The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1
by Kisari Mohan Ganguli
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"Vaisampayana continued,—After the Rishi had finished, Yudhishthira asked,—"How, O Rishi, do the Vedas, wealth, wife, and knowledge of the Sastras bear fruit?"

"The Rishi answered,—"The Vedas are said to bear fruit when he that hath studied them performeth the Agnihotra and other sacrifices. Wealth is said to bear fruit when he that hath it enjoyeth it himself and giveth it away in charity. A wife is said to bear fruit when she is useful and when she beareth children. Knowledge of the Sastras is said to bear fruit when it resulteth in humility and good behaviour."

"Vaisampayana continued,—The great ascetic Narada, having answered Yudhishthira thus, again asked that just ruler,-"Do the officers of thy government, O king, that are paid from the taxes levied on the community, take only their just dues from the merchants that come to thy territories from distant lands impelled by the desire of gain? Are the merchants, O king, treated with consideration in thy capital and kingdom, capable of bringing their goods thither without being deceived by the false pretexts of (both the buyers and the officers of government)?

Listenest thou always, O monarch, to the words, fraught with instructions in religion and wealth, of old men acquainted with economic doctrines? Are gifts of honey and clarified butter made to the Brahmanas intended for the increase of agricultural produce, of kine, of fruits and flowers, and for the sake of virtue? Givest thou always, O king, regularly unto all the artisans and artists employed by thee the materials of their works and their wages for periods not more than four months? Examinest thou the works executed by those that are employed by thee, and applaudest thou them before good men, and rewardest thou them, having shewn them proper respect? O bull of the Bharata race, followest thou the aphorisms (of the sage) in respect of every concern particularly those relating to elephants, horses, and cars? O bull of the Bharata race, are the aphorisms relating to the science of arms, as also those that relate to the practice of engines in warfare—so useful to towns and fortified places, studied in thy court? O sinless one, art thou acquainted with all mysterious incantations, and with the secrets of poisons destructive of all foes? Protectest thou thy kingdom from the fear of fire, of snakes and other animals destructive of life, of disease, and Rakshasas? As acquainted thou art with every duty, cherishest thou like a father, the blind, the dumb, the lame, the deformed, the friendless, and ascetics that have no homes. Hast thou banished these six evils, O monarch, viz., sleep, idleness, fear, anger, weakness of mind, and procrastination?'

"Vaisampayana continued,—The illustrious bull among the Kurus, having heard these words of that best of Brahmanas, bowed down unto him and worshipped his feet. And gratified with everything he heard, the monarch said unto Narada of celestial form,—"I shall do all that thou hast directed, for my knowledge hath expanded under thy advice!' Having said this the king acted conformably to that advice, and gained in time the whole Earth bounded by her belt of seas. Narada again spoke, saying,—"That king who is thus employed in the protection of four orders, Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, and Sudras, passeth his days here happily and attaineth hereafter to the region of Sakra (heaven).'"


"Vaisampayana said,—At the conclusion of Narada's words, king Yudhishthira the just worshipped him duly; and commanded by him the monarch began to reply succinctly to the questions the Rishi had asked.

"Yudhishthira said—'O holy one, the truths of religion and morality thou hast indicated one after another, are just and proper. As regards myself, I duly observe those ordinances to the best of my power. Indeed, the acts that were properly performed by monarchs of yore are, without doubt, to be regarded as bearing proper fruit, and undertaken from solid reasons for the attainment of proper objects. O master, we desire to walk in the virtuous path of those rulers that had, besides, their souls under complete control."

"Vaisampayana continued,—"Yudhishthira, the son of Pandu, possessed of great glory, having received with reverence the words of Narada and having also answered the Rishi thus, reflected for a moment. And perceiving a proper opportunity, the monarch, seated beside the Rishi, asked Narada sitting at his ease and capable of going into every world at will, in the presence of that assembly of kings, saying,—'Possessed of the speed of mind, thou wanderest over various and many worlds created in days of yore by Brahma, beholding everything. Tell me, I ask thee, if thou hast, O Brahmana, ever beheld before anywhere an assembly room like this of mine or superior to it!' Hearing these words of Yudhishthira the just, Narada smilingly answered the son of Pandu in these sweet accents,—

"Narada said,—'O child, O king I did neither see nor hear of ever before amongst men, any assembly room built of gems and precious stones like this of thine, O Bharata. I shall, however, describe unto thee the rooms of the king of the departed (Yama), of Varuna (Neptune) of great intelligence, of Indra, the King of Gods and also of him who hath his home in Kailasha (Kuvera). I shall also describe unto thee the celestial Sabha of Brahma that dispelleth every kind of uneasiness. All these assembly rooms exhibit in their structure both celestial and human designs and present every kind of form that exists in the universe. And they are ever worshipped by the gods and the Pitris, the Sadhyas, (under-deities called Gana), by ascetics offering sacrifices, with souls under complete command, by peaceful Munis engaged without intermission in Vedic sacrifices with presents to Brahmanas. I shall describe all these to you if, O bull of the Bharata race, thou hast any inclinations to listen to me!'"

"Vaisampayana continued,—"Thus addressed by Narada, the high-souled king Yudhishthira the just, with his brothers and all those foremost of Brahmanas (seated around him), joined his hands (in entreaty). And the monarch then asked Narada, saying,—'Describe unto us all those assembly rooms. We desire to listen to thee. O Brahmana, what are the articles with which each of the Sabhas are made of? What is the area of each, and what is the length and breadth of each? Who wait upon the Grandsire in that assembly room? And who also upon Vasava, the Lord of the celestials and upon Yama, the son of Vivaswana? Who wait upon Varuna and upon Kuvera in their respective assembly rooms. O Brahmana Rishi, tell us all about these. We all together desire to hear thee describe them. Indeed, our curiosity is great.' Thus addressed by the son of Pandu, Narada replied, saying,—'O monarch, hear ye all about those celestial assembly rooms one after another."


"Narada said,—the celestial assembly room of Sakra is full of lustre. He hath obtained it as the fruit of his own acts. Possessed of the splendour of the sun, it was built, O scion of the Kuru race, by Sakra himself. Capable of going everywhere at will, this celestial assembly house is full one hundred and fifty yojanas in length, and hundred yojanas in breadth, and five yojanas in height. Dispelling weakness of age, grief, fatigue, and fear, auspicious and bestowing good fortune, furnished with rooms and seats and adorned with celestial trees, it is delightful in the extreme. There sitteth in that assembly room, O son of Pritha, on an excellent seat, the Lord of celestials, with his wife Sachi endowed with beauty and affluence. Assuming a form incapable of description for its vagueness, with a crown on his head and bright bracelets on the upper arms, attired in robes of pure white and decked with floral wreaths of many hues, there he sitteth with beauty, fame, and glory by his side. And the illustrious deity of a hundred sacrifices is daily waited upon. O monarch, in that assembly by the Marutas in a body, each leading the life of a householder in the bosom of his family. And the Siddhyas, celestial Rishis, the Sadhyas in all, the gods, and Marutas of brilliant complexion and adorned with golden garlands,—all of them in celestial form and decked in ornaments, always wait upon and worship the illustrious chief of the immortals, that mighty represser of all foes. And O son of Pritha, the celestial Rishis also, all of pure souls, with sins completely washed off and resplendent as the fire, and possessed of energy, and without sorrow of any kind, and freed from the fever of anxiety, and all performers of the Soma sacrifice, also wait upon and worship Indra. And Parasara and Parvata and Savarni and Galava; and Sankha, and the Muni, Gaursiras, and Durvasa, and Krodhana and Swena and the Muni Dhirghatamas; and Pavitrapani, Savarni, Yajnavalkya and Bhaluki; and Udyalaka, Swetaketu, and Tandya, and also Bhandayani; and Havishmat, and Garishta, and king Harischandra; and Hridya, Udarshandilya. Parasarya, Krishivala; Vataskandha, Visakha, Vidhatas and Kala. Karaladanta, Tastri, and Vishwakarman, and Tumuru; and other Rishis, some born of women and others living upon air, and others again living upon fire, these all worship Indra, the wielder of the thunderbolt, the lord of all the worlds. And Sahadeva, and Sunitha, and Valmiki of great ascetic merit; and Samika of truthful speech, and Prachetas ever fulfilling their promises, and Medhatithi, and Vamadeva, and Pulastya, Pulaha and Kratu; and Maruta and Marichi, and Sthanu of great ascetic merit; and Kakshivat, and Gautama, and Tarkhya, and also the Muni Vaishwanara; and the Muni Kalakavrikhiya and Asravya, and also Hiranmaya, and Samvartta, and Dehavya, and Viswaksena of great energy; and Kanwa, and Katyayana, O king, and Gargya, and Kaushika;—all are present there along with the celestial waters and plants; and faith, and intelligence, and the goddess of learning, and wealth, religion, and pleasure; and lightning. O son of Pandu; and the rain-charged clouds, and the winds, and all the loud-sounding forces of heaven; the eastern point, the twenty seven fires conveying the sacrificial butter, Agni and Soma, and the fire of Indra, and Mitra, and Savitri, and Aryaman; Bhaga, Viswa the Sadhyas, the preceptor (Vrihaspati), and also Sukra; and Vishwavasu and Chitrasena, and Sumanas, and also Taruna; the Sacrifices, the gifts to Brahmanas, the planets, and the stars, O Bharata, and the mantras that are uttered in sacrifices—all these are present there. And, O King, many Apsaras and Gandharvas, by various kinds of dances and music both instrumental and vocal, and by the practice of auspicious rites, and by the exhibition of many feats of skill, gratify the lord of the celestials—Satakratu—the illustrious slayer of Vala and Vritra. Besides these, many other Brahmanas and royal and celestial Rishis, all resplendent as the fire, decked in floral wreaths and ornaments, frequently come to and leave that assembly, riding on celestial cars of various kinds. And Vrihaspati and Sukra are present there on all occasions. These and many other illustrious ascetics of rigid wows, and Bhrigu and the seven Rishis who are equal, O king, unto Brahma himself, come to and leave that assembly house, riding on cars beautiful as the car of Soma, and themselves looking as bright therein as Soma himself. This, O mighty armed monarch, is the assembly house, called Pushkaramalini, of Indra of a hundred sacrifices that I have seen. Listen now to the account of Yama's assembly house."


