"And beholding the kings of the earth to present unto the foes such excellent and valuable presents, I wished for death out of grief. And O king, I will now tell thee of the servants of the Pandavas, people for whom Yudhishthira supplieth food, both cooked and uncooked. There are a hundred thousand billions of mounted elephants and cavalry and a hundred millions of cars and countless foot soldiers. At one place raw provisions are being measured out; at another they are being cooked; and at another place the foods are being distributed. And the notes of festivity are being heard everywhere. And amongst men of all orders I beheld not a single one in the mansion of Yudhishthira that had not food and drink and ornaments. And eighty-eight thousands of Snataka Brahmanas leading domestic lives, all supported by Yudhishthira, with thirty serving-girls given unto each, gratified by the king, always pray with complacent hearts for the destruction of his foes. And ten thousands of other ascetics with vital seed drawn up, daily eat of golden plates in Yudhishthira's palace. And, O king, Yajnaseni, without having eaten herself, daily seeth whether everybody, including even the deformed and the dwarfs, hath eaten or not. And, O Bharata, only two do not pay tribute unto the son of Kunti, viz., the Panchalas in consequence of their relationship by marriage, and the Andhakas and Vrishnis in consequence of their friendship.
Duryodhana said,—"Those king that are revered over all the world, who are devoted to truth and who are pledged to the observance of rigid vows, who are possessed of great learning and eloquence, who are fully conversant with the Vedas and their branches as also with sacrifices, who have piety and modesty, whose souls are devoted to virtue, who possess fame, and who have enjoyed the grand rites of coronation, all wait upon and worship Yudhishthira. And, O king, I beheld there many thousands of wild kine with as many vessels of white copper for milking them, brought thither by the kings of the earth as sacrificial presents to be given away by Yudhishthira unto the Brahmana. And, O Bharata, for bathing Yudhishthira at the conclusion of the sacrifice, many kings with the greatest alacrity, themselves brought there in a state of purity many excellent jars (containing water). And king Vahlika brought there a car decked with pure gold. And king Sudakshina himself yoked thereto four white horses of Kamboja breed, and Sunitha of great might fitted the lower pole and the ruler of Chedi with his own hands took up and fitted the flag-staff. And the king of the Southern country stood ready with the coat of mail; the ruler of Magadha, with garlands of flowers and the head-gear; the great warrior Vasudana with a sixty years old elephant, the king of Matsya, with the side-fittings of the car, all encased in gold; king Ekalavya, with the shoes; the king of Avanti, with diverse kinds of water for the final bath; king Chekitana, with the quiver; the king of Kasi, with the bow; and Salya; with a sword whose hilt and straps were adorned with gold. Then Dhaumya and Vyasa, of great ascetic merit, with Narada and Asita's son Devala, standing before performed the ceremony of sprinkling the sacred water over the king. And the great Rishis with cheerful hearts sat where the sprinkling ceremony was performed. And other illustrious Rishis conversant with the Vedas, with Jamadagni's son among them, approached Yudhishthira, the giver of large sacrificial presents, uttering mantras all the while, like the seven Rishis, approaching the great India in heaven. And Satyaki of unbaffled prowess held the umbrella (over the king's head). And Dhananjaya and Bhima were engaged in tanning the king; while the twins held a couple of chamaras in their hands. And the Ocean himself brought in a sling that big conch of Varuna which the celestial artificer Viswakarman had constructed with a thousand Nishkas of gold, and which Prajapati had in a former Kalpa, presented unto India. It was with that conch that Krishna bathed Yudhishthira after the conclusion of the sacrifice, and beholding it, I swooned away. People go to the Eastern or the Western seas and also to the Southern one. But, O father, none except birds can ever go to the Northern sea. But the Pandavas have spread their dominion even there, for I heard hundreds of conches that had been brought thence blown (in the sacrificial mansion) indicative of auspicious rejoicing. And while those conches blew simultaneously, my hair stood on end. And those among the kings, who were weak in strength fell down. And Dhrishtadyumna and Satyaki and the sons of Pandu and Kesava,—those eight, endued with strength and prowess and handsome in person, beholding the kings deprived of consciousness and myself in that plight, laughed outright. Then Vibhatsu (Arjuna) with a cheerful heart gave, O Bharata, unto the principal Brahmanas five hundred bullocks with horns plated with gold. And king Yudhishthira, the son of Kunti, having completed the Rajasuya sacrifice, obtained like the exalted Harishchandra such prosperity that neither Rantideva nor Nabhaga, nor Jauvanaswa, nor Manu, nor king Prithu the son of Vena, nor Bhagiratha, Yayati, nor Nahusha, had obtained its like. And beholding, O exalted one, such prosperity, in the son of Pritha which is even like that which Harishchandra had, I do not see the least good in continuing to live, O Bharata! O ruler of men, a yoke that is tied (to the bullock's shoulders) by a blind man becomes loosened. Even such is the case with us. The younger ones are growing while the elder ones are decaying. And beholding all this, O chief of the Kurus, I cannot enjoy peace even with the aid of reflection. And it is for this, O king, that I am plunged into grief and becoming pale and emaciated."
"Dhritrashtra said,—Thou art my eldest son and born also of my eldest wife. Therefore, O son, be not jealous of the Pandavas. He that is jealous is always unhappy and suffereth the pangs of death. O bull of the Bharata race, Yudhishthira knoweth not deception, possesseth wealth equal unto thine, hath thy friends for his, and is not jealous of thee. Why shouldst thou, therefore, be jealous of him? O king, in respect of friends and allies thou art equal unto Yudhishthira. Why shouldst thou, therefore, covet, from folly, the property of thy brother? Be not so. Cease to be jealous. Do not grieve. O bull of the Bharata race, it thou covetest the dignity attaching to the performance of a sacrifice, let the priests arrange for thee the great sacrifice, called the Saptatantu. The kings of the earth will then, cheerfully and with great respect, bring for thee also much wealth and gems and ornaments. O child, coveting other's possessions is exceedingly mean. He, on the other hand, enjoyeth happiness, who is content with his own being engaged in the practices of his own order. Never striving to obtain the wealth of others, persevering in one's own affairs, and protecting what hath been earned,—these are the indications of true greatness. He that is unmoved in calamity, skilled in his own business, ever exerting vigilant and humble, always beholdeth prosperity. The sons of Pandu are as thy arms. Do not lop off those arms of thine. Plunge not into internal dissensions for the sake of that wealth of thy brothers. O king, be not jealous of the sons of Pandu. Thy wealth is equal unto that of thy brothers in his entirety. There is great sin in quarrelling with friends. They that are thy grandsires are theirs also. Give away in charity on occasions of sacrifices, gratify every dear object of thy desire, disport in the company of women freely, and enjoy thou peace.'"
"Duryodhana said,—'He that is devoid of intellect but hath merely heard of many things, can scarcely understand the real import of the scriptures, like the spoon that hath no perception of the taste of the soup it toucheth. Thou knowest everything, but yet confoundest me. Like a boat fastened to another, thou and I are tied to each other. Art thou unmindful of thy own interests? Or, dost thou entertain hostile feeling towards me? These thy sons and allies are doomed to destruction, inasmuch as they have thee for their ruler, for thou describest as attainable in the future what is to be done at the present moment. He often trippeth whose guide acts under the instructions of others. How then can his followers expect to come across a right path? O king, thou art of mature wisdom; thou hast the opportunity to listen to the words of old, and thy senses also are under thy control. It behoveth thee not to confound us who are ready to seek our own interests. Vrihaspati hath said that the usage of kings are different from those of common people. Therefore kings should always attend to their own interests with vigilance. The attainment of success is the sole criterion that should guide the conduct of a Kshatriya. Whether, therefore, the means is virtuous or sinful, what scruples can there be in the duties of one's own order? He that is desirous of snatching the blazing prosperity of his foe, should, O bull of the Bharata race, bring every direction under his subjection like the charioteer taming the steeds with his whip. Those used to handling weapons say that, a weapon is not simply an instrument that cuts but is a means, whether covert or overt, that can defeat a foe. Who is to be reckoned a foe and who a friend, doth not depend on one's figure or dimensions. He that paineth another is, O king, to be regarded a foe by him that is pained. Discontent is the root of prosperity. Therefore, O king, I desire to be discontented. He that striveth after the acquisition of prosperity is, O king, a truly politic person. Nobody should be attached to wealth and affluence, for the wealth that hath been earned and hoarded may be plundered. The usages of kings are even such. It was during a period of peace that Sakra cut off the head of Namuchi after having given a pledge to the contrary, and it was because he approved of this eternal usage towards the enemy that he did so. Like a snake that swalloweth up frogs and other creatures living in holes, the earth swalloweth up a king that is peaceful and a Brahmana that stirreth not out of home. O king, none can by nature be any person's foe. He is one's foe, and not anybody else, who hath common pursuits with one. He that from folly neglecteth a growing foe, hath his vitals cut off as by a disease that he cherished without treatment. A foe, however insignificant, if suffered to grow in prowess, swalloweth one like the white ants at the root of a tree eating off the tree itself. O Bharata, O Ajamida, let not the prosperity of the foe be acceptable to thee. This policy (of neglecting the foe) should always be borne on their heads by the wise even like a load. He that always wisheth for the increase of his wealth, ever groweth in the midst of his relatives even like the body naturally growing from the moment of birth. Prowess conferreth speedy growth. Coveting as I do the prosperity of the Pandavas. I have not yet made it my own. At present I am a prey to doubts in respect of my ability. I am determined to resolve those doubts of mine. I will either obtain that prosperity of theirs, or lie down having perished in battle. O king when the state of my mind is such, what do I care now for life, for the Pandavas are daily growing while our possessions know no increase?'"
