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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.
which was sung (by the preceptor of the Daityas) in days of old.  Listen, O monarch, with undivided attention to the course of conduct that was followed by the Daitya Vritra after he became divested of all his prosperity.  Depending only upon his intelligence, he did not indulge in sorrow, in the midst of his enemies, although he was deprived of sovereignty, O Bharata!  Unto Vritra, when in days of old he was reft of sovereignty, (his preceptor) Usanas said, ’I hope, O Danava, that in consequence of thy defeat thou dost not cherish any grief?’

“Vritra said, ’Without doubt, having understood, by the aid of truth and penances, the advent and departure of all living creatures, I have ceased to indulge in either grief or joy.  Urged by Time creatures sink helplessly in hell.  Some again, the sages say, go to heaven.  All these pass their time in contentment.  Passing their allotted periods in heaven and hell, and with some portion of their merits and demerits unexhausted (by enjoyment and suffering), they repeatedly take birth, impelled by Time.  Chained by the bonds of Desire, creatures pass through myriads of intermediate life and fall helplessly into hell.[1347] I have seen that creatures come and go even thus.  The lesson inculcated in the Scriptures is that one’s acquisitions correspond with one’s acts.[1348] Creatures take birth as men or as intermediate animals or as gods and go to hell.  Having acted in lives, that are past in such a way as to deserve them, all creatures, subject to the ordinances of the Destroyer, meet with happiness and misery, the agreeable and the disagreeable.  Having enjoyed the measure of weal or woe that corresponds with their acts, creatures always come back by the old path,[1349] which is measured by the measure of acts.’  Then the illustrious Usanas addressed the Asura Vritra who was thus talking of the highest refuge of the creation, saying, ’O intelligent Daitya, why, O child, dost thou utter such foolish rhapsodies?’

“Vritra said, ’The severe penances which I underwent from greed of victory are well-known to thee as also to other sages.  Appropriating diverse scents and diverse kinds of tastes that other creatures had for enjoying, I swelled up with my own energy, afflicting the three worlds.  Decked with myriads of effulgent rays I used to rove through the skies (on my celestial car), incapable of being defeated by any creature and fearing none.  I achieved great prosperity through my penances and lost it again through my own acts.  Relying on my fortitude, however, I do not grieve for this change.  Desirous (in days of yore) of fighting the great Indra, the high-souled ruler of the heavens, I beheld in that battle the illustrious Hari, the puissant Narayana.[1350] He who is called Vaikuntha, Purusha, Ananta, Sukla, Vishnu, Sanatana, Munjakesa, Harismasru, and the Grandsire of all creatures.[1351] Without doubt, there is still a remnant (to be enjoyed by me) of the rewards attaching to that penance represented by a sight of the great

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