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The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa Bk. 3 Pt. 2 by Translated by Kisari Mohan Ganguli

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that destiny which hath been ordained by the Creator, these tigers among
men, with hearts steeped in sin, will, O thou foremost of the Kurus,
depopulate the earth by hurling and shooting all kinds of weapons, with
great manliness and strength and always addressing one another
boastfully with words such as these, "_Thou shall not escape from me
today with life_." And these illustrious sons of Pandu also, five in
number, will fight with these. And, endued with mighty strength and
favoured by Fate, they will compass the destruction of these. And, O
king, many _Daityas_ and _Rakshasas_ also that have been born in the
Kshatriya order, will fight with great prowess in the battle with thy
foes, using maces and clubs and lances and various weapons of a superior
kind. And, O hero, with respect to the fear that is in thy heart rising
from Arjuna, we have already settled the means for slaying Arjuna. The
soul of the slain Naraka hath assumed the form of Karna. Recollecting
his former hostility he will encounter both Kesava and Arjuna. And that
mighty warrior and foremost of smiters, proud of his prowess will
vanquish Arjuna in battle as also all thy enemies. The wielder of the
thunder-bolt, knowing all this, and desirous of saving Arjuna, will in
disguise take away from Karna his ear-rings and coat of mail. We also
have for that reason appointed hundreds upon hundreds and thousands upon
thousands of _Daityas_ and _Rakshasas_, viz., those that are known by
the name of _Samsaptakas_.[43] These celebrated warriors will slay the
heroic Arjuna. Therefore, grieve not, O king. Thou wilt rule the whole
earth, O monarch, without a rival. Do not yield to despondency. Conduct
such as this does not suit thee. O thou of the Kuru race, if thou diest,
our party becometh weak. Go thou, O hero, and let not thy mind be
directed to any other course of action. Thou art ever our refuge as,
indeed, the Pandavas are the refuge of the gods.'"

[43] Lit, Soldiers that have sworn to conquer or die. A full
Akshauhini of these soldiers was owned by Krishna, who gave them
to Duryodhana to fight for him. The story of Krishna's offering
to Duryodhana the choice between these soldiers on the one side,
and himself sworn not to fight but only to aid with his counsels
on the other, is given in full in the Udyoga Parva. Duryodhana,
from folly, accepted the former, who were all slain by Arjuna.

Vaisampayana continued, "Having addressed him thus, those _Daityas_
embraced that elephant among kings, and those bulls among the _Danavas_
cheered that irrepressible one like a son. And, O Bharata, pacifying his
mind by soft speech, they permitted him to depart, saying, 'Go and
attain victory!' And when they had given leave to the mighty-armed one,
that very goddess carried him back to the spot where he had sat down,
intent upon putting an end to his life. And having set that hero down
and paid him homage, the goddess vanished, taking the king's permission.
O Bharata, when she had gone, king Duryodhana considered all (that had
happened) as a dream. He then thought within himself, 'I shall defeat
the Pandavas in battle.' And Suyodhana thought that Karna and the
Samsaptaka army were both able (to destroy) and intent upon destroying
that slayer of foes, Partha. Thus, O bull of the Bharata race, the hope
was strengthened of the wicked minded son of Dhritarashtra, of
conquering the Pandavas. And Karna also, his soul and faculties
possessed by the inmost soul of Naraka, had at that time cruelly
determined to slay Arjuna. And those heroes--the Samsaptakas
also--having their sense possessed by the _Rakshasas_, and influenced by
the qualities of emotion and darkness, were desirous of slaying
Phalguna. And, O king, others with Bhishma, Drona, and Kripa at their
head, having their faculties influenced by the Danavas, were not so
affectionate towards the sons of Pandu as they had been. But king
Suyodhana did not tell any one of this.

"When the night passed away, Karna, that offspring of the Sun, with
joined hands, smilingly addressed these wise words to king Duryodhana,
'No dead man conquereth his foes: it is when he is alive that he can see
his good. Where is the good of the dead person; and, O Kauravya, where
is his victory? Therefore, this is no time for grief, or fear or death.'
And having, with his arms embraced that mighty-armed one, he further
said, 'Rise up, O king! Why dost thou lie down? Why dost thou grieve, O
slayer of foes? Having afflicted thy enemies by thy prowess, why dost
thou wish for death? Or (perhaps) fear hath possessed thee at the sight
of Arjuna's prowess. I truly promise unto thee that I will slay Arjuna
in battle. O lord of men, I swear by my weapon that when the three and
ten years shall have passed away, I will bring the sons of Pritha under
thy subjection.' Thus addressed by Karna, and remembering the words of
the _Daityas_ and supplications made by them (his brothers), Suyodhana
rose up. And having heard those words of the _Daityas_ that tiger among
men, with a firm resolve in his heart arrayed his army, abounding in
horses and elephants and cars and infantry. And, O monarch, immensely
swarming with white umbrellas, and pennons, and white _Chamaras_, and
cars, and elephants, and foot-soldiers, that mighty army, as it moved
like the waters of the Ganga, looked graceful like the firmament, at a
season when the clouds have dispersed and the signs of autumn have been
but partially developed. And, O foremost of kings, eulogised like a
monarch by the best of the Brahmanas blessing with victory, that lord of
men Suyodhana, Dhritarashtra's son, receiving honours paid with
innumerable joined palms, and flaming in exceeding splendour, went in
the front, accompanied by Karna, and that gambler, the son of Suvala.
And all his brothers with Dussasana at their head, and Bhurisrava, and
Somadatta, and the mighty king Vahlika, followed that lion among kings
on his way, with cars of various forms, and horses, and the best of
elephants. And, O prime among monarchs, in a short time, those
perpetuators of the Kuru race entered their own city."


Janamejaya said, "When the high-souled sons of Pritha were living in the
forest, what did those foremost of men and mighty archers--the sons of
Dhritarashtra--do? And what did the offspring of the Sun, Karna, and the
mighty Sakuni, and Bhishma, and Drona, and Kripa do? It behoveth thee to
relate this unto me."

Vaisampayana said, "When, O mighty king, in this manner the Pandavas had
gone, leaving Suyodhana, and when, having been liberated by Pandu's
sons, he had come to Hastinapura, Bhishma said these words to the son of
Dhritarashtra, 'O child, I had told thee before, when thou wert intent
upon going to the hermitage that thy journey did not please me. But thou
didst do so. And as a consequence, O hero, wert thou forcibly taken
captive by the enemy, and wert delivered by the Pandavas versed in
morality. Yet art thou not ashamed. Even in the presence of thee, O son
of Gandhari, together with thy army, did the Suta's son, struck with
panic, fly from the battle of the Gandharvas, O king. And, O foremost of
kings, O son of the monarch! while thou with thy army wert crying
distressfully, thou didst witness the prowess of the high-souled
Pandavas, and also, O mighty-armed one, of the wicked son of the Suta,
Karna. O best of kings, whether in the science of arms, or heroism, or
morality, Karna, O thou devoted to virtue, is not a fourth part of the
Pandavas. Therefore, for the welfare of this race, the conclusion of
peace is, I think, desirable with the high-souled Pandavas.'

"Having been thus addressed by Bhishma, Dhritarashtra's son the king,
laughed a good deal, and then suddenly sailed out with the son of
Suvala. Thereupon, knowing that he was gone, those mighty bowmen with
Karna, and Dussasana at their head, followed the highly powerful son of
Dhritarashtra. And seeing them gone, Bhishma, the grandfather of the
Kurus, hung down his head from shame, and then, O king, went to his own
quarters. And, O mighty monarch, when Bhishma had left, that lord of
men, Dhritarashtra's son came there again, and began to consult with his
counsellors, 'What is it that is good for me? What remaineth to be done?
And how we can most effectively bring about the good we shall discuss
to-day.' Karna said, 'O Kuru's son, Duryodhana, do thou lay to heart the
words that I say. Bhishma always blameth us, and praiseth the Pandavas.
And from the ill-will he beareth towards thee, he hateth me also. And, O
lord of men, in thy presence he ever crieth me down. I shall never, O
Bharata, bear these words that Bhishma had said in thy presence in
relation to this matter, extolling the Pandavas, and censuring thee, O
represser of foes! Do thou, O king, enjoin on me, together with
servants, forces, and cars. I shall, O monarch, conquer the earth
furnished with mountains and woods and forests. The earth had been
conquered by the four powerful Pandavas. I shall, without doubt, conquer
it for thee single-handed. Let that wretch of the Kuru race, the
exceedingly wicked-minded Bhishma, see it,--he who vilifies those that
do not deserve censure, and praises those that should not be praised.
Let him this day witness my might, and blame himself. Do thou, O king,
command me. Victory shall surely be thine. By my weapon, O monarch, I
swear this before thee.'

"O king, O bull of the Bharata race, hearing those words of Karna, that
lord of men, experiencing the highest delight, spoke unto Karna, saying,
'I am blessed. I have been favoured by thee,--since thou, endued with
great strength, art ever intent on my welfare. My life hath borne fruit,
to-day. As thou, O hero, intendest to subdue all our enemies, repair
thou. May good betide thee! Do thou command me (what I am to do).' O
subduer of foes, having been thus addressed by Dhritarashtra's
intelligent son, Karna ordered all the necessaries for the excursion.
And on an auspicious lunar day, at an auspicious moment, and under the
influence of a star presided over by an auspicious deity, that mighty
bowman, having been honoured by twice-born ones, and been bathed with
auspicious and holy substances and also worshipped by speech set out,
filling with the rattle of his car the three worlds, with their mobile
and immobile objects."


Vaisampayana continued, "Then, O bull among the Bharatas, that mighty
bowman, Karna, surrounded by a large army, besieged the beautiful city
of Drupada. And he, after a hard conflict, brought the hero under
subjection, and, O best of monarchs, made Drupada contribute silver and
gold and gems, and also pay tribute. And, O foremost of kings, having
subdued him, (Karna) brought under subjection those princes that were
under him (Drupada) and made them pay tribute. Then going to the north,
he subdued the sovereigns (of that quarter) and having effected the
defeat of Bhagadatta, Radha's son ascended that mighty mountain Himavat,
all along fighting his foes. And ranging all sides, he conquered and
brought under subjection all the kings inhabiting the Himavat, and made
them pay dues. Then descending from the mountain and rushing to the
east, he reduced the Angas, and the Bangas, and the Kalingas, and the
Mandikas, and the Magadhas. the Karkakhandas; and also included with
them the Avasiras, Yodhyas, and the Ahikshatras. Having (thus) conquered
the eastern quarter Karna then presented himself before Batsa-bhumi. And
having taken Batsa-bhumi, he reduced Kevali, and Mrittikavati, and
Mohana and Patrana, and Tripura, and Kosala,--and compelled all these to
pay tribute. Then going to the south, Karna vanquished the mighty
charioteers (of that quarter) and in Dakshinatya, the Suta's son entered
into conflict with Rukmi. After having fought dreadfully, Rukmi spake to
the Suta's son saying, 'O foremost of monarchs, I have been pleased with
thy might and prowess. I shall not do thee wrong: I have only fulfilled
the vow of a Kshatriya. Gladly will I give thee as many gold coins as
thou desirest.' Having met with Rukmi, Karna repaired to Pandya and the
mountain, Sri. And by fighting, he made Karala, king Nila, Venudari's
son, and other best of kings living in the southern direction pay
tribute. Then going to Sisupala's son, the son of the Suta defeated him
and that highly powerful one also brought under his sway all the
neighbouring rulers. And, O bull of the Bharata race, having subjugated
the Avantis and concluded peace with them, and having met with the
Vrishnis, he conquered the west. And, having come to the quarter of
Varuna, he made all the Yavana and Varvara kings pay tribute. And,
having conquered the entire earth--east, west, north and south--that
hero without any aid brought under subjection all the nations of the
Mlechchhas, the mountaineers, the Bhadras, the Rohitakas, the Agneyas
and the Malavas. And, having conquered the mighty charioteers, headed by
the Nagnajitas, the Suta's son brought the _Sasakas_ and the _Yavanas_
under his sway. Having thus conquered and brought under his subjection
the world, the mighty charioteer and tiger among men came (back) to
Hastinapura. That lord of men, Dhritarashtra's son, accompanied by his
father and brothers and friends, came to that mighty bowman, who had
arrived, and duly paid homage unto Karna crowned with martial merit. And
the king proclaimed his feats, saying, 'What I have not received from
either Bhishma, or Drona, or Kripa, or Vahlika, I have received from
thee. May good betide thee! What need of speaking at length! Hear my
words, O Karna! In thee, O chief of men, I have my refuge. O
mighty-armed one, O tiger among men, without doubt all the Pandavas and
the other kings crowned with prosperity, come not to a sixteenth part of
thee. Do thou, O mighty bowman, O Karna, see Dhritarashtra, and the
illustrious Gandhari, as the bearer of the thunderbolt did Aditi.'

"Then, O king, there arose in the city of Hastinapura a clamour, and
sounds of _Oh!_ and _Alas!_ and, O lord of men, some of the kings
praised him (Karna), while others censured him, while others, again,
remained silent. Having thus, O foremost of monarchs, in a short time
conquered this earth furnished with mountains and forests and skies, and
with oceans, and fields, and filled with high and low tracts, and
cities, and replete also with islands, O lord of earth, and brought the
monarchs under subjection,--and having gained imperishable wealth, the
Suta's son appeared before the king. Then, O represser of foes, entering
into the interior of the palace that hero saw Dhritarashtra with
Gandhari, O tiger among men, that one conversant with morality took hold
of his feet even like a son. And Dhritarashtra embraced him
affectionately, and then dismissed him. Ever since that time, O monarch,
O Bharata, king Duryodhana and Sakuni, the son of Suvala, thought that
Pritha's sons had already been defeated in battle by Karna."


Vaisampayana continued, "O king, O lord of men, that slayer of hostile
heroes, the Suta's son, said these words to Duryodhana, 'O Kaurava
Duryodhana, do thou lay unto thy heart the words that I shall tell thee;
and, O represser of foes, after having heard my words, it behoveth thee
to act accordingly every way. Now, O best of monarchs, O hero, hath the
earth been rid of foes. Do thou rule her even like the mighty-minded
Sakra himself, having his foes destroyed.'"

