The Mahabharata Home
"Arjuna said, 'What business brought thee here, O daughter (-in-law) of Kuru's race, and what also is the cause of the arrival on the field of battle of her who is the mother of the ruler of Manipura? Dost thou entertain friendly motives towards this king, O daughter of a snake? O thou of restless glances, dost thou wish good to me too? I hope, O thou of ample hips, that neither I, nor this Vabhruvahana here, have, O beautiful lady, done any injury to thee unconsciously? Has Chitrangada of faultless limbs, descended from the race of Chitravahana, done thee any wrong?' Unto him, the daughter of the prince of snakes answered smilingly, 'Thou hast not offended me, nor has Vabhruvahana done me any wrong; nor this prince's mother who is always obedient to me as a hand-maid. Listen, how all this has been brought about by me. Thou shouldst not be angry with me. Indeed, I seek to gratify thee by bending my head in reverence. O thou of Kuru's race, all this has been done by me for thy good, O puissant one. O mighty-armed Dhananjaya, hear all that I have done. In the great battle of the Bharata princes, thou hadst slain the royal son of Santanu by unrighteous ways. What I have done has expiated thy sin. Thou didst not overthrow Bhishma while battling with thee. He was engaged with Sikhandin. Relying on him as thy help, thou didst compass the overthrow of Santanu's son. If thou hadst died without having expiated thy sin, thou wouldst then have fallen without doubt into Hell in consequence of that sinful act of thine. Even this which thou hast got from thy son is the expiation of that sin. Formerly, O ruler of Earth, I heard this said by the Vasus while they were in the company of Ganga, O thou of great intelligence. After the fall of Santanu's son, those deities, viz., the Vasus, coming to the banks of Ganga, bathed in her waters, and calling the goddess of that stream, they uttered these terrible words having the sanction of Bhagirathi herself, viz.,--Santanu's son Bhishma has been slain by Dhananjaya. Verily, O goddess, Bhishma then was engaged with another, and had ceased to fight. For this fault we shall today denounce a curse on Dhananjaya.--To this, the goddess Ganga readily assented, saying,--Be it so!--Hearing these words I became very much afflicted and penetrating into the nether regions represented everything to my
sire. Informed of what had happened, my sire became plunged in grief. Repairing to the Vasus, he solicited them for thy sake, repeatedly gratifying them by every means in his power. They then said unto him, 'Dhananjaya has a highly blessed son who, endued with youth, is the ruler of Manipura. He will, standing on the field of battle, cast Dhananjaya down on the Earth. When this will happen, O prince of snakes, Arjuna will be freed from our curse. Do thou go back.--Thus addressed by the Vasus, he came back and informed me of what had happened. Having learnt all this, O hero, I have freed thee from the curse of the Vasus even in this way. The chief of the deities himself is incapable of vanquishing thee in battle. The son is one's own self. It is for this that thou hast been vanquished by him. I cannot be held, O puissant one, to have committed any fault. How, indeed, wouldst thou hold me censurable?'--Thus addressed (by Ulupi), Vijaya became cheerful of heart and said unto her, 'All this that thou hast done, O goddess, is highly agreeable to me.' After this, Jaya addressed his son, the ruler of Manipura, and said unto him in the hearing of Chitrangada, the daughter (-in-law) of Kuru's house, the Horse-sacrifice of Yudhishthira will take place on the day of full moon in the coming month of Chaitra. Come there, O king, with thy mother and thy counsellors and officers.' Thus addressed by Partha, king Vabhruvahana of great intelligence, with tearful eyes, said these words to his sire, 'O thou that art conversant with every duty, I shall certainly repair, at thy command, to the great Horse-sacrifice, and take upon myself the task of distributing food among the regenerate ones. For, however, showing thy grace towards me, thou enter thy own city with thy two wives. Let no scruple, be thine as regards this, O thou that art fully acquainted with every duty. O lord, having lived for one night in thy own mansion in happiness, thou mayst then follow the steed, O foremost of victorious warriors. The ape-bannered son of Kunti, thus addressed by his son, answered the child of Chitrangada, saying 'Thou knowest, O mighty-armed one, what vow I am observing. O thou of large eyes, till the termination of this my vow, I cannot enter thy city. O foremost of men, this sacrificial horse wanders at will. (I have to follow it always.) Blessings on thee! I must go away. Place I have none wherein to rest for even a short while.' The son of the chastiser of Paka then, duly worshipped by his son and obtaining the permission of his two wives, left the spot and proceeded on his way.'"
Next: Section LXXXII