Yaksha Prasnam

Vaisampayana said, ‘Yudhishthira saw his brothers, each possessed of the glory of
Indra himself, lying dead like the Regents of the world dropped from their spheres
at the end of the Yuga. And beholding Arjuna lying dead, with his bow and arrows
dropped on the ground, and also Bhimasena and the twins motionless and deprived
of life, the king breathed a hot and long sigh, and was bathed in tears of grief.
And beholding his brothers lying dead, the mighty armed son of Dharma with heart
racked in anxiety, began to lament profusely, saying, “Thou hadst, O mighty-armed
Vrikodara, vowed, saying,—I shall with mace smash the thighs of Duryodhana in battle!
O enhancer of the glory of the Kurus, in thy death, O mighty-armed and high-souled
one, all that hath become fruitless now! The promises of men may be ineffectual;
but why have the words of the gods uttered in respect of thee been thus fruitless? O
Dhananjaya, while thou wert in thy mother’s lying-in-room, the gods had said,—O
Kunti, this thy son shall not be inferior to him of a thousand eyes! And in the northern
Paripatra mountains, all beings had sung, saying,—The prosperity of this race, robbed by
foes will be recovered by this one without delay. No one will be able to vanquish him in battle,
while there will be none whom he will not be able to vanquish. Why then hath that Jishnu
endued with great strength been subject to death? Oh, why doth that Dhananjaya,
relying on whom we had hitherto endured all this misery, lie on the ground blighting
all my hopes! Why have those heroes, those mighty sons of Kunti, Bhimasena and
Dhananjaya, came under the power of the enemy,—those who themselves always
slew their foes, and whom no weapons could resist! Surely, this vile heart of mine
must be made of adamant, since, beholding these twins lying today on the ground
it doth not split! Ye bulls among men, versed in holy writ and acquainted with the
properties of time and place, and endued with ascetic merit, ye who duly performed
all sacred rites, why lie ye down, without performing acts deserving of you? Alas, why
lie ye insensible on the earth, with your bodies unwounded, ye unvanquished ones,
and with your vows untouched?”
And beholding his brothers sweetly sleeping there as they usually did on mountain
slopes, the high souled king, overwhelmed with grief and bathed in sweat, came to a
distressful condition. And saying,—“It is even so”, that virtuous lord of men, immersed
in an ocean of grief anxiously proceeded to ascertain the cause of that catastrophe.
And that mighty-armed and high-souled one, acquainted with the divisions of time
and place, could not settle his course of action. Having thus bewailed much in this
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strain, the virtuous Yudhishthira, the son of Dharma or Tapu, restrained his soul and
began to reflect in his mind as to who had slain those heroes. “There are no strokes
of weapons upon these, nor is any one’s foot-print here. The being must be mighty I
ween, by whom my brothers have been slain. Earnestly shall I ponder over this, or, let
me first drink of the water, and then know all. It may be that the habitually crookedminded Duryodhana hath caused this water to be secretly placed here by the king of
the Gandharvas. What man of sense can trust wicked wight of evil passions with whom
good and evil are alike? Or, perhaps, this may be an act of that wicked-souled one
through secret messengers of his.” And it was thus that that highly intelligent one gave
way to diverse reflections. He did not believe that water to have been tainted with
poison, for though dead no corpse-like pallor was on them. “The colour on the faces of
these my brothers hath not faded!” And it was thus that Yudhishthira thought. And the
king continued, “Each of these foremost of men was like unto a mighty cataract. Who,
therefore, save Yama himself who in due time bringeth about the end of all things,
could have baffled them thus.” And having concluded this for certain, he began to
perform his ablutions in that lake. And while he descended into it, he heard these
words from the sky, uttered by the Yaksha,—“I am a crane, living on tiny fish. It is
by me that thy younger brothers have been brought under the sway of the lord of
departed spirits. If, thou, O prince, answer not the questions put by me, even thou
shalt number the fifth corpse. Do not, O child, act rashly! This lake hath already been
in my possession. Having answered my questions first, do thou, O Kunti’s son, drink
and carry away as much as thou requirest!” Hearing these words, Yudhishthira said,
“Art thou the foremost of the Rudras, or of the Vasus, or of the Marutas? I ask, what
god art thou? This could not have been done by a bird! Who is it that hath overthrown
the four mighty mountains, the Himavat, the Paripatra, the Vindhya, and the Malaya?
