies here and there, and echoing with
the notes of swans and ducks and cranes. And the banks of those rivers
resounded with the mellifluous strains of the male _Kokilas_ and the
notes of peacocks and cranes. And the mighty warrior, beholding those
rivers of sacred and pure and delicious water and their charming banks,
became highly delighted. And the delighted Arjuna of fierce energy and
high soul then devoted himself to rigid austerities in that delightful
and woody region. Clad in rags made of grass and furnished with a black
deerskin and a stick, he commenced to eat withered leaves fallen upon
the ground. And he passed the first month, by eating fruits at the
interval of three nights; and the second by eating at the interval of
the six nights; and the third by eating at the interval of a fortnight.
When the fourth month came, that best of the Bharatas--the strong-armed
son of Pandu--began to subsist on air alone. With arms upraised and
leaning upon nothing and standing on the tips of his toes, he continued
his austerities. And the illustrious hero's locks, in consequence of
frequent bathing took the hue of lightning or the lotus. Then all the
great Rishis went together unto the god of the _Pinaka_ for representing
unto him about the fierce asceticism of Pritha's son. And bowing unto
that god of gods, they informed him of Arjuna's austerities saying,
'This son of Pritha possessed of great energy is engaged in the most
difficult of ascetic austerities on the breast of the Himavat. Heated
with his asceticism, the earth is smoking all round, O god of gods. We
do not know what his object is for which he is engaged in these
austerities. He, however, is causing us pain. It behoveth thee to
prevent him!' Hearing these words of those _munis_ with souls under
perfect control, the lord of all creatures--the husband of Uma said, 'It
behoveth you not to indulge in any grief on account of Phalguna! Return
ye all cheerfully and with alacrity to the places whence ye have come. I
know the desire that is in Arjuna's heart. His wish is not for heaven,
nor for prosperity, nor for long life. And I will accomplish, even this
day, all that is desired by him.'"

Vaisampayana continued, "The truth-speaking Rishis, having heard these
words of Mahadeva, became delighted, and returned to their respective


