The Gift of the Sun God--Life in the Jungle--Bhima and the Ape God--Flowers of Paradise--Draupadi's Complaint to Krishna--Reproved by Yudhishthira--Arjuna wrestles with the God Shiva--His Celestial Weapon--Visit to Indra's Heaven--Battle with Sea Giants--Sages in the Forest--Duryodhana captured by Gandharvas--Pandavas rescue him--His Desire to perish--The Rival Sacrifice--Karna's Vow--Adventure at Sacred Pond--Pandavas in Virata--Adventures of Brethren--The Cattle Raid--Kauravas defeated--Marriage of Arjuna's Son--End of Exile.
YUDHISHTHIRA lamented his fate to the Brahmans as he wandered towards the forest. "Our kingdom is lost to us," he said, "and our fortune; everything is lost; we depart in sorrow, and must live on fruits and roots and the produce of the chase. In the woods are many perils--many reptiles and hungry wild animals seeking their prey."
A Brahman advised the deposed rajah to call upon the sun god, and Yudhishthira prayed: "O sun, thou art the eye of the universe, the soul of all things that are; thou art the creator; thou art Indra, thou art Vishnu, thou art Brahma, thou art Prajapati, lord of creatures, father of gods and man; thou art fire, thou art Mind; thou art lord of all, the eternal Brahma."
Then Surya 1 appeared before Yudhishthira and gave unto him a copper pot, which was ever filled with food for the brethren. 2
For twelve long years the Pandavas lived in the woods with their wife Draupadi, and Dhaumya, the Brahman. Whatever food they obtained, they set apart a portion for the holy men and ate the rest. They visited holy shrines; they bathed in sacred waters; they performed their devotions. Ofttimes they held converse with Brahmans and sages, who instructed them in pious works and blessed them, and also promised them that their lost kingdom would be restored in the fullness of time.
They wandered in sunshine and in shade; they dwelt in pleasant places, amidst abundant fruits and surrounded by flowers. They suffered also from tempests and heavy rains, when their path would be torn by streams, and Draupadi would swoon, and all the brethren would be faint and weary and in despair. Then Bhima would carry them all on his back and under his arms.
The gods appeared unto the brethren during their exile. Dharma, god of wisdom and holiness, addressed Yudhishthira his son many questions, which he answered piously and well. Hanuman, son of Vayu, the wind god, was made manifest before Bhima. It chanced that the strong Pandava, who was also Vayu's son, was hastening on his way and went swift as the wind; the earth shook under him and trees fell down, and he killed at one touch of his foot tigers and lions and even great elephants that sought to obstruct his path. 1. Hanuman shrank to the size of an ape, but his tail spread out in such great proportions across Bhima's path, that he was compelled to stay his course and stand still. He spake to Bhima then and told the tale of Rama and Sita. Then he grew suddenly as lofty as Vindhya mountain and transported his brother, the
[paragraph continues] Pandava, to the garden of Kuvera, 1 King of Yakshas, lord of treasure, who dwells in Mount Kailasa in the Himalayas; then Bhima procured sweet-scented flowers, which gave youth to those who had grown aged and turned grief into joy, and these he gave unto Draupadi.
Krishna came to visit the Pandavas in the forest, and Draupadi lamented before him, saying: "The evil-hearted Duryodhana dared to claim me for his slave. Fie! fie! upon the Pandavas because that they looked on in silence when I was put to shame. Is it not the duty of a husband to protect his wife? . . . These husbands of mine, who have the prowess of lions, saw me afflicted, nor lifted a hand to save."
Draupadi wept bitter tears from her exquisite coppery eyes, but Krishna at length comforted her, saying: "Thou wilt yet live to see the wives of those men who persecuted thee lamenting over their fallen husbands as they welter in their life blood. . . . I will help the Pandavas, and thou wilt be once again a queen over kings."
Krishna said to Yudhishthira: "Had I been at Dwaraka when thou wert called upon to visit Hastinapur, this unfair match would not have taken place, for I would have warned Dhritarashtra. But I was waging a war against demons.
