"Such was the history of that best of monarchs, the royal sage Swetaki, who, when the time came, ascended to heaven, having won great renown on earth, and accompanied by the Ritwiks and the Sadasyas that had helped him in life.'
"Vaisampayana continued, 'At that sacrifice of Swetaki, Agni had drunk clarified butter for twelve years. Indeed, clarified butter had been poured into Agni's mouth in a continuous stream for that period. Having drunk so much butter, Agni, satiated, desired not to drink butter again from the hand of anybody else at any other sacrifice. Agni became pale, having lost his colour, and he could not shine as before. He felt a loss of appetite from surfeit, and his energy itself decreased and sickness afflicted him. Then when the drinker of sacrificial libations perceived that his energy was gradually diminishing, he went to the sacred abode of Brahman that is worshipped by all. Approaching the great Deity seated on his seat, Agni said, 'O exalted one, Swetaki hath (by his sacrifice) gratified me to excess. Even now I am suffering from surfeit which I cannot dispel. O Lord of the universe, I am being reduced both in splendour and strength. I desire to regain, through thy grace, my own permanent nature.' Hearing these words from Hutavaha, the illustrious Creator of all things smilingly replied unto him, saying, 'O exalted one, thou hast eaten, for twelve years, a continuous stream of sacrificial butter poured into thy mouth! It is for this that illness hath seized thee. But, O Agni, grieve not for it. Thou shalt soon regain thy own nature. I shall dispel this surfeit of thine and the time for it is even come. The dreadful forest Khandava, that abode of the enemies of the gods, which thou hadst of old once consumed to ashes at the request of the gods, hath now become the home of numerous creatures. When thou will have eaten the fat of those creatures, thou shalt regain thy own nature. Proceed thither in haste to consume that forest with its living population. Thou wilt then be cured of thy malady.' Hearing the words that fell from the lips of the Supreme Deity, Hutasana proceeded with great speed and soon reached the forest of Khandava in great vigour. Arrived there, he suddenly blazed forth in anger, assisted by Vayu. Beholding Khandava on fire the dwellers (in the forest) that were there, made great efforts to extinguish the conflagration. Elephants by hundreds of thousands, speeding in anger, brought water in their trunks and scattered it upon the fire. Thousands of many-hooded snakes, mad with anger, hastily began to scatter upon fire much water from those many hoods of theirs. And so, O bull of Bharata's race, the other creatures dwelling in that forest, by various appliances and efforts, soon extinguished the fire. In this way, Agni blazed forth in Khandava repeatedly, even for seven times. And it was in this way that the blazing fire was extinguished there as often by the denizens of that forest.'"
(Khandava-daha Parva continued)
"Vaisampayana said, 'Then Havyavahana (Agni) in anger and disappointment, with his ailment uncured, went back to the Grandsire. And he represented unto Brahman all that had happened: The illustrious deity, reflecting for a moment, said unto him, 'O sinless one. I see a way by which thou mayest consume the forest of Khandava today in the very sight of Indra. Those old deities, Nara and Narayana, have become incarnate in the world of men to accomplish the business of the celestials. They are called on earth Arjuna and Vasudeva. They are even now staying in the forest of Khandava. Solicit them for aiding thee in consuming that forest. Thou shalt then consume the forest even if it be protected by the celestials. They will certainly prevent the population of Khandava from escaping, and thwart Indra also (in aiding any one in the escape). I have no doubt of this!' Hearing these words, Agni came in haste unto Krishna and Partha. O king, I have already told thee what he said, having approached the illustrious pair. O tiger among kings, hearing those words of Agni who was desirous of consuming the forest of Khandava against the will of Indra, Vibhatsu said unto him these words well-suited to the occasion, I have numberless excellent celestial weapons with which I can fight even many wielders of the thunderbolt. But, O exalted one, I have no bow suited to the strength of my arms, and capable of bearing the might I may put forth in battle. In consequence of the lightness of my hands also I require arrows that must never be exhausted. My car also is scarcely able to bear load of arrows that I would desire to keep by me. I desire celestial steeds of pure white, possessing the speed of the wind; and a car possessing the splendour of the sun and the clatter of whose wheels should resemble the roar of the clouds. Then, there is no weapon suited to Krishna's energy and with which Madhava can slay Nagas and Pisachas. O exalted one, it behoveth thee to give us the means by which success may be achieved and by which we may thwart Indra in pouring his showers upon that extensive forest. O Pavaka, we are ready to do all that manliness and prowess can do. But, O exalted one, it behoveth thee to give us the adequate means.'"
(Khandava-daha Parva continued)
"Vaisampayana, said, 'Thus addressed by Arjuna, the smoke-bannered Hutasana, desirous of an interview with Varuna, recollected that son of Aditi,—that deity protecting one of the points of the heavens and having his home in the water and ruling that element. Varuna, knowing that he was thought of by Pavaka, immediately appeared before that deity. The smoke-bannered celestial welcoming with reverence the ruler of the waters, that fourth of the Lokapalas, said unto that eternal god of gods, 'Give me without loss of time that bow and quiver, and that ape-bannered car also, which were obtained from king Soma. Partha will achieve a great task with Gandiva, and Vasudeva also with the discus! Give both, therefore, unto me today.' Hearing these words, Varuna replied unto Pavaka, saying, 'Well, I am giving them.' He then gave that wonderful jewel of a bow that was endued with great energy. That bow was the enhancer of fame and achievements, and was incapable of being injured by any weapon. It was the chief of all weapons, and the grinder of them all. And it was the smiter of hostile armies and was alone equal to a hundred thousand bows. It was the multiplier of kingdoms, and was variegated with excellent colours. It was well-adorned, and beautiful to behold, and without a mark of weakness or injury anywhere. And it was always worshipped both by the celestials and the Gandharvas. Varuna also gave two inexhaustible quivers, and he also gave a car furnished with celestial weapons and whose banner bore a large ape. Yoked unto that car were steeds white as silver of the fleecy clouds, and born in the region of the Gandharvas, and decked with golden harness, and resembling in fleetness the wind or the mind. And it was equipped with implement of war, and was incapable of being vanquished by the celestials or the Asuras. Its splendour was great and the sounds of its wheels was tremendous. It delighted the heart of every creature that looked at it. It had been made by Viswakarman, the architect of the universe and one of the lords of creation, after severe ascetic meditation. Its splendour, like that of the sun, was so great that no one could gaze at it. It was the very car from which the lord Soma had vanquished the Danavas. Resplendent with beauty, it looked like an evening cloud reflecting the effulgence of the setting sun. It was furnished with an excellent flag-staff of golden colour and great beauty. And there sat upon that flag-staff a celestial ape of form fierce like that of a lion or a tiger. Stationed on high, the ape seemed bent upon burning everything it beheld. And upon the (other) flags were various creatures of large size, whose roars and yells caused the enemy's soldiers to faint. Then Arjuna, accoutred in mail and armed with the sword, and his fingers cased in leathern gloves, walking round that excellent car adorned with numerous flags and bowing unto the gods, ascended it like a virtuous man riding in the celestial car that bears him to heaven. And taking up that celestial and first of bows created by Brahman of old and called Gandiva, Arjuna was filled with joy. And bowing unto Hutasana, Partha endued with great energy, took up the bow and strung it forcibly. Those who heard the noise that was made while the mighty Pandava strung that bow, quaked with fear. And having obtained that car and that bow, and the two inexhaustible quivers, the son of Kunti became glad and thought himself competent to assist at the task. And Pavaka then gave unto Krishna a discus with an iron pole attached to a hole in the centre. And it was a fiery weapon and became his favourite. Having obtained that weapon, Krishna also became equal to the task. Pavaka then, addressing Krishna, said, 'With this, O slayer of Madhu, thou shalt be able without doubt to vanquish in battle even foes that are not human. With this weapon, without doubt, thou shalt be superior in battle to men and gods, and Rakshasas and Pisachas, and Daityas and Nagas. And thou shalt certainly be able with this to smite all. And, O Madhava, hurled by thee in battle at thy foes, this weapon will irresistibly slay the enemy and again come back into thy hands.' And the lord Varuna, after this, gave unto Krishna a mace, of name Kaumodaki, capable of slaying every Daitya and producing, when hurled, a roar like that of the thunder. Then Arjuna and Achyuta, filled with joy said unto Pavaka, 'O exalted one, furnished with weapons and knowing their use, possessed of cars with flags and flagstaffs, we are now able to fight with even all the celestials and the Asuras (together), let alone the wielder of the thunderbolt desirous of fighting for the sake of the Naga (his friend Takshaka).' Arjuna also said, 'O Pavaka, while Hrishikesa, endued with abundant energy, moves on the field of battle with this discus in hand, there is nothing in the three worlds that he will not be able to consume by hurling this weapon. Having obtained the bow Gandiva and this couple of inexhaustible quivers I also am ready to conquer in battle the three worlds. Therefore, O lord, blaze thou forth as thou likest, surrounding this large forest on every side. We are quite able to help thee.'
"Vaisampayana continued, 'Thus addressed both by Dasarha and Arjuna, the illustrious god then put forth his most energetic form, and prepared to consume the forest. Surrounding it on all sides with his seven flames, he began to consume the forest of Khandava, exhibiting his all-consuming form like that at the end of the Yuga (cycle). And, O bull of Bharata's race, surrounding that forest and catching it from all sides with a roar like that of the clouds, Agni made every creature within it tremble. And, O Bharata, that burning forest then looked resplendent like the king of mountains, Meru, blazing with the rays of the sun fallen thereupon.'"
