Vasudeva continued, Thus addressed, the son of Suta race replied in hasteunto Pradyumna, that foremost of all endued with strength, in these sweetwords, ‘O son of Rukmini, I fear not to guide the horses on the field ofbattle, and I am acquainted also with the customs of the Vrishnis in war!
Markandeya continued, “Listen now to another story. One day as kingYayati, the son of Nahusha, was sitting on his throne, surrounded by thecitizens, there came unto him a Brahmana desirous of soliciting wealthfor his preceptor, and approaching the king, the Brahmana said,
Vaisampayana said, “King Yudhishthira, hearing from the illustriousMarkandeya the story of the royal sage Indradyumna’s regaining of Heaven,again asked the Muni, saying, ‘O great Muni, tell me in what conditionshould a man practise charity in order to gain admission into the regionsof Indra?
Vaisampayana continued, “After the chief of the Dasharhas had departed,the heroic Yudhishthira, and Bhima, and Arjuna, and the twins, eachlooking like unto Shiva, and Krishna, and their priest, ascending costlycars unto which were yoked excellent steeds, together went into theforest.
Vaisampayana said, “Then Kesava, the slayer of Madhu, also calledJanardana, having conversed on various agreeable themes with theillustrious sons of Pandu and with those Brahmanas that were headed byMarkandeya and having bid them farewell, mounted his car and called forSatyabhama.
Janamejaya said, “While those foremost of men–the sons of Pritha–werepassing their days in the forest exposed to the inclemencies of thewinter, the summer, the wind and the sun, what did they do, O Brahmana,after they had reached the lake and woods going by the name of Dwaita?”
Vaisampayana continued, “O king, O lord of men, that slayer of hostileheroes, the Suta’s son, said these words to Duryodhana, ‘O KauravaDuryodhana, do thou lay unto thy heart the words that I shall tell thee;and, O represser of foes, after having heard my words, it behoveth theeto act accordingly every way.
Vaisampayana said, “These great warriors of the race of Bharata sojournedlike immortals in the great forest of Kamyaka, employed in hunting andpleased with the sight of numerous wild tracts of country and widereaches of woodland, gorgeous with flowers blossoming in season.
Kotika said, “Excellent lady, who art thou that standest alone, leaningon a branch of the Kadamva tree at this hermitage and looking grand likea flame of fire blazing at night time, and fanned by the wind?Exquisitely beautiful as thou art, how is it that thou feelest not anyfear in these forests?
“Yudhishthira said, ‘O adorable one, thou hast described to me in detailthe history of the birth of Rama and others. I wish to learn the cause oftheir exile. Do thou, O Brahmana, relate why the sons of Dasaratha–thebrothers Rama and Lakshmana–went to the forest with famous princess ofMithila.’