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.

“Sesha said, ’O divine Lord of all creatures, O bestower of boons, O lord of the Earth, lord of every created thing, lord of the universe, I will, even as thou sayest hold the Earth steady.  Therefore, O lord of all creatures, place her on my head.’

“Brahman said, ’O best of snakes, go underneath the Earth.  She will herself give thee a crevice to pass through.  And, O Sesha, by holding the Earth, thou shalt certainly do what is prized by me very greatly.’

“Sauti continued, ’Then the elder brother of the king of the snakes, entering a hole, passed to the other side of the Earth, and holding her, supported with his head that goddess with her belt of seas passing all round.’

“Brahman said, ’O Sesha, O best of snakes, thou art the god Dharma, because alone, with thy huge body, thou supportest the Earth with everything on her, even as I myself, or Valavit (Indra), can.’

“Sauti continued, ’The snake, Sesha, the lord Ananta, of great prowess, lives underneath the Earth, alone supporting the world at the command of Brahman.  And the illustrious Grandsire, the best of the immortals, then gave unto Ananta the bird of fair feathers, viz., the son of Vinata, for Ananta’s help.’”

So ends the thirty-sixth section in the Astika Parva of the Adi Parva.

SECTION XXXVII

(Astika Parva continued)

“Sauti said, ’That best of snakes, viz., Vasuki, hearing the curse of his mother, reflected how to render it abortive.  He held a consultation with all his brothers, Airavata and others, intent upon doing what they deemed best for themselves.’

“And Vasuki said, ’O ye sinless ones, the object of this curse is known to you.  It behoveth us to strive to neutralise it.  Remedies certainly exist for all curses, but no remedy can avail those cursed by their mother.  Hearing that this curse hath been uttered in the presence of the Immutable, the Infinite, and the True one, my heart trembleth.  Surely, our annihilation hath come.  Otherwise why should not the Immutable Lord prevent our mother while uttering the curse?  Therefore, let us consult today how we may secure the safety of the snakes.  Let us not waste time.  All of you are wise and discerning.  We will consult together and find out the means of deliverance as (did) the gods of yore to regain lost Agni who had concealed himself within a cave, so that Janamejaya’s sacrifice for the destruction of the snakes may not take place, and so that we may not meet with destruction.’

“Sauti continued, ’Thus addressed all the offspring of Kadru assembled together, and, wise in counsels, submitted their opinions to one another.  One party of the serpents said, ’We should assume the guise of superior Brahmanas, and beseech Janamejaya, saying, ’This (intended) sacrifice of yours ought not to take place.’  Other snakes thinking themselves wise, said, ’We should all become

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