by Carole Losee © 2005-2019

Elizabeth Seeger’s The Five Sons of King Pandu: The Story of the Mahabharata

CHAPTER SIXTEEN
THE HORSE SACRIFICE
 
The Death of Bhishma
The royal son of Kunti, after the grief and fever of his heart had been healed, was seated on a golden throne and crowned with due ceremony king of the Bháratas. He made Bhima his heir and Vidura his chief minister. Sánjaya, the friend and charioteer of Kuru, was given charge of the treasury and Nákula saw to all the needs of the army, the training, feeding and supplying of the troops, while Arjuna, as commander, protected the kingdom from all foes. The king kept Sadeva always at his side, for he could not do without the knowledge and advice of his youngest brother.
The beautiful palace of Duryodha, with the consent of Kuru, was given to Bhima, and the palace of Dushasa, abounding in wealth, to Arjuna, while Nákula and Sadeva were given two equally splendid mansions belonging to two of Kuru's sons. The king always treated Kuru and Gandhari with the same honor that they had had before and told his ministers to consult the old king in everything they did. He provided for all those women who had lost their husbands and sons in the battle; he gave rich gifts in the name of all the dead and gave food and shelter to the helpless and the blind.
As soon as this was done, he bethought himself of Bhishma, the grandsire of the Bháratas, who still lay upon his bed of arrows, waiting for the sun to turn to the north. One day Yudhistra called for his chariot and drove with his brothers and Krishna to the field of Kuru Kshetra. They dismounted on that field, where so many high-souled Kshatrias had cast away their lives, and went on foot to the spot where Bhishma lay. On the plain there was many a hill formed by the bodies and bones of elephants and horses, while human skulls lay scattered over it like conch shells. With the remains of countless funeral pyres and heaps of armor and weapons, the vast plain looked like the drinking garden of Death himself, as if he had been reveling there and had just departed.
Bhishma lay where he had fallen, stretched on his arrowy bed. He was surrounded by the holiest of the sages, Vyasa and many others, and at a distance stood the soldiers who guarded him night and day. The Pándavas approached the grandsire with joined palms, but none of them dared to speak to him; so Krishna spoke.
"O best of men," he said, "have you passed the night happily? Is your mind unclouded and your heart without pain?"
"All fatigue and pain have left me, O wielder of the discus," answered Bhishma. "I am strengthened by meditation and feel as if I were a young man again. My mind is unclouded. I see all that is past, present, and future as if it were a fruit placed in my hands."
"The son of Pandu has come to question you about the duties of al men, especially those of a king," said Krishna, "but he is overcome by shame because he caused your death and does not dare to speak to you."
"A Kshatria," answered Bhishma, "should slay sires and grandsires, brothers, teachers, and kinsmen, if they fight against him in an unjust war. Let the son of Pandu, who is ever devoted to peace and truth, ask me whatever he desires."
Yudhistra came forward when he heard those words and took in his two hands the feet of Bhishma, who welcomed him lovingly and said, "Do not fear, my son, to question me."
Saluting him with joined hands, Yudhistra asked, "Tell me, O grandsire, what are the duties of all castes of men and what way of life should be followed by each of them. What are the special duties of the king?"
"There are four castes, O King," said Bhishma, "The Shudra serves, the Vaisya lives by farming, herding, or trade, the Kshatria fights and governs, while the Brahman teaches and performs the sacrifices. As the footprints of the smaller animals are covered by that of the elephant, so the other three castes are sheltered and protected by the Kshatria, for the Kshatria supports the Shudra, the Vaisya, and the Brahman. The highest duty is that of the Kshatria, O King.
"There are four steps in life which are like a ladder or a flight of stairs leading to heaven.
"A man spends the first part of his life as a student; he lives with a teacher, whom he serves reverently while he studies the Vedas and the duties of his caste.
"When he has finished his studies and paid his teacher's fee, he returns home and becomes a householder. He marries and lights the sacred fire of his home and has sons and grandsons. He earns his living in honest ways; he never turns a guest from his door or refuses food to a Brahman.
"When the householder sees wrinkles on his face and white hair on his head, when he beholds his children's children, then he should go to the woods, carrying with him his sacrificial fire. The forest dweller eats only once a day; he sits and sleeps on the bare ground. He bears with patience heat and cold, rain and wind, and so burns his sins away as with fire and purifies his heart.
