The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1 Books 1, 2 and 3 online

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battle that took place between king Nila and the mighty Sahadeva the son
of Pandu, that slayer of hostile heroes, was fierce and terrible. And the
encounter was an exceedingly bloody one, and the life of the hero himself
was exposed to great risk, for the god Agni himself assisted king Nila in
that fight. Then the cars, heroes, elephants, and the soldiers in their
coats of mail of Sahadeva's army all appeared to be on fire. And
beholding this the prince of the Kuru race became exceedingly anxious.
And, O Janamejaya, at sight of this the hero could not resolve upon what
he should do.

Janamejaya said, - O regenerate one, why was it that the god Agni become
hostile in battle unto Sahadeva, who was fighting simply for the
accomplishment of a sacrifice (and therefore, for the gratification of
Agni himself)?

Vaisampayana said, - 'It is said, O Janamejaya, that the god Agni while
residing in Mahishmati, earned the reputation of a lover. King Nila had a
daughter who was exceedingly beautiful. She used always to stay near the
sacred fire of her father, causing it to blaze up with vigour. And it so
happened that king Nila's fire, even if fanned, would not blaze up till
agitated by the gentle breath of that girl's fair lips. And it was said
in King Nila's palace and in the house of all his subjects that the god
Agni desired that beautiful girl for his bride. And it so happened that
he was accepted by the girl herself. One day the deity assuming the form
of a Brahmana, was happily enjoying the society of the fair one, when he
was discovered by the king. And the virtuous king thereupon ordered the
Brahmana to be punished according to law. At this the illustrious deity
flamed up in wrath. And beholding this, the king wondered much and bent
his head low on the ground. And after some time the king bowing low
bestowed the daughter of his upon the god Agni, disguised as a Brahmana.
And the god Vibhabasu (Agni) accepting that fair-browed daughter of king
Nila, became gracious unto that monarch. And Agni, the illustrious
gratifier of all desires also asked the monarch to beg a boon of him. And
the king begged that his troops might never be struck with panic while
engaged in battle. And from that time, O king, those monarchs who from
ignorance of this, desire to subjugate king Nila's city, are consumed by
Hutasana (Agni). And from that time, O perpetuator of the Kuru race, the
girls of the city of Mahishmati became rather unacceptable to others (as
wives). And Agni by his boon granted them sexual liberty, so that the
women of that town always roam about at will, each unbound to a
particular husband. And, O bull of the Bharata race, from that time the
monarchs (of other countries) forsake this city for fear of Agni. And the
virtuous Sahadeva, beholding his troops afflicted with fear and
surrounded by flames of fire, himself stood there immovable as a
mountain. And purifying himself and touching water, the hero (Sahadeva)
then addressed Agni, the god that sanctifieth everything, in these
words, -

'I bow unto thee, O thou whose track is always marked with smoke. These
my exertions are all for thee. O thou sanctifier of all, thou art the
mouth of the gods and thou art Sacrifice personified. Thou art called
Pavaka because thou sanctifiest everything, and thou art Havyavahana,
because thou carriest the clarified butter that is poured on thee. The
Veda have sprung for ministering unto thee, and, therefore, thou art
called Jataveda. Chief of the gods as thou art, thou art called
Chitrabhanu, Anala, Vibhavasu, Hutasana, Jvalana, Sikhi, Vaiswanara,
Pingesa, Plavanga, Bhuritejah. Thou art he from whom Kumara (Kartikeya)
had his origin; thou art holy; thou art called Rudragarva and
Hiranyakrit. Let thee, O Agni, grant me energy, let Vayu grant me life,
let Earth grant me nourishment and strength, and let Water grant me
prosperity. O Agni, thou who art the first cause of the waters, thou who
art of great purity, thou for ministering unto whom the Vedas have
sprung, thou who art the foremost of the deities, thou who art their
mouth, O purify me by thy truth. Rishis and Brahmanas, Deities and Asuras
pour clarified butter every day, according to the ordinance into thee
during sacrifices. Let the rays of truth emanating from thee, while thou
exhibitest thyself in those sacrifices, purify me. Smoke-bannered as thou
art and possessed of flames, thou great purifier from all sins born of
Vayu and ever present as thou art in all creatures, O purify me by the
rays of thy truth. Having cleansed myself thus cheerfully, O exalted one,
do I pray unto thee. O Agni, grant me now contentment and prosperity, and
knowledge and gladness.

Vaisampayana continued. - 'He that will pour clarified butter into Agni
reciting these mantras, will ever be blessed with prosperity, and having
his soul under complete control will also be cleansed from all his sins.

