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

Part 7 out of 7

then I shall explain it to thee."

"'Somaka said, "Whether it be a good or an evil deed, the ceremony by
which a hundred sons may be born, may be taken by thee as already
performed. Let thy blessed self explain it to me."

"'The family priest thereupon said, "O king! Let me set on foot a
sacrifice and thou must sacrifice thy son, Jantu in it. Then on no
distant date, a century of handsome sons will be born to thee. When
Jantu's fat will be put into the fire as an offering to the gods, the
mothers will take a smell of that smoke, and bring forth a number of
sons, valourous and strong. And Jantu also will once more be born as a
self-begotten son of thine in that very (mother); and on his back there
will appear a mark of gold."'"


"'Somaka said, "O Brahmana! whatever is to be performed--do precisely as
it may be necessary. As I am desirous of having a number of sons, I
shall do all that may be prescribed by thee."'

"Lomasa said, 'Then the priest officiated in the sacrifice in which
Jantu was offered as the victim. But the mothers as in pity forcibly
snatched the son and took him away. And they cried, "We are undone!" And
they were smitten with torturing grief and they caught hold of Jantu by
his right hand, and wept in a piteous way. But the officiating priest
held the boy by the right hand and pulled him. And like female ospreys
they screamed in agony! but the priest dragged the son, killed him, and
made a burnt offering of his fat in the proper form. And, O delight of
the race of Kuru! While the fat was being made an offering of the
agonised mothers smelt its smell, and of a sudden fell to the ground
(and swooned away.) And then all those lovely women became with child,
and O lord of men! O scion of Bharata's race! When ten months had passed
a full century of sons was born to Somaka begotten on all those women.
And, O monarch of the earth! Jantu became the eldest and was born of his
former mother and he became the most beloved to the women,--not so were
their own sons. And on his back there was that mark of gold and of that
century of sons, he was also superior in merit. Then that family priest
of Somaka departed this life as also Somaka after a certain time. Now he
beheld that the priest was being grilled in a terrible hell. And
thereupon he questioned him, "Why art thou, O Brahmana! being grilled in
this hell?" Then the family priest exceedingly scorched with fire, spake
to him saying, "This is the outcome of my having officiated in that
sacrifice of thine." O king, hearing this, the saintly king thus spake
to the god who meteth out punishments to departed souls, "I shall enter
here. Set free my officiating priest; this reverend man is being grilled
by hell-fire on my account only."

"'Dharmaraja thereat answered thus, "One cannot enjoy or suffer for
another person's acts. O best of speakers! these are the fruits of thy
acts; see it here."

"'Somaka said, "Without this Brahmana here, I desire not go to the
blessed regions. My desire is to dwell in company with this very man,
either in the abode of the gods, or in hell, for, O Dharmaraja! my deed
is identical with what hath been done by him and the fruit of our
virtuous or evil deed must be the same for both of us."

"'Dharmaraja said, "O king! If this is thy wish, then taste with him the
fruit of that act, for the same period that he must do. After that thou
shall go to the blessed regions."'

"Lomasa said, 'The lotus-eyed king did all that exactly in the way
prescribed to him. And when his sins were worked off, he was set free
together with the priest. O king! Fond of the priest as he was, he won
all those blessings to which he had entitled himself by his meritorious
acts and shared everything with the family priest. This is his hermitage
which looketh lovely before our eyes. Any one would attain the blessed
regions, if he should spend six nights here controlling his passions. O
king of kings! O leader of the tribe of Kurus! Here, free from
excitement and self-controlled, we must spend six nights. Be thou ready


"Lomasa said, 'Here, O king! The lord of born beings himself performed a
sacrifice in former times,--the ceremony called _Ishtikrita_, which
occupied one thousand years. And Amvarisha, son of Nabhaga, sacrificed
near the Yamuna river. And having sacrificed there, he gave away ten
_Padmas_ (of gold coins) to the attendant priests, and he obtained the
highest success by his sacrifices and austerities. And, O Kunti's son!
This is the spot where that sovereign of the entire earth, Nahusha's
son, Yayati, of unmeasured force, and who led a holy life, performed his
sacrificial rites. He competed with Indra and performed his sacrifice
here. Behold how the ground is studded with places for the sacrificial
fires of various forms, and how the earth seems to be subsiding here
under the pressure of Yayati's pious works. This is the Sami tree, which
hath got but a single leaf, and this is a most excellent lake. Behold
these lakes of Parasurama, and the hermitage of Narayana. O protector of
earth! This is the path which was followed by Richika's son, of
unmeasured energy, who roamed over the earth, practising the Yoga rites
in the river Raupya. And, O delight of the tribe of Kurus! Hear what a
_Pisacha_ woman (she-goblin), who was decked with pestles for her
ornaments, said (to a Brahmana woman), as I was reciting here the table
of genealogy. (She said), "Having eaten curd in Yugandhara, and lived in
Achutasthala, and also bathed in Bhutilaya, thou shouldst live with thy
sons." Having passed a single night here, if thou wilt spend the second,
the events of the night will be different from those that have happened
to thee in the day-time, O most righteous of Bharata's race! Today we
shall spend the night at this very spot. O scion of Bharata's race! this
is the threshold of the field of the Kurus. O king! At this very spot,
the monarch Yayati, son of Nahusha, performed sacrificial rites, and
made gifts of an abundance of gems. And Indra was pleased with those
sacred rites. This is an excellent holy bathing-place on the river
Yamuna, known as Plakshavatarana (descent of the banian tree). Men of
cultured minds call it the entrance to the region of heaven. O respected
sir! here, after having performed sacrificial rites of the Saraswata
king, and making use of the sacrificial stake for their pestle, the
highest order of saints performed the holy plunge prescribed at the end
of a sacred ceremony. O monarch! King Bharata here performed sacrificial
rites. To celebrate the horse-sacrifice, he here set free the horse who
was the intended victim. That monarch had won the sovereignty of the
earth by righteousness. The horse he let go more than once were of a
colour checkered with black. O tiger among men! it was here that Marutta
sheltered by Samvartta, leader of saints, succeeded in performing
excellent sacrifices. O sovereign of kings! Having taken his bath at
this spot, one can behold all the worlds, and is purified from his evil
deeds. Do thou, therefore, bathe at this spot.'"

Vaisampayana said, "Then that most praiseworthy of Pandu's sons, there
bathed with his brothers, while the mighty saints were uttering
laudatory words to him. And he addressed the following words to Lomasa,
'O thou whose strength lieth in truthfulness! By virtue of this pious
act, I behold all the worlds. And from this place, I behold that most
praiseworthy of Pandu's sons Arjuna, the rider of white steed.'

"Lomasa said, 'It is even so, O thou of powerful arms! The saints of the
highest order thus behold all the regions. Behold this holy Saraswati
here, thronged by persons who look upon her as their sole refuge. O most
praiseworthy of men! having bathed here, thou wilt be free from all thy
sins. O Kunti's son! here the celestial saints performed sacrificial
rites of Saraswata king: and so did the saints and the royal saints.
This is the altar of the lord of beings, five _yojanas_ in extent on all
sides round. And this is the field of the magnanimous Kurus, whose habit
it was to perform sacrifices.'"


"Lomasa said, 'O son of Bharata's race! If mortals breathe their last at
this spot, they go to heaven. O king! Thousands upon thousands of men
come to this place to die. A blessing was pronounced on this spot by
Daksha, when he was engaged in sacrifice here, (in these words), "Those
men that shall die at this spot shall win a place in heaven." Here is
the beautiful and sacred river, Saraswati, full of water: and here, O
lord of men, is the spot known as _Vinasana_, or the place where the
Saraswati disappeared. Here is the gate of the kingdom of the Nishadas
and it is from hatred for them that the Saraswati entered into the earth
in order that the Nishadas might not see her. Here too is the sacred
region of Chamashodbheda where the Saraswati once more became visible to
them. And here she is joined by other sacred rivers running seawards. O
conqueror of foes, here is that sacred spot known by the name of
Sindhu--where Lopamudra accepted the great sage Agastya as her lord and,
O thou whose effulgence is like unto that of the sun, here is the sacred
_tirtha_ called Prabhasa, the favoured spot of Indra and which removeth
all sins. Yonder is visible the region of Vishnupada. And here is the
delightful and sacred river, Vipasa. From grief for the death of his
sons the great sage Vasistha had thrown himself into this stream, after
binding his limbs. And when he rose from the water, lo! he was
unfettered. Look, O king with thy brothers at the sacred region of
Kasmeera, frequented by holy sages. Here, O scion of Bharata's race, is
the spot, where a conference took place between Agni and the sage
Kasyapa, and also between Nahusha's son and the sages of the north. And,
O great prince, yonder is the gate of the Manasasarovara. In the midst
of this mountain, a gap hath been opened by Rama. And here, O prince of
prowess incapable of being baffled, is the well-known region of
Vatikhanda, which, although adjacent to the gate of Videha, lieth on the
north of it. And O bull among men, there is another very remarkable
thing connected with this place,--namely, that on the waning of every
_yuga_, the god Siva, having the power to assume any shape at will, may
be seen with Uma and his followers. In yonder lake also people desirous
of securing welfare to the family, propitiate with sacrifices the holder
of the great bow Pinaka, in the month of Chaitra. And persons of
devotion having passions under control, performing their ablutions in
this lake, become free from sins and, without doubt, attain to the holy
regions. Here is the sacred _tirtha_ called Vijanaka. where the holy
sage Vasistha with his wife Arundhati and also the sage Yavakri obtained
tranquillity. Yonder is the lake Kausava, where grown the lotuses called
Kausesaya, and here also is the sacred hermitage of Rukmini, where she
attained peace, after conquering that evil passion, anger. I think, O
prince, that thou hast heard something about that man of meditations,
Bhrigutunga. There, O king, before thee is that lofty peak. And, O
foremost of kings, yonder is Vitasta, the sacred stream that absolveth
men from all sins. The water of this stream is extremely cool and
limpid, and it is largely used by the great sages. O prince, behold the
holy rivers Jala and Upajala, on either side of the Yamuna. By
performing a sacrifice here, king Usinara surpassed in greatness Indra
himself. And, O descendant of Bharata, desirous of testing Usinara's
merit and also of bestowing boons on him, Indra and Agni presented
themselves at his sacrificial ground. And Indra assuming the shape of a
hawk, and Agni that of a pigeon, came up to that king. And the pigeon in
fear of the hawk, fell upon the king's thigh, seeking his protection.'"


