The Mahabharata Home
"Vaisampayana said,--Hearing these words of Bhishma, the ruler of Chedi endued with exceeding prowess, desirous of combating with Vasudeva addressed him and said,--O Janarddana, I challenge thee. Come, fight with me until I slay thee today with all the Pandavas. For, O Krishna, the sons of Pandu also, who disregarding the claims of all
these kings, have worshipped thee who art no king, deserve to be slain by me along with thee. Even this is my opinion, O Krishna, that they who from childishness have worshipped thee, as if thou deservest it, although thou art unworthy of worship, being only a slave and a wretch and no king, deserve to be slain by me.' Having said this, that tiger among kings stood there roaring in anger. And after Sisupala had ceased, Krishna addressing all the kings in the presence of the Pandavas, spoke these words in a soft voice.--'Ye kings, this wicked-minded one, who is the son of a daughter of the Satwata race, is a great enemy of us of the Satwata race; and though we never seek to injure him, he ever seeketh our evil. This wretch of cruel deeds, ye kings, hearing that we had gone to the city of Pragjyotisha, came and burnt Dwaraka, although he is the son of my father's sister. While king Bhoja was sporting on the Raivataka hill, this one fell upon the attendants of that king and slew and led away many of them in chains to his own city. Sinful in all his purpose, this wretch, in order to obstruct the sacrifice of my father, stole the sacrificial horse of the horse-sacrifice that had been let loose under the guard of armed men. Prompted by sinful motives, this one ravished the reluctant wife of the innocent Vabhru (Akrura) on her way from Dwaraka to the country of the Sauviras. This injurer of his maternal uncle, disguising himself in the attire of the king of Karusha, ravished also the innocent Bhadra, the princess of Visala, the intended bride of king Karusha. I have patiently borne all these sorrows for the sake of my father's sister. It is, however, very fortunate that all this hath occurred today in the presence of all the kings. Behold ye all today the hostility this one beareth towards me. And know ye also all that he hath done me at my back. For the excess of that pride in which he hath indulged in the presence of all these monarchs, he deserveth to be slain by me. I am ill able to pardon today the injuries that he hath done me. Desirous of speedy death, this fool had desired Rukmini. But the fool obtained her not, like a Sudra failing to obtain the audition of the Vedas."
Vaisampayana continued,--"Hearing these words of Vasudeva, all the assembled monarchs began to reprove the ruler of Chedi. But the powerful Sisupala, having heard these words, laughed aloud and spoke thus,--'O Krishna, art thou not ashamed in saying in this assembly, especially before all these kings that Rukmini (thy wife) had been coveted by me? O slayer of Madhu, who else is there than thee, who regarding himself a man would say in the midst of respectable men that his wife had been intended for some body else? O Krishna, pardon me if thou pleasest, or pardon me not. But angry or friendly, what canst thou do unto me?'
"And while Sisupala was speaking thus, the exalted slayer of Madhu thought in his mind of the discus that humbleth the pride of the Asuras. And as soon as the discus came into his hands, skilled in speech the illustrious
one loudly uttered these words,--'Listen ye lords of earth, why this one had hitherto been pardoned by me. As asked by his mother, a hundred offences (of his) were to be pardoned by me. Even this was the boon she had asked, and even this I granted her. That number, ye kings, hath become full. I shall now slay him in your presence, ye monarchs.' Having said this, the chief of the Yadus, that slayer of all foes, in anger, instantly cut off the head of the ruler of Chedi by means of his discus. And the mighty-armed one fell down like a cliff struck with thunder. And, O monarch, the assembled kings then beheld a fierce energy, like unto the sun in the sky, issue out of the body of the king of Chedi, and O king, that energy then adored Krishna, possessed of eyes like lotus leaves and worshipped by all the worlds, and entered his body. And all the kings beholding the energy which entered that mighty-armed chief of men regarded it as wonderful. And when Krishna had slain the king of Chedi, the sky, though cloudless, poured showers of rain, and blasting thunders were hurled, and the earth itself began to tremble. There were some among the kings who spoke not a word during those unspeakable moments but merely sat gazing at Janarddana. And some there were that rubbed in rage their palms with their forefingers. And there were others who deprived of reason by rage bit their lips with their teeth. And some amongst the kings applauded him of the Vrishni race in private. And some there were that became excited with anger; while others became mediators. The great Rishis with pleased hearts praised Kesava and went away. And all the high-souled Brahmanas and the mighty kings that were there, beholding Krishna's prowess, became glad at heart and praised him.
