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Chapter 91

Mahabharata English - ARANYAKA PARVA

Vaisampayana continued, “O son of the Kuru race, while Dhaumya wasspeaking thus, there arrived at the spot the Rishi Lomasa of greatenergy. And the king, who was the eldest of Pandu’s sons, with hisfollowers and those Brahmanas sat round the highly righteous one, likecelestials in heaven sitting round Sakra. And having received him duly,Yudhishthira the just enquired after the reason of his arrival, and theobject also of his wanderings. Thus asked by Pandu’s son, the illustriousascetic, well-pleased, replied in sweet words delighting the Pandavas,’Travelling at will, O Kaunteya, over all the regions, I came to Sakra’sabode, and saw there the lord of the celestials. There, I saw thy heroicbrother capable of wielding the bow with his left hand, seated on thesame seat with Sakra. And beholding Partha on that seat I was greatlyastonished, O tiger among men! And the lord of the celestials then saidunto me, ‘Go thou unto the sons of Pandu.’ At the request, therefore, ofIndra as also of the high-souled son of Pritha have I come hither withspeed, desiring to see thee with thy younger brothers. O child, I willrelate what will please thee highly, O son of Pandu! Do thou listen toit, O king, with Krishna and the Rishis that are with thee. O bull of theBharata race, Partha hath obtained from Rudra that incomparable weaponfor the acquisition of which thou hadst sent him to heaven. That fierceweapon, known by the name of Brahma-sira which arose after Amrita, andwhich Rudra had obtained by means of ascetic austerities, hath beenacquired by Arjuna together with the Mantras for hurling and withdrawingit, and the rites of expiation and revival. And, O Yudhishthira, Arjunaof immeasurable prowess hath also acquired Vajras and Dandas and othercelestial weapons from Yama and Kuvera and Varuna and Indra, O son of theKuru race! And he hath also thoroughly learnt music, both vocal andinstrumental, and dancing and proper recitation of the Saman (Veda) fromVishwavasu’s son. And having thus acquired weapons and mastered theGandharva Veda, thy third brother Vibhatsu liveth happily (in heaven).Listen to me, O Yudhishthira, for I shall now deliver to thee the messageof that foremost of celestials. He hath commanded me saying, “Thou wilt,no doubt, go to the world of men. O best of Brahmanas, tell thouYudhishthira these words of mine. Soon will thy brother Arjuna come tothee, having acquired arms and accomplished a great deed for thecelestials that is incapable of being accomplished by themselves. Do thoumeanwhile devote thyself to ascetic austerities, with thy brothers. Thereis nothing superior to asceticism, and it is by asceticism that a personachieveth great results. And, O bull of the Bharata race, well do I knowthat Karna is endued with great ardour and energy and strength andprowess that is incapable of being baffled. Well do I know that, skilledin fierce conflict, he hath not his rival in battle; that he is a mightybowman, a hero deft in the use of fierce weapons and cased in the best ofmail. Well do I know that that exalted son of Aditya resembleth the sonof Maheswara himself. Well do I also know the high natural prowess of thebroad-shouldered Arjuna. In battle Karna is not equal unto even asixteenth part of Pritha’s son. And as for the fear of Karna which is inthy heart, O repressor of foes, I shall dispel when Savyasachin will haveleft heaven. And as regards thy purpose, O hero, to set out on apilgrimage to tirthas, the great Rishi Lomasa will, without doubt, speakunto thee. And whatever that regenerate Rishi will relate unto theetouching the merits of asceticism and tirthas, thou shouldst receive withrespect and not otherwise!'”

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