The Mahabharata of
Translated into English Prose from the Original Sanskrit Text
Kisari Mohan Ganguli
Om! After having bowed down to Narayana, and Nara, the most exalted male being, and also to the goddess Saraswati, must the word Jaya be uttered.
Vaisampayana said,—"Then, in the presence of Vasudeva, Maya Danava, having worshipped Arjuna, repeatedly spoke unto him with joined hands and in amiable words,—'O son of Kunti, saved have I been by thee from this Krishna in spate and from Pavaka (fire) desirous of consuming me. Tell me what I have to do for thee.'
"Arjuna said,—'O great Asura, everything hath already been done by thee (even by this offer of thine). Blest be thou. Go whithersoever thou likest. Be kind and well-disposed towards me, as we are even kind to and well- pleased with thee!'
"Maya said,—'O bull amongst men, what thou hast said is worthy of thee, O exalted one. But O Bharata, I desire to do something for thee cheerfully. I am a great artist, a Viswakarma among the Danavas. O son of Pandu, being what I am, I desire to do something for thee.'
"Arjuna said,—'O sinless one, thou regardest thyself as saved (by me) from imminent death. Even if it hath been so, I cannot make thee do anything for me. At the same time, O Danava, I do not wish to frustrate thy intentions. Do thou something for Krishna. That will be a sufficient requital for my services to thee.'"
Vaisampayana said,—"Then, O bull of the Bharata race, urged by Maya, Vasudeva reflected for a moment as to what he should ask Maya to accomplish. Krishna, the Lord of the universe and the Creator of every object, having reflected in his mind, thus commanded Maya,—'Let a palatial sabha (meeting hall) as thou choosest, be built (by thee), if thou, O son of Diti, who art the foremost of all artists, desirest to do good to Yudhishthira the just. Indeed, build thou such a palace that persons belonging to the world of men may not be able to imitate it even after examining it with care, while seated within. And, O Maya, build thou a mansion in which we may behold a combination of godly, asuric and human designs.'"
Vaisampayana continued,—"Having heard those words, Maya became exceedingly glad. And he forthwith built a magnificent palace for the son of Pandu like unto the palace of the celestials themselves. Then Krishna and Partha (Arjuna) after having narrated everything unto king Yudhishthira the just, introduced Maya unto him. Yudhishthira received Maya with respect, offering him the honour he deserved. And, O Bharata, Maya accepted that honour thinking highly of it. O monarch of the Bharata race, that great son of Diti then recited unto the sons of Pandu the history of the Danava Vrisha-parva, and that foremost of artists then, having rested awhile, set himself after much thoughtful planning to build a palace for the illustrious sons of Pandu. Agreeably to the wishes of both Krishna and the sons of Pritha, the illustrious Danava of great prowess, having performed on an auspicious day the initial propitiatory rites of foundation and having also gratified thousands of well-versed Brahmanas with sweetened milk and rice and with rich presents of various kinds, measured out a plot of land five thousand cubits square, which was delightful and exceedingly handsome to behold and which was favourable for construction of a building well-suited to the exigencies of every season."
Vaisampayana said,—"Janardana deserving the worship of all, having lived happily at Khandavaprastha for some time, and having been treated all the while with respectful love and affection by the sons of Pritha, became desirous one day of leaving Khandavaprastha to behold his father. That possessor of large eyes, unto whom was due the obeisance of the universe, then saluted both Yudhishthira and Pritha and made obeisance with his head unto the feet of Kunti, his father's sister. Thus revered by Kesava, Pritha smelt his head and embraced him. The illustrious Hrishikesa approached his own sister Subhadra affectionately, with his eyes filled with tears, and spoke unto her words of excellent import and truth, terse proper, unanswerable and fraught with good. The sweet-speeched Subhadra also, saluting him in return and worshipping him repeatedly with bent head, told him all that she wished to be conveyed to her relatives on the paternal side. And bidding her farewell and uttering benedictions on his handsome sister, he of the Vrishni race, next saw Draupadi and Dhaumya. That best of men duly made obeisance unto Dhaumya, and consoling Draupadi obtained leave from her. Then the learned and mighty Krishna, accompanied by Partha, went to his cousins. And surrounded by the five brothers, Krishna shone like Sakra in the midst of the celestials. He whose banner bore the figure of Garuda, desirous of performing the rites preparatory to the commencement of a journey, purified himself by a bath and adorned his person with ornaments. The bull of the Yadu race then worshipped the gods and Brahmanas with floral wreaths, mantras, bows of the head, and excellent perfumes. Having finished all these rites, that foremost of steady and virtuous persons then thought of setting out. The chief of the Yadu race then came out of the inner to the outer apartment, and issuing thence he made unto Brahmanas, deserving of worship, offerings of vessel- fulls of curd and fruits, and parched-grain and caused them to pronounce benedictions upon him. And making unto them presents also of wealth, he went round them. Then ascending his excellent car of gold endued with great speed and adorned with banner bearing the figure of Tarkhya (Garuda) and furnished also with mace, discus, sword, his bow Sharnga and other weapons, and yoking thereunto his horses Saivya and Sugriva, he of eyes like lotuses set out at an excellent moment of a lunar day of auspicious stellar conjunction. And Yudhishthira, the king of the Kurus, from affection, ascended the chariot after Krishna, and causing that best charioteer Daruka to stand aside, himself took the reins. And Arjuna also, of long arms, riding on that car, walked round Krishna and fanned him with a white chamara furnished with a handle of gold. And the mighty Bhimasena accompanied by the twin brothers Nakula and Sahadeva and the priests and citizens all followed Krishna from behind. And Kesava, that slayer of hostile heroes, followed by all the brothers, shone like a preceptor followed by his favourite pupils. Then Govinda spoke unto Arjuna and clasped him firmly, and worshipping Yudhisthira and Bhima, embraced the twins. And embraced in return by the three elder Pandavas, he was reverentially saluted by the twins. After having gone about half a Yojana (two miles), Krishna, that subjugator of hostile towns, respectfully addressed Yudhishthira and requested him, O Bharata, to stop following him further. And Govinda, conversant with every duty, then reverentially saluted Yudhishthira and took hold of his feet. But Yudhishthira soon raised Kesava and smelt his head. King Yudhishthira the just, the son of Pandu, having raised Krishna endued with eyes like lotus-petals and the foremost of the Yadava race, gave him leave, saying,—'Good bye!' Then the slayer of Madhu, making an appointment with them (about his return) in words that were proper, and preventing with difficulty the Pandavas from following him further on foot, gladly proceeded towards his own city, like Indra going towards Amravati. Out of the love and affection they bore him, the Pandavas gazed on Krishna as long as he was within sight, and their minds also followed him when he got out of sight. And Kesava of agreeable person soon disappeared from their sight, unsatiated though their minds were with looking at him. Those bulls among men, the sons of Pritha, with minds fixed on Govinda, desisted (from following him further) and unwillingly returned to their own city in haste. And Krishna in his car soon reached Dwaraka followed by that hero Satyaki. Then Sauri, the son of Devaki, accompanied by his charioteer Daruka reached Dwaraka with the speed of Garuda."
Vaisampayana continued,—"Meanwhile king Yudhishthira of unfading glory, accompanied by his brothers and surrounded by friends, entered his excellent capital. And that tiger among men, dismissing all his relatives, brothers, and sons, sought to make himself happy in the company of Draupadi. And Kesava also, worshipped by the principal Yadavas including Ugrasena, entered with a happy heart his own excellent city. And worshipping his old father and his illustrious mother, and saluting (his brother) Valadeva, he of eyes like lotus-petals took his seat. Embracing Pradyumna, Shamva, Nishatha, Charudeshna, Gada, Aniruddha and Bhanu, and obtaining the leave of all the elderly men, Janardana entered the apartments of Rukmini."
Vaisampayana said,—"Then Maya Danava addressed Arjuna, that foremost of successful warriors, saying,—'I now go with thy leave, but shall come back soon. On the north of the Kailasa peak near the mountains of Mainaka, while the Danavas were engaged in a sacrifice on the banks of Vindu lake, I gathered a huge quantity of delightful and variegated vanda (a kind of rough materials) composed of jewels and gems. This was placed in the mansion of Vrishaparva ever devoted to truth. If it be yet existing, I shall come back, O Bharata, with it. I shall then commence the construction of the delightful palace of the Pandavas, which is to be adorned with every kind of gems and celebrated all over the world. There is also, I think, O thou of the Kuru race, a fierce club placed in the lake Vindu by the King (of the Danavas) after slaughtering therewith all his foes in battle. Besides being heavy and strong and variegated with golden knobs, it is capable of bearing great weight, and of slaying all foes, and is equal in strength unto an hundred thousand clubs. It is a fit weapon for Bhima, even as the Gandiva is for thee. There is also (in that lake) a large conch-shell called Devadatta of loud sound, that came from Varuna. I shall no doubt give all these to thee.' Having spoken thus unto Partha, the Asura went away in a north-easterly direction. On the north of Kailasa in the mountains of Mainaka, there is a huge peak of gems and jewels called Hiranya-sringa. Near that peak is a delightful lake of the name of Vindu. There, on its banks, previously dwelt king Bhagiratha for many years, desiring to behold the goddess Ganga, since called Bhagirathee after that king's name. And there, on its banks, O thou best of the Bharatas, Indra the illustrious lord of every created thing, performed one hundred great sacrifices. There, for the sake of beauty, though not according to the dictates of the ordinance, were placed sacrificial stakes made of gems and altars of gold. There, after performing those sacrifices, the thousand-eyed lord of Sachi became crowned with success. There the fierce Mahadeva, the eternal lord of every creature, has taken up his abode after having created all the worlds and there he dwelleth, worshipped with reverence by thousands of spirits. There Nara and Narayana, Brahma and Yama and Sthanu the fifth, perform their sacrifices at the expiration of a thousand yugas. There, for the establishment of virtue and religion, Vasudeva, with pious devotion, performed his sacrifices extending for many, many long years. There were placed by Keshava thousands and tens of thousands of sacrificial stakes adorned with golden garlands and altars of great splendour. Going thither, O Bharata, Maya brought back the club and the conch-shell and the various crystalline articles that had belonged to king Vrishaparva. And the great Asura, Maya, having gone thither, possessed himself of the whole of the great wealth which was guarded by Yakshas and Rakshasas. Bringing them, the Asura constructed therewith a peerless palace, which was of great beauty and of celestial make, composed entirely of gems and precious stones, and celebrated throughout the three worlds. He gave unto Bhimasena that best of clubs, and unto Arjuna the most excellent conch-shell at whose sound all creatures trembled in awe. And the palace that Maya built consisted of columns of gold, and occupied, O monarch, an area of five thousand cubits. The palace, possessing an exceedingly beautiful form, like unto that of Agni or Suryya, or Soma, shone in great splendour, and by its brilliance seemed to darken even the bright rays of the sun. And with the effulgence it exhibited, which was a mixture of both celestial and terrestrial light, it looked as if it was on fire. Like unto a mass of new clouds conspicuous in the sky, the palace rose up coming into view of all. Indeed, the palace that the dexterous Maya built was so wide, delightful, and refreshing, and composed of such excellent materials, and furnished with such golden walls and archways, and adorned with so many varied pictures, and was withal so rich and well-built, that in beauty it far surpassed Sudharma of the Dasarha race, or the mansion of Brahma himself. And eight thousand Rakshasas called Kinkaras, fierce, huge-bodied and endued with great strength, of red coppery eyes and arrowy ears, well-armed and capable of ranging through the air, used to guard and protect that palace. Within that palace Maya placed a peerless tank, and in that tank were lotuses with leaves of dark-coloured gems and stalks of bright jewels, and other flowers also of golden leaves. And aquatic fowls of various species sported on its bosom. Itself variegated with full-blown lotuses and stocked with fishes and tortoises of golden hue, its bottom was without mud and its water transparent. There was a flight of crystal stairs leading from the banks to the edge of the water. The gentle breezes that swept along its bosom softly shook the flowers that studded it. The banks of that tank were overlaid with slabs of costly marble set with pearls. And beholding that tank thus adorned all around with jewels and precious stones, many kings that came there mistook it for land and fell into it with eyes open. Many tall trees of various kinds were planted all around the palace. Of green foliage and cool shade, and ever blossoming, they were all very charming to behold. Artificial woods were laid around, always emitting a delicious fragrance. And there were many tanks also that were adorned with swans and Karandavas and Chakravakas (Brahminy ducks) in the grounds lying about the mansion. And the breeze bearing the fragrance of lotuses growing in water and (of those growing on land) ministered unto the pleasure and happiness of the Pandavas. And Maya having constructed such a palatial hall within fourteen months, reported its completion unto Yudhishthira."
