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Chapter 14

Mahabharata English - SABHAKRIYA PARVA

“Krishna said,–‘O great king, thou art a worthy possessor of all thequalities essential for the performance of the Rajasuya sacrifice. Thouknowest everything, O Bharata. I shall, however, still tell theesomething.

Those persons in the world that now go by the name ofKshatriyas are inferior (in everything) to those Kshatriyas that Rama,the son of Jamadagnya, exterminated.’ O lord of the earth, O bull of theBharata race, thou knowest what form of rule these Kshatriyas, guided bythe instructions traditionally handed down from generation to generation,have established amongst their own order, and how far they are competentto perform the Rajasuya sacrifice. The numerous royal lines and otherordinary Kshatriyas all represent themselves to be the descendants ofAila and Ikshwaku. The descendants of Aila, O king, as, indeed, the kingsof Ikshwaku’s race, are, know O bull of the Bharata race, each dividedinto a hundred separate dynasties. The descendants of Yayati and theBhojas are great, both in extent (number) and accomplishments. O king,these last are to-day scattered all over the earth. And all theKshatriyas worship the prosperity of those monarchs. At present, however,O monarch, king Jarasandha, overcoming that prosperity enjoyed by theirwhole order, and overpowering them by his energy hath set himself overthe heads of all these kings. And Jarasandha, enjoying the sovereigntyover the middle portion of the earth (Mathura), resolved to create adisunion amongst ourselves. O monarch, the king who is the lord paramountof all kings, and in whom alone the dominion of the universe is centered,properly deserves to be called an emperor. And, O monarch, king Sisupalaendued with great energy, hath placed himself under his protection andhath become the generalissimo of his forces. And, O great king, themighty Vaka, the king of the Karushas, capable of fighting by puttingforth his powers of illusion, waiteth, upon Jarasandha, as his disciple.There are two others, Hansa and Dimvaka, of great energy and great soul,who have sought the shelter of the mighty Jarasandha. There are othersalso viz., Dantavakra, Karusha, Karava, Meghavahana, that wait uponJarasandha. He also that beareth on his head that gem which is known asthe most wonderful on earth, that king of the Yavanas, who hath chastisedMuru and Naraka, whose power is unlimited, and who ruleth the west likeanother Varuna, who is called Bhagadatta, and who is the old friend ofthy father, hath bowed his head before Jarasandha, by speech andspecially by act. In his heart, however, tied as he is by affection tothee, he regardeth thee as a father regardeth his child. O king, thatlord of the earth who hath his dominions on the west and the south, whois thy maternal uncle and who is called Purujit, that brave perpetuatorof the Kunti race, that slayer of all foes, is the single king thatregardeth thee from affection. He whom I did not formerly slay, thatwicked wretch amongst the Chedis, who represented himself in this worldas a divine personage and who hath become known also as such, and whoalways beareth, from foolishness, the signs that distinguish me that kingof Vanga Pundra and the Kiratas, endowed with great strength, and who isknown on earth by the names of Paundraka and Vasudeva hath also espousedthe side of Jarasandha. And, O king of kings, Bhishmaka, the mighty kingof the Bhojas–the friend of Indra–the slayer of hostile heroes–whogoverns a fourth part of the world, who by his learning conquered thePandyas and the Kratha-Kausikas, whose brother the brave Akriti was likeRama, the son of Jamdagni, hath become a servitor to the king of Magadha.We are his relatives and are, therefore, engaged everyday in doing whatis agreeable unto him. But although we regard him much, still heregardeth us not and is engaged in doing us ill. And, O king, withoutknowing his own strength and the dignity of the race to which hebelongeth, he hath placed himself under Jarasandha’s shelter at sight ofthe latter’s blazing fame alone. And, O exalted one, the eighteen tribesof the Bhojas, from fear of Jarasandha, have all fled towards the west;so also have the Surasenas, the Bhadrakas, the Vodhas, the Salwas, thePatachchavas, the Susthalas, the Mukuttas, and the Kulindas, along withthe Kuntis. And the king of the Salwayana tribe with their brethren andfollowers; and the southern Panchalas and the eastern Kosalas have allfled to the country of the Kuntis. So also the Matsyas and theSannyastapadas, overcome with fear, leaving their dominions in the north,have fled into the southern country. And so all the Panchalas, alarmed atthe power of Jarasandha, have left their own kingdom and fled in alldirections. Some time before, the foolish Kansa, having persecuted theYadavas, married two of the daughters of Jarasandha. They are called Astiand Prapti and are the sister of Sahadeva. Strengthened by such analliance, the fool persecuting his relatives gained an ascendency overthem all. But by this conduct he earned great obloquy. The wretch alsobegan to oppress the old kings of the Bhoja tribe, but they, to protectthemselves from the persecution of their relative, sought our help.Having bestowed upon Akrura the handsome daughter of Ahuka, withSankarshana as my second I did a service to my relatives, for both Kansaand Sunaman were slain by me assisted by Rama. But after the immediatecause of fear was removed (by the death of Kansa), Jarasandha, hisfather-in-law, took up arms. Ourselves