"Sahadeva, addressing Agni again, said, - 'O carrier of the sacrificial
libations, it behoveth thee not to obstruct a sacrifice!' Having said
this, that tiger among men - the son of Madri - spreading some kusa grass
on earth sat down in expectation of the (approaching) fire and in front
of those terrified and anxious troops of his. And Agni, too, like the
ocean that never transgresseth its continents, did not pass over his
head. On the other hand approaching Sahadeva quietly and addressing that
prince of the Kuru race, Agni that god of men gave him every assurance
and said, - 'O thou of the Kuru race, rise up from this posture. O rise
up, I was only trying thee. I know all thy purpose, as also those of the
son of Dharma (Yudhisthira). But, O best of the Bharata race, as long as
there is a descendant of king Nila's line, so long should this town be
protected by me. I will, however O son of Pandu, gratify the desires of
thy heart. And at these words of Agni, O bull of the Bharata race, the
son of Madri rose up with a cheerful heart, and joining his hands and
bending his head worshipped that god of fire, sanctifier of all beings.
And at last, after Agni had disappeared, king Nila came there, and at the
command of that deity, worshipped with due rites Sahadeva, that tiger
among men - that master of battle. And Sahadeva accepted that worship and
made him pay tribute. And having brought king Nila under his sway thus,
the victorious son of Madri then went further towards the south. The
long-armed hero then brought the king of Tripura of immeasurable energy
under his sway. And next turning his forces against the Paurava kingdom,
he vanquished and reduced to subjection the monarch thereof. And the
prince, after this, with great efforts brought Akriti, the king of
Saurashtra and preceptor of the Kausikas under his sway. The virtuous
prince, while staying in the kingdom of Saurashtra sent an ambassador
unto king Rukmin of Bhishmaka within the territories of Bhojakata, who,
rich in possessions and intelligence, was the friend of Indra himself.
And the monarch along with his son, remembering their relationship with
Krishna, cheerfully accepted, O king, the sway of the son of Pandu. And
the master of battle then, having exacted jewels and wealth from king
Rukmin, marched further to the south. And, endued with great energy and
great strength, the hero then, reduced to subjection, Surparaka and
Talakata, and the Dandakas also. The Kuru warrior then vanquished and
brought under his subjection numberless kings of the Mlechchha tribe
living on the sea coast, and the Nishadas and the cannibals and even the
Karnapravarnas, and those tribes also called the Kalamukhas who were a
cross between human beings and Rakshasas, and the whole of the Cole
mountains, and also Surabhipatna, and the island called the Copper
island, and the mountain called Ramaka. The high-souled warrior, having
brought under subjection king Timingila, conquered a wild tribe known by
the name of the Kerakas who were men with one leg. The son of Pandu also
conquered the town of Sanjayanti and the country of the Pashandas and the
Karahatakas by means of his messengers alone, and made all of them pay
tributes to him. The hero brought under his subjection and exacted
tributes from the Paundrayas and the Dravidas along with the Udrakeralas
and the Andhras and the Talavanas, the Kalingas and the Ushtrakarnikas,
and also the delightful city of Atavi and that of the Yavanas. And, O
king of kings, that slayer of all foes, the virtuous and intelligent son
of Madri having arrived at the sea-shore, then despatched with great
assurance messengers unto the illustrious Vibhishana, the grandson of
Pulastya. And the monarch willingly accepted the sway of the son of
Pandu, for that intelligent and exalted king regarded it all as the act
of Time. And he sent unto the son of Pandu diverse kinds of jewels and
gems, and sandal and also wood, and many celestial ornaments, and much
costly apparel, and many valuable pearls. And the intelligent Sahadeva,
accepting them all, returned to his own kingdom.

"Thus it was, O king, that slayer of all foes, having vanquished by
conciliation and war numerous kings and having also made them pay
tribute, came back to his own city. The bull of the Bharata race, having
presented the whole of that wealth unto king Yudhisthira the just
regarded himself, O Janamejaya, as crowned with success and continued to
live happily."


