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Chapter 86

Mahabharata English - ARANYAKA PARVA

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Having ascertained the opinion of his brothers,and of the intelligent Narada, king Yudhishthira, addressing Dhaumya, whowas like unto the Grandsire himself, said, ‘I have for the acquisition ofarms, sent away that tiger among men, Jishnu, whose prowess is incapableof being baffled, and who is possessed of long arms and immeasurableintelligence. O thou of ascetic wealth, that hero is devoted to me,endued with ability, and well-skilled in weapons, and like unto theexalted Vasudeva himself. I know them both, Krishna and Arjuna, thosedestroyers of enemies, O Brahmana, endued with prowess, even as thepuissant Vyasa knoweth them. I know Vasudeva and Dhananjaya to be noneelse than Vishnu himself, possessed of the six attributes. And this isalso what Narada knoweth, for he hath always spoken so unto me. I alsoknow them to be Rishis, Nara and Narayana. Knowing him to possess theability, I have sent him (on the mission). Not inferior unto Indra andfully competent (for the task), I have sent that son of a god to see thelord of the celestials and obtain weapons from him. Bhishma and Drona areAtirathas. Kripa and the son of Drona are invincible; these mightywarriors have been installed by Dhritarashtra’s son in the command of hisarmy. All these are versed in the Vedas, are heroic, and possessed of theknowledge of every weapon. Endued with great strength, these alwaysdesire to encounter Arjuna in fight. And Karna also of the Suta caste isa mighty warrior versed in celestial weapons. In respect of the impetusof his weapons, he is endued with the strength of the Wind-god. Himselflike a flame of fire, the arrows (proceeding from him) constitute itstongues. The slaps of his left hand cased in leathern fence constitutethe crackling of that flame. The dust of the battle-field is its smoke.Urged by the sons of Dhritarashtra even as the wind urgeth the fire,Karna like unto the all-consuming fire at the end of the Yuga that issent by Death himself, will, without doubt, consume my troops like unto aheap of straw. Only that mighty mass of clouds called Arjuna, aided byKrishna like unto a powerful wind, with celestial weapon representing itsfierce lightning, the white steeds, the rows of white cranes coursingunderneath and the unbearable Gandiva, the rainbow ahead, is capable ofextinguishing the blazing flame represented by Karna by means of itsarrowy showers let off with unflagging steadiness. That conqueror ofhostile cities, Vibhatsu, will, without doubt, succeed in obtaining fromIndra himself all the celestial weapons with their fullness and life.Alone he is equal, I think, unto them all. Otherwise it is impossible(for us) to vanquish in fight all those foes, who have attained toeminent success in all their purposes. We shall behold Arjuna, thatrepressor of foes, fully equipped with celestial weapons, for Vibhatsuhaving once undertaken a task, never, droopeth under its weight. Withoutthat hero, however, that best of men, ourselves, with Krishna, cannot beat rest in Kamyaka. Therefore, do thou mention some other wood that issacred and delightful, and abounds in food and fruits, and that isinhabited by men of pious practices:–where we may pass some time,expecting the warlike Arjuna of unbaffled prowess, like the Chataka inexpectation of gathering clouds. Do thou tell us of some asylums open tothe regenerate ones, and lakes and streams and beautiful mountains. OBrahmana, deprived of Arjuna, I do not like to stay in this wood ofKamyaka. We wish to go somewhere else.'”

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