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.

SECTION XXX

“The Pitris said, ’In this connection is cited this old history.  Having heard it, thou shouldst act according to it, O foremost of all regenerate persons.  There was a royal sage of the name Alarka endued with the austerest of penances.  He was conversant with all duties, truthful in speech, of high soul, and exceedingly firm in his vows.  Having, with his bow, conquered the whole Earth extending to the seas, and thereby achieved an exceedingly difficult feat, he set his mind on that which is subtle.  While sitting at the root of a tree, his thoughts, O thou of great intelligence, abandoning all those great feats, turned towards that which is subtle.’

“Alarka said, ’My mind has become strong.  Having conquered the mind, one’s conquest becomes permanent.  Though surrounded by foes, I shall (henceforth) shoot my arrows at other objects.  Since in consequence of its unsteadiness, it sets all mortals to accomplish acts, I shall shoot very sharp-pointed shafts at the mind.’

“The mind said, ’These arrows, O Alarka, will never pierce me through.  They will pierce only thy own vital parts, Thy vital parts being pierced, thou shalt die.  Do thou look out for other arrows with which to destroy me.’  Hearing these words and reflecting upon them, he said as follows.

“Alarka said, ’Smelling very many perfumes, the nose hankers after them only.  Hence I shall shoot whetted arrows at the nose.’

“The nose said, ’These arrows will never cross through me, O Alarka.  They will pierce only thy own vital parts, and thy vital parts being pierced, thou shalt die.  Do thou look for other arrows with which to destroy me.’

Hearing these words and reflecting upon them, he said as follows.

“Alarka said, This one (viz., the tongue), enjoying savoury tastes, hankers after them only.  Hence I shall shoot whetted shafts at the tongue.’

“The tongue said, ’These arrows, O Alarka, will not cross through me.  They will only pierce thy own vital parts and thy vital parts being pierced, thou shalt die.  Do thou look for other arrows with which to destroy me.’  Hearing these words and reflecting upon them, he said as follows.

“Alarka said, ’The skin, touching diverse objects of touch, hankers after them only.  Hence, I shall tear off the skin with diverse arrows equipt with the feathers of the Kanka.’

“The skin said, ’These arrows will not, O Alarka, cross through me.  They will pierce thy own vital parts only, and thy vital parts being pierced, thou shalt die.  Do thou look for other arrows with which to destroy me.’  Hearing these words and reflecting on them, he said as follows.

“Alarka said, ’Hearing diverse sounds, (the ear) hankers after them only.  Hence, I shall shoot whetted shafts at the ear.’

“The ear said, ’These arrows will not, O Alarka, cross through me.  They will pierce thy own vital parts only, and thy vital parts being pierced, thou shalt die.  Do thou then look for other arrows with which to destroy me.’  Hearing these words and reflecting upon them, he said as follows.

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