. . What can I do, now that this disaster is accomplished? . . . It is not easy to confine the waters after the dam hath burst."
After Krishna returned to his kingdom, Draupadi continued to lament her fate. She said to Yudhishthira: "The sinful, evil-hearted Duryodhana hath a heart of steel. . . . O king, I lie on the ground, remembering my soft luxurious bed. I, who sit on a grass mat, cannot forget my chairs of ivory. I have seen thee in the court of
monarchs; now thou art a beggar. I have gazed upon thee in thy silken robes, who art now clad in rags. . . . What peace can my heart know now, O king, remembering the things that have been? My heart is full of grief. . . . Doth not thy wrath blaze up, seeing thy brothers in distress and me in sorrow? How canst thou forgive thy cruel enemy? Art thou devoid of anger, Yudhishthira? . . . Alas! a Kshatriya who doth not act at the right moment--who forgiveth the foeman he should strike down, is the most despised of all men. The hour hath now come for thee to seek vengeance; the present is not a time for forgiveness."
Said the wise Yudhishthira: "Anger is sinful; it is the cause of destruction. He that is angry cannot distinguish between right and wrong. Anger slayeth one who should be reverenced; it doth reverence to one who should he slain. An angry man may commit his own soul to hell. Know thou that wise men control their wrath so as to achieve prosperity both in this world and in the next. A weak man cannot control his wrath; but men of wisdom and insight seek to subdue their passions, knowing that he who is angry cannot perceive things in their true perspective. None but ignorant people regard anger as equivalent to energy. . . . Because fools commit folly, should I who seek wisdom do likewise? . . . If wrongs were not righted except by chastisement, the whole world would speedily be destroyed, for anger is destruction; it maketh men to slay one another. O fair Draupadi! it is meet to be forgiving; one should forgive every wrong. He who is forgiving shall attain to eternal bliss; he who is foolish and cannot forgive is destroyed both in this world and in the next. Forgiveness is the greatest virtue; it is sacrifice; it is tradition; it is inspiration. Forgiveness, O beautiful one! is holiness; it
is Truth; it is Brahma. By forgiveness the universe is made steadfast. . . . The wise man who learns how to forgive attaineth to Brahma (the highest god). O Draupadi, remember thou the verses of the sage--
[paragraph continues] He who is self-controlled will attain to sovereignty, and the qualities of self-control are forgiveness and gentleness. O let me attain with self-control to everlasting goodness!"
Said Draupadi: "I bow down before the Creator and Ordainer of life and the three worlds, for my mind, it seems, hath been dimmed. By deeds men are influenced, for deeds produce consequences; by works are they set free. . . . Man can never gain prosperity by forgiveness and gentleness; thy virtue hath not shielded thee, O king; thou art following a shadow. . . . Men should not obey their own wills, but the will of the god who hath ordained all things. . . . Yet O, methinks, as a doll is moved by strings, so are living creatures moved by the lord of all; he doth play with them as a child with a toy. . . . Those who have done wrong are now happy, and I am full of grief and in sore distress. Can I praise thy god who permits of such inequality? What reward doth thy god receive when he alloweth Duryodhana to prosper--he who is full of evil; he who doth destroy virtue and religion? If a sin doth not rebound on the sinner, then a man's might is the greatest force and not thy god, and I sorrow for those who are devoid of might."
Yudhishthira made answer: "Alas! thy words are the words of an unbeliever. I do not act merely for the sake of reward. I give because it is right to give, and
[paragraph continues] I sacrifice because it is my duty so to do. I follow in the paths of those who have lived wise and holy lives, because that my heart turneth toward goodness. I am no trader in goodness, ever looking for the fruits thereof. The man who doubteth virtue will be born among the brutes; 1 he will never attain to everlasting bliss. O do not, thou fair one, doubt the ancient religion of thy people! God will reward; he is the giver of fruits for deeds; virtue and vice bear fruits. . . . The wise are content with little in this world; the fools are not content although they receive much, because they will have no joy hereafter. . . . The gods are shrouded in mystery; who can pierce the cloud which covers the doings of the gods? Although thou canst not perceive the fruits of goodness, do not doubt thy religion or the gods. Let thy scepticism give room to faith. O do not slander the great god, but endeavour to learn how to know him. Turn not away from the Supreme One who giveth eternal life, O Draupadi."
