The Mahabharata Home
(Swayamvara Parva continued)
"Vaisampayana said, 'Then those illustrious sons of Pritha, on returning to the potter's abode, approached their mother. And those first of men represented Yajnaseni unto their mother as the alms they had obtained that day. And Kunti who was there within the room and saw not her sons, replied, saying, 'Enjoy ye all (what ye have obtained).' The moment after, she beheld Krishna and then she said, 'Oh, what have I said?' And anxious from fear of sin, and reflecting how every one could be extricated from the situation, she took the cheerful Yajnaseni by the hand, and approaching Yudhishthira said, 'The daughter of king Yajnasena upon being represented to me by thy younger brothers as the alms they had obtained, from ignorance, O king, I said what was proper, viz., 'Enjoy ye all what hath been obtained. O
thou bull of the Kuru race, tell me how my speech may not become untrue; how sin may not touch the daughter of the king of Panchala, and how also she may not become uneasy.'
"Vaisampayana continued, 'Thus addressed by his mother that hero among men, that foremost scion of the Kuru race, the intelligent king (Yudhishthira), reflecting for a moment, consoled Kunti, and addressing Dhananjaya, said, 'By thee, O Phalguna, hath Yajnaseni been won. It is proper, therefore, that thou shouldst wed her. O thou withstander of all foes, igniting the sacred fire, take thou her hand with due rites.'
"Arjuna, hearing this, replied, 'O king, do not make me a participator in sin. Thy behest is not conformable to virtue. That is the path followed by the sinful. Thou shouldst wed first, then the strong-armed Bhima of inconceivable feats, then myself, then Nakula, and last of all, Sahadeva endued with great activity. Both Vrikodara and myself, and the twins and this maiden also, all await, O monarch, thy commands. When such is the state of things, do that, after reflection, which would be proper, and conformable virtue, and productive of fame, and beneficial unto the king of Panchala. All of us are obedient to thee. O, command us as thou likest.'
"Vaisampayana continued, 'Hearing these words of Jishnu, so full of respect and affection, the Pandavas all cast their eyes upon the princess of Panchala. And the princess of Panchala also looked at them all. And casting their glances on the illustrious Krishna, those princes looked at one another. And taking their seats, they began to think of Draupadi alone. Indeed, after those princes of immeasurable energy had looked at Draupadi, the God of Desire invaded their hearts and continued to crush all their senses. As the lavishing beauty of Panchali who had been modelled by the Creator himself, was superior to that of all other women on earth, it could captivate the heart of every creature. And Yudhishthira, the son of Kunti, beholding his younger brothers, understood what was passing in their minds. And that bull among men immediately recollected the words of Krishna-Dwaipayana. And the king, then, from fear of a division amongst the brothers, addressing all of them, said, 'The auspicious Draupadi shall be the common wife of us all.'
"Vaisampayana continued, 'The sons of Pandu, then, hearing those words of their eldest brother, began to revolve them in their minds in great cheerfulness. The hero of the Vrishni race (Krishna suspecting the five persons he had seen at the Swayamvara to be none else than the heroes of the Kuru race), came accompanied by the son of Rohini (Valadeva), to the house of the potter where those foremost of men had taken up their quarters. On arriving there, Krishna and Valadeva beheld seated in that potter's house Ajatasanu (Yudhishthira) of well developed and long arms, and his younger brothers passing the splendour of fire sitting around him. Then Vasudeva approaching that foremost of virtuous men--the son of Kunti--and touching the feet of that prince of the Ajamida race, said, 'I am Krishna.'
[paragraph continues] And the son of Rohini (Valadeva) also approaching Yudhishthira, did the same. And the Pandavas, beholding Krishna and Valadeva, began to express great delight. And, O thou foremost of the Bharata race, those heroes of the Yadu race thereafter touched also the feet of Kunti, their father's sister. And Ajatasatru, that foremost of the Kuru race, beholding Krishna, enquired after his well-being and asked, 'How, O Vasudeva, hast thou been able to trace us, as we are living in disguise?' And Vasudeva, smilingly answered, 'O king, fire, even if it is covered, can be known. Who else among men than the Pandavas could exhibit such might? Ye resisters of all foes, ye sons of Pandu, by sheer good fortune have ye escaped from that fierce fire. And it is by sheer good fortune alone that the wicked son of Dhritarashtra and his counsellors have not succeeded in accomplishing their wishes. Blest be ye! And grow ye in prosperity like a fire in a cave gradually growing and spreading itself all around. And lest any of the monarchs recognise ye, let us return to our tent.' Then, obtaining Yudhishthira's leave, Krishna of prosperity knowing no decrease, accompanied by Valadeva, hastily went away from the potter's abode.'"
Next: Section CLXLIV