"Vaisampayana continued, 'Having obtained the boon, the virtuous son of Kunti, rising from the water, took hold of Dhaumya's feet and then embraced his brother's. And, O exalted one, wending then with Draupadi to the kitchen, and adored by her duly, the son of Pandu set himself to cook (their day's) food. And the clean food, however little, that was dressed, furnished with the four tastes, increased and became inexhaustible. And with it Yudhishthira began to feed the regenerate ones. And after the Brahmanas had been fed, and his younger brothers also, Yudhishthira himself ate of the food that remained, and which is called Vighasa. And after Yudhishthira had eaten, the daughter of Prishata took what remained. And after she had taken her meal, the day's food became exhausted.
'And having thus obtained the boon from the maker of day, the son of Pandu, himself as resplendent as that celestial, began to entertain the Brahmanas agreeably to their wishes. And obedient to their priest, the sons of Pritha, on auspicious lunar days and constellations and conjunctions, performed sacrifices according to the ordinance, the scriptures, and the Mantras. After the sacrifices, the sons of Pandu, blessed by the auspicious rites performed by Dhaumya and accompanied by him, and surrounded also by the Brahmanas set out for the woods of Kamyaka.'"
"Vaisampayana said,—"After the Pandavas had gone to the forest, Dhritarashtra the son of Amvika, whose knowledge was his eye, became exceedingly sorrowful. And seated at his ease the king addressed these words to the virtuous Vidura of profound intelligence, 'Thy understanding is as clear as that of Bhargava. Thou knowest also all the subtleties or morality, and thou lookest on all the Kauravas with an equal eye. O, tell me what is proper for me and them. O Vidura, things having thus taken their course, what should we do now? How may I secure the goodwill of the citizens so that they may not destroy us to the roots? O, tell us all, since thou art conversant with every excellent expedient.'
"Vidura said, 'The three-fold purposes, O king (viz., profit, pleasure, and salvation), have their foundations in virtue, and the sages say that a kingdom also standeth on virtue as its basis. Therefore, O monarch, according to the best of thy power, cherish thou virtuously thy own sons and those of Pandu. That virtue had been beguiled by wicked souls with Suvala's son at their head, when thy sons invited the righteous Yudhishthira and defeated him in the match at dice. O king, of this deed of utter iniquity I behold this expiation whereby, O chief of the Kurus, thy son, freed from sin, may win back his position among good men. Let the sons of Pandu, obtain that which was given unto them by thee. For, verily, even this is the highest morality that a king should remain content with his own, and never covet another's possessions. Thy good name then would not suffer nor would family dissensions ensue, nor unrighteousness be thine. This then is thy prime duty now,—to gratify the Pandavas and disgrace Sakuni. If thou wishest to restore to thy sons the good fortune they have lost, then, O king, do thou speedily adopt this line of conduct. If thou dost not act so, the Kurus will surely meet with destruction, for neither Bhimasena nor Arjuna, if angry, will leave any of their foes unslain. What is there in the world which is unattainable to those who cannot among their warriors Savyasachin skilled in arms; who have the Gandiva, the most powerful of all weapons in the world, for their bow; and who have amongst them the mighty Bhima also as a warrior? Formerly, as soon as thy son was born, I told thee,—Forsake thou this inauspicious child of thine. Herein lieth the good of thy race.—But thou didst not then act accordingly. Nor also, O king, have I pointed out to thee the way of thy welfare. If thou doest as I have counselled, thou shalt not have to repent afterwards. If thy son consent to reign in peace jointly with the sons of Pandu, passing thy days in joy thou shalt not have to repent. Should it be otherwise, abandon thou thy child for thy own happiness. Putting Duryodhana aside, do thou install the son of Pandu in the sovereignty, and let, O king, Ajatasatru, free from passion, rule the earth virtuously. All the kings of the earth, then, like Vaisyas, will, without delay, pay homage unto us. And, O king, let Duryodhana and Sakuni and Karna with alacrity wait upon the Pandavas. And let Dussasana, in open court, ask forgiveness of Bhimasena and of the daughter of Drupada also. And do thou pacify Yudhishthira by placing him on the throne with every mark of respect. Asked by thee, what else can I counsel thee to do? By doing this, O monarch, thou wouldst do what was proper.'
'Dhritarashtra said, 'These words, O Vidura, then thou hast spoken in this assembly, with reference to the Pandavas and myself, are for their good but not for ours. My mind doth not approve them. How hast thou settled all this in thy mind now? When thou hast spoken all this on behalf of the Pandavas, I perceive that thou art not friendly to me. How can I abandon my son for the sake of the sons of Pandu? Doubtless they are my sons, but Duryodhana is sprung from my body. Who then, speaking with impartiality, will ever counsel me to renounce my own body for the sake of others? O Vidura, all that thou sayest is crooked, although I hold thee in high esteem. Stay or go as thou likest. However much may she be humoured, an unchaste will forsaketh her husband.'
"Vaisampayana said, O king, saying this Dhritarashtra rose suddenly and went into the inner apartments. And Vidura, saying 'This race is doomed' went away to where the sons of Pritha were.'"
"Vaisampayana said, 'Desirous of living in the forest, those bulls of the Bharata race, the Pandavas, with their followers, setting out from the banks of the Ganges went to the field of Kurukshetra. And performing their ablutions in the Saraswati, the Drisadwati and the Yamuna, they went from one forest to another, travelling in an westernly direction. And at length they saw before them the woods, Kamyaka, the favourite haunt of Munis, situated by a level and wild plain on the banks of the Saraswati. And in those woods, O Bharata, abounding in birds and deer, those heroes began to dwell, entertained and comforted by the Munis. And Vidura always longing to see the Pandavas, went in a single car to the Kamyaka woods abounding in every good thing. And arriving at Kamyaka on a car drawn by swift steeds, he saw Yudhishthira the just, sitting with Draupadi at a retired spot, surrounded by his brothers and the Brahmanas. And seeing Vidura approach from a distance with swift steps, the virtuous king addressed brother, Bhimasena, saying, 'With what message doth Kshatta come to us? Doth he come hither, despatched by Sakuni, to invite us again to a game of dice? Doth the little-minded Sakuni intend to win again our weapons at dice? O Bhimasena, challenged by any one addressing me,—Come, I am unable to stay. And if our possession of the Gandiva becomes doubtful, will not the acquisition of our kingdom also be so.'
"Vaisampayana said, 'O king, the Pandavas then rose up and welcomed Vidura. And received by them, that descendant of the Ajamida line (Vidura) sat in their midst and made the usual enquiries. And after Vidura had rested awhile, those bulls among men asked him the reason of his coming. And Vidura began to relate unto them in detail everything connected with the bearing of Dhritarashtra the son of Amvika.'
"Vidura said, 'O Ajatasatru, Dhritarashtra called me, his dependant, before him and honouring me duly said, 'Things have fared thus. Now, do thou tell me what is good for the Pandavas as well as for me. I pointed out what was beneficial to both the Kauravas and Dhritarashtra. But what I said was not relished by him, nor could I hit upon any other course. What I advised was, O Pandavas, highly beneficial, but the son of Amvika heeded me not. Even as medicine recommendeth itself not to one that is ill, so my words failed to please the king. And, O thou without a foe, as all unchaste wile in the family of a man of pure descent cannot be brought back to the path of virtue, so I failed to bring Dhritarashtra back. Indeed, as a young damsel doth not like a husband of three score, even so Dhritarashtra did not like my words. Surely, destruction will overtake the Kuru race, surely Dhritarashtra will never acquire good fortune. For, as water dropped on a lotus-leaf doth not remain there, my counsels will fail to produce any effect to Dhritarashtra. The incensed Dhritarashtra told me, O Bharata, go thou thither where thou likest Never more shall I seek thy aid in ruling the earth or my capital,—O best of monarchs, forsaken by king Dhritarashtra, I come to thee for tendering good counsel. What I had said in the open court, I will now repeat unto thee. Listen, and bear my words in mind,—that wise man who bearing all the gross wrong heaped upon him by his enemies, patiently bideth his time, and multiplieth his resources "even as men by degrees turn a small fire: into a large one, ruleth alone this entire earth. He that (in prosperity) enjoyeth his substance with his adherents findeth in them sharers of his adversity,—this is the best means of securing adherents, and it is said that he that hath adherents, winneth the sovereignty of the world! And, O Pandava, divided thy prosperity with thy adherents, behave truthfully towards them, and converse with them agreeably! Share also your food with them! And never boast thyself in their presence! This behaviour increaseth the prosperity of kings!'
"Yudhishthira said, 'Having recourse to such high intelligence, undisturbed by passion, I will do as thou counsellest! And whatever else thou mayst counsel in respect of time and place, I will carefully follow entirely.'"
"Vaisampayana said, 'O king, after Vidura had gone to the abode of the Pandavas, Dhritarashtra, O Bharata, of profound wisdom, repented of his action. And thinking of the great intelligence of Vidura in matters connected with both war and peace, and also of the aggrandisement of the Pandavas in the future, Dhritarashtra, pained at the recollection of Vidura, having approached the door of the hall of state fell down senseless in the presence of the monarchs (in waiting) And regaining consciousness, the king rose from the ground and thus addressed Sanjaya standing by, 'My brother and friend is even like the god of justice himself! Recollecting him today, my heart burneth in grief! Go, bring unto me without delay my brother well-versed in morality!' Saying this, the monarch wept bitterly. And burning in repentance, and overwhelmed with sorrow at the recollection of Vidura, the king, from brotherly affection, again addressed Sanjaya saying, 'O Sanjaya, go thou and ascertain whether my brother, expelled by my wretched self through anger, liveth still! That wise brother of mine of immeasurable intelligence hath never been guilty of even the slightest transgression, but, on the other hand, he it is who hath come by grievous wrong at my hands! Seek him, O wise one, and bring him hither; else, O Sanjaya, I will lay down my life!"
