Vaisampayana said,–“thus also Sahadeva, dismissed with affection by kingYudhisthira the just, marched towards the southern direction accompaniedby a mighty host. Strong in strength, that mighty prince of the Kururace, vanquishing completely at the outset the Surasenas, brought theking of Matsya under his sway.
And the hero then, defeating Dantavakra,the mighty king of the Adhirajas and making him pay tribute,re-established him on his throne. The prince then brought under his swaySukumara and then king Sumitra, and he next vanquished the other Matsyasand then the Patacharas. Endued with great intelligence, the Kuru warriorthen conquered soon enough the country of the Nishadas and also the highhill called Gosringa, and that lord of earth called Srenimat. Andsubjugating next the country called Navarashtra, the hero marched againstKuntibhoja, who with great willingness accepted the sway of theconquering hero. And marching thence to the banks of the Charmanwati, theKuru warrior met the son of king Jamvaka, who had, on account of oldhostilities, been defeated before by Vasudeva. O Bharata, the son ofJamvaka gave battle to Sahadeva. And Sahadeva defeating the princemarched towards the south. The mighty warrior then vanquished the Sekasand others, and exacted tributes from them and also various kinds of gemsand wealth. Allying himself with the vanquished tribes the prince thenmarched towards the countries that lay on the banks of the Narmada. Anddefeating there in battle the two heroic kings of Avanti, called Vindaand Anuvinda, supported by a mighty host, the mighty son of the twin godsexacted much wealth from them. After this the hero marched towards thetown of Bhojakata, and there, O king of unfading glory, a fierceencounter took place between him and the king of that city for two wholedays. But the son of Madri, vanquishing the invincible Bhismaka, thendefeated in battle the king of Kosala and the ruler of the territorieslying on the banks of the Venwa, as also the Kantarakas and the kings ofthe eastern Kosalas. The hero then defeating both the Natakeyas and theHeramvaks in battle, and subjugating the country of Marudha, reducedMunjagrama by sheer strength. And the son of Pandu then vanquished themighty monarchs of the Nachinas and the Arvukas and the various forestking of that part of the country. Endued with great strength the herothen reduced to subjection king Vatadhipa. And defeating in battle thePulindas, the hero then marched southward. And the younger brother ofNakula then fought for one whole day with the king of Pandrya. Thelong-armed hero having vanquished that monarch marched further to thesouth. And then he beheld the celebrated caves of Kishkindhya and in thatregion fought for seven days with the monkey-kings Mainda and Dwivida.Those illustrious kings however, without being tired an the encounter,were gratified with Sahadeva. And joyfully addressing the Kuru prince,they said,–‘O tiger among the sons of Pandu, go hence, taking with thetribute from us all. Let the mission of the king Yudhishthira the justpossessed of great intelligence, be accomplished without hindrance. Andtaking jewels and gems from them all, the hero marched towards the cityof Mahishmati, and there that bull of men did battle with king Nila. Thebattle that took place between king Nila and the mighty Sahadeva the sonof Pandu, that slayer of hostile heroes, was fierce and terrible. And theencounter was an exceedingly bloody one, and the life of the hero himselfwas exposed to great risk, for the god Agni himself assisted king Nila inthat fight. Then the cars, heroes, elephants, and the soldiers in theircoats of mail of Sahadeva’s army all appeared to be on fire. Andbeholding this the prince of the Kuru race became exceedingly anxious.And, O Janamejaya, at sight of this the hero could not resolve upon whathe should do.
Janamejaya said,–O regenerate one, why was it that the god Agni becomehostile in battle unto Sahadeva, who was fighting simply for theaccomplishment of a sacrifice (and therefore, for the gratification ofAgni himself)?
Vaisampayana said,–‘It is said, O Janamejaya, that the god Agni whileresiding in Mahishmati, earned the reputation of a lover. King Nila had adaughter who was exceedingly beautiful. She used always to stay near thesacred fire of her father, causing it to blaze up with vigour. And it sohappened that king Nila’s fire, even if fanned, would not blaze up tillagitated by the gentle breath of that girl’s fair lips. And it was saidin King Nila’s palace and in the house of all his subjects that the godAgni desired that beautiful girl for his bride. And it so happened thathe was accepted by the girl herself. One day the deity assuming the formof a Brahmana, was happily enjoying the society of the fair one, when hewas discovered by the king. And the virtuous king thereupon ordered theBrahmana to be punished according to law. At this the illustrious deityflamed up in wrath. And beholding this, the king wondered much and benthis head low on the ground. And after some time the king bowing lowbestowed the daughter of his upon the god Agni, disguised as a Brahmana.And the god Vibhabasu (Agni) accepting that fair-browed daughter of kingNila, became gracious unto that monarch. And Agni, the illustriousgratifier of all desires also asked the monarch to beg a boon of him. Andthe king begged that his troops might never be struck with panic whileengaged in battle. And from that time, O king, those monarchs who fromignorance of this, desire to subjugate king Nila’s city, are consumed byHutasana (Agni). And from that time, O perpetuator of the Kuru race, thegirls of the city of Mahishmati became rather unacceptable to others (aswives). And Agni by his boon granted them sexual liberty, so that thewomen of that town always roam about at will, each unbound to aparticular husband. And, O bull of the Bharata race, from that time themonarchs (of other countries) forsake this city for fear of Agni. And thevirtuous Sahadeva, beholding his troops afflicted with fear andsurrounded by flames of fire, himself stood there immovable as amountain. And purifying himself and touching water, the hero (Sahadeva)then addressed Agni, the god that sanctifieth everything, in thesewords,–
‘I bow unto thee, O thou whose track is always marked with smoke. Thesemy exertions are all for thee. O thou sanctifier of all, thou art themouth of the gods and thou art Sacrifice personified. Thou art calledPavaka because thou sanctifiest everything, and thou art Havyavahana,because thou carriest the clarified butter that is poured on thee. TheVeda have sprung for ministering unto thee, and, therefore, thou artcalled Jataveda. Chief of the gods as thou art, thou art calledChitrabhanu, Anala, Vibhavasu, Hutasana, Jvalana, Sikhi, Vaiswanara,Pingesa, Plavanga, Bhuritejah. Thou art he from whom Kumara (Kartikeya)had his origin; thou art holy; thou art called Rudragarva andHiranyakrit. Let thee, O Agni, grant me energy, let Vayu grant me life,let Earth grant me nourishment and strength, and let Water grant meprosperity. O Agni, thou who art the first cause of the waters, thou whoart of great purity, thou for ministering unto whom the Vedas havesprung, thou who art the foremost of the deities, thou who art theirmouth, O purify me by thy truth. Rishis and Brahmanas, Deities and Asuraspour clarified butter every day, according to the ordinance into theeduring sacrifices. Let the rays of truth emanating from thee, while thouexhibitest thyself in those sacrifices, purify me. Smoke-bannered as thouart and possessed of flames, thou great purifier from all sins born ofVayu and ever present as thou art in all creatures, O purify me by therays of thy truth. Having cleansed myself thus cheerfully, O exalted one,do I pray unto thee. O Agni, grant me now contentment and prosperity, andknowledge and gladness.
