by sorrow. In the midst of her lamentations,
she addressed the Kurus, ’Ye sinless ones, listen
to me as I say unto you all that occurred (with respect
to my son). Possessed of royal conduct and disposition,
and endued with wisdom and high birth, my son was
the benefactor of all the seniors of his race.
He was devoted to his sire and was of high vows.
He could not be vanquished by even Rama of Jamadagni’s
race with his celestial weapons of great energy.
Alas, that hero has been slain by Sikhandin.
Ye kings, without doubt, my heart is made of adamant,
for it does not break even at the disappearance of
that son from my sight! At the Self choice at
Kasi, he vanquished on a single car the assembled
Kshatriyas and ravished the three princesses (for his
step-brother Vichitravirya)! There was no one
on earth that equalled him in might. Alas, my
heart does not break upon hearing the slaughter of
that son of mine by Sikhandin!’ The puissant
Krishna, hearing the goddess of the great river indulging
in these lamentations consoled her with many soothing
words. Krishna said, ’O amiable one, be
comforted. Do not yield to grief, O thou of beautiful
features! Without doubt, thy son has gone to
the highest region of felicity! He was one of
the Vasus of great energy. Through a curse, O
thou of beautiful features, he had to take birth among
men. It behoveth thee not to grieve for him.
Agreeably to Kshatriya duties, he was slain by Dhananjaya
on the field of battle while engaged in battle.
He has not been slain, O goddess, by Sikhandin.
The very chief of the celestials himself could not
slay Bhishma in battle when he stood with stretched
bow in hand. O thou of beautiful face, thy son
has, in felicity, gone to heaven. All the gods
assembled together could not slay him in battle.
Do not, therefore, O goddess Ganga, grieve for that
son of Kuru’s race. He was one of the Vasus,
O goddess! Thy son has gone to heaven. Let
the fever of thy heart be dispelled.’
“Vaisampayana continued, ’That foremost
of all rivers, thus addressed by Krishna and Vyasa,
cast off her grief, O great king, and became restored
to equanimity. All the kings there present, headed
by Krishna, O monarch, having honoured that goddess
duly, received her permission to depart from her banks.’”
The end of Anusasana Parva.
1. The commentator explains this passage by the
illustration that in the act of felling a tree the
effect is produced by the intermediate act of raising
the axe by some sentient agent, but that in the case
of the burning of a forest, the fire is produced by
the friction of the dry branches of trees without
the intervention of any sentient agent.
2. Even as the wind indicates the dry twigs to
ignite,’ adds the commentator.
3. Literally, the releaser from bonds.
4. Refers to the curse pronounced on Viswamitra
by the son of Vasishtha, when the former acted as
the priest of Trisanku. The curse was that Viswamitra
would partake of canine flesh by officiating as the
priest of one who himself was the partaker of such
flesh. It is said that at a time of great scarcity,
Viswamitra was obliged to resort to dog’s flesh
for food, and that as he was about to cook it, Indra
pounced upon it and took it away.