The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1
by Kisari Mohan Ganguli
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"Vasudeva said,—'behold, O Partha, the great capital of Magadha, standing in all its beauty. Filled with flocks and herds and its stock of water never exhausted, and adorned also with fine mansions standing in excellent array, it is free from every kind of calamity. The five large hills of Vaihara, Varaha, Vrishava, Rishigiri, and the delightful Chaitya, all of high peaks and overgrown with tall trees of cool shade and connected with one another, seem to be jointly protecting the city of Girivraja. The breasts of the hills are concealed by forests of delightful and fragrant Lodhras having the ends of their branches covered with flowers. It was here that the illustrious Gautama of rigid vows begat on the Sudra woman Ausinari (the daughter of Usinara) Kakshivat and other celebrated sons. That the race sprung from Gautama doth yet live under the sway of an ordinary human race (of monarchs) is only evidence of Gautama's kindness to kings. And, O Arjuna, it was here that in olden times the mighty monarchs of Anga, and Vanga and other countries, came to the abode of Gautama, and passed their days in joy and happiness. Behold, O Partha, those forests of delightful Pippalas and beautiful Lodhras standing near the side of Gautama's abode. There dwelt in old days those Nagas, Arvuda and Sakravapin, those persecutors of all enemies, as also the Naga Swastika and that other excellent Naga called Manu. Manu himself had ordered the country of the Magadhas to be never afflicted with drought, and Kaushika and Manimat also have favoured the country. Owning such a delightful and impregnable city, Jarasandha is ever bent on seeking the fruition of his purposes unlike other monarchs. We shall, however, by slaying him to-day humble his pride."

Vaisampayana said,—Thus saying those brothers of abundant energy, viz., he of the Vrishni race and the two Pandavas entered the city of Magadha. They then approached towards the impregnable city of Girivraja that was full of cheerful and well-fed inhabitants belonging to all the four orders, and where festivities were perennial. On arriving then at the gate of the city, the brothers (instead of passing through it) began to pierce (with their shafts) the heart of the high Chaityaka peak that was worshipped by the race of Vrihadratha, as also by the citizens and which delighted the hearts of all the Magadhas. There Vrihadratha had slain a cannibal called Rishava and having slain the monster made of his hide three drums which he placed in his own city. And those drums were such that once beaten their sound lasted one full month. And the brothers broke down the Chaityaka peak that was delightful to all the Magadhas, at that point where those drums covered with celestial flowers used to yield their continuous sound. And desirous of slaying Jarasandha they seemed by that act of theirs to place their feet upon the head of their foe. And attacking with their mighty arms that immovable and huge and high and old and celebrated peak always worshipped with perfumes and floral wreaths, those heroes broke it down. And with joyful hearts they then entered the city. And it so happened that the learned Brahmanas residing within the city saw many evil omens which they reported to Jarasandha. And the priest making the king mount an elephant whirled lighted brands about him. And king Jarasandha also, possessed of great prowess, with a view to warding of those evils, entered upon the celebration of a sacrifice, with proper vows and fasts. Meanwhile, O Bharata, the brothers unarmed, or rather with their bare arms as their only weapons, desirous of fighting with Jarasandha, entered the capital in the guise of Brahmanas. They beheld the extraordinary beauty of the shops full of various edibles and floral wreaths, and supplied with articles of every variety of various qualities that man can desire. Those best of men, Krishna, Bhima, and Dhananjaya, beholding in those shops their affluence, passed along the public road. And endued with great strength they snatched forcibly from the flower-vendors the garlands they had exposed for sale. And attired in robes of various colours and decked in garlands and ear-rings the heroes entered the abode of Jarasandha possessed of great intelligence, like Himalayan lions eyeing cattle-folds. And the arms of those warriors, O king, besmeared with sandal paste, looked like the trunks of sala trees. The people of Magadha, beholding those heroes looking like elephants, with necks broad like those of trees and wide chests, began to wonder much. Those bull among men, passing through three gates that were crowded with men, proudly and cheerfully approached the king. And Jarasandha rising up in haste received them with water to wash their feet with, and honey and the other ingredients of the Arghya—with gifts of kine, and with other forms of respect. The great king addressing them said,—'Ye are welcome'! And, O Janamejaya, both Partha and Bhima remained silent at this. And addressing the monarch Krishna said,—'O king of kings these two are now in the observance of a vow. Therefore they will not speak. Silent they will remain till midnight After that hour they will speak with thee!' The king then quartering his guests in the sacrificial apartments retired into his private chambers. And when midnight arrived, the monarch arrived at the place where his guests attired as Brahmanas were. For, O King, that ever victorious monarch observed this vow which was known throughout the Worlds that as soon as he should hear of the arrival of Snataka Brahmanas at his place, should it be even at midnight, he would immediately, O Bharata, come out and grant them an audience. Beholding the strange attire of his guests that best of kings wondered much. For all that, however, he waited on them respectfully. Those bulls among men, those slayers of all foes, on the other hand, O thou best of the Bharata race, beholding king Jarasandha, said,—'Let salvation be attained by thee, O king, without difficulty.' And, O tiger among kings, having said this unto the monarch, they stood looking at each other. And, O king of kings, Jarasandha then said unto those sons of Pandu and him of the Yadu race, all disguised as Brahmanas—'Take your seats.' And those bulls among men sat themselves down, and like the three priests of a great sacrifice blazed forth in their beauty. And king Jarasandha, O thou of the Kuru race, firmly devoted to truth, censuring the disguised guests, said unto them,—'It is well known to me that in the whole world Brahmanas in the observance of Snataka vow never deck their persons with garlands and fragrant paste unseasonably. Who are ye, therefore, thus decked with flowers, and with hands bearing the marks of the bow-string? Attired in coloured robes and decked unseasonably with flowers and paste, ye give me to understand that ye are Brahmanas, although ye bear Kshatriya energy. Tell me truly who ye are. Truth decks even kings. Breaking down the peak of the Chaityaka hill, why have ye, in disguise, entered (the city) by an improper gate without fear of the royal wrath? The energy of a Brahmana dwelleth in his speech, (not in act). This your feat is not suited to the order to which ye profess to belong. Tell us therefore, the end ye have in view. Arrived here by such an improper way, why accept ye not the worship I offer? What is your motive for coming to me? Thus addressed by the king, the high-souled Krishna, well-skilled in speech, thus replied unto the monarch in a calm and grave voice.

"Krishna said,—'O king, know us for Snataka Brahmanas. Brahmanas and Kshatriyas and Vaishyas are all, O monarch, competent to observe the vow of Snataka. This vow, besides, hath (many) especial and general rules. A Kshatriya observing this vow with especial rules always achieve prosperity. Therefore, have we decked ourselves with flowers. Kshatriyas again, O king, exhibit their energy by their arms and not in speech. It is, therefore, O son of Vrihadratha, that the speeches uttered by a Kshatriya are never audacious. O monarch, the creator hath planted his own energy in the aim of the Kshatriya. If thou wishest to behold it, thou shalt certainly behold it today. These are the rules of the ordinance, viz., that an enemy's abode should be entered through a wrong gate and a friend's abode through the right one. And know, O monarch, that this also is our eternal vow that having entered the foe's abode for the accomplishment of our purpose, we accept not the worship offered to us!"


"Jarasandha said,—'I do not recollect if I ever acted injuriously towards ye! Even upon a careful mental scrutiny I fail to see the injury I did unto ye. When I have never done ye an injury, why, ye Brahmanas do ye regard me, who am innocent, as your foe? O, answer me truly, for this, indeed, is the rule followed by the honest. The mind is pained at the injury to one's pleasure and morality. That Kshatriya who injures an innocent man's (sources of) pleasure and morality even if he be otherwise a great warrior and well-versed in all rules of morality, obtains, without any doubt the fate of sinners (hereafter) and falls off from prosperity. The practices of the Kshatriyas are the best of those that are honest in the three worlds Indeed, those that are acquainted with morality applaud the Kshatriya practices. Adhering to those practices of my order with steady soul, I never injure those that are under me. In bringing this charge, therefore, against me, it appears that ye speak erroneously!'

