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Chapter 159

Mahabharata English - ARANYAKA PARVA

Janamejaya said, “How long did my great grandsires, the highsouled sonsof Pandu of matchless prowess, dwell in the Gandhamadana mountain? Andwhat did those exceedingly powerful ones, gifted with manliness, do? Andwhat was the food of those high-souled ones, when those heroes of theworlds dwelt (there)? O excellent one, do thou relate all about this. Dothou describe the prowess of Bhimasena, and what that mighty-armed onedid in the mountain Himalayan. Surely, O best of Brahmanas, he did notfight again with the Yakshas. And did they meet with Vaisravana? Surely,as Arshtishena said, the lord of wealth cometh thither. All this, O thouof ascetic wealth, I desire to hear in detail. Surely, I have not yetbeen fully satisfied by hearing about their acts.”

Vaisampayana continued, “Having heard from that one of incomparableenergy, (Arshtishena), that advice conducive to their welfare, thoseforemost of the Bharatas, began to behave always accordingly. Those bestof men, the Pandavas, dwelt upon the Himavan, partaking of the food eatenby the Munis, and luscious fruit, and the flesh of deer killed withunpoisoned shafts and various kinds of pure honey. Living thus, theypassed the fifth year, hearing to various stories told by Lomasa. O lord,saying, ‘I shall be present when occasion ariseth,’ Ghatotkacha, togetherwith all the Rakshasas, had ere this already gone away. Those magnanimousones passed many months in the hermitage of Arshtishena, witnessing manymarvels. And as the Pandavas were sporting there pleasantly, there cameto see them some complacent vow-observing Munis and Charanas of highfortune, and pure souls. And those foremost of the Bharata race conversedwith them on earthly topics. And it came to pass that when several dayshas passed, Suparna all of a sudden carried off an exceedingly powerfuland mighty Naga, living in the large lake. And thereupon that mightymountain began to tremble, and the gigantic trees, break. And all thecreatures and the Pandavas witnessed the wonder. Then from the brow ofthat excellent mountain, the wind brought before the Pandavas variousfragrant and fair blossoms. And the Pandavas, and the illustriousKrishna, together with their friends, saw those unearthly blossoms offive hues. And as the mighty-armed Bhimasena was seated at ease upon themountain, Krishna addressed him, saying, ‘O best of the Bharata race, inthe presence of all the creatures, these flowers of five hues, carried bythe force of the wind raised by Suparna, are falling in amain on theriver Aswaratha. In Khandava thy high-souled brother, firm in promise,had baffled Gandharvas and Nagas and Vasava himself, and slain fierceRakshasas, and also obtained the bow Gandiva. Thou also art of exceedingprowess and the might of thy arms is great, and irrepressible, andunbearable like unto the might of Sakra. O Bhimasena, terrified with theforce of thy arms, let all the Rakshasas betake themselves to the tencardinal points, leaving the mountain. Then will thy friends be freedfrom fear and affliction, and behold the auspicious summit of thisexcellent mountain furnished with variegated flowers. O Bhima, I have forlong cherished this thought in my mind,–that protected by the might ofthy arms, I shall see that summit.’

