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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.
O wicked wretch, thou hast done what hath never been done by anybody,—­therefore from this day, thou shalt remain a woman and she shall remain a man!’ At these words of his, all the Yakshas began to soften Vaisravana for the sake of Sthunakarna repeatedly saying, ‘Set a limit to thy curse!’ The high-souled lord of the Yakshas then said unto all these Yakshas that followed him, from desire of setting a limit to his curse, these words, viz.,—­After Sikhandin’s death, ye Yakshas, this one will regain his own form!  Therefore, let this high-souled Yaksha Sthuna be freed from his anxiety!  Having said this, the illustrious and divine king of the Yakshas, receiving due worship, departed with all his followers who were capable of traversing a great distance within the shortest space of time.  And Sthuna, with that curse pronounced on him, continued to live there.  And when the time came, Sikhandin without losing a moment came unto that wanderer of the night.  And approaching his presence he said, It have come to thee, O holy one!’ Sthuna then repeatedly said unto him, ’I am pleased with thee!’ Indeed, beholding that prince return to him without guile, Sthuna told Sikhandin everything that had happened.  Indeed, the Yaksha said, ’O son of a king, for thee I have been cursed by Vaisravana.  Go now, and live happily amongst men as thou choosest.  Thy coming here and the arrival of Pulastya’s son were, I think, both ordained from beforehand.  All this was incapable of being prevented!’

“Bhishma continued, ’Thus addressed by the Kaksha, Sthuna, Sikhandin, O Bharata, came to his city, filled with great joy.  And he worshipped with diverse scents and garlands of flower and costly presents persons of the regenerate class, deities, big trees and crossways.  And Drupada, the ruler of the Panchalas, along with his son Sikhandin whose wishes had been crowned with success, and with also his kinsmen, became exceedingly glad.  And the king then, O bull of Kuru’s race, gave his son, Sikhandin, who had been a woman, as a pupil, O monarch, to Drona.  An prince Sikhandin obtained, along with yourselves, the whole science of arms with its four divisions.  And (his brother) Dhrishtadyumna of Prishata’s race also obtained the same.  Indeed, all this way represented unto me, O sire, by the spies, disguised as idiots and as persons without the senses of vision, and hearing whom I had set upon Drupada.  It is thus, O king, that that best of Rathas.  Sikhandin, the son of Drupada, having first been born a female, subsequently became a person of the other sex.  And it was the eldest daughter of the ruler of Kasi, celebrated by the name of Amva, who was, O bull of Bharata’s race, born in Drupada’s line as Sikhandin.  If he approacheth me bow in hand and desirous of fight, I will not look at him even for a moment nor smite him, O thou of unfading glory!  Even—­this is my vow, known over all the world, viz., that I will not, O son of Kuru’s race, shoot weapons upon a woman,

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