– 188 –
Svayamvara Parva – Continued
Hitting of the target
1Vaishampayana said: When all the kings desisted from the attempt to string the bow, the high-souled Jishnu (Arjuna) rose from among the Brahma- nas.
2Seeing him (Arjuna) possess the complexion of Indra’s banner and observing that he was advancing towards the bow, the chief Brahmanas made a loud uproar by shaking their deer skins.
3While some of them were pleased, others were displeased and some among them possessing intelligence and foresight talked to one another thus,
4-5“How can a stripping of a Brahmana unpractised in arms and weak a strength, string that bow which such celebrated Kshatriyas like Shalya and others endued with great might and accomplished in the science and practice of arms could not string?
6If he fails to achieve success in the act which he has undertaken by his boyish restlessness the Brahmanas will be ridiculous in the eyes of all the kings.
7Therefore stop this Brahmana and prevent him from attempting to string the bow, which he (surely) desires to do out of vanity, childish daring and mere restlessness.
8The Brahmana said: We shall not be ridiculous, nor shall we incur the disrespect of any body, or the displeasure of the sovereigns.
9Vaishampayana said: The others said, This handsome youth, who is like a truck of a mighty elephant, whose shoulders, arms and thighs are so well built, who is patience looks like the Himalayas,
10Whose gait is like that of the lion, whose prowess is like that of a mad elephant and who is so resolute, will probably accomplish the feat.
11-12He has (surely great) strength and great energy, else he would not have gone of his own accord. There is nothing in the three worlds that Brahmanas among all mortal men cannot accomplish. Abstaining from food, living on air, eating fruits, observing severe vows.
13And becoming emaciated and weak the Brahmanas are ever strong in their own energy. A Brahmana should never be disregarded whether his acts be right or wrong.
14None should consider him incapable of achieving any task that is great or little, blissful or woeful. All the Kshatriyas were defeated in battle by Rama, the son of Jamadagni.
15-16Agastya drank up the unfathomable ocean by his Brahma might. Therefore say, “Let this youth bend the bow and string it with ease.” The best of the Brahmanas said, “Be it so.” The Brahmanas continued to talk thus to one another and on various matters.
17-18Arjuna came to the bow and stood there like a mountain. Walking round that row in due form, bowing his head to the giver of boons, lord Ishana and remembering Krishna in his mind, he took up the bow.
19The bow which Rukma, Sunitha, Vakra, Radha’s son (Kama), Duryodhana, Shalya and many other kings, accomplished in the science and practice of arms, could not string, even with great exertion, was stringed within the twinkling of an eye.
20By Arjuna, the son of Indra, that foremost of all powerful men, that hero as powerful as the younger brother of Indra. He took up the five arrows.
21Shot the mark and caused it to come down on the ground through the orifice the machinery above over which it had been placed. Thereupon rose a great uproar in the sky and also a great clamour in the arena.
22The celestials showed celestials flowers on the head of that slayer of foes Arjuna.
23-24Thousands of Brahmanas waved their upper garments in joy. The assembled kings uttered exclamations of grief and despair. Flowers were rained from the sky all over the arena. The musicians struck up in concert hundreds of drums and trumpets. The bard and the herald began to chant the praise of the hero in sweet stain.
25Seeing him (Arjuna), that chastiser of foes, Draupada, became exceedingly glad and he desired to assist Partha with his army in occasion arose.
26When the uproar was at its highest, that foremost of all virtuous men Yudhishthira accompanied by those foremost of men, the twins, soon left the arena to return to his lodging.
27Seeing the mark shot and seeing also Partha who had shot the mark like Indra himself, Krishna (Draupadi) was filled with joy; and she came to the son of Kunti with a white robe and a garland of flowers.
28That accomplishes of inconceivable feats, having won her in the arena, was saluted with reverence by all the Brahmanas. He soon after left arena and was followed by her who thus became his wife.