(Khandava-daha Parva continued)
"Vaisampayana said, 'Then those foremost of car-warriors (Krishna and Arjuna), riding in their cars and placing themselves on opposite sides of that forest, began a great slaughter, on all sides, of the creatures dwelling in Khandava. At whatever point any of the creatures residing in Khandava could be seen attempting to escape, thither rushed those mighty heroes (to prevent its flight). Indeed those two excellent cars seemed to be but one, and the two warriors also therein but one individual. And while the forest was burning, hundreds and thousands of living creatures, uttering frightful yells, began to run about in all directions. Some had particular limbs burnt, some were scorched with excessive heat, and some came out, and some ran about from fear. And some clasping their children and some their parents and brothers, died calmly without, from excess of affection, being able to abandon these that were dear to them. And many there were who biting their nether lips rose upwards and soon fell whirling into the blazing element below. And some were seen to roll on the ground with wings, eyes, and feet scorched and burnt. These creatures were all seen to perish there almost soon enough. The tanks and ponds within that forest, heated by the fire around, began to boil; the fishes and the tortoises in them were all seen to perish. During that great slaughter of living creatures in that forest, the burning bodies of various animals looked as if fire itself had assumed many forms. The birds that took wings to escape from that conflagration were pierced by Arjuna with his shafts, and cut into pieces, they fell down into the burning element below. Pierced all over with Arjuna's shafts, the birds dropped down into the burning forest, uttering loud cries. The denizens of the forest, struck with those shafts, began to roar and yell. The clamour they raised was like unto the frightful uproar heard during the churning of the ocean (in days of yore). The mighty flames of the blazing fire reaching the firmament, caused great anxiety to the celestials themselves. Then all the illustrious dwellers in heaven went in a body unto him of a hundred sacrifices and thousand eyes, viz., their chief, that grinder of Asuras. Approaching Indra, the celestial said, 'Why, O lord of immortals, doth Agni burn these creatures below? Hath the time come for the destruction of the world?'
"Vaisampayana continued, 'Hearing these words of the gods, and himself beholding what Agni was doing, the slayer of Vritra set out for the protection of the forest of Khandava. And Vasava, the chief of the celestials soon covering the sky with masses of clouds of every kind began to shower upon the burning forest. Those masses of clouds by hundreds and thousands, commanded by Indra began to pour rain upon Khandava in showers thick as the flag-staffs of battle-cars. But the showers were all dried up in the sky itself by the heat of the fire and could not, therefore, reach the fire at all! Then the slayer of Namuchi, getting angry with Agni, collected huge masses of clouds and caused them to yield a heavy downpour. Then with the flames contending with those heavy showers, and with masses of clouds overhead, that forest, filled with smoke and flashes of lightning, became terrible to behold.'"
(Khandava-daha Parva continued)
"Vaisampayana said, 'Then Vibhatsu, the son of Pandu, invoking his excellent weapons, prevented that shower of rain by Indra, by means of a shower of his own weapons. And Arjuna of immeasurable soul soon covered the forest of Khandava with innumerable arrows like the moon covering the atmosphere with a thick fog. When the sky above that forest was thus covered with the arrows of Arjuna no living creature could then escape from below. And it so happened that while that forest was burning, Takshaka, the chief of the Nagas, was not there, having gone at that time to the field of Kurukshetra. But Aswasena, the mighty son of Takshaka, was there. He made great efforts to escape from that fire; but confined by Arjuna's shafts he succeeded not in finding a way. It was then that his mother, the daughter of a snake, determined to save him by swallowing him first. His mother first swallowed his head and then was swallowing his tail. And desirous of saving her son, the sea-snake rose (up from the earth) while still employed in swallowing her son's tail. But Arjuna as soon as he beheld her escaping, severed her head from her body by means of a sharp and keen-edged arrow. Indra saw all this, and desiring to save his friend's son, the wielder of the thunderbolt, by raising a violent wind, deprived Arjuna of consciousness. During those few moments, Aswasena succeeded in effecting his escape. Beholding that manifestation of the power of illusion, and deceived by that snake, Arjuna was much enraged. He forthwith cut every animal seeking to escape by the skies, into two, three, or more pieces. And Vibhatsu in anger, and Agni, and Vasudeva also, cursed the snake that had escaped so deceitfully, saying, 'Never shalt thou be famous!' And Jishnu remembering the deception practised upon him, became angry, and covering the firmament with a cloud of arrows, sought to fight with him of a thousand eyes. The chief of the celestials also, seeing Arjuna in anger, sought to fight with him, and hurled his own fierce weapons, covering the wide expanse of the firmament. Then the winds, making a loud roar and agitating all the oceans, brought together masses of clouds in the sky, charged with torrents of rain. Those masses of clouds began to vomit thunder and terrible flashes of lightning charged with the thunderclap. Then Arjuna possessing a knowledge of means, hurled the excellent weapon called Vayavya with proper mantras to dispel those clouds. With that weapon the energy and force of Indra's thunderbolt and of those clouds were destroyed. And the torrents of rain with which those clouds were charged were all dried up, and the lightning that played amongst them was also destroyed. Within a moment the sky was cleared of dust and darkness, and a delicious, cool breeze began to blow and the disc of the sun resumed its normal state. Then the eater of clarified butter (Agni), glad because none could baffle him, assumed various forms, and sprinkled over with the fat exuded by the bodies of creatures, blazed forth with all his flames, filling the universe with his roar. Then numerous birds of the Garuda tribe bearing excellent feathers, beholding that the forest was protected by Krishna and Arjuna, descended filled with pride, from the upper skies, desirous of striking those heroes with their thunderlike wings, beaks and claws. Innumerable Nagas also, with faces emitting fire descending from high, approached Arjuna, vomiting the most virulent poison all the while. Beholding them approach, Arjuna cut them into pieces by means of arrows steeped in the fire of his own wrath. Then those birds and snakes, deprived of life, fell into the burning element below. And there came also, desirous of battle, innumerable Asuras with Gandharvas and Yakshas and Rakshasas and Nagas sending forth terrific yells. Armed with machines vomiting from their throats (mouths?) iron balls and bullets, and catapults for propelling huge stones, and rockets, they approached to strike Krishna and Partha, their energy and strength increased by wrath. But though they rained a perfect shower of weapons, Vibhatsu, addressing them reproachfully, struck off their heads with his own sharp arrows. That slayer of foes, Krishna, also, endued with great energy, made a great slaughter of the Daitya and the Danava with his discus. Many Asuras of immeasurable might, pierced with Krishna's arrows and smitten with the force of his discus, became motionless like waifs and strays stranded on the bank by the violence of the waves. Then Sakra the lord of the celestials, riding on his white elephant, rushed at those heroes, and taking up his thunderbolt which could never go in vain, hurled it with great force. And the slayer of Asuras said unto the gods, 'These two are slain.' Beholding the fierce thunderbolt about to be hurled by their chief, the celestials all took up their respective weapons. Yama, O king, took up the death-dealing mace, and Kuvera his spiked club, and Varuna his noose and beautiful missile. And Skanda (Kartikeya) took up his long lance and stood motionless like the mountain of Meru. The Aswins stood there with resplendent plants in their hands. Dhatri stood, bow in hand, and Jaya with a thick club. Tvashtri of great strength took up in wrath, a huge mountain and Surya stood with a bright dart, and Mrityu with a battle-axe. Aryaman stalked about with a terrible bludgeon furnished with sharp spikes, and Mitra stood there with a discus sharp as a razor. And, O monarch, Pusha and Bhaga and Savitri, in wrath, rushed at Krishna and Partha with bows and scimitars in hand. And Rudras and the Vasus, the mighty Maruts and the Viswedevas and the Sadhyas, all resplendent with their own energy,—these and many other celestials, armed with various weapons rushed against those exalted of men, Krishna and Partha, for smiting them down. Then were seen in that great conflict wonderful portents all around robbing every creature of his sense, and resembling those that appeared at the time of the universal dissolution. But Arjuna and Krishna, fearless and invincible in battle, beholding Sakra and the other celestials prepared for fight, calmly waited, bows in hands. Skilled in battle, those heroes in wrath assailed the advancing host of celestials with their own thunderlike arrows. The celestials repeatedly routed by Krishna and Arjuna, at last left the field of battle for fear and sought the protection of Indra. The Munis who were witnessing the battle from the skies, beholding the celestials defeated by Madhava and Arjuna, were filled with wonder. Sakra also repeatedly witnessing their prowess in battle, became exceedingly gratified, and once more rushed to the assault. The chastiser of Paka then caused a heavy shower of stones, desiring to ascertain the prowess of Arjuna who was able to draw the bow even with his left hand. Arjuna, in great wrath, dispelled with his arrows that thick shower. Then he of a hundred sacrifices beholding that shower baffled, once more caused a thicker shower of stones. But the son of the chastiser of Paka (viz., Arjuna) gratified his father by baffling that shower also with his swift arrows. Then Sakra, desirous of smiting down the son of Pandu, tore up with his hands a large peak from Mandara, with tall trees on it, and hurled it against him. But Arjuna divided that mountain-peak into a thousand pieces by his swift-going and fire-mouthed arrows. The fragments of that mountain, in falling through the skies, looked as if the sun and the moon and the planets, displaced from their positions fell down on earth. That huge peak fell down upon that forest and by its fall killed numerous living creatures that dwelt in Khandava.'"
