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Chapter 109

Mahabharata English - ARANYAKA PARVA

“Lomasa said, ‘The blessed God having heard what Bhagiratha had said, andwith a view to doing what was agreeable to the residents of heaven,replied to the king, saying, ‘So let it be. O most righteous of theprotectors of men, O (prince) of a powerful arm! For thy sake I shallsustain the river of the gods, when she will take her descent from thesky, she who is pure and blessed and divine, O (king) of a mighty arm!’Saying this, he came to the snowy mountain, surrounded by his attendants,of awful mien, and with uplifted weapons of diverse forms. And standingthere, he said to Bhagiratha, the most praiseworthy of men, ‘O (prince)of a powerful arm! do thou pray to the river, the daughter of the king ofmountains. I shall sustain that most praiseworthy of rivers when shefalls down from the third region of the world (heaven).’ Having heardthese words uttered by Siva, the king became devout (in heart), madeobesiance and directed his thoughts towards Ganga. Then the delightful(river), of pure water in being so thought of by the king, and seeingthat the great lord (Siva) was standing (to receive her fall), came downall of a sudden from the sky. And seeing that she had taken her leap fromthe sky, the gods, together with the mighty saints, the Gandharvas, thesnakes, and the Yakshas, assembled there as spectators. Then came downfrom the sky Ganga, the daughter of the snowy mountain. And herwhirlpools were raging, and she was teeming with fishes and sharks. Oking! she directing her course towards the sea, separated herself, intothree streams; and her water was bestrewn with piles of froth, whichlooked like so many rows of (white) ganders. And crooked and tortuous inthe movement of her body, at places; and at others stumbling at it were;and covered with foam as with a robe: she went forward like a womandrunk. And elsewhere, by virtue of the roar of her waters, she utteredloud sounds. Thus assuming very many different aspects, when she fellfrom the sky, and reached the surface of the earth, she said toBhagiratha, ‘O great king! show me the path that I shall have to take. Olord of the earth! for thy sake have I descended to the earth.’ Havingheard these words, king Bhagiratha directed his course towards the spotwhere lay those bodies of mighty Sagara’s sons, in order that, O mostpraiseworthy of men, the holy water might flood (the same). Havingachieved the task of sustaining Ganga, Siva, saluted by men, went toKailasa the most praiseworthy of mountains, accompanied by thecelestials. And the protector of men (Bhagiratha) accompanied by Gangareached the sea; and the sea, the abode of Varuna, was quickly filled.And the king adopted Ganga as a daughter of himself, and at that spotoffered libations of water to the names of his forefathers; thus was hisheart’s wish fulfilled. Thus asked by thee, I have narrated the wholestory how Ganga running in three streams, was brought down to the earthfor filling the sea; how the mighty saint had drunk up the sea for aparticular reason, and how, O lord! Vatapi, the slayer of Brahmanas, wasdestroyed by Agastya.'”

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