The Mahabharata Home
"Sanjaya said, 'Then Partha, with a cheerful soul and joined hands and eyes expanded (in wonder), gazed at the god having the bull for his mark and who was the receptacle of every energy. And he beheld the offerings he made every night to Vasudeva lying by the side of the Three-eyed deity. The son of Pandu then, mentally worshipping both Krishna and Sarva, said unto the latter, 'I desire (to obtain) the celestial weapon.' Hearing these words of Partha desiring the boon he sought, god Siva smilingly said unto Vasudeva and Arjuna, 'Welcome to you, ye foremost of men! I know the wish cherished by you, and the business for which you have come here. I will give you what you wish. There is a celestial lake full of Amrita, not far from this place, ye slayers of foes! There were kept some time back, that celestial bow and arrow of mine. With them I slew in battle all the enemies of the gods. Bring hither, ye Krishna, that excellent bow with arrow fixed on it.' Hearing these words of Siva, Vasudava with Arjuna answered, 'So be it.' And then accompanied by all the attendants of Siva, those two heroes set out for that celestial lake which possessed hundreds of heavenly wonders, that sacred lake, capable of granting every object, which the god, having the bull for his mark, had indicated to them, And unto that lake, the Rishis Nara and Narayana (viz., Arjuna and Vasudeva) went fearlessly. And having reached that lake, bright as the disc of the sun, Arjuna and Achyuta beheld within its waters a terrible snake. And they beheld there another foremost of snakes, that had a thousand heads. And possessed of the effulgence of fire, that snake was vomiting fierce flames. Then Krishna and Partha having touched water, joined their hands, and approached those snakes, having bowed unto the god having the bull for his mark. And as they approached the snakes, conversant as they were with the Vedas, they uttered the hundred stanzas of the Veda, to the praise of Rudra, bowing the while with their sincere souls unto Bhava of immeasurable power. Then those two terrible snakes, in consequence of the power of those adorations to Rudra, abandoned their snake-forms and assumed the forms of a foe-killing bow and arrow. Gratified (with what they saw), Krishna and Arjuna then seized that bow and arrow of great effulgence. And those
high-souled heroes then brought them away and gave them unto the illustrious Mahadeva. Then from one of the sides of Siva's body there came out a Brahmacharin of tawny eyes. And he seemed to be the refuge of asceticism. Of blue throat and red locks, he was endued with great might. Taking up that best of bows that Brahmacharin stood placing (both the bow and his feet properly). And fixing the arrow on the bowstring, he began to stretch the latter duly. Beholding the manner of his seizing the handle of the bow and drawing the string and placing of his feet, and hearing also the Mantras uttered by Bhava, the son of Pandu, of inconceivable prowess, learnt everything duly. The mighty and puissant Brahmacharin then sped that arrow to that same lake. And he once more threw that bow also in that self-same lake. Then Arjuna of good memory knowing that Bhava was gratified with him, and remembering also the boon the latter had given him in the forest, and the sight also he gave him of his person, mentally entertained the desire, 'Let all this become productive of fruit!' Understanding this to be his wish, Bhava, gratified with him, gave him the boon. And the god also granted him the terrible Pasupata weapon and the accomplishment of his vow. Then having thus once more obtained the Pasupata weapon from the supreme god, the invincible Arjuna, with hair standing on end, regarded his business to be already achieved. Then Arjuna and Krishna filled with joy, paid their adorations unto the great god by bowing their heads. And permitted by Bhava both Arjuna and Kesava, those two heroes, almost immediately came back to their own camp, filled with transports of delight. Indeed, their joy was as great as that of Indra and Vishnu when those two gods, desirous of slaying Jambha, obtained the permission of Bhava that slayer of great Asuras.'"
Next: Section LXXXII