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Chapter 146

Mahabharata English - ARANYAKA PARVA

Vaisampayana said, “O represser of foes, hearing these words of theintelligent monkey-chief, the heroic Bhima answered, ‘Who art thou? Andwhy also hast thou assumed the shape of a monkey? It is a Kshatriya–oneof a race next to the Brahmanas–that asketh thee. And he belongeth tothe Kuru race and the lunar stock, and was borne by Kunti in her womb,and is one of the sons of Pandu, and is the off spring of the wind-god,and is known by the name of Bhimasena.’ Hearing these words of the Kuruhero, Hanuman smiled, and that son of the wind-god (Hanuman) spake untothat offspring of the wind-god (Bhimasena), saying, ‘I am a monkey, Iwill not allow thee the passage thou desirest. Better desist and go back.Do thou not meet with destruction.’ At this Bhimasena replied.’Destruction at anything else do I not ask thee about, O monkey. Do thougive me passage. Arise! Do not come by grief at my hands.’ Hanuman said,’I have no strength to rise; I am suffering from illness. If go thoumust, do thou go by overleaping me.’ Bhima said, ‘The Supreme Soul voidof the properties pervadeth a body all over. Him knowable alone byknowledge, I cannot disregard. And therefore, will I not overleap thee.If I had not known Him from Whom become manifest all creatures, I wouldhave leapt over thee and also the mountain, even as Hanuman had boundedover the ocean.’ Thereupon Hanuman said, ‘Who is that Hanuman, who hadbounded over the ocean? I ask thee, O best of men. Relate if thou canst.’Bhima replied, “He is even my brother, excellent with every perfection,and endued with intelligence and strength both of mind and body. And heis the illustrious chief of monkeys, renowned in the Ramayana. And forRama’s queen, that king of the monkeys even with one leap crossed theocean extending over a hundred yojanas. That mighty one is my brother. Iam equal unto him in energy, strength and prowess and also in fight. Andable am I to punish thee. So arise. Either give me passage or witness myprowess to-day. If thou do not listen to my bidding, I shall send thee tothe abode of Yama.”

Vaisampayana continued. “Then knowing him (Bhima) to be intoxicated withstrength, and proud of the might of his arms, Hanuman, slighting him atheart, said the following words, ‘Relent thou, O sinless one. Inconsequence of age, I have no strength to get up. From pity for me, dothou go, moving aside my tail.’ Being thus addressed by Hanuman, Bhimaproud of the strength of his arms, took him for one wanting in energy andprowess, and thought within himself, ‘Taking fast hold of the tail, willI send this monkey destitute of energy and prowess, to the region ofYama.’ Thereat, with a smile he slightingly took hold of the tail withhis left hand; but could not move that tail of the mighty monkey. Thenwith both arms he pulled it, resembling the pole reared in honour ofIndra. Still the mighty Bhima could not raise the tail with both hisarms. And his eye-brows were contracted up, and his eyes rolled, and hisface was contracted into wrinkles and his body was covered with sweat;and yet he could not raise it. And when after having striven, theillustrious Bhima failed in raising the tail, he approached the side ofthe monkey, and stood with a bashful countenance. And bowing down,Kunti’s son, with joined hands, spake these words, ‘Relent thou, Oforemost of monkeys; and forgive me for my harsh words. Art thou aSiddha, or a god, or a Gandharva, or a Guhyaka? I ask thee out ofcuriosity. Tell me who thou art that hast assumed the shape of monkey, ifit be not a secret, O long-armed one, and if I can well hear it. I askthee as a disciple, and I, O sinless one, seek thy refuge.’ ThereuponHanuman said, ‘O represser of foes, even to the extent of thy curiosityto know me, shall I relate all at length. Listen, O son of Pandu! Olotus-eyed one, I was begotten by the wind-god that life of theworld–upon the wife of Kesari. I am a monkey, by name Hanuman. All themighty monkey-kings, and monkey-chiefs used to wait upon that son of thesun, Sugriva, and that son of Sakra, Vali. And, O represser of foes, afriendship subsisted between me and Sugriva, even as between the wind andfire. And for some cause, Sugriva, driven out by his brother, for a longtime dwelt with me at the Hrisyamukh. And it came to pass that the mightyson of Dasaratha the heroic Rama, who is Vishnu’s self in the shape of ahuman being, took his birth in this world. And in company with his queenand brother, taking his bow, that foremost of bowmen with the view ofcompassing his father’s welfare, began to reside in the Dandaka forest.And from Janasthana, that mighty Rakshasa monarch, the wicked Ravana,carried away his (Rama’s) queen by stratagem and force, deceiving, Osinless one, that foremost of men, through the agency of a Rakshasa,Maricha, who assumed the form of a deer marked with gem-like and goldenspots.”

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