Mahabharata – Sabha Parva – Rajasuya Parva – 33-35
– 33 –
Installation in the Rajasuya
1Vaishampayana said: Protected by Dharmaraja (Yudhishthira) and supported by Truth and also all their enemies being kept in check, all subjects (of the Pandava king) were always engaged in their respective business.
2In consequence of the equitable taxation and the virtuous and the just rule of the king, the clouds poured as much rain as desired, and the country became prosperous.
3As the result of the king’s (virtuous) acts everything of the kingdom, specially the breeding of cattle, agriculture and trade, greatly flourished.
4O king, even cheats and thieves, nay even the king’s favourites, were never heard to speak lies amongst themselves.
5During the reign of Yudhishthira, who was ever devote to virtue, there were no draughts, or floods, or plagues, or fires, or premature deaths.
6The (other) kings used to come to him only for agreeable services, or for paying their respects to him, or for offering to him tribute that did not (anyway) impoverish them. They never used to come for any other purpose (such as conquests).
7The large treasury of the King became so much filled with the hoards of wealth virtuously obtained that it could not be emptied even in one hundred years.
8Having ascertained the state of his treasury and the extent of his possessions, the son of Kunti (Yudhishthira) set his heart upon performing the (Rajasuya) sacrifice.
9His friends and relatives all separately and jointly said, “O lord, the time for the sacrifice has come. Let it be now performed without delay.”
10-11When they were thus talking, there came that omniscient and ancient one, that soul of the Vedas, that invincible one as described by the learned, that foremost of all lasting existences in the universe, that origin of all things, that receptacle in which every thing is destroyed, that slayer of Keshi, Hari (Krishna).
12-14Having appointed Vasudeva to the command of the army and having brought with him for Dharmaraja Yudhishthira a large amount of wealth, the bulwark of all the Vrishnis, the dispelled of all fears in danger, the grinder of all foes, that best of men, Madhava, entered the excellent city (Indraprastha), surrounded with a large army and filling, the atmosphere with the rattle of his chariot’s wheels. The inexhaustible ocean of gems, that the Pandavas possessed.
15Was brought to a full limit by the wealth that he (Krishna) brought, and thus all their (the Pandava’s) griefs were removed. By the arrival of Krishna, the capital of the Bharata race was gladdened like a sunless region by the sun, or a region of still air by gentle breeze.
16Coming to him with joy and receiving him with all dues respect, Yudhishthira asked him his welfare. When he (Krishna) was comfortably seated.
17That best of men (Yudhishthira) with the Ritvikas, Dhaumya and Dvaipayana being at their head, and also with Bhima, Arjuna and the twins (Nakula and Sahadeva) thus spoke to Krishna.
18Yudhishthira said: O Krishna, it is for you that the whole earth has come under my sway. O descendant of the Vrishni race, it is through your favour that this vast wealth has been earned by me.
19O Madhava, O son of Devaki, I desire to devote all this wealth to the Brahmanas and to the earner of sacrificial libations (Agni) according to the ordinance.
20O prince of the Dasarha race, O mighty armed hero, you should grant me permission to celebrate the Rajasuya sacrifice along with you and with my brothers.
21O Govinda, O long-armed hero, O prince of the Dasarha race, install yourself in that sacrifice. If you perform the sacrifice, I shall be cleansed from sin.
22O lord, O Krishna, grant permission to me that I may be installed in the sacrifice along with my these younger brothers, for if permitted by you, I shall be able to enjoy the fruit of that excellent sacrifice.
23aVaishampayana said: To him replied Krishna after extolling his many virtues.
23b-24Krishna said: O best of kings, you deserve the imperial dignity. Let therefore the great (Rajasuya) sacrifice be performed. If you perform that sacrifice, and if you obtain its fruit, we shall all consider ourselves as crowned with success. I am always engaged in seeking your good. Perform the sacrifice you desire. Appoint me in some office in that sacrifice. I shall obey all your commands.
