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"Vaisampayana said, 'At the slaughter of Kichaka and brothers, people, O king, thinking of this terrible feat, were filled with surprise. And in the city and the provinces it was generally bruited about that for bravery the king's Vallava and Kichaka were both mighty warriors. The wicked Kichaka, however, had been an oppressor of men and a dishonourer of other people's wives. And it was for this that wicked of sinful soul had been slain by the Gandharvas. And it was thus, O king, that people began to speak, from province to province of the invincible Kichaka, that slayer of hostile ranks.

'Meanwhile, the spies employed by Dhritarashtra's son, having searched various villages and towns and kingdoms and done all that they had been commanded to do and completed their examination, in the manner directed, of the countries indicated in their orders, returned to Nagarupa, gratified with at least one thing that they had learnt. 1 And

p. 48

seeing Dhritarashtra's son king Duryodhana of the Kuru race seated in his court with Drona and Karna and Kripa, with the high-souled Bhishma, his own brothers, and those great warriors--the Trigartas, they addressed him, saying, 'O lord of men, great hath been the care always bestowed by us in the search after the sons of Pandu in that mighty forest. Searched have we through the solitary wilderness abounding with deer and other animals and overgrown with trees and creepers of diverse kind. Searched have we also in arbours of matted woods and plants and creepers of every species, but we have failed in discovering that track by which Pritha's son of irrepressible energy may have gone. Searched have we in these and other places for their foot-prints. Searched have we closely, O king, on mountain tops and in inaccessible fastnesses, in various kingdoms and provinces teeming with people, in encampments and cities. No trace have yet been found of the sons of Pandu. Good betide thee, O bull among men, it seems that they have perished without leaving a mark behind. O foremost of warriors, although we followed in the track of those warriors, yet, O best of men, we soon lost their footprints and do not know their present residence. O lord of men, for some time we followed in the wake of their charioteers. And making our inquiries duly, we truly ascertained what we desired to know. O slayer of foes, the charioteers reached Dwaravati without the sons of Pritha among them. O king, neither the sons of Pandu, nor the chaste Krishna, are in that city of Yadavas. O bull of the Bharata race, we have not been able to discover either their track or their present abode. Salutations to thee, they are gone for good. We are acquainted with the disposition of the sons of Pandu and know something of the feats achieved by them. It behoveth thee, therefore, O lord of men, to give us instructions, O monarch, as to what we should next do in the search after the sons of Pandu. O hero, listen also to these agreeable words of ours, promising great good to thee. King Matsya's commander, Kichaka of wicked soul, by whom the Trigartas, O monarch, were repeatedly vanquished and slain with mighty force, now lieth low on the ground with all his brothers, slain, O monarch, by invisible Gandharvas during the hours of darkness, O thou of unfading glory. Having heard this delightful news about the discomfiture of our enemies, we have been exceedingly gratified, O Kauravya. Do thou now ordain what should next be done.'"


47:1 Krita-krita--Nilakantha explains this to mean 'imagining themselves to have achieved success in their mission' for having learnt of Kichaka's death, they could p. 48 readily guess the presence of the Pandavas there. This is too far-fetched and does not at all agree with the spirit of their report to Duryodhana below. And then the same word occurs in the very last line of the Section. I take it that in both places the word has been used in the same sense.

Next: Section XXVI