"Narada said,—'O Yudhisthira, I shall now describe the assembly house of Yama, the son of Vivaswat, which, O son of Pritha, was built by Viswakarma. Listen now to me. Bright as burnished gold, that assembly house, O monarch, covers an area of much more than a hundred yojanas. Possessed of the splendour of the sun, it yieldeth everything that one may desire. Neither very cool nor very hot, it delighteth the heart. In that assembly house there is neither grief nor weakness of age, neither hunger nor thirst. Nothing disagreeable findeth a place there, nor any kind of evil feelings there. Every object of desire, celestial or human, is to be found in that mansion. And all kinds of enjoyable articles, as also of sweet, juicy, agreeable, and delicious edibles in profusion that are licked, sucked, and drunk, are there, O chastiser of all enemies. The floral wreaths in that mansion are of the most delicious fragrance, and the trees that stand around it yield fruits that are desired of them. There are both cold and hot waters and these are sweet and agreeable. In that mansion many royal sages of great sanctity and Brahmana sages also of great purity, cheerfully wait upon, O child, and worship Yama, the son of Vivaswat. And Yayati, Nahusha, Puru, Mandhatri, Somaka, Nriga; the royal sage Trasadasyu, Kritavirya, Sautasravas; Arishtanemi, Siddha, Kritavega, Kriti, Nimi, Pratarddana, Sivi, Matsya, Prithulaksha, Vrihadratha, Vartta, Marutta, Kusika, Sankasya, Sankriti, Dhruva, Chaturaswa, Sadaswormi and king Kartavirya; Bharata and Suratha, Sunitha, Nisatha, Nala, Divodasa, and Sumanas, Amvarisha, Bhagiratha; Vyaswa, Vadhraswa, Prithuvega, Prithusravas, Prishadaswa, Vasumanas, Kshupa, and Sumahavala, Vrishadgu, and Vrishasena, Purukutsa, Dhwajin and Rathin; Arshtisena, Dwilipa, and the high-souled Ushinara; Ausinari, Pundarika, Saryati, Sarava, and Suchi; Anga, Rishta, Vena, Dushmanta, Srinjaya and Jaya; Bhangasuri, Sunitha, and Nishada, and Bahinara; Karandhama, Valhika, Sudymna, and the mighty Madhu; Aila and the mighty king of earth Maruta; Kapota, Trinaka, and Shadeva, and Arjuna also. Vysawa; Saswa and Krishaswa, and king Sasavindu; Rama the son of Dasaratha, and Lakshmana, and Pratarddana; Alarka, and Kakshasena, Gaya, and Gauraswa; Rama the son of Jamadagnya, Nabhaga, and Sagara; Bhuridyumna and Mahaswa, Prithaswa, and also Janaka; king Vainya, Varisena, Purujit, and Janamejaya; Brahmadatta, and Trigarta, and king Uparichara also; Indradyumna, Bhimajanu, Gauraprishta, Nala, Gaya; Padma and Machukunda, Bhuridyumna, Prasenajit; Aristanemi, Sudymna, Prithulauswa, and Ashtaka also; a hundred kings of the Matsya race and hundred of the Vipa and a hundred of the Haya races; a hundred kings of the name of Dhritarashtra, eighty kings of the name of Janamejaya; a hundred monarchs called Brahmadatta, and a hundred kings of the name of Iri; more than two hundred Bhishmas, and also a hundred Bhimas; a hundred Prativindhyas, a hundred Nagas, and a hundred Palasas, and a hundred called Kasa and Kusa; that king of kings Santanu, and thy father Pandu, Usangava, Sata-ratha, Devaraja, Jayadratha; the intelligent royal sage Vrishadarva with his ministers; and a thousand other kings known by the name of Sasa-vindu, and who have died, having performed many grand horse-sacrifices with large presents to the Brahmanas—these holy royal sages of grand achievements and great knowledge of the Sastras, wait upon, O King, and worship the son of Vivaswat in that assembly house. And Agastya and Matanga, and Kala, and Mrityu (Death), performers of sacrifices, the Siddhas, and many Yogins; the Prtris (belonging to the classes—called Agniswattas, Fenapa, Ushampa, Swadhavat, and Verhishada), as also those others that have forms; the wheel of time, and the illustrious conveyer himself of the sacrificial butter; all sinners among human beings, as also those that have died during the winter solstice; these officers of Yama who have been appointed to count the allotted days of everybody and everything; the Singsapa, Palasa, Kasa, and Kusa trees and plants, in their embodied forms, these all, O king, wait upon and worship the god of justice in that assembly house of his. These and many others are present at the Sabha of the king of the Pitris (manes). So numerous are they that I am incapable of describing them either by mentioning their names or deeds. O son of Pritha, the delightful assembly house, moving everywhere at the will of its owner, is of wide extent. It was built by Viswakarma after a long course of ascetic penances. And, O Bharata, resplendent with his own effulgence, it stands glorified in all its beauty. Sannyasis of severe ascetic penance, of excellent vows, and of truthful speech, peaceful and pure and sanctified by holy deeds, of shining bodies and attired in spotless robes, decked with bracelets and floral garlands, with ear-rings of burnished gold, and adorned with their own holy acts as with the marks of their order (painted over their bodies), constantly visit that Sabha (Assembly). Many illustrious Gandharvas, and many Apsaras fill every part of that mansion with music; both instrumental and vocal and with sounds of laughter and dance. And, O son of Pritha, excellent perfumes, and sweet sounds and garlands of celestial flowers always contribute towards making that mansion supremely blest. And hundreds of thousands of virtuous persons, of celestial beauty and great wisdom, always wait upon and worship the illustrious Yama, the lord of created beings in that assembly house. Such, O monarch, is the Sabha, of the illustrious king of the Pitris! I shall now describe unto the assembly house of Varuna also called Pushkaramalini!"


'Narada said—O Yudhishthira, the celestial Sabha of Varuna is unparalleled in splendour. In dimensions it is similar to that of Yama. Its walls and arches are all of pure white. It hath been built by Viswakarma (the celestial architect) within the waters. It is surrounded on all sides by many celestial trees made of gems and jewels and yielding excellent fruits and flowers. And many plants with their weight of blossoms, blue and yellow, and black and darkish, and white and red, that stand there, or excellent bowers around. Within those bowers hundreds and thousands of birds of diverse species, beautiful and variegated, always pour forth their melodies. The atmosphere of that mansion is extremely delightful, neither cold nor hot. Owned by Varuna, that delightful assembly house of pure white consists of many rooms and is furnished with many seats. There sitteth Varuna attired in celestial robe, decked in celestial ornaments and jewels, with his queen, adorned with celestial scents and besmeared with paste of celestial fragrance. The Adityas wait upon and worship the illustrious Varuna, the lord of the waters. And Vasuki and Takshaka, and the Naga called Airavana; Krishna and Lohita; Padma and Chitra endued with great energy; the Nagas called Kamvala and Aswatara; and Dhritarashtra and Valahaka; Matimat and Kundadhara and Karkotaka and Dhananjaya; Panimat and the mighty Kundaka, O lord of the Earth; and Prahlada and Mushikada, and Janamejaya,—all having auspicious marks and mandalas and extended hoods;—these and many other snakes. O Yudhishthira, without anxiety of any kind, wait upon and worship the illustrious Varuna. And, O king, Vali the son of Virochana, and Naraka the subjugator of the whole Earth; Sanghraha and Viprachitti, and those Danavas called Kalakanja; and Suhanu and Durmukha and Sankha and Sumanas and also Sumati; and Ghatodara, and Mahaparswa, and Karthana and also Pithara and Viswarupa, Swarupa and Virupa, Mahasiras; and Dasagriva, Vali, and Meghavasas and Dasavara; Tittiva, and Vitabhuta, and Sanghrada, and Indratapana—these Daityas and Danavas, all bedecked with ear-rings and floral wreaths and crowns, and attired in the celestial robes, all blessed with boons and possessed of great bravery, and enjoying immortality, and all well of conduct and of excellent vows, wait upon and worship in that mansion the illustrious Varuna, the deity bearing the noose as his weapon. And, O king, there are also the four oceans, the river Bhagirathee, the Kalindi, the Vidisa, the Venwa, the Narmada of rapid current; the Vipasa, the Satadu, the Chandrabhaga, the Saraswati; the Iravati, the Vitasta, the Sindhu, the Devanadi; the Godavari, the Krishnavenwa and that queen of rivers the Kaveri; the Kimpuna, the Visalya and the river Vaitarani also; the Tritiya, the Jeshthila, and the great Sone (Soane); the Charmanwati and the great river Parnasa; the Sarayu, the Varavatya, and that queen of rivers the Langali, the Karatoya, the Atreyi, the red Mahanada, the Laghanti, the Gomati, the Sandhya, and also the Trisrotasi—these and other rivers which are all sacred and are world-renowned places of pilgrimage, as also other rivers and sacred waters and lakes and wells and springs, and tanks, large or small, in their personified form, O Bharata, wait upon and worship the lord Varuna. The points of the heavens, the Earth, and all the Mountains, as also every species of aquatic animals, all worship Varuna there. And various tribes of Gandharvas and Apsaras, devoted to music, both vocal and instrumental, wait upon Varuna, singing eulogistic hymns unto him. And all those mountains that are noted for being both delightful and rich in jewels, wait (in their personified forms) in that Sabha, enjoying sweet converse with one another. And the chief minister of Varuna, Sunabha by name, surrounded by his sons and grandsons, also attend upon his master, along with (the personified form) of a sacred water called go. These all, in their personified forms, worship the deity. O bull of the Bharata race, such is the assembly room of Varuna seen by me before, in the course of my wanderings. Listen now to the account I give of the assembly room of Kuvera.'"


