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The Brâhmana said:

On this 3, too, they relate an old story, (in the shape of) a dialogue, O you of a pure heart! between Kârtavîrya and the ocean. (There lived once) a king named Arguna 4, a descendant of Kritavîrya, possessed of a thousand arms, who with his bow conquered the (whole) earth up to the ocean. Once

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on a time, as we have heard, he was walking about near the sea, proud of his strength, and showering hundreds of arrows on the sea. The ocean, saluting him, and with joined hands, said, 'O brave man! do not throw arrows (on me). Say, what shall I do for you? The creatures, who take shelter with me, are being destroyed, O tiger-like king! by the great arrows thrown by you. Give them security, O Lord!'

Arguna said:

If there is anywhere any wielder of the bow equal to me in battle, who might stand against me in the field, name him to me.

The ocean said:

If, O king! you have heard of the great sage Gamadagni, his son is (the) proper (person) to show you due hospitality 1.

Then the king, full of great wrath, went away, and arriving at that hermitage approached Râma only. In company with his kinsmen, he did many (acts) disagreeable to Râma, and caused much trouble to the high-souled Râma. Then the power of Râma, whose power was unbounded, blazed forth, burning the hosts of the enemy, O lotus-eyed one! And then Râma, taking up his axe, hacked away that man of the thousand arms in battle, like a tree of many branches. Seeing him killed and fallen, all (his) kinsmen assembled together, and taking swords and lances, surrounded the descendant of Bhrigu. Râma also taking up a bow, and hurriedly mounting a chariot, shot away volleys of arrows, and blew away the army of the king. Then some of the

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[paragraph continues] Kshatriyas, often troubled by fear of the son of Gamadagni, entered mountains and inaccessible places, like antelopes troubled by a lion. And the subjects of those (Kshatriyas) who were not performing their prescribed duties 1 through fear of him, became Vrishalas, owing to the disappearance of Brâhmanas 2. Thus the Dravidas, Âbhîras, Paundras, together with the Sâbaras, became Vrishalas 3, owing to the abandonment of their duties by Kshatriyas. Then when the heroic (children) of Kshatriya women were destroyed again and again, the Kshatriyas, who were produced by the Brâhmanas 4, were also destroyed by the son of Gamadagni. At the end of the twenty-first slaughter, a bodiless voice from heaven, which was heard by all people, spoke sweetly to Râma, 'O Râma! O Râma! desist (from this slaughter). What good, dear friend, do you perceive, in taking away the lives of these kinsmen of Kshatriyas over and over again?' Then, too, his grandfathers 5, with Rikîka as their head, likewise said to the high-souled (Râma), 'Desist, O noble one 6!' But Râma, not forgiving his father's

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murder, said to those sages, 'You ought not to keep me back from this.'

The Pitris said:

O best of victors! you ought not to destroy these kinsmen of Kshatriyas. It is not proper for you, being a Brâhmana, to slaughter these kings.


293:1 Cf. Taittirîya-upanishad, p. 40.

293:2 The readings here in the MSS. are not satisfactory. I adopt as the best that which appears to have been before Arguna Misra. The meaning seems to be this:--I have now understood the truth, but I cannot be blamed for having hitherto done that which I saw every one else do. Now I have had the benefit of conversation with a good man, and have become free from my delusion.

293:3 Namely, that final emancipation. is not to be obtained by action, and that slaughter is sinful.

293:4 He is also called a Yogin at Raghuvamsa VI, 38. See Mallinâth's commentary there.

294:1 I. e. by giving him what be desired--a 'foeman worthy of his steel' to fight with him.

295:1 Viz. the protection of their subjects.

295:2 As the kings failed to protect the people, the Brâhmanas apparently were nowhere forthcoming.

295:3 Cf. Muir, Sanskrit Texts, vol. i, pp. 482 seq., 358, 391; vol. ii, p. 423; Sânti Parvan, ch. 65, st. 13; ch. 207, st. 42 (Râgadharma).

295:4 As Kshatriyas were required for the protection of the people, the Brâhmanas procreated them on Kshatriya women. See Muir, Sanskrit Texts, vol. ii, p. 451 seq. And as they were the offspring of these anomalous connexions they are described as 'kinsmen of Kshatriyas.` Cf. Khândogya, p. 317; Brihadâranyaka, p. 1037 and comments there. As to heroic, see Muir, Sanskrit Texts, vol. iv, p. 302 note.

295:5 Cf. Gîtâ, p. 40, note  1.

295:6 See as to the whole story, Muir, Sanskrit Texts, vol. i, p. 442.

Next: Chapter XV