(Khandava-daha Parva continued)
"Vaisampayana said, 'Then the inhabitants of the forest of Khandava, the Danavas and Rakshasas and Nagas and wolves and bears and other wild animals, and elephants with rent temples, and tigers, and lions with manes and deer and buffaloes by hundreds, and birds, and various other creatures, frightened at the falling stones and extremely anxious, began to fly in all directions. They saw the forest (burning all around) and Krishna and Arjuna also ready with their weapons. Frightened at the terrible sounds that were audible there those creatures lost their power of movement. Beholding the forest burning in innumerable places and Krishna also ready to smite them down with his weapons, they all set up a frightful roar. With that terrible clamour as also with the roar of fire, the whole welkin resounded, as it were, with the voice of portentous clouds. Kesava of dark hue and mighty arms, in order to compass their destruction, hurled at them his large and fierce discus resplendent with its own energy. The forest-dwellers including the Danavas and the Rakshasas, afflicted by that weapon, were cut in hundreds of pieces and fell unto the mouth of Agni. Mangled by Krishna's discus, the Asuras were besmeared with blood and fat and looked like evening clouds. And, O Bharata, he of the Vrishni race moved able like death itself, slaying Pisachas and birds and Nagas and other creatures by thousands. The discus itself, repeatedly hurled from the hands of Krishna, that slayer of all foes, came back to his hands after slaughtering numberless creatures. The face and form of Krishna that soul of every created thing—became fierce to behold while he was thus employed in the slaughter of the Pisachas, Nagas and Rakshasas. No one among the celestials, who had mustered there could vanquish in battle Krishna and Arjuna. When the celestials saw that they could not protect that forest from the might of Krishna and Arjuna by extinguishing that conflagration, they retired from the scene. Then, O monarch, he of a hundred sacrifices (Indra), beholding the immortals retreat, became filled with joy and applauded Krishna and Arjuna. And when the celestials gave up the fight, an incorporeal voice, deep and loud, addressing him of a hundred sacrifices, said, 'Thy friend Takshaka, that chief of snakes, hath not been slain! Before the conflagration commenced in Khandava he had journeyed to Kurukshetra. Know from my words, O Vasava, that Vasudeva and Arjuna are incapable of being vanquished in battle by any one! They are Nara and Narayana—those gods of old heard of in heaven! Thou knowest what their energy is and what their prowess. Invincible in battle, these best of old Rishis are unconquerable by any one in all the worlds! They deserve the most reverential worship of all the celestials and Asuras; of Yakshas and Rakshasas and Gandharvas, of human beings and Kinnaras and Nagas. Therefore, O Vasava, it behoveth thee to go hence with all the celestials. The destruction of Khandava hath been ordained by Fate!' Then the chief of the immortals, ascertaining those words to be true abandoned his wrath and jealousy, and went back to heaven. The dwellers in heaven, O monarch, beholding the illustrious Indra abandon the fight, followed him with all their soldiers. Then those heroes, Vasudeva and Arjuna, when they saw the chief of the celestials retreat accompanied by all the gods, set up a leonine roar. And, O monarch, Kesava and Arjuna, after Indra had left the scene, became exceedingly glad. Those heroes then fearlessly assisted at the conflagration of the forest. Arjuna scattered the celestials like the wind scattering the clouds, and slew with showers of his arrows, numberless creatures that dwelt in Khandava. Cut off by Arjuna's arrows, no one amongst the innumerable creatures could escape from the burning forest. Far from fighting with him, none amongst even the strongest creatures mustered there could look at Arjuna whose weapons were never futile. Sometimes piercing hundred creatures with one shaft and sometimes a single creature with hundred shafts, Arjuna moved about in his car. The creatures themselves, deprived of life, began to fall into the mouth of Agni (god of fire), struck down as it were by death itself. On the banks of rivers or on uneven plains or on crematoriums, go where they did, the creatures (dwelling in Khandava) found no ease, for wherever they sought shelter there they were afflicted by the heat. And hosts of creatures roared in pain, and elephants and deer and wolves set up cries of affliction. At that sound the fishes of the Ganges and the sea, and the various tribes of Vidyadharas dwelling in that forest all became frightened. O thou of mighty arms, let alone battling with them, no one, could even gaze at Arjuna and Janardana of dark hue. Hari slew with his discus those Rakshasas and Danavas and Nagas that rushed at him in bands. Of huge bodies, their heads and trunks were cut off by the swift motion of the discus, and deprived of life they fell down into the blazing fire. Gratified with large quantities of flesh, blood, and fat, the flames rose up to a great height without a curling wreath of smoke. Hutasana (fire-god) with blazing and coppery eyes, and flaming tongue and large mouth, and the hair on the crown of his head all fiery, drinking, with the help of Krishna and Arjuna, that nectar-like stream of animal fat, became filled with joy. Gratified greatly, Agni derived much happiness.
"And it so happened that the slayer of Madhu suddenly beheld an Asura of the name of Maya escaping from the abode of Takshaka. Agni having Vayu for his car-driver, assuming a body with matted locks on head, and roaring like the clouds, pursued the Asura, desirous of consuming him. Beholding the Asura, Vasudeva stood with his weapon upraised, ready to smite him down, seeing the discus uplifted and Agni pursuing from behind to burn him, Maya said 'Run to me, O Arjuna, and protect me!' Hearing his affrighted voice Arjuna said, 'Fear not!' That voice of Arjuna, O Bharata, seemed to give Maya his life. As the merciful son of Pritha said unto Maya that there was nothing to fear, he of the Dasarha race no longer desired to slay Maya who was the brother of Namuchi, and Agni also burned him not.'
"Vaisampayana continued, 'Protected from Indra by Krishna and Partha, Agni gifted with great intelligence, burned that forest for five and ten days. And while the forest burned Agni spared only six of its dwellers, viz., Aswasena, Maya, and four birds called Sarngakas.'"
(Khandava-daha Parva continued)
"Janamejaya said, 'O Brahmana, tell me why and when that forest burnt in that way, Agni consumed not the birds called Sarngakas? Thou hast, O Brahmana, recited (to us) the cause of Aswasena and the Danava Maya not having been consumed. But thou hast not as yet said what the cause was of the escape of the Sarngakas? The escape of those birds, O Brahmana, appeareth to me to be wonderful. Tell us why they were not destroyed in that dreadful conflagration.'
"Vaisampayana said, 'O slayer of all foes, I shall tell thee all as to why Agni did not burn up those birds during the conflagration. There was, O king, a great Rishi known by the name of Mandapala, conversant with all the shastras, of rigid vows, devoted to asceticism, and the foremost of all virtuous persons. Following in the wake of Rishis that had drawn up their virile fluid, that ascetic, O monarch, with every sense under complete control, devoted himself to study and virtue. Having reached the opposite shores of asceticism, O Bharata, he left his human form and went to the region of the Pitris. But going thither he failed to obtain the (expected) fruit of his acts. He asked the celestials that sat around the king of the dead as to the cause of his treatment, saying, 'Why have these regions become unattainable by me,—regions that I had thought had been acquired by me by my ascetic devotions? Have I not performed those acts whose fruits are these regions? Ye inhabitants of heaven, tell me why these regions are shut against me! I will do that which will give me the fruit of my ascetic penances.'
"The celestials answered, 'Hear, O Brahmana, of those acts and things on account of which men are born debtors. Without doubt, it is for religious rites, studies according to the ordinance, and progeny, that men are born debtors. These debts are all discharged by sacrifices, asceticism, and offspring. Thou art an ascetic and hast also performed sacrifices; but thou hast no offspring. These regions are shut against thee only for want of children. Beget children, therefore! Thou shalt then enjoy multifarious regions of felicity. The Vedas declared that the son rescueth the father from a hell called Put. Then, O best of Brahmanas, strive to beget offspring.'
"Vaisampayana continued, 'Mandapala, having heard these words of the dwellers in heaven, reflected how best he could obtain the largest number of offspring within the shortest period of time. The Rishi, after reflection, understood that of all creatures birds alone were blest with fecundity. Assuming the form of a Sarngaka the Rishi had connection with a female bird of the same species called by the name of Jarita. And he begat upon her four sons who were all reciters of the Vedas. Leaving all those sons of his with their mother in that forest, while they were still within eggs, the ascetic went to (another wife called by the name of) Lapita. And, O Bharata, when the exalted sage went away for the company of Lapita, moved by affection for her offspring, Jarita became very thoughtful. Though forsaken by their father in the forest of Khandava, Jarita, anxious in her affection for them, could not forsake her offspring, those infant Rishis encased in eggs. Moved by parental affection, she brought up these children born of her, herself following the pursuits proper to her own species. Some time after, the Rishi, in wandering over that forest in the company of Lapita, saw Agni coming towards Khandava to burn it down. Then the Brahmana Mandapala, knowing the intention of Agni and remembering also that his children were all young moved by fear, gratified the god, of the burning element, that regent of the universe, endued with great energy. And he did this, desiring to put in a word for his unfledged offspring. Addressing Agni, the Rishi said, 'Thou art, O Agni, the mouth of all the worlds! Thou art the carrier of the sacrificial butter! O purifier (of all sins), thou movest invisible with the frame of every creature! The learned have spoken of thee as an One, and again as possessed of triple nature. The wise perform their sacrifices before thee, taking thee as consisting of eight (mouths). The great Rishis declare that this universe hath been created by thee. O thou that feedest on sacrificial butter, without thee this whole universe would be destroyed in a single day. Bowing to thee, the Brahmanas, accompanied by their wives and children, go to eternal regions won by them by help of their own deeds. O Agni, the learned represent thee as the clouds in the heavens charged with lightning. O Agni, the flames put forth by thee consume every creature. O thou of great splendour, this universe hath been created by thee. The Vedas are thy word. All creatures, mobile and immobile, depend upon thee. Water primarily dependeth on thee, so also the whole of this universe. All offerings of clarified butter and oblations of food to the pitris have been established in thee. O god, thou art the consumer, and thou art the creator and thou art Vrihaspati himself (in intelligence). Thou art the twin Aswins; thou art Surya; thou art Soma; thou art Vayu.
"Vaisampayana continued, 'O monarch, thus praised by Mandapala, Agni was gratified with that Rishi of immeasurable energy; and the god, well-pleased, replied, 'What good can I do to thee?' Then Mandapala with joined palms said unto the carrier of clarified butter, 'While thou burnest the forest of Khandava, spare my children.' The illustrious bearer of clarified butter replied, 'So be it.' It was, therefore, O monarch, that he blazed not forth, while consuming the forest of Khandava, for the destruction of Mandapala's children.'"
