CXLIV Jatugriha Parva
continued, King Dhritarashtra
whose knowledge only was his eyes, on hearing these words of his son and recollecting everything that Kanika
had, said unto him, became afflicted with sorrow, and his mind also thereupon began to waver.
, and Sakuni
, the son of Suvala
, and Duhsasana
as their fourth, held a consultation together. Prince Duryodhana
said unto Dhritarashtra
, Send, O father, by some clever contrivance, thePandavas
to the town of Varanavata
We shall then have no fear of them' Dhritarashtra
, on hearing these words uttered by his son, reflected for a moment and replied unto Duryodhana
, saying, Pandu
, ever devoted to virtue, always behaved dutifully towards all his relatives but particularly towards me.
He cared very little for the enjoyments of the world, but devotedly gave everything unto me, even the kingdom.
His son is as much devoted to virtue as he, and is possessed of every accomplishment.
Of world-wide fame, he is again the favourite of the people.
He is possessed of allies; how can we by force exile him from his ancestral kingdom?
The counsellors and soldiers of the state and their sons and grandsons have all been cherished and maintained by Pandu
Thus benefited of old by Pandu
, shall not, O child, the citizens slay us with all our friends and relatives now on account of Yudhishthira Duryodhana
replied, What thou sayest, O father, is perfectly true.
But in view of the evil that is looming on the future as regards thyself, if we conciliate the people with wealth and honours, they would assuredly side with us for these proofs of our power.
The treasury and the ministers of state, O king, are at this moment under our control.
Therefore, it behoveth thee now to banish, by some gentle means, the Pandavas
to the town of Varanavata
; O king, when the sovereignty shall have been vested in me, then, OBharata
, may Kunti
with her children come back from that place' Dhritarashtra
replied, This, O Duryodhana
, is the very thought existing in my mind.
But from its sinfulness I have never given expression to it.
, nor Drona
, nor Gautama Kripa
will ever sanction the exile of the Pandavas
In their eyes, O dear son, amongst the Kurus
ourselves and the Pandavas
Those wise and virtuous persons will make no difference between us.
If therefore, we behave so towards the Pandavas
, shall we not, O son, deserve death at the hands of the Kurus
, of these illustrious personages, and of the whole world' Duryodhana
hath no excess of affection for either side, and will, therefore, be neutral in case of dispute.
The son of Drona Aswatthaman
is on my side.
There is no doubt that where the son is, there the father will be. Kripa
, the son of Saradwat
, must be on the side on whichDrona
He will never abandon Drona
and his sister's son Aswatthaman
. Kshattri Vidura
is dependent on us for his means of life, though he is secretly with the foe.
It he sides the Pandavas
, he alone can do us no injury, Therefore, exile thou the Pandavas
without any fear.
And take such steps that they may go thither this very day.
By this act, O father, extinguish the grief that consumeth me like a blazing fire, that robbeth me of sleep, and that pierces my heart even like a terrible dart
CXLV Jatugriha Parva
said, Then prince Duryodhana
, along with his brothers began to gradually win over the people to his side by grants of wealth and honours.
Meanwhile, some clever councillors, instructed by Dhritarashtra
, one day began to describe in court the town of Varanavata
as a charming place.
And they said, The festival of Pasupati Siva
hath commenced in the town of Varanavata
The concourse of people is great and the procession is the most delightful of all ever witnessed on earth. Decked
with every ornament, it charmed the hearts of all spectators'
Thus did those councillors, instructed by Dhritarashtra
, speak of Varanavata
, and whilst they were so speaking, the Pandavas
, O king, felt the desire of going to that delightful town.
And when the king Dhritarashtra
ascertained that the curiosity of the Pandavas
had been awakened, the son of Ambika
addressed them, saying, These men of mine often speak of Varanavata
as the most delightful town in the world.
If therefore, ye children, ye desire to witness that festival, go to Varanavata
with your followers and friends and enjoy yourselves there like the celestials.
And give ye away pearls and gems unto the Brahmanas
and the musicians that may be assembled there.
