The Mahabharata Home
Vaisampayana said, "There observing cleanliness, those tigers among men dwelt for six nights, in expectation of beholding Dhananjaya. And it came to pass that all of a sudden there blew a wind from the north-east and brought a celestial lotus of a thousand petals and effulgent as the sun. And Panchali saw that pure and charming lotus of unearthly fragrance, brought by the wind and left on the ground. And having obtained that excellent and beautiful lotus, that blessed one became exceedingly delighted, O king, and addressed Bhimasena in the following words, 'Behold, O Bhima, this most beautiful unearthly flower having within it the very source of fragrance. It gladdenth my heart, O represser of foes. This one shall be presented to Yudhishthira the just. Do thou, therefore, procure others for my satisfaction--in order that I may carry them to our hermitage in the Kamyaka. If, O Pritha's son, I have found grace with thee, do thou then procure others of this species in large numbers. I wish to carry them to our hermitage.' Having said this, the blameless lady of beautiful glances approached Yudhishthira the just, taking the flower. And knowing the desire of his beloved queen that bull among men, Bhima of great strength, also set out, in order to gratify her. And intent upon fetching the flowers, he began to proceed at rapid space, facing the wind, in the direction from which the flower had come. And taking the bow inlaid with gold on the back as also arrows like unto venomous snakes, he proceeded as a lion in anger or an elephant in rut. And all beings gazed at him, holding a mighty bow and arrows. And neither exhaustion, nor langour, neither fear nor confusion, ever possessed the son of Pritha and the offspring of Vayu (wind). And desirous of pleasing Draupadi the mighty one, free from fear or confusion, ascended the peak depending on the strength of his arms. And that slayer of foes began to range that beautiful peak covered with trees, creepers and of black rocky base; and frequented by Kinnaras; and variegated with minerals, plants, beasts, and birds of various hues; and appearing like an upraised arm of the Earth adorned with an entire set of ornaments. And that one of matchless prowess proceeded, fixing his look at the slopes of the Gandhamadana,--beautiful with flowers of every season--and revolving various thoughts in his mind and with his ears, eyes and mind rivetted to the spots resounding with the notes of male kokilas and ringing with the hum of black bees. And like an elephant in rut ranging mad in a forest that one of mighty prowess smelt the rare odour proceeding from the flowers of every season. And he was fanned by the fresh breeze of the Gandhamadana bearing the perfumes of various blossoms and cooling like unto a father's touch. On his fatigue being removed the down on his body stood on end. And in this state that represser of foes for the flowers began to survey all the mountain, inhabited by Yakshas and Gandharvas and celestials and Brahmarshis. And brushed by the leaves of Saptachchada tree, besmeared with fresh red, black and white minerals, he looked as if decorated with lines of holy unguents drawn by fingers. And
with clouds stretching at its sides, the mountain seemed dancing with outspread wings. And on account of the trickling waters of springs, it appeared to be decked with necklaces of pearls. And it contained romantic caverns and groves and cascades and caves. And there were excellent peacocks dancing to the jingling of the bangles of the Apsaras. And its rocky surface was worn away by the end of tusks of the elephants presiding over the cardinal points. And with the waters of rivers falling down, the mountain looked as if its clothes were getting loosened. And that graceful son of the wind-god playfully and cheerfully went on, pushing away by his force countless intertwisted creepers. And stags in curiosity gazed at him, with grass in their mouths. And not having experienced fear (ever before), they were unalarmed, and did not flee away. And being engaged in fulfilling the desire of his love, the youthful son of Pandu, stalwart and of splendour like unto the hue of gold; and having a body strong as a lion; and treading like a mad elephant; and possessing the force of a mad elephant; and having coppery eyes like unto those of a mad elephant; and capable of checking a mad elephant began to range the romantic sides of the Gandhamadana with his beautiful eyes uplifted; and displaying as it were a novel type of beauty. And the wives of Yakshas and Gandharvas sitting invisible by the side of their husbands, stared at him, turning their faces with various motions. Intent upon gratifying Draupadi exiled unto the woods, as he was ranging the beautiful Gandhamadana, he remembered the many and various woes caused by Duryodhana. And he thought, 'Now that Arjuna sojourn in heaven and that I too have come away to procure the flowers, what will our brother Yudhishthira do at present? Surely, from affection and doubting their prowess, that foremost of men, Yudhishthira, will not let Nakula and Sahadeva come in search of us. How, again, can I obtain the flowers soon?' Thinking thus, that tiger among men proceeded in amain like unto the king of birds, his mind and sight fixed on the delightful side of