The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 2,273 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1.

“Such was the Rishi insulted by thy father.  The son, however, of that Rishi, in wrath, cursed thy father.  Though young in years, the powerful one was old in ascetic splendour.  Speedily touching water, he spake, burning as it were with spiritual energy and rage, these words in allusion to thy father, ’Behold the power of my asceticism!  Directed by my words, the snake Takshaka of powerful energy and virulent poison, shall, within seven nights hence, burn, with his poison the wretch that hath placed the dead snake upon my un-offending father.’  And having said this, he went to where his father was.  And seeing his father he told him of his curse.  The tiger among Rishis thereupon sent to thy father a disciple of his, named Gaurmukha, of amiable manners and possessed of every virtue.  And having rested a while (after arrival at court) he told the king everything, saying in the words of his master, ’Thou hast been cursed, O king, by my son.  Takshaka shall burn thee with his poison!  Therefore, O king, be careful.’  O Janamejaya, hearing those terrible words, thy father took every precaution against the powerful snake Takshaka.

“And when the seventh day had arrived, a Brahmana Rishi, named Kasyapa, desired to come to the monarch.  But the snake Takshaka saw Kasyapa.  And the prince of snakes spake unto Kasyapa without loss of time, saying, ’Where dost thou go so quickly, and what is the business on which thou goest?’ Kasyapa replied, saying, ’O Brahmana, I am going whither king Parikshit, that best of the Kurus, is.  He shall today be burnt by the poison of the snake Takshaka.  I go there quickly in order to cure him, in fact, in order that, protected by me, the snake may not bite him to death.’  Takshaka answered, saying, ’Why dost thou seek to revive the king to be bitten by me?  I am that Takshaka.  O Brahmana, behold the wonderful power of my poison.  Thou art incapable of reviving that monarch when bit by me.’  So saying, Takshaka, then and there, bit a lord of the forest (a banian tree).  And the banian, as soon as it was bit by the snake, was converted into ashes.  But Kasyapa, O king, revived it.  Takshaka thereupon tempted him, saying, ‘Tell me thy desire.’  And Kasyapa, too, thus addressed, spake again unto Takshaka, saying, ’I go there from desire of wealth.’  And Takshaka, thus addressed, then spake unto the high-souled Kasyapa in these soft words, ’O sinless one, take from me more wealth than what thou expectest from that monarch, and go back!’ And Kasyapa, that foremost of men, thus addressed by the snake, and receiving from him as much wealth as he desired, wended his way back.

“And Kasyapa going back, Takshaka, approaching in disguise, blasted, with the fire of his poison, thy virtuous father, the first of kings, then staying in his mansion with all precautions.  And after that, thou wast, O tiger among men, been installed (on the throne).  And, O best of monarchs, we have thus told thee all that we have seen and heard, cruel though the account is.  And hearing all about the discomfiture of thy royal father, and of the insult to the Rishi Utanka, decide thou that which should follow!

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