"'The hawk said, "All the kings of the earth represent thee as a pious
ruler. Wherefore, O prince, has thou then stopped to perpetrate a deed
not sanctioned by the ordinance? I have been sore afflicted with hunger.
Do thou not withhold from me that which hath been appointed by the Diety
for my food,--under the impression that thereby thou servest the
interests of virtue, whereas in reality, thou wilt forsake it, (by
committing thyself to this act)." Thereupon, the king said, "O best of
the feathered race, afflicted with fear of thee, and desirous of
escaping from thy hands, this bird, all in a hurry, hath come up to me
asking for life. When this pigeon hath in such a manner sought my
protection, why dost thou not see that the highest merit is even in my
not surrendering it unto thee? And it is trembling with fear, and is
agitated, and is seeking its life from me. It is therefore certainly
blameworthy to forsake it. He that slayeth a Brahmana, he that
slaughtered a cow--the common mother of all the worlds--and he that
forsaketh one seeking for protection are equally sinful." Thereat the
hawk replied, "O lord of earth, it is from food that all beings derive
their life, and it is food also that nourisheth and sustaineth them. A
man can live long even after forsaking what is dearest to him, but he
cannot do so, after abstaining from food. Being deprived of food, my
life, O ruler of men, will surely leave this body, and will attain to
regions unknown to such troubles. But at my death, O pious king, my wife
and children will surely perish, and by protecting this single pigeon, O
prince, thou dost not protect many lives. The virtue that standeth in
the way of another virtue, is certainly no virtue at all, but in reality
is unrighteousness. But O king, whose prowess consisteth in truth, that
virtue is worthy of the name, which is not conflicting. After
instituting a comparison between opposing virtues, and weighing their
comparative merits, one, O great prince, ought to espouse that which is
not opposing. Do thou, therefore, O king, striking a balance between
virtues, adopt that which preponderates." At this the king said, "O best
of birds, as thou speakest words fraught with much good, I suspect thee
to be _Suparna_, the monarch of birds. I have not the least hesitation
to declare that thou art fully conversant with the ways of virtue. As
thou speakest wonders about virtue, I think that there is nothing
connected with it, that is unknown to thee. How canst thou then consider
the forsaking of one, seeking for help, as virtuous? Thy efforts in this
matter, O ranger of the skies, have been in quest of food. Thou canst,
however, appease thy hunger with some other sort of food, even more
copious. I am perfectly willing to procure for thee any sort of food
that to thee may seem most tasteful, even if it be an ox, or a boar, or
a deer, or a buffalo." Thereupon the hawk said, "O great king, I am not
desirous of eating (the flesh of) a boar or an ox or the various species
of beasts. What have I to do with any other sort of food? Therefore, O
bull among the Kshatriyas, leave to me this pigeon, whom Heaven hath
today ordained for my food, O ruler of earth, that hawks eat pigeons is
the eternal provision. O prince, do not for support embrace a plantain
tree, not knowing its want of strength." The king said, "Ranger of the
skies, I am willing to bestow on thee this rich province of my race, or
any other thing that to thee may seem desirable. With the sole exception
of this pigeon, which hath approached me craving my protection, I shall
be glad to give unto thee anything that thou mayst like. Let me know
what I shall have to do for the deliverance of this bird. But this I
shall not return to thee on any condition whatever."

"'The hawk said, "O great ruler of men, if thou hast conceived an
affection for this pigeon, then cut off a portion of thine own flesh,
and weigh it in a balance, against this pigeon. And when thou hast found
it equal (in weight) to the pigeon, then do thou give it unto me, and
that will be to my satisfaction." Then the king replied, "This request
of thine, O hawk, I consider as a favour unto me, and, therefore, I will
give unto thee even my own flesh, after weighing it in a balance."'

"Lomasa said, 'Saying this, O mighty son of Kunti, the highly virtuous
king cut off a portion of his own flesh, and placed it in a balance,
against the pigeon. But when he found that pigeon exceeded his flesh in
weight, he once more cut off another portion of his flesh, and added it
to the former. When portion after portion had been repeatedly added to
weigh against the pigeon, and no more flesh was left on his body, he
mounted the scale himself, utterly devoid of flesh.

"'The hawk then said, "I am Indra, O virtuous king, and this pigeon is
Agni, the carrier of the sacrificial clarified butter. We had come unto
thy sacrificial ground, desirous of testing thy merit. Since thou hast
cut off thy own flesh from thy body, thy glory shall be resplendent, and
shall surpass that of all others in the world. As long as men, O king,
shall speak of thee, so long shall thy glory endure, and thou shalt
inhabit the holy regions." Saying this to the king, Indra ascended to
heaven. And the virtuous king Usinara, after having filled heaven and
earth with the merit of his pious deeds, ascended to heaven in a radiant
shape. Behold, O king, the residence of that noble-hearted monarch.
Here, O king, are seen holy sages and gods, together with virtuous and
highsouled Brahmanas.'"


"Lomasa said, 'See here, O lord of men, the sacred hermitage of
Swetaketu, son of Uddalaka, whose fame as an expert in the sacred
_mantras_ is so widely spread on earth. This hermitage is graced with
cocoanut trees. Here Swetaketu beheld the goddess Saraswati in her human
shape, and spake unto her, saying, "May I be endowed with the gift of
speech!" In that _yuga_, Swetaketu, the son of Uddalaka, and Ashtavakra,
the son of Kahoda, who stood to each other in the relation of uncle and
nephew, were the best of those conversant with the sacred lore. Those
two Brahmanas, of matchless energy, who bore unto each other the
relationship of uncle and nephew, went into the sacrificial ground of
king Janaka and there defeated Vandin in a controversy. Worship, O son
of Kunti, with thy brothers, the sacred hermitage of him who had for his
grandson Ashtavakra, who, even when a mere child, had caused Vandin to
be drowned in a river, after having defeated him in a (literary)

"Yudhishthira said, 'Tell me, O Lomasa, all about the power of this man,
who had in that way defeated Vandin. Why was he born as _Ashtavakra_
(crooked in eight parts in his body)?'

"Lomasa said, 'The sage Uddalaka had a disciple named Kahoda of subdued
passions, and entirely devoted to the service of his preceptor and who
had continued his studies long. The Brahmana had served his tutor long,
and his preceptor, recognising his service, gave him his own daughter,
Sujata, in marriage, as well as a mastery over the Shastras. And she
became with child, radiant as fire. And the embryo addressed his father
while employed in reading, "O father, thou hast been reading the whole
night, but (of all that) thy reading doth not seem to me correct. Even
in my fetal state I have, by thy favour, become versed in the Shastras
and the Vedas with their several branches. I say, O father, that what
proceeds from thy mouth, is not correct." Thus insulted in the presence
of his disciples, the great sage in anger cursed his child in the womb,
saying, "Because thou speakest thus even while in the womb, therefore
thou shalt be crooked in eight parts of the body." The child was
accordingly born crooked, and the great sage was ever after known by the
name of Ashtavakra. Now, he had an uncle named Swetaketu who was the
same age with himself. Afflicted by the growth of the child in the womb,
Sujata, desirous of riches, conciliating her husband who had no wealth
told him in private: "How shall I manage, O great sage, the tenth month
of my pregnancy having come? Thou hast no substance whereby I may
extricate myself from the exigencies, after I have been delivered." Thus
addressed by his wife, Kahoda went unto king Janaka for riches. He was
there defeated in a controversy by Vandin, well versed in the science of
arguments, and (in consequence) was immersed into water. And hearing
that his son-in-law had been defeated in a controversy by Vandin and
caused to be drowned by him, Uddalaka spake unto his daughter Sujata,
saying, "Thou shall keep it a secret from Ashtavakra." She accordingly
kept her counsel--so that Ashtavakra, when born, had heard nothing about
the matter. And he regarded Uddalaka as his father and Swetaketu as his
brother. And when Ashtavakra was in his twelfth year, Swetaketu one day
saw the former seated on his father's lap. And thereat he pulled him by
the hand, and on Ashtavakra's beginning to cry, he told him, "It is not
the lap of thy father." This cruel communication went direct into
Ashtavakra's heart and it pained him sorely. And he went home and asked
his mother saying, "Where is my father?" Thereupon Sujata who was
greatly afflicted (by his question), and apprehending a curse told him
all that had happened. And having heard all, the Brahmana at night said
unto his uncle Swetaketu, "Let us go unto the sacrifice of king Janaka,
wherein many wonderful things are to be seen. There we shall listen to
the controversy between the Brahmanas and shall partake of excellent
food. Our knowledge also will increase. The recitation of the sacred
Vedas is sweet to hear and is fraught with blessings." Then they
both--uncle and nephew--went unto the splendid sacrifice of king Janaka.
And on being driven from the entrance, Ashtavakra met the king and
addressed him in the following words.'"


"'Ashtavakra said, "When no Brahmana is met with on the way, the way
belongeth to the blind, the deaf, the women, carriers of burden, and the
king respectively. But when a Brahmana is met with on the way, it
belongeth to him alone." Thereupon the king said, "I give the privilege
to enter. Do thou, therefore, go in by whatever way thou likest. No fire
ever so small is to be slighted. Even Indra himself boweth unto the
Brahmanas." At this Ashtavakra said, "We have come, O ruler of men, to
witness thy sacrificial ceremony and our curiosity, O king, is very
great. And we have come here as guests. We want the permission of thy
order (to enter). And, O son of Indradyumna, we have come, desirous of
seeing the sacrifice, and to meet king Janaka and speak to him. But thy
warder obstructs us and for this our anger burneth us like fever." The
warder said, "We carry out the orders of Vandin. Listen to what I have
to say. Lads are not permitted to enter here and it is only the learned
old Brahmanas that are allowed to enter." Ashtavakra said. "If this be
the condition, O warder, that the door is open to those only that are
old, then we have a right to enter. We are old and we have observed
sacred vows and are in possession of energy proceeding from the Vedic
lore. And we have served our superiors and subdued our passions--and
have also won proficiency in knowledge. It is said that even boys are
not to be slighted,--for a fire, small though it be, burneth on being
touched." The warder replied, "O young Brahmana, I consider you a boy,
and therefore recite, if you know, the verse demonstrating the existence
of the Supreme Being, and adored by the divine sages, and which,
although composed of one letter, is yet multifarious. Make no vain
boast. Learned men are really very rare." Ashtavakra said, "True growth
cannot be inferred from the mere development of the body, as the growth
of the knots of the Salmali tree cannot signify its age. That tree is
called full-grown which although slender and short, beareth fruits. But
that which doth not bear fruits, is not considered as grown." The warder
said, "Boys receive instruction from the old and they also in time grow
old. Knowledge certainly is not attainable in a short time. Wherefore
then being a child, dost thou talk like an old man?" Then Ashtavakra
said, "One is not old because his head is gray. But the gods regard him
as old who, although a child in years, is yet possessed of knowledge.
The sages have not laid down that a man's merit consists in years, or
gray hair, or wealth, or friends. To us he is great who is versed in the
Vedas. I have come here, O porter, desirous of seeing Vandin in the
court. Go and inform king Janaka, who hath a garland of lotuses on his
neck, that I am here. Thou shalt to-day see me enter into a dispute with
the learned men, and defeat Vandin in a controversy. And when others
have been silenced, the Brahmanas of matured learning and the king also
with his principal priests, bear witness to the superior or the inferior
quality of his attainments." The warder said, "How canst thou, who art but
in thy tenth year, hope to enter into this sacrifice, into which learned
and educated men only are admitted? I shall, however, try some means for
thy admittance. Do thou also try thyself." Ashtavakra then addressing
the king said, "O king, O foremost of Janaka's race, thou art the
paramount sovereign and all power reposeth in thee. In times of old,
king Yayati was the celebrator of sacrifices. And in the present age,
thou it is that art performer thereof. We have heard that the learned
Vandin, after defeating (in controversy) men expert in discussion,
causeth them to be drowned by faithful servants employed by thee.
Hearing this, I have come before these Brahmanas, to expound the
doctrine of the unity of the Supreme Being. Where is now Vandin? Tell me
so that I may approach him, and destroy him, even as the sun destroyeth
the stars." Thereupon the king said, "Thou hopest, O Brahmana, to defeat
Vandin, not knowing his power of speech. Can those who are familiar with
his power, speak as thou dost? He hath been sounded by Brahmanas versed
in the Vedas. Thou hopest to defeat Vandin, only because thou knowest
not his powers (of speech). Many a Brahmana hath waned before him, even
as the stars before the sun. Desirous of defeating him, people proud of
their learning, have lost their glory on appearing before him, and have
retired from his presence, without even venturing to speak with the
members of the assembly." Asthavakra said, "Vandin hath never entered
into disputation with a man like myself, and it is for this only that he
looketh upon himself as a lion, and goeth about roaring like one. But
to-day meeting me he will lie down dead, even like a cart on the
highway, of which the wheels have been deranged." The king said, "He
alone is a truly learned man who understandeth the significance of the
thing that hath thirty divisions, twelve parts twenty-four joints, and
three hundred and sixty spokes." Ashtavakra said, "May that ever-moving
wheel that hath twenty-four joints, six naves, twelve peripheries, and
sixty spokes protect thee!"[19] The king said, "Who amongst the gods
beareth those two which go together like two mares (yoked to a car), and
sweep like a hawk, and to what also do they give birth?" Ashtavakra
said, "May God, O king, forfend the presence of these two[20] in thy
house; aye, even in the house of thine enemies. He who appeareth, having
for his charioteer the wind,[21] begetteth them, and they also produce
him." Thereupon the king said, "What is that doth not close its eyes
even while sleeping; what is it that doth not move, even when born; what
is it that hath no heart; and what doth increase even in its own speed?"
Ashtavakra said, "It is a fish[22] that doth not close its eye-lids,
while sleeping; and it is an a egg[23] that doth not move when
produced; it is stone[24] that hath no heart; and it is a river[25]
that increase in its own speed."