Vaisampayana said, - "I shall now recite to you the deeds and triumphs of
Nakula, and how that exalted one conquered the direction that had once
been subjugated by Vasudeva. The intelligent Nakula, surrounded by a
large host, set out from Khandavaprastha for the west, making this earth
tremble with the shouts and the leonine roars of the warriors and the
deep rattle of chariot wheels. And the hero first assailed the
mountainous country called Rohitaka that was dear unto (the celestial
generalissimo) Kartikeya and which was delightful and prosperous and full
of kine and every kind of wealth and produce. And the encounter the son
of Pandu had with the Mattamyurakas of that country was fierce. And the
illustrious Nakula after this, subjugated the whole of the desert country
and the region known as Sairishaka full of plenty, as also that other one
called Mahetta. And the hero had a fierce encounter with the royal sage
Akrosa. And the son of Pandu left that part of the country having
subjugated the Dasarnas, the Sivis, the Trigartas, the Amvashtas, the
Malavas, the five tribes of the Karnatas, and those twice born classes
that were called the Madhyamakeyas and Vattadhanas. And making circuitous
journey that bull among men then conquered the (Mlechcha) tribes called
the Utsava-sanketas. And the illustrious hero soon brought under
subjection the mighty Gramaniya that dwelt on the shore of the sea, and
the Sudras and the Abhiras that dwelt on the banks of the Saraswati, and
all those tribes that lived upon fisheries, and those also that dwelt on
the mountains, and the whole of the country called after the five rivers,
and the mountains called Amara, and the country called Uttarayotisha and
the city of Divyakutta and the tribe called Dwarapala. And the son of
Pandu, by sheer force, reduced to subjection the Ramathas, the Harahunas,
and various kings of the west. And while staying there Nakula sent. O
Bharata, messengers unto Vasudeva. And Vasudeva with all the Yadavas
accepted his sway. And the mighty hero, proceeding thence to Sakala, the
city of the Madras, made his uncle Salya accept from affection the sway
of the Pandavas. And, O monarch, the illustrious prince deserving the
hospitality and entertainment at his uncle's hands, was well entertained
by his uncle. And skilled in war, the prince, taking from Salya a large
quantity of jewels and gems, left his kingdom. And the son of Pandu then
reduced to subjection the fierce Mlechchas residing on the sea coast, as
also the wild tribes of the Palhavas, the Kiratas, the Yavanas, and the
Sakas. And having subjugated various monarchs, and making all of them pay
tributes, Nakula that foremost of the Kurus, full of resources, retraced
his way towards his own city. And, O king, so great was the treasure
which Nakula brought that ten thousand camels could carry it with
difficulty on their backs. And arriving at Indraprastha, the heroic and
fortunate son of Madri presented the whole of that wealth unto

"Thus, O king, did Nakula subjugate the countries that lay to the
west - the direction that is presided over by the god Varuna, and that had
once before been subjugated by Vasudeva himself!"


(Rajasuyika Parva)

Vaisampayana said, - "in consequence of the protection afforded by
Yudhisthira the just, and of the truth which he ever cherished in his
behaviour, as also of the check under which he kept all foes, the
subjects of that virtuous monarch were all engaged in their respective
avocations. And by reason of the equitable taxation and the virtuous rule
of the monarch, clouds in his kingdom poured as much rain as the people
desired, and the cities and the town became highly prosperous. Indeed as
a consequence of the monarch's acts; every affair of the kingdom,
especially cattle bleeding, agriculture and trade prospered highly. O
king, during those days even robbers and cheats never spoke lies amongst
themselves, nor they that were the favourites of the monarch. There were
no droughts and floods and plagues and fires and premature deaths in
those days of Yudhishthira devoted to virtue. And it was only for doing
agreeable services, or for worshipping, or for offering tributes that
would not impoverish, that other kings used to approach Yudhisthira (and
not for hostility or battle.) The large treasure room of the king became
so much filled with hoards of wealth virtuously obtained that it could
not be emptied even in a hundred years. And the son of Kunti,
ascertaining the state of his treasury and the extent of his possessions,
fixed his heart upon the celebration of a sacrifice. His friends and
officers, each separately and all together, approaching him said, - 'The
time hath come, O exalted one, for thy sacrifice. Let arrangements,
therefore, be made without loss of time.' While they were thus talking,
Hari (Krishna), that omniscient and ancient one, that soul of the Vedas,
that invincible one as described by those that have knowledge, that
foremost of all lasting existences in the universe, that origin of all
things, as also that in which all things come to be dissolved, that lord
of the past, the future, and the present Kesava - the slayer of Kesi, and
the bulwark of all Vrishnis and the dispeller of all fear in times of
distress and the smiter of all foes, having appointed Vasudeva to the
command of the (Yadava) army, and bringing with him for the king
Yudhishthira just a large mass of treasure; entered that excellent city
of cities. Khandava, himself surrounded by a mighty host and filling the
atmosphere with the rattle of his chariot-wheels. And Madhava, that tiger
among men enhancing that limitless mass of wealth the Pandavas had by
that inexhaustible ocean of gems he had brought, enhanced the sorrows of
the enemies of the Pandavas. The capital of the Bharata was gladdened by
Krishna's presence just as a dark region is rendered joyful by the sun or
a region of still air by a gentle breeze. Approaching him joyfully and
receiving him with due respect, Yudhishthira enquired of his welfare. And
after Krishna had been seated at ease, that bull among men, the son of
Pandu, with Dhaumya and Dwaipayana and the other sacrificial priests and
with Bhima and Arjuna and the twins, addressed Krishna thus, -

