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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.

“Vaisampayana said, ’Hearing these words uttered by the high-souled Kesava, all the persons who sat in that assembly remained silent, their hair standing on their ends.  And all the kings thought within themselves that there was no man who could dare reply to that speech.  And seeing that all the kings sat silent, Jamadagni’s son (addressing Duryodhana) then said these words in that assembly of Kurus, ’Listen confidingly to my words illustrated by an example, and seek thy own good if my speech recommends itself to thee.  There was a king of yore named Dambhodbhava, who was the Head of the earth.  It hath been heard by us that his sovereignty extended over the whole world.  And that mighty car-warrior, rising every morning after the night had passed away, called the Brahmanas and the Kshatriyas unto himself and asked them, saying, ’Be he a Sudra, a Vaisya, a Kshatriya, or a Brahmana, is there any one who is superior or even equal to me in battle?’ And uttering these words that king wandered over the earth, intoxicated with pride and thinking of nothing else.  And it so happened that certain Brahmanas endued with high souls, conversant with the Vedas, and fearing nothing on earth, counselled the monarch, repeatedly boasting of his prowess, to curb his pride.  But though forbidden by those Brahmanas to boast in that way, the king continued to ask the Brahmanas as before the same question day after day.  And some high-souled Brahmanas then, endued with ascetic merit and acquainted with the proofs furnished by the Vedas, were inflamed with anger, and addressing that proud and boastful king intoxicated with prosperity, told him, ’There are two persons who are foremost of all men and who are always victorious in battle.  Thou, O king, wilt by no means be equal to them if thou seekest an encounter with any one of them.’  And thus addressed by them, the king asked those Brahmanas, saying, ’Where may those two heroes be found?  In what race are they born?  What feats have they achieved?  And who are they?  And the Brahmanas answered him, saying, It had been heard by us that those two persons are ascetics called Nara and Narayana.  They have both taken their births in the race of man.  Go and fight with them, O king.  It is that illustrious pair, Nara and Narayana, who are now practising the severest of penances in some hidden region of the mountains of Gandhamadana.’  Hearing those words of the Brahmanas, that king speedily mustered his large army consisting of six kinds of forces,[7] and unable to bear their reputation, marched to the spot where those unvanquished ascetics were, and arrived at the rugged and frightful mountains of Gandhamadana.  He began to search after those Rishis, and at last, came upon them concealed within the woods.  And beholding those two best of persons emaciated with hunger and thirst, their veins swollen and visible, and themselves much afflicted with cold winds, and the hot rays of the sun, he approached them, and touching

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