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The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (Volume 9) online

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dhishthira, the son of Dharma, endued with great intelligence,
saluted Vyasa and said these words:* — 'Do thou cause me to
be initiated when the proper hour, as thou truly knowest,
comes for that rite. This my sacrifice is entirely dependent
on thee \'^

"Vyasa said, — 'Myself, O son of Kunti, and Paila and Ya-
jnavalkya, shall, without doubt, achieve every rite at the pro-
per time.^ The rite of initiating thee will be performed on
the day of full moon belonging to the month of Chaitra. Let
all the necessaries of the sacrifice, foremost of men, be got
ready.* Let Sutas well-versed in the science of horses, and
let Brahmanas also possessed of the same lore, select, after
examination, a worthy horse in order that thy sacrifice may

* The sense is this : thou art the eldest brother of the Pandavas ; if
thou sacrificest, thy brothers also will come to be regarded as sacrificing
with thee.— T.

182 MAnABiiARATA [Anugiid

be completed.^ Loosening the animal according to the injunc-
tions of the scriptures, let him wander over the whole Earth
with her belt of seas, displaying thy blazing glory, O king !' "^

Vaigampayana continued, — "Thus addressed (by the Rishi),
Yudhishthira, the son of Pandu, that lord of Earth, answered,
— 'So be it !' — and then, O monarch, he accomplished all that
that utterer of Brahma had directed.'' All the alfllcles neces-
sary for the sacrifice, O king, were duly procured.^ The royal
son of Dharma, possessed of immeasurable soul, having pro-
cured all the necessaries, informed the Island-born Krishna of
it.° Then Vyasa of great energy said unto the royal son of
Dharma, — ^"As regards ourselves, we are all prepared to initiate
thee in view of the sacrifice !^° Let the Sphya and the Kurchci
and all the other articles that, O thou of Kuru's race, may
be needed for thy sacrifice, be made of gold !*^* Let the horse
also be loosened today, for roaming on the Earth, agreeably to
the ordinances of the scriptures. Let the animal, duly pro-
tected, wander over the Earth !'^-

"Yudhishthira said, — 'Let arrangements be made by tliee,
O regenerate one, about loosening this horse for enabling it to
wander over the Earth at its will !^' It behooveth thee, O
ascetic, to say who will protect this steed while roaming over
the Earth freely according to its will' "^*

Vai^arapayana continued, — 'Thus addressed (by king Yu-
dhishthira), O monarch, the Island-born Krishna said, — He
who is born after Bhimasena, who is the foremost of all bow-
men," who is called Jishnu, who is endued with great patience
and capable of overcoming all resistance, — he will protect the
horse ! That destroyer of the Nivatakavachas is competent to
conquer the whole Earth." In him are all celestial weapons.
His body is like that of a celestial in its powers of endurance.
His bow and quivers are celestial. Even he will follow this
horse." He is well versed in both Religion and Wealth, He
\s a master of all the sciences, O foremost of kings, he will
agreeably to the scriptures, cause the steed to roam and graze

* 'Sphya' wan a wooden Rword or soimital", used for slaying the sacri-
ficial animal. 'Kui'cha' is a handful of Kn?a grass. All these things
are directed by Vyiisa to be na;lp of pnvp gold, — T.

Parva.] acwamedha parva, 183

at its will.^* This mighfcy-armed prince, of dark complexion,
is endued with eyes resembling the petals of the lotus. That
hero, the father of Abhiraanyu, will protect the steed.*® Bhima-
sena also is endued with great energy. That son of Kunti is
possessed of immeasurable might. He is competent to protect
the kingdom, aided by Nakula, monarch l^° Possessed of
great intelligence and fame, Sahadeva will, thou of Kuru's
race, duly attend to all the relatives that have been invited to
thy capital.'^^ Thus addressed by the Rishi, that perpetuater
of Kuru's race, viz., Yudhishthira, accomplished every injunc-
tion duly and appointed Phalguna to attend to the horse.^^

