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Chapter 43

Mahabharata English - ARANYAKA PARVA

Vaisampayana said, “And the city of Indra which Arjuna saw was delightfuland was the resort of Siddhas and Charanas. And it was adorned with theflowers of every season, and with sacred trees of all kinds. And hebeheld also celestial gardens called Nandana–the favourite resort ofApsaras. And fanned by the fragrant breezes charged with the farina ofsweet-scented flowers, the trees with their lord of celestial blossomsseemed to welcome him amongst them. And the region was such that nonecould behold it who had not gone through ascetic austerities, or who hadnot poured libations on fire. It was a region for the virtuous alone, andnot for those who had turned their back on the field of battle. And nonewere competent to see it who had not performed sacrifices or observedrigid vows, or who were without a knowledge of the Vedas, or who had notbathed in sacred waters, or who were not distinguished for sacrifices andgifts. And none were competent to see it who were disturbers ofsacrifices, or who were low, or who drank intoxicating liquors, or whowere violators of their preceptors’ bed, or who were eaters of(unsanctified) meat, or who were wicked. And having beheld thosecelestial gardens resounding with celestial music, the strong-armed sonof Pandu entered the favourite city of Indra. And he beheld therecelestial cars by thousands, capable of going everywhere at will,stationed in proper places. And he saw tens of thousands of such carsmoving in every direction. And fanned by pleasant breezes charged withthe perfumes of flowers, the son of Pandu was praised by Apsaras andGandharvas. And the celestials then, accompanied by the Gandharvas andSiddhas and great Rishis, cheerfully reverenced Pritha’s son of whitedeeds. Benedictions were poured upon him, accompanied by the sounds ofcelestial music. The strong-armed son of Pritha then heard around him themusic of conchs and drums. And praised all around, the son of Pritha thenwent, at the command of Indra, to that large and extensive starry waycalled by the name of Suravithi. There he met with the Sadhyas, theViswas, the Marutas, the twin Aswins, the Adityas, the Vasus, the Rudras,the Brahmarshis of the great splendour, and numerous royal sages withDilipa at their head, and Tumvura and Narada, and that couple ofGandharvas known by the names of Haha and Huhu. And the Kuru prince–thatchastiser of foes–having met and duly saluted them, last of all beheldthe chief of the celestials–the god of a hundred sacrifices. Then thestrong-armed son of Pritha, alighting from the car approached the lordhimself of the gods–his father–that chastiser of Paka. And a beautifulwhite umbrella furnished with a golden staff was held over the chief ofthe celestials. And he was fanned with a Chamara perfumed with celestialscents. And he was eulogised by many Gandharvas headed by Viswavasu andothers, by bards and singers, and by foremost Brahmanas chanting Rik andYajus hymns. And the mighty son of Kunti, approaching Indra, saluted himby bending his head to the ground. And Indra thereupon embraced him withhis round and plump arms. And taking his hand, Sakra made him sit by himon a portion of his own seat, that sacred seat which was worshipped bygods and Rishis. And the lord of the celestials-that slayer of hostileheroes–smelt the head of Arjuna bending in humility, and even took himupon his lap. Seated on Sakra’s seat at the command of that god of athousand eyes, Pritha’s son of immeasurable energy began to blaze insplendour like a second Indra. And moved by affection, the slayer ofVritra, consoling Arjuna, touched his beautiful face with his ownperfumed hands. And the wielder of the thunderbolt, patting and rubbinggently again and again with his own hands which bore the marks of thethunderbolt the handsome and huge arms of Arjuna which resembled a coupleof golden columns and which were hard in consequence of drawing thebowstring and son enhanced the beauty of the assembly, like the sun andmoon god of a thousand eyes–eyeing his son of curly locks smilingly andwith eyes expanded with delight, seemed scarcely to be gratified. Themore he gazed, the more he liked to gaze on. And seated on one seat, thefather and son enhanced the beauty of the assembly, like the sun and moonbeautifying the firmament together on the fourteenth day of the darkfortnight. And a band of Gandharvas headed by Tumvuru skilled in musicsacred and profane, sang many verses in melodious notes. And Ghritachiand Menaka and Rambha and Purvachitti and Swayamprabha and Urvasi andMisrakesi and Dandagauri and Varuthini and Gopali and Sahajanya andKumbhayoni and Prajagara and Chitrasena and Chitralekha and Saha andMadhuraswana, these and others by thousands, possessed of eyes like lotusleaves, who were employed in enticing the hearts of persons practisingrigid austerities, danced there. And possessing slim waists and fairlarge hips, they began to perform various evolutions, shaking their deepbosoms, and casting their glances around, and exhibiting other attractiveattitude capable of stealing the hearts and resolutions and minds of thespectators.”

Chapter 42
Chapter 44
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