Hamro dharma

Mahabht 04 Virata P.

BOOK 4

VIRATA PARVA

SECTION I

(Pandava-Pravesa Parva)

OM! Having bowed down to Narayana, and Nara, the most exalted of male
beings, and also to the goddess Saraswati, must the word Jaya be uttered.

Janamejaya said, “How did my great-grandfathers, afflicted with the fear
of Duryodhana, pass their days undiscovered in the city of Virata? And, O
Brahman, how did the highly blessed Draupadi, stricken with woe, devoted
to her lords, and ever adoring the Deity[1], spend her days unrecognised?”

Vaisampayana said, “Listen, O lord of men, how thy great grandfathers
passed the period of unrecognition in the city of Virata. Having in this
way obtained boons from the god of Justice, that best of virtuous men,
Yudhishthira, returned to the asylum and related unto the Brahmanas all
that had happened. And having related everything unto them, Yudhishthira
restored to that regenerate Brahmana, who had followed him the churning
staff and the fire-sticks he had lost. And, O Bharata, the son of the god
of Justice, the royal Yudhishthira of high soul then called together all
his younger brothers and addressed them, saying, ‘Exiled from our
kingdom, we have passed twelve years. The thirteenth year, hard to spend,
hath now come. Do thou therefore, O Arjuna, the son of Kunti, select some
spot where we may pass our days undiscovered by our enemies.'”

Arjuna replied, “Even by virtue of Dharma’s boon, we shall, O lord of
men, range about undiscovered by men. Still, for purposes of residence, I
shall mention some spots that are both delightful and secluded. Do thou
select some one of them. Surrounding the kingdom of the Kurus, are, many
countries beautiful and abounding in corn, such as Panchala, Chedi,
Matsya, Surasena, Pattachchara, Dasarna, Navarashtra, Malla, Salva,
Yugandhara, Saurashtra, Avanti, and the spacious Kuntirashtra. Which of
these, O king, wouldst thou choose, and where, O foremost of monarchs,
shall we spend this year?”

Yudhishthira said “O them of mighty arms, it is even so. What that
adorable Lord of all creatures hath said must become true. Surely, after
consulting together, we must select some delightful, auspicious, and
agreeable region for our abode, where we may live free from fear. The
aged Virata, king of the Matsyas, is virtuous and powerful and
charitable, and is liked by all. And he is also attached to the Pandavas.
Even in the city of Virata, O child, we shall, O Bharata, spend this
year, entering his service. Tell me, ye sons of the Kuru race, in what
capacities ye will severally present yourselves before the king of the
Matsyas!”

Arjuna said, “O god among men, what service wilt thou take in Virata’s
kingdom? O righteous one, in what capacity wilt thou reside in the city
of Virata? Thou art mild, and charitable, and modest, and virtuous, and
firm in promise. What wilt thou, O king, afflicted as thou art with
calamity, do? A king is qualified to bear trouble like an ordinary
person. How wilt thou overcome this great calamity that has overtaken
thee?”

Yudhishthira replied, “Ye sons of the Kuru race, ye bulls among men, hear
what I shall do on appearing before king Virata. Presenting myself as a
Brahmana, Kanka by name, skilled in dice and fond of play, I shall become
a courtier of that high-souled king. And moving upon chess-boards
beautiful pawns made of ivory, of blue and yellow and red and white hue,
by throws of black and red dice. I shall entertain the king with his
courtiers and friends. And while I shall continue to thus delight the
king, nobody will succeed in discovering me. And should the monarch ask
me, I shall say, ‘Formerly I was the bosom friend of Yudhishthira.’ I
tell you that it is thus that I shall pass my days (in the city of
Virata). What office wilt thou, O Vrikodara, fill in the city of Virata?”

SECTION II

Bhima said, “I intend to present myself before the lord of Virata as a
cook bearing the name of Vallabha. I am skilled in culinary art, and I
shall prepare curries for the king, and excelling all those skilful cooks
that had hitherto dressed his food I shall gratify the monarch. And I
shall carry mighty loads of wood. And witnessing that mighty feat, the
monarch will be pleased. And, O Bharata, beholding such superhuman feats
of mine, the servants of the royal household will honour me as a king.
And I shall have entire control over all kinds of viands and drinks. And
commanded to subdue powerful elephants and mighty bulls, I will do as
bidden. And if any combatants will fight with me in the lists, then will
I vanquish them, and thereby entertain the monarch. But I shall not take
the life of any of them. I shall only bring them down in such way that
they may not be killed. And on being asked as regards my antecedent I
shall say that–Formerly I was the wrestler and cook of Yudhishthira.
Thus shall I, O king, maintain myself.”

Yudhishthira said, “And what office will be performed by that mighty
descendant of the Kurus, Dhananjaya, the son of Kunti, that foremost of
men possessed of long arms, invincible in fight, and before whom, while
he was staying with Krishna, the divine Agni himself desirous of
consuming the forest of Khandava had formerly appeared in the guise of a
Brahmana? What office will be performed by that best of warriors, Arjuna,
who proceeded to that forest and gratified Agni, vanquishing on a single
car and slaying huge Nagas and Rakshasas, and who married the sister of
Vasuki himself, the king of the Nagas? Even as the sun is the foremost of
all heat-giving bodies, as the Brahmana is the best of all bipeds, as the
cobra is the foremost of all serpents, as Fire is the first of all things
possessed of energy, as the thunderbolt is the foremost of all weapons,
as the humped bull is the foremost of all animals of the bovine breed, as
the ocean is the foremost of all watery expanses, as clouds charged with
rain are the foremost of all clouds, as Ananta is the first of all Nagas,
as Airavata is the foremost of all elephants, as the son is the foremost
of all beloved objects, and lastly, as the wife is the best of all
friends, so, O Vrikodara, is the youthful Gudakesa, the foremost of all
bowmen. And O Bharata, what office will be performed by Vibhatsu, the
wielder of Gandiva, whose car is drawn by white horses, and who is not
inferior to Indra or Vasudeva Himself? What office will be performed by
Arjuna who, dwelling for five years in the abode of the thousand-eyed
Deity (Indra) shining in celestial lustre, acquired by his own energy the
science of superhuman arms with all celestial weapons, and whom I regard
as the tenth Rudra, the thirteenth Aditya, the ninth Vasu, and the tenth
Graha, whose arms, symmetrical and long, have the skin hardened by
constant strokes of the bowstring and cicatrices which resemble those on
the humps of bulls,–that foremost of warriors who is as Himavat among
mountains, the ocean among expanses of water, Sakra among the celestial,
Havya-vaha (fire) among the Vasus, the tiger among beasts, and Garuda
among feathery tribes!”

Arjuna replied, “O lord of the Earth, I will declare myself as one of the
neuter sex. O monarch, it is, indeed difficult to hide the marks of the
bowstring on my arms. I will, however, cover both my cicatrized arms with
bangles. Wearing brilliant rings on my ears and conch-bangles on my
wrists and causing a braid to hang down from my head, I shall, O king,
appear as one of the third sex, Brihannala by name. And living as a
female I shall (always) entertain the king and the inmates of the inner
apartments by reciting stories. And, O king, I shall also instruct the
women of Virata’s palace in singing and delightful modes of dancing and
in musical instruments of diverse kinds. And I shall also recite the
various excellent acts of men and thus conceal myself, O son of Kunti, by
feigning disguise. And, O Bharata should the king enquire, I will say
that, I lived as a waiting maid of Draupadi in Yudhishthira’s palace.
And, O foremost of kings, concealing myself by this means, as fire is
concealed by ashes, I shall pass my days agreeably in the palace of
Virata.”

Vaisampayana continued, “Having said this, Arjuna, that best of men and
foremost of virtuous persons, became silent. Then the king addressed
another brother of his.”[2]

SECTION III

Yudhishthira said, “Tender, possessed of a graceful presence, and
deserving of every luxury as thou art, what office wilt thou, O heroic
Nakula, discharge while living in the dominions of that king? Tell me all
about it!”

Nakula said, “Under the name of Granthika, I shall become the keeper of
the horses of king Virata. I have a thorough knowledge (of this work) and
am skilful in tending horses. Besides, the task is agreeable to me, and I
possess great skill in training and treating horses; and horses are ever
dear to me as they are to thee, O king of the Kurus. At my hands even
colts and mares become docile; these never become vicious in bearing a
rider or drawing a car.[3] And those persons in the city of Virata that
may enquire of me, I shall, O bull of the Bharata race, say,–Formerly I
was employed by Yudhishthira in the charge of his horses. Thus disguised,
O king, I shall spend my days delightfully in the city of Virata. No one
will be able to discover me as I will gratify the monarch thus![4]

Yudhishthira said, “How wilt thou, O Sahadeva, bear thyself before that
king? And what, O child, is that which thou wilt do in order to live in
disguise.”

Sahadeva replied, “I will become a keeper of the kine of Virata’s king. I
am skilled in milking kine and taking their history as well as in taming
their fierceness. Passing under the name of Tantripal, I shall perform my
duties deftly. Let thy heart’s fever be dispelled. Formerly I was
frequently employed to look after thy kine, and, O Lord of earth, I have
a particular knowledge of that work. And, O monarch, I am well-acquainted
with the nature of kine, as also with their auspicious marks and other
matters relating to them. I can also discriminate bulls with auspicious
marks, the scent of whose urine may make even the barren being forth
child. Even thus will I live, and I always take delight in work of this
kind. Indeed, no one will then be able to recognise me, and I will
moreover gratify the monarch,”

Yudhishthira said, “This is our beloved wife dearer to us than our lives.
Verily, she deserveth to be cherished by us like a mother, and regarded
like an elder sister. Unacquainted as she is with any kind of womanly
work, what office will Krishna, the daughter of Drupada, perform?
Delicate and young, she is a princess of great repute. Devoted to her
lords, and eminently virtuous, also, how will she live? Since her birth,
she hath enjoyed only garlands and perfume? and ornaments and costly
robes.”

Draupadi replied, “There is a class of persons called Sairindhris,[5] who
enter the services of other. Other females, however (that are
respectable) do not do so. Of this class there are some. I shall give
myself out as a Sairindhri, skilled in dressing hair. And, O Bharata, on
being questioned by the king, I shall say that I served as a waiting
woman of Draupadi in Yudhishthira’s household. I shall thus pass my days
in disguise. And I shall serve the famous Sudeshna, the wife of the king.
Surely, obtaining me she will cherish me (duly). Do not grieve so, O
king.”

“Yudhishthira said, “O Krishna, thou speakest well. But O fair girl, thou
wert born in a respectable family. Chaste as thou art, and always engaged
in observing virtuous vows, thou knowest not what is sin. Do thou,
therefore, conduct thyself in such a way that sinful men of evil hearts
may not be gladdened by gazing at thee.”

SECTION IV

Yudhishthira said, “Ye have already said what offices ye will
respectively perform. I also, according to the measure of my sense, have
said what office I will perform. Let our priest, accompanied by
charioteers and cooks, repair to the abode of Drupada, and there maintain
our Agnihotra fires. And let Indrasena and the others, taking with then
the empty cars, speedily proceeded to Dwaravati. Even this is my wish.
And let all these maid-servants of Draupadi go to the Panchalas, with our
charioteers and cooks. And let all of them say,–We do not know where the
Pandavas have gone leaving us at the lake of Dwaitavana.”

Vaisampayana said, “Having thus taken counsel of one another and told one
another the offices they would discharge, the Pandavas sought Dhaumya’s
advice. And Dhaumya also gave them advice in the following words, saying,
Ye sons of Pandu, the arrangements ye have made regarding the Brahmanas,
yours friends, cars, weapons, and the (sacred) fires, are excellent. But
it behoveth thee, O Yudhishthira, and Arjuna specially, to make provision
for the protection of Draupadi. Ye king, ye are well-acquainted with the
characters of men. Yet whatever may be your knowledge, friends may from
affection be permitted to repeat what is already known. Even this is
subservient to the eternal interests of virtue, pleasure, and profit. I
shall, therefore speak to you something. Mark ye. To dwell with a king
is, alas, difficult. I shall tell you, ye princes, how ye may reside in
the royal household, avoiding every fault. Ye Kauravas, honourably or
otherwise, ye will have to pass this year in the king’s palace,
undiscovered by those that know you. Then in the fourteenth year, ye will
live happy. O son of Pandu, in this world, that cherisher and protector
of all beings, the king, who is a deity in an embodied form, is as a
great fire sanctified with all the mantras. [6] One should present
himself before the king, after having obtained his permission at the
gate. No one should keep contact with royal secrets. Nor should one
desire a seat which another may covet. He who doth not, regarding himself
to be a favourite, occupy (the king’s) car, or coach, or seat, or
vehicle, or elephant, is alone worthy of dwelling in a royal household.
He that sits not upon a seat the occupation of which is calculated raise
alarm in the minds of malicious people, is alone worthy of dwelling in a
royal household. No one should, unasked offer counsel (to a king). Paying
homage in season unto the king, one should silently and respectfully sit
beside the king, for kings take umbrage at babblers, and disgrace laying
counsellors. A wise person should not contact friendship with the king’s
wife, nor with the inmates of the inner apartments, nor with those that
are objects of royal displeasure. One about the king should do even the
most unimportant acts and with the king’s knowledge. Behaving thus with a
sovereign, one doth not come by harm. Even if an individual attain the
highest office, he should, as long as he is not asked or commanded,
consider himself as born-blind, having regard to the king’s dignity, for
O repressers of foes, the rulers of men do not forgive even their sons
and grandsons and brothers when they happen to tamper with their dignity.
Kings should be served with regardful care, even as Agni and other god;
and he that is disloyal to his sovereign, is certainly destroyed by him.
Renouncing anger, and pride, and negligence, it behoveth a man to follow
the course directed by the monarch. After carefully deliberating on all
things, a person should set forth before the king those topics that are
both profitable and pleasant; but should a subject be profitable without
being pleasant, he should still communicate it, despite its
disagreeableness. It behoveth a man to be well-disposed towards the king
in all his interests, and not to indulge in speech that is alike
unpleasant and profitless. Always thinking–I am not liked by the
king–one should banish negligence, and be intent on bringing about what
is agreeable and advantageous to him. He that swerveth not from his
place, he that is not friendly to those that are hostile to the king, he
that striveth not to do wrong to the king, is alone worthy to dwell in a
royal household. A learned man should sit either on the king’s right or
the left; he should not sit behind him for that is the place appointed
for armed guards, and to sit before him is always interdicted. Let none,
when the king is engaged in doing anything (in respect of his servants)
come forward pressing himself zealously before others, for even if the
aggrieved be very poor, such conduct would still be inexcusable.[7] It
behoveth no man to reveal to others any lie the king may have told
inasmuch as the king bears ill will to those that report his falsehoods.
Kings also always disregard persons that regard themselves as learned. No
man should be proud thinking–I am brave, or, I am intelligent, but a
person obtains the good graces of a king and enjoys the good things of
life, by behaving agreeably to the wishes of the king. And, O Bharata,
obtaining things agreeable, and wealth also which is so hard to acquire,
a person should always do what is profitable as well as pleasant to the
king. What man that is respected by the wise can even think of doing
mischief to one whose ire is great impediment and whose favour is
productive of mighty fruits? No one should move his lips, arms and
thighs, before the king. A person should speak and spit before the king
only mildly. In the presence of even laughable objects, a man should not
break out into loud laughter, like a maniac; nor should one show
(unreasonable) gravity by containing himself, to the utmost. One should
smile modestly, to show his interest (in what is before him). He that is
ever mindful of the king’s welfare, and is neither exhilarated by reward
nor depressed by disgrace, is alone worthy of dwelling in a royal
household. That learned courtier who always pleaseth the king and his son
with agreeable speeches, succeedeth in dwelling in a royal household as a
favourite. The favourite courtier who, having lost the royal favour for
just reason, does not speak evil of the king, regains prosperity. The man
who serveth the king or liveth in his domains, if sagacious, should speak
in praise of the king, both in his presence and absence. The courtier who
attempts to obtain his end by employing force on the king, cannot keep
his place long and incurs also the risk of death. None should, for the
purpose of self-interest, open communications with the king’s enemies.[8]
Nor should one distinguish himself above the king in matters requiring
ability and talents. He that is always cheerful and strong, brave and
truthful, and mild, and of subdued senses, and who followeth his master
like his shadow, is alone worthy to dwell in a royal household. He that
on being entrusted with a work, cometh forward, saying,–I will do
this–is alone worthy of living in a royal household. He that on being
entrusted with a task, either within the king’s dominion or out of it,
never feareth to undertake it, is alone fit to reside in a royal
household. He that living away from his home, doth no remember his dear
ones, and who undergoeth (present) misery in expectation of (future)
happiness, is alone worthy of dwelling in a royal household. One should
not dress like the king, nor should one indulge, in laughter in the
king’s presence nor should one disclose royal secrets. By acting thus one
may win royal favour. Commissioned to a task, one should not touch bribes
for by such appropriation one becometh liable to fetters or death. The
robes, ornaments, cars, and other things which the king may be pleased to
bestow should always be used, for by this, one winneth the royal favour.
Ye children, controlling your minds, do ye spend this year, ye sons of
Pandu, behaving in this way. Regaining your own kingdom, ye may live as
ye please.”

Yudhishthira said, “We have been well taught by thee. Blessed be thou.
There is none that could say so to us, save our mother Kunti and Vidura
of great wisdom. It behoveth thee to do all that is necessary now for our
departure, and for enabling us to come safely through this woe, as well
as for our victory over the foe.”

Vaisampayana continued, “Thus addressed by Yudhishthira, Dhaumya, that
best of Brahmanas, performed according to the ordinance the rites
ordained in respect of departure. And lighting up their fires, he
offered, with mantras, oblations on them for the prosperity and success
of the Pandavas, as for their reconquest of the whole world. And walking
round those fires and round the Brahmanas of ascetic wealth, the six set
out, placing Yajnaseni in their front. And when those heroes had
departed, Dhaumya, that best of ascetics, taking their sacred fires, set
out for the Panchalas. And Indrasena, and others already mentioned, went
to the Yadavas, and looking after the horses and the cars of the Pandavas
passed their time happily and in privacy.”

SECTION V

Vaisampayana said, “Girding their waists with swords, and equipped with
finger-protectors made of iguana skins and with various weapons, those
heroes proceeded in the direction of the river Yamuna. And those bowmen
desirous of (speedily) recovering their kingdom, hitherto living in
inaccessible hills and forest fastnesses, now terminated their
forest-life and proceeded to the southern bank of that river. And those
mighty warriors endued with great strength and hitherto leading the lives
of hunters by killing the deer of the forest, passed through Yakrilloma
and Surasena, leaving behind, on their right, the country of the
Panchalas, and on their left, that of the Dasarnas. And those bowmen,
looking wan and wearing beards and equipped with swords, entered Matsya’s
dominions leaving the forest, giving themselves out as hunters. And on
arriving at that country, Krishna addressed Yudhishthira, saying, ‘We see
footpaths here, and various fields. From this it appears that Virata’s
metropolis is still at a distance. Pass we here what part of the night is
still left, for great is my fatigue.”

Yudhishthira answered, “O Dhananjaya of Bharata’s race, do thou take up
Panchali and carry her. Just on emerging from this forest, we arrive at
the city.”

Vaisampayana continued, “Thereupon like the leader of a herd of
elephants, Arjuna speedily took up Draupadi, and on coming to the
vicinity of the city, let her down. And on reaching the city, Ruru’s son
(Yudhishthira), addressed Arjuna, saying, ‘Where shall we deposit our
weapons, before entering the city? If, O child, we enter it with our
weapons about us, we shall thereby surely excite the alarm of the
citizens. Further, the tremendous bow, the Gandiva, is known to all men,
so that people will, without doubt, recognise us soon. And if even one of
us is discovered, we shall, according to promise, have to pass another
twelve years in the forest.'”

Arjuna said, “Hard by yon cemetery and near that inaccessible peak is a
mighty Sami tree, throwing-about its gigantic branches and difficult to
ascend. Nor is there any human being, who, I think, O Pandu’s son, will
espy us depositing our arms at that place. That tree is in the midst of
an out-of-the way forest abounding in beasts and snakes, and is in the
vicinity of a dreary cemetery. Stowing away our weapons on the Sami tree,
let us, O Bharata, go to the city, and live there, free from anxiety!”

Vaisampayana continued, “Having O bull of the Bharata race spoken thus to
king Yudhishthira the just, Arjuna prepared to deposit the weapons (on
the tree). And that bull among the Kurus, then loosened the string of the
large and dreadful Gandiva, ever producing thundering twang and always
destructive of hostile hosts, and with which he had conquered, on a
single car, gods and men and Nagas and swelling provinces. And the
warlike Yudhishthira, that represser of foes, unfastened the undecaying
string of that bow with which he had defended the field of Kurukshstra.
And the illustrious Bhimasena unstrung that bow by means of which that
sinless one had vanquished in fight the Panchals and the lord of Sindhu,
and with which, during his career of conquest, he had, single-handed,
opposed innumerable foes, and hearing whose twang which was like unto the
roar of the thunder or the splitting of a mountain, enemies always fly
(in panic) from the field of battle. And that son of Pandu of coppery
complexion and mild speech who is endued with great prowess in the field,
and is called Nakula in consequence of his unexampled beauty in the
family, then unfastened the string of that bow with which he had
conquered all the regions of the west. And the heroic Sahadeva also,
possessed of a mild disposition, then united the string of that bow with
which he had subjugated the countries of the south. And with their bows,
they put together their long and flashing swords, their precious quivers,
and their arrows sharp as razors. And Nakula ascended the tree, and
deposited on it the bows and the other weapons. And he tied them fast on
those parts of the tree which he thought would not break, and where the
rain would not penetrate. And the Pandavas hung up a corpse (on the
tree), knowing that people smelling the stench of the corpse would
say–here sure, is a dead body, and avoid the tree from a distance. And
on being asked by the shepherds and cowherds regarding the corpse, those
repressers of foes said unto them, ‘This is our mother, aged one hundred
and eighty years. We have hung up her dead body, in accordance with the
custom observed by our forefathers.’ And then those resisters of foes
approached the city. And for purposes of non-discovery Yudhisthira kept
these (five) names for himself and his brothers respectively, viz., Jaya,
Jayanta, Vijaya, Jayatsena, and Jayatvala. Then they entered the great
city, with the view to passing the thirteenth year undiscovered in that
kingdom, agreeably to the promise (to Duryodhana).”

SECTION VI

Vaisampayana said, “And while Yudhishthira was on his way to the
delightful city of Virata, he began to praise mentally the Divine Durga,
the Supreme Goddess of the Universe, born on the womb of Yasoda, and fond
of the boons bestowed on her by Narayana, sprung from the race of cowherd
Nanda, and the giver of prosperity, the enhancer (of the glory) of (the
worshipper’s) family, the terrifier of Kansa, and the destroyer of
Asuras,–and saluted the Goddess–her who ascended the skies when dashed
(by Kansa) on a stony platform, who is the sister of Vasudeva, one who is
always decked in celestial garlands and attired in celestial robes,–who
is armed with scimitar and shield, and always rescues the worshipper sunk
in sin, like a cow in the mire, who in the hours of distress calls upon
that eternal giver of blessings for relieving him of their burdens. And
the king, desirous with his brothers of obtaining a sight of the Goddess,
invoked her and began to praise her by reciting various names derived
from (approved) hymns. And Yudhishthira said, ‘Salutations to thee, O
giver of boons. O thou that art identical with Krishna, O maiden, O thou
that hast observed the vow of Brahmacharya, O thou of body bright as the
newly-risen Sun, O thou efface beautiful as the full moon. Salutations to
thee, O thou of four hands and four faces, O thou of fair round hips and
deep bosom, O thou that wearest bangles made of emeralds and sapphires, O
thou that bearest excellent bracelets on thy upper arm. Thou shinest, O
Goddess, as Padma, the consort of Narayana. O thou that rangest the
etherial regions, thy true form and thy Brahmacharya are both of the
purest kind. Sable as the black clouds, thy face is beautiful as that of
Sankarshana. Thou bearest two large arms long as a couple of poles raised
in honour of Indra. In thy (six) other arms thou bearest a vessel, a
lotus, a bell, a noose, a bow, a large discus, and various other weapons.
Thou art the only female in the universe that possesses! the attribute of
purity. Thou art decked with a pair of well-made ears graced with
excellent rings. O Goddess, thou shinest with a face that challengeth the
moon in beauty. With an excellent diadem and beautiful braid with robes
made of the bodies of snakes, and with also the brilliant girdle round
thy hips, thou shinest like the Mandara mountain encircled with snakes.
Thou shinest also with peacock-plumes standing erect on thy head, and
thou hast sanctified the celestial regions by adopting the vow of
perpetual maiden-hood. It is for this, O thou that hast slain the
Mahishasura, [9] that thou art praised and worshipped by the gods for the
protection of the three worlds. O thou foremost of all deities, extend to
me thy grace, show me thy mercy, and be thou the source of blessings to
me. Thou art Jaya and Vijaya, and it is thou that givest victory in
battle. Grant me victory, O Goddess, and give me boons also at this hour
of distress. Thy eternal abode is on Vindhya–that foremost of mountains.
O Kali, O Kali, thou art the great Kali, ever fond of wine and meat and
animal sacrifice. Capable of going everywhere at will, and bestowing
boons on thy devotees, thou art ever followed in thy journeys by Brahma
and the other gods. By them that call upon thee for the relief of their
burdens, and by them also that bow to thee at daybreak on Earth, there is
nothing that cannot be attained in respect either of offspring or wealth.
And because thou rescuest people from difficulties whether when they are
afflicted in the wilderness or sinking in the great ocean, it is for this
that thou art called Durga[10] by all. Thou art the sole refuge of men
when attacked by robbers or while afflicted in crossing streams and seas
or in wilderness and; forests. Those men that remember thee are never
prostrated, O great Goddess. Thou art Fame, thou art Prosperity, thou art
Steadiness, thou art Success; thou art the Wife, thou art men’s
Offspring, thou art Knowledge, and thou art the Intellect. Thou art the
two Twilights, the Night Sleep, Light–both solar and lunar, Beauty,
Forgiveness, Mercy, and every other thing. Thou dispellest, worshipped by
the devotees their fetters, ignorance, loss of children and loss of
wealth, disease, death, and fear. I, who have been deprived of my
kingdom, seek thy protection. And as I bow to thee with bended head, O
Supreme Goddess, grant me protection, O thou of eyes like lotus leaves.
And be thou as boon-giving Truth unto us that are acting according to
Truth. And, O Durga, kind as thou art unto all that seek thy protection,
and affectionate unto all thy devotees, grant me protection!'”

Vaisampayana continued, “Thus praised by the son of Pandu, the Goddess
showed herself unto him. And approaching the king, she addressed him in
these words, ‘O mighty armed king, listen, O Lord, to these words of
mine. Having vanquished and slain the ranks of the Kauravas through my
grace, victory in battle will soon be thine. Thou shalt again lord it
over the entire Earth, having made thy dominions destitute of thorns.
And, O king, thou shalt also, with thy brothers, obtain great happiness.
And through my grace, joy and health will be thine. And they also in the
world who will recite my attributes and achievements will be freed from
their sins, and gratified. I will bestow upon them kingdom, long life,
beauty of person, and offspring. And they, O king, who will invoke me,
after thy manner, in exile or in the city, in the midst of battle or of
dangers from foes, in forests or in inaccessible deserts, in seas or
mountain fastnesses, there is nothing that they will not obtain in this
world. And ye sons of Pandu, he will achieve success in every business of
his that will listen to, or himself recite with devotion, this excellent
hymn. And through my grace neither the Kuru’s spies, nor those that dwell
in the country of the Matsyas, will succeed in recognising you all as
long as ye reside in Virata’s city!’ And having said these words unto
Yudhishthira, that chastiser of foes, and having arranged for the
protection of the sons of Pandu, the Goddess disappeared there and then.”

SECTION VII

Vaisampayana said, “Then tying up in his cloth dice made of gold and set
with lapis lazuli, and holding them below his arm-pit, king
Yudhishthira,–that illustrious lord of men–that high-souled perpetuator
of the Kuru race, regarded by kings, irrepressible in might, and like
unto a snake of virulent poison,–that bull among men, endued with
strength and beauty and prowess, and possessed of greatness, and
resembling in form a celestial though now like unto the sun enveloped in
dense clouds, or fire covered with ashes, first made his appearance when
the famous king Virata was seated in his court. And beholding with his
followers that son of Pandu in his court, looking like the moon hid in
clouds and possessed of a face beautiful as the full moon, king Virata
addressed his counsellors and the twice-born ones and the charioteers and
the Vaisyas and others, saying, “Enquire ye who it is, so like a king
that looketh on my court for the first time. He cannot be a Brahmana.
Methinks he is a man of men, and a lord of earth. He hath neither slaves,
nor cars, nor elephants with him, yet he shineth like the very Indra. The
marks on his person indicate him to be one whose coronal locks have
undergone the sacred investiture. Even this is my belief. He approacheth
me without any hesitation, even as an elephant in rut approacheth an
assemblage of lotuses!’

“And as the king was indulging in these thoughts, that bull among men,
Yudhishthira, came before Virata and addressed him, saying, ‘O great
king, know me for a Brahmana who, having lost his all hath come to thee
for the means of subsistence. I desire, O sinless one, to live here
beside thee acting under thy commands,[11] O lord. The king then,
well-pleased, replied unto him saying, ‘Thou art welcome. Do thou then
accept the appointment thou seekest!’ And having appointed the lion among
kings in the post he had prayed for, king Virata addressed him with a
glad heart, saying, ‘O child, I ask thee from affection, from the
dominions of what king dost thou come hither? Tell me also truly what is
thy name and family, and what thou hast a knowledge of.'”

Yudhishthira said, “My name is Kanka, and I am a Brahmana belonging to
the family known by the name of Vaiyaghra. I am skilled in casting dice,
and formerly I was a friend of Yudhishthira.”

Virata replied, “I will grant thee whatever boon thou mayst desire. Do
thou rule the Matsyas.–I shall remain in submission to thee. Even
cunning gamblers are liked by me. Thou, on the other hand, art like a
god, and deservest a kingdom.”

Yudhishthira said, “My first prayer, O lord of earth, is that I may not
be involved in any dispute (on account of dice) with low people. Further,
a person defeated by me (at dice) shall not be permitted to retain the
wealth (won by me). Let this boon be granted to me through thy grace.”

Virata replied, “I shall certainly slay him who may happen to displease
thee, and should be one of the twice-born ones, I shall banish him from
my dominions. Let the assembled subjects listen! Kanka is as much lord of
this realm as I myself, Thou (Kanka) shalt be my friend and shalt ride
the same vehicles as I. And there shall also be at thy disposal apparel
in plenty, and various kinds of viands and drinks. And thou shalt look
into my affairs, both internal and external. And for thee all my doors
shall be open. When men out of employ or of strained circumstances will
apply to thee, do thou at all hours bring their words unto me, and I will
surely give them whatever they desire. No fear shall be thine as long as
thou residest with me.”

Vaisampayana said, “Having thus obtained an interview with Virata’s king,
and received from him boons, that heroic bull among men, began to live
happily, highly regarded by all. Nor could any one discover him as he
lived there.”

SECTION VIII

Vaisampayana said, “Then another endued with the dreadful strength and
blazing in beauty, approached king Virata, with the playful gait of the
lion. And holding in hand a cooking ladle and a spoon, as also an
unsheathed sword of sable hue and without a spot on the blade, he came in
the guise of a cook illumining all around him by his splendour like the
sun discovering the whole world. And attired in black and possessed of
the strength of the king of mountains, he approached the king of the
Matsyas and stood before him. And beholding that king-like person before
him, Virata addressed his assembled subjects saying, ‘Who is that youth,
that bull among men, with shoulders broad like those of a lion, and so
exceedingly beautiful? That person, never seen before, is like the sun.
Revolving the matter in my mind, I cannot ascertain who he is, nor can I
with even serious thoughts guess the intention of that bull among men (in
coming here). Beholding him, it seems to me that he is either the king of
the Gandharvas, or Purandara himself. Do ye ascertain who it is that
standeth before my eyes. Let him have quickly what he seeks.’ Thus
commanded by king Virata, his swift-footed messengers went up to the son
of Kunti and informed that younger brother of Yudhishthira of everything
the king had said. Then the high-souled son of Pandu, approaching Virata,
addressed him in words that were not unsuited to his object, saying, ‘O
foremost of kings, I am a cook, Vallava by name. I am skilled in dressing
dishes. Do thou employ me in the kitchen!'”

Virata said, “I do not believe, O Vallava, that cooking is thy office.
Thou resemblest the deity of a thousand eyes; and in grace and beauty and
prowess, thou shinest among these all as a king!”

Bhima replied, “O king of kings, I am thy cook and servant in the first
place. It is not curries only of which I have knowledge, O monarch,
although king Yudhishthira always used in days gone by to taste my
dishes. O lord of earth, I am also a wrestler. Nor is there one that is
equal to me in strength. And engaging in fight with lions and elephants,
I shall, O sinless one, always contribute to thy entertainment.”

Virata said, “I will even grant thee boons. Thou wilt do what thou
wishest, as thou describest thyself skilled in it. I do not, however,
think, that this office is worthy of thee, for thou deservest this
(entire) earth girt round by the sea. But do as thou likest. Be thou the
superintendent of my kitchen, and thou art placed at the head of those
who have been appointed there before by me.”

Vaisampayana continued, “Thus appointed in the kitchen, Bhima soon became
the favourite of king Virata. And, O king, he continued to live there
unrecognised by the other servants of Virata as also by other people!”

SECTION IX

Vaisampayana said, “Binding her black, soft, fine, long and faultless
tresses with crisped ends into a knotted braid, Draupadi of black eyes
and sweet smiles, throwing it upon her right shoulders, concealed it by
her cloth. And she wore a single piece of a black and dirty though costly
cloth. And dressing herself as a Sairindhri, she began to wander hither
and thither in seeming affliction. And beholding her wandering, men and
women came to her hastily and addressed her, saying, ‘Who are you? And
what do you seek?’ And she replied, ‘I am a king’s Sairindhri. I desire
to serve any one that will maintain me.’ But beholding her beauty and
dress, and hearing also her speech that was so sweet, the people could
not take her for a maid-servant in search of subsistence. And it came to
pass that while looking this way and that from the terrace, Virata’s
beloved queen, daughter of the king of Kekaya, saw Draupadi. And
beholding her forlorn and clad in a single piece of cloth, the queen
addressed her saying, ‘O beautiful one, who are you, and what do you
seek?’ Thereupon, Draupadi answered her, saying, ‘O foremost of queen, I
am Sairindhri. I will serve anybody that will maintain me.’ Then Sudeshna
said, ‘What you say (regarding your profession) can never be compatible
with so much beauty. (On the contrary) you might well be the mistress of
servants both, male and female. Your heels are not prominent, and your
thighs touch each other. And your intelligence is great, and your navel
deep, and your words solemn. And your great toes, and bust and hips, and
back and sides, and toe-nails, and palms are all well-developed. And your
palms, soles, and face are ruddy. And your speech is sweet even as the
voice of the swan. And your hair is beautiful, and your bust shapely, and
you are possessed of the highest grace. And your hips and bust are plump.
And like a Kashmerean mare you are furnished with every auspicious mark.
And your eye-lashes are (beautiful) bent, and your nether-lip is like the
ruddy ground. And your waist is slender, and your neck bears lines that
resemble those of the conch. And your veins are scarcely visible. Indeed,
your countenance is like the full moon, and your eyes resemble the leaves
of the autumnal lotus, and your body is fragrant as the lotus itself.
Verily, in beauty you resemble Sri herself, whose seat is the autumnal
lotus. Tell me, O beautiful damsel, who thou art. Thou canst never be a
maidservant. Art thou a Yakshi, a Goddess, a Gandharvi, or an Apsara? Art
thou the daughter of a celestial, or art thou a female Naga? Art thou the
guardian goddess of some city, a Vidyadhari, or a Kinnari,–or art thou
Rohini herself? Or art thou Alamvusha, or Misrakesi, Pundarika, or
Malini, or the queen of Indra, or of Varuna? Or, art thou the spouse of
Viswakarma, or of the creative Lord himself? Of these goddesses who art
renowned in the celestial regions, who art thou, O graceful one?’

“Draupadi replied, ‘O auspicious lady, I am neither a goddess nor a
Gandharvi, nor a Yakshi, nor a Rakshasi. I am a maid-servant of the
Sairindhri class. I tell thee this truly. I know to dress the hair to
pound (fragrant substances) for preparing unguents, and also to make
beautiful and variegated garlands. O beauteous lady, of jasmines and
lotuses and blue lilies and Champakas. Formerly I served Krishna’s
favourite queen Satyabhama, and also Draupadi, the wife of the Pandavas
and the foremost beauty of the Kuru race. I wander about alone, earning
good food and dress; and as long as I get these, I continue to live in
the place where they are obtainable. Draupadi herself called me Malini
(maker of garlands).’

“Hearing this, Sudeshna said, ‘I would keep thee upon my head itself, if
the doubt did not cross my mind that the king himself would be attracted
towards thee with his whole heart. Attracted by thy beauty, the females
of the royal household and my maids are looking at thee. What male person
then is there that can resist thy attraction? Surely, O thou of
well-rounded hips, O damsel of exquisite charms, beholding thy form of
superhuman beauty, king Virata is sure to forsake me, and will turn to
thee with his whole heart. O thou of faultless limbs, O thou that art
endued with large eyes casting quick glances, he upon whom thou wilt look
with desire is sure to be stricken. O thou of sweet smiles, O thou that
possessest a faultless form, he that will behold thee constantly, will
surely catch the flame. Even as a person that climbs up a tree for
compassing his own destruction, even as the crab conceives for her own
ruin, I may, O thou of sweet smiles, bring destruction upon myself by
harbouring thee.’

“Draupadi replied, ‘O fair lady, neither Virata nor any other person will
be able to have me, for my five youthful husbands, who are Gandharvas and
sons of a Gandharva king of exceeding power, always protect me. None can
do me a wrong. It is the wish of my Gandharva husbands that I should
serve only such persons as will not give me to touch food already
partaken of by another, or tell me to wash their feet. Any man that
attempts to have me like any common woman, meeteth with death that very
night. No one can succeed in having me, for, O beautiful lady, O thou of
sweet smiles, those beloved Gandharvas, possessed of great energy and
mighty strength always protect me secretly.’

“Sudeshna said, ‘O thou that bringest delight to the heart, if it is as
thou sayest, I will take thee into my household. Thou shalt not have to
touch food that hath been partaken of by another, or to wash another’s
feet.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Thus addressed by Virata’s wife, O Janamejaya,
Krishna (Draupadi) ever devoted to her lords, began to live in that city.
Nor could anyone ascertain who in reality she was!'”

SECTION X

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Then clad in a cowherd’s dress, and speaking the
dialect of cowherds, Sahadeva came to the cowpen of Virata’s city. And
beholding that bull among men, who was shining in splendour, the king was
struck with amazement. And he directed his men to summon Sahadeva. And
when the latter came, the king addressed him, saying, ‘To whom dost thou
belong? And whence dost thou come? And what work dost thou seek? I have
never seen thee before. O bull among men, tell me truly about thee.’

‘Having come before the king that afflicter of foes, Sahadeva answered in
accents deep as the roar of the cloud, ‘I am a Vaisya, Arishtanemi by
name. I was employed as a cowherd in the service of those bulls of the
Kuru race, the sons of Pandu. O foremost of men, I intend now to live
beside thee, for I do not know where those lions among kings, the sons of
Pritha, are. I cannot live without service, and, O king, I do not like to
enter into the service of anyone else save thee.’

“Hearing these words, Virata said, ‘Thou must either be a Brahmana or a
Kshatriya. Thou lookest as if thou wert the lord of the entire earth
surrounded by the sea. Tell me truly, O thou that mowest down thy foes.
The office of a Vaisya is not fit for thee. Tell me from the dominions of
what king thou comest, and what thou knowest, and in what capacity thou
wouldst remain with us, and also what pay thou wouldst accept.’