"Yudhishthira said, — 'Come, O Arjnna, let the horse, O
hero, be protected by thee ! Thou alone art competent to pro-
tect it, and none else !^^ Those kings, O mighty-armed hero,
who will come forward to encounter thee, try, O sinless one,
to avoid battles with them to the best of thy power l^*" Thou
shouldst also invite them all to this sacrifice of mine. Indeed,
O mighty-armed one. go forth but try to establish friendly re-
lations with them !' ""^

Vai(;ampayana continued, — "The righteous-souled king Yu-
dhishthira, having said so unto his brother Savyasachin, com-
manded Bhima and Nakula to protect the city.^^ With the
permission of king Dhritara^ihtra, Yudhishthira then set Saha-
deva, that foremost of warriors, to wait upon all the invited

Section LXXIII.

Vaicampayana said, — "When the hour /or initiation came,
all those great Ritwijas duly initiated the king in view of the
horse sacrifice.* Having finished the rites of binding the sacri-
ficial animals, the son of Pandu, viz., king Yudhishthira the
just, endued with great energy, the initiation being over, shone
with great splendour along with those Ritwijas.^ The horse
that was brought for the horse-sacrifice was let loose, agreeably
to the injunctions of the scriptures, by that utterer of Brahma,
viz., Vyasa himself of immeasurable energy.^ Then king Yu-
dhishthira the just, monarch, after his initiation, adorned

184 MAHABHARATAi [Anug'itci

with a garland of gold around his neck, shone in beauty like
a blazing fire.* Having a black deer skin for his upper gar-
ment, bearing a stiff in hand, and wearing a cloth of red silk,
the son of Dharma, possessed of great splendour, shone like a
second Prajapati seated on the sacrificial altar.* All his Ritwi-
jas also, O king, were clad in similar robes. Arjima also shone
like a blazing fire.* Dhananjaya, unto whose car were yoked
white steeds, then duly prepar d, king, to follow that horse
of the comp'exion of a black deer, at the command of Yu-
dhishthira.^ Repeatedly drawing his bow, named Gandiva,
O king, and casing his hand in a fence made of iguana skin,
Avjuna, O monarch, prepared to follow that horse, ruler of
men, with a cheerful heart.^ All Hastinapore, king, with
the very children, came out at that spot from desire of behold-
ing Dhananjaya, that foremost of the Kurus, on the eve of his
journey.^ So thick was the crowd of spectators that came to
behold the hor->e and the prince who was to follow it, that
in consequence of the pressure of bodies, it seemed a fire was
created.^" L' ud was the noise that arose from that crowd of
men vho assembled together for beholding Dhananjnya the son
of Kunfci, and it seemed to fill all the points of the compass and
the entire welkin." And they said, — 'There goes the son of
Kunti, and there that horse of blazing beauty ! Indeed, the
mighty-armed hero follows the horse, having armed himself with
his excellent bow !** — Even these were the words which Jishnu
of noble intelligence heard. The citizens also blessed him, say-
ing, — 'Let blesungs be thine ! Go thou safely and come back,
O Bharata !'" Others, O chief of men, uttered these words:
— So great is the press that we do not see Arjuna. His bow,
however, is visible to us.'* Even that is the celebrated bow
Gandiva of terr,ble twang ' Blessed be thou. Let all dangers
fly from thy path ! Let fear nowhere inspire thee 1'^ When he
returns we shall behold him, for it is certain that he Avill come
back !' The high-sou!ed Arjuna repeatedly heard thc=;e and
similar other sweet Avords of men and women, O chief of the
Bharataa. A di?;ciple of Yajnavalkya, who was well-versed in
all sacrificial rites, and wlio wa** a complete master of the Vedas,
proceeded with Partha for performing nuspir-ious rites in favour

