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prehensions from his nephews, the Pandoos, whom he commanded to build their houses outside of the town, in order to prevent family disputes. Doory. odhun bribed the architects to construct the houses with large quantities of pitch and bitumen, so that they might easily be consumed ; but the Pandoos, anticipating his intentions, set fire to their habitations, and, with their mother, left Hustnapoor. In this conflagration a woman named Bheel *, together with her five sons, who had been bribed to commit the act, fell victims to the flames; but the Kooroos, on the next day, finding the remains of Bheel and her sons, concluded that they were those of the Pandoos. After this event, the Pandoos having withdrawn from Hustnapoor, travelled over great part of India, and fought several battles, accounts of which occupy the greater part of the Mahabharut. At length they reached the city of Kumpila t, where the five brothers, being married in succession to Drowpdy, the daughter of the raja of Kumpila, agreed that she should live with one of them for 72 days, by which means each contrived to enjoy her company for one-fifth part of every year. Some Hindoos, however, deny this fact. Be it as it may; Dooryodhun hearing the Pandoos were alive, determined to ascertain the truth; and unable to dispute their rights, he invited them to Hustnapoor, when he gave over to them Indra
* The Mahabharut states, that a woman of the tribe of Kisat (the appellation given to the Bheel tribe), with her five sons were accidentally sleeping on the premises, and were consumed. + On the banks of the Ganges.
prust as their hereditary patrimony, and half of the kingdom of Hustnapoor. The Pandoos gained strength and power daily, while the Kooroos, although they pretended friendship, retained malice in their hearts. At length, the elder brother (Y00dishteer) resolved to celebrate a festival in honour of the gods, at which it was necessary that all the kings of the earth should be present to pay
homage to him. Yoodishteer accordingly despatched his brothers to the four corners of the earth; who subdued, and brought to the feast the kings of Khutta, Room, Hubush, Ajum, Arabia, and Toorkistan. † Dooryodhun, having long beheld with envy the rising power of his cousins, could no longer restrain his jealousy, and sought means to subvert their authority. Unable to expel them by force, he determined, if possible, to effect it by stratagem. In those days gambling with dice was a common amusement; and as he knew that the brothers were much addicted to this vice, he resolved, with the assistance of sharpers, to lead them
* Indraprustha, or Indraput. A town of this name still exists on the banks of the Soorswutty river, and I was induced to believe it to be that here alluded to; but my friend, Colonel Tod, whose researches in Hindoo history are so profound, and whose acquaintance with the geography of that part of India is 80 complete, states that Indraprustha is the ancient appellation for the city of Dehly, an appellation which it received from the Tuar dynasty, in the eighth century of our era, and which race descended in a direct line from the Pandoos; and that, consequently, the Indraprustha in question is the ancient town of Dehly.
+ These names are evidently the result of Mahomedan interpolation. No such places are mentioned in the Mahabharut.
on to lose to him their share of the empire. The Pandoos, falling into the snare, lost all they possessed, but their kingdom.
Dooryodhun now proposed one more throw, with a promise, that if he lost, he would restore all he had won, but if the Pandoos lost, they should abandon their country, and wander for twelve years; and on their return it was required, that they should remain concealed for a whole year,
without making themselves known, but if discovered, they were again to perform twelve years more penance. The Pandoos lost, and having performed their pilgrimage, on the thirteenth year, they settled in the district of Waee*, a country of the south. Dooryodhun sought throughout the empire, without discovering them, till at the end of the year, the Pandoos sent Krishna, the son of Vasdew, as ambassador to the capital, to claim their kingdom. Dooryodhun, however, refusing to restore it, and the Pandoos having procured a number of the rajast of India to espouse their cause, attacked the forces of the Kooroos, near Tahnesur, in the beginning of the Kulyoog, when Dooryodhun was killed, and the Kooroos were defeated. The army of the Kooroos consisted of eleven kshoons, and that of the Pandoos of seven. Each kshoon consisting of 21,870 elephants, 21,870 chariots,
* Waee, a town on the banks of the river Krishna, near the fort of Pandooghur, called after the exiled brothers, is situated 20 miles north of the fort of Satara.
+ Among these, Veerat Ray, the Raja of Waee, accompanied the Pandoos, and fell in the battle of Koorooket, on the plains of Tahnesur.
65,610 horsemen, and 109,350 foot.* The most extraordinary part of the tale is, that only twelve ment of both armies are said to have survived the battle. These were, four of the Kooroos; the first, Kripa Acharia, a brahmin, the tutor of the cousins, distinguished alike for his courage and his learning. The second, Ashwathama, the son of the philosopher Drone, who fell in the battle; the
* These incredible numbers are reducible by the figure 9, without a fraction, which authorises us to believe that the real numbers have been multiplied by this sacred and mystical figure. Admitting this to be the case, which seems highly probable, the numerical strength of the armies comes within the bounds of rational belief; and if we allow two riders to each elephant and chariot, it furnishes us also with even numbers, and the armies will then stand thus : .
By this account the Pandoos would have brought 1701, and the Kooroos 2673 elephants into the field, which however disproportionate they may appear to the number of men in modern times, yet when we consider that the missile weapons of those days did not penetrate easily into the elephant's hide, and that great numbers were used in all battles in India up to the introduction of artillery, the proportion is not so large. Akbur, according to Ferishta, had never more than 6000, but never less than 5000 elephants during the whole of his reign, within the last two centuries ; and the Nabob of Luknow has employed 700 on a hunting party, even within the last 40 years.
+ With respect to the twelve persons who survived the battle, we must suppose the officers of distinction only are alluded to, whose names are given.
third, Keert Varma, of the family of Yado; and the fourth, Sunjye, the intelligencer of D'hertrashtra, and who acted as his charioteer during the battle, Also eight of the Pandoos, viz. the five Pandoo brothers; sixth, Satik Yado; seventh, Yooyoocha (half brother of Dooryodhun); and eighth, Krishna, who had been employed as ambassador to Dooryodhun, from Waee. With respect to this latter personage, we shall give his history as translated from the Mahabharut.
“ The city of Mutra is celebrated as the birthplace of Krishna. The Hindoos are not all agreed « as to the rank which he holds among the holy “ personages.
Some respect him as a prophet only, while others deify him.
“ Before the battle of Tahnesur, Raja Kuns, “ having heard from his astrologers that Krishna “ would put him to death, sought in all directions “ to seize him, but he concealed himself, and lived “ for eleven years in the house of Nunda, a cow
keeper, and at last obtained an opportunity of putting Raja Kuns to death, and of placing Oogur Sein, the father of Kuns, on the throne,
retaining the management of the government in “ his own hands. At length, he caused his subjects “to pay him divine honours, and obtained many
proselytes. It is said, he devoted thirty-two
years of his life to mirth and gaiety, in the city “ of Mutra, and the tales related of him are as “ marvellous as preposterous.
“ The neighbouring rajas, jealous of his power, “ resolved to attack him. Among these, Jara“ sundha, the Raja of Bahar, marched with a large