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Chapter 24

Mahabharata English - SABHAKRIYA PARVA

Vaisampayana said,–“thus addressed, Bhima firmly resolved upon slayingJarasandha, replied unto Krishna of the Yadu race, saying,–O tiger ofthe Yadu race, O Krishna, this wretch that yet stayeth before me withsufficient strength and bent upon fight, should not be forgiven by me.

Hearing these words of Vrikodara (Bhima), that tiger among men, Krishna,desiring to encourage that hero to accomplish the death of Jarasandhawithout any delay, answered,–‘O Bhima, exhibit today upon Jarasandha thestrength thou hast luckily derived, the might thou hast obtained from(thy father), the god Maruta.’ Thus addressed by Krishna, Bhima, thatslayer of foes, holding up in the air the powerful Jarasandha, began towhirl him on high. And, O bull of the Bharata race, having so whirled himin the air full hundred times, Bhima pressed his knee againstJarasandha’s backbone and broke his body in twain. And having killed himthus, the mighty Vrikodara uttered a terrible roar. And the roar of thePandava mingling with that death knell of Jarasandha, while he was beingbroken on Bhima’s knee, caused a loud uproar that struck fear into theheart of every creature. And all the citizens of Magadha became dumb withterror and many women were even prematurely delivered. And hearing thoseroars, the people of Magadha thought that either the Himavat was tumblingdown or the earth itself was being rent asunder. And those oppressors ofall foes then, leaving the lifeless body of the king at the palace gatewhere he lay as one asleep, went out of the town. And Krishna, causingJarasandha’s car furnished with an excellent flagstaff to be made readyand making the brothers (Bhima and Arjuna) ride in it, went in andreleased his (imprisoned) relatives. And those kings rescued fromterrible fate, rich in the possession of jewels, approaching Krishna madepresents unto him of jewels and gems. And having vanquished his foe,Krishna furnished with weapons and unwounded and accompanied by the kings(he had released), came out of Girivraja riding in that celestial car (ofJarasandha). And he also who could wield the bow with both hands(Arjuna), who was incapable of being vanquished by any of the monarchs onearth, who was exceedingly handsome in person and well-skilled in thedestruction of the foe, accompanied by the possessor of great strength(Bhima), came out of that tort with Krishna driving the car whereon herode. And that best of cars, incapable of being vanquished by any king,ridden in by those warriors Bhima and Arjuna, and driven by Krishna,looked exceedingly handsome. Indeed, it was upon that car that Indra andVishnu had fought of old in the battle (with the Asuras) in which Taraka(the wife of Vrihaspati) had become the immediate cause of muchslaughter. And riding upon that car Krishna now came out of thehill-fort. Possessed of the splendour of heated gold, and decked withrows of jingling bells and furnished with wheels whose clatter was likethe roar of clouds, and ever victorious in battle, and alwaysslaughtering the foe against whom it was driven, it was that very carriding upon which Indra had slain ninety-nine Asuras of old. And thosebulls among men (the three cousins) having obtained that car becameexceedingly glad. The people of Magadha, behold the long-armed Krishnaalong with the two brothers, seated in that car (of Jarasandha) wonderedmuch. O Bharata, that car, whereunto were yoked celestial horses andwhich possessed the speed of the wind, thus ridden upon by Krishna,looked exceedingly beautiful. And upon that best of cars was a flag-staffwithout being visibly attached thereto, and which was the product ofcelestial skill. And the handsome flag-staff, possessed of the splendourof the rainbow, could be seen from the distance of a yojana. And Krishnawhile, coming out, thought of Garuda. And Garuda, thought of by hismaster, came thither in no time, like a tree of vast proportions standingin a village worshipped by all. Garuda of immense weight of body andliving upon snakes sat upon that excellent car along with the numberlessopen-mouthed and frightfully-roaring creatures on its flag-staff. Andthereupon that best of cars became still more dazzling with its splendourand was as incapable of being looked at by created being as the middaysun surrounded by a thousand rays. And, O king, such was that best offlag-staffs of celestial make that it never struck against any tree norcould any weapon injure it at all even though visible to men’s eyes. AndAchyuta, that tiger among men, riding with the two sons of Pandu uponthat celestial car, the clatter of whose wheels was like the roar of theclouds, came out of Girivraja. The car upon which Krishna rode had beenobtained by king Vasu from Vasava, and from Vasu by Vrihadratha, and fromthe latter in due course by king Jarasandha. And he of long arms and eyeslike lotus-petals and possessed of illustrious reputation, coming out ofGirivraja, stopped (for some time) on a level plain outside the town.And, O king, all the citizens then, with the Brahmanas at their head,hastened thither to adore him with due religious rites. And the kings whohad been released from confinement worshipped the slayer of Madhu withreverence, and addressing him with eulogies said,–O thou of long arms,thou hast to-day rescued us, sunk in the deep mire of sorrow in the handof Jarasandha. Such an act of virtue by thee, O son of Devaki, assistedby the might of Bhima and Arjuna, is most extraordinary. O Vishnu,languishing as we all were in the terrible hill-fort of Jarasandha, itwas verily from sheer good fortune alone that thou hast rescued us, O sonof the Yadu race, and achieved thereby a remarkable reputation. O tigeramong men, we bow down to thee. O, command us what we shall do. Howeverdifficult of accomplishment, thy command being made known to us, O lord(Krishna), it will at once be accomplished by us. Thus addressed by themonarchs, the high-souled Hrishikesa gave them every assurance andsaid,–‘Yudhishthira is desirous of performing the sacrifice of Rajasuya.That monarch, ever guided by virtue, is solicitous of acquiring theimperial dignity. Having known this from me assist ye him in hisendeavours. Then, O king, all those monarchs with joyous hearts acceptedthe words of Krishna, saying,–‘So be it! And saying this, those lords ofearth made presents of jewels unto him of the Dasarha race. And Govinda,moved by kindness towards them, took a portion of those presents,