Parva.] agwamedha parva: 185

of the hero. Many Brahmanas also, king, all well-conversant
with the Vedas,""^^ and many Kshatriyas too, followed the
high-souled hero, at (the command, O monarch, of Tudhish-
thira the just.^® The horse then roamed, O foremost of men,
wherever he liked over the Earth already conquered by Pan-
davas with the energy of their weapons.**' In course of the
horse's wanderings, O king, many great and wonderful battles
were fought between Arjuna and many kings. These I shall
describe to thee.*^ The horse, O king, roamed over the whole
Earth. Know, O monarch, that from the north it turned to-
wards the East.'^" Grinding the kingdoms of many monarcbs
that excellent horse wandered. And it was followed slowly by
the great car- warrior Arjuna of white steeds.*' Countless,
O monarch, was the fate of Kshatriyas, — of kings in myriads
— who faught with Arjuna on that occasion, for having losfe
their kinsmen on the field of Kurukshetra.** Innumerable
Kiratas also, king, and Yavanas, all excellent bowmen, and
diverse tribes of Miechcchas too, who had been discomfited
before (by the Pandavas on the field of Kurukshetra),*^ and
many Aryan kings, possessed of soldiers and animals endued
with great alacrity, and all irresistible in fight, encountered
the son of Pandu in battle.*^ Thus occurred innumerable
battles in diverse countries, O monarch, between Arjuna and
the rulers of diverse realms who came to encounter him.*'^ I
shall, O sinless king, narrate to thee those battles only which
raged with great fury and which were the principal ones
among all he fought."**

Section LXXIV.

VaiQampayana said,— "A battle took place between the
diadem-decked (Arjuna) and the sons and grandsons of the
Trigartas whose hostility the Pandavas had incurred before
and all of whom were well-known as mighty car- warriors.^
Having learnt that that foremost of steeds, which was in-
tended for the sacrifice, had come to their realm, those heroes,
casing themselves in mail, surrounded Arjuna.* Maunted on

[ 24 ]

l^g maha-rharataI [Anvglia

their cars, drawn by excellent and well-decked horse?, and with
quivers on their backs, they surrounded that hcfrse, O king,
and endeavoured to capture it.^ The diadem-decked Arjuna,
Teflecting on that endeavour of theirs, forbade those heroes,
with conciliatory speeches, O chastiser of foes.* Disregarding
Arjuna's message, they assailed him with their shafts. The
diadem-decked Arjuna resisted those warriors who were under
the sway of darkness and passion.'' Jishnu, addressed them
smilingly and said,— 'Desist, ye unrighteous ones ! Life is a
benefit (that should not be thrown away) !'« At the time of
his setting out, he had been earnestly ordered by king Yu-
dhishthira the just not to slay those Kshatriyas whose kinsmen
had been slain before on the field of Kurukshetra.^ Recollect-
ing these commands of king Yudhishthira the just who was
endued with great intelligence, Arjuna asked the Trigartas to
forbear. Bxit they disregarded Arjuna's injunction.^ Then
Arjuna vanquished Suryavarman, the king of the Trigartas,
in battle, by shooting countless shafts at him and laughed in
Bcorn.® The Trigarta warriors, however, filling the ten points
with the clatter of their cars and car- wheels, rushed towards
Dhananjaya.^** Then Suryavarman, displaying his great light-
ness of hand, pierced Dhananjaya with hundreds of straight
arrows, O monarch !" The other great bowmen who followed
the king and who were all desirous of compassing the des-
truction of Dhananjaya, shot showers of arrows on him."
With countkss shafts shot from his own bowstring, the son of
Pilndu, O king, cut off those clouds of arrows upon which
they fell down.^^ Endued with great energy, Ketuvarman,
the younger brother of Suryavarman, and possessed of youth-
fid vigour, fought, for the sake of his brother, against Pandu's
son possessed of great fame.^* Beholding Ketuvarman ap-
proaching towards him for battle, Vibhatsn, that slayer of
hostile heroes, slew him with many sharp-pointed arrows.^^
Upon Ketuvarmana's fall, the mighty car- warrior Dhritavar-
man, rushing on his car towards Arjuna, showered a perfect
downpour of arrows on him." Beholding that lightness of
hand displayed by the youth Dhritavarman, Gudakeca of
mighty energy and great prowess became highly gratified with