Great is the feat done by thee, thou foremost of strong persons! Those whom neither
gods, nor Gandharvas nor Asuras, nor Rakshasas could endure in mighty conflict,
have been slain by thee! Therefore, exceedingly wonderful is the deed done by thee!
I do not know what thy business may be, nor do I know thy purpose. Therefore, great
is the curiosity and fear also that have taken possession of me? My mind is greatly
agitated, and as my head also is aching, I ask thee, therefore, O worshipful one, who
art thou that stayest here?” Hearing these words the Yaksha said, “I am, good betide
thee, a Yaksha, and not an amphibious bird. It is by me that all these brothers of thine,
endued with mighty prowess, have been slain!”
Vaisampayana continued, ‘Hearing these accursed words couched in harsh syllabus,
Yudhishthira, O king, approaching the Yaksha who had spoken then, stood there. And
that bull among the Bharatas then beheld that Yaksha of unusual eyes and huge body
tall like a palmyra-palm and looking like fire or the Sun, and irresistible and gigantic
like a mountain, staying on a tree, and uttering a loud roar deep as that of the clouds.
And the Yaksha said, “These thy brothers, O king, repeatedly forbidden by me, would
forcibly take away water. It is for this that they have been slain by me! He that wisheth
to live, should not, O king, drink this water! O son of Pritha, act not rashly! This
lake hath already been in my possession. Do thou, O son of Kunti, first answer my
questions, and then take away as much as thou likest!” Yudhishthira said, “I do not, O
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Yaksha, covet, what is already in thy possession! O bull among male beings, virtuous
persons never approve that one should applaud his own self. Without boasting, I shall,
therefore, answer thy questions, according to my intelligence. Do thou ask me!”
१ · 1
The Yaksha then said, “What is it that maketh the Sun rise? Who keeps him
company? Who causeth him to set? And in whom is he established?” Yudhishthira
answered, “Brahma maketh the Sun rise: the gods keep him company: Dharma causeth
him to set: and he is established in truth.”
२ · 2
The Yaksha asked, “By what doth one become learned? By what doth he attain
what is very great? How can one have a second? And, O king, how can one acquire
intelligence?” Yudhishthira answered, “It is by the study of the Srutis that a person
becometh learned; it is by ascetic austerities that one acquireth what is very great: it
is by intelligence that a person acquireth a second and it is by serving the old that
one becometh wise.”
३ · 3
The Yaksha asked, “What constituteth the divinity of the Brahmanas? What
even is their practice that is like that of the pious? What also is the human
attribute of the Brahmanas? And what practice of theirs is like that of the impious?”
Yudhishthira answered, “The study of the Vedas constitutes their divinity: their
asceticism constitutes behaviour that is like that of the pious; their liability to death
is their human attribute and slander is their impiety.”
४ · 4
The Yaksha asked, “What institutes the divinity of the Kshatriyas? What even is
their practice that is like that of the pious? What is their human attribute? And what
practice of theirs is like that of the impious?” Yudhishthira answered, “Arrows and
weapons are their divinity: celebration of sacrifices is that act which is like that of the
pious: liability to fear is their human attribute; and refusal of protection is that act of
theirs which is like that of the impious.”
५ · 5
The Yaksha asked, “What is that which constitutes the Sama of the sacrifice? What
the Yajus of the sacrifice? What is that which is the refuge of a sacrifice? And what is
that which sacrifice cannot do without?”1 Yudhishthira answered, “Life is the Sama of
the sacrifice; the mind is the Yajus of the sacrifice: the Rik is that which is the refuge
of the sacrifice; and it is Rik alone which sacrifice cannot do without.”
६ · 6
The Yaksha asked, “What is of the foremost value to those that cultivate? What is
of the foremost value to those that sow? What is of the foremost value to those that
wish for prosperity in this world? And what is of the foremost value to those that
1The reference is to the first three of the four vedas, Rigveda, Samaveda and Yajurveda, and also to
the original meaning of their names: rik, praise or sacred verse; sama, melody; yajus, sacrificial formula.
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bring forth?” Yudhishthira answered, “That which is of the foremost value to those
that cultivate is rain: that of the foremost value to those that sow is seed: that of the
foremost value to those that bring forth is offspring.”
७ · 7
The Yaksha asked, “What person, enjoying all the objects of the senses, endued
with intelligence, regarded by the world and liked by all beings, though breathing, is
not yet alive?” Yudhishthira answered, “The person, who does not offer anything to
these five: gods, guests, servants, ancestors (pitris), and himself, though endued with
breath, is not yet alive.”
