“Vaisampayana said,–Hearing these words of Bhishma, the ruler of Chediendued with exceeding prowess, desirous of combating with Vasudevaaddressed him and said,–O Janarddana, I challenge thee. Come, fight withme until I slay thee today with all the Pandavas.
For, O Krishna, thesons of Pandu also, who disregarding the claims of all these kings, haveworshipped thee who art no king, deserve to be slain by me along withthee. Even this is my opinion, O Krishna, that they who from childishnesshave worshipped thee, as if thou deservest it, although thou art unworthyof worship, being only a slave and a wretch and no king, deserve to beslain by me.’ Having said this, that tiger among kings stood thereroaring in anger. And after Sisupala had ceased, Krishna addressing allthe kings in the presence of the Pandavas, spoke these words in a softvoice.–‘Ye kings, this wicked-minded one, who is the son of a daughterof the Satwata race, is a great enemy of us of the Satwata race; andthough we never seek to injure him, he ever seeketh our evil. This wretchof cruel deeds, ye kings, hearing that we had gone to the city ofPragjyotisha, came and burnt Dwaraka, although he is the son of myfather’s sister. While king Bhoja was sporting on the Raivataka hill,this one fell upon the attendants of that king and slew and led away manyof them in chains to his own city. Sinful in all his purpose, thiswretch, in order to obstruct the sacrifice of my father, stole thesacrificial horse of the horse-sacrifice that had been let loose underthe guard of armed men. Prompted by sinful motives, this one ravished thereluctant wife of the innocent Vabhru (Akrura) on her way from Dwaraka tothe country of the Sauviras. This injurer of his maternal uncle,disguising himself in the attire of the king of Karusha, ravished alsothe innocent Bhadra, the princess of Visala, the intended bride of kingKarusha. I have patiently borne all these sorrows for the sake of myfather’s sister. It is, however, very fortunate that all this hathoccurred today in the presence of all the kings. Behold ye all today thehostility this one beareth towards me. And know ye also all that he hathdone me at my back. For the excess of that pride in which he hathindulged in the presence of all these monarchs, he deserveth to be slainby me. I am ill able to pardon today the injuries that he hath done me.Desirous of speedy death, this fool had desired Rukmini. But the foolobtained her not, like a Sudra failing to obtain the audition of theVedas.”
Vaisampayana continued,–“Hearing these words of Vasudeva, all theassembled monarchs began to reprove the ruler of Chedi. But the powerfulSisupala, having heard these words, laughed aloud and spoke thus,–‘OKrishna, art thou not ashamed in saying in this assembly, especiallybefore all these kings that Rukmini (thy wife) had been coveted by me? Oslayer of Madhu, who else is there than thee, who regarding himself a manwould say in the midst of respectable men that his wife had been intendedfor some body else? O Krishna, pardon me if thou pleasest, or pardon menot. But angry or friendly, what canst thou do unto me?’
“And while Sisupala was speaking thus, the exalted slayer of Madhuthought in his mind of the discus that humbleth the pride of the Asuras.And as soon as the discus came into his hands, skilled in speech theillustrious one loudly uttered these words,–‘Listen ye lords of earth,why this one had hitherto been pardoned by me. As asked by his mother, ahundred offences (of his) were to be pardoned by me. Even this was theboon she had asked, and even this I granted her. That number, ye kings,hath become full. I shall now slay him in your presence, ye monarchs.’Having said this, the chief of the Yadus, that slayer of all foes, inanger, instantly cut off the head of the ruler of Chedi by means of hisdiscus. And the mighty-armed one fell down like a cliff struck withthunder. And, O monarch, the assembled kings then beheld a fierce energy,like unto the sun in the sky, issue out of the body of the king of Chedi,and O king, that energy then adored Krishna, possessed of eyes like lotusleaves and worshipped by all the worlds, and entered his body. And allthe kings beholding the energy which entered that mighty-armed chief ofmen regarded it as wonderful. And when Krishna had slain the king ofChedi, the sky, though cloudless, poured showers of rain, and blastingthunders were hurled, and the earth itself began to tremble. There weresome among the kings who spoke not a word during those unspeakablemoments but merely sat gazing at Janarddana. And some there were thatrubbed in rage their palms with their forefingers. And there were otherswho deprived of reason by rage bit their lips with their teeth. And someamongst the kings applauded him of the Vrishni race in private. And somethere were that became excited with anger; while others became mediators.The great Rishis with pleased hearts praised Kesava and went away. Andall the high-souled Brahmanas and the mighty kings that were there,beholding Krishna’s prowess, became glad at heart and praised him.
