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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Legend of the Flood
Indian Literature
 
From the ‘Çatapatha Brāhmana’: Translation of Edward Washburn Hopkins

IN the morning they brought water to Manu to wash with, even as to-day they bring it to wash hands with. While he was washing, a fish came into his hands. The fish said, “Keep me and I will save thee.”—“From what wilt thou save me?”—“A flood will sweep away all creatures on earth. From that will I save thee.”—“How am I to keep thee?”—“As long as we are small,” it said, “we are subject to destruction. Fish eats fish. Thou shalt keep me first in a jar. When I outgrow that, thou shalt dig a hole and keep me in it. When I outgrow that, thou shalt take me down to the sea, for then I shall be beyond destruction.” It soon became a jhasha [a great horned fish], for this is the largest fish; and then it said, “The flood will come in such a year. Look out for me, and build a ship. When the flood rises, enter into the ship, and I will save thee.” After he had kept it, he took it to the sea. And the same year as the fish had said, he looked out for the fish and built a ship. And when the flood rose he entered into the ship. Then the fish swam up, and Manu tied the ship’s rope to the horn of the fish; and thus he sailed up swiftly to the Northern Mountain. “I have saved thee,” it said: “fasten the ship to a tree. But let not the water leave thee stranded while thou art on the mountaintop. Descend slowly as the water goes down.” So he descended slowly; and that descent from the Northern Mountain is still called Manu’s Descent. The flood then swept off all the creatures of the earth, and Manu remained here alone.  1
 
 
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