in hand, and coyly glancing at the valiant princes, who for their part looked at her
inspeechless admiration, she ascen- ded the dais. The brahmanas repeated the usual mantras
and offered oblations in the fire. After the peace invocation had been chanted and the
flourish of music had stopped, Dhrishtadyumna took Draupadi by the hand and led her to the
centre of the hall.
Then he proclaimed in loud, clear tones:
"Hear ye, O princes seated in state in this assembly, here is the bow. There is the
target and here are the arrows. He who sends five arrows in succession through the hole of
the wheel and unerringly hits the target, if he also be of good family and presence, shall
win my sister." Then he narrated to Draupadi the name, ancestry and description of
the several suitors assembled there.
Many noted princes rose one after another and
tried in vain to string the bow; it was too heavy and stiff for them, and they returned to
their places abashed and ashamed.
Sisupala, Jarasandha,Salya and Duryo- dhana
were among these unsuccessful aspirants. When Karna came forward, all the assemblage
expected that he would be successful but he failed by just a hair's breadth and the string
slid back flashing and the mighty bow jumped out of his hands like a thing of life.