Infomotions, Inc.Virata Parva / Various

Author: Various
Title: Virata Parva
Publisher: Project Gutenberg
Tag(s): virata; vaisampayana; arjuna; yudhishthira; kichaka; partha; vaisampayana continued; bhima; pandu; kurus; arrows; kine; car; king yudhishthira; warriors; king virata; kuru race; king; foremost; mighty; battle; weapons; foes; son; bharata race; beholding
Contributor(s): Ganguli, Kisari Mohan [Translator]
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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa
Bk. 4, by Kisari Mohan Ganguli

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Title: The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa Bk. 4

Author: Kisari Mohan Ganguli

Release Date: April 16, 2004 [EBook #12058]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ASCII


Produced by John B. Hare, Juliet Sutherland, David King, and the
Online Distributed Proofreading Team

The Mahabharata of

Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa



Translated into English Prose from the Original Sanskrit Text


Kisari Mohan Ganguli





(_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

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

    [1] _Brahma Vadini_--Nilakantha explains this as

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

"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 thou 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

"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


"Bhima said, 'I intend to present myself before the lord of Virata as a
cook bearing the name of Vallava. 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,
Havyavaha (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, Vrihannala 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

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]

    [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.


"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]

    [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.

"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

"Sahadeva replied, 'I will become a keeper of the king of Virata's kine.
I am skilled in milking kine and taking their history as well as in
taming their fierceness. Passing under the name of Tantripala, 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 perfumes 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.'

    [5] An independent female artisan working in another person's

"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.'"


"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 them 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

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, your 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 lying 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 gods; 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.'

    [6] Some of the Bengal text and _Sarvatramaya_ 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.

"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."


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 Kurukshetra.
And the illustrious Bhimasena unstrung that bow by means of which that
sinless one had vanquished in fight the Panchalas 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 untied 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
Yudhishthira kept these (five) names for himself and his brothers
respectively, viz., Jaya, Jayanta, Vijaya, Jayatsena, and Jayadvala.
Then they entered the great city, with the view to passing the
thirteenth year undiscovered in that kingdom, agreeably to the promise
(to Duryodhana)."


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 of face 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 possessest 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!'"

    [9] _Mahishasura_, the son of Rambhasura. Durga had to fight for
    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.

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


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.'

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

"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 he 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."


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


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 queens, 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

"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

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!"


"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

"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."


"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 deservest (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."


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

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


(_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."

    [12] _Krita_--attack; _Pratikrita_--warding it off;
    _Sankata_--clenched. _Some_ texts read _Sankatakais_. The
    meaning then would be 'cased in gauntlets.'


(_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
breasts, 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.'"

    [13] _Bhuti, Hri, Sri, Kirti_ and _Kanti_ are respectively the
    feminine embodiments of Prosperity, Modesty, Beauty, Fame and

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?'"


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."


"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.' At 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 Sudeshna. 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!'"


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

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.'"


"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?'"


"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.'"


"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

    [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.

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."


"Bhima said, 'Fie on the might of my arms and fie on the _Gandiva_ of
Phalguna, 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 quarters!" 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.'"

    [15] _Jayate asyas_--i.e., she from whom one is born.

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."


"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!'"

    [16] Some texts read, _Vilwam nagaviodhara--i.e.,_ 'As an
    elephant lifts up a vela fruit.'

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."

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


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 cemetery. And, O
king, while thus forcibly carried towards the cemetery 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

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
cemetery 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.'"

    [18] Literature, force of his thighs.

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."


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 are 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]

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

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, Vrihannala 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


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.'"

    [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.


(_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, Karna 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 Duhsasana, 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.'"


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!'"


Vaisampayana said, "Then that grandsire of the Bharatas, Bhishma the son
of Santanu, 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 Kshatriya 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.'"

    [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.


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 thy 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 and 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!'"

    [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


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 Duhsasana, 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

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


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 Madiraksha,
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."

    [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.


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."

    [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.


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.'"

    [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.

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

    [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.


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 relying 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 courtesans, 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."


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 Duhsasana, 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 bringing 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.'"

    [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 two 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.

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."


"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

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.'

    [35] Some read _kaniasi_ for _vaviasi_. Both words are the same,
    and mean the same thing.

"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."


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!'"

    [36] _Vedi-Vilagnamadhya_--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

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 or musical instruments or such other things, I can entertain thee
therewith, but where is my skill for becoming a charioteer?'

    [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.

"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

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.'"


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 cemetery, 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.'"

    [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_.

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 of 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 princes. 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!"


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 _Phalguna_. 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

    [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.

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!"


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.'"


"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

"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 untied, 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!"


"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 _Indragopakas_[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 intermined 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.'"

    [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

    [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.


"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

    [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.


"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, Phalguna,
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 Phalguna 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 Phalguna because I was born on the breast of the Himavat on a day
when the constellation _Uttara Phalguna_ 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.'"


"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 besieging host. 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

"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.'"

    [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.'


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
adorned with gold, that excellent flag-staff of celestial beauty then
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

    [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.

"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]

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

"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

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.'"


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 Karna 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 away 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.'"

    [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


"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 Duryodhana'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.'"


"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 Karna, 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 Karna, 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 Karna, 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.'"


"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 a 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 at 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.'"


"Bhishma said, 'Drona's son observeth well, and Kripa too observeth
rightly. As for Karna, 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

Vaisampayana continued, "Then, O Bharata, Duryodhana assisted by Karna
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.'"


"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 Pandavas--endued with energy like that of Sakra, 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

"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.'"


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 Karna. 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.'"


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 Vikartana'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 Karna 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.'"


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 Duhsasana, 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."


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 kings, 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."


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 than 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 hundreds 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 Phalguna, 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 the 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
Dhananjaya, the son of Kunti."


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

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 Phalguna, 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 wroth, drew his large and
unconquerable bow plated on the back with gold, and pierced Phalguna
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
Phalguna, 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."


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."


"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 Karna. 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


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 shoot_? 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, Duhsasana 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 Duhsasana pierced the son of Virata with a crescent-shaped arrow
and he pierced Arjuna with another arrow in the breast. And Jishnu,
confronting Duhsasana, 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, Duhsasana 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


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 blare 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_."


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 his
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 Phalguna'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 off 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 Swetavahana, 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."


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, Dhananjaya, 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 thy back? Why are not those trumpets 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.'"


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 Duhsasana 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
Phalguna and the Kurus, were highly delighted, and went to their
respective abodes, reflecting upon Partha's feats."


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, Phalguna, 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."


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

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
courtesans 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 the 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.'"


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

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.'"


"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

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."


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 vow, 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 then, filled with wrath, the Matsya king
spoke unto Kanka seated there like a celestial and looking like the lord
of celestials surrounded by the Martus. 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 Karna 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


"Virata said, 'If this one, indeed, be the Kuru king Yudhishthira 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.'"


"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

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

_The end of Virata Parva._

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana
Vyasa Bk. 4, by Kisari Mohan Ganguli


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