Bhima said, 'O king, unsubstantial as thou art like froth, unstable like a fruit (falling when ripe), dependent on time, and mortal, having entered into an agreement in respect of time, which is infinite and immeasurable, quick like a shaft or flowing like a stream, and carrying everything before it like death itself, how canst regard it as available by thee? How can he, O son of Kunti, wait whose life is shortened every moment, even like a quantity of collyrium that is lessened each time a grain is taken up by the needle? He only whose life is unlimited or who knoweth with certitude what the period of his life is, and who knoweth the future as if it were before his eyes, can indeed wait for the arrival of (an expected) time. If we wait, O king, for thirteen years, that period, shortening our lives, will bring us nearer to death. Death is sure to overtake every creature having a corporeal existence. Therefore, we should strive for the possession of our kingdom before we die. He that faileth to achieve fame, by failing to chastise his foes, is like an unclean thing. He is a useless burden on the earth like an incapacitated bull and perisheth ingloriously. The man who, destitute of strength, and courage, chastiseth not his foes, liveth in vain, I regard such a one as low-born. Thy hand can rain gold; thy fame spreadeth over the whole earth; slaying thy foes, therefore, in battle, enjoy thou the wealth acquired by the might of thy arms. O repressor of all foes, O king, if a man slaying his injurer, goeth the very day into hell, that hell becometh heaven to him. O king, the pain one feeleth in having to suppress one's wrath is more burning than fire itself. Even now I burn with it and cannot sleep in the day or the night. This son of Pritha, called Vibhatsu, is foremost in drawing the bow-string. He certainly burneth with grief, though he liveth here like a lion in his den. This one that desireth to slay without aid all wielders of the bow on earth, represseth the wrath that riseth in his breast, like a mighty elephant. Nakula, Sahadeva, and old Kunti—that mother of heroes, are all dumb, desiring to please thee. And all our friends along with the Srinjayas equally desire to please thee. I alone, and Prativindhya's mother speak unto thee burning with grief. Whatever I speak unto thee is agreeable to all of them, for all of them plunged in distress, eagerly wish for battle. Then, O monarch, what more wretched a calamity can overtake us that our kingdom should be wrested from us by weak and contemptible foes and enjoyed by them? O king, from the weakness of thy disposition thou feelest shame in violating thy pledge. But, O slayer of foes, no one applaudeth thee for thus suffering such pain in consequence of the kindliness of thy disposition. Thy intellect, O king, seeth not the truth, like that of a foolish and ignorant person of high birth who hath committed the words of the Vedas to memory without understanding their sense. Thou art kind like a Brahmana. How hast thou been born in the Kshatriya order? They that are born in the Kshatriya order are generally of crooked hearts. Thou hast heard (recited) the duties of kings, as promulgated by Manu, fraught with crookedness and unfairness and precepts opposed to tranquillity and virtue. Why dost thou then, O king, forgive the wicked sons of Dhritarashtra? Thou hast intelligence, prowess, learning and high birth. Why dost thou then, O tiger among men, act in respect of thy duties, like a huge snake that is destitute of motion? O son of Kunti, he that desireth to conceal us, only wisheth to conceal the mountains of Himavat by means of a handful of grass. O son of Pritha, known as thou art over whole earth, thou wilt not be able to live unknown, like the sun that can never course through the sky unknown to men. Like a large tree in a well-watered region with spreading branches and flowers and leaves, or like Indra's elephant, how will Jishnu live unknown? How also will these children, the brothers, Nakula and Sahadeva, equal unto a couple of young lions, both live in secret? How, O son of Pritha, will Krishna—the daughter of Drupada—a princess and mother of heroes, of virtuous deeds and known over all the world, live unknown? Me also, everybody knoweth from my boyhood. I do not see how I can live unknown. As well mighty mountains of Meru be sought to be concealed. Then, again, many kings had been expelled by us from their kingdom. These kings and princes will all follow the bad son of Dhritarashtra, for robbed and exiled by us, they have not still become friendly. Desiring to do good unto Dhritarashtra, they will certainly seek to injure us. They will certainly set against us numerous spies in disguise. If these discover us and report their discovery, a great danger will overtake us. We have already lived in the woods full thirteen months. Regard them, O king, for their length as thirteen years. The wise have said that a month is a substitute for a year, like the pot-herb that is regarded as a substitute for the Soma. Or, (if thou breakest thy pledge), O king, thou mayst free thyself from this sin by offering good savoury food to a quiet bull carrying sacred burdens. Therefore, O king resolve thou to slay thy enemies. There is no virtue higher than fighting, for every Kshatriya!"
Vaisampayana said, "Hearing those words of Bhima, Yudhishthira. the son of Kunti—tiger among men and slayer of all foes—began to sigh heavily, and reflect in silence. And he thought within himself, 'I have heard recited the duties of kings, also all truths about the duties of the different orders. He is said to observe those duties truly who keepeth them before his eyes, so as to regulate his conduct both in the present and the future. Knowing as I do the true course of virtue, which, however is so very difficult of being known, how can I forcibly grind virtue down like grinding the mountains of Meru? Having reflected so for a moment, and settled what he should do, he replied unto Bhima as follows without allowing him another word:
"O thou of mighty arms, it is even so as thou hast said. But, O thou foremost of speakers, listen now to another word I say. Whatever sinful deeds, O Bhima, one seeketh to achieve, depending on his courage alone, become always a source of pain. But, O thou of mighty arms, whatever is begun with deliberation, with well-directed prowess, with all appliances, and much previous thought, is seen to succeed. The gods themselves favour such designs. Hear from me something about what, proud of thy might, O Bhima, and led away by thy restlessness, thou thinkest should be immediately begun. Bhurisravas, Sala, the mighty Jarasandha, Bhishma, Drona, Karna, the mighty son of Drona, Dhritarashtra's sons—Duryodhana and others—so difficult of being vanquished, are all accomplished in arms and ever ready for battle with us. Those kings and chiefs of the earth also who have been injured by us, have all adopted the side of the Kauravas, and are bound by ties of affection to them. O Bharata, they are engaged in seeking the good of Duryodhana and not of us. With full treasures and aided by large forces, they will certainly strive their best in battle. All the officers also of the Kuru army together with their sons and relatives, have been honoured by Duryodhana with wealth and luxuries. Those heroes are also much regarded by Duryodhana. This is my certain conclusion that they will sacrifice their lives for Duryodhana in battle. Although the behaviour of Bhishma, Drona, and the illustrious Kripa, is the same towards us as towards them, yet, O thou of mighty arms, this is my certain conclusion that in order to pay off the royal favours they enjoy, they will throw their very lives, than which there is nothing dearer, in battle. All of them are masters of celestial weapons, and devoted to the practice of virtue. I think they are incapable of being vanquished even by gods led by Vasava himself. There is again amongst them that mighty warrior—Karna—impetuous, and ever wrathful, master of all weapons, and invincible, and encased in impenetrable mail. Without first vanquishing in battle all those foremost of men, unaided as thou art, how canst thou slay Duryodhana? O Vrikodara, I cannot sleep thinking of the lightness of hand of that Suta's son, who, I regard, is the foremost of all wielders of the bow!"
"Vaisampayana continued, "Hearing these words of Yudhishthira, the impetuous Bhima became alarmed, and forbore from speaking anything. And while the sons of Pandu were thus conversing with each other, there came to that spot the great ascetic Vyasa, the son of Satyavati. And as he came, the sons of Pandu worshipped him duly. Then that foremost of all speakers, addressing Yudhishthira, said, O, Yudhishthira, O thou of mighty arms, knowing by spiritual insight what is passing in thy heart, I have come to thee, O thou bull among men! The fear that is in thy heart, arising from Bhishma, and Drona, and Kripa, and Karna, and Drona's son, and prince Duryodhana, and Dussasana, I will dispell, O slayer of all foes, by means of an act enjoined by the ordinance. Hearing it from me, accomplish it thou with patience, and having accomplished it, O king, quell this fever of thine soon.'"
That foremost of speakers then, the son of Parasara, taking Yudhishthira to a corner, began to address him in words of deep import, saying, 'O best of the Bharatas, the time is come for thy prosperity, when, indeed Dhananjaya—that son of Pritha—will slay all thy foes in battle. Uttered by me and like unto success personified, accept from me this knowledge called Pratismriti that I impart to thee, knowing thou art capable of receiving it. Receiving it (from thee), Arjuna will be able to accomplish his desire. And let Arjuna, O son of Pandu, go unto Mahendra and Rudra, and Varuna, and Kuvera, and Yama, for receiving weapon from them. He is competent to behold the gods for his asceticism and prowess. He is even a Rishi of great energy, the friend of Narayana; ancient, eternal a god himself, invincible, ever successful, and knowing no deterioration. Of mighty arms, he will achieve mighty deeds, having obtained weapons from Indra, and Rudra, and the Lokapalas, O son of Kunti, think also of going from this to some other forest that may, O king, be fit for thy abode. To reside in one place for any length of time is scarcely pleasant. In thy case, it might also be productive of anxiety to the ascetics. And as thou maintainest numerous Brahmanas versed in the Vedas and the several branches thereof, continued residence here might exhaust the deer of this forest, and be destructive of the creepers and plants.'"
