Sacred Texts  Hinduism  Mahabharata  Index  Previous  Next 


"Vaisampayana said, 'They then set out, with cheerful hearts, and accompanied by men and animals all of whom and which were equally cheerful. They filled the whole Earth with the loud clatter of their wheels. Their praises hymned by eulogists and Sutas and Magadhas and bards, and supported by their own army, they looked like so many Adityas adorned with their own rays. With the white umbrella held over his head, king Yudhishthira shone with beauty like the lord of the stars on the night when he is at full. That foremost of men, the eldest son of Pandu, accepted, with due forms, the blessings and cheers of his gladdened subjects as he proceeded on his way. As regards the soldiers that followed the king, their confused murmurs seemed to fill the entire welkin. That host crossed many lakes and rivers and forests and pleasure gardens. They at last came upon the mountains. Arrived at that region where that wealth was buried, O king, the royal Yudhishthira fixed his camp with all his brothers and troops. The region selected for the purpose, O chief of Bharata's race, was perfectly level and auspicious There the king pitched his camp, placing in his van such Brahmanas as were endued with penances and learning and self-restraint, as also his priest Agnivesya, O thou of Kuru's race, who was well-conversant with the Vedas and all their branches. 1 Then the royal sons of Pandu, and the other kings (who accompanied that expedition), and the Brahmanas and priests well-skilled in sacrificial rites, having duly performed same propitiatory ceremonies, spread themselves all over that spot. Having duly placed the king and his ministers in the middle, the Brahmanas caused the camp to be pitched by laying out six roads and nine divisions. 2 King Yudhishthira caused a separate encampment to be duly made for the infuriate elephants that accompanied his force. When everything was complete, he addressed the Brahmanas, saying, 'Ye foremost of Brahmanas, let that be done which you think should be done in view of the matter at hand. Indeed, let an auspicious day and constellation be fixed for it. Let not a long time pass away over our heads as we wait in suspense here. Ye foremost of learned Brahmanas, having formed this resolution, let that be done which should be done after this.' Hearing these words of the king, the Brahmanas with those amongst them that were well-skilled in the performance of religious rites, became filled with gladness and desirous of doing what was agreeable

p. 115

to king Yudhishthira the just, said these words in reply, 'This very day is, an auspicious one with an auspicious constellation. We shall, therefore, strive to accomplish those high rites we propose. We shall today, O king, live upon water alone. Do you all fast also today' Hearing those words of those foremost Brahmanas, the royal sons of Pandu passed that night, abstaining from all food, and lying confidently on beds of Kusa grass, like blazing fires in a sacrifice. And the night wore away as they listened to the discourses of the learned Brahmanas (on diverse subjects). When the cloudless morning came, those foremost of Brahmanas addressed the royal son of Dharma (saying as follows).'


114:1 Agnivesya was another name of Dhaumya.

114:2 Three roads running north to south, and three running cast to west and intersecting the former, are the six roads that are directed to be laid out in pitching encampments. Those give nine squares with two boundary lines at right angles with each other.

Next: Section LXV