And sporting there for some time as ye please like the resplendent celestials and enjoying as much pleasure as ye like, return ye to Hastinapura
, fully understanding the motives of Dhritarashtra
and considering that he himself was weak and friendless, replied unto the king, saying, So be it'
Then addressing Bhishma
, the son of Santanu
, the wise Vidura
, the Kaurava
, and the other councillors, andBrahmanas
and ascetics, and the priests and the citizens, and the illustrious Gandhari
, he said slowly and humbly, With our friends and followers we go to the delightful and populous town of Varanavata
at the command of Dhritarashtra
Cheerfully give us your benedictions so that acquiring prosperity, therewith we may not be touched by sin'
Thus addressed by the eldest of Pandu's
sons, the Kaurava
chiefs all cheerfully pronounced blessings on them, saying, Ye sons of Pandu
, let all the elements bless you along your way and let not the slightest evil befall you'
, having performed propitiatory rites for obtaining their share of the kingdom, and finishing their preparations, set out for Varanavata
CXLVI Jatugriha Parva
said, The wicked Duryodhana
became very pleased when the king, OBharata
, had said so unto Pandavas
And, O bull of Bharata's
, then, summoning his counsellor, Purochana
in private, took hold of his right hand and said, O Purochana
, this world, so full of wealth, is mine.
But it is thine equally with me.
It behoveth thee, therefore, to protect it.
I have no more trustworthy counsellor than thee with whom to consult.
Therefore, O sire, keep my counsel and exterminate my foes by a clever device.
O, do as I bid thee.
, been sent to Varanavata
, where they will, at Dhritarashtra's
command, enjoy themselves during the festivities.
Do that by which thou mayest this very day reach Varanavata
in a car drawn by swift mules.
Repairing thither, cause thou to be erected a quadrangular palace in the neighbourhood of the arsenal, rich in the materials and furniture, and guard thou the mansion well with prying eyes.
And use thou in erecting that house hemp and resin and all other inflammable materials that are procurable.
And mixing a little earth with clarified butter and oil and fat and a large quantity of lac, make thou a plaster for lining the walls, and scatter thou all around that house hemp and oil and clarified butter and lac and wood in such a way that the Pandavas
, or any others, may not, even with scrutiny behold them there or conclude the house to be an inflammable one.
And having erected such mansion, cause thou the Pandavas
, after worshipping them with great reverence, to dwell in it with Kunti
and all their friends.
And place thou there seats and conveyances and beds, all of the best workmanship, for the Pandavas
, so that Dhritarashtra
may have no reason to complain.
Thou must also so manage it all that none of Varanavata
may know anything till the end we have in view is accomplished.
And assuring thyself that the Pandavas
are sleeping within in confidence and without fear, thou must then set fire to that mansion beginning at the outer door.
thereupon must be burnt to death, but the people will say that they have been burnt in an accidental conflagration of their house.
Saying, So be it' unto the Kuru
repaired to Varanavata
in a car drawn by fleet mules.
And going thither, O king, without loss of time, obedient to the instructions of Duryodhana
, did everything that the prince had bid him do
CXLVII Jatugriha Parva
said, Meanwhile the Pandavas
got into their cars, yoking thereto some fine horses endued with the speed of wind.
While they were on the point of entering their cars, they touched, in great sorrow, the feet of Bhishma
, of king Dhritarashtra
, of the illustrious Drona
, of Kripa
, of Vidura
and of the other elders of the Kuru
Then saluting with reverence all the older men, and embracing their equals, receiving the farewell of even the children, and taking leave of all the venerable ladies in their household, and walking round them respectfully, and bidding farewell unto all the citizens, the Pandavas
, ever mindful of their vows, set out for Varanavata
of great wisdom and the other bulls among the Kurus
and the citizens also, from great affliction, followed those tigers among men to some distance.
