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Chapter 143

Mahabharata English - ARANYAKA PARVA

Vaisampayana said, “When the high-souled sons of Pandu had proceeded onlytwo miles, Draupadi unaccustomed to travel on foot, sank down. Weary andafflicted as she was, the poor daughter of Panchala became faint, onaccount of the hailstorm and also of her extreme delicacy. And tremblingwith faintness, the black-eyed one supported herself on her thighs withher plump arms, becoming (her graceful form). And thus resting forsupport on her thighs resembling the trunk of an elephant, and which werein contract with each other, she suddenly dropped upon the ground,trembling like a plantain tree. And finding that the beautiful one wasfalling down like a twisted creeper, Nakula ran forward and supported,her. And he said, ‘O king, this black-eyed daughter of Panchala, beingweary, hath fallen down upon the ground. Do thou, therefore, tend her, Oson of Bharata. Undeserving as she is of misery, this lady of slow pacehath been subject to great hardships, and she is also worn out with thefatigues of the journey. O mighty king, do thou therefore, comfort her.'”

Vaisampayana said, “Having heard these words of Nakula, the king as alsoBhima and Sahadeva, became sorely afflicted, and hastily ran towards her.And finding her weak, and her countenance pale, the pious son of Kuntibegan to lament in grief, taking her on his lap. Yudhishthira said.’Accustomed to ease, and deserving to sleep in wellprotected rooms, onbeds spread over with fine sheets, how doth this beautiful one sleepprostrate on the ground! Alas! On my account (alone), the delicate feetand the lotus-like face of this one deserving of all excellent things,have contracted a dark-blue hue. O what have I done! Fool that I am,having been addicted to dice, I have been wandering in the forest full ofwild beasts, taking Krishna in my company. This large-eyed one had beenbestowed by her father, the king of the Drupadas, in the hope that theblessed girl would be happy, by obtaining the sons of Pandu for herlords. It is on account of my wretched self, that without obtaininganything hoped for, she sleepeth prostrate on the ground, tired withhardships, sorrow and travel!”

Vaisampayana said, “While king Yudhishthira the just was lamenting thus,Dhaumya with all the other principal Brahmanas came to the spot. And theybegan to console him and to honour him with blessings. And they recitedmantras capable of dispelling Rakshasas and (to that end) also performedrites. And on the mantras being recited by the great ascetics, in orderto the restoration of (Panchali’s) health, Panchali frequently touched bythe Pandavas with their soothing palms and fanned by cool breezessurcharged with particles of water, felt ease, and gradually regained hersenses. And finding that exhausted poor lady restored to her senses, thesons of Pritha, placing her on deer-skin, caused her to take rest. Andtaking her feet of red soles, bearing auspicious marks, the twins beganto press them gently with their hands, scarred by the bow-string. AndYudhishthira the just, the foremost of the Kurus, also comforted her andaddressed Bhima in the following words: ‘O Bhima, there yet remain manymountains (before us), rugged, and inaccessible because of snow. How,long-armed one, will Krishna pass over them?’ Thereupon Bhima said, ‘Oking, I myself shall carry thee, together with this princess and thesebulls among men, the twins; therefore, O king of kings, resign not thymind unto despair. Or, at thy bidding, O sinless one, Hidimava’s son, themighty Ghatotkacha, who is capable of ranging the skies and who is likeunto me in strength, will carry us all.'”

Vaisampayana said, “Then with Yudhishthira’s permission, Bhima thought ofhis Rakshasa son. And no sooner was he thought of by his father, than thepious Ghatotkacha made his appearance and, saluting the Pandavas and theBrahmanas, stood with joined hands. And they also caressed him of mightyarms. He then addressed his father, Bhimasena of dreadful prowess,saying, ‘Having been thought of by thee I have come here with speed, inorder to serve thee. Do thou, O longarmed one, command me. I shallcertainly be able to perform whatever thou bidst.’ Hearing this,Bhimasena hugged the Rakshasa to his breast.”

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