Vaisampayana continued, "Having addressed him thus, that illustrious and exalted ascetic Vyasa, of great wisdom, acquired with the mysteries of the world, then imparted unto the willing Yudhishthira the just, who had meanwhile purified himself, that foremost of sciences. And bidding farewell unto the son of Kunti, Vyasa disappeared then and there. The virtuous and intelligent Yudhishthira, however, having obtained that knowledge carefully retained it in his mind and always recited it on proper occasions. Glad of the advice given him by Vyasa, the son of Kunti then, leaving the wood Dwaitavana went to the forest of Kamyaka on the banks of the Saraswati. And, O king, numerous Brahmanas of ascetic merit and versed in the science of orthoepy and orthography, followed him like the Rishis following the chief of the celestials. Arrived at Kamyaka, those illustrious bulls amongst the Bharata took up their residence there along with their friends and attendants. And possessed of energy, those heroes, O king, lived there for some time, devoted to the exercise of the bow and hearing all the while the chanting of the Vedas. And they went about those woods every day in search of deer, armed with pure arrows. And they duly performed all the rites in honour of the Pitris, the celestials and the Brahmanas."
Vaisampayana said, "After some time, Yudhishthira the just, remembering the command of the Muni (Vyasa) and calling unto himself that bull among men—Arjuna—possessed of great wisdom, addressed him in private. Taking hold of Arjuna's hands, with a smiling face and in gentle accents, that chastiser of foes—the virtuous Yudhishthira—apparently after reflecting for a moment, spake these words in private unto Dhananjaya, 'O Bharata, the whole science of arms dwelleth in Bhishma, and Drona, and Kripa, and Karna, and Drona's son. They fully know all sorts of Brahma and celestial and human and Vayavya weapons, together with the modes of using and warding them off. All of them are conciliated and honoured and gratified by Dhritarashtra's son who behaveth unto them as one should behave unto his preceptor. Towards all his warriors Dhritarashtra's son behaveth with great affection; and all the chiefs honoured and gratified by him, seek his good in return. Thus honoured by him, they will not fail to put forth their might. The whole earth, besides, is now under Duryodhana's sway, with all the villages and towns, O son of Pritha, and all the seas and woods and mines! Thou alone art our sole refuge. On thee resteth a great burden. I shall, therefore, O chastiser of all foes, tell thee what thou art to do now. I have obtained a science from Krishna Dwaipayana. Used by thee, that science will expose the whole universe to thee. O child, attentively receive thou that science from me, and in due time (by its aid) attain thou the grace of the celestials. And, O bull of the Bharata race, devote thyself to fierce asceticism. Armed with the bow and sword, and cased in mail, betake thyself to austerities and good vows, and go thou northwards, O child, without giving way to anybody. O Dhananjaya, all celestial weapons are with Indra. The celestials, from fear of Vritra, imparted at the time all their might to Sakra. Gathered together in one place, thou wilt obtain all weapons. Go thou unto Sakra, he will give thee all his weapons. Taking the bow set thou out this very day in order to behold Purandara."
Vaisampayana continued, "Having said this, the exalted Yudhishthira the just, imparted that science unto Arjuna. And the elder brother having communicated with due rites the knowledge unto his heroic brother, with speech and body and mind under perfect control, commanded him to depart. And at the command of Yudhishthira, the strong-armed Arjuna, taking up the Gandiva as also his inexhaustible quivers, and accoutred in mail and gauntlets and finger-protectors made of the skin of the guana, and having poured oblations into the fire and made the Brahmanas to utter benedictions after gifts, set out (from Kamyaka) with the objects of beholding Indra. And armed with the bow, the hero, at the time of setting out heaved a sigh and cast a look upwards for achieving the death of Dhritarashtra's sons. And beholding Kunti's son thus armed and about to set out, the Brahmanas and Siddhas and invisible spirits addressed him, saying, 'O son of Kunti, obtain thou soon what thou wishest.' And the Brahmanas, also uttering benedictions said, 'Achieve thou the object thou hast in view. Let victory be truly thine.' And beholding the heroic Arjuna, of thighs stout as the trunks of the Sala, about to set out taking away with him the hearts of all, Krishna addressed him saying, 'O thou strong-armed one, let all that Kunti had desired at thy birth, and let all that thou desirest, be accomplished, O Dhananjaya! Let no one amongst us be ever again born in the order of Kshatriyas. I always bow down unto the Brahmanas whose mode of living is mendicancy. This is my great grief that the wretch Duryodhana beholding me in the assembly of princes mockingly called me a cow! Besides this he told me in the midst of that assembly many other hard things. But the grief I experience at parting with thee is far greater than any I felt at those insults. Certainly, in thy absence, thy brothers will while away their waking hours in repeatedly talking of thy heroic deeds! If, however, O son of Pritha, thou stayest away for any length of time, we shall derive no pleasure from our enjoyments or from wealth. Nay, life itself will be distasteful to us. O son of Pritha, our weal, and woe, life and death, our kingdom and prosperity, are all dependent on thee. O Bharata, I bless thee, let success be thine. O sinless one, thy (present) task thou wilt be able to achieve even against powerful enemies. O thou of great strength, go thou to win success with speed. Let dangers be not thine. I bow to Dhatri and Vidhatri! I bless thee. Let prosperity be thine. And, O Dhananjaya, let Hri, Sree, Kirti, Dhriti, Pushti, Uma, Lakshmi, Saraswati, all protect thee on thy way, for thou ever worshippest thy elder brother and ever obeyest his commands. And, O bull of the Bharata race, I bow to the Vasus, the Rudras and Adityas, the Manilas, the Viswadevas, and the Sadhyas, for procuring thy welfare. And, O Bharata, be thou safe from all spirits of mischief belonging to the sky, the earth, and the heaven, and from such other spirits generally.'"
Vaisampayana continued, "Krishna, the daughter of Yajnasena, having uttered these benedictions, ceased. The strong-armed son of Pandu then, having walked round his brothers and round Dhaumya also, and taking up his handsome bow, set out. And all creatures began to leave the way that Arjuna of great energy and prowess, urged by the desire of beholding Indra, took. And that slayer of foes passed over many mountains inhabited by ascetics, and then reached the sacred Himavat, the resort of the celestials. And the high-souled one reached the sacred mountain in one day, for like the winds he was gifted with the speed of the mind, in consequence of his ascetic austerities. And having crossed the Himavat, as also the Gandhamadana, he passed over many uneven and dangerous spots, walking night and day without fatigue. And having reached Indrakila, Dhananjaya stopped for a moment. And then he heard a voice in the skies, saying, 'Stop!' And hearing that voice, the son of Pandu cast his glances all around. And Arjuna, capable of using his left hand with skill equal to that of his right hand, then beheld before him an ascetic under the shade of a tree, blazing with Brahma brilliancy, of a tawny colour, with matted locks, and thin. And the mighty ascetic, beholding Arjuna stop at t at place, addressed him, saying, 'Who art thou, O child, arrived hither with bow and arrows, and cased in mail and accoutred in scabbard and gauntlet, and (evidently) wedded to the customs of the Kshatriya? There is no need of weapons here. This is the abode of peaceful Brahmanas devoted to ascetic austerities without anger or joy. There is no use for the bow here, for there is no dispute in this place of any kind. Therefore throw away, O child, this bow of thine. Thou hast obtained a pure state of life by coming here. O hero, there is no man who is like thee in energy and prowess.' That Brahmana thus addressed Arjuna, with a smiling face, repeatedly. But he succeeded not in moving Arjuna, firmly devoted to his purpose. The regenerate one, glad at heart, smilingly addressed Arjuna once more, saying, 'O slayer of foes, blest be thou! I am Sakra: ask thou the boon thou desirest.' Thus addressed, that perpetuator of the Kuru race, the heroic Dhananjaya bending his head and joining his hands, replied unto him of a thousand eyes, saying, 'Even this is the object of my wishes; grant me this boon, O illustrious one. I desire to learn from thee all the weapons.' The chief of the celestials then, smiling, replied unto him cheerfully, saying, 'O Dhananjaya, when thou hast reached this region, what need is there of weapons? Thou hast already obtained a pure state of life. Ask thou for the regions of bliss that thou desirest.' Thus addressed, Dhananjaya replied unto him o a thousand eyes, saying, 'I desire not regions of bliss, nor objects of enjoyment, nor the state of a celestial; what is this talk about happiness? O chief of the celestials, I do not desire the prosperity of all the gods. Having left my brothers behind me in the forest, and without avenging myself on the foe, shall I incur the opprobrium for all ages of all the world." Thus addressed, the slayer of Vritra, worshipped of the worlds, consoling him with gentle words, spare unto the son of Pandu, saying, 'When thou art able to behold the three-eyed trident-bearing Siva, the lord of all creatures, it is then, O child, that I will give thee all the celestial weapons. Therefore, strive thou to obtain the sight of the highest of the gods; for it is only after thou hast seen him. O son of Kunti, that thou will obtain all thy wishes.' Having spoken thus unto Phalguna, Sakra disappeared then and there, and Arjuna, devoting himself to asceticism, remained at that spot."
