Friday, February 22, 2008

Adi Parva - Adivansavatarana Parva 03

"Vaisampayana said, 'Bowing down in the first place to my preceptor with
the eight parts of my body touching the ground, with devotion and
reverence, and with all my heart, worshipping the whole assembly of
Brahmanas and other learned persons, I shall recite in full what I have
heard from the high-souled and great Rishi Vyasa, the first of
intelligent men in the three worlds. And having got it within thy reach,
O monarch, thou also art a fit person to hear the composition called
Bharata. Encouraged by the command of my preceptor my heart feeleth no

"Hear, O monarch, why that disunion occurred between the Kurus and the
Pandavas, and why also that exile into the woods immediately proceeding
from the game at dice prompted by the desire (of the Kurus) for rule. I
shall relate all to thee who askest it thou best of the Bharata race!

"On the death of their father those heroes (the Pandavas) came to their
own home. And within a short time they became well-versed in archery. And
the Kurus beholding the Pandavas gifted with physical strength, energy,
and power of mind, popular also with the citizens, and blessed with good
fortune, became very jealous. Then the crookedminded Duryodhana, and
Karna, with (the former's uncle) the son of Suvala began to persecute
them and devise means for their exile. Then the wicked Duryodhana, guided
by the counsels of Sakuni (his maternal uncle), persecuted the Pandavas
in various ways for the acquirement of undisputed sovereignty. The wicked
son of Dhritarashtra gave poison to Bhima, but Bhima of the stomach of
the wolf digested the poison with the food. Then the wretch again tied
the sleeping Bhima on the margin of the Ganges and, casting him into the
water, went away. But when Bhimasena of strong arms, the son of Kunti
woke, he tore the strings with which he had been tied and came up, his
pains all gone. And while asleep and in the water black snakes of
virulent poison bit him in every part of his body. But that slayer of
foes did not still perish. And in all those persecutions of the Pandavas
by their cousins, the Kurus, the high-minded Vidura attentively engaged
himself neutralising those evil designs and rescuing the persecuted ones.
And as Sakra from the heavens keeps in happiness the world of men, so did
Vidura always keep the Pandavas from evil.

"When Duryodhana, with various means, both secret and open, found himself
incapable of destroying the Pandavas who were protected by the fates and
kept alive for grave future purposes (such as the extermination of the
Kuru race), then called together his counsellors consisting of Vrisha
(Karna), Duhsasana and others, and with the knowledge of Dhritarashtra
caused a house of lac to be constructed. And king Dhritarashtra, from
affection for his children, and prompted by the desire of sovereignty,
sent the Pandavas tactfully into Varanavata. And the Pandavas then went
away with their mother from Hastinapura. And when they were leaving the
city, Vidura gave them some idea of impending danger and how they could
come out of it.

'The sons of Kunti reached the town of Varanavata and lived there with
their mother. And, agreeably to the command of Dhritarashtra, those
illustrious slayers of all enemies lived in the palace of lac, while in
that town. And they lived in that place for one year, protecting
themselves from Purochana very wakefully. And causing a subterranean
passage to be constructed, acting according to the directions of Vidura,
they set fire to that house of lac and burnt Purochana (their enemy and
the spy of Duryodhana) to death. Those slayers of all enemies, anxious
with fear, then fled with their mother. In the woods beside a fountain
they saw a Rakshasa. But, alarmed at the risk they ran of exposure by
such an act the Pandavas fled in the darkness, out of fear from the sons
of Dhritarashtra. It was here that Bhima gained Hidimva (the sister of
the Rakshasa he slew) for a wife, and it was of her that Ghatotkacha was
born. Then the Pandavas, of rigid vows, and conversant with the Vedas
wended to a town of the name of Ekachakra and dwelt there in the guise of
Brahmacharins. And those bulls among men dwelt in that town in the house
of a Brahmana for some time, with temperance and abstinence. And it was
here that Bhima of mighty arms came upon a hungry and mighty and
man-eating Rakshasa of the name of Vaka. And Bhima, the son of Pandu,
that tiger among men, slew him speedily with the strength of his arms and
made the citizens safe and free from fear. Then they heard of Krishna
(the princess of Panchala) having become disposed to select a husband
from among the assembled princes. And, hearing of it, they went to
Panchala, and there they obtained the maiden. And having obtained
Draupadi (as their common wife) they then dwelt there for a year. And
after they became known, those chastisers of all enemies went back to
Hastinapura. And they were then told by king Dhritarashtra and the son of
Santanu (Bhishma) as follows: 'In order, O dear ones, dissensions may not
take place between you and your cousins, we have settled that
Khandavaprastha should be your abode. Therefore, go ye, casting off all
jealousy, to Khandavaprastha which contains many towns served by many
broad roads, for dwelling there.' And accordingly the Pandavas went, with
all their friends and followers, to Khandavaprastha taking with them many
jewels and precious stones. And the sons of Pritha dwelt there for many
years. And they brought, by force of arms, many a prince under their
subjection. And thus, setting their hearts on virtue and firmly adhering
to truth, unruffled by affluence, calm in deportment, and putting down
numerous evils, the Pandavas gradually rose to power. And Bhima of great
reputation subjugated the East, the heroic Arjuna, the North, Nakula, the
West; Sahadeva that slayer of all hostile heroes, the South. And this
having been done, their domination was spread over the whole world. And
with the five Pandavas, each like unto the Sun, the Earth looked as if
she had six Suns.

"Then, for some reason, Yudhishthira the just, gifted with great energy
and prowess, sent his brother Arjuna who was capable of drawing the bow
with the left hand, dearer unto him than life itself, into the woods. And
Arjuna, that tiger among men, of firm soul, and gifted with every virtue,
lived in the woods for eleven years and months. And during this period,
on a certain occasion, Arjuna went to Krishna in Dwaravati. And Vibhatsu
(Arjuna) there obtained for a wife the lotus-eyed and sweet-speeched
younger sister of Vasudeva, Subhadra by name. And she became united, in
gladness, with Arjuna, the son of Pandu, like Sachi with the great Indra,
or Sri with Krishna himself. And then, O best of monarchs, Arjuna, the
son of Kunti, with Vasudeva, gratified Agni; the carrier of the
sacrificial butter, in the forest of Khandava (by burning the medicinal
plants in that woods to cure Agni of his indigestion). And to Arjuna,
assisted as he was by Kesava, the task did not at all appear heavy even
as nothing is heavy to Vishnu with immense design and resources in the
matter of destroying his enemies. And Agni gave unto the son of Pritha
the excellent bow Gandiva and a quiver that was inexhaustible, and a
war-chariot bearing the figure of Garuda on its standard. And it was on
this occasion that Arjuna relieved the great Asura (Maya) from fear (of
being consumed in the fire). And Maya, in gratitude, built (for the
Pandavas) a celestial palace decked with every sort of jewels and
precious stones. And the wicked Duryodhana, beholding that building, was
tempted with the desire of possessing it. And deceiving Yudhishthira by
means of the dice played through the hands of the son of Suvala,
Duryodhana sent the Pandavas into the woods for twelve years and one
additional year to be passed in concealment, thus making the period full

"And the fourteenth year, O monarch, when the Pandavas returned and
claimed their property, they did not obtain it. And thereupon war was
declared, and the Pandavas, after exterminating the whole race of
Kshatriyas and slaying king Duryodhana, obtained back their devastated

"This is the history of the Pandavas who never acted under the influence
of evil passions; and this the account, O first of victorious monarchs of
the disunion that ended in the loss of their kingdom by the Kurus and the
victory of the Pandavas.'"

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