Chapter 66

Mahabharata English - ASWAMEDHA PARVA

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Meanwhile, Vasudeva of great energy accompanied bythe Vrishnis, came to the city called after the elephant. While leavingthat city for returning to his own Dwaraka, he had been requested by theson of Dharma to come back. Hence, knowing that the time fixed for thehorse-sacrifice had come, that foremost of men came back (to the Kurucapital). Accompanied by the son of Rukmini, by Yuyudhana, byCharudeshna, by Samva, by Gada, by Kritavarman, by the heroic Sarana, byNisatha, and by the Unmukha, Vasudeva came with Valadeva at the head ofthe train, with Subhadra also accompanying him. Indeed, that hero camefor seeing Draupadi and Uttara and Pirtha and for comforting thoseKshatriya ladies of distinction who had been bereft of many of theirprotectors. Beholding those heroes come, king Dhritarashtra, as also thehigh-souled Vidura, received them with due honours. That foremost of men,viz., Krishna of great energy, well adored by Vidura and Yuyutsu,continued to reside in the Kuru capital. It was while the Vrishni heroes,O Janamejaya, were residing in the Kuru city, O king, that thy sire, thatslayer of hostile heroes, was born. The royal Parikshit, O monarch,afflicted by the Brahma weapon (of Aswatthaman), upon coming out of thewomb, lay still and motionless, for life he had not. By his birth he hadgladdened the citizens but soon plunged them into grief. The citizens,learning of the birth of the prince, uttered a leonine shout. That noiseproceeded to the utmost verge of every point of the compass. Soon,however, (when it was known that the prince was bereft of life), thatnoise ceased. With great haste Krishna, his senses and mind considerablyaffected, with Yuyudhana in his company, entered the inner apartments ofthe palace. He beheld his own paternal aunt (Kunti) coming, loudlyweeping and calling upon him repeatedly. Behind her were Draupadi and thefamous Subhadra, and the wives of the relatives of the Pandavas, allweeping piteously. Meeting Krishna, Kunti, that daughter of the Bhojarace, said unto him, O foremost of monarchs, these words in a voicechocked with tears, ‘O Vasudeva, O mighty-armed hero, Devaki by havingborne thee, has come to be regarded as an excellent genetrix. Thou artour refuge, and our glory. This race (of Pandu) depends upon thee for itsprotector. O Yadava hero, O puissant one, this child of thy sister’s son,has come out of the womb, slain by Aswatthaman. O Kesava, do thou revivehim. O delighter of the Yadavas, even this was vowed by thee, O puissantone, when Aswatthaman had inspired the blade of grass into aBrahma-weapon of mighty energy. Indeed, O Kesava, thy words were eventhese, I shall revive that child if he comes out of the womb dead.–Thatchild, O son, has been born dead. Behold him, O foremost of men. Itbehoveth thee, O Madhava, to rescue Uttara and Subhadra and Draupadi andmyself, and Dharma’s son (Yudhishthira), and Bhima and Phalguna, andNakula, and the irresistible Sahadeva. In this child are bound thelife-breaths of the Pandavas and myself. O thou of the Dasarha race, onhim depends the obsequial cake of Pandu, as also of my father-in-law, andof Abhimanyu too, blessed be thou, that darling nephew of thine who wasso very like unto thee. Do thou accomplish today what will be beneficialto all these. I urge thee earnestly, O Janarddana. Uttara, O slayer offoes, always repeats the words said unto her by Abhimanyu. Without doubt,O Krishna, those words were highly agreeable to her. O thou of theDasarha race, Arjuna’s son said unto this daughter of Virata,–Thy son, Oblessed girl, will go to my maternal uncles. Taking up his residence withthe Vrishnis and Andhakas, he will obtain from them the science of arms,indeed, diverse wonderful weapons and the whole of the science ofpolitics and morality. Even these were the words, O son, that that slayerof hostile heroes, viz., the son of Subhadra, that irresistible hero,said unto Uttara. from his affection for her. O slayer of Madhu, bowingour heads unto thee, we pray thee for making those words of Abhimanyutrue. In view also of the time that has come, do thou accomplish what ishighly beneficial. Having said these words unto that hero of theVrishni’s race, Pritha of large eyes, raised her arms upwards and withthe other ladies in her company, fell down on the Earth. All of them,with eyes rendered muddy by tears, repeatedly exclaimed, saying, ‘Alas,the son of Vasudeva’s nephew has been born dead.’ After Kunti had saidso, Janarddana took hold of her, O Bharata, and gently raising her fromthe Earth, comforted her as follows.'”

Chapter 67
Chapter 65
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