Said Draupadi: "I do not slander my god, the lord of all, for in my sorrow I but rave. . . . But yet I hold that a man should act, lest by inaction he is censured. Without acts no one can live. He who believeth in chance and destiny and is inactive, liveth a life of weakness and helplessness which cannot last long. Success comes to him who acts, and success depends on time and circumstance. So hath a wise Brahman taught me."
Bhima then spoke, charging Yudhishthira with weakness, and pleading with him to wrest the sovereignty from Duryodhana: "O thou art like froth," he cried; "thou art unripe fruit! O king, strike down thine enemies! Battle is the highest virtue for a Kshatriya."
Said Yudhishthira: "Verily, my heart burneth because of our sufferings. But I have given my pledge to remain in exile, and it cannot be violated, O Bhima. Virtue is greater than life and prosperity in this world; it is the way to celestial bliss."
Then they were all silent, and they pondered over these things.
Now the Pandavas had need of celestial weapons, for these were possessed by Drona and Bhishma and Karna. In time, therefore, the holy sage Vyasa appeared before Arjuna and bade him to visit Mount Kailasa, the high seat of the gracious and propitious god Shiva, the three-eyed, the blue-throated, and to perform penances there with deep devotion, so as to obtain gifts of arms. So Arjuna went his way, and when he reached the mountain of Shiva he went through great austerities: he raised his arms aloft and, leaning on naught, stood on his tiptoes; for food he ate at first withered leaves, then he fed upon air alone. Great was the fervour of his austerities, and from the ground smoke issued forth. The Rishis pleaded with Shiva, fearing disaster from the penances of Arjuna. Then the god assumed the form of a hunter and went towards Indra's warrior son, whom he challenged to single combat. First they fought with weapons; then they wrestled one with another fiercely and long, and in the end Arjuna was cast upon the ground and he swooned. When that brave Pandava regained consciousness he made a clay image of Shiva, prostrated himself and worshipped the gracious one, and made an offering of flowers. Soon afterwards he beheld his opponent wearing the garland he had given, and he knew that he had wrestled with Shiva himself. Arjuna fell down before him, and received from the god a celestial weapon named Pasupata. Then a great storm broke forth, and
the earth shook, and the spirit of the weapon stood beside Arjuna, ready to obey his will.
Next appeared Indra, king of gods, Varuna, god of waters, Yama, king of the dead, and Kuvera, lord of treasures, and they stood upon the mountain summit in all their glory; unto Arjuna they gave gifts of other celestial weapons.
Thereafter Indra transported his son to his own bright city, the celestial Swarga, where the flowers always bloom and sweet music is ever wafted on fragrant winds. There he beheld sea-born Apsaras, the heavenly brides of gods and heroes, and music-loving Gandharvas, who sang songs and danced merrily in their joy. And Urvasi, a fair Apsara of faultless form, with bright eyes and silken hair, looked with love upon Arjuna; but she sought in vain to subdue him, whereat she spoke scornfully, saying: "Kama, god of love, hath wounded me with his arrows, yet thou dost scorn me. For this, O Arjuna, thou wilt for a season live unregarded among women as a dancer and musician."
Arjuna was troubled, but Indra said: "This curse will work out for thy good."
Arjuna abode in Indra's fair city for the space of five years. He achieved great skill in music and in dance and song. And he was trained also to wield the celestial weapons which the gods had given unto him.