consisting of the eighteen youngerbranches of the Yadavas arrived at the conclusion that even if we struckour enemies continually with excellent weapons capable of taking thelives of the foes, we should still be unable to do anything unto him evenin three hundred years. He hath two friends that are like unto theimmortals, and in point of strength the foremost of all men endued withmight. They are called Hansa and Dimvaka who are both incapable of beingslain by weapons. The mighty Jarasandha, being united with them, becomesincapable, I think, of being vanquished by even the three worlds. O thouforemost of all intelligent men, this is not our opinion alone but allother kings also are of the same mind. There lived, O monarch, a king ofthe name of Hansa, who was slain by Rama (Valadeva) after a battle ofeighteen days. But, O Bharata, hearing people say that Hansa had beenkilled, Dimvaka, O king, thought that he could not live without Hansa. Heaccordingly jumped into the waters of the Yamuna and killed himself.Afterwards when Hansa, the subjugator of hostile heroes, heard thatDimvaka, had killed himself, he went to the Yamuna and jumped into itswaters. Then, O bull of the Bharata race, king Jarasandha, hearing thatboth Hansa and Dimvaka had been killed, returned to his kingdom with anempty heart. After Jarasandha had returned, O slayer of all foes, we werefilled with pleasure and continued to live at Mathura. Then the widow ofHansa and the daughter of Jarasandha, that handsome woman with eyes likelotus-petals, grieved at the death of her lord, went unto her father, andrepeatedly urged, O Monarch, the king of Magadha, saying,–O slayer ofall foes, kill thou the slayer of my husband.–Then, O great king,remembering the conclusion to which we had come of old we becameexceedingly cheerless and fled from Mathura. Dividing our large wealthinto small portions so as to make each portion easily portable, we fledfrom fear of Jarasandha, with our cousins and relatives. Reflecting uponeverything, we fled towards the west. There is a delightful town towardsthe west called Kusasthali, adorned by the mountains of Raivata. In thatcity, O monarch, we took up our abode. We rebuilt its fort and made it sostrong that it has become impregnable even to the Gods. And from withinit even the women might fight the foe, what to speak of the Yadava heroeswithout fear of any kind? O slayer of all foes, we are now living in thatcity. And, O tiger of the Kuru race, considering the inaccessibility ofthat first of mountains and regarding themselves as having alreadycrossed the fear of Jarasandha, the descendants of Madhu have becomeexceedingly glad. Thus, O king, though possessed of strength and energy,yet from the oppressions of Jarasandha we have been obliged to repair tothe mountains of Gomanta, measuring three Yojanas in length. Within eachyojana have been established one and twenty posts of armed men. And atintervals of each yojana are hundred gates with arches which are defendedby valourous heroes engaged in guarding them. And innumerable Kshatriyasinvincible in war, belonging to the eighteen younger branches of theYadavas, are employed in defending these works. In our race, O king,there are full eighteen thousand brothers and cousins. Ahuka hath had ahundred sons, each of whom is almost like a god (in prowess), Charudeshnawith his brother Chakradeva, Satyaki, myself, Valadeva the son of Rohini,and my son Samva who is equal unto me in battle–these seven, O king areAtirathas. Besides these, there are others, O king, whom I shallpresently name. They are Kritavarman, Anadhrishti, Samika, Samitinjaya,Kanka, Sanku and Kunti. These seven are Maharathas. There are also twosons of Andhakabhoja, and the old king himself. Endued with great energythese are all heroes, each mighty as the thunderbolt. These Maharathas,choosing the middle country, are now living amongst the Vrishnis. O thoubest of the Bharata line, thou alone art worthy of being an emperor. Itbehoveth thee, O Bharata, to establish thy empire over all theKshatriyas. But this is my judgment, O king, that thou wilt not be ableto celebrate the Rajasuya sacrifice as long as the mighty Jarasandhaliveth. By him have been immured in his hillfort numerous monarchs, likea lion that hath deposited the slain bodies of mighty elephants within acave of the king of mountains. O slayer of all enemies, king Jarasandha,desirous of offering in sacrifice hundred monarchs, adored for his fierceascetic penances the illustrious god of gods, the lord of Uma. It is bythis means that the kings of the earth have been vanquished byJarasandha. And, O best of monarchs, he hath by that means been able tofulfil the vow he had made relative to his sacrifice. By defeating thekings with their troops and bringing all of them as captives into thiscity, he had swelled its crowds enormously. We also, O king, from fear ofJarasandha, at one time had to leave Mathura and fly to the city ofDwaravati. If, O great king, thou desirest to perform this sacrifice,strive to release the kings confined by Jarasandha, as also to compasshis death. O son of the Kuru race, otherwise this undertaking of thinecan never be completed. O thou foremost of intelligent men if theRajasuya is to be performed by thee, you must do this in this way and nototherwise. This, O king, is my view (on the matter). Do, O sinless one,as thou thinkest. Under these circumstances, O king, having reflectedupon everything, taking note of causes, tell us what thou thyselfthinkest proper.”

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