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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,319 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4.
on the practices of Kshatriyas!  Though alive, we are really dead!  O foremost of superior Brahmanas, the course of Time is very subtle and difficult to understand, inasmuch as Kunti, abandoning sovereignty, became desirous of taking up her abode in the forest.  How is it that she who was the mother of Yudhishthira, of Bhima, of Vijaya, was burnt to deathlike a helpless creature.  Thinking of this I become stupefied.  In vain was the deity of fire gratified at Khandava by Arjuna.  Ingrate that he is, forgetting that service he has burnt to death the mother of his benefactor!  Alas, how could that deity burn the mother of Arjuna.  Putting on the guise of a Brahmana, he had formerly come to Arjuna for soliciting a favour.  Fie on the deity of fire!  Fie on the celebrated success of Partha’s shafts!  This is another incident, O holy one, that appears to me to be productive of greater misery, for that lord of Earth met with death by union with a fire that was not sacred.  How could such a death overtake that royal sage of Kuru’s race who, after having ruled the whole Earth, was engaged in the practice of penances.  In that great forest there were fires that had been sanctified with mantras.  Alas, my father has made his exit from this world, coming in contact with an unsanctified fire!  I suppose that Pritha, emaciated and reduced to a form in which all her nerves became visible, must have trembled in fear and cried aloud, saying,—­O son Yudhishthira, and awaited the terrible approach of the conflagration.  She must have also said,—­O Bhima, rescue me from this danger—­when she, my mother, was surrounded on all sides by that terrible conflagration.  Among all her sons, Sahadeva, was her darling.  Alas, that heroic son of Madravati did not rescue her.’  Hearing these lamentations of the king, those persons that were present there began to weep, embracing each other.  In fact, the five sons of Pandu were so stricken with grief that they resembled living creatures at the time of the dissolution of the universe.  The sound of lamentations uttered by those weeping heroes, filling the spacious chambers of the palace, escaped therefrom and penetrated the very welkin."’

SECTION XXXIX

“Narada said, ’The king has not been burnt to death by an unsanctified fire.  I have heard this there.  I tell thee, O Bharata, such has not been the fate of Vichitraviryya.  It has been heard by us that when the old king endued with great intelligence and subsisting on air alone entered the woods (after his return from Gangadwara), he caused his sacrificial fires to be duly ignited.  Having performed his sacred rites therewith, he abandoned them all.  Then the Yajaka Brahmanas he had with him cast off those fires in a solitary part of the woods and went away as they liked on other errands, O foremost one of Bharata’s race.  The fire thus cast off grew in the woods.  It then produced a general conflagration in the forest.  Even this

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