Chapter 156

Mahabharata English - ADI PARVA

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Hearing those words of hers, Yudhishthirasuddenly rose up and Arjuna also and Nakula and Sahadeva of great energyand they beheld Bhima and the Rakshasa already engaged in fight, eager toovercome each other and dragging each other with great force, like twolions endued with great might.

The dust raised by their feet inconsequence of that encounter looked like the smoke of aforest-conflagration. Covered with that dust their huge bodies resembledtwo tall cliffs enveloped in mist. Then Arjuna, beholding Bhima ratheroppressed in the fight by the Rakshasa, slowly, said with smiles on hislips, ‘Fear not, O Bhima of mighty arms! We (had been asleep andtherefore) knew not that thou wast engaged with a terrible Rakshasa andtired in fight. Here do I stand to help thee, let me slay the Rakshasa,and let Nakula and Sahadeva protect our mother.’ Hearing him, Bhima said,’Look on this encounter, O brother, like a stranger. Fear not for theresult. Having come within the reach of my arms, he shall not escape withlife.’ Then Arjuna said, ‘What need, O Bhima, for keeping the Rakshasaalive so long? O oppressor of enemies, we are to go hence, and cannotstay here longer. The east is reddening, the morning twilight is about toset in. The Rakshasa became stronger by break of day, therefore, hasten,O Bhima! Play not (with thy victim), but slay the terrible Rakshasa soon.During the two twilights Rakshasas always put forth their powers ofdeception. Use all the strength of thy arms.

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘At this speech of Arjuna, Bhima blazing up withanger, summoned the might that Vayu (his father) puts forth at the timeof the universal dissolution. And filled with rage, he quickly raisedhigh in the air the Rakshasa’s body, blue as the clouds of heaven, andwhirled it a hundred times. Then addressing the cannibal, Bhima said, ‘ORakshasa, thy intelligence was given thee in vain, and in vain hast thougrown and thriven on unsanctified flesh. Thou deservest, therefore, anunholy death and I shall reduce thee today to nothing. I shall make thisforest blessed today, like one without prickly plants. And, O Rakshasa,thou shalt no longer slay human beings for thy food.’ Arjuna at thisjuncture, said, ‘O Bhima, if thou thinkest it a hard task for thee toovercome this Rakshasa in combat, let me render thee help, else, slay himthyself without loss of time. Or, O Vrikodara, let me alone slay theRakshasa. Thou art tired, and hast almost finished the affair. Well dostthou deserve rest.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Hearing these words of Arjuna, Bhima was firedwith rage and dashing the Rakshasa on the ground with all his might slewhim as if he were an animal. The Rakshasa, while dying, sent forth aterrible yell that filled the whole forest, and was deep as the sound ofa wet drum. Then the mighty Bhima, holding the body with his hands, bentit double, and breaking it in the middle, greatly gratified his brothers.Beholding Hidimva slain, they became exceedingly glad and lost no time inoffering their congratulations to Bhima, that chastiser of all foes. ThenArjuna worshipping the illustrious Bhima of terrible prowess, addressedhim again and said, ‘Revered senior, I think there is a town not far offfrom this forest. Blest be thou, let us go hence soon, so that Duryodhanamay not trace us.’

“Then all those mighty car-warriors, those tigers among men, saying, ‘Sobe it,’ proceeded along with their mother, followed by Hidimva, theRakshasa woman.'”

Chapter 157
Chapter 154
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