Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana Book 9 Chapter 15:16-28

Book 9: Chapter 15

Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 9: Chapter 15: Verses 16-28
The stories of Rcika, Jamadagni and Parasurama

The king (Pariksit) submitted : What was that offence which was committed against the glorious sage (Parasurama) by Ksatriyas of uncontrolled mind, for which (the entire) race of the Ksatriyas was wiped out (by him) time and again? Sri Suka replied Having propitiated Lord Datta (better known as Dattatreya), a part manifestation of Lord Narayana, through acts of worship, Arjuna, the jewel among the Ksatriyas and the then ruler of the Haihayas, had secured a thousand arms, formidableness in the eyes of foes, uninterrupted soundness of the senses and organs of action, affluence, glory, prowess, fame and bodily strength, mastery of Yoga and superhuman power which was characterized by virtues such as the capacity to assume an atomic form. His movement being unimpeded (everywhere), he went about the worlds like the wind. Sporting in the water of the Reva (Narmada), surrounded by jewels among women and intoxicated with excessive pride, King Arjuna, who wore a necklace made of precious stones of the (well-known) nine varieties, obstructed (the stream of) the river with his (thousand) arms. Finding his (military) encampment inundated by the water of the river flowing upwards, Ravana (the ten-headed monster), who thought himself to be a (great) hero, did not brook this (show of) valour (on the part) of Arjuna. Having offended against Arjuna, Ravana was seized by way of sport in the presence of those women (by Arjuna) and was imprisoned in Mahismati (his capital) like a monkey and (eventually) set free. Ranging in a dense forest in pursuit of game, on one occasion, Arjuna for his part found his way perchance into the precincts of the hermitage of the sage Jamadagni. (By the good offices of Kamadhenu (the cow of plenty) the sage, rich in asceticism, extended his hospitality to that ruler of men including his army, ministers and animals carrying them. Seeing that affluence (of the sage), which surpassed his own, in that hermitage, and full of longing for the cow of plenty (which was so useful for Agnihotra or pouring oblations into the sacred fire, and which was responsible for all the affluence displayed by the sage), the hero (Arjuna) including the (other) Haihayas (his kinsmen that had accompanied him in his hunting expedition) did not make much of that hospitality. In his arrogance the king (did not think it necessary to seek the permission of the sage and) commanded his men to take away the cow of plenty (lit., a storehouse of milk, ghee and so on, fit for being poured as oblation into the sacred fire). And they (in their turn) forcibly took away to Mahismati the screaming cow alongwith its calf. Now, on the king having gone away Rama (who had been out) returned to the hermitage and, having heard of his aforesaid wickedness, flew into a rage like a serpent that had been hit. Taking his terrible axe, shield and bow with a quiver, the formidable hero pursued the king like a lion (the king of beasts) chasing the leader of a herd of elephants.



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