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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.
towards him, drawing with great force his bow to a circle.  The mighty vulture, however, addressing them both, said, ‘Blessed be ye, I am the king of the vultures, and friend of Dasaratha!’ Hearing these words of his, both Rama and his brother put aside their excellent bow and said, ’Who is this one that speaketh the name of our father in these woods?’ And then they saw that creature to be a bird destitute of two wings, and that bird then told them of his own overthrow at the hands of Ravana for the sake of Sita.  Then Rama enquired of the vulture as to the way Ravana had taken.  The vulture answered him by a nod of his head and then breathed his last.  And having understood from the sign the vulture had made that Ravana had gone towards the south, Rama reverencing his father’s friend, caused his funeral obsequies to be duly performed.  Then those chastisers of foes, Rama and Lakshmana, filled with grief at the abduction of the princess of Videha, took a southern path through the Dandaka woods beholding along their way many uninhabited asylums of ascetics, scattered over with seats of Kusa grass and umbrellas of leaves and broken water-pots, and abounding with hundreds of jackals.  And in that great forest, Rama along with Sumatra’s son beheld many herds of deer running in all directions.  And they heard a loud uproar of various creatures like what is heard during a fast spreading forest conflagration.  And soon they beheld a headless Rakshasa of terrible mien.  And that Rakshasa was dark as the clouds and huge as a mountain, with shoulders broad as those of a Sola tree, and with arms that were gigantic.  And he had a pair of large eyes on his breast, and the opening of his mouth was placed on his capacious belly.  And that Rakshasa seized Lakshmana by the hand, without any difficulty.  And seized by the Rakshasa the son of Sumitra, O Bharata, became utterly confounded and helpless.  And casting his glances on Rama, that headless Rakshasa began to draw Lakshmana towards that part of his body where his mouth was.  And Lakshmana in grief addressed Rama, saying, ’Behold my plight!  The loss of thy kingdom, and then the death of our father, and then the abduction of Sita, and finally this disaster that hath overwhelmed me!  Alas, I shall not behold thee return with the princess of Videha to Kosala and seated on thy ancestral throne as the ruler of the entire Earth!  They only that are fortunate will behold thy face, like unto the moon emerged from the clouds, after thy coronation bath in water sanctified with Kusa grass and fried paddy and black peas!’ And the intelligent Lakshmana uttered those and other lamentations in the same strain.  The illustrious descendant, however, of Kakutstha’s race undaunted amid danger, replied unto Lakshmana, saying, ’Do not, O tiger among men, give way to grief!  What is this thing when I am here?  Cut thou off his right arm and I shall cut off his left.’  And while Rama was still speaking so, the left arm of the monster
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