Chapter 160

Vaisampayana said, “Hearing various sounds resounding in the caves of themountain and not seeing Bhimasena, Kunti’s son, Ajatasatru and the twinsons of Madri and Dhaumya and Krishna and all the Brahmanas and thefriends (of the Pandavas), were filled with anxiety. Thereupon,entrusting Draupadi to the charge of Arshtishena and equipped in theirarms, those valiant and mighty charioteers together began to ascend thesummit of the mountain. And having reached the summit, as thoserepressors of foes and mighty bowmen and powerful charioteers they werelooking about, saw Bhima and those huge Rakshasas of mighty strength andcourage weltering in a state of unconsciousness having been struck downby Bhima. And holding his mace and sword and bow, that mighty-armed onelooked like Maghavan, after he had slain the danava hosts. Then on seeingtheir brother, the Pandavas, who had attained excellent state, embracedhim and sat down there. And with those mighty bowmen, that summit lookedgrand like heaven graced by those foremost of celestials, the highlyfortunate Lokapalas. And seeing the abode of Kuvera and the Rakshasas,lying slain on the ground, the king addressed his brother who was seated,saying, ‘Either it be through rashness, or through ignorance, thou hast,O Bhima, committed a sinful act. O hero, as thou art leading the life ofan anchorite, this slaughter without cause is unlike thee. Acts, it isasserted by those versed in duties, as are calculated to displease amonarch, ought not to be committed. But thou hast, O Bhimasena, committeda deed which will offend even the gods. He that disregarding profit andduty, turneth his thoughts to sin must, O Partha, reap the fruit of hissinful actions. However, if thou seekest my good, never again commit sucha deed.'”

Vaisampayana continued, “Having said this to his brother, Vrikodara thevirtuous, the highly energetic and firm-minded son of Kunti, Yudhishthiraversed in the particulars of (the science of) profit, ceased, and beganto reflect on that matter.”

“On the other hand, the Rakshasas that had survived those slain by Bhimafled in a body towards the abode of Kuvera. And they of exceedingfleetness having speedily reached Vaisravana’s abode, began to utter loudcries of distress, being afflicted with the fear of Bhima. And, O kingbereft of their weapons and exhausted and with their mail besmeared withgore and with dishevelled hair they spake unto Kuvera, saying. ‘O lord,all thy foremost Rakshasas fighting with maces and clubs and swords andlances and barbed darts, have been slain. O lord of treasures, a mortal,trespassing into the mountain, hath, singlehanded, slaughtered all thyKrodhovasa Rakshasas assembled together. And, O lord of wealth, there liethe foremost of the Yakshas and Rakshasas senseless and dead, having beenstruck down; and we have been let off through his favour. And thy friend,Maniman also hath been slain. All this hath been done by a mortal. Dothou what is proper, after this.’ Having heard this, that lord of all theYaksha hosts waxing wroth, with eyes reddened in anger, exclaimed,’What!’ And hearing of Bhima’s second (act of) aggression, that lord oftreasures, the king of the Yakshas, was filled with wrath, and said.’Yoke’ (the horses). Thereat unto a car of the hue of dark clouds, andhigh as a mountain summit, they yoked steeds having golden garments. Andon being yoked unto the car, those excellent horses of his, graced withevery noble quality and furnished with the ten auspicious curls of hairand having energy and strength, and adorned with various gems and lookingsplendid, as if desirous of speeding like the wind, began to neigh ateach other the neighing emitted at (the hour of) victory. And that divineand effulgent king of the Yakshas set out, being eulogised by thecelestials and Gandharvas. And a thousand foremost Yakshas of reddenedeyes and golden lustre and having huge bodies, and gifted with greatstrength, equipped with weapons and girding on their swords, followedthat high-souled lord of treasures. And coursing through the firmamentthey (the steeds) arrived at the Gandhamadana, as if drawing forward thesky with their fleetness. And with their down standing erect, thePandavas saw that large assemblage of horses maintained by the lord ofwealth and also the highsouled and graceful Kuvera himself surrounded bythe Yaksha hosts. And seeing those mighty charioteers the son of Pandu,possessed of great strength, equipped with bows and swords, Kuvera alsowas delighted; and he was pleased at heart, keeping in view the task ofthe celestials. And like unto birds, they, (the Yakshas) gifted withextreme celerity, alighted on the summit of the mountain and stood beforethem (the Pandavas), with the lord of treasures at their head. Then, OBharata, seeing him pleased with the Pandavas, the Yakshas and theGandharvas stood there, free from agitation. Then thinking themselves ashaving transgressed, those high-souled and mighty charioteers, thePandavas, having bowed down unto that lord, the giver of wealth stoodsurrounding the lord of treasures with joined hands. And the lord oftreasures sat on that excellent seat, the elegant Pushpaka, constructedby Viswakarma, painted with diverse colours. And thousands of Yakshas andRakshasas, some having huge frames and some ears resembling pegs, andhundreds of Gandharvas and hosts of Apsaras sat in the presence of thatone seated, even as the celestials sit surrounding him of a hundredsacrifices and wearing a beautiful golden garland on his head and holdingin his hands his noose and sword and bow, Bhima stood, gazing at the lordof wealth. And Bhimasena did not feel depress either on having beenwounded by the Rakshasas, or even in that plight seeing Kuvera arrive.