“Sahadeva answered, ‘Yudhishthira, the eldest of the five sons of Pandu,
had one division of kine numbering eight hundred and ten thousand, and
another, ten thousand, and another, again, twenty thousand, and so on. I
was employed in keeping those cattle. People used to call me Tantripala.
I know the present, the past, and the future of all kine living within
ten Yojanas, and whose tale has been taken. My merits were known to that
illustrious one, and the Kuru king Yudhishthira was well-pleased with me.
I am also acquainted with the means which aid kine in multiplying within
a short time, and by which they may enjoy immunity from disease. Also
these arts are known to me. I can also single out bulls having auspicious
marks for which they are worshipped by men, and by smelling whose urine,
the barren may conceive.’

“Virata said, ‘I have a hundred thousand kine divided into distinct
herds. All those together with their keepers, I place in thy charge.
Henceforth my beasts will be in thy keep.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Then, O king, undiscovered by that monarch,
that lord of men, Sahadeva, maintained by Virata, began to live happily.
Nor did anyone else (besides his brothers) recognise him.'”

SECTION XI

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Next appeared at the gate of the ramparts another
person of enormous size and exquisite beauty decked in the ornaments of
women, and wearing large ear-rings and beautiful conch-bracelets overlaid
with gold. And that mighty-armed individual with long and abundant hair
floating about his neck, resembled an elephant in gait. And shaking the
very earth with his tread, he approached Virata and stood in his court.
And beholding the son of the great Indra, shining with exquisite lustre
and having the gait of a mighty elephant,–that grinder of foes having
his true form concealed in disguise, entering the council-hall and
advancing towards the monarch, the king addressed all his courtiers,
saying, ‘Whence doth this person come? I have never heard of him before.’
And when the men present spoke of the newcomer as one unknown to them,
the king wonderingly said, ‘Possessed of great strength, thou art like
unto a celestial, and young and of darkish hue, thou resemblest the
leader of a herd of elephants. Wearing conch-bracelets overlaid with
gold, a braid, and ear-rings, thou shinest yet like one amongst those
that riding on chariots wander about equipped with mail and bow and
arrows and decked with garlands and fine hair. I am old and desirous of
relinquishing my burden. Be thou like my son, or rule thou like myself
all the Matsyas. It seemeth to me that such a person as thou can never be
of the neuter sex.’

“Arjuna said, ‘I sing, dance, and play on instruments. I am proficient in
dance and skilled in song. O lord of men, assign me unto (the princess)
Uttara. I shall be dancing-master to the royal maiden. As to how I have
come by this form, what will it avail thee to hear the account which will
only augment my pain? Know me, O king of men, to be Vrihannala, a son or
daughter without father or mother.’

“Virata said, ‘O Vrihannala, I give thee what thou desirest. Instruct my
daughter, and those like her, in dancing. To me, however, this office
seemeth unworthy of thee. Thou deserves! (the dominion of) the entire
earth girt round by the ocean.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘The king of the Matsyas then tested Vrihannala
in dancing, music, and other fine arts, and consulting with his various
ministers forthwith caused him to be examined by women. And learning that
this impotency was of a permanent nature, he sent him to the maiden’s
apartments. And there the mighty Arjuna began giving lessons in singing
and instrumental music to the daughter of Virata, her friends, and her
waiting-maids, and soon won their good graces. And in this manner the
self-possessed Arjuna lived there in disguise, partaking of pleasures in
their company, and unknown to the people within or without the palace.'”

SECTION XII

“Vaisampayana said, ‘After a while, another powerful son of Pandu was
seen making towards king Virata in haste. And as he advanced, he seemed
to everyone like solar orb emerged from the clouds. And he began to
observe the horses around. And seeing this, the king of the Matsyas said
to his followers, ‘I wonder whence this man, possessed of the effulgence
of a celestial, cometh. He looks intently at my steeds. Verily, he must
be proficient in horse-lore. Let him be ushered into my presence quickly.
He is a warrior and looks like a god!’ And that destroyer of foes then
went up to the king and accosted him, saying, ‘Victory to thee, O king,
and blest be ye.’ As a trainer of horses, I have always been highly
esteemed by kings. I will be a clever keeper of thy horses.’

“Virata said, ‘I will give thee vehicles, wealth, and spacious quarters.
Thou shalt be the manager of my horses. But first tell me whence thou
comest, who thou art, and how also thou happenest to come here. Tell us
also all the arts thou art master of.’ Nakula replied, ‘O mower of
enemies, know that Yudhishthira is the eldest brother of the five sons of
Pandu. I was formerly employed by him to keep his horses. I am acquainted
with the temper of steeds, and know perfectly the art of breaking them. I
know also how to correct vicious horses, and all the methods of treating
their diseases. No animal in my hands becometh weak or ill. Not to speak
of horses, even mares in my hands will never be found to be vicious.
People called me Granthika by name and so did Yudhishthira, the son of
Pandu.’

“Virata said, ‘Whatever horses I have, I consign to thy care even from
today. And all the keepers of my horses and all my charioteers will from
today be subordinate to thee. If this suits thee, say what remuneration
is desired by thee. But, O thou that resemblest a celestial, the office
of equerry is not worthy of thee. For thou lookest like a king and I
esteem thee much. The appearance here hath pleased me as much as if
Yudhishthira himself were here. Oh, how does that blameless son of Pandu
dwell and divert himself in the forest, now destitute of servants as he
is.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘That youth, like unto a chief of the
Gandharvas, was treated thus respectfully by the delighted king Virata.
And he conducted himself there in such a manner as to make himself dear
and agreeable to all in the palace. And no one recognised him while
living under Virata’s protection. And it was in this manner then the sons
of Pandu, the very sight of whom had never been fruitless, continued to
live in the country of the Matsyas. And true to their pledge those lords
of the earth bounded by her belt of seas passed their days of incognito
with great composure notwithstanding their poignant sufferings.'”

SECTION XIII

(Samayapalana Parva)

“Janamejaya said, ‘While living thus disguised in the city of the
Matsyas, what did those descendants of the Kuru race endued with great
prowess, do, O regenerate one!’

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Hear, O king, what those descendants of Kuru did
while they dwelt thus in disguise in the city of the Matsyas, worshipping
the king thereof. By the grace of the sage Trinavindu and of the
high-souled lord of justice, the Pandavas continued to live unrecognised
by others in the city of Virata. O lord of men, Yudhishthira, as courtier
made himself agreeable to Virata and his sons as also to all the Matsyas.
An adept in the mysteries of dice, the son of Pandu caused them to play
at dice according to his pleasure and made them sit together in the
dice-hall like a row of birds bound in a string. And that tiger among
men, king Yudhishthira the Just, unknown to the monarch, distributed
among his brothers, in due proportion, the wealth he won from Virata. And
Bhimasena on his part, sold to Yudhishthira for price, meat and viands of
various kinds which he obtained from the king. And Arjuna distributed
among all his brothers the proceeds of worn-out cloths which he earned in
the inner apartments of the palace. And Sahadeva, too, who was disguised
as a cowherd gave milk, curds and clarified butter to his brothers. And
Nakula also shared with his brothers the wealth the king gave him,
satisfied with his management of the horses. And Draupadi, herself in a
pitiable condition, looked after all those brothers and behaved in such a
way as to remain unrecognized. And thus ministering unto one another’s
wants, those mighty warriors lived in the capital of Virata as hidden
from view, as if they were once more in their mother’s womb. And those
lords of men, the sons of Pandu, apprehensive of danger from the son of
Dhritarashtra, continued to dwell there in concealment, watching over
their wife Draupadi. And after three months had passed away, in the
fourth, the grand festival in honour of the divine Brahma which was
celebrated with pomp in the country of the Matsyas, came off. And there
came athletes from all quarters by thousands, like hosts of celestials to
the abode of Brahma or of Siva to witness that festival. And they were
endued with huge bodies and great prowess, like the demons called
Kalakhanjas. And elated with their prowess and proud of their strength,
they were highly honoured by the king. And their shoulders and waists and
necks were like those of lions, and their bodies were very clean, and
their hearts were quite at ease. And they had many a time won success in
the lists in the presence of kings. And amongst them there was one who
towered above the rest and challenged them all to a combat. And there was
none that dared to approach him as he proudly stalked in the arena. And
when all the athletes stood sad and dispirited, the king of the Matsyas
made him fight with his cook. And urged by the king, Bhima made up his
mind reluctantly, for he could not openly disobey the royal behest. And
that tiger among men then having worshipped the king, entered the
spacious arena, pacing with the careless steps of a tiger. And the son of
Kunti then girded up his loins to the great delight of the spectators.
And Bhima then summoned to the combat that athlete known by the name of
Jimuta who was like unto the Asura Vritra whose prowess was widely known.
And both of them were possessed of great courage, and both were endued
with terrible prowess. And they were like a couple of infuriate and
huge-bodied elephants, each sixty years old. And those brave tigers among
men then cheerfully engaged in a wrestling combat, desirous of
vanquishing each other. And terrible was the encounter that took place
between them, like the clash of the thunderbolt against the stony
mountain-breast. And both of them were exceedingly powerful and extremely
delighted at each other’s strength. And desirous of vanquishing each
other, each stood eager to take advantage of his adversary’s lapse. And
both were greatly delighted and both looked like infuriate elephants of
prodigious size. And various were the modes of attack and defence that
they exhibited with their clenched fists.[12] And each dashed against the
other and flung his adversary to a distance. And each cast the other down
and pressed him close to the ground. And each got up again and squeezed
the other in his arms. And each threw the other violently off his place
by boxing him on the breast. And each caught the other by the legs and
whirling him round threw him down on the ground. And they slapped each
other with their palms that struck as hard as the thunderbolt. And they
also struck each other with their outstretched fingers, and stretching
them out like spears thrust the nails into each other’s body. And they
gave each other violent kicks. And they struck knee and head against
head, producing the crash of one stone against another. And in this
manner that furious combat between those warriors raged on without
weapons, sustained mainly by the power of their arms and their physical
and mental energy, to the infinite delight of the concourse of
spectators. And all people, O king, took deep interest in that encounter
of those powerful wrestlers who fought like Indra and the Asura Vritra.
And they cheered both of them with loud acclamations of applause. And the
broad-chested and long-armed experts in wrestling then pulled and pressed
and whirled and hurled down each other and struck each other with their
knees, expressing all the while their scorn for each other in loud
voices. And they began to fight with their bare arms in this way, which
were like spiked maces of iron. And at last the powerful and mighty-armed
Bhima, the slayer of his foes, shouting aloud seized the vociferous
athlete by the arms even as the lion seizes the elephant, and taking him
up from the ground and holding him aloft, began to whirl him round, to
the great astonishment of the assembled athletes and the people of
Matsya. And having whirled him round and round a hundred times till he
was insensible, the strong-armed Vrikodara dashed him to death on the
ground. And when the brave and renowned Jimuta was thus killed, Virata
and his friends were filled with great delight. And in the exuberance of
his joy, the noble-minded king rewarded Vallava then and there with the
liberality of Kuvera. And killing numerous athletes and many other men
possessed of great bodily strength, he pleased the king very much. And
when no one could be found there to encounter him in the lists, the king
made him fight with tigers and lions and elephants. And the king also
made him battle with furious and powerful lions in the harem for the
pleasure of the ladies. And Arjuna, too, pleased the king and all the
ladies of the inner apartments by singing and dancing. And Nakula pleased
Virata, that best of kings, by showing him fleet and well-trained steeds
that followed him wherever he went. And the king, gratified with him,
rewarded him with ample presents. And beholding around Sahadeva a herd of
well-trained bullocks, Virata that bull among men, bestowed upon him also
wealth of diverse kinds. And, O king, Draupadi distressed to see all
those warriors suffer pain, sighed incessantly. And it was in this way
that those eminent persons lived there in disguise, rendering services
unto king Virata.'”

SECTION XIV

(Kichaka-badha Parva)

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Living in such disguise, those mighty warriors, the
sons of Pritha, passed ten months in Matsya’s city. And, O monarch,
although herself deserving to be waited upon by others, the daughter of
Yajnasena, O Janamejaya, passed her days in extreme misery, waiting upon
Sudeshna. And residing thus in Sudeshna’s apartments, the princess of
Panchala pleased that lady as also the other females of the inner
apartments. And it came to pass that as the year was about to expire, the
redoubtable Kichaka, the Commander of Virata’s forces, chanced to behold
the daughter of Drupada. And beholding that lady endued with the
splendour of a daughter of the celestials, treading the earth like a
goddess, Kichaka, afflicted with the shafts of Kama, desired to possess
her. And burning with desire’s flame, Virata’s general came to Sudeshna
(his sister) and smilingly addressed her in these words, ‘This beauteous
lady had never before been seen by me in king Virata’s abode. This damsel
maddens me with her beauty, even as a new wine maddens one with its
fragrance. Tell me, who is this graceful and captivating lady possessed
of the beauty of a goddess, and whose she is, and whence she hath come.
Surely, grinding my heart she hath reduced me to subjection. It seems to
me that (save her) there is no other medicine for my illness. O, this
fair hand-maid of thine seemeth to me to be possessed of the beauty of a
goddess. Surely, one like her is ill suited to serve thee. Let her rule
over me and whatever is mine. O, let her grace my spacious and beautiful
palace, decked with various ornaments of gold, full of viands and drinks
in profusion, with excellent plates, and containing every kind of plenty,
besides elephants and horses and cars in myriads. And having consulted
with Sudeshna thus, Kichaka went to princess Draupadi, and like a jackal
in the forest accosting a lioness, spoke unto Krishna these words in a
winning voice, ‘Who and whose art thou, O beautiful one? And O thou of
beautiful face, whence hast thou come to the city of Virata? Tell me all
this, O fair lady. Thy beauty and gracefulness are of the very first
order and the comeliness of thy features is unparalleled. With its
loveliness thy face shineth ever like the resplendent moon. O thou of
fair eye-brows, thy eyes are beautiful and large like lotus-petals. Thy
speech also, O thou of beautiful limbs, resembles the notes of the
cuckoo. O thou of fair hips, never before in this world have I beheld a
woman possessed of beauty like thine, O thou of faultless features. Art
thou Lakshmi herself having her abode in the midst of lotuses or, art
thou, O slender-waisted one, she who is called Bhuti[13]. Or, which
amongst these–Hri, Sri, Kirti and Kanti,–art thou, O thou of beautiful
face? Or possessed of beauty like Rati’s, art thou, she who sporteth in
the embraces of the God of love? O thou that possessest the fairest of
eye-brows, thou shinest beautifully even like the lovely light of the
moon. Who is there in the whole world that will not succumb to the
influence of desire beholding thy face? Endued with unrivalled beauty and
celestial grace of the most attractive kind, that face of thine is even
like the full moon, its celestial effulgence resembling his radiant face,
its smile resembling his soft-light, and its eye-lashes looking like the
spokes on his disc? Both thy bosoms, so beautiful and well-developed and
endued with unrivalled gracefulness and deep and well-rounded and without
any space between them, are certainly worthy of being decked with
garlands of gold. Resembling in shape the beautiful buds of the lotus,
these thy breast, O thou of fair eye-brows, are even as the whips of Kama
that are urging me forward, O thou of sweet smiles, O damsel of slender
waist, beholding that waist of thine marked with four wrinkles and
measuring but a span, and slightly stooping forward because of the weight
of thy breasts, and also looking on those graceful hips of thine broad as
the banks of a river, the incurable fever of desire, O beauteous lady,
afflicteth me sore. The flaming fire of desire, fierce as a forest
conflagration, and fanned by the hope my heart cherisheth of a union with
thee is consuming me intensely. O thou of exceeding beauty quench thou
that flaming fire kindled by Manmatha. Union with thee is a rain-charged
cloud, and the surrender of thy person is the shower that the cloud may
drop. O thou of face resembling the moon, the fierce and maddening shafts
of Manmatha whetted and sharpened by the desire of a union with thee,
piercing this heart of mine in their impetuous course, have penetrated
into its core. O black-eyed lady, those impetuous and cruel shafts are
maddening me beyond endurance. It behoveth thee to relieve me from this
plight by surrendering thyself to me and favouring me with thy embraces.
Decked in beautiful garlands and robes and adorned with every ornament,
sport thou, O sweet damsel, with me to thy fill. O thou of the gait of an
elephant in rut, deserving as thou art of happiness though deprived of it
now, it behoveth thee not to dwell here in misery. Let unrivalled weal be
thine. Drinking various kinds of charming and delicious and ambrosial
wines, and sporting at thy pleasure in the enjoyment of diverse objects
of delight, do thou, O blessed lady, attain auspicious prosperity. This
beauty of thine and this prime of thy youth, O sweet lady, are now
without their use. For, O beauteous and chaste damsel, endued with such
loveliness, thou dost not shine, like a graceful garland lying unused and
unworn. I will forsake all my old wives. Let them, O thou of sweet
smiles, become thy slaves. And I also, O fair damsel, will stay by thee
as thy slave, ever obedient to thee, O thou of the most handsome face.’
Hearing these words of his, Draupadi replied, ‘In desiring me, a female
servant of low extraction, employed in the despicable office of dressing
hair, O Suta’s son, thou desirest one that deserves not that honour.
Then, again, I am the wife of others. Therefore, good betide thee, this
conduct of thine is not proper. Do thou remember the precept of morality,
viz., that persons should take delight only in their wedded wives. Thou
shouldst not, therefore, by any means bend thy heart to adultery. Surely
abstaining from improper acts is ever the study of those that are good.
Overcome by ignorance sinful men under the influence of desire come by
either extreme infamy or dreadful calamity.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Thus addressed by the Sairindhri, the wicked
Kichaka losing control over his senses and overcome by lust, although
aware of the numerous evils of fornication, evils condemned by everybody
and sometimes leading to the destruction of life itself,–then spoke unto
Draupadi, ‘It behoveth thee not, O beauteous lady, O thou of graceful
features, thus to disregard me who am, O thou of sweet smiles, under the
power of Manmatha on thy account. If now, O timid one, thou disregardest
me who am under thy influence and who speak to thee so fair, thou wilt, O
black-eyed damsel, have to repent for it afterwards. O thou of graceful
eye-brows, the real lord of this entire kingdom, O slender-waisted lady,
is myself. It is me depending upon whom the people of this realm live. In
energy and prowess I am unrivalled on earth. There is no other man on
earth who rivals me in beauty of person, in youth, in prosperity, and in
the possession of excellent objects of enjoyment. Why it is, O auspicious
lady, that having it in thy power to enjoy here every object of desire
and every luxury and comfort without its equal, thou preferest servitude.
Becoming the mistress of this kingdom which I shall confer on thee, O
thou of fair face, accept me, and enjoy, O beauteous one, all excellent
objects of desire.’ Addressed in these accursed words by Kichaka, that
chaste daughter of Drupada answered him thus reprovingly, ‘Do not, O son
of a Suta, act so foolishly and do not throw away thy life. Know that I
am protected by my five husbands. Thou canst not have me. I have
Gandharvas for my husbands. Enraged they will slay thee. Therefore, do
thou not bring destruction on thyself. Thou intendest to tread along a
path that is incapable of being trod by men. Thou, O wicked one, art even
like a foolish child that standing on one shore of the ocean intends to
cross over to the other. Even if thou enterest into the interior of the
earth, or soarest into the sky, or rushest to the other shore of the
ocean, still thou wilt have no escape from the hands of those sky-ranging
offspring of gods, capable of grinding all foes. Why dost thou today, O
Kichaka, solicit me so persistently even as a sick person wisheth for the
night that will put a stop to his existence? Why dost thou desire me,
even like an infant lying on its mother’s lap wishing to catch the moon?
For thee that thus solicitest their beloved wife, there is no refuge
either on earth or in sky. O Kichaka, hast thou no sense which leads thee
to seek thy good and by which thy life may be saved?'”

SECTION XV

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Rejected thus by the princess, Kichaka, afflicted
with maddening lust and forgetting all sense of propriety, addressed
Sudeshna saying, ‘Do thou, Kekaya’s daughter, so act that thy Sairindhri
may come into my arms. Do thou, O Sudeshna, adopt the means by which the
damsel of the gait of an elephant may accept me; I am dying of absorbing
desire.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Hearing his profuse lamentations, that gentle
lady, the intelligent queen of Virata, was touched with pity. And having
taken counsel with her own self and reflected on Kichaka’s purpose and on
the anxiety of Krishna, Sudeshna addressed the Suta’s son in these words,
‘Do thou, on the occasion of some festival, procure viands and wines for
me. I shall then send my Sairindhri to thee on the pretence of bringing
wine. And when she will repair thither do thou in solitude, free from
interruption, humour her as thou likest. Thus soothed, she may incline
her mind to thee.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Thus addressed, he went out of his sister’s
apartments. And he soon procured wines well-filtered and worthy of a
king. And employing skilled cooks, he prepared many and various kinds of
choice viands and delicious drinks and many and various kinds of meat of
different degrees of excellence. And when all this had been done, that
gentle lady Sudeshna, as previously counselled by Kichaka, desired her
Sairindhri to repair to Kichaka’s abode, saying, ‘Get up, O Sairindhri
and repair to Kichaka’s abode to bring wine, for, O beauteous lady, I am
afflicted with thirst.’ Thereupon the Sairindhri replied, ‘O princess, I
shall not be able to repair to Kichaka’s apartments. Thou thyself
knowest, O queen, how shameless he is. O thou of faultless limbs, O
beauteous lady, in thy palace I shall not be able to lead a lustful life,
becoming faithless to my husbands. Thou rememberest, O gentle lady, O
beautiful one, the conditions I had set down before entering thy house. O
thou of tresses ending in graceful curls, the foolish Kichaka afflicted
by the god of desire, will, on seeing me, offer me insult. Therefore, I
will not go to his quarters. Thou hast, O princess, many maids under
thee. Do thou, good betide thee, send one of them. For, surely, Kichaka
will insult me.’ Sudeshna said, ‘Sent by me, from my abode, surely he
will not harm thee.’ And having said this, she handed over a golden
vessel furnished with a cover. And filled with apprehension, and weeping,
Draupadi mentally prayed for the protection of the gods, and set out for
Kichaka’s abode for fetching wine. And she said, ‘As I do not know
another person save my husbands, by virtue of that Truth let Kichaka not
be able to overpower me although I may approach his presence.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘And that helpless damsel then adored Surya for
a moment. And Surya, having considered all that she urged, commanded a
Rakshasa to protect her invisibly. And from that time the Rakshasa began
to attend upon that blameless lady under any circumstances. And beholding
Krishna in his presence like a frightened doe, the Suta rose up from his
seat, and felt the joy that is felt by a person wishing to cross to the
other shore, when he obtains a boat.'”

SECTION XVI

“Kichaka said, ‘O thou of tresses ending in beautiful curls, thou art
welcome. Surely, the night that is gone hath brought me an auspicious
day, for I have got thee today as the mistress of my house. Do what is
agreeable to me. Let golden chains, and conchs and bright ear-rings made
of gold, manufactured in various countries, and beautiful rubies and
gems, and silken robes and deer-skins, be brought for thee. I have also
an excellent bed prepared for thee. Come, sitting upon it do thou drink
with me the wine prepared from the honey flower.’ Hearing these words,
Draupadi said, ‘I have been sent to thee by the princess for taking away
wine. Do thou speedily bring me wine, for she told me that she is
exceedingly thirsty.’ And this, Kichaka said, ‘O gentle lady, others will
carry what the princess wants.’ And saying this, the Suta’s son caught
hold of Draupadi’s right arm. And at this, Draupadi exclaimed, ‘As I have
never, from intoxication of the senses, been unfaithful to my husbands
even at heart, by that Truth, O wretch, I shall behold thee dragged and
lying powerless on the ground.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Seeing that large-eyed lady reproving him in
that strain, Kichaka suddenly seized her by the end of her upper garment
as she attempted to run away. And seized with violence by Kichaka, the
beautiful princess, unable to tolerate it, and with frame trembling with
wrath, and breathing quickly, dashed him to the ground. And dashed to the
ground thus, the sinful wretch tumbled down like a tree whose roots had
been cut. And having thrown Kichaka down on the ground when the latter
had seized her, she, trembling all over rushed to the court, where king
Yudhishthira was, for protection. And while she was running with all her
speed, Kichaka (who followed her), seizing her by the hair, and bringing
her down on the ground, kicked her in the very presence of the king.
Thereupon, O Bharata, the Rakshasa that had been appointed by Surya to
protect Draupadi, gave Kichaka a shove with a force mighty as that of the
wind. And overpowered by the force of Rakshasa, Kichaka reeled and fell
down senseless on the ground, even like an uprooted tree. And both
Yudhishthira and Bhimasena who were seated there, beheld with wrathful
eyes that outrage on Krishna by Kichaka. And desirous of compassing the
destruction of the wicked Kichaka, the illustrious Bhima gnashed his
teeth in rage. And his forehead was covered with sweat, and terrible
wrinkles appeared thereon. And a smoky exhalation shot forth from his
eyes, and his eye-lashes stood on end. And that slayer of hostile heroes
pressed his forehead with his hands. And impelled by rage, he was on the
point of starting up with speed. Thereat king Yudhishthira, apprehensive
of discovery, squeezed his thumbs and commanded Bhima to forbear. And
Bhima who then looked like an infuriate elephant eyeing a large tree, was
thus forbidden by his elder brother. And the latter said, ‘Lookest thou,
O cook, for trees for fuel. If thou art in need of faggots, then go out
and fell trees.’ And the weeping Draupadi of fair hips, approaching the
entrance of the court, and seeing her melancholy lords, desirous yet of
keeping up the disguise duty-bound by their pledge, with eyes burning in
fire, spoke these words unto the king of the Matsyas, ‘Alas, the son of a
Suta hath kicked today the proud and beloved wife of those whose foe can
never sleep in peace even if four kingdoms intervene between him and
them. Alas, the son of a Suta hath kicked today the proud and beloved
wife of those truthful personages, who are devoted to Brahmanas and who
always give away without asking any thing in gift. Alas! the son of a
Suta hath kicked today the proud and beloved wife of those, the sounds of
whose kettle-drums and the twangs of whose bow-strings are ceaselessly
heard. Alas, the son of a Suta hath kicked today the proud and beloved
wife of those who are possessed of abundant energy and might, and who are
liberal in gifts and proud of their dignity. Alas, the son of a Suta hath
kicked today the proud and beloved wife of those who, if they had not
been fettered by the ties of duty, could destroy this entire world.
Where, alas, are those mighty warriors today who, though living in
disguise, have always granted protection unto those that solicit it? Oh,
why do those heroes today, endued as they are with strength and possessed
of immeasurable energy, quietly suffer, like eunuchs, their dear and
chaste wife to be thus insulted by a Suta’s son? Oh, where is that wrath
of theirs, that prowess, and that energy, when they quietly bear their
wife to be thus insulted by a wicked wretch? What can I (a weak woman) do
when Virata, deficient in virtue, coolly suffereth my innocent self to be
thus wronged by a wretch? Thou dost not, O king, act like a king towards
this Kichaka. Thy behaviour is like that of a robber, and doth not shine
in a court. That I should thus be insulted in thy very presence, O
Matsya, is highly improper. Oh, let all the courtiers here look at this
violence of Kichaka. Kichaka is ignorant of duty and morality, and Matsya
also is equally so. These courtiers also that wait upon such a king are
destitute of virtue.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘With these and other words of the same kind the
beautiful Krishna with tearful eyes rebuked the king of the Matsyas. And
hearing her, Virata said, ‘I do not know what your dispute has been out
of our sight. Not knowing the true cause how can I show my
discrimination?’ Then the courtiers, having learnt every thing, applauded
Krishna, and they all exclaimed, ‘Well done!’ ‘Well done!’ and censured
Kichaka. And the courtiers said, ‘That person who owneth this large-eyed
lady having every limb of hers endued with beauty for his wife,
possesseth what is of exceeding value and hath no occasion to indulge in
any grief. Surely, such a damsel of transcendent beauty and limbs
perfectly faultless is rare among men. Indeed, it seems to us that she is
a goddess.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘And while the courtiers, having beheld Krishna
(under such circumstances), were applauding her thus, Yudhishthira’s
forehead, from ire, became covered with sweat. And that bull of the Kuru
race then addressed that princess, his beloved spouse, saying, ‘Stay not
here, O Sairindhri; but retire to the apartments of Sudeshna. The wives
of heroes bear affliction for the sake of their husbands, and undergoing
toil in ministering unto their lords, they at last attain to region where
their husbands may go. Thy Gandharva husbands, effulgent as the sun, do
not, I imagine, consider this as an occasion for manifesting their wrath,
inasmuch as they do not rush to thy aid. O Sairindhri, thou art ignorant
of the timeliness of things, and it is for this that thou weepest as an
actress, besides interrupting the play of dice in Matsya’s court. Retire,
O Sairindhri; the Gandharvas will do what is agreeable to thee. And they
will surely display thy woe and take the life of him that hath wronged
thee.’ Hearing these words the Sairindhri replied, ‘They of whom I am the
wedded wife are, I ween, extremely kind. And as the eldest of them all is
addicted to dice, they are liable to be oppressed by all.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘And having said this, the fair-hipped Krishna
with dishevelled hair and eyes red in anger, ran towards the apartments
of Sudhesna. And in consequence of having wept long her face looked
beautiful like the lunar disc in the firmament, emerged from the clouds.
And beholding her in that condition, Sudeshna asked, ‘Who, O beauteous
lady, hath insulted thee? Why, O amiable damsel, dost thou weep? Who,
gentle one, hath done thee wrong? Whence is this thy grief?’ Thus
addressed, Draupadi said, ‘As I went to bring wine for thee, Kichaka
struck me in the court in the very presence of the king, as if in the
midst of a solitary wood.’ Hearing this, Sudeshna said, ‘O thou of
tresses ending in beautiful curls, as Kichaka, maddened by lust hath
insulted thee that art incapable of being possessed by him, I shall cause
him to be slain if thou wishest it.’ Thereupon Draupadi answered, ‘Even
others will slay him,–even they whom he hath wronged, I think it is
clear that he will have to go to the abode of Yama this very day!'”

SECTION XVII

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Thus insulted by the Suta’s son, that illustrious
princess, the beautiful Krishna, eagerly wishing for the destruction of
Virata’s general, went to her quarters. And Drupada’s daughter of dark
hue and slender waist then performed her ablutions. And washing her body
and cloths with water Krishna began to ponder weepingly on the means of
dispelling her grief. And she reflected, saying, ‘What am I to do?
Whither shall I go? How can my purpose be effected?’ And while she was
thinking thus, she remembered Bhima and said to herself, ‘There is none
else, save Bhima, that can today accomplish the purpose on which my heart
is set!’ And afflicted with great grief, the large-eyed and intelligent
Krishna possessed of powerful protectors then rose up at night, and
leaving her bed speedily proceeded towards the quarters of Bhimasena,
desirous of beholding her lord. And possessed of great intelligence, the
daughter of Drupada entered her husband’s quarters, saying, ‘How canst
thou sleep while that wretched commander of Virata’s forces, who is my
foe, yet liveth, having perpetrated today that (foul act)?’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Then the chamber where Bhima slept, breathing
hard like a lion, being filled with the beauty of Drupada’s daughter and
of the high-souled Bhima, blazed forth in splendour. And Krishna of sweet
smiles, finding Bhimasena in the cooking apartments, approached him with
the eagerness of a three-year old cow brought up in the woods,
approaching a powerful bull, in her first season, or of a she-crane
living by the water-side approaching her mate in the pairing season. And
the Princess of Panchala then embraced the second son of Pandu, even as a
creeper embraces a huge and mighty Sala on the banks of the Gomati. And
embracing him with her arms, Krishna of faultless features awaked him as
a lioness awaketh a sleeping lion in a trackless forest. And embracing
Bhimasena even as a she-elephant embraceth her mighty mate, the faultless
Panchali addressed him in voice sweet as the sound of a stringed
instrument emitting Gandhara note. And she said, ‘Arise, arise! Why dost
thou, O Bhimasena, lie down as one dead? Surely, he that is not dead,
never suffereth a wicked wretch that hath disgraced his wife, to live.’
And awakened by the princess, Bhima of mighty arms, then rose up, and sat
upon his couch overlaid with a rich bed. And he of the Kuru race then
addressed the princess–his beloved wife, saying, ‘For what purpose hast
thou come hither in such a hurry? Thy colour is gone and thou lookest
lean and pale. Tell me everything in detail. I must know the truth.
Whether it be pleasurable or painful, agreeable, or disagreeable, tell me
all. Having heard everything, I shall apply the remedy. I alone, O
Krishna, am entitled to thy confidence in all things, for it is I who
deliver thee from perils again and again! Tell me quickly what is thy
wish, and what is the purpose that is in thy view, and return thou to thy
bed before others awake.'”

SECTION XVIII

“Draupadi said, ‘What grief hath she not who hath Yudhishthira for her
husband? Knowing all my griefs, why dost thou ask me? The Pratikamin
dragged me to the court in the midst of an assembly of courtiers, calling
me a slave. That grief, O Bharata, consumeth me. What other princess,
save Draupadi, would live having suffered such intense misery? Who else,
save myself, could bear such second insult as the wicked Saindhava
offered me while residing in the forest? Who else of my position, save
myself, could live, having been kicked by Kichaka in the very sight of
the wicked king of the Matsyas? Of what value is life, O Bharata, when
thou, O son of Kunti, dost not think me miserable, although I am
afflicted with such woes? That vile and wicked wretch, O Bharata, known
by the name of Kichaka, who is the brother-in-law of king Virata and the
commander of his forces, every day, O tiger among men, addresses me who
am residing in the palace as a Sairindhri, saying, ‘Do thou become my
wife.’–Thus solicited, O slayer of foes, by that wretch deserving to be
slain, my heart is bursting like a fruit ripened in season. Censure thou
that elder brother of thine addicted to execrable dice, through whose act
alone I have been afflicted with such woe. Who else, save him that is a
desperate gambler, would play, giving up kingdom and everything including
even myself, in order to lead a life in the woods? If he had gambled
morning and evening for many years together, staking nishkas by thousand
and other kinds of substantial wealth, still his silver, and gold, and
robes, and vehicles, and teams, and goats, and sheep, and multitudes of
steeds and mares and mules would not have sustained any diminution. But
now deprived of prosperity by the rivalry of dice, he sits dumb like a
fool, reflecting on his own misdeeds. Alas, he who, while sojourning, was
followed by ten thousand elephants adorned with golden garlands now
supports himself by casting dice. That Yudhishthira who at Indraprastha
was adored by kings of incomparable prowess by hundreds of thousands,
that mighty monarch in whose kitchen a hundred thousand maid-servants,
plate in hand, used every day to feed numerous guests day and night, that
best of liberal men, who gave (every day) a thousand nishkas, alas, even
he overwhelmed with woe in consequence of gambling which is the root of
all evil, now supporteth himself by casting dice. Bards and encomiasts by
thousands decked with ear-rings set with brilliant gems, and gifted with
melodious voice, used to pay him homage morning and evening. Alas, that
Yudhishthira, who was daily waited upon by a thousand sages of ascetic
merit, versed in the Vedas and having every desire gratified, as his
courtiers,–that Yudhishthira who maintained eighty-eight thousands of
domestic Snatakas with thirty maid-servants assigned unto each, as also
ten thousand yatis not accepting anything in gift and with vital seed
drawn up,–alas, even that mighty king now liveth in such guise. That
Yudhishthira who is without malice, who is full of kindness, and who
giveth every creature his due, who hath all these excellent attributes,
alas–even he now liveth in such guise. Possessed of firmness and
unbaffled prowess, with heart disposed to give every creature his due,
king Yudhishthira, moved by compassion, constantly maintained in his
kingdom the blind, the old, the helpless, the parentless and all others
in his dominions in such distress. Alas, that Yudhishthira becoming a
dependant and a servant of Matsya, a caster of dice in his court, now
calls himself Kanka. He unto whom while residing at Indraprastha, all the
rulers of earth used to pay timely tribute,–alas, even he now begs for
subsistence at another’s hands. He to whom the kings of the earth were in
subjection,–alas, even that king having lost his liberty, liveth in
subjection to others. Having dazzled the entire earth like the sun by his
energy, that Yudhishthira, alas, is now a courtier of king Virata. O
Pandu’s son, that Pandava who was respectfully waited upon in court by
kings and sages, behold him now waiting upon another. Alas, beholding
Yudhishthira a courtier sitting beside another and breathing adulatory
speeches to the other, who can help being afflicted with grief? And
beholding the highly wise and virtuous Yudhishthira, undeserving as he is
of serving others, actually serving another for sustenance, who can help
being afflicted with grief? And, O hero, that Bharata who was worshipped
in court by the entire earth, do thou now behold him worshipping another.
Why then, O Bharata, dost thou not regard me as one afflicted with
diverse miseries, like one forlorn and immersed in a sea of sorrow?'”

SECTION XIX

“Draupadi said, ‘This O Bharata, that I am going to tell thee is another
great grief of mine. Thou shouldst not blame me, for I tell thee this
from sadness of heart. Who is there whose grief is not enhanced at sight
of thee, O bull of the Bharata race, engaged in the ignoble office of a
cook, so entirely beneath thee and calling thyself as one of Vallava
caste? What can be sadder than this, that people should know thee as
Virata’s cook, Vallava by name, and therefore one that is sunk in
servitude? Alas, when thy work of the kitchen is over, thou humbly
sittest beside Virata, calling thyself as Vallava the cook, then
despondency seizeth my heart. When the king of kings in joy maketh thee
fight with elephants, and the women of the inner apartments (of the
palace) laugh all the while, then I am sorely distressed. When thou
fightest in the inner apartments with lions, tigers, and buffaloes, the
princess Kaikeyi looking on, then I almost swoon away. And when Kaikeyi
and those maidservants, leaving their seats, come to assist me and find
that instead of suffering any injury in limbs mine is only a swoon, the
princess speaks unto her women, saying, ‘Surely, it is from affection and
the duty begot of intercourse that this lady of sweet smiles grieveth for
the exceedingly powerful cook when he fights with the beasts. Sairindhri
is possessed of great beauty and Vallava also is eminently handsome. The
heart of woman is hard to know, and they, I fancy, are deserving of each
other. It is, therefore, likely that the Sairindhri invariably weepeth
(at such times) on account of her connection with her lover. And then,
they both have entered this royal family at the same time. And speaking
such words she always upbraideth me. And beholding me wroth at this, she
suspects me to be attached to thee.’ When she speaketh thus, great is the
grief that I feel. Indeed, on beholding thee, O Bhima of terrible
prowess, afflicted with such calamity, sunk as I already am in grief on
account of Yudhishthira. I do not desire to live. That youth who on a
single car had vanquished all celestials and men, is now, alas, the
dancing master of king Virata’s daughter. That Pritha’s son of
immeasurable soul, who had gratified Agni in the forest of Khandava, is
now living in the inner apartments (of a palace) like fire hid in a well.
Alas, the bull among men, Dhananjaya, who was ever the terror of foes, is
now living in a guise that is despaired by all. Alas, he whose mace-like
arms have been cicatrized in consequence of the strokes of his
bow-string, alas that Dhananjaya is passing the days in grief covering
his wrists with bracelets of conchs. Alas, that Dhananjaya the twang of
whose bow-string and the sound of whose leathern fences made every foe
tremble, now entertains only gladdened women with his songs. Oh, that
Dhananjaya whose head was formerly decked with a diadem of solar
splendour, is now wearing braids ending in unsightly curls. O Bhima,
beholding that terrible bowman, Arjuna, now wearing braids and in the
midst of women, my heart is stricken with woe. That high-souled hero who
is master of all the celestial weapons, and who is the repository of all
the sciences, now weareth ear-rings (like one of the fair sex). That
youth whom kings of incomparable prowess could not overpower in fight,
even as the waters of the mighty ocean cannot overleap the continents, is
now the dancing-master of king Virata’s daughters and waits upon them in
disguise. O Bhima, that Arjuna the clatter of whose car-wheels caused the
entire earth with her mountains and forests, her mobile and immobile
things to tremble, and whose birth dispelled all the sorrows of Kunti,
that exalted hero, that younger brother of thine, O Bhimasena, now maketh
me weep for him. Beholding him coming towards me, decked in golden
ear-rings and other ornaments, and wearing on the wrists bracelets of
conchs, my heart is afflicted with despondency. And Dhananjaya who hath
not a bowman equal unto him on earth in prowess, now passeth his days in
singing, surrounded by women. Beholding that son of Pritha who in virtue,
heroism and truth, was the most admired in the world, now living in the
guise of a woman, my heart is afflicted with sorrow. When I behold, the
godlike Partha in the music-hall like an elephant with rent temples
surrounded by she-elephants in the midst of females, waiting before
Virata the king of the Matsyas, then I lose all sense of directions.
Surely, my mother-in-law doth not know Dhananjaya to be afflicted with
such extreme distress. Nor doth she know that descendant of the Kuru
race, Ajatasatru, addicted to disastrous dice, to be sunk in misery. O
Bharata, beholding the youngest of you all, Sahadeva, superintending the
kine, in the guise of a cowherd, I grow pale. Always thinking of
Sahadeva’s plight, I cannot, O Bhimasena, obtain sleep,–what to speak
you of the rest? I do not know, O mighty-armed one, what sin Sahadeva may
have committed for which that hero of unbaffled prowess suffereth such
misery. O foremost of the Bharatas, beholding that beloved brother of
thine, that bull among men, employed by Matsya in looking after his kine,
I am filled with woe. Seeing that hero of proud disposition gratifying
Virata, by living at the head of his cowherds, attired in robes dyed in
red. I am attacked with fever. My mother-in-law always applauds the
heroic Sahadeva as one possessed of nobility, excellent behaviour, and
rectitude of conduct. Ardently attached to her sons, the weeping Kunti
stood, embracing Sahadeva while he was about to set out (with us) for the
great forest. And she addressed me saying, “Sahadeva is bashful and
sweet-speeched, and virtuous. He is also my favourite child. Therefore, O
Yajnaseni, tend him in the forest day and night. Delicate and brave,
devoted to the king, and always worshipping his elder brother, do thou, O
Panchali, feed him thyself.’ O Pandava, beholding that foremost of
warriors, Sahadeva, engaged in tending kine, and sleeping at night on
calf-skins, how can I bear to live? He again who is crowned with the
three attributes of beauty, arms, and intelligence, is now the
superintendent of Virata’s steeds. Behold the change brought on by time.
Granthika (Nakula), at sight of whom hostile hosts fled from the field of
battle, now traineth horses in the presence of the king, driving them
with the speed. Alas, I now see that handsome youth wait upon the
gorgeously decked and excellent Virata, the king of the Matsyas, and
display horses before him. O son of Pritha, afflicted as I am with all
these hundred kinds of misery on account of Yudhishthira, why dost thou,
O chastiser of foes, yet deem me happy? Listen now to me, O son of Kunti,
as I tell thee of other woes far surpassing these. What can be sadder to
me than miseries so various as these should emaciate me while ye are
alive.'”