Janemejaya said, "O illustrious one, I desire to hear in detail the history of the acquisition of weapons by Arjuna of spotless deeds. O tell me how that tiger among men, Dhananjaya, of mighty arms and possessed of great energy, entered that solitary forest without fear. And, O thou foremost of those acquainted with the Veda, what also did Arjuna do while dwelling there? How also were the illustrious Sthanu and the chief of the celestials gratified by him? O thou best of regenerate ones, I desire to hear all this under thy favour. Thou art omniscient; thou knowest all about the gods and all about men. O Brahmana, the battle that took place of old between Arjuna—that foremost of smiters never defeated in battle—and Bhava was highly extraordinary and without parallel. It maketh one's hair stand on end to hear of it. Even the hearts of those lions among men—the brave sons of Pritha—trembled in consequence of wonder and joy and a sense of their own inferiority. O tell me in full what else Arjuna, did I do not see even the most trivial thing to Jishnu that is censurable. Therefore, recite to me in full the history of that hero."
Vaisampayana said, "O tiger among Kurus, I shall recite to thee that narration, excellent and extensive and unrivalled, in connection with the illustrious hero. O sinless one, hear in detail the particulars about Arjuna's meeting with the three-eyed god of gods, and his contact with the illustrious god's person!
"At Yudhishthira's command, Dhananjaya of immeasurable prowess set out (from Kamyaka) to obtain a sight of Sakra, the chief of the celestials and of Sankara, the god of gods. And the strong-armed Arjuna of great might set out armed with his celestial bow and a sword with golden hilt, for the success of the object he had in view, northwards, towards the summit of the Himavat. And, O king, that first of all warriors in the three worlds, the son of Indra, with a calm mind, and firmly adhering to his purpose, then devoted himself, without the loss of any time, to ascetic austerities. And he entered, all alone, that terrible forest abounding with thorny plants and trees and flowers and fruits of various kinds, and inhabited by winged creatures of various species, and swarming with animals of diverse kinds, and resorted to by Siddhas and Charanas. And when the son of Kunti entered that forest destitute of human beings, sounds of conchs and drums began to be heard in the heavens. And a thick shower of flowers fell upon the earth, and the clouds spreading over the firmament caused a thick shade. Passing over those difficult and woody regions at the foot of the great mountains, Arjuna soon reached the breast of the Himavat; and staying there for sometime began to shine in his brilliancy. And he beheld there numerous trees with expanding verdure, resounding with the melodious notes of winged warblers. And he saw there rivers with currents of the lapis lazuli, broken by the fierce eddies here and there, and echoing with the notes of swans and ducks and cranes. And the banks of those rivers resounded with the mellifluous strains of the male Kokilas and the notes of peacocks and cranes. And the mighty warrior, beholding those rivers of sacred and pure and delicious water and their charming banks, became highly delighted. And the delighted Arjuna of fierce energy and high soul then devoted himself to rigid austerities in that delightful and woody region. Clad in rags made of grass and furnished with a black deerskin and a stick, he commenced to eat withered leaves fallen upon the ground. And he passed the first month, by eating fruits at the interval of three nights; and the second by eating at the interval of the six nights; and the third by eating at the interval of a fortnight. When the fourth month came, that best of the Bharatas—the strong-armed son of Pandu—began to subsist on air alone. With arms upraised and leaning upon nothing and standing on the tips of his toes, he continued his austerities. And the illustrious hero's locks, in consequence of frequent bathing took the hue of lightning or the lotus. Then all the great Rishis went together unto the god of the Pinaka for representing unto him about the fierce asceticism of Pritha's son. And bowing unto that god of gods, they informed him of Arjuna's austerities saying, 'This son of pritha possessed of great energy is engaged in the most difficult of ascetic austerities on the breast of the Himavat. Heated with his asceticism, the earth is smoking all round, O god of gods. We do not know what his object is for which he is engaged in these austerities. He, however, is causing us pain. It behoveth thee to prevent him!' Hearing these words of those munis with souls under perfect control, the lord of all creatures—the husband of Uma said, 'It behoveth you not to indulge in any grief on account of Phalguna! Return ye all cheerfully and with alacrity to the places whence ye have come. I know the desire that is in Arjuna's heart. His wish is not for heaven, nor for prosperity, nor for long life. And I will accomplish, even, this day, all that is desired by him.'"
Vaisampayana continued, "The truth-speaking Rishis, having heard these words of Mahadeva, became delighted, and returned to their respective abodes."
Vaisampayana said, "After all those illustrious ascetics had gone away, that wielder of the Pinaka and cleanser of all sins—the illustrious Hara—assuming the form of a Kirata resplendent as a golden tree, and with a huge and stalwart form like a second Meru, and taking up a hand some bow and a number of arrows resembling snakes of virulent poison, and looking like an embodiment of fire, came quickly down on the breast of Himavat. And the handsome god of gods was accompanied by Uma in the guise of a Kirata woman, and also by a swarm of merry spirits of various forms and attire, and by thousands of women in the form and attire of Kiratas. And, O king, that region suddenly blazed up in beauty, in consequence of the arrival of the god of gods in such company. And soon enough a solemn stillness pervaded the place. The sounds of springs, and water-courses, and of birds suddenly ceased. And as the god of gods approached Pritha's son of blameless deeds, he beheld a wonderful sight, even that of a Danava named Muka, seeking, in the form of a boar, to slay Arjuna. Phalguna, at the sight of the enemy seeking to slay him, took up the Gandiva and a number of arrows resembling snakes of virulent poison. And stringing his bow and filling the air with its twang, he addressed the boar and said, 'I have come here but done thee no injury. As thou seekest to slay me, I shall certainly send thee to the abode of Yama.' And beholding that firm wielder of the bow—Phalguna—about to slay the boar, Sankara in the guise of a Kirata suddenly bade him stop saying, 'The boar like the mountain of Indrakila in hue hath been aimed at by me first'; Phalguna, however, disregarding these words, struck the boar. The Kirata also blazing splendour, let fly an arrow like flaming fire and resembling the thunderbolt at the same object. And the arrows thus shot by both fell at the same instant of time upon the wide body of Muka, hard as adamant. And the two shafts fell upon the boar with a loud sound, even like that of Indra's thunderbolt and the thunder of the clouds falling together upon the breast of a mountain. And Muka, thus struck by two shafts which produced numerous arrows resembling snakes of blazing mouths, yielded up his life, assuming once more his terrible Rakshasa form. Jishnu—that slayer of foes—then beheld before him that person, of form blazing as god, and attired in the dress of a Kirata and accompanied by many women. And beholding him, the son of Kunti with a joyous heart addressed him smilingly and said, 'Who art thou that thus wanderest in these solitary woods, surrounded by women? thou of the splendour of gold, art thou not afraid of this terrible forest? Why, again, didst thou shoot the boar that was first aimed at by me? This Rakshasa that came hither, listlessly or with the object, of slaying me, had been first aimed at by me. Thou shalt not, therefore, escape from me with life. Thy behaviour towards me is not consistent with the customs of the chase. Therefore, O mountaineer, I will take thy life.' Thus addressed by the son of Pandu, the Kirata, smiling replied unto his capable of wielding the bow with his left hand, in soft words, saying, 'O hero, thou needst not be anxious on my account. This forest land is proper abode for us who always dwell in the woods. Respecting thyself, however, I may inquire, why thou hast selected thy abode here amid such difficulties. We, O ascetic, have our habitation in these woods abounding in animals of all kinds. Why dost thou, so delicate and brought up in luxury and possessed of the splendour of fire, dwell alone in such a solitary region?' Arjuna said, 'Depending on the Gandiva and arrows blazing like fire, I live in this great forest, like a second Pavaki. Thou hast seen how this monster—this terrible Rakshasa—that came hither in the form of an animal, hath been slain by me.' The Kirata replied, 'This Rakshasa, first struck with the shot from my bow, was killed and sent to the regions of Yama by me. He was first aimed at by me. And it is with my shot that he has been deprived of life. Proud of thy strength, it behoveth thee not to impute thy own fault to others. Thou art thyself in fault, O wretch, and, therefore, shalt not escape from me with life. Stay thou: I will shoot at thee shafts like thunderbolts. Strive thou also and shoot, to the best of thy power, thy arrows at me.' Hearing these words of the Kirata, Arjuna became angry, and attacked him with arrows. The Kirata, however, with a glad heart received all those shafts upon himself, repeatedly saying, 'Wretch, wretch, shoot thou best arrows capable of piercing into the very vitals.' Thus addressed, Arjuna, began to shower his arrows on him. Both of them then became angry and, engaging in fierce conflict, began to shoot at each other showers of arrows, each resembling a snake of virulent poison. And Arjuna rained a perfect shower of arrows on the Kirata, Sankara, however, bore that downpour on him with a cheerful heart. But the wielder of the Pinaka, having borne that shower of arrows for a moment, stood unwounded, immovable like a hill. Dhananjaya, beholding his arrowy shower become futile, wondered exceedingly, repeatedly saying, 'Excellent! Excellent! Alas, this mountaineer of delicate limbs, dwelling on the heights of the Himavat, beareth, without wavering, the shafts shot from the Gandiva! Who is he? Is he Rudra himself, or some other god, or a Yaksha, or an Asura? The gods sometimes do descend on the heights of the Himavat. Except the god who wieldeth the Pinaka, there is none rise that can bear the impetuosity of the thousands of arrows shot by me from the Gandiva. Whether he is a god or a Yaksha, in fact, anybody except Rudra, I shall soon send him, with my shafts, to the