The Mahabharata Home
"Vaisampayana said,--"Janardana deserving the worship of all, having lived happily at Khandavaprastha for some time, and having been treated all the while with respectful love and affection by the sons of Pritha, became desirous one day of leaving Khandavaprastha to behold his father. That possessor of large eyes, unto whom was due the obeisance of the universe, then saluted both Yudhishthira and Pritha and made obeisance with his head unto the feet of Kunti, his father's sister. Thus revered by Kesava, Pritha smelt his head and embraced him. The illustrious Hrishikesa approached his own sister Subhadra affectionately, with his eyes filled with tears, and spoke unto her words of excellent import and truth, terse proper, unanswerable and fraught with good. The sweet-speeched Subhadra also, saluting him in return and worshipping him repeatedly with bent head, told him all that she wished to be conveyed to her relatives on the paternal side. And bidding her farewell and uttering benedictions on his handsome sister, he of the Vrishni race, next saw Draupadi and Dhaumya. That best of men duly made obeisance unto Dhaumya, and consoling Draupadi obtained leave from her. Then the learned and mighty Krishna, accompanied by Partha, went to his cousins. And surrounded by the five brothers, Krishna shone like Sakra in the midst of the celestials. He whose banner bore the figure of Garuda, desirous of performing the rites preparatory
to the commencement of a journey, purified himself by a bath and adorned his person with ornaments. The bull of the Yadu race then worshipped the gods and Brahmanas with floral wreaths, mantras, bows of the head, and excellent perfumes. Having finished all these rites, that foremost of steady and virtuous persons then thought of setting out. The chief of the Yadu race then came out of the inner to the outer apartment, and issuing thence he made unto Brahmanas, deserving of worship, offerings of vessel-fulls of curd and fruits, and parched-grain and caused them to pronounce benedictions upon him. And making unto them presents also of wealth, he went round them. Then ascending his excellent car of gold endued with great speed and adorned with banner bearing the figure of Tarkhya (Garuda) and furnished also with mace, discus, sword, his bow Sharnga and other weapons, and yoking thereunto his horses Saivya and Sugriva, he of eyes like lotuses set out at an excellent moment of a lunar day of auspicious stellar conjunction. And Yudhishthira, the king of the Kurus, from affection, ascended the chariot after Krishna, and causing that best charioteer Daruka to stand aside, himself took the reins. And Arjuna also, of long arms, riding on that car, walked round Krishna and fanned him with a white chamara furnished with a handle of gold. And the mighty Bhimasena accompanied by the twin brothers Nakula and Sahadeva and the priests and citizens all followed Krishna from behind. And Kesava, that slayer of hostile heroes, followed by all the brothers, shone like a preceptor followed by his favourite pupils. Then Govinda spoke unto Arjuna and clasped him firmly, and worshipping Yudhisthira and Bhima, embraced the twins. And embraced in return by the three elder Pandavas, he was reverentially saluted by the twins. After having gone about half a Yojana (two miles), Krishna, that subjugator of hostile towns, respectfully addressed Yudhishthira and requested him, O Bharata, to stop following him further. And Govinda, conversant with every duty, then reverentially saluted Yudhishthira and took hold of his feet. But Yudhishthira soon raised Kesava and smelt his head. King Yudhishthira the just, the son of Pandu, having raised Krishna endued with eyes like lotus-petals and the foremost of the Yadava race, gave him leave, saying,--'Good bye!' Then the slayer of Madhu, making an appointment with them (about his return) in words that were proper, and preventing with difficulty the Pandavas from following him further on foot, gladly proceeded towards his own city, like Indra going towards Amravati. Out of the love and affection they bore him, the Pandavas gazed on Krishna as long as he was within sight, and their minds also followed him when he got out of sight. And Kesava of agreeable person soon disappeared from their sight, unsatiated though their minds were with looking at him. Those bulls among men, the sons of Pritha, with minds fixed on Govinda, desisted (from following him further) and unwillingly returned to their own city in haste. And Krishna in his car soon reached Dwaraka followed by that hero
[paragraph continues] Satyaki. Then Sauri, the son of Devaki, accompanied by his charioteer Daruka reached Dwaraka with the speed of Garuda."
Vaisampayana continued,--"Meanwhile king Yudhishthira of unfading glory, accompanied by his brothers and surrounded by friends, entered his excellent capital. And that tiger among men, dismissing all his relatives, brothers, and sons, sought to make himself happy in the company of Draupadi. And Kesava also, worshipped by the principal Yadavas including Ugrasena, entered with a happy heart his own excellent city. And worshipping his old father and his illustrious mother, and saluting (his brother) Valadeva, he of eyes like lotus-petals took his seat. Embracing Pradyumna, Shamva, Nishatha, Charudeshna, Gada, Aniruddha and Bhanu, and obtaining the leave of all the elderly men, Janardana entered the apartments of Rukmini."
Next: Section III