SECTION XX

“Draupadi said, ‘Alas, on account of that desperate gambler, I am now
under Sudeshna’s command, living in the palace in the guise of a
Sairindhri. And, O chastiser of foes, behold the plight of poignant woe
which I, a princess, am now in. I am living in expectation of the close
of this stated period.[14] The extreme of misery, therefore, is mine.
Success of purpose, victory, and defeat, as regards mortals, are
transitory. It is in this belief that I am living in expectation of the
return of prosperity to my husbands. Prosperity and adversity revolve
like a wheel. It is in this belief that I am living in expectation of the
return of prosperity to my husbands. That cause which bringeth on
victory, may bring defeat as well. I live in this hope. Why dost thou
not, O Bhimasena, regard me as one dead? I have heard that persons that
give may beg: that they who slay may be slain; and that they who
over-throw others may themselves be overthrown by foes. Nothing is
difficult for Destiny and none can over-ride Destiny. It is for this that
I am awaiting the return of favourable fortune. As a tank once dried, is
filled up once again, so hoping for a change for the better, I await the
return of prosperity. When one’s business that hath been well-provided
for is seen to be frustrated, a truly wise person should never strive for
bringing back good fortune. Plunged as I am an sorrow, asked or unasked
by thee to explain the purpose of these words spoken by me, I shall tell
thee everything. Queen of the sons of Pandu and daughter of Drupada, who
else, save myself, would wish to live, having fallen into such a plight?
O represser of foes, the misery, therefore, that hath overtaken me, hath
really humiliated the entire Kuru race, the Panchalas, and the sons of
Pandu. Surrounded by numerous brothers and father-in-law and sons, what
other woman having such cause for joy, save myself, would be afflicted
with such woe? Surely, I must, in my childhood, have committed act highly
offensive to Dhatri through whose displeasure, O bull of the Bharata
race, I have been visited with such consequences. Mark, O son of Pandu,
the pallour that hath come over my complexion which not even a life in
the woods fraught as it was with extreme misery, could bring about. Thou,
O Pritha’s son, knowest what happiness, O Bhima, was formerly mine. Even,
I, who was such have now sunk into servitude. Sorely distressed, I can
find no rest. That the mighty-armed and terrible bowman, Dhananjaya the
son of Pritha, should now live like a fire that hath been put out, maketh
me think of all this as attributable to Destiny. Surely, O son of Pritha,
it is impossible for men to understand the destinies of creatures (in
this world). I, therefore, think this downfall of yours as something that
could not be averted by forethought. Alas, she who hath you all, that
resemble Indra himself to attend to her comforts–even she, so chaste and
exalted, hath now to attend to the comforts of others, that are to her
far inferior in rank. Behold, O Pandava, my plight. It is what I do not
deserve. You are alive, yet behold this inversion of order that time hath
brought. She who had the whole Earth to the verge of the sea under her
control, is now under the control of Sudeshna and living in fear of her.
She who had dependants to walk both before and behind her, alas, now
herself walketh before and behind Sudeshna. This, O Kaunteya, is another
grief of mine that is intolerable. O, listen to it. She who had never,
save for Kunti, pounded unguents even for her own use, now, good betide
thee, poundeth sandal (for others). O Kaunteya, behold these hands of
mine which were not so before. Saying this she showed him her hands
marked with corns. And she continued, she who had never feared Kunti
herself nor thee and thy brothers, now standeth in fear before Virata as
a slave, anxious of what that king of kings may say unto her regarding
the proper preparation of the unguents, for Matsya liketh not sandal
pounded by others.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Relating her woes thus, O Bharata, unto
Bhimasena, Krishna began to weep silently, casting her eyes on Bhima. And
then, with words choked in tears, and sighing repeatedly, she addressed
Bhima in these words, powerfully stirring his heart, ‘Signal, O Bhima,
must have been my offence of old unto the gods, for, unfortunate as I am.
I am yet alive, when, O Pandava, I should die.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Then that slayer of hostile heroes, Vrikodara,
covering his face with those delicate hands of his wife marked with
corns, began to weep. And that mighty son of Kunti, holding the hands of
Draupadi in his, shed copious tears. And afflicted with great woe, he
spoke these words.'”

SECTION XXI

“Bhima said, ‘Fie on the might of my arms and fie on the Gandiva of
Falguni, inasmuch as thy hands, red before, now become covered with
corns. I would have caused a carnage in Virata’s court but for the fact
that Kunti’s son eyed me (by way of forbidding it), or like a mighty
elephant. I would, without ado, have crushed the head of Kichaka
intoxicated with the pride of sovereignty. When, O Krishna, I beheld thee
kicked by Kichaka, I conceived at that instant a wholesale slaughter of
the Matsyas. Yudhishthira, however, forbade me by a glance, and, O
beauteous lady, understanding his intention I have kept quiet. That we
have been deprived of our kingdom, that I have not yet slain the Kurus,
that I have not yet taken the heads of Suyodhana and Karna, and Suvala’s
son Sakuni, and the wicked Duhsasana, these acts and omissions, O lady,
are consuming every limb of mine. The thought of those abides in my heart
like a javelin implanted in it. O thou of graceful hips, do not sacrifice
virtue, and, O noble-hearted lady, subdue thy wrath. If king Yudhishthira
hear from thee such rebukes, he will surely put an end to his life. If
also Dhananjaya and the twins hear thee speak thus, even they will
renounce life. And if these, O slender-waisted maiden, give up life. I
also shall not be able to bear my own. In olden days Sarjati’s daughter,
the beautiful Sukanya, followed into the forest Chyavana of Bhrigu’s
race, whose mind was under complete control, and over whom, while engaged
in ascetic meditation, the ants had built a hill. Thou mayst have heard
that Indrasena also who in beauty was like unto Narayani herself,
followed her husband aged a thousand years. Thou mayst have heard that
Janaka’s daughter Sita, the princess of Videha, followed her lord while
living in dense woods. And that lady of graceful hips, Rama’s beloved
wife, afflicted with calamities and persecuted by the Rakshasas, at
length regained the company of Rama. Lopamudra also, O timid one, endued
with youth and beauty, followed Agastya, renouncing all the objects of
enjoyment unattainable by men. And the intelligent and faultless Savitri
also followed the heroic Satyavan, the son of Dyumatsena, alone into the
world of Yama. Even like these chaste and beautiful ladies that I have
named, thou, O blessed girl, bloomest with every virtue. Do thou spend a
short while more that is measured by even a half month. And when the
thirteenth year is complete, thou wilt (again) become the Queen regnant
of a king.’ Hearing these words, Draupadi said, ‘Unable, O Bhima, to bear
my griefs, it is from grief alone that I have shed these tears. I do not
censure Yudhishthira. Nor is there any use in dwelling on the past. O
Bhima of mighty strength, come quickly forward to the work of the hour. O
Bhima, Kaikeyi, jealous of my beauty, always pains me by her endeavours
to prevent the king from taking a fancy to me. And understanding this
disposition of hers, the wicked-souled Kichaka of immoral ways constantly
solicits me himself. Angry with him for this, but then suppressing my
wrath I answer that wretch deprived of sense by lust, saying, ‘O Kichaka,
protect thyself. I am the beloved queen and wife of five Gandharvas.
Those heroes in wrath will slay thee that art so rash.’ Thus addressed,
Kichaka of wicked soul replied unto me, saying, ‘I have not the least
fear of the Gandharvas, O Sairindhri of sweet smiles. I will slay hundred
thousand Gandharvas, encountering them in battle. Therefore, O timid one,
do thou consent.’ Hearing all this, I again addressed the lust-afflicted
Suta, saying, ‘Thou art no match for those illustrious Gandharvas. Of
respectable percentage and good disposition, I ever adhere to virtue and
never wish for the death of any one. It is for this that thou I vest, O
Kichaka!’ At this, that wight of wicked soul burst out into a loud
laughter. And it came to pass that Kaikeyi previously urged by Kichaka,
and moved by affection for her brother, and desirous of doing him a good
turn, despatched me to him, saying ‘Do thou, O Sairindhri, fetch wine
from Kichaka’s quarter’s!’ On beholding me the Suta’s son at first
addressed me in sweet words, and when that failed, he became exceedingly
enraged, and intended to use violence. Understanding the purpose of the
wicked Kichaka, I speedily rushed towards the place where the king was.
Felling me on the ground the wretch then kicked me in the very presence
of the king himself and before the eyes of Kanka and many others,
including charioteers, and royal favourites, and elephant-riders, and
citizens. I rebuked the king and Kanka again and again. The king,
however, neither prevented Kichaka, nor inflicted any chastisement on
him. The principal ally of king Virata in war, the cruel Kichaka reft of
virtue is loved by both the king and the queen. O exalted one, brave,
proud, sinful, adulterous, and engrossed in all objects of enjoyment, he
earneth immense wealth (from the king), and robs the possessions of
others even if they cry in distress. And he never walketh in the path of
virtue, nor doth he any virtuous act. Of wicked soul, and vicious
disposition, haughty and villainous, and always afflicted by the shafts
of Kama, though repulsed repeatedly, if he sees me again, he will outrage
me. I shall then surely renounce my life. Although striving to acquire
virtue (on my death) your highly meritorious acts will come to naught. Ye
that are now obeying your pledge, ye will lose your wife. By protecting,
one’s wife one’s offspring are protected, and by protecting one’s
offspring, one’s own self is protected. And it is because one begets
one’s own self in one’s wife that the wife is called Jaya[15] by the
wise. The husband also should be protected by the wife, thinking,–How
else will he take his birth in my womb?–I have heard it from Brahmanas
expounding the duties of the several orders that a Kshatriya hath no
other duty than subduing enemies. Alas, Kichaka kicked me in the very
presence of Yudhishthira the Just, and also of thyself, O Bhimasena of
mighty strength. It was thou, O Bhima, that didst deliver me from the
terrible Jatasura. It was thou also that with thy brothers didst vanquish
Jayadratha. Do thou now slay this wretch also who hath insulted me.
Presuming upon his being a favourite of the king, Kichaka, O Bharata,
hath enhanced my woe. Do thou, therefore, smash this lustful wight even
like an earthen pot dashed upon a stone. If, O Bharata, tomorrow’s sun
sheds his rays upon him who is the source of many griefs of mine, I
shall, surely, mixing poison (with some drink), drink it up,–for I never
shall yield to Kichaka. Far better it were, O Bhima, that I should die
before thee.’

“Vaisampayana Continued, ‘Having said this, Krishna, hiding her face in
Bhima’s breast began to weep. And Bhima, embracing her, consoled her to
the best of his power. And having abundantly consoled that
slender-waisted daughter of Drupada by means of words fraught with grave
reason and sense, he wiped with his hands her face flooded with tears.
And thinking of Kichaka and licking with his tongue the corners of his
mouth, Bhima, filled with wrath thus spake to that distressed lady.'”

SECTION XXII

“Bhima said, ‘I will, O timid one, do even as thou sayest. I will
presently slay Kichaka with all his friends. O Yajnaseni of sweet smiles,
tomorrow evening, renouncing sorrow and grief, manage to have a meeting
with Kichaka. The dancing-hall that the king of the Matsya hath caused to
be erected is used by the girls for dancing during the day. They repair,
however, to their homes at night. There in that hall, is an excellent and
well-placed wooden bed-stead. Even there I will make him see the spirits
of his deceased grandsires. But, O beautiful one, when thou holdest
converse with him, thou must manage it so that others may not espy thee.”

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Having thus conversed with others, and shed
tears in grief, they waited for the dawn of that night with painful
impatience. And when the night had passed away, Kichaka, rising in the
morning, went to the palace, and accosted Draupadi saying, ‘Throwing thee
down in the court I kicked thee in the presence of the king. Attacked by
mighty self, thou couldst not obtain protection. This Virata is in name
only the king of the Matsyas. Commanding the forces of this realm it is
I, who am the real lord of the Matsyas. Do thou, O timid one, accept me
cheerfully. I shall become thy slave. And, O thou of graceful hips, I
will immediately give thee a hundred nishkas, and engage a hundred male
and a hundred female servants (to tend thee), and will also bestow on
thee cars yoked with she-mules. O timid lady, let our union take place.’
Draupadi replied, ‘O Kichaka, know even this is my condition. Neither thy
friends nor thy brothers should know thy union with me. I am a terror of
detection by those illustrious Gandharvas. Promise me this, and I yield
to thee.’ Hearing this Kichaka said, ‘I will, O thou of graceful hips, do
even as thou sayest. Afflicted by the god of love, I will, O beauteous
damsel, alone repair to thy abode for union with thee, O thou of thighs
round and tapering like the trunks of the plantain,–so that those
Gandharvas, effulgent as the sun, may not come to know of this act of
thine.’ Draupadi said, ‘Do thou, when it is dark, go to the dancing-hall
erected by the king of the Matsyas where the girls dance during the day,
repairing to their respective homes at night. The Gandharvas do not know
that place. We shall then without doubt, escape all censure.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Reflecting on the subject of her conversation
with Kichaka, that half a day seemed to Krishna as long as a whole month.
And the stupid Kichaka also, not knowing that it was Death that had
assumed the form of a Sairindhri, returning home experienced the greatest
delight. And deprived of sense by lust, Kichaka became speedily engaged
in embellishing his person with unguents and garlands and ornaments. And
while he was doing all this, thinking of that damsel of large eyes, the
day seemed to him to be without an end. And the beauty of Kichaka, who
was about to forsake his beauty for ever, seemed to heighten, like the
wick of a burning lamp about to expire. And reposing the fullest
confidence in Draupadi, Kichaka, deprived of his senses by lust and
absorbed in the contemplation of expected meeting, did not even perceive
that the day had departed. Meanwhile, the beautiful Draupadi approaching
her husband Bhima of the Kuru race, stood before him in the kitchen. And
that lady with tresses ending in beautiful curls then spake unto him,
saying, ‘O chastiser of foes, even as thou hadst directed, I have given
Kichaka to understand that our meeting will take place in the
dancing-hall. Alone will he come at night to the empty hall. Slay him
there, O thou of mighty arms. Do thou, O son of Kunti, repair to that
dancing-hall, and take the life, O Pandava, of Kichaka, that son of a
Suta intoxicated with vanity. From vanity alone, that son of a Suta
slights the Gandharvas. O best of smiters, lift him up from the earth
even as Krishna had lifted up the Naga (Kaliya) from the Yamuna. O
Pandava, afflicted as I am with grief, wipe thou my tears, and blessed be
thou, protect thy own honour and that of thy race.’

“Bhima said, ‘Welcome, O beauteous lady, Except the glad tidings thou
bringest me, I need, O thou of exceeding beauty, no other aid whatever.
The delight that I feel, O thou of great beauty, on hearing from thee
about my coming encounter with Kichaka, is equal to what I felt in
slaying Hidimva. I swear unto thee by Truth, by my brothers, and by
morality, that I will slay Kichaka even as the lord of the celestials
slew Vritra. Whether secretly or openly, I will crush Kichaka, and if the
Matsyas fight for him, then I will slay them too. And slaying Duryodhana
afterwards, I shall win back the earth. Let Yudhishthira, the son of
Kunti, continue to pay homage unto the king of Matsya.’ Hearing these
words of Bhima, Draupadi said, ‘In order that, O lord, thou mayst not
have to renounce the truth already pledged to me, do thou, O hero, slay
Kichaka in secret.’ Bhima assuring her said, ‘Even today I shall slay
Kichaka together with his friends unknown to others during the darkness
of the night. I shall, O faultless lady, crush, even as an elephant
crusheth a vela fruit, [16] the head of the wicked Kichaka who wisheth
for what is unattainable by him!’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Repairing first to the place of assignation at
night, Bhima sat down, disguising himself. And he waited there in
expectation of Kichaka, like a lion lying in wait for a deer. And
Kichaka, having embellished his person as he chose, came to the
dancing-hall at the appointed time in the hope of meeting Panchali. And
thinking of the assignation, he entered the chamber. And having entered
that hall enveloped in deep gloom, that wretch of wicked soul came upon
Bhima of incomparable prowess, who had come a little before and who was
waiting in a corner. And as an insect approacheth towards a flaming fire,
or a puny animal towards a lion, Kichaka approached Bhima, lying down in
a bed and burning in anger at the thought of the insult offered to
Krishna, as if he were the Suta’s Death. And having approached Bhima,
Kichaka possessed by lust, and his heart and soul filled with ecstacy
smilingly said, ‘O thou of pencilled eye-brows, to thee I have already
given many and various kinds of wealth from the stores earned by me, as
well as hundred maids and many fine robes, and also a mansion with an
inner apartment adorned with beauteous and lovely and youthful maid
servants and embellished by every kind of sports and amusements And
having set all those apart for thee, I have speedily come hither. And all
on a sudden, women have begun to praise me, saying, ‘There is not in this
world any other person like unto thee in beauty and dress!’ Hearing this,
Bhima said, ‘It is well that thou art handsome, and it is well thou
praisest thyself. I think, however, that thou hadst never before this
such pleasurable touch! Thou hast an acute touch, and knowest the ways of
gallantry. Skilled in the art of love-making, thou art a favourite with
women. There is none like thee in this world!’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Saying this, that son of Kunti, the
mighty-armed Bhima of terrible prowess, suddenly rose up, and laughingly
said, ‘Thy sister, O wretch, shall today behold thee dragged by me to the
ground, like a mighty elephant, huge as a mountain, dragged to the ground
by a lion. Thyself slain Sairindhri will live in peace, and we, her
husbands, will also live in peace.’ Saying this, the mighty Bhima seized
Kichaka by the hairs of his head, which were adorned with garlands. And
thus seized with force by the hair, that foremost of mighty persons,
Kichaka, quickly freed his hair and grasped the arms of Bhima. And then
between those lions among men, fired with wrath, between that chief of
the Kichaka clan, and that best of men, there ensued a hand-to-hand
encounter, like that between two powerful elephants for a female elephant
in the season of spring, or like that which happened in days of yore
between those lions among monkeys, the brothers Vali and Sugriva. And
both equally infuriate and both eager for victory, both those combatants
raised their arms resembling snakes furnished with five hoods, and
attacked each other with their nails and teeth, wrought up to frenzy of
wrath. Impetuously assailed by the powerful Kichaka in that encounter,
the resolute Bhima did not waver a single step. And locked in each
other’s embraces and dragging each other, they fought on like two mighty
bulls. And having nails and teeth for their weapons, the encounter
between them was fierce and terrible like that of two furious tigers. And
felling each other in fury, they encountered each other like a couple of
elephants with rent temples. And the mighty Bhima then seized Kichaka,
and Kichaka, that foremost of strong persons threw Bhima down with
violence. And as those mighty combatants fought on, the crash of their
arms produced a loud noise that resembled the clatter of splitting
bamboos. Then Vrikodara throwing Kichaka down by main force within the
room, began to toss him about furiously even as a hurricane tosseth a
tree. And attacked thus in battle by the powerful Bhima, Kichaka grew
weak and began to tremble. For all that, however, he tugged at the
Pandava to the best of his power. And attacking Bhima, and making him
wave a little, the mighty Kichaka struck him with his knees and brought
him down to the ground. And overthrown by the powerful Kichaka, Bhima
quickly rose up like Yama himself with mace in hand. And thus that
powerful Suta and the Pandava, intoxicated with strength and challenging
each other, grappled with each other at midnight in that solitary place.
And as they roared at each other in wrath, that excellent and strong
edifice began to shake every moment. And slapped on the chest by the
mighty Bhima, Kichaka fired with wrath moved not a single pace. And
bearing for a moment only that onslaught incapable of being born on
earth, the Suta, overpowered by Bhima’s might, became enfeebled. And
seeing him waning weak, Bhima endued with great strength forcibly drew
Kichaka towards his breast, and began to press hard. And breathing hard
again and again in wrath, that best of victors, Vrikodara, forcibly
seized Kichaka by the hair. And having seized Kichaka, the mighty ‘Bhima
began to roar like a hungry tiger that hath killed a large animal. And
finding him exceedingly exhausted, Vrikodara bound him fast with his
arms, as one binds a beast with a cord. And then Bhima began for a long
while, to whirl the senseless Kichaka, who began to roar frightfully like
a broken trumpet.[17] And in order to pacify Krishna’s wrath Vrikodara
grasped Kichaka’s throat with his arms and began to squeeze it. And
assailing with his knees the waist of that worst of the Kichakas, all the
limbs of whose body had been broken into fragments and whose eye-lids
were closed, Vrikodara slew him, as one would slay a beast. And beholding
Kichaka entirely motionless, the son of Pandu began to roll him about on
the ground. And Bhima then said, ‘Slaying this wretch who intended to
violate our wife,–this thorn in the side of Sairindhri, I am freed from
the debt I owed to my brothers, and have attained perfect peace.’ And
having said this, that foremost of men, with eyes red in wrath,
relinquished his hold of Kichaka, whose dress and ornaments had been
thrown off his person, whose eyes were rolling, and whose body was yet
trembling. And that foremost of mighty persons, squeezing his own hands,
and biting his lips in rage, again attacked his adversary and thrust his
arms and legs and neck and head into his body like the wielder of the
Pinaka reducing into shapeless mass the deer, which form sacrifice had
assumed in order to escape his ire. And having; crushed all his limbs,
and reduced him into a ball of flesh, the mighty Bhimasena showed him
unto Krishna. And endued with mighty energy that hero then addressed
Draupadi, that foremost of all women, saying, ‘Come princess of Panchala,
and see what hath become of that lustful wretch!’ And saying this, Bhima
of terrible prowess began to press with his feet the body of that wicked
wight. And lighting a torch then and showing Draupadi the body of
Kichaka, that hero addressed her, saying, ‘O thou of tresses ending in
beautiful curls, those that solicit thee, endued as thou art with an
excellent disposition and every virtue, will be slain by me even as this
Kichaka hath been, O timid one.’ And having accomplished that difficult
task so highly agreeable to Krishna–having indeed slain Kichaka and
thereby pacified his wrath, Bhima bade farewell to Krishna, the daughter
of Drupada, and quickly went back to the kitchen. And Draupadi also, that
best of women, having caused Kichaka to be slain had her grief removed
and experienced the greatest delight. And addressing the keepers of the
dancing-hall, she said, ‘Come ye and behold Kichaka who had violated
after other people’s wives lieth down here, slain by my Gandharva
husbands.’ And hearing these words the guards of the dancing hall soon
came by thousands to that spot, torches in hand. And repairing to that
room, they beheld the lifeless Kichaka thrown on the ground, drenched
with blood. And beholding him without arms and legs, they were filled
with grief. And as they gazed at Kichaka, they were struck with
amazement. And seeing that superhuman act, viz., the overthrow of
Kichaka, they said, ‘Where is his neck, and where are his legs?’ And
beholding him in this plight they all concluded that he had been killed
by a Gandharva.'”

SECTION XXII

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Then all the relatives of Kichaka, arriving at that
place, beheld him there and began to wail aloud, surrounding him on all
sides. And beholding Kichaka with every limb mangled, and lying like a
tortoise dragged to dry ground from the water, all of them were overcome
with exceeding fright, and the bristles of their bodies stood on end. And
seeing him crushed all over by Bhima, like a Danava by Indra, they
proceeded to take him outside, for performing his funeral obsequies. And
then those persons of the Suta clan thus assembled together espied
Krishna of faultless limbs hard by, who stood reclining on a pillar. And
all the Kichakas assembled there, exclaimed, ‘Let this unchaste woman be
slain for whom Kichaka hath himself lost his life. Or, without slaying
her here, let us cremate her with him that had lusted after her,–for it
behoveth us to accomplish in every way what is agreeable to that deceased
son of Suta.’ And then they addressed Virata, saying, ‘It is for her sake
that Kichaka hath lost his life. Let him, therefore, be cremated along
with her. It behoveth thee to grant this permission.’ Thus addressed by
them, king Virata, O monarch, knowing fully well the prowess of the Suta
gave his assent to Sairindhri being burnt along with the Suta’s son. And
at this, the Kichakas approaching the frightened and stupefied Krishna of
lotus-like eyes, seized her with violence. And binding that damsel of
slender-waist and placing her upon the bier, they set out with great
energy towards the cemetary. And, O king, while thus forcibly carried
towards the cemetary by those sons of the Suta tribe, the blameless and
chaste Krishna living under the protections of her lords, then wailed
aloud for the help of her husbands, saying, ‘Oh, let Jaya, and Jayanta,
and Vijaya and Jayatsena, and Jayadvala listen to my words. The Sutas are
taking me away. Let those illustrious Gandharvas endued with speed of
hand, the clatter of whose cars is loud and the twang of whose bowstrings
in the midst of the mighty conflict are heard like the roar of thunder,
listen to my words,–the Sutas are taking me away!’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Hearing those sorrowful words and lamentations
of Krishna, Bhima, without a moment’s reflection started up from his bed
and said, ‘I have heard, O Sairindhri the words thou hast spoken. Thou
hast, therefore, O timid lady, no more fear at the hands of the Sutas.

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Having said this, the mighty-armed Bhima
desirous of slaying the Kichakas, began to swell his body. And carefully
changing his attire, he went out of the palace by a wrong egress. And
climbing over a wall by the aid of a tree, he proceeded towards the
cemetary whither the Kichakas had gone. And having leapt over the wall,
and gone out of the excellent city, Bhima impetuously rushed to where the
Sutas were. And, O monarch, proceeding towards the funeral pyre he beheld
a large tree, tall as palmyra-palm, with gigantic shoulders and withered
top. And that slayer of foes grasping with his arms that tree measuring
ten Vyamas, uprooted it, even like an elephant, and placed it upon his
shoulders. And taking up that tree with trunk and branches and measuring
ten Vyamas, that mighty hero rushed towards the Sutas, like Yama himself,
mace in hand. And by the impetus of his rush[18] banians and peepals and
Kinsukas falling down on the earth lay in clusters. And beholding that
Gandharva approach them like a lion in fury, all the Sutas trembling with
fear and greatly distressed, became panic-struck. And they addressed each
other, saying, ‘Lo, the powerful Gandharva cometh hither, filled with
rage, and with an upraised tree in hand. Let Sairindhri, therefore, from
whom this danger of ours hath arisen, be set free.’ And beholding the
tree that had been uprooted by Bhimasena, they set Draupadi free and ran
breathlessly towards the city And seeing them run away, Bhima, that
mighty son of the Wind-god, despatched, O foremost of kings, by means of
that tree, a hundred and five of them unto the abode of Yama, like the
wielder of the thunderbolt slaying the Danavas. And setting Draupadi free
from her bonds, he then, O king, comforted her. And that mighty-armed and
irrepressible Vrikodara, the son of Pandu, then addressed the distressed
princess of Panchala with face bathed in tears, saying, ‘Thus, O timid
one, are they slain that wrong thee without cause. Return, O Krishna, to
the city. Thou hast no longer any fear; I myself will go to the Virata’s
kitchen by another route.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘It was thus, O Bharata, that a hundred and five
of those Kichakas were slain. And their corpses lay on the ground, making
the place look like a great forest overspread with uprooted trees after a
hurricane. Thus fell those hundred and five Kichakas. And including
Virata’s general slain before, the slaughtered Sutas numbered one hundred
and six. And beholding that exceedingly wonderful feat, men and women
that assembled together, were filled with astonishment. And the power of
speech, O Bharata, was suspended in every one.'”

SECTION XXIV

“Vaisampayana said, ‘And beholding the Sutas slain, the citizens went to
the king, and represented unto him what had happened, saying, ‘O king,
those mighty sons of the Sutas have all been slain by the Gandharvas.
Indeed, they lie scattered on the earth like huge peaks of mountains
riven by thunder. Sairindhri also, having been set free, returneth to thy
palace in the city. Alas, O king, if Sairindhri cometh, thy entire
kingdom will be endangered. Sairindhri is endued with great beauty; the
Gandharvas also here exceedingly powerful. Men again, without doubt, are
naturally sexual. Devise, therefore, O king, without delay, such means
that in consequence of wrongs done to Sairindhri, thy kingdom may not
meet with destruction.’ Hearing those words of theirs, Virata, that lord
of hosts, said unto them, ‘Do ye perform the last rites of the Sutas. Let
all the Kichakas be burnt, in one blazing pyre with gems and fragrant
unguents in profusion.’ And filled with fear, the king then addressed his
queen Sudeshna, saying, ‘When Sairindhri comes back, do thou tell her
these words from me, ‘Blessed be thou, O fair-faced Sairindhri. Go thou
whithersoever thou likest. The king hath been alarmed, O thou of graceful
hips, at the defeat already experienced at the hands of the Gandharvas.
Protected as thou art by the Gandharvas, I dare not personally say all
this to thee. A woman, however, cannot offend, and it is for this that I
tell thee all this through a woman.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Thus delivered by Bhimasena after the slaughter
of the Sutas, the intelligent and youthful Krishna relieved from all her
fears, washed her limbs and clothes in water, and proceeded towards the
city, like a doe frightened by a tiger. And beholding her, the citizens,
O king, afflicted with the fear of the Gandharvas fled in all directions.
And some of them went so far as to shut their eyes. And then, O king at
the gate of the kitchen, the princess of Panchala saw Bhimasena staying,
like an infuriate elephant of gigantic proportions. And looking upon him
with wonder-expanded eyes, Draupadi, by means of words intelligible to
them alone, said, ‘I bow unto that prince of the Gandharvas, who hath
rescued me.’ At these words of her, Bhima said, ‘Hearing these words of
hers in obedience to whom those persons were hitherto living in the city,
they will henceforth range here, regarding themselves as freed from the
debt.'[19]

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Then she beheld the mighty-armed Dhananjaya, in
the dancing-hall instructing king Virata’s daughters in dancing. And
issuing with Arjuna from the dancing-hall, all those damsels came to
Krishna who had arrived there, and who had been persecuted so sorely, all
innocent though she was. And they said, ‘By good luck also it is, O
Sairindhri, that thou hast been delivered from thy dangers. By good luck
it is that thou hast returned safe. And by good luck also it is that
those Sutas have been slain that had wronged thee, innocent though thou
art.’ Hearing this, Virhannala said, ‘How hast thou, O Sairindhri, been
delivered? And how have those sinful wretches been slain? I wish to learn
all this from thee exactly as it occurred.’ Sairindhri replied, ‘O
blessed Vrihannala, always passing thy days happily in the apartments of
the girls, what concern hast thou with Sairindhri’s fate to say? Thou
hast no grief to bear that Sairindhri hath to bear! It is for this, that
thou askest me thus, distressed as I am in ridicule.’ Thereat Vrihannala
said, ‘O blessed one, Vrihannala also hath unparalleled sorrows of her
own. She hath become as low as a brute. Thou dost not, O girl, understand
this. I have lived with thee, and thou, too hast lived with us. When,
therefore, thou art afflicted with misery, who is it that will not, O
thou of beautiful hips, feel it? But no one can completely read another’s
heart. Therefore it is, O amiable one, that thou knowest not my heart!’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Then Draupadi, accompanied by those girls
entered the royal abode, desirous of appearing before Sudeshna. And when
she came before the queen, Virata’s wife addressed her at the command of
the king, saying, ‘Do thou, O Sairindhri, speedily go whithersoever thou
likest. The king, good betide thee, hath been filled with fear at this
discomfiture at the hands of the Gandharvas. Thou art, O thou of graceful
eye-brows, young and unparalleled on earth in beauty. Thou art, besides,
an object of desire with men. The Gandharvas again, are exceedingly
wrathful.’ Thereat Sairindhri said, ‘O beauteous lady, let the king
suffer me to live here for only thirteen days more. Without doubt, the
Gandharvas also will be highly obliged at this. They will then convey me
hence and do what would be agreeable to Virata. Without doubt, the king,
by doing this, with his friends, will reap great benefit.'”

SECTION XXV

“Vaisampayana said, ‘At the slaughter of Kichaka and brothers, people, O
king, thinking of this terrible feat, were filled with surprise. And in
the city and the provinces it was generally bruited about that for
bravery the king’s Vallava and Kichaka were both mighty warriors. The
wicked Kichaka, however, had been an oppressor of men and a dishonourer
of other people’s wives. And it was for this that wicked of sinful soul
had been slain by the Gandharvas. And it was thus, O king, that people
began to speak, from province to province of the invincible Kichaka, that
slayer of hostile ranks.

‘Meanwhile, the spies employed by Dhritarashtra’s son, having searched
various villages and towns and kingdoms and done all that they had been
commanded to do and completed their examination, in the manner directed,
of the countries indicated in their orders, returned to Nagarupa,
gratified with at least one thing that they had learnt.[20] And seeing
Dhritarashtra’s son king Duryodhana of the Kuru race seated in his court
with Drona and Karna and Kripa, with the high-souled Bhishma, his own
brothers, and those great warriors–the Trigartas, they addressed him,
saying, ‘O lord of men, great hath been the care always bestowed by us in
the search after the sons of Pandu in that mighty forest. Searched have
we through the solitary wilderness abounding with deer and other animals
and overgrown with trees and creepers of diverse kind. Searched have we
also in arbours of matted woods and plants and creepers of every species,
but we have failed in discovering that track by which Pritha’s son of
irrepressible energy may have gone. Searched have we in these and other
places for their foot-prints. Searched have we closely, O king, on
mountain tops and in inaccessible fastnesses, in various kingdoms and
provinces teeming with people, in encampments and cities. No trace have
yet been found of the sons of Pandu. Good betide thee, O bull among men,
it seems that they have perished without leaving a mark behind. O
foremost of warriors, although we followed in the track of those
warriors, yet, O best of men, we soon lost their footprints and do not
know their present residence. O lord of men, for some time we followed in
the wake of their charioteers. And making our inquiries duly, we truly
ascertained what we desired to know. O slayer of foes, the charioteers
reached Dwaravati without the sons of Pritha among them. O king, neither
the sons of Pandu, nor the chaste Krishna, are in that city of Yadavas. O
bull of the Bharata race, we have not been able to discover either their
track or their present abode. Salutations to thee, they are gone for
good. We are acquainted with the disposition of the sons of Pandu and
know something of the feats achieved by them. It behoveth thee,
therefore, O lord of men, to give us instructions, O monarch, as to what
we should next do in the search after the sons of Pandu. O hero, listen
also to these agreeable words of ours, promising great good to thee. King
Matsya’s commander, Kichaka of wicked soul, by whom the Trigartas, O
monarch, were repeatedly vanquished and slain with mighty force, now
lieth low on the ground with all his brothers, slain, O monarch, by
invisible Gandharvas during the hours of darkness, O thou of unfading
glory. Having heard this delightful news about the discomfiture of our
enemies, we have been exceedingly gratified, O Kauravya. Do thou now
ordain what should next be done.'”

SECTION XXVI

(Go-harana Parva)

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Having listened to these words of his spies, king
Duryodhana reflected inwardly for some time and then addressed his
courtiers, saying, ‘It is difficult to ascertain the course of events
definitely. Discern ye all, therefore, whither the sons of Pandu have
gone, of this thirteenth year which they are to pass undiscovered by us
all, the greater part hath already expired. What remains is by much the
smaller. If, indeed, the sons of Pandu can pass undiscovered what remains
of this year, devoted to the vow of truth as they are, they will then
have fulfilled their pledge. They will then return like mighty elephants
with temporal juice trickling down, or like snakes of virulent poison.
Filled with wrath, they will, without doubt, be inflicters of terrible
chastisement on the Kurus. It behoveth ye, therefore, to make such
efforts without loss of time as may induce the sons of Pandu, acquainted
as they are with the proprieties of time, and staying as they now are in
painful disguise, to re-enter the woods suppressing their rage. Indeed,
adopt ye such means as may remove all causes of quarrel and anxiety from
the kingdom, making it tranquil and foeless and incapable of sustaining a
diminution of territory.’ Hearing these words of Duryodhana, Kama said,
‘Let other spies, abler and more cunning, and capable of accomplishing
their object, quickly go hence, O Bharata. Let them, well-disguised,
wander through swelling kingdoms and populous provinces, prying into
assemblies of the learned and delightful retreats of provinces. In the
inner apartments of palaces, in shrines and holy spots, in mines and
diverse other regions, the sons of Pandu should be searched after with
well-directed eagerness. Let the sons of Pandu who are living in disguise
be searched after by well-skilled spies in large numbers, devoted to
their work, themselves well-disguised, and all well-acquainted with the
objects of their search. Let the search be made on the banks of rivers,
in holy regions, in villages and towns, in retreats of ascetics, in
delightful mountains and mountain-caves.’ When Karna ceased, Duryodhana’s
second brother Dussasana, wedded to a sinful disposition, then addressed
his eldest brother and said, ‘O monarch, O lord of men, let those spies
only in whom we have confidence, receiving their rewards in advance, once
more go after the search. This and what else hath been said by Karna have
our fullest approval. Let all the spies engage themselves in the search
according to the directions already given. Let these and others engage in
the search from province to province according to approved rules. It is
my belief, however, that the track the Pandavas have followed or their
present abode or occupation will not be discovered. Perhaps, they are
closely concealed; perhaps, they have gone to the other side of the
ocean. Or, perhaps, proud as they are of their strength and Courage, they
have been devoured by wild beasts; or perhaps, having been overtaken by
some unusual danger, they have perished for eternity. Therefore, O prince
of the Kuru race, dispelling all anxieties from thy heart, achieve what
thou wilt, always acting according to thy energy.'”

