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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.
unto Yama himself.  How shall, O chief of the celestials, a woman like me even touch him?  At the thought of his prowess Yama, Soma, the great Rishis, the Saddhyas, the Viswas, Valakhilyas, are terrified!  How can a woman like me gaze at him without alarm?  Commanded, however, by thee, O king of the celestials, I shall somehow approach that Rishi.  But, O chief of the gods, devise thou some plan whereby protected by thee, I may safely move about that Rishi.  I think that when I begin to play before the Rishi, Marut (the god of wind) had better go there and rob me of my dress, and Manmatha (the god of love) had also, at thy command, better help me then.  Let also Marut on that occasion bear thither fragrance from the woods to tempt the Rishi.’  Saying this and seeing that all she had spoken about had been duly provided, Menaka went to the retreat of the great Kausika.’”

SECTION LXXII

(Sambhava Parva continued)

Kanwa continued, ’And Sakra, thus addressed by her, then commanded him who could approach every place (viz., the god of the wind) to be present with Menaka at the time she would be before the Rishi.  And the timid and beautiful Menaka then entered the retreat and saw there Viswamitra who had burnt, by his penances, all his sins, and was engaged still in ascetic penances.  And saluting the Rishi, she then began to sport before him.  And just at that time Marut robbed her of her garments that were white as the Moon.  And she thereupon ran, as if in great bashfulness, to catch hold of her attire, and as if she was exceedingly annoyed with Marut.  And she did all this before the very eyes of Viswamitra who was endued with energy like that of fire.  And Viswamitra saw her in that attitude.  And beholding her divested of her robes, he saw that she was of faultless feature.  And that best of Munis saw that she was exceedingly handsome, with no marks of age on her person.  And beholding her beauty and accomplishments that bull amongst Rishis was possessed with lust and made a sign that he desired her companionship.  And he invited her accordingly, and she also of faultless features expressed her acceptance of the invitation.  And they then passed a long time there in each other’s company.  And sporting with each other, just as they pleased, for a long time as if it were only a single day, the Rishi begat on Menaka a daughter named Sakuntala.  And Menaka (as her conception advanced) went to the banks of the river Malini coursing along a valley of the charming mountains of Himavat.  And there she gave birth to that daughter.  And she left the new-born infant on the bank of that river and went away.  And beholding the new-born infant lying in that forest destitute of human beings but abounding with lions and tigers, a number of vultures sat around to protect it from harm.  No Rakshasas or carnivorous animals took its life.  Those vultures protected the daughter of Menaka.  I went there

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