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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,884 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1.

“Hearing these words of his son, king Drupada became exceedingly glad, and he sent unto them his priest directing him to ascertain who they were and whether they were the sons of the illustrious Pandu.  Thus directed, the king’s priest went unto them and applauding them all, delivered the king’s message duly, saying, ’Ye who are worthy of preference in everything, the boon-giving king of the earth—­Drupada—­is desirous of ascertaining who ye are.  Beholding this one who hath shot down the mark, his joy knoweth no bounds.  Giving us all particulars of your family and tribe, place ye your feet on the heads of your foes and gladden the hearts of the king of Panchala mid his men and mine also.  King Pandu was the dear friend of Drupada and was regarded by him as his counterself.  And Drupada had all along cherished the desire of bestowing this daughter of his upon Pandu as his daughter-in-law.  Ye heroes of features perfectly faultless, king Drupada hath all along cherished this desire in his heart that Arjuna of strong and long arms might wed this daughter of his according to the ordinance.  If that hath become possible, nothing could be better; nothing more beneficial; nothing more conducive to fame and virtue, so far as Drupada is concerned.’

“Having said this, the priest remained silent and humbly waited for an answer.  Beholding him sitting thus, the king Yudhishthira commanded Bhima who sat near, saying, ’Let water to wash his feet with and the Arghya be offered unto this Brahmana.  He is king Drupada’s priest and, therefore, worthy of great respect.  We should worship him with more than ordinary reverence.’  Then, O monarch, Bhima did as directed.  Accepting the worship thus offered unto him, the Brahmana with a joyous heart sat at his ease.  Then Yudhishthira addressed him and said, ’The king of the Panchalas hath, by fixing a special kind of dower, given away his daughter according to the practice of his order and not freely.  This hero hath, by satisfying that demand, won the princess.  King Drupada, therefore, hath nothing now to say in regard to the race, tribe, family and disposition of him who hath performed that feat.  Indeed, all his queries have been answered by the stringing of the bow and the shooting down of the mark.  It is by doing what he had directed that this illustrious hero hath brought away Krishna from among the assembled monarchs.  In these circumstances, the king of the Lunar race should not indulge in any regrets which can only make him unhappy without mending matters in the least.  The desire that king Drupada hath all along cherished will be accomplished for his handsome princess who beareth, I think, every auspicious mark.  None that is weak in strength could string that bow, and none of mean birth and unaccomplished in arms could have shot down the mark.  It behoveth not, therefore, the king of the Panchalas to grieve for his daughter today.  Nor can anybody in the world undo that act of shooting down the mark.  Therefore the king should not grieve for what must take its course.’

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