the mountain. And having for his provisions on the journey the words of Draupadi, the mighty son of Pandu, Vrikodara Bhima, endued with strength and the swiftness of the wind, with his mind and sight fixed on the blooming slopes of the mountain, proceeded speedily, making the earth tremble with his tread, even as doth a hurricane at the equinox; and frightening herds of elephants and grinding lions and tigers and deer and uprooting and smashing large trees and tearing away by force plants and creepers, like unto an elephant ascending higher and higher the summit of a mountain; and roaring fiercely even as a cloud attended with thunder. And awakened by that mighty roaring of Bhima, tigers came out of their dens, while other rangers of the forest hid themselves. And the coursers of the skies sprang up (on their wing) in fright. And herds of deer hurriedly ran away. And birds left the trees (and fled). And lions forsook their dens. And the mighty lions were roused from their slumber. And the buffaloes stared. And the elephants in fright, leaving that wood, ran to more extensive forests company with their mates. And the boars and the deer and the lions and the buffaloes and the tigers and the jackals and the gavayas of the wood began to cry in herds. And the
ruddy geese, and the gallinules and the ducks and the karandavas and the plavas and the parrots and the male kokilas and the herons in confusion flew in all directions, while some proud elephants urged by their mates, as also some lions and elephants in rage, flew at Bhimasena. And as they were distracted at heart through fear, these fierce animals discharging urine and dung, set up loud yells with gapping mouths. Thereupon the illustrious and graceful son of the wind-god, the mighty Pandava, depending upon the strength of his arms, began to slay one elephant with another elephant and one lion with another lion while he despatched the others with slaps. And on being struck by Bhima the lions and the tigers and the leopards, in fright gave loud cries and discharged urine and dung. And after having destroyed these the handsome son of Pandu, possessed of mighty strength, entered into the forest, making all sides resound with his shouts. And then the long-armed one saw on the slopes of the Gandhamadana a beautiful plantain tree spreading over many a yojana. And like unto a mad lion, that one of great strength proceeded amain towards that tree breaking down various plants. And that foremost of strong persons--Bhima--uprooting innumerable plantain trunks equal in height to many palm-trees (placed one above another), cast them on all sides with force. And that highly powerful one, haughty like a male lion, sent up shouts. And then he encountered countless beasts of gigantic size, and stags, and monkeys, and lions, and buffaloes, and aquatic animals. And what with the cries of these, and what with the shouts of Bhima, even the beasts and birds that were at distant parts of the wood, became all frightened. And hearing those cries of beasts and birds, myriads of aquatic fowls suddenly rose up on wetted wings. And seeing these fowls of water, that bull among the Bharatas proceeded in that direction; and saw a vast and romantic lake. And that fathomless lake was, as it were, being fanned by the golden plantain trees on the coast, shaken by the soft breezes. And immediately descending into the lake abounding in lilies and lotuses, he began to sport lustily like unto a mighty maddened elephant. Having thus sported there for a long while, he of immeasurable effulgence ascended, in order to penetrate with speed into that forest filled with trees. Then the Pandava winded with all his might his loud-blowing shell. And striking his arms with his hands, the mighty Bhima made all the points of heaven resound. And filled with the sounds of the shell, and with the shouts of Bhimasena, and also with the reports produced by the striking of his arms, the caves of the mountain seemed as if they were roaring. And hearing those loud arm-strokes, like unto the crashing of thunder, the lions that were slumbering in the caves, uttered mighty howls. And being terrified by the yelling of the lions, the elephants, O Bharata, sent forth tremendous roars, which filled the mountain. And hearing those sounds emitted, and knowing also Bhimasena to be his brother, the ape Hanuman, the chief of monkeys, with the view of doing good to Bhima, obstructed the path leading to heaven. And thinking that he (Bhima) should not pass that way,(Hanuman) lay across the narrow path, beautified by plantain trees, obstructing it for the sake of the safety of Bhima. With the object that Bhima
might not come by curse or defeat, by entering into the plantain wood, the ape Hanuman of huge body lay down amidst the plantain trees, being overcome with drowsiness. And he began to yawn, lashing his long tail, raised like unto the pole consecrated to Indra, and sounding like thunder. And on all sides round, the mountains by the mouths of caves emitted those sounds in echo, like a cow lowing. And as it was being shaken by the reports produced by the lashing of the tail, the mountain with its summits tottering, began to crumble all around. And overcoming that roaring of mad elephants, the sounds of his tail spread over the varied slopes of the mountain.
