“Yudhishthira said,–“Intelligent as thou art, thou hast said what noneelse is capable of saying. There is none else on earth who is settler ofall doubts. Behold, there are kings in every province employed inbenefiting their respective selves. But no one amongst them hath beenable to achieve the imperial dignity.
“Vaisampayana said,–“Janardana deserving the worship of all, havinglived happily at Khandavaprastha for some time, and having been treatedall the while with respectful love and affection by the sons of Pritha,became desirous one day of leaving Khandavaprastha to behold his father.
Vaisampayana said,–Arjuna, having obtained that best of bows and thatcouple of inexhaustible quivers and that car and flag-staff, as also thatassembly-house, addressing Yudhisthira said,–Bow, weapons, great energy,allies, territory, fame, army-those, O king, difficult of acquisitionhowever desirable, have all been obtained by me.
Vaisampayana continued,–thus addressed, Dhananjaya replied untoBhagadatta, saying,–‘If thou wilt give thy promise to do this, thou hastdone all I desire. And having thus subjugated the king of Pragjyotisha,Dhananjaya of long arms, the son of Kunti, then marched towards thenorth–the direction presided over by the lord of treasures.
Vaisampayana said,–“that heroic and foremost of the Pandavas endued withgreat energy, crossing the White mountains, subjugated the country of theLimpurushas ruled by Durmaputra, after a collision involving a greatslaughter of Kshatriyas, and brought the region under his complete sway.
Vaisampayana said,–that chastiser of all foes then vanquished kingSrenimat of the country of Kumara, and then Vrihadvala, the king ofKosala. Then the foremost of the sons of Pandu, by performing featsexcelling in fierceness, defeated the virtuous and mighty kingDirghayaghna of Ayodhya.
Vaisampayana said,–“thus also Sahadeva, dismissed with affection by kingYudhisthira the just, marched towards the southern direction accompaniedby a mighty host. Strong in strength, that mighty prince of the Kururace, vanquishing completely at the outset the Surasenas, brought theking of Matsya under his sway.
Vaisampayana said,–“in consequence of the protection afforded byYudhisthira the just, and of the truth which he ever cherished in hisbehaviour, as also of the check under which he kept all foes, thesubjects of that virtuous monarch were all engaged in their respectiveavocations.
Vaisampayana said,–“the ever-victorious Nakula, the son of Pandu, havingreached Hastinapura, formally invited Bhishma and Dhritarashtra. Theelder of the Kuru race with the preceptor at their head, invited with dueceremonies, came with joyous hearts to that sacrifice, with Brahmanaswalking before them.
Vaisampayana said,–“then, O king, Yudhishthira, having approached andworshipped his grandfather and his preceptor, addressed Bhishma and Dronaand Kripa and the son of Drona and Duryyodhana and Vivingsati, andsaid,–‘Help me ye all in the mater of this sacrifice. This largetreasure that is here is yours. Consult ye with one another and guide meas ye desire.
“Vaisampayana said,–On the last day of the sacrifice when the king wasto be sprinkled over with the sacred water, the great Brahmana Rishisever deserving of respectful treatment, along with the invited kings,entered together the inner enclosure of the sacrificial compound.
“Sisupala said–‘O thou of the Kuru race, this one of the Vrishni racedoth not deserve royal worship as if he were a king, in the midst of allthese illustrious monarchs. O son of Pandu, this conduct of thine in thuswillingly worshipping him with eyes like lotus-petals is not worthy ofthe illustrious Pandavas.
“Vaisampayana said,–The mighty Bhishma ceased, having said this.Sahadeva then answered (Sisupala) in words of grave import, saying,–‘Ifamongst ye there be any king that cannot bear to see Kesava of dark hue,the slayer of Kesi, the possessor of immeasurable energy, worshipped byme, this my foot is placed on the heads of all mighty ones (like him).