"Narada said,—'Possessed of great splendour, the assembly house of Vaisravana, O king, is a hundred yojanas in length and seventy yojanas in breadth. It was built, O king, by Vaisravana himself using his ascetic power. Possessing the splendour of the peaks of Kailasa, that mansion eclipses by its own the brilliance of the Moon himself. Supported by Guhyakas, that mansion seems to be attached to the firmament. Of celestial make, it is rendered extremely handsome with high chambers of gold. Extremely delightful and rendered fragrant with celestial perfumes, it is variegated with numberless costly jewels. Resembling the peaks of a mass of white clouds, it seems to be floating in the air. Painted with colours of celestial gold, it seems to be decked with streaks of lightning. Within that mansion sitteth on an excellent seat bright as the sun and covered with celestial carpets and furnished with a handsome footstool, king Vaisravana of agreeable person, attired in excellent robes and adorned with costly ornaments and ear-rings of great brilliance, surrounded by his thousand wives. Delicious and cooling breezes murmuring through forests of tall Mandaras, and bearing fragrance of extensive plantations of jasmine, as also of the lotuses on the bosom of the river Alaka and of the Nandana-gardens, always minister to the pleasure of the King of the Yakshas. There the deities with the Gandharvas surrounded by various tribes of Apsaras, sing in chorus, O king, notes of celestial sweetness. Misrakesi and Rambha, and Chitrasena, and Suchismita; and Charunetra, and Gritachi and Menaka, and Punjikasthala; and Viswachi Sahajanya, and Pramlocha and Urvasi and Ira, and Varga and Sauraveyi, and Samichi, and Vududa, and Lata—these and a thousand other Apsaras and Gandharvas, all well-skilled in music and dance, attend upon Kuvera, the lord of treasures. And that mansion, always filled with the notes of instrumental and vocal music, as also with the sounds of dance of various tribes of Gandharvas, and Apsaras hath become extremely charming and delicious. The Gandharvas called Kinnaras, and others called Naras, and Manibhadra, and Dhanada, and Swetabhadra and Guhyaka; Kaseraka, Gandakandu, and the mighty Pradyota; Kustumvuru, Pisacha, Gajakarna, and Visalaka, Varaha-Karna, Tamraushtica, Falkaksha, and Falodaka; Hansachuda, Sikhavarta, Vibhishana, Pushpanana, Pingalaka, Sonitoda and Pravalaka; Vrikshavaspa-niketa, and Chiravasas—these O Bharata, and many other Yakshas by hundred and thousands always wait upon Kuvera. The goddess Lakshmi always stayeth there, also Kuvera's son Nalakuvera. Myself and many others like myself often repair thither. Many Brahmana Rishis and celestial Rishis also repair there often. Many Rakshasas, and many Gandharvas, besides those that have been named, wait upon the worship, in that mansion, the illustrious lord of all treasures. And, O tiger among kings, the illustrious husband of Uma and lord of created things, the three-eyed Mahadeva, the wielder of the trident and the slayer of the Asura called Bhaga-netra, the mighty god of the fierce bow, surrounded by multitudes of spirits in their hundreds and thousands, some of dwarfish stature, some of fierce visage, some hunch-backed, some of blood-red eyes, some of frightful yells, some feeding upon fat and flesh, and some terrible to behold, but all armed with various weapons and endued with the speed of wind, with the goddess (Parvati) ever cheerful and knowing no fatigue, always waiteth here upon their friend Kuvera, the lord of treasures. And hundreds of Gandharva chiefs, with cheerful hearts and attired in their respective robes and Viswavasu, and Haha and Huhu; and Tumvuru and Parvatta, and Sailusha; and Chitrasena skilled in music and also Chitraratha,—these and innumerable Gandharvas worship the lord of treasures. And Chakradhaman, the chief of the Vidyadharas, with his followers, waiteth in that mansion upon the lord of treasures. And Kinnaras by hundreds and innumerable kings with Bhagadatta as their chief, and Druma, the chief of the Kimpurushas, and Mahendra, the chief of the Rakshasas, and Gandhamadana accompanied by many Yakshas and Gandharvas and many Rakshasas wait upon the lord of treasures. The virtuous Vibhishana also worshippeth there his elder brother the lord Kuvera (Croesus). The mountains of Himavat, Paripatra, Vindhya, Kailasa, Mandara, Malaya, Durdura, Mahendra, Gandhamadana, Indrakila, Sunava, and Eastern and the Western hills—these and many other mountains, in their personified forms, with Meru standing before all, wait upon and worship the illustrious lord of treasures. The illustrious Nandiswaras, and Mahakala, and many spirits with arrowy ears and sharp-pointed mouths, Kaksha, Kuthimukha, Danti, and Vijaya of great ascetic merit, and the mighty white bull of Siva roaring deep, all wait in that mansion. Besides these many other Rakshasas and Pisachas (devils) worship Kuvera in that assembly house. The son of Pulastya (Kuvera) formerly used always to worship in all the modes and sit, with permission obtained, beside the god of gods, Siva, the creator of the three worlds, that supreme Deity surrounded by his attendants. One day the exalted Bhava (Siva) made friendship with Kuvera. From that time, O king, Mahadeva always sitteth on the mansion of his friend, the lord of treasures. Those best of all jewels, those princes of all gems in the three worlds, viz., Sankha and Padma, in their personified forms, accompanied by all the jewels of the earth (also in their personified forms) worship Kuvera."

"This delightful assembly house of Kuvera that I have seen, attached to the firmament and capable of moving along it, is such, O king. Listen now to the Sabha I describe unto thee, belonging to Brahma the Grandsire."