(Khandava-daha Parva continued)
"Vaisampayana said, 'When the fire blazed forth in the forest of Khandava, the infant birds became very much distressed and afflicted. Filled with anxiety, they saw not any means of escape. Their mother, the helpless Jarita, knowing that they were too young to escape, was filled with sorrow and wept aloud. And she said, 'Oh, the terrible conflagration, illuminating the whole universe and burning the forest down, approacheth towards us, increasing my woe. These infants with immature understanding, without feathers and feet, and the sole refuge of our deceased ancestors, afflict me. Oh, this fire approacheth, spreading fear all around, and licking with its tongue the tallest trees. But my unfledged children are incapable of effecting their escape. I myself am not capable of escaping, taking all these with me. Nor am I capable of abandoning them, for my heart is distressed on their account. Whom amongst my sons, shall I leave behind, and whom shall I carry with me? What (act) should I do now that is consistent with duty? What also do you, my infant sons, think? I do not, even by reflection, see any way of escape for you. I shall even cover you with my wings and die with you. Your cruel father left me some time before, saying, 'Upon this Jaritari, because he is the eldest of my sons, will my race depend. My second Sarisrikka will beget progeny for the expansion of my ancestors' race. My third, Stamvamitra, will be devoted to asceticism, and my youngest, Drona, will become the foremost of those acquainted with the Vedas.' But how hath this terrible calamity overtaken us! Whom shall I take with me? As I am deprived of judgment what should I do that is consistent with duty? I do not see, by the exercise of my own judgment, the escape of my children from the fire!'
"Vaisampayana said, 'Unto their mother indulging in these lamentations, the infant ones said. 'O mother, relinquishing thy affection for us, go thou to a place where there is no fire. If we are killed here, thou mayest have other children born to thee. If thou, O mother be killed, we can have no more children in our race. Reflecting upon both these calamities, the time hath come for thee, O mother, to do that which is beneficial to our race. Do not be influenced by affection for thy offspring, which promises to destroy both us and thee. If thou savest thyself, our father, who is even desirous of winning regions of felicity, may have his wishes gratified.'
"Hearing what the infants said. Jarita replied, 'There is a hole here in the ground near to this tree, belonging to a mouse. Enter this hole without loss of time. You shall have then no fear of fire. After ye have entered it, I shall, ye children, cover its mouth with dust. This is the only means of escape that I see from the blazing fire. Then when the fire will be put out, I shall return hither to remove the dust. Follow my advice if you are to escape from the conflagration.'
"The infant birds replied, 'Without feathers we are but so many balls of flesh. If we enter the hole, certain it is that the carnivorous mouse will destroy us all. Beholding this danger before us, we cannot enter this hole. Alas, we do not see any means by which we may escape from the fire or from the mouse. We do not see how our father's act of procreation may be prevented from becoming futile, and how also our mother may be saved. If we enter the hole, the mouse will destroy us; we remain where we are and the sky-ranging fire will destroy us. Reflecting upon both the calamities, a death by fire is preferable to a death by being eaten up. If we are devoured by the mouse within the hole, that death is certainly ignoble, whereas the destruction of the body in fire is approved by the wise.'"
(Khandava-daha Parva continued)
"Vaisampayana said, 'Hearing those words of her sons Jarita continued, 'The little mouse that had come out of this hole was seized by a hawk with his claws and carried away hence. Therefore, ye may fearlessly enter this hole now.' The young ones replied, 'We are not by any means certain of that mouse having been taken away by the hawk. There may be other mice living here. From them we have every fear. Whereas it is doubtful whether fire will at all approach us here. Already we see an adverse wind blowing the flames away. If we enter the hole, death is certain at the hands of the dwellers in the hole. But if we remain where we are, death is uncertain. O mother, a position in which death is uncertain is better than that in which it is certain. It is thy duty, therefore, to escape thyself, for, if thou livest thou mayest obtain other children as good.'
"Their mother then said, 'Ye children, I myself saw the mighty hawk, that best of birds, swoop down and fly away with the mouse from the hole. And while he was flying away swiftly, I followed him behind and pronounced blessing on him for his having taken away the mouse from the hole. I said unto him. 'O king of hawks, because thou art flying away with our enemy, the mouse, in thy claws, mayest thou, without a foe, live in heaven with a golden body.' Afterwards when that hawk devoured the mouse, I came away, obtaining his leave. Therefore, ye children, enter this hole trustfully. Ye have nothing to fear. The mouse that was its inmate was seized and taken away by the hawk in my sight.' The young ones again said, 'O mother, we do not by any means know that the mouse hath been carried away by the hawk. We cannot enter this hole in the ground without being certain of the fact.' Their mother said, 'I know to a certainty that the mouse hath been carried away by the hawk. Therefore, ye children, ye have nothing to fear; do what I say.' The young ones again said, 'We do not, O mother, say that thou art dispelling our fears with a false story. For whatever is done by a person when his reason hath been disturbed can scarcely be said to be that person's deliberate act. Thou hast not been benefited by us, nor dost thou know who we are. Why dost thou, therefore, strive to protect us at so much cost to thyself? Who are we to thee? Thou art young and handsome, and capable of seeking out thy husband. Go unto thy husband. Thou shalt obtain good children again. Let us by entering the fire attain to regions of felicity. If, however, the fire consume us not, thou mayest come back and obtain us again.'
"Vaisampayana said, 'The parent bird then, thus addressed by her sons, left them in Khandava and hastily went to the spot where there was no fire and there was safety. Then Agni in haste and with fierce flames approached the spot where the sons of Mandapala were. The young birds saw the blazing fire come towards them. Then Jaritari, the eldest of the four, in the hearing of Agni, began to speak.'"
(Khandava-daha Parva continued)
"Jaritari said, 'The person that is wise remaineth wakeful in view of death. Accordingly, when the hour of death approacheth, he feeleth no pangs. But the person of perplexed soul, who remaineth not awake, when the hour of death comes, feeleth the pangs of death and never attaineth salvation.'
"The second brother Sarisrikka, said, 'Thou art patient and intelligent. The time is come when our lives are threatened. Without doubt, one only amongst many becometh wise and brave.'
"The third brother, Stamvamitra, said, 'The eldest brother is called the protector. It is the eldest brother that rescueth (the younger ones) from danger. If the eldest himself faileth to rescue them, what can the younger ones do?'
"The fourth and the youngest brother, Drona said, 'The cruel god of fire, with seven tongues and seven mouths quickly cometh towards our habitation, blazing forth in splendour and licking up everything in his path.'
"Vaisampayana continued, 'Having addressed one another thus, the sons of Mandapala then each devotedly addressed an eulogistic hymn to Agni. Listen now, O monarch, to those hymns as I recite them.'
"Jaritari said, 'Thou art, O fire, the soul of air! Thou art the body of the Earth's vegetation! O Sukra, water is thy parent as thou art the parent of water! O thou of great energy, thy flames, like the rays of the sun, extend themselves above, below, behind, and on each side.'
"Sarisrikka said, 'O smoke-bannered god, our mother is not to be seen, and we know not our father! Our feathers have not grown as yet. We have none to protect us save thee. Therefore, O Agni, infants that we are protect us! O Agni, as we are distressed, protect us with that auspicious form thou hast and with those seven flames of thine! We seek protection at thy hands. Thou alone, O Agni, art the giver of heat (in the universe). O lord, there is none else (save thee) that giveth heat to the rays of the sun. O, protect us who are young and who are Rishis. O Havyavaha (carrier of sacrificial butter), be pleased to go hence by some other route.'
"Stamvamitra said, 'Thou alone, O Agni, art everything! This whole universe is established in thee! Thou sustainest every creature, and thou supportest the universe! Thou art the carrier of the sacrificial butter, and thou art the excellent sacrificial butter itself! The wise know thee to be one (as cause) and many (as effects)! Having created the three worlds, thou, O Havyavaha, again destroyest them when the time cometh, swelling thyself forth! Thou art the productive cause of the whole universe, and thou also art the essence in which the universe dissolveth itself!'
"Drona said, 'O lord of the universe, growing in strength and remaining within their bodies, thou causest the food that living creatures eat to be digested. Everything therefore, is established in thee. O Sukra, O thou from whose mouth the Vedas have sprung, it is thou who assumests the form of the sun, and sucking up the waters of the earth and every liquid juice that the earth yields, givest them back in time in the form of rain and causest everything to grow! From thee, O Sukra, are these plants and creepers with green foliage! From thee have sprung these tanks and pools, and the great ocean also that is ever blessed! O thou of fierce rays, this our (human) body dependeth on Varuna (the water-god)! We are unable to bear thy heat. Be thou, therefore, our auspicious protector! O, destroy us not! O thou of copper-hued eyes, O thou of red neck, O thou whose path is marked by a black colour, save us by going along any remote route, as indeed, the ocean saveth the house on its banks!'
"Vaisampayana continued, 'Thus addressed by Drona—that utterer of Brahma—Agni, well-pleased at what he heard, and remembering also the promise he had made to Mandapala, replied unto him, saying, 'Thou art a Rishi, O Drona! For what thou hast said is Brahma (Vedic truth). I shall do your pleasure. Fear not! Indeed, Mandapala had spoken to me of you to the effect that I should spare his sons, while consuming the forest. The words he spoke and thy speech also are entitled to great weight to me. Say what I am to do. O best of Brahmanas, I have been greatly pleased with thy hymn. Blest be thou, O Brahmana!'
"Drona said, 'O Sukra, these cats trouble us every day. O Hutasana; consume them with their friends and relatives.'
"Vaisampayana continued, 'Then Agni did what the Sarngakas; asked him to do, telling them of his intentions. And, O Janamejaya, growing in strength, he began then to consume the forest of Khandava.'"
(Khandava-daha Parva continued)
"Vaisampayana said, 'O thou of Kuru's race, the Rishi Mandapala became very anxious about his children, although he had spoken of them to the god of fierce rays. Indeed, his mind was not in peace. Distressed on account of his sons, he addressed Lapita (his second wife with whom he then was), saying, 'O Lapita, as my children are incapable of the power of moving, how are they? When the fire will grow in strength and the wind begin to blow violently, my children will scarcely be able to save themselves. How will their mother be able to rescue them? That innocent woman will be afflicted with great sorrow when she will find herself unable to save her offspring. Oh, how will she compose herself, uttering various lamentations on account of my children who are all incapable of taking wing or rising up into the air. Oh, how is Jaritari, my son, and how is Sarisrikka, and how is Stamvamitra, and how is Drona, and how also is their helpless mother?'
