Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa Bk. 3 Pt. 1
by Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa
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The Mahabharata of

Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa



Translated into English Prose from the Original Sanskrit Text


Kisari Mohan Ganguli






(Aranyaka Parva)

Om! Having bowed down to Narayana, and Nara the foremost of male beings, and the goddess Saraswati also, must the word Jaya be uttered.

Janamejaya said, "O thou foremost of regenerate ones, deceitfully defeated at dice by the sons of Dhritarashtra and their counsellors, incensed by those wicked ones that thus brought about a fierce animosity, and addressed in language that was so cruel, what did the Kuru princes, my ancestors—the sons of Pritha—(then) do? How also did the sons of Pritha, equal unto Sakra in prowess, deprived of affluence and suddenly overwhelmed with misery, pass their days in the forest? Who followed the steps of those princes plunged in excess of affliction? And how did those high souled ones bear themselves and derive their sustenance, and where did they put up? And, O illustrious ascetic and foremost of Brahmanas, how did those twelve years (of exile) of those warriors who were slayers of foes, pass away in the forest? And undeserving of pain, how did that princess, the best of her sex, devoted to her husbands, eminently virtuous, and always speaking the truth, endure that painful exile in the forest? O thou of ascetic wealth tell me all this in detail, for, O Brahmana, I desire to hear thee narrate the history of those heroes possessed of abundant prowess and lustre. Truly my curiosity is great."

Vaisampayana said, "Thus defeated at dice and incensed by the wicked sons of Dhritarashtra and their counsellors, the sons of Pritha set out from Hastinapura. And issuing through Vardhamana gate of the city, the Pandavas bearing their weapons and accompanied by Draupadi set out in a northerly direction. Indrasena and others, with servants numbering altogether fourteen, with their wives, followed them on swift cars. And the citizens learning of their departure became overwhelmed with sorrow, and began to censure Bhishma and Vidura and Drona and Gautama. And having met together they thus addressed one another fearlessly.

"'Alas, our families, we ourselves, and our homes are all gone, when the wicked Duryodhana, backed by the son of Suvala, by Karna and Dussasana, aspireth to this kingdom. And, Oh, our families, our (ancestral) usages, our virtue and prosperity, are all doomed where this sinful wretch supported by wretches as sinful aspireth to the kingdom! And, Oh, how can happiness be there where these are not! Duryodhana beareth malice towards all superiors, hath taken leave of good conduct, and quarreleth with those that are near to him in blood. Covetous and vain and mean, he is cruel by nature. The whole earth is doomed when Duryodhana becometh its ruler. Thither, therefore, let us proceed whither the merciful and high-minded sons of Pandu with passions under control and victorious over foes, and possessed of modesty and renown, and devoted to pious practices, repair!'"

Vaisampayana said, "And saying this, the citizens went after the Pandavas, and having met them, they all, with joined hands, thus addressed the sons of Kunti and Madri.

"'Blest be ye! Where will ye go, leaving us in grief? We will follow you whithersoever ye will go! Surely have we been distressed upon learning that ye have been deceitfully vanquished by relentless enemies! It behoveth you not to forsake us that are your loving subjects and devoted friends always seeking your welfare and employed in doing what is agreeable to you! We desire not to be overwhelmed in certain destruction living in the dominions of the Kuru king. Ye bulls among men, listen as we indicate the merits and demerits springing respectively from association with what is good and bad! As cloth, water, the ground, and sesame seeds are perfumed by association with flowers, even so are qualities ever the product of association. Verily association with fools produceth an illusion that entangleth the mind, as daily communion with the good and the wise leadeth to the practice of virtue. Therefore, they that desire emancipation should associate with those that are wise and old and honest and pure in conduct and possessed of ascetic merit. They should be waited upon whose triple possessions, viz., knowledge (of the Vedas), origin and acts, are all pure, and association with them is even superior to (the study of the) scriptures. Devoid of the religious acts as we are, we shall yet reap religious merit by association with the righteous, as we should come by sin by waiting upon the sinful. The very sight and touch of the dishonest, and converse and association with them, cause diminution of virtue, and men (that are doomed to these), never attain purity of mind. Association with the base impaireth the understanding, as, indeed, with the indifferent maketh it indifferent, while communion with the good ever exalteth it. All those attributes which are spoken of in the world as the sources of religious merit, of worldly prosperity and sensual pleasures, which are regarded by the people, extolled in the Vedas, and approved by the well-behaved, exist in you, separately and jointly! Therefore, desirous of our own welfare, we wish to live amongst you who possess those attributes!'

"Yudhishthira said, 'Blessed are we since the people with the Brahmanas at their head, moved by affection and compassion credit us with merits we have not. I, however, with my brothers, would ask all of you to do one thing. Ye should not, through affection and pity for us, act otherwise! Our grandfather Bhishma, the king (Dhritarashtra), Vidura, my mother and most of my well-wishers, are all in the city of Hastinapura. Therefore, if ye are minded to seek our welfare, cherish ye them with care, uniting together as they are overwhelmed with sorrow and afflictions. Grieved at our departure, ye have come far! Go ye back, and let your hearts be directed with tenderness towards the relatives I entrust to you as pledges! This, of all others, is the one act upon which my heart is set, and by doing this ye would give me great satisfaction and pay me your best regards!'"

Vaisampayana continued, "Thus exhorted by Yudhishthira the just, the people in a body set up a loud wail exclaiming,—Alas, O king! And afflicted and overwhelmed with sorrow on remembering the virtues of Pritha's son, they unwillingly retraced their steps asking leave of the Pandavas.

"The citizens having ceased to follow, the Pandavas ascended their cars, and setting out reached (the site of) the mighty banian tree called Pramana on the banks of the Ganges. And reaching the site of the banian tree about the close of the day, the heroic sons of Pandu purified themselves by touching the sacred water, and passed the night there. And afflicted with woe they spent that night taking water alone as their sole sustenance. Certain Brahmanas belonging to both classes, viz., those that maintained the sacrificial fire and those that maintained it not, who had, with their disciples and relatives, out of affection followed the Pandavas thither also passed the night with them. And surrounded by those utterers of Brahma, the king shone resplendent in their midst. And that evening, at once beautiful and terrible, those Brahmanas having lighted their (sacred) fires, began to chant the Vedas and hold mutual converse. And those foremost of Brahmanas, with swan-sweet voices spent the night, comforting that best of Kurus—the king."


Vaisampayana said, "When that night passed away and day broke in, those Brahmanas who supported themselves by mendicancy, stood before the Pandavas of exalted deeds, who were about to enter the forest. Then king Yudhishthira, the son of Kunti, addressed them, saying, 'Robbed of our prosperity and kingdom, robbed of everything, we are about to enter the deep woods in sorrow, depending for our food on fruits and roots, and the produce of the chase. The forest too is full of dangers, and abounds with reptiles and beasts of prey. It appeareth to me that ye will certainly have to suffer much privation and misery there. The sufferings of the Brahmanas might overpower even the gods. That they would overwhelm me is too certain. Therefore, O Brahmana, go ye back whithersoever ye list!'

"The Brahmanas replied, 'O king, our path is even that on which ye are for setting out! It behoveth thee not, therefore, to forsake us who are thy devoted admirers practising the true religion! The very gods have compassion upon their worshippers,—specially upon Brahmanas of regulated lives!'

"Yudhishthira said, 'Ye regenerate ones, I too am devoted to the Brahmanas! But this destitution that hath overtaken me overwhelmed me with confusion! These my brothers that are to procure fruits and roots and the deer (of the forest) are stupefied with grief arising from their afflictions and on account of the distress of Draupadi and the loss of our kingdom! Alas, as they are distressed, I cannot employ them in painful tasks!'

"The Brahmanas said, 'Let no anxiety, O king, in respect of our maintenance, find a place in thy heart! Ourselves providing our own food, we shall follow thee, and by meditation and saying our prayers we shall compass thy welfare while by pleasant converse we shall entertain thee and be cheered ourselves.'

"Yudhishthira said, 'Without doubt, it must be as ye say, for I am ever pleased with the company of the regenerate ones! But my fallen condition maketh me behold in myself an object of reproach! How shall I behold you all, that do not deserve to bear trouble, out of love for me painfully subsisting upon food procured by your own toil? Oh, fie upon the wicked sons of Dhritarashtra!'"