Vaisampayana continued, "Having been thus addressed by Karna, the king
again spake unto him, saying, 'O bull among men, nothing whatever is
unattainable to him who hath thee for refuge, and to whom thou art
attached and on whose welfare thou art entirely intent. Now, I have a
purpose, which do thou truly listen to. Having beheld that foremost of
sacrifices, the mighty _Rajasuya_, performed by the Pandavas, a desire
hath sprung up in me (to celebrate the same). Do thou, O Suta's son,
fulfil this desire of mine.' Thus addressed, Karna spake thus unto the
king, 'Now that all the rulers of the earth have been brought under thy
subjection, do thou summon the principal Brahmanas, and, O best of
Kurus, duly procure the articles required for the sacrifice. And, O
represser of foes, let Ritwijas as prescribed, and versed in the Vedas,
celebrate thy rites according to the ordinance, O king. And, O bull of
the Bharata race, let thy great sacrifice also, abounding in meats and
drinks, and grand with parts, commence.'

"O king, having been thus addressed by Karna, Dhritarashtra's son
summoned the priest, and spake unto him these words, 'Do thou duly and
in proper order celebrate for me that best of sacrifices, the _Rajasuya_
furnished with excellent _Dakshinas_.' Thus accosted, that best of
Brahmanas spake unto the king, saying, 'O foremost of the Kauravas,
while Yudhishthira is living, that best of sacrifices cannot be
performed in thy family, O Prince of kings! Further, O monarch, thy
father Dhritarashtra, endued with long life, liveth. For this reason
also, O best of kings, this sacrifice cannot be undertaken by thee.
There is, O lord, another great sacrifice, resembling the Rajasuya. Do
thou, O foremost of kings, celebrate that sacrifice. Listen to these
words of mine. All these rulers of the earth, who have, O king, become
tributary to thee, will pay thee tribute in gold, both pure and impure.
Of that gold, do thou, O best of monarchs, now make the (sacrificial)
plough, and do thou, O Bharata, plough the sacrificial compound with it.
At that spot, let there commence, O foremost of kings, with due rites,
and without any disturbance the sacrifice, sanctified with _mantras_
abounding in edibles. The name of that sacrifice worthy of virtuous
persons, is Vaishnava. No person save the ancient Vishnu hath performed
it before. This mighty sacrifice vies with that best of sacrifices--the
_Rajasuya_ itself. And, further, it liketh us--and it is also for thy
welfare (to celebrate it). And, moreover, it is capable of being
celebrated without any disturbance. (By undertaking this), thy desire
will be fufilled.'

"Having been thus addressed by those Brahmanas, Dhritarashtra's son, the
king, spake these words to Karna, his brothers and the son of Suvala,
'Beyond doubt, the words of the Brahmanas are entirely liked by me. If
they are relished by you also, express it without delay.' Thus appealed,
they all said unto the king, 'So be it.' Then the king one by one
appointed persons to their respective tasks; and desired all the
artisans to construct the (sacrificial) plough. And, O best of kings,
all that had been commanded to be done, was gradually executed."


Vaisampayana continued, "Then all the artisans, the principal
counsellors, and the highly wise Vidura said unto Dhritarashtra's son,
'All the preparations for the excellent sacrifice have been made, O
king; and the time also hath come, O Bharata. And the exceedingly
precious golden plough hath been constructed.' Hearing this, O monarch,
that best of kings, Dhritarashtra's son commanded that prime among
sacrifices to be commenced. Then commenced that sacrifice sanctified by
_mantras_, and abounding in edibles, and the son of Gandhari was duly
initiated according to the ordinance. And Dhritarashtra, and the
illustrious Vidura, and Bhishma, and Drona, and Kripa, and Karna, and
the celebrated Gandhari experienced great delight. And, O foremost of
kings, Duryodhana despatched swift messengers to invite the princes and
the Brahmanas. And mounting fleet vehicles they went to the (respective)
directions assigned to them. Then to a certain messenger on the point of
setting out, Dussasana said, 'Go thou speedily to the woods of _Dwaita_;
and in that forest duly invite the Brahmanas and those wicked persons,
the Pandavas.' Thereupon, he repaired thither, and bowing down to all
the Pandavas, said, 'Having acquired immense wealth by his native
prowess, that best of kings and foremost of Kurus, Duryodhana, O
monarch, is celebrating a sacrifice. Thither are going from various
directions the kings and the Brahmanas. O king, I have been sent by the
high-souled Kaurava. That king and lord of men, Dhritarashtra's son,
invites you. It behoveth you, therefore, to witness the delightful
sacrifice of that monarch.'

"Hearing these words of the messenger, that tiger among kings, the royal
Yudhishthira, said, 'By good luck it is that that enhancer of the glory
of his ancestors, king Suyodhana is celebrating this best of sacrifices.
We should certainly repair thither; but we cannot do now; for till (the
completion of) the thirteenth year, we shall have to observe our vow.'
Hearing this speech of Yudhishthira the just, Bhima said these words,
'Then will king Yudhishthira the just go thither, when he will cast him
(Duryodhana) into the fire kindled by weapons. Do thou say unto
Suyodhana. "_When after the expiration of the thirteenth year, that lord
of men, the Pandava, will, in the sacrifice of battle, pour upon the
Dhritarashtras, the clarified butter of his ire, then will I come!_" But
the other Pandavas, O king, did not say anything unpleasant. The
messenger (on his return) related unto Dhritarashtra's son all as it had
fallen out. Then there came to the city of Dhritarashtra many foremost
of men, lords of various countries, and highly virtuous Brahmanas. And
duly received in order according to the ordinance, those lords of men
experienced great delight and were all well-pleased. And that foremost
among monarchs--Dhritarashtra--surrounded by all the Kauravas,
experienced the height of joy, and spake unto Vidura, saying, 'Do thou,
O Kshatta, speedily so act that all persons in the sacrificial compound
may be served with food, be refreshed and satisfied.' Thereupon, O
represser of foes, assenting to that order, the learned Vidura versed in
morality, cheerfully entertained all the orders in proper measure with
meat and beverages to eat and drink, and fragrant garland and various
kinds of attire. And having constructed pavilions (for their
accommodation), that hero and foremost of kings, duly entertained the
princes and the Brahmanas by thousands, and also bestowing upon them
wealth of various kinds, bade them farewell. And having dismissed all
the kings, he entered Hastinapura, surrounded by his brothers, and in
company with Karna and Suvala's son."


Vaisampayana said, "While, O great king, Duryodhana was entering (the
city), the panegyrists eulogized the prince of unfailing prowess. And
others also eulogized that mighty bowman and foremost of kings. And
sprinkling over him fried paddy and sandal paste the citizens said, 'By
good luck it is, O king, that thy sacrifice hath been completed without
obstruction.' And some, more reckless of speech, that were present
there, said unto that lord of the earth, 'Surely this thy sacrifice
cannot be compared with Yudhishthira's: nor doth this come up to a
sixteenth part of that (sacrifice).' Thus spake unto that king some that
were reckless of consequences. His friends, however, said, 'This
sacrifice of thine hath surpassed all others. Yayati and Nahusha, and
Mandhata and Bharata, having been sanctified by celebrating such a
sacrifice, have all gone to heaven.' Hearing such agreeable words from
his friends, that monarch, O bull of the Bharata's race, well-pleased,
entered the city and finally his own abode. Then, O king, worshipping
the feet of his father and mother and of others headed by Bhishma, Drona
and Kripa, and of the wise Vidura, and worshipped in turn by his younger
brothers, that delighter of brothers sat down upon an excellent seat,
surrounded by the latter. And the Suta's son, rising up, said, 'By good
luck it is, O foremost of the Bharata race, that this mighty sacrifice
of thine hath been brought to a close. When, however, the sons of Pritha
shall have been slain in battle and thou wilt have completed the
_Rajasuya_ sacrifice, once again, O lord of men, shall I honour thee
thus.' Then that mighty king, the illustrious son of Dhritarashtra,
replied unto him, 'Truly hath this been spoken by thee. When, O foremost
of men, the wicked-minded Pandavas have been slain, and when also the
grand _Rajasuya_ hath been celebrated by me, then thou shalt again, O
hero, honour me thus.' And having said this, O Bharata, the Kaurava
embraced Karna, and began, O mighty king, to think of the _Rajasuya_,
that foremost of sacrifices. And that best of kings also addressed the
Kurus around him, saying, 'When shall I, ye Kauravas, having slain all
the Pandavas, celebrate that costly and foremost of sacrifices, the
_Rajasuya_.' Then spake Karna unto him, saying, 'Hear me, O elephant
among kings! So long as I do not slay Arjuna, I shall not allow any one
to wash my feet, nor shall I taste meat. And I shall observe the _Asura_
vow[44] and whoever may solicit me (for any thing), I never shall say,
"_I have it not_."' When Karna had thus vowed to slay Phalguna in
battle, those mighty charioteers and bowmen, the sons of Dhritarashtra,
sent up a loud cheer; and Dhritarashtra's sons thought that the Pandavas
had already been conquered. Then that chief of kings, the graceful
Duryodhana, leaving those bulls among men, entered his apartment, like
the lord Kuvera entering the garden of Chitraratha. And all those mighty
bowmen also, O Bharata, went to their respective quarters.

[44] The vow of the Asuras was (according to the Burdwan
Pundits) never to drink wine. It is more rational to suppose
that Karna swears to give up the refined manners and practices
of the Arvas and adopt those of the Asuras till the consummation
of the cherished desire.

"Meanwhile those mighty bowmen, the Pandavas, excited by the words the
messenger had spoken, became anxious, and they did not (from that time)
experience the least happiness. Intelligence, further, O foremost of
kings, had been brought by spies regarding the vow of the Suta's son to
slay Vijaya. Hearing this, O lord of men, Dharma's son became
exceedingly anxious. And considering Karna of the impenetrable mail to
be of wonderful prowess, and remembering all their woes, he knew no
peace. And that high-souled one filled with anxiety, made up his mind to
abandon the woods about _Dwaitavana_ abounding with ferocious animals.

"Meanwhile the royal son of Dhritarashtra began to rule the earth, along
with his heroic brothers as also with Bhishma and Drona and Kripa. And
with the assistance of the Suta's son crowned with martial glory,
Duryodhana remained ever intent on the welfare of the rulers of the
earth, and he worshipped the foremost of Brahmanas by celebrating
sacrifices with profuse gifts. And that hero and subduer of foes, O
king, was engaged in doing good to his brothers, concluding for certain
in his mind that giving and enjoying are the only use of riches."


Janamejaya said, "After having delivered Duryodhana, what did the mighty
sons of Pandu do in that forest? It behoveth thee to tell me this."

Vaisampayana said, "Once on a time, as Yudhishthira lay down at night in
the _Dwaita_ woods, some deer, with accents choked in tears, presented
themselves before him in his dreams. To them standing with joined hands,
their bodies trembling all over that foremost of monarchs said, 'Tell me
what ye wish to say. Who are ye? And what do ye desire?' Thus accosted
by Kunti's son--the illustrious Pandava, those deer, the remnant of
those that had been slaughtered, replied unto him, saying, 'We are, O
Bharata, those deer that are still alive after them that had been
slaughtered. We shall be exterminated totally. Therefore, do thou change
thy residence. O mighty king, all thy brothers are heroes, conversant
with weapons; they have thinned the ranks of the rangers of the forest.
We few--the remnants,--O mighty-minded one, remain like seed. By thy
favour, O king of kings, let us increase.' Seeing these deer, which
remained like seed after the rest had been destroyed trembling and
afflicted with fear, Yudhishthira the just was greatly affected with
grief. And the king, intent on the welfare of all creatures, said unto
them, 'So be it. I shall act as ye have said.' Awaking after such a
vision, that excellent king, moved by pity towards the deer, thus spake
unto his brothers assembled there, 'Those deer that are alive after them
that have been slaughtered, accosted me at night, after I had awakened,
saying, "_We remain like the cues of our lines. Blest be thou! Do thou
have compassion on us_." And they have spoken truly. We ought to feel
pity for the dwellers of the forest. We have been feeding on them for a
year together and eight months. Let us, therefore, again (repair) to the
romantic Kamyakas, that best of forests abounding in wild animals,
situated at the head of the desert, near lake Trinavindu. And there let
us pleasantly pass the rest of our time.' Then, O king, the Pandavas
versed in morality, swiftly departed (thence), accompanied by the
Brahmanas and all those that lived with them, and followed by Indrasena
and other retainers. And proceeding along the roads walked (by
travellers), furnished with excellent corn and clear water, they at
length beheld the sacred asylum of Kamyaka endued with ascetic merit.
And as pious men enter the celestial regions, those foremost of the
Bharata race, the Kauravas, surrounded by those bulls among Brahmanas
entered that forest."


Vaisampayana continued, "Dwelling in the woods, O bull of the Bharata
race, the high-souled Pandavas spent one and ten years in a miserable
plight. And although deserving of happiness, those foremost of men,
brooding over their circumstances, passed their days miserably, living
on fruits and roots. And that royal sage, the mighty-armed Yudhishthira,
reflecting that the extremity of misery that had befallen his brothers,
was owing to his own fault, and remembering those sufferings that had
arisen from his act of gambling, could not sleep peacefully. And he felt
as if his heart had been pierced with a lance. And remembering the harsh
words of the Suta's son, the Pandava, repressing the venom of his wrath,
passed his time in humble guise, sighing heavily. And Arjuna and both
the twins and the illustrious Draupadi, and the mighty Bhima--he that
was strongest of all men--experienced the most poignant pain in casting
their eyes on Yudhishthira. And thinking that a short time only remained
(of their exile), those bulls among men, influenced by rage and hope and
by resorting to various exertions and endeavours, made their bodies
assume almost different shapes.