And some amongst the citizens and the country people, who followed the Pandavas
, afflicted beyond measure at beholding the sons of Pandu
in such distress, began to say aloud, King Dhritarashtra
of wicked soul seeth no things with the same eye.
monarch casteth not his eye on virtue.
Neither the sinless Yudhishthira
, nor Bhima
the foremost of mighty men, norDhananjaya
the youngest son of Kunti
, will ever be guilty of the sin of waging a rebellious war.
When these will remain quiet, how shall the illustrious son of Madri
Having inherited the kingdom from their father, Dhritarashtra
could not bear them.
How is that Bhishma
who suffers the exile of the Pandavas
to that wretched place, sanctions this act of great injustice? Vichitravirya
, the son of Santanu
, and the royal sage Pandu
race both cherished us of old with fatherly care.
But now that Pandu
that tiger among men, hath ascended to heaven, Dhritarashtra
cannot bear with these princes his children.
We who do not sanction this exile shall all go, leaving this excellent town and our own homes, where Yudhishthira
Unto those distressed citizens talking in this way, the virtuous Yudhishthira
, himself afflicted with sorrow, reflecting for a few moments said, The king is our father, worthy of regard, our spiritual guide, and our superior.
To carry out with unsuspicious hearts whatever he biddeth, is indeed, our duty.
Ye are our friends.
Walking round us and making us happy by your blessings, return ye to your abodes.
When the time cometh for anything to be done for us by you, then, indeed, accomplish all that is agreeable and beneficial to us'
Thus addressed, the citizens walked round the Pandavas
and blessed them with their blessings and returned to their respective abodes.
And after the citizens had ceased following thePandavas
, conversant with all the dictates of morality, desirous of awakening the eldest of the Pandavas
to a sense of his dangers, addressed him in these words.
The learned Vidura
, conversant with the jargon of the Mlechchhas
, addressed the learned Yudhishthira
who also was conversant with the same jargon, in the words of the Mlechchha
tongue, so as to be unintelligible to all except Yudhishthira
He said, He that knoweth the schemes his foes contrive in accordance with the dictates of political science, should, knowing them, act in such a way as to avoid all danger.
He that knoweth that there are sharp weapons capable of cutting the body though not made of steel, and understandeth also the means of warding them off, can never be injured by foes.
He liveth who protecteth himself by the knowledge that neither the consumer of straw and wood nor the drier of the dew burneth the inmates of a hole in the deep woods.
The blind man seeth not his way: the blind man hath no knowledge of direction.
He that hath no firmness never acquireth prosperity.
Remembering this, be upon your guard.
The man who taketh a weapon not made of steel ie, an inflammable abode given him by his foes, can escape from fire by making his abode like unto that of a jackal having many outlets.
By wandering a man may acquire the knowledge of ways, and by the stars he can ascertain the direction, and he that keepeth his five senses under control can never be oppressed y his enemies'
Thus addressed, Pandu's
the just replied unto Vidura
, that foremost of all learned men, saying, I have understood thee'
, having instructed thePandavas
and followed them thus far, walked around them and bidding them farewell returned to his own abode.
When the citizens and Bhishma
had all ceased following, Kunti
and said, The words that Kshattri
said unto thee in the midst of many people so indistinctly as if he did not say anything, and thy reply also to him in similar words and voice, we have not understood.
If it is not improper; for us to know them I should then like to hear everything that had passed between him and thee' Yudhishthira
replied, The virtuous Vidura
said unto me that we should know that the mansion for our accommodation at Varanavata
hath been built of inflammable materials.
He said unto me, The path of escape too shall not be unknown to thee, and further, Those that can control their senses can acquire the sovereignty of the whole world,
The reply that I gave unto Vidura
was, I have understood thee' Vaisampayana
continued, The Pandavas
set out on the eighth day of the month of Phalguna
when the star Rohini
was in the ascendant, and arriving at Varanavata
they beheld the town and the people
CXLVIII Jatugriha Parva
said, Then all the citizens of Varanavata
on hearing that the son of Pandu
had come, were filled with joy at the tidings, speedily came out of Varanavata
, in vehicles of various kinds numbering by thousands, taking with them every auspicious article as directed by the Sastras
, for receiving those foremost of men.
