The Mahabharata Home
Sanjaya said, "All those kings, possessed of arms that resembled spiked bludgeons, then proceeded towards their tents, filled with joy and blowing their conchs on their way. The Pandavas also, O monarch, proceeded towards our encampment. The great bowman Yuyutsu followed them, as also Satyaki, and Dhrishtadyumna, and Shikhandi, and the five sons of Draupadi. The other great bowmen also proceeded towards our tents. The Parthas then entered the tent of Duryodhana, shorn of its splendours and reft of its lord and looking like an arena of amusement after it has been deserted by spectators. Indeed, that pavilion looked like a city reft of festivities, or a lake without its elephant. It then swarmed with women and eunuchs and certain aged counsellors. Duryodhana and other heroes, attired in robes dyed in yellow, formerly used, O king, to wait reverentially, with joined hands, on those old counsellors.
Arrived at the pavilion of the Kuru king, the Pandavas, those foremost of car-warriors, O monarch, dismounted from their cars. At that time, always engaged, O bull of Bharata's race, in the good of his friend, Keshava, addressed the wielder of gandiva, saying, "Take down thy gandiva as also the two inexhaustible quivers. I shall dismount after thee, O best of the Bharatas! Get thee down, for this is for thy good, O sinless one!"
Pandu's brave son Dhananjaya did as he was directed. The intelligent Krishna, abandoning the reins of the steeds, then dismounted from the car of Dhananjaya. After the high-souled Lord of all creatures had dismounted from that car, the celestial Ape that topped the mantle of Arjuna's vehicle, disappeared there and then. The top of the vehicle, which had before been burnt by Drona and Karna with their celestial weapons, quickly blazed forth to ashes, O king, without any visible fire having been in sight. Indeed, the car of Dhananjaya, with its quick pairs of steeds, yoke, and shaft, fell down, reduced to ashes.
Beholding the vehicle thus reduced to ashes, O lord, the sons of Pandu became filled with wonder, and Arjuna, O king, having saluted Krishna and bowed unto him, said these words, with joined hands and in an affectionate voice, 'O Govinda, O divine one, for what reason hath this car been consumed by fire? What is this highly wonderful incident that has happened before our eyes! O thou of mighty arms, if thou thinkest that I can listen to it without harm, then tell me everything.'
Vasudeva said, 'That car, O Arjuna, had before been consumed by diverse kinds of weapons. It was because I had sat upon it during battle that it did not fall into pieces, O scorcher of foes! Previously consumed by the energy of brahmastra, it has been reduced to ashes upon my abandoning it after attainment by thee of thy objects!'
Then, with a little pride, that slayer of foes, the divine Keshava, embracing king Yudhishthira, said unto him, 'By good luck, thou hast won the victory, O son of Kunti! By good luck, thy foes have been vanquished! By good luck, the wielder of gandiva, Bhimasena the son of Pandu, thyself, O king, and the two sons of Madri have escaped with life from this battle so destructive of heroes, and have escaped after having slain all your foes! Quickly do that, O Bharata, which should now be done by thee!
After I had arrived at Upaplavya, thyself, approaching me, with the wielder of gandiva in thy company, gavest me honey and the customary ingredients, and saidst these words, O Lord: 'This Dhananjaya, O Krishna, is thy brother and friend! He should, therefore, be protected by thee in all dangers!' After thou didst say these words, I answered thee, saying, 'So be it!'
That Savyasaci hath been protected by me. Victory also hath been thine, O king! With his brothers, O king of kings, that hero of true prowess hath come out of this dreadful battle, so destructive of heroes, with life!' Thus addressed by Krishna, King Yudhishthira the just, with hair standing on end, O monarch, said these words unto Janardana:
Yudhishthira said, "Who else save thee, O grinder of foes, not excepting the thunder-wielding Purandara himself, could have withstood the brahmastras hurled by Drona and Karna! It was through thy grace that the samsaptakas were vanquished! It was through thy grace that Partha had never to turn back from even the fiercest of encounters! Similarly, it was through thy grace, O mighty-armed one, that I myself, with my posterity, have, by accomplishing diverse acts one after another, obtained the auspicious end of prowess and energy! At Upaplavya, the great rishi Krishna-Dvaipayana told me that thither is Krishna where righteousness is, and thither is victory where Krishna is!'"
Sanjaya continued, "After this conversation, those heroes entered thy encampment and obtained the military chest, many jewels, and much wealth. And they also obtained silver and gold and gems and pearls and many costly ornaments and blankets and skins, and innumerable slaves male and female, and many other things necessary for sovereignty. Having obtained that inexhaustible wealth belonging to thee, O bull of Bharata's race, those highly blessed ones, whose foe had been slain, uttered loud cries of exultation. Having unyoked their animals, the Pandavas and Satyaki remained there awhile for resting themselves.
Then Vasudeva of great renown said, 'We should, as an initiatory act of blessedness, remain out of the camp for this night.' Answering, 'So be it!' the Pandavas and Satyaki, accompanied by Vasudeva, went out of the camp for the sake of doing that which was regarded as an auspicious act. Arrived on the banks of the sacred stream Oghavati, O king, the Pandavas, reft of foes, took up their quarters there for that night!
They despatched Keshava of Yadu's race to Hastinapura. Vasudeva of great prowess, causing Daruka to get upon his car, proceeded very quickly to that place where the royal son of Ambika was. While about to start on his car having Shaibya and Sugriva (and the others) yoked unto it, (the Pandavas) said unto him, 'Comfort the helpless Gandhari who hath lost all her sons!' Thus addressed by the Pandavas, that chief of the Satvatas then proceeded towards Hastinapura and arrived at the presence of Gandhari who had lost all her sons in the war.'"
Next: Section 63