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Chapter 153

Mahabharata English - ARANYAKA PARVA

“Bhima said, ‘I am the son of Pandu, and next by birth to Yudhishthirathe just, and my name is Bhimasena. O Rakshasas, I have come with mybrothers to the jujube named Visala. At that place, Panchali saw anexcellent Saugandhika lotus, which, of a certainty, was carried thitherby the wind from this region. She wisheth to have those flowers inabundance. Know ye, ye Rakshasas, that I am engaged in fulfilling thedesire of my wedded wife of faultless features, and have come hither toprocure the flowers. Thereat the Rakshasas said, ‘O foremost of men, thisspot is dear unto Kuvera, and it is his sporting region. Men subject todeath cannot sport here. O Vrikodara. the celestial sages, and the godstaking the permission of the chief of the Yakshas, drink of this lake,and sport herein. And, O Pandava, the Gandharvas and the Apsaras alsodivert themselves in this lake. That wicked person who, disregarding thelord of treasures, unlawfully attempteth to sport here, without doubt,meeteth with destruction. Disregarding him, thou seekest to take away thelotuses from this place by main force. Why then dost thou say that thouart the brother of Yudhishthira the just? First, taking the permission ofthe lord of Yakshas, do thou drink of this lake and take away theflowers. If thou dost not do this, thou shall not be able even to glanceat a single lotus Bhimasena said, ‘Ye Rakshasas, I do not see the lord ofwealth here And even if I did see that mighty king, I would not beseechhim Kshatriyas never beseech (any body). This is the eternal morality;and I by no means wish to forsake the Kshatriya morality. And, furtherthis lotus-lake hath sprung from the cascades of the mountain; it hathnot been excavated in the mansion of Kuvera. Therefore it belongethequally to all creatures with Vaisravana. In regard to a thing of such anature, who goeth to beseech another?”

Vaisampayana said, “Having said this unto the Rakshasas, the mighty-armedand exceedingly unforbearing Bhimasena of great strength plunged into thelotus-lake. Thereat that powerful one was forbidden by the Rakshasas,saying, ‘Do not do this;’ and they from all sides began to abuse him inanger. But slighting these Rakshasas, that mighty one of dreadful prowessplunged (farther and farther). Now they all prepared for opposing him.And with eyes rolling, they upraised their arms, and rushed in wrath atBhimasena, exclaiming, ‘Seize him!’ ‘Bind him! Hew him! We shall cookBhimasena, and eat him up!’ Thereupon that one of great force, taking hisponderous and mighty mace inlaid with golden plates, like unto the maceof Yama himself, turned towards those, and then said, ‘Stay!’ At this,they darted at him with vehemence, brandishing lances, and axes, andother weapons. And wishing to destroy Bhima, the dreadful and fierceKrodhavasas surrounded Bhima on all sides. But that one, being enduedwith strength, had been begotten by Vayu in the womb of Kunti; and he washeroic and energetic, and the slayer of foes, and ever devoted to virtueand truth, and incapable of being vanquished by enemies through prowess.Accordingly this high-souled Bhima defeating all the manoeuveres of thefoes, and breaking their arms, killed on the banks of the lake more thana hundred, commencing with the foremost. And then witnessing his prowessand strength, and the force of his skill, and also the might of his arms;and unable to bear (the onset), those prime heroes all of a sudden fledon all sides in bands.

“Beaten and pierced by Bhimasena, those Krodhavasas quitted the field ofbattle, and in confusion quickly fled towards the Kailasa cliff,supporting themselves in the sky. Having thus by the exercise of hisprowess defeated those hosts, even as Sakra had defeated the armies ofDaityas and Danavas, he (Bhima), now that he had conquered the enemy,plunged into the lake and began to gather the lotuses, with the object ofgaining his purpose. And as he drank of the waters, like unto nectar, hisenergy and strength were again fully restored; and he fell to pluckingand gathering Saugandhika lotuses of excellent fragrance. On the otherhand, the Krodhavasas, being driven by the might of Bhima and exceedinglyterrified, presented themselves before the lord of wealth, and gave anexact account of Bhima’s prowess and strength in fight. Hearing theirwords, the god (Kuvera) smiled and then said, ‘Let Bhima take for Krishnaas many lotuses as he likes. This is already known to me.’ Thereupontaking the permission of the lord of wealth, those (Rakshasas) renouncinganger, went to that foremost of the Kurus, and in that lotus-lake beheldBhima alone, disporting in delight.”

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