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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.

SECTION CLXXXVIII

“Bhishma said, ’When I had formed this resolution, O king, a din of tumultuous voices arose in the sky.  And it said,—­O son of Kuru’s race, do not let off the Praswapa weapon!—­Notwithstanding this, I still aimed that weapon at Bhrigu’s descendant.  When I had aimed it, Narada addressed me, saying, ’Yonder, O Kauravya, stay the gods in the sky!  Even they are forbidding thee today!  Do not aim the Praswapa weapon!  Rama is an ascetic possessed of Brahma merit, and he is, again, thy preceptor!  Never, Kauravya, humiliate him.’  While Narada was telling me this, I beheld those eight utterers of Brahma stationed in the sky.  Smilingly, O king, they said unto me slowly,—­O chief of the Bharatas, do even what Narada sayeth.  Even that, O best of Bharata’s race, is highly beneficial to the world!’ I then withdrew that great weapon called Praswapa and invoked according to the ordinance the weapon called Brahma in the combat.  Beholding the Praswapa weapon withdrawn, O lion among kings, Rama was in great huff, and suddenly exclaimed, ’Wretch that I am, I am vanquished, O Bhishma!’ Then Jamadagni’s son behold before him his venerable father and his father’s fathers.  They stood surrounding him there, and addressed him in these words of consolation, ’O sire, never display such ’rashness again, the rashness, viz., of engaging in battle with Bhishma, or especially with any Kshatriya, O descendant of Bhrigu’s race, to fight is the duty of a Kshatriya!  Study (of the Vedas) and practice of vows are the highest wealth of Brahmanas!  For some reason, before ’this, thou hadst been ordered by us to take up weapons.  Thou hadst then perpetrated that terrible and unbecoming feat.  Let this battle with Bhishma be thy very last, for enough of it thou hadst already.  O thou of mighty arms, leave the combat.  Blessed be thou, let this be the very last instance of thy taking up the bow!  O invincible one, throw thy bow aside, and practice ascetic austerities, O thou of Bhrigu’s race!  Behold, Bhishma, the son of Santanu, is forbidden by all the gods!  They are endeavouring to pacify him, repeatedly saying,—­Desist from this battle!  Do not light with Rama who is thy preceptor.  It is not proper for thee, O perpetuator of Kuru’s race, to vanquish Rama in battle!  O son of Ganga, show this Brahmana every honour on the field of battle!  As regards thee, we are thy superiors and therefore forbid thee!  Bhishma is one of the foremost of Vasus!  O son, it is fortunate, that thou art still alive!  Santanu’s son by Ganga—­a celebrated Vasu as he is,—­how can he be defeated by thee?  Desist, therefore, O Bhargava!  That foremost of the Pandavas, Arjuna, the mighty son of Indra, hath been ordained by the Self-create to be the slayer of Bhishma!’

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