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Chapter 42

Mahabharata English - SABHAKRIYA PARVA

“Bhishma said,–This Sisupala was born in the line of the king of Chediwith three eyes and four hands. As soon as he was born, he screamed andbrayed like an ass. On that account, his father and mother along withtheir relatives, were struck with fear.

And beholding these extraordinaryomens, his parents resolved to abandon him. But an incorporeal voice,about this time, said unto the king and his wife with their ministers andpriest, all with hearts paralysed by anxiety, those words,–‘This thyson, O king, that hath been born will become both fortunate and superiorin strength. Therefore thou hast no fear from him. Indeed cherish thechild without anxiety. He will not die (in childhood). His time is notyet come. He that will slay him with weapons hath also been born.’Hearing these words, the mother, rendered anxious by affection for herson, addressed the invisible Being and said,–I bow with joined handsunto him that hath uttered these words respecting my son; whether he bean exalted divinity or any other being, let him tell me another word, Idesire to hear who will be the slayer of this my son. The invisible Beingthen said,–‘He upon whose lap this child being placed the superfluousarms of his will fall down upon the ground like a pair of five-headedsnakes, and at the sight of whom his third eye on the forehead willdisappear, will be his slayer?’ Hearing of the child’s three eyes andfour arms as also of the words of the invisible Being, all the kings ofthe earth went to Chedi to behold him. The king of Chedi worshipping, aseach deserved, the monarchs that came, gave his child upon their laps oneafter another. And though the child was placed upon the laps of athousand kings, one after another, yet that which the incorporeal voicehad said came not to pass. And having heard of all this at Dwaravati, themighty Yadava heroes Sankarshana and Janarddana also went to the capitalof the Chedis, to see their father’s sister–that daughter of the Yadavas(the queen of Chedi) And saluting everybody according to his rank and theking and queen also, and enquiring after every body’s welfare, both Ramaand Kesava took their seats. And after those heroes had been worshipped,the queen with great pleasure herself placed the child on the lap ofDamodara. As soon as the child was placed on his lap, those superfluousarms of his fell down and the eye on his forehead also disappeared. Andbeholding this, the queen in alarm and anxiety begged of Krishna a boon.And she said,–‘O mighty-armed Krishna, I am afflicted with fear; grantme a boon. Thou art the assurer of all afflicted ones and that thedispeller of everybody’s fear. Thus addressed by her. Krishna, that sonof the Yadu race, said–‘Fear not, O respected one. Thou art acquaintedwith morality. Thou needest have no fear from me. What boon shall I givethee? What shall I do, O aunt? Whether able or not, I shall do thybidding.’–Thus spoken to by Krishna, the queen said, ‘O thou of greatstrength, thou wilt have to pardon the offences of Sisupala for my sake.O tiger of the Yadu race. Know O lord, even this is the boon that I ask.’Krishna then said, ‘O aunt, even when he will deserve to be slain, I willpardon an hundred offences of his. Grieve thou not.’

“Bhishma continued,–‘Even thus, O Bhima, is this wretch of aking–Sisupala of wicked heart, who, proud of the boon granted byGovinda, summons thee to battle!'”

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