regions of Yama.' Thus thinking, Arjuna, with a cheerful heart, began, O king, to shoot arrows by hundreds, resembling in splendour the rays of the sun. That downpour of shafts, however, the illustrious Creator of the worlds—the wielder of the trident—bore with a glad heart, like a mountain bearing a shower of rocks. Soon, however, the arrows of Phalguna were exhausted. And noticing this fact, Arjuna became greatly alarmed. And the son of Pandu then began to think of the illustrious god Agni who had before, during the burning of the Khandava, given him a couple of inexhaustible quivers. And he began to think, 'Alas, my arrows are all exhausted. What shall I shoot now from my bow? Who is this person that swalloweth my arrows? Slaying him with the end of my bow, as elephants are killed with lances, I shall send him to the domains of the mace-bearing Yama.' The illustrious Arjuna then, taking up his bow and dragging the Kirata with his bow-string, struck him some fierce blows that descended like thunderbolts. When, however, that slayer of hostile heroes—the son of Kunti—commenced the conflict with the end of the bow, the mountaineer snatched from his hands that celestial bow. And beholding his bow snatched from him, Arjuna took up his sword, and wishing to end the conflict, rushed at his foe. And then the Kuru prince, with the whole might of his arms, struck that sharp weapon upon the head of the Kirata, a weapon that was incapable of being resisted even by solid rocks. But that first of swords, at touch of the Kirata's crown, broke into pieces. Phalguna then commenced the conflict with trees and stones. The illustrious god in the form of the huge-bodied Kirata, however, bore that shower of trees and rocks with patience. The mighty son of Pritha then, his mouth smoking with wrath, struck the invincible god in the form of a Kirata, with hi clenched fists, blows that descended like thunderbolts. The god in the Kirata form returned Phalguna's blows with fierce blows resembling the thunderbolts of Indra. And in consequence of that conflict of blows between the son of Pandu and the Kirata, there arose in that place loud and frightful sounds. That terrible conflict of blows, resembling the conflict of yore between Vritra and Vasava, lasted but for a moment. The mighty Jishnu clasping the Kirata began to press him with his breast, but the Kirata, possessed of great strength pressed the insensible son of Pandu with force. And in consequence of the pressure of their arms and of their breasts, their bodies began to emit smoke like charcoal in fire. The great god then, smiting the already smitten son of Pandu, and attacking him in anger with his full might, deprived him of his senses. Then, O Bharata, Phalguna, thus pressed by the god of the gods, with limbs, besides, bruised and mangled, became incapable of motion and was almost reduced to a ball of flesh. And struck by the illustrious god, he became breathless and, falling down on earth without power of moving, looked like one that was dead. Soon, however, he regained consciousness, and, rising from his prostrate position, with body covered with blood, became filled with grief. Mentally prostrating himself before the gracious god of gods, and making a clay image of that deity, he worshipped it, with offerings of floral garlands. Beholding, however, the garland that he had offered to the clay image of Bhava, decking the crown of the Kirata, that best of Pandu's sons became filled with joy and regained his ease. And he prostrated himself thereupon at the feet of Bhava, and the god also was pleased with him. And Hara, beholding the wonder of Arjuna and seeing that his body had been emaciated with ascetic austerities, spake unto him in a voice deep as the roaring of the clouds, saying, 'O Phalguna, I have been pleased with thee for thy act is without a parallel. There is no Kshatriya who is equal to thee in courage, and patience. And, O sinless one, thy strength and prowess are almost equal to mine. O mighty-armed one, I have been pleased with thee. Behold me, O bull of the Bharata race! O large-eyed one! I will grant thee eyes (to see me in my true form). Thou wert a Rishi before. Thou wilt vanquish all thy foes, even the dwellers of heaven; I will as I have been pleased with thee, grant thee an irresistible weapon. Soon shall thou be able to wield that weapon of mine."
Vaisampayana continued, "Phalguna then beheld him—Mahadeva—that god of blazing splendour-that wielder of the Pinaka-that one who had his abode on the mountains (of Kailasa)—accompanied by Uma. Bending down on his knee and bowing with his head, that conqueror of hostile cities-the son of Pritha-worshipped Hara and inclined him to grace. And Arjuna said, 'O Kapardin, O chief of all gods, O destroyer of the eyes of Bhaga, O god of gods, O Mahadeva, O thou of blue throat, O thou of matted locks, I know thee as the Cause of all causes. O thou of three eyes, O lord of all! Thou art the refuge of all the gods! This universe hath sprung from thee. Thou art incapable of being vanquished by the three worlds of the celestials, the Asuras, and men. Thou art Siva in the form of Vishnu, and Vishnu in the form of Siva. Thou destroyedest of old the great sacrifice of Daksha. O Hari, O Rudra, I bow to thee. Thou hast an eye on thy forehead. O Sarva, O thou that rainest objects of desire, O bearer of the trident, O wielder of the Pinaka, O Surya, O thou of pure body, O Creator of all, I bow to thee. O lord of all created things, I worship thee to obtain thy grace. Thou art the lord of the Ganas, the source of universal blessing, the Cause of the causes of the universe. Thou art beyond the foremost of male beings, thou art the highest, thou art the subtlest, O Hara! O illustrious Sankara, it behoveth thee to pardon my fault. It was even to obtain a sight of thyself that I came to this great mountain, which is dear to thee and which is the excellent abode of ascetics. Thou art worshipped of all worlds. O lord, I worship thee to obtain thy grace. Let not this rashness of mine be regarded as a fault—this combat in which I was engaged with thee from ignorance. O Sankara, I seek thy protection. Pardon me all I have done."
Vaisampayana continued, "Endued with great might, the god whose sign was the bull, taking into his the handsome hands of Arjuna, smilingly replied unto him, saying, 'I have pardoned thee. And the illustrious Hara, cheerfully clasping Arjuna with his arms, once more consoling Arjuna said as follows."
"Mahadeva said, 'Thou wert in thy former life Nara, the friend of Narayana. In Vadari wert thou engaged in fierce ascetic austerities for several thousands of years. In thee as well as in Vishnu—that first of male beings—dwelleth great might. Ye both, by your might, hold the universe; O lord, taking up that fierce bow whose twang resembled the deep roar of the clouds, thou, as well as Krishna, chastisedest the Danavas during the coronation of Indra. Even this Gandiva is that bow, O son of Pritha, fit for thy hands. O foremost of male beings, I snatched it from thee, helped by my powers of illusion. This couple of quivers, fit for thee, will again be inexhaustible, O son of Pritha! And, O son of the Kuru race, thy body will be free from pain and disease. Thy prowess is incapable of being baffled. I have been pleased with thee. And, O first of male beings, ask thou of me the boon that thou desirest. O chastiser of all foes, O giver of proper respect, (to those deserving it) not even in heaven is there any male being who is equal to thee, nor any Kshatriya who is thy superior.'
"Arjuna said, 'O illustrious god having the bull for thy sign, if thou wilt grant me my desire, I ask of thee, O lord that fierce celestial weapon wielded by thee and called Brahmasira—that weapon of terrific prowess which destroyeth, at the end of the Yuga the entire universe—that weapon by the help of which, O god of gods, I may under thy grace, obtain victory in the terrible conflict which shall take place between myself (on one side), and Karna and Bhishma and Kripa and Drona (on the other)—that weapon by which I may consume in battle Danavas and Rakshasas and evil spirits and Pisachas and Gandharvas and Nagas—that weapon which when hurled with Mantras produceth darts by thousands and fierce-looking maces and arrows like snakes of virulent poison, and by means of which I may fight with Bhishma and Drona and Kripa and Karna of ever abusive tongue, O illustrious destroyer of the eyes of Bhaga, even this is my foremost desire, viz., that I may be able to fight with them and obtain success.'
Bhava replied, 'O powerful one. I will give to thee that favourite weapon of mine called the Pasuputa. O son of Pandu, thou art capable of holding, hurling, and withdrawing it. Neither the chief himself of the gods, nor Yama, nor the king of the Yakshas, nor Varuna, nor Vayu, knoweth it. How could men know anything of it? But, O son of Pritha, this weapon should not be hurled without adequate cause; for if hurled at any foe of little might it may destroy the whole universe. In the three worlds with all their mobile and immobile creatures, there is none who is incapable of being slain by this weapon. And it may be hurled by the mind, by the eye, by words, and by the bow.'"
Vaisampayana continued, "Hearing these words, the son of Pritha purified himself. And approaching the lord of the universe with rapt attention, he said, 'Instruct me!' Mahadeva then imparted unto that best of Pandu's son the knowledge of that weapon looking like the embodiment of Yama, together with all the mysteries about hurling and withdrawing it. And that weapon thence began to wait upon Arjuna as it did upon Sankara, the lord of Uma. And Arjuna also gladly accepted it. And at the moment the whole earth, with its mountains and woods and trees and seas and forests and villages and towns and mines, trembled. And the sounds of conchs and drums and trumpets by thousands began to be heard. And at that moment hurricanes and whirlwinds began to blow. And the gods and the Danavas beheld that terrible weapon in its embodied form stay by the side of Arjuna of immeasurable energy. And whatever of evil there had been in the body of Phalguna of immeasurable energy was all dispelled by the touch of the three-eyed deity. And the three eyed god then commanded Arjuna, saying, 'Go thou into heaven.' Arjuna then, O king, worshipping the god with bent head, gazed at him, with joined hands. Then the lord of all the dwellers of heaven, the deity of blazing splendour having his abode on mountain-breasts, the husband of Uma, the god of passions under complete control, the source of all blessings, Bhava gave unto Arjuna, that foremost of men, the great bow called Gandiva, destructive of Danavas and Pisachas. And the god of gods, then leaving that blessed mountain with snowy plateaus and vales and caves, favourite resort of sky-ranging great Rishis, went up, accompanied by Uma into the skies, in the sight of that foremost of men."