"Unto the Rishi Mandapala thus weeping in the forest, Lapita, O Bharata, thus replied, under the influence of jealousy, 'Thou need not worry for thy children who, as thou hast assured me, are all Rishis endued with energy and prowess! They can have no fear from fire. Didst thou not speak to Agni in my presence, in their behalf? Has not the illustrious deity promised to save them? One of the regents of the universe as Agni is, he will never falsify his speech. Thou hast no anxiety, nor is thy heart inclined towards benefiting friends. It is only by thinking of her—my rival (Jarita) that thou art so distracted! Certain it is that the love thou bearest to me is not equal to what thou hadst for her at first. He that hath two parties dividing his attention, can easily behold one of those suffer all sorts of pangs; but he should not disregard the party that is next to his heart. Then go thou to Jarita, for whom thy heart is sorrowing! As for myself, I shall henceforth wander alone, as a fit reward for my having attached myself to a wicked person.'
"Hearing these words, Mandapala replied, 'I do not wander over the earth with such intentions as thou conceivest. It is only for the sake of progeny that I am here. And even those that I have are in danger. He who casteth off what he hath for the sake of what he may acquire, is a wicked person. The world disregardeth and insulteth him. (Therefore, go I must). As for thyself thou art free to do what thou choosest. This blazing fire that licketh up the trees causeth sorrow in my anxious heart and raiseth therein evil presentiments.'
"Vaisampayana continued, 'Meanwhile, after the fire had left the spot where the Sarngakas dwelt, Jarita, much attached to her children, hastily came thither to see how they were. She found that all of them had escaped from the fire and were perfectly well. Beholding their mother, they began to weep, though safe and sound. She too shed tears upon beholding them alive. And she embraced, one by one, all her weeping children. Just at that time, O Bharata, the Rishi Mandapala arrived there. But none of his sons expressed joy, upon beholding him. The Rishi, however, began to speak to them one after another and unto Jarita also, repeatedly. But neither his sons nor Jarita spoke anything well or ill unto him in return.'
"Mandapala then said, 'Who amongst these is thy first born, and who the next after him? And who is the third, and who the youngest? I am speaking unto thee woefully; why dost thou not reply to me? I left thee, it is true, but I was not happy where I was.'
"Jarita then said, 'What hast thou to do with the eldest of these, and what with him that is next? And what with the third and what with the youngest? Go now unto that Lapita of sweet smiles and endued with youth, unto whom thou didst go of old, beholding me deficient in everything!' Mandapala replied, 'As regards females, there is nothing so destructive of their happiness whether in this or the other world as a co-wife and a clandestine lover. There is nothing like these two that, inflames the fire of hostility and causes such anxiety. Even the auspicious and well-behaved Arundhati, celebrated amongst all creatures, had been jealous of the illustrious Vasishtha of great purity of mind and always devoted to the good of his wife. Arundhati insulted even the wise Muni amongst the (celestial) seven. In consequence of such insulting thoughts of hers, she has become a little star, like fire mixed with smoke, sometimes visible and sometimes invisible, like an omen portending no good (amongst a constellation of seven bright stars representing the seven Rishis). I look to thee for the sake of children. I never wronged thee, like Vasishtha who never wronged his wife. Thou hast, therefore, by thy jealousy behaved towards me like Arundhati of old towards Vasishtha. Men should never trust women even if they be wives. Women, when they have become mothers, do not much mind serving their husbands.'
"Vaisampayana continued, 'After this, all his children came forward to worship him. And he also began to speak kindly towards them all, giving them every assurance.'"
(Khandava-daha Parva continued)
"Vaisampayana said, 'Mandapala then addressed his children, saying, 'I had spoken unto Agni for the safety of you all. The illustrious deity had assured me that he would grant my wish. At those words of Agni, and knowing the virtuous disposition of your mother, as also the great energy that is in yourselves, I came not here earlier. Therefore, ye sons, do not harbour in your hearts any resentment towards me. Ye are all Rishis acquainted with the Vedas. Even Agni knoweth you well.'
"Vaisampayana continued, 'Having given such assurances unto his sons, the Brahmana Mandapala took with him his wife and sons, and leaving that region, went away to some other country.
"It was thus that the illustrious god of fierce rays, having grown in strength consumed the forest of Khandava with the help of Krishna and Arjuna, for the good of the world. And Agni having drunk several rivers of fat and marrow, became highly gratified, and showed himself to Arjuna. Then Purandara, surrounded by the Maruts, descended from the firmament and addressing Partha and Kesava said, 'Ye have achieved a feat that a celestial even could not. Ask ye each a boon that is not obtainable by any man. I have been gratified with you.'
"Vaisampayana continued, 'Then Partha asked from Indra all his weapons. At this Sakra of great splendour, having fixed the time for giving them, said, 'When the illustrious Madhava becomes pleased with thee, then, O son of Pandu, I will give thee all my weapons! O prince of Kuru's race, I shall know when the time cometh. Even for thy austere asceticism I will give thee all my weapons of fire and all my Vayavya weapons, and thou also wilt accept them all of me.' Then Vasudeva asked that his friendship with Arjuna might be eternal. The chief of the celestials granted unto the intelligent Krishna the boon he desired. And having granted these boons unto Krishna and Arjuna, the lord of the Maruts, accompanied by the celestials, ascended to heaven, having also spoken to Hutasana (one whose food is sacrificial butter). Agni also, having burnt that forest with its animals and birds for five and ten days, became gratified and ceased to burn. Having eaten flesh in abundance and drunk fat and blood, he became highly gratified, and addressing Achyuta and Arjuna said, 'I have been gratified by you two tigers among men. At my command, ye heroes, ye shall be competent to go wheresoever ye choose!' Thus addressed by the illustrious Agni, Arjuna and Vasudeva and the Danava Maya also—these three,—having wandered a little at last sat themselves down on the delightful banks of a river.'"
END OF ADI PARVA
1. These are divisions of time
Translated into English Prose from the Original Sanskrit Text
Kisari Mohan Ganguli
Scanned at sacred-texts.com, 2003. Proofed at Distributed Proofing, Juliet Sutherland, Project Manager. Additional proofing and formatting at sacred-texts.com, by J. B. Hare.
Om! After having bowed down to Narayana, and Nara, the most exalted male being, and also to the goddess Saraswati, must the word Jaya be uttered.
"Vaisampayana said,—"Then, in the presence of Vasudeva, Maya Danava, having worshipped Arjuna, repeatedly spoke unto him with joined hands and in amiable words,—'O son of Kunti, saved have I been by thee from this Krishna in spate and from Pavaka (fire) desirous of consuming me. Tell me what I have to do for thee.
"Arjuna said,—'O great Asura, everything hath already been done by thee (even by this offer of thine). Blest be thou. Go whithersoever thou likest. Be kind and well-disposed towards me, as we are even kind to and well-pleased with thee!'
"Maya said,—'O bull amongst men, what thou hast said is worthy of thee, O exalted one. But O Bharata, I desire to do something for thee cheerfully. I am a great artist, a Viswakarma among the Danavas. O son of Pandu, being what I am, I desire to do something for thee.'
"Arjuna said,—'O sinless one, thou regardest thyself as saved (by me) from imminent death. Even if it hath been so, I cannot make thee do anything for me. At the same time, O Danava, I do not wish to frustrate thy intentions. Do thou something for Krishna. That will be a sufficient requital for my services to thee.'
Vaisampayana said,—"Then, O bull of the Bharata race, urged by Maya, Vasudeva reflected for a moment as to what he should ask Maya to accomplish. Krishna, the Lord of the universe and the Creator of every object, having reflected in his mind, thus commanded Maya,—'Let a palatial sabha (meeting hall) as thou choosest, be built (by thee), if thou, O son of Diti, who art the foremost of all artists, desirest to do good to Yudhishthira the just. Indeed, build thou such a palace that persons belonging to the world of men may not be able to imitate it even after examining it with care, while seated within. And, O Maya, build thou a mansion in which we may behold a combination of godly, asuric and human designs.'"
Vaisampayana continued,—"Having heard those words, Maya became exceedingly glad. And he forthwith built a magnificent palace for the son of Pandu like unto the palace of the celestials themselves. Then Krishna and Partha (Arjuna) after having narrated everything unto king Yudhishthira the just, introduced Maya unto him. Yudhishthira received Maya with respect, offering him the honour he deserved. And, O Bharata, Maya accepted that honour thinking highly of it. O monarch of the Bharata race, that great son of Diti then recited unto the sons of Pandu the history of the Danava Vrisha-parva, and that foremost of artists then, having rested awhile, set himself after much thoughtful planning to build a palace for the illustrious sons of Pandu. Agreeably to the wishes of both Krishna and the sons of Pritha, the illustrious Danava of great prowess, having performed on an auspicious day the initial propitiatory rites of foundation and having also gratified thousands of well-versed Brahmanas with sweetened milk and rice and with rich presents of various kinds, measured out a plot of land five thousand cubits square, which was delightful and exceedingly handsome to behold and which was favourable for construction of a building well-suited to the exigencies of every season."
