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Chapter 84

Mahabharata English - UDYOGA PARAVA

“Vaisampayana said, ‘O smiter of foes, when Devaki’s son of mighty armsset out (for Hastinapura), ten mighty car-warriors, capable of slayinghostile heroes, fully armed, followed in his train. And a thousandfoot-soldiers, and a thousand horsemen, and attendants by hundreds, alsoformed his train, carrying, O king, provisions in abundance.’

“Janamejaya said, ‘How did the illustrious slayer of Madhu, of Dasarha’srace, proceed on his journey? And what omens were seen when that hero setout?’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Listen to me as I narrate all those natural andunnatural omens that were noticed at the time when the illustriousKrishna departed (for Hastinapura). Though there were no clouds in thesky, yet the roll of thunder accompanied by flashes of lightning washeard. And fleecy clouds in a clear sky rained incessantly in the rear!The seven large rivers including the Sindhu (Indus) though flowingeastwards then flowed in opposite directions. The very directions seemedto be reversed and nothing could be distinguished. Fires blazed upeverywhere, O monarch, and the earth trembled repeatedly. The contents ofwells and water-vessels by hundreds swelled up and ran out. The wholeuniverse was enveloped in darkness. The atmosphere being filled withdust, neither the cardinal nor the subsidiary points of the horizoncould, O king, be distinguished. Loud roars were heard in the sky withoutany being being visible from whom these could emanate. This wonderfulphenomenon, O king, was noticed all over the country. A south-westerlywind, with the harsh rattle of the thunder, uprooting trees by thethousands, crushed the city of Hastinapura. In those places, however, OBharata, through which he of Vrishni’s race passed, delicious breezesblew and everything became auspicious. Showers of lotuses and fragrantflowers fell there. The very road became delightful, being free fromprickly grass and thorns. At those places where he stayed, Brahmanas bythousands glorified that giver of wealth with (laudation) and worshippedhim with dishes of curds, ghee, honey, and presents of wealth. The verywomen, coming out on the road, strewed wild flowers of great fragrance onthe person of that illustrious hero, devoted to the welfare of allcreatures. He then came upon a delightful spot called Salibhavana whichwas filled with every kind of crops, a spot that was delicious andsacred, after having, O bull of the Bharata race, seen various villagesabounding in bees, and picturesque to the eye, and delightful to theheart, and after having passed through diverse cities and kingdoms.Always cheerful and of good hearts, well-protected by the Bharatas andtherefore free from all anxieties on account of the designs of invaders,and unacquainted with calamities of any kind, many of the citizens ofUpaplavya, coming out of their town, stood together on the way, desirousof beholding Krishna. And beholding that illustrious one resembling ablazing fire arrived at the spot, they worshipped him who deserved theirworship with all the honours of a guest arrived in their abode. When atlast that slayer of hostile heroes, Kesava, came to Vrikasthala, the sunseemed to redden the sky by his straggling rays of light. Alighting fromhis car, he duly went through the usual purificatory rites, and orderingthe steeds to be unharnessed, he set himself to say his evening prayers.And Daruka also, setting the steeds free, tended them according to therules of equine science, and taking off the yokes and traces, let themloose. After this was done, the slayer of Madhu said, ‘Here must we passthe night for the sake of Yudhishthira’s mission. Ascertaining that to behis intention, the attendants soon set a temporary abode and prepared ina trice excellent food and drink. Amongst the Brahmanas, O king, thatresided in the village, they that were of noble and high descent, modest,and obedient to the injunctions of the Vedas in their conduct, approachedthat illustrious chastiser of foes, Hrishikesa, and honoured him withtheir benedictions and auspicious speeches. And having honoured him ofDasarha’s race that deserveth honour from every one, they placed at thedisposal of that illustrious person their houses, abounding in wealth.Saying unto them–‘Enough’–the illustrious Krishna paid them properhomage, each according to his rank, and wending with them to their house,he returned in their company to his own (tent). And feeding all theBrahmanas with sweet-meats and himself taking his meals with them, Kesavapassed the night happily there.'”

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