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priest Dhaumya in the^van. That foremost of men, viz., the
Toyal son of Pandu, made short marches every day, measured
by a Goyuta (4 miles)." That mighty host, king, afflicted
with the weight they bore, returned, bearing that wealth,
towards the capital, gladdening the hearts of all those perpe-
tuaters of the Kuru race.'"^

Section LXV^I.

Vai<jampayanasaid. — "Meanwhile, Vasudeva of great energy
accompanied by the Vrishnis, came to the city called after the
■elephant.^ While leaving that city for returning to his own
Dwaraka, he had been requested by the son of Dharraa to come
back. Heiice, knowing that the time fixed for the horse-sacri-
fice had come, that foremost of men came back (to the Kuru
capital).'' Accompanied by the son of Rukmini,by Yuyudhana,
by Charudeshna, by Camva, by Gada, by Kritavarman,' by the
heroic Sarana, by Ni^atha, and by Unmukha, Vasudeva came,
with Valadeva at the head of the train, and with Subhadra
also accompanying him.* Indeed, that hero came for seeing
Draupadi and Uttara and Pritha and for comforting those
Kshatriya ladies of distinction who had been bereft of many
■of their protectors.^ Beholding those heroes come, king Dhri-
tarashtra, as also the high-souled Vidura, received them with
due honours.' That foremost of men, viz., Krishna of great
energy, well adored by Vidura and Yuyutsu, continued to
reside in the Kuru capital.^ It wis while the Vrlshni heroes

Parva.] acwamedha parva." 171

O Janamejaya, were residing in the Kuru city, O king;
that thy sire, that slayer of hostile heroes, was born.* The
royal Parikshit, monarch, afflicted by the Brahma-weapon
(of Agwatthaman), upon coming out of the womb, lay still
and motionless, for life he had not. By his birth he had
gladdened the citizens but soon plunged them into grief.*
The citizens, learning of the birth of the prince, uttered a
leonine shout. That noise proceeded to the utmost verge of
every point of the compass. Soon, however, (when it was
known that the prince was bereft of life), that noise ceased.*®"
With great haste Krishna, his senses and mind considerably
affected, with Yuyudhana in his company, entered the inner
apartments of the palace.** He beheld his own paternal
aunt (Kunti) coming, loudly weeping and calling upon him
repeatedly.*^ Behind her were Draupadi and the famous
Subhadra, and the wives of the relatives of the Pandavas, all
weeping piteously.** Meeting Krishna, Kunti, that daughter
of the Bhoja race, said unto 'him, foremost of monarchs>
these words in a voice choked with tears.** — Vasudeva^
O mighty-armed hero^ Devaki, by having borne thee, has
come to be regarded as an excellent genetrix ! Thou art
our refuge, and our glory I This race (of Pandu) depends
upon thee for its protector !*^ O Yadava hero, puissant one,
this child of thy sister's son, has come out of the womb,
slain by Agwatthaman ! Ke9ava, do thou revive him !**
O delighter of the Yadavas, even this was vowed by thee,
O puissant one, when AQwatthaman had inspired the blade
of grass into a Brahma-weapon of mighty energy ! Indeed,
O Ke9ava, thy words were even these : — I shall revive that
child if he comes out of the womb dead !*^ — That child, O son,
has been born dead ! Behold him, O foremost of men. It be-
hooveth thee, Madhava, to rescue Uttara and Subhadra and
Draupadi and myself, and Dharma's son (Yudhishthira), and-
Bhima and Phalguna, and Nakula, and the irresistible Saha-
deva I*^"*' In this child are bound the life-breaths of the Pan-
davas and myself ! O thou of the Dacjarha race, on him de-
pends the obsequial cake of Pandu, as also of my father-in-law,***
and of Abhimanyu too, blessed be thou, that darling nephew of