"In the fourth or last part of life, a man may leave the forest dweller's life for the last step--the way of freedom, the search for God. He casts away his sacred fire, for his sacrifice after that will be in his own heart, and his very self is the offering. He calls nothing his own; he eats what is barely necessary and roams over the earth, sleeping at the foot of trees. He fears no creature and no creature fears him; he beholds all things in himself and himself in all things. Cheerful, fearless, and silent, his mind fixed on God, he frees himself from death and rebirth and enters the regions of everlasting bliss. This last way of life is very hard to attain, O best of kings; few men are able to reach it. Indeed, the last two steps need not be taken by any but Brahmans, for the Kshatria often dies in battle before his hair is white, and the other castes finish their lives doing their appointed duties; but men and women of all the castes, if they feel able to do so, may take these last two steps and free their souls.
"Your duty now is to live the life of the householder, O Yudhistra. It is the best of all ways of life, for all the others--the student, the forest dweller, even the seeker for God--depend upon the householder. As the footprints of all the smaller animals are covered by that of the elephant, so the other ways of life are sheltered and protected by that of the householder."
Then he told Yudhistra the duties of a king, saying to him, "Kingly duties are the highest of all, for all the castes and all those who follow the different steps in life depend upon the power and protection of the king. The protection of his subjects is his first and highest duty; he must guard them from enemies both outside and inside his realm, and wield the rod of justice. You are very gentle, Yudhistra, and inclined to mercy; you must also be stern. People look for protection to one who is courageous, who can strike hard, who is both merciful and just.
"Take care of the weak and never make enemies of them, for it is said that no man can bear the eyes of the weak or the eyes of a snake or those of a saint, when they are angry. Do not take wealth from the poor. Tax your kingdom as the bees take honey from flowers, as a good cowherd takes milk from a cow, without hurting the udders and without starving her calf."
With these and many other wise words, Bhishma made clear to the king all his high duties, enlivening his talk with many tales of men and gods, of animals and birds. Day after day the Pándavas sat round him in the company of the holy sages, asking him ever more questions and listening with rapt attention to his answers, for they wished to store in their hearts the wisdom that would vanish from the world when Bhishma left it. At last the sun drew near the end of its southward course, and one day the grandsire said, "My mind, my eyes and ears are dulled today; the time is near when I shall cast off my body. I have answered your questions, O king of men; now return to your city, and when the sun turns north, come here again."
When the day came for Bhishma's departure, Yudhistra took perfumes and garlands and silken cloths, sandal and aloe wood and jewels, and the Pándavas went again to Kuru Kshetra with Vidura, the old king and queen, Kunti and Dráupadi. They stood beside the old hero who lay with closed eyes, like a fire about to go out. When he opened his eyes and beheld them all, he took the strong hand of Yudhistra and said in a voice as deep as thunder, "I wish to cast off my body now, O King. Pray give me leave." Then he embraced them all, and as they watched him, they saw his spirit come forth from his head and flash up into the sky like a meteor, disappearing at last from their sight. They built a funeral pyre of fragrant woods, and wrapping his body in silken cloths, they laid it on the pyre and burned it there, Kuru and Yudhistra standing at the feet.
 
An Heir Is Born
When the Pándavas returned to Hástina after the death of Bhishma, Vyasa said to the king, "It behooves you now to prepare for that greatest of sacrifices, the Horse Sacrifice, even as your ancestor, the exceedingly mighty King Bhárata, that lord of the earth, performed it. Only a monarch who has conquered the whole earth is worthy to carry out this king of rites. It will cleanse your heart of any grief or sin and because of it your kingdom will prosper and endure."
"I believe that this sacrifice purifies and blesses kings," answered Yudhistra, "but, alas, during this ceremony the wealth of the whole world must be given away, and since I have caused this great slaughter of my kindred, I cannot make even small gifts, for I have no wealth, and now the treasury is empty. I cannot ask tribute from the young sons of the kings who were slain, for they are in distress and their sorrow is yet green; I cannot levy taxes when the world has been drained of its men and its treasure. What shall I do, O sinless one?"
