Exactly five years had passed since Arjuna’s departure from Kamyaka, when the Pandavas noticed a supernatural phenomenon coming from the top of the mountain: it was a very powerful light, which dazzled like the rays of the sun in midsummer.
When that extraordinary manifestation subsided, everyone could look in that direction and see a fantastic celestial war chariot driven by Matali. In the chariot, surrounded by a halo of glory, was Arjuna, who was holding the Gandiva tightly in his hand. Descending, he ran to embrace his brothers, his wife, and the Brahmanas. And while they were chatting happily after years of separation, Indra, who wished to see Yudhisthira, appeared.
“Virtuous king,” he told him, “soon all your suffering will end and your enemies will reap the fruit of what they have sown. I will be on your side, for the sons of Dhritarastra and their companions are asuras incarnated on Earth and are causing too much trouble to the peace of the planet. I also want to thank you for allowing Arjuna to come to Svarga. He has been of great help to me, as he himself will tell you in the next few days. Now, go back to Kamyaka and let the few years that still remain pass; after this, justice will be fulfilled.”
After blessing them, Indra and the charioteer Matali disappeared.
The days that followed were spent entirely listening to Arjuna recounting in great detail the numerous events that occurred in the five years he spent on the celestial planets. Among other things, he narrated how he had destroyed the evil populations of the Nivata-kavacha, the Paulama, and the Kalakanja.
There was only a year left to complete the promised period; then they would have to spend another year in disguise and the torture would be over.
This is a section of the book “Maha-Bharata, English Edition, Vol. 1”.
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