"Krishna said,—'O thou of mighty arms, there is a certain person of the head of a (royal) line who upholdeth the dignity of his race At his command have we come against thee. Thou hast brought, O king, many of the Kshatriyas of the world as captives (to thy city.) Having perpetrated that wicked wrong how dost thou regard thyself as innocent? O best of monarchs, how can a king act wrongfully towards other virtuous kings? But thou, O king, treating other kings with cruelty, seekest to offer them as sacrifice unto the god Rudra! O son of Vrihadratha, this sin committed by thee may touch even us, for as we are virtuous in our practices, we are capable of protecting virtue. The slaughter of human being as sacrifice unto the gods is never seen. Why dost thou, therefore, seek to perform a sacrifice unto god Sankara by slaughtering human beings? Thou art addressing persons belonging to thy own order as animals (fit for sacrifice)! Fool as thou art, who else, O Jarasandha, is capable of behaving in this way? One always obtaineth the fruits of whatever acts one performeth under whatever circumstances. Therefore, desirous as we are of helping all distressed people, we have, for the prosperity of our race, come hither to slay thee, the slaughterer of our relatives. Thou thinkest that there is no man among the Kshatriyas (equal to thee). This, O king, is a great error of judgment on thy part. What Kshatriya is there, O king, who endued with greatness of soul and recollecting the dignity of his own parentage, would not ascend to eternal heaven that hath not its like anywhere, falling in open fight? Know O bull among men, that Kshatriyas engage themselves in battle, as persons installed in sacrifices, with heaven in view, and vanquish the whole world! Study of the Vedas, great fame, ascetic penances, and death in battle, are all acts that lead to heaven. The attainment of heaven by the three other acts may be uncertain, but death in battle hath that for its certain consequence. Death in battle is the sure cause of triumph like Indra's. It is graced by numerous merits. It is for this reason that he of a hundred sacrifices (Indra) hath become what he is, and by vanquishing the Asuras he ruleth the universe. Hostility with whom else than thee is so sure of leading to heaven, proud as thou art of the excessive strength of thy vast Magadha host? Don't disregard others, O king. Valour dwelleth in every man. O king of men, there are many men whose valour may be equal or superior to thine. As long as these are not known, so long only art thou noted for thy valour. Thy prowess, O king, can be borne by us. It is, therefore, that I say so. O king of Magadha, cast off thy superiority and pride in the presence of those that are thy equals. Go not, O king, with thy children and ministers and army, into the regions of Yama. Damvodhava, Kartavirya, Uttara, and Vrihadratha, were kings that met with destruction, along with all their forces, for having disregarded their superiors. Desirous of liberating the captive monarchs from thee, know that we are certainly not Brahmanas. I am Hrishesha otherwise called Sauri, and these two heroes among men are the sons of Pandu. O king of Magadha, we challenge thee. Fight standing before us. Either set free all the monarchs, or go thou to the abode of Yama.

"Jarasandha said,—'I never make a captive of a king without first vanquishing him. Who hath been kept here that hath not been defeated in war? This, O Krishna, it hath been said, is the duty that should be followed by the Kshatriyas, viz., to bring others under sway by the exhibition of prowess and then to treat them as slaves. Having gathered these monarchs with the intention of offering them as sacrifices unto the god, how shall I, O Krishna, from fear liberate them to-day, when I recollect also the duty I have recited of a Kshatriya? With troops against troops arrayed in order of battle, or alone against one, or against two, or against three, at the same time or separately, I am ready to fight.'"

Vaisampayana said,—"Having spoken thus, and desiring to fight with those heroes of terrible achievements, king Jarasandha ordered (his son) Sahadeva to be installed on the throne. Then, O bull of the Bharata race, the king, on the eve of battle, thought of his two generals Kausika and Chitrasena. These two, O king, were formerly called by everybody in the world of men by the respectful appellations of Hansa and Dimvaka. And, O monarch, that tiger among men, the lord Sauri ever devoted to truth, the slayer of Madhu, the younger brother of Haladhara, the foremost of all persons having their senses under complete control, keeping in view the command of Brahma and remembering that the ruler of Magadha was destined to be slain in battle by Bhima and not by the descendant of Madhu (Yadavas), desired not to slay himself king Jarasandha, that foremost of all men endued with strength, that hero possessed of the prowess of a tiger, that warrior of terrible valour."


Vaisampayana said,—'then that foremost of all speakers, Krishna of the Yadava race, addressing king Jarasandha who was resolved upon fighting, said,—'O king, with whom amongst us three dost thou desire to fight? Who amongst us shall prepare himself for battle (with thee)?' Thus addressed, the ruler of Magadha, king Jarasandha of great splendour, expressed his desire for fighting with Bhima. The priest then, bringing with him the yellow pigment obtained from the cow and garlands of flowers and other auspicious articles, as also various excellent medicines for restoring lost consciousness and alleviating pain, approached Jarasandha, panting for battle. The king Jarasandha, on whose behalf propitiatory ceremonies with benedictions were performed by a renowned Brahmana, remembering the duty of a Kshatriya dressed himself for battle. Taking off his crown and binding his hair properly, Jarasandha stood up like an ocean bursting its continents. Then the monarch possessed of terrible prowess, addressing Bhima. said, 'I will fight with thee. It is better to be vanquished by a superior person.' And saying this, Jarasandha, that represser of all foes endued, rushed with great energy at Bhimasena like the Asura Vala or old who rushed at the chief of the celestials. And the mighty Bhimasena, on whose behalf the gods had been invoked by Krishna, that cousin of his, having consulted with advanced towards Jarasandha, impelled by the desire of fight. Then those tigers among men, those heroes of great prowess, with their bare arms as their only weapons, cheerfully engaged themselves in the encounter, each desirous of vanquishing the other. And seizing each other's arms and twining each other's legs, (at times) they slapped their arm-pits, causing the enclosure to tremble at the sound. And frequently seizing each other's necks with their hands and dragging and pushing it with violence, and each pressing every limb of his body against every limb of the other, they continued, O exalted one, to slap their arm-pits (at time). And sometimes stretching their arms and sometimes drawing them close, and now raising them up and now dropping them down, they began to seize each other. And striking neck against neck and forehead against forehead, they caused fiery sparks to come out like flashes of lightning. And grasping each other in various ways by means of their arms, and kicking each other with such violence as to affect the innermost nerves, they struck at each other's breasts with clenched fists. With bare arms as their only weapons roaring like clouds they grasped and struck each other like two mad elephants encountering each other with their trunks. Incensed at each other's blow, they fought on dragging and pushing each other and fiercely looking at each other like two wrathful lions. And each striking every limb of the other with his own and using his arms also against the other, and catching hold of each other's waist, they hurled each other to a distance. Accomplished in wrestling, the two heroes clasping each other with their arms and each dragging the other unto himself, began to press each other with great violence. The heroes then performed those grandest of all feats in wrestling called Prishtabhanga, which consisted in throwing each other down with face towards the earth and maintaining the one knocked down in that position as long as possible. And employing his arms, each also performed the feats called Sampurna-murchcha and Purna-kumbha. At times they twisted each other's arms and other limbs as if these were vegetable fibres that were to be twisted into chords. And with clenched fists they struck each other at times, pretending to aim at particular limbs while the blows descended upon other parts of the body. It was thus that those heroes fought with each other. The citizens consisting of thousands, of Brahmanas, Kshatriyas and Vaisyas and Sudras, and even women and the aged, O tiger among men, came out and gathered there to behold the fight. And the crowd became so great that it was one solid mass of humanity with no space between body and body. The sound the wrestlers made by the slapping of their arms, the seizing of each other's necks for bringing each other down, and the grasping of each other's legs for dashing each other to the ground, became so loud that it resembled the roar of thunder or of falling cliffs. Both of them were foremost of mighty men, and both took great delight in such encounter. Desirous of vanquishing the other, each was on the alert for taking advantage of the slightest lapse of the other. And, O monarch, the mighty Bhima and Jarasandha fought terribly on in those lists, driving the crowd at times by the motions of their hands like Vritra and Vasava of old. Thus two heroes, dragging each other forward and pressing each other backward and with sudden jerks throwing each other face downward and sideways, mangled each other dreadfully. And at times they struck each other with their knee-joints. And addressing each other loudly in stinging speeches, they struck each other with clenched fists, the blows descending like a mass of stone upon each other. With broad shoulders and long arms and both well-skilled in wrestling encounters, they struck each other with those long arms of theirs that were like maces of iron. That encounter of the heroes commenced on the first (lunar) day of the month of Kartic (October) and the illustrious heroes fought on without intermission and food, day and night, till the thirteenth lunar day. It was on the night of the fourteenth of the lunar fortnight that the monarch of Magadha desisted from fatigue. And O king, Janardana beholding the monarch tired, addressed Bhima of terrible deeds, and as if to stimulate him said,—'O son of Kunti, a foe that is fatigued cannot be pressed for if pressed at such a time he may even die. Therefore, O son of Kunti, this king should not be oppressed by thee. On the other hand, O bull of the Bharata race, fight with him With thy arms, putting forth as much strength only as thy antagonist hath now left!' Then that slayer of hostile heroes, the son of Pandu, thus addressed by Krishna, understood the plight of Jarasandha and forthwith resolved upon taking his life. And that foremost of all men endued with strength, that prince of the Kuru race, desirous of vanquishing the hitherto unvanquished Jarasandha, mustered all his strength and courage."


