containing many populous provinces. Having, O Bharata, achieved such immeasurable feats, and having obtained (through them) the adorations of the Brahmanas, how is it that thy soul is not gratified? Seeing these brothers of thine before thee, O Bharata,—these heroes swelling with might and resembling bulls or infuriated elephants (in prowess),—why dost thou not address them in delightful words? All of you are like celestials. All of you are capable of resisting foes. All of you are competent to scorch your enemies. If only one of you had become my husband, my happiness would even then have been very great. What need I say then, O tiger among men, when all of you, numbering five, are my husbands (and look after me) like the five senses inspiring the physical frame? The words of my mother-in-law who is possessed of great knowledge and great foresight, cannot be untrue. Addressing me, she said, ’O princess of Panchala, Yudhishthira will ever keep you in happiness, O excellent lady! Having slain many thousands of kings possessed of active prowess, I see, O monarch, that through thy folly thou art about to make that feat futile. They whose eldest brother becomes mad, have all to follow him in madness. Through thy madness, O king, all the Pandavas are about to become mad. If, O monarch, these thy brothers were in their senses, they would then have immured thee with all unbelievers (in a prison) and taken upon themselves the government of the earth. That person who from dullness of intellect acts in this way never succeeds in winning prosperity. The man that treads along the path of madness should be subjected to medical treatment by the aid of incense and collyrium, of drugs applied through the nose, and of other medicines. O best of the Bharatas, I am the worst of all my sex, since I desire to live on even though I am bereaved of my children. Thou shouldst not disregard the words spoken by me and by these brothers of thine that are endeavouring thus (to dissuade thee from thy purpose). Indeed, abandoning the whole earth, thou art inviting adversity and danger to come upon thee. Thou shinest now, O monarch, even as those two best of kings, viz., Mandhatri and Amvarisha, regarded by all the lords of earth, did in former days. Protecting thy subjects righteously, govern the goddess Earth with her mountains and forests and islands. Do not, O king, become cheerless. Adore the gods in diverse sacrifices. Fight thy foes. Make gifts of wealth and clothes and other objects of enjoyment unto the Brahmanas, O best of kings!’
Vaisampayana said, “Hearing these words of Yajnasena’s daughter, Arjuna once more spoke, showing proper regard for his mighty-armed eldest brother of unfading glory.