"After a little while, that mighty ascetic, Vyasa, the son of Satyavati,
came there to see the Pandavas. And seeing him approach, Kunti's son,
Yudhishthira, stepped forward, and duly received that high-souled one.
And having gratified Vyasa by bowing down unto him, Pandu's son of
subdued senses, after the _Rishi_ had been seated, sat down before him,
desirous of listening to him. And beholding his grandsons lean and
living in the forest on the produce of the wilderness, that mighty sage,
moved by compassion, said these words, in accents choked in tears, 'O
mighty-armed Yudhishthira, O thou best of virtuous persons, those men
that do not perform ascetic austerities never attain great happiness in
this world. People experience happiness and misery by turns; for surely,
O bull among men, no man ever enjoyeth unbroken happiness. A wise man
endued with high wisdom, knowing that life hath its ups and downs, is
neither filled with joy nor with grief. When happiness cometh, one
should enjoy it; when misery cometh, one should bear it, as a sower of
crops must bide his season. Nothing is superior to asceticism: by
asceticism one acquireth mighty fruit. Do thou know, O Bharata, that
there is nothing that asceticism cannot achieve. Truth, sincerity,
freedom from anger, justice, self-control, restraint of the faculties,
immunity from malice, guilelessness, sanctity, and mortification of the
senses, these, O mighty monarch, purify a person of meritorious acts.
Foolish persons addicted to vice and bestial ways, attain to brutish
births in after life and never enjoy happiness. The fruit of acts done
in this world is reaped in the next. Therefore should one restrain his
body by asceticism and the observance of vows. And, O king, free from
guile and with a cheerful spirit, one should, according to his power,
bestow gifts, after going down to the recipient and paying him homage. A
truth-telling person attaineth a life devoid of trouble. A person void
of anger attaineth sincerity, and one free from malice acquireth supreme
contentment. A person who hath subdued his senses and his inner
faculties, never knoweth tribulation; nor is a person of subdued senses
affected by sorrow at the height of other's prosperity. A man who giveth
everyone his due, and the bestower of boons, attain happiness, and come
by every object of enjoyment; while a man free from envy reapeth perfect
ease. He that honoureth those to whom honour is due, attaineth birth in
an illustrious line; and he that hath subdued his senses, never cometh
by misfortune. A man whose mind followeth good, after having paid his
debt to nature, is on this account, born again endued with a righteous

"Yudhishthira said, 'O eminently virtuous one, O mighty sage, of the
bestowal of gifts and the observance of asceticism, which is of greater
efficacy in the next world, and which, harder of practice?'

"Vyasa said, 'There is nothing, O child, in this world harder to
practise than charity. Men greatly thirst after wealth, and wealth also
is gotten with difficulty. Nay, renouncing even dear life itself, heroic
men, O magnanimous one, enter into the depths of the sea and the forest
for the sake of wealth. For wealth, some betake themselves to
agriculture and the tending of kine, and some enter into servitude.
Therefore, it is extremely difficult to part with wealth that is
obtained with such trouble. Since nothing is harder to practise than
charity, therefore, in my opinion, even the bestowal of boons is
superior to everything. Specially is this to be borne in mind that
well-earned gains should, in proper time and place, be given away to
pious men. But the bestowal of ill-gotten gains can never rescue the
giver from the evil of rebirth. It hath been declared, O Yudhishthira,
that by bestowing, in a pure spirit, even a slight gift in due time and
to a fit recipient, a man attaineth inexhaustible fruit in the next
world. In this connection is instanced the old story regarding the fruit
obtained by _Mudgala_, for having given away only a _drona_[45] of

[45] A very small measure.


"Yudhishthira said, 'Why did that high-souled one give away a drona of
corn? And, O eminently pious one, to whom and in what prescribed way did
he give it? Do thou tell me this. Surely, I consider the life of that
virtuous person as having borne fruit with whose practices the possessor
himself of the six attributes, witnessing everything, was well pleased.'

"Vyasa said, 'There lived, O king, in Kurukshetra a virtuous man (sage),
Mudgala by name. And he was truthful, and free from malice, and of
subdued senses. And he used to lead the _Sila_ and _Unchha_ modes of
life.[46] And although living like a pigeon, yet that one of mighty
austerities entertained his guests, celebrated the sacrifice called
_Istikrita_, and performed other rites. And that sage together with his
son and wife, ate for a fortnight, and during the other fortnight led
the life of a pigeon, collecting a _drona_ of corn. And celebrating the
_Darsa_ and _Paurnamasya_ sacrifices, that one devoid of guile, used to
pass his days by taking the food that remained after the deities and the
guests had eaten. And on auspicious lunar days, that lord of the three
worlds, Indra himself, accompanied by the celestials used, O mighty
monarch, to partake of the food offered at his sacrifice. And that one,
having adopted the life of a _Muni_, with a cheerful heart entertained
his guests also with food on such days. And as that high-souled one
distributed his food with alacrity, the remainder of the _drona_ of corn
increased as soon as a guest appeared. And by virtue of the pure spirit
in which the sage gave a way, that food of his increased so much that
hundreds upon hundreds of learned Brahmanas were fed with it.

[46] Picking up for support (1) ears of corn and (2) individual
grains, left on the field by husbandmen after they have gathered
and carried away the sheaves, are called the Sila and the Unchha
modes of life.

"'And, O king, it came to pass that having heard of the virtuous Mudgala
observant of vows, the _Muni_ Durvasa, having space alone for his
covering,[47] his accoutrements worn like that of maniac, and his head
bare of hair, came there, uttering, O Pandava various insulting words.
And having arrived there that best of _Munis_ said unto the Brahmana,
"Know thou, O foremost of Brahmanas, that I have come hither seeking for
food." Thereupon Mudgala said unto the sage, "Thou art welcome!" And
then offering to that maniac of an ascetic affected by hunger, water to
wash his feet and mouth, that one observant of the vow of feeding
guests, respectfully placed before him excellent fare. Affected by
hunger, the frantic _Rishi_ completely exhausted the food that had been
offered unto him. Thereupon, Mudgala furnished him again with food. Then
having eaten up all that food, he besmeared his body with the unclean
orts and went away as he had come. In this manner, during the next
season, he came again and ate up all the food supplied by that wise one
leading the _Unchha_ mode of life. Thereupon, without partaking any food
himself, the sage Mudgala again became engaged in collecting corn,
following the _Unchha_ mode. Hunger could not disturb his equanimity.
Nor could anger, nor guile, nor a sense of degradation, nor agitation,
enter into the heart of that best of Brahmanas leading the _Unchha_ mode
of life along with his son and his wife. In this way, Durvasa having
made up his mind, during successive seasons presented himself for six
several times before that best of sages living according to the _Unchha_
mode; yet that _Muni_ could not perceive any agitation in Mudgala's
heart; and he found the pure heart of the pure-souled ascetic always
pure. Thereupon, well-pleased, the sage addressed Mudgala, saying,
"There is not another guileless and charitable being like thee on earth.
The pangs of hunger drive away to a distance the sense of righteousness
and deprive people of all patience. The tongue, loving delicacies,
attracteth men towards them. Life is sustained by food. The mind,
moreover, is fickle, and it is hard to keep it in subjection. The
concentration of the mind and of the senses surely constitutes ascetic
austerities. It must be hard to renounce in a pure spirit a thing earned
by pains. Yet, O pious one, all this hath been duly achieved by thee. In
thy company we feel obliged and gratified. Self-restraint, fortitude,
justice, control of the senses and of faculties, mercy, and virtue, all
these are established in thee. Thou hast by the deeds conquered the
different worlds and have thereby obtained admission into paths of
beautitude. Ah! even the dwellers of heaven are proclaiming thy mighty
deeds of charity. O thou observant of vows, thou shalt go to heaven even
in thine own body."

[47] Naked.

"'Whilst the _Muni_ Durvasa was speaking thus, a celestial messenger
appeared before Mudgala, upon a car yoked with swans and cranes, hung
with a neat work of bells, scented with divine fragrance, painted
picturesquely, and possessed of the power of going everywhere at will.
And he addressed the Brahmana sage, saying, "O sage, do thou ascend into
this chariot earned by thy acts. Thou hast attained the fruit of thy

"'As the messenger of the gods was speaking thus, the sage told him, "O
divine messenger, I desire that thou mayst describe unto me the
attributes of those that reside there. What are their austerities, and
what their purposes? And, O messenger of the gods, what constitutes
happiness in heaven, and what are the disadvantages thereof? It is
declared by virtuous men of good lineage that friendship with pious
people is contracted by only walking with them seven paces. O lord, in
the name of that friendship I ask thee, Do thou without hesitation tell
me the truth, and that which is good for me now. Having heard thee, I
shall, according to thy words, ascertain the course I ought to


"'The messenger of the gods said, "O great sage, thou art of simple
understanding; since, having secured that celestial bliss which bringeth
great honour, thou art still deliberating like an unwise person. O
_Muni_, that region which is known as heaven, existeth there above us.
Those regions tower high, and are furnished with excellent paths, and
are, O sage, always ranged by celestial cars. Atheists, and untruthful
persons, those that have not practised ascetic austerities and those
that have not performed great sacrifices, cannot repair thither. Only
men of virtuous souls, and those of subdued spirits, and those that have
their faculties in subjection, and those that have controlled their
senses, and those that are free from malice, and persons intent on the
practice of charity; and heroes, and men bearing marks of battle, after
having, with subdued senses and faculties, performed the most
meritorious rites, attain those regions, O Brahmana, capable of being
obtained only by virtuous acts, and inhabited by pious men. There, O
Mudgala, are established separately myriads of beautiful, shining, and
resplendent worlds bestowing every object of desire, owned by those
celestial beings, the gods, the _Sadhyas_, and the _Vaiswas_, the great
sages, _Yamas_, and the _Dharmas_, and the _Gandharvas_ and the
_Apsaras_. And there is that monarch of mountains the golden Meru
extending over a space of thirty-three thousand _Yojanas_. And there, O
Mudgala, are the sacred gardens of the celestials, with Nandana at their
head, where sport the persons of meritorious acts. And neither hunger,
nor thirst, nor lassitude, nor fear, nor anything that is disgusting or
inauspicious is there. And all the odours of that place are delightful,
and all the breezes delicious to the touch. And all the sounds there are
captivating, O sage, to the ear and the heart. And neither grief, nor
decrepitude, nor labour, nor repentance also is there. That world, O
_Muni_, obtained as the fruit of one's own acts, is of this nature.
Persons repair thither by virtue of their meritorious deeds. And the
persons of those that dwell there look resplendent, and this, O Mudgala,
solely by virtue of their own acts, and not owing to the merits of
father or mothers. And there is neither sweat, nor stench, nor urine
there. And there, O _Muni_, dust doth not soils one's garments. And
their excellent garlands, redolent of divine fragrance, never fade. And,
O Brahmana, they yoke such cars as this (that I have brought). And, O
mighty sage, devoid of envy and grief and fatigue and ignorance and
malice, men who have attained heaven, dwell in those regions happily.
And, O bull among _Munis_, higher and higher over such regions there are
others endued with higher celestial virtues. Of these, the beautiful and
resplendent regions of Brahma are the foremost. Thither, O Brahmana,
repair _Rishis_ that have been sanctified by meritorious acts. And there
dwell certain beings named _Ribhus_. They are the gods of the gods
themselves. Their regions are supremely blessed, and are adored even by
the deities. These shine by their own light, and bestow every object of
desire. They suffer no pangs that women might cause, do not possess
worldly wealth, and are free from guile. The _Ribhus_ do not subsist on
oblations, nor yet on ambrosia. And they are endued with such celestial
forms that they cannot be perceived by the senses. And these eternal
gods of the celestials do not desire happiness for happiness' sake, nor
do they change at the revolution of a _Kalpa_. Where, indeed, is their
decrepitude or dissolution? For them there is neither ecstasy, nor joy,
nor happiness. They have neither happiness nor misery. Wherefore should
they have anger or aversion then, O _Muni_? O Mudgala, their supreme
state is coveted even by the gods. And that crowning emancipation, hard
to attain, can never be acquired by people subject to desire. The number
of those deities is thirty-three. To their regions repair wise men,
after having observed excellent vows, or bestowed gifts according to the
ordinance. Thou also hast easily acquired that success by thy charities.
Do thou, by effulgence displayed by virtue of thy ascetic austerities,
enjoy that condition obtained by thy meritorious acts. Such, O Brahmana,
is the bliss of heaven containing various worlds.

"'"Thus have I described unto thee the blessing of the celestial
regions. Do thou now hear from me some of the disadvantages thereof.
That in the celestial regions a person, while reaping the fruit of the
acts he hath already performed, cannot be engaged in any others, and
that he must enjoy the consequences of the former until they are
completely exhausted, and, further, that he is subject to fall after he
hath entirely exhausted his merit, form, in my opinion, the
disadvantages of heaven. The fall of a person whose mind hath been
steeped in happiness, must, O Mudgala, be pronounced as a fault. And the
discontent and regret that must follow one's stay at an inferior seat
after one hath enjoyed more auspicious and brighter regions, must be
hard to bear. And the consciousness of those about to fall is stupefied,
and also agitated by emotions. And as the garlands of those about to
fall fade away, fear invadeth their hearts. These mighty drawbacks, O
Mudgala, extend even to the regions of Brahma. In the celestial regions,
the virtues of men who have performed righteous acts, are countless.
And, O _Muni_, this is another of the attributes of the fallen that, by
reason of their merits, they take birth among men. And then they attain
to high fortune and happiness. If one, however, cannot acquire knowledge
here, one cometh by an inferior birth. The fruits of acts done in this
world are reaped in the next. This world, O Brahmana, hath been declared
to be one of acts; the others, as one of fruit. Thus have I, O Mudgala,
asked by thee, described all unto thee. Now, O pious one, with thy
favour, we shall easily set out with speed."'