Vaisampayana said,—"thus addressed, Bhima firmly resolved upon slaying Jarasandha, replied unto Krishna of the Yadu race, saying,—O tiger of the Yadu race, O Krishna, this wretch that yet stayeth before me with sufficient strength and bent upon fight, should not be forgiven by me. Hearing these words of Vrikodara (Bhima), that tiger among men, Krishna, desiring to encourage that hero to accomplish the death of Jarasandha without any delay, answered,—'O Bhima, exhibit today upon Jarasandha the strength thou hast luckily derived, the might thou hast obtained from (thy father), the god Maruta.' Thus addressed by Krishna, Bhima, that slayer of foes, holding up in the air the powerful Jarasandha, began to whirl him on high. And, O bull of the Bharata race, having so whirled him in the air full hundred times, Bhima pressed his knee against Jarasandha's backbone and broke his body in twain. And having killed him thus, the mighty Vrikodara uttered a terrible roar. And the roar of the Pandava mingling with that death knell of Jarasandha, while he was being broken on Bhima's knee, caused a loud uproar that struck fear into the heart of every creature. And all the citizens of Magadha became dumb with terror and many women were even prematurely delivered. And hearing those roars, the people of Magadha thought that either the Himavat was tumbling down or the earth itself was being rent asunder. And those oppressors of all foes then, leaving the lifeless body of the king at the palace gate where he lay as one asleep, went out of the town. And Krishna, causing Jarasandha's car furnished with an excellent flagstaff to be made ready and making the brothers (Bhima and Arjuna) ride in it, went in and released his (imprisoned) relatives. And those kings rescued from terrible fate, rich in the possession of jewels, approaching Krishna made presents unto him of jewels and gems. And having vanquished his foe, Krishna furnished with weapons and unwounded and accompanied by the kings (he had released), came out of Girivraja riding in that celestial car (of Jarasandha). And he also who could wield the bow with both hands (Arjuna), who was incapable of being vanquished by any of the monarchs on earth, who was exceedingly handsome in person and well-skilled in the destruction of the foe, accompanied by the possessor of great strength (Bhima), came out of that tort with Krishna driving the car whereon he rode. And that best of cars, incapable of being vanquished by any king, ridden in by those warriors Bhima and Arjuna, and driven by Krishna, looked exceedingly handsome. Indeed, it was upon that car that Indra and Vishnu had fought of old in the battle (with the Asuras) in which Taraka (the wife of Vrihaspati) had become the immediate cause of much slaughter. And riding upon that car Krishna now came out of the hill-fort. Possessed of the splendour of heated gold, and decked with rows of jingling bells and furnished with wheels whose clatter was like the roar of clouds, and ever victorious in battle, and always slaughtering the foe against whom it was driven, it was that very car riding upon which Indra had slain ninety-nine Asuras of old. And those bulls among men (the three cousins) having obtained that car became exceedingly glad. The people of Magadha, behold the long-armed Krishna along with the two brothers, seated in that car (of Jarasandha) wondered much. O Bharata, that car, whereunto were yoked celestial horses and which possessed the speed of the wind, thus ridden upon by Krishna, looked exceedingly beautiful. And upon that best of cars was a flag-staff without being visibly attached thereto, and which was the product of celestial skill. And the handsome flag-staff, possessed of the splendour of the rainbow, could be seen from the distance of a yojana. And Krishna while, coming out, thought of Garuda. And Garuda, thought of by his master, came thither in no time, like a tree of vast proportions standing in a village worshipped by all. Garuda of immense weight of body and living upon snakes sat upon that excellent car along with the numberless open-mouthed and frightfully-roaring creatures on its flag-staff. And thereupon that best of cars became still more dazzling with its splendour and was as incapable of being looked at by created being as the midday sun surrounded by a thousand rays. And, O king, such was that best of flag-staffs of celestial make that it never struck against any tree nor could any weapon injure it at all even though visible to men's eyes. And Achyuta, that tiger among men, riding with the two sons of Pandu upon that celestial car, the clatter of whose wheels was like the roar of the clouds, came out of Girivraja. The car upon which Krishna rode had been obtained by king Vasu from Vasava, and from Vasu by Vrihadratha, and from the latter in due course by king Jarasandha. And he of long arms and eyes like lotus-petals and possessed of illustrious reputation, coming out of Girivraja, stopped (for some time) on a level plain outside the town. And, O king, all the citizens then, with the Brahmanas at their head, hastened thither to adore him with due religious rites. And the kings who had been released from confinement worshipped the slayer of Madhu with reverence, and addressing him with eulogies said,—O thou of long arms, thou hast to-day rescued us, sunk in the deep mire of sorrow in the hand of Jarasandha. Such an act of virtue by thee, O son of Devaki, assisted by the might of Bhima and Arjuna, is most extraordinary. O Vishnu, languishing as we all were in the terrible hill-fort of Jarasandha, it was verily from sheer good fortune alone that thou hast rescued us, O son of the Yadu race, and achieved thereby a remarkable reputation. O tiger among men, we bow down to thee. O, command us what we shall do. However difficult of accomplishment, thy command being made known to us, O lord (Krishna), it will at once be accomplished by us. Thus addressed by the monarchs, the high-souled Hrishikesa gave them every assurance and said,—'Yudhishthira is desirous of performing the sacrifice of Rajasuya. That monarch, ever guided by virtue, is solicitous of acquiring the imperial dignity. Having known this from me assist ye him in his endeavours. Then, O king, all those monarchs with joyous hearts accepted the words of Krishna, saying,—'So be it! And saying this, those lords of earth made presents of jewels unto him of the Dasarha race. And Govinda, moved by kindness towards them, took a portion of those presents,

"Then the son of Jarasandha, the high-souled Sahadeva, accompanied by his relatives and the principal officers of state, and with his priest in front came thither. And the prince, bending himself low and making large presents of jewels and precious stones, worshipped Vasudeva, that god among men. Then that best of men, Krishna, giving every assurance unto the prince afflicted with fear, accepted those presents of his of great value. And Krishna joyfully installed the prince there and then in the sovereignty of Magadha. And the strong-armed and illustrious son of Jarasandha, thus installed on the throne by those most exalted of men and having obtained the friendship of Krishna and treated with respect and kindness by the two sons of Pritha, re-entered the city of his father. And that bull amongst men, Krishna, accompanied by the sons of Pritha and graced with great good fortune, left the city of Magadha, laden with numerous jewels. Accompanied by the two sons of Pandu, Achyuta (Krishna) arrived at Indraprastha, and approaching Yudhishthira joyfully addressing that monarch said,—'O best of kings, from good fortune, the mighty Jarasandha hath been slain by Bhima, and the kings confined (at Girivraja) have been all set free. From good fortune also, these two, Bhima and Dhananjaya, are well and arrived, O Bharata, it their own city unwounded. Then Yudhishthira worshipped Krishna as he deserved and embraced Bhima and Arjuna in joy. And the monarch who had no enemy, having obtained victory through the agency of his brothers in consequence of the death of Jarasandha, gave himself up to pleasure and merriment with all his brothers. And the oldest son of Pandu (Yudhisthira) together with his brothers approached the kings who had come to Indraprastha and entertaining and worshipping them, each according to his age, dismissed them all. Commanded by Yudhishthira those kings with joyful hearts, set out for their respective countries without loss of time, riding upon excellent vehicles. Thus, O king, did that tiger among men. Janardana of great intelligence, caused his foe Jarasandha to be slain through the instrumentality of the Pandavas. And, O Bharata, that chastiser of all foes having thus caused Jarasandha to be slain, took leave of Yudhishthira and Pritha, and Draupadi and Subhadra, and Bhimasena and Arjuna and the twins Nakula and Sahadeva. After taking leave of Dhananjaya also, he set out for his own city (of Dwarka), riding upon that best of cars of celestial make, possessed of the speed of the mind and given unto him by Yudhishthira, filling the ten points of the horizon with the deep rattle of its wheels. And, O bull of the Bharata race, just as Krishna was on the point of setting out, the Pandavas with Yudhishthira at their head walked round that tiger among men who was never fatigued with exertion.'

"And after the illustrious Krishna, the son of Devaki, had departed (from Indraprastha) having acquired that great victory and having also dispelled the fears of the kings, that feat, O Bharata, swelled the fame of the Pandavas. And, O king, the Pandavas passed their days, continuing to gladden the heart of Draupadi. And at that time, whatever was proper and consistent with virtue, pleasure, and profit, continued to be properly executed by king Yudhishthira in the exercise of his duties of protecting his subjects."


(Digvijaya Parva)

Vaisampayana said,—Arjuna, having obtained that best of bows and that couple of inexhaustible quivers and that car and flag-staff, as also that assembly-house, addressing Yudhisthira said,—Bow, weapons, great energy, allies, territory, fame, army-those, O king, difficult of acquisition however desirable, have all been obtained by me. I think, therefore, that what should now be done is for the swelling up of our treasury. I desire, O best of monarchs, to make the kings (of the earth) pay tributes to us. I desire to set out, in an auspicious moment of a holy day of the moon under a favourable constellation for the conquest of the direction that is presided over by the Lord of treasures (viz. the North)."

