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Chapter 193

Mahabharata English - ADI PARVA

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Then those illustrious sons of Pritha, on returningto the potter’s abode, approached their mother. And those first of menrepresented Yajnaseni unto their mother as the alms they had obtainedthat day.

And Kunti who was there within the room and saw not her sons,replied, saying, ‘Enjoy ye all (what ye have obtained).’ The momentafter, she beheld Krishna and then she said, ‘Oh, what have I said?’ Andanxious from fear of sin, and reflecting how every one could beextricated from the situation, she took the cheerful Yajnaseni by thehand, and approaching Yudhishthira said, ‘The daughter of king Yajnasenaupon being represented to me by thy younger brothers as the alms they hadobtained, from ignorance, O king, I said what was proper, viz., ‘Enjoy yeall what hath been obtained. O thou bull of the Kuru race, tell me how myspeech may not become untrue; how sin may not touch the daughter of theking of Panchala, and how also she may not become uneasy.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Thus addressed by his mother that hero amongmen, that foremost scion of the Kuru race, the intelligent king(Yudhishthira), reflecting for a moment, consoled Kunti, and addressingDhananjaya, said, ‘By thee, O Phalguna, hath Yajnaseni been won. It isproper, therefore, that thou shouldst wed her. O thou withstander of allfoes, igniting the sacred fire, take thou her hand with due rites.’

“Arjuna, hearing this, replied, ‘O king, do not make me a participator insin. Thy behest is not conformable to virtue. That is the path followedby the sinful. Thou shouldst wed first, then the strong-armed Bhima ofinconceivable feats, then myself, then Nakula, and last of all, Sahadevaendued with great activity. Both Vrikodara and myself, and the twins andthis maiden also, all await, O monarch, thy commands. When such is thestate of things, do that, after reflection, which would be proper, andconformable virtue, and productive of fame, and beneficial unto the kingof Panchala. All of us are obedient to thee. O, command us as thoulikest.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Hearing these words of Jishnu, so full ofrespect and affection, the Pandavas all cast their eyes upon the princessof Panchala. And the princess of Panchala also looked at them all. Andcasting their glances on the illustrious Krishna, those princes looked atone another. And taking their seats, they began to think of Draupadialone. Indeed, after those princes of immeasurable energy had looked atDraupadi, the God of Desire invaded their hearts and continued to crushall their senses. As the lavishing beauty of Panchali who had beenmodelled by the Creator himself, was superior to that of all other womenon earth, it could captivate the heart of every creature. AndYudhishthira, the son of Kunti, beholding his younger brothers,understood what was passing in their minds. And that bull among menimmediately recollected the words of Krishna-Dwaipayana. And the king,then, from fear of a division amongst the brothers, addressing all ofthem, said, ‘The auspicious Draupadi shall be the common wife of us all.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘The sons of Pandu, then, hearing those words oftheir eldest brother, began to revolve them in their minds in greatcheerfulness. The hero of the Vrishni race (Krishna suspecting the fivepersons he had seen at the Swayamvara to be none else than the heroes ofthe Kuru race), came accompanied by the son of Rohini (Valadeva), to thehouse of the potter where those foremost of men had taken up theirquarters. On arriving there, Krishna and Valadeva beheld seated in thatpotter’s house Ajatasanu (Yudhishthira) of well developed and long arms,and his younger brothers passing the splendour of fire sitting aroundhim. Then Vasudeva approaching that foremost of virtuous men–the son ofKunti–and touching the feet of that prince of the Ajamida race, said, ‘Iam Krishna.’ And the son of Rohini (Valadeva) also approachingYudhishthira, did the same. And the Pandavas, beholding Krishna andValadeva, began to express great delight. And, O thou foremost of theBharata race, those heroes of the Yadu race thereafter touched also thefeet of Kunti, their father’s sister. And Ajatasatru, that foremost ofthe Kuru race, beholding Krishna, enquired after his well-being andasked, ‘How, O Vasudeva, hast thou been able to trace us, as we areliving in disguise?’ And Vasudeva, smilingly answered, ‘O king, fire,even if it is covered, can be known. Who else among men than the Pandavascould exhibit such might? Ye resisters of all foes, ye sons of Pandu, bysheer good fortune have ye escaped from that fierce fire. And it is bysheer good fortune alone that the wicked son of Dhritarashtra and hiscounsellors have not succeeded in accomplishing their wishes. Blest beye! And grow ye in prosperity like a fire in a cave gradually growing andspreading itself all around. And lest any of the monarchs recognise ye,let us return to our tent.’ Then, obtaining Yudhishthira’s leave, Krishnaof prosperity knowing no decrease, accompanied by Valadeva, hastily wentaway from the potter’s abode.'”

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