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.

“Somaka then spoke thus, ’Fie on having only a single son!  I had rather be a sonless man.  Considering how constantly liable to disease are all organized beings, to have an only son is but a trouble.  O Brahmana!  O my lord!  With the view that I might have many sons born to me, this century of wives hath been wedded by me, after inspection, and after I had satisfied myself that they would prove suitable to me.  But issue they have none.  Having tried every means, and put forth great efforts, they have borne this single son, Jantu.  What grief can be greater than this?  O most excellent of the twice-born caste!  I am grown old in years and so are my wives too.  And yet this only son is like the breath of their nostrils, and so he is to me also.  But is there any ceremony, by celebrating which one may get a hundred sons? (And if there is one such), tell me whether it is great or small, and easy or difficult to perform.’

“The family priest said, ’There is a ceremony by virtue of which a man may get a century of sons.  If thou art able to perform it, O Somaka, then I shall explain it to thee.’

“Somaka said, ’Whether it be a good or an evil deed, the ceremony by which a hundred sons may be born, may be taken by thee as already performed.  Let thy blessed self explain it to me.’

“The family priest thereupon said, ’O king!  Let me set on foot a sacrifice and thou must sacrifice thy son, Jantu in it.  Then on no distant date, a century of handsome sons will be born to thee.  When Jantu’s fat will be put into the fire as an offering to the gods, the mothers will take a smell of that smoke, and bring forth a number of sons, valourous and strong.  And Jantu also will once more be born as a self-begotten son of thine in that very (mother); and on his back there will appear a mark of gold.’”


“Somaka said, ’O Brahmana! whatever is to be performed—­do precisely as it may be necessary.  As I am desirous of having a number of sons, I shall do all that may be prescribed by thee.”

“Lomasa said, “Then the priest officiated in the sacrifice in which Jantu was offered as the victim.  But the mothers is in pity forcibly snatched the son and took him away.  And they cried, ‘We are undone!’ And they were smitten with torturing grief and they caught hold of Jantu by his right hand, and wept in a piteous way.  But the officiating priest held the boy by the right hand and pulled him.  And like female ospreys they screamed in agony! but the priest dragged the son killed him and made a burnt offering of his fat in the proper form.  And, O delight of the race of Kuru!  While the fat was being made an offering of the agonised mothers smelt its smell, and of a sudden fell to the ground (and swooned away.) And then all those lovely women became with child, and O lord of men!  O scion of Bharata’s race!  When ten months had passed a full century

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