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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.
to the right, beareth these thy libations of clarified butter to the gods.  In this world of men there is no other monarch equal to thee in the protection of subjects.  I am ever well-pleased with thy abstinence.  Indeed, thou art either Varuna, or Yama, the god of Justice.  Like Sakra himself, thunderbolt in hand, thou art, in this world, the protector of all creatures.  In this earth there is no man so great as thou and no monarch who is thy equal in sacrifice.  Thou art like Khatwanga, Nabhaga, and Dilipa.  In prowess thou art like Yayati and Mandhatri.  In splendour equal to the sun, and of excellent vows, thou art O monarch, like Bhishma!  Like Valmiki thou art of energy concealed.  Like Vasishtha thou hast controlled thy wrath.  Like Indra is thy lordship.  Thy splendour also shines like that of Narayana.  Like Yama art thou conversant with the dispensation of justice.  Thou art like Krishna adorned with every virtue.  Thou art the home of the good fortune that belongs to the Vasus.  Thou art also the refuge of the sacrifices.  In strength thou art equal to Damvodbhava.  Like Rama (the son of Jamadagni) thou art conversant with the scriptures and arms.  In energy thou art equal to Aurva and Trita.  Thou inspirest terror by thy looks like Bhagiratha.’

“Sauti said, ’Astika, having thus adored them, gratified them all, viz., the king, the Sadasyas, the Ritwiks and the sacrificial fire.  And king Janamejaya beholding the signs and indications manifested all around, addressed them as follows.’”

SECTION LVI

(Astika Parva continued)

Janamejaya said, ’Though this one is but a boy, he speaks yet like a wise old man.  He is not a boy but one wise and old.  I think, I desire to bestow on him a boon.  Therefore, ye Brahmanas, give me the necessary permission.’

“The Sadasyas said, ’A Brahmana, though a boy, deserves the respect of kings.  The learned ones do more so.  This boy deserves every desire of his being fulfilled by thee, but not before Takshaka comes with speed.’

“Sauti continued, ’The king, being inclined to grant the Brahmana a boon, said ‘Ask thou a boon.’  The Hotri, however, being rather displeased, said, ‘Takshaka hath not come as yet into this sacrifice.’

“Janamejaya replied, ’Exert ye to the best of your might, so that this sacrifice of mine may attain completion, and Takshaka also may soon come here.  He is my enemy.’

“The Ritwiks replied, ’As the scriptures declare unto us, and as the fire also saith, O monarch, (it seems that) Takshaka is now staying in the abode of Indra, afflicted with fear.’

“Sauti continued, ’The illustrious Suta named Lohitaksha also, conversant with the Puranas, had said so before.

“Asked by the king on the present occasion he again told the monarch, ’Sire, it is even so as the Brahmanas have said—­Knowing the Puranas, I say, O monarch, that Indra hath granted him this boon, saying, ’Dwell with me in concealment, and Agni shall not burn thee.’

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