Vaisampayana continued, "Saying this, the weeping king sat himself down upon the ground. Then a learned Brahmana, Saunaka by name versed in self-knowledge and skilled in the Sankhya system of yoga, addressed the king, saying, 'Causes of grief by thousands, and causes of fear by hundreds, day after day, overwhelm the ignorant but not the wise. Surely, sensible men like thee never suffer themselves to be deluded by acts that are opposed to true knowledge, fraught with every kind of evil, and destructive of salvation. O king, in thee dwelleth that understanding furnished with the eight attributes which is said to be capable of providing against all evils and which resulteth from a study of the Sruti (Vedas) and scriptures! And men like unto thee are never stupefied, on the accession of poverty or an affliction overtaking their friends, through bodily or mental uneasiness! Listen, I shall tell the slokas which were chanted of old by the illustrious Janaka touching the subject of controlling the self! This world is afflicted with both bodily and mental suffering. Listen now to the means of allaying it as I indicate them both briefly and in detail. Disease, contact with painful things, toil and want of objects desired.—these are the four causes that induce bodily suffering. And as regards disease, it may be allayed by the application of medicine, while mental ailments are cured by seeking to forget them by yoga-meditation. For this reason, sensible physicians first seek to allay the mental sufferings of their patients by agreeable converse and the offer of desirable objects. And as a hot iron bar thrust into a jar maketh the water therein hot, even so doth mental grief bring on bodily agony. And as water quencheth fire, so doth true knowledge allay mental disquietude. And the mind attaining ease, the body findeth ease also. It seemeth that affection is the root of all mental sorrow. It is affection that maketh every creature miserable and bringeth on every kind of woe. Verily affection is the root of all misery and of all fear, of joy and grief of every kind of pain. From affection spring all purposes, and it is from affection that spring the love of worldly goods! Both of these (latter) are sources of evil, though the first (our purposes) is worse than the second. And as (a small portion of) fire thrust into the hollow of a tree consumeth the tree itself to its roots, even so affection, ever so little, destroyeth both virtue and profit. He cannot be regarded to have renounced the world who hath merely withdrawn from worldly possessions. He, however, who though in actual contact with the world regardeth its faults, may be said to have truly renounced the world. Freed from every evil passion, soul dependent on nothing with such a one hath truly renounced the world. Therefore, should no one seek to place his affections on either friends or the wealth he hath earned. And so should affection for one's own person be extinguished by knowledge. Like the lotus-leaf that is never drenched by water, the souls of men capable of distinguishing between the ephemeral and the everlasting, of men devoted to the pursuit of the eternal, conversant with the scriptures and purified by knowledge, can never be moved by affection. The man that is influenced by affection is tortured by desire; and from the desire that springeth up in his heart his thirst for worldly possessions increaseth. Verily, this thirst is sinful and is regarded as the source of all anxieties. It is this terrible thirst, fraught with sin that leaneth unto unrighteous acts. Those find happiness that can renounce this thirst, which can never be renounced by the wicked, which decayeth not with the decay of the body, and which is truly a fatal disease! It hath neither beginning nor end. Dwelling within the heart, it destroyeth creatures, like a fire of incorporeal origin. And as a faggot of wood is consumed by the fire that is fed by itself, even so doth a person of impure soul find destruction from the covetousness born of his heart. And as creatures endued with life have ever a dread of death, so men of wealth are in constant apprehension of the king and the thief, of water and fire and even of their relatives. And as a morsel of meat, if in air, may be devoured by birds; if on ground by beasts of prey; and if in water by the fishes; even so is the man of wealth exposed to dangers wherever he may be. To many the wealth they own is their bane, and he that beholding happiness in wealth becometh wedded to it, and knoweth not true happiness. And hence accession of wealth is viewed as that which increaseth covetousness and folly. Wealth alone is the root of niggardliness and boastfulness, pride and fear and anxiety! These are the miseries of men that the wise see in riches! Men undergo infinite miseries in the acquisition and retention of wealth. Its expenditure also is fraught with grief. Nay, sometimes, life itself is lost for the sake of wealth! The abandonment of wealth produces misery, and even they that are cherished by one's wealth become enemies for the sake of that wealth! When, therefore, the possession of wealth is fraught with such misery, one should not mind its loss. It is the ignorant alone who are discontented. The wise, however, are always content. The thirst of wealth can never be assuaged. Contentment is the highest happiness; therefore, it is, that the wise regard contentment as the highest object of pursuit. The wise knowing the instability of youth and beauty, of life and treasure-hoards, of prosperity and the company of the loved ones, never covet them. Therefore, one should refrain from the acquisition of wealth, bearing the pain incident to it. None that is rich is free from trouble, and it is for this that the virtuous applaud them that are free from the desire of wealth. And as regards those that pursue wealth for purposes of virtue, it is better for them to refrain altogether from such pursuit, for, surely, it is better not to touch mire at all than to wash it off after having been besmeared with it. And, O Yudhishthira, it behoveth thee not to covet anything! And if thou wouldst have virtue, emancipate thyself from desire of worldly possessions!'

"Yudhishthira said, 'O Brahmana, this my desire of wealth is not for enjoying it when obtained. It is only for the support of the Brahmanas that I desire it and not because I am actuated by avarice! For what purpose, O Brahmana, doth one like us lead a domestic life, if he cannot cherish and support those that follow him? All creatures are seen to divide the food (they procure) amongst those that depend on them.[1] So should a person leading a domestic life give a share of his food to Yatis and Brahmacharins that have renounced cooking for themselves. The houses of the good men can never be in want of grass (for seat), space (for rest), water (to wash and assuage thirst), and fourthly, sweet words. To the weary a bed,—to one fatigued with standing, a seat,—to the thirsty, water,—and to the hungry, food should ever be given. To a guest are due pleasant looks and a cheerful heart and sweet words. The host, rising up, should advance towards the guest, offer him a seat, and duly worship him. Even this is eternal morality. They that perform not the Agnihotra,[2] do not wait upon bulls, nor cherish their kinsmen and guests and friends and sons and wives and servants, are consumed with sin for such neglect. None should cook his food for himself alone and none should slay an animal without dedicating it to the gods, the pitris, and guests. Nor should one eat of that food which hath not been duly dedicated to the gods and pitris. By scattering food on the earth, morning and evening, for (the behoof of) dogs and Chandalas and birds, should a person perform the Viswedeva sacrifice.[3] He that eateth the Vighasa, is regarded as eating ambrosia. What remaineth in a sacrifice after dedication to the gods and the pitris is regarded as ambrosia; and what remaineth after feeding the guest is called Vighasa and is equivalent to ambrosia itself. Feeding a guest is equivalent to a sacrifice, and the pleasant looks the host casteth upon the guest, the attention he devoteth to him, the sweet words in which he addresseth him, the respect he payeth by following him, and the food and drink with which he treateth him, are the five Dakshinas[4] in that sacrifice. He who giveth without stint food to a fatigued wayfarer never seen before, obtaineth merit that is great, and he who leading a domestic life, followeth such practices, acquireth religious merit that is said to be very great. O Brahmana, what is thy opinion on this?'

[1] This seems to be the obvious. There is a different reading however. For Drie-cyate—seen, some texts have Sasyate—applauded. Nilakantha imagines that the meaning is "As distribution (of food) amongst the various classes of beings like the gods, the Pitris, &c., is applauded &c., &c."

[2] A form of sacrifice which consists in pouring oblations of clarified butter with prayers into a blazing fire. It is obligatory on Brahmanas and Kshatriyas, except those that accept certain vows of great austerity.

[3] The Viswedeva sacrifice is the offer of food to all creatures of the earth (by scattering a portion).

[4] A gift. It may be of various kinds. The fees paid to Brahmanas assisting at sacrifices and religious rites, such as offering oblations to the dead, are Dakshinas, as also gifts to Brahmanas on other occasions particularly when they are fed, it being to this day the custom never to feed a Brahmana without paying him a pecuniary fee. There can be no sacrifice, no religious rite, without Dakshina.

"Saunaka said, 'Alas, this world is full of contradictions! That which shameth the good, gratifieth the wicked! Alas, moved by ignorance and passion and slaves of their own senses, even fools perform many acts of (apparent merit) to gratify in after-life their appetites! With eyes open are these men led astray by their seducing senses, even as a charioteer, who hath lost his senses, by restive and wicked steeds! When any of the six senses findeth its particular object, the desire springeth up in the heart to enjoy that particular object. And thus when one's heart proceedeth to enjoy the objects of any particular sense a wish is entertained which in its turn giveth birth to a resolve. And finally, like unto an insect falling into a flame from love of light, the man falleth into the fire of temptation, pierced by the shafts of the object of enjoyment discharged by the desire constituting the seed of the resolve! And thenceforth blinded by sensual pleasure which he seeketh without stint, and steeped in dark ignorance and folly which he mistaketh for a state of happiness, he knoweth not himself! And like unto a wheel that is incessantly rolling, every creature, from ignorance and deed and desire, falleth into various states in this world, wandering from one birth to another, and rangeth the entire circle of existences from a Brahma to the point of a blade of grass, now in water, now on land, and now against in the air!

"'This then is the career of those that are without knowledge. Listen now to the course of the wise they that are intent on profitable virtue, and are desirous of emancipation! The Vedas enjoin act but renounce (interest in) action. Therefore, shouldst thou act, renouncing Abhimana,[5] performance of sacrifices, study (of the Vedas), gifts, penance, truth (in both speech and act), forgiveness, subduing the senses, and renunciation of desire,—these have been declared to be the eight (cardinal) duties constituting the true path. Of these, the four first pave the way to the world of the pitris. And these should be practised without Abhimana. The four last are always observed by the pious, to attain the heaven of the gods. And the pure in spirit should ever follow these eight paths. Those who wish to subdue the world for purpose of salvation, should ever act fully renouncing motives, effectually subduing their senses, rigidly observing particular vows, devotedly serving their preceptors, austerely regulating their fare, diligently studying the Vedas, renouncing action as mean and restraining their hearts. By renouncing desire and aversion the gods have attained prosperity. It is by virtue of their wealth of yoga[6] that the Rudras, and the Sadhyas, and the Adityas and the Vasus, and the twin Aswins, rule the creatures. Therefore, O son of Kunti, like unto them, do thou, O Bharata, entirely refraining from action with motive, strive to attain success in yoga and by ascetic austerities. Thou hast already achieved such success so far as thy debts to thy ancestors, both male and female concerned, and that success also which is derived from action (sacrifices). Do thou, for serving the regenerate ones endeavour to attain success in penances. Those that are crowned with ascetic success, can, by virtue of that success, do whatever they list; do thou, therefore, practising asceticism realise all thy wishes.'"

[5] Reference to self, i.e. without the motive of bettering one's own self, or without any motive at all. (This contains the germ of the doctrine preached more elaborately in the Bhagavad gita.)

[6] This Yoga consists, in their case, of a combination of attributes by negation of the contrary ones, i.e. by renunciation of motives in all they do.


Vaisampayana said, "Yudhishthira the son of Kunti, thus addressed by Saunaka, approached his priest and in the midst of his brothers said, 'The Brahmanas versed in the Vedas are following me who am departing for the forest. Afflicted with many calamities I am unable to support them. I cannot abandon them, nor have I the power to offer them sustenance: Tell me, O holy one, what should be done by me in such a pass.'"

Vaisampayana said, "After reflecting for a moment seeking to find out the (proper) course by his yoga powers, Dhaumya, that foremost of all virtuous men, addressed Yudhishthira, in these words, 'In days of old, all living beings that had been created were sorely afflicted with hunger. And like a father (unto all of them), Savita (the sun) took compassion upon them. And going first into the northern declension, the sun drew up water by his rays, and coming back to the southern declension, stayed over the earth, with his heat centered in himself. And while the sun so stayed over the earth, the lord of the vegetable world (the moon), converting the effects of the solar heat (vapours) into clouds and pouring them down in the shape of water, caused plants to spring up. Thus it is the sun himself, who, drenched by the lunar influence, is transformed, upon the sprouting of seeds, into holy vegetable furnished with the six tastes. And it is these which constitute the food of all creatures upon the earth. Thus the food that supporteth the lives of creatures is instinct with solar energy, and the sun is, therefore, the father of all creatures. Do thou, hence, O Yudhishthira, take refuge even in him. All illustrious monarchs of pure descent and deeds are known to have delivered their people by practising high asceticism. The great Karttavirya, and Vainya and Nahusha, had all, by virtue of ascetic meditation preceded by vows, delivered their people from heavy afflictions. Therefore, O virtuous one, as thou art purified by the acts do thou likewise, entering upon a file of austerities. O Bharata, virtuously support the regenerate ones.'"