And the people of Varanavata
, approaching the sons of Kunti
blessed them by uttering the Jaya
and stood surrounding them.
That tiger among men, viz, the virtuous Yudhishthira
thus surrounded by them looked resplendent like him having the thunderbolt in his hands viz, Indra
in the midst of the celestials.
And those sinless ones, welcomed by the citizens and welcoming the citizens in return, then entered the populous town of Varanavata
decked with every ornament.
Entering the town those heroes first went, O monarch, to the abodes of Brahmanas
engaged in their proper duties.
Those foremost of men then went to the abodes of the officials of the town, and then of the Sutas
and the Vaisyas
and then to those of even the Sudras
, O bull ofBharata's
race, thus adored by the citizens, the Pandavas
at last went with Purochana
going before them, to the palace that had been built for them, Purochana
then began to place before them food and drink and beds and carpets, all of the first and most agreeable order.
attired in costly robes, continued to live there, adored by Purochana
and the people having their homes in Varanavata
After the Pandavas
had thus lived for ten nights, Purochana
spoke to them of the mansion he had built called The Blessed Home' but in reality the cursed house.
Then those tigers among men, attired in costly dress, entered that mansion at the instance of Purochana
entering the palace of Siva
on the Kailasa
The foremost of all virtuous men,Yudhishthira
, inspecting the house, said unto Bhima
that it was really built of inflammable materials.
Smelling the scent of fat mixed with clarified butter and preparations of lac, he said unto Bhima
, O chastiser of foes, this house is truly built of inflammable materials!
Indeed, it is apparent that such is the case!
The enemy, it is evident, by the aid of trusted artists well-skilled in the construction of houses, have finely built this mansion, after procuring hemp, resin, heath, straw, and bamboos, all soaked in clarified butter.
This wicked wretch, Purochana
, acting under the instruction of Duryodhana
, stayeth here with the object of burning me to death when he seeth me trustful.
But, O son of Pritha
of great intelligence, knew of this danger, and, therefore, hath warned me of it beforehand.
Knowing it all, that youngest uncle of ours, ever wishing our good from affection hath told us that this house, so full of danger, hath been constructed by the wretches underDuryodhana
acting in secrecy'
Hearing this, Bhima
replied, If, sir, you know this house to be so inflammable, it would then be well for us to return thither where we had taken up our quarters first'
replied, It seems to me that we should rather continue to live here in seeming unsuspiciousness but all the while with caution and our senses wide awake and seeking for some certain means of escape.
findeth from our countenances that we have fathomed designs, acting with haste he may suddenly burn us to death.
careth little for obloquy or sin.
The wretch stayeth here acting under the instruction of Duryodhana
If we are burnt to death, will our grandfather Bhishma
Why will he, by showing his wrath, make the Kauravas
angry with him?
Or, perhaps, our grandfather Bhishma
and the other bull of Kuru's
race, regarding indignation at such a sinful act to be virtuous, may become wrathful.
If however, from fear of being burnt, we fly from here, Duryodhana
, ambitious of sovereignty will certainly compass our death by means of spies.
While we have no rank and power, Duryodhana
hath both; while we have no friends and allies,Duryodhana
hath both; while we are without wealth, Duryodhana
hath at his command a full treasury.
Will he not, therefore, certainly destroy us by adopting adequate means?
Let us, therefore, by deceiving this wretch Purochana
and that other wretch Duryodhana
, pass our days, disguising ourselves at times.
Let us also lead a hunting life, wandering over the earth.
We shall then, if we have to escape our enemies, be familiar with all paths.
We shall also, this very day, cause a subterranean passage to be dug in our chamber in great secrecy.
If we act in this way, concealing what we do from all, fire shall never be able to consume us.
