The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 2,886 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3.


“Yudhishthira said, ’Amongst the diverse kinds of sacrifices, all of which, of course, are regarded to have but one object (viz., the cleansing of the heart or the glory of God), tell me, O grandsire, what that sacrifice is which has been ordained for the sake only of virtue and not for the acquisition of either heaven or wealth!’[1283]

“Bhishma said, ’In this connection I shall relate to thee the history, formerly recited by Narada, of a Brahmana who for performing sacrifices, lived according to the unchha mode.’

“Narada said, ’In one of the foremost of kingdoms that was distinguished again for virtue, there lived a Brahmana.  Devoted to penances and living according to the unchha mode, that Brahmana was earnestly engaged in adoring Vishnu in sacrifices.[1284] He had Syamaka for his food, as also Suryaparni and Suvarchala and other kinds of potherbs that were bitter and disagreeable to the taste.  In consequence, however, of his penances, all these tasted sweet.[1285] Abstaining from injuring any creature, and leading the life of a forest recluse, he attained to ascetic success.  With roots and fruits, O scorcher of foes, he used to adore Vishnu in sacrifices that were intended to confer heaven upon him.[1286] The Brahmana, whose name was Satya, had a wife named Pushkaradharini.  She was pure-minded, and had emaciated herself by the observance of many austere vows. (Herself having been of a benevolent disposition, and her husband being thus addicted to sacrifices that were cruel), she did not approve of the conduct of her lord.  Summoned, however, to take her seat by his side as his spouse (for the performance of a sacrifice), she feared to incur his curse and, therefore, comforted herself with his conduct.  The garments that invested her body consisted of the (cast off) plumes of peacocks.  Although unwilling, she still performed that sacrifice at the command of her lord who had become its Hotri.  In that forest, near to the Brahmana’s asylum, lived a neighbour of his, viz., the virtuous Parnada of Sukra’s race, having assumed the form of a deer.  He addressed that Brahmana, whose name was Satya, in articulate speech and said unto him these words, ’Thou wouldst be acting very improperly,[1287] if this sacrifice of thine were accomplished in such a manner as to be defective in mantras and other particulars of ritual.  I, therefore, ask thee to slay and cut me in pieces for making libations therewith on thy sacrificial fire.  Do this and becoming blameless ascend to heaven.’  Then the presiding goddess of the solar disc, viz., Savitri, came to that sacrifice in her own embodied form and insisted upon that Brahmana in doing what he desired by that deer to do.  Unto that goddess, however, who thus insisted, the Brahmana replied, saying, ’I shall not slay this deer who lives with me in this same neighbourhood.’[1288] Thus addressed by the Brahmana, the goddess Savitri

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The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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