Chapter 41

Mahabharata English - ARANYAKA PARVA

Vaisampayana said, “The wielder of the Pinaka, having the bull for hissign, thus disappeared in the very sight of the gazing son of Pandu, likethe sun setting in the sight of the world. Arjuna, that slayer of hostileheroes, wondered much at this, saying, ‘O, I have seen the great god ofgods. ‘Fortunate, indeed I am, and much favoured, for I have both beheldand touched with my hand the three-eyed Hara the wielder of the Pinaka,in his boon-giving form. I shall win success. I am already great. Myenemies have already been vanquished by me. My purposes have been alreadyachieved.’ And while the son of Pritha, endued with immeasurable energy,was thinking thus, there came to that place Varuna the god of waters,handsome and of the splendour of the lapis lazuli accompanied by allkinds of aquatic creatures, and filling all the points of the horizonwith a blazing effulgence. And accompanied by Rivers both male andfemale, and Nagas, and Daityas and Sadhyas and inferior deities, Varuna,the controller and lord of all aquatic creatures, arrived at that spot.There came also the lord Kuvera of body resembling pure gold, seated onhis car of great splendour, and accompanied by numerous Yakshas. And thelord of treasures, possessed of great beauty, came there to see Arjuna,illuminating the firmament with his effulgence. And there came also Yamahimself, of great beauty, the powerful destroyer of all the worlds,accompanied by those lords of the creation–the Pitris–both embodied anddisembodied. And the god of justice, of inconceivable soul, the son ofSurya, the destroyer of all creatures, with the mace in hand, came thereon his car, illuminating the three worlds with regions of the Guhyakas,the Gandharvas and the Nagas, like a second Surya as he riseth at the endof the Yuga. Having arrived there, they beheld, from the effulgent andvariegated summits of the great mountain, Arjuna engaged in asceticausterities. And there came in a moment the illustrious Sakra also,accompanied by his queen, seated on the back of (the celestial elephant)Airavata, and surrounded also by all the deities. And in consequence ofthe white umbrella being held over his head, he looked like the moon amidfleecy clouds. And eulogised by Gandharvas, and Rishis endued with wealthof asceticism, the chief of the celestials alighted on a particularsummit of the mountain, like a second sun. Then Yama possessed of greatintelligence, and fully conversant with virtue, who had occupied a summiton the south, in a voice deep as that of the clouds, said theseauspicious words, ‘Arjuna, behold us, the protectors of the worlds,arrive here! We will grant thee (spiritual) vision, for thou deservest tobehold us. Thou wert in thy former life a Rishi of immeasurable soul,known as Nara of great might At the command, O child, of Brahma, thouhast been born among men! O sinless one, by thee shall be vanquished inbattle the highly virtuous grandsire of the Kurus–Bhishma of greatenergy–who is born of the Vasus. Thou shalt also defeat all theKshatriyas of fiery energy commanded by the son of Bharadwaja in battle.Thou shalt also defeat those Danavas of fierce prowess that have beenborn amongst men, and those Danavas also that are called Nivatakavachas.And, O son of the Kuru race, O Dhananjaya, thou shalt also slay Karna offierce prowess, who is even a portion of my father Surya, of energycelebrated throughout the worlds. And, O son of Kunti, smiter of allfoes, thou shalt also slay all the portions of celestials and Danavas andthe Rakshasas that have been incarnate on earth. And slain by thee, theseshall attain to the regions earned by them according to their acts. And,O Phalguna, the fame of thy achievements will last for ever in the world:thou hast gratified Mahadeva himself in conflict. Thou shalt, with Vishnuhimself, lighten the burden of the earth. O accept this weapon ofmine–the mace I wield incapable of being baffled by any body. With thisweapon thou wilt achieve great deeds.'”

Vaisampayana continued, “O Janamejaya, the son of Pritha then receivedfrom Yama that weapon duly, along with the Mantras and rite, and themysteries of hurling and withdrawing it. Then Varuna, the lord of allaquatic creatures, blue as the clouds, from a summit he had occupied onthe west, uttered these words, ‘O son of Pritha, thou art the foremost ofKshatriyas, and engaged in Kshatriya practices. O thou of large copperyeyes, behold me! I am Varuna, the lord of waters. Hurled by me, my noosesare incapable of being resisted. O son of Kunti, accept of me theseVaruna weapons along with the mysteries of hurling and withdrawing them.With these, O hero, in the battle that ensued of your on account ofTaraka (the wife of Vrihaspati), thousands of mighty Daityas were seizedand tied. Accept them of me. Even if Yama himself by thy foe, with thesein thy hands, he will not be able to escape from thee. When thou wiltarmed with these, range over the field of battle, the land, beyond doubt,will be destitute of Kshatriyas.'”

Vaisampayana continued, “After both Varuna and Yama had given away theircelestial weapons, the lord of treasures having his home on the heightsof Kailasa, then spake, ‘O son of Pandu, O thou of great might andwisdom, I too have been pleased with thee. And this meeting with theegiveth me as much pleasure as a meeting with Krishna. O wielder of thebow with the left hand, O thou of mighty arms, thou wert a god before,eternal (as other gods). In ancient Kalpas, thou hadst every day gonethrough ascetic austerities along with us. O best of men, I grant theecelestial vision. O thou of mighty arms, thou wilt defeat even invincibleDaityas and Danavas. Accept of me also without loss of time, an excellentweapon. With this thou wilt be able to consume the ranks ofDhritarashtra. Take then this favourite weapon of mine calledAntarddhana. Endued with energy and prowess and splendour, it is capableof sending the foe to sleep. When the illustrious Sankara slew Tripura,even this was the weapon which he shot and by which many mighty Asuraswere consumed. O thou of invincible prowess I take it up for giving it tothee. Endued with the dignity of the Meru, thou art competent to holdthis weapon.'”

“After these words had been spoken, the Kuru prince Arjuna endued withgreat strength, duly received from Kuvera that celestial weapon. Then thechief of the celestials addressing Pritha’s son of ceaseless deeds insweet words, said, in a voice deep as that the clouds or the kettle-drum,’O thou mighty-armed son of Kunti, thou art an ancient god. Thou hastalready achieved the highest success, and acquired the statue of a god.But, O represser of foes, thou hast yet to accomplish the purposes of thegods. Thou must ascend to heaven. Therefore prepare thou O hero of greatsplendour! My own car with Matali as charioteer, will soon descend on theearth. Taking thee, O Kaurava, to heaven, I will grant thee there all mycelestial weapons.'”

“Beholding those protectors of the worlds assembled together on theheights of Himavat, Dhananjaya, the son of Kunti, wondered much, Enduedwith great energy, he then duly worshipped the assembled Lokapalas, withwords, water, and fruits. The celestials then returning that worship,went away. And the gods capable of going everywhere at will, and enduedwith the speed of the mind, returned to the places whence they had come.”

“That bull among men–Arjuna–having obtained weapons thus, was filledwith pleasure. And he regarded himself as one whose desires had beenfulfilled and who was crowned with success.”

Chapter 40
Chapter 42
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