"Your empty treasury shall be filled, O son of Kunti," answered the sage. "In the Himalaya Mountains there is a great heap of gold, left there long ago by the Brahmans after a famous sacrifice, because they could not carry it all away. A king in olden days, who was righteous and of great renown, celebrated a sacrifice on a golden hill on the northern side of the mountains. He caused his goldsmith to make thousands of shining vessels and bowls and seats and ornaments, so many that not half of them could be taken from that place. You must collect all that was left and perform the sacrifice, worshiping the gods with due ceremony. I will show you where it lies."
Yudhistra was delighted to hear these words and summoned his brothers to go in quest of the treasure. They left the kingdom in Vidura's care and set out with joyful hearts, guided by the island-born sage and followed by a great train of men and animals, all in high spirits. They shook the earth with the clatter of their wheels, while the tread and the voices of men and animals seemed to fill the sky. Yudhistra rode in his chariot with the white canopy held over his head, and he heard the shouts and blessings of the people as he went on his way. He and his company crossed many rivers, forests, and mountains and reached at last the northern side of the Himalayas. Vyasa led them to the place where the gold was buried, and there the king pitched his camp, and he and his brothers, fasting, laid themselves down on beds of grass.
When the cloudless morning came, they worshiped Kúvera, the lord of treasures, with flowers and cakes; then, under Vyasa's direction, they caused the digging to begin. Countless vessels and seats and ornaments of varied and delightful shapes were dug out, thousands of jars of golden coins, finely wrought. Some of this wealth was carried on men's shoulders, on yokes of wood with baskets slung at either end; some was carried on the backs of camels and elephants and in carts drawn by mules. When it was loaded on all the carts, on thousands of animals, and on the shoulders of hundreds of men, the sons of Pandu set out for the city called after the elephants, making short marches, for the host was sorely burdened by so much treasure.
It was at this time, when the Pándavas were absent from the city, that Uttara, the daughter of King Virata and the wife of Abimanyu, gave birth to the son who alone could carry on the line of Pandu. Since all their sons had been slain in that awful battle, the hopes of all the Pándavas depended on this child. Kunti, Dráupadi, and Subadra, like shipwrecked people who finally reach the shore, were filled with joy when they saw the child in his mother's arms. Poets and musicians, astrologers and actors praised the young prince, and the citizens raised a shout of joy that seemed to fill the sky.
When the baby was a month old, the Pándavas came back to their capital, bringing the treasure with them. The citizens decked the city with garlands of flowers and bright flags and pennons. It was filled with the hum of thousands of voices that sounded like the distant roar of the ocean, and the sound of singing and of stringed instruments rose here and there. The officers of the government proclaimed that this was to be a day of rejoicing and went out to meet the king and to announce to him the happy news of the birth of Abimanyu's son. Then the Pándavas, with joyful hearts, entered the city.
After they had celebrated with due ceremony and festivity the birth of the young prince, Yudhistra said to Vyasa, "O wisest of men, I wish to devote this treasure that you have brought us to the celebration of the Horse Sacrifice. I pray you to initiate me when the time comes and to perform the sacrifice for us, for we depend on you for its success."
"You shall be initiated on the day of the next full moon," answered the sage, "and I shall perform the ceremony for you. Now let the Sutas who are expert in the knowledge of horses choose one that is worthy of your sacrifice. Then let the horse be loosed to wander over the earth freely, as it will, for a year, as the scriptures ordain, and let Arjuna follow it and protect it. He will, according to the holy ordinances, allow it to roam and graze at will, but if the king of any country where it roams attempts to stop it, then Arjuna must challenge him to battle and make him acknowledge you as lord of the earth. When the horse returns and all the earth is subject to you, the sacrifice will be celebrated."
Therefore Yudhistra summoned Arjuna and said to him, "You alone, O sinless one, are able to follow the sacred steed and to protect it. If any kings come forward to challenge you, do not slay them! Ask them to come to this sacrifice of mine and make friends of them!"
 
Arjuna Follows the Horse
When the full moon came, the king was initiated and the year-long preparation for the sacrifice began. The beautiful black horse that the Sutas had selected was let loose and Arjuna, in his chariot with its white steeds, Gandíva in his hand, followed it. All the citizens and the children came out to behold him, and their voices rose all round him as they cried, "Behold the son of Kunti and the steed of blazing beauty! There is the famous Gandíva of terrible twang! Blessings go with you, O son of Pandu! Go safely and return to us and may all dangers fly from your path! And the horse, feeling its freedom, shook its mane and trotted out of the city, Arjuna following it in his chariot.