We shall live here, actively doing everything for our safety but with such privacy that neither Purochana
nor any of the citizens of Varanavata
may know what we are after
Section 149 (See Samskritam Chapter 135)
CXLIX Jatugriha Parva
continued, A friend of Vidura's
, well-skilled in mining, coming unto the Pandavas
, addressed them in secret, saying, I have been sent by Vidura
and am a skilful miner.
I am to serve the Pandavas
Tell me what I am to do for ye.
From the trust he reposeth in me Vidura
hath said unto me, Go thou unto the Pandavas
and accomplish thou their good.
What shall I do for you? Purochana
will set fire to the door of thy house on the fourteenth night of this dark fortnight.
To burn to death those tigers among men, the Pandavas
, with their mother, is the design of that wicked wretch, the son of Dhritarashtra
O son of Pandu
also told thee something in the Mlechchha
tongue to which thou also didst reply in same language.
I state these particulars as my credentials'
Hearing these words, Yudhishthira
, the truthful son of Kunti
replied, O amiable one, I now know thee as a dear and trusted friend of Vidura
, true and ever devoted to him.
There is nothing that the learned Vidura
doth not know.
As his, so ours art thou.
Make no difference between him and us.
We are as much thine as his.
O, protect us as the learned Vidura
ever protecteth us.
I know that this house, so inflammable, hath been contrived for me byPurochana
at the command of Dhritarashtra's
That wicked wretch commanding wealth and allies pursueth us without intermission.
O, save us with a little exertion from the impending conflagration.
If we are burnt to death here, Duryodhana's
most cherished desire will be satisfied.
Here is that wretch's well-furnished arsenal.
This large mansion hath been built abutting the high ramparts of the arsenal without any outlet.
But this unholy contrivance of Duryodhana
was known to Vidura
from the first, and he it was who enlightened us beforehand.
The danger of which Kshattri
had foreknowledge is now at our door.
Save us from it without Purochana's
On hearing these words, the miner said, So be it' and carefully beginning his work of excavation, made a large subterranean passage.
And the mouth of that passage was in the centre of that house, and it was on a level with the floor and closed up with planks.
The mouth was so covered from fear of Purochana
, that wicked wretch who kept a constant watch at the door of the house.
used to sleep within their chambers with arms ready for use, while, during the day, they went a-hunting from forest to forest.
Thus, O king, they lived in that mansion very guardedly, deceiving Purochana
by a show of trustfulness and contentment while in reality they were trustless and discontented.
Nor did the citizens of Varanavata
know anything about these plans of the Pandavas
In fact, none else knew of them except Vidura's
friend, that good miner
Setting fire to the arsenal and burning Purochana
to death and letting his body lie here, let us, six persons, fly hence unobserved by all' Vaisampayana
continued, Then on the occasion of an almsgiving, O king, Kunti
fed on a certain night a large number of Brahmanas
There came also a number of ladies who while eating and drinking, enjoyed there as they pleased, and with Kunti's
leave returned to their respective homes.
Desirous of obtaining food, there came, as though impelled by fate, to that feast, in course of her wanderings, a Nishada
woman, the mother of five children, accompanied by all her sons.
O king, she, and her children, intoxicated with the wine they drank, became incapable.
Deprived of consciousness and more dead than alive, she with all her sons lay down in that mansion to sleep.
Then when all the inmates of the house lay down to sleep, there began to blow a violent wind in the night. Bhima
then set fire to the house just wherePurochana
Then the son of Pandu
set fire to the door of that house of lac.
Then he set fire to the mansion in several parts all around.
Then when the sons of Pandu
were satisfied that the house had caught fire in several parts those chastisers of foes with their mother, entered the subterranean passage without losing any time.
Then the heat and the roar of the fire became intense and awakened the townspeople.
Beholding the house in flames, the citizens with sorrowful faces began to say, The wretchPurochana
of wicked soul had under the instruction of Duryodhana
built his house for the destruction of his employer's relatives.
He indeed hath set fire to it.
O, fie on Dhritarashtra's
heart which is so partial.