Now the demons and giants who are named the Daityas and Danavas were the ancient enemies of Indra. Certain of them there were who had their dwellings in the lowest division of the underworld beneath the floor of ocean, which is called Patala. And a day came when Arjuna waged war with them. He rode forth in Indra's great car, which went through the air like to a bird, and Matali was the driver. When he reached the shore of
the sounding sea, the billows rose against him like great mountains, and the waters were divided; he saw demon fish and giant tortoises, and vessels laden with rubies. But he paused not, for he was without fear. The mighty Arjuna was eager for battle, and he blew a mighty blast upon his war shell: the Daityas and Danavas heard him and quaked with terror. 1 Then the demons smote their drums and sounded their trumpets, and amidst the dread clamour the wallowing sea monsters arose and leapt over the waves against Indra's great son. But Arjuna chanted mantras; he shot clouds of bright arrows; he fought with his bright celestial weapons, and the furies were thwarted and beaten back. Then they sent fire against him and water, and they flung rocks like to great peaks; but he fought on until in the end he triumphed, and slew all that stood against him nor could escape.
Thereafter the valiant hero rode speedily towards the city of demons and giants which is named Hiranyapura. The women came out to lure him, calling aloud, and their voices were like the voices of cranes. He heard but paused not. All these evil giant women were driven before him; in confusion they fled, terrified by the clamour of Indra's celestial car and the driving of Matali, and their ear-rings and their necklaces fell from their bodies like to boulders tumbling and thundering adown mountain steeps.
Arjuna reached the city of Hiranyapura and entered it; and he gazed with wonder on mighty chariots with ten thousand horses, which were many-coloured like to gaily-plumaged peacocks, beautiful and stately and proud. And he wrecked the dwellings of the Daityas and Danavas.
Indra praised his warrior son for his valour in overcoming the demons and giants of ocean, and he gave unto him a chain of gold, a bright diadem, and the war shell which gave forth a mighty blast like to thunder. 1
During the years that Arjuna had his dwelling in Indra's celestial city, Yudhishthira and his three younger brethren, with Draupadi and the priest Dhaumya, abode a time in the forest of Kamyaka. Great sages visited them there, and from one Yudhishthira obtained skill in dice. Others led the wanderers to sacred waters, in which they were cleansed of their sins, and they achieved great virtues. And the sages related unto them many tales of men and women who suffered and made self-sacrifices, undergoing long exiles and performing penances so as to attain to great wisdom and win favour from the gods.
Thereafter the exiles went northward towards the Himalayas, and at length they beheld afar off the dwelling of Kuvera, lord of treasure and King of Yakshas. They gazed upon palaces of crystal and gold; the high walls were studded with jewels, and the gleaming ramparts and turrets were adorned by dazzling streamers. They saw beauteous gardens of bright flowers, and soft winds came towards them laden with perfume; wonderful and fair were the trees, and they were vocal with the songs of birds.
Kuvera walked forth and spake words of wisdom unto Yudhishthira, counselling him to be patient and long-suffering, and to wait for the time and the place for displaying Kshatriya prowess.
The exiles wandered on, and one day, when they sighed for Arjuna, they beheld the bright car of Indra,
and they worshipped Matali, the charioteer. Then Indra came with his hosts of Apsaras and Gandharvas, and when they had adored him, the god promised Yudhishthira that he would yet reign in splendour over all men.
Arjuna appeared, and he was received with rejoicing, and all the Pandavas returned together to Kamyaka. There they were visited by Markandeya, the mighty sage, whose life endures through all the world's ages, and he spake of the mysteries and all that had taken place from the beginning, and revealed unto them full knowledge of the Deluge.
Now while the Pandavas were enduring great suffering in the forest, Karna spake to Duryodhana and prevailed upon him to spy upon their misery. So Dhritarashtra's son went forth, as was the custom every three years, to inspect the cattle and brand the calves. And with him went Karna and many princes and courtiers, and also a thousand ladies of the royal household. When, however, they all drew nigh to the forest, they found that the Gandharvas and Apsaras, who, as it chanced, had descended to make merry there, would not permit the royal train to advance. Duryodhana sent messages to the Gandharva king, commanding him to depart with all his hosts; but the celestial spirits feared him not, and issued forth to battle. A great conflict was waged, and the Kauravas were defeated. Karna fled, and Duryodhana and many of his courtiers and all the royal ladies were taken prisoners.
