– 187 –
Svayamvara Parva – Continued
Discomfiture of the kings
1Vaishampayana said: These youthful princes, adorned with earrings, boasted at one another; and each regarding himself as the most accomplished in arms and endued with prowess, they stood up brandishing their weapons.
2-3Intoxicated with the pride of beauty, prowess, lineage, knowledge, wealth and youth, they were like the Himalayan elephants mad in the season of rut. Staring at one another with jealousy and being influenced by the god of desire, they suddenly rose up from their royal seats, each exclaiming, “Krishna will be mine.”
4Those Kshatriyas, assembled in that arena, each eagerly desiring to win the daughter of Drupada, appeared like the celestials standing round Uma, the daughter of the Mountain king.
5Their bodies afflicted with the arrows of the god of love and their hearts completely lost in Krishna (Draupadi), the kings descended into the arena; and they felt jealousy against even their own friends for the sake of the daughter of Drupada.
6There came also (in the sky) the celestials on their cars, with the Rudras, the Adityas, the Vasus, the twin Ashvinis, the Sadhyas, all the Marutas and the lord of wealth (Kubera) with Yama at their head.
7There came also the Daityas, the Supamas, the great Nagas, the celestials Rishi, the Guhyakas, the Charanas, Vishvavasu, Narada, Parvata and the chief Gandharvas with the Apsaras.
8Halayudha, (Balarama) Janardana (Krishna), the chiefs of Vrishni, Andhaka and Yadava tribes, all ever obedient to Krishna, were also there viewing the scene.
9Seeing these five (Pandavas) like mad elephants, the best of their species, which come attracted towards a lake overgrown with lotuses, like fire covered with ashes and the foremost of the Yadus, Krishna began to reflect.
10He said to Rama (Balarama), “That is Yudhishthira, that is Bhima with Jishnu (Arjuna) and these are the two heroic twins (Nakula and Sahadeva). “Observing them slowly (one after the other) (Bala) Rama cast a pleased glance on Janardana (Krishna).
11Biting their nether lips in wrath, the other heroes, those sons and grandsons of kings, with their eyes, hearts and thoughts set on Krishna alone, looked at Drupada only with their explained eyes and did not notice the Pandavas.
12On seeing Draupadi the mighty aimed sons of Pritha and also the heroic and the illustrious twins were all struck with the arrows of the god of love.
13-14Crowed with celestials, Rishis Gandharvas, Supamas, Nagas, Asuras and Siddhas, filled with the celestials perfumes, scattered over with celestials flowers, resounding with the kettle drums and the deep hum of infinite voices and echoing with the softer music of the flute, the Vina and the tabor, the cars of the celestials could scarcely find a way through the firmament.
15-16Then those kings, Kama, Duryodhana, Shalva, Shalya, Ashvathama, Kratha, Sunitha, Vakra, the ruler of Kalinga and Vanga, Pandya, Paundra, the ruler of Videha, the chief of the Yavanas and many other sons and grandsons of kings, the rulers of countries with eyes like lotus leaves, one after the other exhibited their own prowess for (winning) that maiden of matchless beauty.
17Adorned with crowns, garlands, bracelets and other ornaments, possessing mighty arms, prowess and vigour and full of strength and energy,
18-20Those kings could not even in their imagination string that bow of extraordinary stiffness. And those kings, in exerting with swelling lips to string that bow each according to his strength, education, skill and energy, were all tossed on the ground and lay motionless for some time. Their strength gone and their crowns and garlands loosened from their persons, they panted for breath. Their ambition for wining that maiden was soon cooled down. Tossed by that stiff bow, their garlands and bracelets and other ornaments, were disordered and they uttered exclamations of woe. Having their hope of obtaining Krishna gone that assemblage of kings looked sad and woeful.
21Seeing the plight of all those kings, that foremost of all wielders of bow, Kama, went to the place where the bow was. He quickly raised it up, stringed it and placed the arrows on the string.
22Seeing the son of Surya, Kama of the Suta tribe, who was like a fire or moon or the sun, resolved to shoot the mark, those foremost of bowmen, the Pandavas, considered that the mark had already been shot and brought down to the ground.
23Seeing him Draupadi said in a loud voice, “I shall not choose a Suta for my husband.” Laughing in vexation and casting a glance towards the sun, Kama threw aside the bow already drawn to a circle.
24When all those assembled Kshatriyas gave up the task, the heroic king of the Chedis as powerful as Yama,
25The high-souled and determined son of Damaghosha, Shishupala, attempted to string the bow, but he himself fell on his knees on the ground.
26Thereupon the greatly strong and powerful king Jarasandha came to the bow and stood there for some time, fixed and motionless like a mountain.
27Tossed by the bow he too fell upon his knees on the ground. Rising up, he (at once) left for his own kingdom.
28Then in attempting to string the bow the great hero Shalya, the greatly powerful king of Madra, also fell upon his knees on the ground.
29At last when that assemblage of kings of noble births became the subjects of derisive talk, that foremost of heroes Jishnu (Arjuna), the son of Kunti, desired to string the bow and place the arrows on the string.