Janamejaya said, "How did that bull among the Kurus, king Yudhishthira, for the sake of the Brahmanas adore the sun of wonderful appearance?"

Vaisampayana said, "Listen attentively, O king, purifying thyself and withdrawing thy mind from every other thing. And, O king of kings, appoint thou a time. I will tell thee everything in detail, And, O illustrious one, listen to the one hundred and eight names (of the sun) as they were disclosed of old by Dhaumya to the high-souled son of Pritha. Dhaumya said, 'Surya, Aryaman, Bhaga, Twastri, Pusha, Arka, Savitri, Ravi, Gabhastimat, Aja, Kala, Mrityu, Dhatri, Prabhakara, Prithibi, Apa, Teja, Kha, Vayu, the sole stay, Soma, Vrihaspati, Sukra, Budha, Angaraka, Indra, Vivaswat, Diptanshu, Suchi, Sauri, Sanaichara, Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra, Skanda, Vaisravana, Yama, Vaidyutagni, Jatharagni, Aindhna, Tejasampati, Dharmadhwaja, Veda-karttri, Vedanga, Vedavahana, Krita, Treta, Dwapara, Kali, full of every impurity, Kala, Kastha, Muhurtta, Kshapa, Yama, and Kshana; Samvatsara-kara, Aswattha, Kalachakra, Bibhavasu, Purusha, Saswata, Yogin, Vyaktavyakta, Sanatana, Kaladhyaksha, Prajadhyaksha, Viswakarma, Tamounda, Varuna, Sagara, Ansu, Jimuta, Jivana, Arihan, Bhutasraya, Bhutapati, Srastri, Samvartaka, Vanhi, Sarvadi, Alolupa, Ananta, Kapila, Bhanu, Kamada, Sarvatomukha, Jaya, Visata, Varada, Manas, Suparna, Bhutadi, Sighraga, Prandharana, Dhanwantari, Dhumaketu, Adideva, Aditisuta, Dwadasatman, Aravindaksha, Pitri, Matri, Pitamaha, Swarga-dwara, Prajadwara, Mokshadwara, Tripistapa, Dehakarti, Prasantatman, Viswatman, Viswatomukha, Characharatman, Sukhsmatman, the merciful Maitreya. These are the hundred and eight names of Surya of immeasurable energy, as told by the self-create (Brahma). For the acquisition of prosperity, I bow down to thee, O Bhaskara, blazing like unto gold or fire, who is worshipped of the gods and the Pitris and the Yakshas, and who is adored by Asuras, Nisacharas, and Siddhas. He that with fixed attention reciteth this hymn at sunrise, obtaineth wife and offspring and riches and the memory of his former existence, and by reciting this hymn a person attaineth patience and memory. Let a man concentrating his mind, recite this hymn. By doing so, he shall be proof against grief and forest-fire and ocean and every object of desire shall be his.'"

Vaisampayana continued, "Having heard from Dhaumya these words suitable to the occasion, Yudhishthira the just, with heart concentrated within itself and purifying it duly, became engaged in austere meditation, moved by the desire of supporting the Brahmanas. And worshipping the maker of day with offerings of flowers and other articles, the king performed his ablutions. And standing in the stream, he turned his face towards the god of day. And touching the water of the Ganges the virtuous Yudhishthira with senses under complete control and depending upon air alone for his sustenance, stood there with rapt soul engaged in pranayama.[7] And having purified himself and restrained his speech, he began to sing the hymn of praise (to the sun).

"Yudhishthira said, 'Thou art, O sun, the eye of the universe. Thou art the soul of all corporeal existences. Thou art the origin of all things. Thou art the embodiment of the acts of all religious men. Thou art the refuge of those versed in the Sankhya philosophy (the mysteries of the soul), and thou art the support of the Yogins. Thou art a door unfastened with bolts. Thou art the refuge of those wishing for emancipation. Thou sustainest and discoverest the world, and sanctifiest and supportest it from pure compassion. Brahmanas versed in the Vedas appearing before thee, adore thee in due time, reciting the hymns from the respective branches (of the Vedas) they refer. Thou art the adored of the Rishis. The Siddhas, and the Charanas and the Gandharvas and the Yakshas, and the Guhyakas, and the Nagas, desirous of obtaining boons follow thy car coursing through the skies. The thirty-three gods[8] with Upendra (Vishnu) and Mahendra, and the order of Vaimanikas[9] have attained success by worshipping thee. By offering thee garlands of the celestial Mandaras[10] the best of the Vidyadharas have obtained all their desires. The Guhyas and the seven orders of the Pitris—both divine and human—have attained superiority by adoring thee alone. The Vasus, the Manilas, and the Rudras, the Sadhyas, the Marichipas, the Valikhilyas, and the Siddhas, have attained pre-eminence by bowing down unto thee. There is nothing that I know in the entire seven worlds, including that of Brahma which is beyond thee. There are other beings both great and endued with energy; but none of them hath thy lustre and energy. All light is in thee, indeed, thou art the lord of all light. In thee are the (five) elements and all intelligence, and knowledge and asceticism and the ascetic properties.[11] The discus by which the wielder of the Saranga[12] humbleth the pride of Asuras and which is furnished with a beautiful nave, was forged by Viswakarman with thy energy. In summer thou drawest, by thy rays, moisture from all corporeal existences and plants and liquid substances, and pourest it down in the rainy season. Thy rays warm and scorch, and becoming as clouds roar and flash with lightning and pour down showers when the season cometh. Neither fire nor shelter, nor woolen cloths give greater comfort to one suffering from chilling blasts than thy rays. Thou illuminest by thy rays the whole Earth with her thirteen islands. Thou alone are engaged in the welfare of the three worlds. If thou dost not rise, the universe becometh blind and the learned cannot employ themselves in the attainment of virtue, wealth and profit. It is through thy grace that the (three) orders of Brahmanas, Kshatriyas and Vaisyas are able to perform their various duties and sacrifices.[13] Those versed in chronology say that thou art the beginning and thou the end of a day of Brahma, which consisteth of a full thousand Yugas. Thou art the lord of Manus and of the sons of the Manus, of the universe and of man, of the Manwantaras, and their lords. When the time of universal dissolution cometh, the fire Samvartaka born of thy wrath consumeth the three worlds and existeth alone. And clouds of various hues begotten of thy rays, accompanied by the elephant Airavata and the thunderbolt, bring about the appointed deluges. And dividing thyself into twelve parts and becoming as many suns, thou drinkest up the ocean once more with thy rays. Thou art called Indra, thou art Vishnu, thou art Brahma, thou art Prajapati. Thou art fire and thou art the subtle mind. And thou art lord and the eternal Brahma. Thou art Hansa, thou art Savitri, thou art Bhanu, Ansumalin, and Vrishakapi. Thou art Vivaswan, Mihira, Pusha, Mitra, and Dharma. Thou art thousand-rayed, thou art Aditya, and Tapana, and the lord of rays. Thou art Martanda, and Arka, and Ravi, and Surya and Saranya and maker of day, and Divakara and Suptasaspti, and Dhumakeshin and Virochana. Thou art spoken of as swift of speed and the destroyer of darkness, and the possessor of yellow steeds. He that reverentially adoreth thee on the sixth or the seventh lunar day with humility and tranquillity of mind, obtaineth the grace of Lakshmi. They that with undivided attention adore and worship thee, are delivered from all dangers, agonies, and afflictions. And they that hold that thou art everywhere (being the soul of all things) living long, freed from sin and enjoying an immunity from all diseases. O lord of all food, it behoveth thee to grant food in abundance unto me who am desirous of food even for entertaining all my guests with reverence. I bow also to all those followers of thine that have taken refuge at thy feet—Mathara and Aruna and Danda and others, including Asani and Kshuva and the others. And I bow also to the celestial mothers of all creatures, viz., Kshuva and Maitri and the others of the class. O, let them deliver me their supplient.'"

[7] A form of Yoga that is said to consist in the mingling of some of the air supposed to exist in every animal body. These airs are five: Prana, Apana, Samana, Udana, and Vyana.

[8] The 8 Vasus, the 11 Rudras, the 12 Adityas, Prajapati, and Vashatkara.

[9] An order of celestials.

[10] Celestial flowers of much fragrance.

[11] The ascetic properties are Anima, Laghima, etc.

[12] The bow of Vishnu, as that of Siva is called Pinaka.

[13] The words of the text are Adhana, Pashubandha, Ishti Mantra, Yajana and Tapa-kriya.

Vaisampayana said, "Thus, O great king, was the sun that purifier of the world, adored (by Yudhishthira). And pleased with the hymn, the maker of day, self-luminous, and blazing like fire showed himself to the son of Pandu. And Vivaswan said, 'Thou shall obtain all that thou desirest. I shall provide thee with food for five and seven years together. And, O king, accept this copper-vessel which I give unto thee. And, O thou of excellent vows, as long as Panchali will hold this vessel, without partaking of its contents fruits and roots and meat and vegetables cooked in thy kitchen, these four kinds of food shall from this day be inexhaustible. And, on the fourteenth year from this, thou shall regain thy kingdom.'"

Vaisampayana continued, "Having said this, the god vanished away. He that, with the desire of obtaining a boon, reciteth this hymn concentrating his mind with ascetic abstraction, obtaineth it from the sun, however difficult of acquisition it may be that he asketh for. And the person, male or female, that reciteth or heareth this hymn day after day, if he or she desireth for a son, obtaineth one, and if riches, obtaineth them, and if learning acquireth that too. And the person male or female, that reciteth this hymn every day in the two twilights, if overtaken by danger, is delivered from it, and if bound, is freed from the bonds. Brahma himself had communicated this hymn to the illustrious Sakra, and from Sakra was it obtained by Narada and from Narada, by Dhaumya. And Yudhishthira, obtaining it from Dhaumya, attained all his wishes. And it is by virtue of this hymn that one may always obtain victory in war, and acquire immense wealth also. And it leadeth the reciter from all sins, to the solar region."

