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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.

“The great and blessed saint Bhrigu, we are informed, was produced by the self-existing Brahma from the fire at the sacrifice of Varuna.  And Bhrigu had a son, named Chyavana, whom he dearly loved.  And to Chyavana was born a virtuous son called Pramati.  And Pramati had a son named Ruru by Ghritachi (the celestial dancer).  And to Ruru also by his wife Pramadvara, was born a son, whose name was Sunaka.  He was, O Saunaka, thy great ancestor exceedingly virtuous in his ways.  He was devoted to asceticism, of great reputation, proficient in law, and eminent among those having a knowledge of the Vedas.  He was virtuous, truthful, and of well-regulated fare.’

“Saunaka said, ’O son of Suta, I ask thee why the illustrious son of Bhrigu was named Chyavana.  Do tell me all.’

“Sauti replied, ’Bhrigu had a wife named Puloma whom he dearly loved.  She became big with child by Bhrigu.  And one day while the virtuous continent Puloma was in that condition, Bhrigu, great among those that are true to their religion, leaving her at home went out to perform his ablutions.  It was then that the Rakshasa called Puloma came to Bhrigu’s abode.  And entering the Rishi’s abode, the Rakshasa saw the wife of Bhrigu, irreproachable in everything.  And seeing her he became filled with lust and lost his senses.  The beautiful Puloma entertained the Rakshasa thus arrived, with roots and fruits of the forest.  And the Rakshasa who burnt with desire upon seeing her, became very much delighted and resolved, O good sage, to carry her away who was so blameless in every respect.

‘My design is accomplished,’ said the Rakshasa, and so seizing that beautiful matron he carried her away.  And, indeed, she of agreeable smiles, had been betrothed by her father himself, to him, although the former subsequently bestowed her, according to due rites, on Bhrigu.  O thou of the Bhrigu race, this wound rankled deep in the Rakshasa’s mind and he thought the present moment very opportune for carrying the lady away.

“And the Rakshasa saw the apartment in which the sacrificial fire was kept burning brightly.  The Rakshasa then asked the flaming element ’Tell me, O Agni, whose wife this woman rightfully is.  Thou art the mouth of gods; therefore thou art bound to answer my question.  This lady of superior complexion had been first accepted by me as wife, but her father subsequently bestowed her on the false Bhrigu.  Tell me truly if this fair one can be regarded as the wife of Bhrigu, for having found her alone, I have resolved to take her away by force from the hermitage.  My heart burneth with rage when I reflect that Bhrigu hath got possession of this woman of slender waist, first betrothed to me.’”

“Sauti continued, ’In this manner the Rakshasa asked the flaming god of fire again and again whether the lady was Bhrigu’s wife.  And the god was afraid to return an answer.  ‘Thou, O god of fire,’ said he, residest constantly within every creature, as witness of her or his merits and demerits.  O thou respected one, then answer my question truly.  Has not Bhrigu appropriated her who was chosen by me as my wife?  Thou shouldst declare truly whether, therefore, she is my wife by first choice.  After thy answer as to whether she is the wife of Bhrigu, I will bear her away from this hermitage even in sight of thee.  Therefore answer thou truly.’”

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