Chapter 144

Mahabharata English - ARANYAKA PARVA

“Yudhishthira said, ‘O Bhima, let this mighty and heroic Rakshasa chief,thy legitimate son, devoted to us, and truthful, and conversant withvirtue carry (his) mother (Draupadi) without delay. And, O possessor ofdreadful prowess, depending on the strength of thy arms, I shall reachthe Gandhamadana, unhurt, together with Panchala’s daughter.'”

Vaisampayana said, “Hearing the words of his brother, that tiger amongmen, Bhimasena, commanded his son, Ghatotkacha, represser of foes,saying, ‘O invincible son of Hidimva, this thy mother hath been sorelytired. Thou art, again, strong and capable of going wherever thou likest.Do thou therefore, O ranger of the skies, carry her. May prosperityattend thee! Taking her on thy shoulders, thou shalt go in our company,adopting a course not far overhead,–so that thou mayst not render heruneasy.’ Thereat, Ghatotkacha said, ‘Even single-handed, I am able tocarry Yudhishthira the just, and Dhaumya, and Krishna, and the twins–andwhat wonder then that I shall to-day carry them, when I have others toassist me? And, O sinless one, hundreds of other heroic (Rakshasas),capable of moving through the sky, and of assuming any shape at will,will together carry you all with the Brahmanas.”

Vaisampayana said, “Saying this, Ghatotkacha carried Krishna in the midstof the Pandavas, and the other (Rakshasas) also began to carry thePandavas. And by virtue of his native energy, Lomasa of incomparableeffulgence moved along the path of the Siddhas, like unto a second sun.And at the command of the lord of the Rakshasas, those Rakshasas ofterrific prowess began to proceed, bearing all the other Brahmanas, andbeholding many a romantic wood. And they proceeded towards the giganticjujube tree. And carried by the Rakshasas of great speed, proceeding at arapid pace, the heroes passed over longextending ways quickly, as if overshort ones. And on their way they saw various tracts crowded withMlechchha people, and containing mines of diverse gems. And they also sawhillocks teeming with various minerals, thronged with Vidyadharas,inhabited on all sides by monkeys and Kinnaras and Kimpurushas, andGandharvas, and filled with peacocks, and chamaras, and apes, and rurus,and bears, and gavayas, and buffaloes, intersected with a network ofrivulets, and inhabited by various birds and beasts, and beautified byelephants, and abounding in trees and enraptured birds. After having thuspassed many countries, and also the Uttarakurus, they saw that foremostof mountains, the Kailasa, containing many wonders. And by the side ofit, they beheld the hermitage of Nara and Narayana, with celestial treesbearing flowers and fruits in all seasons. And they also beheld thatbeautiful jujube of round trunk. And it was fresh; and of deep shade; andof excellent beauty; and of thick, soft and sleek foliage; and healthful;and having gigantic boughs; and wide-spreading; and of incomparablelustre; and bearing full-grown, tasteful, and holy fruits dropping honey.And this celestial tree was frequented by hosts of mighty sages, and wasalways inhabited by various birds maddened with animal spirits. And itgrew at a spot devoid of mosquitoes and gad-flies, and abounding infruits and roots and water, and covered with green grass, and inhabitedby the celestials and the Gandharvas, and of smooth surface, andnaturally healthful, and beauteous and cool and of delicate feel. Havingreached that (tree) together with those bulls among Brahmanas, thehigh-souled ones gently alighted from the shoulders of the Rakshasas.Then in company with those bulls among the twice-born ones, the Pandavasbeheld that romantic asylum presided over by Nara and Narayana; devoid ofgloom; and sacred; and untouched by the solar rays; and free from thoserubs, viz. hunger, and thirst, heat and cold, and removing (all) sorrow;and crowded with hosts of mighty sages; and adorned with the graceproceeding from the Vedas, Saman, Rich, and Yajus; and, O king,inaccessible to men who have renounced religion; and beautified withofferings, and homas; and sacred; and well-swept and daubed; and shiningall around with offerings of celestial blossoms; and spread over withaltars of sacrificial fire, and sacred ladles and pots; and graced withlarge water-jars, and baskets and the refuge of all beings; and echoingwith the chanting of the Vedas; and heavenly: and worthy of beinginhabited; and removing fatigue; and attended with splendour and ofincomprehensible merit; and majestic with divine qualities. And thehermitage was inhabited by hosts of great sages, subsisting on fruits androots; and having their senses under perfect control; and clad in blackdeer-skins; and effulgent like unto the Sun and Agni; and of soulsmagnified by asceticism and intent on emancipation; and leading theVanaprastha mode of life; and of subdued senses; and identified with theSupreme Soul; and of high fortune; and reciting Vaidic hymns. Then havingpurified himself and restrained his senses, that son of Dharma, theintelligent Yudhishthira of exceeding energy, accompanied by hisbrothers, approached those sages. And all the great sages endued withsupernatural knowledge, knowing Yudhishthira arrived, received himjoyfully. And those sages engaged in the recitation of the Vedas, andlike unto fire itself, after having conferred blessings on Yudhishthira,cheerfully accorded him fitting reception. And they gave him clean waterand flowers and roots. And Yudhishthira the just received with regard thethings gladly offered for his reception by the great sages. And then, Osinless one, Pandu’s son together with Krishna and his brothers, andthousands of Brahmanas versed in the Vedas and the Vendangas, enteredinto that holy hermitage, like unto the abode of Sukra and pleasing themind with heavenly odours and resembling heaven itself and attended withbeauty. There the pious (Yudhishthira) beheld the hermitage of Nara andNarayana, beautified by the Bhagirathi and worshipped by the gods and thecelestial sages. And seeing that hermitage inhabited by the Brahmarshisand containing fruits dropping honey, the Pandavas were filled withdelight. And having reached that place, the high-souled ones began todwell with the Brahmanas. There beholding the holy lake Vinda, and themountain Mainaka, of golden summits and inhabited by various species ofbirds, the magnanimous ones lived happily with joy. The son of Pandutogether with Krishna took pleasure in ranging excellent and captivatingwoods, shining with flowers of every season; beauteous on all sides withtrees bearing blown blossoms; and bending down with the weight of fruitsand attended by the numerous male kokilas and of glossy foliage; andthick and having cool shade and lovely to behold. They took delight inbeholding diverse beautiful lakes of limpid water and shining all roundwith lotuses and lilies. And there, O lord, the balmy breeze bearing purefragrance, blew gladdening all the Pandavas, together with Krishna. Andhard by the gigantic jujube, the mighty son of Kunti saw the Bhagirathiof easy descent and cool and furnished with fresh lotuses and havingstairs made of rubies and corals and graced with trees and scattered overwith celestial flowers, and gladsome to the mind. And at that spot,frequented by celestials and sages, and extremely inaccessible, they,after having purified themselves offered oblations unto the pitris andthe gods and the rishis in the sacred waters of the Bhagirathi. Thusthose bulls among men the heroic perpetuators of the Kuru race, began toreside there with the Brahmanas offering oblations and practisingmeditation. And those tigers among men, the Pandavas of the god-likeappearance, felt delight in witnessing the various amusements ofDraupadi.”

Chapter 143
Chapter 145
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