Vaisampayana said,—"Then that chief of men, king Yudhishthira, entered that palatial sabha having first fed ten thousand Brahmanas with preparations of milk and rice mixed with clarified butter and honey with fruits and roots, and with pork and venison. The king gratified those superior Brahmanas, who had come from various countries with food seasoned with seasamum and prepared with vegetables called jibanti, with rice mixed with clarified butter, with different preparations of meat—with indeed various kinds of other food, as also numberless viands that are fit to be sucked and innumerable kinds of drinks, with new and unused robes and clothes, and with excellent floral wreaths. The king also gave unto each of those Brahmanas a thousand kine. And, O Bharata, the voice of the gratified Brahmanas uttering,—'What an auspicious day is this!' became so loud that it seemed to reach heaven itself. And when the Kuru king entered the palatial sabha having also worshipped the gods with various kinds of music and numerous species of excellent and costly perfumes, the athletes and mimes and prize-fighters and bards and encomiasts began to gratify that illustrious son of Dharma by exhibiting their skill. And thus celebrating his entry into the palace, Yudhishthira with his brothers sported within that palace like Sakra himself in heaven. Upon the seats in that palace sat, along with the Pandavas, Rishis and kings that came from various countries, viz., Asita and Devala, Satya, Sarpamali and Mahasira; Arvavasu, Sumitra, Maitreya, Sunaka and Vali; Vaka, Dalvya, Sthulasira, Krishna-Dwaipayana, and Suka Sumanta, Jaimini, Paila, and the disciples of Vyasa, viz., ourselves; Tittiri, Yajanavalkya, and Lomaharshana with his son; Apsuhomya, Dhaumya, Animandavya; and Kausika; Damoshnisha and Traivali, Parnada, and Varayanuka, Maunjayana, Vayubhaksha, Parasarya, and Sarika; Valivaka, Silivaka, Satyapala, and Krita-srama; Jatukarna, and Sikhavat. Alamva and Parijataka; the exalted Parvata, and the great Muni Markandeya; Pavitrapani, Savarna, Bhaluki, and Galava. Janghabandhu, Raibhya, Kopavega, and Bhrigu: Harivabhru, Kaundinya, Vabhrumali, and Sanatana, Kakshivat, and Ashija, Nachiketa, and Aushija, Nachiketa, and Gautama; Painga, Varaha, Sunaka, and Sandilya of great ascetic merit: Kukkura, Venujangha, Kalapa and Katha;—these virtuous and learned Munis with senses and souls under complete control, and many others as numerous, all well-skilled in the Vedas and Vedangas and conversant with (rules of) morality and pure and spotless in behaviour, waited on the illustrious Yudhishthira, and gladdened him by their sacred discourses. And so also numerous principal Kshatriyas, such as the illustrious and virtuous Mujaketu, Vivarddhana, Sangramjit, Durmukha, the powerful Ugrasena; Kakshasena, the lord of the Earth, Kshemaka the invincible; Kamatha, the king of Kamvoja, and the mighty Kampana who alone made the Yavanas to ever tremble at his name just as the god that wieldeth the thunder-bolt maketh those Asuras, the Kalakeyas, tremble before him; Jatasura, and the king of the Madrakas, Kunti, Pulinda the king of the Kiratas, and the kings of Anga and Vanga, and Pandrya, and the king of Udhara, and Andhaka; Sumitra, and Saivya that slayer of foes; Sumanas, the king of the Kiratas, and Chanur the King of the Yavanas, Devarata, Bhoja, and the so called Bhimaratha, Srutayudha—the king of Kalinga, Jayasena the king of Magadha; and Sukarman, and Chekitana, and Puru that slayer of foes; Ketumata, Vasudana, and Vaideha and Kritakshana: Sudharman, Aniruddha, Srutayu endued with great strength; the invincible Anuparaja, the handsome Karmajit; Sisupala with his son, the king of Karusha; and the invincible youths of the Vrishni race, all equal in beauty unto the celestials, viz., Ahuka, Viprithu, Sada, Sarana, Akrura, Kritavarman, and Satyaka, the son of Sini; and Bhismaka, Ankriti, and the powerful Dyumatsena, those chief of bowmen viz., the Kaikeyas and Yajnasena of the Somaka race; these Kshatriyas endued with great might, all well-armed and wealthy, and many others also regarded as the foremost, all waited upon Yudhishthira, the son of Kunti, in that Sabha, desirous of ministering to his happiness. And those princes also, endued with great strength, who dressing themselves in deer-skins learnt the science of weapons under Arjuna, waited upon Yudhishthira. And O king, the princes also of the Vrishni race, viz., Pradyumna (the son of Rukmini) and Samva, and Yuyudhana the son of Satyaki and Sudharman and Aniruddha and Saivya that foremost of men who had learnt the science of arms under Arjuna these and many other kings, O lord of the Earth, used to wait on Yudhishthira on that occasion. And that friend of Dhananjaya, Tumvuru, and the Gandharva Chittasena with his ministers, any many other Gandharvas and Apsaras, well-skilled in vocal and instrumental music and in cadence and Kinnaras also well-versed in (musical) measures and motions singing celestial tunes in proper and charming voices, waited upon and gladdened the sons of Pandu and the Rishis who sat in that Sabha. And seated in that Sabha, those bull among men, of rigid vows and devoted to truth, all waited upon Yudhishthira like the celestials in heaven waiting upon Brahma."
(Lokapala Sabhakhayana Parva)
Vaisampayana said,—"While the illustrious Pandavas were seated in that Sabha along with the principal Gandharvas, there came, O Bharata, unto that assembly the celestial Rishi Narada, conversant with the Vedas and Upanishadas, worshipped by the celestials acquainted with histories and Puranas, well-versed in all that occurred in ancient kalpas (cycles), conversant with Nyaya (logic) and the truth of moral science, possessing a complete knowledge of the six Angas (viz., pronunciation, grammar, prosody, explanation of basic terms, description of religious rites, and astronomy). He was a perfect master in reconciling contradictory texts and differentiating in applying general principles to particular cases, as also in interpreting contraries by reference to differences in situation, eloquent, resolute, intelligent, possessed of powerful memory. He was acquainted with the science of morals and politics, learned, proficient in distinguishing inferior things from superior ones, skilled in drawing inference from evidence, competent to judge of the correctness or incorrectness of syllogistic statements consisting of five propositions. He was capable of answering successively Vrihaspati himself while arguing, with definite conclusions properly framed about religion, wealth, pleasure and salvation, of great soul and beholding this whole universe, above, below, and around, as if it were present before his eyes. He was master of both the Sankhya and Yoga systems of philosophy, ever desirous of humbling the celestials and Asuras by fomenting quarrels among them, conversant with the sciences of war and treaty, proficient in drawing conclusions by judging of things not within direct ken, as also in the six sciences of treaty, war, military campaigns, maintenance of posts against the enemy and stratagems by ambuscades and reserves. He was a thorough master of every branch of learning, fond of war and music, incapable of being repulsed by any science or any course of action, and possessed of these and numberless other accomplishments. The Rishi, having wandered over the different worlds, came into that Sabha. And the celestial Rishi of immeasurable splendour, endued with great energy was accompanied, O monarch, by Parijata and the intelligent Raivata and Saumya and Sumukha. Possessing the speed of the mind, the Rishi came thither and was filled with gladness upon beholding the Pandavas. The Brahmana, on arriving there, paid homage unto Yudhishthira by uttering blessings on him and wishing him victory. Beholding the learned Rishi arrive, the eldest of the Pandavas, conversant with all rules of duty, quickly stood up with his younger brothers. Bending low with humility, the monarch cheerfully saluted the Rishi, and gave with due ceremonies a befitting seat unto him. The king also gave him kine and the usual offerings of the Arghya including honey and the other ingredients. Conversant with every duty the monarch also worshipped the Rishi with gems and jewels with a whole heart. Receiving that worship from Yudhishthira in proper form, the Rishi became gratified. Thus worshipped by the Pandavas and the great Rishis, Narada possessing a complete mastery over the Vedas, said unto Yudhishthira the following words bearing upon religion, wealth, pleasures and salvation.
