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.
that innumerable monarchs had come from all directions; and there he also saw those three maidens that would select their own husbands.  And when the (assembled) kings were each being mentioned by name, Bhishma chose those maidens (on behalf of his brother).  And taking them upon his chariot, Bhishma, that first of smiters in battle, addressed the kings, O monarch, and said in a voice deep as the roar of the clouds, ’The wise have directed that when an accomplished person has been invited, a maiden may be bestowed on him, decked with ornaments and along with many valuable presents.  Others again may bestow their daughters by accepting a couple of kine.  Some again bestow their daughters by taking a fixed sum, and some take away maidens by force.  Some wed with the consent of the maidens, some by drugging them into consent, and some by going unto the maidens’ parents and obtaining their sanction.  Some again obtain wives as presents for assisting at sacrifices.  Of these, the learned always applaud the eighth form of marriage.  Kings, however, speak highly of the Swyamvara (the fifth form as above) and themselves wed according to it.  But the sages have said that, that wife is dearly to be prized who is taken away by force, after the slaughter of opponents, from amidst the concourse of princes and kings invited to a self-choice ceremony.  Therefore, ye monarchs, I bear away these maidens hence by force.  Strive ye, to the best of your might, to vanquish me or to be vanquished.  Ye monarchs, I stand here resolved to fight!’ Kuru prince, endued with great energy, thus addressing the assembled monarchs and the king of Kasi, took upon his car those maidens.  And having taken them up, he sped his chariot away, challenging the invited kings to a fight.

“The challenged monarchs then all stood up, slapping their arms and biting their nether lips in wrath.  And loud was the din produced, as, in a great hurry, they began to cast off their ornaments and put on their armour.  And the motion of their ornaments and armour, O Janamejaya, brilliant as these were, resembled meteoric flashes in the sky.  And with brows contracted and eyes red with rage, the monarchs moved in impatience, their armour and ornaments dazzling or waving with their agitated steps.  The charioteers soon brought handsome cars with fine horses harnessed thereto.  Those splendid warriors then, equipped with all kinds of weapons, rode on those cars, and with uplifted weapons pursued the retreating chief of the Kurus.  Then, O Bharata, occurred the terrible encounter between those innumerable monarchs on one side and the Kuru warrior alone on the other.  And the assembled monarchs threw at their foe ten thousand arrows at the same time.  Bhishma, however speedily checked those numberless arrows before they could come at him by means of a shower of his own arrows as innumerable as the down on the body.  Then those kings surrounded him from all sides and rained arrows on him like masses

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