Vaisampayana said,–“Then the vanquished sons of Pritha prepared fortheir exile into the woods. And they, one after another, in due order,casting off their royal robes, attired themselves in deer-skins.
AndDussasana, beholding those chastisers of foes, dressed in deer-skins anddeprived of their kingdom and ready to go into exile, exclaimed ‘Theabsolute sovereignty of the illustrious king Duryodhana hath commenced.The sons of Pandu have been vanquished, and plunged into greataffliction. Now have we attained the goal either by broad or narrowpaths. For today becoming superior to our foes in point of prosperity asalso of duration of rule have we become praiseworthy of men. The sons ofPritha have all been plunged by us into everlasting hell. They have beendeprived of happiness and kingdom for ever and ever. They who, proud oftheir wealth, laughed in derision at the son of Dhritarashtra, will nowhave to go into the woods, defeated and deprived by us of all theirwealth. Let them now put off their variegated coats of mail, theirresplendent robes of celestial make, and let them all attire themselvesin deer-skins according to the stake they had accepted of the son ofSuvala. They who always used to boast that they had no equals in all theworld, will now know and regard themselves in this their calamity asgrains of sesame without the kernel. Although in this dress of theirs thePandavas seem like unto wise and powerful persons installed in asacrifice, yet they look like persons not entitled to perform sacrifices,wearing such a guise. The wise Yajnasena of the Somake race, havingbestowed his daughter–the princess of Panchala–on the sons of Pandu,acted most unfortunately for the husbands of Yajnaseni–these sons ofPritha are as eunuchs. And O Yajnaseni, what joy will be thine uponbeholding in the woods these thy husbands dressed in skins andthread-bare rags, deprived of their wealth and possessions. Elect thou ahusband, whomsoever thou likest, from among all these present here. TheseKurus assembled here, are all forbearing and self-controlled, andpossessed of great wealth. Elect thou one amongst these as thy lord, sothat these great calamity may not drag thee to wretchedness. ‘The sons ofPandu now are even like grains of sesame without the kernel, or likeshow-animals encased in skins, or like grains of rice without the kernel.Why shouldst thou then longer wait upon the fallen sons of Pandu? Vain isthe labour used upon pressing the sesame grain devoid of the kernel!’
“Thus did Dussasana, the son of Dhritarashtra, utter in the hearing ofthe Pandavas, harsh words of the most cruel import. And hearing them, theunforbearing Bhima, in wrath suddenly approaching that prince like aHimalayan lion upon a jackal, loudly and chastisingly rebuked him inthese words,–Wicked-minded villain, ravest thou so in words that areuttered alone by the sinful? Boastest thou thus in the midst of thekings, advanced as thou art by the skill of the king of Gandhara. As thoupiercest our hearts hear with these thy arrowy words, so shall I piercethy heart in battle, recalling all this to thy mind. And they also whofrom anger or covetousness are walking behind thee as thyprotectors,–them also shall I send to the abode of Yama with theirdescendants and relatives.”
Vaisampayana continued,–Unto Bhima dressed in deer-skins and utteringthese words of wrath without doing any thing, for he could not deviatefrom the path of virtue, Dussasana abandoning all sense of shame, dancingaround the Kurus, loudly said, ‘O cow! O cow!’
Bhima at this once more said,–Wretch darest thou, O Dussasana, use harshwords as these? Whom doth it behove to boast, thus having won wealth byfoul means? I tell thee that if Vrikodara, the son of Pritha, drinkethnot thy life-blood, piercing open thy breast in battle, let him notattain to regions of blessedness, I tell thee truly that by slaying thesons of Dhritarashtra in battle, before the very eyes of all thewarriors, I shall pacify this wrath of mine soon enough.'”
Vaisampayana continued,–“And as the Pandavas were going away from theassembly, the wicked king Duryodhana from excess of joy mimiced by hisown steps the playful leonine trade of Bhima. Then Vrikodara, halfturning towards the king said, Think not ye fool that by this thougainest any ascendency over me slay thee shall I soon with all thyfollowers, and answer thee, recalling all this to thy mind. And beholdingthis insult offered to him, the mighty and proud Bhima, suppressing hisrising rage and following the steps of Yudhishthira, also spake thesewords while going out of the Kaurava court, ‘I will slay Duryodhana, andDhananjaya will slay Karna, and Sahadeva will slay Sakuni that gamblerwith dice. I also repeat in this assembly these proud words which thegods will assuredly make good, if ever we engage in battle with theKurus, I will slay this wretched Duryodhana in battle with my mace, andprostrating him on the ground I will place my foot on his head. And asregards this (other) wicked person–Dussasana who is audacious in speech,I will drink his blood like a lion.
“And Arjuna said,–O Bhima, the resolutions of superior men are not knownin words only. On the fourteenth year from this day, they shall see whathappeneth.
“And Bhima again said,–‘The earth shall drink the blood of Duryodhana,and Karna, and the wicked Sakuni, and Dussasana that maketh the fourth.’
“And Arjuna said,–‘O Bhima, I will, as thou directest, slay in battlethis Karna so malicious and jealous and harsh-speeched and vain. Fordoing what is agreeable to Bhima, Arjuna voweth that he will slay inbattle with his arrows this Karna with all his followers. And I will sendunto the regions of Yama also all those other kings that will fromfoolishness fight against me. The mountains of Himavat might be removedfrom where they are, the maker of the day lose his brightness, the moonhis coldness, but this vow of mine will ever be cherished. And all thisshall assuredly happen if on the fourteenth year from this, Duryodhanadoth not, with proper respect, return us our kingdom.'”
Vaisampayana continued,–“After Arjuna had said this, Sahadeva thehandsome son of Madri, endued with great energy, desirous of slayingSakuni, waving his mighty arms and sighing like snake, exclaimed, witheyes red with anger–‘Thou disgrace of the Gandhara kings, those whomthou thinkest as defeated are not really so. Those are even sharp-pointedarrows from whose wounds thou hast run the risk in battle. I shallcertainly accomplish all which Bhima hath said adverting to thee with allthy followers. If therefore thou hast anything to do, do it before thatday cometh. I shall assuredly slay thee in battle with all thy followerssoon enough, it thou, O son of Suvala, stayest in the light pursuant tothe Kshatriya usage.’
“‘Then, O monarch hearing these words of Sahadeva, Nakula the handsomestof men spake these words,–‘I shall certainly send unto the abode of Yamaall those wicked sons of Dhritarashtra, who desirous of death andimpelled by Fate, and moved also by the wish of doing what is agreeableto Duryodhana, have used harsh and insulting speeches towards thisdaughter o Yajnasena at the gambling match. Soon enough shall I, at thecommand of Yudhishthira and remembering the wrongs to Draupadi, make theearth destitute of the sons of Dhritarashtra.’
Vaisampayana continued,–“And those tigers among men, all endued withlong arms, having thus pledged themselves to virtuous promises approachedking Dhritarashtra.”