"Narada said—'Is the wealth thou art earning being spent on proper objects? Doth thy mind take pleasure in virtue? Art thou enjoying the pleasures of life? Doth not thy mind sink under their weight? O chief of men, continuest thou in the noble conduct consistent with religion and wealth practised by thy ancestors towards the three classes of subjects, (viz., good, indifferent, and bad)? Never injurest thou religion for the sake of wealth, or both religion and wealth for the sake of pleasure that easily seduces? O thou foremost of victorious men ever devoted to the good of all, conversant as thou art with the timeliness of everything, followest thou religion, wealth, pleasure and salvation dividing thy time judiciously? O sinless one, with the six attributes of kings (viz., cleverness of speech, readiness in providing means, intelligence in dealing with the foe, memory, and acquaintance with morals and politics), dost thou attend to the seven means (viz., sowing dissensions, chastisement, conciliation, gifts, incantations, medicine and magic)? Examinest thou also, after a survey of thy own strength and weakness, the fourteen possessions of thy foes? These are the country, forts, cars, elephants, cavalry, foot-soldiers, the principal officials of state, the zenana, food supply, computations of the army and income, the religious treatises in force, the accounts of state, the revenue, wine-shops and other secret enemies. Attendest thou to the eight occupations (of agriculture, trade, &c), having examined, O thou foremost of victorious monarchs, thy own and thy enemy's means, and having made peace with thy enemies? O bull of the Bharata race, thy seven principal officers of state (viz., the governor of the citadel, the commander of forces, the chief judge, the general in interior command, the chief priest, the chief physician, and the chief astrologer), have not, I hope, succumbed to the influence of thy foes, nor have they, I hope, become idle in consequence of the wealth they have earned? They are, I hope, all obedient to thee. Thy counsels, I hope, are never divulged by thy trusted spies in disguise, by thyself or by thy ministers? Thou ascertainest, I hope, what thy friends, foes and strangers are about? Makest thou peace and makest thou war at proper times? Observest thou neutrality towards strangers and persons that are neutral towards thee? And, O hero, hast thou made persons like thyself, persons that are old, continent in behaviour, capable of understanding what should be done and what should not, pure as regards birth and blood, and devoted to thee, thy ministers? O Bharata, the victories of kings can be attributed to good counsels. O child, is thy kingdom protected by ministers learned in Sastras, keeping their counsels close? Are thy foes unable to injure it? Thou hast not become the slave of sleep? Wakest thou at the proper time? Conversant with pursuits yielding profit, thinkest thou, during the small hours of night, as to what thou shouldst do and what thou shouldst not do the next day? Thou settlest nothing alone, nor takest counsels with many? The counsels thou hast resolved upon, do not become known all over thy kingdom? Commencest thou soon to accomplish measures of great utility that are easy of accomplishment? Such measures are never obstructed? Keepest thou the agriculturists not out of thy sight? They do not fear to approach thee? Achievest thou thy measures through persons that are trusted incorruptible, and possessed of practical experience? And, O brave king, I hope, people only know the measures already accomplished by thee and those that have been partially accomplished and are awaiting completion, but not those that are only in contemplation and uncommenced? Have experienced teachers capable of explaining the causes of things and learned in the science of morals and every branch of learning, been appointed to instruct the princes and the chiefs of the army? Buyest thou a single learned man by giving in exchange a thousand ignorant individuals? The man that is learned conferreth the greatest benefit in seasons of distress. Are thy forts always filled with treasure, food, weapons, water, engines and instruments, as also with engineers and bowmen? Even a single minister that is intelligent, brave, with his passions under complete control, and possessed of wisdom and judgment, is capable of conferring the highest prosperity on a king or a king's son. I ask thee, therefore, whether there is even one such minister with thee? Seekest thou to know everything about the eighteen Tirthas of the foe and fifteen of thy own by means of three and three spies all unacquainted with one another? O slayer of all foes, watchest thou all thy enemies with care and attention, and unknown to them? Is the priest thou honourest, possessed of humility, and purity of blood, and renown, and without jealousy and illiberality? Hath any well- behaved, intelligent, and guileless Brahmana, well-up in the ordinance, been employed by thee in the performance of thy daily rites before the sacred fire, and doth he remind thee in proper time as to when thy homa should be performed? Is the astrologer thou hast employed skilled in reading physiognomy, capable of interpreting omens, and competent to neutralise the effect of the disturbances of nature? Have respectable servants been employed by thee in offices that are respectable, indifferent ones in indifferent offices, and low ones in offices that are low? Hast thou appointed to high offices ministers that are guileless and of well conduct for generations and above the common run? Oppressest thou not thy people with cruel and severe punishment? And, O bull of the Bharata race, do thy ministers rule thy kingdom under thy orders? Do thy ministers ever slight thee like sacrificial priests slighting men that are fallen (and incapable of performing any more sacrifices) or like wives slighting husbands that are proud and incontinent in their behaviour? Is the commander of thy forces possessed of sufficient confidence, brave, intelligent, patient, well-conducted, of good birth, devoted to thee, and competent? Treatest thou with consideration and regard the chief officers of thy army that are skilled in every kind of welfare, are forward, well- behaved, and endued with prowess? Givest thou to thy troops their sanctioned rations and pay in the appointed time? Thou dost not oppress them by withholding these? Knowest thou that the misery caused by arrears of pay and irregularity in the distribution of rations driveth the troops to mutiny, and that is called by the learned to be one of the greatest of mischiefs? Are all the principal high-born men devoted to thee, and ready with cheerfulness to lay down their lives in battle for thy sake? I hope no single individual of passions uncontrolled is ever permitted by thee to rule as he likes a number of concerns at the same time appertaining to the army? Is any servant of thine, who hath accomplished well a particular business by the employment of special ability, disappointed in obtaining from thee a little more regard, and an increase of food and pay? I hope thou rewardest persons of learning and humility, and skill in every kind of knowledge with gifts of wealth and honour proportionate to their qualifications. Dost thou support, O bull in the Bharata race, the wives and children of men that have given their lives for thee and have been distressed on thy account? Cherishest thou, O son of Pritha, with paternal affection the foe that hath been weakened, or him also that hath sought thy shelter, having been vanquished in battle? O lord of Earth, art thou equal unto all men, and can every one approach thee without fear, as if thou wert their mother and father? And O bull of the Bharata race, marchest thou, without loss of time, and reflecting well upon three kinds of forces, against thy foe when thou hearest that he is in distress? O subjugator of all foes beginnest thou thy march when the time cometh, having taken into consideration all the omens you might see, the resolutions thou hast made, and that the ultimate victory depends upon the twelve mandalas (such as reserves, ambuscades, &c, and payment of pay to the troops in advance)? And, O persecutor of all foes, givest thou gems and jewels, unto the principal officers of enemy, as they deserve, without thy enemy's knowledge? O son of Pritha, seekest thou to conquer thy incensed foes that are slaves to their passions, having first conquered thy own soul and obtained the mastery over thy own senses? Before thou marchest out against thy foes, dost thou properly employ the four arts of reconciliation, gift (of wealth) producing disunion, and application of force? O monarch, goest thou out against thy enemies, having first strengthened thy own kingdom? And having gone out against them, exertest thou to the utmost to obtain victory over them? And having conquered them, seekest thou to protect them with care? Are thy army consisting of four kinds of forces, viz., the regular troops, the allies, the mercenaries, and the irregulars, each furnished with the eight ingredients, viz., cars, elephants, horses, offices, infantry, camp-followers, spies possessing a thorough knowledge of the country, and ensigns led out against thy enemies after having been well trained by superior officers? O oppressor of all foes, O great king, I hope thou slayest thy foes without regarding their seasons of reaping and of famine? O king, I hope thy servants and agents in thy own kingdom and in the kingdoms of thy foes continue to look after their respective duties and to protect one another. O monarch, I hope trusted servants have been employed by thee to look after thy food, the robes thou wearest and the perfumes thou usest. I hope, O king, thy treasury, barns, stables arsenals, and women's apartments, are all protected by servants devoted to thee and ever seeking thy welfare. I hope, O monarch, thou protectest first thyself from thy domestic and public servants, then from those servants of thy relatives and from one another. Do thy servants, O king, ever speak to thee in the forenoon regarding thy extravagant expenditure in respect of thy drinks, sports, and women? Is thy expenditure always covered by a fourth, a third or a half of thy income? Cherishest thou always, with food and wealth, relatives, superiors, merchants, the aged, and other proteges, and the distressed? Do the accountants and clerks employed by thee in looking after thy income and expenditure, always appraise thee every day in the forenoon of thy income and expenditure? Dismissest thou without fault servants accomplished in business and popular and devoted to thy welfare? O Bharata, dost thou employ superior, indifferent, and low men, after examining them well in offices they deserve? O monarch, employest thou in thy business persons that are thievish or open to temptation, or hostile, or minors? Persecutest thou thy kingdom by the help of thievish or covetous men, or minors, or women? Are the agriculturists in thy kingdom contented. Are large tanks and lakes constructed all over thy kingdom at proper distances, without agriculture being in thy realm entirely dependent on the showers of heaven? Are the agriculturists in thy kingdom wanting in either seed or food? Grantest thou with kindness loans (of seed-grains) unto the tillers, taking only a fourth in excess of every measure by the hundred? O child, are the four professions of agriculture, trade, cattle-rearing, and lending at interest, carried on by honest men? Upon these O monarch, depends the happiness of thy people. O king, do the five brave and wise men, employed in the five offices of protecting the city, the citadel, the merchants, and the agriculturists, and punishing the criminals, always benefit thy kingdom by working in union with one another? For the protection of thy city, have the villages been made like towns, and the hamlets and outskirts of villages like villages? Are all these entirely under thy supervision and sway? Are thieves and robbers that sack thy town pursued by thy police over the even and uneven parts of thy kingdom? Consolest thou women and are they protected in thy realm? I hope thou placest not any confidence in them, nor divulgest any secret before any of them? O monarch, having heard of any danger and having reflected on it also, liest thou in the inner apartments enjoying every agreeable object? Having slept during the second and the third divisions of the night, thinkest thou of religion and profit in the fourth division wakefully. O son of Pandu, rising from bed at the proper time and dressing thyself well, showest thou thyself to thy people, accompanied by ministers conversant with the auspiciousness or otherwise of moments? O represser of all foes, do men dressed in red and armed with swords and adorned with ornaments stand by thy side to protect thy person? O monarch! behavest thou like the god of justice himself unto those that deserve punishment and those that deserve worship, unto those that are dear to thee and those that thou likest not? O son of Pritha, seekest thou to cure bodily diseases by medicines and fasts, and mental illness with the advice of the aged? I hope that the physicians engaged in looking after thy health are well conversant with the eight kinds of treatment and are all attached and devoted to thee. Happeneth it ever, O monarch, that from covetousness or folly or pride thou failest to decide between the plaintiff and the defendant who have come to thee? Deprivest thou, through covetousness or folly, of their pensions the proteges who have sought thy shelter from trustfulness or love? Do the people that inhabit thy realm, bought by thy foes, ever seek to raise disputes with thee, uniting themselves with one another? Are those amongst thy foes that are feeble always repressed by the help of troops that are strong, by the help of both counsels and troops? Are all the principal chieftains (of thy empire) all devoted to thee? Are they ready to lay down their lives for thy sake, commanded by thee? Dost thou worship Brahmanas and wise men according to their merits in respect of various branches of learning? I tell thee, such worship is without doubt, highly beneficial to thee. Hast thou faith in the religion based on the three Vedas and practised by men who have gone before thee? Dost thou carefully follow the practices that were followed by them? Are accomplished Brahmanas entertained in thy house and in thy presence with nutritive and excellent food, and do they also obtain pecuniary gifts at the conclusion of those feasts? Dost thou, with passions under complete control and with singleness of mind, strive to perform the sacrifices called Vajapeya and Pundarika with their full complement of rites? Bowest thou unto thy relatives and superiors, the aged, the gods, the ascetics, the Brahmanas, and the tall trees (banian) in villages, that are of so much benefit to people? O sinless one, causest thou ever grief or anger in any one? Do priests capable of granting thee auspicious fruits ever stand by thy side? O sinless one, are thy inclinations and practices such as I have described them, and as always enhance the duration of life and spread one's renown and as always help the cause of religion, pleasure, and profit? He who conducteth himself according to this way, never findeth his kingdom distressed or afflicted; and that monarch, subjugating the whole earth, enjoyeth a high degree of felicity. O monarch, I hope, no well- behaved, pure-souled, and respected person is ever ruined and his life taken, on a false charge or theft, by thy ministers ignorant of Sastras and acting from greed? And, O bull among men, I hope thy ministers never from covetousness set free a real thief, knowing him to be such and having apprehended him with the booty about him? O Bharata, I hope, thy ministers are never won over by bribes, nor do they wrongly decide the disputes that arise between the rich and the poor. Dost thou keep thyself free from the fourteen vices of kings, viz., atheism, untruthfulness, anger, incautiousness, procrastination, non-visit to the wise, idleness, restlessness of mind, taking counsels with only one man, consultation with persons unacquainted with the science of profit, abandonment of a settled plan, divulgence of counsels, non-accomplishment of beneficial projects, and undertaking everything without reflection? By these, O king, even monarchs firmly seated on their thrones are ruined. Hath thy study of the Vedas, thy wealth and knowledge of the Sastras and marriage been fruitful?'"
