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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,984 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 2.
where the king of the gods was.  And having put his offerings, O king, he said to the Fire, ‘Search out Indra.’  And there upon that revered god, the eater of burnt offerings, assumed of his own accord a wonderful feminine form and vanished from sight at that very spot.  And endued with speed of the mind, he searched everywhere, mountains and forests, earth and sky, and came back to Vrihaspati within the twinkling of the eye.  And Agni said, Vrihaspati, nowhere in these places do I find the king of the gods.  The waters alone remain to be searched.  I am always backward in entering the waters.  I have no ingress therein.  O Brahmana, what I am to do for thee.’  The preceptor of the gods then said to him, ’O illustrious god, do thou enter the water.’

“Agni said, ’I cannot enter the water.  Therein it is extinction that awaits me.  I place myself in thy hand, O thou of great effulgence.  Mayst thou fare well!  Fire rose from water, the military caste rose from the priestly caste; and iron had its origin in stone.  The power of these which can penetrate all other things, hath no operation upon the sources from which they spring.’”

SECTION XVI

“Vrihaspati said, ’Thou art the mouth, O Agni, of all the gods.  Thou art the carrier of sacred offerings.  Thou, like a witness, hast access to the inner souls of all creatures.  The poets call thee single, and again three-fold.  O eater of burnt offerings, abandoned by thee the Universe would forthwith cease to be.  The Brahmanas by bowing to thee, win with their wives and sons an eternal region, the reward of their own meritorious deeds.  O Agni, it is thou who art the bearer of sacred offerings.  Thou, O Agni, art thyself the best offering.  In a sacrificial ceremony of the supreme order, it is thee that they worship with incessant gifts and offerings.  O bearer of offerings, having created the three worlds, thou when the hour cometh, consumeth them in thy unkindled form.  Thou art the mother of the whole Universe; and thou again, O Agni, art its termination.  The wise call thee identical with the clouds and with the lightning; flames issuing from thee, support all creatures.  All the waters are deposited in thee; so is this entire world.  To thee, O purifier, nothing is unknown in the three worlds.  Every body taketh kindly to his progenitor; do thou enter the waters without fear.  I shall render thee strong with the eternal hymns of the Veda.  Thus glorified, the bearer of burnt offerings, that best of poets, well-pleased, spoke laudable words to Vrihaspati.  And he said, ’I shall show Indra to thee.  This I tell thee for truth.’

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