Vaisampayana continued,—"King Yudhisthira the just, hearing these words of Dhananjaya, replied unto him in a grave and collected tone, saying,—O bull of the Bharata race, set thou out, having made holy Brahmanas utter benedictions on thee, to plunge thy enemies in sorrow and to fill thy friend with joy. Victory, O son of Pritha, will surely be thine, and thou wilt surely obtain thy desires fulfilled.

"Thus addressed, Arjuna, surrounded by a large host, set out in that celestial car of wonderful achievements he had obtained from Agni. And Bhimasena also, and those bull among men, the twins, dismissed with affection by Yudhishthira the just set out, each at the head of a large army. And Arjuna, the son of the chastiser of Paka then brought under subjugation that direction (the North) which was presided over by the Lord of treasures. And Bhimasena overcome by force the East and Sahadeva the South, and Nakula, O king, acquainted with all the weapons, conquered the West. Thus while his brothers were so employed, the exalted king Yudishthira the just stayed within Khandavaprastha in the enjoyment of great affluence in the midst of friends and relatives."

"Bhagadatta, hearing this, said,—'O thou who hast Kunto for thy mother, as thou art to me, so is Yudhishthira also. I shall do all this. Tell me, what else I may do for thee."


Vaisampayana continued,—thus addressed, Dhananjaya replied unto Bhagadatta, saying,—'If thou wilt give thy promise to do this, thou hast done all I desire. And having thus subjugated the king of Pragjyotisha, Dhananjaya of long arms, the son of Kunti, then marched towards the north—the direction presided over by the lord of treasures. That bull amongst men, that son of Kunti, then conquered the mountainous tracts and their outskirts, as also the hilly regions. And having conquered all the mountains and the kings that reigned there, and bringing them under his sway, he exacted tributes from all. And winning the affections of those kings and uniting himself with them, he next marched, O king, against Vrihanta, the king of Uluka, making this earth tremble with the sound of his drums, the clatter of his chariot-wheels, and the roar of the elephants in his train. Vrihanta, however, quickly coming out of his city followed by his army consisting of four kinds of troops, gave battle to Falguna (Arjuna). And the fight that took place between Vrihanta and Dhananjaya was terrible. It so happened that Vrihanta was unable to bear the prowess of the son of Pandu. Then that invincible king of the mountainous region regarding the son of Kunti irresistible, approached him with all his wealth. Arjuna snatched out the kingdom from Vrihanta, but having made peace with him marched, accompanied by that king, against Senavindu whom he soon expelled from his kingdom. After this he subjugated Modapura, Vamadeva, Sudaman, Susankula, the Northern Ulukas, and the kings of those countries and peoples. Hereafter at the command of Yudhishthira, O monarch, Arjuna, did not move from the city of Senavindu but sent his troops only and brought under his sway those five countries and peoples. For Arjuna, having arrived at Devaprastha, the city of Senavindu, took up his quarters there with his army consisting of four kinds of forces. Thence, surrounded by the kings and the peoples he had subjugated, the hero marched against king Viswagaswa—that bull of Puru's race. Having vanquished in battle the brave mountaineers, who were all great warriors, the son of Pandu, O king, then occupied with the help of his troops, the town protected by the Puru king. Having vanquished in battle the Puru king, as also the robber tribes, of the mountains, the son of Pandu brought under his sway the seven tribes called Utsava-sanketa. That bull of the Kshatriya race then defeated the brave Kshatriyas of Kashmira and also king Lohita along with ten minor chiefs. Then the Trigartas, the Daravas, the Kokonadas, and various other Kshatriyas, O king, advanced against the son of Pandu. That Prince of the Kuru race then took the delightful town of Avisari, and then brought under his sway Rochamana ruling in Uraga. Then the son of Indra (Arjuna), putting forth his might, pressed the delightful town of Singhapura that was well-protected with various weapons. Then Arjuna, that bull amongst the son of Pandu, at the head of all his troops, fiercely attacked the regions called Suhma and Sumala. Then the son of Indra, endued with great prowess, after pressing them with great force, brought the Valhikas always difficult of being vanquished, under his sway. Then Falguna, the son of Pandu, taking with him a select force, defeated the Daradas along with the Kambojas. Then the exalted son of Indra vanquished the robber tribes that dwelt in the north-eastern frontier and those also that dwelt in the woods. And, O great king, the son of Indra also subjugated the allied tribes of the Lohas, the eastern Kambojas, and northern Rishikas. And the battle with the Rishikas was fierce in the extreme. Indeed, the fight that took place between them and the son of Pritha was equal to that between the gods and the Asuras in which Taraka (the wife of Vrihaspati) had become the cause of so much slaughter. And defeating, O king, the Rishikas in the field of battle, Arjuna took from them as tribute eight horses that were of the colour of the parrot's breast, as also other horses of the hues of the peacock, born in northern and other climes and endued with high speed. At last having conquered all the Himalayas and the Nishkuta mountains, that bull among men, arriving at the White mountains, encamped on its breast."


Vaisampayana said,—"that heroic and foremost of the Pandavas endued with great energy, crossing the White mountains, subjugated the country of the Limpurushas ruled by Durmaputra, after a collision involving a great slaughter of Kshatriyas, and brought the region under his complete sway. Having reduced that country, the son of Indra (Arjuna) with a collected mind marched at the head of his troops to the country called Harataka, ruled by the Guhakas. Subjugating them by a policy of conciliation, the Kuru prince beheld (in that region) that excellent of lakes called Manasa and various other lakes and tanks sacred to the Rishis. And the exalted prince having arrived at the lake Manasa conquered the regions ruled by the Gandharvas that lay around the Harataka territories. Here the conqueror took, as tribute from the country, numerous excellent horses called Tittiri, Kalmasha, Manduka. At last the son of the slayer of Paka, arriving in the country of North Harivarsha desired to conquer it. Thereupon certain frontier-guards of huge bodies and endued with great strength and energy, coming to him with gallant hearts, said, 'O son of Pritha, this country can be never conquered by thee. If thou seekest thy good, return hence. He that entereth this region, if human, is sure to perish. We have been gratified with thee; O hero, thy conquests have been enough. Nor is anything to be seen here, O Arjuna, that may be conquered by thee. The Northern Kurus live here. There cannot be war here. Even if thou enterest it, thou will not be able to behold anything, for with human eyes nothing can be seen here. If, however thou seekest anything else, O Bharata tell us, O tiger among men, so that we may do thy bidding. Thus addressed by them, Arjuna smilingly addressing them, said,—'I desire the acquisition of the imperial dignity by Yudhishthira the just, of great intelligence. If your land is shut against human beings, I shall not enter it. Let something be paid unto Yudhishthira by ye as tribute. Hearing these words of Arjuna, they gave him as tribute many cloths and ornaments of celestial make, silks of celestial texture and skins of celestial origin.

"It was thus that tiger among men subjugated the countries that lay to the North, having fought numberless battles with both Kshatriya and robber tribes. And having vanquished the chiefs and brought them under his sway he exacted from them much wealth, various gems and jewels, the horses of the species called Tittiri and Kalmasha, as also those of the colour of the parrot's wings and those that were like the peacocks in hue and all endued with the speed of the wind. And surrounded, O king, by a large army consisting of the four kinds of forces, the hero came back to the excellent city of Sakraprastha. And Partha offered the whole of that wealth, together with the animals he had brought, unto Yudhishthira the just. And commanded by the monarch, the hero retired to a chamber of the palace for rest."


Vaisampayana said,—in the meantime, Bhimasena also endued with great energy, having obtained the assent of Yudhishthira the just marched towards the eastern direction. And the tiger among the Bharatas, possessed of great valour and ever increasing the sorrows of his foes, was accompanied by a mighty host with the full complement of elephants and horses and cars, well-armed and capable of crushing all hostile kingdoms. That tiger among men, the son of Pandu, going first into the great country of the Panchalas, began by various means to conciliate that tribe. Then that hero, that bull of the Bharata race, within a short time, vanquished the Gandakas and the Videhas. That exalted one then subjugated the Dasarnas. There in the country of the Dasarnas, the king called Sudharman with his bare arms fought a fierce battle with Bhimasena. And Bhimasena, beholding that feat of the illustrious king, appointed the mighty Sudharman as the first in command of his forces. Then Bhima of terrible prowess marched towards the east, causing the earth itself to tremble with the tread of the mighty host that followed him. Then that hero who in strength was the foremost of all strong men defeated in battle Rochamana, the king of Aswamedha, at the head of all his troops. And the son of Kunti, having vanquished that monarch by performing feats that excelled in fierceness, subjugated the eastern region. Then that prince of the Kuru race, endued with great prowess going into the country of Pulinda in the south, brought Sukumara and the king Sumitra under his sway. Then, O Janamejaya, that bull in the Bharata race, at the command of Yudhishthira the just marched against Sisupala of great energy. The king of Chedi, hearing of the intentions of the son of Pandu, came out of his city. And that chastiser of all foes then received the son of Pritha with respect. Then, O king, those bulls of the Chedi and the Kuru lines, thus met together, enquired after each other's welfare. Then, O monarch, the king of Chedi offered his kingdom unto Bhima and said smilingly,—'O sinless one, upon what art thou bent?' And Bhima thereupon represented unto him the intentions of king Yudhishthira. And Bhima dwelt there, O king, for thirty nights, duly entertained by Sisupala. And after this he set out from Chedi with his troops and vehicles."


