The Mahabharata Home
Vaisampayana said,--"when that foremost of sacrifices, the Rajasuya so difficult of accomplishment, was completed, Vyasa surrounded by his disciples presented himself before Yudhishthira. And Yudhishthira, upon beholding him quickly rose from his seat, surrounded by his brothers, and worshipped the Rishi who was his grand-father, with water to wash his feet and the offer of a seat. The illustrious one having taken his seat on a costly carpet inlaid with gold, addressed king Yudhishthira the just and said.--'Take thy seat'. And after the king had taken his seat surrounded by his brothers, the illustrious Vyasa, truthful in speech said,--'O son of Kunti, thou growest from good fortune. Thou hast obtained imperial sway so difficult of acquisition. And O perpetuator of the Kuru race, all the Kauravas have prospered in consequence of thee. O Emperor, I have been duly worshipped. I desire now to go with thy leave! King Yudhishthira the just, thus addressed by the Rishi of dark hue, saluted (him) his grandfather and touching his feet said,--'O chief of men, a doubt difficult of being dispelled, hath risen within me. O bull among regenerate ones, save thee there is none to remove it. The illustrious Rishi Narada said that (as a consequence of the Rajasuya sacrifice) three kinds of portents, viz., celestial, atmospherical and terrestrial ones happen. O grandsire, have those portents been ended by the fall of the kind of the Chedis?''
Vaisampayana continued,--"Hearing these words of the king, the exalted son of Parasara, the island-born Vyasa of dark hue, spoke these words,--'For thirteen years, O king, those portents will bear mighty consequences ending in destruction, O king of kings, of all the Kshatriyas. In course of time, O bull of the Bharata race, making thee the sole cause, the assembled Kshatriyas of the world will be destroyed, O Bharata, for the sins of Duryodhana
and through the might of Bhima and Arjuna. In thy dream, O king of kings thou wilt behold towards the end of this might the blue throated Bhava, the slayer of Tripura, ever absorbed in meditation, having the bull for his mark, drinking off the human skull, and fierce and terrible, that lord of all creatures, that god of gods, the husband of Uma, otherwise called Hara and Sarva, and Vrisha, armed with the trident and the bow called Pinaka, and attired in tiger skin. And thou wilt behold Siva, tall and white as the Kailasa cliff and seated on his bull, gazing unceasingly towards the direction (south) presided over by the king of the Pitris. Even this will be the dream thou wilt dream today, O king of kings. Do not grieve for dreaming such a dream. None can rise superior to the influence of Time. Blest be thou! I will now proceed towards the Kailasa mountain. Rule thou the earth with vigilance and steadiness, patiently bearing every privation!'"
Vaisampayana continued,--"Having said this, the illustrious and island-born Vyasa of dark hue, accompanied by his disciples ever following the dictates of the Vedas, proceeded towards Kailasa. And after the grand-father had thus gone away, the king afflicted with anxiety and grief, began to think continuously upon what the Rishi hath said. And he said to himself, 'Indeed what the Rishi hath said must come to pass. We will succeed in warding off the fates by exertion alone?' Then Yudhishthira endued with great energy addressing all his brothers, said, 'Ye tigers among men, ye have heard what the island-born Rishi hath told me. Having heard the words of the Rishi, I have arrived at this firm resolution viz., that I should die, as I am ordained to be the cause of the destruction of all Kshatriyas. Ye my dear ones, if Time hath intended so what need is there for me to live?' Hearing these words of the king, Arjuna replied, 'O king, yield not thyself to this terrible depression that is destructive of reason. Mustering fortitude, O great king, do what would be beneficial.' Yudhishthira then, firm in truth, thinking all the while of Dwaipayana's words answered his brothers thus,--'Blest be ye. Listen to my vow from this day. For thirteen years, what ever purpose have I to live for, I shall not speak a hard word to my brothers or to any of the kings of the earth. Living under the command of my relatives, I shall practise virtue, exemplifying my vow. If I live in this way, making no distinction between my own children and others, there will be no disagreement (between me and others). It is disagreement that is the cause of war in the world. Keeping war at a distance, and ever doing what is agreeable to others, evil reputation will not be mine in the world, ye bulls among men. Hearing these words of their eldest brother, the Pandavas, always engaged in doing what was agreeable to him, approved of them. And Yudhishthira the just, having pledged so, along with his brothers in the midst of that assembly, gratified his priests as also the gods with due ceremonies. And, O bull of the Bharata race, after all the monarchs
had gone away, Yudhishthira along with his brothers, having performed the usual auspicious rites, accompanied by his ministers entered his own palace. And, O ruler of men, king Duryodhana and Sakuni, the son of Suvala, continued to dwell in that delightful assembly house.
Next: Section XLVI