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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.
And Vichitravirya also, endued with the prowess of the celestials and the beauty of the twin Aswins, could steal the heart of any beautiful woman.  And the prince passed seven years uninterruptedly in the company of his wives.  He was attacked while yet in the prime of youth, with phthisis.  Friends and relatives in consultation with one another tried to effect a cure.  But in spite of all efforts, the Kuru prince died, setting like the evening sun.  The virtuous Bhishma then became plunged into anxiety and grief, and in consultation with Satyavati caused the obsequial rites of the deceased to be performed by learned priests and the several of the Kuru race.’”

SECTION CIII

(Sambhava Parva continued)

“Vaisampayana said, ’The unfortunate Satyavati then became plunged in grief on account of her son.  And after performing with her daughters-in-law the funeral rites of the deceased, consoled, as best she could, her weeping daughters-in-law and Bhishma, that foremost of all wielders of weapons.  And turning her eyes to religion, and to the paternal and maternal lines (of the Kurus), she addressed Bhishma and said ’The funeral cake, the achievements, and the perpetuation of the line of the virtuous and celebrated Santanu of Kuru’s race, all now depend on thee.  As the attainment of heaven is inseparable from good deeds, as long life is inseparable from truth and faith, so is virtue inseparable from thee.  O virtuous one, thou art well-acquainted, in detail and in the abstract, with the dictates of virtue, with various Srutis, and with all the branches of the Vedas; know very well that thou art equal unto Sukra and Angiras as regards firmness in virtue, knowledge of the particular customs of families, and readiness of inventions under difficulties.  Therefore, O foremost of virtuous men, relying on thee greatly, I shall appoint thee in a certain matter.  Hearing me, it behoveth thee to do my bidding.  O bull among men, my son and thy brother, endued with energy and dear unto thee, hath gone childless to heaven while still a boy.  These wives of thy brother, the amiable daughters of the ruler of Kasi, possessing beauty and youth, have become desirous of children.  Therefore, O thou of mighty arms, at my command, raise offspring on them for the perpetuation of our line.  It behoveth thee to guard virtue against loss.  Install thyself on the throne and rule the kingdom of the Bharatas.  Wed thou duly a wife.  Plunge not thy ancestors into hell.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ’Thus addressed by his mother and friends and relatives, that oppressor of foes, the virtuous Bhishma, gave this reply conformable to the dictates of virtue, ’O mother, what thou sayest is certainly sanctioned by virtue.  But thou knowest what my vow is in the matter of begetting children.  Thou knowest also all that transpired in connection with thy dower.  O Satyavati, I repeat the pledge I once gave, viz., I would

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