SECTION XXVII

“Vaisampayana said, “Endued with mighty energy and possessed of great
discernment, Drona then said, ‘Persons like the sons of Pandu never
perish nor undergo discomfiture. Brave and skilled in every science,
intelligent and with senses under control, virtuous and grateful and
obedient to the virtuous Yudhishthira, ever following in the wake of
their eldest brother who is conversant with the conclusions of policy and
virtue and profit, who is attached to them as a father, and who strictly
adhereth to virtue and is firm in truth,–persons like them that are thus
devoted to their illustrious and royal brother, who gifted with great
intelligence, never injureth any body and who in his turn himself obeyeth
his younger brothers, never perish in this way. Why, then, should not
(Yudhishthira) the son of Pritha possessing a knowledge of policy, be
able to restore the prosperity of his brothers who are so obedient and
devoted and high-souled? It is for this that they are carefully waiting
for the arrival of their opportunity. Men such as these never perish.
This is what I see by my intellect. Do, therefore, quickly and without
loss of time, what should now be done, after proper reflection. And let
also the abode which the sons of Pandu with souls under control as
regards every purpose of life, are to occupy, be now settled. Heroic and
sinless and possessed of ascetic merit, the Pandavas are difficult to be
discovered (within the period of non-discovery). Intelligent and
possessed of every virtue, devoted to truth and versed in the principles
of policy, endued with purity and holiness, and the embodiment of
immeasurable energy, the son of Pritha is capable of consuming (his foes)
by a glance alone of his eyes. Knowing all this, do what is proper. Let
us, therefore, once more search after them, sending Brahmanas and
Charanas, ascetics crowned with success, and others of this kind who may
have a knowledge of those heroes!'”

SECTION XXVIII

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Then that grandsire of the Bharatas, Bhishma the son
of Sutanu, conversant with the Vedas, acquainted with the proprieties of
time and place, and possessing a knowledge of every duty of morality,
after the conclusion of Drona’s speech, applauded the words of the
preceptor and spake unto the Bharatas for their benefit these words
consistent with virtue, expressive of his attachment to the virtuous
Yudhishthira, rarely spoken by men that are dishonest, and always meeting
with the approbation of the honest. And the words that Bhishma spake were
thoroughly impartial and worshipped by the wise. And the grandsire of the
Kurus said, ‘The words that the regenerate Drona acquainted with the
truth of every affair hath uttered, are approved by me. I have no
hesitation in saying so. Endued with every auspicious mark, observant of
virtuous vows, possessed of Vedic lore, devoted to religious observances,
conversant with various sciences, obedient to the counsels of the aged,
adhering to the vow of truth, acquainted with the proprieties of time,
observant of the pledge they have given (in respect of their exile), pure
in their behaviour, ever adhering to the duties of the Kshatria order,
always obedient to Kesava, high-souled, possessed of great strength, and
ever-bearing the burthens of the wise, those heroic ones can never wither
under misfortune. Aided by their own energy, sons of Pandu who are now
leading a life of concealment in obedience to virtue, will surely never
perish. It is even this that my mind surmiseth. Therefore, O Bharata, I
am for employing the aid of honest counsel in our behaviour towards the
sons of Pandu. It would not be the policy of any wise man to cause them
to be discovered now by means of spies,[21] what we should do unto the
sons of Pandu, I shall say, reflecting with the aid of the intellect.
Know that I shall say nothing from ill will to thee. People like me
should never give such counsels to him that is dishonest, for only
counsels (like those I would give) should be offered unto them that are
honest. Counsels, however, that are evil, should under no circumstances
be offered. He, O child, that is devoted to truth and obedient to the
aged, he, indeed, that is wise, while speaking in the midst of an
assembly, should under all circumstances speak the truth, if the
acquisition of virtue be an object with him. I should, therefore, say
that I think differently from all those people here, in respect of the
abode of Yudhishthira the just in this the thirteenth year of his exile.
The ruler, O child, of the city or the province where king Yudhishthira
resides cannot have any misfortune. Charitable and liberal and humble and
modest must the people be of the country where king Yudhishthira resides.
Agreeable in speech, with passions under control, observant of truth,
cheerful, healthy, pure in conduct, and skilful in work must the people
be of the country where king Yudhishthira resides. The people of the
place, where Yudhishthira is, cannot be envious or malicious, or vain, or
proud, but must all adhere to their respective duties. Indeed, in the
place where Yudhishthira resides, Vedic hymns will be chanted all around,
sacrifices will be performed, the last full libations will always be
poured, [22] and gifts to Brahmanas will always be in profusion. There
the clouds, without doubt, pour abundant rain, and furnished with good
harvest the country will ever be without fear. There the paddy will not
be without grain, fruits will not be bereft of juice, floral garlands
will not be without fragrance, and the conversation of men will always be
full of agreeable words. There where king Yudhishthira resides, the
breezes will be delicious, the meetings of men will always be friendly,
and cause of fear there will be none. There kine will be plentiful,
without any of them being lean-fleshed or weak, and milk and curds and
butter will all be savoury and nutritious. There where king Yudhishthira
resides, every kind of corn will be full of nutrition and every edible
full of flavour. There where king Yudhishthira resides, the objects of
all the senses, viz.,–taste, touch, smell, and hearing, will be endued
with excellent attributes. There where king Yudhishthira resides, the
sights and scenes will be gladdening. And the regenerate ones of that
place will be virtuous and steady in observing their respective duties.
Indeed, in the country where the sons of Pandu may have taken up their
abode during this thirteenth year of their exile, the people will be
contented and cheerful, pure in conduct and without misery of any kind.
Devoted to gods and guests and the worship of these with their whole
soul, they will be fond of giving away, and filled with great energy,
they will all be observant of eternal virtue. There where king
Yudhishthira resides, the people, eschewing all that is evil, will be
desirous of achieving only what is good. Always observant of sacrifices
and pure vows, and hating untruth in speech, the people of the place
where king Yudhishthira may reside will always be desirous of obtaining
what is good, auspicious and beneficial. There where Yudhishthira
resides, the people will certainly be desirous of achieving what is good,
and their hearts will always incline towards virtue, and their vows being
agreeable they themselves are ever-engaged in the acquisition of
religious merit. O child, that son of Pritha in whom are intelligence and
charity, the highest tranquillity and undoubted forgiveness, modesty and
prosperity, and fame and great energy and a love for all creatures, is
incapable of being found out (now that he hath concealed himself) even by
Brahmanas, let alone ordinary persons. The wise Yudhishthira is living in
close disguise in regions whose characteristics I have described.
Regarding his excellent mode of life, I dare not say anything more.
Reflecting well upon all this, do without loss of time what thou mayst
think to be beneficial, O prince of the Kuru race, if indeed, thou hast
any faith in me.'”

SECTION XXIX

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Then Saradwata’s son, Kripa said, ‘What the aged
Bhishma hath said concerning the Pandavas is reasonable, suited to the
occasion, consistent with virtue and profit, agreeable to the ear,
fraught with sound reason, and worthy of him. Listen also to what I would
say on this subject. It behoveth thee to ascertain the track they have
followed and their abode also by means of spies,[23] and to adopt that
policy which may bring about thy welfare. O child, he that is solicitous
of his welfare should not disregard even an ordinary foe. What shall I
say, then, O child, of the Pandavas who are thorough masters of all
weapons in battle. When, therefore, the time cometh for the reappearance
of the high-souled Pandavas, who, having entered the forest,[24] are now
passing their days in close disguise, thou shouldst ascertain thy
strength both in thy own kingdom and in those of other kings. Without
doubt, the return of the Pandavas is at hand. When their promised term of
exile is over, the illustrious and mighty sons of Pritha, endued with
immeasurable prowess, will come hither bursting with energy. Do thou,
therefore, in order to conclude an advantageous treaty with them, have
recourse to sound policy and address thyself to increase thy forces and
improve the treasury. O child, ascertaining all these, reckon thou thy
own strength in respect of all thy allies weak and strong.[25]
Ascertaining the efficiency, and weakness, and indifference of thy
forces, as also who amongst them are well-affected and who are
disaffected, we should either fight the foe or make treaty with him.
Having recourse to the arts of conciliation, disunion, chastisement,
bribery, presents and fair behaviour, attack thy foes and subdue the weak
by might, and win over thy allies and troops and by soft speeches. When
thou hast (by these means) strengthened thy army and filled thy treasury,
entire success will be thine. When thou hast done all this, thou wilt be
able to fight with powerful enemies that may present themselves, let
alone the sons of Pandu deficient in troops animals of their own. By
adopting all these expedients according to the customs of thy order, thou
wilt, O foremost of men, attain enduring happiness in due time!'”

SECTION XXX

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Discomfited before, O monarch, many a time and oft
by Matsya’s Suta Kichaka aided by the Matsyas and the Salyas, the mighty
king of the Trigartas, Susarman, who owned innumerable cars, regarding
the opportunity to be a favourable one, then spoke the following words
without losing a moment. And, O monarch, forcibly vanquished along with
his relatives by the mighty Kichaka, king Susarman, eyeing Karna in
askance, spoke these words unto Duryodhana, ‘My kingdom hath many a time
been forcibly invaded by the king of the Matsyas. The mighty Kichaka was
that king’s generalissimo. Crooked and wrathful and of wicked soul, of
prowess famed over all the world, sinful in deeds and highly cruel, that
wretch, however, hath been slain by the Gandharvas, Kichaka being dead,
king Virata, shorn of pride and his refuge gone, will, I imagine, lose
all courage I think, we ought now to invade that kingdom, if it pleases
thee, O sinless one, as also the illustrious Karna and all the Kauravas.
The accident that hath happened is, I imagine, a favourable one for us.
Let us, therefore, repair to Virata’s kingdom abounding in corn. We will
appropriate his gems and other wealth of diverse kinds, and let us go to
share with each other as regards his villages and kingdom. Or, invading
his city by force, let us carry off by thousands his excellent kine of
various species. Uniting, O king, the forces of the Kauravas and the
Trigartas, let us lift his cattle in droves. Or, uniting our forces well,
we will check his power by forcing him to sue for peace. Or, destroying
his entire host, we will bring Matsya under subjection. Having brought
him under subjection by just means, we will live in our kingdom happily,
while thy power also will, without doubt, be enhanced.’ Hearing these
words of Susarman, Karna addressed the king, saying, ‘Susarman hath
spoken well; the opportunity is favourable and promises to be profitable
to us. Therefore, if it pleases thee, O sinless one, let us, drawing up
our forces in battle array and marshalling them in divisions, speedily
set out. Or, let the expedition be managed as Saradwata’s son Kripa, the
preceptor Drona, and the wise and aged grandsire of the Kurus may think.
Consulting with each other, let us, O lord of earth, speedily set out to
attain our end. What business have we with the sons of Pandu, destitute
as they are of wealth, might, and prowess? They have either disappeared
for good or have gone to the abode of Yama? We will, O king, repair
without anxiety to Virata’s city, and plunder his cattle and other wealth
of diverse kinds.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Accepting these words of Karna, the son of
Surya, king Duryodhana speedily commanded his brother Dussasana, born
immediately after him and always obedient to his wishes, saying,
‘Consulting with the elders, array without delay, our forces. We will,
with all the Kauravas go to the appointed place. Let also the mighty
warrior, king Susarman, accompanied by a sufficient force with vehicles
and animals, set out with the Trigartas for the dominions of Matsyas. And
let Susarman proceed first, carefully concealing his intention. Following
in their wake, we will set out the day after in close array, for the
prosperous dominions of king Matsya. Let the Trigartas, however, suddenly
repair to the city of Virata, and coming upon the cowherds, seize that
immense wealth (of kine). We also marching in two divisions, will seize
thousands of excellent kine furnished with auspicious marks.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Then, O Lord of earth, those warriors, the
Trigartas, accompanied by their infantry of terrible prowess, marched
towards the south-eastern direction, intending to wage hostilities with
Virata from the desire of seizing his kine. And Susarman set out on the
seventh day of the dark fortnight for seizing the kine. And then, O king,
on the eighth day following of the dark fortnight, the Kauravas also
accompanied by all their troops, began to seize the kine by thousands.”

SECTION XXXI

“Vaisampayana said, ‘O mighty king, entering into king Virata’s service,
and dwelling in disguise in his excellent city, the high-souled Pandavas
of immeasurable prowess, completed the promised period of non-discovery.
And after Kichaka had been slain, that slayer of hostile heroes, the
mighty king Virata began to rest his hopes on the sons of Kunti. And it
was on the expiry of the thirteenth year of their exile, O Bharata, that
Susarman seized Virata’s cattle by thousands. And when the cattle had
been seized, the herdsman of Virata came with great speed to the city,
and saw his sovereign, the king of Matsyas, seated on the throne in the
midst of wise councillors, and those bulls among men, the sons of Pandu,
and surrounded by brave warriors decked with ear-rings and bracelets. And
appearing before that enhancer of his dominion–King Virata seated in
court–the herdsman bowed down unto him, and addressed him, saying, ‘O
foremost of kings, defeating and humiliating us in battle along with our
friends the Trigartas are seizing thy cattle by hundreds and by
thousands. Do thou, therefore, speedily rescue them. Oh, see that they
are not lost to thee.’ Hearing these words, the king arrayed for battle
the Matsya force abounding in cars and elephants and horses and infantry
and standards. And kings and princes speedily put on, each in its proper
place,[26] their shining and beautiful armour worthy of being worn by
heroes. And Virata’s beloved brother, Satanika, put on a coat of mail
made of adamantine steel, adorned with burnished gold. And Madirakshya,
next in birth to Satanika, put on a strong coat of mail plated with
gold[27] and capable of resisting every weapon. And the coat of mail that
the king himself of the Matsyas put on was invulnerable and decked with a
hundred suns, a hundred circles, a hundred spots, and a hundred eyes. And
the coat of mail that Suryadatta[28] put on was bright as the sun, plated
with gold, and broad as a hundred lotuses of the fragrant (Kahlara)
species. And the coat of mail that Virata’s eldest son, the heroic
Sanksha, put on was impenetrable and made of burnished steel, and decked
with a hundred eyes of gold. And it was thus that those god-like and
mighty warriors by hundreds, furnished with weapons, and eager for
battle, each donned his corselet. And then they yoked unto their
excellent cars of white-hue steeds equipped in mail. And then was
hoisted–Matsya’s glorious standard on his excellent car decked with gold
and resembling the sun or the moon in its effulgence. And other Kshatriya
warriors also raised on their respective cars gold-decked standards of
various shapes and devices. And king Matsya then addressed his brother
Satanika born immediately after him, saying, ‘Kanka and Vallava and
Tantripala and Damagranthi of great energy will, as it appears to me
fight, without doubt. Give thou unto them cars furnished with banners and
let them case their persons in beautiful coats of mail that should be
both invulnerable and easy to wear. And let them also have weapons.
Bearing such martial forms and possessed of arms resembling the trunk of
mighty elephants, I can never persuade myself that they cannot fight.’
Hearing these words of the king, Satanika, O monarch, immediately ordered
cars for those sons of Pritha, viz., the royal Yudhishthira, and Bhima,
and Nakula, and Sahadeva, and commanded by the king, the charioteers,
with cheerful hearts and keeping loyalty in view, very soon got cars
ready (for the Pandavas). And those repressers of foes then donned those
beautiful coats of mail, invulnerable and easy to wear, that Virata had
ordered for those heroes of spotless fame. And mounted on cars yoked with
good steeds, those smiters of hostile ranks, those foremost of men, the
sons of Pritha, set out with cheerful hearts. Indeed, those mighty
warriors skilled in fight, those bulls of the Kuru race and sons of
Pandu, those four heroic brothers possessed of prowess incapable of being
baffled, mounting on cars decked with gold, together set out, following
Virata’s wake. And infuriate elephants of terrible mien, full sixty years
of age, with shapely tusks and rent temples and juice trickling down and
looking (on that account) like cloud pouring rain and mounted by trained
warriors skilled in fight, followed the king like unto moving hills. And
the principal warriors of Matsya who cheerfully followed the king had
eight thousand cars, a thousand elephants and sixty thousand horses. And,
O bull among the Bharatas, that force of Virata, O king, as it marched
forth marking the footprints of the cattle looked exceedingly beautiful.
And on its march that foremost of armies owned by Virata, crowded with
soldiers armed with strong weapons, and abounding in elephants, horses
and cars, looked really splendid.'”

SECTION XXXII

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Marching out of the city, those heroic smiters the
Matsyas, arrayed in order of battle, overtook the Trigartas when the sun
had passed the meridian. And both excited to fury and both desirous of
having the king, the mighty Trigartas and the Matsyas, irrepressible in
battle, sent up loud roars. And then the terrible and infuriate elephants
ridden over by the skilful combatants of both sides were urged on with
spiked clubs and hooks. And the encounter, O king, that took place when
the sun was low in the horizon, between the infantry and cavalry and
chariots and elephants of both parties, was like unto that of old between
the gods and the Asuras, terrible and fierce and sufficient for making
one’s hair stand on end and calculated to increase the population of
Yama’s kingdom. And as the combatants rushed against one another, smiting
and slashing, thick clouds of dust began to rise, so that nothing could
be discovered. And covered with the dust raised by the contending armies,
birds began to drop down on the earth. And the sun himself disappeared
behind the thick cloud of arrows shot, and the firmament looked bright as
if with myriads of the fireflies. And shifting their bows, the staves of
which were decked with gold, from one hand to another, those heroes began
to strike each other down, discharging their arrows right and left. And
cars encountered cars, and foot-soldiers fought with foot-soldiers, and
horse-men with horsemen, and elephants with mighty elephants. And they
furiously encountered one another with swords and axes, bearded darts and
javelins, and iron clubs. And although, O king, those mighty-armed
warriors furiously assailed one another in that conflict, yet neither
party succeeded in prevailing over the other. And severed heads, some
with beautiful noses, some with upper lips deeply gashed, some decked
with ear-rings, and some divided with wounds about the well-trimmed hair
were seen rolling on the ground covered with dust. And soon the field of
battle was overspread with the limbs of Kshatriya warriors, cut off by
means of arrows and lying like trunks of Sala trees. And scattered over
with heads decked in ear-rings, and sandal-besmeared arms looking like
the bodies of snakes, the field of battle became exceedingly beautiful.
And as cars encountered cars, and horsemen encountered horsemen, and
foot-soldiers fought with foot-soldiers, and elephants met with
elephants, the frightful dust soon became drenched with torrents of
blood. And some amongst the combatants began to swoon away, and the
warriors began to fight reckless of consideration of humanity, friendship
and relationship. And both their course and sight obstructed by the
arrowy shower, vultures began to alight on the ground. But although those
strong-armed combatants furiously fought with one another, yet the heroes
of neither party succeeded in routing their antagonists. And Satanika
having slain a full hundred of the enemy and Visalaksha full four
hundred, both those mighty warriors penetrated into the heart of the
great Trigarta host. And having entered into the thick of the Trigarta
host, those famous and mighty heroes began to deprive their antagonists
of their senses by causing a closer conflict to set in–a conflict, in
which the combatants seized one another by the hair and tore one another
with their nails.[29] And eyeing the point where the cars of the
Trigartas had been mustered in strong numbers, those heroes at last
directed their attack towards it. And that foremost of car-warriors, king
Virata also, with Suryadatta in his van and Madiraksha in his rear,
having destroyed in that conflict five hundred cars, eight hundred
horses, and five warriors on great cars, displayed various skilful
manoeuvres on his car on that field of battle. And at last the king came
upon the ruler of the Trigartas mounted on a golden chariot. And those
high-souled and powerful warriors, desirous of fighting, rushed roaring
against each like two bulls in a cow-pen. Then that bull among men,
irrepressible in battle, Susarman, the king of the Trigartas, challenged
Matsya to a single combat on car. Then those warriors excited to fury
rushed against each other on their cars and began to shower their arrows
upon each other like clouds pouring torrents of rain.[30] And enraged
with each other, those fierce warriors, both skilled in weapons, both
wielding swords and darts and maces, then moved about (on the field of
battle) assailing each other with whetted arrows. Then king Virata
pierced Susarman with ten shafts and each of his four horses also with
five shafts. And Susarman also, irresistible in battle and conversant
with fatal weapons, pierced king of Matsya with fifty whetted shafts. And
then, O mighty monarch, in consequence of the dust on the field of
battle, the soldiers of both Susarman and Matsya’s king could not
distinguish one another.'”

SECTION XXXIII

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Then, O Bharata, when the world was enveloped in
dust and the gloom of night, the warriors of both sides, without breaking
the order of battle, desisted for a while.[31] And then, dispelling the
darkness the moon arose illumining the night and gladdening the hearts of
the Kshatriya warriors. And when everything became visible, the battle
once more began. And it raged on so furiously that the combatants could
not distinguish one another. And then Trigarta’s lord, Susarman with his
younger brother, and accompanied by all his cars, rushed towards the king
of Matsya. And descending from their cars, those bulls among Kshatriyas,
the (royal) brothers, mace in hand, rushed furiously towards the cars of
the foe. And the hostile hosts fiercely assailed each other with maces
and swords and scimitars, battle-axes and bearded darts with keen edges
and points of excellent temper. And king Susarman, the lord of the
Trigartas having by his energy oppressed and defeated the whole army of
the Matsyas, impetuously rushed towards Virata himself endued with great
energy. And the two brothers having severally slain Virata’s two steeds
and his charioteer, as also those soldiers that protected his rear, took
him captive alive, when deprived of his car. Then afflicting him sorely,
like a lustful man afflicting a defenceless damsel, Susarman placed
Virata on his own car, and speedily rushed out of the field. And when the
powerful Virata, deprived of his car, was taken captive, the Matsyas,
harrassed solely by the Trigartas, began to flee in fear in all
directions. And beholding them panic-stricken, Kunti’s son, Yudhishthira,
addressed that subduer of foes, the mighty-armed Bhima, saying, ‘The king
of the Matsyas hath been taken by the Trigartas. Do thou, O mighty-armed
one, rescue him, so that he may not fall under the power of the enemy. As
we have lived happily in Virata’s city, having every desire of ours
gratified, it behoveth thee, O Bhimasena, to discharge that debt (by
liberating the king).’ Thereat Bhimasena replied, ‘I will liberate him, O
king, at thy command. Mark the feat I achieve (today) in battling with
the foe, relying solely on the might of my arms. Do thou, O king, stay
aside, along with our brothers and witness my prowess today. Uprooting
this mighty tree of huge trunk looking like a mace, I will rout the
enemy.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Beholding Bhima casting his eyes on that tree
like a mad elephant, the heroic king Yudhishthira the just spake unto his
brother, saying, ‘Do not, O Bhima, commit such a rash act. Let the tree
stand there. Thou must not achieve such feats in a super-human manner by
means of that tree, for if thou dost, the people, O Bharata, will
recognise thee and say, This is Bhima. Take thou, therefore, some human
weapon such as a bow (and arrows), or a dart, or a sword, or a
battle-axe. And taking therefore, O Bhima, some weapon that is human,
liberate thou the king without giving anybody the means of knowing thee
truly. The twins endued with great strength will defend thy wheels.
Fighting together, O child, liberate the king of the Matsyas!’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Thus addressed, the mighty Bhimasena endued
with great speed, quickly took up an excellent bow and impetuously shot
from it a shower of arrows, thick as the downpour of a rain-charged
cloud. And Bhima then rushed furiously towards Susarman of terrible
deeds, and assuring Virata with the words–O good king![32] said unto the
lord of the Trigartas,–Stay! Stay! Seeing Bhima like unto Yama himself
in his rear, saying, Stay! Stay! Do thou witness this mighty feat,–this
combat that is at hand!–the bull among warriors, Susarman, seriously
considered (the situation), and taking up his bow turned back, along with
his brothers. Within the twinkling of an eye, Bhima destroyed those cars
that sought to oppose him. And soon again hundreds of thousands of cars
and elephants and horses and horsemen and brave and fierce bowmen were
overthrown by Bhima in the very sight of Virata. And the hostile infantry
also began to be slaughtered by the illustrious Bhima, mace in hand. And
beholding that terrible onslaught, Susarman, irrepressible in fight,
thought within himself, ‘My brother seems to have already succumbed in
the midst of his mighty host. Is my army going to be annihilated?’ And
drawing his bow-string to his ear Susarman then turned back and began to
shoot keen-edged shafts incessantly. And seeing the Pandavas return to
the charge on their car, the Matsya warriors of mighty host, urging on
their steeds, shot excellent weapons for grinding the Trigarta soldiers.
And Virata’s son also, exceedingly exasperated began to perform
prodigious fears of valour. And Kunti’s son Yudhishthira slew a thousand
(of the foe), and Bhima showed the abode of Yama unto seven thousand. And
Nakula sent seven hundred (to their last account) by means of his shafts.
And powerful Sahadeva also, commanded by Yudhishthira, slew three hundred
brave warriors. And having slain such numbers, that fierce and mighty
warrior, Yudhishthira, with weapons upraised, rushed against Susarman.
And rushing impetuously at Susarman, that foremost of car-warriors, king
Yudhishthira, assailed him with vollies of shafts. And Susarman also, in
great rage, quickly pierced Yudhishthira with nine arrows, and each of
his four steeds with four arrows. Then, O king, Kunti’s son Bhima of
quick movements, approaching Susarman crushed his steeds. And having
slain also those soldiers that protected his rear, he dragged from the
car his antagonist’s charioteer to the ground. And seeing the king of
Trigarta’s car without a driver, the defender of his car-wheels, the
famous and brave Madiraksha speedily came to his aid. And thereat,
leaping down from Susarman’s car, and securing the latter’s mace the
powerful Virata ran in pursuit of him. And though old, he moved on the
field, mace in hand, even like a lusty youth. And beholding Susarman flee
Bhima addressed him, saying, ‘Desist, O Prince! This flight of thine is
not proper! With this prowess of thine, how couldst thou wish to carry
off the cattle by force? How also, forsaking thy follower, dost thou
droop so amidst foes? Thus addressed by Pritha’s son, the mighty
Susarman, that lord of countless cars saying unto Bhima, Stay!
Stay!–suddenly turned round and rushed at him. Then Bhima, the son of
Pandu, leaping down from his car, as he alone could do,[33] rushed
forward with great coolness, desirous of taking Susarman’s life. And
desirous of seizing Trigarta’s king advancing towards him, the mighty
Bhimasena rushed impetuously towards him, even like a lion rushing at a
small deer. And advancing impetuously, the mighty-armed Bhima seized
Susarman by the hair, and lifting him up in wrath, dashed him down on the
ground. And as he lay crying in agony, the mighty-armed Bhima kicked him
at the head, and placing his knee on his breast dealt him severe blows.
And sorely afflicted with that kicking, the king of Trigartas became
senseless. And when the king of the Trigartas deprived of his car, had
been seized thus, the whole Trigarta army stricken with panic, broke and
fled in all directions, and the mighty sons of Pandu, endued with modesty
and observant of vows and relying on the might of their own arms, after
having vanquished Susarman, and rescued the kine as well as other kinds
of wealth and having thus dispelled Virata’s anxiety, stood together
before that monarch. And Bhimasena then said, ‘This wretch given to
wicked deeds doth not deserve to escape me with life. But what can I do?
The king is so lenient!’ And then taking Susarman by the neck as he was
lying on the ground insensible and covered with dust, and binding him
fast, Pritha’s son Vrikodara placed him on his car, and went to where
Yudhishthira was staying in the midst of the field. And Bhima then showed
Susarman unto the monarch. And beholding Susarman in that plight, that
tiger among men king Yudhishthira smilingly addressed Bhima–that
ornament of battle,–saying, ‘Let this worst of men be set free.’ Thus
addressed, Bhima spoke unto the mighty Susarman, saying, ‘If, O wretch,
thou wishest to live, listen to those words of mine. Thou must say in
every court and assembly of men,–I am a slave. On this condition only I
will grant thee thy life. Verily, this is the law about the vanquished.’
Thereupon his elder brother affectionately addressed Bhima, saying, ‘If
thou regardest us as an authority, liberate this wicked wight. He hath
already become king Virata’s slave. And turning then to Susarman, he
said, ‘Thou art freed. Go thou a free man, and never act again in this
way.'”

SECTION XXXIV

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Thus addressed by Yudhishthira Susarman was
overwhelmed with shame and hung down his head. And liberated (from
slavery), he went to king Virata, and having saluted the monarch, took
his departure. And the Pandavas also replying on the might of their own
arms, and endued with modesty and observant of vows, having slain their
enemies and liberated Susarman, passed that night happily on the field of
battle. And Virata gratified those mighty warriors, the sons of Kunti,
possessed of super-human prowess with wealth and honour. And Virata said,
“All these gems of mine are now as much mine as yours. Do ye according to
your pleasure live here happily. And ye smiter of foes in battle, I will
bestow on you damsels decked with ornaments, wealth in plenty, and other
things that ye may like. Delivered from perils today by your prowess, I
am now crowned with victory. Do ye all become the lords of the Matsyas.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘And when the king of the Matsyas had addressed
them thus, those descendants of the Kurus with Yudhishthira at their
head, joining their hands, severally replied unto him saying, ‘We are
well-pleased with all that thou sayest, O monarch. We, however, have been
much gratified that thou hast today been freed from thy foes.’ Thus
answered, that foremost of kings, Virata the lord of the Matsyas, again
addressed Yudhishthira, saying, ‘Come, we will install thee in
sovereignty of the Matsyas. And we will also bestow on thee things that
are rare on earth and are objects of desire, for thou deservest
everything at our hands. O foremost of Brahmanas of the Vaiyaghra order I
will bestow on thee gems and kine and gold and rubies and pearls. I bow
unto thee. It is owing to thee that I once more behold today my sons and
kingdom. Afflicted and threatened as I had been with disaster and danger,
it is through thy prowess that I have not succumbed to the foe.’ Then
Yudhishthira again addressed the Matsyas, saying, ‘Well-pleased are we
with the delightful words that thou hast spoken. Mayst thou be ever
happy, always practising humanity towards all creatures. Let messengers
now, at thy command, speedily repair into the city, in order to
communicate the glad tidings to our friends, and proclaim thy victory.
Hearing these words of him, king Matsya ordered the messengers, saying,’
‘Do ye repair to the city and proclaim my victory in battle. And let
damsels and courtesons, decked in ornaments, come out of the city with
every kind of musical instruments.’ Hearing this command uttered by the
king of the Matsyas, the men, laying the mandate on their head, all
departed with cheerful hearts. And having repaired to the city that very
night, they proclaimed at the hour of sunrise the victory of the king
about the city-gates.'”

SECTION XXXV

“Vaisampayana said, ‘When the king of the Matsyas, anxious of recovering
the kine, had set out in pursuit of the Trigartas, Duryodhana with his
counsellors invaded the dominions of Virata. And Bhishma and Drona, and
Karna, and Kripa acquainted with the best of weapons, Aswatthaman, and
Suvala’s son, and Dussasana, O lord of men, and Vivingsati and Vikarna
and Chitrasena endued with great energy, and Durmukha and Dussaha,–these
and many other great warriors, coming upon the Matsya dominion speedily
drove off the cowherds of king Virata and forcibly took away the kine.
And the Kauravas, surrounding all sides with a multitude of cars, seized
sixty thousands of kine. And loud was the yell of woe set up by the
cowherds smitten by those warriors in that terrible conflict. And the
chief of the cowherds, greatly affrighted speedily mounted on a chariot
and set out for the city, bewailing in affliction. And entering the city
of the king, he proceeded to the place, and speedily alighting from the
chariot, got in for relating (what had happened). And beholding the proud
son of Matsya, named Bhuminjaya, he told him everything about the seizure
of the royal kine. And he said, the Kauravas are taking away sixty
thousand kine. Rise, therefore, O enhancer of the kingdom’s glory, for
brining back thy cattle. O prince, if thou art desirous of achieving (the
kingdom’s) good set out thyself without loss of time. Indeed, the king of
the Matsyas left thee in the empty city. The king (thy father) boasteth
of thee in court, saying, ‘My son, equal unto me, is a hero and is the
supporter of (the glory of) my race. My son is a warrior skilled in
arrows and weapons and is always possessed of great courage.’–Oh, let
the words of that lord of men be true! O chief of herd-owners, bring thou
back the kine after vanquishing the Kurus, and consume thou their troops
with the terrific energy of thy arrows. Do thou like a leader of
elephants rushing at a herd, pierce the ranks of the foe with straight
arrows of golden wings, discharged from thy bow. Thy bow is even like a
Vina. Its two ends represent the ivory pillows; its string, the main
chord; its staff, the finger-board; and the arrows shot from it musical
notes. Do thou strike in the midst of the foe that Vina of musical
sound.[34] Let thy steeds, O lord, of silvery hue, be yoked unto thy car,
and let thy standard be hoisted, bearing the emblem of the golden lion.
Let thy keen-edged arrows endued with wings of gold, shot by thy strong
arms, obstruct the path of those kings and eclipse the very sun.
Vanquishing all the Kurus in battle like unto the wielder of the
thunderbolt defeating the Asuras, return thou again to the city having
achieved great renown. Son of Matsya’s king, thou art the sole refuge of
this kingdom, as that foremost of virtuous warriors, Arjuna is of the
sons of Pandu. Even like Arjuna of his brothers, thou art, without doubt,
the refuge of those dwelling within these dominions. Indeed, we, the
subject of this realm, have our protector in thee.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Thus addressed by the cowherd in the presence
of the females, in words breathing courage, the prince indulging in
self-commendation within the female apartments, spoke these words.'”

SECTION XXXVI

“Uttara said, ‘Firm as I am in the use of the bow, I would set out this
very day in the track of the kine if only some one skilled in the
management of horses becomes my charioteer. I do not, however, know the
man who may be my charioteer. Look ye, therefore, without delay, for a
charioteer for me that am prepared for starting. My own charioteer was
slain in the great battle that was fought from day to day for a whole
month or at least for eight and twenty nights. As soon as I get another
person conversant with the management of the steeds. I will immediately
set out, hoisting high my own standard. Penetrating into the midst of the
hostile army abounding with elephants and horses and chariots, I will
bring back the kine, having vanquished the Kurus who are feeble in
strength and weak in weapons. Like a second wielder of the thunderbolt
terrifying the Danavas, I will bring back the kine this very moment,
affrighting in battle Duryodhana and Bhishma and Karna and Kripa and
Drona with his son, and other mighty bowmen assembled for fight. Finding
none (to oppose), the Kurus are taking away the kine. What can I do when
I am not there? The assembled Kurus shall witness my prowess today. And
they shall say unto one another, ‘Is it Arjuna himself who is opposing
us?’ “Vaisampayana continued, ‘Having heard these words spoken by the
prince, Arjuna fully acquainted with the import of everything, after a
little while cheerfully spake in private unto his dear wife of faultless
beauty, Krishna, the princess of Panchala, Drupada’s daughter of slender
make, sprung from the (sacrificial) fire and endued with the virtues of
truthfulness and honesty and ever attentive to the good of her husbands.
And the hero said, ‘Do thou, O beauteous one, at my request say unto
Uttara without delay, ‘This Vrihannala was formerly the accomplished
resolute charioteer of Pandu’s son (Arjuna). Tried in many a great
battle, even he will be thy charioteer.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Hearing these words uttered by the prince over
and over again in the midst of the women, Panchali could not quietly bear
those allusions to Vibhatsu. And bashfully stepping out from among the
women, the poor princess of Panchala gently spake unto him these words,
‘The handsome youth, looking like a mighty elephant and known by the name
of Vrihannala, was formerly the charioteer of Arjuna. A disciple of that
illustrious warrior, and inferior to none in use of the bow, he was known
to me while I was living with the Pandavas. It was by him that the reins
were held of Arjuna’s excellent steeds when Agni consumed the forest of
Khandava. It was with him as charioteer that Partha conquered all
creatures at Khandava-prastha. In fact, there is no charioteer equal unto
him.’

“Uttara said, ‘Thou knowest, O Sairindhri, this youth. Thou knowest, what
this one of the neuter sex may or may not be, I cannot, however, O
blessed one, myself request Vrihannala to hold the reins of my horses.’

“Draupadi said, ‘Vrihannala, O hero, will without doubt, obey the words
of thy younger sister[35]–that damsel of graceful hips. If he consents
to be thy charioteer, thou wilt, without doubt, return, having vanquished
the Kurus and rescued thy kine.’

“Thus addressed by the Sairindhri, Uttara spake unto his sister, ‘Go
thyself, O thou of faultless beauty, and bring Vrihannala hither?’ And
despatched by her brother, she hastily repaired to the dancing-hall where
that strong-armed son of Pandu was staying in disguise.'”

SECTION XXXVII

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Thus despatched by her elder brother, the far-famed
daughter of king Matsya, adorned with a golden necklace, ever obedient to
her brother and possessed of a waist slender as that of the wasp,[36]
endued with the splendour of Lakshmi herself,[37] decked with the plumes
of the peacock of slender make and graceful limbs, her hips encircled by
a zone of pearls, her eye-lashes slightly curved, and her form endued
with every grace, hastily repaired to the dancing-hall like a flash of
lightning rushing towards a mass of dark clouds.[38] And the faultless
and auspicious daughter of Virata, of fine teeth and slender-waist, of
thighs close unto each other and each like the trunk of an elephant, her
person embellished with an excellent garland, sought the son of Pritha
like a she-elephant seeking her mate. And like unto a precious gem or the
very embodiment of prosperity of Indra, of exceeding beauty and large
eyes, that charming and adored and celebrated damsel saluted Arjuna. And
saluted by her, Partha asked that maiden of close thighs and golden
complexion, saying ‘What brings thee hither, a damsel decked in a
necklace of gold? Why art thou in such a hurry, O gazelle-eyed maiden?
Why is thy face, O beauteous lady, so cheerless? Tell me all this without
delay!’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Beholding, O king, his friend, the princess of
large-eyes (in that plight), her friend (Arjuna) cheerfully enquired of
her (in these words) the cause of her arrival there and then. And having
approached that bull among men, the princess, standing in the midst of
her female attendants, the displaying proper modesty[39], addressed him,
saying, ‘The kine of this realm, O Vrihannala, are being driven away by
the Kurus, and it is to conquer them that my brother will set out bow in
hand. Not long ago his own charioteer was slain in battle, and there is
none equal unto the one slain that can act as my brother’s charioteer.
And unto him striving to obtain a charioteer, Sairindhri,

O Vrihannala, hath spoken about thy skill in the management of steeds.
Thou wert formerly the favourite charioteer of Arjuna, and it was with
thee that that bull among the sons of Pandu had alone subjugated the
whole earth. Do thou, therefore, O Vrihannala, act as the charioteer of
my brother. (By this time) our kine have surely been driven away by the
Kurus to a great distance. Requested by me if thou dost not act up to my
words, I who am asking this service of thee out of affection, will give
up my life!’ Thus addressed by this friend of graceful hips, that
oppressor of foes, endued with immeasurable prowess, went into the
prince’s presence. And like unto a she-elephant running after her young
one, the princess possessed of large eyes followed that hero advancing
with hasty steps like unto an elephant with rent temples. And beholding
him from a distance, the prince himself said, ‘With thee as his
charioteer, Dhananjaya the son of Kunti had gratified Agni at the
Khandava forest and subjugated the whole world! The Sairindhri hath
spoken of thee to me. She knoweth the Pandavas. Do thou, therefore, O
Vrihannala, hold, as thou didst, the reins of my steeds, desirous as I am
of righting with the Kurus and rescuing my bovine wealth. Thou wert
formerly the beloved charioteer of Arjuna and it was with thee that that
bull among the sons of Pandu had alone subjugated the whole earth!’ Thus
addressed, Vrihannala replied unto the prince, saying, ‘What ability have
I to act as a charioteer in the field of battle? If it is song or dance
of musical instruments or such other things, I can entertain thee
therewith, but where is my skill for becoming a charioteer?’

