The Mahabharata Home
"Uttara said, 'Firm as I am in the use of the bow, I would set out this very day in the track of the kine if only some one skilled in the management of horses becomes my charioteer. I do not, however, know the man who may be my charioteer. Look ye, therefore, without delay, for a charioteer for me that am prepared for starting. My own charioteer was slain in the great battle that was fought from day to day for a whole month or at least for eight and twenty nights. As soon as I get another person conversant with the management of the steeds. I will immediately set out, hoisting high my own standard. Penetrating into the midst of the hostile army abounding with elephants and horses and chariots, I will bring back the kine, having vanquished the Kurus who are feeble in strength and weak in weapons. Like a second wielder of the thunderbolt terrifying the Danavas, I will bring back the kine this very moment, affrighting in battle Duryodhana and Bhishma and Karna and Kripa and Drona with his son, and other mighty bowmen assembled for fight. Finding none (to oppose), the Kurus are taking away the kine. What can I do when I am not there? The assembled Kurus shall witness my prowess today. And they shall say unto one another, 'Is it Arjuna himself who is opposing us?'
[paragraph continues] "Vaisampayana continued, 'Having heard these words spoken by the prince, Arjuna fully acquainted with the import of everything, after a little while cheerfully spake in private unto his dear wife of faultless beauty, Krishna, the princess of Panchala, Drupada's daughter of slender make, sprung from the (sacrificial) fire and endued with the virtues of truthfulness and honesty and ever attentive to the good of her husbands. And the hero said, 'Do thou, O beauteous one, at my request say unto Uttara without delay, 'This Vrihannala was formerly the accomplished resolute charioteer of Pandu's son (Arjuna). Tried in many a great battle, even he will be thy charioteer.'
"Vaisampayana continued, 'Hearing these words uttered by the prince over and over again in the midst of the women, Panchali could not quietly bear those allusions to Vibhatsu. And bashfully stepping out from among the women, the poor princess of Panchala gently spake unto him these words, 'The handsome youth, looking like a mighty elephant and known by the name of Vrihannala, was formerly the charioteer of Arjuna. A disciple of that illustrious warrior, and inferior to none in use of the bow, he was known to me while I was living with the Pandavas. It was by him that the reins were held of Arjuna's excellent steeds when Agni consumed the forest of Khandava. It was with him as charioteer that Partha conquered all creatures at Khandava-prastha. In fact, there is no charioteer equal unto him.'
"Uttara said, 'Thou knowest, O Sairindhri, this youth. Thou knowest, what this one of the neuter sex may or may not be, I cannot, however, O blessed one, myself request Vrihannala to hold the reins of my horses.'
"Draupadi said, 'Vrihannala, O hero, will without doubt, obey the words of thy younger sister 1--that damsel of graceful hips. If he consents to be thy charioteer, thou wilt, without doubt, return, having vanquished the Kurus and rescued thy kine.'
"Thus addressed by the Sairindhri, Uttara spake unto his sister, 'Go thyself, O thou of faultless beauty, and bring Vrihannala hither?' And despatched by her brother, she hastily repaired to the dancing-hall where that strong-armed son of Pandu was staying in disguise.'"
65:1 Some read kaniasi for vaviasi. Both words are the same, and mean the same thing.
Next: Section XXXVII