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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Specimen of the Rāmāyana
Indian Literature
 
How Viçvāmitra, the King, Became a Priest

After the Translation of Franz Bopp

VIÇVĀMITRA, of the knightly caste, practiced austerities for a long time in order to become a priest. Silent for several thousand years, true to his vow, he practiced unequaled self-torture. As the years passed he became like a tree; wrath affected him not, he completed his vow. When thus he had completed his vow he began [for the first time] to eat. Indra the god, disguised as a man, asked him for food, and Viçvāmitra the great saint gave him all of it. He kept also the vow of silence, suppressing his breath, and at last so great was his power that smoke and fire came from him who breathed not, so that the three worlds were frightened. Then the saints in heaven spoke to the Creator and said, “Viçvāmitra, tempted to love and to anger, hath not yielded: he has no defect; he is a perfect ascetic. He demands a boon, and if he does not obtain it he will soon destroy all creation. Save the gods’ realm, which the Great Seer, through the power of his asceticism, will soon destroy, and grant him his wish.” So the boon was granted by the All-father, and to Viçvāmitra, who was one of the knightly caste, was granted the great boon that he should be counted a Brahman.  1
 
 
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