Vaisampayana said,—that chastiser of all foes then vanquished king Srenimat of the country of Kumara, and then Vrihadvala, the king of Kosala. Then the foremost of the sons of Pandu, by performing feats excelling in fierceness, defeated the virtuous and mighty king Dirghayaghna of Ayodhya. And the exalted one then subjugated the country of Gopalakaksha and the northern Kosalas and also the king of Mallas. And the mighty one, arriving then in the moist region at the foot of the Himalayas soon brought the whole country under his sway. And that bull of Bharata race brought under control in this way diverse countries. And endued with great energy and in strength the foremost of all strong men, the son of Pandu next conquered the country of Bhallata, as also the mountain of Suktimanta that was by the side of Bhallata. Then Bhima of terrible prowess and long arms, vanquishing in battle the unretreating Suvahu the king of Kasi, brought him under complete sway. Then that bull among the sons of Pandu overcame in battle, by sheer force, the great king Kratha reigning in the region lying about Suparsa. Then the hero of great energy vanquished the Matsya and the powerful Maladas and the country called Pasubhumi that was without fear or oppression of any kind. And the long-armed hero then, coming from that land, conquered Madahara, Mahidara, and the Somadheyas, and turned his steps towards the north. And the mighty son of Kunti then subjugated, by sheer force, the country called Vatsabhumi, and the king of the Bhargas, as also the ruler of the Nishadas and Manimat and numerous other kings. Then Bhima, with scarcely any degree of exertion and very soon, vanquished the southern Mallas and the Bhagauanta mountains. And the hero next vanquished, by policy alone, the Sarmakas and the Varmakas. And that tiger among men then defeated with comparative ease that lord of earth, Janaka the king of the Videhas. And the hero then subjugated strategically the Sakas and the barbarians living in that part of the country. And the son of Pandu, sending forth expeditions from Videha, conquered the seven kings of the Kiratas living about the Indra mountain. The mighty hero then, endued with abundant energy, vanquished in battle the Submas and the Prasuhmas. And winning them over to his side, the son of Kunti, possessed of great strength, marched against Magadha. On his way he subjugated the monarchs known by the names of Danda and Dandadhara, And accompanied by those monarchs, the son of Pandu marched against Girivraja. After bringing the son of Jarasandha under his sway by conciliation and making him pay tribute, the hero then accompanied by the monarchs he had vanquished, marched against Kansa. And making the earth tremble by means of his troops consisting of the four kinds of forces, the foremost of the Pandavas then encountered Karna that slayer of foes. And, O Bharata, having subjugated Karna and brought him under his sway, the mighty hero then vanquished the powerful king of the mountainous regions. And the son of Pandu then slew in a fierce encounter, by the strength of his arms, the mighty king who dwelt in Madagiri. And the Pandava then, O king, subjugated in battle those strong and brave heroes of fierce prowess, viz., the heroic and mighty Vasudeva, the king of Pundra and king Mahaujah who reigned in Kausika-kachchha, and then attacked the king of Vanga. And having vanquished Samudrasena and king Chandrasena and Tamralipta, and also the king of the Karvatas and the ruler of the Suhmas, as also the kings that dwelt on the sea-shore, that bull among the Bharatas then conquered all Mlechchha tribes. The mighty son of the wind-god having thus conquered various countries, and exacting tributes from them all advanced towards Lohity. And the son of Pandu then made all the Mlechchha kings dwelling in the marshy regions on the sea-coast, pay tributes and various kinds of wealth, and sandal wood and aloes, and clothes and gems, and pearls and blankets and gold and silver and valuable corals. The Mlechchha kings showered upon the illustrious son of Kunti a thick downpour of wealth consisting of coins and gems counted by hundreds of millions. Then returning to Indraprastha, Bhima of terrible prowess offered the whole of that wealth unto king Yudhisthira the just."


Vaisampayana said,—"thus also Sahadeva, dismissed with affection by king Yudhisthira the just, marched towards the southern direction accompanied by a mighty host. Strong in strength, that mighty prince of the Kuru race, vanquishing completely at the outset the Surasenas, brought the king of Matsya under his sway. And the hero then, defeating Dantavakra, the mighty king of the Adhirajas and making him pay tribute, re-established him on his throne. The prince then brought under his sway Sukumara and then king Sumitra, and he next vanquished the other Matsyas and then the Patacharas. Endued with great intelligence, the Kuru warrior then conquered soon enough the country of the Nishadas and also the high hill called Gosringa, and that lord of earth called Srenimat. And subjugating next the country called Navarashtra, the hero marched against Kuntibhoja, who with great willingness accepted the sway of the conquering hero. And marching thence to the banks of the Charmanwati, the Kuru warrior met the son of king Jamvaka, who had, on account of old hostilities, been defeated before by Vasudeva. O Bharata, the son of Jamvaka gave battle to Sahadeva. And Sahadeva defeating the prince marched towards the south. The mighty warrior then vanquished the Sekas and others, and exacted tributes from them and also various kinds of gems and wealth. Allying himself with the vanquished tribes the prince then marched towards the countries that lay on the banks of the Narmada. And defeating there in battle the two heroic kings of Avanti, called Vinda and Anuvinda, supported by a mighty host, the mighty son of the twin gods exacted much wealth from them. After this the hero marched towards the town of Bhojakata, and there, O king of unfading glory, a fierce encounter took place between him and the king of that city for two whole days. But the son of Madri, vanquishing the invincible Bhismaka, then defeated in battle the king of Kosala and the ruler of the territories lying on the banks of the Venwa, as also the Kantarakas and the kings of the eastern Kosalas. The hero then defeating both the Natakeyas and the Heramvaks in battle, and subjugating the country of Marudha, reduced Munjagrama by sheer strength. And the son of Pandu then vanquished the mighty monarchs of the Nachinas and the Arvukas and the various forest king of that part of the country. Endued with great strength the hero then reduced to subjection king Vatadhipa. And defeating in battle the Pulindas, the hero then marched southward. And the younger brother of Nakula then fought for one whole day with the king of Pandrya. The long-armed hero having vanquished that monarch marched further to the south. And then he beheld the celebrated caves of Kishkindhya and in that region fought for seven days with the monkey-kings Mainda and Dwivida. Those illustrious kings however, without being tired an the encounter, were gratified with Sahadeva. And joyfully addressing the Kuru prince, they said,—'O tiger among the sons of Pandu, go hence, taking with the tribute from us all. Let the mission of the king Yudhishthira the just possessed of great intelligence, be accomplished without hindrance. And taking jewels and gems from them all, the hero marched towards the city of Mahishmati, and there that bull of men did battle with king Nila. The battle that took place between king Nila and the mighty Sahadeva the son of Pandu, that slayer of hostile heroes, was fierce and terrible. And the encounter was an exceedingly bloody one, and the life of the hero himself was exposed to great risk, for the god Agni himself assisted king Nila in that fight. Then the cars, heroes, elephants, and the soldiers in their coats of mail of Sahadeva's army all appeared to be on fire. And beholding this the prince of the Kuru race became exceedingly anxious. And, O Janamejaya, at sight of this the hero could not resolve upon what he should do.

Janamejaya said,—O regenerate one, why was it that the god Agni become hostile in battle unto Sahadeva, who was fighting simply for the accomplishment of a sacrifice (and therefore, for the gratification of Agni himself)?