It happened that some of Duryodhana's followers who took flight reached the place where the Pandavas were, and told them how their kinsmen had been overcome. Then Arjuna and Bhima and the two younger brethren went forth against the Gandharvas and fought with them until they were compelled to release the royal
prisoners. In this manner was the proud Duryodhana humbled by those against whom he had cherished enmity.
Yudhishthira gave a feast to the Kauravas, and he called Duryodhana his "brother", whereat Duryodhana made pretence to be well pleased, although his heart was stung with deep mortification.
After this the sullen and angry Duryodhana resolved to end his life. His friends remonstrated with him, but he said: "I have naught to live for now, nor do I desire friendship, or wealth, or power, or enjoyment. Do not delay my purpose, but leave me each one, for I will eat no more food, and I will wait here until I die. Return, therefore, unto Hastinapur and reverence and obey those who are greater than me."
Then Duryodhana made a mat of grass, and, having purified himself with water, sat down to wait for the end, clad in rags and absorbed in silent meditation.
But the Daityas and Danavas 1 desired not that their favourite rajah should thus end his life lest their power should be weakened, and they sent to the forest a strange goddess, who carried him away in the night. Then the demons, before whom Duryodhana was brought, promised to aid him in the coming struggle against the Pandavas, and he was comforted thereat, and abandoned his vow to die in solitude. So he returned speedily unto Hastinapur and resumed his high position there.
Soon afterwards, when the princes and the elders sat in council with the maharajah, wise old Bhishma praised the Pandava princes for their valour and generosity, and advised Duryodhana to offer them his friendship, so that the kinsmen might ever afterwards live together in peace. Duryodhana made no answer, and, smiling bitterly, rose up and walked out of the council chamber. Bhishma
was made angry thereat, and departed also and went unto his own house.
Then Duryodhana sought to rival the glory of Yudhishthira by holding an Imperial sacrifice. Duhsasana, with evil heart, sent messengers unto Yudhishthira, inviting him to attend with his brethren; but Yudhishthira said: "Although this great sacrifice will reflect honour on all the descendants of King Bharata, and therefore upon me and my brethren, I cannot be present because our years of exile have not yet come to an end."
He spoke calmly and with dignity, but Bhima was made angry, and exclaimed: "Messengers of Duryodhana, tell thy master that when the years of exile are over, Yudhishthira will offer up a mighty sacrifice with weapons and burn in consuming flames the whole family of Dhritarashtra."
Duryodhana received these messages in silence. And when the sacrifice, which was called Vaishnava, was held, Karna said unto Duryodhana: "When thou has slain the Pandavas and canst hold thy Rajasuya 1, I will be present also to do homage unto thee."
Then Karna took a vow and said: "I will neither eat venison nor wash my feet 2 until I have slain Arjuna."
Spies hastened unto the Pandavas and related all that had taken place at the sacrifice, and also the words which Karna had spoken. When Yudhishthira heard of the terrible vow which Karna had vowed, he sorrowed greatly, for he knew that a day must come when Arjuna and Karna would meet in deadly conflict.
One day thereafter Surya, god of the sun, warned
[paragraph continues] Karna that Indra had resolved to divest him of his celestial armour and ear-rings. "But," said Surya, "thou canst demand in exchange a heavenly weapon which hath power to slay gods and demons and mortal men."
So it came that Indra stood before Karna, disguised as a Brahman, and asked for his armour and ear-rings. Having vowed to give unto the Brahmans whatsoever they might ask of him, Karna took off his armour and ear-rings and gave them unto the king of the gods, from whom he demanded in exchange an infallible weapon. Indra granted his request, but smiled 1and went upon his way, knowing well that the triumph of the Pandavas was now assured.
It chanced that one day after this that Jayadratha 2, Rajah of Sindhu, passed through the wood when the Pandavas had gone a-hunting. He beheld Draupadi with eyes of love, and, despite her warnings, carried her away in his chariot.