Vaisampayana said, "The wielder of the Pinaka, having the bull for his sign, thus disappeared in the very sight of the gazing son of Pandu, like the sun setting in the sight of the world. Arjuna, that slayer of hostile heroes, wondered much at this, saying, 'O, I have seen the great god of gods. 'Fortunate, indeed I am, and much favoured, for I have both beheld and touched with my hand the three-eyed Hara the wielder of the Pinaka, in his boon-giving form. I shall win success. I am already great. My enemies have already been vanquished by me. My purposes have been already achieved.' And while the son of Pritha, endued with immeasurable energy, was thinking thus, there came to that place Varuna the god of waters, handsome and of the splendour of the lapis lazuli accompanied by all kinds of aquatic creatures, and filling all the points of the horizon with a blazing effulgence. And accompanied by Rivers both male and female, and Nagas, and Daityas and Sadhyas and inferior deities, Varuna, the controller and lord of all aquatic creatures, arrived at that spot. There came also the lord Kuvera of body resembling pure gold, seated on his car of great splendour, and accompanied by numerous Yakshas. And the lord of treasures, possessed of great beauty, came there to see Arjuna, illuminating the firmament with his effulgence. And there came also Yama himself, of great beauty, the powerful destroyer of all the worlds, accompanied by those lords of the creation—the Pitris—both embodied and disembodied. And the god of justice, of inconceivable soul, the son of Surya, the destroyer of all creatures, with the mace in hand, came there on his car, illuminating the three worlds with regions of the Guhyakas, the Gandharvas and the Nagas, like a second Surya as he riseth at the end of the Yuga. Having arrived there, they beheld, from the effulgent and variegated summits of the great mountain, Arjuna engaged in ascetic austerities. And there came in a moment the illustrious Sakra also, accompanied by his queen, seated on the back of (the celestial elephant) Airavata, and surrounded also by all the deities. And in consequence of the white umbrella being held over his head, he looked like the moon amid fleecy clouds. And eulogised by Gandharvas, and Rishis endued with wealth of asceticism, the chief of the celestials alighted on a particular summit of the mountain, like a second sun. Then Yama possessed of great intelligence, and fully conversant with virtue, who had occupied a summit on the south, in a voice deep as that of the clouds, said these auspicious words, 'Arjuna, behold us, the protectors of the worlds, arrive here! We will grant thee (spiritual) vision, for thou deservest to behold us. Thou wert in thy former life a Rishi of immeasurable soul, known as Nara of great might At the command, O child, of Brahma, thou hast been born among men! O sinless one, by thee shall be vanquished in battle the highly virtuous grandsire of the Kurus—Bhishma of great energy—who is born of the Vasus. Thou shalt also defeat all the Kshatriyas of fiery energy commanded by the son of Bharadwaja in battle. Thou shalt also defeat those Danavas of fierce prowess that have been born amongst men, and those Danavas also that are called Nivatakavachas. And, O son of the Kuru race, O Dhananjaya, thou shalt also slay Karna of fierce prowess, who is even a portion of my father Surya, of energy celebrated throughout the worlds. And, O son of Kunti, smiter of all foes, thou shalt also slay all the portions of celestials and Danavas and the Rakshasas that have been incarnate on earth. And slain by thee, these shall attain to the regions earned by them according to their acts. And, O Phalguna, the fame of thy achievements will last for ever in the world: thou hast gratified Mahadeva himself in conflict. Thou shalt, with Vishnu himself, lighten the burden of the earth. O accept this weapon of mine—the mace I wield incapable of being baffled by any body. With this weapon thou wilt achieve great deeds.'"
Vaisampayana continued, "O Janamejaya, the son of Pritha then received from Yama that weapon duly, along with the Mantras and rite, and the mysteries of hurling and withdrawing it. Then Varuna, the lord of all aquatic creatures, blue as the clouds, from a summit he had occupied on the west, uttered these words, 'O son of Pritha, thou art the foremost of Kshatriyas, and engaged in Kshatriya practices. O thou of large coppery eyes, behold me! I am Varuna, the lord of waters. Hurled by me, my nooses are incapable of being resisted. O son of Kunti, accept of me these Varuna weapons along with the mysteries of hurling and withdrawing them. With these, O hero, in the battle that ensued of your on account of Taraka (the wife of Vrihaspati), thousands of mighty Daityas were seized and tied. Accept them of me. Even if Yama himself by thy foe, with these in thy hands, he will not be able to escape from thee. When thou wilt armed with these, range over the field of battle, the land, beyond doubt, will be destitute of Kshatriyas.'"
Vaisampayana continued, "After both Varuna and Yama had given away their celestial weapons, the lord of treasures having his home on the heights of Kailasa, then spake, 'O son of Pandu, O thou of great might and wisdom, I too have been pleased with thee. And this meeting with thee giveth me as much pleasure as a meeting with Krishna. O wielder of the bow with the left hand, O thou of mighty arms, thou wert a god before, eternal (as other gods). In ancient Kalpas, thou hadst every day gone through ascetic austerities along with us. O best of men, I grant thee celestial vision. O thou of mighty arms, thou wilt defeat even invincible Daityas and Danavas. Accept of me also without loss of time, an excellent weapon. With this thou wilt be able to consume the ranks of Dhritarashtra. Take then this favourite weapon of mine called Antarddhana. Endued with energy and prowess and splendour, it is capable of sending the foe to sleep. When the illustrious Sankara slew Tripura, even this was the weapon which he shot and by which many mighty Asuras were consumed. O thou of invincible prowess I take it up for giving it to thee. Endued with the dignity of the Meru, thou art competent to hold this weapon.'"
"After these words had been spoken, the Kuru prince Arjuna endued with great strength, duly received from Kuvera that celestial weapon. Then the chief of the celestials addressing Pritha's son of ceaseless deeds in sweet words, said, in a voice deep as that the clouds or the kettle-drum, 'O thou mighty-armed son of Kunti, thou art an ancient god. Thou hast already achieved the highest success, and acquired the statue of a god. But, O represser of foes, thou hast yet to accomplish the purposes of the gods. Thou must ascend to heaven. Therefore prepare thou O hero of great splendour! My own car with Matali as charioteer, will soon descend on the earth. Taking thee, O Kaurava, to heaven, I will grant thee there all my celestial weapons.'"
"Beholding those protectors of the worlds assembled together on the heights of Himavat, Dhananjaya, the son of Kunti, wondered much, Endued with great energy, he then duly worshipped the assembled Lokapalas, with words, water, and fruits. The celestials then returning that worship, went away. And the gods capable of going everywhere at will, and endued with the speed of the mind, returned to the places whence they had come."
"That bull among men—Arjuna—having obtained weapons thus, was filled with pleasure. And he regarded himself as one whose desires had been fulfilled and who was crowned with success."
Vaisampayana said, "After the Lokapalas had gone away, Arjuna—that slayer of all foes—began to think, O monarch, of the car of Indra! And as Gudakesa gifted with great intelligence was thinking of it, the car endued with great effulgence and guided by Matali, came dividing the clouds and illuminating the firmament and filling the entire welkin with its rattle deep as the roar of mighty masses of clouds. Swords, and missiles of terrible forms and maces of frightful description, and winged darts of celestials splendour and lightnings of the brightest effulgence, and thunderbolts, and propellors furnished with wheels and worked with atmosphere expansion and producing sounds loud as the roar of great masses of clouds, were on that car. And there were also on that car fierce and huge-bodied Nagas with fiery mouths, and heaps of stones white as the fleecy clouds. And the car was drawn by ten thousands of horses of golden hue, endued with the speed of the wind. And furnished with prowess of illusion, the car was drawn with such speed that the eye could hardly mark its progress. And Arjuna saw on that car the flag-staff called Vaijayanta, of blazing effulgence, resembling in hue the emerald or the dark-blue lotus, and decked with golden ornaments and straight as the bamboo. And beholding a charioteer decked in gold seated on that car, the mighty-armed son of Pritha regarded it as belonging to the celestials. And while Arjuna was occupied with his thoughts regarding the car, the charioteer Matali, bending himself after descending from the car, addressed him, saying, 'O lucky son of Sakra! Sakra himself wisheth to see thee. Ascend thou without loss of time this car that hath been sent by Indra. The chief of the immortals, thy father—that god of a hundred sacrifices—hath commanded me, saying, 'Bring the son of Kunti hither. Let the gods behold him.' And Sankara himself, surrounded by the celestials and Rishis and Gandharvas and Apsaras, waiteth to behold thee. At the command of the chastiser of Paka, therefore, ascend thou with me from this to the region of the celestials. Thou wilt return after obtaining weapons.'"
