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.
on the shoulders of men.  And seized with jealousy, they resolved upon performing penances.  And with ascetic penances of the most severe kind, they gratified Brahma.  And the Ten-headed Ravana, supporting life by means of air alone and surrounded by the five sacred fires and absorbed in meditation, remained standing on one leg for a thousand years.  And Kumvakarna with head downwards, and with restricted diet, was constant in austerities.  And the wise and magnanimous Vibhishana, observing fasts and subsisting only on dry leaves and engaged in meditation, practised severe austerities for a long period.  And Khara and Surpanakha, with cheerful hearts, protected and attended on them while they were performing those austerities.  And at the close of a thousand years, the invincible Ten-headed One, cutting off his own heads, offered them as offering to the sacred fire.  And at this act of his, the Lord of the Universe was pleased with him.  And then Brahma, personally appearing to them, bade them desist from those austerities and promised to grant boons unto every one of them.  And the adorable Brahma said, I am pleased with you, my sons!  Cease now from these austerities and ask boons of me!  Whatever your desires may be, they, with the single exception of that of immortality, will be fulfilled!  As thou hast offered thy heads to the fire from great ambition, they will again adorn thy body as before, according to thy desire.  And thy body will not be disfigured and thou shall be able to assume any form according to thy desire and become the conqueror of thy foes in battle.  There is no doubt of this!’ thereupon Ravana said, ’May I never experience defeat at the hands of Gandharvas, Celestials, Kinnaras, Asuras, Yakshas, Rakshasas, Serpents and all other creatures!’ Brahma said, ’From those that hast named, thou shalt never have cause of fear; except from men (thou shalt have no occasion for fear).  Good betide thee!  So hath it been ordained by me!’

“Markandeya said, ’Thus addressed, the Ten-headed (Ravana) was highly gratified, for on account of his perverted understanding, the man-eating one slightened human beings.  Then the great Grandsire addressed Kumbhakarna as before.  His reason being clouded by darkness, he asked for long-lasting sleep.  Saying, ‘It shall be so’ ’Brahma then addressed Vibhishana, ’O my son, I am much pleased with thee!  Ask any boon thou pleasest!’ Thereupon, Vibhishana replied, ’Even in great danger, may I never swerve from the path of righteousness, and though ignorant, may I, O adorable Sire, be illumined with the light of divine knowledge!’ And Brahma replied, ’O scourge of thy enemies, as thy soul inclines not to unrighteousness although born in the Rakshasa race, I grant thee immortality!’

“Markandeya continued, ’Having obtained this boon, the Ten-headed Rakshasa defeated Kuvera in battle and obtained from him the sovereignty of Lanka.  That adorable Being, leaving Lanka and followed by Gandharvas, Yakshas, Rakshas, and Kinnaras, went to live on mount Gandhamadana.  And Ravana forcibly took from him the celestial chariot Pushpaka.  And upon this Vaisravana cursed him, saying, ’This chariot shall never carry thee; it shall bear him who will slay thee in battle!  And as thou hast insulted me, thy elder brother, thou shalt soon die!’

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