Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa Bk. 3 Pt. 1
by Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa
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"'Thus addressed Sukanya answered the celestials saying, "I am devoted to my husband, Chyavana: do ye not entertain any doubts (regarding my fidelity)." Thereupon they again spake unto her, "We two are the celestial physicians of note. We will make thy lord young and graceful. Do thou then select one of us, viz., ourselves and thy husband,—for thy partner. Promising this do thou, O auspicious one, bring hither thy husband." O king, agreeably to their words she went to Bhrigu's son and communicated to him what the two celestials had said. Hearing her message, Chyavana said unto his wife, "Do thou so." Having received the permission of her lord, (she returned to the celestials) and said, "Do ye so." Then hearing her words, viz., "Do ye so," they spoke unto the king's daughter. "Let thy husband enter into water." Thereat Chyavana desirous of obtaining beauty, quickly entered into water. The twin Aswins also, O king, sank into the sheet of water. And the next moment they all came out of the tank in surpassingly beautiful forms, and young and wearing burnished earrings. And all, possessed of the same appearance pleasing to behold, addressed her saying, "O fortunate one, do thou choose one of us for spouse. And O beauteous one, do thou select him for lord who may please thy fancy." Finding, however, all of them of the same appearance she deliberated; and at last ascertaining the identity of her husband, even selected him.

"'Having obtained coveted beauty and also his wife, Chyavana, of exceeding energy, well pleased, spake these words unto the nose-born celestials: "Since at your hands, an old man, I have obtained youth, and beauty, and also this wife of mine, I will, well pleased, make you quaffers of the Soma juice in the presence of the lord of celestials himself. This I tell you truly." Hearing this, highly delighted, the twins ascended to heaven; and Chyavana and Sukanya too passed their days happily even like celestials.'"


"Lomasa said, 'Now the news came to Saryati that Chyavana had been turned into a youth. And well pleased he came, accompanied by his troops, to the hermitage of the son of Bhrigu. And he saw Chyavana and Sukanya, like two children sprung from celestials, and his joy and that of his wife were as great as if the king had conquered the entire world. And the ruler of earth together with his wife was received honourably by that saint. And the king seated himself near the ascetic, and entered into a delightful conversation of an auspicious kind. Then, O king, the son of Bhrigu spake to the king these words of a soothing nature: "I shall, O king, officiate at a religious ceremony to be performed by thee: let the requisite articles, therefore, be procured." Thereat, that protector of earth Saryati, experienced the very height of joy, and O great king, he expressed his approbation of the proposal made by Chyavana. And on an auspicious day, suitable for the commencement of a sacrificial ceremony, Saryati ordered the erection of a sacrificial shrine of an excellent description and splendidly furnished with all desirable things. There Chyavana, the son of Bhrigu, officiated for the king as his priest. Now listen to me relating the wonderful events which happened at that spot. Chyavana took up a quantity of the Soma juice, in order that he might offer the same to the Aswins, who were physicians to the celestials. And while the saint was taking up the intended offering for those celestial twins, Indra pronounced his interdiction, saying, "These Aswins both of them in my opinion have no right to receive an offering of the Soma juice. They are the physicians of the celestials in heaven,—this vocation of theirs hath disentitled them (in the matter of Soma)." Thereupon Chyavana said, "These two are of mighty enterprise, possessed of mighty souls, and uncommonly endued with beauty and grace. And they, O Indra, have converted me into an eternally youthful person, even like unto a celestial. Why shouldst thou and the other celestials have a right to the distilled Soma juice, and not they? O lord of the celestials, O demolisher of hostile towns! be it known to thee that the Aswins also rank as gods." At this, Indra spake saying, "These two practise the healing art,—so they are but servants. And assuming forms at their pleasure they roam about in the world of mortal beings. How can they then rightfully claim the juice of the Soma?"'

