The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa - Translated into English Prose - Adi Parva (First Parva, or First Book)
by Kisari Mohan Ganguli (Translator)
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thee for, O Dushmanta, thy head this moment shall burst into a hundred pieces! The husband entering the womb of the wife cometh out himself in the form of the son. Therefore is the wife called by those cognisant of the Vedas as Jaya (she of whom one is born). And the son that is so born unto persons cognisant of the Vedic Mantras rescueth the spirits of deceased ancestors. And because the son rescueth ancestors from the hell called Put, therefore, hath he been called by the Self-create himself as Puttra (the rescuer from Put). By a son one conquereth the three worlds. By a son's son, one enjoyeth eternity. And by a grandson's son great-grand-fathers enjoy everlasting happiness. She is a true wife who is skilful in household affairs. She is a true wife who hath borne a son. She is a true wife whose heart is devoted to her lord. She is a true wife who knoweth none but her lord. The wife is a man's half. The wife is the first of friends. The wife is the root of religion, profit, and desire. The wife is the root of salvation. They that have wives can perform religious acts. They that have wives can lead domestic lives. They that have wives have the means to be cheerful. They that have wives can achieve good fortune. Sweet-speeched wives are friends on occasions of joy. They are as fathers on occasions of religious acts. They are mothers in sickness and woe. Even in the deep woods to a traveller a wife is his refreshment and solace. He that hath a wife is trusted by all. A wife, therefore, is one's most valuable possession. Even when the husband leaving this world goeth into the region of Yama, it is the devoted wife that accompanies him thither. A wife going before waits for the husband. But if the husband goeth before, the chaste wife followeth close. For these reasons, O king, doth marriage exist. The husband enjoyeth the companionship of the wife both in this and in the other worlds. It hath been said by learned persons that one is himself born as one's son. Therefore, a man whose wife hath borne a son should look upon her as his mother. Beholding the face of the son one hath begotten upon his wife, like his own face in a mirror, one feeleth as happy as a virtuous man, on attaining to heaven. Men scorched by mental grief, or suffering under bodily pain, feel as much refreshed in the companionship of their wives as a perspiring person in a cool bath. No man, even in anger, should ever do anything that is disagreeable to his wife, seeing that happiness, joy, and virtue,—everything dependeth on the wife. A wife is the sacred field in which the husband is born himself. Even Rishis cannot create creatures without women. What happiness is greater than what the father feeleth when the son running towards him, even though his body be covered with dust, claspeth his limbs? Why then dost thou treat with indifference such a son, who hath approached thee himself and who casteth wistful glances towards thee for climbing thy knees? Even ants support their own eggs without destroying them; then why shouldst not thou, a virtuous man that thou art, support thy own child? The touch of soft sandal paste, of women, of (cool) water is not so agreeable as the touch of one's own infant son locked in one's embrace. As a Brahmana is the foremost of all bipeds, a cow, the foremost of all quadrupeds, a protector, the foremost of all superiors, so is the son the foremost of all objects, agreeable to the touch. Let, therefore, this handsome child touch thee in embrace. There is nothing in the world more agreeable to the touch than the embrace of one's son. O chastiser of foes, I have brought forth this child, O monarch, capable of dispelling all thy sorrows after bearing him in my womb for full three years. O monarch of Puru's race, 'He shall perform a hundred horse-sacrifices'—these were the words uttered from the sky when I was in the lying-in room. Indeed, men going into places remote from their homes take up there others' children on their laps and smelling their heads feel great happiness. Thou knowest that Brahmanas repeat these Vedic mantras on the occasion of the consecrating rites of infancy.—Thou art born, O son, of my body! Thou art sprung from my heart. Thou art myself in the form of a son. Live thou to a hundred years! My life dependeth on thee, and the continuation of my race also, on thee. Therefore, O son, live thou in great happiness to a hundred years. He hath sprung from thy body, this second being from thee! Behold thyself in thy son, as thou beholdest thy image in the clear lake. As the sacrificial fire is kindled from the domestic one, so hath this one sprung from thee. Though one, thou hast divided thyself. In course of hunting while engaged in pursuit of the deer, I was approached by thee, O king, I who was then a virgin in the asylum of my father. Urvasi, Purvachitti, Sahajanya, Menaka, Viswachi and Ghritachi, these are the six foremost of Apsaras. Amongst them again, Menaka, born of Brahman, is the first. Descending from heaven on Earth, after intercourse with Viswamitra, she gave birth to me. That celebrated Apsara, Menaka, brought me forth in a valley of Himavat. Bereft of all affection, she went away, cast me there as if I were the child of somebody else. What sinful act did I do, of old, in some other life that I was in infancy cast away by my parents and at present am cast away by thee! Put away by thee, I am ready to return to the refuge of my father. But it behoveth thee not to cast off this child who is thy own.'

"Hearing all this, Dushmanta said, 'O Sakuntala, I do not know having begot upon thee this son. Women generally speak untruths. Who shall believe in thy words? Destitute of all affection, the lewd Menaka is thy mother, and she cast thee off on the surface of the Himavat as one throws away, after the worship is over, the flowery offering made to his gods. Thy father too of the Kshatriya race, the lustful Viswamitra, who was tempted to become a Brahmana, is destitute of all affection. However, Menaka is the first of Apsaras, and thy father also is the first of Rishis. Being their daughter, why dost thou speak like a lewd woman? Thy words deserve no credit. Art thou not ashamed to speak them, especially before me? Go hence, O wicked woman in ascetic guise. Where is that foremost of great Rishis, where also is that Apsara Menaka? And why art thou, low as thou art, in the guise of an ascetic? Thy child too is grown up. Thou sayest he is a boy, but he is very strong. How hath he soon grown like a Sala sprout? Thy birth is low. Thou speakest like a lewd woman. Lustfully hast thou been begotten by Menaka. O woman of ascetic guise, all that thou sayest is quite unknown to me. I don't know thee. Go withersoever thou choosest.'

