Mahabharata – Adi Parva 190-198
– 190 –
Svayamvara Parva – Continued
1Vaishampayana said: Those best of Brahmanas (present there), shaking their deer-skins and coconut shell water pots, exclaimed, “Fear not; we shall fight with the foes.”
2Arjuna smilingly told those Brahmanas who spoke to him “Stand aside as spectators,
3I shall check all these kings, like snakes by. Mantras, showering on them arrows furnished with sharp points.”
4Having said this, the mighty Arjuna took up the bow he had obtained as the dower and accompanied by his brother Bhima, stood immovable as a mountain.
5Seeing the Kshatriyas, ever furious in battle, with Kama at their head, the two heroic brothers rushed at them like two elephants rushing against a herd of hostile elephants.
6Then those kings, eager for battle, fiercely exclaimed, “ Killing a Brahmana desirous of fighting in battle is permitted. “
7Saying this, the monarchs at once rushed upon the Brahmanas and the greatly powerful Kama rushed against Jishnu (Arjuna) to fight.
8The mighty! king of the Madras, Shalya rushed against. Bhima like one elephant rushing against another for a female one.
9Duryodhana and others all fought with the Brahmanas, but they skirmished with them lightly and carelessly.
10Then the illustrious Arjuna, seeing the son of Vikartana, Kama, coming towards him, drew his tough bow and pierced him with his sharp arrows.
11The son of Radha (Kama), being much pestered by his swift, powerful and effulgent arrows, attacked Arjuna with more care (than before).
12Then Kama and Arjuna, both foremost of all warriors, fought madly on, each eager to vanquish the other. Such was the lightness of hand they displayed that they both became invisible (on account of the incessant showers of arrows).”
13“Behold the strength of my arms, “Mark how I have counteracted your feats, “ they addressed each other in such words, intelligible only of the heroes.
14Enraged on seeing the strength and energy of Arjuna’s arms as matchless in the earth, the son of Surya, Karma, fought with greater vigour.
15Parrying all the swift and strong arrows shot at him by Arjuna, Kama sent up a laud shout. And his great feat was applauded by all the warriors.
16Kama said: O foremost of the Brahmanas, I am pleased to see the strength of your anns, that know no relaxation in battle. Your weapons are worthy of achieving victory.
17Is the science of arms personified in you, or are you that best of Brahmanas (Parashu) Rama or Indra himself or Vishnu, or Achyuta himself?
18In order to conceal your personality have you assumed the form of a Brahmana and mastering all the strength of arms are you now fighting with me?
19None except Sachi’s husband (Indra) or Kiriti (Arjuna), the son of Pandu is capable of fighting with me when I am angry on the field of battle.
20Vaishampayana said: Hearing his these words, Falguni (Arjuna) replied, “ O Kama, I am not the science of arms; I am not also the powerful Rama.
21I am only a Brahmana who is the foremost of all wielders of arms. By the grace of my preceptor, I have become expert in the Brahma and Paurandra weapons. I am here to-day to vanquish you in battle. O hero, 22Having been thus addressed, the son of Radha, Kama, refrained from the fight, for the great car-warrior thought that the Brahma might is ever invincible.
23On another part of the field the mighty heroes Shalya and Vrikodara (Bhima) endued with great strength, well skilled in battle and learning,
24Challenged one another and fought like two mad elephants, striking each other with their clenched fists and knees.
25Sometimes pushing each other to a distance, sometimes dragging each other near; sometimes throwing each other down with their faces down-wards and sometimes on their sides, they fought on, striking each other at times with the clenched fists.
26As they fought each other with blows hard as the clash of two pieces of stones, the arena rang with the sound of their combat.
27-29Fighting thus in the battle for a few minutes, Bhima, the best of the Kurus, then taking up Shalya on his arms, hurled him to a distance – and the best of men Bhimasena surprised all (by his feat), for though he threw the powerful Shalya on the ground, he did not hurt him much.
30When Shalya was thus thrown down by Bhima and Kama was struck with fear, all the other kings were filled with awe and they surrounded Vrikodara (Bhima from all sides).
31They said, “Surely these best of Brahmanas are excellent (warriors). Ascertain in what tribe they have been born and when they live.
32Who is capable of fighting with the son of Radha, Kama, in battle except Rama, Drona or Kiriti, the son of Pandu (Arjuna)?
33Who is capable of fighting in battle with Duryodhana except the son of Devaki Krishna and son of Sharadvan, Kripa?
34-35Who is capable of overthrowing in battle the king of Madra, Shalya, the foremost of great warriors, except B aladeva, the heroic Vrikodra, the son of Pandu and the heroic Duryodhana? Therefore, let as desist from this fight with the Brahmanas.
36-37Brahmanas, if they be offending, should still ever be protected. First let us ascertain who these (heroes) are. After we have learnt it, we my cheerfully fight with them.
38Vaishampayana said: Seeing that feat of Bhima, Krishna believed them both to be the sons of Kunti. Gently addressing the assemble monarch by saying, “This maiden has been greatly won (by the Brahmanas)” he induced them to desist from the fight.
39Having thus desisted from the battle, those best of monarchs, those (heroes) well (skilled in battle, returned to their respective kingdoms, all becoming exceedingly surprised.
40Those that assembled there went away saying that the Brahmanas had become victorious to- day; the princess of Panchala had become the bride of a Brahmana.
41Surrounded by Brahmanas attired in skins of deed and other wild animals, Bhima and Dhananjaya passed through the crowd with good deal of difficulty.
42Those heroes among men, mangled by the enemies and followed by Krishna, at last came out of the crowd and they looked like the full moon or the sun emerged from the clouds. And their mother (Kunti in her lodging) began to think of various evils having overtaken her sons.
43Seeing that her sons were late in returning from their begging tour, she was filled with anxiety. At one time she thought that the sons of Dhritarashtra had recognised and killed them.
44Next she feared that some cruel and strong Rakshasas, endued with the prowess of deception, had killed them. And she asked herself, “Could the illustrious Vyasa himself have been guided by perverse intelligence?”
45-46Thus Pondered Pritha out of her affection for her children. Then in the stillness of the late afternoon, Jishnu (Arjuna), accompanied with many Brahmanas, entered the potter’s house like the cloud-covered sun emerged from the clouds in a cloudy day.