"Lomasa said, 'When these very identical words were spoken again and again by the lord of celestials, the son of Bhrigu, setting Indra at naught, took up the offering he had intended to make. And as he was about to take up an excellent portion of the Soma juice with the object of offering it to the two Aswins, the destroyer of the demon Vala (Indra) observed his act, and thus spoke unto him, "If thou take up the Soma with a view to offering it to those celestials, I shall hurl at thee my thunderbolt of awful form, which is superior to all the weapons that exist." Thus addressed by Indra, the son of Bhrigu, cast at Indra a smiling glance, and took up in due form a goodly quantity of the Soma juice, to make an offering to the Aswins. Then Sachi's lord hurled at him the thunderbolt of awful form. And as he was about to launch it, his arm was paralysed by Bhrigu's son. And having paralysed his arm, Chyavana recited sacred hymns, and made offering on the fire. His object gained, he now attempted to destroy that celestial. Then by the virtue of that saint's ascetic energy, an evil spirit came into being,—a huge demon, Mada by name, of great strength and gigantic proportions. And his body was incapable of being measured either by demons or by gods. And his mouth was terrible and of huge size, and with teeth of sharpened edge. And one of his jaws rested on the earth, and the other stretched to heaven. And he had four fangs, each extending as far as one hundred yojanas, and his other fangs were extended to the distance of ten yojanas, and were of a form resembling towers on a palace, and which might be likened to the ends of spears. And his two arms were like unto hills, and extended ten thousand yojanas, and both were of equal bulk. And his two eyes resembled the sun and the moon; and his face rivalled the conflagration at the universal dissolution. And he was licking his mouth with his tongue, which, like lightning, knew no rest. And his mouth was open, and his glance was frightful, and seemed as if he would forcibly swallow up the world. The demon rushed at the celestial by whom a hundred sacrifices had been performed. And his intent was to devour that deity. And the world resounded with the loud and frightful sounds uttered by the Asura.'"


"Lomasa said, 'When the god who had performed a hundred sacrifices (Indra) beheld the demon Mada of a frightful mien, coming towards him with open mouth, his intention being to devour him, and looking like the god of death himself, while his own arms remained paralysed, he through fear repeatedly licked the corners of his mouth. Then the lord of the celestials, tortured with fright, spake to Chyavana saying, "O Bhrigu's son! O Brahmana! verily I tell thee as truth itself, that from this day forward the two Aswins will be entitled to the Soma juice. Be merciful to me! My undertaking can never come to naught. Let this be the rule. And I know, O saint of the sacerdotal caste! that thy work can never come to nothing. These two Aswins will have a right to drink the Soma juice, since thou hast made them entitled to the same. And, O Bhrigu's son, I have done this but to spread the fame of thy powers, and my object was to give thee an occasion for displaying thy powers. My other object was that the fame of the father of this Sukanya here might spread everywhere. Therefore be merciful to me: let it be as thou wishest." Being thus addressed by Indra, the wrath of Chyavana of mighty soul was quickly appeased, and he set free the demolisher of hostile cities (Indra). And the powerful saint, O king! distributed Mada (literally intoxication), and put it piece-meal in drinks, in women, in gambling, and in field sports, even this same Mada who had been created repeatedly before. Having thus cast down the demon Mada and gratified Indra with a Soma draught and assisted king Sarvati in worshipping all the gods together with the two Aswins and also spread his fame for power over all the worlds, the best of those endued with speech passed his days happily in the wood, in the company of Sukanya, his loving wife. This is his lake, shining, O king! and resounding with the voice of birds. Here must thou, together with thy uterine brothers, offer libations of water to thy forefathers and the gods. And, O ruler of earth! O scion of Bharata's race! having visited it and Sikataksha also, thou shalt repair to the Saindhava wood, and behold a number of small artificial rivers. And O great king, O scion of Bharata's race! thou shalt touch the waters of all the holy lakes and reciting the hymns of the god Sthanu (Siva), meet with success in every undertaking. For this is the junction, O most praiseworthy of men, of the two ages of the world, viz., Dwapara and Treta. It is a time, O Kunti's son! capable of destroying all the sins of a person. Here do thou perform ablutions, for the spot is able to remove all the sins of an individual. Yonder is the Archika hill, a dwelling place for men of cultured minds. Fruits of all the seasons grow here at all times and the streams run for ever. It is an excellent place fit for the celestials. And there are the holy cairns of diverse forms, set up by the celestials. O Yudhishthira! this is the bathing spot belonging to the Moon. And the saints are in attendance here on all sides round—they are the dwellers of the wood and the Valakhilyas, and the Pavakas, who subsist on air only. These are three peaks and three springs. Thou mayst walk round them all, one by one: then thou mayst wash thyself at pleasure. Santanu, O king! and Sunaka the sovereign of men, and both Nara and Narayana have attained everlasting regions from this place. Here did the gods constantly lie down, as also the forefathers, together with the mighty saints. In this Archika hill, they all carried on austerities. Sacrifice to them, O Yudhishthira! Here did they, also the saints, eat rice cooked in milk, O protector of men! And here is the Yamuna of an exhaustless spring. Krishna here engaged himself in a life of penances, O Pandu's son. O thou that draggest the dead bodies of thy foes! the twin brothers, and Bhimasena and Krishna and all of us will accompany thee to this spot. O lord of men, this is the holy spring that belongeth to Indra. Here the creative and the dispensing deity, and Varuna also rose upwards, and here too they dwelt, O king! observing forbearance, and possessed of the highest faith. This excellent and propitious hill is fit for persons of a kindly and candid disposition. This is that celebrated Yamuna, O king! frequented by hosts of mighty saints, the scene of diverse religious rites, holy, and destructive of the dread of sin. Here did Mandhata himself, of a mighty bow, perform sacrificial rites for the gods; and so did Somaka, O Kunti's son! who was the son of Sahadeva, and a most excellent maker of gifts.'"


