Chapter 113

Mahabharata English - ARANYAKA PARVA

“Vibhandaka said, ‘Those are, O son! Rakshasas. They walk about in thatwonderfully beautiful form. Their strength is unrivalled and their beautygreat And they always meditate obstruction to the practice of penances.And, O my boy, they assume lovely forms and try to allure by diversemeans. And those fierce beings hurled the saints, the dwellers of thewoods, from blessed regions (won by their pious deeds) And the saint whohath control over his soul, and who is desirous of obtaining the regionswhere go the righteous, ought to have nothing to do with them. And theiracts are vile and their delight is in causing obstruction to those whopractise penance; (therefore) a pious man should never look at them. And,O son! those were drinks unworthy to be drunk, being as they werespirituous liquors consumed by unrighteous men. And these garlands, also,bright and fragrant and of various hues, are not intended for saints.’Having thus forbidden his son by saying that those were wicked demons,Vibhandaka went in quest of her. And when by three day’s search he wasunable to trace where she was he then came back to his own hermitage. Inthe meanwhile, when the son of Kasyapa had gone out to gather fruits,then that very courtesan came again to tempt Rishyasringa in the mannerdescribed above. And as soon as Rishyasringa had her in sight, he wasglad and hurriedly rushing towards him said, ‘Let us go to thy hermitagebefore the return of my father.’ Then, O king! those same courtesans bycontrivances made the only son of Kasyapa enter their bark, and unmooredthe vessel. And by various means they went on delighting him and atlength came to the side of Anga’s king. And leaving then that floatingvessel of an exceedingly white tint upon the water, and having placed itwithin sight of the hermitage, he similarly prepared a beautiful forestknown by the name of the Floating Hermitage. The king, however, kept thatonly son of Vibhandaka within that part of the palace destined for thefemales when of a sudden he beheld that rain was poured by the heavensand that the world began to be flooded with water. And Lomapada, thedesire of his heart fulfilled, bestowed his daughter Santa onRishyasringa in marriage. And with a view to appease the wrath of hisfather, he ordered kine to be placed, and fields to be ploughed, by theroad that Vibhandaka was to take, in order to come to his son. And theking also placed plentiful cattle and stout cowherds, and gave the latterthe following order:

“When the great saint Vibhandaka should enquire of you about his son, yemust join your palms and say to him that these cattle, and these ploughedfields belong to his son and that ye are his slaves, and that ye areready to obey him in all that he might bid.’ Now the saint, whose wrathwas fierce, came to his hermitage, having gathered fruits and roots andsearched for his son. But not finding him he became exceedingly wroth.And he was tortured with anger and suspected it to be the doing of theking. And therefore, he directed his course towards the city of Champahaving made up his mind to burn the king, his city, and his wholeterritory. And on the way he was fatigued and hungry, when he reachedthose same settlements of cowherds, rich with cattle. And he was honouredin a suitable way by those cowherds and then spent the night in a mannerbefitting a king. And having received very great hospitality from them,he asked them, saying, ‘To whom, O cowherds, do ye belong?’ Then they allcame up to him and said, ‘All this wealth hath been provided for thyson.’ At different places he was thus honoured by that best of men, andsaw his son who looked like the god Indra in heaven. And he also beheldthere his daughter-in-law, Santa, looking like lightning issuing from a(cloud). And having seen the hamlets and the cowpens provided for his sonand having also beheld Santa, his great resentment was appeased. And Oking of men! Vibhandaka expressed great satisfaction with the very rulerof the earth. And the great saint, whose power rivalled that of the sunand the god of fire, placed there his son, and thus spake, ‘As soon as ason is born to thee, and having performed all that is agreeable to theking, to the forest must thou come without fail.’ And Rishyasringa didexactly as his father said, and went back to the place where his fatherwas. And, O king of men! Santa obediently waited upon him as in thefirmament the star Rohini waits upon the Moon, or as the fortunateArundhati waits upon Vasishtha, or as Lopamudra waits upon Agastya. Andas Damayanti was an obedient wife to Nala, or as Sachi is to the god whoholdeth the thunderbolt in his hand or as Indrasena, Narayana’s daughter,was always obedient to Mudgala, so did Santa wait affectionately uponRishyasringa, when he lived in the wood. This is the holy hermitage whichbelonged to him. Beautifying the great lake here, it bears holy fame.Here perform thy ablutions and have thy desire fulfilled. And havingpurified thyself, direct thy course towards other holy spots,'”

Chapter 134
Chapter 135
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