“Vaisampayana said,–Beholding that vast assembly of kings agitated withwrath, even like the terrific sea agitated by the winds that blow at thetime of the universal dissolution, Yudhishthira addressing the agedBhishma, that chief of intelligent men and the grandsire of the Kurus,even like Puruhita (Indra) that slayer of foes, of abundant energyaddressing Vrihaspati, said,–‘This vast ocean of kings, hath beenagitated by wrath.
‘Sisupala said,–‘Old and infamous wretch of thy race, art thou notashamed of affrighting all these monarchs with these numerous falseterrors! Thou art the foremost of the Kurus, and living as thou dost inthe third state (celibacy) it is but fit for thee that thou shouldst givesuch counsel that is so wide of morality.
Vaisampayana said–“O king, impressed with the great Rajasuya sacrificeof king Yudhishthira, Sakuni, the son of Suvala, having learnt before theintentions of Duryodhana, while accompanying him in the way from theassembly house, and desirous of saying what was agreeable to him,approached Dhritarashtra endued with great wisdom,
“Vaisampayana said,–“While the illustrious Pandavas were seated in thatSabha along with the principal Gandharvas, there came, O Bharata, untothat assembly the celestial Rishi Narada, conversant with the Vedas and Upanishadas, worshipped by the celestials acquainted with histories and Puranas, well-versed in all that occurred in ancient kalpas (cycles), conversant with Nyaya (logic) and the truth of moral science, possessinga complete knowledge of the six Angas (viz., pronunciation, grammar,prosody, explanation of basic terms, description of religious rites, andastronomy).
Yudhishthira said,–“Thou hast won this stake of me by unfair means. Butbe not so proud, O Sakuni. Let us play staking thousands upon thousands.I have many beautiful jars each full of a thousand Nishkas in mytreasury, inexhaustible gold, and much silver and other minerals. This, Oking, is the wealth with which I will stake with thee!'”
Vaisampayana said,–“Intoxicated with pride, the son of Dhritarashtraspake,–‘Fie on Kshatta! and casting his eyes upon the Pratikamin inattendance, commanded him, in the midst of all those reverend seniors,saying,–‘Go Pratikamin, and bring thou Draupadi hither. Thou hast nofear from the sons of Pandu. It is Vidura alone that raveth in fear.Besides, he never wisheth our prosperity!'”
Draupadi said,–‘Wait a little, thou worst of men, thou wicked-mindedDussasana. I have an act to perform–a high duty that hath not beenperformed by me yet. Dragged forcibly by this wretch’s strong arms, I wasdeprived of my senses. I salute these reverend seniors in this assemblyof the Kurus. That I could not do this before cannot be my fault.'”
Vaisampayana said,–‘The royal messenger, agreeably to the commands ofthe intelligent king Dhritarashtra, coming upon Yudhishthira, the son of Pritha who had by that time gone a great way, addressed the monarch and said,–‘Even these are the words of thy father-like uncle, O Bharata,spoken unto thee, ‘The assembly is ready.
Yudhishthira said,–‘I bid farewell unto all the Bharatas, unto my oldgrand-sire (Bhishma), king Somadatta, the great king Vahlika, Drona,Kripa, all the other kings, Aswathaman, Vidura, Dhritarashtra, all thesons of Dhritarashtra, Yayutsu, Sanjaya, and all the courtiers, I bidfare well, all of ye and returning again I shall see you.”
Vaisampayana said,–‘Then when Draupadi was about to set out she wentunto the illustrious Pritha and solicited her leave. And she also askedleave of the other ladies of the household who had all been plunged intogrief. And saluting and embracing every one of them as each deserved, shedesired to go away.
“Narada said,–‘O Yudhisthira, I shall now describe the assembly house ofYama, the son of Vivaswat, which, O son of Pritha, was built byViswakarma. Listen now to me. Bright as burnished gold, that assemblyhouse, O monarch, covers an area of much more than a hundred yojanas.