"Narada said,—Listen to me, O child, as I tell thee of the assembly house of the Grandsire, that house which none can describe, saying it is such. In the Krita (golden) age of old, O king, the exalted deity Aditya (once) came down from heaven into the world of men. Having seen before the assembly-house of Brahma the Self-created, Aditya was cheerfully wandering over the Earth in human form, desirous of beholding what could be seen here. It was on that occasion, O son of Pandu, that the god of day spoke unto me, O bull of the Bharata race, of that celestial Sabha (assembly) of the Grandsire, immeasurable and immaterial and indescribable, as regards form and shape, and capable of delighting the heart of every creature by its splendour. Hearing, O bull of the Bharata race, of the merits of that Sabha, I became, O king, desirous of beholding it. I then asked Aditya, saying,—O exalted one, I desire to behold the sacred Sabha of the Grandsire. O lord of light, tell me, O exalted one, by what ascetic penances, or by what acts, or by what charms or by what rites, I may be enabled to behold that excellent sin-cleaning Sabha."—Hearing these words of mine, Aditya the god of day, the deity of a thousand rays, answered me, O chief of the Bharata race, thus: Observe thou, with mind rapt in meditation, the Brahma vow extending for a thousand years. Repairing then to the breast of the Himavat, I commenced that great vow, and after I had completed it the exalted and sinless deity Surya endued with great energy, and knowing no fatigue, took me with him to the Sabha of the Grandsire. O king, it is impossible to describe that Sabha, saying—it is such, for within a moment it assumes a different form that language fails to paint. O Bharata, it is impossible to indicate its dimensions or shape. I never saw anything like it before. Ever contributing to the happiness of those within it, its atmosphere is neither cold nor warm. Hunger and thirst or any kind of uneasiness disappear as soon as one goeth thither. It seems to be made up of brilliant gems of many kinds. It doth not seem to be supported on columns, it knoweth no deterioration, being eternal. That self effulgent mansion, by its numerous blazing, celestial indications of unrivalled splendour, seems to surpass the moon, the sun and the fire in splendour. Stationed in heaven, it blazes forth, censuring as it were the maker of the day. In that mansion O king, the Supreme Deity, the Grand-sire of all created things, having himself created everything by virtue of his creative illusion, stayeth ever. And Daksha, Prachetas, Pulaha, Marichi, the master Kasyapa, Bhrigu, Atri, and Vasistha and Gautama, and also Angiras, and Pulastya, Kraut, Prahlada, and Kardama, these Prajapatis, and Angirasa of the Atharvan Veda, the Valikhilyas, the Marichipas; Intelligence, Space, Knowledge, Air, Heat, Water, Earth, Sound, Touch, Form, Taste, Scent; Nature, and the Modes (of Nature), and the elemental and prime causes of the world,—all stay in that mansion beside the lord Brahma. And Agastya of great energy, and Markandeya, of great ascetic power, and Jamadagni and Bharadwaja, and Samvarta, and Chyavana, and exalted Durvasa, and the virtuous Rishyasringa, the illustrious Sanatkumara of great ascetic merit and the preceptor in all matters affecting Yoga; Asita and Devala, and Jaigishavya acquainted with truth; Rishava, Ajitasatru, and Mani of great energy; and the Science of healing with its eight branches—all in their personified forms, O Bharata; the moon with all the stars and the stellar conjunctions; Aditya with all his rays; the winds; the Sacrifices, the Declarations of purpose (in sacrifices), the Vital principles,—these illustrious and vow-observing beings in their personified forms, and many others too numerous to mention, attend all upon Brahma in that mansion. Wealth and Religion and Desire, and Joy, and Aversion, and Asceticism and Tranquillity—all wait together upon the Supreme Deity in that palace. The twenty tribes of the Gandharvas and Apsaras, as also their seven other tribes, and all the Lokapalas (chief protectors of several regions), and Sukra, and Vrihaspati, and Vudha, and Angaraka (Mangala), Sani, Rahu, and the other planets; the Mantras (of the Sama Veda), the special Mantras (of the same Veda); (the rites of) Harimat and Vasumat, the Adityas with Indra, the two Agnis mentioned by name (viz. Agnisoma and Indragni), the Marutas, Viswakarman, and the Vasus, O Bharata; the Pitris, and all kinds of sacrificial libations, the four Vedas. viz., Rig, Sama, Yajuh, and Atharva; all Sciences and branches of learning; Histories and all minor branches of learning; the several branches of the Vedas; the planets, the Sacrifices, the Soma, all the deities; Savitri (Gayatri), the seven kinds of rhyme; Understanding, Patience, Memory, Wisdom, Intelligence, Fame, Forgiveness; the Hymns of the Sama Veda; the Science of hymns in general, and various kinds of Verses and Songs; various Commentaries with arguments;—all in their personified forms, O king, and various Dramas and Poems and Stories and abridged Glosses—these also, and many others wait upon the Supreme Deity in that Sabha, Kshanas, Lavas, Muhurtas, Day, Night, Fortnights, Months, the six Seasons, O Bharata, Years, Yugas, the four kinds of Days and Nights (viz., appearing to man, to the Pitris, to the gods, and to Brahma) and that eternal, indestructible, undeteriorating, excellent Wheel of Time and also the Wheel of Virtue,—these always wait there. O Yudhishthira; and Aditi, Diti, Danu, Surasa, Vinata, Ira, Kalika, Suravi, Devi, Sarama, Gautami and the goddesses Pradha, and Kadru;—these mothers of the celestials, and Rudrani, Sree, Lakshmi, Bhadra, Shashthi, the Earth, Ganga, Hri, Swaha, Kriti, the goddess Sura, Sachi Pushti, Arundhati, Samvritti, Asa, Niyati, Srishti, Rati,—these and many other goddesses wait upon the Creator of all. The Adityas, Vasus, Rudras, Marutas, Aswinas, the Viswadevas Sadhyas, and the Pitris gifted with the speed of the mind; these all wait there upon the Grandsire. And, O bull amongst men, know thou that there are seven classes of Pitris, of which four classes have embodied forms and the remaining three without embodied forms. It is well known that the illustrious Vairajas and Agniswattas and Garhapattyas (three classes of Pitris) range in heaven. And those amongst the Pitris that are called the Somapas, the Ekasringras, the Chaturvedas, and the Kalas, are ever worshipped amongst the four orders of men. Gratified with the Soma (juice), first, these gratify Soma afterwards. All these tribes of Pitris wait upon the Lord of the creation and cheerfully worship the Supreme Deity of immeasurable energy. And Rakshasas, Pisachas, the Danavas and Guhyakas; Nagas, Birds, and various animals; and all mobile and immobile great beings;—all worship the Grandsire. And Purandara the chief of the celestials, and Varuna and Kuvera and Yama, and Mahadeva accompanied by Uma, always repair thither. And, O king of kings, Mahasena (Kartikeya) also adoreth there the Grandsire. Narayana himself, and the celestial Rishis, and those Rishis called Valakhillyas, and all beings born of females and all those not born of females, and whatever else is seen in the three worlds—both mobile and immobile, were all seen by me there, know O king. And eighty thousand Rishis with vital seed drawn up, and O Pandu, fifty thousand Rishis having sons, were all seen by me there. And all the dwellers in heaven repairing thither behold the Supreme Deity when they please, and worshipping him with a bow of their head return whence they came. And, O king of men, the Grandsire of all created beings, the Soul of the universe, the Self create Brahma of immeasurable intelligence and glory, equally kind unto all creatures, honoureth as they deserve, and gratifieth with sweet speech and gift of wealth and other enjoyable articles, the gods, the Daityas, the Nagas, the Brahmanas, the Yakshas, the Birds, the Kaleyas, the Gandharvas, the Apsaras, and all other exalted beings that came to him as his guests. And that delicious Sabha, O child, is always crowded with persons coming and going. Filled with every kind of energy, and worshipped by Brahmarshis, that celestial Sabha blazes forth with the graceful possessions of Brahma and looks extremely handsome, O tiger among kings as this Sabha of yours is unrivalled in the world of men, so is that Sabha of Brahma, seen by me unrivalled in all the worlds. I have seen these Sabhas, O Bharata, in regions of the celestials. This thy Sabha is unquestionably the foremost in the world of men!"


"Yudhishthira said,—'O thou foremost of eloquent men, as thou hast described the different Sabhas unto me, it appeareth that almost all the monarchs of the earth are to be found in the Sabha of Yama. And, O master, almost all the Nagas, and principal Daityas, and rivers, and oceans, are to be found in the Sabha of Varuna. And so the Yakshas, the Guhyakas, the Rakshasas, the Gandharvas and Apsaras and the Deity (Yama) having the bull for his vehicle, are to be found in the Sabha of the lord of treasures. Thou hast said that in the Sabha of the Grandsire are to be seen all the great Rishis, all the gods, all the branches of learning. As regards the Sabha of Sakra, however, thou hast named, O Muni, all the gods, the Gandharvas, and various Rishis. But, O great Muni, thou hast mentioned one and only one king, viz., the royal Rishi Harishchandra as living in the Sabha of the illustrious chief of the gods. What act was performed by that celebrated king, or what ascetic penances with steady vows, in consequence of which he hath been equal to Indra himself? O Brahmana, how didst thou also meet with my father, the exalted Pandu, now a guest in the region of the Pitris? O exalted one of excellent vows hath he told thee anything? O tell me all as I am exceedingly curious to hear all this from thee."

"Narada said,—'O king of kings, I shall tell thee all that thou askest me about Harischandra, I shall presently tell thee of his high excellence. He was a powerful king, in fact, an emperor over all the kings of the earth. Indeed, all the kings of the earth obeyed his sway. O monarch, mounted alone upon a victorious car adorned with gold, that king by the prowess of his weapons brought the whole earth with her seven islands under his sway. And, O monarch, having subjugated the whole earth with her mountains, forests, and woods, he made preparations for the great sacrifice called the Rajasuya. And all the kings of the earth brought at his command wealth unto that sacrifice. All of them consented to become distributors of food and gifts unto the Brahmanas that were fed on the occasion. At that sacrifice king Harishchandra gave away unto all who asked, wealth that was five times what each had solicited. At the conclusion of the sacrifice, the king gratified the Brahmanas that came from various countries with large presents of various kinds of wealth. The Brahmanas gratified with various kinds of food and enjoyable articles, given away unto them to the extent of their desires, and with the heaps of jewels distributed amongst them, began to say,—King Harischandra is superior to all kings in energy and renown.—And know, O monarch, O bull of the Bharata race, it was for this reason that Harischandra shone more brightly than thousands of other kings. The powerful Harischandra having concluded his great sacrifice, became installed, O king, in the sovereignty of the earth and looked resplendent on his throne. O bull of the Bharata race, all those monarchs that perform the sacrifice of Rajasuya, (attaining to the region of Indra) pass their time in felicity in Indra's company. And, O bull of the Bharata race, those kings also that yield up their lives without turning their backs on the field of battle attain to the mansion of Indra and live in joy with him. Those again that yield up their bodies after severe ascetic penances also attain to the same region and shine brightly there for ages. O king of the Kuru race, O son of Kunti, thy father Pandu, beholding the good fortune of Harischandra and wondering much thereat, hath told thee something. Knowing that I was coming to the world of men, he bowed unto me and said,—Thou shouldst tell Yudhishthira, O Rishi, that he can subjugate the whole Earth inasmuch as his brothers are all obedient to him. And having done this let him commence the grand sacrifice called Rajasuya. He is my son; if he performeth that sacrifice, I may, like Harischandra, soon attain to the region of Indra, and there in his Sabha pass countless years in continuous joy. I told him in reply,—O King, I shall tell thy son all this, if I go to the world of man. I have now told thee what he said, O tiger among men. Accomplish then, O son of Pandu, the desires of thy father. If thou performest that sacrifice, thou shall then be able to go, along with thy deceased ancestors, into the same region that is inhabited by the chief of the immortals. It hath been said,—O king, that the performance of this great sacrifice is attended with many obstacles. A class of Rakshasas called Brahma Rakshasas, employed in obstructing all sacrifices, always search for loop-holes when this great sacrifice is commenced. On the commencement of such a sacrifice a war may take place destroying the Kshatriyas and even furnishing occasion for the destruction of the whole Earth. A slight obstacle may involve the whole Earth in ruin. Reflecting upon all this, O king of kings do what is for thy good. Be thou watchful and ready in protecting the four orders of thy subjects. Grow, thou in prosperity, and enjoy thou felicity. Gratify thou the Brahmanas with gifts of wealth. I have now answered in detail all that thou hast asked me. With thy leave I will now go to the city (Dwaravati) of that Dasarhas."

Vaisampayana said,—'O Janamejaya, having said this unto the son of Pritha, Narada went away, accompanied by those Rishis with whom he had come. And after Narada had gone away, king Yudhishthira, O thou of the Kuru race, began to think, along with his brothers, of that foremost of sacrifices called Rajasuya.'


