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.

“Vaisampayana said, ’In this connection is cited this old narrative, O chastiser of foes, of what occurred in former days in the great sacrifice of Agastya.  In olden days, O king, Agastya of great energy, devoted to the good of all creatures, entered into a Diksha extending for twelve years.[219] In that sacrifice of the high-souled Rishi many Hotris were engaged that resembled blazing fires in the splendour of their bodies.  Among them were men that subsisted upon roots or fruits, or that used two pieces of stone only for husking their corn, or that were supported by only the rays (of the moon).  Among them were also men who never took any food unless it was placed before them by others solicitous of feeding them, and those who never ate anything without having first served the deities, the Pitris, and guests, and those who never washed the food which they took.  There were also Yatis and Bikshus among them, O king.  All of them were men who had obtained a sight of the deity of Righteousness in his embodied form.  They had subjugated wrath and acquired a complete mastery over all their senses.  Living in the observance of self-restraint, they were freed from pride and the desire of injuring others.  They were always observant of a pure conduct and were never obstructed (in the prosecution of their purposes) by their senses.  Those great Rishis attended that sacrifice and accomplished its various rites.  The illustrious Rishi (Agastya) acquired the food that was collected in that sacrifice and that came up to the required measure, by lawful means according to the best of his power.  Numerous other ascetics at that time performed large sacrifices.  As Agastya, however, was engaged in that sacrifice of his, the thousand-eyed Indra, O best of the Bharatas, ceased to pour rain (on the Earth).  At the intervals, O king, of the sacrificial rites, this talk occurred among those Rishis of cleansed souls about the high-souled Agastya, viz., ’This Agastya, engaged in sacrifice, is making gifts of food with heart purged of pride and vanity.  The deity of the clouds, however, has ceased to pour rain.  How, indeed, will food grow?  This sacrifice of the Rishi, ye Brahmanas, is great and extends for twelve years.  The deity will not pour rain for these twelve years.  Reflecting on this, it behoveth you to do some favour unto this Rishi of great intelligence, viz., Agastya of severe penances.’  When these words were said, Agastya of great prowess, gratifying those ascetics by bending his head, said, ’If Vasava does not pour rain for those twelve years, I shall then perform the mental sacrifice.  Even this is the eternal ordinance.  If Vasava does not pour rain for these twelve years, I shall then perform the Touch-sacrifice.  Even this is the eternal sacrifice.  If Vasava does not pour rain for these twelve years, I shall then, putting forth all my exertion, make arrangements for other sacrifices characterised by the observance of the most difficult and severe vows.  This present

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