Vaisampayana continued, "Having obtained the boon, the virtuous son of Kunti, rising from the water, took hold of Dhaumya's feet and then embraced his brother's. And, O exalted one, wending then with Draupadi to the kitchen, and adored by her duly, the son of Pandu set himself to cook (their day's) food. And the clean food, however little, that was dressed, furnished with the four tastes, increased and became inexhaustible. And with it Yudhishthira began to feed the regenerate ones. And after the Brahmanas had been fed, and his younger brothers also, Yudhishthira himself ate of the food that remained, and which is called Vighasa. And after Yudhishthira had eaten, the daughter of Prishata took what remained. And after she had taken her meal, the day's food became exhausted.

"And having thus obtained the boon from the maker of day, the son of Pandu, himself as resplendent as that celestial, began to entertain the Brahmanas agreeably to their wishes. And obedient to their priest, the sons of Pritha, on auspicious lunar days and constellations and conjunctions, performed sacrifices according to the ordinance, the scriptures, and the Mantras. After the sacrifices, the sons of Pandu, blessed by the auspicious rites performed by Dhaumya and accompanied by him, and surrounded also by the Brahmanas set out for the woods of Kamyaka."


Vaisampayana said,—"After the Pandavas had gone to the forest, Dhritarashtra the son of Amvika, whose knowledge was his eye,[14] became exceedingly sorrowful. And seated at his ease the king addressed these words to the virtuous Vidura of profound intelligence, 'Thy understanding is as clear as that of Bhargava.[15] Thou knowest also all the subtleties of morality, and thou lookest on all the Kauravas with an equal eye. O, tell me what is proper for me and them. O Vidura, things having thus taken their course, what should we do now? How may I secure the goodwill of the citizens so that they may not destroy us to the roots? O, tell us all, since thou art conversant with every excellent expedient.'

[14] Dhritarashtra being blind is described as Pragnachakshu, i.e. having knowledge for his eye. It may also mean. "Of the prophetic eye."

[15] The great preceptor of the Asuras, viz., Sukra, possessing the highest intelligence as evidenced by his various works on all manner of subjects particularly, the Sukra-niti.

"Vidura said, 'The three-fold purposes, O king (viz., profit, pleasure, and salvation), have their foundations in virtue, and the sages say that a kingdom also standeth on virtue as its basis. Therefore, O monarch, according to the best of thy power, cherish thou virtuously thy own sons and those of Pandu. That virtue had been beguiled by wicked souls with Suvala's son at their head, when thy sons invited the righteous Yudhishthira and defeated him in the match at dice. O king, of this deed of utter iniquity I behold this expiation whereby, O chief of the Kurus, thy son, freed from sin, may win back his position among good men. Let the sons of Pandu, obtain that which was given unto them by thee. For, verily, even this is the highest morality that a king should remain content with his own, and never covet another's possessions. Thy good name then would not suffer nor would family dissensions ensue, nor unrighteousness be thine. This then is thy prime duty now,—to gratify the Pandavas and disgrace Sakuni. If thou wishest to restore to thy sons the good fortune they have lost, then, O king, do thou speedily adopt this line of conduct. If thou dost not act so, the Kurus will surely meet with destruction, for neither Bhimasena nor Arjuna, if angry, will leave any of their foes unslain. What is there in the world which is unattainable to those who cannot among their warriors Savyasachin skilled in arms; who have the Gandiva, the most powerful of all weapons in the world, for their bow; and who have amongst them the mighty Bhima also as a warrior? Formerly, as soon as thy son was born, I told thee,—Forsake thou this inauspicious child of thine. Herein lieth the good of thy race.—But thou didst not then act accordingly. Nor also, O king, have I pointed out to thee the way of thy welfare. If thou doest as I have counselled, thou shalt not have to repent afterwards. If thy son consent to reign in peace jointly with the sons of Pandu, passing thy days in joy thou shalt not have to repent. Should it be otherwise, abandon thou thy child for thy own happiness. Putting Duryodhana aside, do thou install the son of Pandu in the sovereignty, and let, O king, Ajatasatru, free from passion, rule the earth virtuously. All the kings of the earth, then, like Vaisyas, will, without delay, pay homage unto us. And, O king, let Duryodhana and Sakuni and Karna with alacrity wait upon the Pandavas. And let Dussasana, in open court, ask forgiveness of Bhimasena and of the daughter of Drupada also. And do thou pacify Yudhishthira by placing him on the throne with every mark of respect. Asked by thee, what else can I counsel thee to do? By doing this, O monarch, thou wouldst do what was proper.'

"Dhritarashtra said, 'These words, O Vidura, then thou hast spoken in this assembly, with reference to the Pandavas and myself, are for their good but not for ours. My mind doth not approve them. How hast thou settled all this in thy mind now? When thou hast spoken all this on behalf of the Pandavas, I perceive that thou art not friendly to me. How can I abandon my son for the sake of the sons of Pandu? Doubtless they are my sons, but Duryodhana is sprung from my body. Who then, speaking with impartiality, will ever counsel me to renounce my own body for the sake of others? O Vidura, all that thou sayest is crooked, although I hold thee in high esteem. Stay or go as thou likest. However much may she be humoured, an unchaste will forsaketh her husband.'"

Vaisampayana said, "O king, saying this Dhritarashtra rose suddenly and went into the inner apartments. And Vidura, saying 'This race is doomed' went away to where the sons of Pritha were."


Vaisampayana said, "Desirous of living in the forest, those bulls of the Bharata race, the Pandavas, with their followers, setting out from the banks of the Ganges went to the field of Kurukshetra. And performing their ablutions in the Saraswati, the Drisadwati and the Yamuna, they went from one forest to another, travelling in an westernly direction. And at length they saw before them the woods, Kamyaka, the favourite haunt of Munis, situated by a level and wild plain on the banks of the Saraswati. And in those woods, O Bharata, abounding in birds and deer, those heroes began to dwell, entertained and comforted by the Munis. And Vidura always longing to see the Pandavas, went in a single car to the Kamyaka woods abounding in every good thing. And arriving at Kamyaka on a car drawn by swift steeds, he saw Yudhishthira the just, sitting with Draupadi at a retired spot, surrounded by his brothers and the Brahmanas. And seeing Vidura approach from a distance with swift steps, the virtuous king addressed brother Bhimasena, saying, 'With what message doth Kshatta come to us? Doth he come hither, despatched by Sakuni, to invite us again to a game of dice? Doth the little-minded Sakuni intend to win again our weapons at dice? O Bhimasena, challenged by any one addressing me,—Come, I am unable to stay. And if our possession of the Gandiva becomes doubtful, will not the acquisition of our kingdom also be so.'"

Vaisampayana said, "O king, the Pandavas then rose up and welcomed Vidura. And received by them, that descendant of the Ajamida line (Vidura) sat in their midst and made the usual enquiries. And after Vidura had rested awhile, those bulls among men asked him the reason of his coming. And Vidura began to relate unto them in detail everything connected with the bearing of Dhritarashtra the son of Amvika.

"Vidura said, 'O Ajatasatru, Dhritarashtra called me, his dependant, before him and honouring me duly said, "Things have fared thus. Now, do thou tell me what is good for the Pandavas as well as for me." I pointed out what was beneficial to both the Kauravas and Dhritarashtra. But what I said was not relished by him, nor could I hit upon any other course. What I advised was, O Pandavas, highly beneficial, but the son of Amvika heeded me not. Even as medicine recommendeth itself not to one that is ill, so my words failed to please the king. And, O thou without a foe, as all unchaste wile in the family of a man of pure descent cannot be brought back to the path of virtue, so I failed to bring Dhritarashtra back. Indeed, as a young damsel doth not like a husband of three score, even so Dhritarashtra did not like my words. Surely, destruction will overtake the Kuru race, surely Dhritarashtra will never acquire good fortune. For, as water dropped on a lotus-leaf doth not remain there, my counsels will fail to produce any effect to Dhritarashtra. The incensed Dhritarashira told me, O Bharata, go thou thither where thou likest. Never more shall I seek thy aid in ruling the earth or my capital,—O best of monarchs, forsaken by king Dhritarashtra, I come to thee for tendering good counsel. What I had said in the open court, I will now repeat unto thee. Listen, and bear my words in mind,—that wise man who bearing all the gross wrong heaped upon him by his enemies, patiently bideth his time, and multiplieth his resources even as men by degrees turn a small fire into a large one, ruleth alone this entire earth. He that (in prosperity) enjoyeth his substance with his adherents findeth in them sharers of his adversity,—this is the best means of securing adherents, and it is said that he that hath adherents, winneth the sovereignty of the world! And, O Pandava, divided thy prosperity with thy adherents, behave truthfully towards them, and converse with them agreeably! Share also your food with them! And never boast thyself in their presence! This behaviour increaseth the prosperity of kings!'

"Yudhishthira said, 'Having recourse to such high intelligence, undisturbed by passion, I will do as thou counsellest! And whatever else thou mayst counsel in respect of time and place, I will carefully follow entirely.'"


Vaisampayana said, "O king, after Vidura had gone to the abode of the Pandavas, Dhritarashtra, O Bharata, of profound wisdom, repented of his action. And thinking of the great intelligence of Vidura in matters connected with both war and peace, and also of the aggrandisement of the Pandavas in the future, Dhritarashtra, pained at the recollection of Vidura, having approached the door of the hall of state fell down senseless in the presence of the monarchs (in waiting). And regaining consciousness, the king rose from the ground and thus addressed Sanjaya standing by, 'My brother and friend is even like the god of justice himself! Recollecting him today, my heart burneth in grief! Go, bring unto me without delay my brother well-versed in morality!' Saying this, the monarch wept bitterly. And burning in repentance, and overwhelmed with sorrow at the recollection of Vidura, the king, from brotherly affection, again addressed Sanjaya saying, 'O Sanjaya, go thou and ascertain whether my brother, expelled by my wretched self through anger, liveth still! That wise brother of mine of immeasurable intelligence hath never been guilty of even the slightest transgression, but, on the other hand, he it is who hath come by grievous wrong at my hands! Seek him, O wise one, and bring him hither; else, O Sanjaya, I will lay down my life!'"