172 MAnABHARATA. [AnugitH

thine who was so very like unto thee ! Do thou accomplish to-
day what will be beneficial to all these ! I urge thee earnestly,
O Janarddana l'^ Uttara, slayer of foes, always repeats the
words said unto her by Abhimanyu. Without doubt, O Krish-
na, those words were highly agreeable to her.^" thou of the
Datjarha race, Arjuna's son said unto this daughter of Virata, —
Thy son, O blessed girl, will go to my maternal uncles.^^ Tak-
ing up his residence with the Vrishnis and Andhakas, he will
obtain from them the science of arms, indeed, diverse wonder-
ful weapons and the whole of the science of polities and mora-
lity !2* — Even these were the words, O son, that that slayer
of hostile heroes, viz., the son of Subhadra, that irresistible
hero, said unto Uttara from his aJBfection for her.^^ slayer of
Madhu, bowing our heads unto thee, we pray thee for making
those words of Abhimanyu true ! In view also of the time
that has come, do thou accomplish what is highly beneficial !'^^
Having said these words unto that hero of the Vrishni's race,
Pritha of large eyes, raised her arms upwards and with the
other ladies in her company, fell down on the Earth.^^ All of
them, with eyes rendered muddy by tears, repeatedly explain-
ed, saying, — 'Alas, the son of Vasudeva's nephew has been
born dead !'^® — After Kunti had said so, Janarddana took hold
of her, O Bharata, and gently raising her from the Earthy
comforted her as follows."^^

Section LXVII.

Vai(;ampayana said, — "After Kunti had sat up, Subhadra,
beholding her brother, began to weep aloud, and afflicted with
excessive grief, said,^ — '0 thou of eyes like lotus petals, behold
the grandson of Arjuna of great intelligence ! Alas, the Kuru
race having been thinned, a child has been born that is feeble
and dead \^ The blade of grass (inspired into a weapon of
great efficacy), uplifted by Drona's son for compassing the
destruction of Bhimasena, fell upon Uttara and Vijaya and
myself !** Alas, that blade, O Ke(;ava, is still existing (un-

* 'Vijaya' is Arjuna.— T.

Parva.] acwamedha parva. 173

extracted) in me, after having pierced my heart, since I do
not, irresistible hero, behold this child with (his sire who
was) my son !* What will the righteous souled king Yu-
dhishthira the just say ? What will Bhimasena and Arjuna,
and the two sons of Madravati also say P Hearing that Abhi-
manyu's son was born and dead, the Pandavas, thou of
Vrishni's race, will regard themselves as cheated by Agwat-
thaman.^ Abhimanyu, Krishna, was the favourite of all
the Pandava brothers, without doubt. Hearing this intelli-
gence, what will those heroes, vanquished by the weapon of
Drona's son, say ?'^ What grief, Janarddana, can be greater
than this, viz., that Abhimanyu's son should be born and
dead ?^ Bowing unto thee with my head, Krishna, I seek
to gratify thee today ! Behold, O foremost of men, these two
standing here, viz., Pritha and Draupadi !^ When, Ma-
dhava, the son of Drona sought to destroy the embryos even
in the wombs of the ladies of the Pandavas, at that time, O
grinder of foes, thou saidst in wrath unto Drona's son (even
these words),** — O wretch of a Brahmana, vilest of men,
I shall disappoint thy wish ! I shall revive the son of Kiri-
tin's son !** — Hearing these words of thine and well knowing
thy puissance, I seek to gratify thee, irresistible hero !
Let the son of Abhimanyu be revived \^^ If having pledged
thyself previously thou dost not accomplish thy auspicous vow,
do thou then know for certain, chief of the Vrishni race,
that I shall cast off my life !*^ If, hero, this son of Abhi-
manyu doth not revive when thou, O irresistible one, art alive
and near, of what other use wilt thou be to me ?** Do thou,
therefore, O irresistible one, revive this son of Abhimanyu, —
this child that is possessed of eyes similar to his, — even as a
rain-charged cloud revives the lifeless crops (on a field) !*^
Thou, Kegava, art righteous-souled, truthful, and of prow-
ess incapable of being baffled. It behooveth thee, O chastiser
of foes, to make thy words truthful !*^ If only thou wishest
it, thou canst revive the three worlds (of being) if dead !
What need I say, therefore, of this darling child, born but
dead, of thy sister's son 1" 1 know thy puissance, Krishna !
Therefore, do I solicit thee ! Do thou show this great favour

174 SfAHABHARATA. [AnugitS

to the sons of Pandii !** It behooveth thee, O mighty-armed
one, to show compassion to this Uttara or to me, thinking
that I am thy sister or even a mother that hath lost her son,
and one that hath thrown herself upon thy protection 1' "**

Section LXVIII.

