Chapter 140

Mahabharata English - ARANYAKA PARVA

“Yudhishthira said, ‘O Vrikodara, there are mighty and powerful invisiblespirits at this place. We shall, however, pass it, through the merit ofour asceticism and Agnihotra sacrifices. O son of Kunti, do thoutherefore, restrain thy hunger and thirst by collecting thy energies, andalso, O Vrikodara have recourse to thy strength and cleverness. O Kunti’sson, thou hast heard what the sage (Lomasa) had said regarding mountKailasa. Ascertain, therefore, after deliberation, how Krishna will passthe spot. Or, O mighty Bhima of large eyes, do return from hence, takingwith thee Sahadeva, and all our charioteers, cooks, servants, cars,horses, and Brahmanas worn out with travel, while I together with Nakulaand the sage Lomasa of severe austerities proceed, subsisting on thelightest fare and observing vows. Do thou in expectation of my return,cautiously wait at the source of the Ganga, protecting Draupadi till Icome back.’

“Bhima replied, ‘O descendant of Bharata, although this blessed princesshath been sore afflicted by toil and distress, yet she easily proceedeth,in the hope of beholding him of the white steeds (Arjuna). Thy dejectionalso is already very great at not seeing the high-souled Arjuna, whonever retreateth from fight. O Bharata, it is superfluous then to saythat if thou seest neither myself nor Sahadeva nor Krishna, thy dejectionwill certainly increase. The Brahmanas had better return with ourservants, charioteers cooks and whomsoever else thou mayst command. Inever shall leave thee in these rugged and inaccessible mountainousregions, infested by Rakshasas. And, O tiger among men, also thisprincess of high fortune, ever devoted to her lords, desireth not toreturn without thee. Sahadeva is always devoted to thee; he too willnever retrace his steps. His disposition is known to me. O king, O mightymonarch, we are all eager to behold Savyasachin, and therefore, will weall go together. If we are unable to go over this mountain in our cars,abounding as it doth in defiles, well, we would go on foot. Troublethyself not, O king, I shall carry Panchala’s daughter wherever she willbe incapable of walking. O king, I have decided upon this. Therefore letnot thy mind be distracted. I shall also carry over inaccessible tractsthose tender-bodied heroes, the twins, the delight of their mother,wherever they will be incapable of proceeding.’

“Yudhishthira said, ‘May thy strength increase, O Bhima, as thou speakestthus, and as thou boldly undertakest to carry the illustrious Panchaliand these twins. Blessed be thou! Such courage dwelleth not in any otherindividual. May thy strength, fame, merit, and reputation increase! Olong-armed one, as thou offerest to carry Krishna and our brothers thetwins, exhaustion and defeat never be thine!”

Vaisampayana said, “Then the charming Krishna said with a smile, ‘Odescendant of Bharata, I shall be able to go, and, therefore, be thou notanxious on my account.’

“Lomasa said, ‘Access to the mountain, Gandhamadana, is only to beobtained by dint of asceticism. Therefore, O son of Kunti, shall we allpractise austerities, O king, Nakula, Sahadeva, Bhimasena, thou andmyself shall then see him of the white steeds, O Kunti’s son.'”

Vaisampayana said, “O king, thus conversing together, they saw withdelight the extensive domains of Suvahu, situated on the Himalayasabounding in horses and elephants, densely inhabited by the Kiratas andthe Tanganas, crowded by hundreds of Pulindas, frequented by thecelestials, and rife with wonders. King Suvahu, the lord of the Pulindas,cheerfully received them at the frontiers of his dominions, paying themproper respect. Having been thus received with honour, and having dweltcomfortably at this place, they started for the mountain Himalaya, whenthe sun shone brightly in the firmament. And, O king, having entrusted tothe care of the lord of the Pulindas, all their servants–Indrasena andthe others,–and the cooks and the stewards, and Draupadi’saccoutrements, and every thing else, those mighty charioteers, the son ofthe Kurus, endued with great prowess, set out from that country, andbegan to proceed cautiously with Krishna,–all of them cheerful in theexpectation of beholding Arjuna.”