"Arjuna replied, 'O Matali, mount thou without loss of time this excellent car, a car that cannot be attained even by hundreds of Rajasuya and horse sacrifices. Even kings of great prosperity who have performed great sacrifices distinguished by large gifts (to Brahmanas), even gods and Danavas are not competent to ride this car. He that hath not ascetic merit is not competent to even see or touch this car, far less to ride on it. O blessed one, after thou hast ascended, it, and after the horses have become still, I will ascend it, like a virtuous man stepping into the high-road of honesty.'"
Vaisampayana continued, "Matali, the charioteer of Sakra, hearing these words of Arjuna, soon mounted the car and controlled the horses. Arjuna then, with a cheerful heart, purified himself by a bath in the Ganges. And the son of Kunti then duly repeated (inaudibly) his customary prayers. He then, duly and according to the ordinance, gratified the Pitris with oblations of water. And, lastly, he commenced to invoke the Mandara—that king of mountains—saying, 'O mountain, thou art ever the refuge of holy, heaven-seeking Munis of virtuous conduct and behaviour. It is through thy grace, O mountain, that Brahmanas and Kshatriyas and Vaisyas attain heaven, and their anxieties gone, sport with the celestials. O king of mountains, O mountain, thou art the asylum of Munis, and thou holdest on thy breast numerous sacred shrines. Happily have I dwelt on thy heights. I leave thee now, bidding thee farewell. Oft have I seen thy tablelands and bowers, thy springs and brooks, and the sacred shrines on thy breast. I have also eaten the savoury fruits growing on thee, and have slated my thirst with draughts of perfumed water oozing from the body. I have also drunk the water of thy springs, sweet as amrita itself. O mountain, as a child sleepeth happily on the lap of his father, so have I, O king of mountains, O excellent one, sported on thy breast, echoing with the notes of Apsaras and the chanting of the Vedas. O mountain, every day have I lived happily on thy tablelands.' Thus having bidden farewell to the mountain, that slayer of hostile heroes—Arjuna—blazing like the Sun himself, ascended the celestial car. And the Kuru prince gifted with great intelligence, with a glad heart, coursed through the firmament on that celestial car effulgent as the sun and of extra-ordinary achievements. And after he had become invisible to the mortals of the earth, he beheld thousands of cars of extra-ordinary beauty. And in that region there was no sun or moon or fire to give light, but it blazed in light of its own, generated by virtue of ascetic merit. And those brilliant regions that are seen from the earth in the form of stars, like lamps (in the sky)—so small in consequence of their distance, though very large—were beheld by the son of Pandu, stationed in their respective places, full of beauty and effulgence and blazing with splendour all their own. And there he beheld royal sages crowned with ascetic success, and heroes who had yielded up their lives in battle, and those that had acquired heaven by their ascetic austerities, by hundreds upon hundreds. And there were also Gandharvas, of bodies blazing like the sun, by thousands upon thousands, as also Guhyakas and Rishis and numerous tribes of Apsaras. And beholding those self-effulgent regions, Phalguna became filled with wonder, and made enquiries of Matali. And Matali also gladly replied unto him, saying, 'These, O son of Pritha, are virtuous persons stationed in their respective places. It is these whom thou hast seen, O exalted one, as stars, from the earth.' Then Arjuna saw standing at the gates (Indra's region) the handsome and ever victorious elephant—Airavata—furnished with four tusks, and resembling the mountain of Kailasa with its summits. And coursing along that path of the Siddhas, that foremost of the Kurus and the son of Pandu, sat in beauty like Mandhata—that best of kings. Endued with eyes like lotus leaves, he passed through the region set apart for virtuous kings. And the celebrated Arjuna having thus passed through successive regions of heaven at last beheld Amaravati, the city of Indra."
Vaisampayana said, "And the city of Indra which Arjuna saw was delightful and was the resort of Siddhas and Charanas. And it was adorned with the flowers of every season, and with sacred trees of all kinds. And he beheld also celestial gardens called Nandana—the favourite resort of Apsaras. And fanned by the fragrant breezes charged with the farina of sweet-scented flowers, the trees with their lord of celestial blossoms seemed to welcome him amongst them. And the region was such that none could behold it who had not gone through ascetic austerities, or who had not poured libations on fire. It was a region for the virtuous alone, and not for those who had turned their back on the field of battle. And none were competent to see it who had not performed sacrifices or observed rigid vows, or who were without a knowledge of the Vedas, or who had not bathed in sacred waters, or who were not distinguished for sacrifices and gifts. And none were competent to see it who were disturbers of sacrifices, or who were low, or who drank intoxicating liquors, or who were violators of their preceptors' bed, or who were eaters of (unsanctified) meat, or who were wicked. And having beheld those celestial gardens resounding with celestial music, the strong-armed son of Pandu entered the favourite city of Indra. And he beheld there celestial cars by thousands, capable of going everywhere at will, stationed in proper places. And he saw tens of thousands of such cars moving in every direction. And fanned by pleasant breezes charged with the perfumes of flowers, the son of Pandu was praised by Apsaras and Gandharvas. And the celestials then, accompanied by the Gandharvas and Siddhas and great Rishis, cheerfully reverenced Pritha's son of white deeds. Benedictions were poured upon him, accompanied by the sounds of celestial music. The strong-armed son of Pritha then heard around him the music of conchs and drums. And praised all around, the son of Pritha then went, at the command of Indra, to that large and extensive starry way called by the name of Suravithi. There he met with the Sadhyas, the Viswas, the Marutas, the twin Aswins, the Adityas, the Vasus, the Rudras, the Brahmarshis of the great splendour, and numerous royal sages with Dilipa at their head, and Tumvura and Narada, and that couple of Gandharvas known by the names of Haha and Huhu. And the Kuru prince—that chastiser of foes—having met and duly saluted them, last of all beheld the chief of the celestials—the god of a hundred sacrifices. Then the strong-armed son of Pritha, alighting from the car approached the lord himself of the gods—his father—that chastiser of Paka. And a beautiful white umbrella furnished with a golden staff was held over the chief of the celestials. And he was fanned with a Chamara perfumed with celestial scents. And he was eulogised by many Gandharvas headed by Viswavasu and others, by bards and singers, and by foremost Brahmanas chanting Rik and Yajus hymns. And the mighty son of Kunti, approaching Indra, saluted him by bending his head to the ground. And Indra thereupon embraced him with his round and plump arms. And taking his hand, Sakra made him sit by him on a portion of his own seat, that sacred seat which was worshipped by gods and Rishis. And the lord of the celestials-that slayer of hostile heroes—smelt the head of Arjuna bending in humility, and even took him upon his lap. Seated on Sakra's seat at the command of that god of a thousand eyes, Pritha's son of immeasurable energy began to blaze in splendour like a second Indra. And moved by affection, the slayer of Vritra, consoling Arjuna, touched his beautiful face with his own perfumed hands. And the wielder of the thunderbolt, patting and rubbing gently again and again with his own hands which bore the marks of the thunderbolt the handsome and huge arms of Arjuna which resembled a couple of golden columns and which were hard in consequence of drawing the bowstring and son enhanced the beauty of the assembly, like the sun and moon god of a thousand eyes—eyeing his son of curly locks smilingly and with eyes expanded with delight, seemed scarcely to be gratified. The more he gazed, the more he liked to gaze on. And seated on one seat, the father and son enhanced the beauty of the assembly, like the sun and moon beautifying the firmament together on the fourteenth day of the dark fortnight. And a band of Gandharvas headed by Tumvuru skilled in music sacred and profane, sang many verses in melodious notes. And Ghritachi and Menaka and Rambha and Purvachitti and Swayamprabha and Urvasi and Misrakesi and Dandagauri and Varuthini and Gopali and Sahajanya and Kumbhayoni and Prajagara and Chitrasena and Chitralekha and Saha and Madhuraswana, these and others by thousands, possessed of eyes like lotus leaves, who were employed in enticing the hearts of persons practising rigid austerities, danced there. And possessing slim waists and fair large hips, they began to perform various evolutions, shaking their deep bosoms, and casting their glances around, and exhibiting other attractive attitude capable of stealing the hearts and resolutions and minds of the spectators."
Vaisampayana said, "The gods and the Gandharvas then, understanding the wishes of India, procured an excellent Arghya and reverenced the son of Pritha in a hurry. And giving water to wash both his feet and face, they caused the prince to enter the palace of Indra. And thus worshipped, Jishnu continued to live in the abode of his father. And the son of Pandu continued all the while to acquire celestial weapons, together with the means of withdrawing them. And he received from the hands of Sakra his favourite weapon of irresistible force, viz., the thunder-bolt and those other weapons also, of tremendous roar, viz., the lightnings of heaven, whose flashes are inferable from the appearance of clouds and (the dancing of) peacocks. And the son of Pandu, after he had obtained those weapons, recollected his brothers. And at the command of Indra, however, he lived for full five years in heaven, surrounded by every comfort and luxury.
"After some time, when Arjuna had obtained all the weapons. Indra addressed him in due time, saying, 'O son of Kunti, learn thou music and dancing from Chitrasena. Learn the instrumental music that is current among the celestials and which existeth not in the world of men, for, O son of Kunti, it will be to thy benefit. And Purandara gave Chitrasena as a friend unto Arjuna. And the son of Pritha lived happily in peace with Chitrasena. And Chitrasena instructed Arjuna all the while in music; vocal and instrumental and in dancing. But the active Arjuna obtained no peace of mind, remembering the unfair play at dice of Sakuni, the son of Suvala, and thinking with rage of Dussasana and his death. When however, his friendship with Chitrasena had ripened fully, he at times learned the unrivalled dance and music practised among the Gandharvas. And at last having learnt various kinds of dance and diverse species of music, both vocal and instrumental, that slayer of hostile heroes obtained no peace of mind remembering his brothers and mother Kunti."