"Vyasa continued, 'Having heard this speech, Mudgala began to reflect in
his mind. And having deliberated well, that best of _Munis_ spake thus
unto the celestial messenger, "O messenger of the gods, I bow unto thee.
Do thou, O sire, depart in peace. I have nothing to do with either
happiness, or heaven having such prominent defects. Persons who enjoy
heaven suffer, after all, huge misery and extreme regret in this world.
Therefore, I do not desire heaven. I shall seek for that unfailing
region repairing whither people have not to lament, or to be pained, or
agitated. Thou hast described unto me these great defects belonging to
the celestial regions. Do thou now describe unto me a region free from
faults." Thereupon the celestial messenger said, "Above the abode of
_Brahma_, there is the supreme seat of Vishnu, pure, and eternal, and
luminous known by the name of _Para Brahma_. Thither, O Brahmana, cannot
repair persons who are attached to the objects of the senses: nor can
those subject to arrogance, covetousness, ignorance, anger, and envy, go
to that place. It is only those that are free from affection, and those
free from pride, and those free from conflicting emotions, and those
that have restrained their senses, and those given to contemplation and
_Yoga_, that can repair thither." Having heard these words, the _Muni_
bade farewell to the celestial messenger, and that virtuous one leading
the _Unchha_ mode of life, assumed perfect contentment. And then praise
and dispraise became equal unto him; and a brickbat, stone, and gold
assumed the same aspect in his eyes. And availing himself of the means
of attaining _Brahma_, he became always engaged in meditation. And
having obtained power by means of knowledge, and acquired excellent
understanding, he attained that supreme state of emancipation which is
regarded as Eternal. Therefore, thou also, O Kunti's son, ought not to
grieve. Deprived thou hast truly been of a flourishing kingdom, but thou
wilt regain it by thy ascetic austerities. Misery after happiness, and
happiness after misery, revolve by turns round a man even like the point
of a wheel's circumference round the axle. After the thirteenth year
hath passed away, thou wilt, O thou of immeasurable might, get back the
kingdom possessed before thee by thy father and grand-father. Therefore,
let the fever of thy heart depart!'"

Vaisampayana continued "Having said this to Pandu's son, the worshipful
Vyasa went back to his hermitage for the purpose of performing


Janamejaya said, "While the high-souled Pandavas were living in those
woods, delighted with the pleasant conversation they held with the
_Munis_, and engaged in distributing the food they obtained from the
sun, with various kinds of venison to Brahmanas and others that came to
them for edibles till the hour of Krishna's meal, how, O great _Muni_,
did Duryodhana and the other wicked and sinful sons of Dhritarashtra,
guided by the counsels of Dussasana, Karna and Sakuni, deal with them? I
ask thee this. Do thou, worshipful Sir, enlighten me."

Vaisampayana said, "When, O great king, Duryodhana heard that the
Pandavas were living as happily in the woods as in a city, he longed,
with the artful Karna, Dussasana and others, to do them harm. And while
those evil-minded persons were employed in concerting various wicked
designs, the virtuous and celebrated ascetic Durvasa, following the bent
of his own will, arrived at the city of the Kurus with ten thousand
disciples. And seeing the irascible ascetic arrived, Duryodhana and his
brothers welcomed him with great humility, self-abasement and
gentleness. And himself attending on the _Rishi_ as a menial, the prince
gave him a right worshipful reception. And the illustrious _Muni_ stayed
there for a few days, while king Duryodhana, watchful of his
imprecations, attended on him diligently by day and night. And sometimes
the _Muni_ would say, 'I am hungry, O king, give me some food quickly.'
And sometimes he would go out for a bath and, returning at a late hour,
would say, 'I shall not eat anything today as I have no appetite,' and
so saying would disappear from his sight. And sometimes, coming all on a
sudden, he would say, 'Feed us quickly.' And at other times, bent on
some mischief, he would awake at midnight and having caused his meals to
be prepared as before, would carp at them and not partake of them at
all. And trying the prince in this way for a while, when the _Muni_
found that the king Duryodhana was neither angered, nor annoyed, he
became graciously inclined towards him. And then, O Bharata, the
intractable Durvasa said unto him, 'I have power to grant thee boons.
Thou mayst ask of me whatever lies nearest to thy heart. May good
fortune be thine. Pleased as I am with thee, thou mayst obtain from me
anything that is not opposed to religion and morals.'"

Vaisampayana continued, "Hearing these words of the great ascetic,
Suyodhana felt himself to be inspired with new life. Indeed, it had been
agreed upon between himself and Karna and Dussasana as to what the boon
should be that he would ask of the _Muni_ if the latter were pleased
with his reception. And the evil-minded king, bethinking himself of what
had previously been decided, joyfully solicited the following favour,
saying, 'The great king Yudhishthira is the eldest and the best of our
race. That pious man is now living in the forest with his brothers. Do
thou, therefore, once become the guest of that illustrious one even as,
O Brahmana, thou hast with thy disciples been mine for some time. If
thou art minded to do me a favour, do thou go unto him at a time when
that delicate and excellent lady, the celebrated princess of Panchala,
after having regaled with food the Brahmanas, her husbands and herself,
may lie down to rest.' The _Rishi_ replied, 'Even so shall I act for thy
satisfaction.' And having said this to Suyodhana, that great Brahmana,
Durvasa, went away in the very same state in which he had come. And
Suyodhana regarded himself to have attained all the objects of his
desire. And holding Karna by the hand he expressed great satisfaction.
And Karna, too, joyfully addressed the king in the company of his
brothers, saying, 'By a piece of singular good luck, thou hast fared
well and attained the objects of thy desire. And by good luck it is that
thy enemies have been immersed in a sea of dangers that is difficult to
cross. The sons of Pandu are now exposed to the fire of Durvasa's wrath.
Through their own fault they have fallen into an abyss of darkness.'"

Vaisampayana continued, "O king, expressing their satisfaction in this
strain, Duryodhana and others, bent on evil machinations, returned
merrily to their respective homes."


(_Draupadi-harana Parva_)

Vaisampayana said, "One day, having previously ascertained that the
Pandavas were all seated at their ease and that Krishna was reposing
herself after her meal, the sage Durvasa, surrounded by ten thousand
disciples repaired to that forest. The illustrious and upright king
Yudhishthira, seeing that guest arrived, advanced with his mothers to
receive him. And joining the palms of his hands and pointing to a proper
and excellent seat, he accorded the _Rishis_ a fit and respectful
welcome. And the king said unto him, 'Return quick, O adorable sir,
after performing thy diurnal ablutions and observances.' And that
sinless _Muni_, not knowing how the king would be able to provide a
feast for him and his disciples, proceeded with the latter to perform
his ablutions. And that host of the _Muni_, of subdued passions, went
into the stream for performing their ablutions. Meanwhile, O king, the
excellent princess Draupadi, devoted to her husbands, was in great
anxiety about the food (to be provided for the _Munis_). And when after
much anxious thought she came to the conclusion that means there were
none for providing a feast, she inwardly prayed to Krishna, the slayer
of Kansa. And the princess said, 'Krishna, O Krishna, of mighty arms, O
son of Devaki, whose power is inexhaustible, O Vasudeva, O lord of the
Universe, who dispellest the difficulties of those that bow down to
thee, thou art the soul, the creator and the destroyer of the Universe.
Thou, O lord, art inexhaustible and the saviour of the afflicted. Thou
art the preserver of the Universe and of all created beings. Thou art
the highest of the high, and the spring of the mental perceptions
_Akuli_ and _Chiti_![48] O Supreme and Infinite Being, O giver of all
good, be thou the refuge of the helpless. O Primordial Being, incapable
of being conceived by the soul or the mental faculties or otherwise,
thou art the ruler of all and the lord of Brahma. I seek thy protection.
O god, thou art ever kindly disposed towards those that take refuge in
thee. Do thou cherish me with thy kindness. O thou with a complexion
dark as the leaves of the blue lotus, and with eyes red as the corolla
of the lily, and attired in yellow robes with, besides, the bright
_Kaustubha_ gem in thy bosom, thou art the beginning and the end of
creation, and the great refuge of all. Thou art the supreme light and
essence of the Universe! Thy face is directed towards every point. They
call thee Supreme Germ and the depository of all treasures. Under thy
protections, O lord of the gods, all evils lose their terror. As thou
didst protect me before from Dussasana, do thou extricate me now from
this difficulty.'"

[48] Both these words are of doubtful meaning. It seems they are
employed in the Vedas to denote the faculties of knowledge and
the moral sense respectively.

Vaisampayana continued, "The great and sovereign God, and Lord of the
earth, of mysterious movements, the lord Kesava who is ever kind to the
dependents, thus adored by Krishna, and perceiving her difficulty,
instantly repaired to that place leaving the bed of Rukmini who was
sleeping by his side. Beholding Vasudeva, Draupadi bowed down to him in
great joy and informed him of the arrival of the _Munis_ and every other
thing. And having heard everything Krishna said unto her, 'I am very
much afflicted with hunger, do thou give me some food without delay, and
then thou mayst go about thy work.' At these words of Kesava, Krishna
became confused, and replied unto him, saying, 'The sun-given vessel
remains full till I finish my meal. But as I have already taken my meal
today, there is no food in it now.' Then that lotus-eyed and adorable
being said unto Krishna, 'This is no time for jest, O Krishna.--I am
much distressed with hunger, go thou quickly to fetch the vessel and
show it to me.' When Kesava, that ornament of the Yadu's race, had the
vessel brought unto him,--with such persistence, he looked into it and
saw a particle of rice and vegetable sticking at its rim. And swallowing
it he said unto her, 'May it please the god Hari, the soul of the
Universe, and may that god who partaketh at sacrifices, be satiated with
this.' Then the long-armed Krishna, that soother of miseries, said unto
Bhimasena, 'Do thou speedily invite the _Munis_ to dinner.' Then, O good
king, the celebrated Bhimasena quickly went to invite all those _Munis_,
Durvasa and others, who had gone to the nearest stream of transparent
and cool water to perform their ablutions. Meanwhile, these ascetics,
having plunged into the river, were rubbing their bodies and observing
that they all felt their stomachs to be full. And coming out of the
stream, they began to stare at one another. And turning towards Durvasa,
all those ascetics observed, 'Having bade the king make our meals ready,
we have come hither for a bath. But how, O regenerate _Rishi_, can we
eat anything now, for our stomachs seem to be full to the throat. The
repast hath been uselessly prepared for us. What is the best thing to be
done now?' Durvasa replied, 'By spoiling the repast, we have done a
great wrong to that royal sage, king Yudhishthira. Would not the
Pandavas destroy us by looking down upon us with angry eyes? I know the
royal sage Yudhishthira to be possessed of great ascetic power. Ye
Brahmanas, I am afraid of men that are devoted to Hari. The high-souled
Pandavas are all religious men, learned, war-like, diligent in ascetic
austerities and religious observances, devoted to Vasudeva, and always
observant of rules of good conduct. If provoked, they can consume us
with their wrath as fire doth a bale of cotton. Therefore, ye disciples,
do ye all run away quickly without seeing them (again)!'"

Vaisampayana continued, "All those Brahmanas, thus advised by their
ascetic preceptor, became greatly afraid of the Pandavas and fled away
in all directions. Then Bhimasena not beholding those excellent _Munis_
in the celestial river, made a search after them here and there at all
the landing places. And learning from the ascetics of those places that
they had run away, he came back and informed Yudhishthira of what had
happened. Then all the Pandavas of subdued senses, expecting them to
come, remained awaiting their arrival for some time. And Yudhishthira
said, 'Coming dead of night the _Rishis_ will deceive us. Oh how, can we
escape from this difficulty created by the facts?' Seeing them absorbed
in such reflections and breathing long deep sighs at frequent intervals,
the illustrious Krishna suddenly appeared to them and addressed them
these words: 'Knowing, ye sons of Pritha, your danger from that wrathful
_Rishi_, I was implored by Draupadi to come, and (therefore) have I come
here speedily. But now ye have not the least fear from the _Rishi_
Durvasa. Afraid of your ascetic powers, he hath made himself scarce ere
this. Virtuous men never suffer. I now ask your permission to let me
return home. May you always be prosperous!'"

Vaisampayana continued, "Hearing Kesava's words, the sons of Pritha,
with Draupadi, became easy in mind. And cured of their fever (of
anxiety), they said unto him, 'As persons drowning in the wide ocean
safely reach the shore by means of a boat, so have we, by thy aid, O
lord Govinda, escaped from this inextricable difficulty. Do thou now
depart in peace, and may prosperity be thine.' Thus dismissed, he
repaired to his capital and the Pandavas too, O blessed lord, wandering
from forest to forest passed their days merrily with Draupadi. Thus, O
king, have I related to thee the story which thou askedest me to repeat.
And it was thus that the machinations of the wicked sons of
Dhritarashtra about the Pandavas in the forest, were frustrated."


Vaisampayana said, "These great warriors of the race of Bharata
sojourned like immortals in the great forest of Kamyaka, employed in
hunting and pleased with the sight of numerous wild tracts of country
and wide reaches of woodland, gorgeous with flowers blossoming in
season. And the sons of Pandu, each like unto Indra and the terror of
his enemies, dwelt there for some time. And one day those valiant men,
the conquerors of their foes, went about in all directions in search of
game for feeding the Brahmanas in their company, leaving Draupadi alone
at the hermitage, with the permission of the great ascetic Trinavindu,
resplendent with ascetic grandeur, and of their spiritual guide Dhaumya.
Meanwhile, the famous king of Sindhu, the son of Vriddhakshatra was,
with a view to matrimony, proceeding to the kingdom of Salwa, dressed in
his best royal apparel and accompanied by numerous princes. And the
prince halted in the woods of Kamyaka. And in that secluded place, he
found the beautiful Draupadi, the beloved and celebrated wife of the
Pandavas, standing at the threshold of the hermitage. And she looked
grand in the superb beauty of her form, and seemed to shed a lustre on
the woodland around, like lightning illuminating masses of dark clouds.
And they who saw her asked themselves, 'Is this an Apsara, or a daughter
of the gods, or a celestial phantom?' And with this thought, their hands
also joined together, they stood gazing on the perfect and faultless
beauty of her form. And Jayadratha, the king of Sindhu, and the son of
Vriddhakshatra, struck with amazement at the sight of that lady of
faultless beauty, was seized with an evil intention. And inflamed with
desire, he said to the prince named Kotika, 'Whose is this lady of
faultless form? Is she of the human kind? I have no need to marry if I
can secure this exquisitely beautiful creature. Taking her with me, I
shall go back to my abode, Oh sir, and enquire who she is and whence she
has come and why also that delicate being hath come into this forest
beset with thorns. Will this ornament of womankind, this slender-waisted
lady of so much beauty, endued with handsome teeth and large eyes,
accept me as her lord? I shall certainly regard myself successful, if I
obtain the hand of this excellent lady. Go, Kotika, and enquire who her
husband may be.' Thus asked, Kotika, wearing a kundala, jumped out of
his chariot and came near her, as a jackal approacheth a tigress, and
spake unto her these words."