"Sakuntala replied, 'Thou seest, O king, the fault of others, even though they be as small as a mustard seed. But seeing, thou noticest not thy own faults even though they be as large as the Vilwa fruit. Menaka is one of the celestials. Indeed, Menaka is reckoned as the first of celestials. My birth, therefore, O Dushmanta, is far higher than thine. Thou walkest upon the Earth, O king, but I roam in the skies! Behold, the difference between ourselves is as that between (the mountain) Meru and a mustard seed! Behold my power, O king! I can repair to the abodes of Indra, Kuvera, Yama, and Varuna! The saying is true which I shall refer to before thee, O sinless one! I refer to it for example's sake and not from evil motives. Therefore, it behoveth thee to pardon me after thou hast heard it. An ugly person considereth himself handsomer than others until he sees his own face in the mirror. But when he sees his own ugly face in the mirror, it is then that he perceiveth the difference between himself and others. He that is really handsome never taunts anybody. And he that always talketh evil becometh a reviler. And as the swine always look for dirt and filth even when in the midst of a flower-garden, so the wicked always choose the evil out of both evil and good that others speak. Those, however, that are wise, on hearing the speeches of others that are intermixed with both good and evil, accept only what is good, like geese that always extract the milk only, though it be mixed with water. As the honest are always pained at speaking ill of others, so do the wicked always rejoice in doing the same thing. As the honest always feel pleasure in showing regard for the old, so do the wicked always take delight in aspersing the good. The honest are happy in not seeking for faults. The wicked are happy in seeking for them. The wicked ever speak ill of the honest. But the latter never injure the former, even if injured by them. What can be more ridiculous in the world than that those that are themselves wicked should represent the really honest as wicked? When even atheists are annoyed with those that have fallen off from truth and virtue and who are really like angry snakes of virulent poison, what shall I say of myself who am nurtured in faith? He that having begotten a son who is his own image, regardeth him not, never attaineth to the worlds he coveteth, and verily the gods destroy his good fortune and possessions. The Pitris have said that the son continueth the race and the line and is, therefore, the best of all religious acts. Therefore, none should abandon a son. Manu hath said that there are five kinds of sons; those begotten by one's self upon his own wife, those obtained (as gift) from others, those purchased for a consideration, those reared with affection and those begotten upon other women than upon wedded wives. Sons support the religion and achievements of men, enhance their joys, and rescue deceased ancestors from hell. It behoveth thee not, therefore, O tiger among kings, to abandon a son who is such. Therefore, O lord of Earth, cherish thy own self, truth, and virtue by cherishing thy son. O lion among monarchs, it behoveth thee not to support this deceitfulness. The dedication of a tank is more meritorious than that of a hundred wells. A sacrifice again is more meritorious than the dedication of a tank. A son is more meritorious than a sacrifice. Truth is more meritorious than a hundred sons. A hundred horse-sacrifices had once been weighed against Truth, and Truth was found heavier than a hundred horse-sacrifices. O king, Truth, I ween, may be equal to the study of, the entire Vedas and ablutions in all holy places. There is no virtue equal to Truth: there is nothing superior to Truth. O king, Truth is God himself; Truth is the highest vow. Therefore, violate not thy pledge, O monarch! Let Truth and thee be even united. If thou placest no credit in my words, I shall of my own accord go hence. Indeed, thy companionship should be avoided. But thou, O Dushmanta, that when thou art gone, this son of mine shall rule the whole Earth surrounded by the four seas and adorned with the king of the mountains.'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'Sakuntala having spoken to the monarch in this wise, left his presence. But as soon as she had left, a voice from the skies, emanating from no visible shape, thus spoke unto Dushmanta as he was sitting surrounded by his occasional and household priests, his preceptors, and ministers. And the voice said, 'The mother is but the sheath of flesh; the son sprung from the father is the father himself. Therefore, O Dushmanta, cherish thy son, and insult not Sakuntala. O best of men, the son, who is but a form of one's own seed, rescueth (ancestors) from the region of Yama. Thou art the progenitor of this boy. Sakuntala hath spoken the truth. The husband, dividing his body in twain, is born of his wife in the form of son. Therefore, O Dushmanta, cherish, O monarch, thy son born of Sakuntala. To live by forsaking one's living son is a great misfortune. Therefore, O thou of Puru's race, cherish thy high- souled son born of Sakuntala—And because this child is to be cherished by thee even at our word, therefore shall this thy son be known by the name of Bharata (the cherished).' Hearing these words uttered by the dwellers in heaven, the monarch of Puru's race became overjoyed and spoke as follows unto his priests and ministers, 'Hear ye these words uttered by the celestial messenger? I myself know this one to be my son. If I had taken him as my son on the strength of Sakuntala's words alone, my people would have been suspicious and my son also would not have been regarded as pure.'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'The monarch, then, O thou of Bharata's race, seeing the purity of his son established by the celestial messenger, became exceedingly glad. And he took unto him that son with joy. And the king with a joyous heart then performed all those rites upon his son that a father should perform. And the king smelt his child's head and hugged him with affection. And the Brahmanas began to utter blessings upon him and the bards began to applaud him. And the monarch then experienced the great delight that one feeleth at the touch of one's son. And Dushmanta also received that wife of his with affection. And he told her these words, pacifying her affectionately, 'O goddess, my union with thee took place privately. Therefore, I was thinking of how best to establish thy purity. My people might think that we were only lustfully united and not as husband and wife, and therefore, this son that I would have installed as my heir apparent would only have been regarded as one of impure birth. And dearest, every hard word thou hast uttered in thy anger, have I, O large-eyed one, forgiven thee. Thou art my dearest!' And the royal sage Dushmanta, having spoken thus unto his dear wife, O Bharata, received her with offerings of perfume, food, and drink. And king Dushmanta, then, bestowed the name of Bharata upon his child, and formally installed him as the heir apparent. And the famous and bright wheels of Bharata's car, invincible and like unto the wheels of the cars owned by the gods, traversed every region, filling the whole Earth with their rattle. And the son of Dushmanta reduced to subjection all kings of the Earth. And he ruled virtuously and earned great fame. And that monarch of great prowess was known by the titles of Chakravarti and Sarvabhauma. And he performed many sacrifices like Sakra, the lord of the Maruts. And Kanwa was the chief priest at those sacrifices, in which the offerings to Brahmanas were great. And the blessed monarch performed both the cow and the horse- sacrifices. And Bharata gave unto Kanwa a thousand gold coins as the sacerdotal fee. It is that Bharata from whom have emanated so many mighty achievements. It is from him that the great race called after him in his race are called after him. And in the Bharata race there have been born many godlike monarchs gifted with great energy, and like unto Brahman himself. Their number cannot be counted. But, O thou of Bharata's race, I shall name the principal ones that were blessed with great good fortune, like unto the gods, and devoted to truth and honesty.'"


(Sambhava Parva continued)

"Vaisampayana said, 'Hear now, as I recite the recorded genealogy, that is sacred and subservient to religion, profit and pleasure, of these royal sages—Daksha, the lord of creation, Manu, the son of Surya, Bharata, Ruru, Puru, and Ajamidha. I shall also recite to thee, O sinless one, the genealogies of the Yadavas and of the Kurus and of the king of the Bharata line. These genealogies are sacred and their recitation is a great act of propitiation. That recitation conferreth wealth, fame and long life. And, O sinless one, all these I have named shone in their splendour and were equal unto the great Rishis in energy.

