monarch, the achiever of his own fame. And the
ladies saw that he was like unto Sakra, the slayer
of his enemies, capable of repulsing the elephants
of foes—And they believed that he was the
wielder of the thunderbolt himself. And they
said, ’This is that tiger among men who in battle
is equal unto the Vasus in prowess, and in consequence
of the might of whose arms no foes are left.’
And saying this, the ladies from affection gratified
the monarch by showering flowers on his head.
And followed by foremost of Brahmanas uttering blessings
all the way, the king in great gladness of heart went
towards the forest, eager for slaying the deer.
And many Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas, and Sudras,
followed the monarch who was like unto the king of
the celestials seated on the back of a proud elephant.
The citizens and other classes followed the monarch
for some distance. And they at last refrained
from going farther at the command of the king.
And the king, then, ascending his chariot of winged
speed, filled the whole earth and even the heavens,
with the rattle of his chariot wheels. And, as
he went, he saw around him a forest like unto Nandana
itself (the celestial garden). And it was full
of Vilwa, Arka, Khadira (catechu), Kapittha (wood-apple)
and Dhava trees. And he saw that the soil was
uneven and scattered over with blocks of stone loosened
from the neighbouring cliffs. And he saw that
it was without water and without human beings and
lay extended for many Yojanas around. And it was
full of deer, and lions, and other terrible beasts
“And king Dushmanta, that tiger among men, assisted
by his followers and the warriors in his train, agitated
that forest, killing numerous animals. And Dushmanta,
piercing them with his arrows, felled numerous tigers
that were within shooting range. And the king
wounded many that were too distant, and killed many
that were too near with his heavy sword. And
that foremost of all wielders of darts killed many
by hurling his darts at them. And well-conversant
with the art of whirling the mace, the king of immeasurable
prowess fearlessly wandered over the forest. And
the king roamed about, killing the denizens of the
wilderness sometimes with his sword and sometimes
by fast-descending blows of his mace and heavy club.
“And when the forest was so disturbed by the
king possessed of wonderful energy and by the warriors
in his train delighting in warlike sports, the lions
began to desert it in numbers. And herds of animals
deprived of their leaders, from fear and anxiety began
to utter loud cries as they fled in all directions.
And fatigued with running, they began to fall down
on all sides, unable to slake their thirst, having
reached river-beds that were perfectly dry. And
many so falling were eaten up by the hungry warriors.
While others were eaten up after having been duly
quartered and roasted in fires lit up by them.
And many strong elephants, maddened with the wounds