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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.

“On hearing these words of her son, Kunti said, ’O Yudhishthira, thou needst not be at all anxious on account of Vrikodara.  I have not come to this resolve owing to any weakness of understanding.  Respected by him, and with our sorrows assuaged, we have, O son, been living in the house of this Brahmana, unknown to the sons of Dhritarashtra.  For requiting, O son, that Brahmana, I have resolved to do this.  He, indeed, is a man upon whom good offices are never lost.  The measure of his requital becometh greater than the measure of the services he receiveth.  Beholding the prowess of Bhima on the occasion of (our escape from) the house of lac, and from the destruction also of Hidimva, my confidence in Vrikodara is great.  The might of Bhima’s arms is equal unto that of ten thousand elephants.  It was, therefore, that he succeeded in carrying you all, each heavy as an elephant, from Varanavata.  There is no one on earth equal unto Bhima in might; he may even overcome that foremost of warriors, the holder of the thunderbolt himself.  Soon after his birth he fell from my lap on the breast of the mountain.  By the weight of his body the mass of stone on which he fell down broke in pieces.  From this also, O son of Pandu, I have come to know Bhima’s might.  For this reason have I resolved to set him against the Brahmana’s foe.  I have not acted in this from foolishness or ignorance or from motive of gain.  I have deliberately resolved to do this virtuous deed.  By this act, O Yudhishthira, two objects will be accomplished; one is a requital of the services rendered by the Brahmana and the other is the acquisition of high religious merit.  It is my conviction that the Kshatriya who rendereth help unto a Brahmana in anything acquireth regions of bliss hereafter.  So also a Kshatriya who saveth the life of a Kshatriya achieveth that great fame in this world as in the other.  A Kshatriya rendering help unto a Vaisya also on this earth certainly acquires world-wide popularity.  One of the kingly tribe should protect even the Sudra who cometh to him for protection.  If he doeth so, in his next life he receiveth his birth in a royal line, commanding prosperity and the respect of other kings.  O scion of Puru’s race, the illustrious Vyasa of wisdom acquired by hard ascetic toil told me so in bygone days.  It is therefore, that I have resolved upon accomplishing this.’”

SECTION CLXV

(Vaka-vadha Parva continued)

“Having heard these words of his mother, Yudhishthira said, ’What thou, O mother, hast deliberately done, moved by compassion for the afflicted Brahmana, is, indeed, excellent Bhima will certainly come back with life, after having slain the cannibal, inasmuch as thou art, O mother, always compassionate unto Brahmanas.  But tell the Brahmana, O mother, that he doth not do anything whereby the dwellers in this town may know all about it, and make him promise to keep thy request.’

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