Chapter 52

Mahabharata English - ASWAMEDHA PARVA

“Vaisampayana said, ‘After this, Krishna ordered Daruka, saying–Let mycar be yoked.–Within a very short space of time Daruka informed (hismaster), saying,–It has been yoked.–The son of Pandu then commanded allhis attendants, saying,–Prepare yourselves and be ready. We shall repairto-day to the city named after the elephant. Thus addressed, O king,those troops accoutred themselves, and informed Pritha’s son ofimmeasurable energy, saying,–Everything is equipt. Then those two, viz.,Krishna and the son of Pandu, ascended their car and proceeded on thejourney, the loving friends engaged the while in delightful conversation.Unto Vasudeva seated on the car, Dhananjaya of great energy once moresaid these words, O chief of Bharata’s race!–O perpetuator of theVrishni race, the king has obtained victory through thy grace. All hisfoes have been slain, and he has recovered his kingdom without a thorn init (to make it disagreeable). O slayer of Madhu, through thee thePandavas are endued with a powerful protector. Having obtained thee forour raft we have crossed the Kuru ocean. O thou that hast this universefor thy handiwork, salutations to thee, O Soul of the universe, O best ofall beings in the universe. I know thee in that measure in which I amapproved by thee.[165] O slayer of Madhu, the soul of every creature isalways born of thy energy. Playful sport (in the from of creation,preservation, and destruction) is thine. Earth and sky, O lord, are thyillusion. This whole universe, consisting of mobile and immobile objects,is established on thee. Thou createst, by modification, the four ordersof Being (viz., viviparous, oviparous, filth-born, and vegetables). Thoucreatest the Earth, the Welkin, and Heaven, O slayer of Madhu. Thestainless lunar light is thy smile. The seasons are thy senses. Theever-moving wind is thy breath, and death, existing eternally, is thywrath. In thy grace is the goddess of prosperity. Verily, Sree is alwaysestablished in thee, O thou of the highest intelligence. Thou art thesport (in which creatures engage); thou art their contentment; thou theirintelligence, thou their forgiveness, thou their inclinations, thou theirbeauty. Thou art the universe with its mobile and immobile objects. Atthe end of the cycle, it is thou, O sinless one, that art calleddestruction. I am incapable of reciting all thy qualities in course ofeven a long period. Thou art the Soul and the Supreme Soul. I bow tothee, O thou of eyes like the petals of the lotus. O thou that artirresistible, I have learnt it from Narada and Devala and the Island-born(Vyasa), and the Kuru grandsire also, that all this (universe) rests onthee. Thou art the one Lord of all creatures. This, O sinless one, thatthou hast declared unto me in consequence of thy favour for myself, Ishall duly accomplish in its entirety, O Janarddana. Exceedinglywonderful is this which thou hast done from desire of doing what isagreeable to us, viz., the destruction in battle of the Kaurava (prince),the son of Dhritarashtra. Thai host had been burnt by thee which I(subsequently) vanquished in battle. That feat was achieved by thee inconsequence of which victory became mine. By the power of thyintelligence was shown the means by which was duly affected thedestruction of Duryodhana in battle, as also of Karna, as of the sinfulicing of the Sindhus; and Bhurisravas. I shall accomplish all that which,O son of Devaki, pleased with me thou hast declared to myself. I do notentertain any scruple in this. Repairing to king Yudhishthira ofrighteous soul, I shall, O sinless one, urge him to dismiss thee, O thouthat art conversant with every duty. O lord, thy departure for Dwarakameets with my approbation. Thou shalt soon see my maternal uncle, OJanarddana. Thou shalt also see the irresistible Valadeva and otherchiefs of the Vrishni race.–Thus conversing with each other, the tworeached the city named after the elephant. They then, with cheerfulhearts, and without any anxiety, entered the palace of Dhritarashtrawhich resembled the mansion of Sakra. They then saw, O monarch, kingDhritarashtra, and Vidura of great intelligence, and king Yudhishthiraand the irresistible Bhimasena, and the two sons of Madri by Pandu; andthe unvanquished Yuyatsu, seated before Dhritarashtra and Gandhari ofgreat wisdom, and Pritha, and the beautiful Krishna, and the other ladiesof Bharata’s race with Subhadra counting first. They also saw all thoseladies that used to wait upon Gandhari. Then approaching kingDhritarashtra, those two chastisers of foes announced their names andtouched his feet. Indeed, those high-souled ones also touched the feet ofGandhari and Pritha and king Yudhishthira the Just, and Bhima. EmbracingVidura also, they enquired after his welfare. In the company of all thosepersons, Arjuna and Krishna then approached king Dhritarashtra (again).Night came and then king Dhritarashtra of great intelligence dismissedall those perpetuators of Kuru’s race as also Janarddana for retiring totheir respective chambers. Permitted by the king all of them enteredtheir respective apartments. Krishna of great energy proceeded to theapartments of Dhananjaya. Worshipped duly and furnished with every objectof comfort and enjoyment, Krishna of great intelligence passed the nightin happy sleep with Dhananjaya as his companion. When the night passedaway and morning came, the two heroes, finishing their morning rites anddealing their persons properly, proceeded to the mansion of kingYudhishthira the just. There Yudhishthira the just, of great might, satwith his ministers. The two high-souled ones, entering that well-adornedchamber, beheld king Yudhishthira the just like the two Aswins beholdingthe chief of the celestials. Meeting the king, he of Vrishni’s race asalso that foremost hero of Kuru’s race, obtaining the permission ofYudhishthira who was highly pleased with them, sat themselves down. Thenthe king, gifted with great intelligence, seeing those two friends,became desirous of addressing them. Soon that best of monarchs, thatforemost of speakers addressed them in the following words.’