"Prachetas had ten sons who were all devoted to asceticism and possessed of every virtue. They burnt, of old, by the fire emanating from their mouths, several plants of poisonous and innumerable large trees that had covered the Earth and became a source of great discomfort to man. After these ten, was born another named Daksha. It is from Daksha that all creatures have sprung. Therefore is he, O tiger among men, called the Grandfather. Born of Prachetas the Muni Daksha, uniting himself with Virini, begat a thousand sons of rigid vows, all like himself. And Narada taught these thousand sons of Daksha the excellent philosophy of Sankhya as a means of salvation. And, O Janamejaya, the lord of creation, Daksha, then, from the desire of making creatures, begat fifty daughters. And he made all of them his appointed daughters (so that their sons might be his sons also for the performance of all religious acts). And he bestowed ten of his daughters on Dharma, and thirteen on Kasyapa. And he gave twenty- seven to Chandra, who are all engaged in indicating time. And Kasyapa, the son of Marichi, begat on the eldest of his thirteen wives, the Adityas, the celestials endued with great energy and having Indra as their head and also Vivaswat (the Sun). And of Vivaswat was born the lord Yama. And Martanda (Vivaswat) also begat another son after Yama, gifted with great intelligence and named Manu. And Manu was endued with great wisdom and devoted to virtue. And he became the progenitor of a line. And in Manu's race have been born all human beings, who have, therefore, been called Manavas. And it is of Manu that all men including Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, and others have been descended, and are, therefore, all called Manavas. Subsequently, O monarch, the Brahmanas became united with the Kshatriyas. And those sons of Manu that were Brahmanas devoted themselves to the study of the Vedas. And Manu begat ten other children named Vena, Dhrishnu, Narishyan, Nabhaga, Ikshvaku, Karusha, Saryati, the eighth, a daughter named Ila, Prishadhru the ninth, and Nabhagarishta, the tenth. They all betook themselves to the practices of Kshatriyas. Besides these, Manu had fifty other sons on Earth. But we heard that they all perished, quarrelling with one another. The learned Pururavas was born of Ila. It hath been heard by us that Ila was both his mother and father. And the great Pururavas had sway over thirteen islands of the sea. And, though a human being, he was always surrounded by companions that were superhuman. And Pururavas intoxicated with power quarrelled with the Brahmanas and little caring for their anger robbed them of their wealth. Beholding all this Sanatkumara came from the region of Brahman and gave him good counsel, which was, however, rejected by Pururavas. Then the wrath of the great Rishis was excited, and the avaricious monarch, who intoxicated with power, had lost his reason, was immediately destroyed by their curse.

"It was Pururavas who first brought from the region of the Gandharvas the three kinds of fire (for sacrificial purpose). And he brought thence, the Apsara Urvasi also. And the son of Ila begat upon Urvasi six sons who were called Ayus, Dhimat, Amavasu and Dhridhayus, and Vanayus, and Satayus. And it is said that Ayus begat four sons named Nahusha, Vriddhasarman, Rajingaya, and Anenas, on the daughter of Swarbhanu. And, O monarch, Nahusha, of all the sons of Ayus, being gifted with great intelligence and prowess ruled his extensive kingdom virtuously. And king Nahusha supported evenly the Pitris, the celestials, the Rishis, the Brahmanas, the Gandharvas, the Nagas, the Rakshasas, the Kshatriyas, and the Vaisyas. And he suppressed all robber-gangs with a mighty hand. But he made the Rishis pay tribute and carry him on their backs like bests of burden. And, conquering the very gods by the beauty of his person, his asceticism, prowess, and energy, he ruled as if he were Indra himself. And Nahusha begat six sons, all of sweet speech, named Yati, Yayati, Sanyati, Ayati, and Dhruva. Yati betaking himself to asceticism became a Muni like unto Brahman himself. Yayati became a monarch of great prowess and virtue. He ruled the whole Earth, performed numerous sacrifices, worshipped the Pitris with great reverence, and always respected the gods. And he brought the whole world under his sway and was never vanquished by any foe. And the sons of Yayati were all great bowmen and resplendent with every virtue. And, O king, they were begotten upon (his two wives) Devayani and Sarmishtha. And of Devayani were born Yadu and Turvasu, and of Sarmishtha were born Drahyu, Anu, and Puru. And, O king, having virtuously ruled his subjects for a long time, Yayati was attacked with a hideous decrepitude destroying his personal beauty. And attacked by decrepitude, the monarch then spoke, O Bharata, unto his sons Yadu and Puru and Turvasu and Drahyu and Anu these words, 'Ye dear sons, I wish to be a young man and to gratify my appetites in the company of young women. Do you help me therein.' To him his eldest son born of Devayani then said, 'What needest thou, O king? Dost thou want to have your youth?' Yayati then told him, 'Accept thou my decrepitude, O son! With thy youth I would enjoy myself. During the time of a great sacrifice I have been cursed by the Muni Usanas (Sukra). O son, I would enjoy myself with your youth. Take any of you this my decrepitude and with my body rule ye my kingdom. I would enjoy myself with a renovated body. Therefore, ye my sons, take ye my decrepitude.' But none of his sons accepted his decrepitude. Then his youngest son Puru said unto him, 'O king, enjoy thyself thou once again with a renovated body and returned youth! I shall take thy decrepitude and at thy command rule thy kingdom.' Thus addressed, the royal sage, by virtue of his ascetic power then transferred his own decrepitude unto that high-souled son of his and with the youth of Puru became a youth; while with the monarch's age Puru ruled his kingdom.

"Then, after a thousand years had passed away, Yayati, that tiger among kings, remained as strong and powerful as a tiger. And he enjoyed for a long time the companionship of his two wives. And in the gardens of Chitraratha (the king of Gandharvas), the king also enjoyed the company of the Apsara Viswachi. But even after all this, the great king found his appetites unsatiated. The king, then recollected the following truths contained in the Puranas, 'Truly, one's appetites are never satiated by enjoyment. On the other hand, like sacrificial butter poured into the fire, they flame up with indulgence. Even if one enjoyed the whole Earth with its wealth, diamonds and gold, animals and women, one may not yet be satiated. It is only when man doth not commit any sin in respect of any living thing, in thought, deed, or speech, it is then that he attaineth to purity as that of Brahman. When one feareth nothing, when one is not feared by anything, when one wisheth for nothing, when one injureth nothing, it is then that one attaineth to the purity of Brahman.' The wise monarch seeing this and satisfied that one's appetites are never satiated, set his mind at rest by meditation, and took back from his son his own decrepitude. And giving him back his youth, though his own appetites were unsatiated, and installing him on the throne, he spoke unto Puru thus, 'Thou art my true heir, thou art my true son by whom my race is to be continued. In the world shall my race be known by thy name.'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'Then that tiger among kings, having installed his son Puru on the throne, went away to the mount of Bhrigu for devoting himself to asceticism. And, having acquired great ascetic merit, after long years, he succumbed to the inevitable influence of Time. He left his human body by observing the vow of fasting, and ascended to heaven with his wives.'"


(Sambhava Parva continued)

"Janamejaya said, 'O thou of the wealth of asceticism, tell me how our ancestor Yayati, who is the tenth from Prajapati, obtained for a wife the unobtainable daughter of Sukra. I desire to hear of it in detail. Tell me also, one after another, of those monarchs separately who were the founders of dynasties.'

"Vaisampayana said, 'The monarch Yayati was in splendour like unto Indra himself. I will tell thee, in reply to thy question, O Janamejaya, how both Sukra and Vrishaparvan bestowed upon him, with due rites, their daughters, and how his union took place with Devayani in special.

