The Mahabharata Home
"Salya said, "Then Indra, glorified by the bands of Gandharvas and celestial nymphs, mounted on Airavata, the king of elephants, characterised by auspicious marks. And the illustrious Agni, and the great saint Vrihaspati, and Yama, and Varuna, and Kuvera, the lord of riches, accompanied him. And the lord Sakra, the slayer of Vritra, then went to the three worlds surrounded by the gods together with the Gandharvas and the celestial nymphs. And the performer of a hundred sacrifices, the king of the deities, was thus united with his queen. And he began to protect the worlds with exceeding gladness. Then the illustrious divine saint Angiras arrived in the assembly of Indra and worshipped him duly by reciting the hymns of the Atharva. And the great lord Indra became satisfied and granted a boon to the Atharvangiras. And Indra said, 'Thou wilt be known as a Rishi of the name Atharvangiras in the Atharva Veda, and thou wilt also get a share in sacrifices.' And having honoured Atharvangiras thus, the great lord Indra, the performer of a hundred sacrifices, parted with him, O great king. And he honoured all the deities and all the saints endued with wealth of asceticism. And, O king, Indra, well-pleased, governed the people virtuously. Thus was misery endured by Indra with his wife. And with the view of slaying his foes, even he had to pass a period in concealment. Thou shouldst not take it to heart that thou, O king of kings, hast suffered with Draupadi as also with thy high-minded brothers in the great forest. O king of kings, O descendant of Bharata, O delighter of Kuru's race, thou wilt get back thy kingdom in the same way as Indra got his, after having killed Vritra. The vicious Nahusha, that enemy of Brahmanas, of evil mind, was overthrown by the curse of Agastya, and reduced to nothing for endless years. Similarly, O slayer of foes, thy enemies, Karna and Duryodhana and others of vicious souls will quickly be destroyed. Then, O hero, thou wilt enjoy the whole of this earth, as far as the sea, with thy brothers and this Draupadi. This story of the victory of Indra, equal to the Veda in its sacred character, should be listened to by a king desirous of victory and when his forces have been arrayed in order of battle. Therefore, O best of victors, I am reciting it to thee for thy victory, O Yudhishthira. High-souled persons attain prosperity when they are glorified. O Yudhishthira, the destruction of high-souled Kshatriyas is at hand by reason of the crimes of Duryodhana, and through the might also of Bhima and Arjuna. He who readeth this story of Indra's victory with a heart full of religious faith, is cleansed of his sins, attaineth a region of bliss, and obtaineth joy both in this world and in the next. He hath no fear of his foes; he never becometh a sonless man, never encountereth any peril whatever, and enjoyeth long life. Everywhere victory declareth for him, and he knoweth not what defeat is.'
"Vaisampayana continued, 'O best of Bharata's race, the king, that best of righteous men, thus encouraged by Salya, honoured him in proper form. And Yudhishthira, the son of Kunti, of powerful arms, having beard the words of Salya, spoke to the king of the Madras the following words, 'There is no doubt that thou wilt act as the charioteer of Karna. Thou must damp the spirits of Karna then by recounting the praises of Arjuna.'
"Salya said, 'Let it be so. I shall do just as thou tellest me. And I shall do for thee anything else that I may be able to do.'
"Vaisampayana continued, 'Then Salya, the king of the Madras, bade farewell to the sons of Kunti. And that handsome man then went with his army to Duryodhana, O repressor of foes.'"
Next: Section XIX