'O Krishna it is for thee that the whole earth is under my sway. And, O
thou of the Vrishni race, it is through thy grace that vast wealth had
been got by me. And, O son of Devaki, O Madhava, I desire to devote that
wealth according to the ordinance, unto superior Brahmanas and the
carrier of sacrificial libations. And, O thou of the Dasarha race, it
behoveth thee, O thou of mighty arms, to grant me permission to celebrate
a sacrifice along with thee and my younger brothers. Therefore, O
Govinda, O thou of long arms, install thyself at that sacrifice; for, O
thou of the Dasarha race, if thou performed the sacrifice, I shall be
cleansed of sin. Or, O exalted one, grant permission for myself being
installed at the sacrifice along with these my younger brothers, for
permitted by thee, O Krishna. I shall be able to enjoy the fruit of an
excellent sacrifice.

Vaisampayana continued, - "Unto Yudhisthira after he had said this,
Krishna, extolling his virtues, said. - 'Thou, O tiger among kings,
deservest imperial dignity. Let, therefore, the great sacrifice be
performed by thee. And if thou performest that sacrifice an obtainest its
fruit we all shall regard ourselves as crowned with success. I am always
engaged in seeking good. Perform thou then the sacrifice thou desirest.
Employ me also in some office for that purpose, for I should obey all thy
commands. Yudhisthira replied - O Krishna, my resolve is already crowned
with fruit, and success also is surely mine, when thou, O Harishikesa,
hast arrived here agreeably to my wish!'

Vaisampayana continued, - "Commanded by Krishna, the son of Pandu along
with his brothers set himself upon collecting the materials for the
performance of the Rajasuya sacrifice. And that chastiser of all foes,
the son of Pandu, then commanded Sahadeva that foremost of all warriors
and all ministers also, saying, - Let persons be appointed to collect
without loss of time, all those articles which the Brahmanas have
directed as necessary for the performance of this sacrifice, and all
materials and auspicious necessaries that Dhaumya may order as required
for it, each of the kind needed and one after another in due order. Let
Indrasena and Visoka and Puru with Arjuna for his charioteer be engaged
to collect food if they are to please me. Let these foremost of the Kurus
also gather every article of agreeable taste and smell that may delight
and attract the hearts of the Brahmanas.'

"Simultaneously with these words of king Yudhisthira the just, Sahadeva
that foremost of warriors, having accomplished everything, represented
the matter to the king. And Dwaipayana, O king, then appointed as
sacrificial priests exalted Brahmanas that were like the Vedas themselves
in embodied forms. The son of Satyavati became himself the Brahma of that
sacrifice. And that bull of the Dhananjaya race, Susaman, became the
chanter of the Vedic (Sama) hymns. Yajnavalkya devoted to Brahma became
the Adhyaryu, and Paila - the son of Vasu and Dhaumya became the Hotris.
And O bull of the Bharata race, the disciples and the sons of these men,
all well-acquainted with the Vedas and the branches of the Vedas, became
Hotragts. And all of them, having uttered benedictions and recited the
object of the sacrifice, worshipped, according to the ordinance the large
sacrificial compound. Commanded by the Brahmanas, builders and artificers
erected numerous edifices there that were spacious and well-perfumed like
unto the temples of the gods. After these were finished, that best of
kings and that bull among men Yudhishthira. commanded his chief adviser
Sahadeva, saying, - 'Despatch thou, without loss of time, messengers
endued with speed to invite all to the sacrifice. And Sahadeva, hearing
these words of the king, despatched messengers telling them, - 'Invite ye
all the Brahmanas in the kingdom and all the owners of land (Kshatriyas)
and all the Vaisyas and also all the respectable Sudras, and bring them