"Between the celestials and the Asuras, there happened, of yore, frequent encounters for the sovereignty of the three worlds with everything in them. The gods, then, from desire of victory, installed the son of Angiras (Vrihaspati) as their priest to conduct their sacrifices; while their opponents installed the learned Usanas as their priest for the same purpose. And between those two Brahmanas there are always much boastful rivalry. Those Danavas assembled for encounter that were slain by the gods were all revived by the seer Sukra by the power of his knowledge. And then starting again, into life,—these fought with the gods. The Asuras also slew on the field of battle many of the celestials. But the open-minded Vrihaspati could not revive them, because he knew not the science called Sanjivani (re-vivification) which Kavya endued with great energy knew so well. And the gods were, therefore, in great sorrow. And the gods, in great anxiety of heart and entertaining a fear of the learned Usanas, then went to Kacha, the eldest son of Vrihaspati, and spoke unto him, saying, 'We pay court to thee, be kind to us and do us a service that we regard as very great. That knowledge which resides in Sukra, that Brahmana of immeasurable prowess, make thy own as soon as thou canst. Thou shalt find the Brahmana in the court of Vrishaparvan. He always protects the Danavas but never us, their opponents. Thou art his junior in age, and, therefore, capable of adoring him with reverence. Thou canst also adore Devayani, the favourite daughter of that high-souled Brahmana. Indeed, thou alone art capable of propitiating them both by worship. There is none else that can do so. By gratifying Devayani with thy conduct, liberality, sweetness, and general behaviour, thou canst certainly obtain that knowledge.' The son of Vrihaspati, thus solicited by the gods, said 'So be it,' and went to where Vrishaparvan was. Kacha, thus sent by the gods, soon went to the capital of the chief of the Asuras, and beheld Sukra there. And beholding him, he thus spoke unto him, 'Accept me as thy disciple. I am the grandson of the Rishi Angiras and son of Vrihaspati. By name I am known as Kacha. Thyself becoming my preceptor, I shall practise the Brahmacharya mode of life for a thousand years. Command me, then, O Brahmana!'

"Sukra (hearing this) said, 'Welcome art thou, O Kacha! I accept thy speech. I will treat thee with regard; for by so doing, it is Vrihaspati who will be regarded.'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'Kacha commanded by Kavya or Usanas himself, called also Sukra, then said, 'So be it,' and took the vow he had spoken of. And, O Bharata, accepting the vow of which he had spoken, at the proper time, Kacha began to conciliate regardfully both his preceptor and (his daughter) Devayani. Indeed, he began to conciliate both. And as he was young, by singing and dancing and playing on different kinds of instruments, he soon gratified Devayani who was herself in her youth. And, O Bharata, with his whole heart set upon it, he soon gratified the maiden Devayani who was then a young lady, by presents of flowers and fruits and services rendered with alacrity. And Devayani also with her songs and sweetness of manners used, while they were alone, to attend upon that youth carrying out his vow. And when five hundred years had thus passed of Kacha's vow, the Danavas came to learn his intention. And having no compunctions about slaying a Brahmana, they became very angry with him. And one day they saw Kacha in a solitary part of the woods engaged in tending (his preceptor's) kine. They then slew Kacha from their hatred of Vrihaspati and also from their desire of protecting the knowledge of reviving the dead from being conveyed by him. And having slain him, they hacked his body into pieces and gave them to be devoured by jackals and wolves. And (when twilight came) the kine returned to the fold without him who tended them. And Devayani, seeing the kine returned from the woods without Kacha, spoke, O Bharata, unto her father thus:

'Thy evening-fire hath been kindled. The Sun also hath set, O father! The kine have returned without him who tendeth them. Kacha is, indeed, not to be seen. It is plain that Kacha hath been lost, or is dead. Truly do I say, O father, that without him I will not live.'

"Sukra hearing this said, I will revive him by saying, 'Let this one come.' Then having recourse to the science of reviving the dead, Sukra summoned Kacha. And summoned by his preceptor, Kacha appeared before him in the gladness of heart tearing by virtue of his preceptor's science the bodies of the wolves (that had devoured him). And asked about the cause of his delay, he thus spoke unto Bhargava's daughter. Indeed, asked by that Brahman's daughter, he told her, 'I was dead. O thou of pure manners, burdened with sacrificial fuel, Kusa grass, and logs of wood, I was coming towards our abode. I sat under a banian tree. The kine also, having been brought together, were staying under the shade of that same banian tree. The Asuras, beholding me, asked 'Who art thou?' They heard me answer, 'I am the son of Vrihaspati.' As soon as I said this, the Danavas slew me, and hacking my body into pieces gave my remains to jackals and wolves. And they then went home in the gladness of heart. O amiable one, summoned by the high-souled Bhargava, I after all come before thee fully revived.'

"On another occasion, asked by Devayani, the Brahmana Kacha went into the woods. And as he was roving about for gathering flowers, the Danavas beheld him. They again slew him, and pounding him into a paste they mixed it with the water of the ocean. Finding him long still (in coming), the maiden again represented the matter unto her father. And summoned again by the Brahmana with the aid of his science, Kacha appearing before his preceptor and his daughter told everything as it had happened. Then slaying him for the third time and burning him and reducing him to ashes, the Asuras gave those ashes to the preceptor himself, mixing them with his wine. And Devayani again spoke unto her father, saying, 'O father, Kacha was sent to gather flowers. But he is not to be seen. It is plain he hath been lost, or has died. I tell thee truly, I would not live without him.'

"Sukra hearing this said, 'O daughter, the son of Vrihaspati hath gone to the region of the dead. Though revived by my science, he is thus slain frequently. What, indeed, am I to do? O Devayani, do not grieve, do not cry. One like thee should not grieve for one that is mortal. Thou art indeed, O daughter, in consequence of my prowess, worshipped thrice a day during the ordained hours of prayer, by Brahmanas, the gods with Indra, the Vasus, the Aswins, the Asuras, in fact, by the whole universe. It is impossible to keep him alive, for revived by me he is often killed.' To all this Devayani replied, 'Why shall I, O father, not grieve for him whose grandfather is old Angiras himself, whose father is Vrihaspati who is an ocean of ascetic merit, who is the grandson of a Rishi and the son also of a Rishi? He himself too was a Brahmacharin and an ascetic; always wakeful and skilled in everything. I will starve and follow the way Kacha has gone. The handsome Kacha is, O father, dear unto me.'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'The great Rishi Kavya, then, afflicted by what Devayani said, cried in anger, 'Certainly, the Asuras seek to injure me, for they slay my disciple that stayeth with me. These followers of Rudra desire to divest me of my character as a Brahmana by making me participate in their crime. Truly, this crime hath a terrible end. The crime of slaying a Brahmana would even burn Indra himself.' Having said this, the Brahmana Sukra, urged by Devayani, began to summon Kacha who had entered the jaws of Death. But Kacha, summoned with the aid of science, and afraid of the consequence to his preceptor, feebly replied from within the stomach of his preceptor, saying, 'Be graceful unto me, O lord! I am Kacha that worshippeth thee. Behave unto me as to thy own dearly-loved son.'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'Sukra then said, 'By what path, O Brahmana, hast thou entered my stomach, where thou stayest now? Leaving the Asuras this very moment, I shall go over to the gods.' Kacha replied, 'By thy grace, memory hath not failed me. Indeed, I do recollect everything as it hath happened. My ascetic virtues have not been destroyed. It is, therefore, that I am able to bear this almost insufferable pain. O Kavya, slain by the Asuras and burnt and reduced to powder, I have been given to thee with thy wine. When thou art present, O Brahmana, the art of the Asuras will never be able to vanquish, the science of the Brahmana.'