Vaisampayana continued, "Hearing these words of the king, Sanjaya expressed his approbation, and saying 'So be it,' went in the direction of the Kamyaka woods. And arriving without loss of time at the forest where the sons of Pandu dwelt, he beheld Yudhishthira clad in deer-skin, seated with Vidura, in the midst of Brahmanas by thousands and guarded by his brothers, even like Purandara in the midst of the celestials! And approaching Yudhishthira, Sanjaya worshipped him duly and was received with due respect by Bhima and Arjuna and the twins. And Yudhishthira made the usual enquiries about his welfare and when he had been seated at his ease, he disclosed the reason of his visit, in these words, 'King Dhritarashtra, the son of Amvika, hath, O Kshatta! remembered thee! Returning unto him without loss of time, do thou revive the king! And, O thou best of men, with the permission of these Kuru princes—these foremost of men—it behoveth thee, at the command of that lion among kings, to return unto him!'"

Vaisampayana continued, "Thus addressed by Sanjaya, the intelligent Vidura, ever attached to his relatives, with the permission of Yudhishthira returned to the city named after the elephant. And after he had approached the king, Dhritarashtra of great energy, the son of Amvika, addressed him, saying, 'From my good luck alone, O Vidura, thou, O sinless one, of conversant with morality, hast come here remembering me! And, O thou bull of the Bharata race, in thy absence I was beholding myself, sleepless through the day and the night, as one that hath been lost on earth!' And the king then took Vidura on his lap and smelt his head, and said, 'Forgive me, O sinless one, the words in which thou wert addressed by me!' And Vidura said, 'O king, I have forgiven thee. Thou art my superior, worthy of the highest reverence! Here am I, having come back, eagerly wishing to behold thee! All virtuous men, O tiger among men, are (instinctively) partial towards those that are distressed! This, O king, is scarcely the result of deliberation! (My partiality to the Pandavas proceedeth from this cause)! O Bharata, thy sons are as dear to me as the sons of Pandu, but as the latter are now in distress, my heart yearneth after them!'"

Vaisampayana continued, "And addressing each other thus in apologetic speeches, the two illustrious brothers, Vidura and Dhritarashtra, felt themselves greatly happy!"


Vaisampayana said, "Hearing that Vidura had returned, and that the king had consoled him, the evil-minded son of Dhritarashtra began to burn in grief. His understanding clouded by ignorance, he summoned the son of Suvala, and Karna and Dussasana, and addressed them saying, 'The learned Vidura, the minister of the wise Dhritarashtra, hath returned! The friend of the sons of Pandu, he is ever engaged in doing what is beneficial to them. So long as this Vidura doth not succeed in inducing the king to bring them back, do ye all think of what may benefit me! If ever I behold the sons of Pritha return to the city, I shall again be emaciated by renouncing food and drink, even though there be no obstacle in my path! And I shall either take poison or hang myself, either enter the pyre or kill myself with my own weapons. But I shall never be able to behold the sons of Pandu in prosperity!'

"Sakuni said, 'O king, O lord of the earth, what folly hath taken possession of thee! The Pandavas have gone to the forest, having given a particular pledge, so that what thou apprehendest can never take place! O bull of the Bharata race, the Pandavas ever abide by the truth. They will never, therefore, accept the words of thy father! If however, accepting the commands of the king, they come back to the capital, violating their vow, even this would be our conduct, viz., assuming, an aspect of neutrality, and in apparent obedience to the will of the monarch, we will closely watch the Pandavas, keeping our counsels!'

"Dussasana said, 'O uncle of great intelligence, it is even as thou sayest! The words of wisdom thou utterest always recommend themselves to me!' Karna said, 'O Duryodhana, all of us seek to accomplish thy will and, O king, I see that unanimity at present prevaileth among us! The sons of Pandu, with passions under complete control, will never return without passing away the promised period. If, however, they do return from failing sense, do thou defeat them again at dice.'"

Vaisampayana said, "Thus addressed by Karna, king Duryodhana with cheerless heart, averted his face from his counsellors. Marking all this, Karna expanding his beautiful eyes, and vehemently gesticulating in anger, haughtily addressed Duryodhana and Dussasana and Suvala's son saying, 'Ye princes, know ye my opinion! We are all servants of the king (Duryodhana) waiting upon him with joined palms! We should, therefore, do what is agreeable to him! But we are not always able to seek his welfare with promptness and activity (owing to our dependence on Dhritarashtra)! But let us now, encased in mail and armed with our weapons, mount our cars and go in a body to slay the Pandavas now living in the forest! After the Pandavas have been quieted and after they have gone on the unknown journey, both ourselves and the sons of Dhritarashtra will find peace! As long as they are in distress, as long as they are in sorrow, as long as they are destitute of help, so long are we a match for them! This is my mind!'

"Hearing those words of the charioteer's son, they repeatedly applauded him, and at last exclaimed, 'Very well!' And saying this each of them mounted his car, and sanguine of success, they rushed in a body to slay the sons of Pandu. And knowing by his spiritual vision that they had gone out, the master Krishna-Dwaipayana of pure soul came upon them, and commanded them to desist. And sending them away, the holy one, worshipped by all the worlds, quickly appeared before the king whose intelligence served the purposes of eye-sight, and who was then seated (at his ease). And the holy one addressed the monarch thus."


"Vyasa said, 'O wise Dhritarashtra, hear what I say! I will tell thee that which is for the great good of all the Kauravas! O thou of mighty arms, it hath not pleased me that the Pandavas have gone to the forest dishonestly defeated (at dice) by Duryodhana and others! O Bharata, on the expiration of the thirteenth year, recollecting all their woes, they may shower death-dealing weapons, even like virulent poison, upon the Kauravas! Why doth thy sinful son of wicked heart, ever inflamed with ire, seek to slay the sons of Pandu for the sake of their kingdom? Let the fool be restrained; let thy son remain quiet! In attempting to slay the Pandavas in exile, he will only lose his own life. Thou art as honest as the wise Vidura, or Bhishma, or ourselves, or Kripa, or Drona. O thou of great wisdom, dissension with one's own kin are forbidden, sinful and reprehensible! Therefore, O king, it behoveth thee to desist from such acts! And, O Bharata, Duryodhana looketh with such jealousy towards the Pandavas that great harm would be the consequence, if thou didst not interfere. Or let this wicked son of thine, O monarch, along and unaccompanied, himself go to the forest and live with the sons of Pandu. For then, if the Pandavas, from association, feel an attachment for Duryodhana, then, O king of men, good fortune may be thine. (This, however, may not be)! For it hath been heard that one's congenital nature leaveth him not till death. But what do Bhishma and Drona and Vidura think? What also dost thou think? That which is beneficial should be done while there is time, else thy purposes will be unrealised.'"


"Dhritarashtra said, 'O holy one, I did not like this business of gambling, but, O Muni, I think, I was made to consent to it drawn by fate! Neither Bhishma, nor Drona, nor Vidura, nor Gandhari liked this game at dice. No doubt, it was begot of folly. And, O thou who delightest in the observance of vows, O illustrious one, knowing everything yet influenced by paternal affection, I am unable to cast off my senseless son, Duryodhana!'

"Vyasa said, 'O king, O son of Vichitravirya, what thou sayest is true! We know it well that a son is the best of all things and that there is nothing that is so good as a son. Instructed by the tears of Suravi, Indra came to know that the son surpasseth in worth other valuable possessions. O monarch, I will, in this connection, relate to thee that excellent and best of stories, the conversation between Indra and Suravi. In days of yore, Suravi, the mother of cows was once weeping in the celestial regions. O child, Indra took compassion upon her, and asked her, saying, "O auspicious one! why dost thou weep? Is everything well with the celestials? Hath any misfortune, ever so little, befallen the world of men or serpents?" Suravi replied, "No evil hath befallen thee that I perceive. But I am aggrieved on account of my son, and it is therefore, O Kausika, that I weep! See, O chief of the celestials, yonder cruel husbandman is belabouring my weak son with the wooden stick, and oppressing him with the (weight of the) plough, in consequence of which my child agitated with agony is falling upon the ground and is at the point of death. At sight of this, O lord of the celestials, I am filled with compassion, and my mind is agitated! The one that is the stronger of the pair is bearing his burthen of greater weight (with ease), but, O Vasava, the other is lean, and weak and is a mass of veins and arteries! He beareth his burthen with difficulty! And it is for him that I grieve. See, O Vasava, sore inflicted with the whip, and harassed exceedingly, he is unable to bear his burthen. And it is for him that, moved by grief, I weep in heaviness of heart and these tears of compassion trickle down my eyes!

"'Sakra said, "O fair one, when thousands of thy son are (daily) oppressed, why dost thou grieve for one under infliction?" Suravi replied. "Although I have a thousand offspring, yet my affections flow equally towards all! But, O Sakra, I feel greater compassion for one that is weak and innocent!'

"Vyasa continued, 'Then Indra having heard these words of Suravi, was much surprised, and O thou of the Kuru race, he became convinced that a son is dearer than one's life! And the illustrious chastiser of Paka thereupon suddenly poured there a thick shower and caused obstruction to the husbandman's work. And as Suravi said, thy affections, O king, equally flow towards all thy sons. Let them be greater towards those that are weak! And as my son Pandu is to me, so art thou, O son, and so also Vidura of profound wisdom! It is out of affection that I tell you all this! O Bharata, thou art possessed of a hundred and one sons, but Pandu hath only five. And they are in a bad plight and passing their days in sorrow. How may they save their lives, how may they thrive such thoughts regarding the distressed sons of Pritha continually agitate my soul! O king of the earth, if thou desirest all the Kauravas to live, let thy son Duryodhana make peace with the Pandavas!'"


