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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 521 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa Bk. 3 Pt. 2.

SECTION CLXLVI

“Markandeya said, ’One day it was resolved by the gods that they should descend on the earth and try the goodness and virtue of king Sivi, the son of Usinara.  And addressing each other,—­“Well”—­Agni and Indra came to the earth.  And Agni took the form of a pigeon flying away from Indra who pursued him in the form of a hawk, and that pigeon fell upon the lap of king Sivi who was seated on an excellent seat.  And the priest thereupon addressing the king said, “Afraid of the hawk and desirous of saving its life, this pigeon hath come to thee for safety.  The learned have said that the falling of a pigeon upon one’s body forebodeth a great danger.  Let the king that understands omens give away wealth for saving himself from the danger indicated.”  And the pigeon also addressed the king and said, “Afraid of the hawk and desirous of saving my life I have come to thee for protection.  I am a Muni.  Having assumed the form of a pigeon, I come to thee as a seeker of thy protection.  Indeed, I seek thee as my life.  Know me as one possessed of Vedic lore, as one leading the Brahmacharya mode of life, as one possessed also of self-control and ascetic virtues.  And know me further as one that has never spoken disagreeably unto his preceptor, as one possessed of every virtue indeed, as one that is sinless.  I repeat the Vedas, I know their prosody; indeed, I have studied all the Vedas letter by letter.  I am not a pigeon.  Oh, do not yield me up to the hawk.  The giving up of a learned and pure Brahmana can never be a good gift.”  And after the pigeon said so, the hawk addressed the king, and said, “Creatures do not come into the world in the same particular order.  In the order of creation, thou mayst, in a former birth, have been begotten by this pigeon.  It is not proper for thee, O king, to interfere with my food by protecting this pigeon (even though he might have been thy father).”  And thus addressed, the king said, “Hath any one, before this, seen birds thus speak the pure speech of man?  Knowing what this pigeon sayeth, and this hawk also, how can we act to-day according to virtue?  He that giveth up an affrighted creature seeking protection, unto its foe, doth not obtain protection when he is in need of it himself.  Indeed, the very clouds do not shower rain seasonably for him, and the seeds though scattered do not grow for him.  He that giveth up an afflicted creature seeking protection unto its foe, hath to see his offspring die in childhood.  The ancestor of such a person can never dwell in heaven; indeed, the very gods decline to accept the libations of clarified butter poured by him into the fire.  He that giveth up an affrighted creature seeking protection, unto its foe, is struck with the thunder-bolt by the gods with Indra at their head.  The food that he eateth is unsanctified, and he, of a narrow soul, falleth from heaven very soon.  O hawk, let the

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