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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.
of murmuring one must try to find out the way by which he can secure exemption from (spiritual) misery; and the means of salvation found, he must then free himself from sensuality.  The man who has attained a high state of spiritual knowledge is always conscious of the great deficiency (instability) of all matter.  Such a person keeping in view the final doom (of all), never grieves, I too, O learned man, do not grieve; I stay here (in this life) biding my time.  For this reason, O best of men, I am not perplexed (with doubts)’.  The Brahmana said, ’Thou art wise and high in spiritual knowledge and vast is thy intelligence.  Thou who art versed in holy writ, art content with thy spiritual wisdom.  I have no cause to find fault with thee.  Adieu, O best of pious men, mayst thou be prosperous, and may righteousness shield thee, and mayst thou be assiduous in the practice of virtue.’

“Markandeya continued, The fowler said to him, ‘Be it so’.  And the good Brahmana walked round him[58] and then departed.  And the Brahmana returning home was duly assiduous in his attention to his old parents.  I have thus, O pious Yudhishthira, narrated in detail to thee this history full of moral instruction, which thou, my good son, didst ask me to recite,—­the virtue of women’s devotion to their husbands and that of filial piety.’  Yudhishthira replied, ’O most pious Brahmana and best of munis, thou hast related to me this good and wonderful moral story; and listening to thee, O learned man, my time has glided away like a moment; but, O adorable sir, I am not as yet satiated with hearing this moral[59] discourse.’”

SECTION CCXVI

Vaisampayana continued, “The virtuous king Yudhishthira, having listened to this excellent religious discourse, again addressed himself to the rishi Markandeya saying, ’Why did the fire-god hide himself in water in olden times, and why is it that Angiras of great splendour officiating as fire-god, used to convey[60] oblations during his dissolution.  There is but one fire, but according to the nature of its action, it is seen to divide itself into many.  O worshipful sir, I long to be enlightened on all these points,—­How the Kumara[61] was born, how he came to be known as the son of Agni (the fire-god) and how he was begotten by Rudra or Ganga and Krittika.  O noble scion of Bhrigu’s race, I desire to learn all this accurately as it happened.  O great muni, I am filled with great curiosity.’  Markandeya replied, ’In this connection this old story is cited by the learned, as to how the carrier of oblations (the fire-god) in a fit of rage, sought the waters of the sea in order to perform a penance, and how the adorable Angiras transforming himself into the fire-god,[62] destroyed darkness and distressed the world with his scorching rays.  In olden times, O long-armed hero, the great Angiras performed a wonderful penance in his hermitage; he even excelled the fire-god,

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