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Chapter 18

Mahabharata English - SABHAKRIYA PARVA

“Krishna continued,–‘hearing these words of the king, the Rakshasa womananswered–Blessed be thou, O king of kings. Capable of assuming any format will. I am a Rakshasa woman called Jara. I am living, O king, happilyin thy house, worshipped by all.

Every day I wander from house to houseof men. Indeed, I was created of old by the Self-create and was namedGrihadevi (the household goddess)’. Of celestial beauty I was placed (inthe world) for the destruction of the Danavas. He that with devotionpainteth on the walls (of his house) a likeness of myself endued withyouth and in the midst of children, must have prosperity in his abode;otherwise a household must sustain decay and destruction. O lord, paintedon the walls of thy house is a likeness of myself surrounded by numerouschildren. Stationed there I am daily worshipped with scents and flowers,with incense and edibles and various objects of enjoyment. Thusworshipped in thy house, I daily think of doing thee some good in return.It chanced, O virtuous king, that I beheld the fragmentary bodies of thyson. When these happened to be united by me, a living child was formed ofthem. O great king, it hath been so owing to thy good fortune alone. Ihave been only the instrument, I am capable of swallowing the mountain ofMeru itself, what shall I say of the child? I have, however, beengratified with thee in consequence of the worship I receive in thy house.It is, therefore, O king, that I have bestowed this child on thee.

“Krishna continued,–Having spoken these words, O king, Jara disappearedthere and then. The king having obtained the child then entered thepalace. And the king then caused all the rites of infancy to be performedon that child, and ordered a festival to be observed by his people inHonour of that Rakshasa woman. And the monarch equal unto Brahma himselfthen bestowed a name on his child. And he said that because the child hadbeen united by Jara, he should be called (Jarasandha i.e., united byJara). And the son of the king of Magadha endued with great energy, beganto grow up in bulk and strength like a fire into which hath been pouredlibation of clarified butter. And increasing day by day like the moon inthe bright fortnight, the child began to enhance the joy of his parents.'”

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