Chapter 25

Mahabharata English - ARANYAKA PARVA

Vaisampayana said, “Having fallen into distress, those princes thusobtained at last a pleasant habitation in that forest. And there in thosewoods abounding with Sala trees and washed by the Saraswati, they whowere like so many Indras, began to sport themselves. And the illustriousking, that bull of the Kuru race, set himself to please all the Yatis andMunis and the principal Brahmanas in that forest, by offerings ofexcellent fruits and roots. And their priest, Dhaumya endued with greatenergy, like unto a father to those princes, began to perform thesacrificial rites of Ishti and Paitreya for the Pandavas residing in thatgreat forest. And there came, as a guest, unto the abode of theaccomplished Pandavas living in the wood after loss of their kingdom, theold Rishi Markandeya, possessed of intense and abundant energy. And thatbull of the Kuru race, the high-souled Yudhishthira, possessed ofunrivalled strength and prowess, paid his homage unto that great Muni,reverenced by celestials and Rishis of men, and possessed of thesplendour of blazing fire. And that illustrious and all-knowing Muni, ofunrivalled energy, beholding Draupadi and Yudhishthira and Bhima andArjuna, in the midst of the ascetics, smiled, recollecting Rama in hismind. And Yudhishthira the just, apparently grieved at this, asked him,saying, ‘All these ascetics are sorry for seeing me here. Why is it thatthou alone smilest, as if an glee, in the presence of these?’ Markandeyareplied, ‘O child’, I too am sorry and do not smile in glee! Nor dothpride born of joy possess my heart! Beholding to-day the calamity, Irecollect Rama, the son of Dasaratha, devoted to truth! Even that Rama,accompanied by Lakshman, dwelt in the woods at the command of his father.O son of Pritha, I beheld him in days of old ranging with his bow on thetop of the Rishyamuka hills! The illustrious Rama was like unto Indra,the lord of Yama himself, and the slayer of Namuchi! Yet that sinless onehad to dwell in the forest at the command of his father, accepting it ashis duty. The illustrious Rama was equal unto Sakra in prowess, andinvincible in battle. And yet he had to range the forest renouncing allpleasures! Therefore should no one act unrighteously, saying,–I ammighty! Kings Nabhaga and Bhagiratha and others, having subjugated bytruth this world bounded by the seas, (finally) obtained, O child, allthe region hereafter. Therefore, should no one act unrighteously,saying,–I am mighty! And, O exalted of men, the virtuous and truthfulking of Kasi and Karusha was called a mad dog for having renounced histerritories and riches! Therefore, should no one act unrighteously,saying,–I am mighty! O best of men, O son of Pritha, the seven righteousRishis, for having observed the ordinance prescribed by the Creatorhimself in the Vedas, blaze in the firmament. Therefore, should no oneact unrighteously, saying,–I am mighty! Behold, O king, the mightyelephants, huge as mountain cliffs and furnished with tusks, transgressnot, O exalted of men, the laws of the Creator! Therefore, should noneact unrighteously saying, Might is mine! And, O foremost of monarchs,behold all the creatures acting according to their species, as ordainedby the Creator. Therefore, should none act unrighteously, saying, Mightis mine. O son of Pritha, in truth, and virtue, and proper behaviour, andmodesty, thou hast surpassed all creatures, and thy fame and energy areas bright as fire or the Sun! Firm in thy promises, O illustrious one,having passed in the woods thy painful exile, thou wilt again, O king,snatch from the Kauravas thy blazing prosperity with the help of thy ownenergy!'”

Vaisampayana continued, “Having spoken these words unto Yudhishthira(seated) in the midst of the ascetics with friends, the great Rishihaving also saluted Dhaumya and all the Pandavas set out in a northerlydirection!”

Chapter 55
Chapter 26