"Hearing this, Sukra said, 'O daughter, what good can I do to thee? It is with my death that Kacha can get his life back. O Devayani, Kacha is even within me. There is no other way of his coming out except by ripping open my stomach.' Devayani replied, 'Both evils shall, like fire, burn me! The death of Kacha and thy own death are to me the same! The death of Kacha would deprive me of life. If thou also diest, I shall not be able to bear my life.' Then Sukra said, 'O son of Vrihaspati, thou art, indeed, one already crowned with success, because Devayani regards thee so well. Accept the science that I will today impart to thee, if, indeed, thou be not Indra in the form of Kacha. None can come out of my stomach with life. A Brahmana, however, must not be slain, therefore, accept thou the science I impart to thee. Start thou into life as my son. And possessed of the knowledge received from me, and revived by me, take care that, on coming out of my body, thou dost act gracefully.'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'Receiving the science imparted to him by his preceptor the handsome Kacha, ripped open his stomach, came out like the moon at evening on the fifteenth day of the bright fort-night. And beholding the remains of his preceptor lying like a heap of penances, Kacha revived him, aided by the science he had learned. Worshipping him with regard, Kacha said unto his preceptor, 'Him who poureth the nectar of knowledge into one's ears, even as thou hast done into those of myself who was void of knowledge, him do I regard both as my father and mother. And remembering the immense service done by him, who is there so ungrateful as to injure him? They that, having acquired knowledge, injure their preceptor who is always an object of worship, who is the giver of knowledge, who is the most precious of all precious objects on Earth, come to be hated on Earth and finally go to the regions of the sinful.'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'The learned Sukra, having been deceived while under the influence of wine, and remembering the total loss of consciousness that is one of the terrible consequences of drink, and beholding too before him the handsome Kacha whom he had, in a state of unconsciousness, drunk with his wine, then thought of effecting a reform in the manners of Brahmanas. The high-souled Usanas rising up from the ground in anger, then spoke as follows: "The wretched Brahmana who from this day, unable to resist the temptation, will drink wine shall be regarded as having lost his virtue, shall be reckoned to have committed the sin of slaying a Brahmana, shall be hated both in this and the other worlds. I set this limit to the conduct and dignity of Brahmanas everywhere. Let the honest, let Brahmanas, let those with regard for their superiors, let the gods, let the three worlds, listen!' Having said these words that high-souled one, that ascetic of ascetics, then summoning the Danavas who had been deprived by fate of the good sense, told them these words, Ye foolish Danavas, know ye that Kacha hath obtained his wishes. He will henceforth dwell with me. Having obtained the valuable knowledge of reviving the dead, that Brahmana hath, indeed, become in prowess even as Brahman himself!'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'Bhargava having said so much cut short his speech. The Danavas were surprised and went away to their homes. Kacha, too, having stayed with his preceptor for a full thousand years, then prepared to return to the abode of the celestials, after having obtained his preceptor's permission.'"


(Sambhava Parva continued)

"Vaisampayana said, 'After the expiry of the period of his vow, Kacha, having obtained his preceptor's leave, was about to return to the abode of the celestials, when Devayani, addressing him, said, 'O grandson of the Rishi Angiras, in conduct and birth, in learning, asceticism and humility, thou shinest most brightly. As the celebrated Rishi Angiras is honoured and regarded by my father, so is thy father regarded and worshipped by me. O thou of ascetic wealth, knowing this, listen to what I say. Recollect my conduct towards thee during the period of thy vow (Brahmacharya). Thy vow hath now been over. It behoveth thee to fix thy affections on me. O accept my hand duly with ordained mantras.'

"Kacha replied, 'Thou art to me an object of regard and worship even as thy father! O thou of faultless features, thou art, indeed, even an object of greater reverence! Thou art dearer than life to the high-souled Bhargava, O amiable one! As the daughter of my preceptor, thou art ever worthy of my worship! As my preceptor Sukra, thy father, is ever deserving of my regards, so art thou, O Devayani! Therefore, it behoveth thee not to say so.' Hearing this, Devayani replied, 'Thou, too, art the son of my father's preceptor's son. Therefore, O best of Brahmanas, thou art deserving of my regards and worship. O Kacha, when thou wert slain so many times by the Asuras, recollect today the affection I showed for thee. Remembering my friendship and affection for thee, and, indeed, my devoted regard also, O virtuous one, it behoveth thee not to abandon me without any fault. I am truly devoted to thee.'

"Hearing all this, Kacha said, 'O thou of virtuous vows, do not urge me into such a sinful course. O thou of fair eye-brows, be gracious unto me. Beautiful one, thou art to me an object of greater regard than my preceptor. Full of virtuous resolves, O large-eyed one, of face as handsome, as moon, the place where thou hadst resided, viz., the body of Kavya, hath also been my abode. Thou art truly my sister. Amiable one, happily have we passed the days that we have been together. There is perfect good understanding between us. I ask thy leave to return to my abode. Therefore, bless me so that my journey may be safe. I must be remembered by thee, when thou recallest me in connection with topics of conversation, as one that hath not transgressed virtue. Always attend upon my preceptor with readiness and singleness of heart.' To all this, Devaniya answered, 'Solicited, by me, if, indeed, thou truly refusest to make me thy wife, then, O Kacha, this thy knowledge shall not bear fruit.'

"Hearing this, Kacha said, 'I have refused thy request only because thou art the daughter of my preceptor, and not because thou hast any fault. Nor hath my preceptor in this respect issued any command. Curse me if it please thee. I have told thee what the behaviour should be of a Rishi. I do not deserve thy curse, O Devayani. But yet thou hast cursed me! Thou hast acted under the influence of passion and not from a sense of duty. Therefore, thy desire will not be fulfilled. No Rishi's son shall ever accept thy hand in marriage. Thou hast said that my knowledge shall not bear fruit. Let it be so. But in respect of him it shall bear fruit to whom I may impart it.'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'That first of Brahmanas, Kacha, having said so unto Devayani speedily wended his way unto the abode of the chief of the celestials. Beholding him arrived, the celestials with Indra ahead, having first worshipped him, spoke unto him as follows, 'Thou hast indeed, performed an act of great benefit for us. Wonderful hath been thy achievement! Thy fame shall never die! Thou shall be a sharer with us in sacrificial offerings.'"


