The Noble Prince
The Birth of Karna
The Pandava Princes
The Great Archer
The Charioteer's Son
The Shellac Palace
The Slaying of Bakasura
Draupadi's Swayamvara
The Rajasuya Sacrifice
The Game of Dice
In Exile
The Year in Hiding
The Defence of Matsya
The Exile Ends
Envoys and Missions
Preparing for the War
Kurukshetra and After
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The Exile Ends

Arjuna and Uttara Kumar had won a great victory. In the palace the king was beside himself with joy. He sent his ministers, soldiers and the maidens in attendance at the palace to welcome the valiant hero. "O Kanka, I cannot contain my joy," said the king to Yudhishthira. They talked while they played a game of dice and Virata was full of the bravery and greatness of his son. "See the glory of my son! He has defeated the famed Kaurava warriors single-handed."

"Yes indeed," said Yudhishthira with a smile. "Fortune has been with him, for how else could he have secured Brihannala for his charioteer? Virata was annoyed that Brihannala was praised at the expense of his own son. And in rage, he flung the dice at Yudhishthira, wounding him in the face. Sairandhri, who was nearby, wiped the blood on Yudhishthira’s face with a corner of her garments. Meanwhile Uttara Kumar’s arrival was announced. Yudhishthira took the messenger aside and whispered: "Let the prince come alone. Brihannala should stay behind." He feared that if Arjuna saw the blood on his face it would lead to another fight, for Arjuna could not bear to see Yudhishthira injured except in fair battle.

As Uttara Kumar entered, he bowed to Yudhishthira and his father. And when he saw the blood on Yudhishthira’s face he was struck with fear. "You have done great wrong, father. Please fall at his feet and ask for forgiveness." Virata was puzzled at this but, seeing that Uttara Kumar was so anxious, he apologized to Yudhishthira. Then he turned to Uttara Kumar, saying "Now tell me, my glorious hero, how you defeated the Kauravas and recovered the cows?" Uttara Kumar hung his head low. "I conquered no army and recovered no cows. All this was the work of a great hero who came to our help. He put the Kauravas to flight and recovered the cows. He will reveal himself to you when he thinks fit."

Next morning in Virata’s Assembly, all the leading citizens gathered to celebrate the victory. Kanka, Brihannala, Valala the cook, Damagranthi and Tantripala seated themselves among the princes to everyone’s surprise. Virata lost his temper at this. When they thought they had created enough of a stir, they revealed their identities, to the amazement of all present.

When Virata came to know the truth, he embraced Yudhishthira in gratitude. He offered his daughter Uttara in marriage to Arjuna. But Arjuna said, "That would not be proper, O king, for as her teacher I am like a father to her." But he agreed to accept her as a bride for his son Abhimanyu.

Soon after the celebration, an envoy arrived from the treacherous Duryodhana with the message. "O Kuntiputra, on account of Arjuna’s haste he let himself be recognized before the end of the thirteenth year, and you have to go back to the forest for another twelve years."

Yudhishthira laughed, "Go and tell Duryodhana to consult the learned in the science of astronomy. The full thirteen years had already ended when Duryodhana heard the sound of the Gandiva and fled like a jackal."