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.
in the least and without manifesting any sign of pain.  When at last Karna’s blood touched the body of Rama of great energy, the latter awoke and said these words in fear, ’Alas, I have been made impure!  What is this that thou art doing, Tell me, casting off all fear, what is the truth of this matter!’ Then Karna informed him of that worm’s bite.  Rama saw that worm which resembled a hog in shape.  It had eight feet and very keen teeth, and it was covered with bristles that were all pointed like needles.  Called by the name of Alarka, its limbs were then shrunk (with fear).  As soon as Rama cast his, eyes on it, the worm gave up its life-breath, melting in that blood which it had drawn.  All this seemed wonderful.  Then in the welkin was seen a Rakshasa of terrible form, dark in hue, of a red neck, capable of assuming any form at wilt, and staying on the clouds,—­his object fulfilled, the Rakshasa, with joined hands, addressed Rama, saying, ’O best of ascetics, thou hast rescued me from this hell!  Blessed be thou, I adore thee, thou hast done me good!’ Possessed of great energy, the mighty-armed son of Jamadagni said unto him, ’Who art thou?  And why also didst thou fall into hell?  Tell me all about it.’  He answered, ’Formerly I was a great Asura of the name of Dansa.  In the Krita period, O sire, I was of the same age with Bhrigu.  I ravished the dearly-loved spouse of that sage.  Through his curse I felt down on the earth in the form of a worm.  In anger thy ancestors said unto me, ’Subsisting on urine and phlegm, O wretch, thou shalt lead a life of hell.’  I then besought him, saying, ’When, O Brahmana, shall this curse end?’ Bhrigu replied unto me, saying.  ’This curse shall end through Rama of my race.  It was for this that I had obtained such a course of life like one of uncleansed soul.  O righteous one, by thee, however, I have been rescued from that sinful life.’  Having said these words, the great Asura, bending his head unto Rama went away.  Then Rama wrathfully addressed Karna, saying, ’O fool, no Brahmana could endure such agony.  Thy patience is like that of a Kshatriya.  Tell me the truth, without fear.’  Thus asked, Karna, fearing to be cursed, and seeking to gratify him, said these words, ’O thou of Bhrigu’s race, know me for a Suta, a race that has sprung from the intermixture of Brahmanas with Kshatriyas.  People call me Karna the son of Radha.  O thou of Bhrigu’s race, be gratified with my poor self that has acted from the desire of obtaining weapons.  There is no doubt in this that a reverend preceptor in the Vedas and other branches of knowledge is one’s father.  It was for this that I introduced myself to thee as a person of thy own race.’  Unto the cheerless and trembling Karna, prostrated with joined hands upon earth, that foremost one of Bhrigu’s race, smiling though filled with wrath, answered, ’Since thou hast, from avarice of weapons, behaved here with falsehood, therefore, O wretch, this Brahma weapon shalt not dwell in thy remembrance[2]. 
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The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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