The Mahabharata Home
Vaisampayana said,--"then, O king, Yudhishthira, having approached and worshipped his grandfather and his preceptor, addressed Bhishma and Drona and Kripa and the son of Drona and Duryyodhana and Vivingsati, and said,--'Help me ye all in the mater of this sacrifice. This large treasure that is here is yours. Consult ye with one another and guide me as ye desire.
"The eldest of the sons of Pandu, who had been installed at the sacrifice, having said this unto all, appointed every one of them to suitable offices. He appointed Dussasana to superintend the department of food and other enjoyable articles. Aswatthama was asked to attend on the Brahmanas. Sanjaya was appointed to offer return-worship unto the kings. Bhishma and Drona, both endued with great intelligence, were appointed to see what was done and what was left undone. And the king appointed Kripa to look after the diamonds and gold and the pearls and gems, as also after the distribution of gifts to Brahmanas. And so other tigers among men were appointed to similar offices. Valhika and Dhritarashtra and Somadatta and Jayadratha, brought thither by Nakula, went about, enjoying themselves as lords of the sacrifice. Vidura otherwise called Kshatta, conversant with every rule of morality, became the disburser. Duryyodhana became the receiver of the tributes that were brought by the kings. Krishna who was himself the centre of all worlds and round whom moved every creature, desirous of acquiring excellent fruits, was engaged at his own will in washing the feet of the Brahmanas.
"And desirous of beholding that sacrificial mansion, as also king Yudhishthira the just, none came there with tribute less than a thousand (in number, weight or measure). Everyone honoured the king Yudhishthira the just with large presents of jewels. And each of the kings made a present of his wealth, flattering himself with the proud belief that the jewels he gave would enable the Kuru king Yudhisthira to complete his sacrifice.
[paragraph continues] And, O monarch, the sacrificial compound of the illustrious son of Kunti looked extremely handsome--with the multitude of palaces built so as to last for ever and crowded with guards and warriors. These were so high that their tops touched the cars of the gods that came to behold that sacrifice; as also with the cars themselves of the celestials, and with the dwelling of the Brahmanas and the mansions made there for the kings resembling the cars of the celestials and adorned with gems and filled with every kind of wealth, and lastly with crowds of the kings that came there all endued with beauty and wealth. Yudhisthira, as though vying with Varuna himself in wealth, commenced the sacrifice (of Rajasuya) distinguished by six fires and large gifts to Brahmanas. The King gratified everybody with presents of great value and indeed with every kind of object that one could desire. With abundance of rice and of every kind of food, as also with a mass of jewels brought as tribute, that vast concourse consisted of persons every one of whom was fed to the full. The gods also were gratified at the sacrifice by the Ida, clarified butter, Homa and libations poured by the great Rishis versed in mantras and pronunciation. Like the gods, the Brahmanas also were gratified with the sacrificial gifts and food and great wealth. And all the other orders of men also were gratified at that sacrifice and filled with joy."
Next: Section XXXV