Chapter 142

Mahabharata English - ARANYAKA PARVA

Vaisampayana said, “O king, then those foremost of bowmen, ofimmeasurable prowess, holding bows stringed at full stretch and equippedwith quivers and arrows and wearing finger-caps made of the guana-skin,and with their swords on, proceeded with Panchali towards theGandhamadana, taking with them the best of Brahmanas. And on their waythey saw various lakes, and rivers and mountains and forests, and treesof wide-spreading shade on mountain summits and places abounding in treesbearing flowers and fruit in all seasons and frequented by celestials andsages. And restraining their senses within their inner self andsubsisting on fruits and roots, the heroes passed through rugged regions,craggy and difficult of passage, beholding many and various kinds ofbeasts. Thus those high-souled ones entered the mountain inhabited by thesages, the Siddhas and the celestials, and frequented by the Kinnaras andthe Apsaras. And, O lord of men, as those mighty heroes were entering themountain Gandhamandana, there arose a violent wind, attended with a heavyshower. And owing to this, mighty clouds of dust bearing lots of dryleaves, rose, and all on a sudden covered earth, air and firmament. Andwhen the heavens had been covered with dust nothing could be perceived,neither could they (the Pandavas) speak to one another. And with eyesenveloped with darkness and pushed by the wind carrying particles ofrocks they could not see one another. And there began to arrive mightysounds proceeding from the tree, and also from those breaking downincessantly under the force of the wind, and falling to the ground. Anddistracted by gusts of the wind, they thought, ‘Are the heavens fallingdown; or the earth and the mountains being rent?’ And afraid of the wind,they felt about with their hands and took shelter under the way-side treeand ant-hills and in caverns. Then holding his bow and supporting Krishnathe mighty Bhimasena stood under a tree. And Yudhishthira the just withDhaumya crept into the deep wood. And Sahedeva carrying the sacred firewith him took shelter in a rock. And Nakula together with Lomasa andother Brahmanas of great asceticism stood in fright, each under a tree.Then when the wind had abated and the dust subsided, there came down ashower in torrents. There also arose a loud rattling noise, like unto thethunder hurled; and quick-flashing lightning began to play gracefullyupon the clouds. And being helped on by the swift wind, showers of rainpoured down without intermissions, filling all sides round. And, O lordof men, all around there began to flow many rivers covered with foam andturbid with mud; and these bearing volumes of water spread over thefrothy rafts rushed down with tremendous roar uprooting trees. Andafterwards when that sound had ceased and the air had arisen they (eachof them) cautiously came out of their coverts and met together, Odescendant of Bharata. And then the heroes started for the mountainGandhamadana.”

Chapter 141
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