WHEN Yudhishthira was crowned and installed as king after the Kurukshetra
battle, he performed an aswamedha yajna.
As was the custom on occasions of this great horse sacrifice, all the
princes of the land gathered on invitation and the yajna was completed in great splendour.
The brahmanas and the poor and the destitute people, who had come in
great numbers from all parts of the country, received bounteous gifts.
Every thing was done in magnificent style and in conformity With the
injunctions relating to the sacrifice.
From somewhere unseen, a weasel suddenly appeared right in the middle
of the assembled guests and priests in the great pavilion and, after rolling on the ground
laughed a loud human laugh as if in derision.
The priests were alarmed at this strange and unnatural occurrence and
wondered whether it was some evil spirit that had come to pollute and disturb the sacred