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.

“Bhishma said, ’In this connection is cited the old narrative of the discourse between Janaka and Sulabha, O Bharata!  In days of yore there was a king of Mithila, of the name of Dharmadhyaja, of Janaka’s race.  He was devoted to the practices of the religion of Renunciation.  He was well conversant with the Vedas, with the scriptures on Emancipation, and with the scriptures bearing on his own duty as a king.  Subjugating his senses, he ruled his Earth.  Hearing of his good behaviour in the world, many men of wisdom, well-conversant with wisdom, O foremost of men, desired to imitate him.  ’In the same Satya Yuga, a woman of the name of Sulabha, belonging to the mendicant order, practised the duties of Yoga and wandered over the whole Earth.  In course of her wanderings over the Earth, Sulabha heard from many Dandis of different places that the ruler of Mithila was devoted to the religion of Emancipation.  Hearing this report about king Janaka and desirous of ascertaining whether it was true or not, Sulabha became desirous of having a personal interview with Janaka.  Abandoning, by her Yoga powers, her former form and features, Sulabha assumed the most faultless features and unrivalled beauty.  In the twinkling of an eye and with the speed of the quickest shaft, the fair-browed lady of eyes like lotus-petals repaired to the capital of the Videhas.  Arrived at the chief city of Mithila teeming with a large population, she adopted the guise of a mendicant and presented herself before the king.  The monarch, beholding, her delicate form, became filled with wonder and enquired who she was, whose she was, and whence she came.  Welcoming her, he assigned her an excellent seat, honoured her by offering water to wash her feet, and gratified her with excellent refreshments.  Refreshed duly and gratified with the rites of hospitality offered unto her, Sulabha, the female mendicant, urged the king, who was surrounded by his ministers and seated in the midst of learned scholars, (to declare himself in respect of his adherence to the religion of Emancipation).  Doubting whether Janaka had succeeded in attaining to Emancipation, by following the religion of Nivritti, Sulabha, endued with Yoga-power, entered the understanding of the king by her own understanding.  Restraining, by means of the rays of light that emanated from her own eyes, the rays issuing from the eyes of the king, the lady, desirous of ascertaining the truth, bound up king Janaka with Yoga bonds.[1677]’ That best of monarch, priding himself upon his own invincibleness and defeating the intentions of Sulabha seized her resolution with his own resolution.[1678] The king, in his subtile form, was without the royal umbrella and sceptre.  The lady Sulabha, in hers, was without the triple stick.  Both staying then in the same (gross) form, thus conversed with each other.  Listen to that conversation as it happened between the monarch and Sulabha.

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