The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,582 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4.

“Bhishma said, ’In this connection is recited the old history of the discourse between the Rishi Uddalaki and his son called Nachiketa.  Once on a time the Rishi Uddalaki endued with great intelligence, approaching his son Nachiketa, said unto him, ‘Do thou wait upon and serve me.’  Upon the completion of the vow he had observed the great Rishi once more said unto his son, ’Engaged in performing my ablutions and deeply taken up with my Vedic study, I have forgotten to bring with me the firewood, the Kusa blades, the flowers, the water jar, and the potherbs I had gathered.  Do thou bring me those things from the riverside.’  The son proceeded to the spot indicated, but saw that all the articles had been washed away by the current.  Coming back to his father, he said, ’I do not see the things!’ Afflicted as he then was with hunger, thirst, and fatigue, the Rishi Uddalaki of high ascetic merit, in a sudden wrath, cursed his son, saying, ‘Do thou meet with Yama today!’ Thus struck by his sire with the thunder of his speech, the son, with joined palms, said, ’Be appeased with me!’ Soon, however, he fell down on the earth, deprived of life.  Beholding Nachiketa prostrated upon the earth, his sire became deprived of his senses through grief.  He, too, exclaiming, ’Alas, what have I done,’ fell down on the earth.  Filled with grief, as he indulged in lamentations for his son, the rest or that day passed away and night came.  Then Nachiketa, O son of Kuru’s race, drenched by the tears of his father, gave signs of returning life as he lay on a mat of Kusa grass.  His restoration to life under the tears of his sire resembled the sprouting forth of seeds when drenched with auspicious showers.  The son just restored to consciousness was still weak.  His body was smeared with fragrant unguents and he looked like one just awaking from a deep slumber.  The Rishi asked him, saying, ’Hast thou, O son, acquired auspicious regions by thy own acts?  By good luck, thou hast been restored to me!  Thy body does not seem to be human!’ Thus asked by high-souled father, Nachiketa who had seen every thing with his own eyes, made the following answer unto him in the midst of the Rishis, ’In obedience to thy command I proceeded to the extensive region of Yama which is possessed of a delightful effulgence.  There I beheld a palatial mansion which extended for thousands of Yojanas and emitted a golden splendour from every part.  As soon as Yama beheld me approaching with face towards him, he commanded his attendants saying, ’Give him a good seat, verily, the king of the dead, for thy sake worshipped we with the Arghya and the other ingredients.’  Thus worshipped by Yama and seated in the midst of his counsellors, I then said mildly, ’I have come to thy abode, O judge of the dead!  Do thou assign me those regions which I deserve for my acts!’ Yama then answered me, saying, ‘Thou art not dead, O amiable one!’ Endued with penances, thy father said unto thee, ’Do thou meet with

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