(1) S'aunaka Muni asked: "How ruled King Yudhishthhira, the greatest of the strict followers of the religion, together with his younger brothers the kingdom after having killed the aggressors who wanted to usurp the legal inheritance? They had to accept a restriction on the joys of life, isn't it?"
(2) Sûta said: "After the exhausting bamboo fire of the Kuru dynasty, the Lord, the maintainer of the creation, was pleased to see how the seedling of Yudhishthhira's kingdom had been restored. (3) After having heard what Bhîshma and the Infallible One had said, Yudhishthhira, enlightened by perfect knowledge, was freed from his bewilderment and ruled, followed by his brothers and protected by the invincible Lord, over the earth and the seas like he was the king of heaven [Indra]. (4) All the rain that was needed showered, the earth yielded everything desired and the cows out of sheer joy moistened the pastures with their filled udders. (5) The rivers, oceans and hills assured him in every season of all necessary vegetables, greenery and medicinal herbs. (6) Never was, because of themselves, nature or because of others, any living being troubled by anxieties, diseases or extreme temperatures, as always happens with a king who has no enemies.
(7) In order to appease His family and please His sister [Subhadrâ, who was married to Arjuna], the Lord stayed for a few months in the city of Hastinâpura. (8) After that time He, after duly asking permission, was permitted to leave. After embracing the king and bowing down to him He ascended His chariot, receiving from others the same respects and embraces. (9-10) His sister, [the wife of the Pândavas] Draupadî, [their mother] Kuntî, [Parîkchit's mother] Uttarâ and also [the blind grandfather] Dhritarâshthra and [his wife] Gândhârî, [their son] Yuyutsu, [the Kuru priest] Kripâcârya, [the twin brothers] Nakula and Sahadeva together with Bhîma, and [the Pândava priest] Dhaumya as also other ladies from the palace and [Vyâsa's mother] Satyavatî, had great difficulty with the departure of the One with the conch in His hands, and almost fainted. (11-12) An intelligent person will, concerning the fame that is sung, in good company being liberated from materialistic association, never think of giving it up when he but once has heard the pleasing. How could the Pândavas who gave Him their heart then tolerate it to be separated from Him having seen Him face to face and touching, sleeping, sitting and eating together with Him? (13) All of them, looking at Him with wide open eyes, melted for Him and moved restlessly, bound as they were by pure affection. (14) The ladies of the family who came out of the palace, had difficulty checking their tears from overflowing, as they were afraid that because of it inauspicious things might happen to the son of Devakî. (15) At that time mridangas [drums used in devotional service], conch shells, horns, strings, flutes and more drums, bells and other rhythm instruments were sounded. (16) To have a good view the ladies of the Kuru dynasty climbed on the roof of the palace, from where they showered flowers upon Krishna with love and shy smiles. (17) For the Most Beloved of the Beloved [Arjuna] the conqueror of sleep took up an embroidered sunshade decorated with perls and lace that had a handle inlaid with jewels. (18) He, as the master of Madhu, resplendently sitting on flowers scattered all around was on His way fanned by Uddhava, His cousin brother and His driver Sâtyaki.
(19) From all sides the truthful respects and sayings of the brahmins could be heard that to the occasion were neither befitting or unbefitting considering the fact that the Absolute Truth was present there in a form subjected to the modes of nature. (20) The ladies of the capital of the king of the Kurus were with their hearts absorbed in talking amongst each other about Him hailed in the scriptures, in such a manner that it sounded more attractive than the hymns of the Vedas themselves: (21) 'Him we will definitely remember as the Personality of Godhead, as the Original One who existed materially unmanifested in His own Self before the creation of the modes of nature. He is that Supersoul, that Supreme Lord, in whom the living beings merge with their energies suspended, like going asleep at night. (22) He as the one who puts the revealed scriptures in practice thus gives, when He excercizes His own personal potency, the individual soul time and again names and forms when He [in the form of an avatâra] creates the outer illusion of material nature. And these names He assigns to that what factually cannot be named. (23) He happens to be the same Personality of Godhead as the one by those great devotees seen who managed to control their senses and life and who, by the grace of their devotion, may see the development of a pure mind; it is they who by dint of this, only this, deserve a purified existence. (24) Oh friends, it is He who for His excellent pastimes, that are confidentially described in the Vedas as also discussed by the intimate devotees, is respected as the one and only Supreme Controller and Supersoul of the complete creation, as He who by the manifestation of His pastimes, creates, maintains and destroys without ever becoming attached to it. (25) Whenever there are rulers who ignorantly like animals go against the divine principles, He manifests, for sure out of goodness, His supreme power and positive truth, mercy and wonderful activities in various forms for the sake of maintaining [the dharma] in the different periods and ages [see also B.G 4: 7]. (26) O, how supremely glorified the dynasty of King Yadu is and how elevated the virtue of the land of Mathurâ, for He who has appeared and roamed here is the supreme leader of all the living beings and the husband of the goddess of fortune. (27) How wonderful Dvârakâ is [the island where Krishna resides], that place that, adding to the virtue and fame of the earth, defeats the glory of the heavenly worlds, that place of which the inhabitants are used to constantly see the soul of the living being [Krishna] who bestows His grace with the benediction of His smiling glance. (28) For the wives He married to relish His lips again and again, they no doubt by vow, bath, fire-sacrifice and such must have been of perfect worship for the Lord, oh friends. Often the damsels of Vraja fainted with that in their minds! (29) Of the lady of Dvârakâ [Rukminî, Krishna's first wife], who with great valor was taken away by Him from the open selection of the bridegroom as the price that had to be paid by the harassing powerful kings headed by S'is'upâla, and of the other ladies that were similarly brought home after the killing of thousands of wicked kings [headed by Bhaumâsura], there are children like Pradyumna, Sâmba and Amba. (30) All these very fine women of the highest stature who were bereft of their individuality and purity were by their lotus-eyed husband who touched them in drawing them near in His heart, thus never left alone in their homes.'
(31) While the ladies of the capital were praying and talking this way about Him, He granted them the grace of His glance and greeting them with a smile on His face the Lord departed. (32) Yudhishthhira, the man without enemies, out of affection and being anxious, engaged four divisions of soldiers [on horseback, elephant, chariot and foot] for the protection of the enemy of the atheists. (33) After thus having accompanied Him over a long distance, the Lord persuaded politely and full of affection the determined Pândavas to return. They were overtaken by the thought of their future separation. Thereafter He with His dear companions proceeded towards Dvârakâ. (34-35) Traveling through Kurujângala [the province of Delhi], Pâñcâlâ [part of Punjab], S'ûrasenâ, Brahmâvarta [Uttar Pradesh its north] and the districts along the Yamunâ river, He passed Kurukshetra where the battle was fought and traversed the province of Matsyâ, Sârasvatân [another part of Punjab] and so on. Then crossing the land of deserts [Rajasthan] and the land where there is hardly any water [Madhya Pradesh], and after passing through the provinces of Sauvîra [Saurastra] and Âbhîra [part of Gujarat], He, oh S'aunaka, finally reached the western side of the province of Dvârakâ with His horses slightly overtaken by fatigue from the long journey. (36) In several places it so happened that the Lord was welcomed and served in different ways when He arrived in the evening after the sun had passed the eastern sky to be gone where the ocean is."