if the brahmans soon after they had succeeded in

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if the brahmans, soon after they had succeeded in carrying through their demands here, revised the epos of the great war in the light of their new system, they could claim the thanks of the kings of the bharatas for their support, they could show that the kings who in ancient times had won the dominion in these lands, the ancestors of the race then on the throne, had even in early times obediently followed the commands of the priests, and they could set up the conquerors in that struggle as patterns of the proper conduct of kings to brahmans (p.101).hence we may perhaps assume that it was in the districts on the upper yamuna and the upper ganges that the priesthood first got the upper hand, and the same change followed in the lands still further to the east, after the great priestly families, with more or less difficulty, delay and completeness, established themselves among the kshatriyas of these districtsthe vasishthas with the kings of the koçalas, the gautamas with the kings of the videhas, to whom no doubt they made very clear the services their forefathers had rendered to the predecessors on the throne.according as the previous circumstances offered more resistance in one place, and less in another, the new system was sometimes carried out more rapidly and thoroughly, and at others more slowly and with less severity.no historical tradition has come down to us of the resistance made by the nobles to the priestly order in defence of their possession, or by the kings in questions affecting their power.it was the interest of the brahmans to establish and describe the position they had won by conquest as occupied by them from the first.no nation has gone so far as the indians in their eagerness to forget the old condition of affairs in every succeeding evolution, and to establish the new point of view as one existing from the first.the liveliness and force of their fancy must have unconsciously led them to regard the new and the present as the old and the original after comparatively short intervals of time.in some episodes of the epos and narratives of the puranas we find legends of kings and warriors who because they did not show the proper respect for the brahmans, or opposed them, were severely punished, and of saintly heroes who slew the kshatriyas.we cannot, however, assume, that in the one or the other there is concealed any historic reminiscence.they are merely intended to set up terrifying examples of the lot which awaited kings and kshatriyas who ventured to disregard the brahmans.the book of the law tells us that the wise king vena became infirm in mind owing to sensuality, and in this condition he brought about the mixture of the orders.[181] king nahusha, sudas, the son of pijavana, and nimi perished through want of humility, but viçvamitra by his humility was raised to the rank of a brahman.[182] all these names are taken from the legend as it existed previously to the great war.in the rigveda, vena is mentioned as the father of prithu;[183] the ramayana enumerates vena and his son prithu among the first successors of ikshvaku, the progenitor of the kings of the koçalas (p.106).the vishnupurana, which assigns the same position to vena, tells us that he took upon himself to arrange the duties of men, and forbade the brahmans to sacrifice to the gods; no one might be worshipped but himself.then the holy brahmans slew the sinner with swords of the sacred sacrificial grass, which had been purified by invocations.and when, on the death of the king, robbers sprung up on every side, the brahmans rubbed the right arm of the dead king, and from it sprung the pious and wise prithu, who shone like agni; he ruled between the yamuna and ganges, and subdued the earth, and by this noble son venas soul was freed from hell.the mahabharata tells us that prithu inquired with folded hands of the great saints about his duties, and that they bade him maintain the veda, abstain from punishing brahmans, and protect society from the intermixture of the castes.[184] king nahusha belongs to the royal race of the bharatas; he is mentioned as the second successor of pururavas (p.82).the mahabharata tells us that he was a mighty king, but he laid tribute on the saints, and forced them to carry him.once he caused his palanquin to be carried by a thousand great sages, and because they did not go fast enough, he struck with his foot the holy agastya who was among them.then agastya cursed him and he was changed into a serpent.[185] nimi, according to the ramayana, is a son of ikshvaku, the progenitor of the koçalas.he bade vasishtha his priest offer a sacrifice for him, and vasishtha undertook to perform the second half of it.but the king caused the sacrifice to be offered by another saint, by gautama.when vasishtha heard this he pronounced a curse on nimi that he should lose his body, and nimi forthwith died.he was not punished for rebellion against a brahman, but because he had not submitted himself with absolute obedience to his own priest.lastly viçvamitra is said to have obtained the rank of a brahman by humility.viçvamitra is known to us from the hymns of the seventh book of the rigveda as offering sacrifice for the bharatas, while vasishtha or his race offer prayer and sacrifice for their opponent, sudas, the king of the tritsus, who afterwards settle on the sarayu and bear the name of koçalas (p.66).but the ramayana and the puranas also place vasishtha at the side of the kings of the koçalas, not at the time of nimi only, as we have seen, who is the son of the tribal ancestor ikshvaku, but at the side of ikshvakus descendants in the fifth century, like vena, and even in the twentieth and fiftieth generations.the imagination of the indians was not disturbed by such things in the case of a great priest of the old time.yet in other parts of the rigveda besides those quoted above, in the third book, we find prayers offered by viçvamitra for sudas, and some obscure expressions may be regarded as curses directed by vasishtha against viçvamitra.from the circumstance that viçvamitra at one time offers prayers for the king of the tritsus, and at another for the king of the bharatas, we may draw the conclusion, that the family of the kuçikas to which viçvamitra belonged was driven out among the tritsus by another familythat of vasishtha, and that afterwards the kuçikas offered their services to the kings of the bharatas, and were allowed to perform them.out of the opposition of viçvamitra and vasishtha, indicated in the rigveda, the priestly literature of the indians has invented a great contest between viçvamitra and the kshatriyas, in order to bring to light the superiority of the brahmans.even with the aid of his weapons, viçvamitra the kshatriya cannot prevail against the brahman vasishtha.at length he recognises the majesty of the brahman, submits to brahmanic ordinances, and distinguishes himself by sanctity to such a degree that he became like a brahman, and possessed all the qualifications of one.[186] in the vishnupurana sudas is the fiftieth successor of ikshvaku on the throne of the koçalas.his priest was vasishtha; and viçvamitra, the son of a great kshatriya, the king of kanyakubja (kanoja), wished to drive him out.one day, while hunting, sudas met a brahman, who would not move out of the way for him, and he struck him with his whip.the brahman was Çakti, the eldest of vasishthas hundred sons.Çakti pronounced on the king the curse that he should become a cannibal, and the curse was fulfilled.but by the help of an evil spirit viçvamitra was able to bring the consequences of the curse on the sons of vasishtha; Çakti himself and all his brothers were eaten by the king.in despair at the death of his sons, vasishtha sought to put an end to his own life, but in vain.when at length he returned to his settlement, he found that the widow of his eldest son was pregnant; and when she brought forth paraçara the hope of progeny revived in him.but sudas desired to eat paraçara also.then the holy vasishtha blew on sudas, sprinkled him with holy water, and took the curse from him, and in return the king promised never to despise brahmans, to obey their commands, and show them all honour


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