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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.

“Vaisampayana continued, ’Hearing these words of Drupada, the virtuous king Yudhishthira replied, saying, ’O great king, I also shall have to marry.’  Hearing him, Drupada said, ’If it pleaseth thee, take thou the hand of my daughter thyself with due rites.  Or, give Krishna in marriage unto whomsoever of thy brothers thou likest.’  Yudhishthira said, ’Thy daughter, O king, shall be the common wife of us all!  Even thus it hath been ordered, O monarch, by our mother.  I am unmarried still, and Bhima also is so amongst the sons of Pandu.  This thy jewel of a daughter hath been won by Arjuna.  This, O king, is the rule with us; to ever enjoy equally a jewel that we may obtain.  O best of monarchs, that rule of conduct we cannot now abandon.  Krishna, therefore, shall become the wedded wife of us all.  Let her take our hands, one after another before the fire.’

’Drupada answered, ’O scion of Kuru’s race, it hath been directed that one man may have many wives.  But it hath never been heard that one woman may have many husbands!  O son of Kunti, as thou art pure and acquainted with the rules of morality, it behoveth thee not to commit an act that is sinful and opposed both to usage and the Vedas.  Why, O prince, hath thy understanding become so?’ Yudhishthira said in reply, ’O monarch, morality is subtle.  We do not know its course.  Let us follow the way trodden by the illustrious ones of former ages.  My tongue never uttered an untruth.  My heart also never turneth to what is sinful.  My mother commandeth so; and my heart also approveth of it.  Therefore, O king, that is quite conformable to virtue.  Act according to it, without any scruples.  Entertain no fear, O king, about this matter.’

“Drupada said, ’O son of Kunti thy mother, and my son Dhrishtadyumna and thyself, settle amongst yourselves as to what should be done.  Tell me the result of your deliberations and tomorrow I will do what is proper.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ’After this, O Bharata, Yudhishthira, Kunti and Dhrishtadyumna discoursed upon this matter.  Just at that time, however, the island-born (Vyasa), O monarch, came there in course of his wanderings.’”

SECTION CLXLVIII

(Vaivahika Parva continued)

“Vaisampayana said, ’Then all the Pandavas and the illustrious king of the Panchalas and all others there present stood up and saluted with reverence the illustrious Rishi Krishna (Dwaipayana).  The high-souled Rishi, saluting them in return and enquiring after their welfare, sat down on a carpet of gold.  And commanded by Krishna (Dwaipayana) of immeasurable energy, those foremost of men all sat down on costly seats.  A little after, O monarch, the son of Prishata in sweet accents asked the illustrious Rishi about the wedding of his daughter.  And he said, ’How, O illustrious one, can one woman become the wife of many men without being defiled by sin?  O, tell me truly all about this.’  Hearing these words Vyasa replied, ’This practice, O king, being opposed to usage and the Vedas, hath become obsolete.  I desire, however, to hear what the opinion of each of you is upon this matter.’

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