[19] This wheel is the wheel of Time--i.e., measured according
to the solar, lunar and astral revolutions. The importance of
Ashtavakra's reply is this: May the meritorious deeds performed
at proper times, during the revolution of this wheel of Time
protect thee.

[20] Thunder and lightning or misery and death.

[21] Cloud or the mind.

[22] The male being that is ever conscious.

[23] The mundane egg.

[24] The soul that has renounced connection with the body.

[25] The heart of a _Yogi_.

"'The king said, "It seemeth, O possessor of divine energy, that thou
art no human being. I consider thee not a boy, but a matured man; there
is no other man who can compare with thee in the art of speech. I
therefore give thee admittance. There is Vandin."'"


"'Ashtavakra said, "O king, O leader of fierce legions, in this assembly
of monarchs of unrivalled power who have met together, I am unable to
find out Vandin, chief of the controversialists. But I am searching for
him, even as one doth for a swan on a vast expanse of water. O Vandin,
thou regardest thyself as the foremost of controversialists. When though
wilt engage with me in staking, thou wilt not be able to flow like the
current of a river. I am like a full-flaming fire. Be silent before me,
O Vandin! Do not awaken a sleeping tiger. Know that thou shalt not
escape unstung, after trampling on the head of a venomous snake, licking
the corners of its mouth with its tongue, and who hath been hurt by thy
foot. That weak man who, in pride of strength, attempts to strike a blow
at a mountain, only gets his hands and nails hurt, but no wound is left
on the mountain itself. As the other mountains are inferior to the
Mainaka, and as calves are inferior to the ox, so are all other kings of
the earth inferior to the lord of Mithila. And as Indra is the foremost
of celestials, and as the Ganga is the best of rivers, so thou alone
art, O king, the greatest of monarchs. O king, cause Vandin to be
brought to my presence."'

"Lomasa said, 'Saying this, O Yudhishthira, wroth with Vandin,
Ashtavakra thus thundered in the assembly, and addressed him in these
words, "Do thou answer my questions, and I shall answer thine." Thereat
Vandin said, "One only fire blazeth forth in various shapes; one only
sun illumineth this whole world; one only hero, Indra, the lord of
celestials, destroyeth enemies; and one only Yama is the sole lord of
the Pitris."[26] Ashtavakra said, "The two friends, Indra and Agni, ever
move together; the two celestial sages are Narada and Parvata; twins are
the Aswinikumaras; two is the number of the wheels of a car; and it is
as a couple that husband and wife live together, as ordained by the
deity."[27] Vandin said, "Three kinds of born beings are produced by
acts; the three Vedas together perform the sacrifice, Vajapeya; at three
different times, the Adhwaryus commence sacrificial rites; three is the
number of words: and three also are the divine lights."[28] Ashtavakra
said, "Four are the Asramas of the Brahmanas; the four orders perform
sacrifices; four are the cardinal points; four is the number of letters;
and four also, as is ever known, are the legs of a cow."[29] Vandin
said, "Five is the number of fires; five are the feet of the metre
called _Punki_; five are the sacrifices; five locks, it is said in the
Vedas, are on the heads of the Apsaras; and five sacred rivers are known
in the world."[30] Ashtavakra said. "Six cows, it is asserted by some,
and paid as a gratuity on the occasion of establishing the sacred fire;
six are the seasons belonging to the wheel of time; six is the number of
the senses; six stars constitute the constellation _Kirtika_; and six,
it is found in all the Vedas, is the number of the Sadyaska
sacrifice."[31] Vandin said, "Seven is the number of the domesticated
animals; seven are the wild animals; seven metres are used in completing
a sacrifice; seven are the _Rishis_, seven forms of paying homage are
extant (in the world); and seven, it is known, are the strings of the
Vina."[32] Ashtavakra said, "Eight are the bags containing a hundred
fold; eight is the number of the legs of the Sarabha, which preyeth upon
lions; eight Vasus, as we hear, are amongst the celestials; and eight
are the angles of _yupa_ (stake), in all sacrificial rites."[33] Vandin
said, "Nine is the number of the mantras used in kindling the fire in
sacrifices to the _Pitris_; nine are the appointed functions in the
processes of creation; nine letters compose the foot of the metre,
Vrihati; and nine also is ever the number of the figures (in
calculation)."[34] Ashtavakra said, "Ten is said to be the number of
cardinal points, entering into the cognition of men in this world; ten
times hundred make up a thousand; ten is the number of months, during
which women bear; and ten are the teachers of true knowledge, and ten,
the haters thereof, and ten again are those capable of learning it."[35]
Vandin said, "Eleven are the objects enjoyable by beings; eleven is the
number of the _yupas_; eleven are the changes of the natural state
pertaining to those having life; and eleven are the Rudras among the
gods in heaven."[36] Ashtavakra said, "Twelve months compose the year;
twelve letters go to the composition of a foot of the metre called
_Jagati_; twelve are the minor sacrifices; and twelve, according to the
learned, is the number of the Adityas."[37] Vandin said, "The
thirteenth lunar day is considered the most auspicious; thirteen islands
exist on earth."'[38]

[26] Ashtavakra comes to Janaka's sacrifice with the object of
proving the unity of the Supreme Being. Vandin avails himself of
various system of Philosophy to combat his opponent. He begins
with the Buddhistic system. The form of the dialogue is unique
in literature being that of enigmas and the latent meaning is in
a queer way hid under the appearance of puerile and
heterogeneous combinations of things.

Vandin opens the controversy by saying that as the number of
each of these is one, so one only intellect is the lord, leader
and guide of the senses.

[27] There is a Vedic revelation that two birds live together on
a tree as friends--one of these eats the fruits and the other
looks at the former. From this it is manifest that _two_ are the
lords, leaders, and guides of the senses. That there is a second
faculty besides the intellect is also proved by the fact that in
sleep when the intellect is inactive that faculty continues in
action, for if it were not so we could not remember having
slept, nor connect the state after awaking with that preceding
sleep. Accordingly by citing the number _two_ Ashtavakra assets
that besides intellect there is another faculty--consciousness
that these _two_ are jointly the lords, leaders and guides of
the senses and that they act together as Indra and Agni, etc.

[28] By citing the number _three_ Vandin means to say that as it
is Acts that produce the _three_ kinds of born beings, etc., so
Acts are supreme and that everything else be it intellect alone,
or intellect and consciousness together is subservient to Acts.

[29] Ashtavakra here advances the thesis that even if Acts be
supreme still when the (_fourth_) or Supreme Being becomes
manifest to the soul, it stands in no further needs to Acts.

[30] By bringing in the _quinquennial_ series, Vandin wishes to
assert that the _five_ senses are competent to cognise there
respective objects and that besides these senses and their
objects there is neither any other sense to perceive nor any
other object of perception. He also cites the authority of the
Veda according to which the _Apsaras_ (or consciousness) have
_five_ "locks" on their hands--i.e., _five_ objects of

[31] Besides the five senses Ashtavakra contends for an
additional sense namely the Mind and accordingly cites the
number _six_.

[32] Vandin admits the existence of the six senses but says that
the soul experiences happiness and misery through those as well
as through the _intellect_.

[33] Ashtavakra advances an eighth element, namely, the
_knowledge of the ego_.

[34] Each of the three qualities (existence, foulness and
ignorance) of _prakriti_ (the passive or material cause of the
world) mixing with each of the three corresponding qualities of
_pradhana_ (the active or spiritual cause of the world) in
various proportions produces the mundane order of things. Thus
is proved the eternity of _prakriti_ or nature and is also
established the doctrine of duality.

[35] Prakriti does not really create. It is the Supreme Being
who through the medium of illusion in contract with the _ten_
organs (viz., the five locomotive organs and the five organs of
sense) makes manifest the system of things. Prakriti therefore
has no real existence--her existence is only apparent in the
real existence of the soul.

[36] Yupas (stakes) mean here, _feelings_, etc, which keep men
bound to the world. _Rudras_ are those who makes others cry.

Vandin means to say that the soul is not essentially free from
the fetters of happiness and misery arising from the eleven
objects of perception. In this world all men are subject to
happiness and misery. We also hear that there are Rudras in

[37] The supreme soul unaffected by happiness and misery really
exists--but His existence is not susceptible of being
proved--nor can the ignorant ever perceive Him. Men attain that
condition through these _twelve_, viz., virtue, truth,
self-restraint, penances, good-will, modesty, forgiveness,
exemption from envy, sacrifice, charity, concentration and
control over the senses.

[38] According to some, endeavours to attain emancipation can be
successful not in this world but in the world of Brahma. Others
say that to that end a special _yoga_ is necessary. By bringing
forward the objects numbering _thirteen_, Vandin advances the
opinion that, virtue, etc., are not sufficient for purposes of
emancipation but that suitable time and place are also

"Lomasa said, 'Having proceeded thus far, Vandin stopped. Thereupon
Ashtavakra supplied the latter half of the _sloka_. Ashtavakra said,
"Thirteen sacrifices are presided over by Kesi; and thirteen are
devoured by _Atichhandas_, (the longer metres) of the Veda."[39] And
seeing Ashtavakra speaking and the Suta's son silent, and pensive, and
with head downcast, the assembly broke into a long uproar. And when the
tumult thus arose in the splendid sacrifice performed by king Janaka,
the Brahmanas well pleased, and with joined hands, approached
Ashtavakra, and began to pay him homage.

[39] Ashtavakra concludes by citing the same number _thirteen_.
The soul which is essentially unaffected, becomes subject to
happiness and misery through the _thirteen_, viz., the ten
organs of locomotion and sense, and intellect mind and egoism.
But Atichhanadas, i.e., those that have surmounted ignorance,
namely, the twelve, virtue, etc. destroy those thirteen and that
is emancipation.

"'Thereupon Ashtavakra said, "Before this, this man, defeating the
Brahmanas in controversy, used to cast them into water. Let Vandin today
meet with the same fate. Seize him and drown him in water." Vandin said.
"O Janaka, I am the son of king Varuna. Simultaneously with thy
sacrifice, there also hath commenced a sacrifice extending over twelve
years. It is for this that I have despatched the principal Brahmanas
thither. They have gone to witness Varuna's sacrifice. Lo! there they
are returning. I pay homage to the worshipful Ashtavakra, by whose grace
to-day I shall join him who hath begot me."

"'Ashtavakra said, "Defeating the Brahmanas either by words or subtlety.
Vandin had cast them into the waters of the sea. (That Vedic truth which
he had suppressed by false arguments), have I to-day rescued by dint of
my intellect. Now let candid men judge. As Agni, who knoweth the
character of both the good and the bad, leaveth unscorched by his heat
the bodies of those whose designs are honest, and is thus partial to
them, so good men judge the assertions of boys, although lacking the
power of speech, and are favourably disposed towards them. O Janaka,
thou hearest my words as if thou hast been stupefied in consequence of
having eaten the fruit of the Sleshmataki tree. Or flattery hath robbed
thee of thy sense, and for this it is that although pierced by my words
as an elephant (by the hook), thou hearest them not."