Vaisampayana said,—"Yudhishthira, having heard these words of Narada, began to sigh heavily. And, O Bharata, engaged in his thoughts about the Rajasuya, the king had no peace of mind. Having heard of this glory of the illustrious monarchs (of old) and being certain about the acquisition of regions of felicity by performers of sacrifices in consequence of their sacred deeds, and thinking especially of that royal sage Harischandra who had performed the great sacrifice king Yudhishthira desired to make preparations for the Rajasuya sacrifice. Then worshipping his counsellors and others present at his Sabha, and worshipped by them in return, he began to discuss with them about that sacrifice. Having reflected much, that king of kings, that bull amongst the Kurus, inclined his mind towards making preparations for the Rajasuya. That prince of wonderful energy and prowess, however, reflecting upon virtue and righteousness, again set his heart to find out what would be for the good of all his people. For Yudhishthira, that foremost of all virtuous men, always kind unto his subjects, worked for the good of all without making any distinctions. Indeed, shaking off both anger and arrogance, Yudhishthira always said,—Give unto each what is due to each,—and the only sounds that he could hear were,—Blessed be Dharma! Blessed be Dharma! Yudhishthira! conducting himself thus and giving paternal assurance to everybody, there was none in the kingdom who entertained any hostile feelings towards him. He therefore came to be called Ajatasatru (one with no enemy at all). The king cherished every one as belonging to his family, and Bhima ruled over all justly. Arjuna, used to employing both his hands with equal skill, protected the people from (external) enemies. And the wise Sahadeva administered justice impartially. And Nakula behaved towards all with humility that was natural to him. Owing to all this, the kingdom became free from disputes and fear of every kind. And all the people became attentive to their respective occupations. The rain became so abundant as to leave no room for desiring more; and the kingdom grew in prosperity. And in consequence of the virtues of the king, money-lenders, the articles required for sacrifices, cattle-rearing, tillage, and traders, all and everything grew in prosperity. Indeed, during the reign of Yudhishthira who was ever devoted to truth, there was no extortion, no stringent realisation of arrears of rent, no fear of disease, of fire, or of death by poisoning and incantations, in the kingdom. It was never heard at that time that thieves or cheats or royal favourites ever behaved wrongfully towards the king or towards one another amongst themselves. Kings conquered on the six occasions (of war, treaty, &c.) were wont to wait upon him in order to do good unto the monarch and worship him ever, while the traders of different classes came to pay him the taxes leviable on their respective occupations. And accordingly during the reign of Yudhishthira who was ever devoted to virtue, his dominion grew in prosperity. Indeed, the prosperity of the kingdom was increased not by these alone but even by persons wedded to voluptuousness and indulging in all luxuries to their fill. And the king of kings, Yudhishthira, whose sway extended over all, was possessed of every accomplishment and bore everything with patience. And, O king, whatever countries the celebrated and illustrious monarch conquered, the people everywhere, from Brahmanas to swains, were all more attached to him than to their own fathers and mothers.'

Vaisampayana said,—"King Yudhishthira, then, that foremost of speakers, summoning together his counsellors and brothers, asked them repeatedly about the Rajasuya sacrifice. Those ministers in a body, thus asked by the wise Yudhishthira desirous of performing the sacrifice, then told him these words of grave import,—'One already in possession of a kingdom desireth all the attributes of an emperor by means of that sacrifice which aideth a king in acquiring the attributes of Varuna. O prince of Kuru race, thy friends think that as thou art worthy of the attributes of an emperor, the time is even come for thee for the performance of the Rajasuya sacrifice. The time for the performance of that sacrifice in which Rishis of austere vows kindle six fires with mantras of the Sama Veda, is come for thee in consequence of thy Kshatriya possessions. At the conclusion of the Rajasuya sacrifice when the performer is installed in the sovereignty of the empire, he is rewarded with the fruits of all sacrifices including the Agnihotra. It is for this that he is called the conqueror of all. Thou art quite able, O strong-armed one, to perform this sacrifice. All of us are obedient to thee. Soon will you be able, O great king, to perform the Rajasuya sacrifice. Therefore, O great king, let thy resolution be taken to perform this sacrifice without further discussion. Thus, spoke unto the king all his friends and counsellors separately and jointly. And, O king, Yudhishthira that slayer of all enemies, having heard these virtuous, bold, agreeable and weighty words of theirs, accepted them mentally. And having heard those words of his friends and counsellors, and knowing his own strength also, the king, O Bharata, repeatedly thought over the matter. After this the intelligent and virtuous Yudhishthira, wise in counsel, again consulted with his brothers, with the illustrious Ritwijas about him, with his ministers and with Dhaumya and Dwaipayana and others.

'Yudhishthira said,—"How may this wish that I entertain of performing the excellent sacrifice of Rajasuya that is worthy of an emperor, bear fruit, in consequence of my faith and speech alone.'"

Vaisampayana said,—"O thou of eyes like lotus-petals, thus asked by the king, they replied at that time unto Yudhishthira the just in these words,—Being conversant with the dictates of morality, thou art, O king, worthy to perform the grand sacrifice of Rajasuya. After the Ritwijas and the Rishis had told these words unto the king, his ministers and brothers highly approved of the speech. The king, however, possessed of great wisdom, and with mind under complete control, actuated by the desire of doing good unto the world, again resolved the matter in his mind, thinking of his own strength and means, the circumstances of time and place and his income and expenditure. For he knew that the wise never come to grief owing to their always acting after full deliberation. Thinking that the sacrifice should not be commenced, pursuant to his own resolution only, Yudhishthira, carefully bearing upon his shoulder the weight of affairs thought of Krishna that persecutor of all sinners as the fittest person to decide the matter, in as much as he knew him to be the foremost of all persons, possessed of immeasurable energy, strong-armed, without birth but born amongst men from Will alone. Reflecting upon his god-like feats the son of Pandu concluded that there was nothing that was unknown to him, nothing that he could not achieve, and nothing that he could not bear, and Yudhishthira, the son of Pritha, having come to this settled resolution soon sent a messenger unto that master of all beings, conveying through him blessings and speeches such as one senior in age might send to one that is younger. And that messenger riding in a swift car arrived amongst the Yadavas and approached Krishna who was then residing in Dwaravati. And Achyuta (Krishna) hearing that the son of Pritha had become desirous of seeing him, desired to see his cousin. And quickly passing over many regions, being drawn by his own swift horses, Krishna arrived at Indraprastha, accompanied by Indrasena. And having arrived at Indraprastha, Janardana approached Yudhisthira without loss of time. And Yudhisthira received Krishna with paternal-affection, and Bhima also received him likewise. And Janardana then went with a cheerful heart to his father's sister (Kunti). And worshipped then with reverence by the twins, he began to converse cheerfully with his friend Arjuna who was overjoyed at seeing him. And after he had rested awhile in a pleasant apartment and had been fully refreshed, Yudhishthira approached him at his leisure and informed him all about the Rajasuya sacrifice.

"Yudhishthira said,—'I have wished to perform the Rajasuya sacrifice. That sacrifice, however, cannot be performed by one's wishing alone to perform it. Thou knowest, O Krishna, even thing about the means by which it may be accomplished. He alone can achieve this sacrifice in whom everything is possible, who is worshipped everywhere and who is the king of kings. My friends and counsellors approaching me have said that I should perform that sacrifice. But, O Krishna, in respect of that matter, thy words shall be my guide. Of counsellers some from friendship do not notice the difficulties; others from motives of self-interest say only what is agreeable. Some again regard that which is beneficial to themselves as worthy of adoption. Men are seen to counsel thus on matters awaiting decision. But thou, O Krishna, art above such motives. Thou hast conquered both desire and anger. It behoveth thee to tell me what is most beneficial to the world."


(Rajasuyarambha Parva)

