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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 2,413 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3.
to cut off dear sons and loved friends and brothers and mothers and fathers.  If these die (through my act), their surviving relatives will surely curse me.  I am filled with fear at the prospect of this.[1111] The tears of the sorrow-stricken survivors will burn me for eternity.  I am very much afraid of them (whose relatives I shall have to cut off).  I seek thy protection.  All sinful creatures (slain by me) will have to sink into the infernal regions.  I seek to gratify thee, O boon-giving god!  Extend to me thy grace, O puissant lord!  I seek the gratification of this wish, O Grandsire, of all the worlds.  O foremost of all the gods, I seek, through thy grace, even this object, viz., permission to undergo severe austerities.’

“The Grandsire said, ’O Death, thou hast been intended by me for the destruction of all creatures.  Go, and set thyself to the task of slaying all.  Do not reflect (upon the propriety or otherwise of this act).  This must certainly be.  It cannot be otherwise.  O sinless one, O lady of faultless limbs, do thou accomplish the behest I have uttered.’  Thus addressed, O thou of Mighty arms, the lady called Death, O conqueror of hostile cities, spoke not a word, but humbly stood there with her eyes upturned towards the puissant Lord of all creatures.  Brahman addressed her repeatedly, but the lady seemed to be herself deprived of life.  Beholding her thus, the god of gods, that lord of lords, became silent.  Indeed, the Self-born, by an effort of his will, became gratified.  Smiling, the lord of all the worlds then cast his eyes on the universe.  It has been heard by us that when that unconquered and illustrious lord subdued his wrath, the lady (called Death) went away from his side.  Leaving Brahman’s side without having promised to accomplish the destruction of living creatures, Death quickly proceeded, O king, to the sacred spot known by the name of Dhenuka.  There the goddess practised the severest austerities for five and ten billions of years, all the while standing upon one foot.[1112] After she practised such exceedingly severe austerities in that place, Brahman of great energy once more said unto her, ‘Do thou accomplish my behest, O Death!’ Disregarding this command, the lady once more practised penances standing upon one foot for twenty billions of years, O giver of honours!  And once more, O son, she led a life in the woods with the deer for another long period consisting of ten thousand billions of years.[1113] And once, O foremost of men, she passed twice ten thousand years, living upon air only as her sustenance.  Once again, O monarch, she observed the excellent vow of silence for eight thousand years, passing the whole time in water.  Then that maiden, O best of kings, went to the river Kausiki.  There she began to pass her days in the observance of another vow, living the while upon only water and air.  After this, O monarch, the blessed maiden proceeded to the Ganges and thence to the mountains of Meru. 

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