"'Janaka said, "Listening to thy words, I take them to be excellent and
superhuman. Thy form also standeth manifest as superhuman. As thou hast
to-day defeated Vandin in discussion, I place even him at thy disposal."
Ashtavakra said, "O king, Vandin remaining alive, will not serve any
purpose of mine. If his father be really Varuna, let him be drowned in
the sea." Vandin said, "I am King Varuna's son. I have no fear
(therefore) in being drowned. Even at this moment. Ashtavakra shall see
his long-lost sire, Kahoda."'

"Lomasa said, 'Then rose before Janaka all the Brahmanas, after having
been duly worshipped by the magnanimous Varuna. Kahoda said, "It is for
this, O Janaka, that men pray for sons, by performing meritorious acts.
That in which I had failed hath been achieved by my son. Weak persons
may have sons endued with strength; dunces may have intelligent sons;
and the illiterate may have sons possessed of learning." Vandin said,
"It is with thy sharpened axe, O monarch, that even Yama severeth the
heads of foes. May prosperity attend thee! In this sacrifice of king
Janaka, the principal hymns relating to the _Uktha_ rites are being
chanted, and the Soma juice also is being adequately quaffed. And the
gods themselves, in person, and with cheerful hearts, are accepting
their sacred shares."'

"Lomasa said, 'When in enhanced splendour, the Brahmanas had risen up,
Vandin, taking king Janaka's permission, entered into the waters of the
sea. And then Ashtavakra worshipped his father, and he himself also was
worshipped by the Brahmanas. And having thus defeated the Suta's
son,[40] Ashtavakra returned to his own excellent hermitage, in company
with his uncle. Then in the presence of his mother, his father addressed
him, saying, "(O son), thou speedily enter into this river, Samanga."
And accordingly, he entered (into the water). (And as he plunged beneath
the water), all his (crooked) limbs were immediately made straight. And
from that day that river came to be called Samanga and she became
invested with the virtues of purifying (sins). He that shall bathe in
her, will be freed from his sins. Therefore, O Yudhishthira, do thou
with thy brothers and wife descend to the river, and perform thy
ablutions. O Kunti's son, O scion of the Ajamidha race, living happily
and cheerfully at this place together with thy brothers and the
Brahmanas, thou wilt perform with me other acts of merit, being intent
upon good deeds.'"

[40] _Su_ means _excellent_, and _uta_, _sacrifice_. The
compound accordingly means,--_performer of excellent sacrifice_.


"Lomasa said, 'Here, O king, is visible the river Samanga, whose former
name was Madhuvila, and yonder is the spot named Kardamila, the bathing
place of Bharata. The lord of Sachi, when fallen into misery in
consequence of having slain Vritra, became freed from his sin, by
performing his ablutions in this Samanga. Here, O bull among men, is the
spot where the Mainaka mountain hath sunk into the interior of the
earth; and it is hence called Vinasana. For obtaining sons, here Aditi
in days of yore had cooked that celebrated food, (presided over by the
Supreme Being). O ye bulls among men, ascend this lofty mountain and put
an end to your inglorious misery unworthy to be uttered. Here, O king,
before thee is the Kanakhala range, the favourite resort of sages. And
yonder is the mighty river Ganga. Here, in ancient times, the holy sage
Sanatkumara attained ascetic success. O scion of the Ajamidha race, by
performing thy ablutions here in this river, thou wilt be freed from all
thy sins. O son of Kunti, do thou together with thy ministers, touch
(the waters) of this lake called Punya, and this mountain Bhrigutunga
and also (the water of) these two rivers, called Tushniganga. Here, O
Kunti's son, appeareth the hermitage of the sage Sthulasiras. Resign
here thy anger and sense of self-importance. There, O son of Pandu, is
seen the beautiful hermitage of Raivya, where perished Bharadwaja's son,
Yavakari, profound in Vedic lore.'

"Yudhishthira said, 'How did the mighty sage, Yavakri, son of the
ascetic Bharadwaja, acquire profoundity in the Vedas? And how also did
he perish? I am anxious to hear all this, just as it happened. I take
delight in listening to the narration of the deeds of god-like men.'

"Lomasa said, 'Bharadwaja and Raivya were two friends. And they dwelt
here, ever taking the greatest pleasure in each other's company. Now,
Raivya had two sons, named Arvavasu and Paravasu. And, Bharadwaja, O
Bharata's son, had an only son, named Yavakri. Raivya and his two sons
were versed in the Vedas, while Bharadwaja practised asceticism. But, O
son of Bharata, from their boyhood, the friendship subsisting between
those two was unequalled. O sinless one, the highspirited Yavakri
finding that his father, who practised asceticism, was slighted by the
Brahmanas, while Raivya with his sons was greatly respected by them, was
overwhelmed with sorrow, and became sore aggrieved. Thereupon, O son of
Pandu, he entered upon severe austerities, for (obtaining) a knowledge
of the Vedas. And he exposed his body to a flaming fire. By thus
practising the most rigid austerities, he caused anxiety in the mind of
Indra. Then Indra, O Yudhishthira, went to him and addressed him saying,
"Wherefore, O sage, hast thou become engaged in practising such rigid
austerities?" Yavakri said, "O thou adored of celestial hosts, I am
practising severe penances, because I wish that such a knowledge of the
Vedas as hath never been acquired by any Brahmana whatever, may be
manifest unto me. O conqueror of Paka, these endeavours of mine have
been for Vedic lore. O Kausika, by the force of my asceticism, I purpose
to obtain all sorts of knowledge. O lord, a knowledge of the Vedas as
learnt through teachers, is acquired in a long time. Therefore, (with
the view of attaining in short time a proficiency in the Vedas), I have
put forth these high endeavours." Indra said, "O Brahmana sage, the way
that thou hast adopted is not the proper way. What for, O Brahmana,
wilt thou destroy thyself? Go and learn from the lips of a preceptor."'

"Lomasa said, 'O son of Bharata, having said this, Sakra went away, and
Yavakri of immeasurable energy, once more directed his attention to
asceticism. O king, we have heard that carrying on severe austerities he
again greatly agitated Indra. And the god Indra, slayer of Vala, again
came unto that great sage, who was engaged in austere penances; and
forbade him, saying, "Thou art striving with the object that Vedic lore
may be manifest unto thee as well as unto thy father; but thy exertions
can never be successful, nor is this act of thine well-advised." Yavakri
said, "O lord of the celestials, if thou wilt not do for me what I want,
I shall, observing stricter vows, practise still severer penances. O
lord of celestials! know that if thou do not fulfil all my desires, I
shall then cut off my limbs and offer them as a sacrifice into a blazing

"Lomasa said, 'Knowing the determination of that high-souled sage, the
sagacious Indra reflected and hit upon some expedient to dissuade him.
Then Indra assumed the guise of an ascetic Brahmana, hundreds of years
old, and infirm, and suffering from consumption. And he fell to throwing
up a dam with sands, at that spot of the Bhagirathi to which Yavakri
used to descend for performing ablutions. Because Yavakri, chief of the
Brahmanas, paid no heed to Indra's words, the latter began to fill the
Ganga with sands. And without cessation, he threw handfuls of sand into
the Bhagirathi, and began to construct the dam attracting the notice of
the sage. And when that bull among the sages, Yavakri, saw Indra thus
earnestly engaged in constructing the dam, he broke into laughter, and
said the following words, "What art thou engaged in, O Brahmana, and
what is thy object? Why dost thou, for nothing, make this mighty
endeavour?" Indra said, "I am trying, O my son, to dam the Ganga so that
there may be a commodious passage. People experience considerable
difficulty in crossing and recrossing (the river) by boat." Yavakri
said, "O thou of ascetic wealth, thou canst not dam up this mighty
current. O Brahmana, desist from, what is impracticable, and take up
something that is practicable." Indra said, "O sage, I have imposed on
myself this heavy task, even as, for obtaining a knowledge of the Vedas,
thou hast begun these penances, which can never be fruitful." Yavakri
said, "If, O chief of the celestials, those efforts of mine be
fruitless, even as those of thy own, then, O lord of heavenly hosts, be
thou pleased to do for me what is practicable. Vouchsafe unto me boons
whereby I may excel other men."'

"Lomasa said 'Then Indra granted boons, as was prayed for by the mighty
ascetic, Indra said, "As thou desirest, the Vedas will be manifest unto
thee, yea--even unto thy father. And all thy other desires will also be
fulfilled. Return home, O Yavakri."

"'Having thus obtained the object of his desire, Yavakri came unto his
father and said, "The Vedas, O father, will be manifest unto thee as
well as unto myself and I have obtained boons whereby we shall excel all
men." Thereat Bharadwaja said, "O my son, as thou hast obtained the
objects of thy desire, thou wilt be proud. And when thou art puffed up
with pride and hast also become uncharitable, destruction will soon
overtake thee. O my son, there is a current anecdote narrated by the
gods. In ancient times, O son, there lived a sage named Valadhi,
possessed of great energy. And in grief for the death of a child, he
practised the severest penances to have a child that should be immortal.
And he obtained a son even as he desired. But the gods, though very
favourably disposed (towards him), did not yet make his son immortal
like unto the gods. They said, "On condition can a mortal being be made
immortal. Thy son's life, however, shall depend on some instrumental
cause." Thereupon, Valadhi said, "O chiefs of the celestials, these
mountains have been existing eternally, and indestructible, let them be
the instrumental cause of my son's life." Afterwards a son was born to
the sage, named Medhavi. And he was of a very irritable temper. And
hearing of (the incident of his birth), he grew haughty, and began to
insult the sages. And he ranged over the earth, doing mischief to the
_munis_. And one day, meeting with the learned sage Dhannushaksha endued
with energy, Medhavi maltreated him. Thereupon, the former cursed him,
saying, "Be thou reduced to ashes." Medhavi, however, was not reduced to
ashes. Then Dhannushaksha caused the mountain which was the instrumental
cause of Medhavi's life, to be shattered by buffaloes. And the boy
perished, with the destruction of the instrumental cause of his life.
And embracing his dead son, Medhavi's father began to bewail his fate.
Now hear from me, O my son, what was chanted by the sages conversant
with the Vedas, when they found the sage mourning. _A mortal on no
condition whatever can overcome what hath been ordained by Fate. Lo!
Dhannushaksha succeeded in shattering even the mountain by buffaloes._
Thus young ascetics, puffed up with pride for having obtained boons,
perish in a short time. Be thou not one of them. This Raivya, O my son,
is possessed of great energy, and his two sons are like him. Therefore,
be thou vigilant--so as never to approach him. O my son, Raivya is a
great ascetic of an irritable temper. When angry, he can do thee harm."
Yavakri said, "I shall do as thou biddest me. Oh father, do thou not by
any means entertain anxiety for that. Raivya deserveth my regard even as
thou, my father." Having replied unto his father in these sweet words,
Yavakri, fearing nothing and nobody, began to delight in wantonly
offending other _munis_.'"


