The Mahabharata Home
(Vaivahika Parva continued)
"Vaisampayana said, 'Drupada, on hearing this, observed, O great Rishi, it was only when I had not heard this from thee that I had sought to act in the way I told thee of. Now, however, that I know all, I cannot be indifferent to what hath been ordained by the gods. Therefore do I resolve to accomplish what thou hast said. The knot of destiny cannot be untied. Nothing in this world is the result of our own acts. That which had been appointed by us in view of securing one only bridegroom hath now terminated in favour of many. As Krishna (in a former life) had repeatedly said, 'O, give me a husband!' the great god himself even gave her the boon she had asked. The god himself knows the right or wrong of this. As regards myself, when Sankara hath ordained so, right or wrong, no sin can attach to me. Let these with happy hearts take, as ordained, the hand of Krishna with the rites.'
"Vaisampayana continued, 'Then the illustrious Vyasa, addressing Yudhishthira the just, said, 'This day is an auspicious day, O son of Pandu! This
day the moon has entered the constellation called Pushya. Take thou the hand of Krishna today, thyself first before thy brothers!' When Vyasa had said so, king Yajnasena and his son made preparations for the wedding. And the monarch kept ready various costly articles as marriage presents. Then he brought out his daughter Krishna, decked, after a bath, with many jewels and pearls. Then there came to witness the wedding all the friends and relatives of the king, ministers of state, and many Brahmanas and citizens. And they all took their seats according to their respective ranks. Adorned with that concourse of principal men, with its yard decked with lotuses and lilies scattered thereupon, and beautified with lines of troops, king Drupada's palace, festooned around with diamonds and precious stones, looked like the firmament studded with brilliant stars. Then those princes of the Kuru line, endued with youth and adorned with ear-rings, attired in costly robes and perfumed with sandal-paste, bathed and performed the usual religious rites and accompanied by their priest Dhaumya who was possessed of the splendour of fire, entered the wedding hall one after another in due order, and with glad hearts, like mighty bulls entering a cow-pen. Then Dhaumya, well-conversant with the Vedas, igniting the sacred fire, poured with due mantras libations of clarified butter into that blazing element. And calling Yudhishthira there, Dhaumya, acquainted with mantras, united him with Krishna. Walking round the fire the bridegroom and the bride took each other's hand. After their union was complete, the priest Dhaumya, taking leave of Yudhishthira, that ornament of battles, went out of the palace. Then those mighty car-warriors,--those perpetuators of the Kuru line,--those princes attired in gorgeous dresses, took the hand of that best of women, day by day in succession, aided by that priest. O king, the celestial Rishi told me of a very wonderful and extraordinary thing in connection with these marriages, viz., that the illustrious princess of slender waist regained her virginity every day after a previous marriage. After the weddings were over, king Drupada gave unto those mighty car-warriors diverse kinds of excellent wealth. And the king gave unto them one hundred cars with golden standards, each drawn by four steeds with golden bridles. And he gave them one hundred elephants all possessing auspicious marks on their temples and faces and like unto a hundred mountains with golden peaks. He also gave them a hundred female servants all in the prime of youth and clad in costly robes and ornaments and floral wreaths. And the illustrious monarch of the Lunar race gave unto each of those princes of celestial beauty, making the sacred fire a witness of his gifts, much wealth and many costly robes and ornaments of great splendour. The sons of Pandu endued with great strength, after their wedding were over, and after they had obtained Krishna like unto a second Sri along with great wealth, passed their days in joy and happiness, like so many Indras, in the capital of the king of the Panchalas,'"
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