Vaisampayana continued.–‘He that will pour clarified butter into Agnireciting these mantras, will ever be blessed with prosperity, and havinghis soul under complete control will also be cleansed from all his sins.
“Sahadeva, addressing Agni again, said,–‘O carrier of the sacrificiallibations, it behoveth thee not to obstruct a sacrifice!’ Having saidthis, that tiger among men–the son of Madri–spreading some kusa grasson earth sat down in expectation of the (approaching) fire and in frontof those terrified and anxious troops of his. And Agni, too, like theocean that never transgresseth its continents, did not pass over hishead. On the other hand approaching Sahadeva quietly and addressing thatprince of the Kuru race, Agni that god of men gave him every assuranceand said,–‘O thou of the Kuru race, rise up from this posture. O riseup, I was only trying thee. I know all thy purpose, as also those of theson of Dharma (Yudhisthira). But, O best of the Bharata race, as long asthere is a descendant of king Nila’s line, so long should this town beprotected by me. I will, however O son of Pandu, gratify the desires ofthy heart. And at these words of Agni, O bull of the Bharata race, theson of Madri rose up with a cheerful heart, and joining his hands andbending his head worshipped that god of fire, sanctifier of all beings.And at last, after Agni had disappeared, king Nila came there, and at thecommand of that deity, worshipped with due rites Sahadeva, that tigeramong men–that master of battle. And Sahadeva accepted that worship andmade him pay tribute. And having brought king Nila under his sway thus,the victorious son of Madri then went further towards the south. Thelong-armed hero then brought the king of Tripura of immeasurable energyunder his sway. And next turning his forces against the Paurava kingdom,he vanquished and reduced to subjection the monarch thereof. And theprince, after this, with great efforts brought Akriti, the king ofSaurashtra and preceptor of the Kausikas under his sway. The virtuousprince, while staying in the kingdom of Saurashtra sent an ambassadorunto king Rukmin of Bhishmaka within the territories of Bhojakata, who,rich in possessions and intelligence, was the friend of Indra himself.And the monarch along with his son, remembering their relationship withKrishna, cheerfully accepted, O king, the sway of the son of Pandu. Andthe master of battle then, having exacted jewels and wealth from kingRukmin, marched further to the south. And, endued with great energy andgreat strength, the hero then, reduced to subjection, Surparaka andTalakata, and the Dandakas also. The Kuru warrior then vanquished andbrought under his subjection numberless kings of the Mlechchha tribeliving on the sea coast, and the Nishadas and the cannibals and even theKarnapravarnas, and those tribes also called the Kalamukhas who were across between human beings and Rakshasas, and the whole of the Colemountains, and also Surabhipatna, and the island called the Copperisland, and the mountain called Ramaka. The high-souled warrior, havingbrought under subjection king Timingila, conquered a wild tribe known bythe name of the Kerakas who were men with one leg. The son of Pandu alsoconquered the town of Sanjayanti and the country of the Pashandas and theKarahatakas by means of his messengers alone, and made all of them paytributes to him. The hero brought under his subjection and exactedtributes from the Paundrayas and the Dravidas along with the Udrakeralasand the Andhras and the Talavanas, the Kalingas and the Ushtrakarnikas,and also the delightful city of Atavi and that of the Yavanas. And, Oking of kings, that slayer of all foes, the virtuous and intelligent sonof Madri having arrived at the sea-shore, then despatched with greatassurance messengers unto the illustrious Vibhishana, the grandson ofPulastya. And the monarch willingly accepted the sway of the son ofPandu, for that intelligent and exalted king regarded it all as the actof Time. And he sent unto the son of Pandu diverse kinds of jewels andgems, and sandal and also wood, and many celestial ornaments, and muchcostly apparel, and many valuable pearls. And the intelligent Sahadeva,accepting them all, returned to his own kingdom.
“Thus it was, O king, that slayer of all foes, having vanquished byconciliation and war numerous kings and having also made them paytribute, came back to his own city. The bull of the Bharata race, havingpresented the whole of that wealth unto king Yudhisthira the justregarded himself, O Janamejaya, as crowned with success and continued tolive happily.”