"Lomasa said, 'One day in the month of Chaitra, while fearlessly
wandering at large, Yavakri approached the hermitage of Raivya. And O
son of Bharata, in that beautiful hermitage, adorned with trees bearing
blossoms, he happened to behold the daughter-in-law of Raivya,
sauntering about like a Kinnara woman. And having lost his senses
through passion, Yavakri shamelessly spake unto the bashful maiden,
saying, "Be thou attached unto me." Thereupon, knowing his nature, and
afraid of a curse, as well as thinking of Raivya's power, she went unto
him saying, "I agree." Then, O son of Bharata, taking him in private,
she kept him chained. O conqueror of foes, returning to his hermitage,
Raivya found his daughter-in-law, Paravasu's wife, in tears. O
Yudhishthira, thereat consoling her with soft words, he enquired of her
as to the cause of her grief. Thereupon, the beautiful damsel told him
all that Yavakri had said unto her, and what she also had cleverly said
unto him. Hearing of this gross misbehaviour of Yavakri, the mind of the
sage flamed up, and he waxed exceedingly wroth. And being thus seized
with passion, the great sage of a highly irascible temper, tore off a
matted lock of his hair, and with holy _mantras_, offered it as a
sacrifice on the sacred fire. At this, there sprang out of it a female
exactly resembling his daughter-in-law. And then he plucked another
matted lock of his hair, and again offered it as a sacrifice into the
fire. Thereupon sprang out of it a demon, terrible to behold, and having
fierce eyes. Then those two spake unto Raivya, saying, "What shall we
do?" Thereat, the angry sage said unto them, "Go and kill Yavakri." Then
saying, "We shall do (as thou biddest)"--they two went away with the
intention of slaying Yavakri. And with her charms, the female whom the
large-hearted sage had created, robbed Yavakri of his sacred water-pot.
Then with his uplifted spear the demon flew at Yavakri, when he had been
deprived of his water-pot and rendered unclean. And seeing the demon
approach with uplifted spear for the purpose of slaying him, Yavakri
rose up all on a sudden and fled towards a tank. But finding it devoid
of water, he hurried towards all the rivers. But they too were all dried
up. And being obstructed again and again by the fierce demon, holding
the spear, Yavakri in fright attempted to enter into the _Agnihotra_
room of his father. But there, O king, he was repulsed by a blind Sudra
warder, and he remained at the door, grasped by the man. And, finding
Yavakri thus grasped by the Sudra, the demon hurled his spear at him,
and thereupon he fell down dead, pierced in the heart. After slaying
Yavakri, the demon went back to Raivya, and with the permission of that
sage, began to live with the female.'"


"Lomasa said, 'O son of Kunti, Bharadwaja returned to his hermitage
after performing the ritual duties of the day, and having collected the
sacrificial fuel. And because his son had been slain, the sacrificial
fires which used to welcome him everyday, did not on that day come
forward to welcome him. And marking this change in the Agnihotra, the
great sage asked the blind Sudra warder seated there, saying, "Why is
it, O Sudra, that the fires rejoice not at sight of me? Thou too dost
not rejoice as is thy wont. Is it all well with my hermitage? I hope
that my son of little sense had not gone to the sage Raivya. Answer
speedily, O Sudra, all these questions of mine. My mind misgiveth me."
The Sudra said, "Thy son of little sense had gone to the sage Raivya,
and therefore it is that he lieth prostrate (on the ground), having been
slain by a powerful demon. Being attacked by the Rakshasa, holding a
spear, he attempted to force his way into this room, and I therefore
barred his way with my arms. Then desirous of having water in an unclean
state, as he stood hopeless, he was slain by the vehement Rakshasa,
carrying a spear in his hand." On hearing from the Sudra of this great
calamity, Bharadwaja, sorely afflicted with grief, began to lament,
embracing his dead son. And he said, "O my son, it is for the good of
the Brahmanas that thou didst practise penances, with the intention that
the Vedas unstudied by any Brahmana whatever might be manifest unto
thee. Thy behaviour towards the Brahmanas had always been for their
good, and thou hadst also been innocent in regard to all creatures. But,
alas! (at last) thou didst lapse into rudeness. I had prohibited thee, O
my son, from visiting the residence of Raivya; but alas! to that very
hermitage, (destructive to thee) as the god of death himself, Yama,
didst thou repair. Evil-minded is that man, who, (knowing that) I am an
old man, and also that (Yavakri) was my only son, had given way to
wrath. It is through the agency of Raivya that I have sustained the loss
of my child. Without thee, O my son, I shall give up my life, the most
precious thing in the world. In grief for the death of my son, I
renounce my life; but this I say that Raivya's eldest son shall in a
short time kill him although he be innocent. Blessed are those to whom
children have never been born, for they lead a happy life, without
having to experience the grief (incident to the death of a child). Who
in this world can be more wicked than those who from affliction, and
deprived of their sense by sorrow consequent upon the death of a child,
curse even their dearest friend! I found my son dead, and, therefore,
have cursed my dearest friend. Ah! what second man can there be in this
world, destined to suffer so grievous a misfortune!" Having lamented
long Bharadwaja cremated his son and then himself entered into a
full-blazing fire.'"


"Lomasa said, 'At that very time, the mighty king, Vrihadyumna, of high
fortune, who was the _Yajamana_ of Raivya, commenced a sacrifice. And
the two sons of Raivya, Arvavasu and Paravasu, were engaged by that
intelligent monarch, to assist him in the performance of the ceremony.
And, O son of Kunti, taking the permission of their father, they two
went to the sacrifice, while Raivya with Paravasu's wife remained in the
hermitage. And it came to pass that one day, desirous of seeing his
wife, Paravasu returned home alone. And he met his father in the wood,
wrapped in the skin of a black antelope. And the night was far advanced
and dark; and Paravasu, blinded by drowsiness in that deep wood, mistook
his father for a straggling deer. And mistaking him for a deer,
Paravasu, for the sake of personal safety, unintentionally killed his
father. Then, O son of Bharata, after performing the funeral rites (of
his father), he returned to the sacrifice and there addressed his
brother saying, "Thou wilt never be able to perform this task
unassisted. I again, have killed our father, mistaking him for a deer. O
brother, for me do thou observe a vow, prescribed in the case of killing
a Brahmana. O Muni, I shall be able to perform this work (sacrifice),
without any assistant." Arvavasu said, "Do thou then thyself officiate
at this sacrifice of the gifted Vrihadyumna; and for thee will I,
bringing my senses under perfect control, observe the vow prescribed in
the case of slaying a Brahmana."'

"Lomasa said, 'Having observed the vow relative to the killing of a
Brahmana, the sage Arvavasu came back to the sacrifice. Seeing his
brother arrive, Paravasa, in accents choked with malice, addressed
Vrihadyumna, saying, "O king, see that this slayer of a Brahmana enter
not into thy sacrifice, nor look at it. Even by a glance, the killer of
a Brahmana can, without doubt, do thee harm." O lord of men, immediately
on hearing this, the king ordered his attendants (to turn out Arvavasu).
O king, on being driven out by the king's attendants, and repeatedly
addressed by them--"_O slayer of a Brahmana_"--Arvavasu more than once
cried, "It is not I that have killed a Brahmana." Nor did he own that he
had observed the vow for his own sake. He said that his brother had
committed the sin, and that he had freed him therefrom. Having said this
in anger, and being reprimanded by the attendants, the Brahmana sage of
austere penances, retired in silence into the woods. There betaking
himself to the severest penances, the great Brahmana sought the
protection of the Sun. Thereupon, the revelation teaching the _mantra_
relative to the worship of the Sun, became manifest unto him and that
eternal deity who obtaineth his share (of the sacrificial butter) first,
appeared before him in an embodied form.'

"Lomasa said, 'The celestials, O king, were well pleased with Arvavasu
for his acts. And they made him engaged as the chief priest in the
sacrifice (of Vrihadyumna), and Paravasu to be dismissed from it. Then
Agni and the other celestials (of their own accord) bestowed boons on
Arvavasu. And they also prayed that his father might be restored to
life. He further prayed that his brother might be absolved from his sin;
that his father might have no recollection of his having been slain;
that Bharadwaja and Yavakri might both be restored to life; and that the
solar revelation might attain celebrity (on earth). Then the god said,
"So be it," and conferred on him other boons also. Thereat, O
Yudhishthira, all of these persons regained their life. Yavakri now
addressed Agni and the other deities, saying, "I had obtained a
knowledge of all the Vedas, and also practised penances. How came it
then, O chiefs of the immortals, that Raivya succeeded in killing me in
that way?" Thereupon the gods said, "O Yavakri, never act again as those
have done. What thou askest about is quite possible, for thou hast
learnt the Vedas without exertion, and without the help of a preceptor.
But this man (Raivya) bearing various troubles, had satisfied his
preceptor by his conduct, and obtained (from the latter) the excellent
Vedas through great exertions and in a long time."'

"Lomasa said, 'Having said this to Yavakri, and restored all those to
life, the celestials with Indra at their head, ascended to heaven. Here,
O Yudhishthira, is the sacred hermitage of that sage embellished with
trees bearing blossoms and fruits at all seasons. O tiger among kings,
dwelling at this spot, thou wilt be delivered from all thy sins.'"


"Lomasa said, 'O descendant of Bharata, O king, now hast thou left
behind the mountains Usiravija, Mainaka and Sweta, as well as the Kala
hills. O son of Kunti, O bull among the descendants of Bharata, here
flow before thee the seven Gangas. This spot is pure and holy. Here Agni
blazeth forth without intermission. No son of Manu is able to obtain a
sight of this wonder. Therefore, O son of Pandu, concentrate your mind
in order that he may intently behold these _tirthas_. Now wilt thou see
the play-ground of the gods, marked with their footprints, as we have
passed the mountain Kala. We shall now ascend that white rock--the
mountain Mandara, inhabited by the Yakshas, Manibhadra and Kuvera, king
of the Yakshas. O king, at this place eighty thousand fleet Gandharvas,
and four times as many Kimpurushas and Yakshas of various shapes and
forms, holding various weapons, attend upon Manibhadra, king of the
Yakshas. In these regions their power is very great. And in speed they
are even as the wind. They can, without doubt, displace even the lord of
the celestials from his seat. Protected by them, and also watched over
by the Rakshasas, these mountains have been rendered inaccessible.
Therefore, O son of Pritha, do thou concentrate thy thoughts. Besides
these, O son of Kunti, here are fierce ministers of Kuvera and his
Rakshasa kindred. We shall have to meet them, and, therefore, O Kunti's
son, gather up thy energies. O king the mountain Kailasa is six
_yojanas_ in height. It contains a gigantic jujube tree. And, O son of
Kunti, numberless gods and Yakshas and Rakshasas and Kinnaras and Nagas
and Suparnas and Gandharvas pass this way, in going towards Kuvera's
palace. O king, protected by me, as well as by the might of Bhimasena,
and also in virtue of thy own asceticism and self-command, do thou
to-day mix with them. May king Varuna and Yama, conqueror of battles,
and Ganga, and Yamuna, and this mountain, and the Maruts and the twin
Aswins, and all rivers and lakes, vouchsafe thy safety. And, O effulgent
one, mayst thou have safety from all the celestials and the Asuras, and
the Vasus. O Goddess Ganga, I hear thy roar from this golden mountain,
sacred to Indra. O Goddess of high fortune, in these mountainous
regions, protect the king, worshipped by all of the Ajamidha race. O
daughter of the mountain (Himalaya), this king is about to enter into
these mountainous regions. Do thou, therefore, confer protection upon

"Having thus addressed the river, Lomasa bade Yudhishthira, saying, 'Be
thou careful.'

"Yudhishthira said, 'This confusion of Lomasa is unprecedented.
Therefore, protect ye Krishna, and be not careless. Lomasa knows this
place to be certainly difficult of access. Therefore, do ye practise
here the utmost cleanliness.'"

Vaisampayana said, "He next addressed his brother Bhima of vast prowess,
saying, 'O Bhimasena, do thou protect Krishna carefully. Whether Arjuna
be near or away, Krishna in times of danger ever seeketh protection from
thee alone.'

"Then the high-souled monarch approached the twins, Nakula and Sahadeva,
and after smelling their heads, and rubbing their persons, with tears
said unto them, 'Do not fear. Proceed, however, with caution.'"