Vaicjampayana said, — "Thus addressed, O king, (by his
sister and others), the slayer of Ke^in, exceedingly afflicted
by grief, answered, — 'So be it !' — These words were uttered
with sufficient loudness and they gladdened all the inmates ot
the inner apartments of the palace.^ The puissant Krishna,
that foremost of men, by uttering these words, gladdened all
the people assembled there, like one pouring cold water on
a person afflicted with sweat.* He then quickly entered the
lying-in room in which thy sire was born. It was duly sancti-
fied, chief of men, with many garlands of white flowers;*
with many well-filled water pots arranged on every side ;
with char-coal, soaked in ghee, of Tinduka wood, and mustard
seeds, thou of mighty-arms ;* with shining weapons properly
arrayed, and several fires on every side. And it was peopled
by many agreeable and aged dames summoned for waiting
(upon thy grand-mother).^ It was also surrounded by many
well-skilled and clever physicians, O thou of great intelligence !
Endued with great energy, he also saw there all articles that
are destructive of Rakshasas, duly placed by persons conversant
with the subject. Beholding the lying-in room in which thy
sire was born thus equipt, Hrishike^a became very glad and
said,— 'Excellent, Excellent !'«■' When he of Vrishni's race
said so and presented such a cheerful countenance, Draupadi,
repairing thither with great speed, addressed the daughter of
Virata, saying,^— 'O blessed lady, here comes to thee thy father-
in-law, the slayer of Madhu, that ancient Rishi of inconceiv-
able soul, that unvanquished one !'»— Virata's daughter, check-
ing her tears, said these words in a voice suffocated with grief.
Covering herself properly, the princess waited for Krishna like
the deities reverentially waiting for him.^<> The helpless lady,
with heart agitated by grief, beholding Govinda coming, in-

Parva.] ACWAivtEniTA parva. 175

dulged in these lamentations :" — lotus-eyed one, behold us
two deprived of our child ! Janarddana, both Abhimanyu
and myself have been equally slain !^- thou of Vrishni's
race, slayer of Madhu, I seek to gratify thee by bending
my head, O hero, unto thee ! Do thou revive this child of
mine that has been consurued by the weapon of Drona's son !''*
If king Yudhishthira the just, or Bhimasena, or thyself,
lotus-eyed one, had, on that occasion, said,^* — Let the blade of
grass (inspired by Acwathaman into a Brahma- weapon) destroy
the unconscious mother, — puissant one, then I would have
been destroyed "and this (sad occurrence) would not have
happen ed.^^ Alas, what benefit has been reaped by Drona's
son by accomplishing this cruel deed, viz., the destruction of
the child in the womb by his Brahma- weapon '^^ That self-
same mother now seeks to gratify thee, slayer of foes, by
bending her head|! Surely, Govinda, I shall cast oif my
life-breaths if this child does not revive 1'^ In him, right-
eous one, were placed many expectations by me ! Alas, when
these have been frustrated by Drona's son, what need have I,
O Ke^ava, to bear the burden of lite ?^® The hope, Krishna,
was cherished by me that with my child on my lap, Janard-
dana, I would salute thee with reverence. Alas, O Ke9ava,
that hope has been destroyed !^° O foremost of all beings, at
the death of this heir of Abhimanyu of restless eyes, all the
hopes in my breast have been destroyed l'" Abhimanyu of
restless eyes, slayer of Madhu, was exceedingly dear to
thee ! Behold this child of his slain by the Brahma- weapon !"*
This child is very ungrateful and very heartless, like his sire,
for, behold, disregarding the prosperity and affluence of the
Paadavas, he has gone to Yama's abode \^^ I had, before this,
vowed, Kegava, that if Abhimanyu fell on the field of battle,
O hero, I would follow him without any loss of time."^ I did
not, however, keep my vow, cruel that I am and fond of life !
If I repair to him now, what, indeed, will Phalguna's son
say r '"**


Section LXIX.

