The Mahabharata Home
Duryodhana said,--"Those king that are revered over all the world, who are devoted to truth and who are pledged to the observance of rigid vows, who are possessed of great learning and eloquence, who are fully conversant with the Vedas and their branches as also with sacrifices, who have piety and modesty, whose souls are devoted to virtue, who possess fame, and who have enjoyed the grand rites of coronation, all wait upon and worship Yudhishthira. And, O king, I beheld there many thousands of wild kine with as many vessels of white copper for milking them, brought thither by the kings of the earth as sacrificial presents to be given away by Yudhishthira unto the Brahmana. And, O Bharata, for bathing Yudhishthira at the conclusion of the sacrifice, many kings with the greatest alacrity, themselves brought there in a state of purity many excellent jars (containing water). And king Vahlika brought there a car decked with pure gold. And king Sudakshina himself yoked thereto four white horses of Kamboja breed, and Sunitha of great might fitted the lower pole and the ruler of Chedi with his own hands took up and fitted the flag-staff. And the king of the Southern country stood ready with the coat of mail; the ruler of Magadha, with garlands of flowers and the head-gear; the great warrior Vasudana with a sixty years old elephant, the king of Matsya, with the side-fittings of the car, all encased in gold; king Ekalavya, with the shoes; the king of Avanti, with diverse kinds of water for the final bath; king Chekitana, with the quiver; the king of Kasi, with the bow; and Salya; with a sword whose hilt and straps were adorned with gold. Then Dhaumya and Vyasa, of great ascetic merit, with Narada and Asita's son Devala, standing before performed the ceremony of sprinkling the sacred water over the king. And the great Rishis with cheerful hearts sat where the sprinkling ceremony was performed. And other illustrious Rishis conversant with the Vedas, with Jamadagni's son among them, approached
[paragraph continues] Yudhishthira, the giver of large sacrificial presents, uttering mantras all the while, like the seven Rishis, approaching the great India in heaven. And Satyaki of unbaffled prowess held the umbrella (over the king's head). And Dhananjaya and Bhima were engaged in tanning the king; while the twins held a couple of chamaras in their hands. And the Ocean himself brought in a sling that big conch of Varuna which the celestial artificer Viswakarman had constructed with a thousand Nishkas of gold, and which Prajapati had in a former Kalpa, presented unto India. It was with that conch that Krishna bathed Yudhishthira after the conclusion of the sacrifice, and beholding it, I swooned away. People go to the Eastern or the Western seas and also to the Southern one. But, O father, none except birds can ever go to the Northern sea. But the Pandavas have spread their dominion even there, for I heard hundreds of conches that had been brought thence blown (in the sacrificial mansion) indicative of auspicious rejoicing. And while those conches blew simultaneously, my hair stood on end. And those among the kings, who were weak in strength fell down. And Dhrishtadyumna and Satyaki and the sons of Pandu and Kesava,--those eight, endued with strength and prowess and handsome in person, beholding the kings deprived of consciousness and myself in that plight, laughed outright. Then Vibhatsu (Arjuna) with a cheerful heart gave, O Bharata, unto the principal Brahmanas five hundred bullocks with horns plated with gold. And king Yudhishthira, the son of Kunti, having completed the Rajasuya sacrifice, obtained like the exalted Harishchandra such prosperity that neither Rantideva nor Nabhaga, nor Jauvanaswa, nor Manu, nor king Prithu the son of Vena, nor Bhagiratha, Yayati, nor Nahusha, had obtained its like. And beholding, O exalted one, such prosperity, in the son of Pritha which is even like that which Harishchandra had, I do not see the least good in continuing to live, O Bharata! O ruler of men, a yoke that is tied (to the bullock's shoulders) by a blind man becomes loosened. Even such is the case with us. The younger ones are growing while the elder ones are decaying. And beholding all this, O chief of the Kurus, I cannot enjoy peace even with the aid of reflection. And it is for this, O king, that I am plunged into grief and becoming pale and emaciated."
Next: Section LIII