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The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa
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.
 Nor should one distinguish himself above the king in matters requiring ability and talents. He that is always cheerful and strong, brave and truthful, and mild, and of subdued senses, and who followeth his master like his shadow, is alone worthy to dwell in a royal household. He that on being entrusted with a work, cometh forward, saying,–I will do this–is alone worthy of living in a royal household. He that on being entrusted with a task, either within the king’s dominion or out of it, never feareth to undertake it, is alone fit to reside in a royal household. He that living away from his home, doth no remember his dear ones, and who undergoeth (present) misery in expectation of (future) happiness, is alone worthy of dwelling in a royal household. One should not dress like the king, nor should one indulge, in laughter in the king’s presence nor should one disclose royal secrets. By acting thus one may win royal favour. Commissioned to a task, one should not touch bribes for by such appropriation one becometh liable to fetters or death.
The robes, ornaments, cars, and other things which the king may be pleased to bestow should always be used, for by this, one winneth the royal favour. Ye children, controlling your minds, do ye spend this year, ye sons of Pandu, behaving in this way. Regaining your own kingdom, ye may live as ye please.”
Yudhishthira said, “We have been well taught by thee. Blessed be thou. There is none that could say so to us, save our mother Kunti and Vidura of great wisdom. It behoveth thee to do all that is necessary now for our departure, and for enabling us to come safely through this woe, as well as for our victory over the foe.”
Vaisampayana continued, “Thus addressed by Yudhishthira, Dhaumya, that best of Brahmanas, performed according to the ordinance the rites ordained in respect of departure. And lighting up their fires, he offered, with mantras, oblations on them for the prosperity and success of the Pandavas, as for their reconquest of the whole world. And walking round those fires and round the Brahmanas of ascetic wealth, the six set out, placing Yajnaseni in their front. And when those heroes had departed, Dhaumya, that best of ascetics, taking their sacred fires, set out for the Panchalas. And Indrasena, and others already mentioned, went to the Yadavas, and looking after the horses and the cars of the Pandavas passed their time happily and in privacy.”
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.’”
Nor is there any human being, who, I think, O Pandu’s son, will espy us depositing our arms at that place. That tree is in the midst of an out-of-the way forest abounding in beasts and snakes, and is in the vicinity of a dreary cemetery. Stowing away our weapons on the Sami tree, let us, O Bharata, go to the city, and live there, free from anxiety!”
Vaisampayana continued, “Having O bull of the Bharata race spoken thus to king Yudhishthira the just, Arjuna prepared to deposit the weapons (on the tree). And that bull among the Kurus, then loosened the string of the large and dreadful Gandiva, ever producing thundering twang and always destructive of hostile hosts, and with which he had conquered, on a single car, gods and men and Nagas and swelling provinces. And the warlike Yudhishthira, that represser of foes, unfastened the undecaying string of that bow with which he had defended the field of Kurukshstra. And the illustrious Bhimasena unstrung that bow by means of which that sinless one had vanquished in fight the Panchals and the lord of Sindhu, and with which, during his career of conquest, he had, single-handed, opposed innumerable foes, and hearing whose twang which was like unto the roar of the thunder or the splitting of a mountain, enemies always fly (in panic) from the field of battle.
And that son of Pandu of coppery complexion and mild speech who is endued with great prowess in the field, and is called Nakula in consequence of his unexampled beauty in the family, then unfastened the string of that bow with which he had conquered all the regions of the west. And the heroic Sahadeva also, possessed of a mild disposition, then united the string of that bow with which he had subjugated the countries of the south. And with their bows, they put together their long and flashing swords, their precious quivers, and their arrows sharp as razors. And Nakula ascended the tree, and deposited on it the bows and the other weapons. And he tied them fast on those parts of the tree which he thought would not break, and where the rain would not penetrate. And the Pandavas hung up a corpse (on the tree), knowing that people smelling the stench of the corpse would say–here sure, is a dead body, and avoid the tree from a distance. And on being asked by the shepherds and cowherds regarding the corpse, those repressers of foes said unto them, ‘This is our mother, aged one hundred and eighty years.
We have hung up her dead body, in accordance with the custom observed by our forefathers.’ And then those resisters of foes approached the city. And for purposes of non-discovery Yudhisthira kept these (five) names for himself and his brothers respectively, viz., Jaya, Jayanta, Vijaya, Jayatsena, and Jayatvala. Then they entered the great city, with the view to passing the thirteenth year undiscovered in that kingdom, agreeably to the promise (to Duryodhana).”