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The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa

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

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘And when the king of the Matsyas had addressed them thus, those descendants of the Kurus with Yudhishthira at their head, joining their hands, severally replied unto him saying, ‘We are well-pleased with all that thou sayest, O monarch. We, however, have been much gratified that thou hast today been freed from thy foes.’ Thus answered, that foremost of kings, Virata the lord of the Matsyas, again addressed Yudhishthira, saying, ‘Come, we will install thee in sovereignty of the Matsyas. And we will also bestow on thee things that are rare on earth and are objects of desire, for thou deservest everything at our hands. O foremost of Brahmanas of the Vaiyaghra order I will bestow on thee gems and kine and gold and rubies and pearls. I bow unto thee. It is owing to thee that I once more behold today my sons and kingdom.

Afflicted and threatened as I had been with disaster and danger, it is through thy prowess that I have not succumbed to the foe.’ Then Yudhishthira again addressed the Matsyas, saying, ‘Well-pleased are we with the delightful words that thou hast spoken. Mayst thou be ever happy, always practising humanity towards all creatures. Let messengers now, at thy command, speedily repair into the city, in order to communicate the glad tidings to our friends, and proclaim thy victory. Hearing these words of him, king Matsya ordered the messengers, saying,’ ‘Do ye repair to the city and proclaim my victory in battle. And let damsels and courtesons, decked in ornaments, come out of the city with every kind of musical instruments.’ Hearing this command uttered by the king of the Matsyas, the men, laying the mandate on their head, all departed with cheerful hearts. And having repaired to the city that very night, they proclaimed at the hour of sunrise the victory of the king about the city-gates.’”


SECTION XXXV
“Vaisampayana said, ‘When the king of the Matsyas, anxious of recovering the kine, had set out in pursuit of the Trigartas, Duryodhana with his counsellors invaded the dominions of Virata. And Bhishma and Drona, and Karna, and Kripa acquainted with the best of weapons, Aswatthaman, and Suvala’s son, and Dussasana, O lord of men, and Vivingsati and Vikarna and Chitrasena endued with great energy, and Durmukha and Dussaha,–these and many other great warriors, coming upon the Matsya dominion speedily drove off the cowherds of king Virata and forcibly took away the kine. And the Kauravas, surrounding all sides with a multitude of cars, seized sixty thousands of kine. And loud was the yell of woe set up by the cowherds smitten by those warriors in that terrible conflict. And the chief of the cowherds, greatly affrighted speedily mounted on a chariot and set out for the city, bewailing in affliction. And entering the city of the king, he proceeded to the place, and speedily alighting from the chariot, got in for relating (what had happened). And beholding the proud son of Matsya, named Bhuminjaya, he told him everything about the seizure of the royal kine.

And he said, the Kauravas are taking away sixty thousand kine. Rise, therefore, O enhancer of the kingdom’s glory, for brining back thy cattle. O prince, if thou art desirous of achieving (the kingdom’s) good set out thyself without loss of time. Indeed, the king of the Matsyas left thee in the empty city. The king (thy father) boasteth of thee in court, saying, ‘My son, equal unto me, is a hero and is the supporter of (the glory of) my race. My son is a warrior skilled in arrows and weapons and is always possessed of great courage.’–Oh, let the words of that lord of men be true! O chief of herd-owners, bring thou back the kine after vanquishing the Kurus, and consume thou their troops with the terrific energy of thy arrows. Do thou like a leader of elephants rushing at a herd, pierce the ranks of the foe with straight arrows of golden wings, discharged from thy bow.

Thy bow is even like a Vina. Its two ends represent the ivory pillows; its string, the main chord; its staff, the finger-board; and the arrows shot from it musical notes. Do thou strike in the midst of the foe that Vina of musical sound.[34] Let thy steeds, O lord, of silvery hue, be yoked unto thy car, and let thy standard be hoisted, bearing the emblem of the golden lion. Let thy keen-edged arrows endued with wings of gold, shot by thy strong arms, obstruct the path of those kings and eclipse the very sun. Vanquishing all the Kurus in battle like unto the wielder of the thunderbolt defeating the Asuras, return thou again to the city having achieved great renown. Son of Matsya’s king, thou art the sole refuge of this kingdom, as that foremost of virtuous warriors, Arjuna is of the sons of Pandu. Even like Arjuna of his brothers, thou art, without doubt, the refuge of those dwelling within these dominions. Indeed, we, the subject of this realm, have our protector in thee.’

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

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