Veda Vyasa

(1500 BC? / Kalpi, Jalaun, Uttar Pradesh / India)

Mahabharata, Book Iii - The Arghya - Poem by Veda Vyasa

Outspake Bhishma to Yudhishthir: 'Monarch of this wide domain,
Honour due to crowned monarchs doth our sacred law ordain,

Arghya to the wise Preceptor, to the Kinsman and to Priest,
To the Friend and to the Scholar, to the King as lord of feast,

Unto these is due the arghya, so our holy writs have said,
Therefore to these kings assembled be the highest honour paid,

Noble are these crownéd monarchs, radiant like the noonday sun,
To the noblest, first in virtue, be the foremost honour done!'

'Who is noblest,' quoth Yudhishthir, 'in this galaxy of fame,
Who of chiefs and crownéd monarchs doth our foremost honour claim?'

Pond' ring spake the ancient Bhishma in his accents deep and clear:
Greatest midst the great is Krishna! chief of men without a peer

Midst these monarchs pure in lustre, purest-hearted and most high
Like the radiant sun is Krishna midst the planets of the sky,

Sunless climes are warmed to verdure by the sun's returning ray,
Windless wastes are waked to gladness when reviving breezes play,

Even so this rajasuya, this thy sacrificial rite,
Owes its sanctity and splendour unto Krishna's holy might!'

Bhishma spake and Sahadeva served his mandate quick as thought,
And the arghya duly flavoured unto peerless Krishna brought,

Krishna trained in rules of virtue then the offered arghya took,
Darkened Sisupala's forehead and his frame in tremor shook,

To Yudhishthir and to Bhishma turns the chief his flaming eyes,
To the great and honoured Krishna, Sisupala wrathful cries.


Poet's Notes about The Poem

MAHABHARATA: CONDENSED INTO ENGLISH VERSE

By Romesh C. Dutt (1899)
THE EPIC OF THE BHARATAS
BOOK III: RAJASUYA

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, September 25, 2012



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