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p. 123


"Vaisampayana said, 'Then, on the third day, attired in white robes after a bath, and decked in ornaments of all kinds, those great car-warriors, the five Pandava brothers, having accomplished their row, and with Yudhishthira at their head, looked resplendent as they entered the palace-gate like five intoxicated elephants. And having entered the council-hall of Virata, they took their seats on the thrones reserved for kings, and shone brilliantly like fires on the sacrificial altar. And after Pandavas had taken their seats, Virata, that lord of earth, came there for holding his council and discharging other royal offices. And beholding the illustrious Pandavas blazing like fires, the king reflected for a moment. And them, filled with wrath, the Matsya king spoke unto Kanka seated there like a celestial and looking like the lord of celestials surrounded by the Maruts. And he said, 'A player at dice thou wert employed by me as a courtier! How couldst thou occupy the royal seat thus attired in handsome robes and ornaments?"

"Vaisampayana continued, 'Hearing these words of Virata, O king, and desirous of jesting with him, Arjuna smilingly said in reply, 'This person, O king, deserveth to occupy the same seat with Indra himself. Devoted to the Brahmanas, acquainted with the Vedas, indifferent to luxury and carnal enjoyments, habitually performing sacrifices, steady in vows, this one, indeed, is the very embodiment of virtue, The foremost of all Persons endued with energy and superior to every body on earth in intelligence, devoted to asceticism, he is conversant with various weapons. No other person among the mobile and immobile creatures of the three worlds possesseth or will ever possess such knowledge of weapons. And there is none even amongst the gods, or Asuras, or men, or Rakshasas, or Gandharvas, or Yaksha chiefs, or Kinnaras--or mighty Uragas, who is like him. Endued with great foresight and energy, beloved by the citizens and inhabitants of the provinces, he is the mightiest of car-warriors amongst the sons of Pandu. A performer of sacrifices, devoted to morality, and of subdued passions, like unto a great Rishi, this royal sage is celebrated over all the worlds. Possessed of great strength and great intelligence, able and truthful, he hath all his senses under complete control. Equal unto Indra in wealth and Kuvera in hoarding, he is the protector of the worlds like unto Manu himself of mighty prowess. Endued with great might, he is even such. Kind unto all creatures he is no other than the bull of the Kuru race, king Yudhishthira the just. The achievements of this king resemble the sun himself of blazing effulgence. And his fame hath travelled in all directions like the rays of that luminary. And like the rays following the risen sun of blazing effulgence, ten thousand swift elephants followed him, O king, when he dwelt among the Kurus. And, O king, thirty thousand cars decked in gold and drawn by the best steeds, also used to follow him then. And

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full eight hundred bards adorned with ear-rings set with shining gems, and accompanied by minstrels, recited his praises in those days, like the Rishis adorning Indra. And, O king, the Kauravas and other lords of earth always waited upon him like slaves, as the celestials upon Kuvera. This eminent king, resembling the bright-rayed sun, made all lords of earth pay tribute unto him like persons of the agricultural class. And eighty-eight thousands of high-souled Snatakas depended for their subsistence upon this king practising excellent vows. This illustrious lord protected the aged and the helpless, the maimed and the blind, as his sons, and he ruled over his subjects virtuously. Steady in morality and self-control, capable of restraining his anger, bountiful, devoted to the Brahmanas, and truthful, this one is the son of Pandu. The prosperity and prowess of this one afflict king Suyodhana with his followers including Kama and Suvala's son. And, O lord of men, the virtues of this one are incapable of being enumerated. This son of Pandu is devoted to morality and always abstains from injury. Possessed of such attributes, doth not this bull among kings, this son of Pandu, deserve, O monarch, to occupy a royal seat?'"

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