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The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa
“Vaisampayana continued, ‘And when the king of the Matsyas had addressed them thus, those descendants of the Kurus with Yudhishthira at their head, joining their hands, severally replied unto him saying, ‘We are well-pleased with all that thou sayest, O monarch. We, however, have been much gratified that thou hast today been freed from thy foes.’ Thus answered, that foremost of kings, Virata the lord of the Matsyas, again addressed Yudhishthira, saying, ‘Come, we will install thee in sovereignty of the Matsyas. And we will also bestow on thee things that are rare on earth and are objects of desire, for thou deservest everything at our hands. O foremost of Brahmanas of the Vaiyaghra order I will bestow on thee gems and kine and gold and rubies and pearls. I bow unto thee. It is owing to thee that I once more behold today my sons and kingdom.
Afflicted and threatened as I had been with disaster and danger, it is through thy prowess that I have not succumbed to the foe.’ Then Yudhishthira again addressed the Matsyas, saying, ‘Well-pleased are we with the delightful words that thou hast spoken. Mayst thou be ever happy, always practising humanity towards all creatures. Let messengers now, at thy command, speedily repair into the city, in order to communicate the glad tidings to our friends, and proclaim thy victory. Hearing these words of him, king Matsya ordered the messengers, saying,’ ‘Do ye repair to the city and proclaim my victory in battle. And let damsels and courtesons, decked in ornaments, come out of the city with every kind of musical instruments.’ Hearing this command uttered by the king of the Matsyas, the men, laying the mandate on their head, all departed with cheerful hearts. And having repaired to the city that very night, they proclaimed at the hour of sunrise the victory of the king about the city-gates.’”
And he said, the Kauravas are taking away sixty thousand kine. Rise, therefore, O enhancer of the kingdom’s glory, for brining back thy cattle. O prince, if thou art desirous of achieving (the kingdom’s) good set out thyself without loss of time. Indeed, the king of the Matsyas left thee in the empty city. The king (thy father) boasteth of thee in court, saying, ‘My son, equal unto me, is a hero and is the supporter of (the glory of) my race. My son is a warrior skilled in arrows and weapons and is always possessed of great courage.’–Oh, let the words of that lord of men be true! O chief of herd-owners, bring thou back the kine after vanquishing the Kurus, and consume thou their troops with the terrific energy of thy arrows. Do thou like a leader of elephants rushing at a herd, pierce the ranks of the foe with straight arrows of golden wings, discharged from thy bow.
Thy bow is even like a Vina. Its two ends represent the ivory pillows; its string, the main chord; its staff, the finger-board; and the arrows shot from it musical notes. Do thou strike in the midst of the foe that Vina of musical sound. Let thy steeds, O lord, of silvery hue, be yoked unto thy car, and let thy standard be hoisted, bearing the emblem of the golden lion. Let thy keen-edged arrows endued with wings of gold, shot by thy strong arms, obstruct the path of those kings and eclipse the very sun. Vanquishing all the Kurus in battle like unto the wielder of the thunderbolt defeating the Asuras, return thou again to the city having achieved great renown. Son of Matsya’s king, thou art the sole refuge of this kingdom, as that foremost of virtuous warriors, Arjuna is of the sons of Pandu. Even like Arjuna of his brothers, thou art, without doubt, the refuge of those dwelling within these dominions. Indeed, we, the subject of this realm, have our protector in thee.’
“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Thus addressed by the cowherd in the presence of the females, in words breathing courage, the prince indulging in self-commendation within the female apartments, spoke these words.’”