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.

“Yudhishthira said, ’O thou of great wisdom, a doubt I have that is very great and that is as vast as the ocean itself.  Listen to it, O mighty-armed one and having learnt what it is, it behoves thee to explain it unto me.  I have a great curiosity with respect to Jamadagni’s son, O lord, viz., Rama, that foremost of all righteous persons.  It behoveth thee to gratify that curiosity.  How was Rama born who was endued with prowess incapable of being baffled?  He belonged by birth to a race of regenerate Rishis.  How did he become a follower of Kshatriya practices?  Do thou, then, O king, recite to me in detail the circumstances of Rama’s birth.  How also did a son of the race of Kusika who was Kshatriya become a Brahmana?  Great, without doubt, was the puissance of the high-souled Rama, O chief of men, as also of Viswamitra.  Why did the grandson of Richika instead of his son become a Kshatriya in conduct?  Why also did the grandson of Kusika and not his son become a Brahmana?  Why did such untoward incidents overtake the grandsons of both, instead of their sons?  It behoveth thee to explain the truth in respect of these circumstances.’

“Bhishma said, ’In this connection is cited an old history of the discourse between Chyavana and Kusika, O Bharata!  Endued with great intelligence, Chyavana of Bhrigu’s race, that best of ascetics beheld (with his spiritual eye) the stain that would affect his own race (in consequence of some descendant of his becoming wedded to Kshatriya practice).  Reflecting upon the merits and faults of that incident, as also its strength and weakness, Chyavana endued with wealth of asceticism became desirous of consuming the race of the Kusikas (for it was from that race that the stain of Kshatriya practices would, he knew, affect his own race).  Repairing then to the presence of king Kusika, Chyavana said unto him, ’O sinless one, the desire has arisen in my heart of dwelling with thee for some time.’

“Kusika said, ’O holy one, residence together is an act which the learned ordain for girls when these are given away.  They that are endued with wisdom always speak of the practice in such connection only.  O Rishi endued with wealth of asceticism, the residence which thou seekest with me is not sanctioned by the ordinance.  Yet, however opposed to the dictates of duty and righteousness, I shall do what thou mayst be pleased to command.’

“Bhishma continued, ’Ordering a seat to be placed for the great ascetic Chyavana, king Kusika, accompanied by his wife, stood in the presence of the ascetic.  Bringing a little jar of water, the king offered him water for washing his feet.  He then, through his, servants, caused all the rites to be duly performed in honour of his high-souled guest.  The high-souled Kusika, who was observant of restraints and vows, then cheerfully presented, according to due forms, the ingredients consisting of honey and the other things, to the great Rishi and induced him

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