Mahaabhaarat | Kathaa-G | 3-Youth
|1-Aadi Parv, 227-231 of 236|
|Kathaa-G - 3-Youth - page 16|
|1-Aadi Parv-page 44|
Arjun Gets Celestial Bow and Chariot
(1-227) Vaishampaayan Jee said - "Hearing this Agni Dev thought of Varun Dev, the Deity of Water, and came to him soon. Varun Dev welcomed the smoke bannered Dev (Agni Dev), the Fourth Lokpaal. Agni Dev said to Varun - "Please give me the bow, the quiver, the ape-bannered chariot which were obtained from King Som. Arjun and Krishn will achieve a great task with Gaandeev and Disc, so give me both today immediately." Varun gave him that excellent bow which was of great energy and was unaffected by any weapon. It was multi-colored and was equal to 100,000 bows. He gave Agni Dev two inexhaustible quivers and a large chariot which had many celestial weapons and the large ape on its banner. Its horses were milky white, born in Gandharv region, and were decorated with gold. Its speed was of wind and mind. This invincible chariot was built by Vishwakarmaa after severe meditation. Its splendor was like Sun, nobody could gaze at it. It had one high flag on which a large ape was sitting. It was looking down as if it would burn everything with its eyes. On its other flags there were many other animals whose cries could make the enemy fainted.
Arjun got very very happy to see all of them. Now he thought that he would be able to complete the task he was assigned to. He took the Gaandeev, went round the chariot and sat in it. Agni Dev gave a Disc also to Keshav. It had an iron poke attached to a hole in the center. Agni Dev said to Krishn - "You can easily and certainly vanquish your any kind of enemy with this Disc whether they are human are not. In the battle, it will automatically come back to your hand after smiting the enemies." He then gave Krishn a Gadaa (mace) also named Kaumodakee which He could use to slay Daitya, Pishaach, Gandharv or anybody. Arjun and Krishn got very happy to receive all these weapons and chariot etc and said to Agni Dev - "Now we consider ourselves fully equipped to fight with even celestials, leave alone Indra who wish to protect Naag (Takshak)." Arjun also said - "When Hrishikesh has Divine Disc in His hand in the battle, nothing is impossible. I am also ready to fight with this Gaandeev and inexhaustible quivers. You may go now and blaze forth from anywhere you like, we will protect you." Vaishampaayan Jee continued - "Agni Dev went and started burning that forest from all over with his seven flames. he made every creature tremble there."
(1-228) Vaishampaayan Jee said - "Arjun and Krishn also started slaughtering all living creatures from all sides of the forest. From wherever any creature tried to escape they rushed towards that side only. Some died with heat, some died with fear, some died with helplessness as they could not leave the forest. A great slaughter was happening there. Those two chariots and their riders seemed to be one, not two. Many creatures tried to run away but were soon stopped by Arjun or Krishn. The birds that wanted to fly away, their wings were pierced by Arjun. The high flames of the fire reached the firmament and hurt the celestials, so they went to Indra and asked him -"Has the time come of end of the world?" Hearing this Indra sent massive clouds to pour the heavy rains. But the showers were all dried up in the sky itself.
Takshak's Son Ashwasen Escapes
(1-229) Vaishampaayan Jee said - "Arjun used his own weapons to stop Indra's showers. He covered the whole forest with his own arrows, thus he stopped creatures escaping from the forest. Luckily it so happened that Takshak Naag was not there. He had gone to Kuru Kshetra at that time, but his son Ashwasen was there along with his mother. There was no way for them to escape so his mother thought to save him by swallowing him first, so she starting swallowing him with head first and tail later. As she was still in the process of swallowing her son, she rose up from the Earth to escape. Arjun had seen her, so he immediately cut her head with his arrow. Indra seeing his friend's son killed blew a strong wind and made Arjun unconscious. During those few moments Ashwasen was able to escape. Arjun got very angry the way the snake deceived him, so he started cutting every creature who tried to escape in several pieces. Both Arjun and Vaasudev cursed the escaped snake "You shall never be famous", and Arjun again started covering the sky with his arrows intending to fight with Indra. Indra also sent his massive clouds, lightening, heavy rains over the forest. In turn Arjun shot Vaayavya Astra which scattered all clouds, dried up all the rain and stopped lightening.
