“Janamejaya said, ’Who was that mongoose with a golden head, that said all those words in a human voice? Asked by me, do thou tell me this.’
“Vaisampayana said, ’Thou didst not ask me before and, therefore, I did not tell thee. Hear as I tell thee who that mongoose was and why he could assume a human voice. In former times, the Rishi Jamadagni proposed to perform a Sraddha. His Homa cow came to him and the Rishi milked her himself. He then placed the milk in a vessel that was new, durable and pure. The deity Dharma, assuming the form of Anger, entered that vessel of milk. Indeed, Dharma was desirous of ascertaining what that foremost of Rishis would do when seeing some injury done to him. Having reflected thus, Dharma spoiled that milk. Knowing that the spoiler of his milk was Anger, the ascetic was not at all enraged with him. Anger, then, assuming the form of a Brahmana lady, showed himself to the Rishi. Indeed, Anger, finding that he had been conquered by that foremost one of Bhrigu’s race, addressed him, saying, ’O chief of Bhrigu’s race, I have been conquered by thee. There is a saying among men that the Bhrigus are very wrathful. I now find that that saying is false, since I have been subdued by thee. Thou art possessed of a mighty soul. Thou art endued with forgiveness. I stand here today, owning thy sway. I fear thy penances, O righteous one. Do thou, O puissant Rishi, show me favour.’
“Jamadagni said, ’I have seen thee, O Anger, in thy embodied form. Go thou whithersoever thou likest, without any anxiety. Thou hast not done me any injury today. I have no grudge against thee. Those for whom I had kept this milk are the highly blessed Pitris. Present thyself before them and ascertain their intentions.’ Thus addressed, penetrated with fear, Anger vanished from the sight of the Rishi. Through the curse of the Pitris he became a mongoose. He then began to gratify the Pitris in order to bring about an end of his curse. By them he was told these words, ’By speaking disrespectfully of Dharma thou shalt attain to the end of thy curse.’ Thus addressed by them he wandered over places where sacrifices were performed and over other sacred places, employed in censuring great sacrifices. It was he that came to the great sacrifice of king Yudhishthira. Dispraising the son of Dharma by a reference to the prastha of powdered barley, Anger became freed from his curse, for Yudhishthira (as Dharma’s son) was Dharma’s self. Even this is what occurred in the sacrifice of that high-souled king. Mongoose disappeared there in our very sight.’"
The end of Aswamedha Parva
1. Mahavahu occurs twice in this passage. One of the epithets is left out on the score of redundancy.
2. i.e., human sacrifice. From this it appears that the sacrifice of human beings was in vogue at the time.
3. King Marutta celebrated a sacrifice in the Himalayas, bestowing gold on Brahmanas. Not being able to carry the entire quantity, they had carried as much as they could, throwing away the remainder.