"Vaisampayana said,—"Janardana deserving the worship of all, having lived happily at Khandavaprastha for some time, and having been treated all the while with respectful love and affection by the sons of Pritha, became desirous one day of leaving Khandavaprastha to behold his father. That possessor of large eyes, unto whom was due the obeisance of the universe, then saluted both Yudhishthira and Pritha and made obeisance with his head unto the feet of Kunti, his father's sister. Thus revered by Kesava, Pritha smelt his head and embraced him. The illustrious Hrishikesa approached his own sister Subhadra affectionately, with his eyes filled with tears, and spoke unto her words of excellent import and truth, terse proper, unanswerable and fraught with good. The sweet-speeched Subhadra also, saluting him in return and worshipping him repeatedly with bent head, told him all that she wished to be conveyed to her relatives on the paternal side. And bidding her farewell and uttering benedictions on his handsome sister, he of the Vrishni race, next saw Draupadi and Dhaumya. That best of men duly made obeisance unto Dhaumya, and consoling Draupadi obtained leave from her. Then the learned and mighty Krishna, accompanied by Partha, went to his cousins. And surrounded by the five brothers, Krishna shone like Sakra in the midst of the celestials. He whose banner bore the figure of Garuda, desirous of performing the rites preparatory to the commencement of a journey, purified himself by a bath and adorned his person with ornaments. The bull of the Yadu race then worshipped the gods and Brahmanas with floral wreaths, mantras, bows of the head, and excellent perfumes. Having finished all these rites, that foremost of steady and virtuous persons then thought of setting out. The chief of the Yadu race then came out of the inner to the outer apartment, and issuing thence he made unto Brahmanas, deserving of worship, offerings of vessel-fulls of curd and fruits, and parched-grain and caused them to pronounce benedictions upon him. And making unto them presents also of wealth, he went round them. Then ascending his excellent car of gold endued with great speed and adorned with banner bearing the figure of Tarkhya (Garuda) and furnished also with mace, discus, sword, his bow Sharnga and other weapons, and yoking thereunto his horses Saivya and Sugriva, he of eyes like lotuses set out at an excellent moment of a lunar day of auspicious stellar conjunction. And Yudhishthira, the king of the Kurus, from affection, ascended the chariot after Krishna, and causing that best charioteer Daruka to stand aside, himself took the reins. And Arjuna also, of long arms, riding on that car, walked round Krishna and fanned him with a white chamara furnished with a handle of gold. And the mighty Bhimasena accompanied by the twin brothers Nakula and Sahadeva and the priests and citizens all followed Krishna from behind. And Kesava, that slayer of hostile heroes, followed by all the brothers, shone like a preceptor followed by his favourite pupils. Then Govinda spoke unto Arjuna and clasped him firmly, and worshipping Yudhisthira and Bhima, embraced the twins. And embraced in return by the three elder Pandavas, he was reverentially saluted by the twins. After having gone about half a Yojana (two miles), Krishna, that subjugator of hostile towns, respectfully addressed Yudhishthira and requested him, O Bharata, to stop following him further. And Govinda, conversant with every duty, then reverentially saluted Yudhishthira and took hold of his feet. But Yudhishthira soon raised Kesava and smelt his head. King Yudhishthira the just, the son of Pandu, having raised Krishna endued with eyes like lotus-petals and the foremost of the Yadava race, gave him leave, saying,—'Good bye!' Then the slayer of Madhu, making an appointment with them (about his return) in words that were proper, and preventing with difficulty the Pandavas from following him further on foot, gladly proceeded towards his own city, like Indra going towards Amravati. Out of the love and affection they bore him, the Pandavas gazed on Krishna as long as he was within sight, and their minds also followed him when he got out of sight. And Kesava of agreeable person soon disappeared from their sight, unsatiated though their minds were with looking at him. Those bulls among men, the sons of Pritha, with minds fixed on Govinda, desisted (from following him further) and unwillingly returned to their own city in haste. And Krishna in his car soon reached Dwaraka followed by that hero Satyaki. Then Sauri, the son of Devaki, accompanied by his charioteer Daruka reached Dwaraka with the speed of Garuda."
Vaisampayana continued,—"Meanwhile king Yudhishthira of unfading glory, accompanied by his brothers and surrounded by friends, entered his excellent capital. And that tiger among men, dismissing all his relatives, brothers, and sons, sought to make himself happy in the company of Draupadi. And Kesava also, worshipped by the principal Yadavas including Ugrasena, entered with a happy heart his own excellent city. And worshipping his old father and his illustrious mother, and saluting (his brother) Valadeva, he of eyes like lotus-petals took his seat. Embracing Pradyumna, Shamva, Nishatha, Charudeshna, Gada, Aniruddha and Bhanu, and obtaining the leave of all the elderly men, Janardana entered the apartments of Rukmini."
"Vaisampayana said,—"Then Maya Danava addressed Arjuna, that foremost of successful warriors, saying,—'I now go with thy leave, but shall come back soon. On the north of the Kailasa peak near the mountains of Mainaka, while the Danavas were engaged in a sacrifice on the banks of Vindu lake, I gathered a huge quantity of delightful and variegated vanda (a kind of rough materials) composed of jewels and gems. This was placed in the mansion of Vrishaparva ever devoted to truth. If it be yet existing, I shall come back, O Bharata, with it. I shall then commence the construction of the delightful palace of the Pandavas, which is to be adorned with every kind of gems and celebrated all over the world. There is also, I think, O thou of the Kuru race, a fierce club placed in the lake Vindu by the King (of the Danavas) after slaughtering therewith all his foes in battle. Besides being heavy and strong and variegated with golden knobs, it is capable of bearing great weight, and of slaying all foes, and is equal in strength unto an hundred thousand clubs. It is a fit weapon for Bhima, even as the Gandiva is for thee. There is also (in that lake) a large conch-shell called Devadatta of loud sound, that came from Varuna. I shall no doubt give all these to thee. Having spoken thus unto Partha, the Asura went away in a north-easterly direction. On the north of Kailasa in the mountains of Mainaka, there is a huge peak of gems and jewels called Hiranya-sringa. Near that peak is a delightful lake of the name of Vindu. There, on its banks, previously dwelt king Bhagiratha for many years, desiring to behold the goddess Ganga, since called Bhagirathee after that king's name. And there, on its banks, O thou best of the Bharatas, Indra the illustrious lord of every created thing, performed one hundred great sacrifices. There, for the sake of beauty, though not according to the dictates of the ordinance, were placed sacrificial stakes made of gems and altars of gold. There, after performing those sacrifices, the thousand-eyed lord of Sachi became crowned with success. There the fierce Mahadeva, the eternal lord of every creature, has taken up his abode after having created all the worlds and there he dwelleth, worshipped with reverence by thousands of spirits. There Nara and Narayana, Brahma and Yama and Sthanu the fifth, perform their sacrifices at the expiration of a thousand yugas. There, for the establishment of virtue and religion, Vasudeva, with pious devotion, performed his sacrifices extending for many, many long years. There were placed by Keshava thousands and tens of thousands of sacrificial stakes adorned with golden garlands and altars of great splendour. Going thither, O Bharata, Maya brought back the club and the conch-shell and the various crystalline articles that had belonged to king Vrishaparva. And the great Asura, Maya, having gone thither, possessed himself of the whole of the great wealth which was guarded by Yakshas and Rakshasas. Bringing them, the Asura constructed therewith a peerless palace, which was of great beauty and of celestial make, composed entirely of gems and precious stones, and celebrated throughout the three worlds. He gave unto Bhimasena that best of clubs, and unto Arjuna the most excellent conch-shell at whose sound all creatures trembled in awe. And the palace that Maya built consisted of columns of gold, and occupied, O monarch, an area of five thousand cubits. The palace, possessing an exceedingly beautiful form, like unto that of Agni or Suryya, or Soma, shone in great splendour, and by its brilliance seemed to darken even the bright rays of the sun. And with the effulgence it exhibited, which was a mixture of both celestial and terrestrial light, it looked as if it was on fire. Like unto a mass of new clouds conspicuous in the sky, the palace rose up coming into view of all. Indeed, the palace that the dexterous Maya built was so wide, delightful, and refreshing, and composed of such excellent materials, and furnished with such golden walls and archways, and adorned with so many varied pictures, and was withal so rich and well-built, that in beauty it far surpassed Sudharma of the Dasarha race, or the mansion of Brahma himself. And eight thousand Rakshasas called Kinkaras, fierce, huge-bodied and endued with great strength, of red coppery eyes and arrowy ears, well-armed and capable of ranging through the air, used to guard and protect that palace. Within that palace Maya placed a peerless tank, and in that tank were lotuses with leaves of dark-coloured gems and stalks of bright jewels, and other flowers also of golden leaves. And aquatic fowls of various species sported on its bosom. Itself variegated with full-blown lotuses and stocked with fishes and tortoises of golden hue, its bottom was without mud and its water transparent. There was a flight of crystal stairs leading from the banks to the edge of the water. The gentle breezes that swept along its bosom softly shook the flowers that studded it. The banks of that tank were overlaid with slabs of costly marble set with pearls. And beholding that tank thus adorned all around with jewels and precious stones, many kings that came there mistook it for land and fell into it with eyes open. Many tall trees of various kinds were planted all around the palace. Of green foliage and cool shade, and ever blossoming, they were all very charming to behold. Artificial woods were laid around, always emitting a delicious fragrance. And there were many tanks also that were adorned with swans and Karandavas and Chakravakas (Brahminy ducks) in the grounds lying about the mansion. And the breeze bearing the fragrance of lotuses growing in water and (of those growing on land) ministered unto the pleasure and happiness of the Pandavas. And Maya having constructed such a palatial hall within fourteen months, reported its completion unto Yudhishthira."
