Duryodhana said, ’Ten thousands of high-souled Snataka Brahmanas daily eat at Yudhishthira’s palace off plates of gold. Beholding his excellent mansion adorned with excellent flowers and fruit, his steeds of the Tittiri and the Kalmasha breeds, his robes of diverse kinds, indeed, beholding that high prosperity of my enemies viz., the sons of Pandu, a prosperity that resembles the high affluence of Vaisravana himself, I am burning with grief, O Bharata!’
Dhritarashtra said, ’If thou wishest, O sire, to win prosperity like that of Yudhishthira or that which is even superior to it, do thou then, O son, endeavour to be of virtuous behaviour. Without doubt, one may, by behaviour alone, conquer the three worlds. There is nothing impossible of attainment by persons of virtuous behaviour. Mandhatri conquered the whole world in course of only one night, Janamejaya, in course of three; and Nabhaga, in course of seven. All these kings were possessed of compassion and of virtuous behaviour. For this reason the earth came to them of their own accord, won over by their virtue.
“Duryodhana said, ’I desire to hear, O Bharata, how that behaviour may be acquired, that behaviour, viz., in consequence of which the earth was won so speedily (by the kings named by thee).
“’Dhritarashtra said, ’In this connection, the following old narrative is cited. It was formerly recited by Narada on the subject of virtuous behaviour. In days of yore, the Daitya Prahlada, by the merit of his behaviour, snatched from the high-souled Indra his sovereignty and reduced the three worlds to subjection. Sukra then, with joined hands, approached Vrihaspati. Possessed of great wisdom, the chief of the celestials addressed the great preceptor, saying, ’I desire thee to tell me what is the source of felicity. Thus addressed, Vrihaspati said unto him that Knowledge (leading to emancipation) is the source of the highest felicity. Indeed, Vrihaspati indicated Knowledge to be the source of supreme felicity. Indra, however, once more asked him as to whether there was anything higher than that.
“Vrihaspati said, ’There is something, O son, that is still higher. The high-souled Bhargava (Usanas) will instruct thee better. Repair to him, blessed be thou, and enquire of him, O chief of the celestials!’ Possessed of great ascetic merit and endued with great splendour, the chief of the celestials then repaired to Bhargava and obtained from him with a ratified heart, a knowledge of what was for his great good. Obtaining the permission of the high-souled Bhargava, the performer of a hundred sacrifices once more asked the sage as to whether there was anything higher (as the means for the acquisition of felicity) than what the sage had already told him. The omniscient Bhargava said, ’The high-souled Prahlada has better knowledge.’ Learning this, Indra became highly delighted. The chastiser of Paka, possessed of great intelligence, assumed