VaiQampayana said, — " The helpless Uttarii, desirous of
getting back her child, having iiidulged in these piteous la-
mentations, fell down in affliction on the earth like a demented
creature.* Beholding the princess fallen on the earth deprived
of her son and with her body uncovered, Kunti as also all the
(other) Bharata ladies, deeply afflicted, began to weep aloud.*
Resounding with the voi e of lamentation, the palace of the
Paiidavas, king, was soon converted into a mansion of sorrow
where nobody could remain.^ Exceedingly afflicted by grief
on account of her son, Virata's daughter, O king, seemed to
be struck down for sometime by sorrow and cheerlessness.*
Regaining consciousness, chief of Bharata's race, Uttara
took up her child on her lap and said these words :^ — Thou art
the child of one who was conversant with every duty. Art
thou not conscious then of the sin thou committest, since thou
dost not salute this foremost one of the Vrishni's race ?* son,
repairing to thy sire tell him these words of mine, viz., — It
is difficult for living creatures to die liefbre their time comes,'^
since though reft of thee, my husband, and now deprived of my
child also, I am yet alive when I should die, uncndued as I am
with everything auspicious and everything possessed of value !*
— mighty-armed one, with the permission of king Yudhish-
thira the just I shall swallow some virulent poison or cast my-
self on the blazing fire !^ sire, difficult of destruction is
my heart since, though I am deprived of husband and child,
that heart of mine does not yet break into a thousand pieces !'"
Rise, son, and behold this thy afflicted great-grand-mother !
She is deeply afflicted with grief, bathed in tears, exceedingly
cheerles=', and plunged in an ocean of sorrow !** Behold the
reverend princess of Panchiila, and the helpless princess of
the Sattata race ! Behold myse'f, exceedingly afflicted with
grief, and resembling a deer pierced by a hunter.*" Rise,
O child, and behold the face of this lord of the worlds,
that is endued with great wisdom, and possessed of eyes
like lotus-petals and resembling thy sire of restless glances



Beholding Uttara, who indulged in these lamentations, fallen
on the earth, all those ladies, raising her, caused her to sife
up.** Having sat up, the daughter of the king of the Mat-
syas, summoning her patience, joined her hands in reverence
and touched the earth with her head for saluting Ke9ava
of eyes like the petals of the lotus." That foremost of
beings, hearing those heart-rending lamentations of hers,
touched water and withdrew the (force of the) Brahma-
weapon.*" That hero of unfading glory, belonging to the
race of the Da^arhas, promised to give the child his life.
Then he of pure soul, .«^aid these words in the hearing of the
whole universe,*'— O Uttara, I never utter an untruth ! My
words will prove true. I shall revive this child in the pre-
sence of all creatures !*^ Never before have I uttered an un-
truth even in jest. Never have I turned back from battle.
(By the merit of those acts) let this child revive !" As right-
eousness is dear to me, as Brahmanas are especially dear to
me, (by the merit of that disposition of mine) let Abhi-
manyu's son, who is born dead, revive !^® Never hath a
misunderstanding arisen between me and my friend Vijaya.
Let this dead child revive by that truth !" As truth and
righteousness are always established in me, let this dead child
of Abhimanyu revive (by the merit of these) 1" As Kansa
and Ke^i have been righteously slain by me, let this child
revive today by that truth l'^^ After these words were uttered
by Vasudeva, that child, O foremost one of Bharata's race,
became animate and began gradually to move, monarch !"'^*

Section LXX.