"Vaisampayana said,—"Then that chief of men, king Yudhishthira, entered that palatial sabha having first fed ten thousand Brahmanas with preparations of milk and rice mixed with clarified butter and honey with fruits and roots, and with pork and venison. The king gratified those superior Brahmanas, who had come from various countries with food seasoned with seasamum and prepared with vegetables called jibanti, with rice mixed with clarified butter, with different preparations of meat—with indeed various kinds of other food, as also numberless viands that are fit to be sucked and innumerable kinds of drinks, with new and unused robes and clothes, and with excellent floral wreaths. The king also gave unto each of those Brahmanas a thousand kine. And, O Bharata, the voice of the gratified Brahmanas uttering,—'What an auspicious day is this! became so loud that it seemed to reach heaven itself. And when the Kuru king entered the palatial sabha having also worshipped the gods with various kinds of music and numerous species of excellent and costly perfumes, the athletes and mimes and prize-fighters and bards and encomiasts began to gratify that illustrious son of Dharma by exhibiting their skill. And thus celebrating his entry into the palace, Yudhishthira with his brothers sported within that palace like Sakra himself in heaven. Upon the seats in that palace sat, along with the Pandavas, Rishis and kings that came from various countries, viz., Asita and Devala, Satya, Sarpamali and Mahasira; Arvavasu, Sumitra, Maitreya, Sunaka and Vali; Vaka, Dalvya, Sthulasira, Krishna-Dwaipayana, and Suka Sumanta, Jaimini, Paila, and the disciples of Vyasa, viz., ourselves; Tittiri, Yajanavalkya, and Lomaharshana with his son; Apsuhomya, Dhaumya, Animandavya; and Kausika; Damoshnisha and Traivali, Parnada, and Varayanuka, Maunjayana, Vayubhaksha, Parasarya, and Sarika; Valivaka, Silivaka, Satyapala, and Krita-srama; Jatukarna, and Sikhavat. Alamva and Parijataka; the exalted Parvata, and the great Muni Markandeya; Pavitrapani, Savarna, Bhaluki, and Galava. Janghabandhu, Raibhya, Kopavega, and Bhrigu: Harivabhru, Kaundinya, Vabhrumali, and Sanatana, Kakshivat, and Ashija, Nachiketa, and Aushija, Nachiketa, and Gautama; Painga, Varaha, Sunaka, and Sandilya of great ascetic merit: Kukkura, Venujangha, Kalapa and Katha;—these virtuous and learned Munis with senses and souls under complete control, and many others as numerous, all well-skilled in the Vedas and Vedangas and conversant with (rules of) morality and pure and spotless in behaviour, waited on the illustrious Yudhishthira, and gladdened him by their sacred discourses. And so also numerous principal Kshatriyas, such as the illustrious and virtuous Mujaketu, Vivarddhana, Sangramjit, Durmukha, the powerful Ugrasena; Kakshasena, the lord of the Earth, Kshemaka the invincible; Kamatha, the king of Kamvoja, and the mighty Kampana who alone made the Yavanas to ever tremble at his name just as the god that wieldeth the thunder-bolt maketh those Asuras, the Kalakeyas, tremble before him; Jatasura, and the king of the Madrakas, Kunti, Pulinda the king of the Kiratas, and the kings of Anga and Vanga, and Pandrya, and the king of Udhara, and Andhaka; Sumitra, and Saivya that slayer of foes; Sumanas, the king of the Kiratas, and Chanur the King of the Yavanas, Devarata, Bhoja, and the so called Bhimaratha, Srutayudha—the king of Kalinga, Jayasena the king of Magadha; and Sukarman, and Chekitana, and Puru that slayer of foes; Ketumata, Vasudana, and Vaideha and Kritakshana: Sudharman, Aniruddha, Srutayu endued with great strength; the invincible Anuparaja, the handsome Karmajit; Sisupala with his son, the king of Karusha; and the invincible youths of the Vrishni race, all equal in beauty unto the celestials, viz., Ahuka, Viprithu, Sada, Sarana, Akrura, Kritavarman, and Satyaka, the son of Sini; and Bhismaka, Ankriti, and the powerful Dyumatsena, those chief of bowmen viz., the Kaikeyas and Yajnasena of the Somaka race; these Kshatriyas endured with great might, all well-armed and wealthy, and many others also regarded as the foremost, all waited upon Yudhishthira, the son of Kunti, in that Sabha, desirous of ministering to his happiness. And those princes also, endued with great strength, who dressing themselves in deer-skins learnt the science of weapons under Arjuna, waited upon Yudhishthira. And O king, the princes also of the Vrishni race, viz., Pradyumna (the son of Rukmini) and Samva, and Yuyudhana the son of Satyaki and Sudharman and Aniruddha and Saivya that foremost of men who had learnt the science of arms under Arjuna these and many other kings, O lord of the Earth, used to wait on Yudhishthira on that occasion. And that friend of Dhananjaya, Tumvuru, and the Gandharva Chittasena with his ministers, any many other Gandharvas and Apsaras, well-skilled in vocal and instrumental music and in cadence and Kinnaras also well-versed in (musical) measures and motions singing celestial tunes in proper and charming voices, waited upon and gladdened the sons of Pandu and the Rishis who sat in that Sabha. And seated in that Sabha, those bull among men, of rigid vows and devoted to truth, all waited upon Yudhishthira like the celestials in heaven waiting upon Brahma."
(Lokapala Sabhakhayana Parva)
"Vaisampayana said,—"While the illustrious Pandavas were seated in that Sabha along with the principal Gandharvas, there came, O Bharata, unto that assembly the celestial Rishi Narada, conversant with the Vedas and Upanishadas, worshipped by the celestials acquainted with histories and Puranas, well-versed in all that occurred in ancient kalpas (cycles), conversant with Nyaya (logic) and the truth of moral science, possessing a complete knowledge of the six Angas (viz., pronunciation, grammar, prosody, explanation of basic terms, description of religious rites, and astronomy). He was a perfect master in reconciling contradictory texts and differentiating in applying general principles to particular cases, as also in interpreting contraries by reference to differences in situation, eloquent, resolute, intelligent, possessed of powerful memory. He was acquainted with the science of morals and politics, learned, proficient in distinguishing inferior things from superior ones, skilled in drawing inference from evidence, competent to judge of the correctness or incorrectness of syllogistic statements consisting of five propositions. He was capable of answering successively Vrihaspati himself while arguing, with definite conclusions properly framed about religion, wealth, pleasure and salvation, of great soul and beholding this whole universe, above, below, and around, as if it were present before his eyes. He was master of both the Sankhya and Yoga systems of philosophy, ever desirous of humbling the celestials and Asuras by fomenting quarrels among them, conversant with the sciences of war and treaty, proficient in drawing conclusions by judging of things not within direct ken, as also in the six sciences of treaty, war, military campaigns, maintenance of posts against the enemy and stratagems by ambuscades and reserves. He was a thorough master of every branch of learning, fond of war and music, incapable of being repulsed by any science or any course, of action, and possessed of these and numberless other accomplishments. The Rishi, having wandered over the different worlds, came into that Sabha. And the celestial Rishi of immeasurable splendour, endued with great energy was accompanied, O monarch, by Parijata and the intelligent Raivata and Saumya and Sumukha. Possessing the speed of the mind, the Rishi came thither and was filled with gladness upon beholding the Pandavas. The Brahmana, on arriving there, paid homage unto Yudhishthira by uttering blessings on him and wishing him victory. Beholding the learned Rishi arrive, the eldest of the Pandavas, conversant with all rules of duty, quickly stood up with his younger brothers. Bending low with humility, the monarch cheerfully saluted the Rishi, and gave with due ceremonies a befitting seat unto him. The king also gave him kine and the usual offerings of the Arghya including honey and the other ingredients. Conversant with every duty the monarch also worshipped the Rishi with gems and jewels with a whole heart. Receiving that worship from Yudhishthira in proper form, the Rishi became gratified. Thus worshipped by the Pandavas and the great Rishis, Narada possessing a complete mastery over the Vedas, said unto Yudhishthira the following words bearing upon religion, wealth, pleasures and salvation.
"Narada said—'Is the wealth thou art earning being spent on proper objects? Doth thy mind take pleasure in virtue? Art thou enjoying the pleasures of life? Doth not thy mind sink under their weight? O chief of men, continuest thou in the noble conduct consistent with religion and wealth practised by thy ancestors towards the three classes of subjects, (viz., good, indifferent, and bad)? Never injurest thou religion for the sake of wealth, or both religion and wealth for the sake of pleasure that easily seduces? O thou foremost of victorious men ever devoted to the good of all, conversant as thou art with the timeliness of everything, followest thou religion, wealth, pleasure and salvation dividing thy time judiciously? O sinless one, with the six attributes of kings (viz., cleverness of speech, readiness in providing means, intelligence in dealing with the foe, memory, and acquaintance with morals and politics), dost thou attend to the seven means (viz., sowing dissensions, chastisement, conciliation, gifts, incantations, medicine and magic)? Examinest thou also, after a survey of thy own strength and weakness, the fourteen possessions of thy foes? These are the country, forts, cars, elephants, cavalry, foot-soldiers, the principal officials of state, the zenana, food supply, computations of the army and income, the religious treatises in force, the accounts of state, the revenue, wine-shops and other secret enemies. Attendest thou to the eight occupations (of agriculture, trade, &c), having examined, O thou foremost of victorious monarchs, thy own and thy enemy's means, and having made peace with thy enemies? O bull of the Bharata race, thy seven principal officers of state (viz., the governor of the citadel, the commander of forces, the chief judge, the general in interior command, the chief priest, the chief physician, and the chief astrologer), have not, I hope, succumbed to the influence of thy foes, nor have they, I hope, become idle in consequence of the wealth they have earned? They are, I hope, all obedient to thee. Thy counsels, I hope, are never divulged by thy trusted spies in disguise, by thyself or by thy ministers? Thou ascertainest, I hope, what thy friends, foes and strangers are about? Makest thou peace and makest thou war at proper times? Observest thou neutrality towards strangers and persons that are neutral towards thee? And, O hero, hast thou made persons like thyself, persons that are old, continent in behaviour, capable of understanding what should be done and what should not, pure as regards birth and blood, and devoted to thee, thy ministers? O Bharata, the victories of kings can be attributed to good counsels. O child, is thy kingdom protected by ministers learned in Sastras, keeping their counsels close? Are thy foes unable to injure it? Thou hast not become the slave of sleep? Wakest thou at the proper time? Conversant with pursuits yielding profit, thinkest thou, during the small hours of night, as to what thou shouldst do and what thou shouldst not do the next day? Thou settlest nothing alone, nor takest counsels with many? The counsels thou hast resolved upon, do not become known all over thy kingdom? Commencest thou soon to accomplish measures of great utility that are easy of accomplishment? Such measures are never obstructed? Keepest thou the agriculturists not out of thy sight? They do not fear to approach thee? Achievest thou thy measures through persons that are trusted incorruptible, and possessed of practical experience? And, O brave king. I hope, people only know the measures already accomplished by thee and those that have been partially accomplished and are awaiting completion, but not those that are only in contemplation and uncommenced? Have experienced teachers capable of explaining the causes of things and learned in the science of morals and every branch of learning, been appointed to instruct the princes and the chiefs of the army? Buyest thou a single learned man by giving in exchange a thousand