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.
viz., that he was a Rakshasa, that illustrious descendant of Raghu’s race took out an infallible arrow and slew that Rakshasa, in the disguise of a deer.  And struck with Rama’s arrow, the Rakshasa, imitating Rama’s voice, cried out in great distress, calling upon Sita and Lakshmana.  And when the princess of Videha heard that cry of distress, she urged Lakshmana to run towards the quarter from whence the cry came.  Then Lakshmana said to her, “Timid lady, thou hast no cause of fear!  Who is so powerful as to be able to smite Rama?  O thou of sweet smiles, in a moment thou wilt behold thy husband Rama!’ Thus addressed, the chaste Sita, from that timidity which is natural to women, became suspicious of even the pure Lakshmana, and began to weep aloud.  And that chaste lady, devoted to her husband, harshly reproved Lakshmana, saying, ’The object which thou, O fool, cherishest in thy heart, shall never be fulfilled!  I would rather kill myself with a weapon or throw myself from the top of a hill or enter into a blazing fire than live with a sorry wretch like thee, forsaking my husband Rama, like a tigress under the protection of a jackal!—­

When the good natured Lakshmana, who was very fond of his brother, heard these words, he shut his ears (with his hands) and set out on the track that Rama had taken.  And Lakshmana set out without casting a single glance on that lady with lips soft and red like the Bimba fruit.  Meanwhile, the Rakshasa Ravana, wearing a genteel guise though wicked at heart, and like unto fire enveloped in a heap of ashes, showed himself there.  And he appeared there in the disguise of a hermit, for forcibly carrying away that lady of blameless character.  The virtuous daughter of Janaka, seeing him come, welcomed him with fruits and root and a seat.  Disregarding these and assuming his own proper shape, that bull among Rakshasas began to re-assure the princess of Videha in these words, ’I am, O Sita, the king of the Rakshasas, known by the name of Ravana!  My delightful city, known by the name of Lanka is on the other side of the great ocean!  There among beautiful women, thou wilt shine with me!  O lady of beautiful lips, forsaking the ascetic Rama do thou become my wife!’ Janaka’s daughter of beautiful lips, hearing these and other words in the same strain, shut her ears and replied unto him, saying, ’Do not say so!  The vault of heaven with all its stars may fall down, the Earth itself may be broken into fragments, fire itself may change its nature by becoming cool, yet I cannot forsake the descendant of Raghu!  How can a she-elephant, who hath lived with the mighty leader of a herd with rent temples forsake him and live with a hog?  Having once tasted the sweet wine prepared from honey or flowers, how can a woman, I fancy, relish the wretched arrak from rice?’ Having uttered those words, she entered the cottage, her lips trembling in wrath and her arms moving to and fro in emotion.  Ravana, however, followed her thither and intercepted her further progress.  And rudely scolded by the Rakshasa, she swooned away.  But Ravana seized her by the hair of her head, and rose up into the air.  Then a huge vulture of the name of Jatayu living on a mountain peak, beheld that helpless lady thus weeping and calling upon Rama in great distress while being carried away by Ravana.”

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