"Vaisampayana continued, 'Hearing these words of the king, Sanjaya expressed his approbation, and saying 'So be it,' went in the direction of the Kamyaka woods. And arriving without loss of time at the forest where the sons of Pandu dwelt, he beheld Yudhishthira clad in deer-skin, seated with Vidura, in the midst of Brahmanas by thousands and guarded by his brothers, even like Purandara in the midst of the celestials! And approaching Yudhishthira, Sanjaya worshipped him duly and was received with due respect by Bhima and Arjuna and the twins. And Yudhishthira made the usual enquiries about his welfare and when he had been seated at his ease, he disclosed the reason of his visit, in these words, 'King Dhritarashtra, the son of Amvika, hath, O Kshatta! remembered thee! Returning unto him without loss of time, do thou revive the king! And, O thou best of men, with the permission of these Kuru princes—these foremost of men—it behoveth thee, at the command of that lion among kings, to return unto him!
Vaisampayana continued, 'Thus addressed by Sanjaya, the intelligent Vidura, ever attached to his relatives, with the permission of Yudhishthira returned to the city named after the elephant. And after he had approached the king, Dhritarashtra of great energy, the son of Amvika, addressed him, saying, 'From my good luck alone, O Vidura, thou, O sinless one, of conversant with morality, hast come here remembering me! And, O thou bull of the Bharata race, in thy absence I was beholding myself, sleepless through the day and the night, as one that hath been lost on earth!' And the king then took Vidura on his lap and smelt his head, and said, 'Forgive me, O sinless one, the words in which thou wert addressed by me!' And Vidura said, 'O king, I have forgiven thee. Thou art my superior, worthy of the highest reverence! Here am I, having come back, eagerly wishing to behold thee! All virtuous men, O tiger among men, are (instinctively) partial towards those that are distressed! This, O king, is scarcely the result of deliberation! (My partiality to the Pandavas proceedeth from this cause)! O Bharata, thy sons are as dear to me as the sons of Pandu, but as the latter are now in distress, my heart yearneth after them!
"Vaisampayana continued, 'And addressing each other thus in apologetic speeches, the two illustrious brothers, Vidura and Dhritarashtra, felt themselves greatly happy!'"
"Vaisampayana said, 'Hearing that Vidura had returned, and that the king had consoled him, the evil-minded son of Dhritarashtra began to burn in grief. His understanding clouded by ignorance, he summoned the son of Suvala, and Karna and Dussasana, and addressed them saying, 'The learned Vidura, the minister of the wise Dhritarashtra, hath returned! The friend of the sons of Pandu, he is ever engaged in doing what is beneficial to them. So long as this Vidura doth not succeed in inducing the king to bring them back, do ye all think of what may benefit me! If ever I behold the sons of Pritha return to the city, I shall again be emaciated by renouncing food and drink, even though there be no obstacle in my path! And I shall either take poison or hang myself, either enter the pyre or kill myself with my own weapons. But I shall never be able to behold the sons of Pandu in prosperity!
"Sakuni said, 'O king, O lord of the earth, what folly hath taken possession of thee! The Pandavas have gone to the forest, having given a particular pledge, so that what thou apprehendest can never take place! O bull of the Bharata race, the Pandavas ever abide by the truth. They will never, therefore, accept the words of thy father! If however, accepting the commands of the king, they come back to the capital, violating their vow, even this would be our conduct, viz., assuming, an aspect of neutrality, and in apparent obedience to the will of the monarch, we will closely watch the Pandavas, keeping our counsels!'
"Dussasana said, 'O uncle of great intelligence, it is even as thou sayest! The words of wisdom thou utterest always recommend themselves to me!'"Karna said, 'O Duryodhana, all of us seek to accomplish thy will and, O king, I see that unanimity at present prevaileth among us! The sons of Pandu, with passions under complete control, will never return without passing away the promised period. If, however, they do return from failing sense, do thou defeat them again at dice.'
"Vaisampayana said, 'Thus addressed by Karna, king Duryodhana with cheerless heart, averted his face from his counsellors. Marking all this, Karna expanding his beautiful eyes, and vehemently gesticulating in anger, haughtily addressed Duryodhana and Dussasana and Suvala's son saying, 'Ye princes, know ye my opinion! We are all servants of the king (Duryodhana) waiting upon him with joined palms! We should, therefore, do what is agreeable to him! But we are not always able to seek his welfare with promptness and activity (owing to our dependence on Dhritarashtra)! But let us now, encased in mail and armed with our weapons, mount our cars and go in a body to slay the Pandavas now living in the forest! After the Pandavas have been quieted and after they have gone on the unknown journey, both ourselves and the sons of Dhritarashtra will find peace! As long as they are in distress, as long as they are in sorrow, as long as they are destitute of help, so long are we a match for them! This is my mind!'
'Hearing those words of the charioteer's son, they repeatedly applauded him, and at last exclaimed, 'Very well!' And saying this each of them mounted his car, and sanguine of success, they rushed in a body to slay the sons of Pandu. And knowing by his spiritual vision that they had gone out, the master Krishna-Dwaipayana of pure soul came upon them, and commanded them to desist. And sending them away, the holy one, worshipped by all the worlds, quickly appeared before the king whose intelligence served the purposes of eye-sight, and who was then seated (at his ease). And the holy one addressed the monarch thus.'"
"Vyasa said, 'O wise Dhritarashtra, hear what I say! I will tell thee that which is for the great good of all the Kauravas! O thou of mighty arms, it hath not pleased me that the Pandavas have gone to the forest dishonestly defeated (at dice) by Duryodhana and others! O Bharata, on the expiration of the thirteenth year, recollecting all their woes, they may shower death-dealing weapons, even like virulent poison, upon the Kauravas! Why doth thy sinful son of wicked heart, ever inflamed with ire, seek to slay the sons of Pandu for the sake of their kingdom? Let the fool be restrained; let thy son remain quiet! In attempting to slay the Pandavas in exile, he will only lose his own life. Thou art as honest as the wise Vidura, or Bhishma, or ourselves, or Kripa, or Drona, O thou of great wisdom, dissension with one's own kin are forbidden, sinful and reprehensible! Therefore, O king, it behoveth thee to desist from such acts! And, O Bharata, Duryodhana looketh with such jealousy towards the Pandavas that great harm would be the consequence, if thou didst not interfere. Or let this wicked son of thine, O monarch, along and unaccompanied, himself go to the forest and live with the sons of Pandu. For then, if the Pandavas, from association, feel an attachment for Duryodhana, then, O king of men, good fortune may be thine. (This, however, may not be)! For it hath been heard that one's congenital nature leaveth him not till death. But what do Bhishma and Drona and Vidura think? What also dost thou think? That which is beneficial should be done while there is time, else thy purposes will be unrealised.'"
"Dhritarashtra said, 'O holy one, I did not like this business of gambling, but, O Muni, I think, I was made to consent to it drawn by fate! Neither Bhishma, nor Drona, nor Vidura, nor Gandhari liked this game at dice. No doubt, it was begot of folly. And, O thou who delightest in the observance of vows, O illustrious one, knowing everything yet influenced by paternal affection, I am unable to cast off my senseless son, Duryodhana!'
"Vyasa said, 'O king, O son of Vichitravirya, what thou sayest is true! We know it well that a son is the best of all things and that there is nothing that is so good as a son. Instructed by the tears of Suravi, Indra came to know that the son surpasseth in worth other valuable possessions. O monarch, I will, in this connection, relate to thee that excellent and best of stories, the conversation between Indra and Suravi. In days of yore, Suravi, the mother of cows was once weeping in the celestial regions. O child, Indra took compassion upon her, and asked her, saying, 'O auspicious one! why dost thou weep? Is everything well with the celestials? Hath any misfortune, ever so little, befallen the world of men or serpents?' Suravi replied, 'No evil hath befallen thee that I perceive. But I am aggrieved on account of my son, and it is therefore, O Kausika, that I weep! See, O chief of the celestials, yonder cruel husbandman is belabouring my weak son with the wooden stick, and oppressing him with the (weight of the) plough, in consequence of which my child agitated with agony is falling upon the ground and is at the point of death. At sight of this, O lord of the celestials, I am filled with compassion, and my mind is agitated! The one that is the stronger of the pair is bearing his burthen of greater weight (with ease), but, O Vasava, the other is lean, and weak and is a mass of veins and arteries! He beareth his burthen with difficulty! And it is for him that I grieve. See, O Vasava, sore inflicted with the whip, and harassed exceedingly, he is unable to bear his burthen. And it is for him that, moved by grief, I weep in heaviness of heart and these tears of compassion trickle down my eyes!'
"Sakra said, 'O fair one, when thousands of thy son are (daily) oppressed, why dost thou grieve for one under infliction?' Suravi replied. 'Although I have a thousand offspring, yet my affections flow equally towards all! But, O Sakra, I feel greater compassion for one that is weak and innocent!'
"Vyasa continued, 'Then Indra having heard these words of Suravi, was much surprised, and O thou of the Kuru race, he became convinced that a son is dearer than one's life! And the illustrious chastiser of Paka thereupon suddenly poured there a thick shower and caused obstruction to the husbandman's work. And as Suravi said, thy affections, O king, equally flow towards all thy sons. Let them be greater towards those that are weak! And as my son Pandu is to me, so art thou, O son, and so also Vidura of profound wisdom! It is out of affection that I tell you all this! O Bharata, thou art possessed of a hundred and one sons, but Pandu hath only five. And they are in a bad plight and passing their days in sorrow. How may they save their lives, how may they thrive such thoughts regarding the distressed sons of Pritha continually agitate my soul! O king of the earth, if thou desirest all the Kauravas to live, let thy son Duryodhana make peace with the Pandavas!'"
"Dhritarashtra said, 'O Muni of profound wisdom, it is even as thou sayest! I know it well as do all these kings! Indeed, what thou considerest to be beneficial for the Kurus was pointed out to me, O Muni, by Vidura and Bhishma and Drona. And, if I deserve thy favour, and if thou hast kindness for the Kurus, do thou exhort my wicked son Duryodhana!'
