“Janamejaya said, ’It behoveth thee to tell me of any wonderful incident that occurred in the sacrifice of my grandsires.’
“Vaisampayana said, ’Hear, O chief of kings of a most wonderful incident that occurred, O puissant monarch, at the conclusion of that great horse-sacrifice. After all the foremost of Brahmanas and all the kinsmen and relatives and friends, and all the poor, the blind, and the helpless ones had been gratified, O chief of Bharata’s race, when the gifts made in profusion were being spoken of on all sides, indeed, when flowers were rained down on the head of king Yudhishthira the just, a blue-eyed mongoose, O sinless one, with one side of his body changed into gold, came there and spoke in a voice that was as loud and deep as thunder. Repeatedly uttering such deep sounds and thereby frightening all animals and birds, that proud denizen of a hole, with large body, spoke in a human voice and said, ’Ye kings, this great sacrifice is not equal to a prastha of powdered barley given away by a liberal Brahmana of Kurukshetra who was observing the Unccha vow.’ Hearing these words of the mongoose, O king, all those foremost of Brahmanas became filled with wonder. Approaching the mongoose, they then asked him, saying, ’Whence hast thou come to this sacrifice, this resort of the good and the pious? What is the extent of thy might? What thy learning? And what thy refuge? How should we know thee that thus censurest this our sacrifice? Without having disregarded any portion of the scriptures, everything that should be done has been accomplished here according to the scriptures and agreeably to reason, with the aid of diverse sacrificial rites. Those who are deserving of worship have been duly worshipped here according to the way pointed out by the scriptures. Libations have been poured on the sacred fire with the aid of proper mantras. That which should be given has been given away without pride. The regenerate class have been gratified with gifts of diverse kinds. The Kshatriyas have been gratified with battles fought according to just methods. The grandsires have been gratified with Sraddhas. The Vaisyas have been gratified by the protection offered to them, and many foremost of women have been gratified by accomplishing their desires. The Sudras have been gratified by kind speeches, and others with the remnants of the profuse wealth collected on the spot. Kinsmen and relatives have been gratified by the purity of behaviour displayed by our king.