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"Bhishma continued, 'Having said these words unto the Salmali. that foremost of all persons conversant with Brahma, viz., Narada, represented unto the god of the wind all that the Salmali had said about him.'
"Narada said, 'There is a certain Salmali on the breast of Himavat, adorned with branches and leaves. His roots extend deep into the earth and his branches spread wide around. That tree, O god of the wind disregards thee. He spoke many words fraught with abuse of thyself. It is not proper, O Wind, that I should repeat them in thy hearing. I know, O Wind, that thou art the foremost of all created things. I know too that thou art a very superior and very mighty being, and that in wrath thou resemblest the Destroyer himself.'
"Bhishma continued, 'Hearing these words of Narada, the god of wind, wending to that Salmali, addressed him in rage and said as follows.'
"The Wind-god said, 'O Salmali, thou hast spoken in derogation of me before Narada. Know that I am the god of the wind. I shall certainly show thee my power and might. I know thee well. Thou art no stranger to me. The puissant Grandsire, while engaged in creating the world, had for a time rested under thee. It is in consequence of this incident that I have hitherto shown thee grace. O worst of trees, it is for this that thou standest unharmed, and not in consequence of thy own might. Thou regardest me lightly as if I were a vulgar thing. I shall show myself unto thee in such a way that thou mayst not again disregard me.'
"Bhishma continued, 'Thus addressed, the Salmali laughed in derision and replied, saying, 'O god of the wind, thou art angry with me. Do not forbear showing the extent of thy might. Do thou vomit all thy wrath upon me. By giving way to thy wrath, what wilt thou do to me? Even if thy might had, been thy own (instead of being derived), I would not still have been afraid of thee. I am superior to thee in might. I should not be afraid of thee. They are really strong in understanding. They, on the other hand, are not to be regarded strong that are possessed of only physical strength.' Thus addressed, the Wind-god said, 'Tomorrow I shall test thy strength.' After this, night came. The Salmali, concluding mentally what the extent is of the Wind's might and beholding his own self to be inferior to the god, began to say to himself, 'All that I said to Narada is false. I am certainly inferior in might to the Wind. Verity, he is strong in his strength. The Wind, as Narada said, is always mighty. Without doubt, I am weaker than other trees. But in intelligence no tree is my equal. Therefore, relying upon my intelligence I shall look at this fear that arises from the Wind. If the other trees in the forest all rely upon the same kind of intelligence, then, verily, no injury can result to them from the god of the Wind when he becomes angry. All of them. however, are destitute of understanding, and, therefore, they do not know, as I know, why or how the Wind succeeds in shaking and tearing them up.'"
Next: Section CLVII