"On those sounds being heard the down of Bhima's body stood on end; and he began to range that plantain wood, in search of those sounds. And that one of mighty arms saw the monkey-chief in the plantain wood, on an elevated rocky base. And he was hard to be looked at even as the lightning-flash; and of coppery hue like that of the lightning-flash: and endued with the voice of the lightning-flash; and quick moving as the lightning-flash; and having his short flesh neck supported on his shoulders; and with his waist slender in consequence of the fullness of his shoulders. And his tail covered with long hair, and a little bent at the end, was raised like unto a banner. And (Bhima) saw Hanuman's head furnished with small lips, and coppery face and tongue, and red ears, and brisk eyes, and bare white incisors sharpened at the edge.' And his head was like unto the shining moon; adorned with white teeth within the mouth; and with mane scattered over, resembling a heap of asoka flowers. And amidst the golden plantain trees, that one of exceeding effulgence was lying like unto a blazing fire, with his radiant body. And that slayer of foes as casting glances with his eyes reddened with intoxication. And the intelligent Bhima saw that mighty chief of monkeys, of huge body, lying like unto the Himalaya, obstructing the path of heaven. And seeing him alone in that mighty forest, the undaunted athletic Bhima, of long arms, approached him with rapid strides, and uttered a loud shout like unto the thunder. And at that shout of Bhima, beasts and birds became all alarmed. The powerful Hanuman, however, opening his eyes partially looked at him (Bhima) with disregard, with eyes reddened with intoxication. And then smilingly addressing him, Hanuman said the following words, 'Ill as I am, I was sleeping sweetly. Why hast thou awakened me? Thou shouldst show kindness to all creatures, as thou hast reason. Belonging to the animal species, we are ignorant of virtue. But being endued with reason, men show kindness towards creatures. Why do then reasonable persons like thee commit themselves to acts contaminating alike body, speech, and heart, and destructive of virtue? Thou knowest not what virtue is, neither hast thou taken council of the wise. And therefore it is that from ignorance, and childishness thou destroyest the lower animals. Say, who art thou, and what for hast thou come to the forest devoid of humanity and human beings? And, O foremost of men, tell thou also, whither thou wilt go to-day. Further it is impossible to proceed. Yonder hills are inaccessible. O hero, save the passage obtained by the practice of asceticism, there is no passage to that place. This is the path of
the celestials; it is ever impassable by mortals. Out of kindness, O hero, do I dissuade thee. Do thou hearken unto my words. Thou canst not proceed further from this place. Therefore, O lord, do thou desist. O chief of men, to-day in very way thou art welcome to this place. If thou think it proper to accept my words, do thou then, O best of men, rest here, partaking of fruits and roots, sweet as ambrosia, and do not have thyself destroyed for naught."
Next: Section CXLVI