– 185 –
Svayamvara Parva – Continued
Word of Dhrishtadyumna
1Vaishampayana said: O Janamejaya, having been thus addressed, the Pandavas proceeded towards the Southern Panchala country, ruled over by the king Drupada.
2On their way of the heroic Pandavas saw the illustrious, the pure-souled and the perfectly sinless Rishi Dvaipayana.
3Duly worshipping the Rishi and being saluted by him, when their conversation came to a close, they proceeded by his command to the palace of Drupada.
4Those great car-warriors slowly walked on, stopping on forests and on (the banks of) lakes which they found to be charming.
5The sons of Pandu, devoted in study, amiable, sweet-speeched and pure in acts, at last arrived in the country of the Panchalas.
6After seeing the city and also the barracks, the Pandavas, took up there quarters in a potter’s house.
7Adopting the life of the Brahmanas, they begged their food there (in that city). No man recognised those heroes when they stopped there.
8Yajnasena always cherished the wish of bestowing (his daughter) Krishna on Kirit (Arjuna), the son of Pandu, but he never spoke it to any body.
9O Janamejaya, O descendant of Bharata, thinking of the son of Kunti (Arjuna), the Panchala king caused a very stiff bow to be made incapable of being bent by any man except Arjuna.
10Causing a machinery to be erected in the sky, the king set up a mark to be shot through that machinery.
11Drupada said: He, who will string this bow and he who will be able to shoot the mark above the machinery with these ornamented arrows, will obtain my daughter.
12Vaishampayana said: With these words, the king Drupada proclaimed the Svaimvara. O descendant of Bharata, having heard this, all the kings came there.
13There came also many illustrious Rishis desirous of seeing the Svaimvara. O king, Duryodhana and the Kurus, accompanied by Kama, also came there.
14There came also many illustrious, Brahmanas from many countries. The kings and princes were duly worshipped by the illustrious Drupada.
15All the citizens, making a deep noise as that of the ocean, took their seats on the platforms with the desire of seeing the Svayamvara.
16-17The kings and princes entered the palace (of Svaimvara) through the north east gate. The arena was built on a plane and on an auspicious ground on the north east of the city. The Samajavata (arena) was surrounded by palaces and it was enclosed on all sides by a wall and a moat, it was ornamented with gates and arches and covered all over with a beautiful canopy.
18It resounded with the notes of thousands of trumpets, it was scented with Aguru (back aloe), ornamented with garlands and sprinkled with the Sandal water paste.
19It was surrounded on all sides by high and white mansions looking like the cloud-kissing peaks of the Kailasa (mountain).
20Their windows were covered with networks of gold and their walls set with diamonds and precious stones. Their staircases were easy of ascent and the floors were covered with rich carpets and robes.
21They were scented with Aguru and adorned with wreaths and garlands of flowers; they were all white and spotless like the necks of the swans. Their fragrance could be perceived from a Yojana.
22Each of them contained one hundred doors wide enough to admit a crowd all at once; they were adorned with costly beds ornamented with various metals; they looked like the peaks of the Himalayas.
23In them lived all the kings, adorned with various kinds of ornaments and each boasting to get possession of the maiden.
24-26When those best of kings, who were adorned with the fragrant paste of Aguru, who were greatly powerful, noble minded, liberal, devoted to Brahmanas, beloved of the whole world for their good deeds and the protectors of their kingdoms, took their respective seats, the people of the city and the country who had come to see Krishna and who had already taken their seats on the excellent platforms all around saw them.
27The Pandavas sat there in the arena with the Brahmanas and saw the great affluence of the Panchala king.
28O king, that assemblage daily increased (in bulk,) and it looked gay with (the performances of) actors and dancers. Large presents of wealth were also made.
29-30When this grand assembly continued (for 15 days,) then on the sixteenth day, O best of the Bharata race, Draupadi, having bathed, attired in the best robes and adorned with all ornaments entered the arena carrying in her hand a golden dish on which there were a garland of flowers and other offerings of the Arghya.
31The priest of the lunar race, that holy Brahmana learned in the Mantras, kindling the sacrificial fire in all due forms poured libations of ghee.
32Gratifying Agni and making the Brahmanas utter the formula of benediction, he stopped all the musical instruments (that were then being played) all around.
33-34O king, when they are became perfectly still, Dhrishtadyumna, possessing a voice like that of kettle-drums or clouds, taking hold of his sister’s arm, stood in the midst of the assembly and spoke these sweet words of excellent import with a voice as that of the clouds.
35Dhrishtadyumna said: Hear, O you assembled kings, this is the bow, that is the mark and these are the arrows. Shoot the mark through the ’orifice of the machine with these fine sharp arrows.’
36Truly do I say, he who possessing noble birth, beauty and strength will achieve this great feat, shall obtain today for his wife this my sister Krishna.
37Vaishampayana said: Having thus addressed the assembled kings, Drupada’s son (Dhrishtadyumna) then spoke thus to his sister, reciting to her the names and the lineage and the achievements of those assembled potentates.