VaiQampayana said, — " When the Brahma-weapon was

withdrawn by Krishna, at that time, the lying-in room was

illumined by thy father with his energy.* All the Rakshasaa

(that had come there) were forced to leave the room and many

* Before performing any rite or act of a grave nature, Hindus are
required to touch water or perform what is called the 'acharaana. A
little quantity of water is taken on the palm of the right hand, and with
it are touched the lips, tlie nostrils, the ears, and the eyes. — T.

[ 23 ]


of them met with destruction. In the welkin a voice was
heard, saying, — Excellent, O Ke^ava, Excellent l^ — The blaz-
ing Brahma-weapon then returned to the Grandsire (of all the
worlds). Thy sire got back his life-breaths, O king !* The
child began to move according to his energy and might. The
Bharata ladies became all filled with joy.* At the command
of Govinda, the Brahmanas were made to utter benedictions.
All the ladies, filled with joy, praised Janarddana.^ Indeed,
the wives of those Bharata lions, viz., Kunti and Drupada's
daughter and Subhadra and Uttara, and the wives of other
lions among men, like (ship- wrecked") persons who have reached
the shore after having obtained a boat, became exceedingly
glad.* Then wrestlers and actors and astrologers and those
who enquire after the slumbers (of princes),' and bands of
bards and eulogists all uttered the praises of Janarddana,
while uttering benedictions fraught with the praises of the
Kuru race, O chief of the Bharatas l^ Uttara, rising up at
the proper time, with a deligkted heart and bearing her child
in her arras, reverentially saluted the delighter of the Yadus.^
Rejoicing greatly, Krishna made gifts unto the child of many
valuable gems. The other chiefs of the Vrishni race, did the
same. Then the puissant Janarddana, firmly adhering to
truth, bestowed a name on the infant who was thy sire, O
monarch. — 'Since this child of Abhimanyu has been born at a
time when this race has become nearly extinct,*""^* let his
name be Parikshit !' Even this is what he said. Then thy
father, O king, began to grow,^^ and gladden all the people,
O Bharata ! When thy father was a month old, O hero,^^
the Pandavas came back to their capital, bringing with them
a profusion of wealth. Hearing that the Pandavas were near,
those foremost ones of the Vrishni race went out.'** The
citizens decked the city called after the elephant with garlands
of flowers in profusion, Avith beautiful pennons and standards
of diverse kinds.'^ The citizens also, O king, adorned their
respective mansions. Desirous of doing what was beneficial
to the sons of Pandn, Vidura ordered diverse kinds of wor-
ship to be offered to the deities established in their respective
temples. The principal streets of the city were adorned with

Farva.] ac"«vamedha parva." 179

flowers.^^*'^' Indeed, the city was filled with the hum of
thousands of voices which resembled the softened roar of dis-
tant ocean waves. With dancers all engaged in their vocation,
and with the voice of singers,^® the (Kuru) city then resembled
the mansion of Vaigravana himself.* Bards and eulogists,
O king, accompanied by beautiful women,*° were seen to
adorn diverse retired spots in the city. The pennons were
caused by the wind to float gaily on every part of the city,**
as if bent upon showing the Kurus the southern and the
northern points of the compass. All the officers also of the
government loudly proclaimed that that was to be a day of
rejoicing for the entire kingdom as an indication of the success
of the enterprise for bringing a profusion of gems and other

Section LXXI.

Vaicjampayana said, — "Hearing that the Pandavas were
near, that crusher of foes, viz., Vasudeva, accompanied by his
ministers, went out for seeing them.* The Pandavas then,
uniting with the Vrishnis according to the usual formalities,
together entered, O king, the city named after the elephant.^
With the hum of voices and the clatter of cars of that mighty
host, the Earth and the welkin, and the firmament itself, be-
came as it were entirely filled.^ The Pandavas, with rejoicing
hearts, accompanied by their officers and friends, entered the
capital, placing that treasure in their van.* Repairing, agree-
ably to custom, to king Dhritarashtra first, they worshipped his
feet, announcing their respective names.^ Those foremost ones
of Bhtrata's race, O chief of kings, then paid their respectful
salutations to Gandhari the daughter of Suvala, and to Kunti.*
They next worshipped (their uncle) Vidura and met Yuyutsu,
the son of Dhritarashtra by his Vai^ya wife. Those heroes
were then worshipped by others and they blazed forth in

* The abode of Vaigravana is called AlabS,. Vai^iavana is, of
course, Kuvera, the lord of treasures, friend of MahSdeva, and chief
of the Yakshas — T.

t TIio la8t lineis - .slightly expanded.— T.

