The Mahabharata Home
"Chyavana said, 'I should certainly, O chief of men, tell you everything about the circumstance for which, O monarch, I came hither for exterminating thy race. This is well-known, O king, that the Kshatriyas should always have the assistance of the sons of Bhrigu in the matter of sacrifices. Through an irresistible decree of Destiny, the Kshatriyas and the Bhargavas will fall out. The Kshatriyas, O king, will slay the descendants of Bhrigu. Afflicted by an ordinance of fate, they will exterminate the race of Bhrigu, not sparing even infants in their mothers' wombs. There will then spring in Bhrigu's race a Rishi of the name of Urva. Endued with great energy, he will in splendour certainly resemble fire or the sun. He will cherish such wrath (upon hearing of the extermination of his race) as will be sufficient to consume the three worlds. He will be competent to reduce the whole earth with all her mountains and forests into ashes. For a little while he will quell the flames of that fiery rage, throwing it into the Mare's mouth that wanders through the ocean. He will have a son of the name of Richika. The whole science of arms, O sinless one, in its embodied form will come to him, for the extermination of the entire Kshatriya race, through a decree of Destiny. Receiving that science by inward light, he will, by Yoga-puissance, communicate it to his son, the highly-blessed Jamadagni of cleansed soul. That tiger of Bhrigu's race will bear that science in his mind. O thou of righteous soul, Jamadagni will wed a girl, taking her from thy race, for spreading its glory, O chief of the Bharatas. Having obtained for wife the daughter of Gadhi and thy grand-daughter, O king that great ascetic will beget a regenerate son endued with Kshatriya accomplishments. In thy race will be born a son, a Kshatriya endued with the virtues of a Brahmana. Possessed of great righteousness, he will be the son of Gadhi. Known by the name of Viswamitra, he will in energy come to be regarded as the equal of Vrihaspati himself, the preceptor of the celestials. The illustrious Richika will grant this son to thy race, this Kshatriya
that will be endued with high penances. In the matter of this exchange of sons, (viz., a Kshatriya son in the race of Bhrigu and a Brahamana son in thy race) the cause will be two women. All this will happen at the command of the grandsire. It will never be otherwise. Unto one that is third in descent from thee, the status of Brahmanahood will attach. Thou shalt become a relative (by marriage) of the Bhargavas.'
"Bhishma continued, 'Hearing these words of the high-souled ascetic Chyavana, king Kusika became filled with joy, and made answer in the following words, 'Indeed, O best of the Bharatas', he said, 'So be it!' Endued with high energy, Chyavana once more addressed the king, and urged him to accept a boon from himself. The king replied, 'Very well.' From thee, O great ascetic, I shall obtain the fruition of my wish. Let my race become invested with the status of Brahmanahood, and let it always set its heart upon righteousness.' The ascetic Chyavana, thus solicited, granted the king's prayer, and bidding farewell to the monarch, set out on his intended tour to the sacred waters. I have now told thee everything, O Bharata, relating to thy questions, viz., how the Bhrigus and the Kusikas became connected with each other by marriage. Indeed, O king, everything fell out as the Rishi Chyavana had said. The birth of Rama (of Bhrigu's race) and of Viswamitra (of Kusika's race) happened in the way that Chyavana had indicated.'"
Next: Section LVII