“Yudhishthira said, ‘Ye heroes, ye foremost ones of Yadu’s and Kuru’srace, it seems that ye two are desirous of saying something to me. Do yesay what is in your mind. I shall soon accomplish it. Do not hesitate.’

“Thus addressed, Phalguna, well conversant with speech, humbly approachedking Yudhishthira the just and then said these words.–‘Vasudeva here, ofgreat prowess, O king, is long absent from home. He desires, with thypermission, to see his sire. Let him go, if thou thinkest it meet, to thecity of the Anarttas. It behoveth thee; O hero, to grant him permission!’

“Yudhishthira said, ‘O lotus-eyed one, blessed be thou. O slayer ofMadhu, do thou go this very day to the city of Dwaravati for seeing, Opuissant one, that foremost one of Sura’s race. O mighty-armed Kesava,thy departure is approved by me. Thou hast not seen my maternal uncle asalso the goddess Devaki, for a long time. Meeting my maternal uncle andrepairing to Valadeva also, O giver of honours, thou wilt, O thou ofgreat wisdom, worship both of them at my word as they deserve.[166] Dothou also think of me daily as also of Bhima, that foremost of mightymen, and of Phalguna and Nakula and Sahadeva, O giver of honours. Havingseen the Anarttas, and thy sire, O mighty-armed one, and the Vrishnis,thou wilt come back to my horse-sacrifice, O sinless one. Do thou thendepart, taking with thee diverse kinds of gems and various sorts ofwealth. Do thou, O hero of the Satwata race, also take with thee whateverelse thou likest. It is through thy grace, O Kesava, that the wholeEarth, O hero, has come under our dominion and all our foes have beenslain.’

When king Yudhishthira the just of Kuru’s race said so, Vasudeva, thatforemost of men, said these words (in reply).

“Vasudeva said, ‘O mighty-armed one, all jewels and gems, all wealth, andthe entire Earth, are thine and thine alone. Whatever wealth exists inmy, abode, thou, O lord, art always the owner thereof.’ Unto himYudhishthira, the son of Dharma, said,–‘Be it so’–and then dulyworshipped (Krishna) the eldest brother, endued with great energy, ofGada. Vasudeva then proceeded to his paternal aunt (Kunti). Dulyhonouring her, he circumambulated her person. He was properly accosted byher in return, and then by all the others having Vidura for their first.The four-armed eldest brother of Gada then set out from Nagapura on hisexcellent car.[167] Placing his sister, the lady Subhadra, on the car,the mighty-armed Janarddana then, with the permission of bothYudhishthira and (Kunti) his paternal aunt, set out, accompanied by alarge train of citizens. The hero who had the foremost of apes on hisbanner, as also Satyaki, and the two sons of Madravati, and Vidura ofimmeasurable intelligence, and Bhima himself whose tread resembled thatof a prince of elephants, all followed Madhava. Janarddana of mightyenergy causing all those extenders of the Kuru kingdom and Vidura also toreturn, addressed Daraka, and Satyaki, saying,–‘Urge the steeds tospeed.’ Then that grinder of hostile masses, viz., Janarddana of greatprowess, accompanied by Satyaki, the foremost one of Sini’s race,proceeded to the city of the Anarttas, after having slain all his foes,like He of a hundred sacrifices proceeding to Heaven (after slaughteringall his foes).

Chapter 53
Chapter 51
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