Vaisampayana continued,—"After the Rishi had finished, Yudhishthira asked,—'How, O Rishi, do the Vedas, wealth, wife, and knowledge of the Sastras bear fruit?'
"The Rishi answered,—'The Vedas are said to bear fruit when he that hath studied them performeth the Agnihotra and other sacrifices. Wealth is said to bear fruit when he that hath it enjoyeth it himself and giveth it away in charity. A wife is said to bear fruit when she is useful and when she beareth children. Knowledge of the Sastras is said to bear fruit when it resulteth in humility and good behaviour.'"
Vaisampayana continued,—"The great ascetic Narada, having answered Yudhishthira thus, again asked that just ruler,—'Do the officers of thy government, O king, that are paid from the taxes levied on the community, take only their just dues from the merchants that come to thy territories from distant lands impelled by the desire of gain? Are the merchants, O king, treated with consideration in thy capital and kingdom, capable of bringing their goods thither without being deceived by the false pretexts of (both the buyers and the officers of government)?
"'Listenest thou always, O monarch, to the words, fraught with instructions in religion and wealth, of old men acquainted with economic doctrines? Are gifts of honey and clarified butter made to the Brahmanas intended for the increase of agricultural produce, of kine, of fruits and flowers, and for the sake of virtue? Givest thou always, O king, regularly unto all the artisans and artists employed by thee the materials of their works and their wages for periods not more than four months? Examinest thou the works executed by those that are employed by thee, and applaudest thou them before good men, and rewardest thou them, having shewn them proper respect? O bull of the Bharata race, followest thou the aphorisms (of the sage) in respect of every concern particularly those relating to elephants, horses, and cars? O bull of the Bharata race, are the aphorisms relating to the science of arms, as also those that relate to the practice of engines in warfare—so useful to towns and fortified places, studied in thy court? O sinless one, art thou acquainted with all mysterious incantations, and with the secrets of poisons destructive of all foes? Protectest thou thy kingdom from the fear of fire, of snakes and other animals destructive of life, of disease, and Rakshasas? As acquainted thou art with every duty, cherishest thou like a father, the blind, the dumb, the lame, the deformed, the friendless, and ascetics that have no homes. Hast thou banished these six evils, O monarch, viz., sleep, idleness, fear, anger, weakness of mind, and procrastination?'"
Vaisampayana continued,—"The illustrious bull among the Kurus, having heard these words of that best of Brahmanas, bowed down unto him and worshipped his feet. And gratified with everything he heard, the monarch said unto Narada of celestial form,—'I shall do all that thou hast directed, for my knowledge hath expanded under thy advice!' Having said this the king acted conformably to that advice, and gained in time the whole Earth bounded by her belt of seas. Narada again spoke, saying,— 'That king who is thus employed in the protection of four orders, Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, and Sudras, passeth his days here happily and attaineth hereafter to the region of Sakra (heaven).'"
Vaisampayana said,—"At the conclusion of Narada's words, king Yudhishthira the just worshipped him duly; and commanded by him the monarch began to reply succinctly to the questions the Rishi had asked.
"Yudhishthira said—'O holy one, the truths of religion and morality thou hast indicated one after another, are just and proper. As regards myself, I duly observe those ordinances to the best of my power. Indeed, the acts that were properly performed by monarchs of yore are, without doubt, to be regarded as bearing proper fruit, and undertaken from solid reasons for the attainment of proper objects. O master, we desire to walk in the virtuous path of those rulers that had, besides, their souls under complete control.'"
Vaisampayana continued,—"Yudhishthira, the son of Pandu, possessed of great glory, having received with reverence the words of Narada and having also answered the Rishi thus, reflected for a moment. And perceiving a proper opportunity, the monarch, seated beside the Rishi, asked Narada sitting at his ease and capable of going into every world at will, in the presence of that assembly of kings, saying,—'Possessed of the speed of mind, thou wanderest over various and many worlds created in days of yore by Brahma, beholding everything. Tell me, I ask thee, if thou hast, O Brahmana, ever beheld before anywhere an assembly room like this of mine or superior to it!' Hearing these words of Yudhishthira the just, Narada smilingly answered the son of Pandu in these sweet accents,—
"Narada said,—'O child, O king I did neither see nor hear of ever before amongst men, any assembly room built of gems and precious stones like this of thine, O Bharata. I shall, however, describe unto thee the rooms of the king of the departed (Yama), of Varuna (Neptune) of great intelligence, of Indra, the King of Gods and also of him who hath his home in Kailasha (Kuvera). I shall also describe unto thee the celestial Sabha of Brahma that dispelleth every kind of uneasiness. All these assembly rooms exhibit in their structure both celestial and human designs and present every kind of form that exists in the universe. And they are ever worshipped by the gods and the Pitris, the Sadhyas, (under-deities called Gana), by ascetics offering sacrifices, with souls under complete command, by peaceful Munis engaged without intermission in Vedic sacrifices with presents to Brahmanas. I shall describe all these to you if, O bull of the Bharata race, thou hast any inclinations to listen to me!'"
Vaisampayana continued,—"Thus addressed by Narada, the high-souled king Yudhishthira the just, with his brothers and all those foremost of Brahmanas (seated around him), joined his hands (in entreaty). And the monarch then asked Narada, saying,—'Describe unto us all those assembly rooms. We desire to listen to thee. O Brahmana, what are the articles with which each of the Sabhas are made of? What is the area of each, and what is the length and breadth of each? Who wait upon the Grandsire in that assembly room? And who also upon Vasava, the Lord of the celestials and upon Yama, the son of Vivaswana? Who wait upon Varuna and upon Kuvera in their respective assembly rooms. O Brahmana Rishi, tell us all about these. We all together desire to hear thee describe them. Indeed, our curiosity is great.'" Thus addressed by the son of Pandu, Narada replied, saying,—"O monarch, hear ye all about those celestial assembly rooms one after another."