Vaisampayana said, "One day, knowing that Arjuna's glances were cast upon Urvasi, Vasava, calling Chitrasena to himself, addressed him in private saying, 'O king of Gandharvas, I am pleased; go thou as my messenger to that foremost of Apsaras, Urvasi, and let her wait upon that tiger among men, Phalguna. Tell her, saying these words of mine, 'As through my instrumentality Arjuna hath learnt all the weapons and other arts, worshipped by all, so shouldst thou make him conversant with the arts of acquitting one's self in female company.' Thus addressed by Indra, the chief of the Gandharvas in obedience to that command of Vasava, soon went to Urvasi that foremost of Apsaras. And as he saw her, she recognised him and delighted him by the welcome she offered and the salutation she gave. And seated at ease he then smilingly addressed Urvasi, who also was seated at ease, saying, 'Let it be known, O thou of fair hips, that I come hither despatched by the one sole lord of heaven who asketh of thee a favour. He who is known amongst gods and men for his many inborn virtues, for his grace, behaviour, beauty of person, vows and self-control; who is noted for might and prowess, and respected by the virtuous, and ready-witted; who is endued with genius and splendid energy, is of a forgiving temper and without malice of any kind; who hath studied the four Vedas with their branches, and the Upanishads, and the Puranas also; who is endued with devotion to his preceptors and with intellect possessed of the eight attributes, who by his abstinence, ability, origin and age, is alone capable of protecting the celestial regions like Mahavat himself; who is never boastful; who showeth proper respect to all; who beholdeth the minutest things as clearly as if those were gross and large; who is sweet-speeched; who showereth diverse kinds of food and drink on his friends and dependents; who is truthful, worshipped of all, eloquent, handsome, and without pride; who is kind to those devoted to him, and universally pleasing and dear to all; who is firm in promise; who is equal to even Mahendra and Varuna in respect of every desirable attribute, viz., Arjuna, is known to thee. O Urvasi, know thou that hero is to be made to taste the joys of heaven. Commanded by Indra, let him today obtain thy feet. Do this, O amiable one, for Dhananjaya is inclined to thee.'
"Thus addressed, Urvasi of faultless features assumed a smiling face, and receiving the words of the Gandharva with high respect, answered with a glad heart, saying, 'Hearing of the virtues that should adorn men, as unfolded by thee, I would bestow my favours upon any one who happened to possess them. Why should I not then, choose Arjuna for a lover? At the command of Indra, and for my friendship for thee, and moved also by the numerous virtues of Phalguna, I am already under the influence of the god of love. Go thou, therefore, to the place thou desirest. I shall gladly go to Arjuna.'"
Vaisampayana said, 'Having thus sent away the Gandharva successful in his mission, Urvasi of luminous smiles, moved by the desire of possessing Phalguna, took a bath. And having performed her ablutions, she decked herself in charming ornaments and splendid garlands of celestial odour. And inflamed by the god of love, and her heart pierced through and through by the shafts shot by Manmatha keeping in view the beauty of Arjuna, and her imagination wholly taken up by the thoughts of Arjuna, she mentally sported with him on a wide and excellent bed laid over with celestial sheets. And when the twilight had deepened and the moon was up, that Apsara of high hips sent out for the mansions of Arjuna. And in that mood and with her crisp, soft and long braids decked with bunches of flowers, she looked extremely beautiful. With her beauty and grace, and the charm of the motions of her eye-brows and of her soft accents, and her own moon like face, she seemed to tread, challenging the moon himself. And as she proceeded, her deep, finely tapering bosoms, decked with a chain of gold and adorned with celestial unguents and smeared with fragrant sandal paste, began to tremble. And in consequence of the weight of her bosoms, she was forced to slightly stoop forward at every step, bending her waist exceedingly beautiful with three folds. And her loins of faultless shape, the elegant abode of the god of love, furnished with fair and high and round hips and wide at their lower part as a hill, and decked with chains of gold, and capable of shaking the saintship of anchorites, being decked with thin attire, appeared highly graceful. And her feet with fair suppressed ankles, and possessing flat soles and straight toes of the colour of burnished copper and dorsum high and curved like tortoise back and marked by the wearing of ornaments furnished with rows of little bells, looked exceedingly handsome. And exhilarated with a little liquor which she had taken, and excited by desire, and moving in diverse attitudes and expressing a sensation of delight, she looked more handsome than usual. And though heaven abounded with many wonderful objects, yet when Urvasi proceeded in this manner, the Siddhas and Charanas and Gandharvas regarded her to be the handsomest object they had cast their eyes upon. And the upper half of her body clad in an attire of fine texture and cloudy hues, she looked resplendent like a digit of the moon in the firmament shrouded by fleecy clouds. And endued with the speed of the winds or the mind, she of luminous smiles soon reached the mansion of Phalguna, the son of Pandu. And, O best of men, Urvasi of beautiful eyes, having arrived at the gate of Arjuna's abode, sent word through the keeper in attendance. And (on receiving permission), she soon entered that brilliant and charming palace. But, O monarch, upon beholding her at night in his mansion, Arjuna, with a fearstricken heart, stepped up to receive her with respect and as soon as he saw her, the son of Pritha, from modesty, closed his eyes. And saluting her, he offered the Apsara such worship as is offered unto a superior. And Arjuna said, 'O thou foremost of the Apsaras, I reverence thee by bending my head down. O lady, let me know thy commands. I wait upon thee as thy servant.'"
Vaisampayana continued, 'Hearing these words of Phalguna, Urvasi became deprived of her senses. And she soon represented unto Arjuna all that had passed between her and the Gandharva, Chitrasena. And she said, 'O best of men, I shall tell thee all that hath passed between me and Chitrasena, and why I have come hither. On account of thy coming here, O Arjuna, Mahendra had convened a large and charming assembly, in which celestial festivities were held. Unto that assembly came, O best of men, the Rudras and the Adityas and the Aswins and the Vasus. And there came also numbers of great Rishis and royal sages and Siddhas and Charanas and Yakshas and great Nagas. And, O thou of expansive eyes, the members of the assembly resplendent as fire or the sun or the moon, having taken their seats according to rank, honour, and prowess, O son of Sakra, the Gandharvas began to strike the Vinas and sing charming songs of celestial melody. And, O perpetuator of the Kuru race, the principal Apsaras also commenced to dance. Then, O son of Pritha, thou hadst looked on me only with a steadfast gaze. When that assembly of the celestials broke, commanded by thy father, the gods went away to their respective places. And the principal Apsaras also went away to their abodes, and others also, O slayer of foes, commanded by thy father and obtaining his leave. It was then that Chitrasena sent to me by Sakra, and arriving at my abode. O thou of eyes like lotus leaves, he addressed me, saying, 'O thou of the fairest complexion, I have been sent unto thee by the chief of the celestials. Do thou something that would be agreeable to Mahendra and myself and to thyself also. O thou of fair hips, seek thou to please Arjuna, who is brave in battle even like Sakra himself, and who is always possessed of magnanimity.' Even these, O son of Pritha, were his words. Thus, O sinless one, commanded by him and thy father also, I come to thee in order to wait upon thee, O slayer of foes. My heart hath been attracted by thy virtues, and am already under the influence of the god of love. And, O hero, even this is my wish, and I have cherished it for ever!"
Vaisampayana continued, "While in heaven, hearing her speak in this strain, Arjuna was overcome with bashfulness. And shutting his ears with his hands, he said, 'O blessed lady, fie on my sense of hearing, when thou speakest thus to me. For, O thou of beautiful face, thou art certainly equal in my estimation unto the wife of a superior. Even as Kunti here even this is my wish, and I have cherished it for ever!"
[Some text is obviously missing here—JBH] of high fortune or Sachi the queen of Indra, art thou to me, O auspicious one, of this there is no doubt! That I had gazed particularly at thee, O blessed one, is true. There was a reason for it. I shall truly tell it to thee, O thou of luminous smiles! In the assembly I gazed at thee with eyes expanded in delight, thinking, 'Even this blooming lady is the mother of the Kaurava race.' O blessed Apsara, it behoveth thee not to entertain other feelings towards me, for thou art superior to my superiors, being the parent of my race.'"
"Hearing these words of Arjuna, Urvasi answered, saying, 'O son of The chief of the celestials, we Apsaras are free and unconfined in our choice. It behoveth thee not, therefore, to esteem me as thy superior. The sons and grandsons of Puru's race, that have come hither in consequence of ascetic merit do all sport with us, without incurring any sin. Relent, therefore, O hero, it behoveth thee not to send me away. I am burning with desire. I am devoted to thee. Accept me, O thou giver of proper respect.'"
"Arjuna replied, 'O beautiful lady of features perfectly faultless, listen. I truly tell thee. Let the four directions and the transverse directions, let also the gods listen. O sinless one, as Kunti, or Madri, or Sachi, is to me, so art thou, the parent of my race, an object of reverence to me. Return, O thou of the fairest complexion: I bend my head unto thee, and prostrate myself at thy feet. Thou deservest my worship as my own mother; and it behoveth thee to protect me as a son.'"
