The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,884 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1.
fear concealed themselves thereabout before the guards came.  But scarcely had they thus concealed themselves when the constables in pursuit came to the spot.  The latter, observing the Rishi sitting under the tree, questioned him, O king, saying, ’O best of Brahmanas, which way have the thieves taken?  Point it out to us so that we may follow it without loss of time.’  Thus questioned by the guardians of peace the ascetic, O king, said not a word, good or otherwise, in reply.  The officers of the king, however, on searching that asylum soon discovered the thieves concealed thereabout together with the plunder.  Upon this, their suspicion fell upon the Muni, and accordingly they seized him with the thieves and brought him before the king.  The king sentenced him to be executed along with his supposed associates.  And the officers, acting in ignorance, carried out the sentence by impaling the celebrated Rishi.  And having impaled him, they went to the king with the booty they had recovered.  But the virtuous Rishi, though impaled and kept without food, remained in that state for a long time without dying.  And the Rishi by his ascetic power not only preserved his life but summoned other Rishi to the scene.  And they came there in the night in the forms of birds, and beholding him engaged in ascetic meditation though fixed on that stake, became plunged into grief.  And telling that best of Brahmanas who they were, they asked him saying, ’O Brahmana, we desire to know what hath been thy sin for which thou hast thus been made to suffer the tortures of impalement!’”

SECTION CVIII

(Sambhava Parva continued)

“Vaisampayana said, ’Thus asked, the tiger among Munis then answered those Rishis of ascetic wealth, ’Whom shall I blame for this?  In fact, none else (than my own self) hath offended against me!’ After this, O monarch, the officers of justice, seeing him alive, informed the king of it.  The latter hearing what they said, consulted with his advisers, and came to the place and began to pacify the Rishi. fixed on the stake.  And the king said, ’O thou best of Rishis, I have offended against thee in ignorance.  I beseech thee to pardon me for the same.  It behoveth thee not to be angry with me.’  Thus addressed by the king, the Muni was pacified.  And beholding him free from wrath, the king took him up with the stake and endeavoured to extract it from his body.  But not succeeding therein, he cut it off at the point just outside the body.  The Muni, with a portion of the stake within his body, walked about, and in that state practised the austerest of penances and conquered numberless regions unattainable by others.  And for the circumstances of a part of the stake being within his body, he came to be known in the three worlds by the name of Ani-Mandavya (Mandavya with the stake within).  And one day that Brahamana acquainted with the highest truth of religion went unto the abode of the god of justice.  And beholding the god there seated on his throne, the Rishi reproached him and said, ’What, pray, is that sinful act committed by me unconsciously, for which I am bearing this punishment?  O, tell me soon, and behold the power of my asceticism.’

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