"Sakuni said,—O thou foremost of victorious persons, I will snatch (for thee) this prosperity of Yudhishthira, the son of Pandu, at the sight of which thou grievest so. Therefore, O king, let Yudhishthira the son of Kunti be summoned. By throwing dice a skilful man, himself uninjured, may vanquish one that hath no skill. Know, O Bharata, that betting is my bow, the dice are my arrows, the marks on them my bow-string, and the dice-board my car.
"Duryodhana said,—'This Sukuni skilled at dice, is ready, O king, to snatch the prosperity of the son of Pandu by means of dice. It behoveth thee to give him permission.
"Dhritarashtra said,—'I am obedient to the counsels of my brother, the illustrious Vidura. Consulting with him, I shall tell what should be done in this matter.
"Duryodhana said,—'Vidura is always engaged in doing good to the sons of Pandu. O Kaurava, his feelings towards us are otherwise. He will, therefore, without doubt, withdraw thy heart from the proposed act. No man should set himself to any task depending upon the counsels of another, for, O son of Kuru's race, the minds of two persons seldom agree in any particular act. The fool that liveth shunning all causes of fear wasteth himself like an insect in the rainy season. Neither sickness nor Yama waiteth till one is in prosperity. So long, therefore, as there is life and health, one should (without waiting for prosperity) accomplish his purpose.'
"Dhritarashtra said,—'O son, hostility with those that are strong, is what never recommendeth itself to me. Hostility bringeth about a change of feelings, and that itself is a weapon though not made of steel. Thou regardest, O Prince, as a great blessing what will bring in its train the terrible consequences of war. What is really fraught with mischief. If once it beginneth, it will create sharp swords and pointed arrows.'
"Duryodhana replied,—'Men of the most ancient times invented the use of dice. There is no destruction in it, nor is there any striking with, weapons. Let the words of Sakuni, therefore, be acceptable to thee, and let thy command be issued for the speedy construction of the assembly house. The door of heaven, leading us to such happiness, will be opened to us by gambling. Indeed, they that betake to gambling (with such aid) deserve such good fortune. The Pandavas then will become thy equals (instead of, as now, superiors); therefore, gamble thou with the Pandavas.
"Dhritarashtra said.—'The words uttered by thee do not recommend themselves to me. Do what may be agreeable to thee, O ruler of men. But thou shall have to repent for acting according to these words; for, words that are fraught with such immorality can never bring prosperity in the future. Even this was foreseen by the learned Vidura ever treading the path of truth and wisdom. Even the great calamity, destructive of the lives of the Kshatriyas, cometh as destined by fate.'"
Vaisampayana continued—"Having said this, the weak-minded Dhritarashtra regarded fate as supreme and unavoidable. And the king deprived of reason by Fate, and obedient to the counsels of his son, commanded his men in loud voice, saying—'Carefully construct, without loss of time, an assembly house of the most beautiful description, to be called the crystal-arched palace with a thousand columns, decked with gold and lapis lazuli, furnished with a hundred gates, and full two miles in length and in breadth the same.' Hearing those words of his, thousands of artificers endued with intelligence and skill soon erected the palace with the greatest alacrity, and having erected it brought thither every kind of article. And soon after they cheerfully represented unto the king that the palace had been finished, and that it as delightful and handsome and furnished with every kind of gems and covered with many-coloured carpets inlaid with gold. Then king Dhritarashtra, possessed of learning, summoning Vidura the chief of his ministers, said:—'Repairing, (to Khandavaprastha), bring prince Yudhishthira here without loss of time. Let him come hither with his brothers, and behold his handsome assembly house of mine, furnished with countless jewels and gems, and costly beds and carpets, and let a friendly match at dice commence here.'"
Vaisampayana said,—"King Dhritarashtra, ascertaining the inclinations of his son and knowing that Fate is inevitable, did what I have said. Vidura, however, that foremost of intelligent men, approved not his brother's words and spoke thus, 'I approve not, O king, of this command of thine. Do not act so. I fear, this will bring about the destruction of our race. When thy sons lose their unity, dissension will certainly ensue amongst them. This I apprehend, O king, from this match at dice.'
"Dhritarashtra said,—'If Fate be not hostile, this quarrel will not certainly grieve me. The whole universe moveth at the will of its Creator, under the controlling influence of Fate. It is not free. Therefore, O Vidura, going unto king Yudhishthira at my command, bring thou soon that invincible son of Kunti.'"
Vaisampayana said,—"Vidura then, thus commanded against his will by king Dhritarashtra, set out, with the help of horses of high mettle and endued with great speed and strength, and quiet and patient, for the abode of the wise sons of Pandu. Possessed of great intelligence, Vidura proceeded by the way leading to the capital of the Pandavas. And having arrived at the city of king Yudhishthira, he entered it and proceeded towards the palace, worshipped by numberless Brahmanas. And coming to the palace which was even like unto the mansion of Kuvera himself, the virtuous Vidura approached Yudhishthira, the son of Dharma. Then the illustrious Ajamida devoted to truth and having no enemy on earth, reverentially saluted Vidura, and asked him about Dhritarashtra and his sons. And Yudhishthira said, "O Kshatta, thy mind seemeth to be cheerless. Dost thou come here in happiness and peace? The sons of Dhritarashtra, I hope, are obedient to their old father. The people also, I hope, are obedient to Dhritarashtra's rule.'
"Vidura said,—'The illustrious king, with his sons, is well and happy, and surrounded by his relatives he reigneth even like Indra himself. The king is happy with his sons who are all obedient to him and hath no grief. The illustrious monarch is bent on his own aggrandisement. The king of the Kurus hath commanded me to enquire after thy peace and prosperity, and to ask thee to repair to Hastinapore with thy brothers and to say, after beholding king Dhritarashtra's newly erected palace, whether that one is equal to thy own. Repairing thither, O son of Pritha, with thy brothers, enjoy ye in that mansion and sit to a friendly match at dice. We shall be glad if thou goest, as the Kurus have already arrived there. And thou wilt see there those gamblers and cheats that the illustrious king Dhritarashtra hath already brought thither. It is for this, O king, that I have come hither. Let the king's command be approved by thee.
"Yudhishthira said,—'O Kshatta, if we sit to a match at dice, we may quarrel. What man is there, who knowing all this, will consent to gamble? What dost thou think fit for us? We all are obedient to thy counsels.'
"Vidura said,—'I know that gambling is the root of misery, and I strove to dissuade the king from it. The king, however, hath sent me to thee. Having known all this, O learned one, do what is beneficial.
"Yudhishthira said,—'Besides the sons of Dhritarashtra what other dishonest gamblers are there ready for play? Tell us, O Vidura, who they are and with whom we shall have to play, staking hundreds upon hundreds of our possessions.'
"Vidura said,—'O monarch, Sakuni, the king of Gandhara, an adept at dice, having great skill of hand and desperate in stakes, Vivingati, king Chitrasena, Satyavrata, Purumitra and Jaya, these, O king, are there.'
"Yudhishthira said,—'It would seem then that some of the most desperate and terrible gamblers always depending upon deceit are there. This whole universe, however, is at the will of its Maker, under the control of fate. It is not free. O learned one, I do not desire, at the command of king Dhritarashtra to engage myself in gambling. The father always wisheth to benefit his son. Thou art our master, O Vidura. Tell me what is proper for us. Unwilling as I am to gamble, I will not do so, if the wicked Sakuni doth not summon me to it in the Sabha? If, however, he challengeth me, I will never refuse. For that, as settled, is my eternal vow."
Vaisampayana continued,—"King Yudhishthira the just having said this unto Vidura, commanded that preparations for his journey might be made without loss of time. And the next day, the king accompanied by his relatives and attendants and taking with him also the women of the household with Draupadi in their midst, set out for the capital of the Kurus. 'Like some brilliant body falling before the eyes, Fate depriveth us of reason, and man, tied as it were with a cord, submitteth to the sway of Providence,' saying this, king Yudhishthira, that chastiser of the foe, set out with Kshatta, without deliberating upon that summons from Dhritarashtra. And that slayer of hostile heroes, the son of Pandu and Pritha, riding upon the car that had been given him by the king of Valhika, and attired also in royal robes, set out with his brothers. And the king, blazing as it were with royal splendour, with Brahmanas walking before him, set out from his city, summoned by Dhritarashtra and impelled by what hath been ordained by Kala (Time). And arriving at Hastinapore he went to the palace of Dhritarashtra. And going there, the son of Pandu approached the king. And the exalted one then approached Bhishma and Drona and Karna, and Kripa, and the son of Drona, and embraced and was embraced by them all. And the mighty-armed one, endued with great prowess, then approached Somadatta, and then Duryodhana and Salya, and the son of Suvala, and those other kings also that had arrived there before him. The king then went to the brave Dusshasana and then to all his (other) brothers and then to Jayadratha and next to all the Kurus one after another. And the mighty-armed one, then surrounded by all his brothers, entered the apartment of the wise king Dhritarashtra. And then Yudhishthira beheld the reverend Gandhari, ever obedient to her lord, and surrounded by her daughters-in-law like Rohini by the stars. And saluting Gandhari and blessed by her in return, the king then beheld his old uncle, that illustrious monarch whose wisdom was his eye. King Dhritarashtra then, O monarch, smelt his head as also the heads of those four other princes of the Kuru race, viz., the sons of Pandu with Bhimasena as their eldest. And, O king, beholding—the handsome Pandava those tigers among men, all the Kurus became exceedingly glad. And commanded by the king, the Pandavas then retired to the chambers allotted to them and which were all furnished with jewels and gems. And when they had retired into the chambers, the women of Dhritarashtra's household with Dussala taking the lead visited them. And the daughters-in-law of Dhritarashtra beholding the blazing and splendid beauty and prosperity of Yajnaseni, became cheerless and filled with jealousy. And those tigers among men, having conversed with the ladies went through their daily physical exercises and then performed the religious rites of the day. And having finished their daily devotions, they decked their persons with sandal paste of the most fragrant kind. And desiring to secure good luck and prosperity they caused (by gifts) the Brahmanas to utter benedictions. And then eating food that was of the best taste they retired to their chambers for the night. And those bulls among the Kurus then were put to sleep with music by handsome females. And obtaining from them what came in due succession, those subjugators of hostile towns passed with cheerful hearts that delightful night in pleasure and sport. And waked by the bards with sweet music, they rose from their beds, and having passed the night thus in happiness, they rose at dawn and having gone through the usual rites, they entered into the assembly house and were saluted by those that were ready there for gambling."