"Krishna said,—'O great king, thou art a worthy possessor of all the qualities essential for the performance of the Rajasuya sacrifice. Thou knowest everything, O Bharata. I shall, however, still tell thee something. Those persons in the world that now go by the name of Kshatriyas are inferior (in everything) to those Kshatriyas that Rama, the son of Jamadagnya, exterminated.' O lord of the earth, O bull of the Bharata race, thou knowest what form of rule these Kshatriyas, guided by the instructions traditionally handed down from generation to generation, have established amongst their own order, and how far they are competent to perform the Rajasuya sacrifice. The numerous royal lines and other ordinary Kshatriyas all represent themselves to be the descendants of Aila and Ikshwaku. The descendants of Aila, O king, as, indeed, the kings of Ikshwaku's race, are, know O bull of the Bharata race, each divided into a hundred separate dynasties. The descendants of Yayati and the Bhojas are great, both in extent (number) and accomplishments. O king, these last are to-day scattered all over the earth. And all the Kshatriyas worship the prosperity of those monarchs. At present, however, O monarch, king Jarasandha, overcoming that prosperity enjoyed by their whole order, and overpowering them by his energy hath set himself over the heads of all these kings. And Jarasandha, enjoying the sovereignty over the middle portion of the earth (Mathura), resolved to create a disunion amongst ourselves. O monarch, the king who is the lord paramount of all kings, and in whom alone the dominion of the universe is centered, properly deserves to be called an emperor. And, O monarch, king Sisupala endued with great energy, hath placed himself under his protection and hath become the generalissimo of his forces. And, O great king, the mighty Vaka, the king of the Karushas, capable of fighting by putting forth his powers of illusion, waiteth, upon Jarasandha, as his disciple. There are two others, Hansa and Dimvaka, of great energy and great soul, who have sought the shelter of the mighty Jarasandha. There are others also viz., Dantavakra, Karusha, Karava, Meghavahana, that wait upon Jarasandha. He also that beareth on his head that gem which is known as the most wonderful on earth, that king of the Yavanas, who hath chastised Muru and Naraka, whose power is unlimited, and who ruleth the west like another Varuna, who is called Bhagadatta, and who is the old friend of thy father, hath bowed his head before Jarasandha, by speech and specially by act. In his heart, however, tied as he is by affection to thee, he regardeth thee as a father regardeth his child. O king, that lord of the earth who hath his dominions on the west and the south, who is thy maternal uncle and who is called Purujit, that brave perpetuator of the Kunti race, that slayer of all foes, is the single king that regardeth thee from affection. He whom I did not formerly slay, that wicked wretch amongst the Chedis, who represented himself in this world as a divine personage and who hath become known also as such, and who always beareth, from foolishness, the signs that distinguish me that king of Vanga Pundra and the Kiratas, endowed with great strength, and who is known on earth by the names of Paundraka and Vasudeva hath also espoused the side of Jarasandha. And, O king of kings, Bhishmaka, the mighty king of the Bhojas—the friend of Indra—the slayer of hostile heroes—who governs a fourth part of the world, who by his learning conquered the Pandyas and the Kratha-Kausikas, whose brother the brave Akriti was like Rama, the son of Jamdagni, hath become a servitor to the king of Magadha. We are his relatives and are, therefore, engaged everyday in doing what is agreeable unto him. But although we regard him much, still he regardeth us not and is engaged in doing us ill. And, O king, without knowing his own strength and the dignity of the race to which he belongeth, he hath placed himself under Jarasandha's shelter at sight of the latter's blazing fame alone. And, O exalted one, the eighteen tribes of the Bhojas, from fear of Jarasandha, have all fled towards the west; so also have the Surasenas, the Bhadrakas, the Vodhas, the Salwas, the Patachchavas, the Susthalas, the Mukuttas, and the Kulindas, along with the Kuntis. And the king of the Salwayana tribe with their brethren and followers; and the southern Panchalas and the eastern Kosalas have all fled to the country of the Kuntis. So also the Matsyas and the Sannyastapadas, overcome with fear, leaving their dominions in the north, have fled into the southern country. And so all the Panchalas, alarmed at the power of Jarasandha, have left their own kingdom and fled in all directions. Some time before, the foolish Kansa, having persecuted the Yadavas, married two of the daughters of Jarasandha. They are called Asti and Prapti and are the sister of Sahadeva. Strengthened by such an alliance, the fool persecuting his relatives gained an ascendency over them all. But by this conduct he earned great obloquy. The wretch also began to oppress the old kings of the Bhoja tribe, but they, to protect themselves from the persecution of their relative, sought our help. Having bestowed upon Akrura the handsome daughter of Ahuka, with Sankarshana as my second I did a service to my relatives, for both Kansa and Sunaman were slain by me assisted by Rama. But after the immediate cause of fear was removed (by the death of Kansa), Jarasandha, his father-in-law, took up arms. Ourselves consisting of the eighteen younger branches of the Yadavas arrived at the conclusion that even if we struck our enemies continually with excellent weapons capable of taking the lives of the foes, we should still be unable to do anything unto him even in three hundred years. He hath two friends that are like unto the immortals, and in point of strength the foremost of all men endued with might. They are called Hansa and Dimvaka who are both incapable of being slain by weapons. The mighty Jarasandha, being united with them, becomes incapable, I think, of being vanquished by even the three worlds. O thou foremost of all intelligent men, this is not our opinion alone but all other kings also are of the same mind. There lived, O monarch, a king of the name of Hansa, who was slain by Rama (Valadeva) after a battle of eighteen days. But, O Bharata, hearing people say that Hansa had been killed, Dimvaka, O king, thought that he could not live without Hansa. He accordingly jumped into the waters of the Yamuna and killed himself. Afterwards when Hansa, the subjugator of hostile heroes, heard that Dimvaka, had killed himself, he went to the Yamuna and jumped into its waters. Then, O bull of the Bharata race, king Jarasandha, hearing that both Hansa and Dimvaka had been killed, returned to his kingdom with an empty heart. After Jarasandha had returned, O slayer of all foes, we were filled with pleasure and continued to live at Mathura. Then the widow of Hansa and the daughter of Jarasandha, that handsome woman with eyes like lotus-petals, grieved at the death of her lord, went unto her father, and repeatedly urged, O Monarch, the king of Magadha, saying,—O slayer of all foes, kill thou the slayer of my husband.—Then, O great king, remembering the conclusion to which we had come of old we became exceedingly cheerless and fled from Mathura. Dividing our large wealth into small portions so as to make each portion easily portable, we fled from fear of Jarasandha, with our cousins and relatives. Reflecting upon everything, we fled towards the west. There is a delightful town towards the west called Kusasthali, adorned by the mountains of Raivata. In that city, O monarch, we took up our abode. We rebuilt its fort and made it so strong that it has become impregnable even to the Gods. And from within it even the women might fight the foe, what to speak of the Yadava heroes without fear of any kind? O slayer of all foes, we are now living in that city. And, O tiger of the Kuru race, considering the inaccessibility of that first of mountains and regarding themselves as having already crossed the fear of Jarasandha, the descendants of Madhu have become exceedingly glad. Thus, O king, though possessed of strength and energy, yet from the oppressions of Jarasandha we have been obliged to repair to the mountains of Gomanta, measuring three Yojanas in length. Within each yojana have been established one and twenty posts of armed men. And at intervals of each yojana are hundred gates with arches which are defended by valourous heroes engaged in guarding them. And innumerable Kshatriyas invincible in war, belonging to the eighteen younger branches of the Yadavas, are employed in defending these works. In our race, O king, there are full eighteen thousand brothers and cousins. Ahuka hath had a hundred sons, each of whom is almost like a god (in prowess), Charudeshna with his brother Chakradeva, Satyaki, myself, Valadeva the son of Rohini, and my son Samva who is equal unto me in battle—these seven, O king are Atirathas. Besides these, there are others, O king, whom I shall presently name. They are Kritavarman, Anadhrishti, Samika, Samitinjaya, Kanka, Sanku and Kunti. These seven are Maharathas. There are also two sons of Andhakabhoja, and the old king himself. Endued with great energy these are all heroes, each mighty as the thunderbolt. These Maharathas, choosing the middle country, are now living amongst the Vrishnis. O thou best of the Bharata line, thou alone art worthy of being an emperor. It behoveth thee, O Bharata, to establish thy empire over all the Kshatriyas. But this is my judgment, O king, that thou wilt not be able to celebrate the Rajasuya sacrifice as long as the mighty Jarasandha liveth. By him have been immured in his hillfort numerous monarchs, like a lion that hath deposited the slain bodies of mighty elephants within a cave of the king of mountains. O slayer of all enemies, king Jarasandha, desirous of offering in sacrifice hundred monarchs, adored for his fierce ascetic penances the illustrious god of gods, the lord of Uma. It is by this means that the kings of the earth have been vanquished by Jarasandha. And, O best of monarchs, he hath by that means been able to fulfil the vow he had made relative to his sacrifice. By defeating the kings with their troops and bringing all of them as captives into this city, he had swelled its crowds enormously. We also, O king, from fear of Jarasandha, at one time had to leave Mathura and fly to the city of Dwaravati. If, O great king, thou desirest to perform this sacrifice, strive to release the kings confined by Jarasandha, as also to compass his death. O son of the Kuru race, otherwise this undertaking of thine can never be completed. O thou foremost of intelligent men if the Rajasuya is to be performed by thee, you must do this in this way and not otherwise. This, O king, is my view (on the matter). Do, O sinless one, as thou thinkest. Under these circumstances, O king, having reflected upon everything, taking note of causes, tell us what thou thyself thinkest proper."


"Yudhishthira said,—"Intelligent as thou art, thou hast said what none else is capable of saying. There is none else on earth who is settler of all doubts. Behold, there are kings in every province employed in benefiting their respective selves. But no one amongst them hath been able to achieve the imperial dignity. Indeed, the title emperor is difficult of acquisition. He that knoweth the valour and strength of others never applaudeth himself. He, indeed, is really worthy of applause (worship) who, engaged in encounters with his enemies, beareth himself commendably. O thou supporter of the dignity of the Vrishni race, man's desires and propensities, like the wide earth itself adorned with many jewels, are varied and extensive. As experience can seldom be gained but by travelling in regions remote from one's home, so salvation can never be attained except by acting according to principles that are very high, compared with the ordinary level of our desire and propensities. I regard peace of mind as the highest object here, for from that quality may proceed my prosperity. In my judgment, if I undertake to celebrate this sacrifice, I shall never win the highest reward. O Janardana, endued with energy and intelligence, these that have been born in our race think that some one amongst them will at one time become the foremost amongst all Kshatriyas. But, O exalted one, we also were all frightened by the fear of Jarasandha and, O sinless one, by the wickedness of that monarch. O thou invincible in battle, the might of thy arm is my refuge. When, therefore, thou taken fright at Jarasandha's might, how should I regard myself strong in comparison with him? Madhava, O thou of the Vrishni race, I am repeatedly depressed by the thought whether Jarasandha is capable or not of being slain by thee, by Rama, by Bhimasena, or by Arjuna. But what shall I say, O Keshava? Thou art my highest authority on everything.'

"On hearing these words, Bhima well-skilled in speech said,—'That king who is without exertion, or who being weak and without resources entereth into hostility with one that is strong, perisheth like an ant-hill. It may be generally seen, however, that even a king that is weak may vanquish an enemy that is strong and obtain the fruition of all his wishes, by wakefulness and by the application of policy. In Krishna is policy, in myself strength, in Arjuna triumphs. So like the three (sacrificial) fires that accomplish a sacrifice, we shall accomplish the death of the king of Magadha."

"Krishna then said,—'One that is immature in understanding seeketh the fruition of his desire without an eye to what may happen to him in future. It is seen that no one forgiveth for that reason a foe that is of immature understanding and inclined to serve his own interests. It hath been heard by us that in the krita age, having brought every one under their subjection, Yauvanaswin by the abolition of all taxes, Bhagiratha by his kind treatment to his subjects, Kartavirya by the energy of his asceticism, the lord Bharata by his strength and valour, and Maruta by his prosperity, all these five became emperors. But, O Yudhishthira, thou who covetest the imperial dignity deserves it, not by one but by all these qualities, viz., victory, protection afforded to thy people, virtue, prosperity, and policy. Know, O bull of the Kuru race, that Jarasandha, the son of Vrihadratha, is even such (i.e., a candidate for the imperial dignity). A hundred dynasties of kings have become unable to oppose Jarasandha. He, therefore, may be regarded to be an emperor for his strength. Kings that are wearers of jewels worship Jarasandha (with presents of jewels). But, wicked from his childhood, he is scarcely satisfied with such worship. Having become the foremost among all, he attacketh yet with violence kings with crowns on their heads. Nor is there seen any king from whom he taketh not tribute. Thus hath he brought under his sway nearly a hundred kings. How can, O son of Pritha, any weak monarch approach him with hostile intentions? Confined in the temple of Shiva and offered as sacrifice unto him like so many animals, do not these monarchs dedicated unto that god feel the most poignant misery, O bull of the Bharata race? A Kshatriya that dieth in battle is ever regarded with respect. Why shall we not, therefore, meet together and oppose Jarsandha in battle? He hath already brought eighty-six kings; fourteen only are wanting to complete one hundred. As soon as he obtaineth those fourteen, he will begin his cruel act. He that shall be to obstruct that act will surely win blazing renown. And he that will vanquish Jarasandha will surely become the emperor of all the Kshatriyas.'"


