The Mahabharata - First Book
"Vaisampayana said, 'Those mighty car-warriors, the heroic Pandavas, then went, O king, from forest to forest killing deer and many animals (for their food). And in the course of their wanderings they saw the countries of the Matsyas, the Trigartas, the Panchalas and then of the Kichakas, and also many beautiful woods and lakes therein.
And they all had matted locks on their heads and were attired in barks of trees and the skins of animals. Indeed, with Kunti in their company those illustrious heroes were attired in the garbs of ascetics.
And those mighty car-warriors sometimes proceeded in haste, carrying their mother on their backs; and sometimes they proceeded in disguise, and sometimes again with great celerity. And they used to study the Rik and the other Vedas and also all the Vedangas as well as the sciences of morals and politics.
And the Pandavas, conversant with the science of morals, met, in course of their wanderings their grandfather (Vyasa). And saluting the illustrious Krishna-Dwaipayana, those chastisers of enemies, with their mother, stood before him with joined hands.'
"Vyasa then said,
'Ye bulls of Bharata's race, I knew beforehand of this affliction of yours consisting in your deceitful exile by the son of Dhritarashtra.
Knowing this, I have come to you, desirous of doing you some great good. Do not grieve for what hath befallen you.
Know that all this is for your happiness. Undoubtedly, the sons of Dhritarashtra and you are all equal in my eye.
But men are always partial to those who are in misfortune or of tender years. It is therefore, that my affection for you is greater now.
And in consequence of that affection, I desire to do you good.
Listen to me!
Not far off before you is a delightful town where no danger can overtake you. Live ye there in disguise, waiting for my return.'
'Vaisampayana continued, 'Vyasa, the son of Satyavati, thus comforting the Pandavas, led them into the town of Ekachakra. And the master also comforted Kunti, saying,
'Live, O daughter!
This son of thine, Yudhishthira, ever devoted to truth, this illustrious bull among men, having by his justice conquered the whole world, will rule over all the other monarchs of the earth.
There is little doubt that, having by means of Bhima's and Arjuna's prowess conquered the whole earth with her belt of seas, he will enjoy the sovereignty thereof.
Thy sons as well as those of Madri — mighty car-warriors [Page 326] all — will cheerfully sport as pleaseth them in their dominions.
These tigers among men will also perform various sacrifices, such as the Rajasuya and the horse-sacrifice, in which the presents unto the Brahmanas are very large.
And these thy sons will rule their ancestral kingdom, maintaining their friends and relatives in luxury and affluence and happiness.'
"Vaisampayana continued, 'With these words Vyasa introduced them into the dwelling of a Brahmana. And the island-born Rishi, addressing the eldest of the Pandavas, said,
'Wait here for me!
I will come back to you!
By adapting yourselves to the country and the occasion you will succeed in becoming very happy.'
"Then, O king, the Pandavas with joined hands said unto the Rishi, 'So be it.' And the illustrious master, the Rishi Vyasa, then went away to the region whence he had come.'"