The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,319 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4.
blessed one, and I shall regard myself amply rewarded.—­Thus addressed by her, the regenerate Rishi, O Yudhishthira, expressed his resolution to comply with her request, saying,—­Verily, I shall dwell with thee in this place as long as I can venture to do so.—­The Rishi then, beholding that lady afflicted with decrepitude, began to reflect earnestly on the matter.  He seemed to be even tortured by his thoughts.  The eyes of that foremost of Brahmanas failed to derive any delight from those parts of that lady’s person whereupon they were cast.  On the other hand, his glances seemed to be dispelled by the ugliness of those particular limbs.—­This lady is certainly the goddess of this palace.  Has she been made ugly through some curse.  It is not proper that I should hastily ascertain the cause of this.—­Reflecting upon this in the secrecy of his heart, and curious to know the reason, the Rishi passed the rest of that day in an anxious state.  The lady then addressed him, saying,—­O illustrious one, behold the aspect of the Sun reddened by the evening clouds.  What service shall I do unto thee.—­The Rishi addressed her, saying,—.’Fetch water for my ablutions.  Having bathed, I shall say my evening prayers, restraining my tongue and the senses.’”

SECTION XX

“Bhishma said, ’Thus commanded, the lady said,—­Be it so.  She then brought oil (for rubbing the Rishi’s body therewith) and a piece of cloth for his wear during the ablutions.  Permitted by the ascetic, she rubbed every part of his body with the fragrant oil she had brought for him.  Gently was the Rishi rubbed, and when the process of rubbing was over, he proceeded to the room set apart for the performance of ablutions.  There he sat upon a new and excellent seat of great splendour.[198] After the Rishi had taken his seat upon it, the old lady began to wash his person with her own soft hands whose touch was exceedingly agreeable.  One after another in due order, the lady rendered the most agreeable services to the Rishi in the matter of his ablutions.  Between the lukewarm water with which he was washed, and the soft hands that were employed in washing him, the Rishi of rigid vows failed to understand that the whole night had passed away in the process.  Rising from the bath the Rishi became highly surprised.  He saw the Sun risen above the horizon on the East.  He was amazed at this and asked himself,—­Was it really so or was it an error of the understanding?—­The Rishi then duly worshipped the god of a thousand rays.  This done, he asked the lady as to what he should do.  The old lady prepared some food for the Rishi that was as delicious to the taste as Amrita itself.  In consequence of the delicious character of that food the Rishi could not take much.  In taking that little, however, the day passed away and evening came.  The old lady then asked the Rishi to go to bed and sleep.  An excellent bed was assigned to the Rishi and another was occupied by herself.  The Rishi and the old lady occupied different beds at first but when it was midnight, the lady left her own bed for coming to that of the Rishi.’

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The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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