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.
Rishis sleeping at their ease on their beds.  And those ladies had a complexion beautiful like that of an altar of gold, spotless like moon-beams, resembling fiery flames and looking like blazing stars.  And seeing those wives of the illustrious Brahmanas with eager eyes, his mind became agitated and he was smitten with their charms.  Restraining his heart he considered it improper for him to be thus agitated.  And he said unto himself, The wives of these great Brahmanas are chaste and faithful and beyond the reach of other people’s desires.  I am filled with desire to possess them.  I cannot lawfully cast my eyes upon them, nor ever touch them when they are not filled with desire.  I shall, therefore, gratify myself daily with only looking at them by becoming their Garhapatya (house-hold) fire.’

“Markandeya continued, The Adbhuta fire, thus transforming himself into a house-hold one, was highly gratified with seeing those gold-complexioned ladies and touching them with his flames.  And influenced by their charms he dwelt there for a long time, giving them his heart and filled with an intense love for them.  And baffled in all his efforts to win the hearts of those Brahmana ladies, and his own heart tortured by love, he repaired to a forest with the certain object of destroying himself.  A little while before, Swaha, the daughter of Daksha, had bestowed her love on him.  The excellent lady had been endeavouring for a long time to detect his weak moments; but that blameless lady did not succeed in finding out any weakness in the calm and collected fire-god.  But now that the god had betaken himself to a forest, actually tortured by the pangs of love, she thought, ’As I too am distressed with love, I shall assume the guise of the wives of the seven Rishis, and in that disguise I shall seek the fire-god so smitten with their charms.  This done, he will be gratified and my desire too will be satisfied.’”


“Markandeya continued, ’O lord of men, the beautiful Siva endowed with great virtues and an unspotted character was the wife of Angiras (one of the seven Rishis).  That excellent lady (Swaha) at first assuming the disguise of Siva, sought the presence of Agni unto whom she said, ’O Agni, I am tortured with love for thee.  Do thou think it fit to woo me.  And if thou dost not accede to my request, know that I shall commit self-destruction.  I am Siva the wife of Angiras.  I have come here according to the advice of the wives of the other Rishis, who have sent me here after due deliberation.’

Agni replied, ’How didst thou know that I was tortured with love and how could the others, the beloved wives of the seven Rishis, of whom thou hast spoken, know this?’

Swaha replied, ’Thou art always a favourite with us, but we are afraid of thee.  Now having read thy mind by well-known signs, they have sent to thy presence.  I have come here to gratify my desire.  Be thou quick, O Agni, to encompass the object of thy desire, my sisters-in-law are awaiting me.  I must return soon.’

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