८ · 8
The Yaksha asked, “What is weightier than the earth itself? What is higher than
the heavens?” What is fleeter than the wind? And what is more numerous than
grass?” Yudhishthira answered, “The mother is weightier than the earth; the father is
higher than the heaven; the mind is fleeter than the wind; and our thoughts are more
numerous than grass.”
९ · 9
The Yaksha asked, “What is that which doth not close its eyes while asleep; What is
that which doth not move after birth? What is that which is without heart? And what
is that which swells with its own impetus?” Yudhishthira answered, “A fish doth not
close its eyes while asleep: an egg doth not move after birth: a stone is without heart:
and a river swelleth with its own impetus.”
१० · 10
The Yaksha asked, “Who is the friend of the exile? Who is the friend of the
householder? Who is the friend of him that ails? And who is the friend of one about
to die?” Yudhishthira answered, “The friend of the exile in a distant land is his
companion, the friend of the householder is the wife; the friend of him that ails is
the physician: and the friend of him about to die is charity.
११ · 11
The Yaksha asked,—“Who is the guest of all creatures? What is the eternal duty?
What, O foremost of kings, is Amrita?
2 And what is this entire Universe?” Yudhishthira
answered,—Agni is the guest of all creatures: the milk of kine is amrita: Homa
therewith is the eternal duty: and this Universe consists of air alone.”
१२ · 12
The Yaksha asked,—“What is that which sojourneth alone? What is that which is
re-born after its birth? What is the remedy against cold? And what is the largest field?”
2Amrita अमƼत, ambrosia, the nectar of immortality. Homa हवन, a ritual in which a consecrated fire is
the central element.
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Yudhishthira answered,—“The sun sojourneth alone; the moon takes birth anew: fire
is the remedy against cold: and the Earth is the largest field.”
१३ · 13
The Yaksha asked,—“What is the highest refuge of virtue? What of fame? What of
heaven? And what, of happiness?” Yudhishthira answered,—“Liberality is the highest
refuge of virtue: gift, of fame: truth, of heaven: and good behaviour, of happiness.”
१४ · 14
The Yaksha asked,—“What is the soul of man? Who is that friend bestowed on
man by the gods? What is man’s chief support? And what also is his chief refuge?”
Yudhishthira answered,—“The son is a man’s soul: the wife is the friend bestowed on
man by the gods; the clouds are his chief support; and gift is his chief refuge.”
१५ · 15
The Yaksha asked,—“What is the best of all laudable things? What is the most
valuable of all his possessions? What is the best of all gains? And what is the best
of all kinds of happiness?” Yudhishthira answered,—”The best of all laudable things
is skill; the best of all possessions is knowledge: the best of all gains is health: and
contentment is the best of all kinds of happiness.”
१६ · 16
The Yaksha asked,—“What is the highest duty in the world? What is that virtue
which always beareth fruit? What is that which if controlled, leadeth not to regret?
And who are they with whom an alliance cannot break?” Yudhishthira answered,—
“The highest of duties is to refrain from injury: the rites ordained in the Three Vedas
always bear fruit: the mind, if controlled, leadeth to no regret: and an alliance with
the good never breaketh.”
१७ · 17
The Yaksha asked,—“What is that which, if renounced, maketh one agreeable?
What is that which, if renounced, leadeth to no regret? What is that which, if
renounced, maketh one wealthy? And what is that which if renounced, maketh one
happy?” Yudhishthira answered,—“Pride, if renounced, maketh one agreeable; wrath,
if renounced leadeth to no regret: desire, if renounced, maketh one wealthy: and
avarice, if renounced, maketh one happy.”
१८ · 18
The Yaksha asked,—“For what doth one give away to Brahmanas? For what to
mimes and dancers? For what to servants? And for what to king?” Yudhishthira
answered,—“It is for religious merit that one giveth away to Brahmanas: it is for
fame that one giveth away to mimes and dancers: it is for supporting them that one
giveth away to servants: and it is for obtaining relief from fear that one giveth to
kings.”
१९ · 19
The Yaksha asked,—“With what is the world enveloped? What is that owing to
which a thing cannot discover itself? For what are friends forsaken? And for what
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doth one fail to go to heaven?” Yudhishthira answered,—“The world is enveloped
with darkness. Darkness doth not permit a thing to show itself. It is from avarice that
friends are forsaken. And it is connection with the world for which one faileth to go
to heaven.”
