Vaisampayana continued, “King Yudhishthira then, with a glad heart, said unto Vrihadaswa, ’O illustrious one, I desire to learn the science of dice from thee.’ The Rishi then gave his dice-lore unto the high-souled son of Pandu, and having given it unto him, that great ascetic went to the sacred waters of Hayasirsha for a bath.
“And after Vrihadaswa had gone away, Yudhishthira of firm vows heard from Brahmanas and ascetics that came to him from various directions and from places of pilgrimage and mountains and forests that Arjuna of high intelligence and capable of drawing the bow with his left hand, was still engaged in the austerest of ascetic penances, living upon air alone. And he heard that the mighty-armed Partha was engaged in such fierce asceticism that none else before him had ever been engaged in such penances. And Dhananjaya, the son of Pritha, engaged in ascetic austerities with regulated vows and fixed mind and observing the vow of perfect silence, was, he heard, like the blazing god of justice himself in his embodied form. And, O king, (Yudhishthira) the son of Pandu hearing that his dear brother Jaya, the son of Kunti, was engaged in such asceticism in the great forest, began to grieve for him. And with a heart burning in grief, the eldest son of Pandu, seeking consolation in that mighty forest held converse with the Brahmanas possessed of various knowledge who were living with him there.”
Janamejaya said, “O holy one, after my great-grandfather Partha had gone away from the woods of Kamyaka, what did the sons of Pandu do in the absence of that hero capable of drawing the bow with his left hand? It seemeth to me that mighty bowman and vanquisher of armies was their refuge, as Vishnu of the celestials. How did my heroic grandsires pass their time in the forest, deprived of the company of that hero, who resembled Indra himself in prowess and never turned his back in battle?”
Vaisampayana said, “After Arjuna of unbaffled prowess had gone away from Kamyaka, the sons of Pandu, O son, were filled with sorrow and grief. And the Pandavas with cheerless hearts very much resembled pearls unstrung from a wreath, or birds shorn of their wings. And without that hero of white steeds that forest looked like the Chaitraratha woods when deprived of the presence of Kuvera. And, O Janamejaya, those tigers among men—the sons of Pandu—deprived of the company of Arjuna, continued to live in Kamyaka in perfect cheerlessness. And, O chief of the Bharata race, those mighty warriors endowed with great prowess slew with pure arrows various kinds of sacrificial animals for the Brahmanas. And those tigers among men and repressers of foes, daily slaying those wild animals and sanctifying them properly, offered them unto the Brahmanas. And it was thus, O king, that those bulls among men afflicted with sorrow lived there with cheerless hearts after