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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,884 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1.

“And while the lady of handsome eyes was still engaged in waiting upon her lord, she beheld that Brahmana waiting for alms and beholding him, she remembered that she had asked him to wait.  And remembering all this, she felt abashed.  And then that chaste woman possessed of great fame, took something for alms and went out, O thou foremost of the Bharatas, for giving it unto that Brahmana.  And when she came before him, the Brahmana said, ’O best of women, O blessed one, I am surprised at thy conduct!  Having requested me to wait saying, ‘Stay’ thou didst not dismiss me!’

“Markandeya continued, ’O lord of men beholding that Brahmana filled with wrath and blazing with his energy, that chaste woman began to conciliate him and said, ’O learned one, it behoveth thee to forgive me.  My husband is my supreme god.  He came hungry and tired and was being served and waited upon by me.’  Hearing this, the Brahmana said, ’With thee Brahmanas are not worthy of superior regard.  Exaltest thou thy husband above them?  Leading a domestic life, dost thou disregard Brahmanas?  Indra himself boweth down unto them, what shall I say of men on earth.  Proud woman, dost thou not know it, hast thou never heard it, that the Brahmanas are like fire and may consume the entire earth?’ At these words of that Brahmana the woman answered, ’I am no she-crane, O regenerate Rishi!  O thou that art endued with the wealth of asceticism, cast off this anger of thine.  Engaged as thou are, what canst thou do to me with these angry glances of thine?  I do not disregard Brahmanas.  Endued with great energy of soul, they are like unto the gods themselves.  But, O sinless one, this fault of mine it behoveth thee to forgive.  I know the energy and high dignity of Brahmanas that are possessed of wisdom.  The waters of the ocean have been made brackish and undrinkable by the wrath of the Brahmanas.  I know also the energy of Munis of souls under complete control and endued with blazing ascetic merit.  The fire of their wrath to this day hath not been extinguished in the forest of Dandaka.  It was for his having disregarded the Brahmanas that the great Asura—­the wicked and evil-minded Vatapi was digested when he came in contact with Agastya.  It hath been heard by us that the powers and merits of high-souled Brahmanas are great.  But, O Brahmana, as regenerate ones of high souls are great in wrath, so are they equally great in forgiveness.  Therefore, O sinless one, it behoveth thee to forgive me in the matter of this my offence.  O Brahmana, my heart inclineth to that merit which springeth from the service of my husband, for I regard my husband as the highest among all the gods.  O best of Brahmanas, I practise that virtue which consists in serving my husband whom I regard as the highest Deity.  Behold, O regenerate one, the merit that attaches to the service of one’s husband!  I know that thou hast burnt a she-crane with thy wrath!  But, O best of regenerate ones, the anger that a person cherishes is the greatest of

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