Chapter 154

Mahabharata English - ARANYAKA PARVA

Vaisampayana said, “Then, O best of the Bharatas, Bhima began to collectthose rare unearthly, variegated and fresh flowers in abundance.

“And it came to pass that a high and violent wind, piercing to the touch,and blowing about gravels, arose, portending battle. And frightfulmeteors began to shoot, with thundering sounds. And being enveloped bydarkness, the sun became pale, his rays being obscured. And on Bhimadisplaying his prowess, dreadful sounds of explosion rang through thesky. And the earth began to tremble, and dust fell in showers. And thepoints of the heavens became reddened. And beasts and birds began to cryin shrill tones. And every thing became enveloped in darkness; andnothing could be distinguished. And other evil omens besides theseappeared there. Witnessing these strange phenomena, Dharma’s sonYudhishthira, the foremost of speakers, said, ‘Who is it that willovercome us? Ye Pandavas who take delight in battle, good betide you! Doye equip yourselves. From what I see, I infer that the time for thedisplay of our prowess hath drawn nigh’. Having said this, the kinglooked around. Then not finding Bhima, that represser of foes, Dharma’sson, Yudhishthira, enquired of Krishna and the twins standing nearregarding his brother, Bhima, the doer of dreadful deeds in battle,saying, ‘O Panchali, is Bhima intent upon performing some great feat, orhath that one delighting in daring deeds already achieved some bravedeed? Portending some great danger, these omens have appeared all around,indicating a fearful battle.’ When Yudhishthira said this, his belovedqueen, the high-minded Krishna of sweet smiles, answered him, in order toremove his anxiety. ‘O king, that Saugandhika lotus which to-day had beenbrought by the wind. I had out of love duly shown unto Bhimasena; and Ihad also said unto that hero, If thou canst find many of this species,procuring even all of them, do thou return speedily,–O Pandava, thatmighty armed one, with the view of gratifying my desire, may have gonetowards the north-east to bring them.’ Having heard these words of hers,the king said unto twins, ‘Let us together follow the path taken byVrikodara. Let the Rakshasas carry those Brahmanas that are fatigued andweak. O Ghatotkacha, O thou like unto a celestial, do thou carry Krishna.I am convinced and it is plain that Bhima hath dived into the forest; forit is long since he hath gone, and in speed he resembleth the wind, andin clearing over the ground, he is swift like unto Vinata’s son, and hewill ever leap into the sky, and alight at his will. O Rakshasas, weshall follow him through your prowess. He will not at first do any wrongto the Siddhas versed in the Vedas. O best of the Bharatas, saying, ‘Sobe it,’ Hidimava’s son and the other Rakshasas who knew the quarter wherethe lotus lake of Kuvera was situated, started cheerfully with Lomasa,bearing the Pandavas, and many of the Brahmanas. Having shortly reachedthat spot, they saw that romantic lake covered with Saugandhika and otherlotuses and surrounded by beautiful woods. And on its shores they beheldthe high-souled and vehement Bhima, as also the slaughtered Yakshas oflarge eyes, with their bodies, eyes, arms and thighs smashed, and theirheads crushed. And on seeing the high-souled Bhima, standing on the shoreof that lake in an angry mood, and with steadfast eyes, and biting hislip, and stationed on the shore of the lake with his mace upraised by histwo hands, like unto Yama with his mace in his hand at the time of theuniversal dissolution. Yudhishthira the just, embraced him again andagain, and said in sweet words, ‘O Kaunteya, what hast thou done? Goodbetide thee! If thou wishest to do good unto me, thou shouldst neveragain commit such a rash act, nor offend the gods.’ Having thusinstructed the son of Kunti, and taken the flowers those god-like onesbegan to sport in that very lake. At this instant, the huge-bodiedwarders of the gardens, equipped with rocks for weapons, presentedthemselves at the spot. And seeing Yudhishthira the just and the greatsage Lomasa and Nakula and Sahadeva and also the other foremost ofBrahmanas, they all bowed themselves down in humility. And being pacifiedby Yudhishthira the just, the Rakshasas became satisfied. And with theknowledge of Kuvera, those foremost of Kurus for a short time dweltpleasantly at that spot on the slopes of the Gandhamadana, expectingArjuna.”

Chapter 122
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