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.
thy merit decreaseth (even by this act of thine).  Dost thou not pay heed unto the established order of nature?  Whether belonging to the human race, or to the lower orders, all pay regard to virtue,—­more specially the Rakshasas.  In the first instance, they knew virtue better than others.  Having considered all these, thou ought to adhere to virtue.  O Rakshasa, the gods, the pitris, the Siddhas, the rishis, the Gandharvas, the brutes and even the worms and ants depend for their lives on men; and thou too liveth through that agency.  If prosperity attendeth the human race, thy race also prospereth; and if calamities befall the former, even the celestials suffer grief.  Being gratified by offerings, do the gods thrive.  O Rakshasa, we are the guardians, governors and preceptors of kingdoms.  If kingdoms become unprotected, whence can proceed prosperity and happiness?  Unless there be offence, a Rakshasa should not violate a king.  O man-eating one, we have committed no wrong, ever so little.  Living on vighasa, we serve the gods and others to the best of our power.  And we are never intent upon bowing down to our superiors and Brahmanas.  A friend, and one confiding, and he whose food hath been partaken of, and he that hath afforded shelter, should never be injured.  Thou hast lived in our place happily, being duly honoured.  And, O evil-minded one, having partaken of our food, how canst thou carry us off?  And as thy acts are so improper and as thou hast grown in age without deriving any benefit and as thy propensities are evil, so thou deservest to die for nothing, and for nothing wilt thou die to-day.  And if thou beest really evil-disposed and devoid of all virtue, do thou render us back our weapons and ravish Draupadi after fight.  But if through stupidity thou must do this deed, then in the world thou wilt only reap demerit and infamy O Rakshasa, by doing violence to this female of the human race, thou hast drunk poison, after having shaken the vessel.’  Thereupon, Yudhishthira made himself ponderous to the Rakshasa.  And being oppressed with the weight, he could not proceed rapidly as before.  Then addressing Draupadi, Nakula and Sahadeva, Yudhishthira said, ’Do ye not entertain any fear of this wretched Rakshasa, I have checked his speed.  The mighty-armed son of the Wind-god may not be far away; and on Bhima coming up at the next moment, the Rakshasa will not live.’  O king, staring at the Rakshasa bereft of sense, Sahadeva addressed Yudhishthira, the son of Kunti, saying, ’What can be more meritorious for a Kshatriya than to fall in fight, or defeat a foe?  O repressor of foes, we will fight and either this one will slay us, or we shall slay him, O mighty-armed one.  Verily this is the place and time.  O king.  And, O thou of unfailing prowess, the time hath come for the display of our Kshatriya virtue.  It behoveth us to attain heaven either by gaining victory or being slain.  If the sun sets to-day, the Rakshasa living yet, O Bharata, I will not any more say that I am a Kshatriya.  Ho!  Ho!  Rakshasa. say!  I am Pandu’s son, Sahadeva.  Either, after having killed me, carry off this lady, or being slain, lie senseless here.’

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