He hath burnt to death, as if he were their foe, the sinless heirs of Pandu
O, the sinful and wicked-souled Purochana
who hath burnt those best of men, the innocent and unsuspicious princes, hath himself been burnt to death as fate would have it' Vaisampayana
continued, The citizens of Varanavata
thus bewailed the fate of the Pandavas
, and waited there for the whole night surrounding that house.
, however, accompanied by their mother coming out of the subterranean passage, fled in haste unnoticed.
But those chastisers of foes, for sleepiness and fear, could not with their mother proceed in haste.
But, O monarch, Bhimasena
, endued with terrible prowess and swiftness of motion took upon his body all his brothers and mother and began to push through the darkness.
Placing his mother on his shoulder, the twins on his sides, and Yudhishthira
on both his arms, Vrikodara
of great energy and strength and endued with the speed of the wind, commenced his march, breaking the trees with his breast and pressing deep the earth with his stamp
CLI Jatugriha Parva
said, About this time, the learned Vidura
had sent into those woods a man of pure character and much trusted by him.
This person going to where he had been directed, saw the Pandavas
with their mother in the forest employed in a certain place in measuring the depth of a river.
The design that the wicked Duryodhana
had formed had been, through his spies, known to Vidura
of great intelligence, and, therefore, he had sent that prudent person unto the Pandavas
Sent by Vidura
unto them, he showed the Pandavas
on the sacred banks of the Ganga
a boat with engines and flags, constructed by trusted artificers and capable of withstanding wind and wave and endued with the speed of the tempest or of thought.
He then addressed the Pandavas
in these words to show that he had really been sent by Vidura
, he said, listen to these words the learned Vidura
had said unto thee as a proof of the fact that I come from him.
Neither the consumer of straw and the wood nor the drier of dew ever burneth the inmates of a hole in the forest.
He escapeth from death who protecteth himself knowing this, etc'
By these credentials know me to be the person who has been truly sent by Vidura
and to be also his trusted agent.
, conversant with everything, hath again said, O son of Kunti
, thou shalt surely defeat in battle Karna
, and Duryodhana
with his brothers, and Sakuni
This boat is ready on the waters, and it will glide pleasantly thereon, and shall certainly bear you all from these regions'
Then beholding those foremost of men with their mother pensive and sad he caused them to go into the boat that was on the Ganga
, and accompanied them himself.
Addressing them again, he said, Vidura
having smelt your heads and embraced you mentally, hath said again that in commencing your auspicious journey and going alone you should never be careless'
Saying these words unto those heroic princes, the person sent by Vidura
took those bulls among men over to the other side of the Ganga
in his boat.
And having taken them over the water and seen them all safe on the opposite bank, he uttered the word Jaya
' victory to their success and then left them and returned to the place whence he had come.
The illustrious Pandavas
also sending through that person some message to Vidura
, began, after having crossed theGanga
, to proceed with haste and in great secrecy
CLII Jatugriha Parva
said, Then, when the night had passed away, a large concourse of the townspeople came there in haste to see the sons of Pandu
After extinguishing the fire, they saw that the house just burnt down had been built of lac in materials and that Duryodhana's
had been burnt to death.
And the people began to bewail aloud saying, Indeed, this had been contrived by the sinful Duryodhana
for the destruction of the Pandavas
There is little doubt that Duryodhana
hath, with Dhritarashtra's
knowledge, burnt to death the heirs of Pandu
, else the prince would have been prevented by his father.
There is little doubt that even Bhishma
, the son of Santanu
, and Drona
and other Kauravas
have not, any of them, followed the dictates of duty.
Let us now send to Dhritarashtra
to say, Thy great desire hath been achieved!
Thou hast burnt to death the Pandavas
They then began to extinguish the members to obtain some trace of the Pandavas
, and they saw the innocent Nishada
woman with her five sons burnt to death.
Then the miner sent by Vidura
, while removing the ashes, covered the hole he had dug with those ashes in such a way that it remained unnoticed by all who had gone there.