"Kotika said, 'Excellent lady, who art thou that standest alone, leaning
on a branch of the _Kadamva_ tree at this hermitage and looking grand
like a flame of fire blazing at night time, and fanned by the wind?
Exquisitely beautiful as thou art, how is it that thou feelest not any
fear in these forests? Methinks thou art a goddess, or a _Yakshi_, or a
_Danavi_, or an excellent _Apsara_, or the wife of a _Daitya_, or a
daughter of the _Naga_ king, or a _Rakshasi_ or the wife of Varuna, or
of Yama, or of Soma, or of Kuvera, who, having assumed a human form,
wanderest in these forests. Or, hast thou come from the mansions of
Dhatri, or of Vidhatri, or of Savitri, or of Vibhu, or of Sakra? Thou
dost not ask us who we are, nor do we know who protects thee here!
Respectfully do we ask thee, good lady, who is thy powerful father, and,
O, do tell us truly the names of thy husband, thy relatives, and thy
race, and tell us also what thou dost here. As for us, I am king
Suratha's son whom people know by the name of Kotika, and that man with
eyes large as the petals of the lotus, sitting on a chariot of gold,
like the sacrificial fire on the altar, is the warrior known by the name
of Kshemankara, king of Trigarta. And behind him is the famous son of
the king of Pulinda, who is even now gazing on thee. Armed with a mighty
bow and endued with large eyes, and decorated with floral wreaths, he
always liveth on the breasts of mountains. The dark and handsome young
man, the scourge of his enemies, standing at the edge of that tank, is
the son of Suvala of the race of Ikshwaku. And if, O excellent lady,
thou hast ever heard the name of Jayadratha, the king of Sauviras, even
he is there at the head of six thousand chariots, with horses and
elephants and infantry, and followed by twelve Sauvira princes as his
standard-bearers, named Angaraka, Kunjara, Guptaka, Satrunjaya,
Srinjaya, Suprabiddha, Prabhankara, Bhramara, Ravi, Sura, Pratapa and
Kuhana, all mounted on chariots drawn by chestnut horses and every one
of them looking like the fire on the sacrificial altar. The brothers
also of the king, viz., the powerful Valahaka, Anika, Vidarana and
others, are among his followers. These strong-limbed and noble youths
are the flowers of the Sauvira chivalry. The king is journeying in the
company of these his friends, like Indra surrounded by the Maruts. O
fine-haired lady, do tell us that are unacquainted (with these matters),
whose wife and whose daughter thou art.'"


Vaisampayana continued, "The princess Draupadi, thus questioned by that
ornament of Sivi's race, moved her eyes gently, and letting go her hold
of the Kadamva branch and arranging her silken apparel she said, 'I am
aware, O prince, that it is not proper for a person like me to address
you thus, but as there is not another man or woman here to speak with
thee and as I am alone here just now, let me, therefore, speak. Know,
worthy sir, that being alone in this forest here, I should not speak
unto thee, remembering the usages of my sex. I have learned, O Saivya,
that thou art Suratha's son, whom people know by the name of Kotika.
Therefore, on my part, I shall now tell thee of my relations and
renowned race. I am the daughter of king Drupada, and people know me by
the name of Krishna, and I have accepted as my husbands, five persons of
whom you may have heard while they were living at Khandavaprastha. Those
noble persons, viz., Yudhishthira, Bhimasena, Arjuna, and the two sons
of Madri, leaving me here and having assigned unto themselves the four
points of the horizon, have gone out on a hunting excursion. The king
hath gone to the east, Bhimasena towards the south, Arjuna to the west,
and the twin brothers towards the north! Therefore, do ye now alight and
dismiss your carriages so that ye may depart after receiving a due
welcome from them. The high-souled son of Dharma is fond of guests and
will surely be delighted to see you!' Having addressed Saivya's son in
this way, the daughter of Drupada, with face beautiful as the moon,
remembering well her husband's character for hospitality, entered her
spacious cottage."


Vaisampayana said, "O Bharata, Kotikakhya related to those princes who
had been waiting, all that had passed between him and Krishna. And
hearing Kotikakhya's words, Jayadratha said to that scion of the race of
Sivi, 'Having listened only to her speech, my heart has been lovingly
inclined towards that ornament of womankind. Why therefore, hast thou
returned (thus unsuccessful)? I tell thee truly, O thou of mighty arms,
that having once seen this lady, other women now seem to me like so many
monkeys. I having looked at her, she has captivated my heart. Do tell
me, O Saivya, if that excellent lady is of the human kind.' Kotika
replied, 'This lady is the famous princess Krishna, the daughter of
Drupada, and the celebrated wife of the five sons of Pandu. She is the
much esteemed and beloved and chaste wife of the sons of Pritha. Taking
her with thee, do thou proceed towards Sauvira!'"

Vaisampayana continued, "Thus addressed, the evil-minded Jayadratha, the
king of Sindhu, Sauvira and other countries, said, 'I must see
Draupadi.' And with six other men he entered that solitary hermitage,
like a wolf entering the den of a lion. And he said unto Krishna, 'Hail
to thee, excellent lady! Are thy husbands well and those, besides, whose
prosperity thou always wishest.' Draupadi replied, 'Kunti's son king
Yudhishthira of the race of Kuru, his brothers, myself, and all those of
whom thou hast enquired of, are well. Is everything right with thy
kingdom, thy government, exchequer, and thy army? Art thou, as sole
ruler, governing with justice the rich countries of Saivya, Sivi, Sindhu
and others that thou hast brought under thy sway? Do thou, O prince,
accept this water for washing thy feet. Do thou also take this seat. I
offer thee fifty animals for thy train's breakfast. Besides these,
Yudhishthira himself, the son of Kunti, will give thee porcine deer and
_Nanku_ deer, and does, and antelopes, and _Sarabhas_, and rabbits, and
_Ruru_ deer, and bears, and _Samvara_ deer and gayals and many other
animals, besides wild boars and buffaloes and other animals of the
quadruped tribe.' Hearing this Jayadratha replied, saying, 'All is well
with me. By offering to provide our breakfast, thou hast in a manner
actually done it. Come now and ride my chariot and be completely happy.
For it becomes not thee to have any regard for the miserable sons of
Pritha who are living in the woods, whose energies have been paralysed,
whose kingdom hath been snatched and whose fortunes are at the lowest
ebb. A woman of sense like thee doth not attach herself to a husband
that is poor. She should follow her lord when he is in prosperity but
abandon him when in adversity. The sons of Pandu have for ever fallen
away from their high state, and have lost their kingdom for all time to
come. Thou hast no need, therefore, to partake of their misery from any
regard for them. Therefore, O thou of beautiful hips, forsaking the sons
of Pandu, be happy by becoming my wife, and share thou with me the
kingdoms of Sindhu and Sauvira.'"

Vaisampayana continued, "Hearing these frightful words of the king of
Sindhu, Krishna retired from that place, her face furrowed into a frown
owing to the contraction of her eye-brows. But disregarding his words
from supreme contempt, the slender-waisted Krishna reproving said unto
the king of Sindhu, 'Speak not thus again! Art thou not ashamed? Be on
thy guard!' And that lady of irreproachable character anxiously
expecting the return of her husband, began, with long speeches, to
beguile him completely."


Vaisampayana said, "The daughter of Drupada, though naturally handsome,
was suffused with crimson arising from a fit of anger. And with eyes
inflamed and eye-brows bent in wrath, she reproved the ruler of the
Suviras, saying, 'Art thou not ashamed, O fool, to use such insulting
words in respect of those celebrated and terrible warriors, each like
unto Indra himself, and who are all devoted to their duties and who
never waver in fight with even hosts of _Yakshas_ and _Rakshasas_? O
Sauvira, good men never speak ill of learned persons devoted to
austerities and endued with learning, no matter whether they live in the
wilderness or in houses. It is only wretches that are mean as thou who
do so. Methinks there is none in this assemblage of Kshatriya, who is
capable of holding thee by the hand to save thee from falling into the
pit thou openest under thy feet. In hoping to vanquish king Yudhishthira
the just, thou really hopest to separate, stick in hand, from a herd
roaming in Himalayan valleys, its leader, huge as a mountain peak and
with the temporal juice trickling down its rent temples. Out of childish
folly thou art kicking up into wakefulness the powerful lion lying
asleep, in order to pluck the hair from off his face! Thou shalt,
however, have to run away when thou seest Bhimasena in wrath! Thy
courting a combat with the furious Jishnu may be likened to thy kicking
up a mighty, terrible, full-grown and furious lion asleep in a mountain
cave. The encounter thou speakest of with those two excellent
youths--the younger Pandavas--is like unto the act of a fool that
wantonly trampleth on the tails of two venomous black cobras with
bifurcated tongues. The bamboo, the reed, and the plantain bear fruit
only to perish and not to grow in size any further. Like also the crab
that conceiveth for her own destruction, thou wilt lay hands upon me who
am protected by these mighty heroes!'

"Jayadratha replied, 'I know all this, O Krishna, and I am well aware of
the prowess of those princes. But thou canst not frighten us now with
these threats. We, too, O Krishna, belong by birth to the seventeen high
clans, and are endowed with the six royal qualities.[49] We, therefore,
look down upon the Pandavas as inferior men! Therefore, do thou, O
daughter of Drupada, ride this elephant or this chariot quickly, for
thou canst not baffle us with thy words alone; or, speaking less
boastfully, seek thou the mercy of the king of the Sauviras!'

[49] The six acts of a king are peace, war, marching, halting,
sowing dissention, and seeking protection.

"Draupadi replied, 'Though I am so powerful, why doth the king of
Sauvira yet consider me so powerless. Well-known as I am, I cannot, from
fear of violence, demean myself before that prince. Even Indra himself
cannot abduct her for whose protection Krishna and Arjuna would together
follow, riding in the same chariot. What shall I say, therefore, of a
weak human being. When Kiriti, that slayer of foes, riding on his car,
will, on my account, enter thy ranks, striking terror into every heart,
he will consume everything around like fire consuming a stack of dry
grass in summer. The warring princes of the Andhaka and the Vrishni
races, with Janardana at their head, and the mighty bowmen of the
Kaikeya tribe, will all follow in my wake with great ardour. The
terrible arrows of Dhananjaya, shot from the string of the _Gandiva_ and
propelled by his arms fly with great force through the air, roaring like
the very clouds. And when thou wilt behold Arjuna shooting from the
_Gandiva_ a thick mass of mighty arrows like unto a flight of locusts,
then wilt thou repent of thine own folly! Bethink thyself of what thou
wilt feel when that warrior armed with the _Gandiva_, blowing his
conch-shell and with gloves reverberating with the strokes of his
bowstring will again and again pierce thy breast with his shafts. And
when Bhima will advance towards thee, mace in hand and the two sons of
Madri range in all directions, vomiting forth the venom of their wrath,
thou wilt then experience pangs of keen regret that will last for ever.
As I have never been false to my worthy lords even in thought, so by
that merit shall I now have the pleasure of beholding thee vanquished
and dragged by the sons of Pritha. Thou canst not, cruel as thou art,
frighten me by seizing me with violence, for as soon as those Kuru
warriors will espy me they will bring me back to the woods of Kamyaka.'"

Vaisampayana continued, "Then that lady of large eyes, beholding them
ready to lay violent hands on her, rebuked them and said, 'Defile me not
by your touch!' And in a great alarm she then called upon her spiritual
adviser, Dhaumya. Jayadratha, however, seized her by her upper garment,
but she pushed him with great vigour. And pushed by the lady, that
sinful wretch fell upon the ground like a tree severed from its roots.
Seized, however, once more by him with great violence, she began to pant
for breath. And dragged by the wretch, Krishna at last ascended his
chariot having worshipped Dhaumya's feet. And Dhaumya then addressed
Jayadratha and said, 'Do thou, O Jayadratha, observe the ancient custom
of the Kshatriyas. Thou canst not carry her off without having
vanquished those great warriors. Without doubt, thou shalt reap the
painful fruits of this thy despicable act, when thou encounterest the
heroic sons of Pandu with Yudhishthira the just at their head!'"

Vaisampayana continued, "Having said these words Dhaumya, entering into
the midst of Jayadratha's infantry, began to follow that renowned
princess who was thus being carried away by the ravisher."