"Yudhishthira said,—'Desirous of the imperial dignity but acting from selfish motives and relying upon courage alone, how, O Krishna, can I despatch ye (unto Jarasandha)? Both Bhima and Arjuna, I regard as my eyes, and thee, O Janardana as my mind. How shall I live, deprived of my eyes and mind. Yama himself cannot vanquish in battle the mighty host of Jarasandha that is endued, besides, with terrible valour. What valour can ye exhibit against it. This affair that promises to terminate otherwise may lead to great mischief. It is my opinion, therefore, that the proposed task should not be undertaken. Listen, O Krishna, to what I for one think. O Janardana, desisting from this act seemeth to me to be beneficial. My heart to-day is afflicted. The Rajasuya appeareth to me difficult of accomplishment.'"

"Vaisampayana said,—"Arjuna who had obtained that excellent of bows and that couple of inexhaustible quivers, and that car with that banner, as also that assembly room, now addressed Yudhishthira and said,—'I have obtained, O king, a bow and weapons and arrows and energy and allies and dominions and fame and strength. Those are always difficult of acquisition, however much they may be desired. Learned men of repute always praise in good society nobleness of descent. But nothing is equal to might. Indeed, O monarch, there is nothing I like more than prowess. Born in a race noted for its valour, one that is without valour is scarcely worthy of regard. One, however, possessed of valour, that is born in a race not noted for it, is much superior to the former. He, O king, is a Kshatriya in every thing who increaseth his fame and possessions by the subjugation of his enemies. And he that is possessed of valour, though destitute of all (other) merits, will vanquish his foes. One, however, that is destitute of valour, though possessed of every (other) merit, can scarcely accomplish anything. Every merit exists by the side of valour in an incipient state. Concentration of attention, exertion and destiny exist as the three causes of victory. One, however, that is possessed of valour doth not yet deserve success if he acts carelessly. It is for this that an enemy endued with strength sometimes suffers death at the hands of his foes. As meanness overtakes the weak, so folly sometimes overtakes the strong. A king, therefore, that is desirous of victory, should avoid both these causes of destruction. If, for the purpose of our sacrifice, we endeavour to slay Jarasandha and rescue the kings kept by him for a cruel purpose, there is no higher act which we could employ ourselves in. If, however, we do not undertake the task, the world will always think us incompetent. We have certainly the competence, O king! Why should you, therefore, regard us as incompetent? Those that have become Munis desirous of achieving tranquillity of souls, obtain yellow robes with ease. So if we vanquish the foe, the imperial dignity will easily be ours. We shall, therefore fight the foe."


"Vasudeva said,—'Arjuna hath indicated what the inclination should be of one that is born in the Bharata race, especially of one who is the son of Kunti. We know not when death will overtake us, in the night or in the day. Nor have we ever heard that immortality hath been achieved by desisting from fight. This, therefore, is the duty of men, viz., to attack all enemies in accordance with the principles laid down in the ordinance. This always gives satisfaction to the heart. Aided by good policy, if not frustrated by Destiny, an undertaking becomes crowned with success. If both parties aided by such means encounter each other, one must obtain ascendency over the other, for both cannot win or lose. A battle however, if directed by bad policy which again is destitute of the well-known arts, ends in defeat or destruction. If, again, both parties are equally circumstanced, the result becomes doubtful. Both, however, cannot win. When such is the case, why should we not, aided by good policy, directly approach the foe; and destroy him, like the current of the river uprooting a tree? If, disguising our own faults, we attack the enemy taking advantage of his loopholes, why should we not succeed? Indeed, the policy of intelligent men, is that one should not fight openly with foes that are exceedingly powerful and are at the head of their well-arrayed forces. This too is my opinion. If, however, we accomplish our purpose secretly entering the abode of our foe and attacking his person, we shall never earn obloquy. That bull among men—Jarasandha—alone enjoyeth unfaded glory, like unto him who is the self in the heart of every created being. But I see his destruction before me. Desirous of protecting our relatives we will either slay him in battle or shall ascend to heaven being ourselves slain in the end by him.'

Yudhishthira said—"O Krishna, who is this Jarasandha? What is his energy and what is his prowess, that having touched thee he hath not been burnt like an insect at the touch of fire?"

Krishna said,—'Hear, O monarch, who Jarasandha is; what his energy; and what is his prowess; and why also he hath been spared by us, Even though he hath repeatedly offended us. There was a mighty king of the name of Vrihadratha, the lord of the Magadhas. Proud in battle, he had three Akshauhinis of troops. Handsome and endued with energy, possessed of affluence and prowess beyond measure, and always bearing on his person marks indicating installation at sacrifices. He was like a second Indra. In glory he was like unto Suryya, in forgiveness like unto the Earth, in wrath like unto the destroyer Yama and in wealth like unto Vaisravana. And O thou foremost of the Bharata race, the whole earth was covered by his qualities that descended upon him from a long line of ancestors, like the rays emerging from the sun. And, O bull of the Bharata race, endued with great energy that monarch married two twin daughters of the king of Kasi, both endued with the wealth of beauty. And that bull among men made an engagement in secret with his wives that he would love them equally and would never show a preference for either. And the lord of the earth in the company of his two dearly loved wives, both of whom suited him well, passed his days in joy like a mighty elephant in the company of two cow-elephants, or like the ocean in his personified form between Ganga and Yamuna (also in their personified forms). The monarch's youth however, passed away in the enjoyment of his possessions, without any son being born unto him to perpetuate his line. The best of monarch failed to obtain a son to perpetuate his race, even by means of various auspicious rites, and homas, and sacrifices performed with the desire for having an offspring. One day the king heard that the high-souled Chanda-kausika, the son of Kakshivat of the illustrious Gautama race, having desisted from ascetic penances had come in course of his wanderings to his capital and had taken his seat under the shade of a mango tree. The king went unto that Muni accompanied by his two wives, and worshipping him with jewels and valuable presents gratified him highly. That best of Rishis truthful in speech and firmly attached to truth, then told the king,—O king of kings, I have been pleased with thee. O thou of excellent vows, solicit thou a boon. King Vrihadratha then, with his wives, bending low unto that Rishi, spoke these words choked with tears in consequence of his despair of obtaining a child.—'O holy one forsaking my kingdom I am about to go into the woods to practise ascetic penances. I am very unfortunate for I have no son. What shall I do, therefore, with my kingdom or with a boon?'

Krishna continued,—"Hearing these words (of the king), the Muni controlling his outer senses entered into meditation, sitting in the shade of that very mango tree where he was. And there fell upon the lap of the seated Muni a mango that was juicy and untouched by the beak of a parrot or any other bird. That best of Munis, taking up the fruit and mentally pronouncing certain mantras over it, gave it unto the king as the means of his obtaining an incomparable offspring. And the great Muni, possessed also of extraordinary wisdom, addressing the monarch, said,—"Return, O king, thy wish is fulfilled. Desist, O king, from going (into the woods)".—Hearing these words of the Muni and worshipping his feet, the monarch possessed of great wisdom, returned to his own abode. And recollecting his former promise (unto them) the king gave, O bull of the Bharata race, unto his two wives that one fruit. His beautiful queens, dividing that single fruit into two parts, ate it up. In consequence of the certainty of the realisation of the Muni's words and his truthfulness, both of them conceived, as an effect of their having eaten that fruit. And the king beholding them in that state became filled with great joy. Then, O wise monarch, some time after, when the time came, each of the queens brought forth a fragmentary body. And each fragment had one eye, one arm, one leg, half a stomach, half a face, and half an anus. Beholding the fragmentary bodies, both the mothers trembled much. The helpless sisters then anxiously consulted each other, and sorrowfully abandoned those fragments endued with life. The two midwives (that waited upon the queens) then carefully wrapping up the still-born (?) fragments went out of the inner apartments (of the palace) by the back door and throwing away the bodies, returned in haste. A little while after, O tiger among men, a Rakshasa woman of the name of Jara living upon flesh and blood, took up the fragments that lay on a crossing. And impelled by force of fate, the female cannibal united the fragments for facility of carrying them away. And, O bull among men, as soon as the fragments were united they formed a sturdy child of one body (endued with life). Then, O king, the female cannibal, with eyes expanded in wonder, found herself unable to carry away that child having a body as hard and strong as the thunder-bolt. That infant then closing his fists red as copper and inserting them into its mouth, began to roar terribly as rain-charged clouds. Alarmed at the sound, the inmates of the palace, O tiger among men, suddenly came out with the king, O slayer of all foes. The helpless and disappointed and sad queens also, with breasts full of milk, also came out suddenly to recover their child. The female cannibal beholding the queens in that condition and the king too so desirous of an offspring, and the child was possessed of such strength thought within herself—I live within dominions of the king who is so desirous of an offspring. It behoveth not me, therefore, to kill the infant child of such an illustrious and virtuous monarch. The Rakshasa woman then, holding the child in her arms like the clouds enveloping the sun, and assuming a human form, told the king these words,—O Vrihadratha, this is thy child. Given to thee by me, O, take it. It hath been born of both thy wives by virtue of the command of the great Brahmana. Cast away by the midwives, it hath been protected by me!

"Krishna continued,—O thou foremost of the Bharata race, the handsome daughters of the king of Kasi, having obtained the child, soon drenched it with their lacteal streams. The king ascertaining everything, was filled with joy, and addressing that female cannibal disguised as a human being possessing the complexion of gold, asked,—O thou of the complexion of the filament of the lotus, who art thou that givest me this child? O auspicious one, thou seemest to me as a goddess roaming at thy pleasure!"