The citizens then sent to Dhritarashtra
to inform him that the Pandavas
along with Duryodhana's
had been burnt to death. King Dhritarashtra
, on hearing the evil news of the death of the Pandavas
, wept in great sorrow.
And he said, King Pandu
, my brother of great fame, hath, indeed, died today when those heroic sons of his together with their mother have been burnt to death.
Ye men, repair quickly to Varanavata
and cause the funeral rites to be performed of those heroes and of the daughter of Kuntiraj
Let also the bones of the deceased be sanctified with the usual rites, and let all the beneficial and great acts usual on such occasions be performed.
Let the friends and relatives of those that have been burnt to death repair thither.
Let also all other beneficial acts that ought, under the circumstances, to be performed by us for the Pandavas
be accomplished by wealth'
Having said this, Dhritarashtra
, the son of Ambika
, surrounded by his relatives, offered oblations of water to the sons of Pandu
And all of them, afflicted with excessive sorrow, bewailed aloud, exclaiming, O Yudhishthira
Oh prince of the Kuru
While others cried aloud, Oh, Bhima
while some again, Oh, the twins,
Thus did they sorrow for the Pandavas
and offer oblations of water unto them.
The citizens also wept for the Pandavas
did not weep much, because he knew the truth.
Meanwhile the Pandavas
endued with great strength with their mother forming a company of six going out of the town of Varanavata
arrived at the banks of the Ganga
They then speedily reached the opposite bank aided by the strength of the boatmen's arms, the rapidity of the river's current, and a favourable wind.
Leaving the boat, they proceeded in the southern direction finding their way in the dark by the light of the stars.
After much suffering they at last reached, O king, a dense forest.
They were then tired and thirsty; sleep was closing their eyes every moment.
, addressing Bhima
endued with great energy, said, What can be more painful than this?
We are now in the deep woods.
We know not which side is which, nor can we proceed much further.
We do not know whether that wretch Purochana
hath or hath not been burnt to death.
How shall we escape from these dangers unseen by others?
, taking us on thyself, proceed thou as before.
Thou alone amongst us art strong and swift as the wind'
Thus addressed by Yudhishthira
the just, the mighty Bhimasena
, taking up on his body Kunti
and his brothers, began to proceed with great celerity
CLIII Jatugriha Parva
said As the mighty Bhima
proceeded, the whole forest with its trees and their branches seemed to tremble, in consequence of their clash with his breast.
The motion of his thighs raised a wind like unto that which blows during the months of Jyaishtha
and Ashadha May
And the mighty Bhima
proceeded, making a path for himself, but treading down the trees and creepers before him.
In fact, he broke by the pressure of his body the large trees and plants, with their flowers and fruits, standing on his way.
Even so passeth through the woods breaking down mighty trees, the leader of a herd of elephants, of the age of sixty years, angry and endued with excess of energy, during the season of rut when the liquid juice trickle down the three parts of his body.
Indeed, so great was the force with which Bhima
endued with the speed of Garuda
or of Marut
the god of wind, proceeded that the Pandavas
seemed to faint in consequence.
Frequently swimming across streams difficult of being crossed, thePandavas
disguised themselves on their way from fear of the sons of Dhritarashtra
carried on his shoulder his illustrious mother of delicate sensibilities along the uneven banks of rivers.
Towards the evening, O bull of Bharata's
bearing his brothers and mother on his back reached a terrible forest where fruits and roots and water were scarce and which resounded with the terrible cries of birds and beasts.
The twilight deepened the cries of birds and beasts became fiercer, darkness shrouded everything from the view and untimely winds began to blow that broke and laid low many a tree large and small and many creepers with dry leaves and fruits.
princes, afflicted with fatigue and thirst, and heavy with sleep, were unable to proceed further.
They then all sat down in that forest without food and drink.
, smitten with thirst, said unto her sons, I am the mother of the five Pandavas
and am now in their midst.
Yet I am burning with thirst' Kunti
repeatedly said this unto her sons.
Hearing these words, Bhima's
heart, from affection for his mother, was warmed by compassion and he resolved to go along as before.