When the Pandavas returned and were told by a bondmaiden what had taken place, they set out in pursuit of the Rajah of Sindhu, who left his chariot when they drew nigh, and concealed himself in a thicket.
Bhima then said unto Yudhishthira: "Return now with Draupadi and our brethren. Although the rajah should seek refuge in the underworld, he will not escape my vengeance.
Said Yudhishthira: "Remember, O Bhima, that although Jayadratha hath committed a grievous sin, he is our kinsman, for he hath married the sister of Duryodhana."
Draupadi said: "He is worthy of death, for he is the
worst of kings and the vilest of men. Have not the sages said that he who carries off the wife of another in times of peace must certainly be put to death."
When Bhima found Jayadratha, he cast him down and cut off his hair except five locks; then the strong warrior promised to spare the rajah's life if he would do homage to Yudhishthira and declare himself his slave.
So the Rajah of Sindhu had to prostrate himself before Yudhishthira as a humble menial. Thereafter he departed in his shame and went unto his own country.
When the twelfth year of exile was nigh to an end, the Pandava brethren bethought them to leave the forest. But ere they went a strange and dread adventure threatened them with dire disaster. It chanced that a stag carried away upon its antlers the twigs with which a Brahman was wont to kindle his holy fire. The Brahman appealed to Yudhishthira to pursue the animal, and the Pandavas endeavoured in vain to kill it or recover the sacred twigs. Weary with the chase, they at length sat down to rest. They were all athirst, and one of them climbed a banyan tree to look for signs of water, for birds ever flutter over pools. When it was discovered that a pond was nigh, Yudhishthira sent Nakula towards it. The young man approached the water, and ere he stooped he heard a Voice which said: "Answer thou what I shall ask of thee ere thou dost drink or draw water."
But Nakula's thirst was greater than his fear, and he drank of the waters; then he fell dead.
Sahadeva followed him, wondering why his brother tarried. He too gazed greedily upon the pool, and he too heard the Voice, but heeded not and drank; and he fell dead also.
Arjuna next went towards the water. The Voice spake to him, and he answered with anger: "Who art
thou that wouldst hinder me thus? Reveal thyself; and mine arrows will speak to thee."
Then he drew his bow, and his shafts flew thick and fast as raindrops. But his valour was as naught, for when he drank he also fell dead like the others. Bhima followed him, and stooped and drank, unheeding the Voice, and he was stricken down like to Arjuna and Nakula and Sahadeva.
At length wise Yudhishthira approached the pond. He beheld his brethren lying dead, and sorrowed over them. Then, as he drew nigh to the water, the Voice spake once again, and he answered it, saying: "Who art thou?"
The Voice said: "I am a Yaksha. I warned thy brethren not to drink of this water until they had answered what I should ask of them, but they disregarded my warning and I laid them in death. If thou wilt answer my questions thou canst, however, drink here nor be afraid."
Said Yudhishthira: "Speak and I will answer thee."
The Voice said: "Who maketh the sun to rise? Who keepeth him company? Who maketh the sun to go down? In whom is the sun established?"
Said Yudhishthira: "Brahma maketh the sun to rise; the gods accompany him; Dharma maketh the sun to set; in truth is the sun established."
The Voice said: "What sleepeth with open eyes? What moveth not after birth? What is that which hath no heart? What is that which swelleth of itself?"
Said Yudhishthira: "A fish doth sleep with open eyes; an egg moveth not after birth; a stone hath no heart; a river swelleth of itself."
The Voice said: "What maketh The Way? What
is called Water? What is called Food? What is called Poison?"
Said Yudhishthira: "They that are pious make The Way; space is called water; the cow is food 1; a request is poison."
The Voice said: "Who is spoken of as the unconquered enemy of man? What is spoken of as the enemy's disease? Who is regarded as holy? Who is regarded as unholy?"
Said Yudhishthira: "Man's unconquered enemy is anger, and his disease is covetousness; he who seeketh after the good of all is holy; he who is selfishly cold is unholy."