“Uttara said, ‘O Vrihannala, be thou a singer or a dancer, hold thou (for
the present), without loss of time, the reins of my excellent steeds,
mounting upon my car!’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Although that oppressor of foes, the son of
Pandu, was acquainted with everything, yet in the presence of Uttara, he
began to make many mistakes for the sake of fun. And when he sought to
put the coat of mail on his body by raising it upwards, the large-eyed
maidens, beholding it, burst out into a loud laughter. And seeing him
quite ignorant of putting on armour, Uttara himself equipped Vrihannala
with a costly coat of mail. And casing his own person in an excellent
armour of solar effulgence, and hoisting his standard bearing the figure
of a lion, the prince caused Vrihannala to become his charioteer. And
with Vrihannala to hold his reins, the hero set out, taking with him many
costly bows and a large number of beautiful arrows. And his friend,
Uttara and her maidens then said unto Vrihannala, ‘Do thou, O Vrihannala,
bring for our dolls (when thou comest back) various kinds of good and
fine cloths after vanquishing the Kurus assembled for battle of whom
Bhishma and Drona are foremost!’ Thus addressed, Partha the son of Pandu,
in a voice deep as the roar of the clouds, smilingly said unto that bevy
of fair maidens. If, thus ‘Uttara can vanquish those mighty warriors in
battle, I will certainly bring excellent and beautiful cloths.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Having said these words, the heroic Arjuna
urged the steeds towards the Kuru army over which floated innumerable
flags. Just, however, as they were starting elderly dames and maidens,
and Brahmanas of rigid vows, beholding Uttara seated on his excellent car
with Vrihannala as charioteer and under that great banner hoisted on
high, walked round the car to bless the hero. And the women said, ‘Let
the victory that Arjuna treading like a bull had achieved of old on the
occasion of burning the forest of Khandava, be thine, O Vrihannala, when
thou encounterest the Kurus today with prince Uttara.'”

SECTION XXXVIII

‘Vaisampayana said, ‘Having issued forth from the city, the dauntless son
of Virata addressed his charioteer, saying, ‘Proceed whither the Kurus
are. Defeating the assembled Kurus who have come hither from desire of
victory, and quickly rescuing my kine from them. I will return to the
capital.’ At these words of the prince, the son of Pandu urged those
excellent steeds. And endued with the speed of the wind and decked with
necklaces of gold, those steeds, urged by that lion among men, seemed to
fly through the air. And they had not proceeded far when those smiters of
foes, Dhananjaya and the son of Matsya, sighted the army of the powerful
Kurus. And proceeding towards the cemetary, they came upon the Kurus and
beheld their army arrayed in order of battle.[40] And that large army of
theirs looked like the vast sea or a forest of innumerable trees moving
through the sky. And then was seen, O best among the Kurus, the dust
raised by that moving army which reached the sky and obstructed the sight
of all creatures. And beholding that mighty host abounding in elephants,
horses and chariots, and protected by Karna and Duryodhana and Kripa and
Santanu’s son, and that intelligent and great bowman Drona, with his son
(Aswatthaman), the son of Virata, agitated with fear and the bristles on
his body standing on their ends, thus spake unto Partha, ‘I dare not
fight with the Kurus. See, the bristles on my body have stood on their
ends. I am incapable of battling with this countless host of the Kurus,
abounding in the heroic warriors, that are extremely fierce and difficult
of being vanquished even by the celestials. I do not venture to penetrate
into the army of the Bharatas consisting of terrible bowmen and abounding
in horses and elephants and cars and footsoldiers and banners. My mind is
too much perturbed by the very sight of the foe on the field of battle on
which stand Drona and Bhishma, and Kripa, and Karna, and Vivingsati, and
Aswatthaman and Vikarna, and Saumadatti, and Vahlika, and the heroic king
Duryodhana also–that foremost of car-warriors, and many other splendid
bowmen, all skilled in battle. My hairs have stood on their ends, and I
am fainting with fear at the very sight of these smiters, the Kurus
arrayed in order of battle.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘And the low-minded and foolish Uttara out of
folly alone, began to bewail (his fate) in the presence of the
high-spirited (Arjuna) disguised (as his charioteer) in these words, ‘My
father hath gone out to meet the Trigartas taking with him his whole
army, leaving me in the empty city. There are no troops to assist me.
Alone and a mere boy who has not undergone much exercise in arms, I am
unable to encounter these innumerable warriors and all skilled in
weapons. Do thou, therefore, O Vrihannala, cease to advance!’

“Vrihannala said, ‘Why dost thou look so pale through fear and enhance
the joy of thy foes? As yet thou hast done nothing on the field of battle
with the enemy. It was thou that hadst ordered me, saying, Take me
towards the Kauravas. I will, therefore, take thee, thither where those
innumerable flags are. I will certainly take thee, O mighty-armed one,
into the midst of the hostile Kurus, prepared to fight as they are for
the kine like hawks for meat. I would do this, even if I regarded them to
have come hither for battling for a much higher stake such as the
sovereignty of the earth. Having, at the time of setting out, talked
before both men and women so highly of thy manliness, why wouldst thou
desist from the fight? If thou shouldst return home without recapturing
the kine, brave men and even women, when they meet together, will laugh
at thee (in derision). As regards myself, I cannot return to the city
without having rescued the kine, applauded as I have been so highly by
the Sairindhri in respect of my skill in driving cars. It is for those
praises by the Sairindhri and for those words of thine also (that I have
come). Why should I not, therefore, give battle to the Kurus? (As regards
thyself), be thou still.’

“Uttara said, ‘Let the Kurus rob the Matsyas off all their wealth. Let
men and women, O Vrihannala, laugh at me. Let my kine perish, let the
city be a desert. Let me stand exposed before my father. Still there is
no need of battle.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Saying this, that much affrighted prince decked
in ear-ring jumped down from his car, and throwing down his bow and
arrows began to flee, sacrificing honour and pride. Vrihannala, however,
exclaimed, ‘This is not the practice of the brave, this flight of a
Kshatriya from the field of battle. Even death in battle is better than
flight from fear.’ Having said this, Dhananjaya, the son of Kunti, coming
down from that excellent car ran after that prince thus running away, his
own long braid and pure red garments fluttering in the air. And some
soldiers, not knowing that it was Arjuna who was thus running with his
braid fluttering in the air, burst out into laughter at the sight. And
beholding him thus running, the Kurus began to argue, ‘Who is this
person, thus disguised like fire concealed in ashes? He is partly a man
and partly a woman. Although bearing a neuter form, he yet resembleth
Arjuna. His are the same head and neck, and his the same arms like unto a
couple of maces. And this one’s gait also is like unto his. He can be
none else than Dhananjaya. As Indra is among the celestials, so
Dhananjaya is among men. Who else in this world than Dhananjaya, would
alone come against us? Virata left a single son of his in the empty city.
He hath come out from childishness and not from true heroism. It is
Uttara who must have come out of the city, having, without doubt, made as
a charioteer Arjuna, the son of Pritha, now living in disguise. It seems
that he is now flying away in panic at sight of our army. And without
doubt Dhananjaya runneth after him to bring him back.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Beholding the disguised son of Pandu, the
Kauravas, O Bharata, began to indulge in these surmises, but they could
not come to any definite conclusion. Meanwhile, Dhananjaya, hastily
pursuing the retreating Uttara, seized him by the hair within a hundred
steps. And seized by Arjuna, the son of Virata began to lament most
woefully like one in great affliction, and said, ‘Listen, O good
Vrihannala, O thou of handsome waist. Turn thou quickly the course of the
car. He that liveth meeteth with prosperity. I will give thee a hundred
coins of pure gold and eight lapis lazuli of great brightness set with
gold, and one chariot furnished with a golden flag-staff and drawn by
excellent steeds, and also ten elephants of infuriate prowess. Do thou, O
Vrihannala, set me free.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Thus addressed, that tiger among men laughingly
dragged Uttara who was almost deprived of his senses and who was uttering
these words of lamentation towards the car. And the son of Pritha then
addressed the affrighted prince who had nearly lost his senses, saying,
‘If, O chastiser of foes, thou dost not venture to fight with enemy, come
thou and hold the reins of the steeds as I fight with the foe. Protected
by the might of my arms, penetrate thou yon formidable and invincible
array of cars guarded by heroic and mighty warriors. Fear not, O
chastiser of foes, thou art a Kshatriya and the foremost of royal
princess. Why dost thou, O tiger among men, succumb in the midst of the
foe? I shall surely fight with the Kurus and recover the kine,
penetrating into this formidable and inaccessible array of cars. Be thou
my charioteer, O best of men, I will fight with the Kurus.’ Thus speaking
unto Uttara, the son of Virata, Vibhatsu, heretofore unconquered in
battle, for a while comforted him. And then the son of Pritha, that
foremost of smiters, raised on the car that fainting and reluctant prince
stricken with fear!'”

SECTION XXXIX

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Beholding that bull among men seated on the car in
the habit of a person of the third sex, driving toward the Sami tree,
having taken (the flying) Uttara up, all the great car-warriors of the
Kurus with Bhishma and Drona at their head, became affrighted at heart,
suspecting the comer to be Dhananjaya. And seeing them so dispirited and
marking also the many wonderful portents, that foremost of all wielders
of arms, the preceptor Drona, son of Bharadwaja, said, ‘Violent and hot
are the winds that below, showering gravels in profusion. The sky also is
overcast with a gloom of ashy hue. The clouds present the strange sight
of being dry and waterless. Our weapons also of various kinds are coming
out of their cases. The jackals are yelling hideously affrighted at the
conflagrations on all sides.[41] The horses too are shedding tears, and
our banners are trembling though moved by none. Such being the
inauspicious indications seen, a great danger is at hand. Stay ye with
vigilance, Protect ye your own selves and array the troops in order of
battle. Stand ye, expecting a terrible slaughter, and guard ye well the
kine. This mighty bowman, this foremost of all wielders of weapons, this
hero that hath come in the habit of a person of the third sex, is the son
of Pritha. There is no doubt of this.’ Then addressing Bhishma, the
preceptor continued, ‘O offspring of the Ganges, apparelled as a woman,
this is Kiriti called after a tree, the son of the enemy of the
mountains, and having on his banner the sign of devastator of the gardens
of Lanka’s lord. Vanquishing us he will surely take away the kine today!
[42] This chastiser of foes is the valiant son of Pritha surnamed
Savyasachin. He doth not desist from conflict even with the gods and
demons combined. Put to great hardship in the forest he cometh in wrath.
Taught by even Indra himself, he is like unto Indra in battle. Therefore,
ye Kauravas, I do not see any hero who can withstand him. It is said that
the lord Mahadeva himself, disguised in the attire of a hunter, was
gratified by this son of Pritha in battle on the mountains of Himavat.’
Hearing these words, Karna said, ‘You always censure us by speaking on
the virtues of Falguna, Arjuna, however, is not equal to even a full
sixteenth part of myself or Duryodhana!’ And Duryodhana said, ‘If this be
Partha, O Radheya, then my purpose hath already been fulfilled, for then,
O king, if traced out, the Pandavas shall have to wander for twelve years
again. Or, if this one be any other person in a eunuch’s garb, I will
soon prostrate him on the earth with keen-edged arrows.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘The son of Dhritarashtra, O chastiser of foes,
having said this, Bhishma and Drona and Kripa and Drona’s son all
applauded his manliness!'”

SECTION XL

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Having reached that Sami tree, and having
ascertained Virata’s son to be exceedingly delicate and inexperienced in
battle, Partha addressed him, saying, ‘Enjoined by me, O Uttara, quickly
take down (from this tree) some bows that are there. For these bows of
thine are unable to bear my strength, my heavy weight when I shall grind
down horses and elephants, and the stretch of my arms when I seek to
vanquish the foe. Therefore, O Bhuminjaya, climb thou up this tree of
thick foliage, for in this tree are tied the bows and arrows and banners
and excellent coats of mail of the heroic sons of Pandu, viz.,
Yudhishthira and Bhima and Vibhatsu and the twins. There also is that bow
of great energy, the Gandiva of Arjuna, which singly is equal to many
thousands of other bows and which is capable of extending the limits of a
kingdom. Large like a palmyra tree, able to bear the greatest stress, the
largest of all weapons, capable of obstructing the foe, handsome, and
smooth, and broad, without a knot, and adorned with gold, it is stiff and
beautiful in make and beareth the heaviest weight. And the other bows
also that are there, of Yudhishthira and Bhima and Vibhatsu and the
twins, are equally mighty and tough.'”

SECTION XLI

“Uttara said, ‘It hath been heard by us that a corpse is tied in this
tree. How can I, therefore, being a prince by birth, touch it with my
hands? Born in the Kshatriya order, and the son of a great king, and
always observant of mantras and vows, it is not becoming of me to touch
it. Why shouldst thou, O Vrihannala, make me a polluted and unclean
bearer of corpses, by compelling me to come in contact with a corpse?’

“Vrihannala said, ‘Thou shalt, O king of kings, remain clean and
unpolluted. Do not fear, there are only bows in this tree and not
corpses. Heir to the king of the Matsyas, and born in a noble family, why
should I, O prince, make thee do such a reproachable deed?’

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Thus addressed by Partha, Virata’s son, decked in
ear-rings, alighted from the car, and climbed up that Sami tree
reluctantly. And staying on the car, Dhananjaya, that slayer of enemies,
said, unto him, ‘Speedily bring thou down those bows from the top of the
tree. And cutting off their wrappings first and then the ropes with which
they were tied, the prince beheld the Gandiva there along with four other
bows. And as they were united, the splendour of those bows radiant as the
sun, began to shine with great effulgence like unto that of the planets
about the time of their rising. And beholding the forms of those bows, so
like unto sighing snakes, he become afflicted with fear and in a moment
the bristles of his body stood on their ends. And touching those large
bows of great splendour, Virata’s son, O king, thus spake unto Arjuna!'”

SECTION XLII

“Uttara said, ‘To what warrior of fame doth this excellent bow belong, on
which are a hundred golden bosses and which hath such radiant ends? Whose
is this excellent bow of good sides and easy hold, on the staff of which
shine golden elephants of such brightness? Whose is this excellent bow,
adorned with three scores of Indragoapkas [43] of pure gold, placed on
the back of the staff at proper intervals? Whose is this excellent bow,
furnished with three golden suns of great effulgence, blazing forth with
such brilliancy? Whose is this beautiful bow which is variegated with
gold and gems, and on which are golden insects set with beautiful stones?
Whose are these arrows furnished with wing around, numbering a thousand,
having golden heads, and cased in golden quivers? Who owneth these large
shafts, so thick, furnished with vulturine wings whetted on stone,
yellowish in hue, sharp-pointed, well-tempered, and entirely made of
iron? Whose is this sable quiver, [44] bearing five images of tigers,
which holdeth shafts intermixed with boar-eared arrows altogether
numbering ten? Whose are these seven hundred arrows, long and thick,
capable of drinking (the enemy’s) blood, and looking like the
crescent-shaped moon? [45] Whose are these gold-crested arrows whetted on
stones, the lower halves of which are well-furnished with wings of the
hue of parrots’ feather and the upper halves, of well-tempered steels?
[46] Whose is this excellent sword irresistible, and terrible to
adversaries, with the mark of a toad on it, and pointed like a toad’s
head? [47] Cased in variegated sheath of tiger-skin, whose is this large
sword of excellent blade and variegated with gold and furnished with
tinkling bells? Whose is this handsome scimitar of polished blade and
golden hilt? Manufactured in the country of the Nishadas, irresistible,
incapable of being broken, whose is this sword of polished blade in a
scabbard of cow-skin? Whose is this beautiful and long sword, sable in
hue as the sky, mounted with gold, well-tempered, and cased in a sheath
of goat-skin? Who owneth this heavy, well-tempered, and broad sword, just
longer than the breadth of thirty fingers, polished by constant clash
with other’s weapons and kept in a case of gold, bright as fire? Whose is
this beautiful scimitar of sable blade covered with golden bosses,
capable of cutting through the bodies of adversaries, whose touch is as
fatal as that of a venomous snake which is irresistible and exciteth the
terror of foes? Asked by me, O Vrihannala, do thou answer me truly. Great
is my wonder at the sight of all these excellent objects.'”

SECTION XLIII

“Vrihannala said, ‘That about which thou hath first enquired is Arjuna’s
bow, of world-wide fame, called Gandiva, capable of devastating hostile
hosts. Embellished with gold, this Gandiva, the highest and largest of
all weapons belonged to Arjuna. Alone equal unto a hundred thousand
weapons, and always capable of extending the confines of kingdoms, it is
with this that Partha vanquisheth in battle both men and celestials.
Worshipped ever by the gods, the Danavas and the Gandharvas and
variegated with excellent colours, this large and smooth bow is without a
knot or stain anywhere. Shiva held it first for a thousand years.
Afterwards Prajapati held it for five hundred and three years. After that
Sakra, for five and eighty years. And then Soma held it for five hundred
years. And after that Varuna held it for a hundred years. And finally
Partha, surnamed Swetavahana,[48] hath held it for five and sixty
years.[49] Endued with great energy and of high celestial origin, this is
the best of all bows. Adored among gods and men, it hath a handsome form.
Partha obtained this beautiful bow from Varuna. This other bow of
handsome sides and golden handle is Bhima’s with which that son of
Pritha, that chastiser of foes, had conquered the whole of the eastern
regions. This other excellent bow of beautiful shape, adorned with images
of Indragopakas, belongeth, O Virata’s son, to king Yudhishthira. This
other weapon with golden suns of blazing splendour shedding a dazzling
effulgence around, belongeth to Nakula. And this bow adorned with golden
images of insects and set also with gems and stones, belongeth to that
son of Madri who is called Sahadeva. These winged arrows, thousand in
number, sharp as razors and destructive as the poison of snakes, belong,
O Virata’s son, to Arjuna. When shooting them in battle against foes,
these swift arrows blaze forth more brilliantly and become inexhaustible.
And these long and thick shafts resembling the lunar crescent in shape,
keen-edged and capable of thinning the enemy’s ranks, belong to Bhima.
And this quiver bearing five images of tigers, full of yellowish shafts
whetted on stone and furnished with golden wings belong to Nakula. This
is the quiver of the intelligent son of Madri, with which he had
conquered in battle the whole of the western regions. And these arrows,
all effulgent as, the sun, painted all over with various colours, and
capable of destroying enemies by thousands are those of Sahadeva. And
these short and well-tempered and thick shafts, furnished with long
feathers and golden heads, and consisting of three knots, belong to king
Yudhishthira. And this sword with blade long and carved with the image of
a toad and head shaped as a toad’s mouth, strong and irresistible
belongeth to Arjuna. Cased in a sheath of tiger-skin, of long blade,
handsome and irresistible, and terrible to adversaries, this sword
belongeth to Bhimasena. Of excellent blade and cased in a well-painted
sheath, and furnished with a golden hilt, this handsome sword belongeth
to the wise Kaurava–Yudhishthira the just. And this sword of strong
blade, irresistible and intended for various excellent modes of fight and
cased in a sheath of goat-skin, belongeth to Nakula. And this huge
scimitar, cased in a sheath of cow-skin, strong and irresistible
belongeth to Sahadeva.'”

SECTION XLIV

“Uttara said, ‘Indeed, these weapons adorned with gold, belonging to the
light-handed and high-souled Partha, look exceedingly beautiful. But
where are that Arjuna, the son of Pritha, and Yudhishthira of the Kuru
race, and Nakula, and Sahadeva, and Bhimasena, the sons of Pandu? Having
lost their kingdom at dice, the high-souled Pandavas, capable of
destroying all foes, are no longer heard of. Where also is Draupadi, the
princess of Panchala, famed as the gem among women, who followed the sons
of Pandu after their defeat at dice to the forest?’

“Arjuna said, ‘I am Arjuna, called also Partha. Thy father’s courtier is
Yudhishthira and thy father’s cook Vallava is Bhimasena, the groom of
horses is Nakula, and Sahadeva is in the cow-pen. And know thou that the
Sairindhri is Draupadi, for whose sake the Kichakas have been slain.’

“Uttara said, ‘I would believe all this if thou canst enumerate the ten
names of Partha, previously heard by me!’

“Arjuna said, ‘I will, O son of Virata, tell thee my ten names. Listen
thou and compare them with what thou hadst heard before. Listen to them
with close attention and concentrated mind. They are Arjuna, Falguna,
Jishnu, Kiritin, Swetavahana, Vibhatsu, Vijaya, Krishna, Savyasachin and
Dhananjaya.”

“Uttara said, ‘Tell me truly why art thou called Vijaya, and why
Swetavahana. Why art thou named Krishna and why Arjuna and Falguna and
Jishnu and Kiritin and Vibhatsu, and for what art thou Dhananjaya and
Savyasachin? I have heard before about the origin of the several names of
that hero, and can put faith in thy words if thou canst tell me all about
them.’

“Arjuna said, ‘They called me Dhananjaya because I lived in the midst of
wealth, having subjugated all the countries and taking away their
treasures. They called me Vijaya because when I go out to battle with
invincible kings, I never return (from the field) without vanquishing
them. I am called Swetavahana because when battling with the foe, white
horses decked in golden armour are always yoked unto my car. They call me
Falguna because I was born on the breast of the Himavat on a day when the
constellation Uttara Falguna was on the ascendent. I am named Kiritin
from a diadem, resplendent like the sun, having been placed of old on my
head by Indra during my encounter with the powerful Danavas. I am known
as Vibhatsu among gods and men, for my never having committed a
detestable deed on the battle-field. And since both of my hands are
capable of drawing the Gandiva, I am known as Savyasachin among gods and
men. They call me Arjuna because my complexion is very rare within the
four boundaries of the earth and because also my acts are always
stainless. I am known among human beings and celestials by the name of
Jishnu, because I am unapproachable and incapable of being kept down, and
a tamer of adversaries and son of the slayer of Paka. And Krishna, my
tenth appellation, was given to me by my father out of affection towards
his black-skinned boy of great purity.’

“Vaisampayana continued, “The son of Virata then, approaching nearer
saluted Partha and said, ‘My name is Bhuminjaya, and I am also called
Uttara. It is by good luck, O Partha, that I behold thee. Thou art
welcome, O Dhananjaya. O thou with red eyes, and arms that are mighty and
each like unto the trunk of an elephant, it behoveth thee to pardon what
I said unto thee from ignorance. And as wonderful and difficult have been
the feats achieved by thee before, my fears have been dispelled, and
indeed the love I bear to thee is great.'”

SECTION XLV

“Uttara said, ‘O hero, mounting on this large car with myself as driver,
which division of the (hostile) army wouldst thou penetrate? Commanded by
thee, I would drive thee thither?’

“Arjuna said, ‘I am pleased with thee, O tiger among men. Thou hast no
cause of fear. I will rout all thy foes in battle, O great warrior, And,
O thou of mighty arms, be at thy ease. Accomplishing great and terrible
feats in the melee, I will fight with thy foes. Tie quickly all those
quivers to my car, and take (from among those) a sword of polished blade
and adorned with gold.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Hearing these words of Arjuna, Uttara cast off
all inactivity. And he speedily alighted from the tree, bringing with him
Arjuna’s weapons. Then Arjuna addressed him, saying, ‘Yes, I will fight
with the Kurus and recover thy kine. Protected by me, the top of this car
will be to thee as a citadel. The passages and alleys and other divisions
of this car will be the streets and edifices of that fortified city.
These my arms will be its ramparts and gateways. This treble pole and my
quiver will constitute defensive works inaccessible to the foe. This my
banner–single and grand–will it not alone be equal unto those of thy
city? This my bow-string will constitute the catapults and cannons for
vomiting forth missiles on the besiezing ghost. My excited wrath will
make that fortress formidable, and the clatter of my car-wheels–will it
not resemble the kettle-drums of thy capital? Ridden by myself wielding
the Gandiva, this car will be incapable of being vanquished by the
hostile host, O son of Virata, let thy fear be dispelled.’

“Uttara said, ‘I am no longer afraid of these. I know thy steadiness in
battle, which is even like unto that of Kesava or Indra himself. But
reflecting on this, I am continually bewildered. Foolish as I am, I am
incapable of arriving at certain conclusion. By what distressful
circumstances could a person of such handsome limbs and auspicious signs
become deprived of manhood! Indeed, thou seemest to me to be Mahadeva, or
Indra, or the chief of the Gandharvas, dwelling in the guise only of one
of the third sex.’

“Arjuna said, ‘I tell thee truly that I am only observing this vow for a
whole year agreeable to the behest of my elder brother. O thou of mighty
arms, I am not truly one of the neuter sex, but I have adopted this vow
of eunuchism from subservience to another’s will and from desire of
religious merit. O prince, know me now to have completed my vow.’

“Uttara said, ‘Thou hast conferred a great favour on me today, for I now
find that my suspicion was not altogether unfounded. Indeed, such a
person as thou, O best of men, cannot be of the neuter sex. I have now an
ally in battle. I can now fight with the celestials themselves. My fears
have been dispelled. What shall I do? Command me now. Trained in driving
cars by a learned preceptor I will, O bull among men, hold the reins of
thy horses that are capable of breaking the ranks of hostile cars. Know
me, O bull among men, to be as competent a charioteer as Daruka of
Vasudeva, or Matali of Sakra. The horse that is yoked unto the right-hand
pole (of thy car) and whose hoofs as they light on the ground are
scarcely visible when running, is like unto Sugriva of Krishna. This
other handsome horse, the foremost of his race, that is yoked unto the
left pole, is, I regard, equal in speed to Meghapushpa. This (third)
beautiful horse, clad in golden mail, yoked unto the rear-pole on the
left, is, I regard, Sivya equal in speed to but superior in strength. And
this (fourth) horse, yoked to the rear-pole on the right, is regarded as
superior to Valahaka in speed and strength. This car is worthy of bearing
on the field of battle a bowman like thee, and thou also art worthy of
fighting on this car. This is what I think!’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Then Arjuna, endued with great energy, took off
the bracelets from his arms and wore on his hands a pair of beautiful
gloves embroidered with gold. And he then tied his black and curling
locks with a piece of white cloth. And seated on that excellent car with
face turned to the east, the mighty-armed hero, purifying his body and
concentrating his soul, recalled to his mind all his weapons. And all the
weapons came, and addressing the royal son of Partha, said, ‘We are here,
O illustrious one. We are thy servants, O son of Indra.’ And bowing unto
them, Partha received them unto his hands and replied unto them, saying,
‘Dwell ye all in my memory.’ And obtaining all his weapons, the hero
looked cheerful. And quickly stringing his bow, the Gandiva, he twanged
it. And the twang of that bow was as loud as the collision of two mighty
bulls. And dreadful was the sound that filled the earth, and violent was
the wind that blew on all sides. And thick was the shower of fallen
meteors [50] and all sides were enveloped in gloom. And the birds began
to totter in the skies and large trees began to shake. [51] And loud as
the burst of the thunder, the Kurus knew from that sound that it was
Arjuna that drew with his hands the string of his best of bows from his
car. And Uttara said, ‘Thou, O best of Pandavas, art alone. These mighty
car-warriors are many. How wilt thou vanquish in battle all these that
are skilled in every kind of weapon? Thou, O son of Kunti, art without a
follower, while the Kauravas have many. It is for this, O thou of mighty
arms, that I stay beside thee, stricken with fear.’ Bursting out into
loud laughter, Partha said unto him, ‘Be not afraid, O hero, what
friendly follower had I while fighting with the mighty Gandharvas on the
occasion of the Ghoshayatra? Who was my ally while engaged in the
terrific conflict at Khandava against so many celestials and Danavas? Who
was my ally when I fought, on behalf of the lord of the celestials
against the mighty Nivatakavachas and the Paulomas! And who was my ally,
O child, while I encountered in battle innumerable kings at the
Swayamvara to the princess of Panchala? Trained in arms by the preceptor
Drona, by Sakra, and Vaisravana, and Yama, and Varuna, and Agni, and
Kripa, and Krishna of Madhu’s race, and by the wielder of the Pinaka
(Siva), why shall I not fight with these? Drive thou my car speedily, and
let thy heart’s fever be dispelled.'”

SECTION XLVI

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Making Uttara his charioteer, and circumambulating
the Sami tree, the son of Pandu set out taking all his weapons with him.
And that mighty car-warrior set out with Uttara as the driver of his car,
having taken down that banner with the lion’s figure and deposited it at
the foot of the Sami tree. And he hoisted on that car his own golden
banner bearing the figure of an ape with a lion’s tail, which was a
celestial illusion contrived by Viswakarman himself. For, as soon,
indeed, as he had thought of that gift of Agni, than the latter, knowing
his wish, ordered those superhuman creatures (that usually sat there) to
take their place in that banner. And furnished with a beautiful flag of
handsome make, with quivers attached to it, and adored with gold, that
excellent flag-staff of celestial beauty than quickly fell from the
firmament on his car. [52] And beholding that banner arrived on his car,
the hero circumambulated it (respectively). And then the ape-bannered
Vibhatsu, the son of Kunti, called also Swetavahana, with fingers cased
in leathern fences of the Iguana skin, and taking up his bow and arrows
set out in a northernly direction. And that grinder of foes, possessed of
great strength, then forcibly blew his large conch-shell, of thundering
sound, capable of making the bristles of foes to stand on their ends. And
at the sound of that conch, those steeds endued with swiftness dropped
down on the ground on their knees. And Uttara also, greatly affrighted,
sat down on the car. And thereupon the son of Kunti took the reins
himself and raising the steeds, placed them in their proper positions.
And embracing Uttara, he encouraged him also, saying, ‘Fear not, O
foremost of princes, thou art, O chastiser of foes, a Kshatriya by birth.
Why, O tiger among men, dost thou become so dispirited in the midst of
foes? Thou must have heard before the blare of many conchs and the note
of many trumpets, and the roar also of many elephants in the midst of
ranks arrayed for battled. Why art thou, therefore, so dispirited and
agitated and terrified by the blare of this conch, as if thou wert an
ordinary person?’

“Uttara said, ‘Heard have I the blare of many a conch and many a trumpet
and the roar of many an elephant stationed in the battle-array, but never
have I heard before the blare of such conch. Nor have I ever seen a
banner like this. Never before have I heard also the twang of a bow such
as this. Truly, sir, with the blare of this conch, the twang of this bow,
the superhuman cries of the creatures stationed on this banner, and the
battle of this car, my mind is greatly bewildered. My perception of the
directions also is confused, and my heart is painfully afflicted. The
whole firmament seemeth to me to have been covered by this banner, and
everything seemeth to be hidden from my view! My ears also have been
deafened by the twang of the Gandiva![53]

“Arjuna said, ‘Firmly stand thou on the car, pressing thy feet on it, and
tightly catch hold of the bridles, for I will blow the conch again.’

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Arjuna then blew his conch again, that conch which
filled foes with grief and enhanced the joy of friends. And the sound was
so loud that it seemed to split hills and mountains, and pierce
mountain-caves and the cardinal points. And Uttara once again sat down on
the car, clinging to it in fear. And with the blare of the conch and the
rattle of the car-wheels, and the twang of the Gandiva, the earth itself
seemed to tremble. And beholding Uttara’s fight, Dhananjaya began to
comfort him again.’

“Meanwhile, Drona said, ‘From the rattle of the car, and from the manner
in which the clouds have enveloped the sky and the earth itself trembles,
this warrior can be none else than Savyasachin. Our weapons do not shine,
our steeds are dispirited, and our fires, though fed with fuel, do not
blare up. All this is ominous. All our animals are setting up a frightful
howl, gazing towards the sun. The crows are perching on our banners. All
this is ominous. Yon vultures and kites on our right portend a great
danger. That jackal also, running through our ranks, waileth dismally.
Lo, it hath escaped unstruck. All this portends a heavy calamity. The
bristles also of ye all are on their ends. Surely, this forebodes a great
destruction of Kshatriyas in battle. Things endued with light are all
pale; beasts and birds look fierce; and there are to be witnessed many
terrific portents indicative of the destruction of Kshatriyas. And these
omens forebode great havoc among ourselves. O king, thy ranks seem to be
confounded by these blazing meteors, and thy animals look dispirited and
seem to be weeping. Vultures and kites are wheeling all around thy
troops. Thou shalt have to repent upon beholding thy army afflicted by
Partha’s arrows. Indeed, our ranks seem to have been already vanquished,
for none is eager to go to fight. All our warriors are of pale face, and
almost deprived of their senses. Sending the kine ahead we should stand
here, ready to strike, with all our warriors arrayed in order of battle.”

SECTION XLVII

“Vaisampayana said, ‘King Duryodhana then, on the field of battle said
unto Bhishma, and unto Drona–that tiger among warriors, and unto
Kripa–that mighty car-warrior, these words, ‘Both myself and Kama had
said this unto the preceptors[54] I refer to the subject again, for I am
not satisfied with having said it once. Even this was the pledge of the
sons of Pandu that if defeated (at dice) they would reside to our
knowledge in countries and woods for twelve years, and one more year
unknown to us. That thirteenth year, instead of being over, is yet
running. Vibhatsu, therefore, who is still to live undiscovered hath
appeared before us. And if Vibhatsu hath come before the term of exile is
at end, the Pandavas shall have to pass another twelve years in the
woods. Whether it is due to forgetfulness (on their part) induced by
desire of dominion, or whether it is a mistake of ours, it behoveth
Bhishma to calculate the shortness or excess (of the promised period).
When an object of desire may or may not be attained, a doubt necessarily
attaches to one of the alternatives, and what is decided in one way often
ends differently. [55] Even moralists are puzzled in judging of their own
acts. [56] As regards ourselves, we have come hither to fight with the
Matsyas and to seize their kine stationed towards the north. If,
meanwhile, it is Arjuna that hath come, what fault can attach to us? We
have come hither to fight against the Matsyas on behalf of the Trigartas;
and as numerous were the acts represented unto us of the oppressions
committed by the Matsyas. it was for this that we promised aid to the
Trigartas who were overcome with fear. And it was agreed between us that
they should first seize, on the afternoon of the seventh lunar day, the
enormous wealth of kine that the Matsyas have, and that we should, at
sunrise of the eighteen day of the moon, seize these kine when the king
of the Matsyas would be pursuing those first seized. It may be that the
Trigartas are now bringing a way the kine, or being defeated, are coming
towards us for negotiating with the king of the Matsyas. Or, it may be,
that having driven the Trigartas off, the king of the Matsyas, at the
head of this people and his whole army of fierce warriors, appeareth on
the scene and advanceth to make night-attacks upon us. It may be that
some one leader among them, endued with mighty energy, is advancing for
vanquishing us, or, it may be that the king himself of the Matsyas is
come. But be it the king of the Matsyas or Vibhatsu, we must all fight
him. Even this hath been our pledge. Why are all these of foremost
car-warriors,–Bhishma and Drona and Kripa and Vikarna and Drona’s
son,–now sitting on their cars, panic-stricken? At present there is
nothing better than fighting. Therefore, make up your minds. If, for the
cattle we have seized, an encounter takes place with the divine wielder
himself of the thunderbolt or even with Yama, who is there that will be
liable to reach Hastinapura? Pierced by the shafts (of the foe), how will
the foot-soldiers, in flying through the deep forest with their backs on
the field, escape with life, when escape for the cavalry is doubtful?
Hearing these words of Duryodhana, Karna said, ‘Disregarding the
preceptor, make all arrangements. He knoweth well the intentions of the
Pandavas and striketh terror in our hearts. I see that his affection for
Arjuna is very great. Seeing him only coming, he chanteth his praises.
Make ye such arrangements that our troops may not break. Everything is in
confusion for Drona’s having only heard the neigh of (Arjuna’s) steeds.
Make ye such arrangements that these troops, come to a distant land in
this hot season and in the midst of this mighty forest, may not fall into
confusion and be subjugated by the foe. The Pandavas are always the
special favourites of the preceptor. The selfish Pandavas have stationed
Drona amongst us. Indeed, he betrayeth himself by his speech. Who would
ever extol a person upon hearing the neigh only of his steeds? Horses
always neigh, whether walking or standing, the winds blow at all times;
and Indra also always showereth rain. The roar of the clouds may
frequently be heard. What hath Partha to do with these, and why is he to
be praised for these? All this (on Drona’s part), therefore, is due only
to either the desire of doing good to Arjuna or to his wrath and hatred
towards us. Preceptors are wise, and sinless, and very kind to all
creatures. They, however, should never be consulted at times of peril. It
is in luxurious palaces, and assemblies and pleasure-gardens, that
learned men, capable of making speeches, seem to be in their place.
Performing many wonderful things, in the assembly, it is there that
learned men find their place, or even there where sacrificial utensils
and their proper placing and washing are needed. In a knowledge of the
lapses of others, in studying the characters of men, in the science of
horses and elephants and cars, in treating the diseases of asses and
camels and goats and sheeps and kine, in planning buildings and gateways,
and in pointing out the defects of food and drink, the learned are truly
in their own sphere. Disregarding learned men that extol the heroism of
the foe, make ye such arrangements that the foe may be destroyed. Placing
the kine securely, array the troops in order of battle. Place guards in
proper places so that we may fight the foe.'”

SECTION XLVIII

“Karna said, ‘I behold all these blessed ones, looking as if alarmed and
panic-struck and unresolved and unwilling to fight. If he that is come is
the king of the Matsyas or Vibhatsu, even I will resist him as the banks
resist the swelling sea. Shot from my bow these straight and flying
arrows, like gliding snakes, are all sure of aim. Discharged by my light
hands, these keen-edged arrows furnished with golden wings shall cover
Partha all over, like locusts shrouding a tree. Strongly pressed by these
winged arrows, the bow-string will cause these my leathern fences to
produce sounds that will be heard to resemble those of a couple of
kettle-drums. Having been engaged in ascetic austerities for the (last)
eight and five years, Vibhatsu will strike me but mildly in this
conflict, and the son of Kunti having become a Brahmana endued with good
qualities, hath thus become a fit person to quietly receive shafts by
thousands shot by me. This mighty bowman is indeed, celebrated over the
three worlds. I, too, am, by no means, inferior to Arjuna, that foremost
of human beings. With golden arrows furnished with vulturine wings shot
on all sides, let the firmament seem today to swarm with fire-flies.
Slaying Arjuna in battle, I will discharge today that debt, difficult of
repayments, but promised of old by me unto Dhritarashtra’s son. When man
is there, even amongst all the gods and the Asuras, that will endure to
stand in the teeth of the straight arrows shot from my bow? Let my flying
arrows, winged and depressed at the middle, present the spectacle of the
coursing of the fire-flies through the welkin. Hard though he be as
Indra’s thunderbolt and possessed of the energy of the chief of the
celestials, I will surely grind Partha, even as one afflicts an elephant
by means of burning brands. A heroic and mighty car-warrior as he is, and
the foremost of all wielders of weapons I shall seize the unresisting
Partha, even like Garuda seizing a snake. Irresistible like fire, and fed
by the fuel of swords, darts, and arrows, the blazing Pandava-fire that
consumeth foes, will be extinguished even by myself who am like unto a
mighty cloud incessantly dropping an arrowy shower,–the multitude of
cars (I will lead) constituting its thunder, and the speed of my horses,
the wind in advance. Discharged from my bow, my arrows like venomous
snakes will pierce Partha’s body, like serpent penetrating through an
ant-hill. Pierced with well-tempered and straight shafts endued with
golden wings and great energy, behold ye today the son of Kunti decked
like a hill covered with Karnikara flowers. Having obtained weapons from
that best of ascetics–the son of Jamadagni, I would, relying on their
energy, fight with even the celestials. Struck with my javelin, the ape
stationed on his banner-top shall fall down today on the ground, uttering
terrible cries. The firmament will today be filled with the cries of the
(super-human) creatures stationed in the flagstaff of the foe, and
afflicted by me, they will fly away in all directions. I shall today
pluck up by the roots the long-existing dart in Duryodhan’s heart by
throwing Arjuna down from his car. The Kauravas will today behold Partha
with his car broken, his horses killed, his valour gone, and himself
sighing like a snake. Let the Kauravas, following their own will go away
taking this wealth of kine, or, if they wish, let them stay on their cars
and witness my combat.'”

