The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 2 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 2,393 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 2.
any means be weaned off (from that course of action).  She then went unto Vatsabhumi resorted to by the Siddhas and Charanas, and which was the retreat of high-souled ascetics of pious deeds.  Bathing frequently in the sacred waters of that retreat, the princess of Kasi roamed about according to her will.  Proceeding next (one after another) to the asylum, O king, of Narada, and to the auspicious asylum of Uluka and to that of Chyavana, and to the spot sacred to Brahmana, and to Prayaga the sacrificial platform of the gods, and to that forest sacred to the gods, and to Bhogawati, and, O monarch, to the asylum of Kusika’s son (Viswamitra), and to the asylum of Mandavya, and also to the asylum of Dwilipa, and to Ramhrada, and, O Kaurava, to the asylum of Garga, the princess of Kasi, O king, performed ablutions in the sacred waters of all these, observing all the while the most difficult of vows.  One day, my mother from the waters asked her, O Kauravya, saying, ’O blessed lady, for what dost thou afflict thyself so?  Tell me the truth!’ Thus asked, O monarch, that faultless damsel answered her with joined hands, saying, ’O thou of handsome eyes, Rama hath been vanquished in battle by Bhishma.  What other (Kshatriya) king then would venture to defeat the latter when ready with his weapons?  As regards myself, I am practising the severest penances for the destruction of Bhishma.  I wander over the earth, O goddess, so that I may slay that king!  In every thing I do, O goddess, even this is the great end of my vows!’ Hearing these words of hers, the Ocean-going (river Ganga) replied unto her, saying, ’O lady, thou art acting crookedly!  O weak girl, this wish of thine thou shalt not be able to achieve, O faultless one? if, O princess of Kasi, thou observest these vows for destruction of Bhishma, and if thou takest leave of thy body while observing them, thou shalt (in thy next birth) become a river, crooked in her course and of water only during the rains!  All the bathing places along thy course will be difficult of approach, and filled only during the rains, thou shalt be dry for eight months (during the year)!  Full of terrible alligators, and creatures of frightful mien thou shalt inspire fear in all creatures!  Addressing her thus, O king, my mother, that highly-blessed lady, in seeming smiles, dismissed the princess of Kasi.  That highly fair damsel then once more began to practise vows, foregoing all food, aye, even water, sometimes for eight months and sometimes for ten months!  And the daughter of the king of Kasi, wandering hither and thither for her passionate desire of tirthas, once more came back, O Kauravya, to Vatsabhumi.  And it is there, O Bharata, that she is known to have become a river, filled only during the rainy seasons, abounding with crocodiles, crooked in her course, and destitute of easy access to her water.  And, O king, in consequence of her ascetic merit only half her body became such a river in Vatsabhumi, while with the other half, she remained a maiden as before!’

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The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 2 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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