"Narada said,—'the celestial assembly room of Sakra is full of lustre. He hath obtained it as the fruit of his own acts. Possessed of the splendour of the sun, it was built, O scion of the Kuru race, by Sakra himself. Capable of going everywhere at will, this celestial assembly house is full one hundred and fifty yojanas in length, and hundred yojanas in breadth, and five yojanas in height. Dispelling weakness of age, grief, fatigue, and fear, auspicious and bestowing good fortune, furnished with rooms and seats and adorned with celestial trees, it is delightful in the extreme. There sitteth in that assembly room, O son of Pritha, on an excellent seat, the Lord of celestials, with his wife Sachi endowed with beauty and affluence. Assuming a form incapable of description for its vagueness, with a crown on his head and bright bracelets on the upper arms, attired in robes of pure white and decked with floral wreaths of many hues, there he sitteth with beauty, fame, and glory by his side. And the illustrious deity of a hundred sacrifices is daily waited upon, O monarch, in that assembly by the Marutas in a body, each leading the life of a householder in the bosom of his family. And the Siddhyas, celestial Rishis, the Sadhyas in all, the gods, and Marutas of brilliant complexion and adorned with golden garlands,—all of them in celestial form and decked in ornaments, always wait upon and worship the illustrious chief of the immortals, that mighty represser of all foes. And O son of Pritha, the celestial Rishis also, all of pure souls, with sins completely washed off and resplendent as the fire, and possessed of energy, and without sorrow of any kind, and freed from the fever of anxiety, and all performers of the Soma sacrifice, also wait upon and worship Indra. And Parasara and Parvata and Savarni and Galava; and Sankha, and the Muni, Gaursiras, and Durvasa, and Krodhana and Swena and the Muni Dhirghatamas; and Pavitrapani, Savarni, Yajnavalkya and Bhaluki; and Udyalaka, Swetaketu, and Tandya, and also Bhandayani; and Havishmat, and Garishta, and king Harischandra; and Hridya, Udarshandilya. Parasarya, Krishivala; Vataskandha, Visakha, Vidhatas and Kala. Karaladanta, Tastri, and Vishwakarman, and Tumuru; and other Rishis, some born of women and others living upon air, and others again living upon fire, these all worship Indra, the wielder of the thunderbolt, the lord of all the worlds. And Sahadeva, and Sunitha, and Valmiki of great ascetic merit; and Samika of truthful speech, and Prachetas ever fulfilling their promises, and Medhatithi, and Vamadeva, and Pulastya, Pulaha and Kratu; and Maruta and Marichi, and Sthanu of great ascetic merit; and Kakshivat, and Gautama, and Tarkhya, and also the Muni Vaishwanara; and the Muni Kalakavrikhiya and Asravya, and also Hiranmaya, and Samvartta, and Dehavya, and Viswaksena of great energy; and Kanwa, and Katyayana, O king, and Gargya, and Kaushika;—all are present there along with the celestial waters and plants; and faith, and intelligence, and the goddess of learning, and wealth, religion, and pleasure; and lightning, O son of Pandu; and the rain-charged clouds, and the winds, and all the loud-sounding forces of heaven; the eastern point, the twenty seven fires conveying the sacrificial butter, Agni and Soma, and the fire of Indra, and Mitra, and Savitri, and Aryaman; Bhaga, Viswa the Sadhyas, the preceptor (Vrihaspati), and also Sukra; and Vishwavasu and Chitrasena, and Sumanas, and also Taruna; the Sacrifices, the gifts to Brahmanas, the planets, and the stars, O Bharata, and the mantras that are uttered in sacrifices—all these are present there. And, O King, many Apsaras and Gandharvas, by various kinds of dances and music both instrumental and vocal, and by the practice of auspicious rites, and by the exhibition of many feats of skill, gratify the lord of the celestials— Satakratu—the illustrious slayer of Vala and Vritra. Besides these, many other Brahmanas and royal and celestial Rishis, all resplendent as the fire, decked in floral wreaths and ornaments, frequently come to and leave that assembly, riding on celestial cars of various kinds. And Vrihaspati and Sukra are present there on all occasions. These and many other illustrious ascetics of rigid vows, and Bhrigu and the seven Rishis who are equal, O king, unto Brahma himself, come to and leave that assembly house, riding on cars beautiful as the car of Soma, and themselves looking as bright therein as Soma himself. This, O mighty armed monarch, is the assembly house, called Pushkaramalini, of Indra of a hundred sacrifices that I have seen. Listen now to the account of Yama's assembly house.'
"Narada said,—'O Yudhisthira, I shall now describe the assembly house of Yama, the son of Vivaswat, which, O son of Pritha, was built by Viswakarma. Listen now to me. Bright as burnished gold, that assembly house, O monarch, covers an area of much more than a hundred yojanas. Possessed of the splendour of the sun, it yieldeth everything that one may desire. Neither very cool nor very hot, it delighteth the heart. In that assembly house there is neither grief nor weakness of age, neither hunger nor thirst. Nothing disagreeable findeth a place there, nor any kind of evil feelings there. Every object of desire, celestial or human, is to be found in that mansion. And all kinds of enjoyable articles, as also of sweet, juicy, agreeable, and delicious edibles in profusion that are licked, sucked, and drunk, are there, O chastiser of all enemies. The floral wreaths in that mansion are of the most delicious fragrance, and the trees that stand around it yield fruits that are desired of them. There are both cold and hot waters and these are sweet and agreeable. In that mansion many royal sages of great sanctity and Brahmana sages also of great purity, cheerfully wait upon, O child, and worship Yama, the son of Vivaswat. And Yayati, Nahusha, Puru, Mandhatri, Somaka, Nriga; the royal sage Trasadasyu, Kritavirya, Sautasravas; Arishtanemi, Siddha, Kritavega, Kriti, Nimi, Pratarddana, Sivi, Matsya, Prithulaksha, Vrihadratha, Vartta, Marutta, Kusika, Sankasya, Sankriti, Dhruva, Chaturaswa, Sadaswormi and king Kartavirya; Bharata and Suratha, Sunitha, Nisatha, Nala, Divodasa, and Sumanas, Amvarisha, Bhagiratha; Vyaswa, Vadhraswa, Prithuvega, Prithusravas, Prishadaswa, Vasumanas, Kshupa, and Sumahavala, Vrishadgu, and Vrishasena, Purukutsa, Dhwajin and Rathin; Arshtisena, Dwilipa, and the high-souled Ushinara; Ausinari, Pundarika, Saryati, Sarava, and Suchi; Anga, Rishta, Vena, Dushmanta, Srinjaya and Jaya; Bhangasuri, Sunitha, and Nishada, and Bahinara; Karandhama, Valhika, Sudymna, and the mighty Madhu; Aila and the mighty king of earth Maruta; Kapota, Trinaka, and Shadeva, and Arjuna also. Vysawa; Saswa and Krishaswa, and king Sasavindu; Rama the son of Dasaratha, and Lakshmana, and Pratarddana; Alarka, and Kakshasena, Gaya, and Gauraswa; Rama the son of Jamadagnya, Nabhaga, and Sagara; Bhuridyumna and Mahaswa, Prithaswa, and also Janaka; king Vainya, Varisena, Purujit, and Janamejaya; Brahmadatta, and Trigarta, and king Uparichara also; Indradyumna, Bhimajanu, Gauraprishta, Nala, Gaya; Padma and Machukunda, Bhuridyumna, Prasenajit; Aristanemi, Sudymna, Prithulauswa, and Ashtaka also; a hundred kings of the Matsya race and hundred of the Vipa and a hundred of the Haya races; a hundred kings of the name of Dhritarashtra, eighty kings of the name of Janamejaya; a hundred monarchs called Brahmadatta, and a hundred kings of the name of Iri; more than two hundred Bhishmas, and also a hundred Bhimas; a hundred Prativindhyas, a hundred Nagas, and a hundred Palasas, and a hundred called Kasa and Kusa; that king of kings Santanu, and thy father Pandu, Usangava, Sata-ratha, Devaraja, Jayadratha; the intelligent royal sage Vrishadarva with his ministers; and a thousand other kings known by the name of Sasa-vindu, and who have died, having performed many grand horse-sacrifices with large presents to the Brahmanas—these holy royal sages of grand achievements and great knowledge of the Sastras, wait upon, O King, and worship the son of Vivaswat in that assembly house. And Agastya and Matanga, and Kala, and Mrityu (Death), performers of sacrifices, the Siddhas, and many Yogins; the Prtris (belonging to the classes—called Agniswattas, Fenapa, Ushampa, Swadhavat, and Verhishada), as also those others that have forms; the wheel of time, and the illustrious conveyer himself of the sacrificial butter; all sinners among human beings, as also those that have died during the winter solstice; these officers of Yama who have been appointed to count the allotted days of everybody and everything; the Singsapa, Palasa, Kasa, and Kusa trees and plants, in their embodied forms, these all, O king, wait upon and worship the god of justice in that assembly house of his. These and many others are present at the Sabha of the king of the Pitris (manes). So numerous are they that I am incapable of describing them either by mentioning their names or deeds. O son of Pritha, the delightful assembly house, moving everywhere at the will of its owner, is of wide extent. It was built by Viswakarma after a long course of ascetic penances. And, O Bharata, resplendent with his own effulgence, it stands glorified in all its beauty. Sannyasis of severe ascetic penance, of excellent vows, and of truthful speech, peaceful and pure and sanctified by holy deeds, of shining bodies and attired in spotless robes, decked with bracelets and floral garlands, with ear-rings of burnished gold, and adorned with their own holy acts as with the marks of their order (painted over their bodies), constantly visit that Sabha (Assembly). Many illustrious Gandharvas, and many Apsaras fill every part of that mansion with music; both instrumental and vocal and with sounds of laughter and dance. And, O son of Pritha, excellent perfumes, and sweet sounds and garlands of celestial flowers always contribute towards making that mansion supremely blest. And hundreds of thousands of virtuous persons, of celestial beauty and great wisdom, always wait upon and worship the illustrious Yama, the lord of created beings in that assembly house. Such, O monarch, is the Sabha, of the illustrious king of the Pitris! I shall now describe unto the assembly house of Varuna also called Pushkaramalini!'