SECTION XLIX

“Kripa said, ‘O Radheya, thy crooked heart always inclineth to war. Thou
knowest not the true nature of things; nor dost thou take into account
their after-consequences. There are various kinds of expedients
inferrable from the scriptures. Of these, a battle hath been regarded by
those acquainted with the past, as the most sinful. It is only when time
and place are favourable that military operations can lead to success. In
the present instance, however, the time being unfavourable, no good
results will be deprived. A display of prowess in proper time and place
becometh beneficial. It is by the favourableness or otherwise (of time
and place) that the opportuneness of an act is determined. Learned men
can never act according to the ideas of a car-maker. Considering all
this, an encounter with Partha is not advisible for us. Alone he saved
the Kurus (from the Gandharvas), and alone he satiated Agni. Alone he led
the life of a Brahmacharin for five years (on the breast of Himavat).
Taking up Subhadra on his car, alone he challenged Krishna to single
combat. Alone he fought with Rudra who stood before him as a forester. It
was in this very forest that Partha rescued Krishna while she was being
taken away (by Jayadratha). It is he alone that hath, for five years,
studied the science of weapons under Indra. Alone vanquishing all foes he
hath spread the fame of the Kurus. Alone that chastiser of foes
vanquished in battle Chitrasena, the king of the Gandharvas and in a
moment his invincible troops also. Alone he overthrew in battle the
fierce Nivatakavachas and the Kalakhanchas, that were both incapable of
being slain by the gods themselves. What, however, O Kama, hath been
achieved by thee single-handed like any of the sons of Pandu, each of
whom had alone subjugated many lords of earth? Even Indra himself is
unfit to encounter Partha in battle. He, therefore, that desireth to
fight with Arjuna should take a sedative. As to thyself, thou desirest to
take out the fangs of an angry snake of virulent poison by stretching
forth thy right hand and extending thy forefinger. Or, wandering alone in
the forest thou desirest to ride an infuriate elephant and go to a boar
without a hook in hand. Or, rubbed over with clarified butter and dressed
in silken robes, thou desirest to pass through the midst of a blazing
fire fed with fat and tallow and clarified butter. Who is there that
would, binding his own hands and feet and tying a huge stone unto his
neck, cross the ocean swimming with his bare arms? What manliness is
there in such an act? O Kama, he is a fool that would, without, skill in
weapons and without strength, desire to fight with Partha who is so
mighty and skilled in weapons? Dishonestly deceived by us and liberated
from thirteen years’ exile, will not the illustrious hero annihilate us?
Having ignorantly come to a place where Partha lay concealed like fire
hidden in a well, we have, indeed, exposed to a great danger. But
irresistible though he be in battle, we should fight against him. Let,
therefore, our troops, clad in mail, stand here arrayed in ranks and
ready to strike. Let Drona and Duryodhana and Bhishma and thyself and
Drona’s son and ourselves, all fight with the son of Pritha. Do not O
Kama, act so rashly as to fight alone. If we six car-warriors be united,
we can then be a match for and fight with that son of Pritha who is
resolved to fight and who is as fierce as the wielder of the thunderbolt.
Aided by our troops arrayed in ranks, ourselves–great bowmen–standing
carefully will fight with Arjuna even as the Danavas encounter Vasava in
battle.'”

SECTION L

“Aswatthaman said, ‘The kine, O Karna, have not yet been won, nor have
they yet crossed the boundary (of their owner’s dominions), nor have they
yet reached Hastinapura. Why dost thou, therefore, boast of thyself?
Having won numerous battles, and acquired enormous wealth, and vanquished
hostile hosts, men of true heroism speak not a word of their prowess.
Fire burneth mutely and mutely doth the sun shine. Mutely also doth the
Earth bear creatures, both mobile and immobile. The Self-existent hath
sanctioned such offices for the four orders that having recourse to them
each may acquire wealth without being censurable. A Brahmana, having
studied the Vedas, should perform sacrifices himself, and officiate at
the sacrifices of others. And a Kshatriya, depending upon the bow, should
perform sacrifices himself but should never officiate at the sacrifices
of others. And of Vaisya, having earned wealth, should cause the rites
enjoined in the Vedas to be performed for himself. A Sudra should always
wait upon and serve the other three orders. As regards those that live by
practising the profession of flowers and vendors of meat, they may earn
wealth by expedients fraught with deceit and fraud. Always acting
according to the dictates of the scriptures, the exalted sons of Pandu
acquired the sovereignty of the whole earth, and they always act
respectfully towards their superiors, even if the latter prove hostile to
them. What Kshatriya is there that expressed delight at having obtained a
kingdom by means of dice, like this wicked and shameless son of
Dhritarashtra? Having acquired wealth in this way by deceit and fraud
like a vendor of meat, who that is wise boast of it? In what single
combat didst thou vanquish Dhananjaya, or Nakula, or Sahadeva, although
thou hast robbed them of their wealth? In what battle didst thou defeat
Yudhishthira, or Bhima that foremost of strong men? In what battle was
Indraprastha conquered by thee? What thou hast done, however, O thou of
wicked deeds, is to drag that princess to court while she was ill and had
but one raiment on? Thou hast cut the mighty root, delicate as the
sandal, of the Pandava tree. Actuated by desire of wealth, when thou
madest the Pandavas act as slaves, rememberest thou what Vidura said! We
see that men and others, even insects and ants, show forgiveness
according to their power of endurance. The son of Pandu, however, is
incapable of forgiving the sufferings of Draupadi. Surely, Dhananjaya
cometh here for the destruction of the sons of Dhritarashtra. It is true,
affecting great wisdom, thou art for making speeches but will not
Vibhatsu, that slayer of foes, exterminate us all! If it be gods, or
Gandharvas or Asuras, or Rakshasas, will Dhananjaya the son of Kunti,
desist to fight from panic? Inflamed with wrath upon whomsoever he will
fall, even him he will overthrow like a tree under the weight of Garuda!
Superior to thee in prowess, in bowmanship equal unto the lord himself of
the celestials, and in battle equal unto Vasudeva himself, who is there
that would not praise Partha? Counteracting celestial weapons with
celestial, and human weapons with human, what man is a match for Arjuna?
Those acquainted with the scriptures declare that a disciple is no way
inferior to a son, and it is for this that the son of Pandu is a
favourite of Drona. Employ thou the means now which thou hadst adopted in
the match at dice,–the same means, viz., by which thou hadst subjugated
Indraprastha, and the same means by which thou hadst dragged Krishna to
the assembly! This thy wise uncle, fully conversant with the duties of
the Kshatriya order–this deceitful gambler Sakuni, the prince of
Gandhara, let him fight now! The Gandiva, however, doth not cast dice
such as the Krita or the Dwapara, but it shooteth upon foes blazing and
keen-edged shafts by myriads. The fierce arrows shot from the Gandiva,
endued with great energy and furnished with vulturine wings, car, pierce
even mountains. The destroyer of all, named Yama, and Vayu, and the
horse-faced Agni, leave some remnant behind, but Dhananjaya inflamed with
wrath never doth so. As thou hadst, aided by thy uncle, played a dice in
the assembly so do fight in this battle protected by Suvala’s son. Let
the preceptor, if he chooses fight; I shall not, however, fight with
Dhananjaya. We are to fight with the king of the Matsyas, if indeed, he
cometh in the track of the kine.'”

SECTION LI

“Bhishma said, ‘Drona’s son observeth well, and Kripa, too observeth
rightly. As for Kama, it is only out of regard for the duties of the
Kshatriya order that he desireth to fight. No man of wisdom can blame the
preceptor. I, however, am of opinion that fight we must, considering both
the time and the place. Why should not that man be bewildered who hath
five adversaries effulgent as five suns, who are heroic combatants and
who have just emerged from adversity? Even those conversant with morality
are bewildered in respect of their own interests. It is for this, O king,
that I tell thee this, whether my words be acceptable to you or not. What
Karna said unto thee was only for raising our (drooping) courage. As
regards thyself, O preceptor’s son, forgive everything. The business at
hand is very grave. When the son of Kunti hath come, this is not the time
for quarrel. Everything should now be forgiven by thyself and the
preceptor Kripa. Like light in the sun, the mastery of all weapons doth
reside in you. As beauty is never separated from Chandramas, so are the
Vedas and the Brahma weapon both established in you. It is often seen
that the four Vedas dwell in one object and Kshatriya attributes in
another. We have never heard of these two dwelling together in any other
person than the preceptor of the Bharata race and his son. Even this is
what I think. In the Vedantas, in the Puranas, and in old histories, who
save Jamadagni, O king, would be Drona’s superior? A combination of the
Brahma weapon with the Vedas,–this is never to be seen anywhere else. O
preceptor’s son, do thou forgive. This is not the time for disunion. Let
all of us, uniting, fight with Indra’s son who hath come. Of all the
calamities that may befall an army that have been enumerated by men of
wisdom, the worst is disunion among the leaders. Aswatthaman said, ‘O
bull among men, these thy just observations, need not be uttered in our
presence; the preceptor, however, filled with wrath, had spoken of
Arjuna’s virtues. The virtues of even an enemy should be admitted, while
the faults of even one’s preceptor may be pointed out; therefore one
should, to the best of his power, declare the merits of a son or a
disciple.’

“Duryodhana said, ‘Let the preceptor grant his forgiveness and let peace
be restored. If the preceptor be at one with us, whatever should be done
(in view of the present emergency) would seem to have been already done.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Then, O Bharata, Duryodhana assisted by Kama
and Kripa, and the high-souled Bhishma pacified Drona.’

“Drona said, ‘Appeased I have already been at the words first spoken by
Bhishma, the son of Santanu. Let such arrangements be made that Partha
may not be able to approach Duryodhana in battle. And let such
arrangements be made that king Duryodhana may not be captured by the foe,
in consequence either of his rashness or want of judgment. Arjuna hath
not, to be sure, revealed himself before the expiry of the term of exile.
Nor will he pardon this act (of ours) today, having only recovered the
kine. Let such arrangements, therefore, be made that he may not succeed
in attacking Dhritarashtra’s son and defeating our troops. Like myself
(who am doubtful of the completion of period of exile) Duryodhana also
had said so before. Bearing it in mind, it behoveth the son of Ganga to
say what is true.'”

SECTION LII

“Bhishma said, ‘The wheel of time revolves with its divisions, viz., with
Kalas and Kasthas and Muhurtas and days and fortnights and months and
constellations and planets and seasons and years. In consequence of their
fractional excesses and the deviations of also of the heavenly bodies,
there is an increase of two months in every five years. It seems to me
that calculating this wise, there would be an excess of five months and
twelve nights in thirteen years. Everything, therefore, that the sons of
Pandu had promised, hath been exactly fulfilled by them. Knowing this to
be certain, Vibhatsu hath made his appearance. All of them are
high-souled and fully conversant with the meanings of the scriptures. How
would they deviate from virtue that have Yudhishthira for their guide?
The sons of Kunti do not yield to temptation. They have achieved a
difficult feat. If they had coveted the possession of their kingdom by
unfair means, then those descendants of the Kuru race would have sought
to display their prowess at the time of the match at dice. Bound in bonds
of virtue, they did not deviate from the duties of the Kshatriya order.
He that will regard them to have behaved falsely will surely meet with
defeat. The sons of Pritha would prefer death to falsehood. When the
time, however, comes, those bulls among men–the Pandava’s–endued with
energy like that of Sikra, would not give up what is theirs even if it is
defended by the wielder himself of the thunderbolt. We shall have to
oppose in battle the foremost of all wielders of weapons. Therefore, let
such advantageous arrangements as have the sanction of the good and the
honest be now made without loss of time so that our possessions may not
be appropriated by the foe. O king of kings, O Kaurava, I have never seen
a battle in which one of the parties could say,–we are sure to win. When
a battle occurs, there must be victory or defeat, prosperity or
adversity. Without doubt, a party to a battle must have either of the
two. Therefore, O king of kings, whether a battle be now proper or not
consistent with virtue or not, make thy arrangements soon, for Dhananjaya
is at hand.’

“Duryodhana said, ‘I will not, O grandsire, give back the Pandavas their
kingdom. Let every preparation, therefore, for battle be made without
delay.’

“Bhishma said, ‘Listen to what I regard as proper, if it pleases thee. I
should always say what is for thy good, O Kaurava. Proceed thou towards
the capital, without loss of time, taking with thee a fourth part of the
army. And let another fourth march, escorting the kine. With half the
troops we will fight the Pandava. Myself and Drona, and Karna and
Aswatthaman and Kripa will resolutely withstand Vibhatsu, or the king of
the Matsyas, or Indra himself, if he approaches. Indeed, we will
withstand any of these like the bank withstanding the surging sea.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘These words spoken by the high-souled Bhishma
were acceptable to them, and the king of the Kauravas acted accordingly
without delay. And having sent away the king and then the kine, Bhishma
began to array the soldiers in order of battle. And addressing the
preceptor, he said, ‘O preceptor, stand thou in the centre, and let
Aswatthaman stand on the left, and let the wise Kripa, son of Saradwata,
defend the right wing, and let Karna of the Suta caste, clad in mail,
stand in the van. I will stand in the rear of the whole army, protecting
it from that point.'”

SECTION LIII

“Vaisampayana said, ‘After the Kauravas, O Bharata, had taken their stand
in this order, Arjuna, filling the air with the rattle and din of his
car, advanced quickly towards them. And the Kurus beheld his banner-top
and heard the rattle and din of his car as also the twang of the Gandiva
stretched repeatedly by him. And noting all this, and seeing that great
car-warrior–the wielder of the Gandiva–come, Drona spoke thus, ‘That is
the banner-top of Partha which shineth at a distance, and this is the
noise of his car, and that is the ape that roareth frightfully. Indeed,
the ape striketh terror in the troops. And there stationed on that
excellent car, the foremost of car-warriors draweth that best of bows,
the Gandiva, whose twang is as loud as the thunder. Behold, these two
shafts coming together fall at my feet, and two others pass off barely
touching my ears. Completing the period of exile and having achieved many
wonderful feats, Partha saluteth me and whispereth in my ears. Endued
with wisdom and beloved of his relatives, this Dhananjaya, the son of
Pandu, is, indeed, beheld by us after a long time, blazing with beauty
and grace. Possessed of car and arrows, furnished with handsome fences
and quiver and conch and banner and coat of mail, decked with diadem and
scimitar and bow, the son of Pritha shineth like the blazing (Homa) fire
surrounded with sacrificial ladles and fed with sacrificial butter.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Beholding the Kurus ready for battle, Arjuna
addressing Matsya’s son in words suitable to the occasion, said, ‘O
charioteer, restrain thou the steeds at such a point whence my arrows may
reach the enemy. Meanwhile, let me see, where, in the midst of this army,
is that vile wretch of the Kuru race. Disregarding all these, and
singling out that vainest of princes I will fall upon his head, for upon
the defeat of that wretch the others will regard themselves as defeated.
There standeth Drona, and thereafter him his son. And there are those
great bowmen–Bhishma and Kripa and Kama. I do not see, however, the king
there. I suspect that anxious to save his life, he retreateth by the
southern road, taking away with him the kine. Leaving this array of
car-warriors, proceed to the spot where Suyodhana is. There will I fight,
O son of Virata, for there the battle will not be fruitless, Defeating
him I will come back, taking away the kine.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Thus addressed, the son of Virata restrained
the steeds with an effort and turned them by a pull at the bridle from
the spot where those bulls of the Kuru race were, and urged them on
towards the place where Duryodhana was. And as Arjuna went away leaving
that thick array of cars, Kripa, guessing his intention, addressed his
own comrades, saying, ‘This Vibhatsu desireth not to take up his stand at
a spot remote from the king. Let us quickly fall upon the flanks of the
advancing hero. When inflamed with wrath, none else, unassisted, can
encounter him in battle save the deity of a thousand eyes, or Krishna the
son of Devaki. Of what use to us would the kine be or this vast wealth
also, if Duryodhana were to sink, like a boat, in the ocean of Partha?’
Meanwhile, Vibhatsu, having proceeded towards that division of the army,
announced himself speedily by name, and covered the troops with his
arrows thick as locusts. And covered with those countless shafts shot by
Partha, the hostile warriors could not see anything, the earth itself and
the sky becoming overwhelmed therewith. And the soldiers who had been
ready for the fight were so confounded that none could even the flee from
the field. And beholding the light-handedness of Partha they all
applauded it mentally. And Arjuna then blew his conch which always made
the bristles of the foe stand erect. And twanging his best of bows, he
urged the creatures on his flagstaff to roar more frightfully. And at the
blare of his conch and the rattle of his car-wheels, and the twang of the
Gandiva, and the roar of the superhuman creatures stationed on his
flagstaff, the earth itself began to tremble. And shaking their upraised
tails and lowing together, the kine turned back, proceeding along the
southern road.'”

SECTION LIV

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Having disorganised the hostile host by force and
having recovered the kine, that foremost of bowmen, desirous of fighting
again, proceeded towards Duryodhana. And beholding the kine running wild
towards the city of the Matsyas, the foremost warriors of the Kurus
regarded Kiritin to have already achieved success. And all of a sudden
they fell upon Arjuna who was advancing towards Duryodhana. And beholding
their countless divisions firmly arrayed in order of battle with
countless banners waving over them, that slayer of foes, addressing the
son of the king of the Matsyas, said, ‘Urge on, to the best of their
speed by this road, these white steeds decked with golden bridles. Strive
thou well, for I would approach this crowd of Kuru lions. Like an
elephant desiring an encounter with another, the Suta’s son of wicked
soul eagerly desireth a battle with me. Take me, O prince, to him who
hath grown so proud under the patronage of Duryodhana. Thus addressed,
the son of Virata by means of those large steeds endued with the speed of
the wind and furnished with golden armour, broke that array of cars and
took the Pandava into the midst of the battle-field. And seeing this
those mighty car-warriors, Chitrasena and Sangramajit and Satrusaha and
Jaya, desirous of aiding Karna, rushed with arrows and long shafts,
towards the advancing hero of Bharata’s race. Then that foremost of men,
inflamed with wrath, began to consume by means of fiery arrows shot from
his bow, that array of cars belonging to those bulls among the Kurus,
like a tremendous conflagration consuming a forest. Then, when the battle
began to rage furiously, the Kuru hero, Vikarna, mounted on his car,
approached that foremost of car-warriors, Partha, the younger brother of
Bhima,–showering upon him terrible shafts thick and long. Then cutting
Vikarna’s bow furnished with a tough string and horns overlaid with gold,
Arjuna cut off his flagstaff. And Vikarna, beholding his flagstaff cut
off, speedily took to flight. And after Vikarna’s flight, Satruntapa,
unable to repress his ire, began to afflict Partha, that obstructer of
foes and achiever of super-human feats, by means of a perfect shower of
arrows. And drowned, as it were, in the midst of the Kuru-array, Arjuna,
pierced by that mighty car-warrior,–king Satruntapa–pierced the latter
in return with five and then slew his car-driver with ten shafts, and
pierced by that bull of the Bharata race with an arrow capable of
cleaving the thickest coat of mail, Satruntapa fell dead on the field of
battle, like a tree from a mountain-top torn up by the wind. And those
brave bulls among men, mangled in battle by that braver bull among men,
began to waver and tremble like mighty forests shaken by the violence of
the wind that blows at the time of the universal dissolution. And struck
in battle by Partha, the son of Vasava, those well-dressed heroes among
men–those givers of wealth endued with the energy of Vasava–defeated
and deprived of life, began to measure their lengths on the ground, like
full-grown Himalayan elephants clad in mails of black steel decked with
gold. And like unto a raging fire consuming a forest at the close of
summer, that foremost of men, wielding the Gandiva, ranged the field in
all directions, slaying his foes in battle thus. And as the wind rangeth
at will, scattering masses of clouds and fallen leaves in the season of
spring, so did that foremost of car-warriors–Kiritin–ranged in that
battle, scattering all his foes before him. And soon slaying the red
steeds yoked unto the car of Sangramajit, the brother of Vikatana’s son,
that hero decked in diadem and endued with great vigour then cut off his
antagonist’s head by a crescent-shaped arrow. And when his brother was
slain, Vikartana’s son of the Suta caste, mustering all his prowess,
rushed at Arjuna, like a huge elephant with out-stretched tusks, or like
a tiger at a mighty bull. And the son of Vikarna quickly pierced the son
of Pandu with twelve shafts and all his steeds also in every part of
their bodies and Virata’s son too in his hand. And rushing impetuously
against Vikarna’s son who was suddenly advancing against him, Kiritin
attacked him fiercely like Garuda of variegated plumage swooping down
upon a snake. And both of them were foremost of bowmen, and both were
endued with great strength, and both were capable of slaying foes. And
seeing that an encounter was imminent between them, the Kauravas, anxious
to witness it, stood aloof as lookers on. And beholding the offender
Karna, the son of Pandu, excited to fury, and glad also at having him,
soon made him, his horses, his car, and car-driver invisible by means of
a frightful shower of countless arrows. And the warriors of the Bharatas
headed by Bhishma, with their horses, elephants, and cars, pierced by
Kiritin and rendered invisible by means of his shafts, their ranks also
scattered and broken, began to wail aloud in grief. The illustrious and
heroic Karna, however counteracting with numberless arrows of his own
those shafts by Arjuna’s hand, soon burst forth in view with bow and
arrows like a blazing fire. And then there arose the sound of loud
clapping of hands, with the blare of conchs and trumpets and kettle-drums
made by the Kurus while they applauded Vikartana’s son who filled the
atmosphere with the sound of his bow-string flapping against his fence.
And beholding Kiritin filling the air with the twang of Gandiva, and the
upraised tail of the monkey that constituted his flag and that terrible
creature yelling furiously from the top of his flagstaff, Karna sent
forth a loud roar. And afflicting by means of his shafts, Vikartana’s son
along with his steeds, car and car-driver, Kiritin impetuously poured an
arrowy shower on him, casting his eyes on the grandsire and Drona and
Kripa. And Vikartana’s son also poured upon Partha a heavy shower of
arrows like a rain-charged cloud. And the diadem-decked Arjuna also
covered Karna with a thick down-pour of keen-edged shafts. And the two
heroes stationed on their cars, creating clouds of keen-edged arrows in a
combat carried on by means of countless shafts and weapons, appeared to
the spectators like the sun and the moon covered by clouds, and the
light-handed Karna, unable to bear the sight of the foe, pierced the four
horses of the diadem-decked hero with whetted arrows, and then struck his
car-driver with three shafts, and his flagstaff also with three. Thus
struck, that grinder of all adversaries in battle, that bull of the Kuru
race, Jishnu wielding the Gandiva, like a lion awaked from slumber,
furiously attacked Kama by means of straight-going arrows. And afflicted
by the arrowy shower (of Karna), that illustrious achiever of super-human
deeds soon displayed a thick shower of arrows in return. And he covered
Karna’s car with countless shafts like the sun covering the different
worlds with rays. And like a lion attacked by an elephant, Arjuna, taking
some keen crescent-shaped arrows from out of his quiver and drawing his
bow to his ear, pierced the Suta’s son on every part of his body. And
that grinder of foes pierced Karna’s arms and thighs and head and
forehead and neck and other principal parts of his body with whetted
shafts endued with the impetuosity of the thunderbolt and shot from the
Gandiva in battle. And mangled and afflicted by the arrows shot by Partha
the son of Pandu, Vikartana’s son, quitted the van of battle, and quickly
took to flight, like one elephant vanquished by another.'”

SECTION LV

“Vaisampayana said, ‘After the son of Radha had fled from the field,
other warriors headed by Duryodhana, one after another, fell upon the son
of Pandu with their respective divisions. And like the shore withstanding
the fury of the surging sea, that warrior withstood the rage of that
countless host rushing towards him, arrayed in order of battle and
showering clouds of arrows. And that foremost of car-warriors, Kunti’s
son Vibhatsu of white steeds, rushed towards the foe, discharging
celestial weapons all the while. Partha soon covered all the points of
the horizon with countless arrows shot from the Gandiva, like the sun
covering the whole earth with his rays. And amongst those that fought on
cars and horses and elephants, and amongst the mail-clad foot-soldiers,
there was none that had on his body a space of even two finger’s breadth
unwounded with sharp arrows. And for his dexterity in applying celestial
weapons, and for the training of the steeds and the skill of Uttara, and
for the coursing of his weapons, and his prowess and light-handedness,
people began to regard Arjuna as the fire that blazeth forth during the
time of the universal dissolution for consuming all created things. And
none amongst the foe could cast his eyes on Arjuna who shone like a
blazing fire of great effulgence. And mangled by the arrows of Arjuna,
the hostile ranks looked like newly-risen clouds on the breast of a hill
reflecting the solar rays, or like groves of Asoka trees resplendent with
clusters of flowers. Indeed, afflicted by the arrows of Partha, the
soldiers looked like these, or like a beautiful garland whose flowers
gradually wither and drop away: And the all-pervading wind bore on its
wings in the sky the torn flags and umbrellas of the hostile host. And
affrighted at the havoc amongst their own ranks, the steeds fled in all
directions, freed from their yokes by means of Partha’s arrows and
dragging after them broken portions of cars and elephants, struck on
their ears and ribs and tusks and nether lips and other delicate parts of
the body, began to drop down on the battle-field. And the earth, bestrewn
in a short time with the corpses of elephants belonging to the Kauravas,
looked like the sky overcast with masses of black clouds. And as that
fire of blazing flames at the end of the yuga consumeth all perishable
things of the world, both mobile and immobile, so did Partha, O king,
consumeth all foes in battle. And by the energy of his weapons and the
twang of his bow, and the preter-natural yells of the creatures stationed
on his flagstaff, and the terrible roar of the monkey, and by the blast
of his conch, that mighty grinder of foes, Vibhatsu, struck terror into
the hearts of all the troops of Duryodhana. And the strength of every
hostile warrior seemed, as it were, to be levelled to the dust at the
very sight of Arjuna. And unwilling to commit the daring act of sin of
slaying them that were defenceless, Arjuna suddenly fell back and
attacked the army from behind by means of clouds of keen-edged arrows
proceeding towards their aims like hawks let off by fowlers. And he soon
covered the entire welkin with clusters of blood-drinking arrows. And as
the (infinite) rays of the powerful sun, entering a small vessel, are
contracted within it for want of space, so the countless shafts of Arjuna
could not find space for their expansion even within the vast welkin.
Foes were able to behold Arjuna’s car, when near, only once, for
immediately after, they were with their horses, sent to the other world.
And as his arrows unobstructed by the bodies of foes always passed
through them, so his car, unimpeded by hostile ranks, always passed
through the latter. And, indeed, he began to toss about and agitate the
hostile troops with great violence like the thousand-headed Vasuki
sporting in the great ocean. And as Kiritin incessantly shot his shafts,
the noise of the bow-string, transcending every sound, was so loud that
the like of it had never been heard before by created beings. And the
elephants crowding the field, their bodies pierced with (blazing) arrows
with small intervals between looked like black clouds coruscated with
solar rays. And ranging in all directions and shooting (arrows) right and
left, Arjuna’s bow was always to be seen drawn to a perfect circle. And
the arrows of the wielder of the Gandiva never fell upon anything except
the aim, even as the eye never dwelleth on anything that is not
beautiful. And as the track of a herd of elephants marching through the
forest is made of itself, so was the track was made of itself for the car
of Kiritin. And struck and mangled by Partha, the hostile warriors
thought that,–Verily, Indra himself, desirous of Partha’s victory,
accompanied by all the immortals is slaying us! And they also regarded
Vijaya, who was making a terrible slaughter around, to be none else than
Death himself who having assumed the form of Arjuna, was slaying all
creatures. And the troops of the Kurus, struck by Partha, were so mangled
and shattered that the scene looked like the achievement of Partha
himself and could be compared with nothing else save what was observable
in Partha’s combats. And he severed the heads of foes, even as reapers
cut off the tops of deciduous herbs. And the Kurus all lost their energy
owing to the terror begot of Arjuna. And tossed and mangled by the
Arjuna-gale, the forest of Arjuna’s foes reddened the earth with purple
secretions. And the dust mixed with blood, uplifted by the wind, made the
very rays of the sun redder still. And soon the sun-decked sky became so
red that it looked very much like the evening. Indeed, the sun ceaseth to
shed his rays as soon as he sets, but the son of Pandu ceased not to
shoot his shafts. And that hero of inconceivable energy overwhelmed, by
means of all celestial weapons, all the great bowmen of the enemy,
although they were possessed of great prowess. And Arjuna then shot three
and seventy arrows of sharp points at Drona, and ten at Dussaha and eight
at Drona’s son, and twelve at Dussasana, and three at Kripa, the son of
Saradwat. And that slayer of foes pierced Bhishma, the son of Santanu,
with arrows, and king Duryodhana with a hundred. And, lastly, he pierced
Karna in the ear with a bearded shaft. And when that great bowmen Karna,
skilled in all weapons, was thus pierced, and his horses and car and
car-driver were all destroyed, the troops that supported him began to
break. And beholding those soldiers break and give way the son of Virata
desirous of knowing Partha’s purpose, addressed him on the field of
battle, and said, ‘O Partha, standing on this beautiful car, with myself
as charioteer, towards which division shall I go? For, commanded by thee,
I would soon take thee thither.’

“Arjuna replied, ‘O Uttara, yonder auspicious warrior whom thou seest
cased in coat of tiger-skin and stationed on his car furnished with a
blue-flag and drawn by red steeds, is Kripa. There is to be seen the van
of Kripa’s division. Take me thither. I shall show that great bowman my
swift-handedness in archery. And that warrior whose flag beareth the
device of an elegant water-pot worked in gold, is the preceptor
Drona–that foremost of all wielders of weapons. He is always an object
of regard with me, as also with all bearers of arms. Do thou, therefore,
circumambulate that great hero cheerfully. Let us bend our heads there,
for that is the eternal virtue. If Drona strikes my body first, then I
shall strike him, for then he will not be able to resent it. There, close
to Drona, that warrior whose flag beareth the device of a bow, is the
preceptor’s son, the great car-warrior Aswatthaman, who is always an
object of regard with me as also with every bearer of arms. Do thou,
therefore, stop again and again, while thou comest by his car. There,
that warrior who stayeth on his car, cased in golden mail and surrounded
by a third part of the army consisting of the most efficient troops, and
whose flag beareth the device of an elephant in a ground of gold, is the
illustrious king Duryodhana, the son of Dhritarashtra. O hero, take
before him this thy car that is capable of grinding hostile cars. This
king is difficult of being vanquished in battle and is capable of
grinding all foes. He is regarded as the first of all Drona’s disciples
in lightness of hand. I shall, in battle, show him my superior swiftness
in archery. There, that warrior whose flag beareth the device of a stout
chord for binding elephants, is Karna, the son of Vikartana, already
known to thee. When thou comest before that wicked son of Radha, be thou
very careful, for he always challengeth me to an encounter. And that
warrior whose flag is blue and beareth the device of five stars with a
sun (in the centre), and who endued with great energy stayeth on his car
holding a huge bow in hand and wearing excellent fences, and over whose
head is an umbrella of pure white, who standeth at the head of a
multitudinous array of cars with various flags and banners like the sun
in advance of masses of black clouds, and whose mail of gold looks bright
as the sun or the moon, and who with his helmet of gold striketh terror
into my heart, is Bhishma, the son of Santanu and the grandsire of us
all. Entertained with regal splendour by Duryodhana, he is very partial
and well-affected towards that prince. Let him be approached last of all,
for he may, even now, be an obstacle to me. While fighting with me, do
thou carefully guide the steeds. Thus addressed by him, Virata’s son, O
king, guided Savyasachin’s car with great alacrity towards the spot where
Kripa stood anxious to fight.'”

SECTION LVI

“Vaisampayana said, ‘And the ranks of those fierce bowmen, the Kurus,
looked like masses of clouds in the rainy season drifting before a gentle
wind. And close (to those ranks of foot-soldiers) stood the enemy’s
horses ridden by terrible warriors. And there were also elephants of
terrible mien, looking resplendent in beautiful armour, ridden by skilled
combatants and urged on with iron crows and hooks. And, O king, mounted
on a beautiful car, Sakra came there accompanied by the celestials,–the
Viswas and Maruts. And crowded with gods, Yakshas, Gandharvas and Nagas,
the firmament looked as resplendent as it does when bespangled with the
planetary constellation in a cloudless night. And the celestials came
there, each on his own car, desirous of beholding the efficacy of their
weapons in human warfare, and for witnessing also the fierce and mighty
combat that would take place when Bhishma and Arjuna would meet. And
embellished with gems of every kind and capable of going everywhere at
the will of the rider, the heavenly car of the lord of the celestials,
whose roof was upheld by a hundred thousand pillars of gold with (a
central) one made entirely of jewels and gems, was conspicuous in the
clear sky. And there appeared on the scene three and thirty gods with
Vasava (at their head), and (many) Gandharvas and Rakshasas and Nagas and
Pitris, together with the great Rishis. And seated on the car of the lord
of the celestials, appeared the effulgent persons of king, Vasumanas and
Valakshas and Supratarddana, and Ashtaka and Sivi and Yayati and Nahusha
and Gaya and Manu and Puru and Raghu and Bhanu and Krisaswa and Sagara
and Nala. And there shone in a splendid array, each in its proper place
the cars of Agni and Isa and Soma and Varuna and Prajapati and Dhatri and
Vidhatri and Kuvera and Yama, and Alamvusha and Ugrasena and others, and
of the Gandharva Tumburu. And all the celestials and the Siddhas, and all
the foremost of sages came there to behold that encounter between Arjuna
and the Kurus. And the sacred fragrance of celestial garlands filled the
air like that of blossoming woods at the advent of spring. And the red
and reddish umbrellas and robes and garlands and chamaras of the gods, as
they were stationed there, looked exceedingly beautiful. And the dust of
the earth soon disappeared and (celestial) effulgence lit up everything.
And redolent of divine perfumes, the breeze began to soothe the
combatants. And the firmament seemed ablaze and exceedingly beautiful,
decked with already arrived and arriving cars of handsome and various
make, all illumined with diverse sorts of jewels, and brought thither by
the foremost of the celestials. And surrounded by the celestials, and
wearing a garland of lotuses and lilies the powerful wielder of the
thunderbolt looked exceedingly beautiful on his car. And the slayer of
Vala, although he steadfastly gazed at his son on the field of battle,
was not satiated with such gazing,'”

SECTION LVII

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Beholding the army of the Kurus arrayed in order of
battle, that descendant of the Kuru race, Partha, addressing Virata’s
son, said, ‘Do thou proceed to the spot where Kripa, the son of Saradwat,
is going by the southern side of that car whose flag is seen to bear the
device of a golden altar.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Hearing these words of Dhananjaya, the son of
Virata urged, without a moment’s delay, those steeds of silvery hue
decked in golden armour. And making them adopt, one after another, every
kind of the swifter paces, he urged those fiery steeds resembling the
moon in colour. And versed in horse-lore, Uttara, having approached the
Kuru host, turned back those steeds endued with the speed of the wind.
And skilled in guiding vehicles, the prince of Matsya, sometimes wheeling
about, and sometimes proceeding in circular mazes, and sometimes turning
to the left, began to be wilder the Kurus. And wheeling round, the
intrepid and mighty son of Virata at last approached the car of Kripa,
and stood confronting him. Then announcing his own name, Arjuna
powerfully blew that best of conchs called Devadatta, of loud blare. And
blown on the field of battle by the mighty Jishnu, the blare of that
conch was heard like the splitting of a mountain. And seeing that the
conch did not break into a hundred fragments when blown by Arjuna, the
Kurus with all their warriors began to applaud it highly. And having
reached the very heavens, that sound coming back was heard even like the
crash of the thunderbolt hurled by Maghavat on the mountain breast.
Thereupon that heroic and intrepid and mighty car-warrior, Saradwat’s son
Kripa, endued with strength and prowess, waxing wroth at Arjuna, and
unable to bear that sound and eager for fight, took up his own
sea-begotten conch and blew it vehemently. And filling the three worlds
with that sound, that foremost of car-warriors took up a large bow and
twanged the bow-string powerfully. And those mighty car-warriors, equal
unto two suns, standing opposed to each other, shone like two masses of
autumnal clouds. Then Saradwat’s son quickly pierced Partha, that slayer
of hostile heroes, with ten swift and whetted arrows capable of entering
into the very vitals. And Pritha’s son also, on his part, drawing that
foremost of weapons, the Gandiva, celebrated over the world, shot
innumerable iron-arrows, all capable of penetrating into the very core of
the body. Thereupon Kripa, by means of whetted shafts, cut into hundreds
and thousands of fragments, those blood-drinking arrows of Partha before
they could come up. Then that mighty car-warrior, Partha also, in wrath
displaying various manoeuvres, covered all sides with a shower of arrows.
And covering the entire welkin with his shafts, that mighty warrior of
immeasurable soul, the son of Pritha, enveloped Kripa with hundred of
shafts. And sorely afflicted by those whetted arrows resembling flames of
fire, Kripa waxed wroth and quickly afflicting the high-souled Partha of
immeasurable prowess with ten thousand shafts, set up on the field of
battle a loud roar. Then the heroic Arjuna quickly pierced the four
steeds of his adversary with four fatal arrows shot from the Gandiva,
sharp and straight, and furnished with golden wings. And pierced by means
of those whetted arrows resembling flames of fire those steeds suddenly
reared themselves, and in consequence Kripa reeled off his place. And
seeing Gautama thrown off his place, the slayer of hostile heroes, the
descendant of the Kuru race, out of regard for his opponent’s dignity,
ceased to discharge his shafts at him. Then regaining his proper place,
Gautama quickly pierced Savyasachin with ten arrows furnished with
feathers of the Kanka bird. Then with a crescent-shaped arrow of keen
edge, Partha cut off Kripa’s bow and leathern fences. And soon Partha cut
off Kripa’s coat of mail also by means of arrows capable of penetrating
the very vitals, but he did not wound his person. And divested of his
coat of mail, his body resembled that of a serpent which hath in season
cast off its slough. And as soon as his bow had been cut off by Partha,
Gautama took up another and stringed it in a trice. And strange to say,
that bow of him was also cut off by Kunti’s son, by means of straight
shafts. And in this way that slayer of hostile heroes, the son of Pandu,
cut off other bows as soon as they were taken up, one after another, by
Saradwat’s son. And when all his bows were thus cut off, that mighty hero
hurled, from his car, at Pandu’s son, a javelin like unto the blazing
thunderbolt. Thereupon, as the gold-decked javelin came whizzing through
the air with the flash of a meteor, Arjuna cut it off by means of ten
arrows. And beholding his dart thus cut off by the intelligent Arjuna,
Kripa quickly took up another bow and almost simultaneously shot a number
of crescent-shaped arrows. Partha, however, quickly cut them into
fragments by means of ten keen-edged shafts, and endued with great
energy, the son of Pritha then, inflamed with wrath on the field of
battle, discharged three and ten arrows whetted on stone and resembling
flames of fire. And with one of these he cut off the yoke of his
adversary’s car, and with four pierced his four steeds, and with the
sixth he severed the head of his antagonist’s car-driver from off his
body. And with three that mighty car-warrior pierced, in that encounter,
the triple bamboo-pole of Kripa’s car and with two, its wheels. And with
the twelfth arrow he cut off Kripa’s flagstaff. And with the thirteenth
Falguni, who was like Indra himself as if smiling in derision, pierced
Kripa in the breast. Then with his bow cut off, his car broken, his
steeds slain, his car-driver killed, Kripa leapt down and taking up a
mace quickly hurled it at Arjuna. But that heavy and polished mace hurled
by Kripa was sent back along its course, struck by means of Arjuna’s
arrows. And then the warriors (of Kripa’s division), desirous of rescuing
wrathful son of Saradwat encountered Partha from all sides and covered
him with their arrows. Then the son of Virata, turning the steed to the
left began to perform circuitous evolution called Yamaka and thus
withstood all those warriors. And those illustrious bulls among men,
taking Kripa with them who had been deprived of his car, led him away
from the vicinity of Dhananiaya, the son of Kunti.'”

