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Chapter 12

Mahabharata English - VIRATA PARVA

“Vaisampayana said, ‘After a while, another powerful son of Pandu wasseen making towards king Virata in haste. And as he advanced, he seemedto everyone like solar orb emerged from the clouds. And he began toobserve the horses around. And seeing this, the king of the Matsyas saidto his followers, ‘I wonder whence this man, possessed of the effulgenceof a celestial, cometh. He looks intently at my steeds. Verily, he mustbe proficient in horse-lore. Let him be ushered into my presence quickly.He is a warrior and looks like a god!’ And that destroyer of foes thenwent up to the king and accosted him, saying, ‘Victory to thee, O king,and blest be ye.’ As a trainer of horses, I have always been highlyesteemed by kings. I will be a clever keeper of thy horses.’

“Virata said, ‘I will give thee vehicles, wealth, and spacious quarters.Thou shalt be the manager of my horses. But first tell me whence thoucomest, who thou art, and how also thou happenest to come here. Tell usalso all the arts thou art master of.’ Nakula replied, ‘O mower ofenemies, know that Yudhishthira is the eldest brother of the five sons ofPandu. I was formerly employed by him to keep his horses. I am acquaintedwith the temper of steeds, and know perfectly the art of breaking them. Iknow also how to correct vicious horses, and all the methods of treatingtheir diseases. No animal in my hands becometh weak or ill. Not to speakof horses, even mares in my hands will never be found to be vicious.People called me Granthika by name and so did Yudhishthira, the son ofPandu.’

“Virata said, ‘Whatever horses I have, I consign to thy care even fromtoday. And all the keepers of my horses and all my charioteers will fromtoday be subordinate to thee. If this suits thee, say what remunerationis desired by thee. But, O thou that resemblest a celestial, the officeof equerry is not worthy of thee. For thou lookest like a king and Iesteem thee much. The appearance here hath pleased me as much as ifYudhishthira himself were here. Oh, how does that blameless son of Pandudwell and divert himself in the forest, now destitute of servants as heis.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘That youth, like unto a chief of theGandharvas, was treated thus respectfully by the delighted king Virata.And he conducted himself there in such a manner as to make himself dearand agreeable to all in the palace. And no one recognised him whileliving under Virata’s protection. And it was in this manner then the sonsof Pandu, the very sight of whom had never been fruitless, continued tolive in the country of the Matsyas. And true to their pledge those lordsof the earth bounded by her belt of seas passed their days of incognitowith great composure notwithstanding their poignant sufferings.'”

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