"Vyasa said, 'O king, after having seen the Pandava brothers, here cometh the holy Rishi Maitreya, with the desire of seeing us. That mighty Rishi, O king, will admonish thy son for the welfare of this race. And, O Kauravya, what he adviseth must be followed undoubtingly, for if what he recommendeth is not done, the sage will curse thy son in anger.'
"Vaisampayana continued, 'Saying this, Vyasa departed, and Maitreya made his appearance. And the king with his son respectfully received that way-worn chief of Munis, with offerings of the Arghya and other rites. And king Dhritarashtra, the son of Amvika, in words of respect thus addressed the sage, 'O holy one, hath journey from the Kuru-jangala been a pleasant one? Are those heroes, the five Pandavas living happily? Do those bulls of the Kuru race intend to stay out their time? Will the brotherly affection of the Kauravas ever be impaired?'
"Maitreya said, 'Setting out on a pilgrimage to the different shrines, I arrived at Kuru-jangala, and there I unexpectedly saw Yudhishthira the just in the woods of Kamyaka. And, O exalted one, many Munis had come there to behold the high-souled Yudhishthira, dwelling in an ascetic asylum, clad in deer-skin and wearing matted locks. It was there, O king of kings, that I heard of the grave error committed by thy sons and the calamity and terrible danger arisen from dice that had overtaken them. Therefore, it is that I have come to thee, for the good of the Kauravas, since, O exalted one, my affection is great for thee and I am delighted with thee! O king, it is not fit that thy sons should on any account quarrel with one another, thyself and Bhishma living. Thou art, O king, the stake at which bulls are tied (in treading cord), and thou art competent to punish and reward! Why dost thou overlook then this great evil that is about to overtake all? And, O descendant of the Kurus, for those wrongs that have been perpetrated in thy court, which are even like the acts of wretched outcasts, thou art not well-thought amongst the ascetics!'
"Vaisampayana continued, 'Then turning to the wrathful prince Duryodhana, the illustrious Rishi Maitreya addressed him in these soft words, 'O mighty-armed Duryodhana, O best of all eloquent men, O illustrious one, give heed unto the words I utter for my good! O king, seek not to quarrel with the Pandavas! And, O bull among men, compass thou thy own good as also of the Pandavas, of the Kurus and of the world! All those tigers among men are heroes of high prowess in war, gifted with the strength of ten thousand elephants, with bodies hard as the thunderbolt, holding fast by their promises, and proud of their manliness! they have slain the enemies of the celestials—those Rakshasas capable of assuming any form at will, such as were headed by Hidimva and Kirmira! When those high-souled ones went from hence that Rakshasa of fierce soul obstructed their nocturnal path even like an immoveable hill. And even as a tiger slayeth a little deer, Bhima, that foremost of all endued with strength, and ever delighted in fight, slew that monster. Consider also, O king, how while out on his campaign of conquest, Bhima slew in battle that mighty warrior, Jarasandha, possessing the strength of ten thousand elephants. Related to Vasudeva and having the sons of king Drupada as their brothers-in-law, who that is subject to decrepitude and death would undertake to cope with them in battle? O bull of the Bharata race, let there be peace between thee and Pandavas! Follow thou my counsels and surrender not thyself to anger!
'O king, thus admonished by Maitreya, Duryodhana began to slap his thigh resembling the trunk of the elephant, and smilingly began to scratch the ground with his foot. And the wicked wretch spake not a word, but hung down his head. And, O monarch, beholding Duryodhana thus offer him a slight by scratching the earth silently, Maitreya became angry. And, as if commissioned by fate, Maitreya, the best of Munis, overwhelmed by wrath, set his mind upon cursing Duryodhana! And then, with eyes red in anger, Maitreya, touching water, caused the evil-minded son of Dhritarashtra, saying, 'Since, slighting me thou declinest to act according to my words, thou shalt speedily reap the fruit of this thy insolence! In the great war which shall spring out of the wrongs perpetrated by thee, the mighty Bhima shall smash that thigh of thine with a stroke of his mace!
'When the Muni had spoken so, king Dhritarashtra began to pacify the sage, in order that what he had said might not happen. But Maitreya said, 'O king, if thy son concludeth peace with the Pandavas, this curse of mine, O child, will not take effect, otherwise it must be as I have said!'
"Vaisampayana said, 'Desirous of ascertaining the might of Bhima, that foremost of kings, the father of Duryodhana, then asked Maitreya, saying, 'How was Kirmira slain by Bhima?'
"Maitreya said, 'I shall not speak again unto thee, O king, for my words are not regarded by thy son. After I have gone away, Vidura will relate everything unto thee!' And saying this, Maitreya went away to the place whence he had come. And Duryodhana also went out perturbed at the tidings of Kirmira's death (at the hand of Bhima).'"
"Dhritarashtra said, 'O Kshatta, I am desirous to hear of the destruction of Kirmira! Do thou tell me how the encounter took place between the Rakshasa and Bhimasena!'
"Vidura said, 'Listen to the story of that feat of Bhimasena of super human achievements! I have often heard of it in course of my conversation with the Pandavas (while I was with them)
'O foremost of kings, defeated at dice the Pandavas departed from hence and travelling for three days and nights they at length reached those woods that go by the name of Kamyaka. O king, just after the dreadful hour of midnight when all nature is asleep, when man-eating Rakshasas of terrible deeds begin to wander, the ascetics and the cowherds and other rangers of the forest used to shun the woods of Kamyaka and fly to a distance from fear of cannibals. And, O Bharata, as the Pandavas were at this hour entering those woods a fearful Rakshasa of flaming eyes appeared before them with a lighted brand, obstructing their path. And with outstretched arms and terrible face, he stood obstructing the way on which those perpetuators of the Kuru race were proceeding. With eight teeth standing out, with eyes of coppery hue, and with the hair of his head blazing and standing erect, the fiend looked like a mass of clouds reflecting the rays of the sun or mingled with lightning flashes and graced with flocks of cranes underneath on their wings. And uttering frightful yells and roaring like a mass of clouds charged with rain, the fiend began to spread the illusion proper to his species. Hearing that terrible roar, birds along with other creatures that live on land or in water, began to drop down in all directions, uttering cries of fear. And in consequence of the deer and the leopards and the buffaloes and the bears flying about in all directions, it seemed as if the forest itself was in motion. And swayed by the wind raised by the sighs of the Rakshasa, creepers growing at a great distance seemed to embrace the trees with their arms of coppery leaves. And at that moment, a violent wind began to blow, and the sky became darkened with the dust that covered it. And as grief is the greatest enemy of the object of the five senses, even so appeared before the Pandavas that unknown foe of theirs. And beholding the Pandavas from a distance clad in black deer-skins, the Rakshasa obstructed their passage through the forest even like the Mainaka mountain. And at the sight of him never seen before the lotus-eyed Krishna, agitated with fear, closed her eyes. And she whose braids had been dishevelled by the hand of Dussasana, stationed in the midst of the five Pandavas, looked like a stream chafing amid five hills. And seeing her overwhelmed with fear the five Pandavas supported her as the five senses influenced by desire adhere to the pleasures relating to their objects. And Dhaumya of great (ascetic) energy, in the presence of the sons of Pandu, destroyed the fearful illusion that had been spread by the Rakshasa, by applying various mantras, calculated to destroy the Rakshasa. And beholding his illusion dispelled, the mighty Rakshasa of crooked ways, capable of assuming any form at will, expanded his eyes in wrath and seemed like death himself. Then king Yudhishthira, endued with great wisdom, addressed him saying, 'Who art thou, and whose (son)? Tell us what we should do for thee.' The Rakshasa thus addressed, answered Yudhishthira the just, saying, 'I am the brother of Vaka, the celebrated Kirmira. I live at ease in these deserted woods of Kamyaka, daily procuring my food by vanquishing men in fight. Who are ye that have come near me in the shape of my food? Defeating ye all in fight, I will eat ye with pleasure.'
"Vaisampayana continued, 'O Bharata, hearing these words of the wretch, Yudhishthira announced his own name and lineage, saying, 'I am king Yudhishthira the just, the son of Pandu, of whom thou mayst have heard. Deprived of my kingdom, I have with my brothers Bhimasena and Arjuna and the others, in course of my wanderings, come into this terrible forest which is thy dominion, desirous of passing my period of exile here!'
"Vidura continued, 'Kirmira said unto Yudhishthira, 'By good luck it is that fate hath accomplished today my long-accomplished desire! With weapons upraised have I been continually ranging the entire earth with the object of slaying Bhima. But Bhima I had found not. By good luck it is that slayer of my brother, whom I had been seeking so long, hath come before me! It was he who in the disguise of a Brahmana slew my dear brother Vaka in the Vetrakiya forest by virtue of his science. He hath truly no strength of arms! It is also this one of wicked soul who formerly slew my dear friend Hidimva, living in this forest and ravished his sister! And that fool hath now come into this deep forest of mine, when the night is half spent, even at the time when we wander about! Today I will wreak my long-cherished vengeance upon him, and I will today gratify (the manes of) Vaka with his blood in plenty! By slaying this enemy of the Rakshasas, I shall today be freed from the debt I owe to my friend and my brother, and thereby attain supreme happiness! If Bhimasena was let free formerly by Vaka, today, I will devour him in thy sight, O Yudhishthira! And even as Agastya ate up and digested the mighty Asura (Vatapi) I will eat up and digest this Bhima!'