Vaisampayana said, "Meanwhile those foremost of bowmen on the face of
the earth, having wandered separately and ranged in all directions, and
having slain plenty of deer and buffaloes, at length met together. And
observing that great forest, which was crowded with hosts of deer and
wild beasts, resounding with the shrill cries of birds, and hearing the
shrieks and yells of the denizens of the wilderness. Yudhishthira said
unto his brothers. 'These birds and wild beasts, flying towards that
direction which is illuminated by the sun, are uttering dissonant cries
and displaying an intense excitement. All this only shows that this
mighty forest hath been invaded by hostile intruders. Without a moment's
delay let us give up the chase. We have no more need of game. My heart
aches and seems to burn! The soul in my body, over-powering the
intellect, seems ready to fly out. As a lake rid by Garuda of the mighty
snake that dwells in it, as a pot drained of its contents by thirsty
men, as a kingdom reft of king and prosperity, even so doth the forest
of Kamyaka seem to me.' Thus addressed, those heroic warriors drove
towards their abode, on great cars of handsome make and drawn by steeds
of the _Saindharva_ breed exceedingly fleet and possessed of the speed
of the hurricane. And on their way back, they beheld a jackal yelling
hideously on the wayside towards their left. And king Yudhishthira,
regarding it attentively, said unto Bhima and Dhananjaya, 'This jackal
that belongs to a very inferior species of animals, speaking to our
left, speaketh a language which plainly indicates that the sinful Kurus,
disregarding us, have commenced to oppress us by resorting to violence.'
After the sons of Pandu had given up the chase and said these words,
they entered the grove which contained their hermitage. And there they
found their beloved one's maid, the girl Dhatreyika, sobbing and
weeping. And Indrasena then quickly alighting from the chariot and
advancing with hasty steps towards her, questioned her, O king, in great
distress of mind, saying, 'What makes thee weep thus, lying on the
ground, and why is thy face so woe-begone and colourless? I hope no
cruel wretches have done any harm to the princess Draupadi possessed of
incomparable beauty and large eyes and who is the second self of every
one of those bulls of the Kuru race? So anxious hath been Dharma's son
that if the princess hath entered the bowels of the earth or hath soared
to heaven or dived into the bottom of the ocean, he and his brothers
will go thither in pursuit of her. Who could that fool be that would
carry away that priceless jewel belonging to the mighty and
ever-victorious sons of Pandu, those grinders of foes, and which is dear
unto them as their own lives? I don't know who the person could be that
would think of carrying away that princess who hath such powerful
protectors and who is even like a walking embodiment of the hearts of
the sons of Pandu? Piercing whose breasts will terrible shafts stick to
the ground to-day? Do not weep for her, O timid girl, for know thou that
Krishna will come back this very day, and the sons of Pritha, having
slain their foes, will again be united with Yagnaseni!' Thus addressed
by him, Dhatreyika, wiping her beautiful face, replied unto Indrasena
the charioteer, saying, 'Disregarding the five Indra-like sons of Pandu,
Jayadratha hath carried away Krishna by force. The track pursued by him
hath not yet disappeared, for the broken branches of trees have not yet
faded. Therefore, turn your cars and follow her quickly, for the
princess cannot have gone far by this time! Ye warriors possessed of the
prowess of Indra, putting on your costly bows of handsome make, and
taking up your costly bows and quivers, speed ye in pursuit of her, lest
overpowered by threats or violence and losing her sense and the colour
of her cheeks, she yields herself up to an undeserving wight, even as
one poureth forth, from the sacrificial ladle, the sanctified oblation
on a heap of ashes. O, see that the clarified butter is not poured into
an unigniting fire of paddy chaff; that a garland of flowers is not
thrown away in a cemetery. O, take care that the _Soma_ juice of a
sacrifice is not licked up by a dog through the carelessness of the
officiating priests! O, let not the lily be rudely torn by a jackal
roaming for its prey in the impenetrable forest. O, let no inferior
wight touch with his lips the bright and beautiful face of your wife,
fair as the beams of the moon and adorned with the finest nose and the
handsomest eyes, like a dog licking clarified butter kept in the
sacrificial pot! Do ye speed in this track and let not time steal a
march on you.'

"Yudhishthira said, 'Retire, good woman, and control thy tongue. Speak
not this way before us. Kings or princes, whoever are infatuated with
the possession of power, are sure to come to grief!'"

Vaisampayana continued, "With these words, they departed, following the
track pointed out to them, and frequently breathing deep sighs like the
hissing of snakes, and twanging the strings of their large bows. And
then they observed a cloud of dust raised by the hoofs of the steeds
belonging to Jayadratha's army. And they also saw Dhaumya in the midst
of the ravisher's infantry, exhorting Bhima to quicken his steps. Then
those princes (the sons of Pandu) with hearts undepressed, bade him be
of good cheer and said unto him, 'Do thou return cheerfully!'--And then
they rushed towards that host with great fury, like hawks swooping down
on their prey. And possessed of the prowess of Indra, they had been
filled with fury at the insult offered to Draupadi. But at sight of
Jayadratha and of their beloved wife seated on his car, their fury knew
no bounds. And those mighty bowmen, Bhima and Dhananjaya and the twin
brothers and the king, called out Jayadratha to stop, upon which the
enemy was so bewildered as to lose their knowledge of directions."


Vaisampayana said, "The hostile Kshatriyas, incensed at sight of
Bhimasena and Arjuna, sent up a loud shout in the forest. And the wicked
king Jayadratha, when he saw the standards of those bulls of the Kuru
race, lost his heart, and addressing the resplendent Yagnaseni seated on
his car, said, 'Those five great warriors, O Krishna, that are coming,
are I believe, thy husbands. As thou knowest the sons of Pandu well, do
thou, O lady of beautiful tresses, describe them one by one to us,
pointing out which of them rideth which car!' Thus addressed, Draupadi
replied, 'Having done this violent deed calculated to shorten thy life,
what will it avail thee now, O fool, to know the names of those great
warriors, for, now that my heroic husbands are come, not one of ye will
be left alive in battle. However as thou art on the point of death and
hast asked me, I will tell thee everything, this being consistent with
the ordinance. Beholding king Yudhishthira the just with his younger
brothers, I have not the slightest anxiety or fear from thee! That
warrior at the top of whose flagstaff two handsome and sonorous tabours
called _Nanda_ and _Upananda_ are constantly played upon,--he, O Sauvira
chief, hath a correct knowledge of the morality of his own acts. Men
that have attained success always walk in his train. With a complexion
like that of pure gold, possessed of a prominent nose and large eyes,
and endued with a slender make, that husband of mine is known among
people by the name of Yudhishthira, the son of Dharma and the foremost
of the Kuru race. That virtuous prince of men granteth life to even a
foe that yields. Therefore, O fool, throwing down thy arms and joining
thy hands, run to him for thy good, to seek his protection. And that
other man whom thou seest with long arms and tall as the full-grown
_Sala_ tree, seated on his chariot, biting his lips, and contracting his
forehead so as to bring the two eye-brows together, is he,--my husband
Vrikodara! Steeds of the noblest breed, plump and strong, well-trained
and endued with great might, draw the cars of that warrior! His
achievements are superhuman. He is known, therefore, by the name of
_Bhima_ on earth. They that offend him are never suffered to live. He
never forgetteth a foe. On some pretext or other he wrecketh his
vengeance. Nor is he pacified even after he has wrecked a signal
vengeance. And there, that foremost of bowmen, endued with intelligence
and renown, with senses under complete control and reverence for the
old--that brother and disciple of Yudhishthira--is my husband
Dhananjaya! Virtue he never forsaketh, from lust or fear or anger! Nor
doth he ever commit a deed that is cruel. Endued with the energy of fire
and capable of withstanding every foe, that grinder of enemies is the
son of Kunti. And that other youth, versed in every question of morality
and profit, who ever dispelleth the fears of the affrighted, who is
endued with high wisdom, who is considered as the handsomest person in
the whole world and who is protected by all the sons of Pandu, being
regarded by them as dearer to them than their own lives for his
unflinching devotion to them, is my husband Nakula possessed of great
prowess. Endued with high wisdom and having Sahadeva for his second,
possessed of exceeding lightness of hand, he fighteth with the sword,
making dexterous passes therewith. Thou, foolish man, shall witness
today his performances on the field of battle, like unto those of Indra
amid the ranks of Daityas! And that hero skilled in weapons and
possessed of intelligence and wisdom, and intent on doing what is
agreeable to the son of Dharma, that favourite and youngest born of the
Pandavas, is my husband Sahadeva! Heroic, intelligent, wise and ever
wrathful there is not another man equal unto him in intelligence or in
eloquence amid assemblies of the wise. Dearer to Kunti than her own
soul, he is always mindful of the duties of Kshatriyas, and would much
sooner rush into fire or sacrifice his own life than say anything that
is opposed to religion and morals. When the sons of Pandu will have
killed thy warriors in battle, then wilt thou behold thy army in the
miserable plight of a ship on the sea wrecked with its freight of jewels
on the back of a whale. Thus have I described unto thee the prowess of
the sons of Pandu, disregarding whom in thy foolishness, thou hast acted
so. If thou escapest unscathed from them, then, indeed thou wilt have
obtained a new lease of life.'"

Vaisampayana continued, "Then those five sons of Pritha, each like unto
Indra, filled with wrath, leaving the panic-stricken infantry alone who
were imploring them for mercy, rushed furiously upon the charioteers,
attacking them on all sides and darkening the very air with the thick
shower of arrows they shot."


Vaisampayana said, "Meanwhile, the king of Sindhu was giving orders to
those princes, saying, 'Halt, strike, march, quick,' and like. And on
seeing Bhima, Arjuna and the twin brothers with Yudhishthira, the
soldiers sent up a loud shout on the field of battle. And the warriors
of the Sivi, Sauvira and Sindhu tribes, at the sight of those powerful
heroes looking like fierce tigers, lost heart. And Bhimasena, armed with
a mace entirely of Saikya iron and embossed with gold, rushed towards
the Saindhava monarch doomed to death. But Kotikakhya, speedily
surrounding Vrikodara with an array of mighty charioteers, interposed
between and separated the combatants. And Bhima, though assailed with
numberless spears and clubs and iron arrows hurled at him by the strong
arms of hostile heroes, did not waver for one moment. On the other hand,
he killed, with his mace, an elephant with its driver and fourteen
foot-soldiers fighting in the front of Jayadratha's car. And Arjuna
also, desirous of capturing the Sauvira king, slew five hundred brave
mountaineers fighting in the van of the Sindhu army. And in that
encounter, the king himself slew in the twinkling of an eye, a hundred
of the best warriors of the Sauviras. And Nakula too, sword in hand,
jumping out of his chariot, scattered in a moment, like a tiller sowing
seeds, the heads of the combatants fighting in the rear. And Sahadeva
from his chariot began to fell with his iron shafts, many warriors
fighting on elephants, like birds dropped from the boughs of a tree.
Then the king of Trigartas, bow in hand descending from his great
chariot, killed the four steeds of the king with his mace. But Kunti's
son, king Yudhishthira the just, seeing the foe approach so near, and
fighting on foot, pierced his breast with a crescent-shaped arrow. And
that hero, thus wounded in the breast began to vomit blood, and fell
down upon the ground besides Pritha's son, like an uprooted tree. And
king Yudhishthira the just, whose steeds had been slain taking this
opportunity, descended with Indrasena from his chariot and mounted that
of Sahadeva. And the two warriors, Kshemankara and Mahamuksha, singling
out Nakula, began to pour on him from both sides a perfect shower of
keen-edged arrows. The son of Madri, however, succeeded in slaying, with
a couple of long shafts, both those warriors who had been pouring on him
an arrowy shower--like clouds in the rainy season. Suratha, the king of
Trigartas, well-versed in elephant-charges, approaching the front of
Nakula's chariot, caused it to be dragged by the elephant he rode. But
Nakula, little daunted at this, leaped out of his chariot, and securing
a point of vantage, stood shield and sword in hand, immovable as a hill.
Thereupon Suratha, wishing to slay Nakula at once, urged towards him his
huge and infuriate elephant with trunk upraised. But when the beast came
near, Nakula with his sword severed from his head both trunk and tusks.
And that mail-clad elephant, uttering a frightful roar, fell headlong
upon the ground, crushing its riders by the fall. And having achieved
this daring feat, the heroic son of Madri, getting up on Bhimasena's
car, obtained a little rest. And Bhima too, seeing prince Kotikakhya
rush to the encounter, cut off the head of his charioteer with a
horse-shoe arrow. That prince did not even perceive that his driver was
killed by his strong-armed adversary, and his horses, no longer
restrained by a driver, ran about on the battle-field in all directions.
And seeing that prince without a driver turn his back, that foremost of
smiters, Bhima the son of Pandu, went up to him and slew him with a
bearded dart. And Dhananjaya also cut off with his sharp crescent-shaped
arrows, the heads, as well as the bows of all the twelve Sauvira heroes.
And the great warrior killed in battle, with the arrow, the leaders of
the Ikshwakus and the hosts of Sivis and Trigartas and Saindhavas. And a
great many elephants with their colours, and chariots with standards,
were seen to fall by the hand of Arjuna. And heads without trunks, and
trunks without heads, lay covering the entire field of battle. And dogs,
and herons and ravens, and crows, and falcons, and jackals, and
vultures, feasted on the flesh and blood of warriors slain on that
field. And when Jayadratha, the king of Sindhu, saw that his warriors
were slain, he became terrified and anxious to run away leaving Krishna
behind. And in that general confusion, the wretch, setting down Draupadi
there, fled for his life, pursuing the same forest path by which he had
come. And king Yudhishthira the just, seeing Draupadi with Dhaumya
walking before, caused her to be taken up on a chariot by the heroic
Sahadeva, the son of Madri. And when Jayadratha had fled away Bhima
began to mow down with his iron-arrows such of his followers as were
running away striking each trooper down after naming him. But Arjuna
perceiving that Jayadratha had run away exhorted his brother to refrain
from slaughtering the remnant of the Saindhava host. And Arjuna said, 'I
do not find on the field of battle Jayadratha through whose fault alone
we have experienced this bitter misfortune! Seek him out first and may
success crown thy effort! What is the good of thy slaughtering these
troopers? Why art thou bent upon this unprofitable business?'"

Vaisampayana continued, "Bhimasena, thus exhorted by Arjuna of great
wisdom, turning to Yudhishthira, replied, saying, 'As a great many of
the enemy's warriors have been slain and as they are flying in all
directions, do thou, O king, now return home, taking with thee Draupadi
and the twin brothers and high-souled Dhaumya, and console the princess
after getting back to our asylum! That foolish king of Sindhu I shall
not let alone as long as he lives, even if he find a shelter in the
internal regions or is backed by Indra himself!' And Yudhishthira
replied, saying, 'O thou of mighty arms remembering (our sister) Dussala
and the celebrated Gandhari, thou shouldst not slay the king of Sindhu
even though he is so wicked!'"

Vaisampayana continued, "Hearing these words, Draupadi was greatly
excited. And that highly intelligent lady in her excitement said to her
two husbands, Bhima and Arjuna with indignation mixed with modesty, 'If
you care to do what is agreeable to me, you must slay that mean and
despicable wretch, that sinful, foolish, infamous and contemptible chief
of the Saindhava clan! That foe who forcibly carries away a wife, and he
that wrests a kingdom, should never be forgiven on the battle-field,
even though he should supplicate for mercy!' Thus admonished, those two
valiant warriors went in search of the Saindhava chief. And the king
taking Krishna with him returned home, accompanied by his spiritual
adviser. And on entering the hermitage, he found it was laid over with
seats for the ascetics and crowded with their disciples and graced with
the presence of Markandeya and other Brahmanas. And while those
Brahmanas were gravely bewailing the lot of Draupadi, Yudhishthira
endued with great wisdom joined their company, with his brothers. And
beholding the king thus come back after having defeated the Saindhava
and the Sauvira host and recovered Draupadi, they were all elated with
joy! And the king took his seat in their midst. And the excellent
princess Krishna entered the hermitage with the two brothers.

