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.
not invoke me with honours.  I am that Indra, O thou of wicked understanding.  It is I with whom thou hast purposely sought hostilities.  Beholding Indra, the royal sage fell at his feet, touching them with his head, and said,—­Be gratified with me, O foremost of deities.  The sacrifice of which thou speakest was performed from desire of offspring (and not from any wish to hurt thee).  It behoveth thee therefore, to grant me thy pardon.—­Indra, seeing the transformed monarch prostrate himself thus unto him, became gratified with him and desired to give him a boon.  Which of your sons, O king, dost thou wish, should revive, those that were brought forth by thee transformed into a woman, or those that were begotten by thee in thy condition as a person of the male sex?  The ascetic lady, joining her hands, answered Indra, saying, O Vasava, let those sons of mine come to life that were borne by me as a woman.  Filled with wonder at this reply, Indra once more asked the lady, Why dost thou entertain less affection for those children of thine that were begotten by thee in thy form of a person of the male sex?  Why is it that thou bearest greater affection for those children that were borne by thee in thy transformed state?  I wish to hear the reason of this difference in respect of thy affection.  It behoveth thee to tell me everything.’

“The lady said, ’The affection that is entertained by a woman is much greater than that which is entertained by a man.  Hence, it is, O Sakra, that I wish those children to come back to life that were borne by me as a woman.’

“Bhishma continued, ’Thus addressed, Indra became highly pleased and said unto her, O lady that art so truthful, let all thy children come back into life.  Do thou take another boon, O foremost of kings, in fact, whatever boon thou likest.  O thou of excellent vows, do thou take from me whatever status thou choosest, that of woman or of man.’

“The lady said, ’I desire to remain a woman, O Sakra.  In fact,—­do not wish to be restored to the status of manhood, O Vasava.—­Hearing this answer, Indra once more asked her, saying,—­Why is it, O puissant one, that abandoning the status of manhood thou wishest that of womanhood?  Questioned thus, that foremost of monarchs transformed into a woman answered, ’In acts of congress, the pleasure that women enjoy is always much greater than what is enjoyed by men.  It is for this reason, O Sakra, that I desire to continue a woman; O foremost of the deities, truly do I say unto thee that I derive greater pleasure in my present status of womanhood.  I am quite content with this status of womanhood that I now have.  Do thou leave me now, O lord of heaven.—­Hearing these words of hers, the lord of the celestials answered,—­So be it,—­and bidding her farewell, proceeded to heaven.  Thus, O monarch, it is known that woman derives much greater pleasure than man under the circumstances thou hast asked.’”

SECTION XIII

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