"Yudhishthira said, 'O Vrikodara, there are mighty and powerful
invisible spirits at this place. We shall, however, pass it, through the
merit of our asceticism and _Agnihotra_ sacrifices. O son of Kunti, do
thou therefore, restrain thy hunger and thirst by collecting thy
energies, and also, O Vrikodara have recourse to thy strength and
cleverness. O Kunti's son, thou hast heard what the sage (Lomasa) had
said regarding mount Kailasa. Ascertain, therefore, after deliberation,
how Krishna will pass the spot. Or, O mighty Bhima of large eyes, do
return from hence, taking with thee Sahadeva, and all our charioteers,
cooks, servants, cars, horses, and Brahmanas worn out with travel, while
I together with Nakula and the sage Lomasa of severe austerities
proceed, subsisting on the lightest fare and observing vows. Do thou in
expectation of my return, cautiously wait at the source of the Ganga,
protecting Draupadi till I come back.'

"Bhima replied, 'O descendant of Bharata, although this blessed princess
hath been sore afflicted by toil and distress, yet she easily
proceedeth, in the hope of beholding him of the white steeds (Arjuna).
Thy dejection also is already very great at not seeing the high-souled
Arjuna, who never retreateth from fight. O Bharata, it is superfluous
then to say that if thou seest neither myself nor Sahadeva nor Krishna,
thy dejection will certainly increase. The Brahmanas had better return
with our servants, charioteers, cooks and whomsoever else thou mayst
command. I never shall leave thee in these rugged and inaccessible
mountainous regions, infested by Rakshasas. And, O tiger among men, also
this princess of high fortune, ever devoted to her lords, desireth not
to return without thee. Sahadeva is always devoted to thee; he too will
never retrace his steps. His disposition is known to me. O king, O
mighty monarch, we are all eager to behold Savyasachin, and therefore,
will we all go together. If we are unable to go over this mountain in
our cars, abounding as it doth in defiles, well, we would go on foot.
Trouble thyself not, O king, I shall carry Panchala's daughter wherever
she will be incapable of walking. O king, I have decided upon this.
Therefore let not thy mind be distracted. I shall also carry over
inaccessible tracts those tender-bodied heroes, the twins, the delight
of their mother, wherever they will be incapable of proceeding.'

"Yudhishthira said, 'May thy strength increase, O Bhima, as thou speakest
thus, and as thou boldly undertakest to carry the illustrious Panchali
and these twins. Blessed be thou! Such courage dwelleth not in any other
individual. May thy strength, fame, merit, and reputation increase! O
long-armed one, as thou offerest to carry Krishna and our brothers the
twins, exhaustion and defeat never be thine!'"

Vaisampayana said, "Then the charming Krishna said with a smile, 'O
descendant of Bharata, I shall be able to go, and, therefore, be thou
not anxious on my account.'

"Lomasa said, 'Access to the mountain, Gandhamadana, is only to be
obtained by dint of asceticism. Therefore, O son of Kunti, shall we all
practise austerities, O king, Nakula, Sahadeva, Bhimasena, thou and
myself shall then see him of the white steeds, O Kunti's son.'"

Vaisampayana said, "O king, thus conversing together, they saw with
delight the extensive domains of Suvahu, situated on the Himalayas
abounding in horses and elephants, densely inhabited by the Kiratas and
the Tanganas, crowded by hundreds of Pulindas, frequented by the
celestials, and rife with wonders. King Suvahu, the lord of the
Pulindas, cheerfully received them at the frontiers of his dominions,
paying them proper respect. Having been thus received with honour, and
having dwelt comfortably at this place, they started for the mountain
Himalaya, when the sun shone brightly in the firmament. And, O king,
having entrusted to the care of the lord of the Pulindas, all their
servants--Indrasena and the others,--and the cooks and the stewards, and
Draupadi's accoutrements, and every thing else, those mighty
charioteers, the son of the Kurus, endued with great prowess, set out
from that country, and began to proceed cautiously with Krishna,--all of
them cheerful in the expectation of beholding Arjuna.

"Yudhishthira said, 'O Bhimasena, O Panchali, and ye twins, hearken unto
my words. The acts done (by a person) in a former birth do not perish,
(without producing their effects). Behold! Even we have become rangers
of the wilderness. Even to see Dhananjaya, exhausted and distressed as
we are, we have to bear each other, and pass through impassable places.
This burneth me even as fire doth a heap of cotton. O hero, I do not see
Dhananjaya at my side. I reside in the wood with my younger brothers,
anxious for beholding him. This thought, as also the memory of that
grave insult offered to Yajanaseni, consumes me. O Vrikodara, I do not
see the invincible Partha of strong bow and incomparable energy, and who
is the immediate elder to Nakula. For this, O Vrikodara, I am miserable.
In order to see that hero, Dhananjaya, firm in promise, for these five
years have I been wandering in various _tirthas_, and beautiful forests
and lakes and yet I do meet with him. For this, O Vrikodara, I am
miserable. I do not see the long-armed Gudakesa, of dark blue hue, and
leonine gait. For this, O Vrikodara, I am miserable. I do not see that
foremost of Kurus, accomplished in arms, skilful in fight, and matchless
among bowmen. For this, O Vrikodara, I am miserable. Distressed for I am
I do not see that son of Pritha, Dhananjaya, born under the influence of
the star Phalguni; ranging amidst foes even like Yama at the time of the
universal dissolution; possessed of the prowess of an elephant with the
temporal juice trickling down; endued with leonine shoulders; not
inferior to Sakra himself in prowess and energy; elder in years to the
twins; of white steeds; unrivalled in heroism; invincible; and wielding
a strong bow. For this, O Vrikodara, I am miserable. And he is always of
a forgiving temper,--even when insulted by the meanest individual. And
he conferreth benefit and protection to the righteous; but to that
tortuous person who by craft attempts to do him mischief, Dhananjaya is
like unto virulent poison, albeit that one were Sakra himself. And the
mighty Vibhatsu of immeasurable soul and possessing great strength,
showeth mercy and extendeth protection even to a foe when fallen. And he
is the refuge of us all and he crusheth his foes in fight. And he hath
the power to collect any treasure whatever, and he ministereth unto our
happiness. It was through his prowess that I had owned formerly
measureless precious jewels of various kinds which at present Suyodhana
hath usurped. It was by his might, O hero, that I had possessed before
that palatial amphitheatre embellished with all manner of jewels, and
celebrated throughout the three worlds. O Pandu's son, in prowess,
Phalguni is like unto Vasudeva, and in fight he is invincible and
unrivalled, even like unto Kartavirya. Alas! I see him not, O Bhima. In
might, that conqueror of foes goeth in the wake of the invincible and
most powerful Sankarshana (Valarama) and Vasudeva. In strength of arms,
and spirit, he is like unto Purandara himself. And in swiftness, he is
even as the wind, and in grace, as the moon, and in ire, he is the
eternal Death himself. O mighty-armed one, with the object of beholding
that war-like tiger among men, shall we repair to the Gandhamadana
mountain, where lies the hermitage of Nara and Narayana at the site of
the celebrated jujube tree, and which is inhabited by the Yakshas. We
shall see that best of mountains. And, practising severe austerities
only on foot we shall go to Kuvera's beautiful lake guarded by
Rakshasas. That place cannot be reached by vehicles, O Vrikodara.
Neither can cruel or avaricious, or irascible people attain to that
spot, O Bharata's son. O Bhima, in order to see Arjuna, thither shall we
repair, in company, with Brahmanas of strict vows, girding on our
swords, and wielding our bows. Those only that are impure, meet with
flies, gad-flies, mosquitoes, tigers, lions, and reptiles, but the pure
never come across them. Therefore, regulating our fare, and restraining
our senses, we shall go to the Gandhamadana, desirous of seeing


"Lomasa said, 'O sons of Pandu, ye have seen many a mountain, and river
and town and forest and beautiful _tirtha_; and have touched with your
hands the sacred waters. Now this way leads to the celestial mountain
Mandara; therefore be ye attentive and composed. Ye will now repair to
the residence of the celestials and the divine sages of meritorious
deeds. Here, O king, flows the mighty and beautiful river (Alakananda)
of holy water adored by hosts of celestials and sages, and tracing its
source to (the site of) the jujube tree. It is frequented and worshipped
by high-souled Vaihayasas, Valakhilyas and Gandharvas of mighty souls.
Accustomed to sing the Sama hymns, the sages, Marichi, Pulaha, Bhrigu
and Angiras, chanted them at this spot. Here the lord of celestials
performeth with the Marats his daily prayers. And the Sadhyas and the
Aswins attend on him. The sun, the moon and all the luminaries with the
planets resort to this river, alternately by day and by night. O highly
fortunate monarch, that protector of the world, Mahadeva, having a bull
for his mark, received on his head the fall of the waters of this river,
at the source of the Ganga. O children, approach this goddess of the six
attributes and bow down before her with concentrated minds.'

"Hearing the words of the high-souled Lomasa, the son of Pandu
reverentially worshipped the river (Ganga), flowing through the
firmament. And after having adored her the pious sons of Pandu resumed
their journey accompanied by the sages. And it came to pass that those
best of men beheld at a distance some white object of vast proportions,
even like Meru and stretching on all sides. And knowing that Pandu's
sons were intent upon asking (him), Lomasa versed in speech said, 'Hear,
O sons of Pandu! O best of men, what ye see before you, of vast
proportions like unto a mountain and beautiful as the Kailasa cliff, is
a collection of the bones of the mighty Daitya Naraka. Being placed on a
mountain, it looketh like one. The Daitya was slain by that Supreme
Soul, the eternal God Vishnu, for the good of the lord of celestials.
Aiming at the possession of Indra's place, by the force of austere and
Vedic lore, that mighty-minded (demon) had practised austere penances
for ten thousand years. And on account of his asceticism, as also of the
force and might of his arms he had grown invincible and always harassed
(Indra). And O sinless one, knowing his strength and austerities and
observance of religious vows, Indra became agitated and was overwhelmed
with fear. And mentally he thought of the eternal deity, Vishnu. And
thereat the graceful lord of the universe, who is present everywhere,
appeared and stood before him manifest. And the sages and celestials
began to propitiate Vishnu with prayers. And in his presence even Agni
of the six attributes and of blazing beauty being overpowered by his
effulgence, became shorn of radiance and seeing before him the God
Vishnu, the chief of the celestials who wields the thunder-bolt, bowing
with head down readily apprised Vishnu of the source of his fear.
Thereupon Vishnu said, "I know, O Sakra, that thy fear proceedeth from
Naraka, that lord of the Daityas. By the merit of his successful ascetic
acts he aimeth at Indra's position. Therefore, for pleasing thee, I
shall certainly sever his soul from his body, although he hath achieved
success in asceticism. Do thou, lord of celestials, wait for a moment."
Then the exceedingly powerful Vishnu deprived (Naraka) of his senses (by
striking him) with his hand. And he fell down on the earth even like the
monarch of mountains struck by (thunder). He was thus slain by a miracle
and his bones lie gathered at this spot. Here also is manifest another
deed of Vishnu's. Once the whole earth having been lost and sunk into
the nether regions she was lifted up by him in the shape of a boar
having a single tusk.'

"Yudhishthira said, 'O worshipful one, relate in particular how Vishnu,
the lord of the celestials, raised up the earth sunk a hundred
_yojanas_? In what manner also was that support of all created
things--the goddess Earth of high fortune-who dispenseth blessings and
bringeth forth all sorts of corn rendered stable? Through whose power
had she sunk an hundred _yojanas_ below, and under what circumstances
was exhibited this greatest exploit of the Supreme Being? O chief of the
twice-born race, I wish to hear all about it in detail as it happened.
Certainly, it is known to thee.'

