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.

“And it so happened that one day the child Aswatthaman observing some rich men’s sons drink milk, began to cry.  At this I was so beside myself that I lost all knowledge of the point of the compass.  Instead of asking him who had only a few kine (so that if he gave me one, he would no longer be able to perform his sacrifices and thus sustain a loss of virtue), I was desirous of obtaining a cow from one who had many, and for that I wandered from country to country.  But my wanderings proved unsuccessful, for I failed to obtain a milch cow.  After I had come back unsuccessful, some of my son’s playmates gave him water mixed with powdered rice.  Drinking this, the poor boy, was deceived into the belief that he had taken milk, and began to dance in joy, saying, ’O, I have taken milk.  I have taken milk!’ Beholding him dance with joy amid these playmates smiling at his simplicity, I was exceedingly touched.  Hearing also the derisive speeches of busy-bodies who said, ’Fie upon the indigent Drona, who strives not to earn wealth, whose son drinking water mixed with powdered rice mistaketh it for milk and danceth with joy, saying, ’I have taken milk,—­I have taken milk!’—­I was quite beside myself.  Reproaching myself much, I at last resolved that even if I should have to live cast off and censured by Brahmanas, I would not yet, from desire of wealth, be anybody’s servant, which is ever hateful.  Thus resolved, O Bhishma, I went, for former friendship, unto the king of the Somakas, taking with me my dear child and wife.  Hearing that he had been installed in the sovereignty (of the Somakas), I regarded myself as blessed beyond compare.  Joyfully I went unto that dear friend of mine seated on the throne, remembering my former friendship with him and also his own words to me.  And, O illustrious one, approaching Drupada, I said, ’O tiger among men, know me for thy friend!’—­Saying this, I approached him confidently as a friend should.  But Drupada, laughing in derision cast me off as if I were a vulgar fellow.  Addressing me he said, ’Thy intelligence scarcely seemeth to be of a high order inasmuch as approaching me suddenly, thou sayest thou art my friend!  Time that impaireth everything, impaireth friendship also.  My former friendship with thee was for a particular purpose.  One of impure birth can never be a friend of one who is of pure birth.  One who is not a car-warrior can never be a friend of one who is such.  Friendship can only subsist between persons that are of equal rank, but not between those that are unequally situated.  Friendship never subsisteth for ever in my heart.  Time impaireth friendships, as also anger destroyeth them.  Do thou not stick, therefore, to that worn-off friendship between us.  Think not of it any longer.  The friendship I had with thee, O best of Brahmanas, was for a special purpose.  There cannot be friendship between a poor man and a rich man, between an unlettered hind and a man of letters, between a coward and a

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