Vaisampayana said,—"The sons of Pritha with Yudhishthira at their head, having entered that assembly house, approached all the kings that were present there. And worshipping all those that deserved to be worshipped, and saluting others as each deserved according to age, they seated themselves on seats that were clean and furnished with costly carpets. After they had taken their seats, as also all the kings, Sakuni the son of Suvala addressed Yudhishthira and said, 'O king, the assembly is full. All had been waiting for thee. Let, therefore, the dice be cast and the rules of play be fixed, O Yudhishthira.'
'Yudhishthira replied, 'Deceitful gambling is sinful. There is no Kshatriya prowess in it. There is certainly no morality in it. Why, then, O king, dost thou praise gambling so? The wise applaud not the pride that gamesters feel in deceitful play. O Sakuni, vanquish us, not like a wretch, by deceitful means.'
Sakuni said,—'That high-souled player who knoweth the secrets of winning and losing, who is skilled in baffling the deceitful arts of his confrere, who is united in all the diverse operations of which gambling consisteth, truly knoweth the play, and he suffereth all in course of it. O son of Pritha, it is the staking at dice, which may be lost or won that may injure us. And it is for that reason that gambling is regarded as a fault. Let us, therefore, O king, begin the play. Fear not. Let the stakes be fixed. Delay not!'
"Yudhishthira said,—'That best of Munis, Devala, the son of Asita, who always instructeth us about all those acts that may lead to heaven, hell, or the other regions, hath said, that it is sinful to play deceitfully with a gamester. To obtain victory in battle without cunning or stratagem is the best sport. Gambling, however, as a sport, is not so. Those that are respectable never use the language of the Mlechchas, nor do they adopt deceitfulness in their behaviour. War carried on without crookedness and cunning, this is the act of men that are honest. Do not, O Sakuni, playing desperately, win of us that wealth with which according to our abilities, we strive to learn how to benefit the Brahmanas. Even enemies should not be vanquished by desperate stakes in deceitful play. I do not desire either happiness or wealth by means of cunning. The conduct of one that is a gamester, even if it be without deceitfulness, should not be applauded.'
"Sakuni said,—'O Yudhishthira, it is from a desire of winning, which is not a very honest motive, that one high-born person approacheth another (in a contest of race superiority). So also it is from a desire of defeating, which is not a very honest motive, that one learned person approacheth another (in a contest of learning). Such motives, however, are scarcely regarded as really dishonest. So also, O Yudhishthira, a person skilled at dice approacheth one that is not so skilled from a desire of vanquishing him. One also who is conversant with the truths of science approacheth another that is not from desire of victory, which is scarcely an honest motive. But (as I have already said) such a motive is not really dishonest. And, O Yudhishthira, so also one that is skilled in weapons approacheth one that is not so skilled; the strong approacheth the weak. This is the practice in every contest. The motive is victory, O Yudhishthira. If, therefore, thou, in approaching me, regardest me to be actuated by motives that are dishonest, if thou art under any fear, desist then from play.'
"Yudhishthira said,—'Summoned, I do not withdraw. This is my established vow. And, O king, Fate is all powerful. We all are under the control of Destiny. With whom in this assembly am I to play? Who is there that can stake equally with me? Let the play begin.'
"Duryodhana said,—'O monarch, I shall supply jewels and gems and every kind of wealth. And it is for me that this Sakuni, my uncle, will play.'
"Yudhishthira said,—'Gambling for one's sake by the agency of another seemeth to me to be contrary to rule. Thou also, O learned one, will admit this. If, however, thou art still bent on it, let the play begin.'"
Vaisampayana said,—"When the play commenced, all those kings with Dhritarashtra at their head took their seats in that assembly. And, O Bharata, Bhishma and Drona and Kripa and the high-souled Vidura with cheerless hearts sat behind. And those kings with leonine necks and endued with great energy took their seats separately and in pairs upon many elevated seats of beautiful make and colour. And, O king, that mansion looked resplendent with those assembled kings like heaven itself with a conclave of the celestials of great good fortune. And they were all conversant with the Vedas and brave and of resplendent countenances. And, O great king, the friendly match at dice then commenced.
Yudhishthira said,—"O king, this excellent wealth of pearls of great value, procured from the ocean by churning it (of old), so beautiful and decked with pure gold, this, O king, is my stake. What is thy counter stake, O great king,—the wealth with which thou wishest to play with me?"
"Duryodhana said,—'I have many jewels and much wealth. But I am not vain of them. Win thou this stake.'
Vaisampayana continued,—"Then Sakuni, well-skilled at dice, took up the dice and (casting them) said unto Yudhishthira, 'Lo, I have won!'"
Yudhishthira said,—"Thou hast won this stake of me by unfair means. But be not so proud, O Sakuni. Let us play staking thousands upon thousands. I have many beautiful jars each full of a thousand Nishkas in my treasury, inexhaustible gold, and much silver and other minerals. This, O king, is the wealth with which I will stake with thee!'"
Vaisampayana continued,—"Thus addressed, Sakuni said unto the chief of the perpetuators of the Kuru race, the eldest of the sons of Pandu, king Yudhishthira, of glory incapable of sustaining any diminution. 'Lo, I have won!'"
Yudhishthira said,—'This my sacred and victorious and royal car which gladdeneth the heart and hath carried us hither, which is equal unto a thousand cars, which is of symmetrical proportions and covered with tiger-skin, and furnished with excellent wheels and flag-staffs which is handsome, and decked with strings of little bells, whose clatter is even like the roar of the clouds or of the ocean, and which is drawn by eight noble steeds known all over the kingdom and which are white as the moon-beam and from whose hoofs no terrestrial creature can escape—this, O king, is my wealth with which I will stake with thee!'"
Vaisampayana continued,—"Hearing these words, Sakuni ready with the dice, and adopting unfair means, said unto Yudhishthira, 'Lo, I have won!'
"Yudhishthira said,—'I have a hundred thousand serving-girls, all young, and decked with golden bracelets on their wrists and upper arms, and with nishkas round their necks and other ornaments, adorned with costly garlands and attired in rich robes, daubed with the sandal paste, wearing jewels and gold, and well-skilled in the four and sixty elegant arts, especially versed in dancing and singing, and who wait upon and serve at my command the celestials, the Snataka Brahmanas, and kings. With this wealth, O king, I will stake with thee!'"
Vaisampayana continued,—'Hearing these words, Sakuni ready with the dice, adopting unfair means, said unto Yudhishthira. 'Lo, I have won!'
Yudhishthira said,—"I have thousands of serving-men, skilled in waiting upon guests, always attired in silken robes, endued with wisdom and intelligence, their senses under control though young, and decked with ear-rings, and who serve all guests night and day with plates and dishes in hand. With this wealth, O king, I will stake with thee!'"
Vaisampayana continued,—"Hearing these words, Sakuni, ready with the dice, adopting unfair means said unto Yudhishthira, 'Lo, I have won!'
"Yudhishthira said,—'I have, O son of Suvala, one thousand musty elephants with golden girdles, decked with ornaments, with the mark of the lotus on their temples and necks and other parts, adorned with golden garlands, with fine white tusks long and thick as plough-shafts, worthy of carrying kings on their backs, capable of bearing every kind of noise on the field of battle, with huge bodies, capable of battering down the walls of hostile towns, of the colour of new-formed clouds, and each possessing eight she-elephants. With this wealth, O king, I will stake with thee.'"
Vaisampayana continued,—"Unto Yudhishthira who had said so, Sakuni, the son of Suvala, laughingly said, 'Lo, I have won it!'
Yudhishthira said,—'I have as many cars as elephants, all furnished with golden poles and flag-staffs and well-trained horses and warriors that fight wonderfully and each of whom receiveth a thousand coins as his monthly pay whether he fighteth or not. With this wealth, O king, I will stake with thee!'"
Vaisampayana continued,—"When these words had been spoken, the wretch Sakuni, pledged to enmity, said unto Yudhishthira, 'Lo, I have won it.'
Yudhishthira said.—'The steeds of the Tittiri, Kalmasha, and Gandharva breeds, decked with ornaments, which Chitraratha having been vanquished in battle and subdued cheerfully gave unto Arjuna, the wielder of the Gandiva. With this wealth, O king, I will stake with thee."
Vaisampayana continued, "Hearing this, Sakuni, ready at dice, adopting unfair means, said unto Yudhishthira: 'Lo, I have won!'
Yudhishthira said,—'I have ten thousand cars and vehicles unto which are yoked draught animals of the foremost breed. And I have also sixty thousand warriors picked from each order by thousands, who are all brave and endued with prowess like heroes, who drink milk and eat good rice, and all of whom have broad chests. With this wealth, O king, I will stake with thee.'
Vaisampayana continued,—"Hearing this, Sakuni ready at dice, adopting unfair means said unto Yudhishthira, 'Lo, I have won!'
Yudhishthira said,—'I have four hundred Nidis (jewels of great value) encased in sheets of copper and iron. Each one of them is equal to five draunikas of the costliest and purest leaf gold of the Jatarupa kind. With this wealth, O king, I will stake with thee.'"
