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Chapter 72

Mahabharata English - VIRATA PARVA

“Virata said, ‘Why, O best among the Pandavas, dost thou not wish toaccept as wife this my daughter that I bestow upon thee?’

“Arjuna said, ‘Residing in thy inner apartments, I had occasion always tobehold thy daughter, and she too, alone or in company trusted me as herfather. Well-versed in singing and dancing, I was liked and regarded byher, and, indeed, thy daughter always regardeth me as her protector. Oking, I lived for one whole year with her though she had attained the ageof puberty. Under these circumstances, thyself or other men may notwithout reason, entertain suspicions against her or me. Therefore, Oking, myself who am pure, and have my senses under control, beg to thee,O monarch, thy daughter as my daughter-in-law. Thus do I attest herpurity. There is no difference between a daughter-in-law and a daughter,as also between a son and son’s own-self. By adopting this course,therefore, her purity will be proved. I am afraid of slanderous and falseaccusations. I accept, therefore, O king, thy daughter Uttara as mydaughter-in-law. Surpassing all in knowledge of weapons, resembling acelestial youth in beauty, my son, the mighty-armed Abhimanyu is thefavourite nephew of Vasudeva, the wielder of the discus. He, O king, isfit to be thy son-in-law and the husband of thy daughter.’

“Virata said, ‘It behoveth the best of the Kurus, Dhananjaya, the son ofKunti, who is so virtuous and wise, to say this. O son of Pritha, do thoucarry out what thou thinkest should be done after this. He that hathArjuna for the father of his son-in-law, hath all his desires gratified.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘The monarch having said this, Yudhishthira, theson of Kunti, gave his assent to what was thus agreed upon between theMatsya king and Arjuna. And, O Bharata, the son of Kunti sent invitationsto Vasudeva and to all his friends and relatives, and Virata also did thesame. And then, after the expiry of the thirteenth year, the fivePandavas took up their abode in one of Virata’s towns called Upaplavya,and Vibhatsu, the son of Pandu, brought over Abhimanyu and Janardana, andalso many people of the Dasarha race from the Anarta country. And theking of Kasi, and also Saivya, being very friendly to Yudhishthira,arrived there, each accompanied by an Akshauhini of troops. And themighty Drupada, also with the heroic sons of Draupadi and theunvanquished Sikhandin, and that foremost of wielder of weapons, theinvincible Dhrishtadyumna came there with another Akshauhini of troops.And all the kings that came were not only lords of Akshauhini, butperformers of sacrifices with gifts in profusion to Brahmanas, conversantwith the Vedas endued with heroism, and ready to die in battle. Andbeholding them arrived, that foremost of virtuous men, the king of theMatsyas, adored them duly, and entertained their troops and servants andcarriers of burdens. And he was highly pleased to bestow his daughterupon Abhimanyu. And after the kings had come there from different partsof the country, there came Vasudeva decked in floral garlands, andHalayudha, and Kritavarman, the son of Hridika, and Yuyudhana, the son ofSatyaki, and Anadhristi and Akrura, and Samva and Nisatha. And theserepressers of foes came there bringing with them Abhimanyu and hismother. And Indrasena and others, having lived at Dwaraka for one wholeyear, came there, bringing with them the well adorned cars of thePandavas. And there came also ten thousand elephants and ten thousandcars, and hundred millions of horses and hundred billions offoot-soldiers, and innumerable Vrishni and Andhaka and Bhoja warriors ofgreat energy, in the train of that tiger among the Vrishnis, Vasudeva ofgreat effulgence. And Krishna gave unto each of the illustrious sons ofPandu numerous female slaves, and gems and robes. And then the nuptialfestival set in between the families of the Matsya king and the Pandavas.And then conchs and cymbals and horns and drums and other musicalinstruments appointed by the Pandavas, began to play in the palace ofVirata. And deer of various kinds and clean animals by hundreds wereslain. And wines of various kinds and intoxicating juices of trees wereprofusely collected. And mimes and bards and encomiasts, versed insinging and legendary lore, waited upon the kings, and chanted theirpraises and genealogies. And the matrons of the Matsyas of symmetricalbodies and limbs, and wearing ear-rings of pearls and gems, headed bySudeshna, came to the place where the marriage knot was to be tied. Andamongst those beautiful females of fair complexion and excellentornaments, Krishna was the foremost in beauty and fame and splendour. Andthey all came there, leading forth the princess Uttara decked in everyornament and resembling the daughter of the great Indra himself. And thenDhananjaya, the son of Kunti, accepted Virata’s daughter of faultlesslimbs on behalf of his son by Subhadra. And that great king,Yudhishthira, the son of Kunti, who stood there like Indra, also acceptedher as his daughter-in-law. And having accepted her, the son of Pritha,with Janardana before him, caused the nuptial ceremonies to be performedof the illustrious son of Subhadra. And Virata then gave him (as dowry)seven thousand steeds endued with the speed of the wind and two hundredelephants of the best kind and much wealth also. And having duly pouredlibations of clarified butter on the blazing fire, and paid homage untothe twice-born ones, Virata offered to the Pandavas his kingdom, army,treasury, and his own self. And after the marriage had taken place,Yudhishthira, the son of Dharma, gave away unto the Brahmanas all thewealth that had been brought by Krishna of unfading glory. And he alsogave away thousands of kine, and diverse kinds of robes, and variousexcellent ornaments, and vehicles, and beds, delicious viands of variouskinds, and cardinal drinks of diverse species. And the king also madegifts of land unto the Brahmanas with due rites, and also cattle bythousands. And he also gave away thousands of steeds and much gold andmuch wealth of other kinds, unto persons of all ages. And, O bull of theBharata race, the city of the Matsya king, thronged with men cheerful andwell-fed, shone brightly like a great festival.'”

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