The sacred and beautiful steed wandered first into the north and then turned eastward. It entered the kingdoms of many monarchs who were the sons or grandsons of kings who had been slain on the field of Kuru Kshetra, and many of them stopped it and challenged Arjuna to single combat, for their hearts were still sore from the loss of fathers and kinsmen. Arjuna defeated them but did not kill them; mindful of the words of Yudhistra, he said to them, "Rise up and return to your city, and when the full moon of the month of Chaitra comes, go to the great sacrifice of King Yudhistra in Hástina!"
They promised to do so and made offerings to the sacrificial steed, which now turned toward the south. It was received with honor there and passed through all the kingdoms, whose young rulers came out to pay homage to Arjuna. They begged him to enter their cities and to rest and refresh himself, but he answered, "You know that I am under a vow and cannot stay, but must follow the horse wherever it may go. Come to the sacrifice of King Yudhistra in the month of Chaitra!"
Then the horse turned westward and came into the land of Sind, whose king had been slain by Arjuna after he had caused the death of Abimanyu. There again the horse was stopped, for the men of Sind still had a bitter memory of that defeat, and could not bear the sight of the son of Pandu. They fought fiercely against him, and Arjuna tried hard not to kill them; he cut their weapons to pieces with his arrows before they reached him, and he disarmed them and stopped their chariots, but still they fought on, even though they knew well that no one could vanquish the wielder of Gandíva.
Now it happened that Kuru's only daughter had been married to the king of Sind; she was therefore Arjuna's cousin. She now came forth from the city with her grandson , a young child, in her arms and went to Arjuna, weeping, and said, "Behold this child, whose father and grandfather and kinsmen have all been slain! even as the son of Abimanyu is the only one to carry on your line, so this child is our only hope. See, he bends his head before you and asks for peace!" Then she forbade the warriors to fight any longer, and Arjuna comforted her and promised her that there would be peace between their kingdoms.
He went further, following always the wandering of the horse, sometimes meeting enmity and sometimes friendship, until he came, last of all, to the kingdom of Gandhara, which Shákuni, that cheater at dice, had once ruled over. His son now ruled, and he had not forgiven the sons of Pandu for his father's death; therefore he stopped the horse and challenged Arjuna to battle, although that son of Kunti had met him with friendly words and did not wish to slay him. Though he was very young, he fought bravely and well, but his mother, with the ministers of state, came out of the gates of the city and bade him lay down his arms, while they offered food and gifts to Arjuna and water for his feet. Arjuna also did not forget that Gandhari was the sister of Shákuni; so he treated the young prince kindly and bade him come to the great sacrifice, and then went on his way, following the black steed.
When that beautiful horse had wandered over the earth for a whole year, it turned toward he road that led to Hástina. Yudhistra's messengers, who waited for Arjuna, hastened to the king to tell him that the horse had turned back and that Arjuna was well. His heart was filled with joy; he sent for his brothers and told Bhima to prepare a place for the sacrifice, since the time had come for its celebration.
Then Bhima summoned those men who knew the rules for laying out the sacrificial grounds and buildings. Under the direction of the sage Vyasa the earth was leveled and the altar erected; columns and wide triumphal arches brightly adorned with gold were raised and mansions were built for the many kings and their ladies and attendants who were expected to come from many and diverse lands. Stables were filled with grain and sugar cane for the animals that would come with the royal guests. Many great sages came from all sides of the earth to that sacrifice and the foremost Brahmans with their disciples gathered there.
When all was ready, the invited kings arrived and Yudhistra took each one of them to the pavilion that had been prepared for him, while the guests looked with wonder at the splendor of that sacrifice. It seemed that the whole population of the world had assembled there from all its realms and provinces. Thousands of men, adorned with garlands and golden earrings, offered food to the Brahmans and attended to the needs of all the guests.
Krishna came with many of the Yadu warriors and was joyfully received by the Pándavas. "A messenger of mine has told me that Arjuna is very near," he said. "He saw that hero and says that he is very thin and worn because of the many battles that he has fought."
"It pains my heart," Yudhistra answered, "that Arjuna always seems to bear the heaviest burden and hardly ever has any rest or comfort. Why should that be? His body bears every fortunate sign."
