Mahabharata (English)

by Kisari Mohan Ganguli | 2,566,952 words | ISBN-10: 8121505933

The English translation of the Mahabharata is a large text describing ancient India. It is authored by Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa and contains the records of ancient humans. Also, it documents the fate of the Kauravas and the Pandavas family. Another part of the large contents, deal with many philosophical dialogues such as the goals of life. Book...

Section CXI

"Lomasa said,

'O descendant of Bharata! she in order to compass the object of the king, prepared a floating hermitage, both because the king had ordered so, and also because it exactly accorded with her plan. And the floating hermitage, containing artificial trees adorned with various flowers and fruits, and surrounded by diverse shrubs and creeping plants and capable of furnishing choice and delicious fruits, was exceedingly delightful, and nice, and pleasing, and looked as if it had been created by magic.

Then she moored the vessel at no great distance from the hermitage of Kasyapa’s son, and sent emissaries to survey the place where that same saint habitually went about. And then she saw an opportunity; and having conceived a plan in her mind, sent forward her daughter a courtesan by trade and of smart sense. And that clever woman went to the vicinity of the religious man and arriving at the hermitage beheld the son of the saint.'"

"The courtesan said,

'I hope, O saint! that is all well with the religious devotees. And I hope that you have a plentiful store of fruits and roots and that you takest delight in this hermitage. Verily I come here now to pay you a visit. I hope the practice of austerities among the saints is on the increase. I hope that your father’s spirit has not slackened and that he is well pleased with you. O Rishyasringa of the priestly caste! I hope you prosecutest the studies proper for you.'"

Rishyasringa said,

'You are shining with lustre, as if you were a (mass) of light. And I deem you worthy of obeisance. Verily I shall give you water for washing your feet and such fruits and roots also as may be liked by you, for this is what my religion has prescribed to me. Be you pleased to take at your pleasure your seat on a mat made of the sacred grass, covered over with a black deer-skin and made pleasant and comfortable to sit upon. And where is your hermitage?

O Brahmana! you resemblest a god in your mien. What is the name of this particular religious vow, which you seemest to be observing now?'

"The courtesan said,

'O son of Kasyapa! on the other side of yonder hill, which covers the space of three Yojanas, is my hermitage—a delightful place. There, not to receive obeisance is the rule of my faith nor do I touch water for washing my feet. I am not worthy of obeisance from persons like you; but I must make obeisance to you. O Brahmana! This is the religious observance to be practised by me, namely, that you must be clasped in my arms.'"

"Rishyasringa said,

'Let me give you ripe fruits, such as gallnuts, myrobalans, Karushas, Ingudas from sandy tracts and Indian fig. May it please you to take a delight in them!'"

Lomasa said,

"She, however, threw aside all those edible things and then gave him unsuitable things for food. And these were exceedingly nice and beautiful to see and were very much acceptable to Rishyasringa. And she gave him garlands of an exceedingly fragrant scent and beautiful and shining garments to wear and first-rate drinks; and then played and laughed and enjoyed herself. And she at his sight played with a ball and while thus employed, looked like a creeping plant broken in two. And she touched his body with her own and repeatedly clasped Rishyasringa in her arms. Then she bent and break the flowery twigs from trees, such as the Sala, the Asoka and the Tilaka.

And overpowered with intoxication, assuming a bashful look, she went on tempting the great saint’s son. And when she saw that the heart of Rishyasringa had been touched, she repeatedly pressed his body with her own and casting glances, slowly went away under the pretext that she was going to make offerings on the fire. On her departure, Rishyasringa became over-powered with love and lost his sense. His mind turned constantly to her and felt itself vacant. And he began to sigh and seemed to be in great distress.

At that moment appeared Vibhandaka, Kasyapa’s son, he whose eyes were tawny like those of a lion, whose body was covered with hair down to the tip of the nails, who was devoted to studies proper for his caste, and whose life was pure and was passed in religious meditation. He came up and saw that his son was seated alone, pensive and sad, his mind upset and sighing again and again with upturned eyes.

And Vibhandaka spake to his distressed son, saying,

'My boy! why is it that you are not hewing the logs for fuel. I hope you have performed the ceremony of burnt offering today. I hope you have polished the sacrificial ladles and spoons and brought the calf to the milch cow whose milk furnishes materials for making offerings on the fire. Verily you are not in your wonted state, O son! You seemest to be pensive, and to have lost your sense. Why art you so sad today? Let me ask you, who has been to this place today?'"


This concludes Section CXI of Book 3 (Vana Parva) of the Mahabharata, of which an English translation is presented on this page. This book is famous as one of the Itihasa, similair in content to the eighteen Puranas. Book 3 is one of the eighteen books comprising roughly 100,000 Sanskrit metrical verses.

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