“And that one going about on the shoulders of men, on seeing Bhima standdesirous of fighting with sharpened shafts, said unto Dharma’s son, ‘OPartha, all the creatures know thee as engaged in their good. Do thou.therefore, with thy brothers fearlessly dwell on this summit of themountain. And, O Pandava, be thou not angry with Bhima. These Yakshas andRakshasas had already been slain by Destiny: thy brother hath been theinstrument merely. And it is not necessary to feel shame for the act ofimpudence that hath been committed. This destruction of the Rakshasas hadbeen foreseen by the gods. I entertain no anger towards Bhimasena.Rather, O foremost of the Bharata a race, I am pleased with him;nay,–even before coming here, I had been gratified with this deed ofBhima.'”

Vaisampayana said, “Having spoken thus unto the king, (Kuvera) said untoBhimasena, ‘O child, O best of the Kurus, I do not mind this, O Bhima, asin order to please Krishna, thou hast, disregarding the gods and me also,committed this rash act, namely, the destruction of the Yakshas and theRakshasas, depending on the strength of thy arms, I am well-pleased withthee. O Vrikodara, to-day I have been freed from a terrible curse. Forsome offence, that great Rishi, Agastya, had cursed me in anger. Thouhast delivered me by this act (of thine). O Pandu’s son, my disgrace hadere this been fated. No offence, therefore, in any way, attaches untothee, O Pandava.’

“Yudhishthira said, ‘O divine one, why wast thou cursed by thehigh-souled Agastya? O god, I am curious to hear about the occasion ofthat imprecation. I wonder that at that very moment, thou together withthy forces and attendants wast not consumed by the ire of thatintelligent one.’

“Thereupon the lord of treasures said, ‘At Kusasthali, O king, once therewas held a conclave of the gods. And surrounded by grimvisaged Yakshas,numbering three hundred maha-padmas, carrying various weapons, I wasgoing to that place. And on the way, I saw that foremost of sages,Agastya, engaged in the practice of severe austerities on the bank of theYamuna, abounding in various birds and graced with blossoming trees. And,O king, immediately on seeing that mass of energy, flaming and brilliantas fire, seated with upraised arms, facing the sun, my friend, thegraceful lord of the Rakshasas, Maniman, from stupidity, foolishness,hauteur and ignorance discharged his excrement on the crown of thatMaharshi. Thereupon, as if burning all the cardinal points by his wrath,he said unto me, ‘Since, O lord of treasures, in thy very presence,disregarding me, this thy friend hath thus affronted me, he, togetherwith thy forces, shall meet with destruction at the hands of a mortal.And, O wicked-minded one, thou also, being distressed on account of thyfallen soldiers, shalt be freed from thy sin, on beholding that mortal.But if they follow thy behests, their (the soldier’s) powerful sons shallnot incur by this dreadful curse. This curse I received formerly fromthat foremost of Rishis. Now, O mighty king, have I been delivered by thybrother Bhima.'”

Chapter 128
Chapter 129
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