"Vidura continued, 'Thus addressed by the Rakshasa, the virtuous Yudhishthira, steadfast in his pledges, said, 'It can never be so,—and in anger rebuked the Rakshasa.' The mighty-armed Bhima then tore up in haste a tree of the length of ten Vyasas and stripped it of its leaves. And in the space of a moment the ever-victorious Arjuna stringed his bow Gandiva possessing the force of the thunderbolt. And, O Bharata, making Jishnu desist, Bhima approached that Rakshasa still roaring like the clouds and said unto him, 'Stay! Stay!' And thus addressing the cannibal, and tightening the cloth around his waist, and rubbing his palms, and biting his nether lip with his teeth, and armed with the tree, the powerful Bhima rushed towards the foe. And like unto Maghavat hurling his thunderbolt, Bhima made that tree, resembling the mace of Yama himself descend with force on the head of the cannibal. The Rakshasa, however, was seen to remain unmoved at that blow, and wavered not in the conflict. On the other hand, he hurled his lighted brand, flaming like lightning, at Bhima. But that foremost of warriors turned it off with his left foot in such a way that it went back towards the Rakshasa. Then the fierce Kirmira on his part, all on a sudden uprooting a tree darted to the encounter like unto the mace bearing Yama himself. And that fight, so destructive of the trees, looked like the encounter in days of yore between the brothers Vali and Sugriva for the possession of the same woman. And the trees struck at the heads of the combatants, were broken into shivers, like lotus-stalks thrown on the temples of infuriate elephants. And in that great forest, innumerable trees, crushed like unto reeds, lay scattered as rags. That encounter with trees between that foremost of Rakshasas and that best of men, O thou bull of the Bharata race, lasted but for a moment. Then taking up a crag, the angry Rakshasa hurled it at Bhima standing before him, but the latter wavered not. Then like unto Rahu going to devour the sun dispersing his rays with extended arms, the Rakshasa with out-stretched arms darted towards Bhima, who had remained firm under the blow inflicted with the crag. And tugging at and grappling with each other in diverse ways they appeared like two infuriate bulls struggling with each other. Or like unto two mighty tigers armed with teeth and claws, the encounter between them waxed fierce and hard. And remembering their (late) disgrace at the hands of Duryodhana, and proud of the strength of his arms, and conscious also of Krishna looking at him, Vrikodara began to swell in vigour. And fried with anger, Bhima seized the Rakshasa with his arms, as one elephant in rut seizeth another. And the powerful Rakshasa also in his turn seized his adversary, but Bhimasena that foremost of all men endued with strength, threw the cannibal down with violence. The sounds that in consequence of those mighty combatants pressing each other's hands, were frightful and resembled the sounds of splintering bamboos. And hurling the Rakshasa down, seized him by the waist, and began to whirl him about, even as fierce hurricane shaketh a tree. And thus seized by the mighty Bhima, the fatigued Rakshasa, became faint, and trembling all over, he still pressed the (Pandava) with all his strength. And finding him fatigued, Vrikodara, twined his own arms round the foe, even as one bindeth a beast with cord. And the monster thereupon began to roar frightfully, as a trumpet out of order. And the mighty Vrikodara for a long while whirled the Rakshasa till the latter appeared to be insensible, and began to move convulsively. And finding the Rakshasa exhausted, the son of Pandu without loss of time took him up in his arms, and slew him like a beast. And placing his knee on the waist of that wretch of Rakshasa, Vrikodara began to press the neck of the foe with his hands. Then Bhima, dragging along the earth the bruised body of the Rakshasa with the eye-lids about to close, said, 'O sinful wretch, thou wilt no more have to wipe away the tears of Hidimva or Vaka, for thou too art about to go to the mansions of Yama!' And saying this, that foremost of men, his heart filled with wrath, beholding the Rakshasa destitute of clothing and ornaments, and insensible, and undergoing convulsions, let him dead. And after that Rakshasa of hue like the clouds had been slain, the son of that best of kings (Pandu) praised Bhima for his many qualities, and placing Krishna in their front, set out for the Dwaita woods."
Vidura said, 'It was thus, O lord of men, that Kirmira was slain in combat by Bhima, in obedience, O Kaurava, to the commands of Yudhishthira the just! And having rid the forest of its pest, the victorious Yudhishthira the just, began to live in that dwelling of theirs, with Draupadi. And those bulls of the Bharata race comforting Draupadi began to cheerfully extol Bhima with glad hearts. And after the Rakshasa had been slain, borne down by the might of Bhima's arms, those heroes entered into the peaceful forest freed from its annoyance. Passing through the great forest I saw lying the body of the wicked and fearless Rakshasa slain by Bhima's might. And, O Bharata, there I heard of this achievement of Bhima from those Brahmanas who have assembled round the Pandavas.'
Vaisampayana continued, 'Hearing the account of the slaughter in combat of Kirmira, that foremost of Rakshasas, the king sighed in sorrow and became absorbed in thought.'"
Vaisampayana said, 'Hearing that the Pandavas had been banished, the Bhojas, the Vrishnis, and the Andhakas went to those heroes residing in affliction in the great forest. And the consanguineous relatives of Panchala, and Dhrishtaketu the king of Chedi, and those celebrated and powerful brothers—the Kaikeyas, their hearts fired with wrath, went to the forest to see the sons of Pritha. And reproaching the sons of Dhritarashtra, they said, 'What should we do?' And those bulls of the Kshatriya race, with Vasudeva at their head, sat themselves down round Yudhishthira the just. And respectfully saluting that foremost of the Kurus, Kesava mournfully said, 'The earth shall drink the blood of Duryodhana and Karna, of Dussasana and the wicked Sakuni! Slaying these in battle and defeating their followers along with their royal allies, will we all install Yudhishthira the just on the throne! The wicked deserve to be slain! Verily, this is eternal morality.'
Vaisampayana continued, 'And when on account of the wrongs of Pritha's sons, Janardana had thus got into a passion, and seemed bent upon consuming all created things, Arjuna exerted himself to pacify him. And beholding Kesava angry, Falguna began to recite the feats achieved in his former lives by that soul of all things, himself immeasurable, the eternal one, of infinite energy, the lord of Prajapati himself, the supreme ruler of the worlds, Vishnu of profound wisdom!'
"Arjuna said, 'In days of old, thou, O Krishna, hadst wandered on the Gandhamadana mountains for ten thousand years as a Muni having his home where evening fell! Living upon water alone, thou hadst, in days of old, O Krishna, also dwelt for full eleven thousand years by the lake of Pushkara! And, O slayer of Madhu, with arms upraised and standing on one leg, thou hadst passed a hundred years on the high hills of Vadari, living all the while upon air! And leaving aside thy upper garment, with body emaciated and looking like a bundle of veins, thou hadst lived on the banks of the Saraswati, employed in thy sacrifice extending for twelve years! And, O Krishna of mighty energy, in observance of thy vow thou hadst stood on one leg for the length of a thousand years of the celestials, on the plains of Prabhasa which it behoveth the virtuous to visit! Vyasa hath told me that thou art the cause of the creation and its course! And, O Kesava, the lord of Kshetra, thou art the mover of all minds, and the beginning and end of all things! All asceticism resteth in thee, and thou too art the embodiment of all sacrifices, and the eternal one! Slaying the Asura Naraka, offspring of the Earth-first begotten, thou hadst obtained his ear-rings, and performed, O Krishna, the first horse-sacrifice (offering up that Asura as the sacrificial horse)! And, O bull of all the worlds, having performed that feat, thou hast become victorious over all! Thou hadst slain all the Daityas and Danavas mustered in battle, and giving the lord of Sachi (Indra) the sovereignty of the universe, thou hast, O Kesava of mighty arms, taken thy birth among men! O slayer of all foes, having floated on the primordial waters, thou subsequently becamest Hari, and Brahma and Surya and Dharma, and Dhatri and Yama and Anala and Vasu, and Vaisravana, and Rudra, and Kala and the firmament the earth, and the ten directions! Thyself increate, thou art the lord of the mobile and the immobile universe, the Creator of all, O thou foremost of all existences! And, O slayer of Madhu, O thou of abundant energy, in the forest of Chitraratha thou didst, O Krishna, gratify with thy sacrifice the chief of all the gods, the highest of the high! O Janardana, at each sacrifice thou didst offer, according to shares, gold by hundreds and thousands. And, O son of the Yadava race, becoming the son of Aditi, O exalted one of the supreme attributes, thou hast been known as the younger brother of Indra! And, O thou chastiser of foes, even while a child thou didst, O Krishna, in consequence of thy energy, fill by three steps only the heaven, the firmament, and the earth! And, O thou soul of all covering the heaven and the firmament (while thou wert thus transformed), thou didst dwell in the body of the sun and afflict him with thy own splendour! And, O exalted one, in thy incarnations on those thousand occasions, thou hadst slain, O Krishna, sinful Asuras by hundreds! By destroying the Mauravas and the Pashas, and slaying Nisunda and Naraka. Thou hast again rendered safe the road to Pragjyotisha! Thou hast slain Ahvriti at Jaruthi, and Kratha and Sisupala with his adherents, and Jarasandha and Saivya and Satadhanwan! And on thy car roaring like unto clouds and effulgent like the sun, thou didst obtain for thy queen the daughter of Bhoja, defeating Rukmi in battle! Thou didst in fury slay Indradyumna and the Yavana called Kaseruman! And slaying Salwa the lord of Saubha, thou didst destroy that city of Saubha itself! These have all been slain in battle; listen to me as I speak of others (also slain by thee)! At Iravati thou hast slain king Bhoja equal unto Karttavirya in battle, and both Gopati and Talaketu also have been slain by thee! And, O Janardana, thou hast also appropriate unto thyself the sacred city of Dwarka, abounding in wealth and agreeable unto the Rishi themselves, and thou wilt submerge it at the end within the ocean! O slayer of Madhu, how can crookedness be in thee, devoid as thou art, O thou of the Dasarha race, of anger and envy and untruth and cruelty? O thou who knowest no deterioration, all the Rishis, coming unto thee seated in thy glory on the sacrificial ground, seek protection of thee! And, O slayer of Madhu, thou stayest at the end of the Yuga, contracting all things and withdrawing this universe into thy own self, thou repressor of all foes! O thou of the Vrishni race, at the beginning of the Yuga, there sprang from thy lotus-like navel, Brahma himself, and lord of all mobile and immobile things, and whose is this entire universe! When the dreadful Danavas Madhu and Kaitava were bent on slaying Brahma, beholding their impious endeavour thou wert angry, and from thy forehead, O Hari, sprang Sambhu, the holder of the trident. Thus these two foremost of the deities have sprung from thy body in order to do thy work! Even Narada it was who hath told me this! O Narayana, thou didst, in the forest of Chaitraratha, celebrate with plentiful gifts a grand sacrifice consisting of a multitude of rites! O God, O thou of eyes like lotus leaves, the deeds thou hast performed while still a boy, having recourse to thy might and aided by Baladeva, have never been done by others, nor are they capable of being achieved by others in the future! Thou didst even dwell in Kailasa, accompanied by Brahmanas!'
