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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.
business of thine can I accomplish?  Seek the protection of Bhishma himself!  Thou hast no other refuge now!  Shooting mighty weapons Bhishma hath vanquished me!’ Having said this, the high-souled Rama sighed and remained silent.  That maiden then addressed him, saying, ’O holy one, it is even so as thy holy self hath said!  This Bhishma of great intelligence is incapable of being vanquished in battle by even the gods!  Thou hast done my business to the best of thy exertion and power.  Thou hast displayed in this battle energy incapable of being baffled and weapons also of diverse kinds.  Thou hast yet been unable to obtain any advantage over Bhishma in combat.  As regards myself, I will not go a second time to Bhishma.  I will, however, O perpetuator of Bhrigu’s race, go thither, O thou endued with wealth of asceticism, where I may (obtain the means to) myself slay Bhishma in battle!’ Having said the words, that maiden went away, with eyes agitated with wrath, and thinking to compass my death, she firmly resolved to devote herself to asceticism.  Then that foremost one of Bhrigu’s race, accompanied by those ascetics, bidding me farewell, departed, O Bharata, for the mountains whence he had come.  I also, ascending my car, and praised by the Brahmanas, entered our city and represented, everything unto my mother Satyavati, everything that had transpired, and she, O great king, uttered benedictions on me.  I then appointed persons endued with intelligence to ascertain the doings of that maiden.  Devoted to the good of myself—­their well-wisher, those spies of mine, with great application brought to me accounts of her course of action, her words and actions, from day to day.  When that maiden went to the woods, resolved on ascetic austerities, even then I became melancholy, and afflicted with pain, I lost my heart’s tenor.  Except one acquainted with Brahma and observant of vows, that are praiseworthy owing to the austerities they involve, no Kshatriya hath ever by his prowess, vanquished me in battle!  I then, O king, humbly represented to Narada as also to Vyasa all that the maiden did.  They both told me, ’O Bhishma, do not give way to sorrow on account of the daughter of Kasi.  Who is there that would venture to baffle destiny by individual exertion?’ Meanwhile, O great king, that maiden, entering a cluster of retreats practised austerities, that were beyond human powers (of endurance).  Without food, emaciated, dry, with matted-locks and begrimed with filth, for six months she lived on air only, and stood unmoved like a street-post.  And that lady, possessed of wealth of asceticism, foregoing all food in consequence of the fast she kept, passed a whole year after this, standing in the waters of the Yamuna.  Endued with great wrath, she passed the next whole year standing on her front toes and having eaten only one fallen leaf (of a tree).  And thus for twelve years, she made the heavens hot by her austerities.  And though dissuaded by her relatives, she could not by
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