The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,884 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1.

“Hearing these words of her maid, the slender-waisted and beautiful Kaikeyi put on all her ornaments, and sought her husband in a secluded place.  And with a joyous heart, and smiling pleasantly, she addressed these words to him with all the blandishments of love, ’O king, thou art always true to thy promises.  Thou didst promise before to grant me an object of my desire.  Do thou fulfil that promise now and save thyself from the sin of unredeemed pledge!’ The king replied, saying, ’I will grant thee a boon.  Ask thou whatever thou wishest!  What man undeserving of death shall be slain today and who that deserves death is to be set at liberty?  Upon whom shall I bestow wealth to-day, or whose wealth shall be confiscated?  Whatever wealth there is in this world, save what belongeth to Brahmanas, is mine!  I am the king of kings in this world, and the protector of all the four classes!  Tell me quickly, O blessed lady, what that object is upon which thou hast set thy heart!’ Hearing these words of the king, and tying him fast to his pledge, and conscious also of her power over him, she addressed him in these words, ’I desire that Bharata be the recipient of that investiture which thou hast designed for Rama, and let Rama go into exile living in the forest of Dandaka for fourteen years as an ascetic with matted locks on head and robed in rags and deer-skins!’ Hearing these disagreeable words of cruel import, the king, O chief of the Bharata race, was sorely afflicted and became utterly speechless!  But the mighty and virtuous Rama, learning that his father had been thus solicited, went into the forest so that the king’s truth might remain inviolate.  And, blessed be thou, he was followed by the auspicious Lakshmana—­that foremost of bowmen and his wife Sita, the princess of Videha and daughter of Janaka.  And after Rama had gone into the forest, king Dasaratha took leave of his body, agreeably to the eternal law of time.  And knowing that Rama not near and that the king was dead, queen Kaikeyi, causing Bharata to be brought before her, addressed him in these words, ’Dasaratha hath gone to heaven and both Rama and Lakshmana are in the forest!  Take thou this kingdom which is so extensive and whose peace there is no rival to disturb’.  Thereupon the virtuous Bharata replied unto her saying, ’Thou hast done a wicked deed, having slain thy husband and exterminated this family from lust of wealth alone!  Heaping infamy on my head, O accursed woman of our race, thou hast, O mother, attained this, thy object!’ And having said these words, the prince wept aloud.  And having proved his innocence before all the subjects of that realm he set out in the wake of Rama, desiring to bring him back.  And placing Kausalya and Sumitra and Kaikeyi in the vehicles at the van of his train, he proceeded with a heavy heart, in company with Satrughna.  And he was accompanied by Vasishtha and Vamadeva, and other Brahmanas by thousands and by the people of the cities and the provinces, desiring to bring back

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