"Lomasa said, 'O Yudhishthira, listen to all at length as I relate the
story, which thou hast asked me (to narrate). O child, in days of yore,
there was (once) a terrible time in the Krita Yuga when the eternal and
primeval Diety assumed the duties of Yama. And, O thou that never
fallest off, when the God of gods began to perform the functions of
Yama, there died not a creature while the births were as usual. Then
there began to multiply birds and beasts and kine, and sheep, and deer
and all kinds of carnivorous animals. O tiger among men and vanquisher
of foes, then the human race also increased by thousands even like unto
a current of water. And, O my son, when the increase of population had
been so frightful, the Earth oppressed with the excessive burden, sank
down for a hundred _yojanas_. And suffering pain in all her limbs, and
being deprived of her senses by excessive pressure, the earth in
distress sought the protection of Narayana, the foremost of the gods.
The earth spake saying, "It is by thy favour, O possessor of the six
attributes, that I had been able to remain so long in my position. But I
have been overcome with burden and now I cannot hold myself any longer.
It behoveth thee, O adorable one, to relieve this load of mine. I have
sought thy protection. O lord; and do thou, therefore, extend unto me
thy favour." Hearing these words of hers, the eternal lord, possessor of
the six attributes, complaisantly said, in words uttered in distinct
letters, Vishnu said, "Thou need not fear, O afflicted Earth, the bearer
of all treasures. I shall act so that thou mayst be made light."'

"Lomasa said, 'Having thus dismissed the Earth, who hath the mountains
for her ear-rings, he suddenly became turned into a boar with one tusk,
and of exceeding effulgence. Causing terror with his glowing red eyes
and emitting fumes from his blazing lustre, he began to swell in
magnitude in that region. O hero, then holding the earth with his single
radiant tusk that being who pervadeth the Vedas, raised her up a hundred
_yojanas_. And while she was being thus raised, there ensued a mighty
agitation and all the celestials, together with the sages of ascetic
wealth became agitated. And heaven, and the firmament, and also the
Earth were filled with exclamations of _Oh!_ and _Alas!_ and neither the
celestials nor men could rest in peace. Then countless celestials
together with the sages went to Brahma, who was seated burning as it
were in his (own) lustre. Then approaching Brahma, the lord of
celestials, and the witness of the acts of all beings, they with folded
hands spake the following words, "O lord of the celestials, all created
beings have become agitated and the mobile and immobile creatures are
restless. O lord of the celestials, even the oceans are found to be
agitated and this whole earth hath gone down a hundred _yojanas_. What
is the matter? And by whose influence is it that the whole universe is
in ferment? May it please thee to explain it unto us without delay, for
we are all bewildered." Thereupon Brahma replied, "Ye immortals! do ye
not entertain fear for the Asuras, in any matter or place. Hearken, ye
celestials, to the reason to which all this commotion is owing! This
agitation in the heavens hath been produced by the influence of the
illustrious Being who is omnipresent, eternal and the never-perishing
Soul. That Supreme soul, Vishnu hath lifted up the Earth, who had
entirely sunk down hundred _yojanas_. This commotion hath taken place in
consequence of the earth being raised up. Know ye this and dispel your
doubts." The celestials said, "Where is that Being who with pleasure
raiseth up the Earth? O possessor of the six attributes, mention unto us
the place. Thither shall we repair." Brahma said "Go ye. May good happen
to you! Ye will find him resting in the Nandana (gardens). Yonder is
visible the glorious worshipful Suparna (Garuda). After having raised
the Earth, the Supreme Being from whom the world become manifest,
flameth even in the shape of a boar, like unto the all-consuming fire at
the universal dissolution. And on his beast is really to be seen the gem
Srivatsa. (Go) and behold that Being knowing no deterioration."'

"Lomasa said, 'Then the celestials, placing the grandsire at their head,
came to that infinite Soul, and having listened to his praise, bade him
adieu and went back to whence they had come.'"

Vaisampayana said, "O Janamejaya, having heard this story, all the
Pandavas without delay and with alacrity, began to proceed by the way
pointed out by Lomasa."


Vaisampayana said, "O king, then those foremost of bowmen, of
immeasurable prowess, holding bows stringed at full stretch and equipped
with quivers and arrows and wearing finger-caps made of the guana-skin,
and with their swords on, proceeded with Panchali towards the
Gandhamadana, taking with them the best of Brahmanas. And on their way
they saw various lakes, and rivers and mountains and forests, and trees
of wide-spreading shade on mountain summits and places abounding in
trees bearing flowers and fruit in all seasons and frequented by
celestials and sages. And restraining their senses within their inner
self and subsisting on fruits and roots, the heroes passed through
rugged regions, craggy and difficult of passage, beholding many and
various kinds of beasts. Thus those high-souled ones entered the
mountain inhabited by the sages, the Siddhas and the celestials, and
frequented by the Kinnaras and the Apsaras. And, O lord of men, as those
mighty heroes were entering the mountain Gandhamandana, there arose a
violent wind, attended with a heavy shower. And owing to this, mighty
clouds of dust bearing lots of dry leaves, rose, and all on a sudden
covered earth, air and firmament. And when the heavens had been covered
with dust nothing could be perceived, neither could they (the Pandavas)
speak to one another. And with eyes enveloped with darkness and pushed
by the wind carrying particles of rocks they could not see one another.
And there began to arrive mighty sounds proceeding from the tree, and
also from those breaking down incessantly under the force of the wind,
and falling to the ground. And distracted by gusts of the wind, they
thought, 'Are the heavens falling down; or the earth and the mountains
being rent?' And afraid of the wind, they felt about with their hands
and took shelter under the way-side tree and ant-hills and in caverns.
Then holding his bow and supporting Krishna the mighty Bhimasena stood
under a tree. And Yudhishthira the just with Dhaumya crept into the deep
wood. And Sahadeva carrying the sacred fire with him took shelter in a
rock. And Nakula together with Lomasa and other Brahmanas of great
asceticism stood in fright, each under a tree. Then when the wind had
abated and the dust subsided, there came down a shower in torrents.
There also arose a loud rattling noise, like unto the thunder hurled;
and quick-flashing lightning began to play gracefully upon the clouds.
And being helped on by the swift wind, showers of rain poured down
without intermissions, filling all sides round. And, O lord of men, all
around there began to flow many rivers covered with foam and turbid with
mud; and these bearing volumes of water spread over the frothy rafts
rushed down with tremendous roar uprooting trees. And afterwards when
that sound had ceased and the air had arisen they (each of them)
cautiously came out of their coverts and met together, O descendant of
Bharata. And then the heroes started for the mountain Gandhamadana."


Vaisampayana said, "When the high-souled sons of Pandu had proceeded
only two miles, Draupadi unaccustomed to travel on foot, sank down.
Weary and afflicted as she was, the poor daughter of Panchala became
faint, on account of the hailstorm and also of her extreme delicacy. And
trembling with faintness, the black-eyed one supported herself on her
thighs with her plump arms, becoming (her graceful form). And thus
resting for support on her thighs resembling the trunk of an elephant,
and which were in contact with each other, she suddenly dropped upon the
ground, trembling like a plantain tree. And finding that the beautiful
one was falling down like a twisted creeper, Nakula ran forward and
supported, her. And he said, 'O king, this black-eyed daughter of
Panchala, being weary, hath fallen down upon the ground. Do thou,
therefore, tend her, O son of Bharata. Undeserving as she is of misery,
this lady of slow pace hath been subject to great hardships, and she is
also worn out with the fatigues of the journey. O mighty king, do thou
therefore, comfort her.'"

Vaisampayana said, "Having heard these words of Nakula, the king as also
Bhima and Sahadeva, became sorely afflicted, and hastily ran towards
her. And finding her weak, and her countenance pale, the pious son of
Kunti began to lament in grief, taking her on his lap. Yudhishthira
said, 'Accustomed to ease, and deserving to sleep in well protected
rooms, on beds spread over with fine sheets, how doth this beautiful one
sleep prostrate on the ground! Alas! On my account (alone), the delicate
feet and the lotus-like face of this one deserving of all excellent
things, have contracted a dark-blue hue. O what have I done! Fool that I
am, having been addicted to dice, I have been wandering in the forest
full of wild beasts, taking Krishna in my company. This large-eyed one
had been bestowed by her father, the king of the Drupadas, in the hope
that the blessed girl would be happy, by obtaining the sons of Pandu for
her lords. It is on account of my wretched self, that without obtaining
anything hoped for, she sleepeth prostrate on the ground, tired with
hardships, sorrow and travel!'"

Vaisampayana said, "While king Yudhishthira the just was lamenting thus,
Dhaumya with all the other principal Brahmanas came to the spot. And
they began to console him and to honour him with blessings. And they
recited _mantras_ capable of dispelling Rakshasas and (to that end) also
performed rites. And on the _mantras_ being recited by the great
ascetics, in order to the restoration of (Panchali's) health, Panchali
frequently touched by the Pandavas with their soothing palms and fanned
by cool breezes surcharged with particles of water, felt ease, and
gradually regained her senses. And finding that exhausted poor lady
restored to her senses, the sons of Pritha, placing her on deer-skin,
caused her to take rest. And taking her feet of red soles, bearing
auspicious marks, the twins began to press them gently with their hands,
scarred by the bow-string. And Yudhishthira the just, the foremost of
the Kurus, also comforted her and addressed Bhima in the following
words: 'O Bhima, there yet remain many mountains (before us), rugged,
and inaccessible because of snow. How, long-armed one, will Krishna pass
over them?' Thereupon Bhima said, 'O king, I myself shall carry thee,
together with this princess and these bulls among men, the twins;
therefore, O king of kings, resign not thy mind unto despair. Or, at thy
bidding, O sinless one, Hidimva's son, the mighty Ghatotkacha, who is
capable of ranging the skies and who is like unto me in strength, will
carry us all.'"

Vaisampayana said, "Then with Yudhishthira's permission, Bhima thought
of his Rakshasa son. And no sooner was he thought of by his father, than
the pious Ghatotkacha made his appearance and, saluting the Pandavas and
the Brahmanas, stood with joined hands. And they also caressed him of
mighty arms. He then addressed his father, Bhimasena of dreadful
prowess, saying, 'Having been thought of by thee I have come here with
speed, in order to serve thee. Do thou, O longarmed one, command me. I
shall certainly be able to perform whatever thou bidst.' Hearing this,
Bhimasena hugged the Rakshasa to his breast."


"Yudhishthira said, 'O Bhima, let this mighty and heroic Rakshasa chief,
thy legitimate son, devoted to us, and truthful, and conversant with
virtue carry (his) mother (Draupadi) without delay. And, O possessor of
dreadful prowess, depending on the strength of thy arms, I shall reach
the Gandhamadana, unhurt, together with Panchala's daughter.'"

Vaisampayana said, "Hearing the words of his brother, that tiger among
men, Bhimasena, commanded his son, Ghatotkacha, represser of foes,
saying, 'O invincible son of Hidimva, this thy mother hath been sorely
tired. Thou art, again, strong and capable of going wherever thou
likest. Do thou therefore, O ranger of the skies, carry her. May
prosperity attend thee! Taking her on thy shoulders, thou shalt go in
our company, adopting a course not far overhead,--so that thou mayst not
render her uneasy.' Thereat, Ghatotkacha said, 'Even single-handed, I am
able to carry Yudhishthira the just, and Dhaumya, and Krishna, and the
twins--and what wonder then that I shall to-day carry them, when I have
others to assist me? And, O sinless one, hundreds of other heroic
(Rakshasas), capable of moving through the sky, and of assuming any
shape at will, will together carry you all with the Brahmanas.'"