“Yudhishthira said, ‘O Bhimasena, O Panchali, and ye twins, hearken untomy words. The acts done (by a person) in a former birth do not perish,(without producing their effects). Behold! Even we have become rangers ofthe wilderness. Even to see Dhananjaya, exhausted and distressed as weare, we have to bear each other, and pass through impassable places. Thisburneth me even as fire doth a heap of cotton. O hero, I do not seeDhananjaya at my side. I reside in the wood with my younger brothers,anxious for beholding him. This thought, as also the memory of that graveinsult offered to Yajanaseni, consumes me. O Vrikodara, I do not see theinvincible Partha of strong bow and incomparable energy, and who is theimmediate elder to Nakula. For this, O Vrikodara, I am miserable. Inorder to see that hero, Dhananjaya, firm in promise, for these five yearshave I been wandering in various tirthas, and beautiful forests and lakesand yet I do meet with him. For this, O Vrikodara, I am miserable. I donot see the long-armed Gudakesa, of dark blue hue, and leonine gait. Forthis, O Vrikodara, I am miserable. I do not see that foremost of Kurus,accomplished in arms, skilful in fight, and matchless among bowmen. Forthis, O Vrikodara, I am miserable. Distressed for I am I do not see thatson of Pritha, Dhananjaya, born under the influence of the star Phalguni;ranging amidst foes even like Yama at the time of the universaldissolution; possessed of the prowess of an elephant with the temporaljuice trickling down; endued with leonine shoulders; not inferior toSakra himself in prowess and energy; elder in years to the twins; ofwhite steeds; unrivalled in heroism; invincible; and wielding a strongbow. For this, O Vrikodara, I am miserable. And he is always of aforgiving temper,–even when insulted by the meanest individual. And heconferreth benefit and protection to the righteous; but to that tortuousperson who by craft attempts to do him mischief, Dhananjaya is like untovirulent poison, albeit that one were Sakra himself. And the mightyVibhatsu of immeasurable soul and possessing great strength, showethmercy and extendeth protection even to a foe when fallen. And he is therefuge of us all and he crusheth his foes in fight. And he hath the powerto collect any treasure whatever, and he ministereth unto our happiness.It was through his prowess that I had owned formerly measureless preciousjewels of various kinds which at present Syodhana hath usurped. It was byhis might, O hero, that I had possessed before that palatial amphitheatreembellished with all manner of jewels, and celebrated throughout thethree worlds. O Pandu’s son, in prowess, Phalguni is like unto Vasudeva,and in fight he is invincible and unrivalled, even like unto Kartavirya.Alas! I see him not, O Bhima. In might, that conqueror of foes goeth inthe wake of the invincible and most powerful Sankarshana (Valarama) andVasudeva. In strength of arms, and spirit, he is like unto Purandarahimself. And in swiftness, he is even as the wind, and in grace, as themoon, and in ire, he is the eternal Death himself. O mighty-armed one,with the object of beholding that war-like tiger among men, shall werepair to the Gandhamadana mountain, where lies the hermitage of Nara andNarayana at the site of the celebrated jujube tree, and which isinhabited by the Yakshas. We shall see that best of mountains. And,practising severe austerities only on foot we shall go to Kuvera’sbeautiful lake guarded by Rakshasas. That place cannot be reached byvehicles, O Vrikodara. Neither can cruel or avaricious, or irasciblepeople attain to that spot, O Bharata’s son. O Bhima, in order to seeArjuna, thither shall we repair, in company, with Brahmanas of strictvows, girding on our swords, and wielding our bows. Those only that areimpure, meet with flies gad-flies, mosquitoes, tigers, lions, andreptiles, but the pure never come across them. Therefore, regulating ourfare, and restraining our senses, we shall go to the Gandhamadana,desirous of seeing Dhananjaya.'”

Chapter 139
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