"Vaisampayana continued, 'Having addressed Krishna thus, the illustrious Pandava, who was the soul of Krishna, became dumb, when Janardana (in reply addressed that son of Pritha) saying, 'Thou art mine and I am thine, while all that is mine is thine also! He that hateth thee hateth me as well, and he that followeth thee followeth me! O thou irrepressible one, thou art Nara and I am Narayana or Hari! We are the Rishis Nara and Narayana born in the world of men for a special purpose. O Partha, thou art from me and I am from thee! O bull of the Bharata race, no one can understand the difference that is between us!'
"Vaisampayana continued, 'When the illustrious Kesava had said so in the midst of that assembly of brave kings, all excited with anger, Panchali surrounded by Dhrishtadyumna and her other heroic brothers, approached him of eyes like lotus leaves seated with his cousins, and, desirous of protection, addressed in angry accents that refuge of all, saying, 'Asita and Devala have said that in the matter of the creation of all things, thou hast been indicated (by the sages) as the only Prajapati and the Creator of all the worlds! And, O irrepressible one, Jamadagnya sayeth that thou art Vishnu, and, O slayer of Madhu, that thou art (embodiment of) Sacrifice, Sacrificer and he for whom the sacrifice is performed! And, O best of male beings, the Rishis indicate thee as Forgiveness and Truth! Kasyapa hath said that thou art Sacrifice sprung from Truth! O exalted one, Narada calleth thee the god of the Sadhyas, and of the Sivas, as alone the Creator and the Lord of all things. And, O tiger among men, thou repeatedly sportest with the gods including, Brahma and Sankara and Sakra even as children sporting with their toys! And, O exalted one, the firmament is covered by thy head, and the earth by thy feet; these worlds are as thy womb and thou art the Eternal one! With Rishis sanctified by Vedic lore and asceticism, and whose souls have been purified by penance, and who are contented with soul-vision, thou art the best of all objects! And, O chief of all male beings; thou art the refuge of all royal sages devoted to virtuous acts, never turning their backs on the field of the battle, and possessed of every accomplishment! Thou art the Lord of all, thou art Omnipresent, thou art the Soul of all things, and thou art the active power pervading everything! The rulers of the several worlds, those worlds themselves, the stellar conjunctions, the ten points of the horizon, the firmament, the moon, and the sun, are all established in thee! And, O mighty-armed one, the morality of (earthly) creatures, the immortality of the universe, are established in thee! Thou art the Supreme lord of all creatures, celestial or human! Therefore it is, O slayer of Madhu, that impelled by the affection thou bearest me that I will relate to thee my griefs! O Krishna, how could one like me, the wife of Pritha's sons, the sister of Dhrishtadyumna, and the friend of thee, be dragged to the assembly! Alas, during my season, stained with blood, with but a single cloth on, trembling all over, and weeping, I was dragged to the court of the Kurus! Beholding me, stained with blood in the presence of those kings in the assembly, the wicked sons of Dhritarashtra laughed at me! O slayer of Madhu, while the sons of Pandu and the Panchalas and the Vrishnis lived, they dared express the desire of using me as their slave! O Krishna, I am according to the ordinance, the daughter in-law of both Dhritarashtra and Bhishma! Yet, O slayer of Madhu, they wished to make of me a slave by force! I blame the Pandavas who are mighty and foremost in battle, for they saw (without stirring) their own wedded wife known over all the world, treated with such cruelty! Oh, fie on the might of Bhimasena, fie on the Gandiva of Arjuna, for they, O Janardana, both suffered me to be thus disgraced by little men! This eternal course of morality is ever followed by the virtuous—viz., that the husband, however weak, protecteth his wedded wife! By protecting the wife one protecteth his offspring and by protecting the offspring one protecteth his own self! One's own self is begotten on one's wife, and therefore it is that the wife is called Jaya. A wife also should protect her lord, remembering that he is to take his birth in her womb! The Pandavas never forsake the person that soliciteth their protection, and yet they abandoned me who solicited it! By my five husbands five sons of exceeding energy have been born of me: Prativindhya by Yudhishthira, Sutasoma by Vrikodara, Srutakirti by Arjuna, Satanika by Nakula and Srutakarman by the youngest, all of them of energy that cannot be baffled. For their sake, O Janardana, it was necessary to protect me! Even as (thy son) Pradyumna, they are, O Krishna, mighty warriors all! They are foremost of bowmen, and invincible in battle by any foe! Why do they bear the wrongs inflicted (on me) by the sons of Dhritarashtra of such contemptible strength? Deprived of their kingdom by deception, the Pandavas were made bondsmen and I myself was dragged to the assembly while in my season, and having only a single cloth on! Fie on that Gandiva which none else can string save Arjuna and Bhima and thyself, O slayer of Madhu! Fie on the strength of Bhima, and fie on the prowess of Arjuna, since, O Krishna, Duryodhana (after what he had done) hath drawn breath even for a moment! He it is, O slayer of Madhu, who formerly drove the guileless Pandavas with their mother from the kingdom, while they were children still engaged in study and the observance of their vows. It is that sinful wretch, who, horrible to relate, mixed in Bhima's food fresh and virulent poison in full dose. But, O Janardana, Bhima digested that poison with the food, without sustaining any injury, for, O best of men and mighty-armed one, Bhima's days had not been ended! O Krishna, it is Duryodhana who at the house standing by the banyan called Pramana bound Bhima sleeping unsuspectingly, and casting him into the Ganges returned to the city. But the powerful Bhimasena the son of Kunti, possessed of mighty arms, on waking from sleep, tore his bonds and rose from the water. It is Duryodhana, who caused venomous black-cobras to bite all over the body of Bhimasena, but that slayer of foes died not. Awaking, the son of Kunti smashed all the serpents and with his left hand killed (the agent, viz.) the favourite charioteer of Duryodhana. Again, while the children were asleep at Varanavata with their mother, it is he who set fire to the house intending to burn them to death. Who is there capable of doing such an act? It was then that the illustrious Kunti, overtaken by this calamity, and surrounded by the flames, began to cry out in terror, speaking to the children, 'Alas, I am undone! How shall we escape from this fire today! Alas, I shall meet with destruction with my little children!' Then Bhima, possessed of mighty arms, and prowess like unto the force of the wind, comforted his illustrious mother as also his brothers, saying, 'Like that king of birds, Garuda, the son of Vinata, I will spring up into the air. We have no fear from this fire'. And then taking his mother on his left flank, and the king in his right, and the twins on each shoulder, and Vivatsu on his back, the mighty Vrikodara, thus taking all of them, at one leap cleared the fire and delivered his mother and brother from the conflagration. Setting out that night with their renowned mother, they came near the forest of Hidimva. And while fatigued and distressed, they were sleeping fast with her, a Rakshasa woman called Hidimva approached them. Beholding the Pandavas with their mother asleep on the ground, influenced by desire she sought to have Bhimasena for her lord. The weak one then took up Bhima's feet on her lap to press them with her soft hands. The mighty Bhima of immeasurable energy, of prowess that could not be baffled, then woke from sleep, and asked her, saying, 'O thou of faultless features, what dost thou wish here?' Thus asked by him, the Rakshasa lady of faultless features, capable, besides, of assuming any form at will, replied unto the high-souled Bhima, saying, 'Do ye speedily fly from this place! My brother gifted with strength will come to slay ye! Therefore speed and tarry not!' But Bhima haughtily said, 'I do not fear him! If he cometh here, I will slay him!' Hearing their converse, that vilest of cannibals came to the spot. Of frightful form and dreadful to behold, uttering loud cries as he came, the Rakshasa said, 'O Hidimva, with whom dost thou converse? Bring him unto me, I will eat him up. It behoveth thee to tarry not.' But moved by compassion, the Rakshasa lady of faultless features and pure heart said nothing out of pity. Then the man-eating monster, uttering dreadful cries, rushed at Bhima with great force. And approaching him furiously, the mighty cannibal, possessed with rage, caught hold of Bhima's hand with his own and clenching fast his other hand and making it hard as the thunder-bolt of Indra, suddenly struck Bhima a blow that descended with the force of lightning. His hand having been seized by the Rakshasa, Vrikodara, without being able to brook it, flew into a rage. Then a dreadful combat took place between Bhimasena and Hidimva, both skilled in all weapons and which was like unto the encounter of Vasava with Vritra. And, O sinless one, after sporting with the Rakshasa for a long while the powerful Bhima of mighty energy slew the cannibal when the latter had become weak with exertion. Then having slain Hidimva, and taking (his sister) Hidimva at their head, of whom was (subsequently) born Ghatotkacha, Bhima and his brothers went away. Then all those repressors of their foes, accompanied by their mother and surrounded by many Brahmanas proceeded towards Ekachakra. In the matter of this their journey, Vyasa ever engaged in their welfare had become their counsellor. Then arriving at Ekachakra, the Pandavas of rigid vows there also slew a mighty cannibal, Vaka by name, terrible as Hidimva himself. And having slain that fierce cannibal, Bhima that foremost of smiters, went with all his brothers to the capital of Drupada. And, O Krishna, as thou hadst acquired Rukmini, the daughter of Bhishmaka, even so Savyasachin, while residing there, obtained me! O slayer of Madhu, Arjuna won me in the Swayamvara, having performed a feat difficult of achievement by others and having fought also with the assembled kings!
'Thus, O Krishna, afflicted with numerous griefs, and in great distress, am I living, with Dhaumya at our head, but deprived of the company of the adorable Kunti! Why do these that are gifted with strength and possessed of the prowess of the lion, sit indifferently, beholding me thus afflicted by enemies so despicable? Suffering such wrongs at the hands of wicked and evil-doing foes of small strength, am I to burn in grief so long? Born I was in a great race, coming into the world in an extraordinary way! I am also the beloved wife of the Pandavas, and the daughter-in-law of the illustrious Pandu! The foremost of women and devoted to my husbands, even I, O Krishna, was seized by hair, O slayer of Madhu, in the sight of the Pandavas, each of whom is like an Indra himself!