Parva.] acwamedha pakva^ 187

him." The son of Indra could not sea when the young war-
rior took out his arrows and when he placed them on his bow-
string aiming at him. He only saw showers of arrows in the
air." For a brief space of time, Arjuna gladdened his enemy
and mentally admired his heroism and skill.^^ The Kuru hero,
smiling the while, fought with that youth who resembled an
angry snake. The mighty-armed Dhananjaya, glad as he was
in beholding the valour of Dhritavarman, did not take his
life.''** While, however, Partha of immeasurable energy fought
mildly with him without wishing to take his life, Dhritavar-
man shot a blazing arrow at him.^^ Deeply pierced in the
hand by that arrow, Vijaya became stupefied and his bow
Gandiva fell down on the Earth from his relaxed grasp.''*
The form of that bow, O king, when it fell from the grasp of
Arjuna, resembled, O Bharata, that of the bow of Indra (that
is seen in the welkin after a shower).''^ When that great and
celestial bow fell down, O monarch, Dhritavarman laughed
loudly in battle.^* At this, Jishnu, excited with rage, wiped
the blood from his hand and once more taking up his bow,
showered a perfect downpour of arrows.^" Then a loud and
confused noise arose, filling the welkin and touching the very
heavens as it were, from diverse creatures who applauded that
feat of Dhananjaya.^® Beholding Jishnu inflamed with rage
and looking like Yama himself as he appears at the end of
the Yuga, the Trigarta warriors hastily surrounded him,^'^
rushing from their posts and desirous of rescuing Dhritavarman.
Seeing himself surrounded by his foes, Arjuna became more-
angry than before.*^ He then quickly despatched eight and
ten of their foremost warriors with many shafts of hard iron
that resembled the arrows of the great Indra himself.^^ The
Trigarta warriors then began to fly. Seeing them retreat,
Dhananjaya, with great speed, shot many shafts at them that
resembled wrathful snakes of virulent poison, and laughed
aloud.^® The mighty car-warriors of the Trigartas, with dis-
pirited hearts, fled in all directions, exceedingly afflicted by
Dhananjaya with his arrows.^^ They then addressed that tiger
among men, that slayer of the Samsaptaka host (on the field
of Kurukshetra), saying, — 'We are your slaves ! We yield to

188 mahabharata; [Anugitd

thee \*^'^ Do fchou command us, O Partha ! Lo, we wait here
as the most docile of thy servants ! — O delightor of the Kurus,
we shall execute all thy commands !'^' Hearing these words
expressive of their submission, Dhananjaya said unto them, —
'Do ye, kings, save your lives, and accept my dominion ' "^*

Section LXXV.

Vai^ampn-yana said, — "That foremost of steeds then pro-
ceeded to the realm of Pragjyotisha and began to wander
there. At this, Bhagadatta's son, who was exceedingly va-
lourous in battle, came out (for encountering Arjuna).^ King
Vajradatta, O chief of the Bharatas, finding the (sacrificial)
steed arrived within his realm, fought (for detaining it).^ The
royal son of Bhagadatta, issuing out of his city, afflicted the
steed that was coming (and seizing it), marched back towards
his own place.^ Marking this, the mighty-armed chief of the
Kuru race, speedily stretched his Gandiva, and suddenly
rushed towards his foe.* Stupefied by the shafts sped from
Gandiva, the heroic son of Bhagadatta, letting off loose the
steed, fled from Partha.-j-^ Once more entering his capital,
that foremost of kings, irresistible in battle, cased himself in
mail, and mounting on his prince of elephants, came out.®
That mighty car-warrior had a white umbrella held over his
head, and was fanned with a milk-white yak-tails.'^ Impelled
by childishness and folly, he challenged Partha, the mighty
car- warrior of the Pandavas, famed for terrible deeds in battle,
to an encounter with him.® The enraged prince then urged
towards Arjuna that elephant of his, which resembled a verit-
able mountain, and from whose temples and mouth issued
streams of juice indicative of excitement.^ Indeed, that

* It will be remembered that the Samsaptaka host which had en-
gaged Arjuna for several days on the field of Kurukshetra, all consis-ted
of Trigarta warriors led by their king SuQarman. 'Samsaptaka' means
'sworn.' Those soldiers who took the oath that they would either con*
puer or die, were called by that name. — T.

