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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.

“Sauti said, ’At the very touch by Garuda of great might with his feet, the branch of the tree broke as it was caught by Garuda.  Casting his eyes around in wonder he saw Valakhilya Rishis hanging therefrom with heads downwards and engaged in ascetic penances.  Reflecting that if that bough fell down, the Rishis would be slain, the mighty one held the elephant and the tortoise still more firmly with his claws.  And from fear of slaying the Rishis and desire of saving them, held that bough in his beaks, and rose on his wings.  The great Rishis were struck with wonder at the sight of that act of his which was beyond even the power of the gods, and gave that mighty bird a name.  And they said, ’As this ranger of the skies rises on its wings bearing a heavy burden, let this foremost of birds having snakes for his food be called Garuda (bearer of heavy weight).’

“And shaking the mountains by his wings, Garuda leisurely coursed through the skies.  And as he soared with the elephant and the tortoise (in his claws), he beheld various regions underneath.  Desiring as he did to save the Valakhilyas, he saw not a spot whereon to sit.  At last he went to that foremost of mountains called Gandhamadana.  There he saw his father Kasyapa engaged in ascetic devotions.  Kasyapa also saw his son, that ranger of the skies, of divine form, possessed of great splendour, and energy and strength, and endued with the speed of the wind or the mind, huge as a mountain peak, a ready smiter like the curse of a Brahmana, inconceivable, indescribable, frightful to all creatures, possessed of great prowess, terrible, of the splendour of Agni himself, and incapable of being overcome by the deities, Danavas, and invincible Rakshasas, capable of splitting mountain summits and sucking the ocean itself and destroying the three worlds, fierce, and looking like Yama himself.  The illustrious Kasyapa, seeing him approach and knowing also his motive, spoke unto him these words: 

“Kasyapa said, ’O child, do not commit a rash act, for then thou wouldst have to suffer pain.  The Valakhilyas, supporting themselves by drinking the rays of the sun, might, if angry, blast thee.’

“Sauti continued, ’Kasyapa then propitiated, for the sake of his son, the Valakhilyas of exceeding good fortune and whose sins had been destroyed by ascetic penances.’  And Kasyapa said, ’Ye whose wealth is asceticism, the essay of Garuda is for the good of all creatures.  The task is great that he is striving to accomplish.  It behoveth you to accord him your permission.’

“Sauti continued, ’Those ascetics thus addressed by the illustrious Kasyapa, abandoned that bough and went to the sacred mountain of Himavat for purposes of ascetic penances.  After those Rishis had gone away, the son of Vinata, with voice obstructed by the bough in his beaks, asked his father Kasyapa saying, ’O illustrious one, where shall I throw this arm of the tree?  O illustrious one, indicate to me some region without human beings.’ 

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