“Then the son of Jarasandha, the high-souled Sahadeva, accompanied by hisrelatives and the principal officers of state, and with his priest infront came thither. And the prince, bending himself low and making largepresents of jewels and precious stones, worshipped Vasudeva, that godamong men. Then that best of men, Krishna, giving every assurance untothe prince afflicted with fear, accepted those presents of his of greatvalue. And Krishna joyfully installed the prince there and then in thesovereignty of Magadha. And the strong-armed and illustrious son ofJarasandha, thus installed on the throne by those most exalted of men andhaving obtained the friendship of Krishna and treated with respect andkindness by the two sons of Pritha, re-entered the city of his father.And that bull amongst men, Krishna, accompanied by the sons of Pritha andgraced with great good fortune, left the city of Magadha, laden withnumerous jewels. Accompanied by the two sons of Pandu, Achyuta (Krishna)arrived at Indraprastha, and approaching Yudhishthira joyfully addressingthat monarch said,–‘O best of kings, from good fortune, the mightyJarasandha hath been slain by Bhima, and the kings confined (atGirivraja) have been all set free. From good fortune also, these two,Bhima and Dhananjaya, are well and arrived, O Bharata, it their own cityunwounded. Then Yudhishthira worshipped Krishna as he deserved andembraced Bhima and Arjuna in joy. And the monarch who had no enemy,having obtained victory through the agency of his brothers in consequenceof the death of Jarasandha, gave himself up to pleasure and merrimentwith all his brothers. And the oldest son of Pandu (Yudhisthira) togetherwith his brothers approached the kings who had come to Indraprastha andentertaining and worshipping them, each according to his age, dismissedthem all. Commanded by Yudhishthira those kings with joyful hearts, setout for their respective countries without loss of time, riding uponexcellent vehicles. Thus, O king, did that tiger among men. Janardana ofgreat intelligence, caused his foe Jarasandha to be slain through theinstrumentality of the Pandavas. And, O Bharata, that chastiser of allfoes having thus caused Jarasandha to be slain, took leave ofYudhishthira and Pritha, and Draupadi and Subhadra, and Bhimasena andArjuna and the twins Nakula and Sahadeva. After taking leave ofDhananjaya also, he set out for his own city (of Dwarka), riding uponthat best of cars of celestial make, possessed of the speed of the mindand given unto him by Yudhishthira, filling the ten points of the horizonwith the deep rattle of its wheels. And, O bull of the Bharata race, justas Krishna was on the point of setting out, the Pandavas withYudhishthira at their head walked round that tiger among men who wasnever fatigued with exertion.’

“And after the illustrious Krishna, the son of Devaki, had departed (fromIndraprastha) having acquired that great victory and having alsodispelled the fears of the kings, that feat, O Bharata, swelled the fameof the Pandavas. And, O king, the Pandavas passed their days, continuingto gladden the heart of Draupadi. And at that time, whatever was properand consistent with virtue, pleasure, and profit, continued to beproperly executed by king Yudhishthira in the exercise of his duties ofprotecting his subjects.”

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