२० · 20
The Yaksha asked,—“For what may one be considered as dead? For what may a
kingdom be considered as dead? For what may a Sraddha be considered as dead? And
for what, a sacrifice?” Yudhishthira answered,—“For want of wealth may a man be
regarded as dead. A kingdom for want of a king may be regarded as dead. A Sraddha
that is performed with the aid of a priest that hath no learning may be regarded as
dead. And a sacrifice in which there are no gifts to Brahmanas is dead.”
२१ · 21
The Yaksha asked,—“What constitutes the way? What, hath been spoken of as
water? What, as food? And what, as poison? Tell us also what is the proper time
of a Sraddha, and then drink and take away as much as thou likest!” Yudhishthira
answered,—“They that are good constitute the way. 1 Space hath been spoken of
as water. 2 The cow is food. 3 A request is poison. And a Brahmana is regarded as
the proper time of a Sraddha. 4 I do not know what thou mayst think of all this, O
Yaksha?”
२२ · 22
The Yaksha asked,—“What hath been said to be the sign of asceticism? And what
is true restraint? What constitutes forgiveness. And what is shame?” Yudhishthira
answered,—“Staying in one’s own religion is asceticism: the restraint of the mind is
of all restraints the true one: forgiveness consists in enduring enmity; and shame, in
withdrawing from all unworthy acts.”
२३ · 23
The Yaksha asked,—“What, O king is said to be knowledge? What, tranquillity?
What constitutes mercy? And what hath been called simplicity?” Yudhishthira
answered,—“True knowledge is that of Divinity. True tranquillity is that of the heart.
Mercy consists in wishing happiness to all. And simplicity is equanimity of heart.”
२४ · 24
The Yaksha asked,—“What enemy is invincible? What constitutes an incurable
disease for man? What sort of a man is called honest and what dishonest?”
Yudhishthira answered,—“Anger is an invincible enemy. Covetousness constitutes
an incurable disease. He is honest that desires the weal of all creatures, and he is
dishonest who is unmerciful.”
२५ · 25
The Yaksha asked,—“What, O king, is ignorance? And what is pride? What
also is to be understood by idleness? And what hath been spoken of as grief?”
Yudhishthira answered,—“True ignorance consists in not knowing one’s duties. Pride
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is a consciousness of one’s being himself an actor or sufferer in life. Idleness consists
in not discharging one’s duties, and ignorance in grief.”
२६ · 26
The Yaksha asked,—“What hath steadiness been said by the Rishis to be? And
what, patience? What also is a real ablution? And what is charity?” Yudhishthira
answered,—“Steadiness consists in one’s staying in one’s own religion, and true
patience consists in the subjugation of the senses. A true bath consists in washing
the mind clean of all impurities, and charity consists in protecting all creatures.”
२७ · 27
The Yaksha asked,—“What man should be regarded as learned, and who should be
called an atheist? Who also is to be called ignorant? What is called desire and what
are the sources of desire? And what is envy?” Yudhishthira answered,—“He is to be
called learned who knoweth his duties. An atheist is he who is ignorant and so also
he is ignorant who is an atheist. Desire is due to objects of possession, and envy is
nothing else than grief of heart.”
२८ · 28
The Yaksha asked,—“What is pride, and what is hypocrisy? What is the grace of the
gods, and what is wickedness?” Yudhishthira answered,—“Stolid ignorance is pride.
The setting up of a religious standard is hypocrisy. The grace of the gods is the fruit
of our gifts, and wickedness consists in speaking ill of others.”
२९ · 29
The Yaksha asked,—“Virtue, profit, and desire are opposed to one another.
How could things thus antagonistic to one another exist together?” Yudhishthira
answered,—“When a wife and virtue agree with each other, then all the three thou
hast mentioned may exist together.”
३० · 30
The Yaksha asked,—“O bull of the Bharata race, who is he that is condemned
to everlasting hell? It behoveth thee to soon answer the question that I ask!”
Yudhishthira answered,—“He that summoneth a poor Brahmana promising to make
him a gift and then tells him that he hath nothing to give, goeth to everlasting hell. He
also must go to everlasting hell, who imputes falsehood to the Vedas, the scriptures,
the Brahmanas, the gods, and the ceremonies in honour of the Pitris, He also goeth to
everlasting hell who though in possession of wealth, never giveth away nor enjoyeth
himself from avarice, saying, he hath none.”