'Saying this the mild-speeched Krishna hid her face with her soft hands like the buds of lotus, and began to weep. And the tears of Panchali begot of grief washed her deep, plump and graceful breasts crowned with auspicious marks. And wiping her eyes and sighing frequently she said these words angrily and in a choked voice, 'Husbands, or sons, or friends, or brothers, or father, have I none! Nor have I thee, O thou slayer of Madhu, for ye all, beholding me treated so cruelly by inferior foes, sit still unmoved! My grief at Karna's ridicule is incapable of being assuaged! On these grounds I deserve to be ever protected by thee, O Kesava, viz., our relationship, thy respect (for me), our friendship, and thy lordship (over me)
"Vaisampayana continued, 'In that assembly of heroes Vasudeva then spake unto the weeping Draupadi as follows, 'O fair lady, the wives of those with whom thou art angry, shall weep even like thee, beholding their husbands dead on the ground, weltering in blood and their bodies covered with the arrows of Vivatsu! Weep not, lady, for I will exert to the utmost of my powers for the sons of Pandu! I promise thou shalt (once more) be the queen of kings! The heavens might fall, or the Himavat might split, the earth might be rent, or the waters of the ocean might dry up, but my words shall never be futile!' Hearing those words of Achyuta in reply, Draupadi looked obliquely at her third husband (Arjuna). And, O mighty king, Arjuna said unto Draupadi, 'O thou of beautiful coppery eyes, grieve not! O illustrious one, it shall be even as the slayer of Madhu hath said! It can never be otherwise, O beautiful one!'
"Dhrishtadyumna said, 'I will slay Drona, Sikhandin will slay the grandfather. And Bhimasena will slay Duryodhana, and Dhananjaya will slay Karna. And, O sister, assisted by Rama and Krishna, we are invincible in battle by even the slayer himself of Vritra—what are the sons of Dhritarashtra?'
"Vaisampayana continued, 'After these words had been spoken, all the heroes there turned their faces towards Vasudeva, who then in their midst began to speak as follows.'"
"Vasudeva said, O lord of earth, if I had been present at Dwaraka, then, O king, this evil would not have befallen thee! And, O irrepressible one, coming unto the gambling-match, even if uninvited by the son of Amvika (Dhritarashtra), or Duryodhana, or by the other Kauravas, I would have prevented the game from taking place, by showing its many evils, summoning to my aid Bhishma and Drona and Kripa, and Vahlika! O exalted one, for thy sake I would have told the son of Vichitravirya—O foremost of monarchs, let thy sons have nothing to do with dice!—I would have shown the many evils (of dice) through which thou hast fallen into such distress and the son of Virasena was formerly deprived of his kingdom! O king, unthought of evils, befall a man from dice! I would have described how a man once engaged in the game continueth to play (from desire of victory). Women, dice, hunting and drinking to which people become addicted in consequence of temptation, have been regarded as the four evils that deprive a man of prosperity. And those versed in the Sastras are of opinion that evils attend upon all these. They also that are addicted to dice know all its evils. O thou of mighty arms, appearing before the son of Amvika, I would have pointed out that through dice men in a day lose their possessions, and fall into distress, and are deprived of their untasted wealth, and exchange harsh words! O perpetuator of the Kuru race, I would have pointed out these and other attendant evils! If he had accepted my words thus addressed, the welfare of the Kurus as also virtue itself would both have been secured! And, O foremost of kings, if he had rejected my gentle counsels offered as medicine, then, O best of the Bharata race, I would have compelled him by force! And, if those who wait at his court, professing to be his friends but in reality his foes, had supported him, then I would have slain them all, along with those gamblers, there present! O Kauravya, it is owing to my absence from the Anartta country at that time that thou hast fallen into such distress begot of dice! O thou best of Kurus, O son of Pandu, on arriving at Dwarka I learnt from Yuyudhana all about thy calamity! And, O foremost of kings, directly I heard it with a heart sore agitated by grief, have I speedily come here wishing to see thee, O king! Alas! O bull of the Bharata race, ye have all fallen into dire distress! I see thee with thy brothers plunged in misfortune!"
"Yudhishthira said, 'O Krishna, why wert thou absent (from the Anartta country)? And, O descendant of the Vrishni race, while thou wert away, where didst thou dwell? And what didst thou do while out of thy kingdom?'
"Krishna said, 'O bull of the Bharata race, I had gone for the purpose of destroying the (arranging) city Salwa. And, O foremost of the Kauravas, listen to the reasons I had for so doing! The heroic son of Damaghosha, the well-known king Sisupala of mighty arms and great energy, was slain by me, O best of Bharatas, at thy Rajasuya sacrifice, because that wicked one could not from anger bear to see the first worship offered to me! Hearing that he had been slain, Salwa, burning with fierce anger, came to Dwaraka, while, O Bharata, it was empty, myself being away, residing with you here. And having arrived there on a car made of precious metals and hence called the Souva, he had an encounter with the youthful princes of the Vrishni race—those bulls of that line—and fought With them mercilessly. And slaughtering many youthful Vrishnis of heroic valour, the wicked one devastated all the gardens of the city. And, O thou of mighty arms, he said, 'Where is that wretch of the Vrishni race, Vasudeva, the evil-souled son of Vasudeva? I will humble in battle the pride of that person so eager for fight! Tell me truly, O Anarttas! I will go there where he is. And after killing that slayer of Kansa and Kesi, will I return! By my weapon I swear that I will not return with out slaying him!' And exclaiming repeatedly—Where is he? Where is he? the lord of Saubha rusheth to this place and that, desirous of encountering me in battle? And Salwa also said, 'Impelled by wrath for the destruction of Sisupala I shall today send to the mansion of Yama that treacherous miscreant of mean mind?' And, O king, he further said, 'That Janardana shall I slay, who, wretch that he is, hath killed my brother who was but a boy of tender years, and who was slain not on the field of battle, unprepared as he was!' Having, O great king, wailed thus, and having, O son of the Kuru race, abused me thus, he rose into the sky on his car of precious metals capable of going anywhere at will! On returning (to my kingdom) I heard what, O Kaurava, the evil-minded and wicked king of Maticka had said regarding myself! And, O descendant of the Kuru race, I was agitated with wrath, and, O king, having reflected upon everything, I set my heart upon slaying him! And, learning, O Kauravya, of his oppression of the Anarttas, of his abuse of myself, and of his excessive arrogance, I resolved upon the destruction of that wretch! And, O lord of earth, I accordingly set out (from my city), for slaying the (lord of) the Saubha. And searching him here and there, I found him in an island in the midst of the ocean! Then, O king, blowing my conch called the Panchajanya obtained from the sea, and challenging Salwa to combat, I stood for the fight! At that instant, I had an encounter with numerous Danavas, all of whom, however, I subdued and prostrated on the ground. O mighty-armed one, it was owing to this affair that I could not then come (unto thee)! As soon as I heard of the unfair game of dice at Hastinapur, I have come here desirous of seeing ye who have been plunged in distress.'"
"Yudhishthira said, 'O illustrious Vasudeva of mighty arms, tell thou in detail of the death of the lord of Saubha. My curiosity hath not been appeased by the narration.'
"Vasudeva said, 'O mighty-armed king, hearing that the son of Srutasravas (Sisupala) had been slain by me, Salwa, O best of the Bharata race, came to the city of Dwaravati! And, O son of Pandu, the wicked king, stationing his forces in array, besieged that city around and above. And stationing himself in the upper regions, the king began his fight with the city. And that encounter commenced with a thick shower of weapons from all sides. And, O bull of the Bharata race, the city at that time was well-fortified on all sides, according to the science (of fortification), with pennons, and arches, and combatants, and walls and turrets, and engines, and miners, and streets barricaded with spiked wood-works and towers and edifices with gate-ways well-filled with provisions, and engines for hurling burning brands and fires, and vessels, of deer-skins (for carrying water), and trumpets, tabors, and drums, lances and forks, and Sataghnis, and plough-shares, rockets, balls of stone and battle-axes and other weapons and shield embossed with iron, and engines for hurling balls and bullets and hot liquids! And the city was also well-defended by numerous cars, and, O tiger among Kurus, by Gada and Shamva and Uddhava and others, and by warriors of prowess tried in battle, all well-born and capable of encountering any foe! And these all placing themselves on commanding posts, aided by cavalry and standard-bearers, began to defend the town. And Ugrasena and Uddhava and others, to prevent carelessness, Proclaimed throughout the city that nobody should drink. And all the Vrishnis and the Andhakas, well-knowing that they would be slain by Salwa if they behaved carelessly, remained sober and watchful. And the police soon drove out of the city all mimes and dancers and singers of the Anartta country. And all the bridges over rivers were destroyed, and boats forbidden to ply, and the trenches (around the city) were spiked with poles at the bottom. And the land around the city for full two miles was rendered uneven, and holes and pits were dug thereon, and combustibles were secreted below the surface. Our fort, O sinless one, is naturally strong and always well-defended and filled with all kinds of weapons! And in consequence of the preparations made, our city was more prepared than ever to meet the foe. And, O chief of the Bharatas, in consequence of all this, the city looked like that of Indra himself. And, O king, at the time of Salwa's approach, nobody could either enter or leave the town of the Vrishnis and the Andhakas without presenting the sign that had been agreed upon. And all the streets of the town and the open spaces were filled with numerous elephants and horses! And, O thou of mighty arms, the combatants were all specially gratified with allowances and wages, and rations, and weapons, and dresses! And amongst the combatants there was none who was not paid in gold, and none who was not paid at all, and none who was not somehow obliged, and none who was not of tried valour! And, O thou of eyes like lotus-leaves, it was thus Dwaraka, abounding in well-ordered arrangements, was defended by Ahuka (Ugrasena)!'"
