Chapter 47

Mahabharata English - ARANYAKA PARVA

Vaisampayana said, “One day, the great Rishi Lomasa in course of hiswanderings, went to the abode of Indra, desirous of beholding the lord ofthe celestials. And the great Muni, having approached the chief of thegods, bowed to him respectfully. And he beheld the son of Pandu occupyinghalf of the seat of Vasava. And worshipped by the great Rishis, thatforemost of Brahmanas sat on an excellent seat at the desire of Sakra.And beholding Arjuna seated on Indra’s seat, the Rishi began to think asto how Arjuna who was a Kshatriya had attained to the seat of Sakrahimself. What acts of merit had been performed by him and what regions,had been conquered by him (by ascetic merit), that he had obtained a seatthat was worshipped by the gods themselves? And as the Rishi was employedwith these thoughts, Sakra, the slayer of Vritra, came to know of them.And having known them, the lord of Sachi addressed Lomasa with a smileand said, ‘Listen, O Brahmarshi, about what is now passing in thy mind.This one is no mortal though he hath taken his birth among men. O greatRishi, the mighty-armed hero is even my son born of Kunti. He hath comehither, in order to acquire weapons for some purpose. Alas! dost thou notrecognise him as an ancient Rishi of the highest merit? Listen to me, OBrahamana, as I tell thee who is and why he hath come to me. Thoseancient and excellent Rishis who were known by the names of Nara andNarayana are, know, O Brahmana, none else than Hrishikesa and Dhananjaya.And those Rishis, celebrated throughout the three worlds, and known bythe names of Nara and Narayana have, for the accomplishment of a certainpurpose, been born on earth–for the acquisition of virtue. That sacredasylum which even gods and illustrious Rishis are not competent tobehold, and which is known throughout the world by the name of Vadari,and situate by the source of the Ganga, which is worshipped by theSiddhas and the Charanas, was the abode, O Brahmana, of Vishnu andJishnu. Those Rishis of blazing splendour have, O Brahmarshi, at mydesire, been born on earth, and endued with mighty energy, will lightenthe burden thereof. Besides this, there are certain Asuras known asNivatakavachas, who, proud of the boon they have acquired, are employedin doing us injuries. Boastful of their strength, they are even nowplanning the destruction of the gods, for, having received a boon, theyno longer regard the gods. Those fierce and mighty Danavas live in thenether regions. Even all the celestials together are incapable offighting with them. The blessed Vishnu–the slayer of Madhu–he, indeedwho is known on earth as Kapila, and whose glance alone, O exalted one,destroyed the illustrious sons of Sagara, when they approached him withloud sounds in the bowels of the earth,–that illustrious and invincibleHari is capable, O Brahmana of doing us a great service. Either he orPartha or both may do us that great service, without doubt. Verily as theillustrious Hari had slain the Nagas in the great lake, he, by sightalone, is capable of slaying those Asuras called the Nivatakavachas,along with their followers. But the slayer of Madhu should not be urgedwhen the task is insignificant. A mighty mass of energy that he is. Itswelleth to increasing proportions, it may consume the whole universe.This Arjuna also is competent to encounter them all, and the hero havingslain them in battle, will go back to the world of men. Go thou at myrequest to earth. Thou wilt behold the brave Yudhishthira living in thewoods of Kamyaka. And for me tell thou the virtuous Yudhishthira ofunbaffled prowess in battle, that he should not be anxious on account ofPhalguna, for that hero will return to earth a thorough master ofweapons, for without sanctified prowess of arms, and without skill inweapons, he would not be able to encounter Bhishma and Drona and othersin battle. Thou wilt also represent unto Yudhishthira that theillustrious and mighty-armed Gudakesa, having obtained weapons, hath alsomastered the science of celestial dancing and music both instrumental andvocal. And thou wilt also tell him, O king of men, O slayer of foes,thyself also, accompanied by all thy brothers, should see the varioussacred shrines. For having bathed in different sacred waters, thou wiltbe cleansed from thy sins, and the fever of thy heart will abate. Andthen thou wilt be able to enjoy thy kingdom, happy in the thought thatthy sins have been washed off. And, O foremost of Brahmanas, endued withascetic power, it behoveth thee also to protect Yudhishthira during hiswandering over the earth. Fierce Rakshasas ever live in mountainfastnesses and rugged steppes. Protect thou the king from thosecannibals.’

“After Mahendra had spoken thus unto Lomasa, Vibhatsu also reverentlyaddressed that Rishi, saying, ‘Protect thou ever the son of Pandu. O bestof men, let the king, O great Rishi, protected by thee, visit the variousplaces of pilgrimage and give away unto Brahmanas in charity.'”

Vaisampayana continued, “The mighty ascetic Lomasa, having answered bothsaying, ‘So be it,’ set out for the earth, desirous of arriving atKamvaka. And having arrived at those woods, he beheld the slayer of foesand son of Kunti, king Yudhishthira the just, surrounded by ascetics andhis younger brothers.”

Chapter 46
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