Vaisampayana said,—'It is said, O Janamejaya, that the god Agni while residing in Mahishmati, earned the reputation of a lover. King Nila had a daughter who was exceedingly beautiful. She used always to stay near the sacred fire of her father, causing it to blaze up with vigour. And it so happened that king Nila's fire, even if fanned, would not blaze up till agitated by the gentle breath of that girl's fair lips. And it was said in King Nila's palace and in the house of all his subjects that the god Agni desired that beautiful girl for his bride. And it so happened that he was accepted by the girl herself. One day the deity assuming the form of a Brahmana, was happily enjoying the society of the fair one, when he was discovered by the king. And the virtuous king thereupon ordered the Brahmana to be punished according to law. At this the illustrious deity flamed up in wrath. And beholding this, the king wondered much and bent his head low on the ground. And after some time the king bowing low bestowed the daughter of his upon the god Agni, disguised as a Brahmana. And the god Vibhabasu (Agni) accepting that fair-browed daughter of king Nila, became gracious unto that monarch. And Agni, the illustrious gratifier of all desires also asked the monarch to beg a boon of him. And the king begged that his troops might never be struck with panic while engaged in battle. And from that time, O king, those monarchs who from ignorance of this, desire to subjugate king Nila's city, are consumed by Hutasana (Agni). And from that time, O perpetuator of the Kuru race, the girls of the city of Mahishmati became rather unacceptable to others (as wives). And Agni by his boon granted them sexual liberty, so that the women of that town always roam about at will, each unbound to a particular husband. And, O bull of the Bharata race, from that time the monarchs (of other countries) forsake this city for fear of Agni. And the virtuous Sahadeva, beholding his troops afflicted with fear and surrounded by flames of fire, himself stood there immovable as a mountain. And purifying himself and touching water, the hero (Sahadeva) then addressed Agni, the god that sanctifieth everything, in these words,—

'I bow unto thee, O thou whose track is always marked with smoke. These my exertions are all for thee. O thou sanctifier of all, thou art the mouth of the gods and thou art Sacrifice personified. Thou art called Pavaka because thou sanctifiest everything, and thou art Havyavahana, because thou carriest the clarified butter that is poured on thee. The Veda have sprung for ministering unto thee, and, therefore, thou art called Jataveda. Chief of the gods as thou art, thou art called Chitrabhanu, Anala, Vibhavasu, Hutasana, Jvalana, Sikhi, Vaiswanara, Pingesa, Plavanga, Bhuritejah. Thou art he from whom Kumara (Kartikeya) had his origin; thou art holy; thou art called Rudragarva and Hiranyakrit. Let thee, O Agni, grant me energy, let Vayu grant me life, let Earth grant me nourishment and strength, and let Water grant me prosperity. O Agni, thou who art the first cause of the waters, thou who art of great purity, thou for ministering unto whom the Vedas have sprung, thou who art the foremost of the deities, thou who art their mouth, O purify me by thy truth. Rishis and Brahmanas, Deities and Asuras pour clarified butter every day, according to the ordinance into thee during sacrifices. Let the rays of truth emanating from thee, while thou exhibitest thyself in those sacrifices, purify me. Smoke-bannered as thou art and possessed of flames, thou great purifier from all sins born of Vayu and ever present as thou art in all creatures, O purify me by the rays of thy truth. Having cleansed myself thus cheerfully, O exalted one, do I pray unto thee. O Agni, grant me now contentment and prosperity, and knowledge and gladness.

Vaisampayana continued.—'He that will pour clarified butter into Agni reciting these mantras, will ever be blessed with prosperity, and having his soul under complete control will also be cleansed from all his sins.

"Sahadeva, addressing Agni again, said,—'O carrier of the sacrificial libations, it behoveth thee not to obstruct a sacrifice!' Having said this, that tiger among men—the son of Madri—spreading some kusa grass on earth sat down in expectation of the (approaching) fire and in front of those terrified and anxious troops of his. And Agni, too, like the ocean that never transgresseth its continents, did not pass over his head. On the other hand approaching Sahadeva quietly and addressing that prince of the Kuru race, Agni that god of men gave him every assurance and said,—'O thou of the Kuru race, rise up from this posture. O rise up, I was only trying thee. I know all thy purpose, as also those of the son of Dharma (Yudhisthira). But, O best of the Bharata race, as long as there is a descendant of king Nila's line, so long should this town be protected by me. I will, however O son of Pandu, gratify the desires of thy heart. And at these words of Agni, O bull of the Bharata race, the son of Madri rose up with a cheerful heart, and joining his hands and bending his head worshipped that god of fire, sanctifier of all beings. And at last, after Agni had disappeared, king Nila came there, and at the command of that deity, worshipped with due rites Sahadeva, that tiger among men—that master of battle. And Sahadeva accepted that worship and made him pay tribute. And having brought king Nila under his sway thus, the victorious son of Madri then went further towards the south. The long-armed hero then brought the king of Tripura of immeasurable energy under his sway. And next turning his forces against the Paurava kingdom, he vanquished and reduced to subjection the monarch thereof. And the prince, after this, with great efforts brought Akriti, the king of Saurashtra and preceptor of the Kausikas under his sway. The virtuous prince, while staying in the kingdom of Saurashtra sent an ambassador unto king Rukmin of Bhishmaka within the territories of Bhojakata, who, rich in possessions and intelligence, was the friend of Indra himself. And the monarch along with his son, remembering their relationship with Krishna, cheerfully accepted, O king, the sway of the son of Pandu. And the master of battle then, having exacted jewels and wealth from king Rukmin, marched further to the south. And, endued with great energy and great strength, the hero then, reduced to subjection, Surparaka and Talakata, and the Dandakas also. The Kuru warrior then vanquished and brought under his subjection numberless kings of the Mlechchha tribe living on the sea coast, and the Nishadas and the cannibals and even the Karnapravarnas, and those tribes also called the Kalamukhas who were a cross between human beings and Rakshasas, and the whole of the Cole mountains, and also Surabhipatna, and the island called the Copper island, and the mountain called Ramaka. The high-souled warrior, having brought under subjection king Timingila, conquered a wild tribe known by the name of the Kerakas who were men with one leg. The son of Pandu also conquered the town of Sanjayanti and the country of the Pashandas and the Karahatakas by means of his messengers alone, and made all of them pay tributes to him. The hero brought under his subjection and exacted tributes from the Paundrayas and the Dravidas along with the Udrakeralas and the Andhras and the Talavanas, the Kalingas and the Ushtrakarnikas, and also the delightful city of Atavi and that of the Yavanas. And, O king of kings, that slayer of all foes, the virtuous and intelligent son of Madri having arrived at the sea-shore, then despatched with great assurance messengers unto the illustrious Vibhishana, the grandson of Pulastya. And the monarch willingly accepted the sway of the son of Pandu, for that intelligent and exalted king regarded it all as the act of Time. And he sent unto the son of Pandu diverse kinds of jewels and gems, and sandal and also wood, and many celestial ornaments, and much costly apparel, and many valuable pearls. And the intelligent Sahadeva, accepting them all, returned to his own kingdom.

"Thus it was, O king, that slayer of all foes, having vanquished by conciliation and war numerous kings and having also made them pay tribute, came back to his own city. The bull of the Bharata race, having presented the whole of that wealth unto king Yudhisthira the just regarded himself, O Janamejaya, as crowned with success and continued to live happily."


Vaisampayana said,—"I shall now recite to you the deeds and triumphs of Nakula, and how that exalted one conquered the direction that had once been subjugated by Vasudeva. The intelligent Nakula, surrounded by a large host, set out from Khandavaprastha for the west, making this earth tremble with the shouts and the leonine roars of the warriors and the deep rattle of chariot wheels. And the hero first assailed the mountainous country called Rohitaka that was dear unto (the celestial generalissimo) Kartikeya and which was delightful and prosperous and full of kine and every kind of wealth and produce. And the encounter the son of Pandu had with the Mattamyurakas of that country was fierce. And the illustrious Nakula after this, subjugated the whole of the desert country and the region known as Sairishaka full of plenty, as also that other one called Mahetta. And the hero had a fierce encounter with the royal sage Akrosa. And the son of Pandu left that part of the country having subjugated the Dasarnas, the Sivis, the Trigartas, the Amvashtas, the Malavas, the five tribes of the Karnatas, and those twice born classes that were called the Madhyamakeyas and Vattadhanas. And making circuitous journey that bull among men then conquered the (Mlechcha) tribes called the Utsava-sanketas. And the illustrious hero soon brought under subjection the mighty Gramaniya that dwelt on the shore of the sea, and the Sudras and the Abhiras that dwelt on the banks of the Saraswati, and all those tribes that lived upon fisheries, and those also that dwelt on the mountains, and the whole of the country called after the five rivers, and the mountains called Amara, and the country called Uttarayotisha and the city of Divyakutta and the tribe called Dwarapala. And the son of Pandu, by sheer force, reduced to subjection the Ramathas, the Harahunas, and various kings of the west. And while staying there Nakula sent. O Bharata, messengers unto Vasudeva. And Vasudeva with all the Yadavas accepted his sway. And the mighty hero, proceeding thence to Sakala, the city of the Madras, made his uncle Salya accept from affection the sway of the Pandavas. And, O monarch, the illustrious prince deserving the hospitality and entertainment at his uncle's hands, was well entertained by his uncle. And skilled in war, the prince, taking from Salya a large quantity of jewels and gems, left his kingdom. And the son of Pandu then reduced to subjection the fierce Mlechchas residing on the sea coast, as also the wild tribes of the Palhavas, the Kiratas, the Yavanas, and the Sakas. And having subjugated various monarchs, and making all of them pay tributes, Nakula that foremost of the Kurus, full of resources, retraced his way towards his own city. And, O king, so great was the treasure which Nakula brought that ten thousand camels could carry it with difficulty on their backs. And arriving at Indraprastha, the heroic and fortunate son of Madri presented the whole of that wealth unto Yudhishthira.

