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Chapter 141

Mahabharata English - ADI PARVA

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘After the expiration, O king, of a year fromthis, Dhritarashtra, moved by kindness for the people, installedYudhishthira, the son of Pandu, as the heir-apparent of the kingdom onaccount of his firmness, fortitude, patience, benevolence, frankness andunswerving honesty (of heart).

And within a short time Yudhishthira, theson of Kunti, by his good behaviour, manners and close application tobusiness, overshadowed the deeds of his father. And the second Pandava,Vrikodara, began to receive continued lessons from Sankarshana (Valarama)in encounters with the sword and the mace and on the chariot. And afterBhima’s education was finished, he became in strength like untoDyumatsena himself and continuing to live in harmony with his brothers,he began to exert his prowess. And Arjuna became celebrated for thefirmness of his grasp (of weapons), for his lightness of motion,precision of aim, and his proficiency in the use of the Kshura, Naracha,Vala and Vipatha weapons, indeed, of all weapons, whether straight orcrooked or heavy. And Drona certified that there was none in the worldwho was equal to Arjuna in lightness of hand and general proficiency.

“One day, Drona, addressing Arjuna before the assembled Kaurava princes,said, ‘There was a disciple of Agastya in the science of arms calledAgnivesa. He was my preceptor and I, his disciple. By ascetic merit Iobtained from him a weapon called Brahmasira which could never be futileand which was like unto thunder itself, capable of consuming the wholeearth. That weapon, O Bharata, from what I have done, may now pass fromdisciple to disciple. While imparting it to me, my preceptor said, ‘O sonof Bharadwaja, never shouldst thou hurl this weapon at any human being,especially at one who is of poor energy. Thou hast, O hero, obtained thatcelestial weapon. None else deserveth it. But obey the command of theRishi (Agnivesa). And, look here, Arjuna, give me now the preceptorialfee in the presence of these thy cousins and relatives.’ When Arjuna, onhearing this, pledged his word that he would give what the preceptordemanded, the latter said, ‘O sinless one, thou must fight with me when Ifight with thee.’ And that bull among the Kuru princes thereupon pledgedhis word unto Drona and touching his feet, went away northward. Thenthere arose a loud shout covering the whole earth bounded by her belt ofseas to the effect that there was no bowman in the whole world like untoArjuna. And, indeed, Dhananjaya, in encounters with the mace and thesword and on the chariot as also with the bow, acquired wonderfulproficiency. Sahadeva obtained the whole science of morality and dutiesfrom (Vrihaspati) the spiritual chief of celestials, and continued tolive under the control of his brothers. And Nakula, the favourite of hisbrothers taught by Drona, became known as a skilful warrior and a greatcar-warrior (Ati-ratha). Indeed, Arjuna and the other Pandava princesbecame so powerful that they slew in battle the great Sauvira who hadperformed a sacrifice extending over three years, undaunted by the raidsof the Gandharvas. And the king of the Yavanas himself whom the powerfulPandu even had failed to bring under subjection was brought by Arjunaunder control. Then again Vipula, the king of the Sauviras, endued withgreat prowess, who had always shown a disregard for the Kurus, was madeby the intelligent Arjuna to feel the edge of his power. And Arjuna alsorepressed by means of his arrows (the pride of) king Sumitra of Sauvira,also known by the name of Dattamitra who had resolutely sought anencounter with him. The third of the Pandava princes, assisted by Bhima,on only a single car subjugated all the kings of the East backed by tenthousand cars. In the same way, having conquered on a single car thewhole of the south, Dhananjaya sent unto the kingdom of the Kurus a largebooty.

“Thus did those foremost of men, the illustrious Pandavas, conquering theterritories of other kings, extend the limits of their own kingdom. Butbeholding the great prowess and strength of those mighty bowmen, kingDhritarashtra’s sentiments towards the Pandavas became suddenly poisoned,and from that day the monarch became so anxious that he could hardlysleep.'”



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