"Yudhishthira said, 'O great Brahmana, how was that tiger among kings, Mandhata, Yuvanaswa's son, born,—even he who was the best of monarchs, and celebrated over the three worlds? And how did he of unmeasured lustre attain the very height of real power, since all the three worlds were as much under his subjection, as they are under that of Vishnu of mighty soul? I am desirous of hearing all this in connection with the life and achievements of that sagacious monarch. I should also like to hear how his name of Mandhata originated, belonging as it did to him who rivalled in lustre Indra himself: and also how he of unrivalled strength was born, for thou art skilled in the art of narrating events.'

"Lomasa said, 'Hear with attention, O king! how the name of Mandhata belonging to that monarch of mighty soul hath come to be celebrated throughout all the worlds. Yuvanaswa, the ruler of the earth, was sprung from Ikshvaku's race. That protector of the earth performed many sacrificial rites noted for magnificent gifts. And the most excellent of all virtuous men performed a thousand times the ceremony of sacrificing a horse. And he also performed other sacrifices of the highest order, wherein he made abundant gifts. But that saintly king had no son. And he of mighty soul and rigid vows made over to his ministers the duties of the state, and became a constant resident of the woods. And he of cultured soul devoted himself to the pursuits enjoined in the sacred writ. And once upon a time, that protector of men, O king! had observed a fast. And he was suffering from the pangs of hunger and his inner soul seemed parched with thirst. And (in this state) he entered the hermitage of Bhrigu. On that very night, O king of kings! the great saint who was the delight of Bhrigu's race, had officiated in a religious ceremony, with the object that a son might be born to Saudyumni. O king of kings! at the spot stood a large jar filled with water, consecrated with the recitation of sacred hymns, and which had been previously deposited there. And the water was endued with the virtue that the wife of Saudyumni would by drinking the same, bring forth a god-like son. Those mighty saints had deposited the jar on the altar and had gone to sleep, having been fatigued by keeping up the night. And as Saudyumni passed them by, his palate was dry, and he was suffering greatly from thirst. And the king was very much in need of water to drink. And he entered that hermitage and asked for drink. And becoming fatigued, he cried in feeble voice, proceeding from a parched throat, which resembled the weak inarticulate utterance of a bird. And his voice reached nobody's ears. Then the king beheld the jar filled with water. And he quickly ran towards it, and having drunk the water, put the jar down. And as the water was cool, and as the king had been suffering greatly from thirst, the draught of water relieved the sagacious monarch and appeased his thirst. Then those saints together with him of ascetic wealth, awoke from sleep; and all of them observed that the water of the jar had gone. Thereupon they met together and began to enquire as to who might have done it. Then Yuvanaswa truthfully admitted that it was his act. Then the revered son of Bhrigu spoke unto him, saying. "It was not proper. This water had an occult virtue infused into it, and had been placed there with the object that a son might be born to thee. Having performed severe austerities, I infused the virtue of my religious acts in this water, that a son might be born to thee. O saintly king of mighty valour and physical strength! a son would have been born to thee of exceeding strength and valour, and strengthened by austerities, and who would have sent by his bravery even Indra to the abode of the god of death. It was in this manner, O king! that this water had been prepared by me. By drinking this water, O king, thou hast done what was not at all right. But it is impossible now for us to turn back the accident which hath happened. Surely what thou hast done must have been the fiat of Fate. Since thou, O great king, being a thirst hast drunk water prepared with sacred hymns, and filled with the virtue of my religious labours, thou must bring forth out of thy own body a son of the character described above. To that end we shall perform a sacrifice for thee, of wonderful effect so that, valorous as thou art, thou wilt bring forth a son equal to Indra. Nor with thou experience any trouble on account of the labour pains." Then when one hundred years had passed away, a son shining as the sun pierced the left side of the king endowed with a mighty soul, and came forth. And the son was possessed of mighty strength. Nor did Yuvanaswa die—which itself was strange. Then Indra of mighty strength came to pay him a visit. And the deities enquired of the great Indra, "What is to be sucked by this boy?" Then Indra introduced his own forefinger into his mouth. And when the wielder of the thunderbolt said, "He will suck me," the dwellers of heaven together with Indra christened the boy Mandhata, (literally, Me he shall suck). Then the boy having tasted the forefinger extended by Indra, became possessed of mighty strength, and he grew thirteen cubits, O king. And O great king! the whole of sacred learning together with the holy science of arms, was acquired by that masterful boy, who gained all that knowledge by the simple and unassisted power of his thought. And all at once, the bow celebrated under the name of Ajagava and a number of shafts made of horn, together with an impenetrable coat of mail, came to his possession on the very same day, O scion of Bharata's race! And he was placed on the throne by Indra himself and he conquered the three worlds in a righteous way, as Vishnu did by his three strides. And the wheel of the car of that mighty king as irresistible in its course (throughout the world). And the gems, of their own accord, came into the possession of that saintly king. This is the tract of land, O lord of earth, which belonged to him. It abounds in wealth. He performed a number of sacrificial rites of various kinds, in which abundant gratuities were paid to the priests. O king! he of mighty force and unmeasured lustre, erected sacred piles, and performed splendid pious deeds, and attained the position of sitting at Indra's side. That sagacious king of unswerving piety sent forth his fiat, and simply by its virtue conquered the earth, together with the sea—that source of gems—and all the cities (or the earth), O great king! The sacrificial grounds prepared by him were to be found all over the earth on all sides round—not a single spot, but was marked with the same. O great king! the mighty monarch is said to have given to the Brahmanas ten thousand padmas of kine. When there was a drought, which continued for twelve consecutive years, the mighty king caused rain to come down for the growth of crops, paying no heed to Indra, the wielder of the thunder-bolt, who remained staring (at him). The mighty ruler of the Gandhara land, born in the lunar dynasty of kings, who was terrible like a roaring cloud, was slain by him, who wounded him sorely with his shafts. O king! he of cultured soul protected the four orders of people, and by him of mighty force the worlds were kept from harm, by virtue of his austere and righteous life. This is the spot where he, lustrous like the sun, sacrificed to the god. Look at it! here it is, in the midst of the field of the Kurus, situated in a tract, the holiest of all. O preceptor of earth! requested by thee, I have thus narrated to thee the great life of Mandhata, and also the way in which he was born, which was a birth of an extraordinary kind.'"