Within a few moments the sky became clear and the Sun had started shining with his normal splendor. Fire started to shine with his full strength. Many birds of Garud tribe and Naag came down to see that the Khaandav forest was protected by Krishn and Arjun. While who died in that fire their relatives, Asur, Yaksh, Gandharv, Raakshas came with the desire to fight with Krishn and Arjun with their wings and beaks but both slain them with their excellent weapons. Other celestials also came with their weapons - Indra with his Vajra, Yam with his death-dealing mace, Varun wit his Paash (noose), Kaarttikeya with his long lance, Ashwinee Kumaar with their plants, Dhaatree with his bow, and Jaya with his club, Twashtaa with a huge mountain, Soorya with a bright dart, and Mrityu with a battle-axe, Aaryaman with a bludgeon with a sharp spikes and Mitra with his Disc. Pooshaa, Bhag and Savitra rushed towards Arjun and Krishn with bows and scimitar in anger. But all the celestials lost the battle and went back to Indra. Indra showered stones twice but Arjun fought with him very bravely."
(1-230) Vaishampaayan Jee said - "All wild animals and birds started running and flying from the forest seeing it burning. Other forest dwellers, Asur and Daanav, were also affected by this fire and the weapons. They were also cut into pieces and offered to Agni Dev. When all the celestials had seen that they could not fight with Arjun and Krishn, they all retired and Indra got very happy to see his son's might. A celestial voice said to Indra - "Your friend Takshak is not slain, he had gone to Kuru Kshetra before this fire started. And know that these two, Arjun and Krishn, are invincible by anyone in battle. They are Nar and Naaraayan. You should therefore go back. Burning of Khaandav forest was in its fate." So all celestials went away. Seeing them gone back, Arjun got very happy. Agni Dev also was very happy to burn the forest."
Saving Maya Daanav
The then Krishn saw a Daanav coming out of Takshak's abode. He was Maya Daanav. Agni Dev who had Vaayu Dev as his charioteer, assumed the body having matted locks and rushed to eat him. Krishn was also standing with the weapon in His hand. As Maya saw Krishn with His weapon and Agni Dev coming after him, he shouted - "O Arjun, Please protect me." Arjun immediately said - "Do not fear." Maya got relieved hearing Arjun's consolation. In fact Arjun or Krishn did not intend to slay Maya, the brother of Namuchi. Agni also did not burn him. Vaishampaayan Jee said - "Agni Dev burnt the forest for 15 days and spared 6 creatures - Maya Daanav, Ashwasen, and 4 birds - Shaarngakaah."
Why Shaarngakaah Birds Were Spared by Agni Dev
(1-231) Janamejaya asked - "Tell me, why and when this forest was burnt in this way, why Agni Dev spared those four birds - Shaarngakaah? You have told the reasons of escape of Ashwsen and Maya Daanav, but you have not told the reason of sparing these birds."
Vaishampaayan Jee sad - "Listen, Once there was a Rishi named Mandpaal. He was a great observer of Brahmcharya, rigid vows and Tap. When the time came he left for the regions of Pitri. But after reaching there he failed to obtain the fruits of his acts. He went to the King of the Dead and asked the reason of this - "Why these regions are unattainable to me when I have done so much Tap for them? Have I not done that Tap which should have given me these regions? I will do whatever I need to do to attain these regions." The celestials answered - "Listen, O Braahman, to those acts because of which men are born as debtors. It is for religious rites, studies according to the ordinance and progeny, that men are born debtors. These debts are discharged by doing sacrifices, asceticism and offspring. You are an ascetic, you have performed sacrifices, but you don't have any offspring. These regions are shut for you for the want for offspring. Have children an you will enjoy many Lok of happiness. Ved say that who rescues one from Hell is called Put."
Hearing those celestials Mandpaal thought the way how to get largest number of children in a shortest period of time. Rishi thought that the birds can produce many children in a short period of time. So he assumed the form of Shaarngakaah had the connection with a female Shaarngakaah bird named Jaritaa and had four sons who were all knower of Ved from her. Leaving those sons, while they were still in eggs, he went to another female Shaarngakaah bird named Lapitaa. Although Muni had left his eggs there, but Jaritaa could not leave her eggs out of motherly affection. When the children were born she brought up them herself.
Once when Muni was flying over Khaandav forest with Lapitaa, he saw Agni Dev coming towards the forest, he understood the intention of Agni Dev. He remembered that his sons should still be young. To save them he said to Agni Dev - "Hey Agni Dev, You are mouth of whole the world, you are the carrier of sacrificial butter. Wise people perform their sacrifices before you taking you as the 8-mouthed one. You will consume every thing whatever is in this forest. You are everything - Som, Brihaspati, Soorya, Vaayu." Pleased with his prayer, Agni Dev asked the Rishi what he could for him? The Rishi said - While you burn everything in the forest, please spare my children." Hey Janamejaya, That is why Agni Dev did not burn those four birds."
Created by Sushma Gupta On 05/27/04
Modified on 12/02/12