Vaisampayana continued,—"Hearing this, Sakuni ready at dice, adopting foul means, said unto Yudhishthira, 'Lo, I have won it!'"
Vaisampayana said,—"During the course of this gambling, certain to bring about utter ruin (on Yudhishthira), Vidura, that dispeller of all doubts, (addressing Dhritarashtra) said, 'O great king, O thou of the Bharata race, attend to what I say, although my words may not be agreeable to thee, like medicine to one that is ill and about to breathe his last. When this Duryodhana of sinful mind had, immediately after his birth, cried discordantly like a jackal, it was well known that he had been ordained to bring about the destruction of the Bharata race. Know, O king, that he will be the cause of death of ye all. A jackal is living in thy house, O king, in the form of Duryodhana. Thou knowest it not in consequence of thy folly. Listen now to the words of the Poet (Sukra) which I will quote. They that collect honey (in mountains), having received what they seek, do not notice that they are about to fall. Ascending dangerous heights, abstracted in the pursuit of what they seek, they fall down and meet with destruction. This Duryodhana also, maddened with the play at dice, like the collector of honey, abstracted in what he seeketh, marketh not the consequences. Making enemies of these great warriors, he beholdeth not the fall that is before him. It is known to thee, O thou of great wisdom, that amongst the Bhojas, they abandoned, for the good of the citizens a son that was unworthy of their race. The Andhakas, the Yadavas, and the Bhojas uniting together, abandoned Kansa. And afterwards, when at the command of the whole tribe, the same Kansa had been slain by Krishna that slayer of foes, all the men of the tribe became exceedingly happy for a hundred years. So at thy command, let Arjuna slay this Suyodhana. And in consequence of the slaying of this wretch, let the Kurus be glad and pass their days in happiness. In exchange of a crow, O great king, buy these peacocks—the Pandavas; and in exchange of a jackal, buy these tigers. For the sake of a family a member may be sacrificed; for the sake of a village a family may be sacrificed, for the sake of a province a village may be sacrificed and for the sake of one's own soul the whole earth may be sacrificed. Even this was what the omniscient Kavya himself, acquainted with the thoughts of every creature, and a source of terror unto all foes, said unto the great Asuras to induce them to abandon Jambha at the moment of his birth. It is said that a certain king, having caused a number of wild birds that vomited gold to take up their quarters in his own house, afterwards killed them from temptation. O slayer of foes, blinded by temptation and the desire of enjoyment, for the sake of gold, the king destroyed at the same time both his present and future gains. Therefore, O king, prosecute not the Pandavas from desire of profit, even like the king in story. For then, blinded by folly thou wilt have to repent afterwards, even like the person that killed the birds. Like a flower-seller that plucketh (many flowers) in the garden from trees that he cherisheth with affection from day to day, continue, O Bharata, to pluck flowers day by day from the Pandavas. Do not scorch them to their roots like a fire-producing breeze that reduceth everything to black charcoal. Go not, O king, unto the region of Yama, with thy sons and troops, for who is there that is capable of fighting with the sons of Pritha, together? Not to speak of others, is the chief of the celestials at the head of the celestials themselves, capable of doing so?"
"Vidura said,—"Gambling is the root of dissensions. It bringeth about disunion. Its consequences are frightful. Yet having recourse to this, Dhritarashtra's son Duryodhana createth for himself fierce enmity. The descendants of Pratipa and Santanu, with their fierce troops and their allies the Vahlikas, will, for the sins of Duryodhana meet with destruction. Duryodhana, in consequence of this intoxication, forcibly driveth away luck and prosperity from his kingdom, even like an infuriate bull breaking his own horns himself. That brave and learned person who disregarding his own foresight, followeth, O king, (the bent of) another man's heart, sinketh in terrible affliction even like one that goeth into the sea in a boat guided by a child. Duryodhana is gambling with the son of Pandu, and thou art in raptures that he is winning. And it is such success that begeteth war, which endeth in the destruction of men. This fascination (of gambling) that thou has well-devised only leadeth to dire results. Thus hast thou simply brought on by these counsels great affliction to thy heart. And this thy quarrel with Yudhishthira, who is so closely related to thee, even if thou hadst not foreseen it, is still approved by thee. Listen, ye sons of Santanu, ye descendants of Pratipa, who are now in this assembly of the Kauravas, to these words of wisdom. Enter ye not into the terrible fire that hath blazed forth following the wretch. When Ajatasatru, the son of Pandu, intoxicated with dice, giveth way to his wrath, and Vrikodara and Arjuna and the twins (do the same), who, in that hour of confusion, will prove your refuge? O great king, thou art thyself a mine of wealth. Thou canst earn (by other means) as much wealth as thou seekest to earn by gambling. What dost thou gain by winning from the Pandavas their vast wealth? Win the Pandavas themselves, who will be to thee more than all the wealth they have. We all know the skill of Suvala in play. This hill-king knoweth many nefarious methods in gambling. Let Sakuni return whence he came. War not, O Bharata, with the sons of Pandu!'
Duryodhana said,—'O Kshatta, thou art always boasting of the fame of our enemies, deprecating the sons of Dhritarashtra. We know, O Vidura, of whom thou art really fond. Thou always disregardest us as children, That man standeth confest, who wisheth for success unto those that are near to him and defeat unto those that are not his favourites. His praise and blame are applied accordingly. Thy tongue and mind betray thy heart. But the hostility thou showeth in speech is even greater than what is in thy heart. Thou hast been cherished by us like a serpent on our lap. Like a cat thou wishest evil unto him that cherisheth thee. The wise have said that there is no sin graver than that of injuring one's master. How is it, O Kshatta, that thou dost not fear this sin? Having vanquished our enemies we have obtained great advantages. Use not harsh words in respect of us. Thou art always willing to make peace with the foes. And it is for this reason that thou hatest us always. A man becometh a foe by speaking words that are unpardonable. Then again in praising the enemy, the secrets of one's own party should not be divulged. (Thou however, transgressest this rule). Therefore, O thou parasite, why dost thou obstruct us so? Thou sayest whatever thou wishest. Insult us not. We know thy mind. Go and learn sitting at the feet of the old. Keen up the reputation that thou hast won. Meddle not with the affairs of other men. Do not imagine that thou art our chief. Tell us not harsh words always, O Vidura. We do not ask thee what is for our good. Cease, irritate not those that have already borne too much at thy hands. There is only one Controller, no second. He controlleth even the child that is in the mother's womb. I am controlled by Him. Like water that always floweth in a downward course, I am acting precisely in the way in which He is directing me. He that breaketh his head against a stone-wall, and he that feedeth a serpent, are guided in those acts of theirs by their own intellect. (Therefore, in this matter I am guided by my own intelligence). He becometh a foe who seeketh to control others by force. When advice, however, is offered in a friendly spirit, the learned bear with it. He again that hath set fire to such a highly inflammable object as camphor, beholdeth not its ashes. If he runneth immediately to extinguish it. One should not give shelter to another who is the friend of his foes, or to another who is ever jealous of his protector or to another who is evil-minded. Therefore, O Vidura, go whither-so-ever thou pleasest. A wife that is unchaste, however well-treated, forsaketh her husband yet.'
"Vidura addressing Dhritarashtra, said, 'O monarch, tell us (impartially) like a witness what thou thinkest of the conduct of those who abandon their serving-men thus for giving instruction to them. The hearts of kings are, indeed, very fickle. Granting protection at first, they strike with clubs at last. O prince (Duryodhana), thou regardest thyself as mature in intellect, and, O thou of bad heart, thou regardest me as a child. But consider that he is a child who having first accepted one for a friend, subsequently findeth fault with him. An evil-hearted man can never be brought to the path of rectitude, like an unchaste wife in the house of a well-born person. Assuredly, instruction is not agreeable to this bull of the Bharata race like a husband of sixty years to a damsel that is young. After this, O king, if thou wishest to hear words that are agreeable to thee, in respect of all acts good or bad, ask thou women and idiots and cripples or persons of that description. A sinful man speaking words that are agreeable may be had in this world. But a speaker of words that are disagreeable though sound as regimen, or a hearer of the same, is very rare. He indeed, is a king's true ally who disregarding what is agreeable or disagreeable to his master beareth himself virtuously and uttereth what may be disagreeable but necessary as regimen. O great king, drink thou that which the honest drink and the dishonest shun, even humility, which is like a medicine that is bitter, pungent, burning, unintoxicating, disagreeable, and revolting. And drinking it, O king, regain thou thy sobriety. I always wish Dhritarashtra and his sons affluence and fame. Happen what may unto thee, here I bow to thee (and take my leave). Let the Brahmanas wish me well. O son of Kuru, this is the lesson I carefully inculcate, that the wise should never enrage such as adders as have venom in their very glances!"
"Sakuni said,—'Thou hast, O Yudhishthira, lost much wealth of the Pandavas. If thou hast still anything that thou hast not yet lost to us, O son of Kunti, tell us what it is!"
"Yudhishthira said,—O son of Suvala, I know that I have untold wealth. But why is it, O Sakuni, that thou askest me of my wealth? Let tens of thousands and millions and millions and tens of millions and hundreds of millions and tens of billions and hundreds of billions and trillions and tens of trillions and hundreds of trillions and tens of quadrillions and hundreds of quadrillions and even more wealth be staked by thee. I have as much. With that wealth, O king, I will play with thee."
Vaisampayana said,—"Hearing this, Sakuni, ready with the dice, adopting unfair means, said unto Yudhishthira, 'Lo, I have won!'
'Yudhishthira said,—'I have, O son of Suvala, immeasurable kine and horses and milch cows with calves and goats and sheep in the country extending from the Parnasa to the eastern bank of the Sindu. With this wealth, O king, I will play with thee.
