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Adi Parva 6

The Mahabharata

Book 1: Adi Parva

Kisari Mohan Ganguli, tr.

[1883-1896]

SECTION VI

(Pauloma Parva continued)

"Sauti said, 'O Brahmana, having heard these words from the god of fire, the Rakshasa assumed the form of a boar, and seizing the lady carried her away with the speed of the wind--even of thought. Then the child of Bhrigu lying in her body enraged at such violence, dropped from his mother's womb, for which he obtained the name of Chyavana. And the Rakshasa perceiving the infant drop from the mother's womb, shining like the sun, quitted his grasp of the woman, fell down and was instantly converted into ashes. And the beautiful Pauloma, distracted with grief, O Brahmana of the Bhrigu race, took up her offspring Chyavana, the son of Bhrigu and walked away. And Brahma, the Grandfather of all, himself saw her, the faultless wife of his son, weeping. And the Grandfather of all comforted her who was attached to her son. And the drops of tears which rolled down her eyes formed a great river. And that river began to follow the foot-steps of the wife of the great ascetic Bhrigu. And the Grandfather of the worlds seeing that river follow the path of his son's wife gave it a name himself, and he called it Vadhusara. And it passeth by the hermitage of Chyavana. And in this manner was born Chyavana of great ascetic power, the son of Bhrigu.

"And Bhrigu saw his child Chyavana and its beautiful mother. And the Rishi in a rage asked her, 'By whom wast thou made known to that Rakshasa who resolved to carry thee away? O thou of agreeable smiles, the Rakshasa could not know thee as my wile. Therefore tell me who it was that told the Rakshasa so, in order that I may curse him through anger.' And Pauloma replied, 'O possessor of the six attributes! I was identified to the Rakshasa by Agni (the god of fire). And he (the Rakshasa) bore me away, who cried like the Kurari (female osprey). And it was only by the ardent splendour of this thy son that I was rescued, for the Rakshasa (seeing this infant) let me go and himself falling to the ground was turned into ashes.'

"Sauti continued, 'Bhrigu, upon hearing this account from Pauloma, became exceedingly enraged. And in excess of passion the Rishi cursed Agni, saying, 'Thou shalt eat of all things.'"

So ends the sixth section called "the curse on Agni" in the Adi Parva.

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