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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 XLI

“Uttara said, ’It hath been heard by us that a corpse is tied in this tree.  How can I, therefore, being a prince by birth, touch it with my hands?  Born in the Kshatriya order, and the son of a great king, and always observant of mantras and vows, it is not becoming of me to touch it.  Why shouldst thou, O Vrihannala, make me a polluted and unclean bearer of corpses, by compelling me to come in contact with a corpse?’

“Vrihannala said, ’Thou shalt, O king of kings, remain clean and unpolluted.  Do not fear, there are only bows in this tree and not corpses.  Heir to the king of the Matsyas, and born in a noble family, why should I, O prince, make thee do such a reproachable deed?’

“Vaisampayana said, ’Thus addressed by Partha, Virata’s son, decked in ear-rings, alighted from the car, and climbed up that Sami tree reluctantly.  And staying on the car, Dhananjaya, that slayer of enemies, said, unto him, ’Speedily bring thou down those bows from the top of the tree.  And cutting off their wrappings first and then the ropes with which they were tied, the prince beheld the Gandiva there along with four other bows.  And as they were united, the splendour of those bows radiant as the sun, began to shine with great effulgence like unto that of the planets about the time of their rising.  And beholding the forms of those bows, so like unto sighing snakes, he become afflicted with fear and in a moment the bristles of his body stood on their ends.  And touching those large bows of great splendour, Virata’s son, O king, thus spake unto Arjuna!’”

SECTION XLII

“Uttara said, ’To what warrior of fame doth this excellent bow belong, on which are a hundred golden bosses and which hath such radiant ends?  Whose is this excellent bow of good sides and easy hold, on the staff of which shine golden elephants of such brightness?  Whose is this excellent bow, adorned with three scores of Indragoapkas [43] of pure gold, placed on the back of the staff at proper intervals?  Whose is this excellent bow, furnished with three golden suns of great effulgence, blazing forth with such brilliancy?  Whose is this beautiful bow which is variegated with gold and gems, and on which are golden insects set with beautiful stones?  Whose are these arrows furnished with wing around, numbering a thousand, having golden heads, and cased in golden quivers?  Who owneth these large shafts, so thick, furnished with vulturine wings whetted on stone, yellowish in hue, sharp-pointed, well-tempered, and entirely made of iron?  Whose is this sable quiver, [44] bearing five images of tigers, which holdeth shafts intermixed with boar-eared arrows altogether numbering ten?  Whose are these seven hundred arrows, long and thick, capable of drinking (the enemy’s) blood, and looking like the crescent-shaped moon? [45] Whose are these gold-crested arrows whetted on

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