Vaisampayana said,—"Hearing this Sakuni, ready with the dice, adopting unfair means, said unto Yudhishthira, 'Lo, I have won!'
Yudhishthira said,—'I have my city, the country, land, the wealth of all dwelling therein except of the Brahmanas, and all those persons themselves except Brahmanas still remaining to me. With this wealth, O king, I will play with thee.'
Vaisampayana said,—"Hearing this, Sakuni, ready with the dice, adopting foul means, said unto Yudhishthira, 'Lo! I have won.'
"Yudhishthira said,—These princes here, O king, who look resplendent in their ornaments and their ear-rings and Nishkas and all the royal ornaments on their persons are now my wealth. With this wealth, O king, I play with thee.
Vaisampayana said,—"Hearing this, Sakuni, ready with his dice, adopting foul means, said unto Yudhishthira, 'Lo! I have won them.'
"Yudhishthira said,—'This Nakula here, of mighty arms and leonine neck, of red eyes and endued with youth, is now my one stake. Know that he is my wealth.'
Sakuni said,—'O king Yudhishthira, prince Nakula is dear to thee. He is already under our subjection. With whom (as stake) wilt thou now play?"
Vaisampayana said,—"Saying this, Sakuni cast those dice, and said unto Yudhishthira, 'Lo! He hath been won by us.'
Yudhishthira said,—"This Sahadeva administereth justice. He hath also acquired a reputation for learning in this world. However undeserving he may be to be staked in play, with him as stake I will play, with such a dear object as it, indeed, he were not so!"
Vaisampayana said,—"Hearing this, Sakuni, ready with the dice, adopting foul means, said unto Yudhishthira, 'Lo! I have won.'
"Sakuni continued,—'O king, the sons of Madri, dear unto thee, have both been won by me. It would seem, however, that Bhimasena and Dhananjaya are regarded very much by thee.'
"Yudhishthira said,—'Wretch! thou actest sinfully in thus seeking to create disunion amongst us who are all of one heart, disregarding morality.'
"Sakuni said,—'One that is intoxicated falleth into a pit (hell) and stayeth there deprived of the power of motion. Thou art, O king, senior to us in age, and possessed of the highest accomplishments. O bull of the Bharata race, I (beg my pardon and) bow to thee. Thou knowest, O Yudhishthira, that gamesters, while excited with play, utter such ravings that they never indulge in the like of them in their waking moments nor even in dream.'
"Yudhishthira said,—He that taketh us like a boat to the other shore of the sea of battle, he that is ever victorious over foes, the prince who is endued with great activity, he who is the one hero in this world, (is here). With that Falguna as stake, however, undeserving of being made so, I will now play with thee.'"
Vaisampayana said,—"Hearing this, Sakuni, ready with the dice, adopting foul means, said unto Yudhishthira, 'Lo! I have won.'
"Sakuni continued,—'This foremost of all wielders of the bow, this son of Pandu capable of using both his hands with equal activity hath now been won by me. O play now with the wealth that is still left unto thee, even with Bhima thy dear brother, as thy stake, O son of Pandu.
"Yudhishthira said,—'O king, however, undeserving he may be of being made a stake, I will now play with thee by staking Bhimasena, that prince who is our leader, who is the foremost in fight,—even like the wielder of the thunder-bolt—the one enemy of the Danavas,—the high-souled one with leonine neck and arched eye-brows and eyes looking askance, who is incapable of putting up with an insult, who hath no equal in might in the world, who is the foremost of all wielders of the mace, and who grindeth all foes,'"
"Vaisampayana said,—"Hearing this, Sakuni, ready with the dice adopting foul means, said unto Yudhishthira. 'Lo! I have won.'
Sakuni continued,—Thou hast, O son of Kunti, lost much wealth, horses and elephants and thy brothers as well. Say, if thou hast anything which thou hast not lost.'
Yudhishthira, said—'I alone, the eldest of all my brothers and dear unto them, am still unwon. Won by thee, I will do what he that is won will have to do.'"
Vaisampayana said,—"Hearing this Sakuni, ready with the dice, adopting foul means, said unto Yudhishthira, 'Lo! I have won.'
'Sakuni continued,—'Thou hast permitted thyself to be won. This is very sinful. There is wealth still left to thee, O king. Therefore, thy having lost thyself is certainly sinful.'"
Vaisampayana continued,—"Having said this, Sakuni, well-skilled at dice, spoke unto all the brave kings present there of his having won, one after another, all the Pandavas. The son of Suvala then, addressing Yudhishthira said,—'O king, there is still one stake dear to thee that is still unwon. Stake thou Krishna, the princess of Panchala. By her, win thyself back.'
"Yudhishthira said,—'With Draupadi as stake, who is neither short nor tall, neither spare nor corpulent, and who is possessed of blue curly locks, I will now play with thee. Possessed of eyes like the leaves of the autumn lotus, and fragrant also as the autumn lotus, equal in beauty unto her (Lakshmi) who delighteth in autumn lotuses, and unto Sree herself in symmetry and every grace she is such a woman as a man may desire for wife in respect of softness of heart, and wealth of beauty and of virtues. Possessed of every accomplishment and compassionate and sweet-speeched, she is such a woman as a man may desire for wife in respect of her fitness for the acquisition of virtue and pleasure and wealth. Retiring to bed last and waking up first, she looketh after all down to the cowherds and the shepherds. Her face too, when covered with sweat, looketh as the lotus or the jasmine. Of slender waist like that of the wasp, of long flowing locks, of red lips, and body without down, is the princess of Panchala. O king, making the slender-waisted Draupadi, who is even such as my stake, I will play with thee, O son of Suvala.'"
Vaisampayana continued,—'When the intelligent king Yudhishthira the just has spoken thus,—'Fie!' 'Fie!' were the words that were uttered by all the aged persons that were in the assembly. And the whole conclave was agitated, and the kings who were present there all gave way to grief. And Bhishma and Drona and Kripa were covered with perspiration. And Vidura holding his head between his hands sat like one that had lost his reason. He sat with face downwards giving way to his reflections and sighing like a snake. But Dhritarashtra glad, at heart, asked repeatedly, 'Hath the stake been won?' 'Hath the stake been won?' and could not conceal his emotions. Karna with Dussassana and others laughed aloud, while tears began to flow from the eyes of all other present in the assembly. And the son of Suvala, proud of success and flurried with excitement and repeating. Thou hast one stake, dear to thee, etc. said,—'Lo! I have won' and took up the dice that had been cast."
Duryodhana said,—'Come, Kshatta, bring hither Draupadi the dear and loved wife of the Pandavas. Let her sweep the chambers, force her thereto, and let the unfortunate one stay where our serving-women are.'
"Vidura said,—'Dost thou not know, O wretch, that by uttering such harsh words thou art tying thyself with cords? Dost thou not understand that thou art hanging on the edge of a precipice? Dost thou not know that being a deer thou provokest so many tigers to rage? Snakes of deadly venom, provoked to ire, are on thy head! Wretch, do not further provoke them lest thou goest to the region of Yama. In my judgement, slavery does not attach to Krishna, in as much as she was staked by the King after he had lost himself and ceased to be his own master. Like the bamboo that beareth fruit only when it is about to die, the son of Dhritarashtra winneth this treasure at play. Intoxicated, he perceiveth nor in these his last moments that dice bring about enmity and frightful terrors. No man should utter harsh speeches and pierce the hearts of the others. No man should subjugate his enemies by dice and such other foul means. No one should utter such words as are disapproved by the Vedas and lead to hell and annoy others. Some one uttereth from his lips words that are harsh. Stung by them another burneth day and night. These words pierce the very heart of another. The learned, therefore, should never utter them, pointing them at others. A goat had once swallowed a hook, and when it was pierced with it, the hunter placing the head of the animal on the ground tore its throat frightfully in drawing it out. Therefore, O Duryodhana, swallow not the wealth of the Pandavas. Make them not thy enemies. The sons of Pritha never use words such as these. It is only low men that are like dogs who use harsh words towards all classes of people, viz., those that have retired to the woods, those leading domestic lives, those employed in ascetic devotions and those that are of great learning. Alas! the son of Dhritarashtra knoweth not that dishonesty is one of the frightful doors of hell. Alas! many of the Kurus with Dussasana amongst them have followed him in the path of dishonesty in the matter of this play at dice. Even gourds may sink and stones may float, and boats also may always sink in water, still this foolish king, the son of Dhritarashtra, listeneth not to my words that are even as regimen unto him. Without doubt, he will be the cause of the destruction of the Kurus. When the words of wisdom spoken by friends and which are even as fit regimen are not listened to, but on the other hand temptation is on the increase, a frightful and universal destruction is sure to overtake all the Kurus."
Vaisampayana said,—"Intoxicated with pride, the son of Dhritarashtra spake,—'Fie on Kshatta! and casting his eyes upon the Pratikamin in attendance, commanded him, in the midst of all those reverend seniors, saying,—'Go Pratikamin, and bring thou Draupadi hither. Thou hast no fear from the sons of Pandu. It is Vidura alone that raveth in fear. Besides, he never wisheth our prosperity!'"
Vaisampayana continued,—"Thus commanded, the Pratikamin, who was of the Suta caste, hearing the words of the king, proceeded with haste, and entering the abode of the Pandavas, like a dog in a lion's den, approached the queen of the sons of Pandu. And he said,—'Yudhishthira having been intoxicated with dice, Duryodhana, O Draupadi, hath won thee. Come now, therefore, to the abode of Dhritarashtra. I will take thee, O Yajnaseni, and put thee in some menial work.'
