The journey lasted for months.
At a certain point they found themselves climbing very high peaks, in the direction of Mount Mandara. There, soon, Arjuna would descend from the celestial planets. Five years had passed since the day of his departure and, never as then, the nostalgia for the separation of the beloved had been felt so intensely. Everyone was eager to hug him.
But the undertaking proved to be exhausting, especially for the delicate Draupadi, who had certainly not been prepared for those enormous efforts. Fortunately Bhima was there and he had no difficulty in carrying her on his shoulders.
In Badari, they were visiting the ashrama where Nara and Narayana had performed their penances when, near that holy hermitage of spirituality, a powerful hurricane of such intensity erupted that even Bhima had to take shelter in. It did not last long, and just as it had suddenly appeared the wind ceased, giving way to violent downpours of water. After a while, the rain also stopped and the sun reappeared, illuminating the celestial vault. But that explosion of natural violence had by now ended the last bit of resistance left to Draupadi. She fainted, exhausted by fatigue and deprivation, by continuous changes in temperature, by wakefulness, and by scarce food.
Immediately, they were all beside her, lavishing her with their attentions.
As soon as his wife recovered, Yudhisthira advised her to rest. And, in the meantime, realizing that he had demanded too much from the heroic woman, he sought a solution.
“Draupadi can no longer walk alone,” he finally told his brothers; “Someone has to carry her. Unfortunately we too are tired and these peaks are difficult to overcome. Perhaps Ghatotkacha and his mighty Rakshasa could spare us further fatigue by carrying us on their shoulders.”
Bhima agreed and called his son, who agreed to arrange for everyone to be transported up to the Himalayan peaks. Only Dhaumya and Lomasa wanted to continue trusting in their strength.
At Kailasha, they stopped and set up camp.
Peaceful days passed, regaining the lost energy.
This is a section of the book “Maha-bharata, Vol. 1”.
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