25Yudhishthira said: O Krishna, O Hrishikesha, when you have come here agreeably to my wish, my resolve is fulfilled; success is sure to come to my work.
26Vaishampayana said: Having been commanded by Krishna, the son of Pandu (Yudhishthira) with his brothers employed himself to collect the necessary materials for the Rajasuya (sacrifice).
27That chastiser of foes, the son of Pandu (Yudhishthira), commanded that foremost of all warriors, Sahadeva, and also all his ministers, saying.
28-29“Let men be appointed to collect without loss of time all those articles which the Brahmanas will direct as necessary for the performance of this sacrifice, and also all auspicious necessaries and things that Dhaumya may order to be collected; each of the king required and one after the other in due order.
30Let Indrasena and Vishoka and the charioteer of Arjuna, Puru, if, they desire to please me, be employed in collecting them.
31O best of the Kuru race (Sahadeva) let them gather every article agreeable to taste and smell, articles which may delight and attract the hearts of the Brahmanas.”
32As soon as these words were uttered by Dharmaraja Yudhishthira, that foremost of all warriors, Sahadeva, informed the king that they had been all done.
33O king, Dvaipayana then appointed the Ritvijas, who were high-souled, and who were like the Vedas in their personified forms.
34The son of Satyavati (Vyasa) himself became the Brahma in that sacrifice, the best of the Dhananjaya race, Susama, became the chaunter of the Sama Veda.
35The Brahma-knowing Yajnavalkya became the Adhvaryu, the son of Vasu Paila, with Dhaumya, became the Hotas.
36O best of the Bharata race, the disciples and the sons of these men, all well-acquainted with the Vedas, became Hotragas.
37Having uttered benedictions, and having recited the objects of the sacrifice, all of them worshipped the large (sacrificial) ground according to the ordinance.
38Commanded by the Brahmanas, the builders and the artifices erected their many houses that were specious and that were well perfumed like the temples of gods.
39Thereupon that best of kings, and that best of men, the king (Yudhishthira) immediately commanded his minister Sahadeva saying.
40-41“Dispatch soon (some-swift messengers to invite all. “Having heard the royal command, he (Sahadeva) soon sent messengers saying. “Invite all the Brahmanas of the kingdom, all the owners of land (Kshatriyas). 42All the Vaishyas, and all the respectable Shudras. Bring them all here (in this sacrifice)”.
At the command of the Pandavas those swift messengers invited every one without any loss of time; and they brought with them many persons both friends and strangers.
43O descendant of Bharata, at the proper time the Brahmanas installed the son of Kunti, Yudhishthira, in the sacrifice,
44When the virtuous Dharmaraja Yudhishthira was installed in the sacrifice, he went to the sacrificial ground, surrounded by thousands of Brahmanas.
45And accompanied by his brothers, relatives, friends and ministers, and also by many best of men among the Kshatriyas who had assembled from various countries.
46-47And also by many counsellors. Many Brahmanas, learned in all the branches of knowledge and well versed in the Vedas and the Vedangas, began to assemble there from various directions. At the command of the Dharmaraja, habitations were erected for them.
48And their attendants, separately for each by thousands of artisans who were endued with all qualifications, they were filled with much food and many clothes.
49O king, having been duly worshipped by the king, Brahmanas continued to live there, passing their time in conversation on various topics and seeing the performance of actors and dancers.
50The noise of these illustrious Brahmanas eating and talking cheerfully was continuously heard.
51“Give, Give”, “Eat, Eat”, were the words that were continuously and every day heard there.
52O descendant of Bharata, Dharmaraja separately gave to each of those Brahmanas thousands of kine, beds, golden coins and damsels.
53Thus like the sacrifice formerly performed by Shakra (Indra) in heaven, began the sacrifice of that matchless hero, the illustrious Pandava (Yudhishthira), on earth.
54-55Then that best of men, the king Yudhishthira, sent the Pandava Nakula to Hastinapur to Bring Bhishma, Drona, Dhritarashtra, Vidura, Kripa, and all those cousins who were attached to him.