The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 2,413 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3.
Moved by the desire of doing good to all living creatures, she stood perfectly motionless there like a piece of wood.  Proceeding thence to the summit of Himavat where the deities had performed their great sacrifice, she stood there for another hundred billions of years, supporting her weight upon only the toes of her feet with the object of gratifying the Grandsire with such an act of austerity.  Wending thither, the Creator and Destroyer of the universe again addressed her saying, ’Upon what art thou engaged, O daughter?  Accomplish those words of mine.’  Addressing the divine Grandsire, the maiden once more said, ’I am unable to cut off living creatures, O god!  I seek to gratify thee (so that I may be excused of this behest).’  Frightened at the prospect of demerit she prayed the Grandsire for being excused of obedience to his command, the Grandsire silenced her, and once more addressed her, saying, ’No demerit will accrue, O Death!  Do thou, O auspicious maiden, set thyself to the task of destroying living creatures.  That which I have uttered, O amiable girl, cannot certainly be falsified.  Eternal righteousness shall now take refuge in thee.  Myself and all the deities shall always be employed in seeking thy good.  This other wish that is in thy heart I grant thee.  Living creatures shall be afflicted by disease, and (dying) shall cast the blame on thee.  Thou shalt become a male in all male beings, a female in all female beings, and a eunuch in all those that are of the third sex.[1114] Thus addressed by Brahman, O king, the maiden at last said, with joined hands unto that high-souled and undeteriorating lord of all the deities, these words, ’I am unable to obey thy command.’  The great God, without relenting, again, said unto her, ’O Death, do thou kill men.  I shall so ordain that thou shalt not incur any demerit by doing this, O auspicious lady!  Those tear drops that I see fallen from thy eyes, and that thou still boldest in thy joined hands, shall take the form of terrible diseases and even they shall destroy men when their hours come.  When the end comes of living creatures, thou shalt despatch Desire and Wrath together against them.  Immeasurable merit shall be thine.  Thou shalt not incur iniquity, being thyself perfectly equal in thy behaviour.[1115] By doing this thou wilt only observe righteousness instead of sinking thyself into iniquity.  Do thou, therefore, set thy heart upon the task at hand, and addressing Desire and Wrath begin to slay all living creatures.’  Thus addressed, that lady, called by the name of Death, became afraid of Brahman’s curse and answered him, saying, ‘Yes!’ From that time she began to despatch Desire and Wrath as the last hours of living creatures and through their agency to put a stop to their life-breaths.  Those tears that Death had shed are the diseases by which the bodies of men become afflicted.  At the destruction, therefore, of living creatures, one should not, understanding, with the aid of the intelligence (to what cause such
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The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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