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.
At this time Viswamitra, between whom and Vasishtha there was a dispute about the discipleship of Kalmashapada, approached the place where that monarch and Vasishtha’s son were.  And, O Partha, that Rishi of severe ascetic penances, viz., Viswamitra of great energy, approached the pair (knowing by his spiritual insight that they had been thus quarrelling with each other).  After the curse had been pronounced, that best of monarchs knew that Rishi to be Vasishtha’s son and equal unto Vasishtha himself in energy.  And, O Bharata, Viswamitra, desirous of benefiting himself, remained on that spot, concealed from the sight of both by making himself invisible.  Then that best of monarchs, thus cursed by Saktri, desiring to propitiate the Rishi began to humbly beseech him.  And, O chief of the Kurus, Viswamitra, ascertaining the disposition of the king (and fearing that the difference might be made up), ordered a Rakshasa to enter the body of the king.  And a Rakshasa of the name of Kinkara then entered the monarch’s body in obedience to Saktri’s curse and Viswamitra’s command.  And knowing, O chastiser of foes, that the Rakshasa had possessed himself of the monarch, that best of Rishis, Viswamitra, then left the spot and went away.

“Shortly after, O Partha, the monarch, possessed by the Rakshasa and terribly afflicted by him, lost all his senses.  At this time a Brahmana beheld the king in the woods.  Afflicted with hunger, that Brahmana begged of the king some food with meat.  The royal sage, Kalmashapada, that cherisher of friends, answered the Brahmana, saying, ’Stay thou here, O Brahmana for a moment.  On my return, I will give thee whatever food thou desirest.’  Having said this, the monarch went away, but the Brahmana stayed on there.  The high-minded king having roved for some time at pleasure and according to his will, at last entered his inner apartment.  Thus waking at midnight and remembering his promise, he summoned his cook and told him of his promise unto the Brahmana staying in the forest.  And he commanded him, saying, ’Hie thee to that forest.  A Brahmana waiteth for me in the hope of food.  Go and entertain him with food and meat.’

“The Gandharva continued, ’Thus commanded, the cook went out in search of meat.  Distressed at not having found any, he informed the king of his failure.  The monarch, however, possessed as he was by the Rakshasa, repeatedly said, without scruple of any kind, ’Feed him with human flesh.’  The cook, saying, ‘So be it,’ went to the place where the (king’s) executioners were, and thence taking human flesh and washing and cooking it duly and covering it with boiled rice offered it unto that hungry Brahmana devoted to ascetic penances.  But that best of Brahmanas, seeing with his spiritual sight that the food was unholy and, therefore, unworthy of being eaten, said these words with eyes red with anger, ’Because that worst of kings offereth me food that is unholy and unworthy of being taken, therefore that wretch shall have himself a fondness for such food.  And becoming fond of human flesh as cursed by Saktri of old, the wretch shall wander over the earth, alarming and otherwise troubling all creatures.’  The curse, therefore, on that king, thus repeated a second time, became very strong, and the king, possessed by a Rakshasa disposition, soon lost all his senses.

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