The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,884 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1.
to thy advice, I shall honour my father and my mother; for a man with an impure heart can never expound the mysteries of sin and righteousness.  As it is very difficult for a person born in the Sudra class to learn the mysteries of the eternal religion, I do not consider thee to be a Sudra.  There must surely be some mystery in connection with this matter.  Thou must have attained the Sudra’s estate by reason of the fruition of thine own past karma.  O magnanimous man, I long to know the truth about this matter.  Do thou tell it to me with attention and according to thy own inclination.’

“The fowler replied, ’O good Brahmana, Brahmanas are worthy of all respect from me.  Listen, O sinless one, to this story of a previous existence of mine.  O son of an excellent Brahmana, I was formerly a Brahmana, well-read in the Vedas, and an accomplished student of the Vedangas.  Through my own fault I have been degraded to my present state.  A certain king, accomplished in the science of dhanurveda (science of archery), was my friend; and from his companionship, O Brahmana, I, too became skilled in archery; and one day the king, in company with his ministers and followed by his best warriors, went out on a hunting expedition.  He killed a large number of deer near a hermitage.  I, too, O good Brahmana, discharged a terrible arrow.  And a rishi was wounded by that arrow with its head bent out.  He fell down upon the ground, and screaming loudly said, ’I have harmed no one, what sinful man has done this?’ And, my lord, taking him for a deer, I went up to him and found that he was pierced through the body by my arrow.  On account of my wicked deed I was sorely grieved (in mind).  And then I said to that rishi of severe ascetic merit, who was loudly crying, lying upon the ground, ’I have done this unwittingly, O rishi.’  And also this I said to the muni:  ‘Do thou think it proper to pardon all this transgression.’  But, O Brahmana, the rishi, lashing himself into a fury, said to me, ’Thou shalt be born as a cruel fowler in the Sudra class.”

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“The fowler continued, ’Thus cursed by that rishi, I sought to propitiate him with these words:  ’Pardon me, O muni, I have done this wicked deed unwittingly.  It behooves thee to pardon all that.  Do thou, worshipful sir, soothe yourself.’  The rishi replied, ’The curse that I have pronounced can never be falsified, this is certain.  But from kindness towards thee, I shall do thee a favour.  Though born in the Sudra class thou shalt remain a pious man and thou shalt undoubtedly honour thy parents; and by honouring them thou shalt attain great spiritual perfection; thou shalt also remember the events of thy past life and shalt go to heaven; and on the expiation of this curse, thou shalt again become a Brahmana.  O best of men, thus, of old was I cursed by that rishi of severe power, and thus was he propitiated by me.  Then, O good Brahmana, I extricated the arrow from his body,

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The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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