SECTION LVIII

“Vaisampayana said, ‘After Kripa had thus been taken away, the invincible
Drona of red steeds, taking up his bow to which he had already stringed
an arrow, rushed towards Arjuna of white steeds. And beholding at no
great distance from him the preceptor advancing on his golden car, Arjuna
that foremost of victorious warriors, addressing Uttara, said, ‘Blessed
be thou, O friend, carry me before that warrior on whose high banner-top
is seen a golden altar resembling a long flame of fire and decked with
numerous flags placed around, and whose car is drawn by steeds that are
red and large, exceedingly handsome and highly-trained, of face pleasant
and of quiet mien, and like unto corals in colour and with faces of
coppery hue, for that warrior is Drona with whom I desire to fight. Of
long arms and endued with mighty energy possessed of strength and beauty
of person, celebrated over all the worlds for his prowess, resembling
Usanas himself in intelligence and Vrihaspati in knowledge of morality,
he is conversant with the four Vedas and devoted to the practice of
Brahmacharya virtues. O friend, the use of the celestial weapons together
with the mysteries of their withdrawal and the entire-science of weapons,
always reside in him. Forgiveness, self-control, truth, abstention from
injury, rectitude of conduct,–these and countless other virtues always
dwell in that regenerate one. I desire to fight with that highly-blessed
one on the field. Therefore, take me before the preceptor and carry me
thither, O Uttara.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Thus addressed by Arjuna, Virata’s son urged
his steeds decked with gold towards the car of Bharadwaja’s son. And
Drona also rushed towards the impetuously advancing Partha, the son of
Pandu,–that foremost of car-warriors,–like an infuriate elephant
rushing towards an infuriate compeer. And the son of Bharadwaja then blew
his conch whose blare resembled that of a hundred trumpets. And at that
sound the whole army become agitated like the sea in a tempest. And
beholding those excellent steeds red in hue mingling in battle with
Arjuna’s steeds of swan-like whiteness endued with the speed of the mind,
all the spectators were filled with wonder. And seeing on the field of
battle those car-warriors–the preceptor Drona and his disciple
Partha–both endued with prowess, both invincible, both well-trained,
both possessed of great energy and great strength, engaged with each
other, that mighty host of the Bharatas began to tremble frequently. And
that mighty car-warrior Partha, possessed of great prowess and filled
with joy upon reaching Drona’s car on his own, saluted the preceptor. And
that slayer of hostile heroes, the mighty armed son of Kunti, then
addressed Drona in an humble and sweet tone, saying, ‘Having completed
our exile in the woods, we are now desirous of avenging our wrongs. Even
invincible in battle, it doth not behove thee to be angry with us. O
sinless one, I will not strike thee unless thou strikest me first. Even
this is my intention. It behoveth thee to act as thou choosest.’ Thus
addressed Drona discharged at him more than twenty arrows. But the
light-handed Partha cut them off before they could reach him. And at
this, the mighty Drona, displaying his lightness of hand in the use of
weapons, covered Partha’s car with a thousand arrows. And desirous of
angering, Partha, that hero of immeasurable soul, then covered his steeds
of silvery whiteness with arrows whetted on stone and winged with the
feathers of the Kanka bird. And when the battle between Drona and Kiritin
thus commenced, both of them discharging in the encounter arrows of
blazing splendour, both well-known for their achievements, both equal to
the wind itself in speed, both conversant with celestial weapons, and
both endued with mighty energy, began shooting clouds of arrows to
bewilder the royal Kshatriyas. And all the warriors that were assembled
there were filled with wonder at sight of all this. And they all admired
Drona who quickly shot clouds of arrows exclaiming,–Well done! Well
done! Indeed, who else save Falguna, is worthy of fighting with Drona in
battle? Surely the duties of a Kshatriya are stern, for Arjuna fighteth
with even his own preceptor!–And it was thus that they who stood on the
field of battle said unto one another. And inflamed with fire, those
mighty-armed heroes standing before other, and each incapable of
overcoming the other, covered each other with arrowy showers. And
Bharadwaja’s son, waxing worth, drew his large and unconquerable bow
plated on the back with gold, and pierced Falguna with his arrows. And
discharging at Arjuna’s car innumerable whetted arrows possessed of solar
effulgence, he entirely shrouded the light of the sun. And that great
car-warrior of mighty arms, violently pierced Pritha’s son with
keen-edged shafts even as the clouds shower upon a mountain. Then taking
up that foremost of bows, the Gandiva, destructive of foes and capable of
withstanding the greatest strain, the impetuous son of Pandu cheerfully
discharged countless shafts of various kinds adorned with gold, and that
powerful warrior also baffled in a moment Drona’s arrowy shower by means
of those shafts shot from his own bow. And at this the spectators
wondered greatly. And the handsome Dhananjaya, the son of Pritha, ranging
on his car, displayed his weapons on all sides at the same time. And the
entire welkin covered with his arrows, became one wide expanse of shade.
And at this Drona become invisible like the sun enveloped in mist. And
shrouded by those excellent arrows on all sides, Drona looked like a
mountain on fire. And beholding his own car completely enveloped by the
arrows of Pritha’s son, Drona that ornament of battle, bent his terrible
and foremost of bows whose noise was as loud as that of the clouds. And
drawing that first of weapons, which was like unto a circle of fire, he
discharged a cloud of keen-edged shafts. And then there were heard on the
field loud sounds like the splitting of bamboos set on fire. And that
warrior of immeasurable soul, shooting from his bow arrows furnished with
golden wings, covered all sides, shrouding the very light of the sun. And
those arrows with knots well-peeled off, and furnished with golden wings,
looked like flocks of birds in the sky. And the arrows discharged by
Drona from his bow, touching one another at the wings, appeared like one
endless line in the sky. And those heroes, thus discharging their arrows
decked with gold, seemed to cover the sky with showers of meteors. And
furnished with feathers of the Kanka bird, those arrows looked like rows
of cranes ranging in the autumnal sky. And the fierce and terrible
encounter that took place between the illustrious Drona and Arjuna
resembled that between Virata and Vasava of old. And discharging arrows
at each other from bows drawn at their fullest stretch, they resembled
two elephants assailing each other with their tusks. And those wrathful
warriors–those ornaments of battle–fighting strictly according to
established usage, displayed in that conflict various celestial weapons
in due order. Then that foremost of victorious men, Arjuna, by means of
his keen shafts resisted the whetted arrows shot by that best of
preceptors. And displaying before the spectators various weapons, that
hero of terrible prowess covered the sky with various kinds of arrows.
And beholding that tiger among men, Arjuna, endued with fierce energy and
intent upon striking him, that foremost of warriors and best of
preceptors (from affection) began to fight with him playfully by means of
smooth and straight arrows. And Bharadwaja’s son fought on with Falguna,
resisting with his own the celestial weapons shot by the former. And the
fight that took place between those enraged lions among men, incapable of
bearing each other, was like unto encounter between the gods and the
Danavas. And the son of Pandu repeatedly baffled with his own, the
Aindra, the Vayavya, and the Agneya weapons that were shot by Drona. And
discharging keen shafts, those mighty bowmen, by their arrowy showers
completely covered the sky and made a wide expanse of shade. And then the
arrows shot by Arjuna, falling on the bodies of hostile warriors,
produced the crash of thunderbolt. O king, elephants, cars, and horses,
bathed in blood, looked like Kinsuka trees crowned with flowers. And in
that encounter between Drona and Arjuna, beholding the field covered with
arms decked with bangles, and gorgeously-attired car-warriors, and coats
of mail variegated with gold, and with banners lying scattered all about,
and with warriors slain by means of Partha’s arrows, the Kuru host became
panic-stricken. And shaking their bows capable of bearing much strain,
those combatants began to shroud and weaken each other with their shafts.
And, O bull of the Bharata race, the encounter that took place between
Drona and Kunti’s son was dreadful in the extreme and resembled that
between Vali and Vasava. And staking their very lives, they began to
pierce each other straight arrows shot from their fully-stretched
bow-strings. And a voice was heard in the sky applauding Drona, and
saying, ‘Difficult is the feat performed by Drona, inasmuch as he
fighteth with Arjuna,–that grinder of foes, that warrior endued with
mighty energy, of firm grasp, and invincible in battle,–that conqueror
of both celestials and Daityas, that foremost of all car-warriors.’ And
beholding Partha’s infallibility, training, fleetness of hand, and the
range also of Arjuna’s, arrows, Drona became amazed. And, O bull of the
Bharata race, lifting up his excellent bow, the Gandiva the unforbearing
Partha drew it now with one hand and now with another shot an arrowy
shower. And beholding that shower resembling a flight of locusts, the
spectators wondering applauded him exclaiming, ‘Excellent’! ‘Excellent’!
And so ceaselessly did he shoot his arrows that the very air was unable
to penetrate the thick array. And the spectators could not perceive any
interval between the taking up of the arrows and letting them off. And in
that fierce encounter characterised by lightness of hand in the discharge
of weapons, Partha began to shoot his arrows more quickly than before.
And then all at once hundreds and thousands of straight arrows fell upon
Drona’s car. And, O bull of the Bharata race, beholding Drona completely
covered by the wielder of the Gandiva with his arrows, the Kuru army set
up exclamation of ‘Oh’! and ‘Alas’! And Maghavat, together with those
Gandharvas and Apsaras that have come there, applauded the fleetness of
Partha’s hand. And that mighty car-warrior, the preceptor’s son, then
resisted the Pandva with a mighty array of cars. And although enraged
with Arjuna, yet Aswatthaman mentally admired that feat of the
high-souled son of Pritha. And waxing wroth, he rushed towards Partha,
and discharged at him an arrowy shower like a heavy down-pour by the
cloud. And turning his steeds towards Drona’s son, Partha gave Drona an
opportunity to leave the field. And thereupon the latter, wounded in that
terrible encounter, and his mail and banner gone sped away by the aid of
swift horses.'”

SECTION LIX

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Then, O mighty king, Drona’s son rushed to an
encounter with Arjuna in battle. And beholding his rush to the conflict
like a hurricane, showering shafts like a rain charged cloud Pritha’s son
received him with a cloud of arrows. And terrible was the encounter
between them, like that between the gods and the Danavas. And they shot
arrows at each other like Virata and Vasava. And the welkin being
enveloped on all sides with arrows, the sun was completely hidden, and
the air itself was hushed. And, O conqueror of hostile cities, as they
assailed and struck each other, loud sounds arose as of bamboos on fire.
And, O king, Aswatthaman’s horses being sorely afflicted by Arjuna, they
became bewildered and could not ascertain which way to go. And as
Pritha’s son ranged on the field, the powerful son of Drona finding an
opportunity, cut off the string of the Gandiva with an arrow furnished
with a horse-shoe head And beholding that extraordinary feat of his, the
celestials applauded him highly. And exclaiming–‘Well done’!—‘Well
done’! Drona and Bhishma, and Karna, and the mighty warrior Kripa, all
applauded that feat of his greatly. And the son of Drona, drawing his
excellent bow, pierced with his shafts, furnished with the feathers of
the Kanka bird, the breast of Partha, that bull among warriors.
Thereupon, with a loud laughter, the mighty-armed son of Pritha attached
a strong and fresh string to Gandiva. And moistening his bow-string with
the sweat that stood on his forehead resembling the crescent moon,
Pritha’s son advanced towards his adversary, even as an infuriated leader
of a herd of elephants rusheth at another elephant. And the encounter
that took place between those two matchless heroes on the field of battle
was exceedingly fierce and made the bristles of the spectators stand on
their ends. And as those heroes endued with mighty energy fought on, the
two mighty elephants, the Kurus beheld them with wonder. And those brave
bulls among men assailed each other with arrows of snaky forms and
resembling blazing fires. And as the couple of quivers belonging to the
Pandava was inexhaustible, that hero was able to remain on the field
immovable as a mountain. And as Aswatthaman’s arrows, in consequence of
his ceaseless discharge in that conflict, were quickly exhausted, it was
for this that Arjuna prevailed over his adversary. Then Karna, drawing
his large bow with great force twanged the bow-string. And thereupon
arose loud exclamation of ‘Oh’! and ‘Alas’! And Pritha’s son, casting his
eyes towards the spot where that bow was twanged, beheld before him the
son of Radha. And at that sight his wrath was greatly excited. And
inflamed with ire and desirous of slaying Karna, that bull of the Kuru
race stared at him with rolling eyes. And, O king, beholding Partha turn
away from Aswatthaman’s side, the Kuru warriors discharged thousands of
arrows on Arjuna. And the mighty-armed Dhananjaya, that conqueror of
foes, leaving Drona’s son, all on a sudden rushed towards Karna. And
rushing towards Karna, with eyes reddened in anger the son of Kunti,
desirous of a single combat with him, said these words.”

SECTION LX

“Arjuna said, ‘The time, O Karna, hath now come for making good thy
loquacious boast in the midst of the assembly, viz., that there is none
equal to thee in fight. Today, O Karna, contending with me in terrible
conflict, thou shalt know thy own strength, and shalt no longer disregard
others. Abandoning good breeding, thou hadst uttered many harsh words,
but this that thou endeavourest to do, is, I think, exceedingly
difficult. Do thou now, O Radha’s son, contending with me in the sight of
the Kurus, make good what thou hadst said before in disregard of myself.
Thou who hadst witnessed Panchala’s princess outraged by villains in the
midst of the court, do thou now reap the fruit of that act of thine.
Fettered by the bonds of morality before, I desisted from vengeance then.
Behold now, O son of Radha, the fruit of that wrath in conflict at hand.
O wicked wight, we have suffered much misery in that forest for full
twelve; years. Reap thou today the fruits of our concentrated vengeance.
Come, O Karna, cope with me in battle. Let these thy Kaurava warriors
witness the conflict. Hearing these words, Karna replied, ‘Do thou, O
Partha, accomplish in deed what thou sayst in words. The world knows that
thy words verily exceed thy deed. That thou hadst foreborne formerly was
owing to thy inability to do anything. If we witness thy prowess even
now, we may acknowledge its truth. If thy past forbearance was due to thy
having been bound by the bonds of morality, truly thou art equally bound
now although thou regardest thyself free. Having as thou sayst, passed
thy exile in the woods in strict accordance with thy pledge and being
therefore weakened by practising an ascetic course of life, how canst
thou desire a combat with me now! O Pritha’s son, if Sakra himself fight
on thy side, still I would feel no anxiety in putting forth my prowess.
Thy wish, O son of Kunti, is about to be gratified. Do thou fight with me
now, and behold my strength.’ Hearing this, Arjuna said, ‘Even now, O
Radha’s son, thou hadst fled from battle with me, and it is for this that
thou livest although thy younger brother hath been slain. What other
person, save thee, having beheld his younger brother slain in battle
would himself fly from the field, and boast as thou dost, amid good and
true men?’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Having said these words unto Karna, the
invincible Vibhatsu rushed at him and charged a volley, of shafts capable
of penetrating through a coat of mail. But that mighty car-warrior,
Karna, received with great alacrity that discharge with an arrowy shower
of his own, heavy as the downpour of the clouds. And that fierce volley
of arrows covered all sides and severally pierced the steeds and arms and
leathern fences of the combatants. And incapable of putting up with that
assault, Arjuna cut off the strings of Karna’s quiver by means of a
straight and sharp arrow. Thereupon, taking out from his quiver another
arrow, Karna pierced the Pandava in the hand at which the latter’s hold
of the bow was loosened. And then the mighty-armed Partha cut off Karna’s
bow into fragments. And Karna replied by hurling a dart at his adversary,
but Arjuna cut it off by means of his arrows. And then the warriors that
followed the son of Radha rushed in crowds at Arjuna, but Partha sent
them all to the abode of Yama by means of arrows shot from the Gandiva.
And Vibhatsu slew the steeds of Karna by means of sharp and tough arrows
shot from the bow-string drawn to the ear, and deprived of life they
dropped down on the ground. And taking another sharp and blazing arrow
endued with great energy, the mighty son of Kunti pierced the breast of
Kama. And that arrow, cleaving through his mail, penetrated into his
body. And at this, Karna’s vision was obscured and his senses left him.
And regaining consciousness, he felt a great pain, and leaving the combat
fled in a northernly direction. And at this, the mighty car-warrior
Arjuna and Uttara, both began to address him contumely.'”

SECTION LXI

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Having defeated Vikartana’s son, Arjuna said unto
the son of Virata, ‘Take me towards that division where yonder device of
a golden palmyra is seen. There our grandfather, Santanu’s son, like unto
a celestial, waiteth, desirous of an encounter with me.’ Thereupon,
beholding that mighty host thronged with cars and horses and elephants,
Uttara, sorely pierced with arrows, said, ‘O hero, I am no longer able to
guide thy excellent steeds. My spirits droop and my mind is exceedingly
bewildered. All the directions seem to be whirling before my eyes in
consequence of the energy of the celestial weapons used by thee and the
Kurus. I have been deprived of my senses by the stench of fat and blood
and flesh. Beholding all this, from terror my mind is, as it were, cleft
in twain. Never before had I beheld such a muster of horses in battle.
And at the flapping of fences, and the blare of conchs, the leonine roars
made by the warriors and the shrieks of elephants, and the twang of the
Gandiva resembling the thunder, I have, O hero, been so stupefied that I
have been deprived of both hearing and memory. And, O hero, beholding
thee incessantly drawing to a circle, in course of the conflict, the
Gandiva which resembleth a circle of fire, my sight faileth me and my
heart is rent asunder. And seeing thy fierce form in battle, like that of
the wielder of the Pinaka while inflamed with wrath, and looking also at
the terrible arrows shot by thee, I am filled with fear. I fail to see
when thou takest up thy excellent arrows, when thou fixest them on the
bow-string, and when thou lettest them off. And though all this is done
before my eyes, yet, deprived of my senses, I do not see it. My spirits
are drooping and earth itself seems to be swimming before me. I have no
strength to hold the whip and the reins.’ Hearing these words, Arjuna
said, ‘Do thou not fear. Assure thyself. Thou also hast, on the field of
battle performed, O bull among men, wonderful feats. Blessed be thou,
thou art a prince and born in the illustrious line of Matsyas. It
behoveth thee not to feel dispirited in chastising thy foes. Therefore, O
prince, stationed on my car, muster all thy fortitude and hold the reins
of my steeds, O slayer of foes, when I once more become engaged in
battle.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Having said this unto Virata’s son, that best
of men and foremost of car-warriors, the mighty-armed Arjuna, again
addressed the son of Virata, saying. ‘Take me without delay to the van of
Bhishma’s division. I will cut off his very bow-string in the battle.
Thou shalt behold today the celestial weapons of blazing beauty, shot by
me, look like flashes of lightning disporting amid the clouds in the sky.
The Kauravas shall behold the gold decked back of my Gandiva today, and
assembled together the foe shall dispute, saying,–By which hand of his,
the right or the left, doth he should? And I shall cause a dreadful river
(of death) to flow today towards the other world with blood for its
waters and cars for its eddies, and elephants for its crocodiles. I shall
today, with my straight arrows, extirpate the Kuru forest having hands
and feet and heads and backs and arms for the branches of its trees.
Alone, bow in hand, vanquishing the Kuru host, a hundred paths shall open
before me like those of a forest in conflagration. Struck by me thou
shalt today behold the Kuru army moving round and round like a wheel
(unable to fly off the field). I shall show thee today my excellent
training in arrows and weapons. Stay thou on my car firmly, whether the
ground be smooth or uneven. I can pierce with my winged arrows even the
mountain of Sumeru that stands touching the very heavens. I slew of old,
at Indra’s command, hundreds and thousands of Paulomas and Kalakhanjas in
battle. I have obtained my firmness of grasp from Indra, and my lightness
of hand from Brahman, and I have learnt various modes of fierce attack
and defence amid crowds of foes from Prajapati. I vanquished, on the
other side of the great ocean, sixty thousands of car-warriors–all
fierce archers–residing in Hiranyapura. Behold, now I defeat the
multitudinous host of the Kurus like a tempest scattering a heap of
cotton. With my fiery arrows I shall today set the Kuru-forest to fire,
having banners for its trees, the foot-soldiers for its shrubs, and the
car-warriors for its beasts of prey. Like unto the wielder of the
thunderbolt overthrowing the Danavas, alone I shall, with my straight
arrows, bring down from the chambers of their cars the mighty warrior of
the Kuru army stationed therein and struggling in the conflict to the
best of their power. I have obtained from Rudra the Raudra, from Varuna
the Varuna from Agni the Agneya, from the god of Wind the Vayava, and
from Sakra the thunderbolt and other weapons. I shall certainly
exterminate the fierce Dhartarashtra-forest though protected by many
leonine warriors. Therefore, O Virata’s son, let thy fears be dispelled.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Thus assured by Savyasachin, the son of Virata
penetrated into that fierce array of cars protected by Bhishma. The son
of Ganga, however, of fierce deeds, cheerfully withstood the mighty-armed
hero advancing from desire of vanquishing the heroes in battle. Jishnu,
then, confronting Bhishma, cut off his standard clean off at the roots by
shooting a gold-decked arrow pierced by which it fell to the ground. And
at this, four mighty warriors, Dussasana and Vikarna and Dussaha and
Vivingsati, skilled in weapons and endued with great energy, and all
decked with handsome garlands and ornaments, rushed towards that terrible
bowman. And advancing towards Vibhatsu–that fierce archer, these all
encompassed him around. Then the heroic Dussasana pierced the son of
Virata with a crescent-shaped arrow and he pierced Arjuna with another
arrow in the breast. And Jishnu, confronting Dussasana, cut off by means
of a sharp-edged arrow furnished with vulturine wings his adversary’s bow
plaited with gold, and then pierced his person in the breast by means of
five arrows. And afflicted by the arrows of Partha. Dussasana fled,
leaving the combat. Then Vikarna, the son of Dhritarashtra, pierced
Arjuna–that slayer of hostile heroes, by means of sharp and straight
arrows furnished with vulturine wings. But the son of Kunti within a
moment hit him also in the forehead with straight shafts. And pierced by
Arjuna, he fell down from his car. And at this, Dussaha, supported by
Vivingsati, covered Arjuna with a cloud of sharp arrows, impelled by the
desire of rescuing his brother. Dhananjaya, however, without the least
anxiety, pierced both of them almost at the same instant by means of
couple of keen-edged arrows and then slew the steeds of both. And there
upon, both those sons of Dhritarashtra, deprived of their steeds and
their bodies mangled were taken away by the warrior behind them who had
rushed forward with other cars. Then the unvanquished Vibhatsu, the
mighty son of Kunti, decked with diadem and sure of aim, simultaneously
attacked all sides with his arrows.'”

SECTION LXII

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Then, O thou of the Bharata race, all the great
car-warriors of the Kurus, united together, began to assail Arjuna to the
best of their might from all sides. But that hero of immeasurable soul
completely covered all those mighty car-warriors with clouds of arrows,
even as the mist covereth the mountains. And the roars of huge elephants
and conchs, mingling together, produced a loud up roar. And penetrating
through the bodies of elephants and horses as also through steel coats of
mail, the arrows shot by Partha fell by thousands. And shooting shafts
with the utmost celerity, the son of Pandu seemed in that contest to
resemble the blazing sun of an autumnal midday. And afflicted with fear,
the car-warriors began to leap down from their cars and the
horse-soldiers from horse-back, while the foot-soldiers began to fly in
all directions. And loud was the clatter made by Arjuna’s shafts as they
cleft the coats of mail belonging to mighty warriors, made of steel,
silver, and copper. And the field was soon covered with the corpses of
warriors mounted on elephants and horses, all mangled by the shafts of
Partha of great impetuosity like unto sighing snakes. And then it seemed
as if Dhananjaya, bow in hand, was dancing on the field of battle. And
sorely affrighted at the twang of the Gandiva resembling the noise of the
thunder, many were the combatants that fled from that terrible conflict.
And the field of battle was bestrewn with severed heads decked with
turbans, ear-rings and necklaces of gold, and the earth looked beautiful
by being scattered all over with human trunks mangled by shafts, and arms
having bows in their grasp and hands decked with ornaments. And, O bull
of the Bharata race, in consequence of heads cut off by whetted shafts
ceaselessly falling on the ground, it seemed as if a shower of stones
fell from the sky. And that Partha of formidable prowess, displaying his
fierceness, now ranged the field of battle, pouring the terrible fire of
his wrath upon the sons of Dhritarashtra. And beholding the fierce
prowess of Arjuna who thus scorched the hostile host, the Kuru warriors,
in the very presence of Duryodhana, became dispirited and ceased to
fight. And, O Bharata, having struck terror into that host and routed
those mighty car-warriors, that fore-most of victors, ranged on the
field. And the son of Pandu then created on the field of battle a
dreadful river of blood, with waving billows, like unto the river of
death that is created by Time at the end of the Yuga, having the
dishevelled hair of the dead and the dying for its floating moss and
straw, with bows and arrows for its boats, fierce in the extreme and
having flesh and animal juices for its mire. And coats of mail and
turbans floated thick on its surface. And elephants constituted its
alligators and the cars its rafts. And marrow and fat and blood
constituted its currents. And it was calculated to strike terror into the
hearts of the spectators. And dreadful to behold, and fearful in the
extreme, and resounding with the yells of ferocious beasts, keen edged
weapons constituted its crocodiles. And Rakshasas and other cannibals
haunted it from one end to the other. And strings of pearls constituted
its ripples, and various excellent ornaments, its bubbles. And having
swarms of arrows for its fierce eddies and steeds for its tortoises, it
was incapable of being crossed. And the mighty car warrior constituted
its large island, and it resounded with the bleat of conchs and the sound
of drums. And the river of blood that Partha created was incapable of
being crossed. Indeed, so swift-handed was Arjuna that the spectators
could not perceive any interval between his taking up an arrow, and
fixing it on the bow-string, and letting it off by a stretch of the
Gandiva.'”

SECTION LXIII

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Then while a great havoc was being made among the
Kurus, Santanu’s son, Bhishma, and grandsire of the Bharatas rushed at
Arjuna, taking up an excellent bow adorned with gold, and many arrows
also of keen points and capable of piercing into the very vitals of the
foe and afflicting him sorely. And in consequence of a white umbrella
being held over his head, that tiger among men looked beautiful like unto
a hill at sunrise. And the son of Ganga, blowing his conch cheered the
sons of Dhritarashtra, and wheeling along his right came upon Vibhatsu
and impeded his course. And that slayer of hostile heroes, the son of
Kunti, beholding him approach, received him with a glad heart, like a
hill receiving a rain-charged cloud. And Bhishma, endued with great
energy, pierced Partha’s flag-staff with eight arrows. The arrows
reaching the flag-staff of Pandu’s son, struck the blazing ape and those
creatures also stationed in the banner-top. And then the son of Pandu,
with a mighty javelin of sharp-edge cut of Bhishma’s umbrella which
instantly fell on the ground. And then the light-handed son of Kunti
struck his adversary’s flag-staff also with many shafts, and then his
steeds and then the couple of drivers that protected Bhishma’s flanks.
And unable to bear this, Bhishma though cognisant of the Pandava’s might,
covered Dhananjaya with a powerful celestial weapon. And the son of
Pandu, of immeasurable soul, hurling in return a celestial weapon at
Bhishma, received that from Bhishma like a hill receiving a deep mass of
clouds. And the encounter that took place between Partha and Bhishma, was
fierce and the Kaurava warriors with their troops stood as lookers on.
And in the conflict between Bhishma and the son of Pandu, shafts striking
against shafts shone in the air like fireflies in the season of rains.
And, O king, in consequence of Partha’s shooting arrows with both his
right and left hands, the bent Gandiva seemed like a continuous circle of
fire. And the son of Kunti then covered Bhishma with hundreds of sharp
and keen-edged arrows, like a cloud covering the mountain-breast with its
heavy downpour. And Bhishma baffled with the own arrows that arrowy
shower, like the bank resisting the swelling sea, and covered the son of
Pandu in return. And those warriors, cut into a thousand pieces in
battle, fell fast in the vicinity of Falguna’s car. And then there was a
downpour, from the car of Pandu’s son, of arrows furnished with golden
wing, and raining through the sky like a flight of locusts. And Bhishma
again repelled that arrowy shower with hundreds of whetted shafts shot by
him. And then the Kauravas exclaimed.–Excellent! Excellent!–Indeed,
Bhishma hath performed an exceedingly difficult feat inasmuch as he hath
fought with Arjuna. Dhananjaya is mighty and youthful, and dexterous and
swift of hand. Who else, save Bhishma, the son of Santanu, or Krishna,
the son of Devaki, or the mighty son of Bharadwaja, the foremost of
preceptors, is able to bear the impetus of Partha in battle? And
repelling weapons with weapons, those two bulls of the Bharata race, both
endued with great might, fought on playfully and infatuated the eyes of
all created beings. And those illustrious warriors ranged on the field of
battle, using the celestials weapons obtained from Prajapati and Indra,
and Agni and the fierce Rudra, and Kuvera, and Varuna, and Yama, and
Vayu. And all beings were greatly surprised, upon beholding those
warriors engaged in combat. And they all exclaimed,–Bravo Partha of long
arms? Bravo Bhishma! Indeed, this application of celestial weapons that
is being witnessed in the combat between Bhishma and Partha is rare among
human beings.”

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Thus raged that conflict with weapons between
those warriors conversant with all weapons. And when that conflict of
celestial weapons ceased, then commenced a conflict with arrows. And
Jishnu approaching his opponent, cut of with an arrow sharp like a razor
the gold-decked bow of Bhishma. Within the twinkling of the eye, however,
Bhishma, that mighty-armed and great car-warrior, took up another bow and
stringed it. And inflamed with wrath, he showered upon Dhananjaya a cloud
of arrows. And Arjuna, too, endued with great energy, rained upon Bhishma
innumerable sharp-pointed and keen-edged arrows. And Bhishma also shot
clouds of arrows upon Pandu’s son. And conversant with celestial weapons
and engaged in shooting and each other, arrows of keen points, no
distinction, O king, could then be perceived between those illustrious
warriors. And that mighty car-warrior, Kunti’s son, covered with a
diadem, and the heroic son of Santanu, obscured the ten directions with
their arrows. And the Pandava covered Bhishma, and Bhishma also covered
the Pandava, with clouds of shafts. And, O king, wonderful was this
combat that took place in this world of men. And the heroic warriors that
protected Bhishma’s car, slain by the son of Pandu, fell prostrate, O
monarch, beside the car of Kunti’s son. And the feathery arrows of
Svetavahana, shot from the Gandiva, fell in all directions as if with the
object of making a wholesale slaughter of the foe. And issuing forth from
his car those blazing arrows furnished with golden wings looked like rows
of swans in the sky. And all the celestials with Indra, stationed in the
firmament, gazed with wonder upon another celestial weapon hurled with
great force by that wonderful archer Arjuna. And beholding that wonderful
weapon of great beauty, the mighty Gandiva, Chitrasena, highly pleased,
addressed the lord of celestials, saying, ‘Behold these arrows shot by
Partha coursing through the sky in one continuous line. Wonderful is the
dexterity of Jishnu in evolving this celestial weapon! Human beings are
incapable of shooting such a weapon, for it does not exist among men. How
wonderful again is this concourse of mighty weapons existing from days of
old! No interval can be perceived between his taking up the arrows,
fixing them on the bow-string, and letting them off by stretching the
Gandiva. The soldiers are incapable of even looking at the son of Pandu,
who is like unto the midday sun blazing in the sky. So also none ventures
to look at Bhishma, the son of Ganga. Both are famous for their
achievements, and both are of fierce prowess. Both are equal in feats of
heroism, and both are difficult of being vanquished in battle.’

‘Thus addressed by the Gandharva about that combat between Partha and
Bhishma, the lord of the celestials, O Bharata, paid proper respect unto
both by a shower of celestial flowers. Meanwhile, Bhishma, the son of
Santanu, assailed Arjuna on the left side, while that drawer of the bow
with either hands was on the point of piercing him. And at this,
Vibhatsu, laughing aloud, cut off with an arrow of keen edge and
furnished with vulturine wings, the bow of Bhishma, that hero of solar
effulgence. And then Dhananjaya, the son of Kunti, pierced Bhishma in the
breast with ten shafts although the latter was contending with all his
prowess. And sorely afflicted with pain Ganga’s son of mighty arms and
irresistible in battle, stood for a long time leaning on the pole of his
car. And beholding him deprived of consciousness the driver of his
car-steeds, calling to mind the instructions about protecting the
warriors when in a swoon, led him away for safety.'”

SECTION LXIV

“Vaisampayana said, ‘After Bhishma had fled, leaving the van of battle,
the illustrious son of Dhritarashtra hoisting high flag approached
Arjuna, bow in hand and setting up a loud roar. And with a spear-headed
shaft shot from his bow stretched to the ear, he pierced on the forehead
of that terrible bowman of fierce prowess, Dhanajaya, ranging amidst the
foes. And pierced with that keen shaft of golden point on the forehead,
that hero of famous deeds looked resplendent, O king, like unto a
beautiful hill with a single peak. And cut by that arrow, the warm
life-blood gushed out profusely from the wound. And the blood trickling
down his body shone beautifully like a wreath of golden flowers. And
struck by Duryodhana with the shaft, the swift-handed Arjuna of unfailing
strength, swelling with rage, pierced the king in return, taking up
arrows that were endued with the energy of snakes of virulent poison. And
Duryodhana of formidable energy attacked Partha, and Partha also, that
foremost of heroes, attacked Duryodhana. And it was that those foremost
of men, both born in the race of Ajamida, struck each other alike in the
combat. And then (seated) on an infuriate elephant huge as a mountain and
supported by four cars, Vikarna rushed against Jishnu, the son of Kunti.
And beholding that huge elephant, advancing with speed, Dhananjaya struck
him on the head between the temples with an iron arrow of great impetus
shot from the bow-string stretched to the ear. And like the thunderbolt
hurled by Indra splitting a mountain, that arrow furnished with vulturine
wings, shot by Partha, penetrated, up to the very feathers, into the body
of that elephant huge as hill. And sorely afflicted by the shaft, that
lord of the elephant species began to tremble, and deprived of strength
fell down on the ground in intense anguish, like the peak of mountain
riven by thunder. And that best of elephants falling down on the earth,
Vikarna suddenly alighting in great terror, ran back full eight hundred
paces and ascended on the car of Vivingsati. And having slain with that
thunder-like arrow that elephant huge as a mighty hill and looking like a
mass of clouds, the son of Pritha smote Duryodhana in the breast with
another arrow of the same kind. And both the elephant and the king having
thus been wounded, and Vikarna having broken and fled along with the
supporters of the king’s car, the other warriors, smitten with the arrows
shot from the Gandiva, fled from the field in panic. And beholding the
elephant slain by Partha, and all the other warriors running away,
Duryodhana, the foremost of the Kurus, turning away his car precipitately
fled in that direction where Partha was not. And when Duryodhana was fast
running away in alarm, pierced by that arrow and vomitting forth blood,
Kiritin, still eager for battle and capable of enduring every enemy, thus
censured him from wrath, ‘Sacrificing thy great fame and glory, why dost
thou fly away, turning the back? Why are not those trumpet? sounded now,
as they were when thou hadst set out from thy kingdom? Lo, I am an
obedient servant of Yudhishthira, myself being the third son of Pritha,
standing here for battle. Turn back, show me thy face, O son of
Dhritarashtra, and bear in thy mind the behaviour of kings. The name
Duryodhana bestowed on thee before is hereby rendered meaningless. When
thou runnest away, leaving the battle, where is thy persistence in
battle? Neither do I behold thy body-guards. O Duryodhana, before nor
behind. O foremost of men, fly thou away and save thy life which is dear
from the hands of Pandu’s son.'”

SECTION LXV

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Thus summoned to battle by the illustrious hero,
Dhritarashtra’s son turned back stung by those censures, like an
infuriate and mighty elephant pricked by a hook. And stung by those
reproaches and unable to bear them, that mighty and brave car-warrior
endued with great swiftness, turned back on his car, like a snake that is
trampled under foot. And beholding Duryodhana turn back with his wounds,
Karna, that hero among men, decked with a golden necklace, stopped the
king on the way and soothing him, himself proceeded along the north of
Duryodhana’s car to meet Partha in battle. And the mighty-armed Bhishma
also, the son of Santanu, turning back his steeds decked with gold,
enormous in size, and of tawny hue, rushed bow in hand, for protecting
Duryodhana from Partha’s hand. And Drona and Kripa and Vivingsati and
Dussasana and others also, quickly turning back, rushed forward with
speed with drawn bows and arrows fixed on the bow-strings, for protecting
Duryodhana. And beholding those divisions advance towards him like the
swelling surges of the ocean, Dhananjaya, the son of Pritha, quickly
rushed at them like a crane rushing at a descending cloud. And with
celestial weapons in their hands, they completely surrounded the son of
Pritha and rained on him from all sides a perfect shower of shafts, like
clouds showering on the mountain breast a heavy downpour of rain, And
warding off with weapons, all the weapons of those bulls among the Kurus,
the wielder of the Gandiva who was capable of enduring all foes, evolved
another irresistible weapon obtained from Indra, called Sanmohana. And
entirely covering the cardinal and other directions with sharp and
keen-edged arrows furnished with beautiful feathers, that mighty hero
stupefied their senses with the twang of the Gandiva. And once more,
taking up with both his hands that large conch of loud blare, Partha,
that slayer of foes, blew it with force and filled the cardinal and other
points, the whole earth, and sky, with that noise. And those foremost of
the Kuru heroes were all deprived of their senses by the sound of that
conch blown by Partha. And all of them stood still, their bows, from
which they were never separated, dropping down from their hands. And when
the Kuru army became insensible, Partha calling to mind the words of
Uttara, addressed the son of the Matsya king, saying, ‘O best of men, go
thou among the Kurus, so long as they remain insensible, and bring away
the white garments of Drona and Kripa, and the yellow and handsome ones
of Karna, as also the blue ones of the king and Drona’s son. Methinks,
Bhishma is not stupefied, for he knoweth how to counteract this weapon of
mine. So, pass thou on, keeping his steeds to thy left; for those that
are sensible should thus be avoided,’ Hearing these words, the
illustrious son of Matsya, giving up the reins of the steeds, jumped down
from the car and taking off the garments of the warriors, came back to
his place. And the son of Virata then urged the four handsome steeds with
flanks adorned with golden armours. And those white steeds, urged on,
took Arjuna away from the midst of battle-field and beyond the array of
the infantry bearing standards in their hands. And, Bhishma, beholding
that best of men thus going away, struck him with arrows. And Partha,
too, having slain Bhishma’s steeds, pierced him with ten shafts. And
abandoning Bhishma on the field of battle, having first slain his
car-driver, Arjuna with a good-looking bow in hand came out of that
multitude of cars, like the sun emerging from the clouds. And
Dhritarashtra’s son, that foremost of heroes among the Kurus, recovering
his senses, saw the son of Pritha standing like the lord of the
celestials, alone on the battle-field. And he said in hurry (unto
Bhishma), ‘How hath this one escape from thee? Do thou afflict him in
such a way that he may not escape.’ And at this, Santanu’s son, smiling,
said unto him, ‘Where had been this sense of thine, and where had been
thy prowess too, when thou hadst been in a state of unconsciousness
renouncing thy arrows and handsome bow? Vibhatsu is not addicted to the
commission of atrocious deeds; nor is his soul inclined to sin. He
renounceth not his principles even for the sake of the three worlds. It
is for this only that all of us have not been slain in this battle. O
thou foremost of Kuru heroes, go back to the city of the Kurus, and let
Partha also go away, having conquered the kine. Do thou never foolishly
throw away thy own good. Indeed, that which leadeth to one’s welfare
ought to be accomplished.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Having listened to the words of the grandsire
that tended to his own welfare, the wrathful king Duryodhana no longer
eager for battle, drew a deep sigh and became silent. And reflecting that
the advice of Bhishma was beneficial and seeing that the Pandavas gaining
in strength, the other warriors also, desirous of protecting Duryodhana,
resolved to return. And beholding those foremost of Kuru heroes departing
for their city, Dhananjaya, the son of Pritha, with a cheerful heart
followed them for a while, desirous of addressing and worshipping them.
And having worshipped the aged grandsire–the son of Santanu, as also the
preceptor Drona, and having saluted with beautiful arrows Drona’s son and
Kripa and other venerable ones among the Kurus, the son of Pritha broke
into fragments Duryodhana’s crown decked with precious gems, with another
arrow. And having saluted all the venerable and brave warriors thus, he
filled the three worlds with the twang of the Gandiva. And suddenly
blowing his conch called Devadatta, the hero pierced the hearts of all
his foes. And having humbled the hostile, he looked resplendent on his
car decked with a handsome flag. And beholding the Kurus depart, Kiritin
cheerfully said unto Matsya’s son, ‘Turn back thy steeds; thy kine have
been recovered; the foe is going away and do thou also return to thy city
with a cheerful heart.’ And the celestials also, having witnessed that
most wonderful encounter between Falguna and the Kurus, were highly
delighted, and went to their respective abodes, reflecting upon Partha’s
feats.'”

SECTION LXVI

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Having vanquished the Kurus in battle, that one with
eyes like those of a bull brought back that profuse cattle wealth of
Virata. And while the Dhritarashtra, after their rout, were going away, a
large number of Kuru-soldiers issuing out of the deep forest appeared
with slow steps before Partha, their hearts afflicted with fear. And they
stood before him with joined palms and with hair dishevelled. And
fatigued with hunger and thirst, arrived in a foreign land, insensible
with terror, and confused in mind, they all bowed down unto the son of
Pritha and said,–We are thy slaves.’