(Sambhava Parva continued)

"Vaisampayana said, 'The dwellers in heaven became exceedingly glad in welcoming Kacha who had mastered the wonderful science. And, O bull of Bharata's race, the celestials then learnt that science from Kacha and considered their object already achieved. And assembling together, they spoke unto him of a hundred sacrifices, saying, 'The time hath come for showing prowess. Slay thy foes, O Purandara!' And thus addressed, Maghavat, then accompanied by the celestials, set out, saying, 'So be it.' But on his way he saw a number of damsels. These maidens were sporting in a lake in the gardens of the Gandharva Chitraratha. Changing himself into wind, he soon mixed up the garments of those maidens which they had laid on the bank. A little while after, the maidens, getting up from the water, approached their garments that had, indeed, got mixed up with one another. And it so happened that from the intermingled heap, the garments of Devayani were appropriated by Sarmishtha, the daughter of Vrishaparvan, from ignorance that it was not hers. And, O king, thereupon, between them, Devayani and Sarmishtha, then ensued a dispute. And Devayani said, 'O daughter of the Asura (chief), why dost thou take my attire, being, as thou art, my disciple? As thou art destitute of good behaviour, nothing good can happen to thee!' Sarmishtha, however, quickly replied, 'Thy father occupying a lower seat, always adoreth with downcast looks, like a hired chanter of praises, my father, whether he sitteth at his ease or reclineth at full length! Thou art the daughter of one that chanteth the praises of others, of one that accepteth alms. I am the daughter of one who is adored, of one who bestoweth alms instead of ever accepting them! Beggar-woman as thou art, thou art free to strike thy breast, to use ill words, to vow enmity to me, to give way to thy wrath. Acceptress of alms, thou weepest tears of anger in vain! If so minded, I can harm thee, but thou canst not. Thou desirest to quarrel. But know thou that I do not reckon thee as my equal!'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'Hearing these words, Devayani became exceedingly angry and began to pull at her clothes. Sarmishtha thereupon threw her into a well and went home. Indeed, the wicked Sarmishtha believing that Devayani was dead, bent her steps home-wards in a wrathful mood.

"After Sarmishtha had left, Yayati the son of Nahusha soon came to that spot. The king had been out a-hunting. The couple of horses harnessed to his car and the other single horse with him were all fatigued. And the king himself was thirsty. And the son of Nahusha saw a well that was by. And he saw that it was dry. But in looking down into it, he saw a maiden who in splendour was like a blazing fire. And beholding her within it, the blessed king addressed that girl of the complexion of the celestials, soothing her with sweet words. And he said, 'Who art thou, O fair one, of nails bright as burnished copper, and with ear-rings decked with celestial gems? Thou seemest to be greatly perturbed. Why dost thou weep in affliction? How, indeed, hast thou fallen into this well covered with creepers and long grass? And, O slender-waisted girl, answer me truly whose daughter thou art.

"Devayani then replied, 'I am the daughter of Sukra who brings back into life the Asuras slain by the gods. He doth not know what hath befallen me. This is my right hand, O king, with nails bright as burnished copper. Thou art well-born; I ask thee, to take and raise me up! I know thou art of good behaviour, of great prowess, and of wide fame! It behoveth thee, therefore, to raise me from this well.'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'King Yayati, learning that she was a Brahmana's daughter, raised her from that well by catching hold of her right hand. And the monarch promptly raising her from the pit and squinting to her tapering thighs, sweetly and courteously returned to his capital.

"When the son of Nahusha had gone away, Devayani of faultless features, afflicted with grief, then spoke unto her maid, Ghurnika by name, who met her then. And she said, 'O Ghurnika, go thou quickly and speak to my father without loss of time of everything as it hath happened. I shall not now enter the city of Vrishaparvan.'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'Ghurnika, thus commanded, repaired quickly to the mansion, of the Asura chief, where she saw Kavya and spoke unto him with her perception dimmed by anger. And she said, 'I tell thee, O great Brahmana, that Devayani hath been ill-used, O fortunate one, in the forest by Sarmishtha, the daughter of Vrishaparvan.' And Kavya, hearing that his daughter had been ill-used by Sarmishtha speedily went out with a heavy heart, seeking her in the woods. And when he found her in the woods, he clasped her with affection and spoke unto her with voice choked with grief, 'O daughter, the weal or woe that befalleth people is always due to their own faults. Thou hast therefore some fault, I ween, which hath been expiated thus.' Hearing this Devayani replied, 'Be it a penalty or not, listen to me with attention. O, hear that all Sarmishtha, the daughter of Vrishaparvan, hath said unto me. Really hath she said that thou art only the hired chanter of the praises of the Asura king! Even thus hath she— that Sarmishtha, Vrishaparvan's daughter,—spoken to me, with reddened eyes, these piercing and cruel words, 'Thou art the daughter of one that ever chanteth for hire the praises of others, of one that asketh for charities, of one that accepteth alms; whereas I am the daughter of one that receiveth adorations, of one that giveth, of one that never accepteth anything as gift!' These have been the words repeatedly spoken unto me by the proud Sarmishtha, the daughter of Vrishaparvan, with eyes red with anger. If, O father, I am really the daughter of a hired chanter of praises, of one that accepteth gifts, I must offer my adorations in the hope of obtaining her grace! Oh, of this I have already told her!'

"Sukra replied, 'Thou art, O Devayani, no daughter of a hired adorer, of one that asketh for alms and accepteth gifts. Thou art the daughter of one that adores none, but of one that is adored by all! Vrishaparvan himself knoweth it, and Indra, and king Yayati too. That inconceivable Brahma, that unopposable Godhead, is my strength! The self-create, himself, gratified by me, hath said that I am for aye the lord of that which is in all things on Earth or in Heaven! I tell thee truly that it is I who pour rain for the good of creatures and who nourish the annual plants that sustain all living things!'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'It was by such sweet words of excellent import that the father endeavoured to pacify his daughter afflicted with woe and oppressed by anger.'"


(Sambhava Parva continued)

"Sukra continued, 'Know, then, O Devayani, that he that mindeth not the evil speeches of others, conquereth everything! The wise say that he is a true charioteer who without slackening holdeth tightly the reins of his horses. He, therefore, is the true man that subdueth, without indulging in his rising wrath. Know thou, O Devayani, that by him is everything conquered, who calmly subdueth his rising anger. He is regarded as a man who by having recourse to forgiveness, shaketh off his rising anger like a snake casting off its slough. He that suppresseth his anger, he that regardeth not the evil speeches of others, he that becometh not angry, though there be cause, certainly acquireth the four objects for which we live (viz., virtue, profit, desire, and salvation). Between him that performeth without fatigue sacrifices every month for a hundred years, and him that never feeleth angry at anything, he that feeleth not wrath is certainly the higher. Boys and girls, unable to distinguish between right and wrong, quarrel with each other. The wise never imitate them.' Devayani, on hearing this speech of her father, said, 'O father, I know, also what the difference is between anger and forgiveness as regards the power of each. But when a disciple behaveth disrespectfully, he should never be forgiven by the preceptor if the latter is really desirous of benefiting the former. Therefore, I do not desire to live any longer in a country where evil behaviour is at a premium. The wise man desirous of good, should not dwell among those sinfully inclined men who always speak ill of good behaviour and high birth. But there should one live,—indeed, that hath been said to be the best of dwelling places,—where good behaviour and purity of birth are known and respected. The cruel words uttered by Vrishaparvan's daughter burn my heart even as men, desirous of kindling a fire, burn the dry fuel. I do not think anything more miserable for a man in the three worlds than to adore one's enemies blessed with good fortune, himself possessing none. It hath been indeed said by the learned that for such a man even death would be better.'"