Vaisampayana said, "O scion of Bharata's race! Kunti's son, thus addressed by the mighty saint, Lomasa, immediately put fresh questions to him, with regard to Somaka."


"Yudhishthira said, 'O best of speakers! what was the extent of power and strength possessed by king Somaka? I am desirous of hearing an exact account of his deeds and of his power.'

"Lomasa said, 'O Yudhishthira! there was a virtuous king Somaka by name. He had one hundred wives, O king, all suitably matched to their husband. He took great care, but could not succeed in getting a single son from any one of them, and a long time elapsed during which he continued a sonless man. Once upon a time, when he had become old, and was trying every means to have a son, a son was born to him, Jantu by name, out of that century of women. And, O ruler of men! All the mothers used to sit surrounding their son and every one giving him such objects as might conduce to his enjoyment and pleasure. And it came to pass that one day an ant stung the boy at his hip. And the boy screamed loudly on account of the pain caused by the sting. And forthwith the mothers were exceedingly distressed to see how the child had been stung by the ant. And they stood around him and set up cries. Thus there arose a tumultuous noise. And that scream of pain suddenly reached (the ears of) the sovereign of the earth, when he was seated in the midst of his ministers, with the family priest at his side. Then the king sent for information as to what it was about. And the royal usher explained to him precisely what the matter was with reference to his son. And Somaka got up together with his ministers and hastened towards the female apartments. And on coming there, O subjugator of foes! he soothed his son. And having done so and coming out from the female apartments, the king sat with his family priest and ministers.

"'Somaka then spoke thus, "Fie on having only a single son! I had rather be a sonless man. Considering how constantly liable to disease are all organized beings, to have an only son is but a trouble. O Brahmana! O my lord! With the view that I might have many sons born to me, this century of wives hath been wedded by me, after inspection, and after I had satisfied myself that they would prove suitable to me. But issue they have none. Having tried every means, and put forth great efforts, they have borne this single son, Jantu. What grief can be greater than this? O most excellent of the twice-born caste! I am grown old in years and so are my wives too. And yet this only son is like the breath of their nostrils, and so he is to me also. But is there any ceremony, by celebrating which one may get a hundred sons? (And if there is one such), tell me whether it is great or small, and easy or difficult to perform."

"'The family priest said, "There is a ceremony by virtue of which a man may get a century of sons. If thou art able to perform it, O Somaka, 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 therefor.'"


"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) contest."'

"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 perception.

[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 heaven.

[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 essential.

"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 fire."'

"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 him.'

"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 Dhananjaya.'"

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