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.

“Listen now, O Janamejaya, to a wonderful feat which that foremost of the sons of Pandu, of high soul, did, while living there.  When that son of Kunti, O Bharata, and the Brahmanas who had followed him, took up their residence in that region, the latter performed innumerable Agnihotras (sacrificial rites by igniting the sacred fire).  And, O king, in consequence of those learned vow-observing, and illustrious Brahmanas, who never deviated from the right path, daily establishing and igniting with mantras on the banks of that sacred stream, after the performance of their ablutions, fires for their sacrifices, and pouring libations of clarified butter into the same, and worshipping those fires with offerings of flowers, that region itself where the Ganges entered the plains became exceedingly beautiful.  One day that bull amongst the Pandavas, while residing in that region in the midst of those Brahmanas, descended (as usual) into the Ganges to perform his ablutions.  After his ablutions had been over, and after he had offered oblations of water unto his deceased ancestors, he was about to get up from the stream to perform his sacrificial rites before the fire, when the mighty-armed hero, O king, was dragged into the bottom of the water by Ulupi, the daughter of the king of the Nagas, urged by the god of desire.  And it so happened that the son of Pandu was carried into the beautiful mansion of Kauravya, the king of the Nagas.  Arjuna saw there a sacrificial fire ignited for himself.  Beholding that fire, Dhananjaya, the son of Kunti performed his sacrificial rites with devotion.  And Agni was much gratified with Arjuna for the fearlessness with which that hero had poured libations into his manifest form.  After he had thus performed his rites before the fire, the son of Kunti, beholding the daughter of the king of the Nagas, addressed her smilingly and said, ’O handsome girl, what an act of rashness hast thou done.  O timid one!  Whose is this beautiful region, who art thou and whose daughter?’

“Hearing these words of Arjuna, Ulupi answered, ’There is a Naga of the name of Kauravya, born in the line of Airavata.  I am, O prince, the daughter of that Kauravya, and my name is Ulupi.  O tiger among men, beholding thee descend into the stream to perform thy ablutions, I was deprived of reason by the god of desire.  O sinless one, I am still unmarried.  Afflicted as I am by the god of desire on account of thee, O thou of Kuru’s race, gratify me today by giving thyself up to me.’

“Arjuna replied, ’Commanded by king Yudhishthira, O amiable one, I am undergoing the vow of Brahmacharin for twelve years.  I am not free to act in any way I like.  But, O ranger of the waters, I am still willing to do thy pleasure (if I can).  I have never spoken an untruth in my life.  Tell me, therefore, O Naga maid, how I may act so that, while doing thy pleasure, I may not be guilty of any untruth or breach of duty.’

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