t The reading in every edition seems to be vicious. For obviotis
reasons, I read 'Pavthadnp.idravat' instead of 'Parthamupadravat.' — T.

rarva.] . acwamedha parva! 189

elephant showered its secretions like a mighty mass of clouds
pouring rain. Capable of resisting hostile feats of its own
species, it had been equipped agreeably to the ordinances of
the treatises (on war-elephants). Irresistible in battle, it had
become so infuriate as to be beyond control.^" Urged on by
the prince with the iron-hook, that mighty elephant then
seemed (as it advanced) as if it would cut through the welkin
(like a flying hill)." Beholding it advance towards him, O
king, Dhananjaya, filled with rage and standing on the earth,
O Bharata, encountered the prince on its back." Filled with
wrath, Vajradatta quickly shed at Arjuna a number of broad-
headed shafts endued with the energy of fire and resembling
(as they coursed through the air) a cloud of speedily-moving
locusts.^^ Arjuna, however, with shafts sped from Gandiva,
cut off those arrows, some into two and some into three pieces.
He cut them off in the welkin itself with those shafts of his
coursing through the welkin.** The son of Bhagadatta, be-
holding his broad-headed shafts thus cut off, quickly sped at
Arjuna a number of other arrows in a continuous line.*^
Filled with rage at this, Arjuna, more quickly than before,
shot at Bhagadatta's son a number of straightly coursing
arrows equipt with golden wings.** Vajradatta of mighty
energy, struck with great force and pierced with those arrows
in that fierce encounter, fell down on the Earth. Conscious-
ness, however, did not desert him." Mounting on his prince
of elephants again in the midst of that battle, the son of
Bhagadatta, desirous of victory, very coolly sped a number of
shafts at Arjuna." Filled with wrath, Jishnu then sped at
the prince a number of arrows that looked like blazing flames
of fire and that seemed to be so many snakes of virulent
poison." Pierced therewith, the mighty elephant, emitting a
large quantity of blood, looked like a mountain of many
springs discharging rillets of water coloured with red chalk.


Section LXXVI.

Vaigampayana said, — "Thus waged that battle, O chief of
the Bharatas, for three days between Arjuna and that prince

190 maHabhaRata. . [AnugitA

like the encounter between him of a hundred sacrifices and
Vritra.^ On the fourth day, Vajradatta of great might laugh-
ed loudly and, addressing Arjuna, said these words:" — 'Wait,
wait, Arjuna ! Thou shalt not escape me with life ! Slay-
ing thee I shall duly discharge the water-rite of my sire !^
My aged sire, Bhagadatta, who was the friend of thy sire, was
slain by thee in consequence of his weight of years. Do thou,
however, fight me that am but a boy !'** Having said these
words, O thou of Kuru's race, king Vajradatta, filled with
rage, urged his elephant towards the son of Pandu.^ Urged
on by Vajradatta of great intelligence, that prince of ele-
phants, as if desirous of cutting through the welkin, rushed
towards Dhananjaya.^ That prince of elephants drenched
Arjuna with a shower of juice emitted from the end of his
trunk, like a mass of blue clouds drenching a hill with it3
downpour/ Indeed, urged on by the king, the elephant,
repeatedly roaring like a cloud, rushed towards Phalguna, with
that deep noise emitted from its mouth.® Verily, urged on by
Vajradatta, that prince of elephants quickly moved towards
the mighty car-warrior of the Kurus, with the tread of one
that seemed to dance in excitement.® Beholding that beas*
of Vajradatta advance towards him, that slayer of foes, viz.,
the mighty Dhananjaya, relying on Gandiva, stood his ground
without shaking with fear.^** Recollecting what an obstacle
Vajradatta was proving to the accomplishment of his task,
and remembering the old enmity of the house (of Pragjyotisha
towards the Pandavas), the son of Pandu became exceediiigly
inflamed with wrath against the king." Filled with rage,
Dhananjaya impeded the course of that beast with a shower
of arrows like the shore resisting the surging sea.^^ That
prince of elephants possessed of beauty (of form), thus im-
peded by Arjuna, stopped in its course, with body pierced
Avith many an arrow, like a porcupine with its quills erect."
Seeing his elephant impeded in its course, the royal son of
Bhagadatta, deprived of sense by rage, shot many whetted