(Sambhava Parva continued)

"Vaisampayana said, 'Then Kavya, the foremost of Bhrigu's line, became angry himself. And approaching Vrishaparvan where the latter was seated, began to address him without weighing his words, 'O king,' he said, 'sinful acts do not, like the Earth, bear fruit immediately! But gradually and secretly do they extirpate their doers. Such fruit visiteth either in one's own self, one's son, or one's grandson. Sins must bear their fruit. Like rich food they can never be digested. And because ye slew the Brahmana Kacha, the grandson of Angiras, who was virtuous, acquainted with the precepts of religion, and attentive to his duties, while residing in my abode, even for this act of slaughter—and for the mal-treatment of my daughter too, know, O Vrishaparvan, I shall leave thee and thy relatives! Indeed, O king, for this, I can no longer stay with thee! Dost thou, O Asura chief, think that I am a raving liar? Thou makest light of thy offence without seeking to correct it!'.

"Vrishaparvan then said, 'O son of Bhrigu, never have I attributed want of virtue, of falsehood, to thee. Indeed, virtue and truth ever dwell in thee. Be kind to me! O Bhargava, if, leaving us, thou really goest hence, we shall then go into the depths of the ocean. Indeed, there is nothing else for us to do.'

"Sukra then replied, 'Ye Asuras, whether ye go into the depths of the ocean or fly away to all directions, I care little. I am unable to bear my daughter's grief. My daughter is ever dear to me. My life dependeth on her. Seek ye to please her. As Vrihaspati ever seeketh the good of Indra, so do I always seek thine by my ascetic merits.'

"Vrishaparvan then said, 'O Bhargava, thou art the absolute master of whatever is possessed by the Asura chiefs in this world-their elephants, kine and horses, and even my humble self!'

"Sukra then answered, 'If it is true, O great Asura, that I am the lord of all the wealth of the Asuras, then go and gratify Devayani.'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'when the great Kavya was so addressed by Vrishaparvan, he then went to Devayani and told her all. Devayani, however, quickly replied, 'O Bhargava, if thou art truly the lord of the Asura king himself and of all his wealth, then let the king himself come to me and say so in my presence.' Vrishaparvan then approached Devayani and told her, 'O Devayani of sweet smiles, whatever thou desirest I am willing to give thee, however difficult it may be to grant the same.' Devayani answered, 'I desire Sarmishtha with a thousand maids to wait on me! She must also follow me to where my father may give me away.'

"Vrishaparvan then commanded a maid-servant in attendance on him, saying, 'Go and quickly bring Sarmishtha hither. Let her also accomplish what Devayani wisheth.'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'The maid-servant then repaired to Sarmishtha and told her, 'O amiable Sarmishtha, rise and follow me. Accomplish the good of thy relatives. Urged by Devayani, the Brahmana (Sukra) is on the point of leaving his disciples (the Asuras). O sinless one, thou must do what Devayani wisheth.' Sarmishtha replied, 'I shall cheerfully do what Devayani wisheth. Urged by Devayani Sukra is calling me. Both Sukra and Devayani must not leave the Asuras through my fault.'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'Commanded by her father, then, Sarmishtha, accompanied by a thousand maidens, soon came, in a palanquin, out of her father's excellent mansion. And approaching Devayani she said, 'With my thousand maids, I am thy waiting-maid! And I shall follow thee where thy father may give thee away.' Devayani replied, 'I am the daughter of one who chanteth the praises of thy father, and who beggeth and accepteth alms; thou, on the other hand, art the daughter of one who is adored. How canst thou be my waiting-maid?'

"Sarmishtha answered, 'One must by all means contribute to the happiness of one's afflicted relatives. Therefore shall I follow thee wherever thy father may give thee away.'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'When Sarmishtha thus promised to be Devayani's waiting-maid the latter, O king, then spoke unto her father thus, 'O best of all excellent Brahmanas, I am gratified. I shall now enter the Asura capital! I now know that thy science and power of knowledge are not futile!'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'That best of Brahmanas, of great reputation, thus addressed by his daughter, then, entered the Asura capital in the gladness of his heart. And the Danavas worshipped him with great reverence.'"


(Sambhava Parva continued)

Vaisampayana said, 'After some length of time, O best of monarchs, Devayani of the fairest complexion went into the same woods for purposes of pleasure. And accompanied by Sarmishtha with her thousand maids she reached the same spot and began to wander freely. And waited upon by all those companions she felt supremely happy. And sporting with light hearts, they began drinking the honey in flowers, eating various kinds of fruit and biting some. And just at that time, king Yayati, the son of Nahusha, again came there tired and thirsty, in course of his wanderings, in search of deer. And the king saw Devayani and Sarmishtha, and those other maidens also, all decked with celestial ornaments and full of voluptuous languor in consequence of the flower-honey they drank. And Devayani of sweet smiles, unrivalled for beauty and possessed of the fairest complexion amongst them all, was reclining at her ease. And she was waited upon by Sarmishtha who was gently kneading her feet.

"And Yayati seeing all this, said, 'O amiable ones, I would ask you both your names and parentage. It seems that these two thousand maids wait on you two.' Hearing the monarch, Devayani then answered, 'Listen to me, O best of men. Know that I am the daughter of Sukra, the spiritual guide of the Asuras. This my companion is my waiting-maid. She attendeth on me wherever I go. She is Sarmishtha, the daughter of the Asura king Vrishaparvan.'

"Yayati then asked, 'I am curious to know why is this thy companion of fair eye-brows, this maiden of the fairest complexion, the daughter of the Asura chief thy waiting-maid!' Devayani replied, 'O best of king, everything resulteth from Fate. Knowing this also to be the result of Fate, wonder not at it. Thy feature and attire are both like a king's. Thy speech also is fair and correct as that of the Vedas. Tell me thy name, whence thou art and whose son also.'

"The monarch replied, 'During my vow of Brahmacharya, the whole Vedas entered my ears. I am known as Yayati, a king's son and myself a king.' Devayani then enquired, 'O king, what hast thou come here for? Is it to gather lotuses or to angle or to hunt?' Yayati said, 'O amiable one, thirsty from the pursuit of deer, I have come hither in search of water. I am very much fatigued. I await but your commands to leave this spot.'

"Devayani answered, 'With my two thousand damsels and my waiting-maid Sarmishtha, I wait but your commands. Prosperity to thee. Be thou my friend and lord.'

