The Mahabharata Home
"Uttara said, 'Indeed, these weapons adorned with gold, belonging to the light-handed and high-souled Partha, look exceedingly beautiful. But where are that Arjuna, the son of Pritha, and Yudhishthira of the Kuru race, and Nakula, and Sahadeva, and Bhimasena, the sons of Pandu? Having lost their kingdom at dice, the high-souled Pandavas, capable of destroying all foes, are no longer heard of. Where also is Draupadi, the princess of Panchala, famed as the gem among women, who followed the sons of Pandu after their defeat at dice to the forest?'
"Arjuna said, 'I am Arjuna, called also Partha. Thy father's courtier is Yudhishthira and thy father's cook Vallava is Bhimasena, the groom of horses is Nakula, and Sahadeva is in the cow-pen. And know thou that the Sairindhri is Draupadi, for whose sake the Kichakas have been slain.'
"Uttara said, 'I would believe all this if thou canst enumerate the ten names of Partha, previously heard by me!'
"Arjuna said, 'I will, O son of Virata, tell thee my ten names. Listen thou and compare them with what thou hadst heard before. Listen to them with close attention and concentrated mind. They are Arjuna, Falguna, Jishnu, Kiritin, Swetavahana, Vibhatsu, Vijaya, Krishna, Savyasachin and Dhananjaya."
"Uttara said, 'Tell me truly why art thou called Vijaya, and why Swetavahana. Why art thou named Krishna and why Arjuna and Falguna and Jishnu and Kiritin and Vibhatsu, and for what art thou Dhananjaya and Savyasachin? I have heard before about the origin of the several names of that hero, and can put faith in thy words if thou canst tell me all about them.'
"Arjuna said, 'They called me Dhananjaya because I lived in the midst of wealth, having subjugated all the countries and taking away their treasures. They called me Vijaya because when I go out to battle with invincible kings, I never return (from the field) without vanquishing them. I am called Swetavahana because when battling with the foe, white horses decked in golden armour are always yoked unto my car. They call me Falguna because I was born on the breast of the Himavat on a day when the constellation Uttara Falguna was on the ascendent. I am named Kiritin from a diadem, resplendent like the sun, having been placed of old on my head by Indra during my encounter with the powerful Danavas. I am known as Vibhatsu among gods and men, for my never having committed a detestable deed on the battle-field. And since both of my hands are capable of drawing the Gandiva, I am known as Savyasachin among gods and men. They call me Arjuna because my complexion is very rare within the four boundaries of the earth and because also my acts are always stainless. I am known among human beings and celestials by the name of Jishnu, because I am unapproachable
and incapable of being kept down, and a tamer of adversaries and son of the slayer of Paka. And Krishna, my tenth appellation, was given to me by my father out of affection towards his black-skinned boy of great purity.'
"Vaisampayana continued, "The son of Virata then, approaching nearer saluted Partha and said, 'My name is Bhuminjaya, and I am also called Uttara. It is by good luck, O Partha, that I behold thee. Thou art welcome, O Dhananjaya. O thou with red eyes, and arms that are mighty and each like unto the trunk of an elephant, it behoveth thee to pardon what I said unto thee from ignorance. And as wonderful and difficult have been the feats achieved by thee before, my fears have been dispelled, and indeed the love I bear to thee is great.'"
Next: Section XLV