The Mahabharata Home
"Krishna continued,--'hearing these words of the king, the Rakshasa woman answered--Blessed be thou, O king of kings. Capable of assuming any form at will. I am a Rakshasa woman called Jara. I am living, O king, happily in thy house, worshipped by all. Every day I wander from house to house of men. Indeed, I was created of old by the Self-create and was named Grihadevi (the household goddess)'. Of celestial beauty I was placed (in the world) for the destruction of the Danavas. He that with devotion painteth on the walls (of his house) a likeness of myself endued with youth and in the midst of children, must have prosperity in his abode; otherwise a household must sustain decay and destruction. O lord, painted on the walls of thy house is a likeness of myself surrounded by numerous children. Stationed there I am daily worshipped with scents and flowers, with incense and edibles and various objects of enjoyment. Thus worshipped in thy house, I daily think of doing thee some good in return. It chanced, O virtuous king, that I beheld the fragmentary bodies of thy son. When these happened to be united by me, a living child was formed of them. O great king, it hath been so owing to thy good fortune alone. I have been only the instrument, I am capable of swallowing the mountain
of Meru itself, what shall I say of the child? I have, however, been gratified with thee in consequence of the worship I receive in thy house. It is, therefore, O king, that I have bestowed this child on thee.
"Krishna continued,--Having spoken these words, O king, Jara disappeared there and then. The king having obtained the child then entered the palace. And the king then caused all the rites of infancy to be performed on that child, and ordered a festival to be observed by his people in Honour of that Rakshasa woman. And the monarch equal unto Brahma himself then bestowed a name on his child. And he said that because the child had been united by Jara, he should be called (Jarasandha i.e., united by Jara). And the son of the king of Magadha endued with great energy, began to grow up in bulk and strength like a fire into which hath been poured libation of clarified butter. And increasing day by day like the moon in the bright fortnight, the child began to enhance the joy of his parents.'"
Next: Section XIX