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The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa

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

“Virata said, ‘This crooked Brahmana hath been struck by me. He deserveth even more than this. When I was praising thee, he praised that person of the third sex.’
“Uttara said, ‘Thou hast, O king, committed an improper act. Do thou speedily propitiate him so that the virulent poison of a Brahmana’s curse may not consume thee to thy roots!’

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

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

“Uttara said, ‘The kine have not been recovered by me, nor have the foe been vanquished by me. All that hath been accomplished by the son of a deity. Capable of striking like a thunderbolt, that youth of celestial origin, beholding me running away in fear, stopped me and himself mounted on my car. It was by him that the kine have been recovered and the Kauravas vanquished.

The deed, O father, is that hero’s and not mine. It was he that repulsed with arrows Kripa and Drona and Drona’s son of powerful energy, and the Suta’s son and Bhishma. That mighty hero then spoke unto the affrighted prince Duryodhana who was running away like the leader of a head of elephants, these words, ‘O prince of the Kuru race, I do not see that thou art safe by any means even at Hastinapura. Protect thy life by putting forth thy might. Thou shalt not escape me by flight. Therefore, make up thy mind for fight. If victorious, the sovereignty of the earth will be thine, or if slain, heaven itself will be thine.’

‘Thus addressed, king Duryodhana–that tiger among men surrounded by his counsellors,–sighing on his car like a snake turned back, showered arrows endued with the speed and force of thunderbolts. Beholding all this, venerable sire, my thighs began to quake. Then that celestial youth pierced with arrows the Kuru army consisting of leonine warriors. And having pierced and afflicted that crowd of cars, that youth, stout as the lion, laughed at them and robbed them of their clothes and attires. Indeed, the six great car-warriors of the Kurus were vanquished by that hero alone, even like herds of animals ranging in the forest by a single tiger in rage.’
“Virata said, ‘Where is that mighty-armed and famous youth of celestial origin, that hero who recovered in battle my wealth that had been seized by the Kurus? I am anxious to behold and worship that mighty warrior of celestial origin who hath saved thee and my kine also.’

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

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

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Then, on the third day, attired in white robes after a bath, and decked in ornaments of all kinds, those great car-warriors, the five Pandava brothers, having accomplished their row, and with Yudhishthira at their head, looked resplendent as they entered the palace-gate like five intoxicated elephants. And having entered the council-hall of Virata, they took their seats on the thrones reserved for kings, and shone brilliantly like fires on the sacrificial altar.

And after Pandavas had taken their seats, Virata, that lord of earth, came there for holding his council and discharging other royal offices. And beholding the illustrious Pandavas blazing like fires, the king reflected for a moment. And them, filled with wrath, the Matsya king spoke unto Kanka seated there like a celestial and looking like the lord of celestials surrounded by the Maruts. And he said, ‘A player at dice thou wert employed by me as a courtier! How couldst thou occupy the royal seat thus attired in handsome robes and ornaments?”

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Hearing these words of Virata, O king, and desirous of jesting with him, Arjuna smilingly said in reply, ‘This person, O king, deserveth to occupy the same seat with Indra himself. Devoted to the Brahmanas, acquainted with the Vedas, indifferent to luxury and carnal enjoyments, habitually performing sacrifices, steady in vows, this one, indeed, is the very embodiment of virtue, The foremost of all Persons endued with energy and superior to every body on earth in intelligence, devoted to asceticism, he is conversant with various weapons. No other person among the mobile and immobile creatures of the three worlds possesseth or will ever possess such knowledge of weapons.

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