"Vasudeva continued, 'O king of kings, Salwa, the lord of Saubha, came towards our city with an immense force consisting of infantry, cavalry and elephants! And the army headed by king Salwa, consisting of four kings of forces, occupied a level ground commanding a copious water-supply. And forsaking cemeteries and temples dedicated to the gods, and sacred trees, and grounds covered by ant-hills, that host occupied every other place. And the roads (leading to the city) were blocked up by the divisions of the army, and the secret entrances also were all blocked up by the enemy's camp. And, O Kauravya, like unto the lord of birds (Garuda), the ruler of Saubha rushed towards Dwaraka, bringing with him, O bull among men, his host equipped with all kinds of arms, skilled in all weapons, consisting of a dense display of cars and elephants and cavalry abounding in banners, and well-paid and well-fed foot-soldiers possessed of great strength and bearing every mark of heroism and furnished with wonderful chariots and bows. And beholding the army of Salwa, the youthful princess of the Vrishni race resolved to encounter it sallying out of the city. And, O king, Charudeshna, Samva, and the mighty warrior Pradyumna, O descendant of the Kuru race, sailed out, ascending on their chariots, and clad in mail, and decked with ornaments, with colours flying, resolved to encounter the mighty and countless host of Salwa! And Samva taking up his bows eagerly attacked on the field of battle Kshemavriddhi, the commander of Salwa's forces and his chief counsellor also! And, O thou foremost of Bharatas, the son of Jambavati then began to shower arrows in a continuous stream even as Indra showereth down rain! And, O mighty king, then Kshemavriddhi, the commander of Salwa's forces, bore that shower of arrows, immovable as the Himavat! And, O foremost of kings, Kshemavriddhi on his part, discharged at Samva mightier volley of shafts, aided by his powers of illusion! And dispersing by counter illusion that discharge inspired by illusion, Samva showered on his (adversary's) car a thousand arrows! Then pierced by the shafts on Samva and overwhelmed there with Kshemavriddhi, the commander of the hostile host, left the field by the help of his fleet-steed! And when the wicked general of Salwa had left the field, a mighty Daitya called Vegavat rushed at my son! And, O best of monarchs, thus attacked, the heroic Samva, the perpetuator of the Vrishni race, bore that onset of Vegavat, keeping his ground. And, O son of Kunti, the heroic Samva, of prowess incapable of being baffled, whirling a quickly-going mace, hurled it speedily at Vegavat! And, O king, struck with that mace, Vegavat fell down on the ground, like a weather-beaten and faded lord of the forest of decayed roots! And on that heroic Asura of mighty energy, being slain with the mace, my son entered within that mighty host and began to fight with all. And, O great king, a well-known Danava named Vivindhya, a mighty warrior wielding a large and powerful bow, encountered Charudeshna! And, O monarch, the encounter between Charudeshna and Vivindhya was as fierce as that in days of yore between Vritra and Vasava! And enraged with each other the combatants pierced each other with their arrows, uttering loud roars like unto two powerful lions! Then the son of Rukmini fixed on his bow-string a mighty weapon possessing the splendour of fire or the sun, and capable of destroying all foes, having first vivified it with incantations! Then, O monarch, that mighty warrior my son, fired with wrath, challenged Vivindhya and discharged the weapon at him. And the Danava struck with that weapon, fell down on the ground a lifeless corpse! And beholding Vivindhya slain, and the whole host waver, Salwa advanced again on his beautiful car capable of going everywhere. And, O king of mighty arms, beholding Salwa on that beautiful car of his, the combatants of Dwaraka wavered with fear! But, O thou of the Kuru race, Pradyumna sailed out, and, O great king, bidding the Anarttas be of good cheer, said, 'Waver ye not, and staying behold me fight I Even I shall, by force, repell that car with Salwa on it! Ye Yadavas, this day, I shall, with my weapons like unto serpents discharged from my bow with my hand, destroy this host of the lord of Saubha! Be of good cheer, ye all! Fear not! The lord of Saubha will be slain today! Attached by me, the wretch will meet with destruction together with his car!' O son of Pandu, upon Pradyumna speaking thus with cheerful heart, the Yadava host, O hero, remained on the field, and began to fight cheerfully!'"
"Vasudeva continued, 'O bull of the Bharata race, having spoken thus unto the Yadavas, the son of Rukmini (Pradyumna) ascended his golden car. And the car he rode was drawn by excellent steeds in mail. And over it stood a standard bearing the figure of a Makara with gaping mouth and fierce as Yama. And with his steeds, more flying than running on the ground, he rushed against the foe And the hero equipped with quiver and sword, with fingers cased in leather, twanged his bow possessed of the splendour of the lightning, with great strength, and transferring it from hand to hand, as if in contempt of the enemy, spread confusion among the Danavas and other warriors of the city of Saubha. And as hot in contempt of the, foe, and continuously slew the Danavas in battle, no one could mark the slightest interval between his successive shafts. And the colour of his face changed not, and his limbs trembled not. And people only heard his loud leonine roars indicative of wonderful valour. And the aquatic monster with mouth wide open, that devourer of all fishes, placed on golden flag-staff of that best of cars, struck terror into the hearts of Salwa's warriors. And, O king, Pradyumna, the mower of foes rushed with speed against Salwa himself so desirous of an encounter! And, O perpetuator of the Kuru race, braved by the heroic Pradyumna in that mighty battle, the angry Salwa could ill bear the challenge! And that conqueror of hostile cities, Salwa, maddened by anger, descended from his beautiful car of unchecked speed, resolved to encounter Pradyumna. And the people beheld the fight between Salwa and the foremost of Vrishni heroes, which was even like unto the encounter between Vasava with Vali. And, O hero, mounting on his beautiful car decked with gold and furnished with flags and flag-staffs and quivers, the illustrious and mighty Salwa began to discharge his arrows at Pradyumna! Pradyumna also by the energy of his arms, overwhelmed Salwa in the combat by a thick shower of arrows. The king of Saubha, however, thus attacked in battle by Pradyumna, endured him not, but discharged at my son arrows that were like blazing fire. But the mighty Pradyumna parried off that arrowy shower. Beholding this, Salwa rained on my son other weapons of blazing splendour. Then, O foremost of monarchs, pierced by the shafts of Salwa, the son of Rukmini discharged without loss of time an arrow that was capable of entering the vitals of a foe in fight. And that winged shaft shot by my son, piercing Salwa's mail, entered his heart—whereupon he fell down, in a swoon. And beholding the heroic king Salwa fallen down deprived of sense, the foremost of the Danavas fled away rending the ground beneath their feet. And, O lord of the earth, the army of Salwa sent up exclamations of Oh! and Alas! seeing their king, the lord of Saubha, drop down bereft of sense! And O son of the Kuru race, regaining his senses, the mighty Salwa rose and all of a sudden discharged his arrows on Pradyumna. Then the heroic and mighty armed Pradyumna, sorely pierced by his adversary about his throat, was enfeebled on his car. And, O mighty king, wounding the son of Rukmini, Salwa sent up a shout like unto the roar of a lion, and filling the entire earth with it! And, O Bharata, when my son became senseless, Salwa, without losing a moment, again discharged at him other shafts difficult to bear. And pierced with numberless arrows and deprived of his senses, Pradyumna, O chief of the Kuru race, became motionless on the field of battle!'"
"Vasudeva continued, 'O king, afflicted with the arrows of Salwa, when Pradyumna became senseless the Vrishnis who had come to the fight were all disheartened and filled with grief! And the combatants of the Vrishni and Andhaka races burst into exclamations of Oh! and Alas! while great joy was felt by the enemy and beholding him thus deprived of sense, his trained charioteer, the son of Daruka, soon carried him off the field by the help of his steeds. The car had not gone far when that best of warriors regained his senses, and taking up his bow addressed his charioteer, saying, 'O son of the Suta tribe, what hast thou done? Why dost thou go leaving the field of battle? This is not the custom of the Vrishni heroes in battle! O son of a Suta, hast thou been bewildered at the sight of a Salwa in that fierce encounter? Or hast thou been disheartened, beholding the fight? O! tell me truly thy mind!' The charioteer answered. 'O son of Janardana, I have not been confounded, nor hath fear taken possession of me. On the other hand, O son of Kesava, the task, I ween, of vanquishing Salwa is difficult for thee! Therefore, O hero, I am slowly retiring from the field. This wretch is stronger than thou art! It behoveth a charioteer to protect the warrior on the car, however, when he is deprived of his senses! O thou gifted with length of days, thou shouldst always be protected by me, even as it behoveth thee to protect me! Thinking that the warrior on the car should always be protected (by his charioteer), I am carrying thee away! Further, O thou of mighty arms, thou art alone, while the Danavas are many. Thinking, O son of Rukmini, that thou art not equal to them in the encounter, I am going away!'
