The Mahabharata Home
"Vaisampayana said, 'The king, O chief of Bharata's race, with those foremost of men, viz., his brothers, who were all possessed of eyes that resembled lotus-petals, took his seat in the retreat of his eldest sire. There sat around him many highly-blessed ascetics, hailing from diverse regions, from desire of beholding the sons of that lord of Kuru's race., viz., the Pandavas of wide chests. They said, 'We wish to know who amongst these is Yudhishthira, who are Bhima and Arjuna, who the twins, and who is Draupadi of great fame.' Then the Suta, Sanjaya, in answer to their queries, pointed out to them the Pandavas. naming each, and Draupadi too as also the other ladies of the Kuru household.'
"Sanjaya said, 'This one that is as fair of complexion as pure gold, that is endued with a body which looks like that of a full-grown lion, that is possessed of a large aquiline nose, and wide and expansive eyes that are, again,
of a coppery hue, is the Kuru king. This one, whose tread resembles that of an infuriate elephant, whose complexion is as fair as that of heated gold, whose frame is of large and expansive proportions and whose arms are long and stout, is Vrikodara. Behold him well! The mighty bowman who sits besides him, of darkish complexion and youthful frame, who resembles the leader of an elephantine herd, whose shoulders are as high as those of a lion, who walks like a sporting elephant, and whose eyes are as expansive as the petals of a lotus, is the hero called Arjuna. Those two foremost of men, that are sitting besides Kunti, are the twins, resembling Vishnu and Mahendra. In this whole world of men, they have not their equals in beauty and strength and excellence of conduct. This lady, of eyes as expansive as lotus petals, who seems to have touched the middle age of life, whose complexion resembles that of the blue lotus, and who looks like a goddess of Heaven, is Krishna, the embodied form of the goddess of prosperity. 1 She who sits besides her, possessed of the complexion of pure gold, who looks like the embodied rays of the moon, in the midst of the other ladies, is, ye foremost of regenerate ones, the sister of that unrivalled hero who wields the discus. This other, as fair as pure gold, is the daughter of the snake-chief and wife of Arjuna. 2 This other whose complexion is like that of pure gold or like that of Madhuka flowers, is the princess Chitrangada. This one, that is possessed of the complexion of an assemblage of blue lotuses, is the sister of that monarch, that lord of hosts, who used to always challenge Krishna. She is the foremost wife of Vrikodara. This is the daughter of the king of Magadha who was known by the name of Jarasandha. Possessed of the complexion of an assemblage of Champakas, she is the wife of the youngest son of Madravati. Possessed of a complexion as darkish as that of the blue lotus, she who sits there on the earth, and whose eyes are as expansive as lotus-petals, is the wife of the eldest son of Madravati, This lady whose complexion is as fair as that of heated gold and who sits with her child on her lap, is the daughter of king Virata. She is the wife of that Abhimanyu who, while divested of his car, was slain by Drona and others fighting from their cars. 3 These ladies, the hair on whose heads shows not the parted line, and who are clad in white, are the widows of the slain sons of Dhritarashtra. They are the daughters-in-law of this old king, the wives of his hundred sons, now deprived of both their husbands and children who have been slain by heroic foes. I have now pointed them out in the order of precedence. In consequence of their devotion to Brahmanas, their understandings and hearts are divested of every kind of crookedness. Possessed of pure souls, they have all been pointed out by me,--these princesses of the Kaurava house-hold,--in answer to your queries.'
"Vaisampayana continued, 'Thus that king of Kuru's race, of very advanced years, having met with those sons of him that was a deity among men. enquired about their welfare after all the ascetics had gone away. The warriors
who had accompanied the Pandavas, leaving the retreat, sat themselves down at a little distance, alighting from their cars and the animals they rode. Indeed, after all the crowd, viz., the ladies, the old men, and the children, had been seated, the old king duly addressed them, making the usual enquiries of politeness."'
38:1 Suradevata is like karivringhati or govalivardda.
38:2 Ulupi is implied.
38:3 Implying the unfair character of the fight, for one on the earth should never be assailed by one on his car.
Next: Section XXVI