"Dhritarashtra said, 'O Muni of profound wisdom, it is even as thou sayest! I know it well as do all these kings! Indeed, what thou considerest to be beneficial for the Kurus was pointed out to me, O Muni, by Vidura and Bhishma and Drona. And, if I deserve thy favour, and if thou hast kindness for the Kurus, do thou exhort my wicked son Duryodhana!'

"Vyasa said, 'O king, after having seen the Pandava brothers, here cometh the holy Rishi Maitreya, with the desire of seeing us. That mighty Rishi, O king, will admonish thy son for the welfare of this race. And, O Kauravya, what he adviseth must be followed undoubtingly, for if what he recommendeth is not done, the sage will curse thy son in anger.'"

Vaisampayana continued, "Saying this, Vyasa departed, and Maitreya made his appearance. And the king with his son respectfully received that way-worn chief of Munis, with offerings of the Arghya and other rites. And king Dhritarashtra, the son of Amvika, in words of respect thus addressed the sage, 'O holy one, hath journey from the Kuru-jangala been a pleasant one? Are those heroes, the five Pandavas living happily? Do those bulls of the Kuru race intend to stay out their time? Will the brotherly affection of the Kauravas ever be impaired?'

"Maitreya said, 'Setting out on a pilgrimage to the different shrines, I arrived at Kuru-jangala, and there I unexpectedly saw Yudhishthira the just in the woods of Kamyaka. And, O exalted one, many Munis had come there to behold the high-souled Yudhishthira, dwelling in an ascetic asylum, clad in deer-skin and wearing matted locks. It was there, O king of kings, that I heard of the grave error committed by thy sons and the calamity and terrible danger arisen from dice that had overtaken them. Therefore, it is that I have come to thee, for the good of the Kauravas, since, O exalted one, my affection is great for thee and I am delighted with thee! O king, it is not fit that thy sons should on any account quarrel with one another, thyself and Bhishma living. Thou art, O king, the stake at which bulls are tied (in treading cord), and thou art competent to punish and reward! Why dost thou overlook then this great evil that is about to overtake all? And, O descendant of the Kurus, for those wrongs that have been perpetrated in thy court, which are even like the acts of wretched outcasts, thou art not well-thought amongst the ascetics!'"

Vaisampayana continued, "Then turning to the wrathful prince Duryodhana, the illustrious Rishi Maitreya addressed him in these soft words, 'O mighty-armed Duryodhana, O best of all eloquent men, O illustrious one, give heed unto the words I utter for my good! O king, seek not to quarrel with the Pandavas! And, O bull among men, compass thou thy own good as also of the Pandavas, of the Kurus and of the world! All those tigers among men are heroes of high prowess in war, gifted with the strength of ten thousand elephants, with bodies hard as the thunderbolt, holding fast by their promises, and proud of their manliness! They have slain the enemies of the celestials—those Rakshasas capable of assuming any form at will, such as were headed by Hidimva and Kirmira! When those high-souled ones went from hence that Rakshasa of fierce soul obstructed their nocturnal path even like an immoveable hill. And even as a tiger slayeth a little deer, Bhima, that foremost of all endued with strength, and ever delighted in fight, slew that monster. Consider also, O king, how while out on his campaign of conquest, Bhima slew in battle that mighty warrior, Jarasandha, possessing the strength of ten thousand elephants. Related to Vasudeva and having the sons of king Drupada as their brothers-in-law, who that is subject to decrepitude and death would undertake to cope with them in battle? O bull of the Bharata race, let there be peace between thee and Pandavas! Follow thou my counsels and surrender not thyself to anger!'

"O king, thus admonished by Maitreya, Duryodhana began to slap his thigh resembling the trunk of the elephant, and smilingly began to scratch the ground with his foot. And the wicked wretch spake not a word, but hung down his head. And, O monarch, beholding Duryodhana thus offer him a slight by scratching the earth silently, Maitreya became angry. And, as if commissioned by fate, Maitreya, the best of Munis, overwhelmed by wrath, set his mind upon cursing Duryodhana! And then, with eyes red in anger, Maitreya, touching water, cursed the evil-minded son of Dhritarashtra, saying, 'Since, slighting me thou declinest to act according to my words, thou shalt speedily reap the fruit of this thy insolence! In the great war which shall spring out of the wrongs perpetrated by thee, the mighty Bhima shall smash that thigh of thine with a stroke of his mace!'

"When the Muni had spoken so, king Dhritarashtra began to pacify the sage, in order that what he had said might not happen. But Maitreya said, 'O king, if thy son concludeth peace with the Pandavas, this curse of mine, O child, will not take effect, otherwise it must be as I have said!'"

Vaisampayana said, "Desirous of ascertaining the might of Bhima, that foremost of kings, the father of Duryodhana, then asked Maitreya, saying, 'How was Kirmira slain by Bhima?'

"Maitreya said, 'I shall not speak again unto thee, O king, for my words are not regarded by thy son. After I have gone away, Vidura will relate everything unto thee!' And saying this, Maitreya went away to the place whence he had come. And Duryodhana also went out perturbed at the tidings of Kirmira's death (at the hand of Bhima)."


(Kirmirabadha Parva)

"Dhritarashtra said, 'O Kshatta, I am desirous to hear of the destruction of Kirmira! Do thou tell me how the encounter took place between the Rakshasa and Bhimasena!'

"Vidura said, 'Listen to the story of that feat of Bhimasena of superhuman achievements! I have often heard of it in course of my conversation with the Pandavas (while I was with them). O foremost of kings, defeated at dice the Pandavas departed from hence and travelling for three days and nights they at length reached those woods that go by the name of Kamyaka. O king, just after the dreadful hour of midnight when all nature is asleep, when man-eating Rakshasas of terrible deeds begin to wander, the ascetics and the cowherds and other rangers of the forest used to shun the woods of Kamyaka and fly to a distance from fear of cannibals. And, O Bharata, as the Pandavas were at this hour entering those woods a fearful Rakshasa of flaming eyes appeared before them with a lighted brand, obstructing their path. And with outstretched arms and terrible face, he stood obstructing the way on which those perpetuators of the Kuru race were proceeding. With eight teeth standing out, with eyes of coppery hue, and with the hair of his head blazing and standing erect, the fiend looked like a mass of clouds reflecting the rays of the sun or mingled with lightning flashes and graced with flocks of cranes underneath on their wings. And uttering frightful yells and roaring like a mass of clouds charged with rain, the fiend began to spread the illusion proper to his species. Hearing that terrible roar, birds along with other creatures that live on land or in water, began to drop down in all directions, uttering cries of fear. And in consequence of the deer and the leopards and the buffaloes and the bears flying about in all directions, it seemed as if the forest itself was in motion. And swayed by the wind raised by the sighs of the Rakshasa, creepers growing at a great distance seemed to embrace the trees with their arms of coppery leaves. And at that moment, a violent wind began to blow, and the sky became darkened with the dust that covered it. And as grief is the greatest enemy of the object of the five senses, even so appeared before the Pandavas that unknown foe of theirs. And beholding the Pandavas from a distance clad in black deer-skins, the Rakshasa obstructed their passage through the forest even like the Mainaka mountain. And at the sight of him never seen before the lotus-eyed Krishna, agitated with fear, closed her eyes. And she whose braids had been dishevelled by the hand of Dussasana, stationed in the midst of the five Pandavas, looked like a stream chafing amid five hills. And seeing her overwhelmed with fear the five Pandavas supported her as the five senses influenced by desire adhere to the pleasures relating to their objects. And Dhaumya of great (ascetic) energy, in the presence of the sons of Pandu, destroyed the fearful illusion that had been spread by the Rakshasa, by applying various mantras, calculated to destroy the Rakshasa. And beholding his illusion dispelled, the mighty Rakshasa of crooked ways, capable of assuming any form at will, expanded his eyes in wrath and seemed like death himself. Then king Yudhishthira, endued with great wisdom, addressed him saying, 'Who art thou, and whose (son)? Tell us what we should do for thee.' The Rakshasa thus addressed, answered Yudhishthira the just, saying, 'I am the brother of Vaka, the celebrated Kirmira. I live at ease in these deserted woods of Kamyaka, daily procuring my food by vanquishing men in fight. Who are ye that have come near me in the shape of my food? Defeating ye all in fight, I will eat ye with pleasure.'"

Vaisampayana continued, "O Bharata, hearing these words of the wretch, Yudhishthira announced his own name and lineage, saying, 'I am king Yudhishthira the just, the son of Pandu, of whom thou mayst have heard. Deprived of my kingdom, I have with my brothers Bhimasena and Arjuna and the others, in course of my wanderings, come into this terrible forest which is thy dominion, desirous of passing my period of exile here!'

"Vidura continued, 'Kirmira said unto Yudhishthira, "By good luck it is that fate hath accomplished today my long-accomplished desire! With weapons upraised have I been continually ranging the entire earth with the object of slaying Bhima. But Bhima I had found not. By good luck it is that slayer of my brother, whom I had been seeking so long, hath come before me! It was he who in the disguise of a Brahmana slew my dear brother Vaka in the Vetrakiya forest by virtue of his science. He hath truly no strength of arms! It is also this one of wicked soul who formerly slew my dear friend Hidimva, living in this forest and ravished his sister! And that fool hath now come into this deep forest of mine, when the night is half spent, even at the time when we wander about! Today I will wreak my long-cherished vengeance upon him, and I will today gratify (the manes of) Vaka with his blood in plenty! By slaying this enemy of the Rakshasas, I shall today be freed from the debt I owe to my friend and my brother, and thereby attain supreme happiness! If Bhimasena was let free formerly by Vaka, today, I will devour him in thy sight, O Yudhishthira! And even as Agastya ate up and digested the mighty Asura (Vatapi) I will eat up and digest this Bhima!"'

