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"Bhishma said, 'Then, O great king, during the night, having bowed unto the Brahmanas, the Rishis, the gods, and all those creatures that wander during the dark, and also all the kings of the earth, I laid myself down on my bed, and in the solitude of my room, I began to reflect in the following way.--For many days hath this fierce combat of terrible consequence lasted between myself and Jamadagni. I am unable, however, to vanquish on the field of battle that Rama of mighty energy. If indeed, I am competent to vanquish in battle that Brahmana of mighty strength, viz., Jamadagni's son of great prowess, then let the gods kindly show themselves to me this night!--Mangled with arrows as I lay asleep, O great king, that night on my right side, towards the morning, those foremost of Brahmanas who had raised me when I had fallen down from my car and held me up and said unto me--Do not fear--and who had comforted me, showed themselves to me, O king, in a dream! And they stood surrounding me and said these words. Listen to them as I repeat them to thee, O perpetuator of Kuru's race! Rise, O Ganga's son, thou needst have no fear! We will protect thee, for thou art our own body! Rama, the son of Jamadagni, will never be able to vanquish thee in battle! Thou, O bull of Bharata's race, wilt be the conqueror of Rama in combat! This beloved weapon, O Bharata, called Praswapa, appertaining to the lord of all creatures, and forged by the divine artificer, will come to thy knowledge, for it was known to thee in thy former life! Neither Rama, nor any person on earth is acquainted with it. Recollect it, therefore, O thou of mighty arms, and apply it with strength! O king of kings, O sinless one, it will come to thee of itself! With it, O Kaurava, thou wilt be able to check all persons endued with mighty energy! O king, Rama will not be slain outright by it, thou shalt not, therefore, O giver of honours, incur any sin by using it! Afflicted by the

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force of this thy weapon, the son of Jamadagni, will fall asleep! Vanquishing him thus, thou wilt again awaken him in battle, O Bhishma, with that dear weapon called Samvodhana! Do what we have told thee, O Kauravya, in the morning, stationed on thy car. Asleep or dead we reckon it as the same, O king, Rama will not surely die! Apply, therefore, this Praswapa weapon so happily thought of!--Having said this, O king, those foremost of Brahmanas, eight in number and resembling one another in form, and possessed of effulgent bodies, all vanished from my sight!'"

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