ignorant individuals? The man that is learned conferreth the greatest benefit in seasons of distress. Are thy forts always filled with treasure, food, weapons, water, engines and instruments, as also with engineers and bowmen? Even a single minister that is intelligent, brave, with his passions under complete control, and possessed of wisdom and judgment, is capable of conferring the highest prosperity on a king or a king's son. I ask thee, therefore, whether there is even one such minister with thee? Seekest thou to know everything about the eighteen Tirthas of the foe and fifteen of thy own by means of three and three spies all unacquainted with one another? O slayer of all foes, watchest thou all thy enemies with care and attention, and unknown to them? Is the priest thou honourest, possessed of humility, and purity of blood, and renown, and without jealousy and illiberality? Hath any well-behaved, intelligent, and guileless Brahmana, well-up in the ordinance, been employed by thee in the performance of thy daily rites before the sacred fire, and doth he remind thee in proper time as to when thy homa should be performed? Is the astrologer thou hast employed skilled in reading physiognomy, capable of interpreting omens, and competent to neutralise the effect of the disturbances of nature? Have respectable servants been employed by thee in offices that are respectable, indifferent ones in indifferent offices, and low ones in offices that are low? Hast thou appointed to high offices ministers that are guileless and of well conduct for generations and above the common run? Oppressest thou not thy people with cruel and severe punishment? And, O bull of the Bharata race, do thy ministers rule thy kingdom under thy orders? Do thy ministers ever slight thee like sacrificial priests slighting men that are fallen (and incapable of performing any more sacrifices) or like wives slighting husbands that are proud and incontinent in their behaviour? Is the commander of thy forces possessed of sufficient confidence, brave, intelligent, patient, well-conducted, of good birth, devoted to thee, and competent? Treatest thou with consideration and regard the chief officers of thy army that are skilled in every kind of welfare, are forward, well-behaved, and endued with prowess? Givest thou to thy troops their sanctioned rations and pay in the appointed time? Thou dost not oppress them by withholding these? Knowest thou that the misery caused by arrears of pay and irregularity in the distribution of rations driveth the troops to mutiny, and that is called by the learned to be one of the greatest of mischiefs? Are all the principal high-born men devoted to thee, and ready with cheerfulness to lay down their lives in battle for thy sake? I hope no single individual of passions uncontrolled is ever permitted by thee to rule as he likes a number of concerns at the same time appertaining to the army? Is any servant of thine, who hath accomplished well a particular business by the employment of special ability, disappointed in obtaining from thee a little more regard, and an increase of food and pay? I hope thou rewardest persons of learning and humility, and skill in every kind of knowledge with gifts of wealth and honour proportionate to their qualifications. Dost thou support, O bull in the Bharata race, the wives and children of men that have given their lives for thee and have been distressed on thy account? Cherishest thou, O son of Pritha, with paternal affection the foe that hath been weakened, or him also that hath sought thy shelter, having been vanquished in battle? O lord of Earth, art thou equal unto all men, and can every one approach thee without fear, as if thou wert their mother and father? And O bull of the Bharata race, marchest thou, without loss of time, and reflecting well upon three kinds of forces, against thy foe when thou hearest that he is in distress? O subjugator of all foes beginnest thou thy march when the time cometh, having taken into consideration all the omens you might see, the resolutions thou hast made, and that the ultimate victory depends upon the twelve mandalas (such as reserves, ambuscades, &c, and payment of pay to the troops in advance)? And, O persecutor of all foes, givest thou gems and jewels, unto the principal officers of enemy, as they deserve, without thy enemy's knowledge? O son of Pritha, seekest thou to conquer thy incensed foes that are slaves to their passions, having first conquered thy own soul and obtained the mastery over thy own senses? Before thou marchest out against thy foes, dost thou properly employ the four arts of reconciliation, gift (of wealth) producing disunion, and application of force? O monarch, goest thou out against thy enemies, having first strengthened thy own kingdom? And having gone out against them, exertest thou to the utmost to obtain victory over them? And having conquered them, seekest thou to protect them with care? Are thy army consisting of four kinds of forces, viz., the regular troops, the allies, the mercenaries, and the irregulars, each furnished with the eight ingredients, viz., cars, elephants, horses, offices, infantry, camp-followers, spies possessing a thorough knowledge of the country, and ensigns led out against thy enemies after having been well trained by superior officers? O oppressor of all foes, O great king, I hope thou slayest thy foes without regarding their seasons of reaping and of famine? O king, I hope thy servants and agents in thy own kingdom and in the kingdoms of thy foes continue to look after their respective duties and to protect one another. O monarch, I hope trusted servants have been employed by thee to look after thy food, the robes thou wearest and the perfumes thou usest. I hope, O king, thy treasury, barns, stables arsenals, and women's apartments, are all protected by servants devoted to thee and ever seeking thy welfare. I hope, O monarch, thou protectest first thyself from thy domestic and public servants, then from those servants of thy relatives and from one another. Do thy servants, O king, ever speak to thee in the forenoon regarding thy extravagant expenditure in respect of thy drinks, sports, and women? Is thy expenditure always covered by a fourth, a third or a half of thy income? Cherishest thou always, with food and wealth, relatives, superiors, merchants, the aged, and other proteges, and the distressed? Do the accountants and clerks employed by thee in looking after thy income and expenditure, always appraise thee every day in the forenoon of thy income and expenditure? Dismissest thou without fault servants accomplished in business and popular and devoted to thy welfare? O Bharata, dost thou employ superior, indifferent, and low men, after examining them well in offices they deserve? O monarch, employest thou in thy business persons that are thievish or open to temptation, or hostile, or minors? Persecutest thou thy kingdom by the help of thievish or covetous men, or minors, or women? Are the agriculturists in thy kingdom contented. Are large tanks and lakes constructed all over thy kingdom at proper distances, without agriculture being in thy realm entirely dependent on the showers of heaven? Are the agriculturists in thy kingdom wanting in either seed or food? Grantest thou with kindness loans (of seed-grains) unto the tillers, taking only a fourth in excess of every measure by the hundred? O child, are the four professions of agriculture, trade, cattle-rearing, and lending at interest, carried on by honest men? Upon these O monarch, depends the happiness of thy people. O king, do the five brave and wise men, employed in the five offices of protecting the city, the citadel, the merchants, and the agriculturists, and punishing the criminals, always benefit thy kingdom by working in union with one another? For the protection of thy city, have the villages been made like towns, and the hamlets and outskirts of villages like villages? Are all these entirely under thy supervision and sway? Are thieves and robbers that sack thy town pursued by thy police over the even and uneven parts of thy kingdom? Consolest thou women and are they protected in thy realm? I hope thou placest not any confidence in them, nor divulgest any secret before any of them? O monarch, having heard of any danger and having reflected on it also, liest thou in the inner apartments enjoying every agreeable object? Having slept during the second and the third divisions of the night, thinkest thou of religion and profit in the fourth division wakefully. O son of Pandu, rising from bed at the proper time and dressing thyself well, showest thou thyself to thy people, accompanied by ministers conversant with the auspiciousness or otherwise of moments? O represser of all foes, do men dressed in red and armed with swords and adorned with ornaments stand by thy side to protect thy person? O monarch! behavest thou like the god of justice himself unto those that deserve punishment and those that deserve worship, unto those that are dear to thee and those that thou likest not? O son of Pritha, seekest thou to cure bodily diseases by medicines and fasts, and mental illness with the advice of the aged? I hope that the physicians engaged in looking after thy health are well conversant with the eight kinds of treatment and are all attached and devoted to thee. Happeneth it ever, O monarch, that from covetousness or folly or pride thou failest to decide between the plaintiff and the defendant who have come to thee? Deprivest thou, through covetousness or folly, of their pensions the proteges who have sought thy shelter from trustfulness or love? Do the people that inhabit thy realm, bought by thy foes, ever seek to raise disputes with thee, uniting themselves with one another? Are those amongst thy foes that are feeble always repressed by the help of troops that are strong, by the help of both counsels and troops? Are all the principal chieftains (of thy empire) all devoted to thee? Are they ready to lay down their lives for thy sake, commanded by thee? Dost thou worship Brahmanas and wise men according to their merits in respect of various branches of learning? I tell thee, such worship is without doubt, highly beneficial to thee. Hast thou faith in the religion based on the three Vedas and practised by men who have gone before thee? Dost thou carefully follow the practices that were followed by them? Are accomplished Brahmanas entertained in thy house and in thy presence with nutritive and excellent food, and do they also obtain pecuniary gifts at the conclusion of those feasts? Dost thou, with passions under complete control and with singleness of mind, strive to perform the sacrifices called Vajapeya and Pundarika with their full complement of rites? Bowest thou unto thy relatives and superiors, the aged, the gods, the ascetics, the Brahmanas, and the tall trees (banian) in villages, that are of so much benefit to people? O sinless one, causest thou ever grief or anger in any one? Do priests capable of granting thee auspicious fruits ever stand by thy side? O sinless one, are thy inclinations and practices such as I have described them, and as always enhance the duration of life and spread one's renown and as always help the cause of religion, pleasure, and profit? He who conducteth himself according to this way, never findeth his kingdom distressed or afflicted; and that monarch, subjugating the whole earth, enjoyeth a high degree of felicity. O monarch, I hope, no well-behaved, pure-souled, and respected person is ever ruined and his life taken, on a false charge or theft, by thy ministers ignorant of Sastras and acting from greed? And, O bull among men, I hope thy ministers never from covetousness set free a real thief, knowing him to be such and having apprehended him with the booty about him? O Bharata, I hope, thy ministers are never won over by bribes, nor do they wrongly decide the disputes that arise between the rich and the poor. Dost thou keep thyself free from the fourteen vices of kings, viz., atheism, untruthfulness, anger, incautiousness, procrastination, non-visit to the wise, idleness, restlessness of mind, taking counsels with only one man, consultation with persons unacquainted with the science of profit, abandonment of a settled plan, divulgence of counsels, non-accomplishment of beneficial projects, and undertaking everything without reflection? By these, O king, even monarchs firmly seated on their thrones are ruined. Hath thy study of the Vedas, thy wealth and knowledge of the Sastras and marriage been fruitful?