"Meanwhile Bhima and Arjuna, learning the enemy was full two miles ahead
of them urged their horses to greater speed in pursuit of him. And the
mighty Arjuna performed a wonderful deed, killing the horse of
Jayadratha although they were full two miles ahead of them. Armed with
celestial weapons undaunted by difficulties he achieved this difficult
feat with arrows inspired with _Mantras_. And then the two warriors,
Bhima and Arjuna, rushed towards the terrified king of Sindhu whose
horses had been slain and who was alone and perplexed in mind. And the
latter was greatly grieved on seeing his steeds slain. And beholding
Dhananjaya do such a daring deed, and intent on running away, he
followed the same forest track by which he had come. And Phalguna,
seeing the Saindhava chief so active in his fright, overtook him and
addressed him saying, 'Possessed of so little manliness, how couldst
thou dare to take away a lady by force? Turn round, O prince; it is not
meet that thou shouldst run away! How canst thou act so, leaving thy
followers in the midst of thy foes?' Although addressed by the sons of
Pritha thus, the monarch of Sindhu did not even once turn round. And
then bidding him to what he chose the mighty Bhima overtook him in an
instant, but the kind Arjuna entreated him not to kill that wretch."


Vaisampayana said, "Jayadratha flying for his life upon beholding those
two brothers with upraised arms, was sorely grieved and bolted off with
speed and coolness. But the mighty and indignant Bhimasena, descending
from his chariot, ran after him thus fleeing, and seized him by the hair
of his head. And holding him high up in the air, Bhima thrust him on the
ground with violence. And seizing the prince by the head, he knocked him
about. And when the wretch recovered consciousness, he groaned aloud and
wanted to get up on his legs. But that hero endued with mighty arms
kicked him on the head. And Bhima pressed him on the breast with his
knees as well as with his fists. And the prince thus belaboured, soon
became insensible. Then Phalguna dissuaded the wrathful Bhimasena from
inflicting further chastisement on the prince, by reminding him of what
Yudhishthira had said regarding (their sister) Dussala. But Bhima
replied, saying, 'This sinful wretch hath done a cruel injury to
Krishna, who never can bear such treatment. He, therefore, deserveth to
die at my hands! But what can I do? The king is always overflowing with
mercy, and thou, too, art constantly putting obstacles in my way from a
childish sense of virtue!' Having said these words, Vrikodara, with his
crescent-shaped arrow, shaved the hair of the prince's head, heaving
five tufts in as many places. Jayadratha uttered not a word at this.
Then Vrikodara, addressing the foe said, 'If thou wishest to live,
listen to me. O fool! I shall tell thee the means to attain that wish!
In public assemblies and in open courts thou must say,--I am the slave
of the Pandavas.--on this condition alone, I will pardon thee thy life!
This is the customary rule of conquest on the field of battle.' Thus
addressed and treated, king Jayadratha said to the mighty and fierce
warrior who always looked awful, 'Be it so!' And he was trembling and
senseless and begrimed with dust. Then Arjuna and Vrikodara, securing
him with chains, thrust him into a chariot. And Bhima, himself mounting
that chariot, and accompanied by Arjuna, drove towards the hermitage.
And approaching Yudhishthira seated there, he placed Jayadratha in that
condition before the king. And the king, smiling, told him to set the
Sindhu prince at liberty. Then Bhima said unto the king, 'Do thou tell
Draupadi that this wretch hath become the slave of the Pandavas.' Then
his eldest brother said unto him affectionately, 'If thou hast any
regard for us, do thou set this wretch at liberty!' And Draupadi too,
reading the king's mind, said, 'Let him off! He hath become a slave of
the king's and thou, too, hast disfigured him by leaving five tufts of
hair on his head.' Then that crest-fallen prince, having obtained his
liberty, approached king Yudhishthira and bowed down unto him. And
seeing those _Munis_ there, he saluted them also. Then the kind-hearted
king Yudhishthira, the son of Dharma, beholding Jayadratha in that
condition, almost supported by Arjuna, said unto him, 'Thou art a free
man now; I emancipate thee! Now go away and be careful not to do such
thing again; shame to thee! Thou hadst intended to take away a lady by
violence, even though thou art so mean and powerless! What other wretch
save thee would think of acting thus?' Then that foremost king of
Bharata's race eyed with pity that perpetrator of wicked deeds, and
believing that he had lost his senses, said, 'Mayst thy heart grow in
virtue! Never set thy heart again on immoral deeds! Thou mayst depart in
peace now with thy charioteers, cavalry and infantry.' Thus addressed by
Yudhishthira, the prince, O Bharata, was overpowered with shame, and
bending down his head, he silently and sorrowfully wended his way to the
place where the Ganga debouches on the plains. And imploring the
protection of the god of three eyes, the consort of Uma, he did severe
penance at that place. And the three-eyed god, pleased with his
austerities deigned to accept his offerings in person. And he also
granted him a boon! Do thou listen, O monarch, how the prince received
that boon! Jayadratha, addressing that god, asked the boon, 'May I be
able to defeat in battle all the five sons of Pandu on their chariots!'
The god, however, told him 'This cannot be.' And Maheswara said, 'None
can slay or conquer them in battle. Save Arjuna, however, thou shall be
able to only check them (once) on the field of battle! The heroic
Arjuna, with mighty arms, is the god incarnate styled _Nara_. He
practised austerities of old in the Vadari forest. The God _Narayana_ is
his friend. Therefore, he is unconquerable of the very gods. I myself
have given him the celestial weapon called _Pasupata_. From the regents
also of all the ten cardinal points, he has acquired the thunder-bolt
and other mighty weapons. And the great god Vishnu who is the Infinite
Spirit, the Lord Preceptor of all the gods, is the Supreme Being without
attributes, and the Soul of the Universe, and existeth pervading the
whole creation. At the termination of a cycle of ages, assuming the
shape of the all-consuming fire, he consumed the whole Universe with
mountains and seas and islands and hills and woods and forests. And
after the destruction of the _Naga_ world also in the subterranean
regions in the same way, vast masses of many-coloured and loud-pealing
clouds, with streaks of lightning, spreading along the entire welkin,
had appeared on high. Then pouring down water in torrents thick as axles
of cars, and filling the space everywhere, these extinguishing that
all-consuming fire! When at the close of four thousand _Yugas_ the Earth
thus became flooded with water, like one vast sea, and all mobile
creatures were hushed in death, and the sun and the moon and the winds
were all destroyed, and the Universe was devoid of planets and stars,
the Supreme Being called Narayana, unknowable by the senses, adorned
with a thousand heads and as many eyes and legs, became desirous of
rest. And the serpent Sesha, looking terrible with his thousand hoods,
and shining with the splendour of ten thousand suns, and white as the
_Kunda_ flower or the moon or a string of pearls, or the white lotus, or
milk, or the fibres of a lotus stalk, served for his conch. And that
adorable and omnipotent God thus slept on the bosom of the deep,
enveloping all space with nocturnal gloom. And when his creative faculty
was excited, he awoke and found the Universe denuded of everything. In
this connection, the following _sloka_ is recited respecting the meaning
of _Narayana_. "Water was created by (the _Rishi_) _Nara_, and it formed
his corpus; therefore do we hear it styled as _Nara_. And because it
formed his _Ayana_ (resting-place) therefore is he known as _Narayana_."
As soon as that everlasting Being was engaged in meditation for the
re-creation of the Universe, a lotus flower instantaneously came into
existence from his navel, and the four-faced _Brahma_ came out of that
navel-lotus. And then the Grandsire of all creatures, seating himself on
that flower and finding that the whole Universe was a blank, created in
his own likeness, and from his will, the (nine) great _Rishis, Marichi_
and others. And these in their turn observing the same thing, completed
the creation, by creating _Yakshas, Rakshas, Pisachas_, reptiles, men,
and all mobile and immobile creatures. The Supreme Spirit hath three
conditions. In the form of Brahma, he is the Creator, and in the form of
Vishnu he is the Preserver, and in his form as Rudra, he is the
Destroyer of the Universe! O king of Sindhu, hast thou not heard of the
wonderful achievements of Vishnu, described to thee by the _Munis_ and
the Brahmanas learned in the _Vedas_? When the world was thus reduced to
one vast sea of water, with only the heavens above, the Lord, like a
fire-fly at night-time during the rainy season, moved about hither and
thither in search of stable ground, with the view of rehabilitating his
creation, and became desirous of raising the Earth submerged in water.
_What shape shall I take to rescue the Earth from this flood!_--So
thinking and contemplating with divine insight, he bethought himself of
the shape of a wild boar fond of sporting in water. And assuming the
shape of a sacrificial boar shining with effulgence and instinct with
the _Vedas_ and ten _Yojanas_ in length, with pointed tusks and a
complexion like dark clouds, and with a body huge as a mountain, and
roaring like a conglomeration of clouds, the Lord plunged into the
waters, and lifted up the Earth with one of his tusks, and replaced it
in its proper sphere. At another time, the mighty Lord, assuming a
wonderful form with a body half lion, half man, and squeezing his hands,
repaired to the court of the ruler of the _Daityas_. That progenitor of
the _Daityas_, the son of _Diti_, who was the enemy of the (gods),
beholding the Lord's peculiar form, burst out into passion and his eyes
became inflamed with rage. And Hiranya-Kasipu, the war-like son of Diti
and the enemy of the gods, adorned with garlands and looking like a mass
of dark clouds, taking up his trident in hand and roaring like the
clouds, rushed on that being half lion, half man. Then that powerful
king of wild beasts, half man, half lion, taking a leap in the air,
instantly rent the _Daitya_ in twain by means of his sharp claws. And
the adorable lotus-eyed Lord of great effulgence, having thus slain the
_Daitya_ king for the well-being of all creatures, again took his birth
in the womb of _Aditi_ as son of Kasyapa. And at the expiration of a
thousand years she was delivered of that superhuman conception. And then
was born that Being, of the hue of rain-charged clouds with bright eyes
and of dwarfish stature. He had the ascetic's staff and water-pot in
hand, and was marked with the emblem of a curl of hair on the breast.
And that adorable Being wore matted locks and the sacrificial thread,
and he was stout and handsome and resplendent with lustre. And that
Being, arriving at the sacrificial enclosure of Vali, king of the
_Danavas_, entered the sacrificial assembly with the aid of Vrihaspati.
And beholding that dwarf-bodied Being, Vali was well-pleased and said
unto him, "I am glad to see thee, O Brahmana! Say what is it that thou
wantest from me!" Thus addressed by Vali, the dwarf-god replied with a
smile, saying, "So be it! Do thou, lord of the _Danavas_, give me three
paces of ground!" And Vali contented to give what that Brahmana of
infinite power had asked. And while measuring with his paces the space
he sought, Hari assumed a wonderful and extraordinary form. And with
only three paces he instantly covered this illimitable world. And then
that everlasting God, Vishnu, gave it away unto Indra. This history
which has just been related to thee, is celebrated as the "_Incarnation
of the Dwarf_." And from him, all the gods had their being, and after
him the world is said to be _Vaishnava_, or pervaded by Vishnu. And for
the destruction of the wicked and the preservation of religion, even He
hath taken his birth among men in the race of the Yadus. And the
adorable Vishnu is styled Krishna. These, O king of Sindhu, are the
achievements of the Lord whom all the worlds worship and whom the
learned describe as without beginning and without end, unborn and
Divine! They call Him, the unconquerable Krishna with conchshell, discus
and mace, and adorned with the emblem of a curl of hair, Divine, clad in
silken robes of yellow hue, and the best of those versed in the art of
war. Arjuna is protected by Krishna the possessor of these attributes.
That glorious and lotus-eyed Being of infinite power, that slayer of
hostile heroes, riding in the same chariot with Pritha's son, protecteth
him! He is, therefore, invincible; the very gods cannot resist his
power, still less can one with human attributes vanquish the son of
Pritha in battle! Therefore, O king, thou must let him alone! Thou
shalt, however, be able to vanquish for a single day only, the rest of
Yudhishthira's forces along with thine enemies--the four sons of

Vaisampayana continued, "Having said these words unto that prince, the
adorable Hara of three eyes, the destroyer of all sins, the consort of
Uma, and lord of wild beasts, the destroyer of (Daksha's) sacrifice, the
slayer of Tripura and He that had plucked out the eyes of Bhaga,
surrounded by his dwarfish and hunch-backed and terrible followers
having frightful eyes and ears and uplifted arms, vanished, O tiger
among kings, from that place with his consort Uma! And the wicked
Jayadratha also returned home, and the sons of Pandu continued to dwell
in the forest of Kamyaka."


Janamejaya said, "What did those tigers among men, the Pandavas, do,
after they had suffered such misery in consequence of the ravishment of

Vaisampayana said, "Having defeated Jayadratha and rescued Krishna, the
virtuous king Yudhishthira took his seat by the side of that best of
_Munis_. And among those foremost of ascetics who were expressing their
grief upon hearing Draupadi's misfortune, Yudhishthira, the son of
Pandu, addressed Markandeya, saying, 'O adorable Sire, amongst the gods
and the ascetics, thou art known to have the fullest knowledge of both
the past as well as the future. A doubt existeth in my mind, which I
would ask thee to solve! This lady is the daughter of Drupada; she hath
issued from the sacrificial altar and hath not been begotten of the
flesh; and she is highly blessed and is also the daughter-in-law of the
illustrious Pandu. I incline to think that Time, and human Destiny that
dependeth on our acts, and the Inevitable, are irresistible in respect
of creatures. (If it were not so), how could such a misfortune afflict
this wife of ours so faithful and virtuous, like a false accusation of
theft against an honest man? The daughter of Drupada hath never
committed any sinful act, nor hath she done anything that is not
commendable: on the contrary, she hath assiduously practised the highest
virtues towards Brahmanas. And yet the foolish king Jayadratha had
carried her away by force. In consequence of this act of violence on
her, that sinful wretch hath his hair shaved off his head and sustained
also, with all his allies, defeat in battle. It is true we have rescued
her after slaughtering the troops of Sindhu. But the disgrace of this
ravishment of our wife during our hours of carelessness, hath stained
us, to be sure. This life in the wilderness is full of miseries. We
subsist by chase; and though dwelling in the woods, we are obliged to
slay the denizens thereof that live with us! This exile also that we
suffer is due to the act of deceitful kinsmen! Is there any one who is
more unfortunate than I am? Hath thou ever seen or heard of such a one


"Markandeya said, 'O bull of the Bharata race, even Rama suffered
unparalleled misery, for the evil-minded Ravana, king of the Rakshasas,
having recourse to deceit and overpowering the vulture Jatayu, forcibly
carried away his wife Sita from his asylum in the woods. Indeed, Rama,
with the help of Sugriva, brought her back, constructing a bridge across
the sea, and consuming Lanka with his keen-edged arrows.'