"Yudhishthira then commanded his brothers to perform without delay the funeral rites of king Sisupala, the brave son of Damaghosha, with proper respect. The sons of Pandu obeyed the behest of their brother. And Yudhishthira then, with all the kings, installed the son of king Sisupala in the sovereignty of the Chedis.
"Then that sacrifice, O monarch, of the king of the Kurus possessed of great energy, blessed with every kind of prosperity, became exceedingly handsome and pleasing unto all young men. And commenced auspiciously, and all impediments removed, and furnished with abundance of wealth and corn, as also with plenty of rice and every kind of food, it was properly watched by Kesava. And Yudhishthira in due time completed the great sacrifice. And the mighty-armed Janarddana, the exalted Sauri, with his bow called Saranga and his discus and mace, guarded that sacrifice till its completion. And all the Kshatriya monarchs, having approached the virtuous Yudhishthira who had bathed after the conclusion of the sacrifice, said these words: 'By good fortune thou hast come out successful. O virtuous one, thou hast obtained the imperial dignity. O thou of the Ajamida race, by thee hath been spread the fame of thy whole race. And, O king of
kings, by this act of thine, thou hast also acquired great religious merit. We have been worshipped by thee to the full extent of our desires. We now tell thee that we are desirous of returning to our own kingdoms. It behoveth thee to grant us permission.'
"Hearing these words of the monarchs, king Yudhishthira the just, worshipping each as he deserved, commanded his brothers, saying, 'These monarchs had all come to us at their own pleasure. These chastisers of foes are now desirous of returning to their own kingdoms, bidding me farewell. Blest be ye, follow ye these excellent kings to the confines of our own dominions.' Hearing these words of their brother, the virtuous Pandava princes followed the kings, one after another as each deserved. The powerful Dhrishtadyumna followed without loss of time king Virata: and Dhananjaya followed the illustrious and mighty charioteer Yajnasena; and the mighty Bhimasena followed Bhishma and Dhritarashtra: and Sahadeva, that master of battle, followed the brave Drona and his son; and Nakula, O king, followed Suvala with his son; and the sons of Draupadi with the son of Subhadra followed those mighty warriors--the kings of the mountainous countries. And other bulls among Kshatriyas followed other Kshatriyas. And the Brahmanas by thousands also went away, duly worshipped.
"After all the Kings and the Brahmanas had gone away, the powerful Vasudeva addressing Yudhishthira said,--'O son of the Kuru race, with thy leave, I also desire to go to Dwaraka. By great good fortune, thou hast accomplished the foremost of sacrifices--Rajasuya!' Thus addressed by Janarddana, Yudhishthira replied, 'Owing to thy grace, O Govinda. I have accomplished the great sacrifice. And it is owing to thy grace that the whole Kshatriya world having accepted my sway, had come hither with valuable tribute. O hero, without thee, my heart never feeleth any delight. How can I, therefore, O hero, give thee, O sinless one, leave to go? But thou must have to go to the city of Dwaraka.' The virtuous Hari of worldwide fame, thus addressed by Yudhishthira, cheerfully went with his cousin to Pritha and said,--'O aunt, thy sons have now obtained the imperial dignity. They have obtained vast wealth and been also crowned with success. Be pleased with all this. Commanded by thee, O aunt, I desire to go to Dwaraka.' After this, Kesava bade farewell to Draupadi and Subhadra. Coming out then of the inner apartments accompanied by Yudhishthira, he performed his ablutions and went through the daily rites of worship, and then made the Brahmanas utter benedictions. Then the mighty armed Daruka came there with a car of excellent design and body resembling the clouds. And beholding that Garuda-bannered car arrived thither, the high-souled one, with eyes like lotus leaves, walked round it respectfully and ascending on it set out for Dwaravati. And king Yudhishthira the just, blessed with prosperity, accompanied by his brothers, followed
on foot the mighty Vasudeva. Then Hari with eyes like lotus leaves, stopping that best of cars for a moment, addressing Yudhishthira the son of Kunti, said,--'O king of kings, cherishest thou thy subjects with ceaseless vigilance and patience. And as the clouds are unto all creatures, as the large tree of spreading bough is unto birds, as he of a thousand eyes is unto the immortals, be thou the refuge and support of thy relatives. And Krishna and Yudhishthira having thus talked unto each other took each other's leave and returned to their respective homes. And, O king, after the chief of the Satwata race had gone to Dwaravati, king Duryodhana alone, with king Suvala's son, Sakuni,--these bulls among men,--continued to live in that celestial assembly house.
Next: Section XLV