Jan 102015


(Viduragamana Parva continued)

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Hearing these words of Vidura, Drupada said, ‘It is
even so as thou, O Vidura of great wisdom, hast said. Venerable one, I
too have been exceedingly happy in consequence of this alliance. It is
highly proper that these illustrious princes should return to their
ancestral kingdom. But it is not proper for me to say this myself. If the
brave son of Kunti viz., Yudhishthira, if Bhima and Arjuna, if these
bulls among men, viz., the twins, themselves desire to go and if Rama
(Valadeva) and Krishna, both acquainted with every rule of morality, be
of the same mind, then let the Pandavas go thither. For these tigers
among men (Rama and Krishna) are ever engaged in doing what is agreeable
and beneficial to the sons of Pandu.’

“Hearing this, Yudhishthira said, ‘We are now, O monarch, with all our
younger brothers, dependent on thee. We shall cheerfully do what thou art
pleased to command.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Then Vasudeva said, ‘I am of opinion that the
Pandavas should go. But we should all abide by the opinion of king
Drupada who is conversant with every rule of morality.’

“Drupada then spoke, ‘I certainly agree with what this foremost of men,
thinketh, having regard to the circumstances. For the illustrious sons of
Pandu now are to me as they are, without doubt, to Vasudeva. Kunti’s son
Yudhishthira himself doth not seek the welfare of the Pandavas so
earnestly as, Kesava, that tiger among men.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Commanded by the illustrious Drupada, the
Pandavas, then, O king, and Krishna and Vidura, taking with them Krishna,
the daughter of Drupada, and the renowned Kunti, journeyed towards the
city called after the elephant, stopping at various places along the way
for purposes of pleasure and enjoyment. King Dhritarashtra, hearing that
those heroes had neared the capital sent out the Kauravas to receive
them. They who were thus sent out were, O Bharata, Vikarna of the great
bow, and Chitrasena, and Drona that foremost of warriors, and Kripa of
Gautama’s line. Surrounded by these, those mighty heroes, their splendour
enhanced by that throng slowly entered the city of Hastinapura. The whole
city became radiant, as it were, with the gay throng of sight-seers
animated by curiosity. Those tigers among men gladdened the hearts of all
who beheld them. And the Pandavas, dear unto the hearts of the people,
heard, as they proceeded, various exclamations with the citizens, ever
desirous of obeying the wishes of those princes, loudly uttered. Some
exclaimed, ‘Here returns that tiger among men, conversant with all the
rules of morality and who always protects us as if we were his nearest
relatives.’ And elsewhere they said, ‘It seems that king Pandu–the
beloved of his people–returneth today from the forest, doubtless to do
what is agreeable to us.’ And there were some that said, ‘What good is
not done to us today when the heroic sons of Kunti come back to our town?
If we have ever given away in charity, if we have ever poured libations
of clarified butter on the fire, if we have any ascetic merit, let the
Pandavas, by virtue of all those acts stay in our town for a hundred

“At last the Pandavas, on arriving at the place, worshipped the feet of
Dhritarashtra, as also those of the illustrious Bhishma. They also
worshipped the feet of everybody else that deserved that honour. And they
enquired after the welfare of every citizen (there present). At last, at
the command of Dhritarashtra they entered the chambers that had been
assigned to them.

“After they had rested there for some time, they were summoned (to the
court) by king Dhritarashtra and Bhishma, the son of Santanu. When they
came, king Dhritarashtra addressing Yudhishthira, said, ‘Listen, O son of
Kunti, with thy brothers, to what I say. Repair ye to Khandavaprastha so
that no difference may arise again (between you and your cousins). If you
take up your quarters there no one will be able to do you any injury.
Protected by Partha (Arjuna), like the celestials by the thunderbolt,
reside ye at Khandavaprastha, taking half of the kingdom.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Agreeing to what Dhritarashtra said, those
bulls among men worshipping the king set out from Hastinapura. And
content with half the kingdom, they removed to Khandavaprastha, which was
in unreclaimed desert. Then those heroes of unfading splendour, viz., the
Pandavas, with Krishna at their head, arriving there, beautified the
place and made it a second heaven. And those mighty car-warriors,
selecting with Dwaipayana’s assistance a sacred and auspicious region,
performed certain propitiatory ceremonies and measured out a piece of
land for their city. Then surrounded by a trench wide as the sea and by
walls reaching high up to the heavens and white as the fleecy clouds or
the rays of the moon, that foremost of cities looked resplendent like
Bhogavati (the capital of the nether kingdom) decked with the Nagas. And
it stood adorned with palatial mansions and numerous gates, each
furnished with a couple of panels resembling the out-stretched wings of
Garuda. And it was protected with gateways looking like the clouds and
high as the Mandara mountains. And well-furnished with numerous weapons
of attack the missiles of the foes could not make slightest impression on
them. And they were almost covered with darts and other missiles like
double-tongued snakes. The turrets along the walls were filled with armed
men in course of training; and the walls were lined with numerous
warriors along their whole length. And there were thousands of sharp
hooks and Sataghnis (machines slaying a century of warriors) and numerous
other machines on the battlements. There were also large iron wheels
planted on them. And with all these was that foremost of cities adorned.
The streets were all wide and laid out excellently; and there was no fear
in them of accident. And decked with innumerable mansions, the city
became like unto Amaravati and came to be called Indraprastha (like unto
Indra’s city). In a delightful and auspicious part of the city rose the
palace of the Pandavas filled with every kind of wealth and like unto the
mansion of the celestial treasurer (Kuvera) himself. And it looked like a
mass of clouds charged with lightning.

“When the city was built, there came, O king, numerous Brahmanas
well-acquainted with all the Vedas and conversant with every language,
wishing to dwell there. And there came also unto that town numerous
merchants from every direction, in the hope of earning wealth. There also
came numerous persons well-skilled in all the arts, wishing to take up
their abode there. And around the city were laid out many delightful
gardens adorned with numerous trees bearing both fruits and flowers.
There were Amras (mango trees) and Amaratakas, and Kadamvas and Asokas,
and Champakas; and Punnagas and Nagas and Lakuchas and Panasas; and Salas
and Talas (palm trees) and Tamalas and Vakulas, and Ketakas with their
fragrant loads; beautiful and blossoming and grand Amalakas with branches
bent down with the weight of fruits and Lodhras and blossoming Ankolas;
and Jamvus (blackberry trees) and Patalas and Kunjakas and Atimuktas; and
Karaviras and Parijatas and numerous other kinds of trees always adorned
with flowers and fruits and alive with feathery creatures of various
species. And those verdant groves always resounded with the notes of
maddened peacocks and Kokilas (blackbirds). And there were various
pleasure-houses, bright as mirrors, and numerous bowers of creepers, and
charming and artificial hillocks, and many lakes full to the brim of
crystal water, and delightful tanks fragrant with lotuses and lilies and
adorned with swans and ducks and chakravakas (brahminy ducks). And there
were many delicious pools overgrown with fine aquatic plants. And there
were also diverse ponds of great beauty and large dimension. And, O king,
the joy of the Pandavas increased from day to day, in consequence of
their residence in that large kingdom that was peopled with pious men.

“Thus in consequence of the virtuous behaviour of Bhishma and king
Dhritarashtra towards them, the Pandavas took up their abode in
Khandavaprastha. Adorned with those five mighty warriors, each equal unto
Indra himself, that foremost of cities looked like Bhogavati (the capital
of the nether kingdom) adorned with the Nagas. And, O monarch, having
settled the Pandavas there, the heroic Krishna, obtaining their leave,
came back with Rama to Dwaravati.'”

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