"Yudhishthira said, 'In what race was Rama born and what was the measure
of his might and prowess? Whose son also was Ravana and for what was it
that he had any misunderstanding with Rama? It behoveth thee, O
illustrious one, to tell me all this in detail; for I long to hear the
story of Rama of great achievements!'

"Markandeya said, 'Listen, O prince of Bharata's race, to this old
history exactly as it happened! I will tell thee all about the distress
suffered by Rama together with his wife. There was a great king named
Aja sprung from the race of Ikshwaku. He had a son named Dasaratha who
was devoted to the study of the Vedas and was ever pure. And Dasaratha
had four sons conversant with morality and profit known by the names,
respectively, of Rama, Lakshmana, Satrughna, and the mighty Bharata. And
Rama had for his mother Kausalya, and Bharata had for his mother
Kaikeyi, while those scourges of their enemies Lakshmana and Satrughna
were the sons of Sumitra. And Janaka was the king of Videha, and Sita
was his daughter. And Tashtri himself created her, desiring to make her
the beloved wife of Rama. I have now told thee the history of both
Rama's and Sita's birth. And now, O king, I will relate unto thee the
birth of Ravana. That Lord of all creatures and the Creator of the
Universe viz., the Self-create Prajapati himself--that god possessed of
great ascetic merit--is the grandfather of Ravana. And Pulastya hath a
mighty son called Vaisravana begotten of a cow. But his son, leaving his
father, went to his grandfather. And, O king, angered at this, his
father then created a second self of himself. And with half of his own
self that regenerate one became born of Visrava for wrecking a vengeance
on Vaisravana. But the Grandsire, pleased with Vaisravana, gave him
immortality, and sovereignty of all the wealth of the Universe, the
guardianship of one of the cardinal points, the friendship of Isana, and
a son named Nalakuvera. And he also gave him for his capital Lanka,
which was guarded by hosts of Rakshasas, and also a chariot called
Pushpaka capable of going everywhere according to the will of the rider.
And the kingship of the Yakshas and the sovereignty over sovereigns were
also his.'"


"Markandeya said, 'The Muni named Visrava, who was begotten of half the
soul of Pulastya, in a fit of passion, began to look upon Vaisravana
with great anger. But, O monarch, Kuvera, the king of the Rakshasas,
knowing that his father was angry with him, always sought to please him.
And, O best of Bharata's race, that king of kings living in Lanka, and
borne upon the shoulders of men, sent three Rakshasa women to wait upon
his father. Their names, O king, were Pushpotkata, Raka and Malini. And
they were skilled in singing and dancing and were always assiduous in
their attentions on that high-souled Rishi. And those slender-waisted
ladies vied with one another, O king, in gratifying the Rishi. And that
high-souled and adorable being was pleased with them and granted them
boons. And to every one of them he gave princely sons according to their
desire. Two sons--those foremost of Rakshasas named Kumvakarna and the
Ten-headed Ravana,--both unequaled on earth in prowess, were born to
Pushpotkata. And Malini had a son named Vibhishana, and Raka had twin
children named Khara and Surpanakha. And Vibhishana surpassed them all
in beauty. And that excellent person was very pious and assiduously
performed all religious rites. But that foremost of Rakshasas, with ten
heads, was the eldest to them all. And he was religious, and energetic
and possessed of great strength and prowess. And the Rakshasa Kumvakarna
was the most powerful in battle, for he was fierce and terrible and a
thorough master of the arts of illusion. And Khara was proficient in
archery, and hostile to the Brahmanas, subsisting as he did on flesh.
And the fierce Surpanakha was constant source of trouble to the
ascetics. And the warriors, learned in the Vedas and diligent in
ceremonial rites, all lived with their father in the Gandhamadana. And
there they beheld Vaisravana seated with their father, possessed of
riches and borne on the shoulders of men. And seized with jealousy, they
resolved upon performing penances. And with ascetic penances of the most
severe kind, they gratified Brahma. And the Ten-headed Ravana,
supporting life by means of air alone and surrounded by the five sacred
fires and absorbed in meditation, remained standing on one leg for a
thousand years. And Kumvakarna with head downwards, and with restricted
diet, was constant in austerities. And the wise and magnanimous
Vibhishana, observing fasts and subsisting only on dry leaves and
engaged in meditation, practised severe austerities for a long period.
And Khara and Surpanakha, with cheerful hearts, protected and attended
on them while they were performing those austerities. And at the close
of a thousand years, the invincible Ten-headed One, cutting off his own
heads, offered them as offering to the sacred fire. And at this act of
his, the Lord of the Universe was pleased with him. And then Brahma,
personally appearing to them, bade them desist from those austerities
and promised to grant boons unto every one of them. And the adorable
Brahma said, "I am pleased with you, my sons! Cease now from these
austerities and ask boons of me! Whatever your desires may be, they,
with the single exception of that of immortality, will be fulfilled! As
thou hast offered thy heads to the fire from great ambition, they will
again adorn thy body as before, according to thy desire. And thy body
will not be disfigured and thou shall be able to assume any form
according to thy desire and become the conqueror of thy foes in battle.
There is no doubt of this!" thereupon Ravana said, "May I never
experience defeat at the hands of Gandharvas, Celestials, Kinnaras,
Asuras, Yakshas, Rakshasas, Serpents and all other creatures!" Brahma
said, "From those that hast named, thou shalt never have cause of fear;
except from men (thou shalt have no occasion for fear). Good betide
thee! So hath it been ordained by me!"'

"Markandeya said, 'Thus addressed, the Ten-headed (Ravana) was highly
gratified, for on account of his perverted understanding, the man-eating
one slighted human beings. Then the great Grandsire addressed
Kumbhakarna as before. His reason being clouded by darkness, he asked
for long-lasting sleep. Saying, "It shall be so!" Brahma then addressed
Vibhishana, "O my son, I am much pleased with thee! Ask any boon thou
pleasest!" Thereupon, Vibhishana replied, "Even in great danger, may I
never swerve from the path of righteousness, and though ignorant, may I,
O adorable Sire, be illumined with the light of divine knowledge!" And
Brahma replied, "O scourge of thy enemies, as thy soul inclines not to
unrighteousness although born in the _Rakshasa race_, I grant thee

"Markandeya continued, 'Having obtained this boon, the Ten-headed
Rakshasa defeated Kuvera in battle and obtained from him the sovereignty
of Lanka. That adorable Being, leaving Lanka and followed by Gandharvas,
Yakshas, Rakshas, and Kinnaras, went to live on mount Gandhamadana. And
Ravana forcibly took from him the celestial chariot _Pushpaka_. And upon
this Vaisravana cursed him, saying, "This chariot shall never carry
thee; it shall bear him who will slay thee in battle! And as thou hast
insulted me, thy elder brother, thou shalt soon die!"

"'The pious Vibhishana, O King, treading in the path followed by the
virtuous and possessed of great glory, followed Kuvera. That adorable
Lord of wealth, highly pleased with his younger brothers, invested him
with the command of the Yaksha and Raksha hosts. On the other hand, the
powerful and man-eating _Rakshasas_ and _Pisachas_, having assembled
together, invested the Ten-headed Ravana with their sovereignty. And
Ravana, capable of assuming any form at will and terrible in prowess,
and capable also of passing through the air, attacked the gods and the
_Daityas_ and wrested from them all their valuable possessions. And as
he had terrified all creatures, he was called _Ravana_. And Ravana,
capable of mustering any measure of might inspired the very gods with


"Markandeya said, 'Then the _Brahmarshis_, the _Siddhas_ and the
_Devarshis_, with _Havyavaha_ as their spokesman, sought the protection
of Brahma. And Agni said, "That powerful son of Visrava, the Ten-headed
cannot be slain on account of thy boon! Endued with great might he
oppresseth in every possible way the creatures of the earth. Protect us,
therefore, O adorable one! There is none else save thee to protect us!"

"'Brahma said, "O Agni, he cannot be conquered in battle by either the
gods or the _Asuras_! I have already ordained that which is needful for
that purpose. Indeed his death is near! Urged by me, the four-headed God
hath already been incarnate for that object. Even Vishnu, that foremost
of smiters will achieve that object!"'

"Markandeya continued, 'Then the Grandsire also asked Sakra, in their
presence, "Be thou, with all the celestials, born on earth! And beget ye
on monkeys and bears, heroic sons possessed of great strength and
capable of assuming any form at will as allies of Vishnu!" And at this,
the gods, the _Gandharvas_ and the _Danavas_ quickly assembled to take
counsel as to how they should be born on earth according to their
respective parts. And in their presence the boon-giving god commanded a
_Gandharvi_, by name Dundubhi saying, "Go there for accomplishing this
object!" And Dundubhi hearing these words of the Grandsire was born in
the world of men as the hunchbacked _Manthara_. And all the principal
celestials, with Sakra and others begot offspring upon the wives of the
foremost of monkeys and bears. And those sons equaled their sires in
strength and fame. And they were capable of splitting mountain peaks and
their weapons were stones and trees of the _Sala_ and the _Tala_
species. And their bodies were hard as adamant, and they were possessed
of very great strength. And they were all skilled in war and capable of
mustering any measure of energy at will. And they were equal to a
thousand elephants in might, and they resembled the wind in speed. And
some of them lived wherever they liked, while others lived in forests.
And the adorable Creator of the Universe, having ordained all this,
instructed _Manthara_ as to what she would have to do. And Manthara
quick as thought, understood all his words, and went hither and thither
ever engaged in fomenting quarrels.'"


"Yudhishthira said, 'O adorable one, thou hast described to me in detail
the history of the birth of Rama and others. I wish to learn the cause
of their exile. Do thou, O Brahmana, relate why the sons of
Dasaratha--the brothers Rama and Lakshmana--went to the forest with
famous princess of Mithila.'

"Markandeya said, 'The pious king Dasaratha, ever mindful of the old and
assiduous in religious ceremonies, was greatly pleased when these sons
were born. And his sons gradually grew up in might and they became
conversant with the Vedas together with all their mysteries, and with
the science of arms. And when after having gone through the Brahmacharya
vows the princes were married, king Dasaratha became happy and highly
pleased. And the intelligent Rama, the eldest of them all, became the
favourite of his father, and greatly pleased the people with his
charming ways. And then, O Bharata, the wise king, considering himself
old in years took counsel with his virtuous ministers and spiritual
adviser for installing Rama as regent of the kingdom. And all those
great ministers were agreed that it was time to do so. And, O scion of
Kuru's race, king Dasaratha was greatly pleased to behold his son,--that
enhancer of Kausalya's delight--possessed of eyes that were red, and
arms that were sinewy. And his steps were like those of a wild elephant.
And he had long arms and high shoulders and black and curly hair. And he
was valiant, and glowing with splendour, and not inferior to Indra
himself in battle. And he was well-versed in holy writ and was equal to
Vrihaspati in wisdom. An object of love with all the people, he was
skilled in every science. And with senses under complete control, his
very enemies were pleased to behold him. And he was terror of the wicked
and the protector of the virtuous. And possessed of intelligence and
incapable of being baffled, he was victorious over all and never
vanquished by any. And, O descendant of Kurus, beholding his son--that
enhancer of Kausalya's joy--king Dasaratha became highly pleased. And
reflecting on Rama's virtues, the powerful and mighty king cheerfully
addressed the family priest, saying, "Blessed be thou, O Brahmana! This
night of the Pushya constellation will bring in a very auspicious
conjunction. Let, therefore, materials be collected and let Rama also be
invited. This Pushya constellation will last till tomorrow. And Rama,
therefore, should be invested by me and my ministers as prince-regent of
all my subjects!"

"'Meanwhile Manthara (the maid of Kaikeyi), hearing these words of the
king, went to her mistress, and spoke unto her as was suited to the
occasion. And she said, "Thy great ill-luck, O Kaikeyi, hath this day
been proclaimed by the king! O unlucky one, mayst thou be bitten by a
fierce and enraged snake of virulent poison! Kausalya, indeed, is
fortunate, as it is her son that is going to be installed on the throne.
Where, indeed, is thy prosperity, when thy son obtaineth not the

"'Hearing these words of her maid, the slender-waisted and beautiful
Kaikeyi put on all her ornaments, and sought her husband in a secluded
place. And with a joyous heart, and smiling pleasantly, she addressed
these words to him with all the blandishments of love, "O king, thou art
always true to thy promises. Thou didst promise before to grant me an
object of my desire. Do thou fulfil that promise now and save thyself
from the sin of unredeemed pledge!" The king replied, saying, "I will
grant thee a boon. Ask thou whatever thou wishest! What man undeserving
of death shall be slain today and who that deserves death is to be set
at liberty? Upon whom shall I bestow wealth to-day, or whose wealth
shall be confiscated? Whatever wealth there is in this world, save what
belongeth to Brahmanas, is mine! I am the king of kings in this world,
and the protector of all the four classes! Tell me quickly, O blessed
lady, what that object is upon which thou hast set thy heart!" Hearing
these words of the king, and tying him fast to his pledge, and conscious
also of her power over him, she addressed him in these words, "I desire
that Bharata be the recipient of that investiture which thou hast
designed for Rama, and let Rama go into exile living in the forest of

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