The Voice said: "Who are worthy of eternal torment?"
Said Yudhishthira: "He who sayeth unto the Brahman whom he hath asked to his house, I have naught to give; he who declareth the Vedas to be false; he who is rich and yet giveth naught to the poor."
Many such questions did the Voice address to wise Yudhishthira, and he answered each one patiently and with knowledge. Then the Yaksha revealed himself in the form of Dharma, god of wisdom and justice, for behold! he was the celestial sire of Yudhishthira. Unto his son he granted two boons; and Yudhishthira desired that his brethren should be restored to life, and that they should all have power to remain unrecognized by anyone in the three worlds for the space of a year.
Ere the Pandavas left the forest, Yudhishthira invoked the goddess Durga 2, giver of boons, saying: "O slayer of
the Buffalo Asura, thou art worshipped by the gods, for thou art the protector of the three worlds. Chief of all deities, protect thou and bless thou us. Confer victory upon us, and help us in our distress."
The goddess heard Yudhishthira, and confirmed the promise of Dharma that the Pandava brethren and Draupadi would remain unrecognized during the thirteenth and last year of their exile.
Then the wanderers concealed their weapons in a tree, and went together towards the city of Virata 1 so that they might conceal themselves. According to the terms of banishment, they would have to spend a further twelve years in the jungle if the Kauravas discovered their whereabouts.
The Pandavas found favour in the eyes of the rajah. Yudhishthira became his instructor in the art of playing with dice, because he was wont to lose heavily. Bhima was made chief cook. Arjuna, attired as a eunuch, undertook to teach dancing and music to the ladies of the harem. Nakula was given care of horses, and Sahadeva of kine. The queen was drawn towards Draupadi, who offered to become a bondwoman on condition that she should not have to wash the feet of anyone, or eat food left over after meals; and on these terms she was engaged. The queen feared that Draupadi's great beauty would attract lovers and cause dispeace; but the forlorn woman said that she was protected by five Gandharvas, and was without fear.
Bhima soon won much renown by reason of his matchless strength. At a great festival he overcame and slew a wrestler from a far country who was named Jimúta, and he received many gifts. The rajah took great pride in him, and was wont to take him to the
apartments of the women, where he wrestled with caged tigers and lions and bears, slaying each one at desire with a single blow. Indeed, all the brothers were well loved by the monarch because of their loyal services.
It chanced that the queen's brother, Kichaka 1, a mighty warrior and commander of the royal army, was smitten with love for beautiful Draupadi, and at length he sought to carry her away. But one night Bhima waited for him when he came stealthily towards Draupadi, and after a long struggle the strong Pandava slew him. Then Bhima broke all this prince's bones and rolled up his body into a ball of flesh.
Great was the horror of Kichaka's kinsmen when they discovered what had happened, and they said: "No man hath done this awful deed; the Gandharvas have taken vengeance."
In their wrath they seized Draupadi, to burn her on the pyre with the body of Kichaka; but Bhima disguised himself and went to her rescue, and he scattered her tormentors in flight, killing many with a great tree which he had uprooted.
The rajah was terror-stricken, and spake unto the queen, and the queen thereafterwards asked Draupadi to depart from Virata. But the wife of the Pandavas begged to remain in the royal service yet a time; and she said that her Gandharva protectors would serve the rajah in his greatest hour of peril, which, she foretold, was already nigh to him. So the queen bore with her, and Draupadi tarried there.
Soon afterwards the Rajah of Trigartis, hearing that mighty Kichaka was dead, plotted with the Kauravas at Indra-prastha to attack the city of Virata with purpose to capture the raj. Duryodhana agreed to aid him, so the
[paragraph continues] Rajah of Trigartis invaded the kingdom from the north, while the Kauravas marched against Virata from the south.
