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.

“The hawk then said, ’I am Indra, O virtuous king, and this pigeon is Agni, the carrier of the sacrificial clarified butter.  We had come unto thy sacrificial ground, desirous of testing thy merit.  Since thou hast cut off thy own flesh from thy body, thy glory shall be resplendent, and shall surpass that of all others in the world.  As long as men, O king, shall speak of thee, so long shall thy glory endure, and thou shalt inhabit the holy regions.’  Saying this to the king, Indra ascended to heaven.  And the virtuous king Usinara, after having filled heaven and earth with the merit of his pious deeds, ascended to heaven in a radiant shape.  Behold, O king, the residence of that noble-hearted monarch.  Here, O king, are seen holy sages and gods, together with virtuous and highsouled Brahmanas.”


“Lomasa said, ’See here, O lord of men, the sacred hermitage of Swetaketu, son of Uddalaka, whose fame as an expert in the sacred mantras is so widely spread on earth.  This hermitage is graced with cocoanut trees.  Here Swetaketu beheld the goddess Saraswati in her human shape, and spake unto her, saying, ’May I be endowed with the gift of speech!” In that yuga, Swetaketu, the son of Uddalaka, and Ashtavakra, the son of Kahoda, who stood to each other in the relation of uncle and nephew, were the best of those conversant with the sacred lore.  Those two Brahmanas, of matchless energy, who bore unto each other the relationship of uncle and nephew, went into the sacrificial ground of king Janaka and there defeated Vandin in a controversy.  Worship, O son of Kunti, with thy brothers, the sacred hermitage of him who had for his grandson Ashtavakra, who, even when a mere child, had caused Vandin to be drowned in a river, after having defeated him in a (literary) contest.’

“Yudhishthira said, Tell me, O Lomasa, all about the power of this man, who had in that way defeated Vandin.  Why was he born as Ashtavakra (crooked in eight parts in his body)?”

“Lomasa said, The sage Uddalaka had a disciple named Kahoda of subdued passions, and entirely devoted to the service of his preceptor and who had continued his studies long.  The Brahmana had served his tutor long, and his preceptor, recognising his service, gave him his own daughter, Sujata, in marriage, as well as a mastery over the Shastras.  And she became with child, radiant as fire.  And the embryo addressed his father while employed in reading, ’O father, thou hast been reading the whole night, but (of all that) thy reading doth not seem to me correct.  Even in my fetal state I have, by thy favour, become versed in the Shastras and the Vedas with their several branches.  I say, O father, that what proceeds from thy mouth, is not correct.’  Thus insulted in the presence of his disciples, the great sage in anger cursed his child in the womb, saying, ’Because thou speakest thus even while in the womb, therefore

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