Adi Parva

Created by Jijith Nadumuri at 29 Mar 2010 09:21 and updated at 29 Mar 2010 10:59


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Section 153

CLIII Jatugriha Parva continued Vaisampayana said As the mighty Bhima proceeded, the whole forest with its trees and their branches seemed to tremble, in consequence of their clash with his breast. The motion of his thighs raised a wind like unto that which blows during the months of Jyaishtha and Ashadha May and June. And the mighty Bhima proceeded, making a path for himself, but treading down the trees and creepers before him. In fact, he broke by the pressure of his body the large trees and plants, with their flowers and fruits, standing on his way. Even so passeth through the woods breaking down mighty trees, the leader of a herd of elephants, of the age of sixty years, angry and endued with excess of energy, during the season of rut when the liquid juice trickle down the three parts of his body.

Indeed, so great was the force with which Bhima endued with the speed of Garuda or of Marut the god of wind, proceeded that the Pandavas seemed to faint in consequence. Frequently swimming across streams difficult of being crossed, the Pandavas disguised themselves on their way from fear of the sons of Dhritarashtra. And Bhima carried on his shoulder his illustrious mother of delicate sensibilities along the uneven banks of rivers. Towards the evening, O bull of Bharata's race, Bhima bearing his brothers and mother on his back reached a terrible forest where fruits and roots and water were scarce and which resounded with the terrible cries of birds and beasts. The twilight deepened the cries of birds and beasts became fiercer, darkness shrouded everything from the view and untimely winds began to blow that broke and laid low many a tree large and small and many creepers with dry leaves and fruits. The Kaurava princes, afflicted with fatigue and thirst, and heavy with sleep, were unable to proceed further. They then all sat down in that forest without food and drink. Then Kunti, smitten with thirst, said unto her sons, I am the mother of the five Pandavas and am now in their midst. Yet I am burning with thirst' Kunti repeatedly said this unto her sons.

Hearing these words, Bhima's heart, from affection for his mother, was warmed by compassion and he resolved to go along as before. Then Bhima, proceeding through that terrible and extensive forest without a living soul, saw a beautiful banian tree with widespreading branches. Setting down there his brothers and mother, O bull of Bharata's race; he said unto them, Rest you here, while I go in quest of water. I hear the sweet cries of aquatic fowls. I think there must be a large pool here' Commanded, O Bharata, by his elder brother who said unto him, Go, Bhima proceeded in the direction whence the cries of those aquatic fowls were coming. And, O bull of Bharata's race, he soon came upon a lake and bathed and slaked his thirst. And affectionate unto his brothers, he brought for them, O Bharata, water by soaking his upper garments. Hastily retracing his way over those four miles he came unto where his mother was and beholding her he was afflicted with sorrow and began to sigh like a snake. Distressed with grief at seeing his mother and brothers asleep on the bare ground, Vrikodara began to weep, Oh, wretch that I am, who behold my brothers asleep on the bare ground, what can befall me more painful than this?

Alas, they who formerly at Varanavata could not sleep on the softest and costliest beds are now asleep on the bare ground! Oh, what more painful sight shall I ever behold than that of Kunti, the sister of Vasudeva, that grinder of hostile hosts, the daughter of Kuntiraja, herself decked with every auspicious mark, the daughter-in-law of Vichitravirya, the wife of the illustrious Pandu, the mother of us five brothers, resplendent as the filaments of the lotus and delicate and tender and fit to sleep on the costliest bed, thus asleep, as she should never be, on the bare ground! Oh, she who hath brought forth these sons by Dharma and Indra and Maruta, she who hath ever slept within palaces, now sleepeth, fatigued, on the bare ground! What more painful sight shall ever be beheld by me than that of these tigers among men my brothers asleep on the ground! Oh, the virtuous Yudhishthira, who deserveth the sovereignty of the three worlds, sleepeth, fatigued, like an ordinary man, on the bare ground! This Arjuna of the darkish hue of blue clouds, and unequalled amongst men sleepeth on the ground like an ordinary person! Oh, what can be more painful than this? Oh the twins, who in beauty are like the twin Aswins amongst the celestials, are asleep like ordinary mortals on the bare ground! He who hath no jealous evil-minded relatives, liveth in happiness in this world like a single tree in a village. The tree that standeth single in a village with its leaves and fruits, from absence of other of the same species, becometh sacred and is worshipped and venerated by all.

They again that have many relatives who, however, are all heroic and virtuous, live happily in the world without sorrow of any kind. Themselves powerful and growing in prosperity and always gladdening their friends and relatives, they live, depending on each other, like tall trees growing in the same forest. We, however, have been forced in exile by the wicked Dhritarashtra and his sons having escaped with difficulty, from sheer good fortune, a fiery death. Having escaped from that fire, we are now resting in the shade of this tree. Having already suffered so much, where now are we to go? Ye sons of Dhritarashtra of little foresight, ye wicked fellows, enjoy your temporary success. The gods are certainly auspicious to you. But ye wicked wretches, ye are alive yet, only because Yudhishthira doth not command me to take your lives. Else this very day, filled with wrath, I would send thee, O Duryodhana, to the regions of Yama Pluto with thy children and friends and brothers, and Karna, and Sakuni the son of Suvala! But what can I do, for, ye sinful wretches, the virtuous king Yudhishthira, the eldest of the Pandavas, is not yet angry with you'

Having said this, Bhima of mighty arms, fired with wrath, began to squeeze his palms, sighing deeply in affliction. Excited again with wrath like an extinguished fire blazing up all on a sudden, Vrikodara once more beheld his brothers sleeping on the ground like ordinary persons sleeping in trustfulness. And Bhima said unto himself, I think there is some town not far off from this forest. These all are asleep, so I will sit awake. And this will slake their thirst after they rise refreshed from sleep' Saying this, Bhima sat there awake, keeping watch over his sleeping mother and brothers

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