Friday, February 22, 2008

Adi Parva - Sambhava Parva 06

"Vaisampayana said, 'Then the king with his followers, having killed
thousands of animals, entered another forest with a view to hunting. And
attended by a single follower and fatigued with hunger and thirst, he
came upon a large desert on the frontiers of the forest. And having
crossed this herbless plain, the king came upon another forest full of
the retreats of ascetics, beautiful to look at, delightful to the heart
and of cool agreeable breezes. And it was full of trees covered with
blossoms, the soil overgrown with the softest and greenest grass,
extending for many miles around, and echoing with the sweet notes of
winged warblers. And it resounded with the notes of the male Kokila and
of the shrill cicala. And it was full of magnificent trees with
outstretched branches forming a shady canopy overhead. And the bees
hovered over flowery creepers all around. And there were beautiful bowers
in every place. And there was no tree without fruits, none that had
prickles on it, none that had no bees swarming around it. And the whole
forest resounded with the melody of winged choristers. And it was decked
with the flowers of every season. And there were refreshing shades of
blossoming trees.

"Such was the delicious and excellent forest that the great bowman
entered. And trees with branches beautified with clusters began to wave
gently at the soft breeze and rain their flowers over the monarch's head.
And the trees, clad in their flowery attires of all colours, with
sweet-throated warblers perched on them, stood there in rows with heads
touching the very heavens. And around their branches hanging down with
the weight of flowers the bees tempted by the honey hummed in sweet
chorus. And the king, endued with great energy, beholding innumerable
spots covered with bowers of creepers decked with clusters of flowers,
from excess of gladness, became very much charmed. And the forest was
exceedingly beautiful in consequence of those trees ranged around with
flowery branches twining with each other and looking like so many
rainbows for gaudiness and variety of colour. And it was the resort of
bands of Siddhas, of the Charanas, of tribes of Gandharvas, and Apsaras,
of monkeys and Kinnaras drunk with delight. Delicious cool, and fragrant
breezes, conveying the fragrance from fresh flowers, blew in all
directions as if they had come there to sport with the trees. And the
king saw that charming forest gifted with such beauties. And it was
situated in a delta of the river, and the cluster of high trees standing
together lent the place the look of a gaudy pole erected to Indra's

"And in that forest which was the resort of ever cheerful birds, the
monarch saw a delightful and charming retreat of ascetics. And there were
many trees around it. And the sacred fire was burning within it. And the
king worshipped that unrivalled retreat. And he saw seated in it numerous
Yotis, Valakhilyas and other Munis. And it was adorned with many chambers
containing sacrificial fire. And the flowers dropping from the trees had
formed a thick carpet spread over the ground. And the spot looked
exceedingly beautiful with those tall trees of large trunks. And by it
flowed, O king, the sacred and transparent Malini with every species of
water-fowl playing on its bosom. And that stream infused gladness into
the hearts of the ascetics who resorted to it for purposes of ablutions.
And the king beheld on its banks many innocent animals of the deer
species and was exceedingly delighted with all that he saw.

"And the monarch, the course of whose chariot no foe could obstruct, then
entered that asylum which was like unto the region of the celestials,
being exceedingly beautiful all over. And the king saw that it stood on
the margin of the sacred stream which was like the mother of all the
living creatures residing in its vicinage. And on its bank sported the
Chakravaka, and waves of milkwhite foam. And there stood also the
habitations of Kinnaras. And monkeys and bears too disported themselves
in numbers. And there lived also holy ascetics engaged in studies and
meditation. And there could be seen also elephants and tigers and snakes.
And it was on the banks of that stream that the excellent asylum of the
illustrious Kasyapa stood, offering a home to numerous Rishis of great
ascetic merit. And beholding that river, and also the asylum washed by
that river which was studded with many islands and which possessed banks
of so much beauty,--an asylum like unto that of Nara and Narayana laved
by the water of the Ganga--the king resolved to enter into that sacred
abode. And that bull among men, desirous of beholding the great Rishi of
ascetic wealth, the illustrious Kanwa of the race of Kasyapa, one who
possessed every virtue and who, for his splendour, could be gazed at with
difficulty, approached that forest resounding with the notes of maddened
peacocks and like unto the gardens of the great Gandharva, Chitraratha,
himself. And halting his army consisting of flags, cavalry, infantry, and
elephants at the entrance of the forest, the monarch spoke as follows, 'I
shall go to behold the mighty ascetic of Kasyapa's race, one who is
without darkness. Stay ye here until my return!'

"And the king having entered that forest which was like unto Indra's
garden, soon forgot his hunger and thirst. And he was pleased beyond
measure. And the monarch, laying aside all signs of royalty, entered that
excellent asylum with but his minister and his priest, desirous of
beholding that Rishi who was an indestructible mass of ascetic merit. And
the king saw that the asylum was like unto the region of Brahman. Here
were bees sweetly humming and there were winged warblers of various
species pouring forth their melodies. At particular places that tiger
among men heard the chanting of Rik hymns by first-rate Brahmanas
according to the just rules of intonation. Other places again were graced
with Brahmanas acquainted with ordinances of sacrifice, of the Angas and
of the hymns of the Yajurveda. Other places again were filled with the
harmonious strains of Saman hymns sung by vow-observing Rishis. At other
places the asylum was decked with Brahmanas learned in the Atharvan Veda.
At other places again Brahmanas learned in the Atharvan Veda and those
capable of chanting the sacrificial hymns of the Saman were reciting the
Samhitas according to the just rules of voice. And at other places again,
other Brahmanas well-acquainted with the science of orthoepy were
reciting mantras of other kinds. In fact, that sacred retreat resounding
with these holy notes was like unto a second region of Brahman himself.
And there were many Brahmanas skilled in the art of making sacrificial
platforms and in the rules of Krama in sacrifices, conversant with logic
and the mental sciences, and possessing a complete knowledge of the
Vedas. There were those also who were fully acquainted with the meanings
of all kinds of expressions; those that were conversant with all special
rites, those also that were followers of Moksha-Dharma; those again that
were well-skilled in establishing propositions; rejecting superfluous
causes, and drawing right conclusions. There were those having a
knowledge of the science of words (grammar), of prosody, of Nirukta;
those again that were conversant with astrology and learned in the
properties of matter and the fruits of sacrificial rites, possessing a
knowledge of causes and effects, capable of understanding the cries of
birds and monkeys, well-read in large treatises, and skilled in various
sciences. And the king, as he proceeded, heard their voices. And the
retreat resounded also with voice of men capable of charming human
hearts. And the slayer of hostile heroes also saw around him learned
Brahmanas of rigid vows engaged in Japa (the repeated muttering of the
names of gods) and Homa (burnt-offering). And the king wondered much on
beholding the beautiful carpets which those Brahmanas offered to him
respectfully. And that best of monarchs, at the sight of the rites with
which those Brahmanas worshipped the gods and the great Rishis, thought
within himself that he was in the region of Brahman. And the more the
king saw that auspicious and sacred asylum of Kasyapa protected by that
Rishi's ascetic virtues and possessing all the requisites of a holy
retreat, the more he desired to see it. In fact, he was not satisfied
with his short survey. And the slayer of heroes at last, accompanied by
his minister and his priest, entered that charming and sacred retreat of
Kasyapa inhabited all around by Rishis of ascetic wealth and exalted

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