The Mahabharata Home
"Narada said, 'Without doubt, O Salmali, the terrible and irresistible god of the wind always protects thee from friendliness or amity. It seems, O Salmali,
that a close intimacy has come to subsist between thee and the Wind. It seems thou hast said unto him these words, viz., 'I am thine,' and it is for this reason that the Wind-god protects thee. I do not see the tree or mountain or mansion in this world that may not, I think, be broken by the Wind. Without doubt thou standest here with all thy branches and twigs and leaves, simply because, O Salmali, thou art protected by the Wind for some reason or reasons (unknown to us).'
"The Salmali said, 'The Wind, O regenerate one, is neither my friend nor mate nor well-wisher. Indeed, he is neither my great Ordainer that he should protect me. My fierce energy and might, O Narada, are greater than the Wind's. In truth, the strength of the Wind comes up to about only an eighteenth part of mine. When the Wind comes in rage, tearing up trees and mountains and other things, I curb his strength by putting forth mine. Indeed, the Wind that breaks many things has himself been repeatedly broken by me. For this reason, O Celestial Rishi, I am not afraid of him even when he comes in wrath.'
"Narada said, 'O Salmali, thy protection seems to be thoroughly perverse. There is no doubt in this. There is no created thing which is equal to the Wind in strength. Even Indra, or Yama, or Vaisravana, the lord of the waters, is not equal to the god of the wind in might. What need, therefore, be said of thee that art only a tree? Whatever creature in this world, O Salmali, does whatever act, the illustrious Wind-god it is that is at all times the cause of that act, since it is he that is the giver of life. When that god exerts himself with propriety, he makes all living creatures live at their ease. When, however, he exerts improperly, calamities overtake the creatures of the world. What else can it be than weakness of understanding which induces thee to thus withhold thy worship from the god of wind, that foremost of creatures in the universe, that being deserving of worship? Thou art worthless and of a wicked understanding. Indeed, thou indulgest only in unmeaning brag. Thy intelligence being confounded by wrath and other evil passions, thou speakest only untruths, O Salmali! I am certainly angry with thee for thy indulging in such speeches. I shall myself report to the god of the wind all these derogatory words of thine. Chandanas, and Syandanas, and Salas, and Saralas and Devadarus and Vetavas and Dhanwanas and other trees of good souls that are far stronger than thou art, have never, O thou of wicked understanding, uttered such invectives against the Wind. All of them know the might of the Wind as also the might that is possessed by each of them. For these reasons those foremost of trees bow down their heads in respect to that deity. Thou, however, through folly, knowest not the infinite might of the Wind. I shall, therefore, repair to the presence of that god (for apprising him of thy contempt for him).'"
Next: Section CLVI