Vaisampayana continued, - "Endued with speed, these messengers then, thus
commanded, invited everybody according to the orders of the Pandava,
without losing any time, and brought with them many persons, both friends
and strangers. Then, O Bharata, the Brahmanas at the proper time
installed Yudhishthira the son of Kunti at the Rajasuya sacrifice. And
after the ceremony of installation was over, that foremost of men, the
virtuous king Yudhishthira the just like the god Dharma himself in human
frame, entered the sacrificial compound, surrounded by thousands of
Brahmanas and his brothers and the relatives and friends and counsellors,
and by a large number of Kshatriya kings who had come from various
countries, and by the officers of State. Numerous Brahmanas, well-skilled
in all branches of knowledge and versed in the Vedas and their several
branches, began to pour in from various countries. Thousands of
craftsmen, at the command of king Yudhishthira the just, erected for
those Brahmanas with their attendants separate habitations well-provided
with food and clothes and the fruits and flowers of every season. And, O
king, duly worshipped by the monarch the Brahmanas continued to reside
there passing their time in conversation on diverse topics and beholding
the performances of actors and dancers. And the clamour of high-souled
Brahmanas, cheerfully eating and talking, was heard there without
intermission. 'Give,' and 'Eat' were the words that were heard there
incessantly and every day. And, O Bharata, king Yudhishthira the just
gave unto each of those Brahmanas thousands of kine and beds and gold
coins and damsels.

Thus commenced on earth the sacrifice of that unrivalled hero, the
illustrious son of Pandu, like the sacrifice in heaven of Sakra himself.
Then that bull among men, king Yudhishthira despatched Nakula the son of
Pandu unto Hastinapura to bring Bhishma and Drona, Dhritarashtra and
Vidura and Kripa and those amongst his cousins that were well-disposed
towards him."


Vaisampayana said, - "the ever-victorious Nakula, the son of Pandu, having
reached Hastinapura, formally invited Bhishma and Dhritarashtra. The
elder of the Kuru race with the preceptor at their head, invited with due
ceremonies, came with joyous hearts to that sacrifice, with Brahmanas
walking before them. And, O hull of the Bharata race, having heard of
king Yudhishthira's sacrifice, hundreds of other Kshatriyas acquainted
with the nature of the sacrifice, with joyous hearts came there from
various countries, desiring to behold king Yudhishthira the son of Pandu
and his sacrificial mansion, and brought with them many costly jewels of
various kinds. And Dhritarashtra and Bhishma and Vidura of high
intelligence; and all Kaurava brothers with Duryyodhana at their head;
and Suvala the king of Gandhara and Sakuni endued with great strength;
and Achala, and Vrishaka, and Karna that foremost of all charioteers; and
Salya endued with great might and the strong Valhika; and Somadatta, and
Bhuri of the Kuru race, and Bhurisravas and Sala; and Aswatthama, Kripa,
Drona, and Jayadratha, the ruler of Sindhu; and Yajnasena with his sons,
and Salya that lord of earth and that great car warrior king Bhagadatta
of Pragjyotisha accompanied by all Mlechcha tribes inhabiting the marshy
regions on the sea-shore; and many mountain kings, and king Vrihadvala;
and Vasudeva the king of the Paundrayas, and the kings of Vanga and
Kalinga; and Akastha and Kuntala and the kings of the Malavas and the
Andhrakas; and the Dravidas and the Singhalas and the king of Kashmira,
and king Kuntibhoja of great energy and king Gauravahana, and all the
other heroic kings of Valhika; and Virata with his two sons, and Mavella
endued with great might; and various kings and princes ruling in various
countries; and, O Bharata king Sisupala endued with great energy and
invincible in battle accompanied by his son - all of them came to the
sacrifice of the son of Pandu. And Rama and Aniruddha and Kanaka and
Sarana; and Gada, Pradyumna, Shamva, and Charudeshna of great energy; and
Ulmuka and Nishatha and the brave Angavaha; and innumerable other
Vrishnis - all mighty car-warriors - came there.

"These and many other kings from the middle country came, O monarch, to
that great Rajasuya sacrifice of the son of Pandu. And, O king, at the
command of king Yudhishthira the just, mansions were assigned to all
those monarchs, that were full of various kinds of edibles and adorned
with tanks and tall trees. And the son of Dharma worshipped all those
illustrious monarchs as they deserved. Worshipped by the king they
retired to mansions that were assigned to them. Those mansions were
(white and high) like the cliffs of Kailasa, and delightful to behold,
and furnished with every kind of furniture. They were enclosed on all
sides with well-built and high white-washed walls; their windows were
covered with net-works of gold and their interiors were furnished with
rows of pearls, their flights of stairs were easy of ascent and the

Online LibraryUnknownThe Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1 Books 1, 2 and 3 → online text (page 63 of 150)