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Chapter 29

Mahabharata English - ASWAMEDHA PARVA

“The Brahmana said, ‘In this connection is cited the ancient story, Olady, of the discourse between Karttaviryya and the Ocean. There was aking of the name of Karttaviryya-Arjuna who was endued with a thousandarms. He conquered, with his bow, the Earth, extending to the shores ofthe ocean. It has been heard by us that, once on a time, as he waswalking on the shores of the sea, proud of his might, he showeredhundreds of shafts on that vast receptacle of waters. The Ocean, bowingdown unto him, said, with joined hands,–Do not, O hero, shoot thy shafts(at me)! Say, what shall I do to thee. With these mighty arrows shot bythee, those creatures which have taken shelter in me are being killed, Otiger among kings. Do thou, O lord, grant them security.’

“Arjuna said, ‘If any wielder of the bow exists that is equal to me inbattle, and that would stand against me in the field, do thou name him tome!’

“The Ocean said, If thou hast heard, O king, of the great RishiJamadagni, his son is competent to duly receive thee as a guest.–Thenthat king proceeded, filled with great wrath. Arrived at that retreat, hefound Rama himself. With his kinsmen he began to do many acts that werehostile to Rama, and caused much trouble to that high-souled hero. Thenthe energy, which was immeasurable of Rama blazed forth, burning thetroops of the foe, O lotus-eyed one. Taking up his battle-axe, Ramasuddenly put forth his power, and hacked that thousand-armed hero, like atree of many branches. Beholding him slain and prostrated on the earth,all his kinsmen, uniting together, and taking up their darts, rushed atRama, who was then seated, from all sides. Rama also, taking up his bowand quickly ascending on his car, shot showers of arrows and chastisedthe army of the king. Then, some of the Kshatriyas, afflicted with theterror of Jamadagni’s son, entered mountain-fastnesses, like deerafflicted by the lion. Of them that were unable, through fear of Rama, todischarge the duties ordained for their order, the progeny becameVrishalas owing to their inability to find Brahmanas.[81] In this wayDravidas and Abhiras and Pundras, together with the Savaras, becameVrishalas through those men who had Kshatriya duties assigned to them (inconsequence of their birth), falling away (from those duties). Then theKshatriyas that were begotten by the Brahmanas upon Kshatriya women thathad lost their heroic children, were repeatedly destroyed by Jamadagni’sson. The slaughter proceeded one and twenty times. At its conclusion abodiless voice, sweet and proceeding from heaven, and which was heard byall people, spoke to Rama, ‘O Rama, O Rama, desist! What met it dost thousee, O son, in thus destroying repeatedly these inferior Kshatriyas?'[82]In this way, O blessed dame, his grandsires, headed by Richika, addressedthat high-souled one, saying. ‘Do thou desist.’ Rama, however, unable toforgive the slaughter of his sire, replied unto those Rishis saying, ‘Itbehoves you not to forbid me.’ The Pitris then said, ‘O foremost of allvictorious men, it behoves thee not to slay these inferior Kshatriyas. Itis not proper that thyself, being a Brahmana, should slay these kings.'”

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