tied to his belt, he shone like a blazing fire.
With scimitar and shield and whirling his shield as
he went, he proceeded to the presence of his sire.
Beholding the prince, the son of Sudeva, viz
king Divodasa, became filled with joy. Indeed,
the old king thought the sons of his enemy Vitahavya
as already slain. Divodasa then installed his
son Pratarddana as Yuvaraja, and regarding himself
crowned with success became exceedingly happy.
After this, the old king commanded that chastiser of
., prince Pratarddana to march against
the sons of Vitahavya and slay them in battle.
Endued with great powers. Pratarddana, that subjugator
of hostile cities speedily crossed Ganga on his car
and proceeded against the city of the Vitahavyas.
Hearing the clatter produced by the wheels of his
car, the sons of Vitahavya, riding on their own cars
that looked like fortified citadels and that were capable
of destroying hostile vehicles, issued out of their
city. Issuing out of their capital, those tigers
among men, viz
., the sons of Vitahavya, who were
all skilful warriors cased in mail, rushed with uplifted
weapons towards Pratarddana, covering him with showers
of arrows. Encompassing him with innumerable
cars, O Yudhisthira, the Vitahavyas poured upon Pratarddana
showers of weapons of various kinds like clouds pouring
torrents of rain on the breast of Himavat. Baffling
their weapons with his own, prince Pratarddana endued
with mighty energy slew them all with his shafts that
resembled the lighting fire of Indra. Their heads
struck off, O king, with hundreds and thousands of
broad-headed arrows, the warriors of Vitahavya fell
down with blood-dyed bodies like Kinsuka trees felled
by woodmen with their axes on every side. After
all his warriors and sons had fallen in battle, king
Vitahavya fled away from his capital to the retreat
of Bhrigu. Indeed, arrived there, the royal fugitive
sought the protection of Bhrigu. The Rishi Bhrigu,
O monarch, assured the defeated king of his protection.
Pratarddana followed in the footsteps of Vitahavya.
Arrived at the Rishi’s retreat, the son of Divodasa
said in a loud voice.—Ho, listen ye disciples
of the high souled Bhrigu that may happen to be present,
I wish to see the sage. Go and inform him of this.
Recognising that it was Pratarddana who had come, the
Rishi Bhrigu himself came out of his retreat and worshipped
that best of kings according to due rites. Addressing
him then, the Rishi said,—Tell me, O king,
what is thy business. The king, at this, informed
the Rishi of the reason of his presence.’
“The king said, ’King Vitahavya has come
here, O Brahmana. Do thou give him up. His
sons, O Brahmana, had destroyed my race. They
had laid waste the territories and the wealth of the
kingdom of Kasi. Hundred sons, however, of this
king proud of his might, have all been slain by me.
By slaying that king himself I shall today pay off
the debt I owe to my father. Unto him that foremost