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Chapter 92

Mahabharata English - ARANYAKA PARVA

“Lomasa continued, ‘Listen now, O Yudhishthira, to what Dhananjaya hathsaid: ‘Cause my brother Yudhishthira to attend to the practice of virtuewhich leadeth to prosperity. Endued with wealth of asceticism, thou artconversant with the highest morality, with ascetic austerities of everykind, with the eternal duties of kings blessed with prosperity, and thehigh and sanctifying merit that men obtain from tirthas. Persuade thouthe sons of Pandu to acquire the merit attaching to tirthas. Do thou withthy whole soul persuade the king to visit the tirthas and give awaykine.’ This is what Arjuna said unto me. Indeed he also said, ‘Let himvisit all the tirthas protected by thee. Thou wilt also protect him fromRakshasas, and watch over him in inaccessible regions and rugged mountainbreasts. And as Dadhichi had protected Indra, and Angiras had protectedthe Sun, so do thou, O best of regenerate ones, protect the sons of Kuntifrom Rakshasas. Along the way are many Rakshasas, huge asmountain-cliffs. But protected by thee these will not be able to approachthe sons of Kunti. Obedient to the words of Indra and at the request ofArjuna also protecting thee from dangers, I shall wander with thee.Before this, O son of the Kuru race, I have twice visited the tirthas.With thee I shall repair to them for the third time. O Yudhishthira, Manuand other royal Rishis of meritorious deeds had undertaken journeys totirthas. Indeed, a trip to them is capable of dispelling all fear, Oking! They that are crooked-minded, they that have not their souls undercontrol, they that are illiterate and perverse, do not, O Kauravya, bathein tirthas. But thou art ever of a virtuous disposition and conversantwith morality and firm in thy promises. Thou wilt surely be able to freethyself from the world. For, O son of Pandu, thou art even as kingBhagiratha, or Gaya, or Yayati, or any one, O son of Kunti, that is likethem.’

“Yudhishthira answered, ‘I am so overwhelmed with delight, O Brahmana,that I cannot find words to answer thee. Who can be more fortunate thanhe who is remembered even by the lord of the celestials? Who can be morefortunate than he who hath been favoured with thy company, who hathDhananjaya for a brother, and who is thought of by Vasava himself? As tothy words, O illustrious one, in respect of a trip to the tirthas, mymind had already been made up at the words of Dhaumya. O Brahmana, Ishall start, at whatever hour thou mayst be pleased to appoint, on theproposed journey to tirthas. Even this is my firm resolve!’

Vaisampayana continued, “Lomasa then said unto Yudhishthira, who had madeup his mind to start on the proposed journey, ‘O mighty king, be thoulight as regards thy retinue, for by this thou wilt be able to go moreeasily!’

“Yudhishthira then said, ‘Let those mendicants and Brahmanas and Yogisthat are incapable of bearing hunger and thirst, the fatigues of traveland toil, and the severity of winter, desist. Let those Brahmanas alsodesist that live on sweetmeats, and they also that desire cooked viandsand food that is sucked or drunk as well as meat. And let those alsoremain behind that are dependent on cooks. Let those citizens that havefollowed me from motives of loyalty, and whom I have hitherto kept onproper stipends, repair to king Dhritarashtra. He will give them theirallowances in due time. If, however, that king refuses to grant themproper allowances, the king of the Panchalas will, for our satisfactionand welfare, give them these.'”

Vaisampayana continued, “And thereupon oppressed with grief, the citizensand the principal Brahmanas and Yatis set out for Hastinapura. And out ofaffection for Yudhishthira the just, the royal son of Amvika receivedthem properly, and gratified them with proper allowances. And the royalson of Kunti, with only a small number of Brahmanas, abode for threenights at Kamyaka, cheered by Lomasa.”

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