The Mahabharata Home
"Vaisampayana said, 'The ruler of Manipura, Vabhruvahana, hearing that his sire Arjuna had arrived within his dominions, went out with humility, with a number of Brahmanas and some treasure in his van. 2 Remembering, however, the duties of Kshatriyas, Dhananjaya of great intelligence, seeing the ruler of Manipura arrive in that guise, did not approve of it. The righteous-souled Phalguna angrily said, 'This conduct of thine is not becoming. Thou hast certainly fallen away from Kshatriya duties. I have come here as the protector of Yudhishthira's sacrificial horse. Why, O son, wilt thou not fight me, seeing that I have come within thy dominions? Fie on thee, O thou of foolish understanding, fie on thee that hast fallen away from Kshatriya duties! Fie on thee that would receive me peacefully, even though I have come here for battling with thee. In thus receiving me peacefully thou actest like a woman. O thou of wretched understanding, if I had come to thee, leaving aside my arms, then would this behaviour of thine have been fit, O worst of men.' Learning that these words were addressed by her husband, the daughter of the Snake-king, viz., Ulupi unable to tolerate it, pierced through the Earth and came up to that spot. 3 She beheld her son standing there perfectly cheerless and with face hanging down. Indeed, the prince was repeatedly rebuked by his sire who was desirous of battle with him, O monarch. The daughter of the snake, with every limb possessed of beauty, viz., Ulupi, said these words consistent with righteousness and duty unto the prince who was conversant with righteousness and duty,--'Know that I am thy mother Ulupi that am the daughter of a snake. Do thou accomplish my behest, O son, for thou wouldst then attain to great merit. Fight thy father, this foremost one
of Kuru's race, this hero that is irresistible in battle. Without doubt, he will then be gratified with thee.' In this way was king Vabhruvahana incited against his sire by his (step) mother. At last, endued as he was with great energy, he made up his mind, O chief of the Bharata's, to fight Dhananjaya. Putting on his armour of bright gold and his effulgent head-gear, he ascended an excellent car which had hundreds of quivers ready on it. That car was equipt with necessaries for battle and had steeds yoked to it that were endued with the speed of the mind. It had excellent wheels and a strong Upashkara, and was adorned with golden ornaments of every kind. Raising his standard which was decorated most beautifully and which bore the device of a lion in gold, the handsome prince Vabhruvahana proceeded against his sire for battle. Coining upon the sacrificial steed which was protected by Partha, the heroic prince caused it to be seized by persons well-versed in horse-lore. Beholding the steed seized, Dhananjaya became filled with joy. Standing on the Earth, that hero began to resist the advance of his son who was on his car. The king afflicted the hero with repeated showers of shafts endued with whetted points and resembling snakes of virulent poison. The battle that took, place between sire and son was incomparable. It resembled the encounter between the deities and the Asuras of old. Each was gratified with obtaining the other for an antagonist. Then Vabhruvahana, laughing, pierced the diadem-decked Arjuna, that foremost of men, in the shoulder with a straight shaft. Equipt with feathers, that shaft penetrated Arjuna's body like a snake penetrating on an anthill. Piercing the son of Kunti through, the shaft went deep into the Earth. Feeling acute pain, the intelligent Dhananjaya rested awhile, supporting himself on his excellent bow. He stood, having recourse to his celestial energy and seemed to outward appearance like one deprived of life. That foremost of men, then regaining consciousness, praised his son highly. Possessed of great splendour, the son of Sakra said, 'Excellent, Excellent, O mighty-armed one, O son of Chitrangada! O son, beholding this feat, so worthy of thee, I am highly gratified with thee. I shall now shoot these arrows at thee, O son. Stand for fight (without running away).' Having said these words, that slayer of foes shot a shower of arrows on the prince. King Vabhruvahana, however, with his own broad-headed shafts, cut all those arrows which were shot from Gandiva and which resembled the thunder-bolt of Indra in splendour, some in twain and some into three parts. Then the standard, decked with gold and resembling a golden palmyra, on the king's car was cut off by Partha with some excellent shafts of his. The son of Pandu, laughing, next slew the king's steeds endued with large size and great speed. Descending from his car, the king inflamed with rage, fought his sire on foot. Gratified with the prowess of his son, that foremost one of the sons of Pritha, viz., the son of the wielder of the thunder-bolt, began to afflict him greatly. The mighty Vabhruvahana, thinking that his father was no longer able to face him, again afflicted him with many shafts resembling snakes of virulent poison. From a spirit of boyishness he then vigorously pierced his father in the breast with a whetted shaft equipt with excellent wings. That shaft, O king, penetrated the body of Pandu's son and reaching his very vital caused him great pain. The delighter
of the Kurus, Dhananjaya, deeply pierced therewith by his son, then fell down in a swoon on the Earth, O king. When that hero, that bearer of the burthens of the Kuru's fell down, the son of Chitrangada also became deprived of his senses. The latter's swoon was due to his exertions in battle as also to his grief at seeing his sire slain. He had been pierced deeply by Arjuna with clouds of arrows. He, therefore, fell down at the van of battle embracing the Earth. Rearing that her husband had been slain and that her son had fallen down on the Earth, Chitrangada, in great agitation of mind, repaired to the field of battle. Her heart burning with sorrow, weeping piteously the while, and trembling all over, the mother of the ruler of Manipura saw her slain husband."'
135:2 The Brahmanas were to receive Arjuna duly and the treasure was intended as a present or offering of respect.
135:3 Ulupi was one of the wives of Arjuna. She was, therefore, the step-mother of Vabhruvahana.
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