(Sambhava Parva continued)
“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 honour.