Chapter 149

Mahabharata English - ARANYAKA PARVA

“Bhimasena said, ‘Without beholding thy former shape, I will never goaway. If I have found favour with thee, do thou then show me thine ownshape.

Vaisampayana continued, “Being thus addressed by Bhima, the monkey with asmile showed him that form of his in which he had bounded over the main.And wishing to gratify his brother, Hanuman assumed a gigantic body which(both) in length and breadth increased exceedingly. And that monkey ofimmeasurable effulgence stood there, covering the plantain grovefurnished with trees, and elevating himself to the height reached by theVindhya. And the monkey, having attained his lofty and gigantic body likeunto a mountain, furnished with coppery eyes, and sharp teeth, and a facemarked by frown, lay covering all sides and lashing his long tail. Andthat son of the Kurus, Bhima, beholding that gigantic form of hisbrother, wondered, and the hairs of his body repeatedly stood on end. Andbeholding him like unto the sun in splendour, and unto a golden mountain,and also unto the blazing firmament, Bhima closed his eyes. ThereuponHanuman addressed Bhima with a smile, saying, ‘O sinless one, thou artcapable of beholding my size up to this extent. I can, however, go onswelling my size as long as I wish. And, O Bhima, amidst foes, my sizeincreaseth exceedingly by its own energy.’

Vaisampayana said, “Witnessing that dreadful and wonderful body ofHanuman, like unto the Vindhya mountain, the son of the wind-god becamebewildered. Then with his down standing erect, the noble-minded Bhima,joining his hands, replied unto Hanuman saying (there), ‘O lord, by mehave been beheld the vast dimensions of thy body. Do thou (now), O highlypowerful one, decrease thyself by thy own power. Surely I cannot look atthee, like unto the sun risen, and of immeasurable (power), andirrepressible, and resembling the mountain Mainaka. O hero, to-day thiswonder of my heart is very great, that thou remaining by his side, Ramashould have encountered Ravana personally. Depending on the strength ofthy arms, thou wert capable of instantly destroying Lanka, with itswarriors, and horses, elephants and chariots. Surely, O son of thewind-god, there is nothing that is incapable of being achieved by thee;and in fight, Ravana together with his followers was no match for theesingle-handed.”

Vaisampayana continued, “Thus addressed by Bhima, Hanuman, the chief ofmonkeys, answered in affectionate words uttered in solemn accents. “Omighty-armed one, O Bharata, it is even as thou sayest. O Bhimasena, thatworst of Rakshasas was no match for me. But if I had slain Ravana–thatthorn of the worlds–the glory of Raghu’s son would have beenobscured;–and for this it is that I left him alone. By slaying that lordof the Rakshasas together with his followers, and bringing back Sita untohis own city, that hero hath established his fame among men. Now, Ohighly wise one, being intent on the welfare of thy brothers, andprotected by the wind-god, do thou go along a fortunate and auspiciousway. O foremost of the Kurus, this way will lead thee to the Saugandhikawood. (Proceeding in this direction), thou wilt behold the gardens ofKuvera, guarded by Yakshas and Rakshasas. Do thou not pluck the flowers(there) personally by thy own force; for the gods deserve regardspecially from mortals. O best of the Bharata race, the gods confer theirfavour (upon men), (being propitiated) by offerings, and homas, andreverential salutations, and recitation of mantras, and veneration, OBharata. Do thou not, therefore, act with rashness, O child; and do thounot deviate from the duties of thy order. Sticking to the duties of thyorder, do thou understand and follow the highest morality. Withoutknowing duties and serving the old, even persons like unto Vrihaspaticannot understand profit and religion. One should ascertain withdiscrimination those cases in which vice goeth under the name of virtue,and virtue goeth under the name of vice,–(cases) in which peopledestitute of intelligence become perplexed. From religious observancesproceedeth merit; and in merit are established the Vedas; and from theVedas sacrifices come into existence; and by sacrifices are establishedthe gods. The gods are maintained by the (celebration of) sacrificesprescribed by the Vedas and the religious ordinances; while men maintainthemselves by (following) the ordinances of Vrihaspati and Usanas andalso by these avocations, by which the world is maintained,–serving forwages, (receiving) taxes, merchandise, agriculture and tending kine andsheep. The world subsisteth by profession. The (study of the) three Vedasand agriculture and trade and government constitutes, it is ordained bythe wise, the professions of the twice born ones; and each ordermaintaineth itself by following the profession prescribed for it. Andwhen these callings are properly pursued, the world is maintained withease. If, however, people do not righteously lead their lives, the worldbecometh lawless, in consequence of the want of Vedic merit andgovernment. And if people do not resort to (their) prescribed vocations,they perish, but by regularly following the three professions, they bringabout religion. The religion of the Brahmanas consisteth in the knowledgeof the soul and the hue of that order alone is universally the same. Thecelebration of sacrifices, and study and bestowal of gifts are well-knownto be the three duties common (to all these orders). Officiating atsacrifices, teaching and the acceptance of gifts are the duties of aBrahmana. To rule (the subjects) is the duty of the Kshatriya; and totend (cattle), that of the Vaisya, while to serve the twice-born ordersis said to be the duty of the Sudra. The Sudras cannot beg alms, orperform homas, or observe vows; and they must dwell in the habitation oftheir masters. Thy vocation, O son of Kunti, is that of the Kshatriya,which is to protect (the subjects). Do thou carry out thy own duties, inan humble spirit, restraining thy senses. That king alone can govern, whotaketh counsel of experienced men, and is helped by honest, intelligentand learned ministers; but a king who is addicted to vices, meeteth withdefeat. Then only is the order of the world secured, when the king dulypunisheth and conferreth favours. Therefore, it is necessary to ascertainthrough spies the nature of the hostile country, its fortified places andthe allied force of the enemy and their prosperity and decay and the wayin which they retain the adhesion of the powers they have drawn to theirside. Spies are among the important auxiliaries of the king; and tact,diplomacy, prowess, chastisement, favour and cleverness lead to success.And success is to be attained through these, either in separation, orcombined–namely, conciliation, gift, sowing dissensions, chastisement,and sight. And, O chief of the Bharatas, polity hath for its rootdiplomacy; and diplomacy also is the main qualification of spies. Andpolity, if well judged conferreth success. Therefore, in matters ofpolity the counsels of Brahmanas should be resorted to. And in secretaffairs, these should not be consulted,–namely, a woman, a sot, a boy, acovetous person a mean-minded individual, and he that betrayeth signs ofinsanity. Wise men only should be consulted, and affairs are to bedespatched through officers that are able. And polity must be executedthrough persons that are friendly; but dunces should in all affairs beexcluded. In matters religious, pious men; and in matters of gain, wisemen; and in guarding families, eunuchs; and in all crooked affairs,crooked men, must be employed. And the propriety or impropriety of theresolution of the enemy, as also their strength or weakness, must beascertained through one’s own as well as hostile spies. Favour should beshown to honest persons that have prudently sought protection; butlawless and disobedient individuals should be punished. And when the kingjustly punisheth and showeth favour, the dignity of the law is wellmaintained, O son of Pritha, thus have I expounded, unto thee the hardduties of kings difficult to comprehend. Do thou with equanimity observethese as prescribed for thy order. The Brahmanas attain heaven throughmerit, mortification of the senses, and sacrifice. The Vaisyas attainexcellent state through gifts, hospitality, and religious acts. TheKshatriyas attain the celestial regions by protecting and chastising thesubjects, uninfluenced by lust, malice, avarice and anger. If kingsjustly punish (their subjects), they go to the place whither repairmeritorious persons.’

Chapter 117
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