“Vaisampayana said, Then prince Duryodhana, along with his brothers beganto gradually win over the people to his side by grants of wealth andhonours. Meanwhile, some clever councillors, instructed by Dhritarashtra,one day began to describe (in court) the town of Varanavata as a charmingplace.
And they said, The festival of Pasupati (Siva) hath commenced inthe town of Varanavata. The concourse of people is great and theprocession is the most delightful of all ever witnessed on earth. Deckedwith every ornament, it charmed the hearts of all spectators.’ Thus didthose councillors, instructed by Dhritarashtra, speak of Varanavata, andwhilst they were so speaking, the Pandavas, O king, felt the desire ofgoing to that delightful town. And when the king (Dhritarashtra)ascertained that the curiosity of the Pandavas had been awakened, the sonof Ambika addressed them, saying, ‘These men of mine often speak ofVaranavata as the most delightful town in the world. If therefore, yechildren, ye desire to witness that festival, go to Varanavata with yourfollowers and friends and enjoy yourselves there like the celestials. Andgive ye away pearls and gems unto the Brahmanas and the musicians (thatmay be assembled there). And sporting there for some time as ye pleaselike the resplendent celestials and enjoying as much pleasure as ye like,return ye to Hastinapura again.’
“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Yudhishthira, fully understanding the motivesof Dhritarashtra and considering that he himself was weak and friendless,replied unto the king, saying, ‘So be it.’ Then addressing Bhishma, theson of Santanu, the wise Vidura, Drona, Valhika, the Kaurava, Somadatta,Kripa, Aswatthaman, Bhurisravas, and the other councillors, and Brahmanasand ascetics, and the priests and the citizens, and the illustriousGandhari, he said slowly and humbly, ‘With our friends and followers wego to the delightful and populous town of Varanavata at the command ofDhritarashtra. Cheerfully give us your benedictions so that acquiringprosperity, therewith we may not be touched by sin.’ Thus addressed bythe eldest of Pandu’s sons, the Kaurava chiefs all cheerfully pronouncedblessings on them, saying, ‘Ye sons of Pandu, let all the elements blessyou along your way and let not the slightest evil befall you.’
“The Pandavas, having performed propitiatory rites for obtaining (theirshare of) the kingdom, and finishing their preparations, set out forVaranavata.'”