Vaisampayana said, "After all those illustrious ascetics had gone away,
that wielder of the _Pinaka_ and cleanser of all sins--the illustrious
Hara--assuming the form of a _Kirata_ resplendent as a golden tree, and
with a huge and stalwart form like a second _Meru_, and taking up a hand
some bow and a number of arrows resembling snakes of virulent poison,
and looking like an embodiment of fire, came quickly down on the breast
of Himavat. And the handsome god of gods was accompanied by Uma in the
guise of a Kirata woman, and also by a swarm of merry spirits of various
forms and attire, and by thousands of women in the form and attire of
Kiratas. And, O king, that region suddenly blazed up in beauty, in
consequence of the arrival of the god of gods in such company. And soon
enough a solemn stillness pervaded the place. The sounds of springs, and
water-courses, and of birds suddenly ceased. And as the god of gods
approached Pritha's son of blameless deeds, he beheld a wonderful sight,
even that of a Danava named Muka, seeking, in the form of a boar, to
slay Arjuna. Phalguna, at the sight of the enemy seeking to slay him,
took up the _Gandiva_ and a number of arrows resembling snakes of
virulent poison. And stringing his bow and filling the air with its
twang, he addressed the boar and said, 'I have come here but done thee
no injury. As thou seekest to slay me, I shall certainly send thee to
the abode of Yama.' And beholding that firm wielder of the
bow--Phalguna--about to slay the boar, Sankara in the guise of a
_Kirata_ suddenly bade him stop saying, 'The boar like the mountain of
_Indrakila_ in hue hath been aimed at by me first'; Phalguna, however,
disregarding these words, struck the boar. The _Kirata_ also blazing
splendour, let fly an arrow like flaming fire and resembling the
thunderbolt at the same object. And the arrows thus shot by both fell at
the same instant of time upon the wide body of Muka, hard as adamant.
And the two shafts fell upon the boar with a loud sound, even like that
of Indra's thunderbolt and the thunder of the clouds falling together
upon the breast of a mountain. And Muka, thus struck by two shafts which
produced numerous arrows resembling snakes of blazing mouths, yielded up
his life, assuming once more his terrible Rakshasa form. Jishnu--that
slayer of foes--then beheld before him that person, of form blazing as
god, and attired in the dress of a _Kirata_ and accompanied by many
women. And beholding him, the son of Kunti with a joyous heart addressed
him smilingly and said, 'Who art thou that thus wanderest in these
solitary woods, surrounded by women? thou of the splendour of gold, art
thou not afraid of this terrible forest? Why, again, didst thou shoot
the boar that was first aimed at by me? This _Rakshasa_ that came
hither, listlessly or with the object of slaying me, had been first
aimed at by me. Thou shalt not, therefore, escape from me with life. Thy
behaviour towards me is not consistent with the customs of the chase.
Therefore, O mountaineer, I will take thy life.' Thus addressed by the
son of Pandu, the _Kirata_, smiling, replied unto his capable of
wielding the bow with his left hand, in soft words, saying, 'O hero,
thou needst not be anxious on my account. This forest land is proper
abode for us who always dwell in the woods. Respecting thyself, however,
I may inquire, why thou hast selected thy abode here amid such
difficulties. We, O ascetic, have our habitation in these woods
abounding in animals of all kinds. Why dost thou, so delicate and
brought up in luxury and possessed of the splendour of fire, dwell alone
in such a solitary region?' Arjuna said, 'Depending on the _Gandiva_ and
arrows blazing like fire, I live in this great forest, like a second
_Pavaki_. Thou hast seen how this monster--this terrible
_Rakshasa_--that came hither in the form of an animal, hath been slain
by me.' The _Kirata_ replied, 'This _Rakshasa_, first struck with the
shot from my bow, was killed and sent to the regions of Yama by me. He
was first aimed at by me. And it is with my shot that he has been
deprived of life. Proud of thy strength, it behoveth thee not to impute
thy own fault to others. Thou art thyself in fault, O wretch, and,
therefore, shalt not escape from me with life. Stay thou: I will shoot
at thee shafts like thunderbolts. Strive thou also and shoot, to the
best of thy power, thy arrows at me.' Hearing these words of the
_Kirata_, Arjuna became angry, and attacked him with arrows. The
_Kirata_, however, with a glad heart received all those shafts upon
himself, repeatedly saying, 'Wretch, wretch, shoot thou best arrows
capable of piercing into the very vitals.' Thus addressed, Arjuna, began
to shower his arrows on him. Both of them then became angry and,
engaging in fierce conflict, began to shoot at each other showers of
arrows, each resembling a snake of virulent poison. And Arjuna rained a
perfect shower of arrows on the _Kirata_. Sankara, however, bore that
downpour on him with a cheerful heart. But the wielder of the _Pinaka_,
having borne that shower of arrows for a moment, stood unwounded,
immovable like a hill. Dhananjaya, beholding his arrowy shower become
futile, wondered exceedingly, repeatedly saying, 'Excellent! Excellent!
Alas, this mountaineer of delicate limbs, dwelling on the heights of the
Himavat, beareth, without wavering, the shafts shot from the _Gandiva_!
Who is he? Is he Rudra himself, or some other god, or a Yaksha, or an
Asura? The gods sometimes do descend on the heights of the Himavat.
Except the god who wieldeth the _Pinaka_, there is none rise that can
bear the impetuosity of the thousands of arrows shot by me from the
_Gandiva_. Whether he is a god or a Yaksha, in fact, anybody except
Rudra, I shall soon send him, with my shafts, to the regions of Yama.'
Thus thinking, Arjuna, with a cheerful heart, began, O king, to shoot
arrows by hundreds, resembling in splendour the rays of the sun. That
downpour of shafts, however, the illustrious Creator of the worlds--the
wielder of the trident--bore with a glad heart, like a mountain bearing
a shower of rocks. Soon, however, the arrows of Phalguna were exhausted.
And noticing this fact, Arjuna became greatly alarmed. And the son of
Pandu then began to think of the illustrious god Agni who had before,
during the burning of the _Khandava_, given him a couple of
inexhaustible quivers. And he began to think, 'Alas, my arrows are all
exhausted. What shall I shoot now from my bow? Who is this person that
swalloweth my arrows? Slaying him with the end of my bow, as elephants
are killed with lances, I shall send him to the domains of the
mace-bearing Yama.' The illustrious Arjuna then, taking up his bow and
dragging the _Kirata_ with his bow-string, struck him some fierce blows
that descended like thunderbolts. When, however, that slayer of hostile
heroes--the son of Kunti--commenced the conflict with the end of the
bow, the mountaineer snatched from his hands that celestial bow. And
beholding his bow snatched from him, Arjuna took up his sword, and
wishing to end the conflict, rushed at his foe. And then the Kuru
prince, with the whole might of his arms, struck that sharp weapon upon
the head of the _Kirata_, a weapon that was incapable of being resisted
even by solid rocks. But that first of swords, at touch of the
_Kirata's_ crown, broke into pieces. Phalguna then commenced the
conflict with trees and stones. The illustrious god in the form of the
huge-bodied _Kirata_, however, bore that shower of trees and rocks with
patience. The mighty son of Pritha then, his mouth smoking with wrath,
struck the invincible god in the form of a Kirata, with his clenched
fists, blows that descended like thunderbolts. The god in the _Kirata_
form returned Phalguna's blows with fierce blows resembling the
thunderbolts of Indra. And in consequence of that conflict of blows
between the son of Pandu and the _Kirata_, there arose in that place
loud and frightful sounds. That terrible conflict of blows, resembling
the conflict of yore between Vritra and Vasava, lasted but for a moment.
The mighty Jishnu clasping the _Kirata_ began to press him with his
breast, but the _Kirata_, possessed of great strength pressed the
insensible son of Pandu with force. And in consequence of the pressure
of their arms and of their breasts, their bodies began to emit smoke
like charcoal in fire. The great god then, smiting the already smitten
son of Pandu, and attacking him in anger with his full might, deprived
him of his senses. Then, O Bharata, Phalguna, thus pressed by the god of
the gods, with limbs, besides, bruised and mangled, became incapable of
motion and was almost reduced to a ball of flesh. And struck by the
illustrious god, he became breathless and, falling down on earth without
power of moving, looked like one that was dead. Soon, however, he
regained consciousness, and, rising from his prostrate position, with
body covered with blood, became filled with grief. Mentally prostrating
himself before the gracious god of gods, and making a clay image of that
deity, he worshipped it, with offerings of floral garlands. Beholding,
however, the garland that he had offered to the clay image of Bhava,
decking the crown of the _Kirata_, that best of Pandu's sons became
filled with joy and regained his ease. And he prostrated himself
thereupon at the feet of Bhava, and the god also was pleased with him.
And Hara, beholding the wonder of Arjuna and seeing that his body had
been emaciated with ascetic austerities, spake unto him in a voice deep
as the roaring of the clouds, saying, 'O Phalguna, I have been pleased
with thee for thy act is without a parallel. There is no Kshatriya who
is equal to thee in courage, and patience. And, O sinless one, thy
strength and prowess are almost equal to mine. O mighty-armed one, I
have been pleased with thee. Behold me, O bull of the Bharata race! O
large-eyed one! I will grant thee eyes (to see me in my true form). Thou
wert a Rishi before. Thou wilt vanquish all thy foes, even the dwellers

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