"I see nothing imperfect in him," said Krishna, "except, perhaps, that his cheekbones are a little high. Perhaps it is for this that he rests so little." When he said this, Dráupadi looked askance at him angrily, for she could not bear to hear a word against Arjuna, but Krishna smiled and was pleased at this sign of her love for his friend.
While they were talking, a messenger arrived who bowed before Yudhistra and told him that Arjuna was approaching. The whole city went to the gate to watch for him, and a great shout arose as the people saw him standing in his chariot in a haze of golden dust raised by the hoofs of the sacrificial horse and his own white steeds. He was welcomed joyfully by all his brothers and Krishna; after saluting them all, Arjuna entered his palace, where Dráupadi awaited him and where he took his rest, like a shipwrecked man who, after long wandering, reaches his home at last.
On the third day after his return the sacrifice began, for the full moon of the month of Chaitra was at hand. Vyasa said to Yudhistra, "Since you have such a wealth of gold, you may give away three times as much as is usually given, O son of Kunti. Thus you will have the reward of three Horse Sacrifices, which will free you of every sin."
The king agreed gladly. On the first day he was anointed, and made abundant gifts of food and other pleasant things to all who were assembled there. In the great enclosure the sacrificial stakes were driven into the ground; the priests moved about in all directions, performing every ceremony in the proper way, never swerving from the rules laid down in the Vedas. Vyasa was the high priest and directed the different acts of each day.
On the second day, Yudhistra clad in armor and carrying his weapons, entered the enclosure in his chariot, drawn by the sacrificial steed and three others. He took his place on his throne, surrounded by his brothers and by all the kings of the earth, adorned in royal robes and flashing jewels. Animals and birds, both tame and wild, were tied to the stakes and assigned to all the gods, while the black steed that had roamed the earth was bound in the center. After the other animals had been sacrificed and their flesh cooked, that beautiful steed was slain and its body cut into pieces, as the scriptures demanded. The Brahmans took the marrow of its bones and cooked it; then they presented it to Yudhistra and his four brothers, who breathed deeply the smoke of that marrow, which cleanses one of every sin.
On the third day the ceremony was completed, and King Yudhistra took the bath of purification. He accepted the homage of all the kings and was acclaimed their head, the sole lord of the whole earth. Then he gave to the Brahmans hundreds of thousands of gold coins, and he gave to Vyasa the whole earth. The sinless Vyasa accepted the gift and said to him, "The earth that you have given to me I now return to you, O best of kings. Give me the price of it in gold, for Brahmans need wealth and have no use for the earth." Yudhistra and his brothers rejoiced and gave the holy one three times the wealth that should be given at a Horse Sacrifice. Vyasa took it and gave it to the sacrificial priests, who divided it among the Brahmans, giving to each all that he desired. The rest was given to the Kshatrias and Vaisyas and Shudras, and to the barbarian tribes; and the holy Vyasa gave his share, which was large, to Kunti.
There was none among the assembled guests who was unhappy or hungry or poor. The sons of Pandu gave to all the kings jewels and gems, elephants and horses and ornaments of gold; to the citizens of all castes food and clothing, gold and ornaments were given. There were food and drink and sweetmeats in abundance, and the spacious grounds echoed with the sound of drums and flutes and stringed instruments. The vast space was filled with happy men and women; people speak of that great sacrifice in all the different realms to this day.
And King Yudhistra, when he had given away that untold wealth and had dismissed the assembled kings with due honor, returned to his chapel with his heart at peace, for he was cleansed of all his sins and the purpose of his life was fulfilled.
Listen now to a most wonderful thing that happened at the end of that great sacrifice.
 
The Mongoose's Story
After everyone had received abundant gifts and all were praising King Yudhistra, a blue-eyed mongoose, with his head and one half of his body turned to shining gold, came into the enclosure and spoke to the Brahmans in a human voice as deep as thunder.
"You holy one," he said, "this sacrifice is not equal to one handful of powdered barley that was given away by a kind Brahman who lived at Kuru Kshetra."
The Brahmans were filled with wonder at these words and crowded round him, asking, "Whence do you come? What knowledge and power is yours that you thus belittle our sacrifice? Everything has been done here according to the scriptures; men and gods have been abundantly satisfied. Explain your words!"
"My words are true, O sinless ones," answered the mongoose, smiling, "And I have not spoken them out of pride. I say again that this sacrifice is not equal to a handful of powdered barley. Now listen to me as I tell you something that I saw with my own eyes and that turned half my body to gold.