"Vasudeva continued, 'When the charioteer had spoken thus, he, O Kauravya, who hath the makara for his mark replied unto him, saying, 'Turn the car! O son of Daruka, never do so again; never, O Suta, turn thou from the fight, while I am alive! He is no son of the Vrishni race who forsaketh the field or slayeth the foe fallen at his feet and crying I am thine! or killeth a woman, a boy, or an old man, or a warrior in distress, deprived of his car or with his weapons broken! Thou art born in the race of charioteers and trained to thy craft! And, O son of Daruka, thou art acquainted with the customs of the Vrishnis in battle! Versed as thou art with all the customs of the Vrishnis in battle, do thou, O Suta, never again fly from the field as thou hast done! What will the irrepressible Madhava, the elder brother of Gada, say to me when he heareth that I have left the field of battle in bewilderment or that I have been struck on the back—a run-away from the combat! What will the elder brother of Kesava, the mighty-armed Baladeva, clad in blue and inebriate with wine, say, when he returneth? What also, O Suta, will that lion among men, the grand-son of Sini (Satyaki), that great warrior, say on hearing that I have forsaken the fight? And, O charioteer, what will the ever-victorious Shamva, the irrepressible Charudeshna. and Gada, and Sarana, and Akrura also of mighty arms, say unto me! What also will the wives of the Vrishni heroes when they meet together, say of me who had hitherto been considered as brave and well-conducted, respectable and possessed of manly pride? They will even say This Pradyumna is a coward who cometh here, leaving the battle! Fie on him! They will never say, Well done! Ridicule, with exclamation of Fie, is to me or a person like me O Suta, more than death! Therefore, do thou never again leave the field of battle! Reposing the charge on me, Hari the slayer of Madhu, hath gone to the sacrifice of the Bharata lion (Yudhishthira)! Therefore, I cannot bear to be quiet now! O Suta, when the brave Kritavarman was sallying out to encounter Salwa, I prevented him, saying I will resist Salwa. Do thou stay! For honouring me the son of Hridika desisted! Having left the field of battle, what shall I say unto that mighty warrior when I meet him? When that irrepressible one of mighty arms—the holder of the conch, the discus, and the mace—returneth, what shall I say unto him of eyes like lotus leaves? Satyaki, and Valadeva, and others of the Vrishni and Andhaka races always boast of me! What shall I say unto them? O Suta, having left the field of battle and with wounds of arrows on my back while being carried away by thee, I shall, by no means, be able to live! Therefore, O son of Daruka, turn that car speedily, and never do so again even in times of greatest danger! I do not, O Suta, think life worth much, having fled from the field like a coward, and my back pierced, with the arrows (of the enemy)! Hast thou ever seen me. O son of Suta, fly in fear from the field of battle like coward? O son of Daruka, it behoved thee not to forsake the battle, while my desire of fight was not yet gratified! Do thou, therefore, go back to the field.'"
Vasudeva continued, Thus addressed, the son of Suta race replied in haste unto Pradyumna, that foremost of all endued with strength, in these sweet words, 'O son of Rukmini, I fear not to guide the horses on the field of battle, and I am acquainted also with the customs of the Vrishnis in war! It is not otherwise in the least! But, O thou blest with length of days, those that guide the car are taught that the warrior on the car is, by all means, to be protected by his charioteer! Thou wert also much afflicted! Thou wert much wounded by the arrows shot by Salwa. Thou wert also deprived of thy senses, O hero! Therefore is it that I retired from the field.' But, O chief of the Satwatas, now that thou hast regained thy senses without much ado, do thou, O son of Kesava, witness my skill in guiding the horses! I have been begotten by Daruka, and I have been duly trained! I will now penetrate into the celebrated array of Salwa without fear!
"Vasudeva continued, 'Saying this, O hero, the charioteer, pulling the reins, began to lead the horses with speed towards the field of battle. And, O king, struck with the whip and pulled by the reins those excellent steeds seemed to be flying in the air, performing various beautiful motion, now circular, now similar, now dissimilar, now to the right, now to the left. And, O king, those steeds understanding as it were the intention of Daruka's son endued with such lightness of hand, burned with energy, and seemed to go without touching the ground with their feet! That bull among men wheeled round Salwa's host so easily that they who witnessed it wondered exceedingly. And the lord of Saubha, unable to bear that manoeuvre of Pradyumna, instantly sent three shafts at the charioteer of his antagonist! The charioteer, however, without taking any note of the force of those arrows, continued to go along the right. Then the lord of Saubha, O hero, again discharged at my son by Rukmini, a shower of various kinds of weapons! But that slayer of hostile heroes, the son of Rukmini, showing with a smile his lightness of hand, cut all those weapons off as they reached him. Finding his arrows cut by Pradyumna, the lord of Saubha, having recourse to the dreadful illusion natural to Asuras began to pour a thick shower of arrows. But cutting into pieces those powerful Daitya weapons shot at him in mid-career by means of his Brahma weapon, Pradyumna discharged winged shafts of other kings. And these delighting in blood, warding off the shafts of Daitya, pierced his head, bosom and face. And at those wounds Salwa fell down senseless. And on the mean-minded Salwa falling down, afflicted with Pradyumna's arrows, the son of Rukmini aimed another arrow at him, capable of destroying every foe. And beholding that arrow worshipped by all the Dasarhas, and flaming like fire and fatal as a venomous snake, fixed on the bow-string, the firmament was filled with exclamations of Oh! and Alas! Then all the celestials with Indra and the lord of treasures (Kubera) at their head sent Narada and the god of wind endued with the speed of the mind. And these two approaching the son of Rukmini delivered unto him the message of the celestial, saying, O hero, king Salwa is nor to be slain by thee! Do thou draw back the arrow. He is unslayable by thee in fight! There breatheth not a person who cannot be killed by that arrow! O thou of mighty arms, the Creator hath ordained his death at the hands of Krishna, the son of Devaki! Let this be not falsified!—Thereupon with a glad heart, Pradyumna withdrew that best of arrows from his excellent bow and deposited it back in his quiver. And then, O foremost of kings, the mighty Salwa, afflicted with the arrows of Pradyumna, rose disheartened, and speedily went away. Then O king, the wicked Salwa, thus afflicted by the Vrishnis, mounted on his car of precious metals, and leaving Dwaraka scudded through the skies!'"
"Vasudeva said, 'When Salwa had left the city of the Anarttas, I returned to it, O king, on the completion of thy great Rajasuya sacrifice! On my arrival I found Dwaraka shorn of its splendour, and, O great monarch, there were not sounds of Vedic recitation or sacrificial offering, And the excellent damsels were all destitute of ornaments, and the gardens were devoid of beauty. And alarmed by the aspect, I asked the son of Hridika saying, 'Why is it that the men and women of the city of the Vrishnis are so woe-begone, O tiger among men?' O thou best of kings thus asked the son of Hridika (Kritavarman) relate to me in detail the invasion of the city by Salwa, and his subsequent departure from it. And, O thou foremost of Bharatas, hearing all, even then I made up my mind to slay Salwa. And encouraging the citizens, O best of Bharatas, I cheerfully addressed king Ahuka, and Anakdundhuvi, and the chief heroes of the Vrishni race, saying, 'Do ye, O bulls among the Yadavas, stay in the city, taking every care, and know that I go to slay Salwa! I return not to the city of Dwaravati without slaying him. I will again come to ye having compassed the destruction of Salwa together with his car of precious metals. Do ye strike up the sharp and middle and flat notes of the Dundhuvi so dreadful to foes!' And O thou bull of the Bharata race, thus adequately encouraged by me, those heroes cheerfully said unto me, 'Go and slay the enemies!' And thus receiving the benedictions of those warriors with glad hearts, and causing the Brahmanas to utter auspicious words and bowing down to the best of the regenerate ones, and to Siva also, I set out on my car unto which were yoked the horses Saivya, and Sugriva, filling all sides with the clatter (of my wheels) and blowing that best of conchs, the Panchajanya! And, O king, O tiger among men, accompanied by my redoubted and victorious army consisting of the four kinds of the forces so persevering in battle, I set out. And leaving many countries, and mountains, crowned with trees, and pieces of water, and streams, I at last arrived at the country of Matrikavarta. It is there, O thou tiger among men, that I heard that Salwa was coursing on his car of precious metals near the ocean, and I followed in his pursuit. And, O thou slayer of thy foes, having reached the main, Salwa on his car of costly metals was in the midst of the deep heaving with billows! And on seeing me from a distance, O Yudhishthira, that one of wicked soul himself challenged me repeatedly to the fight. And many arrows capable of piercing to the quick, discharged from my bow reached not his car. And at this I was wroth! And, O king, that essentially sinful wretch of a Daitya's son of irrepressible energy, on his part began to shoot thousand upon thousands of arrows in torrents! And, O Bharata, he rained shafts upon my soldiers and upon my charioteer and upon my steeds! But without thinking of the shafts, we continued the conflict. Then the warriors following Salwa poured on me straight arrows by thousands. And the Asuras covered my horses and my car and Daruka with arrows capable of piercing the very vitals. And, O hero, I could not at that time see either my horses, or my car, or my charioteer Daruka! And I with my army was covered with weapons. And, O son of Kunti, superhumanly skilled in weapons, I also let fly from my bow arrows by tens of thousands, inspiring them with mantras! But as that car of costly metals was in the sky, full two miles off, it could not, O Bharata, be seen by my troops. They could therefore only remaining on the field of battle look on like spectators in a place of amusement, cheering me on by shouts loud as the roar of the lion, and also by the sound of their clapping. And the tinted arrows shot by the fore-part of hand penetrated into the bodies of the Danavas like biting insects. And then arose cries in the car of precious metals from those that were dying of wounds by those sharp arrows and falling into the waters of the mighty ocean. And the Danavas deprived of their arms, necks, and wearing the form of Kavandhas,—fell, sending up tremendous roars. And as they fell they were devoured by animals living in the waters of the ocean. And then I powerfully blew the Panchajanya obtained from the waters and graceful as the lotus-stalk and white as milk or the Kunda flower or the moon or silver. And seeing his soldiers fall, Salwa the possessor of the car of precious metals, began to fight with the help of illusion. And then he began to ceaselessly hurl at me maces, and ploughshares, and winged darts and lances, and javelins, and battle-axes, and swords and arrows blazing like javelins and thunderbolts, and nooses, and broad swords, and bullets from barrels, and shafts, and axes, and rockets. And permitting them to come towards me, I soon destroyed them all by counter-illusion. And on this illusion being rendered ineffectual, he began the contest with mountain peaks. And, O Bharata, then there was darkness and light alternately, and the day was now fair, and now gloomy, and now hot, and now cold. And there was a perfect shower of coals, and ashes, and weapons. And creating such illusion the enemy fought with me. And ascertaining it I destroyed his illusion by counter-illusion. And in the due time I showered arrows all round. And then, O mighty king, the dome of heaven blazed as with a hundred suns, and, O son of Kunti with one hundred moons, and thousands and ten thousands of stars! And then none could ascertain whether it was day or night, or distinguish the points of the horizon. And, becoming bewildered, I fixed on my bowstring the weapon called Pragnastra. And, O son of Kunti, the weapon went like unto flakes of pure cotton blown away by the winds! And a great fight took place, calculated to make the down on one's body stand on end. And O best of monarchs, having regained, light, I again fought with the enemy!'"