"Thus, O king, did Nakula subjugate the countries that lay to the west—the direction that is presided over by the god Varuna, and that had once before been subjugated by Vasudeva himself!"


(Rajasuyika Parva)

Vaisampayana said,—"in consequence of the protection afforded by Yudhisthira the just, and of the truth which he ever cherished in his behaviour, as also of the check under which he kept all foes, the subjects of that virtuous monarch were all engaged in their respective avocations. And by reason of the equitable taxation and the virtuous rule of the monarch, clouds in his kingdom poured as much rain as the people desired, and the cities and the town became highly prosperous. Indeed as a consequence of the monarch's acts; every affair of the kingdom, especially cattle bleeding, agriculture and trade prospered highly. O king, during those days even robbers and cheats never spoke lies amongst themselves, nor they that were the favourites of the monarch. There were no droughts and floods and plagues and fires and premature deaths in those days of Yudhishthira devoted to virtue. And it was only for doing agreeable services, or for worshipping, or for offering tributes that would not impoverish, that other kings used to approach Yudhisthira (and not for hostility or battle.) The large treasure room of the king became so much filled with hoards of wealth virtuously obtained that it could not be emptied even in a hundred years. And the son of Kunti, ascertaining the state of his treasury and the extent of his possessions, fixed his heart upon the celebration of a sacrifice. His friends and officers, each separately and all together, approaching him said,—'The time hath come, O exalted one, for thy sacrifice. Let arrangements, therefore, be made without loss of time.' While they were thus talking, Hari (Krishna), that omniscient and ancient one, that soul of the Vedas, that invincible one as described by those that have knowledge, that foremost of all lasting existences in the universe, that origin of all things, as also that in which all things come to be dissolved, that lord of the past, the future, and the present Kesava—the slayer of Kesi, and the bulwark of all Vrishnis and the dispeller of all fear in times of distress and the smiter of all foes, having appointed Vasudeva to the command of the (Yadava) army, and bringing with him for the king Yudhishthira just a large mass of treasure; entered that excellent city of cities. Khandava, himself surrounded by a mighty host and filling the atmosphere with the rattle of his chariot-wheels. And Madhava, that tiger among men enhancing that limitless mass of wealth the Pandavas had by that inexhaustible ocean of gems he had brought, enhanced the sorrows of the enemies of the Pandavas. The capital of the Bharata was gladdened by Krishna's presence just as a dark region is rendered joyful by the sun or a region of still air by a gentle breeze. Approaching him joyfully and receiving him with due respect, Yudhishthira enquired of his welfare. And after Krishna had been seated at ease, that bull among men, the son of Pandu, with Dhaumya and Dwaipayana and the other sacrificial priests and with Bhima and Arjuna and the twins, addressed Krishna thus,—

'O Krishna it is for thee that the whole earth is under my sway. And, O thou of the Vrishni race, it is through thy grace that vast wealth had been got by me. And, O son of Devaki, O Madhava, I desire to devote that wealth according to the ordinance, unto superior Brahmanas and the carrier of sacrificial libations. And, O thou of the Dasarha race, it behoveth thee, O thou of mighty arms, to grant me permission to celebrate a sacrifice along with thee and my younger brothers. Therefore, O Govinda, O thou of long arms, install thyself at that sacrifice; for, O thou of the Dasarha race, if thou performed the sacrifice, I shall be cleansed of sin. Or, O exalted one, grant permission for myself being installed at the sacrifice along with these my younger brothers, for permitted by thee, O Krishna. I shall be able to enjoy the fruit of an excellent sacrifice.

Vaisampayana continued,—"Unto Yudhisthira after he had said this, Krishna, extolling his virtues, said.—'Thou, O tiger among kings, deservest imperial dignity. Let, therefore, the great sacrifice be performed by thee. And if thou performest that sacrifice an obtainest its fruit we all shall regard ourselves as crowned with success. I am always engaged in seeking good. Perform thou then the sacrifice thou desirest. Employ me also in some office for that purpose, for I should obey all thy commands. Yudhisthira replied—O Krishna, my resolve is already crowned with fruit, and success also is surely mine, when thou, O Harishikesa, hast arrived here agreeably to my wish!'

Vaisampayana continued,—"Commanded by Krishna, the son of Pandu along with his brothers set himself upon collecting the materials for the performance of the Rajasuya sacrifice. And that chastiser of all foes, the son of Pandu, then commanded Sahadeva that foremost of all warriors and all ministers also, saying,—Let persons be appointed to collect without loss of time, all those articles which the Brahmanas have directed as necessary for the performance of this sacrifice, and all materials and auspicious necessaries that Dhaumya may order as required for it, each of the kind needed and one after another in due order. Let Indrasena and Visoka and Puru with Arjuna for his charioteer be engaged to collect food if they are to please me. Let these foremost of the Kurus also gather every article of agreeable taste and smell that may delight and attract the hearts of the Brahmanas.'

"Simultaneously with these words of king Yudhisthira the just, Sahadeva that foremost of warriors, having accomplished everything, represented the matter to the king. And Dwaipayana, O king, then appointed as sacrificial priests exalted Brahmanas that were like the Vedas themselves in embodied forms. The son of Satyavati became himself the Brahma of that sacrifice. And that bull of the Dhananjaya race, Susaman, became the chanter of the Vedic (Sama) hymns. Yajnavalkya devoted to Brahma became the Adhyaryu, and Paila—the son of Vasu and Dhaumya became the Hotris. And O bull of the Bharata race, the disciples and the sons of these men, all well-acquainted with the Vedas and the branches of the Vedas, became Hotragts. And all of them, having uttered benedictions and recited the object of the sacrifice, worshipped, according to the ordinance the large sacrificial compound. Commanded by the Brahmanas, builders and artificers erected numerous edifices there that were spacious and well-perfumed like unto the temples of the gods. After these were finished, that best of kings and that bull among men Yudhishthira. commanded his chief adviser Sahadeva, saying,—'Despatch thou, without loss of time, messengers endued with speed to invite all to the sacrifice. And Sahadeva, hearing these words of the king, despatched messengers telling them,—'Invite ye all the Brahmanas in the kingdom and all the owners of land (Kshatriyas) and all the Vaisyas and also all the respectable Sudras, and bring them hither!'

Vaisampayana continued,—"Endued with speed, these messengers then, thus commanded, invited everybody according to the orders of the Pandava, without losing any time, and brought with them many persons, both friends and strangers. Then, O Bharata, the Brahmanas at the proper time installed Yudhishthira the son of Kunti at the Rajasuya sacrifice. And after the ceremony of installation was over, that foremost of men, the virtuous king Yudhishthira the just like the god Dharma himself in human frame, entered the sacrificial compound, surrounded by thousands of Brahmanas and his brothers and the relatives and friends and counsellors, and by a large number of Kshatriya kings who had come from various countries, and by the officers of State. Numerous Brahmanas, well-skilled in all branches of knowledge and versed in the Vedas and their several branches, began to pour in from various countries. Thousands of craftsmen, at the command of king Yudhishthira the just, erected for those Brahmanas with their attendants separate habitations well-provided with food and clothes and the fruits and flowers of every season. And, O king, duly worshipped by the monarch the Brahmanas continued to reside there passing their time in conversation on diverse topics and beholding the performances of actors and dancers. And the clamour of high-souled Brahmanas, cheerfully eating and talking, was heard there without intermission. 'Give,' and 'Eat' were the words that were heard there incessantly and every day. And, O Bharata, king Yudhishthira the just gave unto each of those Brahmanas thousands of kine and beds and gold coins and damsels.

Thus commenced on earth the sacrifice of that unrivalled hero, the illustrious son of Pandu, like the sacrifice in heaven of Sakra himself. Then that bull among men, king Yudhishthira despatched Nakula the son of Pandu unto Hastinapura to bring Bhishma and Drona, Dhritarashtra and Vidura and Kripa and those amongst his cousins that were well-disposed towards him."