"In that holy place that is called Kuru Kshetra, where many righteous people live, there was a Brahman who had taken a very hard vow. He ate only what he could pick up from the fields after the farmers had gathered the harvest. He and his wife, his son and his son's wife lived thus like birds and ate but once a day. They were pure-minded and had cast off all pride and anger. One time there was a dreadful famine in the land. The grain and the plants were all dried up, and the righteous Brahman and his family had nothing stored away, for they picked up their food day by day. They had nothing at all to eat and passed their days in great suffering.
"One day he succeeded in picking up about a quart of barley. He and his family powdered it, and after they had finished their daily worship and their silent meditation, they divided that little measure of grain among them so that each one had about a handful. Just as they were sitting down to eat, a guest came to their house. They welcomed him gladly and brought water to wash his feet, offering him a seat of clean grass. Then the Brahman gave the guest his share of the barley to eat. The guest ate it all but was still hungry, and the Brahman tried to think of something else that he could give him.
"His wife said, 'Give him my share of the barley.'
"But the Brahman, seeing how weak and thin she was from hunger, said to her, 'Even among animals and insects, O lovely one, wives are fed and protected by their husbands. If I fail to do this, I shall certainly never go to heaven.'
"'All that I have is yours, O blessed one,' answered his wife, 'All my life you have taken care of me, and in return for that I pray you to take my share of the barley to give to our guest.' So he took her share and gave it to the stranger, who ate it and was still hungry.
"Then the Brahman's son said to him, 'Give my share of the barley to our guest, O best of men. It is the duty of a son to take care of his father when he is old. It is shameful to send a guest away hungry from one's door; therefore let me save you from that shame by giving him my share of the barley.' And the father took his son's share and gave it to the guest, who ate it but was not satisfied.
"His daughter-in-law brought her handful of powdered grain to him and said, 'Because you had a son, I have had a son, and through him I shall attain happiness in this world and the next. Take my share, therefore, and give it to the guest.' Her father-in-law accepted it and gave away the last bit of their food.
"Now that guest was no other than Dharma himself, the God of Righteousness, who now revealed himself to those four generous ones and said, 'O best of Brahmans, I am exceedingly pleased with this pure gift of yours. Truly the blessed ones in heaven are talking about it and flowers are falling thence upon the earth. The gods, the holy sages, and the heavenly messengers are all praising you, struck with wonder at this deed. For hunger destroys wisdom and courage; therefore he who can conquer hunger conquers heaven. You have overcome your love for wife and children and the craving of your own body for the sake of virtue and so have deserved to dwell in the region of the blessed.
"'The door of heaven is hard to open,' said Dharma. 'Greed is the bar to that door, and it is fastened by desire. Those who conquer anger and greed, who give according to their ability, are able to open it. He who has a thousand and give away a hundred, he who has a hundred and gives away ten, and he who has nothing and gives away a cupful of water, are equally rewarded. That king who gave away the flesh of his body to save a pigeon is rejoicing now in heaven. This gift of yours, O Brahman, is greater than those gifts that are made in many Rajasuya Sacrifices or many Horse Sacrifices. A heavenly chariot is here for you; mount upon it now with your wife, your son, and your daughter-in-law, and go to those regions where there is no hunger and no sorrow.'
"All this," said the mongoose, "I beheld and heard from inside my hole. After that learned Brahman with all his family had gone away, I looked out of my hole, and the fragrance of that powdered barley and the celestial flowers that had fallen to the earth tuned my head to gold. As I came farther out, half of this broad body of mine was turned to gold because of the gift of that Brahman who held fast to virtue. Ever since that time, O sinless ones, I have gone to the hermitages of holy sages and to the sacrifices of kings so that the rest of my body might also become golden. When I heard of this great sacrifice, I came hither with high hope, but behold, my body remains as it was. Therefore I said that this sacrifice cannot compare with that gift of powdered barley, and so I still believe." With these words the mongoose disappeared from the sight of those Brahmans.
The wonderful happening has been told so that no one may think too highly of sacrifices. Many a holy man has gone to heaven because of his good deeds alone. Indeed, if one hurts no living creature and is contented and true, self-controlled and generous, he has offered the highest sacrifice of all.
 
Seeger, The Five Sons of King Pandu, Print edition, op. cit., pp. 291-308.


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