180 MAHA-BIIARITA [Aiiugitcl

beauty, king I^ After this, Bharata, those heroes heard
the tidings of that highly wonderful and marvellous and glad-
some birth of thy father.® Hearing of that feat of Vasudeva
of great intelligence, they all worshipped Krishna, the de-
lighter of Devaki, who was every way worthy of worship.®
Then, after a few days, Vyasa, the son of Satyavati, endued
with great energy, came to the city named after the elephant.^®
The perpetuaters of Kuru's race worshipped the great Rishi
according to the usual custom. Indeed, those heroes, with
those foremost princes of the Vrishni and the Andhaka races,
paid the sage their adorations.^^ After having conversed on
various subjects, Dharma's son Yudhishthira addressed Vyasa
and said," — This treasure, O holy one, which has been brought
through thy grace I wish to devote to that great sacrifice
known by the name of the horse-sacrifice.^' O best of ascetics,
I desire to have thy permission. We are all, Rishi, at thy
disposal, and at that of the high-souled Krishna !''*

"Vyasa said, — 'I give thee permission, king ! Do what
should be done after this ! Do thou worship the deities duly
by performing the horse sacrifice with profuse gifts.^^ The
Horse-sacrifice, O king, is a cleanser of all sins. Without
doubt, having worshipped the deities by that sacrifice thou wilt ,
surely be cleansed of all sins !' ""

Vai^ampayana continued, — " Thus addressed, the Kuru
king Yudhishthira of righteous soul then set his heart, O
monarch, on making the necessary preparations for the Horse-
sacrifice.^^ Having represented all this unto the Island- born
Krishna, the king endued with great eloquence, approached
Vasudeva and said,^® — O foremost of all beings, the goddess
Devaki has, through thee, come to be regarded as the most
fortunate of mothers ! O thou of unfading glory, do thou ac-
complish that which I shall now tell thee, O mighty-armed
one !^^ O delighter of the Kurus, the diverse enjoyments we
enjoy have all been acquired through thy puissance. The
whole Earth has been subjugated by thee with the aid of thy
prowess and intelligence.^** Do thou, therefore, cause thyself
to undergo the rites of initiation. Thou art our highest pre-
ceptor and master. If Lhou performcst the aacrificc, thou

Parva.] acwamedha parva. 181

of the Dagarha race, I shall be cleansed from every sin.''*
Thou art Sacrifice ! Thou art the Indestructible 1 Thou art
this All' Thou art Righteousness! Thou art Prajajati!
Thou art the goal of all creatures ! Even this is my certain
conclusion 1'^"

"Vasudeva said, — '0 mighty-armed one, it becomes thee
to say so, O chastiser of foes ! Thou art the goal of all crea-
tures. Even this is my certain conclusion I" Amongst the
heroes of the Kuru race, in consequence of thy righteousness
thou shinest today in great glory ! They have all been cast
into the shade, O king, by thee ! Thou art our king, and
thou art our senior I^* With my approval freely granted, do
thou adore the deities in the sacrifice suggested ! Do thou, O
Bharata, appoint us to whatever tasks thou likest ! Truly, do
I pledge myself that I shall accomplish all, O sinless one, that
thou mayst bid me accomplish.''^ Bhiraasena and Arjuna
and the two sons of Madravati will be sacrificing when thou,
king, sacrificest !*' "="»

Section LXXII.

VaiQampayana said, — "Thus addressed by Krishna. Yu-

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