Draupadi said,—'Why, O Pratikamin, dost thou say so? What prince is there who playeth staking his wife? The king was certainly intoxicated with dice. Else, could he not find any other object to stake?'
"The Pratikamin said,—'When he had nothing else to stake, it was then that Ajatasatru, the son of Pandu, staked thee. The king had first staked his brothers, then himself, and then thee, O princess.'
"Draupadi said,—'O son of the Suta race, go, and ask that gambler present in the assembly, whom he hath lost first, himself, or me. Ascertaining this, come hither, and then take me with thee, O son of the Suta race.'
Vaisampayana continued,—"The messenger coming back to the assembly told all present the words of Draupadi. And he spoke unto Yudhishthira sitting in the midst of the kings, these words,—Draupadi hath asked thee, Whose lord wert thou at the time thou lost me in play? Didst thou lose thyself first or me? Yudhishthira, however sat there like one demented and deprived of reason and gave no answer good or ill to the Suta.
"Duryodhana then said,—'Let the princess of Panchala come hither and put her question. Let every one hear in this assembly the words that pass between her and Yudhishthira.'
Vaisampayana continued,—"The messenger, obedient to the command of Duryodhana, going once again to the palace, himself much distressed, said unto Draupadi,—'O princess, they that are in the assembly are summoning thee. It seemeth that the end of the Kauravas is at hand. When Duryodhana, O princess, is for taking thee before the assembly, this weak-brained king will no longer be able to protect his prosperity.'
"Draupadi said,—'The great ordainer of the world hath, indeed, ordained so. Happiness and misery pay their court to both the wise and unwise. Morality, however, it hath been said, is the one highest object in the world. If cherished, that will certainly dispense blessings to us. Let not that morality now abandon the Kauravas. Going back to those that are present in that assembly, repeat these my words consonant with morality. I am ready to do what those elderly and virtuous persons conversant with morality will definitely tell me.
Vaisampayana continued,—"The Suta, hearing these words of Yajnaseni, came back to the assembly and repeated the words of Draupadi. But all sat with faces downwards, uttering not a word, knowing the eagerness and resolution of Dhritarashtra's son.
"Yudhishthira, however, O bull of the Bharata race, hearing of Duryodhana's intentions, sent a trusted messenger unto Draupadi, directing that although she was attired in one piece of cloth with her navel itself exposed, in consequence of her season having come, she should come before her father-in-law weeping bitterly. And that intelligent messenger, O king, having gone to Draupadi's abode with speed, informed her of the intentions of Yudhishthira. The illustrious Pandavas, meanwhile, distressed and sorrowful, and bound by promise, could not settle what they should do. And casting his eyes upon them, king Duryodhana, glad at heart, addressed the Suta and said,—'O Pratikamin, bring her hither. Let the Kauravas answer her question before her face. The Suta, then, obedient to his commands, but terrified at the (possible) wrath of the daughter of Drupada, disregarding his reputation for intelligence, once again said to those that were in the assembly,—what shall I say unto Krishna?'
"Duryodhana, hearing this, said,—'O Dussasana, this son of my Suta, of little intelligence, feareth Vrikodara. Therefore, go thou thyself and forcibly bring hither the daughter of Yajnasena, Our enemies at present are dependent on our will. What can they do thee?' Hearing the command of his brother, prince Dussasana rose with blood-red eyes, and entering the abode of those great warriors, spake these words unto the princess, 'Come, come, O Krishna, princess of Panchala, thou hast been won by us. And O thou of eyes large as lotus leaves, come now and accept the Kurus for thy lords. Thou hast been won virtuously, come to the assembly.' At these words, Draupadi, rising up in great affliction, rubbed her pale face with her hands, and distressed she ran to the place where the ladies of Dhritarashtra's household were. At this, Dussasana roaring in anger, ran after her and seized the queen by her locks, so long and blue and wavy. Alas! those locks that had been sprinkled with water sanctified with mantras in the great Rajasuya sacrifice, were now forcibly seized by the son of Dhritarashtra disregarding the prowess of the Pandavas. And Dussasana dragging Krishna of long long locks unto the presence of the assembly—as if she were helpless though having powerful protectors—and pulling at her, made her tremble like the banana plant in a storm. And dragged by him, with body bent, she faintly cried—'Wretch! it ill behoveth thee to take me before the assembly. My season hath come, and I am now clad in one piece of attire. But Dussasana dragging Draupadi forcibly by her black locks while she was praying piteously unto Krishna and Vishnu who were Narayana and Nara (on earth), said unto her—'Whether thy season hath come or not, whether thou art attired in one piece of cloth or entirely naked, when thou hast been won at dice and made our slave, thou art to live amongst our serving-women as thou pleasest."
Vaisampayana continued,—"With hair dishevelled and half her attire loosened, all the while dragged by Dussasana, the modest Krishna consumed with anger, faintly said—"In this assembly are persons conversant with all the branches of learning devoted to the performance of sacrifices and other rites, and all equal unto Indra, persons some of whom are really my superiors and others who deserve to be respected as such. I can not stay before them in this state. O wretch! O thou of cruel deeds, drag me not so. Uncover me not so. The princes (my lords) will not pardon thee, even if thou hast the gods themselves with Indra as thy allies. The illustrious son of Dharma is now bound by the obligations of morality. Morality, however, is subtle. Those only that are possessed of great clearness of vision can ascertain it. In speech even I am unwilling to admit an atom of fault in my lord forgetting his virtues. Thou draggest me who am in my season before these Kuru heroes. This is truly an unworthy act. But no one here rebuketh thee. Assuredly, all these are of the same mind with thee. O fie! Truly hath the virtue of the Bharata gone! Truly also hath the usage of those acquainted with the Kshatriya practice disappeared! Else these Kurus in this assembly would never have looked silently on this act that transgresseth the limits of their practices. Oh! both Drona and Bhishma have lost their energy, and so also hath the high-souled Kshatta, and so also this king. Else, why do these foremost of the Kuru elders look silently on this great crime?"
Vaisampayana continued,—"Thus did Krishna of slender waist cry in distress in that assembly. And casting a glance upon her enraged lords—the Pandavas—who were filled with terrible wrath, she inflamed them further with that glance of hers. And they were not so distressed at having been robbed of their kingdom, of their wealth, of their costliest gems, as with that glance of Krishna moved by modesty and anger. And Dussasana, beholding Krishna looking at her helpless lords, dragging her still more forcibly, and addressed her, 'Slave, Slave' and laughed aloud. And at those words Karna became very glad and approved of them by laughing aloud. And Sakuni, the son of Suvala, the Gandhara king, similarly applauded Dussasana. And amongst all those that were in the assembly except these three and Duryodhana, every one was filled with sorrow at beholding Krishna thus dragged in sight of that assembly. And beholding it all, Bhishma said, 'O blessed one, morality is subtle. I therefore am unable to duly decide this point that thou hast put, beholding that on the one hand one that hath no wealth cannot stake the wealth belonging to others, while on the other hand wives are always under the orders and at the disposal of their lords. Yudhishthira can abandon the whole world full of wealth, but he will never sacrifice morality. The son of Pandu hath said—'I am won.' Therefore, I am unable to decide this matter. Sakuni hath not his equal among men at dice-play. The son of Kunti still voluntarily staked with him. The illustrious Yudhishthira doth not himself regard that Sakuni hath played with him deceitfully. Therefore, I can not decide this point."
"Draupadi said,—"The king was summoned to this assembly and though possessing no skill at dice, he was made to play with skilful, wicked, deceitful and desperate gamblers. How can he be said then to have staked voluntarily? The chief of the Pandavas was deprived of his senses by wretches of deceitful conduct and unholy instincts, acting together, and then vanquished. He could not understand their tricks, but he hath now done so. Here, in this assembly, there are Kurus who are the lords of both their sons and their daughters-in-law! Let all of them, reflecting well upon my words, duly decide the point that I have put.
Vaisampayana continued,—'Unto Krishna who was thus weeping and crying piteously, looking at times upon her helpless lord, Dussasana spake many disagreeable and harsh words. And beholding her who was then in her season thus dragged, and her upper garments loosened, beholding her in that condition which she little deserved, Vrikodara afflicted beyond endurance, his eyes fixed upon Yudhishthira, gave way to wrath."
"Bhima said,—'O Yudhishthira, gamblers have in their houses many women of loose character. They do not yet stake those women having kindness for them even. Whatever wealth and other excellent articles the king of Kasi gave, whatever, gems, animals, wealth, coats of mail and weapons that other kings of the earth gave, our kingdom, thyself and ourselves, have all been won by the foes. At all this my wrath was not excited for thou art our lord. This, however, I regard as a highly improper act—this act of staking Draupadi. This innocent girl deserveth not this treatment. Having obtained the Pandavas as her lords, it is for thee alone that she is being thus persecuted by the low, despicable, cruel, and mean-minded Kauravas. It is for her sake, O king, that my anger falleth on thee. I shall burn those hands of thine. Sahadeva, bring some fire."
'Arjuna hearing this, said,—'Thou hast never, O Bhimasena, before this uttered such words as these. Assuredly thy high morality hath been destroyed by these cruel foes. Thou shouldst not fulfil the wishes of the enemy. Practise thou the highest morality. Whom doth it behave to transgress his virtuous eldest brother? The king was summoned by the foe, and remembering the usage of the Kshatriyas, he played at dice against his will. That is certainly conducive to our great fame.
'Bhima said,—'If I had not known, O Dhananjaya, that the king had acted according to Kshatriya usage, then I would have, taking his hands together by sheer force, burnt them in a blazing fire."
