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In the centre were king Yudhishthira and the twin sons of Pandu by Madri. Other royal bowmen, conversant with the science of arrays, with their troops, filled up that array. In the rear were ordered Abhimanyu, and that mighty car-warrior, Virata, and the sons of Draupadi and the Rakshasa Ghatotkacha.

Such being the case, all of us, with our counsellors, shall propitiate Yudhishthira the son of Kunti. Blessed be thou, with all thy brothers, O bull among the sons of Pandu. If, O king, we have ever said or done anything in ignorance to offend thee, it behoveth thee to forgive us. The son of Pandu is virtuous."

And, O Bharata, king Yudhishthira the just gave unto each of those Brahmanas thousands of kine and beds and gold coins and damsels. "Thus commenced on earth the sacrifice of that unrivalled hero, the illustrious son of Pandu, like the sacrifice in heaven of Sakra himself.

The preceptor, then pierced the son of Pritha with seven keen arrows. Yudhishthira, in return, excited with wrath, pierced the preceptor with five arrows. With great speed, at a time when speed was of the utmost consequence, that best of kings, whose bow had been cut off, took up another bow that was sufficiently tough and hard.

"'Yudhishthira said, "Thou hast, O scorcher of foes, described the course of duties, the general conduct, the means of livelihood, with their results, of Brahmanas and Kshatriyas and Vaisyas and Sudras. Thou hast discoursed also on the duties of kings, the subject of their treasuries, the means of filling them, and the topic of conquest and victory.

Yudhishthira can abandon the whole world full of wealth, but he will never sacrifice morality. The son of Pandu hath said 'I am won. Therefore, I am unable to decide this matter. Sakuni hath not his equal among men at dice-play. The son of Kunti still voluntarily staked with him. The illustrious Yudhishthira doth not himself regard that Sakuni hath played with him deceitfully.

"Sanjaya said, 'That bull amongst the Sinis, viz., Satyaki, hearing these words of full affection, agreeable, fraught with sweet sounds, opportune, delightful, and equitable that were uttered by king Yudhishthira the just, replied unto him, O chief of the Bharatas, saying, "O thou of unfading glory, I have heard all the words thou hast said, words fraught with justice, delightful, and conducive to fame for the sake of Phalguna.

Righteousness hath today been abandoned by Yudhishthira and meanness only hath been displayed by him in consequence of his having offered the Arghya to Krishna. If the helpless sons of Kunti were affrighted and disposed to meanness, thou, O Madhava, ought to have enlightened them as to thy claims to the first worship?

"Vidura said, 'O monarch, Sakuni, the king of Gandhara, an adept at dice, having great skill of hand and desperate in stakes, Vivingati, king Chitrasena, Satyavrata, Purumitra and Jaya, these, O king, are there. "Yudhishthira said, 'It would seem then that some of the most desperate and terrible gamblers always depending upon deceit are there.

Janamejaya said, "What, O Brahmana, was that great fear entertained by Yudhishthira in respect of Karna, for which Lomasa had conveyed to the son of Pandu a message of deep import from Indra in these words, That intense fear of thine which thou dost never express to any one, I will remove after Dhananjaya goeth from hence?