"Narada said—'O Yudhishthira, the celestial Sabha of Varuna is unparalleled in splendour. In dimensions it is similar to that of Yama. Its walls and arches are all of pure white. It hath been built by Viswakarma (the celestial architect) within the waters. It is surrounded on all sides by many celestial trees made of gems and jewels and yielding excellent fruits and flowers. And many plants with their weight of blossoms, blue and yellow, and black and darkish, and white and red, that stand there, or excellent bowers around. Within those bowers hundreds and thousands of birds of diverse species, beautiful and variegated, always pour forth their melodies. The atmosphere of that mansion is extremely delightful, neither cold nor hot. Owned by Varuna, that delightful assembly house of pure white consists of many rooms and is furnished with many seats. There sitteth Varuna attired in celestial robe, decked in celestial ornaments and jewels, with his queen, adorned with celestial scents and besmeared with paste of celestial fragrance. The Adityas wait upon and worship the illustrious Varuna, the lord of the waters. And Vasuki and Takshaka, and the Naga called Airavana; Krishna and Lohita; Padma and Chitra endued with great energy; the Nagas called Kamvala and Aswatara; and Dhritarashtra and Valahaka; Matimat and Kundadhara and Karkotaka and Dhananjaya; Panimat and the mighty Kundaka, O lord of the Earth; and Prahlada and Mushikada, and Janamejaya,—all having auspicious marks and mandalas and extended hoods;—these and many other snakes, O Yudhishthira, without anxiety of any kind, wait upon and worship the illustrious Varuna. And, O king, Vali the son of Virochana, and Naraka the subjugator of the whole Earth; Sanghraha and Viprachitti, and those Danavas called Kalakanja; and Suhanu and Durmukha and Sankha and Sumanas and also Sumati; and Ghatodara, and Mahaparswa, and Karthana and also Pithara and Viswarupa, Swarupa and Virupa, Mahasiras; and Dasagriva, Vali, and Meghavasas and Dasavara; Tittiva, and Vitabhuta, and Sanghrada, and Indratapana—these Daityas and Danavas, all bedecked with ear-rings and floral wreaths and crowns, and attired in the celestial robes, all blessed with boons and possessed of great bravery, and enjoying immortality, and all well of conduct and of excellent vows, wait upon and worship in that mansion the illustrious Varuna, the deity bearing the noose as his weapon. And, O king, there are also the four oceans, the river Bhagirathee, the Kalindi, the Vidisa, the Venwa, the Narmada of rapid current; the Vipasa, the Satadu, the Chandrabhaga, the Saraswati; the Iravati, the Vitasta, the Sindhu, the Devanadi; the Godavari, the Krishnavenwa and that queen of rivers the Kaveri; the Kimpuna, the Visalya and the river Vaitarani also; the Tritiya, the Jeshthila, and the great Sone (Soane); the Charmanwati and the great river Parnasa; the Sarayu, the Varavatya, and that queen of rivers the Langali, the Karatoya, the Atreyi, the red Mahanada, the Laghanti, the Gomati, the Sandhya, and also the Trisrotasi—these and other rivers which are all sacred and are world-renowned places of pilgrimage, as also other rivers and sacred waters and lakes and wells and springs, and tanks, large or small, in their personified form, O Bharata, wait upon and worship the lord Varuna. The points of the heavens, the Earth, and all the Mountains, as also every species of aquatic animals, all worship Varuna there. And various tribes of Gandharvas and Apsaras, devoted to music, both vocal and instrumental, wait upon Varuna, singing eulogistic hymns unto him. And all those mountains that are noted for being both delightful and rich in jewels, wait (in their personified forms) in that Sabha, enjoying sweet converse with one another. And the chief minister of Varuna, Sunabha by name, surrounded by his sons and grandsons, also attend upon his master, along with (the personified form) of a sacred water called go. These all, in their personified forms, worship the deity. O bull of the Bharata race, such is the assembly room of Varuna seen by me before, in the course of my wanderings. Listen now to the account I give of the assembly room of Kuvera.'
"Narada said,—'Possessed of great splendour, the assembly house of Vaisravana, O king, is a hundred yojanas in length and seventy yojanas in breadth. It was built, O king, by Vaisravana himself using his ascetic power. Possessing the splendour of the peaks of Kailasa, that mansion eclipses by its own the brilliance of the Moon himself. Supported by Guhyakas, that mansion seems to be attached to the firmament. Of celestial make, it is rendered extremely handsome with high chambers of gold. Extremely delightful and rendered fragrant with celestial perfumes, it is variegated with numberless costly jewels. Resembling the peaks of a mass of white clouds, it seems to be floating in the air. Painted with colours of celestial gold, it seems to be decked with streaks of lightning. Within that mansion sitteth on an excellent seat bright as the sun and covered with celestial carpets and furnished with a handsome footstool, king Vaisravana of agreeable person, attired in excellent robes and adorned with costly ornaments and ear-rings of great brilliance, surrounded by his thousand wives. Delicious and cooling breezes murmuring through forests of tall Mandaras, and bearing fragrance of extensive plantations of jasmine, as also of the lotuses on the bosom of the river Alaka and of the Nandana- gardens, always minister to the pleasure of the King of the Yakshas. There the deities with the Gandharvas surrounded by various tribes of Apsaras, sing in chorus, O king, notes of celestial sweetness. Misrakesi and Rambha, and Chitrasena, and Suchismita; and Charunetra, and Gritachi and Menaka, and Punjikasthala; and Viswachi Sahajanya, and Pramlocha and Urvasi and Ira, and Varga and Sauraveyi, and Samichi, and Vududa, and Lata—these and a thousand other Apsaras and Gandharvas, all well-skilled in music and dance, attend upon Kuvera, the lord of treasures. And that mansion, always filled with the notes of instrumental and vocal music, as also with the sounds of dance of various tribes of Gandharvas, and Apsaras hath become extremely charming and delicious. The Gandharvas called Kinnaras, and others called Naras, and Manibhadra, and Dhanada, and Swetabhadra and Guhyaka; Kaseraka, Gandakandu, and the mighty Pradyota; Kustumvuru, Pisacha, Gajakarna, and Visalaka, Varaha-Karna, Tamraushtica, Falkaksha, and Falodaka; Hansachuda, Sikhavarta, Vibhishana, Pushpanana, Pingalaka, Sonitoda and Pravalaka; Vrikshavaspa-niketa, and Chiravasas—these O Bharata, and many other Yakshas by hundred and thousands always wait upon Kuvera. The goddess Lakshmi always stayeth there, also Kuvera's son Nalakuvera. Myself and many others like myself often repair thither. Many Brahmana Rishis and celestial Rishis also repair there often. Many Rakshasas, and many Gandharvas, besides those that have been named, wait upon the worship, in that mansion, the illustrious lord of all treasures. And, O tiger among kings, the illustrious husband of Uma and lord of created things, the three-eyed Mahadeva, the wielder of the trident and the slayer of the Asura called Bhaga-netra, the mighty god of the fierce bow, surrounded by multitudes of spirits in their hundreds and thousands, some of dwarfish stature, some of fierce visage, some hunch-backed, some of blood-red eyes, some of frightful yells, some feeding upon fat and flesh, and some terrible to behold, but all armed with various weapons and endued with the speed of wind, with the goddess (Parvati) ever cheerful and knowing no fatigue, always waiteth here upon their friend Kuvera, the lord of treasures. And hundreds of Gandharva chiefs, with cheerful hearts and attired in their respective robes and Viswavasu, and Haha and Huhu; and Tumvuru and Parvatta, and Sailusha; and Chitrasena skilled in music and also Chitraratha,—these and innumerable Gandharvas worship the lord of treasures. And Chakradhaman, the chief of the Vidyadharas, with his followers, waiteth in that mansion upon the lord of treasures. And Kinnaras by hundreds and innumerable kings with Bhagadatta as their chief, and Druma, the chief of the Kimpurushas, and Mahendra, the chief of the Rakshasas, and Gandhamadana accompanied by many Yakshas and Gandharvas and many Rakshasas wait upon the lord of treasures. The virtuous Vibhishana also worshippeth there his elder brother the lord Kuvera (Croesus). The mountains of Himavat, Paripatra, Vindhya, Kailasa, Mandara, Malaya, Durdura, Mahendra, Gandhamadana, Indrakila, Sunava, and Eastern and the Western hills—these and many other mountains, in their personified forms, with Meru standing before all, wait upon and worship the illustrious lord of treasures. The illustrious Nandiswaras, and Mahakala, and many spirits with arrowy ears and sharp-pointed mouths, Kaksha, Kuthimukha, Danti, and Vijaya of great ascetic merit, and the mighty white bull of Siva roaring deep, all wait in that mansion. Besides these many other Rakshasas and Pisachas (devils) worship Kuvera in that assembly house. The son of Pulastya (Kuvera) formerly used always to worship in all the modes and sit, with permission obtained, beside the god of gods, Siva, the creator of the three worlds, that supreme Deity surrounded by his attendants. One day the exalted Bhava (Siva) made friendship with Kuvera. From that time, O king, Mahadeva always sitteth on the mansion of his friend, the lord of treasures. Those best of all jewels, those princes of all gems in the three worlds, viz., Sankha and Padma, in their personified forms, accompanied by all the jewels of the earth (also in their personified forms) worship Kuvera.'
"'This delightful assembly house of Kuvera that I have seen, attached to the firmament and capable of moving along it, is such, O king. Listen now to the Sabha I describe unto thee, belonging to Brahma the Grandsire.'