Vaisampayana continued,—"Beholding the Pandavas thus distressed and the princess of Panchala also thus afflicted, Vikarna the son of Dhritarashtra said—'Ye kings, answer ye the question that hath been asked by Yajnaseni. If we do not judge a matter referred to us, all of us will assuredly have to go to hell without delay. How is that Bhishma and Dhritarashtra, both of whom are the oldest of the Kurus, as also the high-souled Vidura, do not say anything! The son of Bharadwaja who is the preceptor of us, as also Kripa, is here. Why do not these best of regenerate ones answer the question? Let also those other kings assembled here from all directions answer according to their judgment this question, leaving aside all motives of gain and anger. Ye kings, answer ye the question that hath been asked by this blessed daughter of king Drupada, and declare after reflection on which side each of ye is.' Thus did Vikarna repeatedly appeal to those that were in that assembly. But those kings answered him not one word, good or ill. And Vikarna having repeatedly appealed to all the kings began to rub his hands and sigh like a snake. And at last the prince said—'Ye kings of the earth, ye Kauravas, whether ye answer this question or not, I will say what I regard as just and proper. Ye foremost of men, it hath been said that hunting, drinking, gambling, and too much enjoyment of women, are the four vices of kings. The man, that is addicted to these, liveth forsaking virtue. And people do not regard the acts done by a person who is thus improperly engaged, as of any authority. This son of Pandu, while deeply engaged in one of these vicious acts, urged thereto by deceitful gamblers, made Draupadi a stake. The innocent Draupadi is, besides, the common wife of all the sons of Pandu. And the king, having first lost himself offered her as a stake. And Suvala himself desirous of a stake, indeed prevailed upon the king to stake this Krishna. Reflecting upon all these circumstances, I regard Draupadi as not won."
"Hearing these words, a loud uproar rose from among those present in that assembly. And they all applauded Vikarna and censured the son of Suvala. And at that sound, the son of Radha, deprived of his senses by anger, waving his well-shaped arms, said these words,—'O Vikarna, many opposite and inconsistent conditions are noticeable in this assembly. Like fire produced from a faggot, consuming the faggot itself, this thy ire will consume thee. These personages here, though urged by Krishna, have not uttered a word. They all regard the daughter of Drupada to have been properly won. Thou alone, O son of Dhritarashtra in consequence of thy immature years, art bursting with wrath, for though but a boy thou speakest in the assembly as if thou wert old. O younger brother of Duryodhana, thou dost not know what morality truly is, for thou sayest like a fool that this Krishna who hath been (justly) won as not won at all. O son of Dhritarashtra, how dost thou regard Krishna as not won, when the eldest of the Pandavas before this assembly staked all his possessions? O bull of the Bharata race, Draupadi is included in all the possessions (of Yudhishthira). Therefore, why regardest thou Krishna who hath been justly won as not won? Draupadi had been mentioned (by Suvala) and approved of as a stake by the Pandavas. For what reason then dost thou yet regard her as not won? Or, if thou thinkest that bringing her hither attired in a single piece of cloth, is an action of impropriety, listen to certain excellent reasons I will give. O son of the Kuru race, the gods have ordained only one husband for one woman. This Draupadi, however, hath many husbands. Therefore, certain it is that she is an unchaste woman. To bring her, therefore, into this assembly attired though she be in one piece of cloth—even to uncover her is not at all an act that may cause surprise. Whatever wealth the Pandavas had—she herself and these Pandavas themselves,—have all been justly won by the son of Suvala. O Dussasana, this Vikarna speaking words of (apparent) wisdom is but a boy. Take off the robes of the Pandavas as also the attire of Draupadi. Hearing these words the Pandavas, O Bharata, took of their upper garments and throwing them down sat in that assembly. Then Dussasana, O king, forcibly seizing Draupadi's attire before the eyes of all, began to drag it off her person."
Vaisampayana continued,—"When the attire of Draupadi was being thus dragged, the thought of Hari, (And she herself cried aloud, saying), 'O Govinda, O thou who dwellest in Dwaraka, O Krishna, O thou who art fond of cow-herdesses (of Vrindavana). O Kesava, seest thou not that the Kauravas are humiliating me. O Lord, O husband of Lakshmi, O Lord of Vraja (Vrindavana), O destroyer of all afflictions, O Janarddana, rescue me who am sinking in the Kaurava Ocean. O Krishna, O Krishna, O thou great yogin, thou soul of the universe, Thou creator of all things, O Govinda, save me who am distressed,—who am losing my senses in the midst of the Kurus.' Thus did that afflicted lady resplendent still in her beauty, O king covering her face cried aloud, thinking of Krishna, of Hari, of the lord of the three worlds. Hearing the words of Draupadi, Krishna was deeply moved. And leaving his seat, the benevolent one from compassion, arrived there on foot. And while Yajnaseni was crying aloud to Krishna, also called Vishnu and Hari and Nara for protection, the illustrious Dharma, remaining unseen, covered her with excellent clothes of many hues. And, O monarch as the attire of Draupadi was being dragged, after one was taken off, another of the same kind, appeared covering her. And thus did it continue till many clothes were seen. And, O exalted on, owing to the protection of Dharma, hundreds upon hundreds of robes of many hues came off Draupadi's person. And there arose then a deep uproar of many many voices. And the kings present in that assembly beholding that most extraordinary of all sights in the world, began to applaud Draupadi and censure the son of Dhritarashtra. And Bhima then, squeezing his hands, with lips quivering in rage, swore in the midst of all those kings a terrible oath in a loud voice.
"And Bhima said,—Hear these words of mine, ye Kshatriyas of the world. Words such as these were never before uttered by other men, nor will anybody in the future ever utter them. Ye lords of earth, if having spoken these words I do not accomplish them hereafter, let me not obtain the region of my deceased ancestors. Tearing open in battle, by sheer force, the breast of this wretch, this wicked-minded scoundrel of the Bharata race, if I do not drink his life-blood, let me not obtain the region of my ancestors."
Vaisampayana continued,—"Hearing these terrible words of Bhima that made the down of the auditors to stand on end, everybody present there applauded him and censured the son of Dhritarashtra. And when a mass of clothes had been gathered in that assembly, all dragged from the person of Draupadi, Dussasana, tired and ashamed, sat down. And beholding the sons of Kunti in that state, the persons—those gods among men—that were in that assembly all uttered the word 'Fie!'(on the son of Dhritarashtra). And the united voices of all became so loud that they made the down of anybody who heard them stand on end. And all the honest men that were in that assembly began to say,—'Alas! the Kauravas answer not the question that hath been put to them by Draupadi. And all censuring Dhritarashtra together, made a loud clamour. Then Vidura, that master of the science of morality, waving his hands and silencing every one, spake these words;—'Ye that are in this assembly, Draupadi having put her question is weeping helplessly. Ye are not answering her. Virtue and morality are being persecuted by such conduct. An afflicted person approacheth an assembly of good men, like one that is being consumed by fire. They that are in the assembly quench that fire and cool him by means of truth and morality. The afflicted person asketh the assembly about his rights, as sanctioned by morality. They that are in the assembly should, unmoved by interest and anger, answer the question. Ye kings, Vikarna hath answered the question, according to his own knowledge and judgment. Ye should also answer it as ye think proper. Knowing the rules of morality, and having attended an assembly, he that doth not answer a query that is put, incurreth half the demerit that attacheth to a lie. He, on the other hand, who, knowing the rules of morality and having joined an assembly answereth falsely, assuredly incurreth the sin of a lie. The learned quote as an example in this connection the old history of Prahlada and the son of Angirasa.
"There was of old a chief of the Daityas of the name Prahlada. He had a son named Virochana. And Virochana, for the sake of obtaining a bride, quarrelled with Sudhanwan, the son of Angiras. It hath been heard by us that they mutually wagered their lives, saying—I am superior,—I am superior,—for the sake of obtaining a bride. And after they had thus quarrelled with each other, they both made Prahlada the arbitrator to decide between them. And they asked him, saying;—Who amongst us is superior (to the other)? Answer this question. Speak not falsely. Frightened at this quarrel, Prahlada cast his eyes upon Sudhanwan. And Sudhanwan in rage, burning like unto the mace of Yama, told him,—If thou answerest falsely, or dost not answer at all thy head will then be split into a hundred pieces by the wielder of the thunderbolt with that bolt of his.—Thus addressed by Sudhanwan, the Daitya, trembling like a leaf of the fig tree, went to Kasyapa of great energy, for taking counsel with him. And Prahlada said,—'Thou art, O illustrious and exalted one, fully conversant with the rules of morality that should guide both the gods and the Asuras and the Brahmanas as well. Here, however, is a situation of great difficulty in respect of duty. Tell me, I ask thee, what regions are obtainable by them who upon being asked a question, answer it not, or answer it falsely. Kasyapa thus asked answered.—'He that knoweth, but answereth not a question from temptation, anger or fear, casteth upon himself a thousand nooses of Varuna. And the person who, cited as a witness with respect to any matter of ocular or auricular knowledge, speaketh carelessly, casteth a thousand nooses of Varuna upon his own person. On the completion of one full year, one such noose is loosened. Therefore, he that knoweth, should speak the truth without concealment. If virtue, pierced by sin, repaireth to an assembly (for aid), it is the duty of every body in the assembly to take off the dart, otherwise they themselves would be pierced with it. In an assembly where a truly censurable act is not rebuked, half the demerit of that act attacheth to the head of that assembly, a fourth to the person acting censurably and a fourth unto those others that are there. In that assembly, on the other hand, when he that deserveth censure is rebuked, the head of the assembly becometh freed from all sins, and the other members also incur none. It is only the perpetrator himself of the act that becometh responsible for it. O Prahlada, they who answer falsely those that ask them about morality destroy the meritorious acts of their seven upper and seven lower generations. The grief of one who hath lost all his wealth, of one who hath lost a son, of one who is in debt, of one who is separated from his companions, of a woman who hath lost her husband, of one that hath lost his all in consequence of the king's demand, of a woman who is sterile, of one who hath been devoured by a tiger (during his last struggles in the tiger's claws), of one who is a co-wife, and of one who hath been deprived of his property by false witnesses, have been said by the gods to be uniform in degree. These different sorts of grief are his who speaketh false. A person becometh a witness in consequence of his having seen, heard, and understood a thing. Therefore, a witness should always tell the truth. A truth-telling witness never loseth his religious merits and earthly possessions also.' Hearing these words of Kasyapa, Prahlada told his son, "Sudhanwan is superior to thee, as indeed, (his father) Angiras is superior to me. The mother also of Sudhanwan is superior to thy mother. Therefore, O Virochana, this Sudhanwan is now the lord of the life." At these words of Prahlada, Sudhanwan said, "Since unmoved by affection for thy child, thou hast adhered to virtue, I command, let this son of thine live for a hundred years."
