Mahabharata Aswamedha Parva - Translation by KM Ganguly

Mahabharata Adiparva

Section LXXXIX

"Vaisampayana said, 'Having cooked, according to due rites, the other excellent animals that were sacrificed, the priests then sacrificed, agreeably to the injunctions of the scriptures, that steed (which had wandered over the whole world). After cutting that horse into pieces, conformably to scriptural directions, they caused Draupadi of great intelligence, who was possessed of the three requisites of mantras, things, and devotion, to sit near the divided animal. The Brahmanas then with cool minds, taking up the marrow of that steed, cooked it duly, O chief of Bharata's race. King Yudhishthira the just, with all his younger brothers, then smelled, agreeably to the scriptures, the smoke, capable of cleansing one from every sin, of the marrow that was thus cooked. The remaining limbs, O king, of that horse, were poured into the fire by the sixteen sacrificial priests possessed of great wisdom. Having thus completed the sacrifice of that monarch, who was endued with the energy of Sakra himself, the illustrious Vyasa with his disciples eulogised the king greatly. Then Yudhishthira gave away unto the Brahmanas a thousand crores of golden nishkas, and unto Vyasa he gave away the whole Earth. Satyavati's son Vyasa, having accepted the Earth, addressed that foremost one of Bharata's race, viz., king Yudhishthira the just, and said, 'O best of kings, the Earth which thou hast given me I return unto thee. Do thou give me the purchasing value, for Brahmanas are desirous of wealth (and have no use with the Earth).' The high-souled Yudhishthira of great intelligence staying with his brothers in the midst of the kings invited to his sacrifice, said unto those Brahmanas, The 'Dakshina ordained in the scriptures for the great Horse-sacrifice is the Earth. Hence, I have given away unto the sacrificial priests the Earth conquered by Arjuna. Ye foremost of Brahmanas, I shall enter the woods. Do ye divide the Earth among yourselves. Indeed, do you divide the Earth into four parts according to what is done in the Chaturhotra sacrifice. Ye best of regenerate ones I do not desire to appropriate what now belongs to the Brahmanas. Even this, ye learned Brahmanas, has been the intention always cherished by myself and my brothers.' When the king said these words, his brothers and Draupadi also said, 'Yes, it is even so.' Great was the sensation created by this announcement. Then, O Bharata, an invisible voice was heard in the welkin, saying,--'Excellent, Excellent!' The murmurs also of crowds of Brahmanas as they spoke arose. The Island-born Krishna, highly applauding him, once more addressed Yudhishthira, in the presence of the Brahmanas, saying, 'The Earth has been given by thee to me. I, however, give her back to thee. Do thou give unto these Brahmanas gold. Let the Earth be thine.' Then Vasudeva, addressing king Yudhishthira the just, said, 'It behoveth thee to do as thou art bid by the illustrious Vyasa.' Thus addressed, the foremost one of Kuru's race, along with all his brothers, became glad of soul, and gave away millions of golden coins, in fact, trebling the Dakshina ordained for the Horse-sacrifice. No other king will be able to accomplish what the Kuru king accomplished on that occasion after the manner of Marutta. Accepting that wealth, the Island-born sage, Krishna, of great learning, gave it unto the sacrificial priests, dividing it into four parts. Having paid that wealth as the price of the Earth, Yudhishthira, cleansed of his sins and assured of Heaven rejoiced with his brothers. The sacrificial priests, having got that unlimited quantity of wealth, distributed it among the Brahmanas gladly and according to the desire of each recipient. The Brahmanas also divided amongst themselves, agreeably to Yudhishthira's permission, the diverse ornaments of gold that were in the sacrificial compound, including the triumphal arches, the stakes, the jars, and diverse kinds of vessels. After the Brahmanas had taken as much as they desired, the wealth that remained was taken away by Kshatriyas and Vaisyas and Sudras and diverse tribes of Mlechechas. Thus gratified with presents by king Yudhishthira of great intelligence, the Brahmanas, filled with joy, returned to their respective abodes. The holy and illustrious Vyasa respectfully presented his own share, which was very large, of that gold unto Kunti. Receiving that gift of affection from her father-in-law, Pritha became glad of heart and devoted it to the accomplishment of diverge acts of merit. King Yudhishthira, having bathed at the conclusion of his sacrifice and become cleansed of all his sins, shone in the midst of his brothers, honoured by all, like the chief of the celestials in the midst of the denizens of Heaven. The sons of Pandu, surrounded by the assembled kings, looked as beautiful, O king, as the planets in the midst of the stars. Unto those kings they made presents of various jewels and gems, and elephants and horses and ornaments of gold, and female slaves and cloths and large measures of gold. Indeed, Pritha's son by distributing that untold wealth among the invited monarchs, shone, O king, like Vaisravana, the lord of treasures. Summoning next the heroic king Vabhruvahana, Yudhishthira gave unto him diverse kinds of wealth in profusion and gave him permission to return home. The son of Pandu, for gratifying his sister Dussala, established her infant grandson in his paternal kingdom. The Kuru king Yudhishthira, having a full control over his senses, then dismissed the assembled kings all of whom had been properly classed and honoured by him.  The illustrious

son of Pandu, that chastiser of foes, then duly worshipped the high-souled Govinda and Valadeva of great might, and the thousands of other Vrishni heroes having Pradyumna for their first. Assisted by his brothers, he then dismissed them for returning to Dwaraka. Even thus was celebrated that sacrifice of king Yudhishthira the just, which was distinguished by a profuse abundance of food and wealth and jewels and gems, and oceans of wines of different kinds. There were lakes whose mire consisted of ghee, and mountains of food. There were also, O chief of Bharata's race, miry rivers made of drinks having the six kinds of taste. Of men employed in making and eating the sweetmeats called Khandavaragas, and of animals slain for food, there was no end. 1 The vast space abounded with men inebriated with wine, and with young ladies filled with joy. The extensive grounds constantly echoed with the sounds of drums and the blare of conches. With all these, the sacrifice became exceedingly delightful. 'Let agreeable things be given away,'--'Let agreeable food be eaten,'--these were the sounds that were repeatedly heard day and night in that sacrifice. It was like a great festival, full of rejoicing and contented men. People of diverse realms speak of that sacrifice to this day. Having showered wealth in torrents, and diverse objects of desire, and jewels and gems, and drinks of various kinds, the foremost one of Bharata's race, cleansed of all his sins, and his purpose fulfilled, entered his capital. '"