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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.
advanced (for receiving the sage).  Meeting him, the king addressed that foremost of all persons conversant with duties, saying, ’Tell me, O revered one, the reason of thy coming.  Regard it as already accomplished.’  Thus questioned, that regenerate sage said unto Sudyumna, ’Do thou promise first that thou wilt achieve it.  It will then behove thee, after hearing me, to accomplish that promise.  O bull among men, I ate some fruits that had not been given me by my elder brother.  Do thou, O monarch, punish me for it without delay.’  Sudyumna answered, ’If the king be regarded as competent to wield the rod of chastisement, he should be regarded, O bull among Brahmanas, as equally competent to pardon.  Purified in respect of thy act, O thou of high vows, consider thyself as pardoned.  Tell me now what other wishes thou hast.  I shall certainly accomplish those commands of thine!’

“Vyasa continued, ’Thus honoured by the high-souled king, the regenerate sage Likhita, however, did not solicit him for any other favour.  Then that ruler of the earth caused the two hands of the high-souled Likhita to be cut off, whereupon the latter, bearing the punishment, went away.  Returning to his brother Sankha, Likhita, in great affection, said, ’It behoveth thee now to pardon this wretch that hath been duly punished (for what he did).’  Sankha said, I am not angry with thee, nor hast thou injured me, O foremost of all persons conversant with duties.  Thy virtue, however, had suffered a shock.  I have rescued thee from that plight.  Proceed without delay to the river Vahuda and gratify duly, with oblations of water, the gods, Rishis and the Pitris, and never again set thy heart on sin.’  Hearing these words of Sankha, Likhita performed his ablutions in the sacred stream and set about for commencing the water-rite.  Upon this, two hands, resembling two lotuses, appeared at the extremities of his stumps.  Filled with wonder he came back to his brother and showed him the two hands.  Sankha said unto him, ’All this has been accomplished by me through my penances.  Do not be surprised at it.  Providence hath been the instrument here.’  Likhita answered, ’O thou of great splendour, why didst thou not purify me at first, when, O best of regenerate ones, such was the energy of thy penances?’ Sankha, said, ’I should not have acted otherwise.  I am not thy chastiser.  The ruler (who has punished thee) has been himself purified, as also thyself, along with the Pitris!’

“Vyasa continued, ’That king, O eldest son of Pandu, became eminent by this act and obtained the highest success like the lord Daksha himself!  Even this is the duty of Kshatriyas, viz., the ruling of subjects.  Any other, O monarch, would be regarded as a wrong path for them.  Do not give way to grief.  O best of all persons conversant with duty, listen to the beneficial words of this thy brother.  Wielding the rod of chastisement, O king, is the duty of kings and not the shaving of the head.’”

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