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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.
various tastes (when there are no odoriferous or tasteful substances about him) and soon becomes tormented, is called the Rakshasa spirit.  And the spirit by whose action celestial musicians (Gandharvas) blend their existence into the constitution of a human being, and make him run mad in no time, is called the Gandharva spirit.  And that evil spirit by whose influence men are always tormented by Pisachas, is called the Paisacha spirit.  When the spirit of Yakshas enters into the system of a human being by some accident, he loses his reason immediately, and such a spirit is called the Yaksha spirit.  The man who loses his reason on account of his mind being demoralised with vices, runs mad in no time, and his illness must be remedied according to methods prescribed in the Sastras.  Men also run mad from perplexity, from fear, as also on beholding hideous sights.  The remedy lies in quieting their minds.  There are three classes of spirits, some are frolicsome, some are gluttonous, and some sensual.  Until men attain the age of three score and ten, these evil influences continue to torment them, and then fever becomes the only evil spirit that afflicts sentient beings.  These evil spirits always avoid those who have subdued their senses, who are self-restrained, of cleanly habits, god-fearing and free from laziness and contamination.  I have thus described to thee, O king, the evil spirits that mould the destinies of men.  Thou who art devoted to Maheswara art never troubled by them.”

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Markandeya continued, “When Skanda had bestowed these powers, Swaha appeared to him and said, ’Thou art my natural son,—­I desire that thou shalt grant exquisite happiness to me.”

“Skanda replied, ‘What sort of happiness dost thou wish to enjoy?’”

“Swaha replied, ’O mighty being, I am the favourite daughter of Daksha, by name Swaha; and from my youthful days I have been in love with Hutasana (the Fire-god); but that god, my son, does not understand my feelings.  I desire to live for ever with him (as his wife).’”

“Skanda replied, ’From this day, lady, all the oblations that men of virtuous character, who swerve not from the path of virtue, will offer to their gods or ancestors with incantation of purifying hymns by Brahmanas, shall always be offered (through Agni) coupled with the name of Swaha, and thus, excellent lady, wilt thou always live associated with Agni, the god of fire.’”

“Markandeya continued, Thus addressed and honoured by Skanda, Swaha was greatly pleased; and associated with her husband Pavaka (the Fire-god), she honoured him in return.’”

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