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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 said,—­“When the play commenced, all those kings with Dhritarashtra at their head took their seats in that assembly.  And, O Bharata, Bhishma and Drona and Kripa and the high-souled Vidura with cheerless hearts sat behind.  And those kings with leonine necks and endued with great energy took their seats separately and in pairs upon many elevated seats of beautiful make and colour.  And, O king, that mansion looked resplendent with those assembled kings like heaven itself with a conclave of the celestials of great good fortune.  And they were all conversant with the Vedas and brave and of resplendent countenances.  And, O great king, the friendly match at dice then commenced.

Yudhishthira said,—­“O king, this excellent wealth of pearls of great value, procured from the ocean by churning it (of old), so beautiful and decked with pure gold, this, O king, is my stake.  What is thy counter stake, O great king,—­the wealth with which thou wishest to play with me?”

“Duryodhana said,—­’I have many jewels and much wealth.  But I am not vain of them.  Win thou this stake.’

Vaisampayana continued,—­“Then Sakuni, well-skilled at dice, took up the dice and (casting them) said unto Yudhishthira, ‘Lo, I have won!’”

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Yudhishthira said,—­“Thou hast won this stake of me by unfair means.  But be not so proud, O Sakuni.  Let us play staking thousands upon thousands.  I have many beautiful jars each full of a thousand Nishkas in my treasury, inexhaustible gold, and much silver and other minerals.  This, O king, is the wealth with which I will stake with thee!’”

Vaisampayana continued,—­“Thus addressed, Sakuni said unto the chief of the perpetuators of the Kuru race, the eldest of the sons of Pandu, king Yudhishthira, of glory incapable of sustaining any diminution.  ’Lo, I have won!’”

Yudhishthira said,—­’This my sacred and victorious and royal car which gladdeneth the heart and hath carried us hither, which is equal unto a thousand cars, which is of symmetrical proportions and covered with tiger-skin, and furnished with excellent wheels and flag-staffs which is handsome, and decked with strings of little bells, whose clatter is even like the roar of the clouds or of the ocean, and which is drawn by eight noble steeds known all over the kingdom and which are white as the moon-beam and from whose hoofs no terrestrial creature can escape—­this, O king, is my wealth with which I will stake with thee!’”

Vaisampayana continued,—­“Hearing these words, Sakuni ready with the dice, and adopting unfair means, said unto Yudhishthira, ‘Lo, I have won!’

“Yudhishthira said,—­’I have a hundred thousand serving-girls, all young, and decked with golden bracelets on their wrists and upper arms, and with nishkas round their necks and other ornaments, adorned with costly garlands and attired in rich robes, daubed with the sandal paste, wearing jewels and gold, and well-skilled in the four and sixty elegant arts, especially versed in dancing and singing, and who wait upon and serve at my command the celestials, the Snataka Brahmanas, and kings.  With this wealth, O king, I will stake with thee!’”

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