"Narada said,—'Listen to me, O child, as I tell thee of the assembly house of the Grandsire, that house which none can describe, saying it is such. In the Krita (golden) age of old, O king, the exalted deity Aditya (once) came down from heaven into the world of men. Having seen before the assembly-house of Brahma the Self-created, Aditya was cheerfully wandering over the Earth in human form, desirous of beholding what could be seen here. It was on that occasion, O son of Pandu, that the god of day spoke unto me, O bull of the Bharata race, of that celestial Sabha (assembly) of the Grandsire, immeasurable and immaterial and indescribable, as regards form and shape, and capable of delighting the heart of every creature by its splendour. Hearing, O bull of the Bharata race, of the merits of that Sabha, I became, O king, desirous of beholding it. I then asked Aditya, saying,—"O exalted one, I desire to behold the sacred Sabha of the Grandsire. O lord of light, tell me, O exalted one, by what ascetic penances, or by what acts, or by what charms or by what rites, I may be enabled to behold that excellent sin-cleaning Sabha."—Hearing these words of mine, Aditya the god of day, the deity of a thousand rays, answered me, "O chief of the Bharata race, thus: Observe thou, with mind rapt in meditation, the Brahma vow extending for a thousand years." Repairing then to the breast of the Himavat, I commenced that great vow, and after I had completed it the exalted and sinless deity Surya endued with great energy, and knowing no fatigue, took me with him to the Sabha of the Grandsire. O king, it is impossible to describe that Sabha, saying—it is such, for within a moment it assumes a different form that language fails to paint. O Bharata, it is impossible to indicate its dimensions or shape. I never saw anything like it before. Ever contributing to the happiness of those within it, its atmosphere is neither cold nor warm. Hunger and thirst or any kind of uneasiness disappear as soon as one goeth thither. It seems to be made up of brilliant gems of many kinds. It doth not seem to be supported on columns, it knoweth no deterioration, being eternal. That self effulgent mansion, by its numerous blazing, celestial indications of unrivalled splendour, seems to surpass the moon, the sun and the fire in splendour. Stationed in heaven, it blazes forth, censuring as it were the maker of the day. In that mansion O king, the Supreme Deity, the Grand- sire of all created things, having himself created everything by virtue of his creative illusion, stayeth ever. And Daksha, Prachetas, Pulaha, Marichi, the master Kasyapa, Bhrigu, Atri, and Vasistha and Gautama, and also Angiras, and Pulastya, Kraut, Prahlada, and Kardama, these Prajapatis, and Angirasa of the Atharvan Veda, the Valikhilyas, the Marichipas; Intelligence, Space, Knowledge, Air, Heat, Water, Earth, Sound, Touch, Form, Taste, Scent; Nature, and the Modes (of Nature), and the elemental and prime causes of the world,—all stay in that mansion beside the lord Brahma. And Agastya of great energy, and Markandeya, of great ascetic power, and Jamadagni and Bharadwaja, and Samvarta, and Chyavana, and exalted Durvasa, and the virtuous Rishyasringa, the illustrious Sanatkumara of great ascetic merit and the preceptor in all matters affecting Yoga; Asita and Devala, and Jaigishavya acquainted with truth; Rishava, Ajitasatru, and Mani of great energy; and the Science of healing with its eight branches—all in their personified forms, O Bharata; the moon with all the stars and the stellar conjunctions; Aditya with all his rays; the winds; the Sacrifices, the Declarations of purpose (in sacrifices), the Vital principles,—these illustrious and vow-observing beings in their personified forms, and many others too numerous to mention, attend all upon Brahma in that mansion. Wealth and Religion and Desire, and Joy, and Aversion, and Asceticism and Tranquillity—all wait together upon the Supreme Deity in that palace. The twenty tribes of the Gandharvas and Apsaras, as also their seven other tribes, and all the Lokapalas (chief protectors of several regions), and Sukra, and Vrihaspati, and Vudha, and Angaraka (Mangala), Sani, Rahu, and the other planets; the Mantras (of the Sama Veda), the special Mantras (of the same Veda); (the rites of) Harimat and Vasumat, the Adityas with Indra, the two Agnis mentioned by name (viz. Agnisoma and Indragni), the Marutas, Viswakarman, and the Vasus, O Bharata; the Pitris, and all kinds of sacrificial libations, the four Vedas. viz., Rig, Sama, Yajuh, and Atharva; all Sciences and branches of learning; Histories and all minor branches of learning; the several branches of the Vedas; the planets, the Sacrifices, the Soma, all the deities; Savitri (Gayatri), the seven kinds of rhyme; Understanding, Patience, Memory, Wisdom, Intelligence, Fame, Forgiveness; the Hymns of the Sama Veda; the Science of hymns in general, and various kinds of Verses and Songs; various Commentaries with arguments;—all in their personified forms, O king, and various Dramas and Poems and Stories and abridged Glosses—these also, and many others wait upon the Supreme Deity in that Sabha, Kshanas, Lavas, Muhurtas, Day, Night, Fortnights, Months, the six Seasons, O Bharata, Years, Yugas, the four kinds of Days and Nights (viz., appearing to man, to the Pitris, to the gods, and to Brahma) and that eternal, indestructible, undeteriorating, excellent Wheel of Time and also the Wheel of Virtue,—these always wait there, O Yudhishthira; and Aditi, Diti, Danu, Surasa, Vinata, Ira, Kalika, Suravi, Devi, Sarama, Gautami and the goddesses Pradha, and Kadru;—these mothers of the celestials, and Rudrani, Sree, Lakshmi, Bhadra, Shashthi, the Earth, Ganga, Hri, Swaha, Kriti, the goddess Sura, Sachi Pushti, Arundhati, Samvritti, Asa, Niyati, Srishti, Rati,—these and many other goddesses wait upon the Creator of all. The Adityas, Vasus, Rudras, Marutas, Aswinas, the Viswadevas Sadhyas, and the Pitris gifted with the speed of the mind; these all wait there upon the Grandsire. And, O bull amongst men, know thou that there are seven classes of Pitris, of which four classes have embodied forms and the remaining three without embodied forms. It is well known that the illustrious Vairajas and Agniswattas and Garhapattyas (three classes of Pitris) range in heaven. And those amongst the Pitris that are called the Somapas, the Ekasringras, the Chaturvedas, and the Kalas, are ever worshipped amongst the four orders of men. Gratified with the Soma (juice), first, these gratify Soma afterwards. All these tribes of Pitris wait upon the Lord of the creation and cheerfully worship the Supreme Deity of immeasurable energy. And Rakshasas, Pisachas, the Danavas and Guhyakas; Nagas, Birds, and various animals; and all mobile and immobile great beings;—all worship the Grandsire. And Purandara the chief of the celestials, and Varuna and Kuvera and Yama, and Mahadeva accompanied by Uma, always repair thither. And, O king of kings, Mahasena (Kartikeya) also adoreth there the Grandsire. Narayana himself, and the celestial Rishis, and those Rishis called Valakhillyas, and all beings born of females and all those not born of females, and whatever else is seen in the three worlds—both mobile and immobile, were all seen by me there, know O king. And eighty thousand Rishis with vital seed drawn up, and O Pandu, fifty thousand Rishis having sons, were all seen by me there. And all the dwellers in heaven repairing thither behold the Supreme Deity when they please, and worshipping him with a bow of their head return whence they came. And, O king of men, the Grandsire of all created beings, the Soul of the universe, the Self create Brahma of immeasurable intelligence and glory, equally kind unto all creatures, honoureth as they deserve, and gratifieth with sweet speech and gift of wealth and other enjoyable articles, the gods, the Daityas, the Nagas, the Brahmanas, the Yakshas, the Birds, the Kaleyas, the Gandharvas, the Apsaras, and all other exalted beings that came to him as his guests. And that delicious Sabha, O child, is always crowded with persons coming and going. Filled with every kind of energy, and worshipped by Brahmarshis, that celestial Sabha blazes forth with the graceful possessions of Brahma and looks extremely handsome, O tiger among kings as this Sabha of yours is unrivalled in the world of men, so is that Sabha of Brahma, seen by me unrivalled in all the worlds. I have seen these Sabhas, O Bharata, in regions of the celestials. This thy Sabha is unquestionably the foremost in the world of men!'
"Yudhishthira said,—'O thou foremost of eloquent men, as thou hast described the different Sabhas unto me, it appeareth that almost all the monarchs of the earth are to be found in the Sabha of Yama. And, O master, almost all the Nagas, and principal Daityas, and rivers, and oceans, are to be found in the Sabha of Varuna. And so the Yakshas, the Guhyakas, the Rakshasas, the Gandharvas and Apsaras and the Deity (Yama) having the bull for his vehicle, are to be found in the Sabha of the lord of treasures. Thou hast said that in the Sabha of the Grandsire are to be seen all the great Rishis, all the gods, all the branches of learning. As regards the Sabha of Sakra, however, thou hast named, O Muni, all the gods, the Gandharvas, and various Rishis. But, O great Muni, thou hast mentioned one and only one king, viz., the royal Rishi Harishchandra as living in the Sabha of the illustrious chief of the gods. What act was performed by that celebrated king, or what ascetic penances with steady vows, in consequence of which he hath been equal to Indra himself? O Brahmana, how didst thou also meet with my father, the exalted Pandu, now a guest in the region of the Pitris? O exalted one of excellent vows hath he told thee anything? O tell me all as I am exceedingly curious to hear all this from thee.'
"Narada said,—'O king of kings, I shall tell thee all that thou askest me about Harischandra, I shall presently tell thee of his high excellence. He was a powerful king, in fact, an emperor over all the kings of the earth. Indeed, all the kings of the earth obeyed his sway. O monarch, mounted alone upon a victorious car adorned with gold, that king by the prowess of his weapons brought the whole earth with her seven islands under his sway. And, O monarch, having subjugated the whole earth with her mountains, forests, and woods, he made preparations for the great sacrifice called the Rajasuya. And all the kings of the earth brought at his command wealth unto that sacrifice. All of them consented to become distributors of food and gifts unto the Brahmanas that were fed on the occasion. At that sacrifice king Harishchandra gave away unto all who asked, wealth that was five times what each had solicited. At the conclusion of the sacrifice, the king gratified the Brahmanas that came from various countries with large presents of various kinds of wealth. The Brahmanas gratified with various kinds of food and enjoyable articles, given away unto them to the extent of their desires, and with the heaps of jewels distributed amongst them, began to say,—"King Harischandra is superior to all kings in energy and renown."—And know, O monarch, O bull of the Bharata race, it was for this reason that Harischandra shone more brightly than thousands of other kings. The powerful Harischandra having concluded his great sacrifice, became installed, O king, in the sovereignty of the earth and looked resplendent on his throne. O bull of the Bharata race, all those monarchs that perform the sacrifice of Rajasuya, (attaining to the region of Indra) pass their time in felicity in Indra's company. And, O bull of the Bharata race, those kings also that yield up their lives without turning their backs on the field of battle attain to the mansion of Indra and live in joy with him. Those again that yield up their bodies after severe ascetic penances also attain to the same region and shine brightly there for ages. O king of the Kuru race, O son of Kunti, thy father Pandu, beholding the good fortune of Harischandra and wondering much thereat, hath told thee something. Knowing that I was coming to the world of men, he bowed unto me and said,—"Thou shouldst tell Yudhishthira, O Rishi, that he can subjugate the whole Earth inasmuch as his brothers are all obedient to him. And having done this let him commence the grand sacrifice called Rajasuya. He is my son; if he performeth that sacrifice, I may, like Harischandra, soon attain to the region of Indra, and there in his Sabha pass countless years in continuous joy." I told him in reply,—"O King, I shall tell thy son all this, if I go to the world of man." I have now told thee what he said, O tiger among men. Accomplish then, O son of Pandu, the desires of thy father. If thou performest that sacrifice, thou shall then be able to go, along with thy deceased ancestors, into the same region that is inhabited by the chief of the immortals. It hath been said,—O king, that the performance of this great sacrifice is attended with many obstacles. A class of Rakshasas called Brahma Rakshasas, employed in obstructing all sacrifices, always search for loop-holes when this great sacrifice is commenced. On the commencement of such a sacrifice a war may take place destroying the Kshatriyas and even furnishing occasion for the destruction of the whole Earth. A slight obstacle may involve the whole Earth in ruin. Reflecting upon all this, O king of kings do what is for thy good. Be thou watchful and ready in protecting the four orders of thy subjects. Grow, thou in prosperity, and enjoy thou felicity. Gratify thou the Brahmanas with gifts of wealth. I have now answered in detail all that thou hast asked me. With thy leave I will now go to the city (Dwaravati) of that Dasarhas.'"
Vaisampayana said,—"O Janamejaya, having said this unto the son of Pritha, Narada went away, accompanied by those Rishis with whom he had come. And after Narada had gone away, king Yudhishthira, O thou of the Kuru race, began to think, along with his brothers, of that foremost of sacrifices called Rajasuya."