Vaisampayana said, "Saying this, Ghatotkacha carried Krishna in the
midst of the Pandavas, and the other (Rakshasas) also began to carry the
Pandavas. And by virtue of his native energy, Lomasa of incomparable
effulgence moved along the path of the Siddhas, like unto a second sun.
And at the command of the lord of the Rakshasas, those Rakshasas of
terrific prowess began to proceed, bearing all the other Brahmanas, and
beholding many a romantic wood. And they proceeded towards the gigantic
jujube tree. And carried by the Rakshasas of great speed, proceeding at
a rapid pace, the heroes passed over longextending ways quickly, as if
over short ones. And on their way they saw various tracts crowded with
_Mlechchha_ people, and containing mines of diverse gems. And they also
saw hillocks teeming with various minerals, thronged with Vidyadharas,
inhabited on all sides by monkeys and Kinnaras and Kimpurushas, and
Gandharvas, and filled with peacocks, and _chamaras_, and apes, and
_turus_, and bears, and gavayas, and buffaloes, intersected with a
network of rivulets, and inhabited by various birds and beasts, and
beautified by elephants, and abounding in trees and enraptured birds.
After having thus passed many countries, and also the Uttarakurus, they
saw that foremost of mountains, the Kailasa, containing many wonders.
And by the side of it, they beheld the hermitage of Nara and Narayana,
with celestial trees bearing flowers and fruits in all seasons. And they
also beheld that beautiful jujube of round trunk. And it was fresh; and
of deep shade; and of excellent beauty; and of thick, soft and sleek
foliage; and healthful; and having gigantic boughs; and wide-spreading;
and of incomparable lustre; and bearing full-grown, tasteful, and holy
fruits dropping honey. And this celestial tree was frequented by hosts
of mighty sages, and was always inhabited by various birds maddened with
animal spirits. And it grew at a spot devoid of mosquitoes and
gad-flies, and abounding in fruits and roots and water, and covered with
green grass, and inhabited by the celestials and the Gandharvas, and of
smooth surface, and naturally healthful, and beauteous and cool and of
delicate feel. Having reached that (tree) together with those bulls
among Brahmanas, the high-souled ones gently alighted from the shoulders
of the Rakshasas. Then in company with those bulls among the twice-born
ones, the Pandavas beheld that romantic asylum presided over by Nara and
Narayana; devoid of gloom; and sacred; and untouched by the solar rays;
and free from those rubs, viz. hunger, and thirst, heat and cold, and
removing (all) sorrow; and crowded with hosts of mighty sages; and
adorned with the grace proceeding from the Vedas, Saman, Rich, and
Yajus; and, O king, inaccessible to men who have renounced religion; and
beautified with offerings, and _homas_; and sacred; and well-swept and
daubed; and shining all around with offerings of celestial blossoms; and
spread over with altars of sacrificial fire, and sacred ladles and pots;
and graced with large water-jars, and baskets and the refuge of all
beings; and echoing with the chanting of the Vedas; and heavenly: and
worthy of being inhabited; and removing fatigue; and attended with
splendour and of incomprehensible merit; and majestic with divine
qualities. And the hermitage was inhabited by hosts of great sages,
subsisting on fruits and roots; and having their senses under perfect
control; and clad in black deer-skins; and effulgent like unto the Sun
and Agni; and of souls magnified by asceticism and intent on
emancipation; and leading the Vanaprastha mode of life; and of subdued
senses; and identified with the Supreme Soul; and of high fortune; and
reciting Vaidic hymns. Then having purified himself and restrained his
senses, that son of Dharma, the intelligent Yudhishthira of exceeding
energy, accompanied by his brothers, approached those sages. And all the
great sages endued with supernatural knowledge, knowing Yudhishthira
arrived, received him joyfully. And those sages engaged in the
recitation of the Vedas, and like unto fire itself, after having
conferred blessings on Yudhishthira, cheerfully accorded him fitting
reception. And they gave him clean water and flowers and roots. And
Yudhishthira the just received with regard the things gladly offered for
his reception by the great sages. And then, O sinless one, Pandu's son
together with Krishna and his brothers, and thousands of Brahmanas
versed in the Vedas and the Vendangas, entered into that holy hermitage,
like unto the abode of Sukra and pleasing the mind with heavenly odours
and resembling heaven itself and attended with beauty. There the pious
(Yudhishthira) beheld the hermitage of Nara and Narayana, beautified by
the Bhagirathi and worshipped by the gods and the celestial sages. And
seeing that hermitage inhabited by the Brahmarshis and containing fruits
dropping honey, the Pandavas were filled with delight. And having
reached that place, the high-souled ones began to dwell with the
Brahmanas. There beholding the holy lake Vinda, and the mountain
Mainaka, of golden summits and inhabited by various species of birds,
the magnanimous ones lived happily with joy. The son of Pandu together
with Krishna took pleasure in ranging excellent and captivating woods,
shining with flowers of every season; beauteous on all sides with trees
bearing blown blossoms; and bending down with the weight of fruits and
attended by the numerous male _kokilas_ and of glossy foliage; and thick
and having cool shade and lovely to behold. They took delight in
beholding diverse beautiful lakes of limpid water and shining all round
with lotuses and lilies. And there, O lord, the balmy breeze bearing
pure fragrance, blew gladdening all the Pandavas, together with Krishna.
And hard by the gigantic jujube, the mighty son of Kunti saw the
Bhagirathi of easy descent and cool and furnished with fresh lotuses and
having stairs made of rubies and corals and graced with trees and
scattered over with celestial flowers, and gladsome to the mind. And at
that spot, frequented by celestials and sages, and extremely
inaccessible, they, after having purified themselves offered oblations
unto the _pitris_ and the gods and the _rishis_ in the sacred waters of
the Bhagirathi. Thus those bulls among men the heroic perpetuators of
the Kuru race, began to reside there with the Brahmanas offering
oblations and practising meditation. And those tigers among men, the
Pandavas of the god-like appearance, felt delight in witnessing the
various amusements of Draupadi."


Vaisampayana said, "There observing cleanliness, those tigers among men
dwelt for six nights, in expectation of beholding Dhananjaya. And it
came to pass that all of a sudden there blew a wind from the north-east
and brought a celestial lotus of a thousand petals and effulgent as the
sun. And Panchali saw that pure and charming lotus of unearthly
fragrance, brought by the wind and left on the ground. And having
obtained that excellent and beautiful lotus, that blessed one became
exceedingly delighted, O king, and addressed Bhimasena in the following
words, 'Behold, O Bhima, this most beautiful unearthly flower having
within it the very source of fragrance. It gladdenth my heart, O
represser of foes. This one shall be presented to Yudhishthira the just.
Do thou, therefore, procure others for my satisfaction--in order that I
may carry them to our hermitage in the Kamyaka. If, O Pritha's son, I
have found grace with thee, do thou then procure others of this species
in large numbers. I wish to carry them to our hermitage.' Having said
this, the blameless lady of beautiful glances approached Yudhishthira
the just, taking the flower. And knowing the desire of his beloved queen
that bull among men, Bhima of great strength, also set out, in order to
gratify her. And intent upon fetching the flowers, he began to proceed
at rapid space, facing the wind, in the direction from which the flower
had come. And taking the bow inlaid with gold on the back as also arrows
like unto venomous snakes, he proceeded as a lion in anger or an
elephant in rut. And all beings gazed at him, holding a mighty bow and
arrows. And neither exhaustion, nor langour, neither fear nor confusion,
ever possessed the son of Pritha and the offspring of Vayu (wind). And
desirous of pleasing Draupadi the mighty one, free from fear or
confusion, ascended the peak depending on the strength of his arms. And
that slayer of foes began to range that beautiful peak covered with
trees, creepers and of black rocky base; and frequented by Kinnaras; and
variegated with minerals, plants, beasts, and birds of various hues; and
appearing like an upraised arm of the Earth adorned with an entire set
of ornaments. And that one of matchless prowess proceeded, fixing his
look at the slopes of the Gandhamadana,--beautiful with flowers of every
season--and revolving various thoughts in his mind and with his ears,
eyes and mind rivetted to the spots resounding with the notes of male
_kokilas_ and ringing with the hum of black bees. And like an elephant
in rut ranging mad in a forest that one of mighty prowess smelt the rare
odour proceeding from the flowers of every season. And he was fanned by
the fresh breeze of the Gandhamadana bearing the perfumes of various
blossoms and cooling like unto a father's touch. On his fatigue being
removed the down on his body stood on end. And in this state that
represser of foes for the flowers began to survey all the mountain,
inhabited by Yakshas and Gandharvas and celestials and Brahmarshis. And
brushed by the leaves of _Saptachchada_ tree, besmeared with fresh red,
black and white minerals, he looked as if decorated with lines of holy
unguents drawn by fingers. And with clouds stretching at its sides, the
mountain seemed dancing with outspread wings. And on account of the
trickling waters of springs, it appeared to be decked with necklaces of
pearls. And it contained romantic caverns and groves and cascades and
caves. And there were excellent peacocks dancing to the jingling of the
bangles of the Apsaras. And its rocky surface was worn away by the end
of tusks of the elephants presiding over the cardinal points. And with
the waters of rivers falling down, the mountain looked as if its clothes
were getting loosened. And that graceful son of the wind-god playfully
and cheerfully went on, pushing away by his force countless intertwisted
creepers. And stags in curiosity gazed at him, with grass in their
mouths. And not having experienced fear (ever before), they were
unalarmed, and did not flee away. And being engaged in fulfilling the
desire of his love, the youthful son of Pandu, stalwart and of splendour
like unto the hue of gold; and having a body strong as a lion; and
treading like a mad elephant; and possessing the force of a mad
elephant; and having coppery eyes like unto those of a mad elephant; and
capable of checking a mad elephant began to range the romantic sides of
the Gandhamadana with his beautiful eyes uplifted; and displaying as it
were a novel type of beauty. And the wives of Yakshas and Gandharvas
sitting invisible by the side of their husbands, stared at him, turning
their faces with various motions. Intent upon gratifying Draupadi exiled
unto the woods, as he was ranging the beautiful Gandhamadana, he
remembered the many and various woes caused by Duryodhana. And he
thought, 'Now that Arjuna sojourn in heaven and that I too have come
away to procure the flowers, what will our brother Yudhishthira do at
present? Surely, from affection and doubting their prowess, that
foremost of men, Yudhishthira, will not let Nakula and Sahadeva come in
search of us. How, again, can I obtain the flowers soon?' Thinking thus,
that tiger among men proceeded in amain like unto the king of birds, his
mind and sight fixed on the delightful side of the mountain. And having
for his provisions on the journey the words of Draupadi, the mighty son
of Pandu, Vrikodara Bhima, endued with strength and the swiftness of the
wind, with his mind and sight fixed on the blooming slopes of the
mountain, proceeded speedily, making the earth tremble with his tread,
even as doth a hurricane at the equinox; and frightening herds of
elephants and grinding lions and tigers and deer and uprooting and
smashing large trees and tearing away by force plants and creepers, like
unto an elephant ascending higher and higher the summit of a mountain;
and roaring fiercely even as a cloud attended with thunder. And awakened
by that mighty roaring of Bhima, tigers came out of their dens, while
other rangers of the forest hid themselves. And the coursers of the
skies sprang up (on their wing) in fright. And herds of deer hurriedly
ran away. And birds left the trees (and fled). And lions forsook their
dens. And the mighty lions were roused from their slumber. And the
buffaloes stared. And the elephants in fright, leaving that wood, ran to
more extensive forests company with their mates. And the boars and the
deer and the lions and the buffaloes and the tigers and the jackals and
the _gavayas_ of the wood began to cry in herds.

(Paragraph continued in next e-book.)


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