Chapter 72

Mahabharata English - ASWAMEDHA PARVA

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Thus addressed by Krishna, Yudhishthira, the son ofDharma, endued with great intelligence, saluted Vyasa and said thesewords: ‘Do thou cause me to be initiated when the proper hour, as thoutruly knowest, comes for that rite. This my sacrifice is entirelydependent on thee.’

“Vyasa said, ‘Myself, O son of Kunti, and Paila and Yajnavalkya, shallwithout doubt, achieve every rite at the proper time. The rite ofinitiating thee will be performed on the day of full moon belonging tothe month of Chaitra. Let all the necessaries of the sacrifice, Oforemost of men, be got ready. Let Sutas well-versed in the science ofhorses, and let Brahmanas also possessed of the same lore, select, afterexamination, a worthy horse in order that thy sacrifice maybe completed.Loosening the animal according to the injunctions of the scriptures, lethim wander over the whole Earth with her belt of seas, displaying thyblazing glory, O king!’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Thus addressed (by the Rishi), Yudhishthira,the son of Pandu, that lord of Earth, answered,–‘So be it!’–and then, Omonarch, he accomplished all that that utterer of Brahma had directed.All the articles necessary for the sacrifice, O king, were duly procured.The royal son of Dharma, possessed of immeasurable soul, having procuredall the necessaries, informed the Island-born Krishna of it. Then Vyasaof great energy said unto the royal son of Dharma,–‘As regardsourselves, we are all prepared to initiate thee in view of the sacrifice.Let the Sphya and the Kurcha and all the other articles that, O thou ofKuru’s race, may be needed for thy sacrifice, be made of gold.[189] Letthe horse also be loosened today, for roaming on the Earth, agreeably tothe ordinances of the scriptures. Let the animal, duly protected, wanderover the Earth.’

“Yudhishthira said, ‘Let arrangements be made by thee, O regenerate one,about loosening this horse for enabling it to wander over the Earth atits will. It behoveth thee, O ascetic, to say who will protect this steedwhile roaming over the Earth freely according to its will.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Thus addressed (by king Yudhishthira), Omonarch, the Island-born Krishna said,–‘He who is born after Bhimasena,who is the foremost of all bowmen, who is called Jishnu, who is enduedwith great patience and capable of overcoming all resistance,–he willprotect the horse. That destroyer of the Nivatakavachas is competent toconquer the whole Earth. In him are all celestial weapons. His body islike that of a celestial in its powers of endurance. His bow and quiversare celestial. Even he will follow this horse.–He is well versed in bothReligion and wealth. He is a master of all the sciences. O foremost ofkings, he will agreeably to the scriptures, cause the steed to roam andgraze at its will. This mighty-armed prince, of dark complexion, isendued with eyes resembling the petals of the lotus. That hero, thefather of Abhimanyu, will protect the steed. Bhimasena also is enduedwith great energy. The son of Kunti is possessed of immeasurable might.He is competent to protect the kingdom, aided by Nakula, O monarch.Possessed of great intelligence and fame, Sahadeva will, O thou of Kuru’srace, duly attend to all the relatives that have been invited to thycapital.’ Thus addressed by the Rishi, that perpetuator of Kuru’s race,viz., Yudhishthira, accomplished every injunction duly and appointedPhalguna to attend to the horse.’

“Yudhishthira said, ‘Come, O Arjuna, let the horse, O hero, be protectedby thee. Thou alone art competent to protect it, and none else. Thosekings, O mighty-armed hero, who will come forward to encounter thee, try,O sinless one, to avoid battles with them to the best of thy power. Thoushouldst also invite them all to this sacrifice of mine. Indeed, Omighty-armed one go forth but try to establish friendly relations withthem.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘The righteous-souled king Yudhishthira, havingsaid so unto his brother Savyasachin, commanded Bhima and Nakula toprotect the city. With the permission of king Dhritarashtra, Yudhishthirathen set Sahadeva, that foremost of warriors, to wait upon all theinvited guests.'”

Chapter 73
Chapter 71
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