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(Chaitraratha Parva continued)

"Vasishtha continued, 'The Brahmana lady, thus addressed by them, said, 'Ye children, I have not robbed you of your eye-sight, nor am I angry with you. This child, however, of the Bhrigu race hath certainly been angry with you. There is little doubt, ye children, that ye have been robbed of your sight by that illustrious child whose wrath hath been kindled at the remembrance of the slaughter of his race. Ye children, while ye were destroying even the embryos of the Bhrigu race, this child was held by me in my thigh for a hundred years! And in order that the prosperity of Bhrigu's race might be restored, the entire Vedas with their branches came unto this one even while he was in the womb. It is plain that this scion of the Bhrigu race, enraged at the slaughter of his fathers, desireth to slay you! It is by his celestial energy that your eyes have been scorched. Therefore, ye children, pray ye unto this my excellent child born of my thigh. Propitiated by your homage he may restore your eye-sight.'

"Vasishtha continued, 'Hearing those words of the Brahmana lady, all these princes addressed the thigh-born child, saying, 'Be propitious!' And the child became propitious unto them. And that best of Brahmana Rishis,

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in consequence of his having been born after tearing open his mother's thigh, came to be known throughout the three worlds by the name of Aurva (thigh-born). And those princes regaining their eye-sight went away. But the Muni Aurva of the Bhrigu race resolved upon overcoming the whole world. And the high-souled Rishi set his heart, O child, upon the destruction of every creature in the world. And that scion of the Bhrigu race, for paying homage (as he regarded) unto his slaughtered ancestors, devoted himself to the austerest of penances with the object of destroying the whole world. And desirous of gratifying his ancestors, the Rishi afflicted by his severe asceticism the three worlds with the celestials, the Asuras and human beings. The Pitris, then, learning what the child of their race was about, all came from their own region unto the Rishi and addressing him said:

'Aurva, O son, fierce thou hast been in thy asceticism. Thy power hath been witnessed by us. Be propitious unto the three worlds. O, control thy wrath. O child, it was not from incapacity that the Bhrigus of souls under complete control were, all of them, indifferent to their own destruction at the hands of the murderous Kshatriyas. O child, when we grew weary of the long periods of life alloted to us, it was then that we desired our own destruction through the instrumentality of the Kshatriyas. The wealth that the Bhrigus had placed in their house underground had been placed only with the object of enraging the Kshatriyas and picking a quarrel with them. O thou best of Brahmanas, as we were desirous of heaven, of what use could wealth be to us? The treasurer of heaven (Kuvera) had kept a large treasure for us. When we found that death could not, by any means, overtake us all, it was then, O child, that we regarded this as the best means (of compassing our desire). They who commit suicide never attain to regions that are blessed. Reflecting upon this, we abstained from self-destruction. That which, therefore thou desirest to do is not agreeable to us. Restrain thy mind, therefore, from the sinful act of destroying the whole world. O child, destroy not the Kshatriyas nor the seven worlds. O, kill this wrath of thine that staineth thy ascetic energy.'"

Next: Section CLXXXII