It came to pass that on the last day of the thirteenth year of the Pandavas' exile the first raid took place from the north, and many cattle were carried off. Yudhishthira and Bhima, with Nakula and Sahadeva, offered to give their help when it became known that the Rajah of Virata had been captured by his enemies. The Pandavas went forth to rescue the monarch, and they routed the raiders and rescued their prisoner; they also seized upon the Rajah of Trigartis, and forced him to submit with humility to his rival ere he was allowed to return to his own city.
Meanwhile the Kauravas had advanced from the south. Uttar 1, son of the Rajah of Virata, went against them, and Arjuna was his charioteer. When the young man, however, beheld his enemies, he desired to flee, but his driver compelled him by force to remain in the chariot.
Then Arjuna procured his own weapons from the tree in which they were concealed. Thus, fully armed, he rode against the Kauravas, who said: "If this be Arjuna, he and his brethren must go into exile for another twelve years."
Bhishma said: "The thirteenth year of concealment is now ended."
The Kauravas, however, persisted that Arjuna had appeared ere the full time was spent.
Indra's great son advanced boldly. Suddenly he blew his celestial war shell, and all the Kauravas were stricken with fear, and they swooned and lay on the field like men who slept. Arjuna forbore to slay them, and he commanded Uttar to take possession of their royal attire.
[paragraph continues] Then the great archer of the Pandavas returned to the city with the rajah's son.
Now when the monarch discovered how Arjuna had served him by warding off the attack of the Kauravas, he offered the brave Pandava his daughter, Uttara, for a bride; but Arjuna said: "Let her be given unto my son."
It was then that the Pandava brethren revealed unto the Rajah of Virata who they were. All those who had assembled in the palace rejoiced greatly and honoured them.
To the marriage of Abhimamju, son of Arjuna and Subhadra, came many great rajahs. Krishna came with his brother Balarama, and the Rajah Drupada came with his son Dhrishta-dyumna.
Now the Rajah of Virata resolved to aid Yudhishthira in obtaining back his kingdom from the Kauravas, who protested that their kinsmen had been discovered ere yet the complete term of exile was ended.
Shakuni, the cunning gambler, and the vengeful Karna supported the proud and evil-hearted Duryodhana in refusing to make peace with the Pandava brethren, despite the warnings of the sages who sat around the Maharajah Dhritarashtra.
249:1 The sun god.
249:2 Like the "Pot of Worth" possessed by the Celtic Finn-mac-Cool.
250:1 Like the Celtic giant Caoilte, who went swifter than the March wind, and the Teutonic storm-giant Ecke, who gave chase to Dietrich in his character as Thunor (Thor).--See Teutonic Myth and Legend, Chapter xxxviii.
251:1 Like the Teutonic elf-king Laurin, whose wonderful rose garden is among the Tyrolese mountains.--Teutonic Myth and Legend.
254:1 In the next life in this world, according to the belief in transmigration of souls.
257:1 Like Dietrich von Bern, he assumes the character of the thunder god, and reminds us of Thor going eastward to battle against the Jotuns.
258:1 For slaying a sea giant, the Celtic Finn-mac-Cool was awarded by the king of Erin the "Horn of Worth", which could be heard "over seven hills". Like Arjuna's war shell, it was evidently the "thunder horn".
260:1 Demons and giants.
261:1 Dhritarashtra being still alive and the Pandavas having refused to attend, Duryodhana was unable, as he desired, to perform the greater sacrifice.
261:2 A necessary religious act of purification before prayer. Karna thus imperilled his soul's welfare to be avenged upon his rival.
262:1 A supernatural gift in such circumstances carried with it fatal consequences.
262:2 Pron. jay-a-drat´ha.
265:1 Babu P. C. Roy comments on this head: "The cow is the only food in this sense. The cow gives milk. The milk gives butter. The butter is used in Homa (the offering). The Homa is the cause of the clouds. The clouds give rain. The rain makes the seeds to sprout forth and produce food."
265:2 A form of the goddess Kali, wife of Shiva.
266:1 Pron. vir-at´a.
267:1 Pron. kee-chak´a ("ch" as in "change").
268:1 Pron. oot´ar.