३१ · 31
The Yaksha asked,—“By what, O king, birth, behaviour, study, or learning doth
a person become a Brahmana? Tell us with certitude!” Yudhishthira answered,-
“Listen, O Yaksha! It is neither birth, nor study, nor learning, that is the cause of
Brahmanahood, without doubt, it is behaviour that constitutes it. One’s behaviour
should always be well-guarded, especially by a Brahmana. He who maintaineth his
conduct unimpaired, is never impaired himself. Professors and pupils, in fact, all who
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study the scriptures, if addicted to wicked habits, are to be regarded as illiterate
wretches. He only is learned who performeth his religious duties. He even that hath
studied the four Vedas is to be regarded as a wicked wretch scarcely distinguishable
from a Sudra if his conduct be not correct. He only who performeth the Agnihotra and
hath his senses under control, is called a Brahmana!”
३२ · 32
The Yaksha asked,—“What doth one gain that speaketh agreeable words? What
doth he gain that always acteth with judgment? What doth he gain that hath many
friends? And what he, that is devoted to virtue?’—Yudhishthira answered,—“He that
speaketh agreeable words becometh agreeable to all. He that acteth with judgment
obtaineth whatever he seeketh. He that hath many friends liveth happily. And he that
is devoted to virtue obtaineth a happy state in the next world.”
३३ · 33
The Yaksha asked,—“Who is truly happy? What is most wonderful? What is the
path? And what is the news? Answer these four questions of mine and let thy
dead brothers revive.” Yudhishthira answered,—“O amphibious creature, a man who
cooketh in his own house, on the fifth or the sixth part of the day, with scanty
vegetables, but who is not in debt and who stirreth not from home, is truly happy. Day
after day countless creatures are going to the abode of Yama, yet those that remain
behind believe themselves to be immortal. What can be more wonderful than this?
Argument leads to no certain conclusion, the Srutis are different from one another;
there is not even one Rishi whose opinion can be accepted by all; the truth about
religion and duty is hid in caves: therefore, that alone is the path along which the
great have trod. This world full of ignorance is like a pan. The sun is fire, the days
and nights are fuel. The months and the seasons constitute the wooden ladle. Time is
the cook that is cooking all creatures in that pan with such aids; this is the news.”

The Yaksha asked,—“Thou hast, O represser of foes, truly answered all my questions!
Tell us now who is truly a man, and what man truly possesseth every kind of
wealth.” Yudhishthira answered,—“The report of one’s good action reacheth heaven
and spreadeth over the earth. As long as that report lasteth, so long is a person to
whom the agreeable and the disagreeable, weal and woe, the past and the future, are
the same, is said to possess every kind of wealth.”
The Yaksha said,—“Thou hast, O king truly answered who is a man, and what
man possesseth every kind of wealth. Therefore, let one only amongst thy brothers,
whom thou mayst wish, get up with life!” Yudhishthira answered,—“Let this one
that is of darkish hue, whose eyes are red, who is tall like a large Sala tree, whose
chest is broad and arms long, let this Nakula, O Yaksha, get up with life! The Yaksha
rejoined,—“This Bhimasena is dear unto thee, and this Arjuna also is one upon whom
all of you depend! Why, then, O king dost thou, wish a step-brother to get up with his
life! How canst thou, forsaking Bhima whose strength is equal to that of ten thousand
elephants, wish Nakula to live? People said that this Bhima was dear to thee. From
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what motive then dost thou wish a step-brother to revive? Forsaking Arjuna the might
of whose arm is worshipped by all the sons of Pandu, why dost thou wish Nakula to
revive?” Yudhishthira said,—“If virtue is sacrificed, he that sacrificeth it, is himself
lost. So virtue also cherisheth the cherisher. Therefore taking care that virtue by being
sacrificed may not sacrifice us, I never forsake virtue. Abstention from injury is the
highest virtue, and is, I ween, even higher than the highest object of attainment. I
endeavour to practise that virtue. Therefore, let Nakula, O Yaksha, revive! Let men
know that the king is always virtuous! I will never depart from my duty. Let Nakula,
therefore, revive! My father had two wives, Kunti and Madri. Let both of them have
children. This is what I wish. As Kunti is to me, so also is Madri. There is no difference
between them in my eye. I desire to act equally towards my mothers. Therefore, let
Nakula live?” The Yaksha said,—“Since abstention from injury is regarded by thee
as higher than both profit and pleasure, therefore, let all thy brothers live, O bull of
Bharata race!”’