"Vidura continued, 'Thus addressed by the Rakshasa, the virtuous Yudhishthira, steadfast in his pledges, said, "It can never be so,"—and in anger rebuked the Rakshasa. The mighty-armed Bhima then tore up in haste a tree of the length of ten Vyasas and stripped it of its leaves. And in the space of a moment the ever-victorious Arjuna stringed his bow Gandiva possessing the force of the thunderbolt. And, O Bharata, making Jishnu desist, Bhima approached that Rakshasa still roaring like the clouds and said unto him, "Stay! Stay!" And thus addressing the cannibal, and tightening the cloth around his waist, and rubbing his palms, and biting his nether lip with his teeth, and armed with the tree, the powerful Bhima rushed towards the foe. And like unto Maghavat hurling his thunderbolt, Bhima made that tree, resembling the mace of Yama himself descend with force on the head of the cannibal. The Rakshasa, however, was seen to remain unmoved at that blow, and wavered not in the conflict. On the other hand, he hurled his lighted brand, flaming like lightning, at Bhima. But that foremost of warriors turned it off with his left foot in such a way that it went back towards the Rakshasa. Then the fierce Kirmira on his part, all on a sudden uprooting a tree darted to the encounter like unto the mace bearing Yama himself. And that fight, so destructive of the trees, looked like the encounter in days of yore between the brothers Vali and Sugriva for the possession of the same woman. And the trees struck at the heads of the combatants, were broken into shivers, like lotus-stalks thrown on the temples of infuriate elephants. And in that great forest, innumerable trees, crushed like unto reeds, lay scattered as rags. That encounter with trees between that foremost of Rakshasas and that best of men, O thou bull of the Bharata race, lasted but for a moment. Then taking up a crag, the angry Rakshasa hurled it at Bhima standing before him, but the latter wavered not. Then like unto Rahu going to devour the sun dispersing his rays with extended arms, the Rakshasa with out-stretched arms darted towards Bhima, who had remained firm under the blow inflicted with the crag. And tugging at and grappling with each other in diverse ways they appeared like two infuriate bulls struggling with each other. Or like unto two mighty tigers armed with teeth and claws, the encounter between them waxed fierce and hard. And remembering their (late) disgrace at the hands of Duryodhana, and proud of the strength of his arms, and conscious also of Krishna looking at him, Vrikodara began to swell in vigour. And fried with anger, Bhima seized the Rakshasa with his arms, as one elephant in rut seizeth another. And the powerful Rakshasa also in his turn seized his adversary, but Bhimasena that foremost of all men endued with strength, threw the cannibal down with violence. The sounds that in consequence of those mighty combatants pressing each other's hands, were frightful and resembled the sounds of splittering bamboos. And hurling the Rakshasa down, seized him by the waist, and began to whirl him about, even as fierce hurricane shaketh a tree. And thus seized by the mighty Bhima, the fatigued Rakshasa, became faint, and trembling all over, he still pressed the (Pandava) with all his strength. And finding him fatigued, Vrikodara, twined his own arms round the foe, even as one bindeth a beast with cord. And the monster thereupon began to roar frightfully, as a trumpet out of order. And the mighty Vrikodara for a long while whirled the Rakshasa till the latter appeared to be insensible, and began to move convulsively. And finding the Rakshasa exhausted, the son of Pandu without loss of time took him up in his arms, and slew him like a beast. And placing his knee on the waist of that wretch of Rakshasa, Vrikodara began to press the neck of the foe with his hands. Then Bhima, dragging along the earth the bruised body of the Rakshasa with the eye-lids about to close, said, "O sinful wretch, thou wilt no more have to wipe away the tears of Hidimva or Vaka, for thou too art about to go to the mansions of Yama!" And saying this, that foremost of men, his heart filled with wrath, beholding the Rakshasa destitute of clothing and ornaments, and insensible, and undergoing convulsions, left him dead. And after that Rakshasa of hue like the clouds had been slain, the son of that best of kings (Pandu) praised Bhima for his many qualities, and placing Krishna in their front, set out for the Dwaita woods.'

"Vidura said, 'It was thus, O lord of men, that Kirmira was slain in combat by Bhima, in obedience, O Kaurava, to the commands of Yudhishthira the just! And having rid the forest of its pest, the victorious Yudhishthira the just, began to live in that dwelling of theirs, with Draupadi. And those bulls of the Bharata race comforting Draupadi began to cheerfully extol Bhima with glad hearts. And after the Rakshasa had been slain, borne down by the might of Bhima's arms, those heroes entered into the peaceful forest freed from its annoyance. Passing through the great forest I saw lying the body of the wicked and fearless Rakshasa slain by Bhima's might. And, O Bharata, there I heard of this achievement of Bhima from those Brahmanas who have assembled round the Pandavas.'"

Vaisampayana continued, "Hearing the account of the slaughter in combat of Kirmira, that foremost of Rakshasas, the king sighed in sorrow and became absorbed in thought."


(Arjunabhigamana Parva)

Vaisampayana said, "Hearing that the Pandavas had been banished, the Bhojas, the Vrishnis, and the Andhakas went to those heroes residing in affliction in the great forest. And the consanguinous relatives of Panchala, and Dhrishtaketu the king of Chedi, and those celebrated and powerful brothers the Kaikeyas, their hearts fired with wrath, went to the forest to see the sons of Pritha. And reproaching the sons of Dhritarashtra, they said, 'What should we do?' And those bulls of the Kshatriya race, with Vasudeva at their head, sat themselves down round Yudhishthira the just. And respectfully saluting that foremost of the Kurus, Kesava mournfully said, 'The earth shall drink the blood of Duryodhana and Karna, of Dussasana and the wicked Sakuni! Slaying these in battle and defeating their followers along with their royal allies, will we all install Yudhishthira the just on the throne! The wicked deserve to be slain! Verily, this is eternal morality.'"

Vaisampayana continued, "And when on account of the wrongs of Pritha's sons, Janardana had thus got into a passion, and seemed bent upon consuming ail created things, Arjuna exerted himself to pacify him. And beholding Kesava angry, Phalguna began to recite the feats achieved in his former lives by that soul of all things, himself immeasurable, the eternal one, of infinite energy, the lord of Prajapati himself, the supreme ruler of the worlds, Vishnu of profound wisdom!'

"Arjuna said, 'In days of old, thou, O Krishna, hadst wandered on the Gandhamadana mountains for ten thousand years as a Muni having his home where evening fell! Living upon water alone, thou hadst, in days of old, O Krishna, also dwelt for full eleven thousand years by the lake of Pushkara! And, O slayer of Madhu, with arms upraised and standing on one leg, thou hadst passed a hundred years on the high hills of Vadari,[16] living all the while upon air! And leaving aside thy upper garment, with body emaciated and looking like a bundle of veins, thou hadst lived on the banks of the Saraswati, employed in thy sacrifice extending for twelve years! And, O Krishna of mighty energy, in observance of thy vow thou hadst stood on one leg for the length of a thousand years of the celestials, on the plains of Prabhasa which it behoveth the virtuous to visit! Vyasa hath told me that thou art the cause of the creation and its course! And, O Kesava, the lord of Kshetra,[17] thou art the mover of all minds, and the beginning and end of all things! All asceticism resteth in thee, and thou too art the embodiment of all sacrifices, and the eternal one! Slaying the Asura Naraka, offspring of the Earth-first begotten, thou hadst obtained his ear-rings, and performed, O Krishna, the first horse-sacrifice (offering up that Asura as the sacrificial horse)! And, O bull of all the worlds, having performed that feat, thou hast become victorious over all! Thou hadst slain all the Daityas and Danavas mustered in battle, and giving the lord of Sachi (Indra) the sovereignty of the universe, thou hast, O Kesava of mighty arms, taken thy birth among men! O slayer of all foes, having floated on the primordial waters, thou subsequently becamest Hari,[18] and Brahma and Surya and Dharma, and Dhatri and Yama and Anala and Vasu, and Vaisravana, and Rudra, and Kala and the firmament the earth, and the ten directions! Thyself increate, thou art the lord of the mobile and the immobile universe, the Creator of all, O thou foremost of all existences! And, O slayer of Madhu, O thou of abundant energy, in the forest of Chitraratha thou didst, O Krishna, gratify with thy sacrifice the chief of all the gods, the highest of the high! O Janardana, at each sacrifice thou didst offer, according to shares, gold by hundreds and thousands. And, O son of the Yadava race, becoming the son of Aditi, O exalted one of the supreme attributes, thou hast been known as the younger brother of Indra! And, O thou chastiser of foes, even while a child thou didst, O Krishna, in consequence of thy energy, fill by three steps only the heaven, the firmament, and the earth! And, O thou soul of all covering the heaven and the firmament (while thou wert thus transformed), thou didst dwell in the body of the sun and afflict him with thy own splendour! And, O exalted one, in thy incarnations on those thousand occasions, thou hadst slain, O Krishna, sinful Asuras by hundreds! By destroying the Mauravas and the Pashas, and slaying Nisunda and Naraka. Thou hast again rendered safe the road to Pragjyotisha! Thou hast slain Ahvriti at Jaruthi, and Kratha and Sisupala with his adherents, and Jarasandha and Saivya and Satadhanwan! And on thy car roaring like unto clouds and effulgent like the sun, thou didst obtain for thy queen the daughter of Bhoja, defeating Rukmi in battle! Thou didst in fury slay Indradyumna and the Yavana called Kaseruman! And slaying Salwa the lord of Saubha, thou didst destroy that city of Saubha itself! These have all been slain in battle; listen to me as I speak of others (also slain by thee)! At Iravati thou hast slain king Bhoja equal unto Karttavirya in battle, and both Gopati and Talaketu also have been slain by thee! And, O Janardana, thou hast also appropriated unto thyself the sacred city of Dwarka, abounding in wealth and agreeable unto the Rishi themselves, and thou wilt submerge it at the end within the ocean! O slayer of Madhu, how can crookedness be in thee, devoid as thou art, O thou of the Dasarha race, of anger and envy and untruth and cruelty? O thou who knowest no deterioration, all the Rishis, coming unto thee seated in thy glory on the sacrificial ground, seek protection of thee! And, O slayer of Madhu, thou stayest at the end of the Yuga, contracting all things and withdrawing this universe into thy own self, thou repressor of all foes! O thou of the Vrishni race, at the beginning of the Yuga, there sprang from thy lotus-like navel, Brahma himself, and lord of all mobile and immobile things, and whose is this entire universe! When the dreadful Danavas Madhu and Kaitava were bent on slaying Brahma, beholding their impious endeavour thou wert angry, and from thy forehead, O Hari, sprang Sambhu, the holder of the trident. Thus these two foremost of the deities have sprung from thy body in order to do thy work! Even Narada it was who hath told me this! O Narayana, thou didst, in the forest of Chaitraratha, celebrate with plentiful gifts a grand sacrifice consisting of a multitude of rites! O God, O thou of eyes like lotus leaves, the deeds thou hast performed while still a boy, having recourse to thy might and aided by Baladeva, have never been done by others, nor are they capable of being achieved by others in the future! Thou didst even dwell in Kailasa, accompanied by Brahmanas!'"

