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.

Then when all those Kshatriyas gave up the task, the heroic king of the Chedis—­mighty as Yama (Pluto) himself—­the illustrious and determined Sisupala, the son of Damaghosa, in endeavouring to string the bow, himself fell upon his knees on the ground.  Then king Jarasandha endued with great strength and powers, approaching the bow stood there for some moment, fixed and motionless like a mountain.  Tossed by the bow, he too fell upon his knees on the ground, and rising up, the monarch left the amphitheatre for (returning to) his kingdom.  Then the great hero Salya, the king of Madra, endued with great strength, in endeavouring to string the bow fell upon his knees on the ground.  At last when in that assemblage consisting of highly respectable people, all the monarchs had become subjects of derisive talk that foremost of heroes—­Jishnu, the son of Kunti—­desired to string the bow and placed the arrows on the bow-string.’”


(Swayamvara Parva continued)

“Vaisampayana continued, ’When all the monarchs had desisted from stringing that bow, the high-souled Jishnu arose from among the crowd of Brahmanas seated in that assembly.  And beholding Partha possessing the complexion of Indra’s banner, advancing towards the bow, the principal Brahmanas shaking their deer-skins raised a loud clamour.  And while some were displeased, there were others that were well-pleased.  And some there were, possessed of intelligence and foresight, who addressing one another said, ’Ye Brahmanas, how can a Brahmana stripling unpractised in arms and weak in strength, string that bow which such celebrated Kshatriyas as Salya and others endued with might and accomplished in the science and practice of arms could not?  If he doth not achieve success in this untried task which he hath undertaken from a spirit of boyish unsteadiness, the entire body of Brahmanas here will be rendered ridiculous in the eyes of the assembled monarchs.  Therefore, forbid this Brahmana that he may not go to string the bow which he is even now desirous of doing from vanity, childish daring, or mere unsteadiness.’  Others replied, ’We shall not be made ridiculous, nor shall we incur the disrespect of anybody or the displeasure of the sovereigns.  Some remarked, ’This handsome youth is even like the trunk of a mighty elephant, whose shoulders and arms and thighs are so well-built, who in patience looks like the Himavat, whose gait is even like that of the lion, and whose prowess seems to be like that of an elephant in rut, and who is so resolute, that it is probable that he will accomplish this feat.  He has strength and resolution.  If he had none, he would never go of his own accord.  Besides, there is nothing in the three worlds that Brahmanas of all mortal men cannot accomplish.  Abstaining from all food or living upon air or eating of fruits, persevering in their vows, and emaciated and weak, Brahmanas are

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