, proceeding through that terrible and extensive forest without a living soul, saw a beautiful banian tree with widespreading branches.
Setting down there his brothers and mother, O bull of Bharata's
race; he said unto them, Rest you here, while I go in quest of water.
I hear the sweet cries of aquatic fowls.
I think there must be a large pool here'Commanded
, O Bharata
, by his elder brother who said unto him, Go, Bhima
proceeded in the direction whence the cries of those aquatic fowls were coming.
And, O bull of Bharata's
race, he soon came upon a lake and bathed and slaked his thirst.
And affectionate unto his brothers, he brought for them, O Bharata
, water by soaking his upper garments.
Hastily retracing his way over those four miles he came unto where his mother was and beholding her he was afflicted with sorrow and began to sigh like a snake.
Distressed with grief at seeing his mother and brothers asleep on the bare ground, Vrikodara
began to weep, Oh, wretch that I am, who behold my brothers asleep on the bare ground, what can befall me more painful than this?
Alas, they who formerly at Varanavata
could not sleep on the softest and costliest beds are now asleep on the bare ground!
Oh, what more painful sight shall I ever behold than that of Kunti
, the sister of Vasudeva
, that grinder of hostile hosts, the daughter of Kuntiraja
, herself decked with every auspicious mark, the daughter-in-law of Vichitravirya
, the wife of the illustrious Pandu
, the mother of us five brothers, resplendent as the filaments of the lotus and delicate and tender and fit to sleep on the costliest bed, thus asleep, as she should never be, on the bare ground!
Oh, she who hath brought forth these sons by Dharma
, she who hath ever slept within palaces, now sleepeth, fatigued, on the bare ground!
What more painful sight shall ever be beheld by me than that of these tigers among men my brothers asleep on the ground!
Oh, the virtuous Yudhishthira
, who deserveth the sovereignty of the three worlds, sleepeth, fatigued, like an ordinary man, on the bare ground!
of the darkish hue of blue clouds, and unequalled amongst men sleepeth on the ground like an ordinary person!
Oh, what can be more painful than this?
Oh the twins, who in beauty are like the twin Aswins
amongst the celestials, are asleep like ordinary mortals on the bare ground!
He who hath no jealous evil-minded relatives, liveth in happiness in this world like a single tree in a village.
The tree that standeth single in a village with its leaves and fruits, from absence of other of the same species, becometh sacred and is worshipped and venerated by all.
They again that have many relatives who, however, are all heroic and virtuous, live happily in the world without sorrow of any kind.
Themselves powerful and growing in prosperity and always gladdening their friends and relatives, they live, depending on each other, like tall trees growing in the same forest.
We, however, have been forced in exile by the wickedDhritarashtra
and his sons having escaped with difficulty, from sheer good fortune, a fiery death.
Having escaped from that fire, we are now resting in the shade of this tree.
Having already suffered so much, where now are we to go?
Ye sons ofDhritarashtra
of little foresight, ye wicked fellows, enjoy your temporary success.
The gods are certainly auspicious to you.
But ye wicked wretches, ye are alive yet, only because Yudhishthira
doth not command me to take your lives.
Else this very day, filled with wrath, I would send thee, O Duryodhana
, to the regions of Yama Pluto
with thy children and friends and brothers, and Karna
, and Sakuni
the son of Suvala
But what can I do, for, ye sinful wretches, the virtuous king Yudhishthira
, the eldest of the Pandavas
, is not yet angry with you'
Having said this, Bhima
of mighty arms, fired with wrath, began to squeeze his palms, sighing deeply in affliction.
Excited again with wrath like an extinguished fire blazing up all on a sudden, Vrikodara
once more beheld his brothers sleeping on the ground like ordinary persons sleeping in trustfulness.
said unto himself, I think there is some town not far off from this forest.
These all are asleep, so I will sit awake.
And this will slake their thirst after they rise refreshed from sleep'
Saying this, Bhima
sat there awake, keeping watch over his sleeping mother and brothers