"Krishna continued,—'hearing these words of the king, the Rakshasa woman answered—Blessed be thou, O king of kings. Capable of assuming any form at will. I am a Rakshasa woman called Jara. I am living, O king, happily in thy house, worshipped by all. Every day I wander from house to house of men. Indeed, I was created of old by the Self-create and was named Grihadevi (the household goddess)'. Of celestial beauty I was placed (in the world) for the destruction of the Danavas. He that with devotion painteth on the walls (of his house) a likeness of myself endued with youth and in the midst of children, must have prosperity in his abode; otherwise a household must sustain decay and destruction. O lord, painted on the walls of thy house is a likeness of myself surrounded by numerous children. Stationed there I am daily worshipped with scents and flowers, with incense and edibles and various objects of enjoyment. Thus worshipped in thy house, I daily think of doing thee some good in return. It chanced, O virtuous king, that I beheld the fragmentary bodies of thy son. When these happened to be united by me, a living child was formed of them. O great king, it hath been so owing to thy good fortune alone. I have been only the instrument, I am capable of swallowing the mountain of Meru itself, what shall I say of the child? I have, however, been gratified with thee in consequence of the worship I receive in thy house. It is, therefore, O king, that I have bestowed this child on thee.

"Krishna continued,—Having spoken these words, O king, Jara disappeared there and then. The king having obtained the child then entered the palace. And the king then caused all the rites of infancy to be performed on that child, and ordered a festival to be observed by his people in Honour of that Rakshasa woman. And the monarch equal unto Brahma himself then bestowed a name on his child. And he said that because the child had been united by Jara, he should be called (Jarasandha i.e., united by Jara). And the son of the king of Magadha endued with great energy, began to grow up in bulk and strength like a fire into which hath been poured libation of clarified butter. And increasing day by day like the moon in the bright fortnight, the child began to enhance the joy of his parents.'"


"Krishna said,—some time after this, the great ascetic, the exalted Chandakausika, again came into the country of the Magadhas. Filled with joy at the advent of the Rishi, king Vrihadratha, accompanied by his ministers and priest and wives and son, went out to receive him. And, O Bharata, worshipping the Rishi with water to wash his feet and face, and with the offerings of Arghya the king then offered his whole kingdom along with his son for the acceptance of the Rishi. The adorable Rishi accepting that worship offered by the king, addressing the ruler of Magadha, O monarch, said with well-pleased heart,—O king, I knew all this by spiritual insight. But hear, O king of kings, what this son of thine will be in future, as also what his beauty, excellence, strength, and valour will be. Without doubt this son of thine, growing in prosperity and endued with prowess, will obtain all these. Like other birds that can never imitate the speed of Vinata's son (Garuda), the other monarchs of the earth will not be able to equal in energy this thy son, who will be endued with great valour. And all those that will stand in his way will certainly be destroyed. Like the force of the current that can never make the slightest impression upon the rocky breast of a mountain, weapons hurled at him even by the celestials will fail to produce the least pain in him. He will blaze forth above the heads of all that wear crowns on their brows. Like the sun that dims the lustre of all luminous bodies, this son of thine will rob all monarchs of their splendour. Even kings that are powerful and own large armies and numberless vehicles and animals, upon approaching this son of thine, will all perish as insects upon fire. This child will seize the growing prosperity of all kings like the ocean receiving the rivers swollen with the water of the rainy season. Like the huge earth that bears all kinds of produce, supporting things that are both good and evil, this child endued with great strength will support all the four orders of men. And all the kings of the earth will live in obedience to the commands of this child just as every creature endued with body live in dependence upon Vayu that is dear as self unto beings. This prince of Magadha—the mightiest of all men in the world—will behold with his physical eyes the god of gods called Rudra or Hara, the slayer of Tripura. O thou slayer of all foes, saying this, the Rishi, thinking of his own business, dismissed king Vrihadratha. The lord of the Magadhas then, re-entering his capital, and calling together his friends and relations, installed Jarasandha, on the throne. King Vrihadratha then came to feel a great distaste for worldly pleasures. And after the installation of Jarasandha king Vrihadratha followed by his two wives became an inmate of an ascetic asylum in the woods. And, O king, after his father and mothers had retired into the woods, Jarasandha by his valour brought numerous kings under his sway.'"

"Vaisampayana continued,—'King Vrihadratha, having lived for some time in the woods and practised ascetic penances, ascended to heaven at last with his wives. King Jarasandha, also, as uttered by Kausika, having received those numerous boons ruled his kingdom like a father. Some time after when king Kansa was slain by Vasudeva, an enmity arose between him and Krishna. Then, O Bharata, the mighty king of Magadha from his city of Girivraja, whirling a mace ninety-nine times, hurled it towards Mathura. At that time Krishna of wonderful deeds was residing at Mathura. The handsome mace hurled by Jarasandha fell near Mathura at a distance of ninety-nine yojanas from Gririvraja The citizens beholding the circumstance well, went unto Krishna and informed him of the fall of the mace. The place where the mace fell is adjacent to Mathura and is called Gadavasan. Jarasandha had two supporters called Hansa and Dimvaka, both of whom were incapable of being slain by weapons. Well-conversant with the science of politics and morality, in counsel they were the foremost of all intelligent men. I have already told thee everything about that mighty pair. They two and Jarasandha, I believe, are more than a match for three worlds. O brave king, it was for this reason that the powerful Kukkura, Andhaka and Vrishni tribes, acting from motives of policy, did not deem it proper to fight with him.'"


(Jarasandhta-badha Parva)

"Krishna said,—both Hansa and Dimvaka have fallen; Kansa also with all his followers has been slain. The time hath, therefore come for the destruction of Jarasandha. He is incapable of being vanquished in battle even by all the celestials and the Asuras (fighting together). We think, however, that he should be vanquished in a personal struggle with bare arms. In me is policy, in Bhima is strength and in Arjuna is triumph; and therefore, as prelude to performing the Rajasuya, we will certainly achieve the destruction of the ruler of Magadha. When we three approach that monarch in secret, and he will, without doubt, be engaged in an encounter with one of us. From fear of disgrace, from covetousness, and from pride of strength he will certainly summon Bhima to the encounter. Like death himself that slays a person however swollen with pride, the long-armed and mighty Bhimasena will effect the destruction of the king. If thou knowest my heart, if thou hast any faith in me, then make over to me, as a pledge, Bhima and Arjuna without loss of time!"

"Vaisampayana continued,—Thus addressed by the exalted one, Yudhishthira, beholding both Bhima and Arjuna standing with cheerful faces, replied, saying—'O Achyuta, O Achyuta, thou slayer of all enemies, say not so. Thou art the lord of the Pandavas! We are dependent on thee. What thou sayest, O Govinda, is consistent with wise counsels. Thou never leadest those upon whom Prosperity hath turned her back. I who stay under thy command regard that Jarasandha is already slain, that the monarchs confined by him have already been set free, that the Rajasuya hath already been accomplished by me. O lord of the universe, O thou best of persons, watchfully act thou so that this task may be accomplished. Without ye then I dare not live, like a sorrowful man afflicted with disease, and bereft of the three attributes of morality, pleasure and wealth. Partha cannot live without Sauri (Krishna), nor can Sauri live without Partha. Nor is there anything in the world that is unconquerable by these two, viz., Krishna and Arjuna. This handsome Bhima also is the foremost of all persons endued with might. Of great renown, what can he not achieve when with ye two? Troops, when properly led, always do excellent service. A force without a leader hath been called inert by the wise. Forces, therefore, should always be led by experienced commanders. Into places that are low, the wise always conduct the water. Even fishermen cause the water (of tank) to run out through holes. (Experienced leaders always lead their forces noting the loopholes and assailable points of the foe). We shall, therefore, strive to accomplish our purpose following the leadership of Govinda conversant with the science of politics, that personage whose fame hath spread all over the world. For the successful accomplishment of one's purposes one should ever place Krishna in the van, that foremost of personages whose strength consists in wisdom and policy and who possesseth a knowledge of both method and means. For the accomplishment of one's purpose let, therefore, Arjuna, the son of Pritha, follow Krishna the foremost of the Yadavas and let Bhima follow Arjuna. Policy and good fortune and might will (then) bring about success in a matter requiring valour.' Vaisampayana said,—'Thus addressed by Yudhishthira, the trio Krishna, Arjuna and Bhima, all possessed of great energy, set out for Magadha attired in the garb of Snataka Brahmanas of resplendent bodies, and blessed by the agreeable speeches of friends and relatives. Possessed of superior energy and of bodies already like the Sun, the Moon, and the Fire, inflamed with wrath at the sad lot of their relative kings, those bodies of theirs became much more blazing. And the people, beholding Krishna and Arjuna, both of whom had never before been vanquished in battle, with Bhima in the van, all ready to achieve the same task, regarded Jarasandha as already slain. For the illustrious pair (Krishna and Arjuna) were masters that directed every operation (in the universe), as also all acts relating to the morality, wealth, and pleasure of every being. Having set out from the country of the Kurus, they passed through Kuru-jangala and arrived at the charming lake of lotuses. Passing over the hills of Kalakuta, they then went on crossing the Gandaki, the Sadanira (Karatoya), and the Sarkaravarta and the other rivers taking their rise in the same mountains. They then crossed the delightful Sarayu and saw the country of Eastern Kosala. Passing over that country they went to Mithila and then crossing the Mala and Charamanwati, the three heroes crossed the Ganges and the Sone and went on towards the east. At last those heroes of unfaded glory arrived at Magadha in the heart of (the country of) Kushamva. Reaching then the hills of Goratha, they saw the city of Magadha that was always filled with kine and wealth and water and rendered handsome with the innumerable trees standing there.'"

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