The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa Bk. 3 Pt. 2 eBook

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 CCXXI

“Markandeya continued, ’Mudita, the favourite wife of the fire Swaha, used to live in water.  And Swaha who was the regent of the earth and sky begot in that wife of his a highly sacred fire called Advanta.  There is a tradition amongst learned Brahmanas that this fire is the ruler and inner soul of all creatures.  He is worshipful, resplendent and the lord of all the great Bhutas here.  And that fire, under the name of Grihapati, is ever worshipped at all sacrifices and conveys all the oblations that are made in this world.  That great son of Swaha—­the great Adbhuta fire is the soul of the waters and the prince and regent of the sky and the lord of everything great.  His (son), the Bharata fire, consumes the dead bodies of all creatures.  His first Kratu is known as Niyata at the performance of the Agnishtoma sacrifice.  That powerful prime fire (Swaha) is always missed by the gods, because when he sees Niyata approaching him he hides himself in the sea from fear of contamination.  Searching for him in every direction, the gods could not (once) find him out and on beholding Atharvan the fire said to him, “O valiant being, do thou carry the oblations for the gods!  I am disabled from want of strength.  Attaining the state of the red-eyed fire, do thou condescend to do me this favour!” Having thus advised Atharvan, the fire went away to some other place.  But his place of concealment was divulged by the finny tribe.  Upon them the fire pronounced this curse in anger, “You shall be the food of all creatures in various ways.”  And then that carrier of oblations spoke unto Atharvan (as before).  Though entreated by the gods, he did not agree to continue carrying their oblations.  He then became insensible and instantly gave up the ghost.  And leaving his material body, he entered into the bowels of the earth.  Coming into contact with the earth, he created the different metals.  Force and scent arose from his pus; the Deodar pine from his bones; glass from his phlegm; the Marakata jewel from his bile; and the black iron from his liver.  And all the world has been embellished with these three substances (wood, stone and iron).  The clouds were made from his nails, and corals from his veins.  And, O king, various other metals were produced from his body.  Thus leaving his material body, he remained absorbed in (spiritual) meditation.  He was roused by the penance of Bhrigu and Angiras.  The powerful fire thus gratified with penance, blazed forth intensely.  But on beholding the Rishi (Atharvan), he again sought his watery refuge.  At this extinction of the fire, the whole world was frightened, and sought the protection of Atharvan, and the gods and others began to worship him.  Atharvan rummaged the whole sea in the presence of all those beings eager with expectation, and finding out the fire, himself began the work of creation.  Thus in olden times the fire was destroyed and called back to life by the adorable Atharvan.  But now he invariably carries the oblations of all creatures.  Living in the sea and travelling about various countries, he produced the various fires mentioned in the Vedas.

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The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa Bk. 3 Pt. 2 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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