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.
to perform my ablution and beheld the infant lying in the solitude of the wilderness surrounded by vultures.  Bringing her hither I have made her my daughter.  Indeed, the maker of the body, the protector of life, the giver of food, are all three, fathers in their order, according to the scriptures.  And because she was surrounded in the solitude of the wilderness, by Sakuntas (birds), therefore, hath she been named by me Sakuntala (bird-protected).  O Brahman, learn that it is thus that Sakuntala hath become my daughter.  And the faultless Sakuntala also regards me as her father.’

“This is what my father had said unto the Rishi, having been asked by him.  O king of men, it is thus that thou must know I am the daughter of Kanwa.  And not knowing my real father, I regard Kanwa as my father.  Thus have I told thee, O king, all that hath been heard by me regarding my birth!’”


(Sambhava Parva continued)

“Vaisampayana continued, ’King Dushmanta, hearing all this, said, ’Well-spoken, O princess, this that thou hast said!  Be my wife, O beautiful one!  What shall I do for thee?  Golden garlands, robes, ear-rings of gold, white and handsome pearls, from various countries, golden coins, finest carpets, I shall present thee this very day.  Let the whole of my kingdom be thine today, O beautiful one!  Come to me, O timid one, wedding me, O beautiful one, according to the Gandharva form.  O thou of tapering thighs, of all forms of marriage, the Gandharva one is regarded as the first.’

“Sakuntala, hearing this, said, ’O king, my father hath gone away from this asylum to bring fruit.  Wait but a moment; he will bestow me on thee.’

“Dushmanta replied, ’O beautiful and faultless one, I desire that thou shouldst be my life’s companion.  Know thou that I exist for thee, and my heart is in thee.  One is certainly one’s own friend, and one certainly may depend upon one’s own self.  Therefore, according to the ordinance, thou canst certainly bestow thyself.  There are, in all, eight kinds of marriages.  These are Brahma, Daiva, Arsha, Prajapatya, Asura, Gandharva, Rakshasa, and Paisacha, the eighth.  Manu, the son of the self-create, hath spoken of the appropriateness of all these forms according to their order.  Know, O faultless one, that the first four of these are fit for Brahmanas, and the first six for Kshatriyas.  As regards kings, even the Rakshasa form is permissible.  The Asura form is permitted to Vaisyas and Sudras.  Of the first five the three are proper, the other two being improper.  The Paisacha and the Asura forms should never be practised.  These are the institutes of religion, and one should act according to them.  The Gandharva and the Rakshasa form are consistent with the practices of Kshatriyas.  Thou needst not entertain the least fear.  There is not the least doubt that either according to any one of these last-mentioned forms, or according to a union of both of them, our wedding may take place.  O thou of the fairest complexion, full of desire I am, thou also in a similar mood mayst become my wife according to the Gandharva form.’

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