“Thereupon, like a high-mettled bull that hath been struck, Bhimasena,considering himself as censured by Draupadi, could not bear (that). Andthat Pandava of the gait of a lion or a bull, and graceful, and generous,and having the splendour of gold, and intelligent, and strong, and proud,and sensitive, and heroic, and having red eyes, and broad shoulders, andgifted with the strength of mad elephants, and having leonine teeth and abroad neck, and tall like a young sala tree, and highsouled, and gracefulin every limb, and of neck having the whorls of a shell and mighty-armed,took up his bow plaited at the back with gold, and also his sword. Andhaughty like unto a lion, and resembling a maddened elephant, that strongone rushed towards that cliff, free from fear or affliction. And all thecreatures saw him equipped with bows and arrows, approaching like a lionor a maddened elephant. And free from fear or affliction, the Pandavataking his mace, proceeded to that monarch of mountains causing thedelight of Draupadi. And neither exhaustion, nor fatigue, nor lassitude,nor the malice (of others), affected that son of Pritha and the Wind-god.And having arrived at a rugged path affording passage to one individualonly, that one of great strength ascended that terrible summit high asseveral palmyra palms (placed one upon another). And having ascended thatsummit, and thereby gladdened Kinnaras, and great Nagas, and Munis, andGandharvas, and Rakshasas, that foremost of the Bharata line, gifted withexceeding strength described the abode of Vaisravana, adorned with goldencrystal palaces surrounded on all sides by golden walls having thesplendour of all gems, furnished with gardens all around, higher than amountain peak, beautiful with ramparts and towers, and adorned withdoor-ways and gates and rows of pennons. And the abode was graced withdallying damsels dancing around, and also with pennons waved by thebreeze. And with bent arms, supporting himself on the end of his bow, hestood beholding with eagerness the city of the lord of treasures. Andgladdening all creatures, there was blowing a breeze, carrying allperfumes, and of a balmy feel. And there were various beautiful andwonderful trees of diverse hues resounding with diverse dulcet notes. Andat that place the foremost of the Bharatas surveyed the palace of theLord of the Rakshasas scattered with heaps of gems, and adorned withvariegated garlands. And renouncing all care of life the mighty-armedBhimasena stood motionless like a rock, with his mace and sword and bowin his hands. Then he blew his shell making the down of his adversariesstand erect; and twanging his bow-string, and striking his arms with thehands he unnerved all the creatures. Thereat with their hairs standingerect, the Yakshas and Rakshasas began to rush towards the Pandavas, inthe direction of those sounds. And taken by the arms of the Yakshas andRakshasas the flamed maces and clubs and swords and spears and javelinsand axes, and when, O Bharata, the fight ensued between the Rakshasas andBhima, the latter by arrows cut off the darts, javelins and axes of thosepossessing great powers of illusion, and he of exceeding strength witharrows pierced the bodies of the roaring Rakshasas, both of those thatwere in the sky, and of those that remained on the earth. And Bhima ofexceeding strength was deluged with the mighty sanguine rain sprung fromthe bodies of the Rakshasas with maces and clubs in their hands andflowing on all sides from their persons. And the bodies and hands of theYakshas and Rakshasas were seen to be struck off by the weapon dischargedby the might of Bhima’s arms. And then all the creatures saw the gracefulPandava densely surrounded by the Rakshasas, like unto the Sun envelopedby clouds. And even as the Sun surrounds everything with his rays, thatmighty-armed and strong one of unfailing prowess, covered all with arrowsdestroying foes. And although menacing and uttering yells, the Rakshasasdid not see Bhima embarrassed. Thereupon, with their bodies mangled, theYakshas afflicted by fear, Bhimasena began to utter frightful sounds ofdistress, throwing their mighty weapons. And terrified at the wielder ofa strong bow, they fled towards the southern quarter, forsaking theirmaces and spears and swords and clubs and axes. And then there stood,holding in his hands darts and maces, the broad-chested and mighty-armedfriend of Vaisravana, the Rakshasa named Maniman. And that one of greatstrength began to display his mastery and manliness. And seeing themforsake the fight, he addressed them with a smile, ‘Going to Vaisravana’sabode, how will ye say unto that lord of wealth, that numbers have beendefeated by a single mortal in battle?’ Having said this unto them thatRakshasa, taking in his hands clubs and javelins and maces, set out andrushed towards the Pandava. And he rushed in amain like a maddenedelephant. Bhimasena pierced his sides with three choice arrows. And themighty Maniman, on his part, in wrath taking and flourishing a tremendousmace hurled it at Bhimasena. Thereupon Bhimasena beset with innumerableshafts sharpened on stones, hurled that mighty mace in the sky, dreadful,and like unto the lightning flash. But on reaching the mace those shaftswere baffled; and although discharged with force by that adept at hurlingthe mace, still they could not stay its career. Then the mighty Bhima ofdreadful prowess, baffled his (the Rakshasa’s) discharge by resorting tohis skill in mace-fighting. In the meanwhile, the intelligent Rakshasahad discharged a terrible iron club, furnished with a golden shaft. Andthat club, belching forth flames and emitting tremendous roars, all of asudden pierced Bhima’s right arm and then fell to the ground. On beingseverely wounded by that club, that bowman, Kunti’s son, of immeasurableprowess, with eyes rolling in ire, took up his mace. And having takenthat iron mace, inlaid with golden plates, which caused the fear of foesand brought on their defeat, he darted it with speed towards the mightyManiman, menacing (him) and uttering shouts. Then Maniman on his part,taking his huge and blazing dart, with great force discharged it atBhima, uttering loud shouts. Thereat breaking the dart with the end ofhis mace, that mighty-armed one skilled in mace-fighting, speedily rushedto slay him, as Garuda (rushed) to slay a serpent. Then all of a sudden,advancing ahead in the field, that mighty-armed one sprang into the skyand brandishing his mace hurled it with shouts. And like unto thethunder-bolt hurled by Indra, that mace like a pest, with the speed ofthe wind destroyed the Rakshasa and then fell to the ground. Then all thecreatures saw that Rakshasa of terrible strength slaughtered by Bhima,even like a bull slain by a lion. And the surviving Rakshasas seeing himslain on the ground went towards the east, uttering frightful sounds ofdistress.'”

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