Vaisampayana continued,—‘Then agreeable to the words of the Yaksha the Pandavas
rose up; and in a moment their hunger and thirst left them. Thereupon Yudhishthira
said, “I ask thee that art incapable of being vanquished and that standest on one leg
in the tank, what god art thou, for I cannot take thee for a Yaksha! Art thou the
foremost of the Vasus, or of the Rudras, or of the chief of the Maruts? Or art thou the
lord himself of the celestials, wielder of the thunder-bolt! Each of these my brothers
is capable of fighting as hundred thousand warriors, and I see not the warrior that
can slay them all! I see also that their senses have refreshed, as if they have sweetly
awaked from slumber. Art thou a friend of ours, or even our father himself? At this the
Yaksha replied,—“O child, I am even thy father, the Lord of justice, possessed of great
prowess! Know, bull of the Bharata race, that I came hither desirous of beholding thee!
Fame, truth, self-restraint, purity, candour, modesty, steadiness, charity, austerities
and Brahmacharya,
3
these are my body! And abstention from injury, impartiality,
peace, penances, sanctity, and freedom from malice are the doors through which I
am accessible. Thou art always dear to me! By good luck thou art devoted to the five;
and by good luck also thou hast conquered the six. Of the six, two appear in the first
part of life; two in the middle part thereof; and the remaining two at the end, in order
to make men repair to the next world. I am, good betide thee, the lord of justice!
I came hither to test thy merit. I am well-pleased to witness thy harmlessness; and,
O sinless one, I will confer boons on thee. Do thou, O foremost of kings, ask of me
boons. I shall surely confer them, O sinless one! Those that revere me, never come by
distress!’ Yudhishthira said,—“A deer was carrying away the Brahmana’s fire-sticks.
Therefore, the first boon that I shall ask, is, may that Brahmana’s adorations to Agni
be not interrupted!’ The Yaksha said,—“O Kunti’s son endued with splendour, it was
3Brahmacharya is the term used for the practice of self-imposed celibate discipline that accompanies
the pursuit of religious studies, and it refers particularly to the first stage of life, when the young student
devotes exclusively to learning and laying the foundation of a pious life.
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I who for examining thee, was carrying away, in the guise of a deer, that Brahmana’s
fire-sticks!”
Vaisampayana continued,—‘Thereupon that worshipful one said,—“I give thee this
boon! Good betide thee! O thou that are like unto an immortal, ask thou a fresh
boon! Yudhishthira said,—“We have spent these twelve years in the forest; and the
thirteenth year is come. May no one recognise us, as we spend this year somewhere.”
Vaisampayana continued,—‘Thereat that worshipful one replied,—‘I give this boon
unto thee!’ And then reassuring Kunti’s son having truth for prowess, he also said,
“Even if, O Bharata, ye range this entire earth in your proper forms none in the three
worlds shall recognise you. Ye perpetuators of the Kuru race, through my grace, ye
will spend this thirteenth year, secretly and unrecognised, in Virata’s kingdom! And
every one of you will be able at will to assume any form he likes! Do ye now present
the Brahmana with his fire-sticks. It was only to test you that I carried them away in
the form of a deer! O amiable Yudhishthira, do thou ask for another boon that thou
mayst like! I will confer it on thee. O foremost of men, I have not yet been satisfied
by granting boons to thee! Do thou my son, accept a third boon that is great and
incomparable! Thou, O king, art born of me, and Vidura of portion or mine!” Thereat
Yudhishthira said,—“It is enough that I have beheld thee with my senses, eternal God
of gods as thou art! O father, whatever boon thou wilt confer on me I shall surely
accept gladly! May I, O lord, always conquer covetousness and folly and anger, and
may my mind be ever devoted to charity, truth, and ascetic austerities! The Lord of
justice said,—“Even by nature, O Pandava, hast thou been endued with these qualities,
for thou art the Lord of justice himself! Do thou again attain what thou asked for!”
Vaisampayana continued,—‘Having said these words, the worshipful Lord of justice,
who is the object of contemplation of all the worlds, vanished therefrom; and the
high-souled Pandavas after they had slept sweetly were united with one another. And
their fatigue dispelled, those heroes returned to the hermitage, and gave back that
Brahmana his firesticks. That man who pursueth this illustrious and fame-enhancing
story of the revival of the Pandavas and the meeting of father and son (Dharma and
Yudhishthira), obtaineth perfect tranquillity of mind, and sons and grandsons, and
also a life extending over a hundred years! And the mind of that man that layeth this
story to heart, never delighteth in unrighteousness, or in disunion among friends, or
misappropriation of other person’s property, or staining other people’s wives, or in
foul thoughts!’

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