“Yudhishthira then commanded his brothers to perform without delay thefuneral rites of king Sisupala, the brave son of Damaghosha, with properrespect. The sons of Pandu obeyed the behest of their brother. AndYudhishthira then, with all the kings, installed the son of king Sisupalain the sovereignty of the Chedis.
“Then that sacrifice, O monarch, of the king of the Kurus possessed ofgreat energy, blessed with every kind of prosperity, became exceedinglyhandsome and pleasing unto all young men. And commenced auspiciously, andall impediments removed, and furnished with abundance of wealth and corn,as also with plenty of rice and every kind of food, it was properlywatched by Kesava. And Yudhishthira in due time completed the greatsacrifice. And the mighty-armed Janarddana, the exalted Sauri, with hisbow called Saranga and his discus and mace, guarded that sacrifice tillits completion. And all the Kshatriya monarchs, having approached thevirtuous Yudhishthira who had bathed after the conclusion of thesacrifice, said these words: ‘By good fortune thou hast come outsuccessful. O virtuous one, thou hast obtained the imperial dignity. Othou of the Ajamida race, by thee hath been spread the fame of thy wholerace. And, O king of kings, by this act of thine, thou hast also acquiredgreat religious merit. We have been worshipped by thee to the full extentof our desires. We now tell thee that we are desirous of returning to ourown kingdoms. It behoveth thee to grant us permission.’
“Hearing these words of the monarchs, king Yudhishthira the just,worshipping each as he deserved, commanded his brothers, saying, ‘Thesemonarchs had all come to us at their own pleasure. These chastisers offoes are now desirous of returning to their own kingdoms, bidding mefarewell. Blest be ye, follow ye these excellent kings to the confines ofour own dominions.’ Hearing these words of their brother, the virtuousPandava princes followed the kings, one after another as each deserved.The powerful Dhrishtadyumna followed without loss of time king Virata:and Dhananjaya followed the illustrious and mighty charioteer Yajnasena;and the mighty Bhimasena followed Bhishma and Dhritarashtra: andSahadeva, that master of battle, followed the brave Drona and his son;and Nakula, O king, followed Suvala with his son; and the sons ofDraupadi with the son of Subhadra followed those mighty warriors–thekings of the mountainous countries. And other bulls among Kshatriyasfollowed other Kshatriyas. And the Brahmanas by thousands also went away,duly worshipped.
“After all the Kings and the Brahmanas had gone away, the powerfulVasudeva addressing Yudhishthira said,–‘O son of the Kuru race, with thyleave, I also desire to go to Dwaraka. By great good fortune, thou hastaccomplished the foremost of sacrifices–Rajasuya!’ Thus addressed byJanarddana, Yudhishthira replied, ‘Owing to thy grace, O Govinda. I haveaccomplished the great sacrifice. And it is owing to thy grace that thewhole Kshatriya world having accepted my sway, had come hither withvaluable tribute. O hero, without thee, my heart never feeleth anydelight. How can I, therefore, O hero, give thee, O sinless one, leave togo? But thou must have to go to the city of Dwaraka.’ The virtuous Hariof worldwide fame, thus addressed by Yudhishthira, cheerfully went withhis cousin to Pritha and said,–‘O aunt, thy sons have now obtained theimperial dignity. They have obtained vast wealth and been also crownedwith success. Be pleased with all this. Commanded by thee, O aunt, Idesire to go to Dwaraka.’ After this, Kesava bade farewell to Draupadiand Subhadra. Coming out then of the inner apartments accompanied byYudhishthira, he performed his ablutions and went through the daily ritesof worship, and then made the Brahmanas utter benedictions. Then themighty armed Daruka came there with a car of excellent design and bodyresembling the clouds. And beholding that Garuda-bannered car arrivedthither, the high-souled one, with eyes like lotus leaves, walked roundit respectfully and ascending on it set out for Dwaravati. And kingYudhishthira the just, blessed with prosperity, accompanied by hisbrothers, followed on foot the mighty Vasudeva. Then Hari with eyes likelotus leaves, stopping that best of cars for a moment, addressingYudhishthira the son of Kunti, said,–‘O king of kings, cherishest thouthy subjects with ceaseless vigilance and patience. And as the clouds areunto all creatures, as the large tree of spreading bough is unto birds,as he of a thousand eyes is unto the immortals, be thou the refuge andsupport of thy relatives. And Krishna and Yudhishthira having thus talkedunto each other took each other’s leave and returned to their respectivehomes. And, O king, after the chief of the Satwata race had gone toDwaravati, king Duryodhana alone, with king Suvala’s son, Sakuni,–thesebulls among men,–continued to live in that celestial assembly house.