Friday, July 15, 2011

Quotes from Myths of the Hindus and Buddhists by Sister Nivedita

Title: Myths of the Hindus and Buddhists
Author: Sister Nivedita

Here are quotes from the Mahabharata section of the book; here is the Reading Guide.

Duryodhana rebukes Bhima for criticizing Karna:
The lineage of heroes is ever unknown! What does it matter where a brave man comes from? Who asks for the source of a river?

Vidura warns Yudhishthira:
Be always alert! There are weapons not made of steel.

Vidura advises Yudhishthira:
Make yourselves familiar with the roads through the forest and learn to direct yourselves by the stars.

Bhishma speaking of Shishupala and Krishna:
Can the dog slay the lion?

Krishna's promise to Shishupala's mother:
Yea, if he offend me even a hundred times, yet a hundred times shall I forgive him.

The words of Bhishma:
I esteem all the kings of the earth but as a straw.

Krishna to Shishupala:
The cup of thy misdeeds, O sinful one, is now full!

When Shishupala died:
... he entered into and was mingled with the body of that god.

Yudhishthira's Dharma:
just as he must answer a challenge to battle, so he must comply with a challenge to the dice.

Yudhishthira before the dice game:
What is a man to fight against destiny?

The gambling match:
a storm was here being set in motion that would not end till all the house should be uprooted.

Draupadi speaking to Dhritarashtra:
"I who am free," she said quietly and proudly, "demand the freedom of my son's father, Yudhishthira!"

Draupadi declares:
The Pandavas, armed and free, can conquer the whole world.

Karna speaks of Draupadi:
Was there ever such a woman? The Pandavas were sinking in an ocean of despair, and the princess of Panchala hath made herself a ship to carry them in safety to the shore!

Yudhishthira, at the words "Return and play!" took on the look of a man under a spell.

Again Sakuni cried: " I have won!"

Arjuna in the Himalayas:
the earth began to smoke and the heavenly beings to tremble from the heat of Arjuna's penance.

The promise of Shiva to King Drupada:
Thou shalt in due time have a child who will be first a daughter and then a son.

The words of the queen of Panchala to her husband:
Homage to the gods was good, she said, when seconded by human endeavour.

Sthuna's words to Shikhandin when it turns out that their gender swap is permanent:
All this was destiny, Shikhandin! It could not have been prevented.

So Shikhnadin lives out the rest of his life as a man, a warrior and knight:
though he had been born a woman, was actually a man and known as Shikhandin, maiden and knight.

About the King of Shalya, unworthy of Amba's love:
he proved utterly unworthy of the great and faithful love of the Lady Amba.

Amba declares:
truth cannot be defeated

Amba, after being rejected by the king and by Bhishma:
There was now no help for her even in the gods. She must depend upon herself.

Amba's plight:
she had come to be "neither woman nor man"

Amba's question:
But how, being a woman, can I achieve victory in battle?

Amba's vow as she ends her life by self-immolation:
To obtain a new body for the destruction of Bhlshma do I enter this fire!

Before the war of Kurukshetra:
The clouds of war hung thick and black above the rival houses,

Sister Nivedita compares the war itself to a gambling match:
Thus entered both parties into that mansion where the play was to be war, where the gamblers were men and their own lives the stakes, and where the dice-board was the battle-field, filled with its armies, chariots, and elephants.

By the end of the war, the Kauravas are dead:
Duryodhana and all the sons of Dhritarashtra had vanished in death, even as a lamp that is extinguished at midday.

part of the teaching of the Bhagavad-Gita:
sva-dharma — that is, action according to the duty of each individual.

Arjuna's words to Krishna:
"I will not fight."

The wise grieve not at all, either for the living or the dead.

in Me is the evolution of the universe, and in Me its dissolution.

The pure fragrance of the earth am I, and the light in fire

I am the reason of the rational, the splendour of the splendid.

Know that from Me are sprung the moods of goodness, fieriness and gloom; I am not in them, but they in Me.

I know the beings that are past and present and to come, Arjuna; but none knoweth Me.

Bhishma is a deadly foe:
Even as the sun with his rays sucks up the energies of all things during summer, so did Bhlshma take the lives of the hostile warriors.

Arjuna despairs:
Oh, oh, how am I to kill him who has been my own grandfather?

Bhishma's death:
like a vortex in the river the tides of battle closed over and around him

after being shot by Arjuna:
he, Bhishma, was left alone for the night, lying on his bed of arrows.

Karna on his loyalty to Duryodhana and to his own family:
How could he, out of mere desire for empire, cut loose his heart from bonds so sweet?

Karna compares the upcoming battle to a ritual sacrifice:
This is no battle, but a great sacrifice of arms that is about to be celebrated, and Krishna himself is to be the high priest.

Karna's prophetic statement to Krishna:
When I am slain by Arjuna will the end begin, and when Duryodhana is killed by Bhima all will be concluded.

When Vyasa conjures up the ghosts:
the dead came forward and mingled with the living.

Yudhishthira will not desert the dog:
the dog appears as one who has been devoted, loyal in time of loss and disaster, loving and faithful in the hour of entire solitude.

Yudhishthira has refused Heaven for the sake of a dog, and the dog stands transformed into a shining god, Dharma himself.

Yudhishthira finds his wife and brothers in Hell:
Here with my friends, in Hell, where my presence aids them, shall I abide for ever.

All kings must see Hell as well as Heaven.

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