Vaisampayana continued, "Thus addressed by Partha, Urvasi was deprived of her senses by wrath. Trembling with rage, and contracting her brows, she cursed Arjuna, saying, 'Since thou disregardest a woman come to thy mansion at the command of thy father and of her own motion—a woman, besides, who is pierced by the shafts of Kama, therefore, O Partha, thou shalt have to pass thy time among females unregarded, and as a dancer, and destitute of manhood and scorned as a eunuch.'"
Vaisampayana continued, "Having cursed Arjuna thus, Urvasi's lips still quivered in anger, herself breathing heavily all the while. And she soon returned to her own abode. And that slayer of foes, Arjuna also sought Chitrasena without loss of time. And having found him, he told him all that had passed between him and Urvasi in the night. And he told Chitrasena everything as it had happened, repeatedly referring to the curse pronounced upon him. And Chitrasena also represented everything unto Sakra. And Harivahana, calling his son unto himself in private, and consoling him in sweet words, smilingly said, 'O thou best of beings, having obtained thee, O child, Pritha hath to-day become a truly blessed mother. O mighty-armed one, thou hast now vanquished even Rishis by the patience and self-control. But, O giver of proper respect, the curse that Urvasi hath denounced on thee will be to thy benefit,
O child, and stand thee in good stead. O sinless one, ye will have on earth to pass the thirteenth year (of your exile), unknown to all. It is then that thou shalt suffer the curse of Urvasi. And having passed one year as a dancer without manhood, thou shalt regain thy power on the expiration of the term.'"
"Thus addressed by Sakra, that slayer of hostile heroes, Phalguna, experienced great delight and ceased to think of the curse. And Dhananjaya, the son of Pandu, sported in regions of heaven with the Gandharva Chitrasena of great celebrity."
"The desires of the man that listeneth to this history of the son of Pandu never run after lustful ends. The foremost of men, by listening to this account of the awfully pure conduct of Phalguna, the son of the lord of the celestials, become void of pride and arrogance and wrath and other faults, and ascending to heaven, sport there in bliss."
Vaisampayana said, "One day, the great Rishi Lomasa in course of his wanderings, went to the abode of Indra, desirous of beholding the lord of the celestials. And the great Muni, having approached the chief of the gods, bowed to him respectfully. And he beheld the son of Pandu occupying half of the seat of Vasava. And worshipped by the great Rishis, that foremost of Brahmanas sat on an excellent seat at the desire of Sakra. And beholding Arjuna seated on Indra's seat, the Rishi began to think as to how Arjuna who was a Kshatriya had attained to the seat of Sakra himself. What acts of merit had been performed by him and what regions, had been conquered by him (by ascetic merit), that he had obtained a seat that was worshipped by the gods themselves? And as the Rishi was employed with these thoughts, Sakra, the slayer of Vritra, came to know of them. And having known them, the lord of Sachi addressed Lomasa with a smile and said, 'Listen, O Brahmarshi, about what is now passing in thy mind. This one is no mortal though he hath taken his birth among men. O great Rishi, the mighty-armed hero is even my son born of Kunti. He hath come hither, in order to acquire weapons for some purpose. Alas! dost thou not recognise him as an ancient Rishi of the highest merit? Listen to me, O Brahamana, as I tell thee who is and why he hath come to me. Those ancient and excellent Rishis who were known by the names of Nara and Narayana are, know, O Brahmana, none else than Hrishikesa and Dhananjaya. And those Rishis, celebrated throughout the three worlds, and known by the names of Nara and Narayana have, for the accomplishment of a certain purpose, been born on earth—for the acquisition of virtue. That sacred asylum which even gods and illustrious Rishis are not competent to behold, and which is known throughout the world by the name of Vadari, and situate by the source of the Ganga, which is worshipped by the Siddhas and the Charanas, was the abode, O Brahmana, of Vishnu and Jishnu. Those Rishis of blazing splendour have, O Brahmarshi, at my desire, been born on earth, and endued with mighty energy, will lighten the burden thereof. Besides this, there are certain Asuras known as Nivatakavachas, who, proud of the boon they have acquired, are employed in doing us injuries. Boastful of their strength, they are even now planning the destruction of the gods, for, having received a boon, they no longer regard the gods. Those fierce and mighty Danavas live in the nether regions. Even all the celestials together are incapable of fighting with them. The blessed Vishnu—the slayer of Madhu—he, indeed who is known on earth as Kapila, and whose glance alone, O exalted one, destroyed the illustrious sons of Sagara, when they approached him with loud sounds in the bowels of the earth,—that illustrious and invincible Hari is capable, O Brahmana of doing us a great service. Either he or Partha or both may do us that great service, without doubt. Verily as the illustrious Hari had slain the Nagas in the great lake, he, by sight alone, is capable of slaying those Asuras called the Nivatakavachas, along with their followers. But the slayer of Madhu should not be urged when the task is insignificant. A mighty mass of energy that he is. It swelleth to increasing proportions, it may consume the whole universe. This Arjuna also is competent to encounter them all, and the hero having slain them in battle, will go back to the world of men. Go thou at my request to earth. Thou wilt behold the brave Yudhishthira living in the woods of Kamyaka. And for me tell thou the virtuous Yudhishthira of unbaffled prowess in battle, that he should not be anxious on account of Phalguna, for that hero will return to earth a thorough master of weapons, for without sanctified prowess of arms, and without skill in weapons, he would not be able to encounter Bhishma and Drona and others in battle. Thou wilt also represent unto Yudhishthira that the illustrious and mighty-armed Gudakesa, having obtained weapons, hath also mastered the science of celestial dancing and music both instrumental and vocal. And thou wilt also tell him, O king of men, O slayer of foes, thyself also, accompanied by all thy brothers, should see the various sacred shrines. For having bathed in different sacred waters, thou wilt be cleansed from thy sins, and the fever of thy heart will abate. And then thou wilt be able to enjoy thy kingdom, happy in the thought that thy sins have been washed off. And, O foremost of Brahmanas, endued with ascetic power, it behoveth thee also to protect Yudhishthira during his wandering over the earth. Fierce Rakshasas ever live in mountain fastnesses and rugged steppes. Protect thou the king from those cannibals.'
"After Mahendra had spoken thus unto Lomasa, Vibhatsu also reverently addressed that Rishi, saying, 'Protect thou ever the son of Pandu. O best of men, let the king, O great Rishi, protected by thee, visit the various places of pilgrimage and give away unto Brahmanas in charity.'"
Vaisampayana continued, "The mighty ascetic Lomasa, having answered both saying, 'So be it,' set out for the earth, desirous of arriving at Kamvaka. And having arrived at those woods, he beheld the slayer of foes and son of Kunti, king Yudhishthira the just, surrounded by ascetics and his younger brothers."
Janamejaya said, "These feats of Pritha's son endued with immeasurable energy, were certainly marvellous. O Brahmana, what did Dhritarashtra of great wisdom say, when he heard of them?"
Vaisampayana said, "Amvika's son, king Dhritarashtra, having heard of Arjuna's arrival and stay at Indra's abode, from Dwaipayana, that foremost of Rishis, spake unto Sanjaya, saying, 'O charioteer, dost thou know in detail the acts of the intelligent Arjuna, of which I have heard from beginning to end? O charioteer, my wretched and sinful son is even now engaged in a policy of the most vulgar kind. Of wicked soul, he will certainly depopulate the earth. The illustrious person whose words even in jest are true, and who hath Dhananjaya to fight for him, is sure to win the three worlds. Who that is even beyond the influence of Death and Decay will be able to stay before Arjuna, when he will scatter his barbed and sharp-pointed arrows whetted on stone? My wretched sons, who have to fight with the invincible Pandavas are indeed, all doomed. Reflecting day and night, I see not the warrior amongst us that is able to stay in battle before the wielder of the Gandiva. If Drona, or Karna, or even Bhishma advance against him in battle, a great calamity is likely to befall the earth. But even in that case, I see not the way to our success Karna is kind and forgetful. The preceptor Drona is old, and the teacher (of Arjuna) Arjuna, however, is wrathful, and strong, and proud, and of firm and steady prowess. As all these warriors are invincible, a terrible fight will take place between them. All of them are heroes skilled in weapons and of great reputation. They would not wish for the sovereignty of the world, if it was to be purchased by defeat. Indeed, peace will be restored only on the death of these or of Phalguna. The slayer of Arjuna, however, existeth not, nor doth one that can vanquish him. Oh, how shall that wrath of his which hath myself for its object be pacified. Equal unto the chief of the celestials, that hero gratified Agni at Khandava and vanquished all the monarchs of the earth on the occasion of the great Rajasuya. O Sanjaya, the thunder-bolt falling on the mountain top, leaveth a portion unconsumed; but the shafts, O child, that are shot by Kiriti leave not a rack behind. As the rays of the sun heat this mobile and immobile universe, so will the shafts shot by Arjuna's hands scorch my sons. It seemeth to me that the Chamus of the Bharatas, terrified at the clatter of Arjuna's chariot-wheels, are already broken through in all directions. Vidhatri hath created Arjuna as an all-consuming Destroyer. He stayeth in battle as a foe, vomitting and scattering swarms of arrows. Who is there that will defeat him?"