Mahabharata Adi Parva - Translation by KM Ganguly

Mahabharata Adiparva

Section CCXXVI

(Khandava-daha Parva continued)

"Vaisampayana said, 'Then Havyavahana (Agni) in anger and disappointment, with his ailment uncured, went back to the Grandsire. And he represented unto Brahman all that had happened: The illustrious deity, reflecting for a moment, said unto him, 'O sinless one. I see a way by which thou mayest consume the forest of Khandava today in the very sight of Indra. Those old deities, Nara and Narayana, have become incarnate in the world of men to accomplish the business of the celestials. They are called on earth Arjuna and Vasudeva. They are even now staying in the forest of Khandava. Solicit them for aiding thee in consuming that forest. Thou shalt then consume the forest even if it be protected by the celestials. They will certainly prevent the population of Khandava from escaping, and thwart Indra also (in aiding any one in the escape). I have no doubt of this!' Hearing these words, Agni came in haste unto Krishna and Partha. O king, I have already told thee what he said, having approached the illustrious pair. O tiger among kings, hearing those words of Agni who was desirous of consuming the forest of Khandava against the will of Indra, Vibhatsu said unto him these words well-suited to the occasion, I have numberless excellent celestial weapons with which I can fight even many wielders of the thunderbolt. But, O exalted one, I have no bow suited to the strength of my arms, and capable of bearing the might I may put forth in battle. In consequence of the lightness of my hands also I require arrows that must never be exhausted. My car also is scarcely able to bear load of arrows that I would desire to keep by me. I desire celestial steeds of pure white, possessing the speed of the wind; and a car possessing the splendour of the sun and the clatter of whose wheels should resemble the roar of the clouds. Then, there is no weapon suited to Krishna's energy and with which Madhava can slay Nagas and Pisachas. O exalted one, it behoveth thee to give us the means by which success may be achieved and by which we may thwart Indra in pouring his showers upon that extensive forest. O Pavaka, we are ready to do all that manliness and prowess can do. But, O exalted one, it behoveth thee to give us the adequate means.'"