Vaisampayana said,—"the ever-victorious Nakula, the son of Pandu, having reached Hastinapura, formally invited Bhishma and Dhritarashtra. The elder of the Kuru race with the preceptor at their head, invited with due ceremonies, came with joyous hearts to that sacrifice, with Brahmanas walking before them. And, O hull of the Bharata race, having heard of king Yudhishthira's sacrifice, hundreds of other Kshatriyas acquainted with the nature of the sacrifice, with joyous hearts came there from various countries, desiring to behold king Yudhishthira the son of Pandu and his sacrificial mansion, and brought with them many costly jewels of various kinds. And Dhritarashtra and Bhishma and Vidura of high intelligence; and all Kaurava brothers with Duryyodhana at their head; and Suvala the king of Gandhara and Sakuni endued with great strength; and Achala, and Vrishaka, and Karna that foremost of all charioteers; and Salya endued with great might and the strong Valhika; and Somadatta, and Bhuri of the Kuru race, and Bhurisravas and Sala; and Aswatthama, Kripa, Drona, and Jayadratha, the ruler of Sindhu; and Yajnasena with his sons, and Salya that lord of earth and that great car warrior king Bhagadatta of Pragjyotisha accompanied by all Mlechcha tribes inhabiting the marshy regions on the sea-shore; and many mountain kings, and king Vrihadvala; and Vasudeva the king of the Paundrayas, and the kings of Vanga and Kalinga; and Akastha and Kuntala and the kings of the Malavas and the Andhrakas; and the Dravidas and the Singhalas and the king of Kashmira, and king Kuntibhoja of great energy and king Gauravahana, and all the other heroic kings of Valhika; and Virata with his two sons, and Mavella endued with great might; and various kings and princes ruling in various countries; and, O Bharata king Sisupala endued with great energy and invincible in battle accompanied by his son—all of them came to the sacrifice of the son of Pandu. And Rama and Aniruddha and Kanaka and Sarana; and Gada, Pradyumna, Shamva, and Charudeshna of great energy; and Ulmuka and Nishatha and the brave Angavaha; and innumerable other Vrishnis—all mighty car-warriors—came there.

"These and many other kings from the middle country came, O monarch, to that great Rajasuya sacrifice of the son of Pandu. And, O king, at the command of king Yudhishthira the just, mansions were assigned to all those monarchs, that were full of various kinds of edibles and adorned with tanks and tall trees. And the son of Dharma worshipped all those illustrious monarchs as they deserved. Worshipped by the king they retired to mansions that were assigned to them. Those mansions were (white and high) like the cliffs of Kailasa, and delightful to behold, and furnished with every kind of furniture. They were enclosed on all sides with well-built and high white-washed walls; their windows were covered with net-works of gold and their interiors were furnished with rows of pearls, their flights of stairs were easy of ascent and the floors were all laid over with costly carpets. They were all hung over with garlands of flowers and perfumed with excellent aloes. White as snow or the moon, they looked extremely handsome even from the distance of a yojana. Their doors and entrances were set uniformly and were wide enough to admit a crowd of persons. Adorned with various costly articles and built with various metals, they looked like peaks of the Himavat. Having rested a while in those mansions the monarchs beheld king Yudhishthira the just surrounded by numerous Sadasyas (sacrificial priests) and ever performing sacrifices distinguished by large gifts to Brahmanas. That sacrificial mansion wherein were present the kings and Brahmanas and great Rishis looked, O king, as handsome as heaven itself crowded with the gods!"

Thus ends the thirty-fourth section in the Rajasuyika Parva of the Sabha Parva.


Vaisampayana said,—"then, O king, Yudhishthira, having approached and worshipped his grandfather and his preceptor, addressed Bhishma and Drona and Kripa and the son of Drona and Duryyodhana and Vivingsati, and said,—'Help me ye all in the mater of this sacrifice. This large treasure that is here is yours. Consult ye with one another and guide me as ye desire.

"The eldest of the sons of Pandu, who had been installed at the sacrifice, having said this unto all, appointed every one of them to suitable offices. He appointed Dussasana to superintend the department of food and other enjoyable articles. Aswatthama was asked to attend on the Brahmanas. Sanjaya was appointed to offer return-worship unto the kings. Bhishma and Drona, both endued with great intelligence, were appointed to see what was done and what was left undone. And the king appointed Kripa to look after the diamonds and gold and the pearls and gems, as also after the distribution of gifts to Brahmanas. And so other tigers among men were appointed to similar offices. Valhika and Dhritarashtra and Somadatta and Jayadratha, brought thither by Nakula, went about, enjoying themselves as lords of the sacrifice. Vidura otherwise called Kshatta, conversant with every rule of morality, became the disburser. Duryyodhana became the receiver of the tributes that were brought by the kings. Krishna who was himself the centre of all worlds and round whom moved every creature, desirous of acquiring excellent fruits, was engaged at his own will in washing the feet of the Brahmanas.

"And desirous of beholding that sacrificial mansion, as also king Yudhishthira the just, none came there with tribute less than a thousand (in number, weight or measure). Everyone honoured the king Yudhishthira the just with large presents of jewels. And each of the kings made a present of his wealth, flattering himself with the proud belief that the jewels he gave would enable the Kuru king Yudhisthira to complete his sacrifice. And, O monarch, the sacrificial compound of the illustrious son of Kunti looked extremely handsome—with the multitude of palaces built so as to last for ever and crowded with guards and warriors. These were so high that their tops touched the cars of the gods that came to behold that sacrifice; as also with the cars themselves of the celestials, and with the dwelling of the Brahmanas and the mansions made there for the kings resembling the cars of the celestials and adorned with gems and filled with every kind of wealth, and lastly with crowds of the kings that came there all endued with beauty and wealth. Yudhisthira, as though vying with Varuna himself in wealth, commenced the sacrifice (of Rajasuya) distinguished by six fires and large gifts to Brahmanas. The King gratified everybody with presents of great value and indeed with every kind of object that one could desire. With abundance of rice and of every kind of food, as also with a mass of jewels brought as tribute, that vast concourse consisted of persons every one of whom was fed to the full. The gods also were gratified at the sacrifice by the Ida, clarified butter, Homa and libations poured by the great Rishis versed in mantras and pronunciation. Like the gods, the Brahmanas also were gratified with the sacrificial gifts and food and great wealth. And all the other orders of men also were gratified at that sacrifice and filled with joy."


(Arghyaharana Parva)

"Vaisampayana said,—On the last day of the sacrifice when the king was to be sprinkled over with the sacred water, the great Brahmana Rishis ever deserving of respectful treatment, along with the invited kings, entered together the inner enclosure of the sacrificial compound. And those illustrious Rishis with Narada as their foremost, seated at their ease with those royal sages within that enclosure, looked like the gods seated in the mansion of Brahma in the company of the celestial Rishis. Endued with immeasurable energy those Rishis, having obtained leisure, started various topics of conversation. 'This is so,' 'This is not so,' 'This is even so.' 'This cannot be otherwise,'—thus did many of them engage in discussions with one another. Some amongst the disputants, by well-chosen arguments made the weaker position appear the stronger and the stronger the weaker. Some disputants endued with great intelligence fell upon the position urged by others like hawks darting at meat thrown up into the air, while some amongst them versed in the interpretations of religious treatises and others of rigid vows, and well-acquainted with every commentary and gloss engaged themselves in pleasant converse. And, O king, that platform crowded with gods, Brahmanas and great Rishis looked extremely handsome like the wide expanse of the firmament studded with stars. O monarch, there was then no Sudra near that platform of Yudhisthira's mansion, nor anybody that was without vows.

"And Narada, beholding the fortunate Yudhisthira's prosperity that was born of that sacrifice, became highly gratified. Beholding that vast concourse all the Kshatriyas, the Muni Narada, O king of men, became thoughtful. And, O bull amongst men, the Rishi began to recollect the words he had heard of old in the mansion of Brahma regarding the incarnation on earth of portions of every deity. And knowing, O son of the Kuru race, that that was a concourse (of incarnate) gods, Narada thought in his mind of Hari with eyes like lotus-petals. He knew that that creator himself of every object one, that exalted of all gods—Narayana—who had formerly commanded the celestials, saying,—'Be ye born on earth and slay one another and come back to heaven'—that slayer of all the enemies of the gods, that subjugator of all hostile towns, in order to fulfil his own promise, had been born in the Kshatriya order. And Narada knew that the exalted and holy Narayana, also called Sambhu the lord of the universe, having commanded all the celestials thus, had taken his birth in the race of Yadus and that foremost of all perpetuator of races, having sprung from the line of the Andhaka-Vrishnis on earth was graced with great good fortune and was shining like the moon herself among stars. Narada knew that Hari the grinder of foes, whose strength of arm was ever praised by all the celestials with Indra among them, was then living in the world in human form. Oh, the Self-Create will himself take away (from the earth) this vast concourse of Kshatriyas endued with so much strength. Such was the vision of Narada the omniscient who knew Hari or Narayana to be that Supreme Lord whom everybody worshipped with sacrifice. And Narada, gifted with great intelligence and the foremost of all persons and conversant with morality, thinking of all this, sat at that sacrifice of the wise king Yudhisthira the just with feelings of awe.

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