Chapter 11

Mahabharata English - ADI PARVA

“Sauti continued ‘The Dundubha then said, ‘In former times, I had afriend Khagama by name.

He was impetuous in his speech and possessed ofspiritual power by virtue of his austerities. And one day when he wasengaged in the Agni-hotra (Fire-sacrifice), I made a mock snake of bladesof grass, and in a frolic attempted to frighten him with it. And anon hefell into a swoon. On recovering his senses, that truth-telling andvow-observing ascetic, burning with wrath, exclaimed, ‘Since thou hastmade a powerless mock snake to frighten me, thou shalt be turned eveninto a venomless serpent thyself by my curse.’ O ascetic, I well knew thepower of his penances; therefore with an agitated heart, I addressed himthus, bending low with joined hands, ‘Friend, I did this by way of ajoke, to excite thy laughter. It behoveth thee to forgive me and revokethy curse.’ And seeing me sorely troubled, the ascetic was moved, and hereplied, breathing hot and hard. ‘What I have said must come to pass.Listen to what I say and lay it to thy heart. O pious one! when Ruru thepure son of Pramati, will appear, thou shall be delivered from the cursethe moment thou seest him. Thou art the very Ruru and the son of Pramati.On regaining my native form, I will tell thee something for thy good.

“And that illustrious man and the best of Brahmanas then left hissnake-body, and attained his own form and original brightness. He thenaddressed the following words to Ruru of incomparable power, ‘O thoufirst of created beings, verily the highest virtue of man is sparing thelife of others. Therefore a Brahmana should never take the life of anycreature. A Brahmana should ever be mild. This is the most sacredinjunction of the Vedas. A Brahmana should be versed in the Vedas andVedangas, and should inspire all creatures with belief in God. He shouldbe benevolent to all creatures, truthful, and forgiving, even as it ishis paramount duty to retain the Vedas in his memory. The duties of theKshatriya are not thine. To be stern, to wield the sceptre and to rulethe subjects properly are the duties of the Kshatriya. Listen, O Ruru, tothe account of the destruction of snakes at the sacrifice of Janamejayain days of yore, and the deliverance of the terrified reptiles by thatbest of Dwijas, Astika, profound in Vedic lore and might in spiritualenergy.'”

And so ends the eleventh section of the Pauloma Parva of the Adi Parva.

Chapter 12
Chapter 10