“Arjuna said, ‘Welcome, blessed be ye. Go ye away. Ye have no cause of
fear. I will not take the lives of them that are afflicted. Ye have my
assurance of protection.

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Hearing these words of assurance, the assembled
warriors greeted him with benedictions in praise of his achievements and
fame and wishing him long life. And the Kauravas were unable to confront
Arjuna while after routing the foe he proceeded towards the city of
Virata, like an elephant with rent temples. And having routed the whole
army of the Kuru like a violent wind scattering the clouds, that slayer
of foes, Partha, regardfully addressing the prince of Matsya, said, ‘It
is known to thee alone, O child, that the sons of Pritha are all living
with thy father. Do not eulogise them upon entering the city, for then
the king of the Matsyas may hide himself in fear. On the other hand,
entering the city, do thou proclaim in the presence of thy father that
the deed is thy own, saying,–By me hath the army of the Kurus been
vanquished and by me have the kine been recovered from the foe!’

“Uttara said, ‘The feat thou hast achieved is beyond my power. I do not
possess the ability to achieve it. I shall not, however, O Savyasachin,
discover thee to my father, as long as thou wilt not tell me to do it.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Having vanquished the hostile army and wrested
the whole of the cattle wealth from the Kurus, Jishnu returned again to
the cemetery and having approached the same Sami tree stood there with
body mangled by the arrows of the enemy. Then that terrible monkey
blazing like fire ascended into the sky with those other creatures in the
flag-staff. And the illusion created (by Viswakarma) melted away and
Uttara’s own banner bearing the device of a lion was set up on the car
again. And having replaced the arrows and quivers of those foremost of
the Kuru princes, and also that other weapon the (Gandiva) which enhances
the fierceness of a battle, the illustrious prince of Matsya set out for
the city with a glad heart, having Kiritin as his charioteer. And having
achieved an exceedingly mighty feat and slain the foe, Partha also, that
slayer of foes, binding his hair into a braid as before, took the reins
from Uttara’s hands. And that illustrious hero entered the city of
Virata, with a cheerful heart rehabilitating himself as Vrihannala, the
car-driver of Uttara.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘When all the Kauravas utterly routed and
vanquished, set out in a dejected mood for Hastinapura, Falguna, on his
way back, addressed Uttara, saying, ‘O prince, O hero of mighty arms,
seeing the kine escorted in advance of us by the cowherds, we shall enter
Virata’s metropolis in the afternoon, having tended the steeds with drink
and a bath. Let the cowherds, despatched by thee, speedily repair to the
city with the good news and proclaim thy victory.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Agreeable to Arjuna’s words, Uttara speedily
ordered the messengers, saying, ‘Go ye and proclaim the king’s victory.
The foe hath been routed, and the kine have been recovered. And the
Matsya and the Bharata princes having thus consulted together
re-approached the same Sami tree. And gratified with the victory they had
won, and arrived at the foot of the Sami tree, they wore on their persons
and took up on their car the ornaments and robes they had left there. And
having vanquished the whole hostile army and recovered the whole of the
wealth from the Kurus, the heroic son of Virata returned to the city with
Vrihannala as his car-driver.'”

SECTION LXVII

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Having speedily recovered his wealth Virata owning a
large army entered his city with a cheerful heart, accompanied by the
four Pandavas. And having vanquished the Trigartas in battle and
recovered all the kine, that mighty monarch, along with the sons of
Pritha, looked resplendent and blazed forth in beauty. And as the brave
king, that enhancer of the joys of friends, was seated on his throne, all
his subjects headed by the Brahmanas stood before him. And worshipped by
them, the king of the Matsyas, at the head of his army, saluted the
Brahmanas and his subjects in return and dismissed them cheerfully. And
Virata, the king of the Matsyas owning a large army, enquired after
Uttara, saying, ‘Where hath Uttara gone?’ And the women and the maidens
of the palace and the other females living in the inner apartments
joyfully said unto him, ‘Our kine having been seized by the Kurus,
Bhuminjaya incensed at this and from excess of bravery hath issued forth
alone with only Vrihannala as his second, for vanquishing the six mighty
car-warriors, Bhishma the son of Santanu, and Kripa, and Karna, and
Duryodhana, and Drona, and Drona’s son who have all come with the Kuru
army.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Then king Virata, hearing that his brave son
had gone forth with only one car and with Vrihannala as his car-driver,
became filled with grief, and addressing his chief counsellors, said,
‘Without doubt, the Kauravas and other lords of earth, learning the
defeat of the Trigartas, will never keep their ground. Therefore, let
those of my warriors that have not been wounded by the Trigartas go out,
accompanied by a mighty force, for the protection of Uttara.’ And saying
this, the king speedily despatched, for the sake of his son, horses and
elephants and cars and a large number of foot-soldiers, equipped and
decked with various kinds of weapons and ornaments. And it was thus that
Virata, the king of the Matsyas, owning a large army, quickly ordered out
a large division consisting of four kinds of troops. And having done
this, he said, ‘Learn ye, without loss of time whether the prince liveth
still or not! I myself think that he who hath got a person of the neuter
sex for his car-driver is not alive.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Then king Yudhishthira the just, smilingly said
unto the afflicted king Virata, ‘If, O monarch, Vrihannala hath been his
charioteer, the foe will never be able to take away thy kine today.
Protected by that charioteer, thy son will be able to vanquish in battle
all the lords of earth allied with the Kurus, indeed, even the gods and
the Asuras and the Siddhas and the Yakshas together.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Meanwhile, the swift-footed messengers
despatched by Uttara, having reached Virata’s city, gave tidings of the
victory. And the minister-in-chief then informed the king of everything,
viz., the great victory that had been won, the defeat of the Kurus, and
the expected arrival of Uttara. And he said, ‘All the kine have been
brought back, the Kurus have been defeated, and Uttara, that slayer of
foes, is well with his car-driver.’ Then Yudhishthira said, ‘By good luck
it is that the kine have been recovered and the Kurus routed. I do not,
however, regard it strange that thy son should have vanquished the Kurus,
for his victory is assured that hath Vrihannala for his charioteer.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Hearing of the victory of his son possessed of
immeasurable might, king Virata became so glad that the bristles of his
body stood erect. And having made presents of raiments unto the
messengers, he ordered his ministers, saying, ‘Let the highways be
decorated with flags, and let all the gods and goddesses be worshipped
with flowery offerings. And let princes and brave warriors, and musicians
and harlots decked in ornaments, march out to receive my son. And let the
bellman, speedily riding an intoxicated elephant, proclaim my victory at
places where four roads meet. And let Uttara, too, in gorgeous attire and
surrounded by virgins and chanters of eulogies, go forth to receive my
son.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Having listened to these words of the king, all
the citizens with auspicious things in hand, and many amongst them with
cymbals and trumpets and conchs, and beautiful women attired in gorgeous
robes, and reciters of auspicious and sacred hymns, accompanied by
encomiasts and minstrels, and drummers and other kinds of musicians
issued forth from the city of the mighty Virata to welcome Uttara of
immeasurable prowess. And having despatched troops and maidens and
courtezens decked in ornaments, the wise king of the Matsyas cheerfully
said these words, ‘O Sairindhri, fetch the dice. And, O Kanka, let the
play commence.’ The son of Pandu replied, saying, ‘We have heard it said
that one whose heart is filled with joy should not play with a cunning
gambler. I do not therefore, dare gamble with thee that are so
transported with joy. I am ever desirous of doing what is for thy good.
Let the play, however, commence if it pleases thee.’

“Virata said, ‘My female slaves and kine, my gold and whatsoever other
wealth I have, nothing of all this shall thou be able to protect today
even if I do not gamble.’ Kanka said in reply, ‘O monarch, O bestower of
honours, what business hast thou with gamble which is attended with
numerous evils? Gambling is fraught with many evils; it should,
therefore, be shunned. Thou mayst have seen or at least heard of
Yudhishthira, the son of Pandu. He lost his extensive and prosperous
kingdom and his god-like brothers at dice. For this, I am averse to
gambling. But if thou likest, O king, I will play.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘While the play was going on, Matsya said unto
the son of Pandu, ‘Lo, the Kauravas that are so formidable have been
vanquished in battle by my son.’ Upon this, the illustrious king
Yudhishthira said, ‘Why should not he conquer that hath Vrihannala for
his charioteer?’

‘Thus addressed, King Matsya became angry and said unto Pandu’s son,
‘Thou wretch of a Brahmana, dost thou compare one of the neuter sex with
my son! Hast thou no knowledge of what is proper and what improper for
one to say? Without doubt, thou disregardest me. Why should not my son
vanquish all those with Bhishma and Drona as their leaders? O Brahmana,
for friendship only I pardon thee this thy offence. Thou must not,
however, say so again if thou wishest to live.’

“Yudhishthira said, ‘There where Bhishma and Drona and Drona’s son and
the son of Vikartana and Kripa and king Duryodhana and other royal and
mighty car-warriors are assembled or there where Indra himself is
surrounded by the Maruts, what other person than Vrihannala can fight,
encountering them all! None hath been, none will be, his equal in
strength of arms! Indeed, it is Vrihannala only whose heart is filled
with joy at sight of a terrible conflict. It is he who had vanquished the
celestials and the Asuras and human beings fighting together. With such a
one for his ally, why should not thy son conquer the foe? Virata said,
‘Repeatedly forbidden by me, thou dost not yet restrain thy tongue. If
there is none to punish, no one would practise virtue.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Saying this, the king inflamed with anger
forcibly struck Yudhishthira in the face with a dice, and reproached him
angrily, saying, ‘Let it not occur again! And having been violently
struck, blood began to flow from his nose. But the son of Pritha held it
in his hands before it fell on the ground. And the virtuous Yudhishthira
then glanced at Draupadi who was standing by his side. Ever obedient to
the wishes of her lord, the faultless Draupadi, understanding his
meaning, and bringing a golden vessel filled with water, received the
blood that flowed from his nose. Meanwhile; Uttara, entertained with
sweet perfumes of diverse kinds and decked with floral chaplets, slowly
entered the city, received with respect by the citizens, the women, and
the people of the provinces. And approaching the gate of the palace he
sent the news of his arrival to his father. And the porter then,
approaching the king, said, ‘Thy son Uttara, waiteth at the gate with
Vrihannala as his companion.’ And the Matsya king, with a cheerful heart,
said unto him, ‘Do thou usher both, as I am very anxious to see them.’
Then Yudhishthira, the king of t e Kurus, gently whispered unto the ears
of the warder, ‘Let Uttara enter alone; Vrihannala must not come in. Such
is the vow of that hero of mighty arms that whoever causeth a wound on my
person or sheddeth my blood except in battle, shall not live. Inflamed
with rage he will never bear patiently to see me bleeding, but will slay
Virata even now with his counsellors and troops and steeds.'”

SECTION LXVIII

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Then Bhuminjaya, the eldest son of the king,
entered, and having worshipped the feet of his father approached Kanka.
And he beheld Kanka covered with blood, and seated on the ground at one
end of the court, and waited upon by the Sairindhri. And seeing this,
Uttara asked his father in a hurry, saying, ‘By whom, O king, hath this
one been struck? By whom hath this sinful act been perpetrated?’

“Virata said, ‘This crooked Brahmana hath been struck by me. He deserveth
even more than this. When I was praising thee, he praised that person of
the third sex.’

“Uttara said, ‘Thou hast, O king, committed an improper act. Do thou
speedily propitiate him so that the virulent poison of a Brahmana’s curse
may not consume thee to thy roots!’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Having heard the words of his son, Virata, that
enhancer of the limits of his kingdom, began to soothe Kunti’s son, who
was like unto a fire hid in ashes, for obtaining his forgiveness. And
unto the king desirous of obtaining his pardon the Pandava replied, ‘O
king, I have long ago forgiven it. Anger I have none. Had this blood from
my nostrils fallen on the ground, then, without doubt, thou, O monarch,
wouldst have been destroyed with thy kingdom. I do not, however, blame
thee, O king, for having struck an innocent person. For, O king, they
that are powerful generally act with unreasoning severity.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘When the bleeding had stopped, Vrihannala
entered (the council-room) and having saluted both Virata and Kanka,
stood silent. And the king, having appeased the chief of the Kurus, began
to praise, in Savyasachin’s hearing, Uttara who had returned from the
battle. And the king said, ‘O enhancer of the joys of Kekaya’s princess,
in thee have I truly a son! I never had nor shall have, a son that is
equal to thee! How, indeed, couldst thou, O Child, encounter that Karna
who leaveth not a single mark unhit amongst even a thousand that he may
aim at all at once? How couldst thou, O child, encounter that Bhishma who
hath no equal in the whole world of men? How also couldst thou, O child,
encounter Drona, that foremost of all wielders of weapons, that preceptor
of the Vrishnis and Kauravas, twice-born one who may be regarded as the
preceptor of all the Kshatriyas? How couldst thou meet in battle the
celebrated Aswatthaman? How couldst thou, O child, encounter that
Duryodhana, the prince who is capable of piercing even a mountain with
his mighty arrows? My foes have all been thrashed. A delicious breeze
seems to blow around me. And since thou hast recovered in battle the
whole of my wealth that had been seized by the Kurus, it seems that all
those mighty warriors were struck with panic. Without doubt, thou, O bull
amongst men, has routed the foe and snatched away from them my wealth of
kine, like his prey from a tiger.'”

SECTION LXIX

“Uttara said, ‘The kine have not been recovered by me, nor have the foe
been vanquished by me. All that hath been accomplished by the son of a
deity. Capable of striking like a thunderbolt, that youth of celestial
origin, beholding me running away in fear, stopped me and himself mounted
on my car. It was by him that the kine have been recovered and the
Kauravas vanquished. The deed, O father, is that hero’s and not mine. It
was he that repulsed with arrows Kripa and Drona and Drona’s son of
powerful energy, and the Suta’s son and Bhishma. That mighty hero then
spoke unto the affrighted prince Duryodhana who was running away like the
leader of a head of elephants, these words, ‘O prince of the Kuru race, I
do not see that thou art safe by any means even at Hastinapura. Protect
thy life by putting forth thy might. Thou shalt not escape me by flight.
Therefore, make up thy mind for fight. If victorious, the sovereignty of
the earth will be thine, or if slain, heaven itself will be thine.’

‘Thus addressed, king Duryodhana–that tiger among men surrounded by his
counsellors,–sighing on his car like a snake turned back, showered
arrows endued with the speed and force of thunderbolts. Beholding all
this, venerable sire, my thighs began to quake. Then that celestial youth
pierced with arrows the Kuru army consisting of leonine warriors. And
having pierced and afflicted that crowd of cars, that youth, stout as the
lion, laughed at them and robbed them of their clothes and attires.
Indeed, the six great car-warriors of the Kurus were vanquished by that
hero alone, even like herds of animals ranging in the forest by a single
tiger in rage.’

“Virata said, ‘Where is that mighty-armed and famous youth of celestial
origin, that hero who recovered in battle my wealth that had been seized
by the Kurus? I am anxious to behold and worship that mighty warrior of
celestial origin who hath saved thee and my kine also.’

“Uttara replied, ‘The mighty son of a deity disappeared there and then. I
think, however, that he will show himself either tomorrow or the day
after.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Virata, that owner of a large army, remained
ignorant of the son of Pandu who was thus described unto him by Uttara,
and who was living in the palace in disguise. And permitted by the
high-souled Virata, Partha presented with his own hands the garments he
had brought, unto Virata’s daughter. And the beautiful Uttara, obtaining
those new and costly clothes of diverse kinds, became highly glad, along
with the son of the Matsya king.'”

SECTION LXX

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Then, on the third day, attired in white robes after
a bath, and decked in ornaments of all kinds, those great car-warriors,
the five Pandava brothers, having accomplished their row, and with
Yudhishthira at their head, looked resplendent as they entered the
palace-gate like five intoxicated elephants. And having entered the
council-hall of Virata, they took their seats on the thrones reserved for
kings, and shone brilliantly like fires on the sacrificial altar. And
after Pandavas had taken their seats, Virata, that lord of earth, came
there for holding his council and discharging other royal offices. And
beholding the illustrious Pandavas blazing like fires, the king reflected
for a moment. And them, filled with wrath, the Matsya king spoke unto
Kanka seated there like a celestial and looking like the lord of
celestials surrounded by the Maruts. And he said, ‘A player at dice thou
wert employed by me as a courtier! How couldst thou occupy the royal seat
thus attired in handsome robes and ornaments?”

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Hearing these words of Virata, O king, and
desirous of jesting with him, Arjuna smilingly said in reply, ‘This
person, O king, deserveth to occupy the same seat with Indra himself.
Devoted to the Brahmanas, acquainted with the Vedas, indifferent to
luxury and carnal enjoyments, habitually performing sacrifices, steady in
vows, this one, indeed, is the very embodiment of virtue, The foremost of
all Persons endued with energy and superior to every body on earth in
intelligence, devoted to asceticism, he is conversant with various
weapons. No other person among the mobile and immobile creatures of the
three worlds possesseth or will ever possess such knowledge of weapons.
And there is none even amongst the gods, or Asuras, or men, or Rakshasas,
or Gandharvas, or Yaksha chiefs, or Kinnaras–or mighty Uragas, who is
like him. Endued with great foresight and energy, beloved by the citizens
and inhabitants of the provinces, he is the mightiest of car-warriors
amongst the sons of Pandu. A performer of sacrifices, devoted to
morality, and of subdued passions, like unto a great Rishi, this royal
sage is celebrated over all the worlds. Possessed of great strength and
great intelligence, able and truthful, he hath all his senses under
complete control. Equal unto Indra in wealth and Kuvera in hoarding, he
is the protector of the worlds like unto Manu himself of mighty prowess.
Endued with great might, he is even such. Kind unto all creatures he is
no other than the bull of the Kuru race, king Yudhishthira the just. The
achievements of this king resemble the sun himself of blazing effulgence.
And his fame hath travelled in all directions like the rays of that
luminary. And like the rays following the risen sun of blazing
effulgence, ten thousand swift elephants followed him, O king, when he
dwelt among the Kurus. And, O king, thirty thousand cars decked in gold
and drawn by the best steeds, also used to follow him then. And full
eight hundred bards adorned with ear-rings set with shining gems, and
accompanied by minstrels, recited his praises in those days, like the
Rishis adorning Indra. And, O king, the Kauravas and other lords of earth
always waited upon him like slaves, as the celestials upon Kuvera. This
eminent king, resembling the bright-rayed sun, made all lords of earth
pay tribute unto him like persons of the agricultural class. And
eighty-eight thousands of high-souled Snatakas depended for their
subsistence upon this king practising excellent vows. This illustrious
lord protected the aged and the helpless, the maimed and the blind, as
his sons, and he ruled over his subjects virtuously. Steady in morality
and self-control, capable of restraining his anger, bountiful, devoted to
the Brahmanas, and truthful, this one is the son of Pandu. The prosperity
and prowess of this one afflict king Suyodhana with his followers
including Kama and Suvala’s son. And, O lord of men, the virtues of this
one are incapable of being enumerated. This son of Pandu is devoted to
morality and always abstains from injury. Possessed of such attributes,
doth not this bull among kings, this son of Pandu, deserve, O monarch, to
occupy a royal seat?'”

SECTION LXXI

“Virata said, ‘If this one, indeed, be the Kuru king Yudhisthira the son
of Kunti, which amongst these is his brother Arjuna, and which, the
mighty Bhima. Which of these is Nakula, and which Sahadeva and where is
the celebrated Draupadi? After their defeat at dice, the sons of Pritha
have not been heard of by any one.’

“Arjuna said, ‘Even this one, O king, who is called Vallava and is thy
cook, is that Bhima of mighty arms and terrible prowess and furious
impetus. It was he who slew the furious Rakshasas on the mountains of
Gandhamadana, and procured for Krishna celestial flowers of great
fragrance. Even he is that Gandharva, who slew the Kichaka of wicked soul
and it was he who killed tigers and bears and boars in the inner
apartment of thy palace. He who had been the keeper of thy horse is that
slayer of foes called Nakula, and this one is Sahadeva, the keeper of thy
kine. Both these sons of Madri are great car-warriors, possessed of great
fame and beauty of person. These two bulls of the Bharata race, attired
in handsome robes and decked in excellent ornaments, are a match for a
thousand great car-warriors. And even this lady of eyes like lotus-petals
and slender-waist and sweet smiles is Drupada’s daughter, thy wife’s
Sairindhri, for whose sake, O king, the Kichakas were slain. I am, O
king, Arjuna who, it is evident, thou hast heard, is that son of Pritha,
who is Bhima’s junior and the senior of the twins! We have, O king,
happily passed in thy abode the period of non-discovery, like infants in
the womb!’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘After Arjuna had pointed out those heroes–the
five Pandavas, the son of Virata then spoke of Arjuna’s prowess. And
Uttara once again identified the sons of Pritha. And the prince said,
‘That one whose complexion is bright like that of pure gold, who is stout
like a full-grown lion, whose nose is so prominent, whose eyes are large
and expansive, and whose face is broad and of coppery hue, is the king of
the Kurus. And behold, that one whose tread is like that of an infuriate
elephant, whose complexion is like that of heated gold, whose shoulders
are broad and expanded, and whose arms are long and thick, is Vrikodara.
And he who stands by his side, that youth of darkish hue, who is like
unto a leader of a herd of elephants, whose shoulders are broad like
those of a lion, whose tread is like that of a mighty elephant, and whose
eyes are large and expansive like lotus-leaves, is Arjuna that foremost
of bowmen. All lo, close to the king, are those foremost of men, the
twins, like unto Vishnu and Indra, and who have no equals, in the world
of men, in beauty, might, and behaviour. And close by them, behold,
standeth Krishna, beautiful as gold, like unto the very embodiment of
light, possessing the complexion of the blue lotus, like unto a celestial
damsel, and resembling the living embodiment of Lakshmi herself.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Then Virata’s son began to describe the prowess
of Arjuna, saying, ‘Even this one is he that slew the foe, like unto a
lion devastating a flock of deer. Even he ranged through, crowds of
hostile cars, slaying their best of car-warriors. By him was slain a
huge, infuriate elephant by means of a single arrow. Pierced by him, that
huge beast having its flanks adorned with an armour of gold, fell down
piercing the earth with his tusks. By him have the kine been recovered
and the Kauravas vanquished in battle. My ears have been deafened by the
blare of his conch. It was by this hero of fierce deeds that Bhishma and
Drona, along with Duryodhana, were vanquished. That achievement is his
and not mine.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Hearing these words of his, the mighty king of
the Matsyas, considering himself guilty of having offended Yudhishthira,
said unto Uttara in reply, ‘I think the time hath come for me to
propitiate the sons of Pandu. And, if thou likest, I shall bestow my
daughter Uttara upon Arjuna.’

“Uttara said, ‘Worthy of our adorations and worship and respect, the time
hath come for worshipping the illustrious sons of Pandu who deserve to be
worshipped by us.’

“Virata said, ‘When brought under the foe’s subjection in battle, it was
Bhimasena that rescued me. My kine also have been recovered by Arjuna. It
is through the might of their arms that we have obtained victory in
battle. Such being the case, all of us, with our counsellors, shall
propitiate Yudhishthira the son of Kunti. Blessed be thou, with all thy
brothers, O bull among the sons of Pandu. If, O king, we have ever said
or done anything in ignorance to offend thee, it behoveth thee to forgive
us. The son of Pandu is virtuous.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Then the high-souled Virata, delighted greatly,
approached king Yudhishthira and made an alliance with him, and offered
him his whole kingdom together with the sceptre and treasury and
metropolis. And addressing all the Pandavas, and especially Dhananjaya,
the mighty king of the Matsyas repeatedly said, ‘By good luck it is that
I see you.’ And having again and again embraced Yudhishthira and Bhima
and the sons of Madri, and smelt their heads, Virata, that owner of a
large army, was not satiated with gazing at them. And being highly
pleased, he said unto king Yudhishthira, ‘By good luck it is that I see
you safe from woods. By good luck it is that ye have accomplished with
difficulty the period of exile, undiscovered by those wicked wights. I
make over my entire kingdom to the sons of Pritha, and what else I have.
Let the sons of Pandu accept these without the slightest hesitation. And
let Dhananjaya, called also Savyasachin, accept the hand of Uttara: for
that best of men is fit to be her lord.’ Thus addressed, king
Yudhishthira the just cast a look upon Dhananjaya, the son of Pritha. And
looked at by his brother, Arjuna said unto the Matsya king, ‘O monarch, I
accept thy daughter as my daughter-in-law. And alliance of this kind
between the Matsya and the Bharatas is, indeed, desirable.'”

SECTION LXXII

“Virata said, ‘Why, O best among the Pandavas, dost thou not wish to
accept as wife this my daughter that I bestow upon thee?’

“Arjuna said, ‘Residing in thy inner apartments, I had occasion always to
behold thy daughter, and she too, alone or in company trusted me as her
father. Well-versed in singing and dancing, I was liked and regarded by
her, and, indeed, thy daughter always regardeth me as her protector. O
king, I lived for one whole year with her though she had attained the age
of puberty. Under these circumstances, thyself or other men may not
without reason, entertain suspicions against her or me. Therefore, O
king, myself who am pure, and have my senses under control, beg to thee,
O monarch, thy daughter as my daughter-in-law. Thus do I attest her
purity. There is no difference between a daughter-in-law and a daughter,
as also between a son and son’s own-self. By adopting this course,
therefore, her purity will be proved. I am afraid of slanderous and false
accusations. I accept, therefore, O king, thy daughter Uttara as my
daughter-in-law. Surpassing all in knowledge of weapons, resembling a
celestial youth in beauty, my son, the mighty-armed Abhimanyu is the
favourite nephew of Vasudeva, the wielder of the discus. He, O king, is
fit to be thy son-in-law and the husband of thy daughter.’

“Virata said, ‘It behoveth the best of the Kurus, Dhananjaya, the son of
Kunti, who is so virtuous and wise, to say this. O son of Pritha, do thou
carry out what thou thinkest should be done after this. He that hath
Arjuna for the father of his son-in-law, hath all his desires gratified.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘The monarch having said this, Yudhishthira, the
son of Kunti, gave his assent to what was thus agreed upon between the
Matsya king and Arjuna. And, O Bharata, the son of Kunti sent invitations
to Vasudeva and to all his friends and relatives, and Virata also did the
same. And then, after the expiry of the thirteenth year, the five
Pandavas took up their abode in one of Virata’s towns called Upaplavya,
and Vibhatsu, the son of Pandu, brought over Abhimanyu and Janardana, and
also many people of the Dasarha race from the Anarta country. And the
king of Kasi, and also Saivya, being very friendly to Yudhishthira,
arrived there, each accompanied by an Akshauhini of troops. And the
mighty Drupada, also with the heroic sons of Draupadi and the
unvanquished Sikhandin, and that foremost of wielder of weapons, the
invincible Dhrishtadyumna came there with another Akshauhini of troops.
And all the kings that came were not only lords of Akshauhini, but
performers of sacrifices with gifts in profusion to Brahmanas, conversant
with the Vedas endued with heroism, and ready to die in battle. And
beholding them arrived, that foremost of virtuous men, the king of the
Matsyas, adored them duly, and entertained their troops and servants and
carriers of burdens. And he was highly pleased to bestow his daughter
upon Abhimanyu. And after the kings had come there from different parts
of the country, there came Vasudeva decked in floral garlands, and
Halayudha, and Kritavarman, the son of Hridika, and Yuyudhana, the son of
Satyaki, and Anadhristi and Akrura, and Samva and Nisatha. And these
repressers of foes came there bringing with them Abhimanyu and his
mother. And Indrasena and others, having lived at Dwaraka for one whole
year, came there, bringing with them the well adorned cars of the
Pandavas. And there came also ten thousand elephants and ten thousand
cars, and hundred millions of horses and hundred billions of
foot-soldiers, and innumerable Vrishni and Andhaka and Bhoja warriors of
great energy, in the train of that tiger among the Vrishnis, Vasudeva of
great effulgence. And Krishna gave unto each of the illustrious sons of
Pandu numerous female slaves, and gems and robes. And then the nuptial
festival set in between the families of the Matsya king and the Pandavas.
And then conchs and cymbals and horns and drums and other musical
instruments appointed by the Pandavas, began to play in the palace of
Virata. And deer of various kinds and clean animals by hundreds were
slain. And wines of various kinds and intoxicating juices of trees were
profusely collected. And mimes and bards and encomiasts, versed in
singing and legendary lore, waited upon the kings, and chanted their
praises and genealogies. And the matrons of the Matsyas of symmetrical
bodies and limbs, and wearing ear-rings of pearls and gems, headed by
Sudeshna, came to the place where the marriage knot was to be tied. And
amongst those beautiful females of fair complexion and excellent
ornaments, Krishna was the foremost in beauty and fame and splendour. And
they all came there, leading forth the princess Uttara decked in every
ornament and resembling the daughter of the great Indra himself. And then
Dhananjaya, the son of Kunti, accepted Virata’s daughter of faultless
limbs on behalf of his son by Subhadra. And that great king,
Yudhishthira, the son of Kunti, who stood there like Indra, also accepted
her as his daughter-in-law. And having accepted her, the son of Pritha,
with Janardana before him, caused the nuptial ceremonies to be performed
of the illustrious son of Subhadra. And Virata then gave him (as dowry)
seven thousand steeds endued with the speed of the wind and two hundred
elephants of the best kind and much wealth also. And having duly poured
libations of clarified butter on the blazing fire, and paid homage unto
the twice-born ones, Virata offered to the Pandavas his kingdom, army,
treasury, and his own self. And after the marriage had taken place,
Yudhishthira, the son of Dharma, gave away unto the Brahmanas all the
wealth that had been brought by Krishna of unfading glory. And he also
gave away thousands of kine, and diverse kinds of robes, and various
excellent ornaments, and vehicles, and beds, delicious viands of various
kinds, and cardinal drinks of diverse species. And the king also made
gifts of land unto the Brahmanas with due rites, and also cattle by
thousands. And he also gave away thousands of steeds and much gold and
much wealth of other kinds, unto persons of all ages. And, O bull of the
Bharata race, the city of the Matsya king, thronged with men cheerful and
well-fed, shone brightly like a great festival.'”

The end of Virata Parva

FOOTNOTES

1. Brahma Vadini–Nilakantha explains this as Krishna-kirtanasila.

2. This speech of Vaisampayana is not included in some texts within the
second section. To include it, however, in the third, is evidently a
mistake.

3. The sloka commencing with Adushta and ending ratheshu cha does not
occur in texts except those in Bengal.

4. A difference reading is observable here. The sense, however, is the
same.

5. An independent female artisan working in another person’s
house.–Wilson.

6. Some of the Bengal text and Sarvastramaya for Sarvamantramaya. The
former is evidently incorrect.

7. This is a very difficult sloka. Nilakantha adopts the reading
Sanjayet. The Bengal editions read Sanjapet. If the latter be the correct
reading, the meaning then would be,–‘Let none talk about what transpires
in the presence of the king. For those even that are poor, regard it as a
grave fault.’ The sense evidently is that the occurrences in respect of a
king which one witnesses should not be divulged. Even they that are
powerless regard such divulgence of what occurs in respect of them as an
insult to them, and, therefore, inexcusable.

8. The Bengal editions, read Rajna in the instrumental case. Following a
manuscript text of a Pandit of my acquaintance I read Rajnas in the
genitive.

9. Mahishasura, the son of Rambhasura. Durga had to fight for many many
years before she could slay this formidable Asura. The story occurs in
the Markandeya Purana. To this day, Bengal during the great Durga Puja
festival in autumn, worships the goddess with great veneration.

10. Literally, one that rescues from difficulty.

11. Kamachara is explained by Nilakantha thus, although in other places
it bears a quite different meaning.

12. Krita–attack; Pratikrita–warding it off; Sankata–clenched Some
texts read Sankatakais. The meaning then would be ‘cased in gauntlets.’

13. Bhuti, Hri, Sri, Kirti and Kanti are respectively the feminine
embodiments of Prosperity, Modesty, Beauty, Fame and Loveliness.

14. What Draupadi means is that instead of passing her days in joy and
happiness, instead of being able to wish time to be stationary with her,
she is obliged in consequence of her misery, to wish time to pass off
quickly.

15. Jayate asyas–i.e., she from whom one is born.

16. Some texts read, Vilwam nagaviodhara–i.e., ‘As an elephant lifts up
a vela fruit.’

17. Veri means both a kettle-drum and a trumpet. The latter however
conveys a better meaning here.

18. Literature, force of his thighs.

19. What Bhima says is this.–Then Gandharvas, your husbands, are always
obedient to thee! If they have been able to do thee a service, they have
only repaid a debt.

20. Krita-krita–Nilakantha explains this to mean ‘imagining themselves
to have achieved success in their mission’ for having learnt of Kichaka’s
death, they could readily guess the presence of the Pandavas there. This
is too far-fetched and does not at all agree with the spirit of their
report to Duryodhana below. And then the same word occurs in the very
last line of the Section. I take it that in both places the word has been
used in the same sense.

21. This is a very difficult sloka. I am not sure that I have understood
it alright. Both Nilakantha and Arjuna Misra are silent. Instead of
depending, however, on my own intelligence, I have consulted several
friends who have read the Mahabharata thoroughly. The grammatical
structure is easy. The only difficulty consists in the second half of the
sloka. The meaning, however, I have given is consistent with the tenor of
Bhishma’s advice.

22. Indicating the unobstructed completion of the sacrifice.

23. The word tirtha here means, as Nilakantha rightly explains spies and
not holy spots.

24. Satram is explained by Nilakantha to mean here ‘false disguise.’ I
think, however, such an interpretation to be far-fetched. It evidently
means ‘forest’,–the use of ‘pravisteshu’ in connection with it almost
settles the point.

25. This sloka is not correctly printed in any of the texts that I have
seen. The reading that I adopt is that the second word is the participle
of the root budh and not the instrumental of budhi; the last word again
of the second line is a compound of valavatsu and avaleshu instead of (as
printed in many books) valavatswavaleshu. Any other reading would
certainly be incorrect. I have not consulted the Bombay text.

26. Bhagasas lit., each in its proper place. It may also mean, ‘according
to their respective division.’

27. Kalyana-patalam is explained by Nilakantha to mean suvarna
pattachchaditam.

28. One of the generals of Virata.

29. Some differences of reading are noticeable here, for Yasaswinau some
texts read Manaswinau, and for Vahusamravdhau-Vahusanrambhat; and for
Nakha-naki–Ratha-rathi.

30. Some texts read Ghanabiva for Ghanarva. The latter is unquestionably
better in form.

31. The word in the original is Muhurta equal to 48 minutes. Nilakantha
points out very ingeniously that the night being the seventh of the dark
fortnight, the moon would not rise till after 14 Dandas from the hour of
sunset, a Danda being equal to 24 minutes. A Muhurta, therefore implies
not 48 minutes exactly, but some time.

32. Some Vikshyainam, Nilakantha explains Sama as a word spoken by Bhima
for assuring the captive Virata, and Vikshya as ‘assuring’ or ‘consoling
by a glance.’ Perhaps this is right.

33. The adjective Bhima-sankasas as explained by Nilakantha is in this
sense, quoting the celebrated simile of Valmiki.

34. To understand the comparison would require in the reader a knowledge
of the mechanism of the Indian Vina. Briefly, the Vina consists of a
bamboo of about cubits attached to two gourds towards its ends. Along the
bamboo which serves the purpose of a finger-board, is the main chord and
several thinner wires. All these pass over a number of frets, two and a
half heptachords, representing the total compass of the instrument. The
wires rest towards their ends on two pieces of ivory called Upadhanas in
Sanskrit or Swaris in Urdu.

35. Some read kaniasi for vaviasi. Both words are the same, and mean the
same thing.

36. Vedi-Vilagna madhya–Vedi in this connection means a wasp and not, as
explained by Mallinatha in his commentary of the Kumarasambhava, a
sacrificial platform. I would remark in passing that many of the most
poetic and striking adjectives in both the Raghu and the Kumarasambhava
of Kalidasa are borrowed unblushingly from the Ramayana and the
Mahabharata.

37. Padma patrabha-nibha may also mean ‘of the splendour of the gem
called Marakata.’ Nilakantha, however, shows that this would militate
against the adjective Kankojwalatwacham below.

38. The princess being of the complexion of burnished gold and Arjuna
dark as a mass of clouds, the comparison is exceedingly appropriate. The
Vaishnava poets of Bengal never tire of this simile in speaking of Radha
and Krishna in the groves of Vrindavana.

39. The words in the original is pranayam, lit., love. Nilakantha,
however, explains it as meaning modesty, humility. I think, Nilakantha is
right. The relations between Arjuna and the princess were like those
between father and daughter.

40. This sloka is not correctly printed in any of the texts that I have
seen. The Burdwan Pandits read tat-samim. This I think, is correct, but
then asasada in the singular when the other verbs are all dual seems to
be correct. The poet must have used some other verb in the dual for
asasada.

41. Some texts read Diptasya for Diptayam.

42. This sloka does not occur in every text. This is a typical
illustration of the round about way, frequently adopted by Sanskrit
writers, of expressing a simple truth. The excuse in the present instance
consists in Drona’s unwillingness to identify the solitary hero with
Arjuna, in the midst of all his hearers. Nadiji is an exclamation
referring to Bhishma, the son of the river Ganga. Lankesa-vanari-ketu is
simply ‘ape-bannered,’ or as rendered in the text, having the devastator
of the gardens of Lanka’s lord for the sign of his banner. Nagahvaya is
‘named after tree’ for Arjuna is the name of an Indian tree. Nagri-sunu
is ‘Indra’s son’,–Indra being the foe of mountain, for formerly it was
he who cut off the wings of all mountains and compelled them to be
stationary. He failed only in the case of Mainaka, the son of Himavat.

43. Indian insects of a particular kind.

44. Most editions read chapas which is evidently wrong. The correct
reading is avapas, meaning quiver. The Burdwan Pandits give this latter
reading.

45. Some read chandrargha-darsanas. The correct reading is
chandrardha-darsanas.

46. Most editions read hema-punkha and silasita in the instrumental
plural; the correct reading is their nominative plural forms.

47. Sayaka means here, as explained by Nilakantha, a sword, and not a
shaft.

48. From the colour of his steeds.

49. Nilakantha spends much learning and ingenuity in making out that
sixty-five years in this connection means thirty-two years of ordinary
human computation.

50. Some texts read,–‘One large meteor fell.’

51. In some editions read,–Bharata dwijam, and Maha-hardam for
maha-drumam. The meaning would then be,–‘The banners (of the hostile
army) began to tremble in the sky, and large lakes were agitated.”

52. Some texts read Maharatham (incorrectly) for hiranmayan. Indeed,
Maharatham would give no meaning in this connection. The incomplete
edition of the Roy Press under the auspices of the Principal of the
Calcutta Sanskrit College abounds with such incorrect readings and
misprints.

53. The Roy Press edition adds here a line which looks very much like an
interpolation.

54. The true reading is Acharya in the dual number, meaning Drona and
Kripa. Some texts read the word in the singular form. Nilakantha notices
both these reading, but prefers the dual to the singular.

55. The meaning is rather doubtful. Duryodhana seems to say that ‘the
hostile appearance of Arjuna has been an act of imprudence on his part.
The Pandavas, after the expiry of the thirteenth year, would claim their
kingdom. I, Duryodhana, may or may not accede to their demand. When,
therefore, it was not certain that Arjuna would be refused by me, his
hostile appearance is unwise. He has come sure of victory, but he may yet
be defeated.’

56. The sense seems to be that when moralists even are puzzled in judging
of the propriety or otherwise of their acts, it can easily be imagined
that the Pandavas, however virtuous, have, in the matter of this their
appearance, acted wrongly, for, after all, the thirteenth year may not
have really been over as believed by them. Or, it may mean, that as
regards our presence here, we have not acted imprudently when even
moralists cannot always arrive at right conclusion. It seems that for
this Duryodhana proceeds to justify that presence in the following
sentences

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