[16] Also called Vadarika, a hermitage on the Himalaya near the sources of the Ganges.

[17] Nilakantha explains kshetra as including Mahabhuta, consciousness, intellect, the unmanifest (primordial elements), the ten senses, the five objects of the senses, viz., earth, water, &c., desire, aversion, pleasure, pain, the combinations of elements, and chaitanya.

[18] Hari here means the developed seed that is to expand into the vast whole of the universe.

Vaisampayana continued, "Having addressed Krishna thus, the illustrious Pandava, who was the soul of Krishna, became dumb, when Janardana (in reply addressed that son of Pritha) saying, 'Thou art mine and I am thine, while all that is mine is thine also! He that hateth thee hateth me as well, and he that followeth thee followeth me! O thou irrepressible one, thou art Nara and I am Narayana or Hari! We are the Rishis Nara and Narayana born in the world of men for a special purpose. O Partha, thou art from me and I am from thee! O bull of the Bharata race, no one can understand the difference that is between us!'"

Vaisampayana continued, "When the illustrious Kesava had said so in the midst of that assembly of brave kings, all excited with anger, Panchali surrounded by Dhrishtadyumna and her other heroic brothers, approached him of eyes like lotus leaves seated with his cousins, and, desirous of protection, addressed in angry accents that refuge of all, saying, 'Asita and Devala have said that in the matter of the creation of all things, thou hast been indicated (by the sages) as the only Prajapati and the Creator of all the worlds! And, O irrepressible one, Jamadagnya sayeth that thou art Vishnu, and, O slayer of Madhu, that thou art (embodiment of) Sacrifice, Sacrificer and he for whom the sacrifice is performed! And, O best of male beings, the Rishis indicate thee as Forgiveness and Truth! Kasyapa hath said that thou art Sacrifice sprung from Truth! O exalted one, Narada calleth thee the god of the Sadhyas, and of the Sivas, as alone the Creator and the Lord of all things. And, O tiger among men, thou repeatedly sportest with the gods including, Brahma and Sankara and Sakra even as children sporting with their toys! And, O exalted one, the firmament is covered by thy head, and the earth by thy feet; these worlds are as thy womb and thou art the Eternal one! With Rishis sanctified by Vedic lore and asceticism, and whose souls have been purified by penance, and who are contented with soul-vision, thou art the best of all objects! And, O chief of all male beings, thou art the refuge of all royal sages devoted to virtuous acts, never turning their backs on the field of the battle, and possessed of every accomplishment! Thou art the Lord of all, thou art Omnipresent, thou art the Soul of all things, and thou art the active power pervading everything! The rulers of the several worlds, those worlds themselves, the stellar conjunctions, the ten points of the horizon, the firmament, the moon, and the sun, are all established in thee! And, O mighty-armed one, the morality of (earthly) creatures, the immortality of the universe, are established in thee! Thou art the Supreme lord of all creatures, celestial or human! Therefore it is, O slayer of Madhu, that impelled by the affection thou bearest me that I will relate to thee my griefs! O Krishna, how could one like me, the wife of Pritha's sons, the sister of Dhrishtadyumna, and the friend of thee, be dragged to the assembly! Alas, during my season, stained with blood, with but a single cloth on, trembling all over, and weeping, I was dragged to the court of the Kurus! Beholding me, stained with blood in the presence of those kings in the assembly, the wicked sons of Dhritarashtra laughed at me! O slayer of Madhu, while the sons of Pandu and the Panchalas and the Vrishnis lived, they dared express the desire of using me as their slave! O Krishna, I am according to the ordinance, the daughter in-law of both Dhritarashtra and Bhishma! Yet, O slayer of Madhu, they wished to make of me a slave by force! I blame the Pandavas who are mighty and foremost in battle, for they saw (without stirring) their own wedded wife known over all the world, treated with such cruelty! Oh, fie on the might of Bhimasena, fie on the Gandiva of Arjuna, for they, O Janardana, both suffered me to be thus disgraced by little men! This eternal course of morality is ever followed by the virtuous—viz, that the husband, however weak, protecteth his wedded wife! By protecting the wife one protecteth his offspring and by protecting the offspring one protecteth his own self! One's own self is begotten on one's wife, and therefore it is that the wife is called Jaya. A wife also should protect her lord, remembering that he is to take his birth in her womb! The Pandavas never forsake the person that soliciteth their protection, and yet they abandoned me who solicited it! By my five husbands five sons of exceeding energy have been born of me: Prativindhya by Yudhishthira, Sutasoma by Vrikodara, Srutakirti by Arjuna, Satanika by Nakula and Srutakarman by the youngest, all of them of energy that cannot be baffled. For their sake, O Janardana, it was necessary to protect me! Even as (thy son) Pradyumna, they are, O Krishna, mighty warriors all! They are foremost of bowmen, and invincible in battle by any foe! Why do they bear the wrongs inflicted (on me) by the sons of Dhritarashtra of such contemptible strength? Deprived of their kingdom by deception, the Pandavas were made bondsmen and I myself was dragged to the assembly while in my season, and having only a single cloth on! Fie on that Gandiva which none else can string save Arjuna and Bhima and thyself, O slayer of Madhu! Fie on the strength of Bhima, and fie on the prowess of Arjuna, since, O Krishna, Duryodhana (after what he had done) hath drawn breath even for a moment! He it is, O slayer of Madhu, who formerly drove the guileless Pandavas with their mother from the kingdom, while they were children still engaged in study and the observance of their vows. It is that sinful wretch, who, horrible to relate, mixed in Bhima's food fresh and virulent poison in full dose. But, O Janardana, Bhima digested that poison with the food, without sustaining any injury, for, O best of men and mighty-armed one, Bhima's days had not been ended! O Krishna, it is Duryodhana who at the house standing by the banyan called Pramana bound Bhima sleeping unsuspectingly, and casting him into the Ganges returned to the city. But the powerful Bhimasena the son of Kunti, possessed of mighty arms, on waking from sleep, tore his bonds and rose from the water. It is Duryodhana, who caused venomous black-cobras to bite all over the body of Bhimasena, but that slayer of foes died not. Awaking, the son of Kunti smashed all the serpents and with his left hand killed (the agent, viz.) the favourite charioteer of Duryodhana. Again, while the children were asleep at Varanavata with their mother, it is he who set fire to the house intending to burn them to death. Who is there capable of doing such an act? It was then that the illustrious Kunti, overtaken by this calamity, and surrounded by the flames, began to cry out in terror, speaking to the children, "Alas, I am undone! How shall we escape from this fire today! Alas, I shall meet with destruction with my little children!" Then Bhima, possessed of mighty arms, and prowess like unto the force of the wind, comforted his illustrious mother as also his brothers, saying, "Like that king of birds, Garuda, the son of Vinata, I will spring up into the air. We have no fear from this fire." And then taking his mother on his left flank, and the king in his right, and the twins on each shoulder, and Vibhatsu on his back, the mighty Vrikodara, thus taking all of them, at one leap cleared the fire and delivered his mother and brother from the conflagration. Setting out that night with their renowned mother, they came near the forest of Hidimva. And while fatigued and distressed, they were sleeping fast with her, a Rakshasa woman called Hidimva approached them. Beholding the Pandavas with their mother asleep on the ground, influenced by desire she sought to have Bhimasena for her lord. The weak one then took up Bhima's feet on her lap to press them with her soft hands. The mighty Bhima of immeasurable energy, of prowess that could not be baffled, then woke from sleep, and asked her, saying, "O thou of faultless features, what dost thou wish here?" Thus asked by him, the Rakshasa lady of faultless features, capable, besides, of assuming any form at will, replied unto the high-souled Bhima, saying, "Do ye speedily fly from this place! My brother gifted with strength will come to slay ye! Therefore speed and tarry not!" But Bhima haughtily said, "I do not fear him! If he cometh here, I will slay him!" Hearing their converse, that vilest of cannibals came to the spot. Of frightful form and dreadful to behold, uttering loud cries as he came, the Rakshasa said, "O Hidimva, with whom dost thou converse? Bring him unto me, I will eat him up. It behoveth thee to tarry not." But moved by compassion, the Rakshasa lady of faultless features and pure heart said nothing out of pity. Then the man-eating monster, uttering dreadful cries, rushed at Bhima with great force. And approaching him furiously, the mighty cannibal, possessed with rage, caught hold of Bhima's hand with his own and clenching fast his other hand and making it hard as the thunder-bolt of Indra, suddenly struck Bhima a blow that descended with the force of lightning. His hand having been seized by the Rakshasa, Vrikodara, without being able to brook it, flew into a rage. Then a dreadful combat took place between Bhimasena and Hidimva, both skilled in all weapons and which was like unto the encounter of Vasava with Vritra. And, O sinless one, after sporting with the Rakshasa for a long while the powerful Bhima of mighty energy slew the cannibal when the latter had become weak with exertion. Then having slain Hidimva, and taking (his sister) Hidimva at their head, of whom was (subsequently) born Ghatotkacha, Bhima and his brothers went away. Then all those repressers of their foes, accompanied by their mother and surrounded by many Brahmanas proceeded towards Ekachakra. In the matter of this their journey, Vyasa ever engaged in their welfare had become their counsellor. Then arriving at Ekachakra, the Pandavas of rigid vows there also slew a mighty cannibal, Vaka by name, terrible as Hidimva himself. And having slain that fierce cannibal, Bhima that foremost of smiters, went with all his brothers to the capital of Drupada. And, O Krishna, as thou hadst acquired Rukmim, the daughter of Bhishmaka, even so Savyasachin, while residing there, obtained me! O slayer of Madhu, Arjuna won me in the Swayamvara, having performed a feat difficult of achievement by others and having fought also with the assembled kings!

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