Vaisampayana said,—"Yudhishthira, having heard these words of Narada, began to sigh heavily. And, O Bharata, engaged in his thoughts about the Rajasuya, the king had no peace of mind. Having heard of this glory of the illustrious monarchs (of old) and being certain about the acquisition of regions of felicity by performers of sacrifices in consequence of their sacred deeds, and thinking especially of that royal sage Harischandra who had performed the great sacrifice king Yudhishthira desired to make preparations for the Rajasuya sacrifice. Then worshipping his counsellors and others present at his Sabha, and worshipped by them in return, he began to discuss with them about that sacrifice. Having reflected much, that king of kings, that bull amongst the Kurus, inclined his mind towards making preparations for the Rajasuya. That prince of wonderful energy and prowess, however, reflecting upon virtue and righteousness, again set his heart to find out what would be for the good of all his people. For Yudhishthira, that foremost of all virtuous men, always kind unto his subjects, worked for the good of all without making any distinctions. Indeed, shaking off both anger and arrogance, Yudhishthira always said,— 'Give unto each what is due to each,'—and the only sounds that he could hear were,—'Blessed be Dharma! Blessed be Dharma!' Yudhishthira conducting himself thus and giving paternal assurance to everybody, there was none in the kingdom who entertained any hostile feelings towards him. He therefore came to be called Ajatasatru (one with no enemy at all). The king cherished every one as belonging to his family, and Bhima ruled over all justly. Arjuna, used to employing both his hands with equal skill, protected the people from (external) enemies. And the wise Sahadeva administered justice impartially. And Nakula behaved towards all with humility that was natural to him. Owing to all this, the kingdom became free from disputes and fear of every kind. And all the people became attentive to their respective occupations. The rain became so abundant as to leave no room for desiring more; and the kingdom grew in prosperity. And in consequence of the virtues of the king, money-lenders, the articles required for sacrifices, cattle-rearing, tillage, and traders, all and everything grew in prosperity. Indeed, during the reign of Yudhishthira who was ever devoted to truth, there was no extortion, no stringent realisation of arrears of rent, no fear of disease, of fire, or of death by poisoning and incantations, in the kingdom. It was never heard at that time that thieves or cheats or royal favourites ever behaved wrongfully towards the king or towards one another amongst themselves. Kings conquered on the six occasions (of war, treaty, &c) were wont to wait upon him in order to do good unto the monarch and worship him ever, while the traders of different classes came to pay him the taxes leviable on their respective occupations. And accordingly during the reign of Yudhishthira who was ever devoted to virtue, his dominion grew in prosperity. Indeed, the prosperity of the kingdom was increased not by these alone but even by persons wedded to voluptuousness and indulging in all luxuries to their fill. And the king of kings, Yudhishthira, whose sway extended over all, was possessed of every accomplishment and bore everything with patience. And, O king, whatever countries the celebrated and illustrious monarch conquered, the people everywhere, from Brahmanas to swains, were all more attached to him than to their own fathers and mothers."
Vaisampayana said,—"King Yudhishthira, then, that foremost of speakers, summoning together his counsellors and brothers, asked them repeatedly about the Rajasuya sacrifice. Those ministers in a body, thus asked by the wise Yudhishthira desirous of performing the sacrifice, then told him these words of grave import,—'One already in possession of a kingdom desireth all the attributes of an emperor by means of that sacrifice which aideth a king in acquiring the attributes of Varuna. O prince of Kuru race, thy friends think that as thou art worthy of the attributes of an emperor, the time is even come for thee for the performance of the Rajasuya sacrifice. The time for the performance of that sacrifice in which Rishis of austere vows kindle six fires with mantras of the Sama Veda, is come for thee in consequence of thy Kshatriya possessions. At the conclusion of the Rajasuya sacrifice when the performer is installed in the sovereignty of the empire, he is rewarded with the fruits of all sacrifices including the Agnihotra. It is for this that he is called the conqueror of all. Thou art quite able, O strong-armed one, to perform this sacrifice. All of us are obedient to thee. Soon will you be able, O great king, to perform the Rajasuya sacrifice. Therefore, O great king, let thy resolution be taken to perform this sacrifice without further discussion.' Thus spoke unto the king all his friends and counsellors separately and jointly. And, O king, Yudhishthira that slayer of all enemies, having heard these virtuous, bold, agreeable and weighty words of theirs, accepted them mentally. And having heard those words of his friends and counsellors, and knowing his own strength also, the king, O Bharata, repeatedly thought over the matter. After this the intelligent and virtuous Yudhishthira, wise in counsel, again consulted with his brothers, with the illustrious Ritwijas about him, with his ministers and with Dhaumya and Dwaipayana and others."
"Yudhishthira said,—'How may this wish that I entertain of performing the excellent sacrifice of Rajasuya that is worthy of an emperor, bear fruit, in consequence of my faith and speech alone.'"
Vaisampayana said,—"O thou of eyes like lotus-petals, thus asked by the king, they replied at that time unto Yudhishthira the just in these words,—'Being conversant with the dictates of morality, thou art, O king, worthy to perform the grand sacrifice of Rajasuya.' After the Ritwijas and the Rishis had told these words unto the king, his ministers and brothers highly approved of the speech. The king, however, possessed of great wisdom, and with mind under complete control, actuated by the desire of doing good unto the world, again resolved the matter in his mind, thinking of his own strength and means, the circumstances of time and place and his income and expenditure. For he knew that the wise never come to grief owing to their always acting after full deliberation. Thinking that the sacrifice should not be commenced, pursuant to his own resolution only, Yudhishthira, carefully bearing upon his shoulder the weight of affairs thought of Krishna that persecutor of all sinners as the fittest person to decide the matter, in as much as he knew him to be the foremost of all persons, possessed of immeasurable energy, strong-armed, without birth but born amongst men from Will alone. Reflecting upon his god-like feats the son of Pandu concluded that there was nothing that was unknown to him, nothing that he could not achieve, and nothing that he could not bear, and Yudhishthira, the son of Pritha, having come to this settled resolution soon sent a messenger unto that master of all beings, conveying through him blessings and speeches such as one senior in age might send to one that is younger. And that messenger riding in a swift car arrived amongst the Yadavas and approached Krishna who was then residing in Dwaravati. And Achyuta (Krishna) hearing that the son of Pritha had become desirous of seeing him, desired to see his cousin. And quickly passing over many regions, being drawn by his own swift horses, Krishna arrived at Indraprastha, accompanied by Indrasena. And having arrived at Indraprastha, Janardana approached Yudhisthira without loss of time. And Yudhisthira received Krishna with paternal-affection, and Bhima also received him likewise. And Janardana then went with a cheerful heart to his father's sister (Kunti). And worshipped then with reverence by the twins, he began to converse cheerfully with his friend Arjuna who was overjoyed at seeing him. And after he had rested awhile in a pleasant apartment and had been fully refreshed, Yudhishthira approached him at his leisure and informed him all about the Rajasuya sacrifice.
"Yudhishthira said,—'I have wished to perform the Rajasuya sacrifice. That sacrifice, however, cannot be performed by one's wishing alone to perform it. Thou knowest, O Krishna, even thing about the means by which it may be accomplished. He alone can achieve this sacrifice in whom everything is possible, who is worshipped everywhere and who is the king of kings. My friends and counsellors approaching me have said that I should perform that sacrifice. But, O Krishna, in respect of that matter, thy words shall be my guide. Of counsellers some from friendship do not notice the difficulties; others from motives of self-interest say only what is agreeable. Some again regard that which is beneficial to themselves as worthy of adoption. Men are seen to counsel thus on matters awaiting decision. But thou, O Krishna, art above such motives. Thou hast conquered both desire and anger. It behoveth thee to tell me what is most beneficial to the world.'
"Krishna said,—'O great king, thou art a worthy possessor of all the qualities essential for the performance of the Rajasuya sacrifice. Thou knowest everything, O Bharata. I shall, however, still tell thee something. Those persons in the world that now go by the name of Kshatriyas are inferior (in everything) to those Kshatriyas that Rama, the son of Jamadagnya, exterminated. O lord of the earth, O bull of the Bharata race, thou knowest what form of rule these Kshatriyas, guided by the instructions traditionally handed down from generation to generation, have established amongst their own order, and how far they are competent to perform the Rajasuya sacrifice. The numerous royal lines and other ordinary Kshatriyas all represent themselves to be the descendants of Aila and Ikshwaku. The descendants of Aila, O king, as, indeed, the kings of Ikshwaku's race, are, know O bull of the Bharata race, each divided into a hundred separate dynasties. The descendants of Yayati and the Bhojas are great, both in extent (number) and accomplishments. O king, these last are to-day scattered all over the earth. And all the Kshatriyas worship the prosperity of those monarchs. At present, however, O monarch, king Jarasandha, overcoming that prosperity enjoyed by their whole order, and overpowering them by his energy hath set himself over the heads of all these kings. And Jarasandha, enjoying the sovereignty over the middle portion of the earth (Mathura), resolved to create a disunion amongst ourselves. O monarch, the king who is the lord paramount of all kings, and in whom alone the dominion of the universe is centered, properly deserves to be called an emperor. And, O monarch, king Sisupala endued with great energy, hath placed himself under his protection and hath become the generalissimo of his forces. And, O great king, the mighty Vaka, the king of the Karushas, capable of fighting by putting forth his powers of illusion, waiteth, upon Jarasandha, as his disciple. There are two others, Hansa and Dimvaka, of great energy and great soul, who have sought the shelter of the mighty Jarasandha. There are others also viz., Dantavakra, Karusha, Karava, Meghavahana, that wait upon Jarasandha. He also that beareth on his head that gem which is known as the most wonderful on earth, that king of the Yavanas, who hath chastised Muru and Naraka, whose power is unlimited, and who ruleth the west like another Varuna, who is called Bhagadatta, and who is the old friend of thy father, hath bowed his head before Jarasandha, by speech and specially by act. In his heart, however, tied as he is by affection to thee, he regardeth thee as a father regardeth his child. O king, that lord of the earth who hath his dominions on the west and the south, who is thy maternal uncle and who is called Purujit, that brave perpetuator of the Kunti race, that slayer of all foes, is the single king that regardeth thee from affection. He whom I did not formerly slay, that wicked wretch amongst the Chedis, who represented himself in this world as a divine personage and who hath become known also