The Mahabharata Home
"Vaisampayana said, 'Then Bhuminjaya, the eldest son of the king, entered, and having worshipped the feet of his father approached Kanka. And he beheld Kanka covered with blood, and seated on the ground at one end of the court, and waited upon by the Sairindhri. And seeing
this, Uttara asked his father in a hurry, saying, 'By whom, O king, hath this one been struck? By whom hath this sinful act been perpetrated?'
"Virata said, 'This crooked Brahmana hath been struck by me. He deserveth even more than this. When I was praising thee, he praised that person of the third sex.'
"Uttara said, 'Thou hast, O king, committed an improper act. Do thou speedily propitiate him so that the virulent poison of a Brahmana's curse may not consume thee to thy roots!'
"Vaisampayana continued, 'Having heard the words of his son, Virata, that enhancer of the limits of his kingdom, began to soothe Kunti's son, who was like unto a fire hid in ashes, for obtaining his forgiveness. And unto the king desirous of obtaining his pardon the Pandava replied, 'O king, I have long ago forgiven it. Anger I have none. Had this blood from my nostrils fallen on the ground, then, without doubt, thou, O monarch, wouldst have been destroyed with thy kingdom. I do not, however, blame thee, O king, for having struck an innocent person. For, O king, they that are powerful generally act with unreasoning severity.'
"Vaisampayana continued, 'When the bleeding had stopped, Vrihannala entered (the council-room) and having saluted both Virata and Kanka, stood silent. And the king, having appeased the chief of the Kurus, began to praise, in Savyasachin's hearing, Uttara who had returned from the battle. And the king said, 'O enhancer of the joys of Kekaya's princess, in thee have I truly a son! I never had nor shall have, a son that is equal to thee! How, indeed, couldst thou, O Child, encounter that Karna who leaveth not a single mark unhit amongst even a thousand that he may aim at all at once? How couldst thou, O child, encounter that Bhishma who hath no equal in the whole world of men? How also couldst thou, O child, encounter Drona, that foremost of all wielders of weapons, that preceptor of the Vrishnis and Kauravas, twice-born one who may be regarded as the preceptor of all the Kshatriyas? How couldst thou meet in battle the celebrated Aswatthaman? How couldst thou, O child, encounter that Duryodhana, the prince who is capable of piercing even a mountain with his mighty arrows? My foes have all been thrashed. A delicious breeze seems to blow around me. And since thou hast recovered in battle the whole of my wealth that had been seized by the Kurus, it seems that all those mighty warriors were struck with panic. Without doubt, thou, O bull amongst men, has routed the foe and snatched away from them my wealth of kine, like his prey from a tiger.'"
Next: Section LXIX