arrows at Arjuna.^* The mighty-armed Arjuna baffled all

*«,i — .. , ,

* Bhagadatta was the friend of Indra, the father of Arjuna.— T,

Farva.] acwamebha parva! 191

those arrows wifch many foe-slaying shafts of liis. The feat
seemed to be exceedingly wonderful.^^ Once more the king
of the Pragjyotishas, inflamed with ire, forcibly urged hia
elephant, which resembled a mountain, at Arjuna.^^ Behold-
ing the beast once more advancing towards him, Arjuna shot
with great strength a shaft at it that resembled a veritable
flame of fire.^^ Struck deeply in the very vitals, king, by
the son of Pandu, the beast suddeT)ly fell down on the Earth
like a mountain summit loosened by a thunder-bolt.^^ Struck
with Dhananjaya's shaft, the elephant, as it lay on the Earth,
looked like a huge mountain cliff lying on the ground, loosen-
ed by the bolt of Indra.^® When the elephant of Vajradatta
was prostrated on the ground, the son of Pandu, addressing
the king who had fallen down with his beast, said, — 'Do not
fear !-° Indeed, Yudhishthira of mighty energy said unto me
while commissioning me for this task even these words, viz.,
Thou shouldst not, Dhananjaya, slay those kings (who may
encounter thee in battle) !^^ O tiger among men, thou shouldst
regard thy task as accomplished if only thou disablest those
hostile kings ! Thou shouldst not also, O Dhananjaya, slay
the warriors of those kings who may come forth to fight thee !^^
With all their kinsmen and friends. They should be requested
to come to the horse- sacrifice of Yudhishthira !"^ — Having heard
these commands of my brother, I shall not slay thee, king !
Rise up ; let no fear be thine ; return to thy city safe and
sound, O lord of Earth !"* When the day of full moon in the
month of Chaitra comes, thou shalt, O great kir)g, repair to
that sacrifice of king Yudhishthira the just, for it takes place
on that day !'" Thus addressed by Arjuna, the royal son of
Bhagadatta, defeated by the son of Pandu, said, — 'So be it '.' ""*

Section LXXVII.

Vai(;ampayana said, — "There occurred a great battle be-
tween the diadem-decked Arjnna a!)d the hundreds of Sain-
dhavas who still lived after the slaughter of their clan (on the
field of Kurukshetra).^ Hearing that he of white steeds had
entered their territories, those Kshetriyas came out against

192 mahabharata [Anuglta

him, unable to bear that foremost one of Pandu's race.'' Those
warriors who were as terrible as virulent poison, finding the
horse within their dominion, seized it without being inspired
with any fear of Pfirtha who was the younger brother of
Bhimasena.^ Advancing against Vibhatsu who waited on foot,
armed with his bow, upon the sacrificial steed, they assailed
him from a near point.* Defeated in battle before, those
Kshatriyas of mighty energy, impelled by the desire of victory,
surrounded that foremost of men.'' Proclaiming their names
and families and their diverse feats, they showered their arrows
on Partha.® Pouring showers of arrows of such fierce energy
as were capable of impeding the course of hostile elephants,
those heroes surrounded the son of Kunti, desirous of van-
quishing him in battle.' Themselves seated on cars, they
fought Arjuna of fierce feats who was on foot." From every
side they began to strike that hero, that slayer of the Nivata-
kavachas, that destroyer of the Samsaptakas, that killer of
the king of the Sindhus ^ Surrounding him on everyside as
within a cage by means of a thousand cars and ten thousand
hor e, those brave warriors expressed their exultation.-'*' Re-
collecting the slaughter by Dhanaiijaya of Jayadratha in battle
O thou of Kuru's race,*^ they poured heavy showers of arrows

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