"Vidura continued,—Let all the persons, therefore, present in this assembly hearing these high truths of morality, reflect upon what should be the answer to the question asked by Draupadi".
Vaisampayana continued,—"The kings that were there hearing these words of Vidura, answered not a word, yet Karna alone spoke unto Dussasana, telling him. Take away this serving-woman Krishna into the inner apartments. And thereupon Dussasana began to drag before all the spectators the helpless and modest Draupadi, trembling and crying piteously unto the Pandavas her lords."
Draupadi said,—'Wait a little, thou worst of men, thou wicked-minded Dussasana. I have an act to perform—a high duty that hath not been performed by me yet. Dragged forcibly by this wretch's strong arms, I was deprived of my senses. I salute these reverend seniors in this assembly of the Kurus. That I could not do this before cannot be my fault.'"
Vaisampayana said,—"Dragged with greater force than before, the afflicted and helpless Draupadi, undeserving of such treatment, falling down upon the ground, thus wept in that assembly of the Kurus,—
"'Alas, only once before, on the occasion of the Swayamvara, I was beheld by the assembled kings in the amphitheatre, and never even once beheld afterwards. I am to-day brought before this assembly. She whom even the winds and the sun had seen never before in her palace is to-day before this assembly and exposed to the gaze of the crowd. Alas, she whom the sons of Pandu could not, while in her palace, suffer to be touched even by the wind, is to-day suffered by the Pandavas to be seized and dragged by this wretch. Alas, these Kauravas also suffer their daughter-in-law, so unworthy of such treatment, to be thus afflicted before them. It seemeth that the times are out of joint. What can be more distressing to me, than that though high-born and chaste, I should yet be compelled to enter this public court? Where is that virtue for which these kings were noted? It hath been heard that the kings of ancient days never brought their wedded wives into the public court. Alas, that eternal usage hath disappeared from among the Kauravas. Else, how is it that the chaste wife of the Pandavas, the sister of Prishata's son, the friend of Vasudeva, is brought before this assembly? Ye Kauravas, I am the wedded wife of king Yudhishthira the just, hailing from the same dynasty to which the King belonged. Tell me now if I am a serving-maid or otherwise. I will cheerfully accept your answer. This mean wretch, this destroyer of the name of the Kurus, is afflicting me hard. Ye Kauravas, I cannot bear it any longer. Ye kings, I desire ye to answer whether ye regard me as won or unwon. I will accept your verdict whatever it be.'
"Hearing these words, Bhishma answered, I have already said, O blessed one that the course of morality is subtle. Even the illustrious wise in this world fail to understand it always. What in this world a strong man calls morality is regarded as such by others, however otherwise it may really be; but what a weak man calls morality is scarcely regarded as such even if it be the highest morality. From the importance of the issue involved, from its intricacy and subtlety, I am unable to answer with certitude the question thou hast asked. However, it is certain that as all the Kurus have become the slaves of covetousness and folly, the destruction of this our race will happen on no distant date. O blessed one, the family into which thou hast been admitted as a daughter-in-law, is such that those who are born in it, however much they might be afflicted by calamities, never deviate from the paths of virtue and morality. O Princess of Panchala, this conduct of thine also, viz. that though sunk in distress, thou still easiest thy eyes on virtue and morality, is assuredly worthy of thee. These persons, Drona and others, of mature years and conversant with morality, sit heads downwards like men that are dead, with bodies from which life hath departed. It seemeth to me, however, that Yudhishthira is an authority on this question. It behoveth him to declare whether thou art won or not won."
Vaisampayana said,—"The kings present in that assembly, from tear of Duryodhana, uttered not a word, good or ill, although they beheld Draupadi crying piteously in affliction like a female osprey, and repeatedly appealing to them. And the son of Dhritarashtra beholding those kings and sons and grand sons of kings all remaining silent, smiled a little, and addressing the daughter of the king of Panchala, said,—O Yajnaseni, the question thou hast put dependeth on thy husbands—on Bhima of mighty strength, on Arjuna, on Nakula, on Sahadeva. Let them answer thy question. O Panchali, let them for thy sake declare in the midst of these respectable men that Yudhishthira is not their lord, let them thereby make king Yudhishthira the just a liar. Thou shalt then be freed from the condition of slavery. Let the illustrious son of Dharma, always adhering to virtue, who is even like Indra, himself declare whether he is not thy lord. At his words, accept thou the Pandavas or ourselves without delay. Indeed, all the Kauravas present in this assembly are floating in the ocean of thy distress. Endued with magnanimity, they are unable to answer thy question, looking at thy unfortunate husbands.'"
Vaisampayana continued,—"Hearing these words of the Kuru king, all who were present in the assembly loudly applauded them. And shouting approvingly, they made signs unto one another by motions of their eyes and lips. And amongst some that were there, sounds of distress such as 'O! and 'Alas!" were heard. And at these words of Duryodhana, so delightful (to his partisans), the Kauravas present in that assembly became exceedingly glad. And the kings, with faces turned sideways, looked upon Yudhishthira conversant with the rules of morality, curious to hear what he would say. And every one present in that assembly became curious to hear what Arjuna, the son of Pandu never defeated in battle, and what Bhimasena, and what the twins also would say. And when that busy hum of many voices became still, Bhimasena, waving his strong and well-formed arms smeared with sandalpaste spake these words,—'If this high-souled king Yudhishthira the just, who is our eldest brother, had not been our lord, we would never have forgiven the Kuru race (for all this). He is the lord of all our religious and ascetic merits, the lord of even our lives. If he regardeth himself as won, we too have all been won. If this were not so, who is there amongst creatures touching the earth with their feet and mortal, that would escape from me with his life after having touched those locks of the princess of Panchala? Behold these mighty, well-formed arms of mine, even like maces of iron. Having once come within them, even he of a hundred sacrifices is incapable of effecting an escape. Bound by the ties of virtue and the reverence that is due to our eldest brother, and repeatedly urged by Arjuna to remain silent, I am not doing anything terrible. If however, I am once commanded by king Yudhishthira the just, I would slay these wretched sons of Dhritarashtra, making slaps do the work of swords, like a lion slaying a number of little animals."
Vaisampayana continued,—"Unto Bhima who had spoken these words Bhishma and Drona and Vidura said, 'Forbear, O Bhima. Everything is possible with thee.'"
"Karna said,—'Of all the persons in the assembly, three, viz., Bhishma, Vidura, and the preceptor of the Kurus (Drona) appear to be independent; for they always speak of their master as wicked, always censure him, and never wish for his prosperity. O excellent one, the slave, the son, and the wife are always dependent. They cannot earn wealth, for whatever they earn belongeth to their master. Thou art the wife of a slave incapable of possessing anything on his own account. Repair now to the inner apartments of king Dhritarashtra and serve the king's relatives. We direct that that is now thy proper business. And, O princess, all the sons of Dhritarashtra and not the sons of Pritha are now thy masters. O handsome one, select thou another husband now,—one who will not make thee a slave by gambling. It is well-known that women, especially that are slaves, are not censurable if they proceed with freedom in electing husbands. Therefore let it be done by thee. Nakula hath been won, as also Bhimasena, and Yudhishthira also, and Sahadeva, and Arjuna. And, O Yajnaseni, thou art now a slave. Thy husbands that are slaves cannot continue to be thy lords any longer. Alas, doth not the son of Pritha regards life, prowess and manhood as of no use that he offereth this daughter of Drupada, the king of Panchala, in the presence of all this assembly, as a stake at dice?'"
Vaisampayana continued,—"Hearing these words, the wrathful Bhima breathed hard, a very picture of woe. Obedient to the king and bound by the tie of virtue and duty, burning everything with his eyes inflamed by anger, he said,—'O king, I cannot be angry at these words of this son of a Suta, for we have truly entered the state of servitude. But O king, could our enemies have said so unto me, it thou hadst not played staking this princess?'"
Vaisampayana continued,—"Hearing these words of Bhimasena king Duryodhana addressed Yudhishthira who was silent and deprived of his senses, saying,—'O king, both Bhima and Arjuna, and the twins also, are under thy sway. Answer thou the question (that hath been asked by Draupadi). Say, whether thou regardest Krishna as unwon.' And having spoken thus unto the son of Kunti, Duryodhana. desirous of encouraging the son of Radha and insulting Bhima, quickly uncovered his left thigh that was like unto the stem of a plantain tree or the trunk of an elephant and which was graced with every auspicious sign and endued with the strength of thunder, and showed it to Draupadi in her very sight. And beholding this, Bhimasena expanding his red eyes, said unto Duryodhana in the midst of all those kings and as if piercing them (with his dart-like words),—'Let not Vrikodara attain to the regions, obtained by his ancestors, if he doth not break that thigh of thine in the great conflict. And sparkles of fire began to be emitted from every organ of sense of Bhima filled with wrath, like those that come out of every crack and orifice in the body of a blazing tree.