Chapter 180

Mahabharata English - ADI PARVA

“The Gandharva continued, ‘Then, O Partha, Adrisyanti, who had beenresiding in Vasishtha’s asylum, brought forth (when the time came) a sonwho was the perpetuator of Saktri’s race and who was a second Saktri ineverything.

O foremost of Bharatas, that best of Munis, the illustriousVasishtha himself performed the usual after-birth ceremonies of hisgrandson. And, because the Rishi Vasishtha had resolved onself-destruction but had abstained therefrom as soon as he knew of theexistence of that child, that child, when born, was called Parasara (thevivifier of the dead). The virtuous Parasara, from the day of his birth,knew Vasishtha for his father and behaved towards the Muni as such. Oneday, O son of Kunti, the child addressed Vasishtha, that first ofBrahmana sages, as father, in the presence of his mother Adrisyanti.Adrisyanti, hearing the very intelligible sound father sweetly uttered byher son, addressed him with tearful eyes and said, ‘O child, do notaddress this thy grandfather as father? Thy father, O son, has beendevoured by a Rakshasa in a different forest. O innocent one, he is notthy father whom thou regardest so. The revered one is the father of thatcelebrated father of thine.’ Thus addressed by his mother that best ofRishis of truthful speech, gave way to sorrow, but soon fired up andresolved to destroy the whole creation. Then that illustrious and greatascetic Vasishtha, that foremost of all persons conversant with Brahma,that son of Mitravaruna, that Rishi acquainted with positive truth,addressed his grandson who had set his heart upon the destruction of theworld. Hear, O Arjuna, the arguments by which Vasishtha succeeded indriving out that resolution from his grandson’s mind.’

“The Gandharva continued, ‘Then Vasishtha said, ‘There was a celebratedking of the name of Kritavirya. That bull among the kings of the earthwas the disciple of the Veda-knowing Bhrigus. That king, O child, afterperforming the Soma sacrifice, gratified the Brahmanas with greatpresents of rice and wealth. After that monarch had ascended to heaven,an occasion came when his descendants were in want of wealth. And knowingthat the Bhrigus were rich, those princes went unto those best ofBrahmanas, in the guise of beggars. Some amongst the Bhrigus, to protecttheir wealth, buried it under earth; and some from fear of theKshatriyas, began to give away their wealth unto (other) Brahmanas; whilesome amongst them duly gave unto the Kshatriyas whatever they wanted. Ithappened, however, that some Kshatriyas, in digging as they pleased atthe house of particular Bhargava, came upon a large treasure. And thetreasure was seen by all those bulls among Kshatriyas who had been there.Enraged at what they regarded as the deceitful behaviour of the Bhrigus,the Kshatriyas insulted the Brahmanas, though the latter asked for mercy.And those mighty bowmen began to slaughter the Bhrigus with their sharparrows. And the Kshatriyas wandered over the earth, slaughtering even theembryos that were in the wombs of the women of the Bhrigu race. And whilethe Bhrigu race was thus being exterminated, the women of that tribe fledfrom fear to the inaccessible mountains of Himavat. And one amongst thesewomen, of tapering thighs, desiring to perpetuate her husband’s race,held in one of her thighs an embryo endued with great energy. A certainBrahmana woman, however, who came to know this fact, went from fear untothe Kshatriyas and reported the matter unto them. And the Kshatriyas thenwent to destroy that embryo. Arrived at the place, they beheld thewould-be mother blazing with inborn energy, and the child that was in herthigh came out tearing up the thigh and dazzling the eyes of thoseKshatriyas like the midday sun. Thus deprived of their eyes, theKshatriyas began to wander over those inaccessible mountains. Anddistressed at the loss of sight, the princes were afflicted with woe, anddesirous of regaining the use of their eyes they resolved to seek theprotection of that faultless woman. Then those Kshatriyas, afflicted withsorrow, and from loss of sight like unto a fire that hath gone out,addressed with anxious hearts that illustrious lady, saying, ‘By thygrace. O lady, we wish to be restored to sight. We shall then return toour homes all together and abstain for ever from our sinful practice. Ohandsome one, it behoveth thee with thy child to show us mercy. Itbehoveth thee to favour these kings by granting them their eye-sight.'”

Chapter 181
Chapter 179
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