40.SRI KRISHNA'S HUNGER
WHILE the Pandavas were dwelling in the forest, Duryodhana celebrated a great sacrifice with much pomp and splendor. He wanted to perform the Rajasuya sacrifice, but the brahmanas told him that he could not do that while Yudhishthira and Dhritarashtra were alive and advised him to perform the sacrifice known as the Vaishnava instead. He accepted this advice and celebrated the Vaishnava with great splendor. But when the ceremony was over, the citizens began to talk among themselves that Duryodhana's sacrifice had not come up to even a sixteenth part of Yudhishthira's Rajasuya in magnificence. The friends of Duryodhana, on the other hand, praised him and the sacrifice he had celebrated and likened it to those performed by Yayati, Mandhata, Bharata and others. Court flatterers were not sparing with their praise. Karna told Duryodhana that his Rajasuya had been only postponed till the Pandavas should be defeated and slain in battle and repeated that his part would be the slaying of Arjuna. "Till I have slain Arjuna," said he, "I shall not take meat or wine, nor will I refuse the prayer of anyone who asks me for anything." Such was the solemn vow taken by Karna in the assembly. The sons of Dhritarashtra were delighted to hear this vow of the great hero Karna and shouted in joy. They felt as if the Pandavas had been slain already. Spies conveyed to the Pandavas in the forest the news of the oath taken by Karna. Yudhishthira was greatly concerned, for he had a great opinion of Karna's prowess. Karna had been born with divine armor and was undoubtedly a mighty hero. One morning, just before the hour of awakening, Yudhishthira had a dream. Many of our dreams come either in the beginning or at the end of our sleep. He dreamt that the wild beasts of the forest came and appealed to him piteously not to destroy them altogether, but to move on to some other forest.