Mahabharata Virata Parva - Translation by KM Ganguly

Mahabharata Adiparva

Section LXXII

"Virata said, 'Why, O best among the Pandavas, dost thou not wish to accept as wife this my daughter that I bestow upon thee?'

"Arjuna said, 'Residing in thy inner apartments, I had occasion always to behold thy daughter, and she too, alone or in company trusted me as her father. Well-versed in singing and dancing, I was liked and regarded by her, and, indeed, thy daughter always regardeth me as her protector. O king, I lived for one whole year with her though she had attained the age of puberty. Under these circumstances, thyself or other men may not without reason, entertain suspicions against her or me. Therefore, O king, myself who am pure, and have my senses under control, beg to thee, O monarch, thy daughter as my daughter-in-law. Thus do I attest her purity. There is no difference between a daughter-in-law and a daughter, as also between a son and son's own-self. By adopting this course, therefore, her purity will be proved. I am afraid of slanderous and false accusations. I accept, therefore, O king, thy daughter Uttara as my daughter-in-law. Surpassing all in knowledge of weapons, resembling a celestial youth in beauty, my son, the mighty-armed Abhimanyu is the favourite nephew of Vasudeva, the wielder of the discus. He, O king, is fit to be thy son-in-law and the husband of thy daughter.'

"Virata said, 'It behoveth the best of the Kurus, Dhananjaya, the son of Kunti, who is so virtuous and wise, to say this. O son of Pritha, do thou carry out what thou thinkest should be done after this. He that hath Arjuna for the father of his son-in-law, hath all his desires gratified.'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'The monarch having said this, Yudhishthira, the son of Kunti, gave his assent to what was thus agreed upon between the Matsya king and Arjuna. And, O Bharata, the son of Kunti sent invitations to Vasudeva and to all his friends and relatives, and Virata also did the same. And then, after the expiry of the thirteenth year, the five Pandavas took up their abode in one of Virata's towns called Upaplavya, and Vibhatsu, the son of Pandu, brought over Abhimanyu and Janardana, and also many people of the Dasarha race from the Anarta country. And the king of Kasi, and also Saivya, being very friendly to Yudhishthira, arrived there, each accompanied by an Akshauhini of troops. And the mighty Drupada, also with the heroic sons of Draupadi and the unvanquished Sikhandin, and that foremost of wielder of weapons, the invincible Dhrishtadyumna came there with another Akshauhini of troops. And all the kings that came were not only lords of Akshauhini, but performers of sacrifices with gifts in profusion to Brahmanas, conversant with the Vedas endued with heroism, and ready to die in battle. And beholding them arrived, that foremost of virtuous men, the king of the Matsyas, adored them duly, and entertained their troops and servants and carriers of burdens. And he was highly pleased to bestow his daughter upon Abhimanyu. And after the kings had come there from different parts of the country, there came Vasudeva decked in floral garlands, and Halayudha, and Kritavarman, the son of Hridika, and Yuyudhana, the son of Satyaki, and Anadhristi and Akrura, and Samva and Nisatha. And these repressers of foes came there bringing with them Abhimanyu and his mother. And Indrasena and others, having lived at Dwaraka for one whole year, came there, bringing with them the well adorned cars of the Pandavas. And there came also ten thousand elephants and ten thousand cars, and hundred millions of horses and hundred billions of foot-soldiers, and innumerable Vrishni and Andhaka and Bhoja warriors of great energy, in the train of that tiger among the Vrishnis, Vasudeva of great effulgence. And Krishna gave unto each of the illustrious sons of Pandu numerous female slaves, and gems and robes. And then the nuptial festival set in between the families of the Matsya king and the Pandavas. And then conchs and cymbals and horns and drums and other musical instruments appointed by the Pandavas, began to play in the palace of Virata. And deer of various kinds and clean animals by hundreds were slain. And wines of various kinds and intoxicating juices of trees were profusely collected. And mimes and bards and encomiasts, versed in singing and legendary lore, waited upon the kings, and chanted their praises and genealogies. And the matrons of the Matsyas of symmetrical bodies and limbs, and wearing ear-rings of pearls and gems, headed by Sudeshna, came to the place where the marriage knot was to be tied. And amongst those beautiful females of fair complexion and excellent ornaments, Krishna was the foremost in beauty and fame and splendour. And they all came there, leading forth the princess Uttara decked in every ornament and resembling the daughter of the great Indra himself. And then Dhananjaya, the son of Kunti, accepted Virata's daughter of faultless limbs on behalf of his son by Subhadra. And that great king, Yudhishthira, the son of Kunti, who stood there like Indra, also accepted her as his daughter-in-law. And having accepted her, the son of Pritha, with Janardana before him, caused the nuptial ceremonies to be performed of the illustrious son of Subhadra. And Virata then gave him (as dowry) seven thousand steeds endued with the speed of the wind and two hundred elephants of the best kind and much wealth also. And having duly poured libations of clarified butter on the blazing fire, and paid homage unto the twice-born ones, Virata offered to the Pandavas his kingdom, army, treasury, and his own self. And after the marriage had taken place, Yudhishthira, the son of Dharma, gave away unto the Brahmanas all the wealth that had been brought by Krishna of unfading glory. And he also ga