"Yayati, thereupon, replied, 'Beautiful one, I do not deserve thee. Thou art the daughter of Sukra far superior to me. Thy father cannot bestow thee even on a great king.' To this Devayani replied, 'Brahmanas had before this been united with the Kshatriyas, and Kshatriyas with Brahmanas. Thou art the son of a Rishi and thyself a Rishi. Therefore, O son of Nahusha, marry me.' Yayati, however, replied, 'O thou of the handsomest features, the four orders have, indeed, sprung from one body. But their duties and purity are not the same, the Brahmana being truly superior to all.' Devayani answered, 'This hand of mine hath never been touched before by any man save thee. Therefore, do I accept thee for my lord. How, indeed, shall any other man touch my hand which had before been touched by thyself who art a Rishi?' Yayati then said, 'The wise know that a Brahmana is more to be avoided than an angry snake of virulent poison, or a blazing fire of spreading flames.' Devayani then told the monarch, 'O bull amongst men, why dost thou, indeed, say that Brahmana should be more avoided than an angry snake of virulent poison or a blazing fire of spreading flames?' The monarch answered, 'The snake killeth only one. The sharpest weapon slayeth but a single person. The Brahmana, when angry destroyeth whole cities and kingdoms! Therefore, O timid one, do I deem a Brahmana as more to be avoided than either. I cannot hence wed thee, O amiable one, unless thy father bestoweth thee on me.' Devayani then said, 'Thou art, indeed, chosen by me. And, O king, it is understood that thou wilt accept me if my father bestoweth me on thee. Thou needst not fear to accept my poor self bestowed on thee. Thou dost not, indeed, ask for me.'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'After this, Devayani quickly sent a maidservant to her father. The maid represented to Sukra everything as it had happened. And as soon as he had heard all, Bhargava came and saw Yayati. And beholding Bhargava come, Yayati worshipped and adored that Brahmana, and stood with joined palms in expectation of his commands.'

"And Devayani then said, 'This O father, is the son of Nahusha. He took hold of my hand, when I was in distress. I bow to thee. Bestow me upon him. I shall not wed any other person in the world.' Sukra exclaimed, 'O thou of splendid courage, thou hast, indeed, been accepted as her lord by this my dear daughter. I bestow her on thee. Therefore, O son of Nahusha, accept her as thy wife.'

"Yayati then said, 'I solicit the boon, O Brahmana, that by so doing, the sin of begetting a half-breed might not touch me.' Sukra, however, assured him by saying, 'I shall absolve thee from the sin. Ask thou the boon that thou desirest. Fear not to wed her. I grant thee absolution. Maintain virtuously thy wife—the slender-waisted Devayani. Transports of happiness be thine in her company. This other maiden, Vrishaparvan's daughter, Sarmishtha should ever be regarded by thee. But thou shall not summon her to thy bed.'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'Thus addressed by Sukra, Yayati then walked round the Brahmana. And the king then went through the auspicious ceremony of marriage according to the rites of the scriptures. And having received from Sukra this rich treasure of the excellent Devayani with Sarmishtha and those two thousand maidens, and duly honoured also by Sukra himself and the Asuras, the best of monarchs, then, commanded by the high-souled Bhargava, returned to his capital with a joyous heart.'"


(Sambhava Parva continued)

"Vaisampayana said, 'Yayati then, on returning to his capital which was like unto the city of Indra, entered his inner apartments and established there his bride Devayani. And the monarch, directed by Devayani, established Vrishaparvan's daughter Sarmishtha in a mansion especially erected near the artificial woods of Asokas in his gardens. And the king surrounded Vrishaparvan's daughter Sarmishtha with a thousand maids and honoured her by making every arrangement for her food and garments. But it was with Devayani that the royal son of Nahusha sported like a celestial for many years in joy and bliss. And when her season came, the fair Devayani conceived. And she brought forth as her first child a fine boy. And when a thousand years had passed away, Vrishaparvan's daughter Sarmishtha having attained to puberty saw that her season had come. She became anxious and said to herself, 'My season hath arrived. But I have not yet chosen a husband. O, what hath happened, what should I do? How am I to obtain the fruition of my wishes? Devayani hath become mother. My youth is doomed to pass away in vain. Shall I choose him also for my husband whom Devayani hath chosen? This is, indeed, my resolve: that monarch should give me a son. Will not the virtuous one grant me a private interview?'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'While Sarmishtha was thus busy with her thoughts, the king wandering listlessly came to that very wood of Asokas, and beholding Sarmishtha before him, stood there in silence. Then Sarmishtha of sweet smiles seeing the monarch before her with nobody to witness what might pass, approached him and said with joined palms, 'O son of Nahusha, no one can behold the ladies that dwell in the inner apartments of Soma, of Indra, of Vishnu, of Yama, of Varuna, and of thee! Thou knowest, O king, that I am both handsome and well-born. I solicit thee, O king! My season hath arrived. See that it goeth not in vain.'

"Yayati answered, 'Well do I know that honour of birth is thine, born as thou art in the proud race of the Danavas. Thou art also gifted with beauty. I do not, indeed, see even the speck of a fault in thy feature. But Usanas commanded me, while I was united with Devayani, that never should Vrishaparvan's daughter he summoned to my bed.'

"Sarmishtha then said, 'It hath been said, O king, that it is not sinful to lie on the occasion of a joke, in respect of women sought to be enjoyed, on occasions of marriage, in peril of immediate death and of the loss of one's whole fortune. Lying is excusable on these five occasions. O king, it is not true that he is fallen who speaks not the truth when asked. Both Devayani and myself have been called hither as companions to serve the same purpose. When, therefore, thou hadst said that you wouldst confine thyself to one only amongst as, that was a lie thou hadst spoken.' Yayati replied, 'A king should ever be a model in the eyes of his people. That monarch certainly meets with destruction who speaks an untruth. As for myself, I dare not speak an untruth even if the greatest loss threatens me!' Sarmishtha answered, 'O monarch, one may look upon her friend's husband as her own. One's friend's marriage is the same as one's own. Thou hast been chosen by my friend as her husband. Thou art as much my husband, therefore.' Yayati then said, 'It is, indeed my vow always to grant what one asketh. As thou askest me, tell me then what I am to do.' Sarmishtha then said, 'Absolve me, O king, from sin. Protect my virtue. Becoming a mother by thee, let me practise the highest virtue in this world. It is said, O king, that a wife, a slave, and a son can never earn wealth for themselves. What they earn always belongeth to him who owneth them. I am, indeed, the slave of Devayani. Thou art Devayani's master and lord. Thou art, therefore, O king, my master and lord as much as Devayani's! I solicit thee! O, fulfil my wishes!'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'Thus addressed by Sarmishtha, the monarch was persuaded into the truth of all she spoke. He therefore, honoured Sarmishtha by protecting her virtue. And they passed some time together. And taking affectionate farewell of each other, they then parted, each returning to whence he or she had come.

"And it came to pass that Sarmishtha of sweet smiles and fair eyebrows conceived in consequence of that connection of hers with that best of monarchs. And, O king, that lotus-eyed lady then in due course of time brought forth a son of the splendour of a celestial child and of eyes like lotus-petals.'"


(Sambhava Parva continued)

"Vaisampayana said, 'When Devayani of sweet smiles heard of the birth of this child, she became jealous, and O Bharata, Sarmishtha became an object of her unpleasant reflections. And Devayani, repairing to her, addressed her thus, 'O thou of fair eye-brows, what sin is this thou hast committed by yielding to the influence of lust?' Sarmishtha replied, 'A certain Rishi of virtuous soul and fully conversant with the Vedas came to me. Capable of granting boons he was solicited by me to grant my wishes that were based on considerations of virtue. O thou of sweet smiles, I would not seek the sinful fulfilment of my desires. I tell thee truly that this child of mine is by that Rishi!' Devayani answered, 'It is all right if that be the case, O timid one! But if the lineage, name, and family of that Brahmana be known to thee, I should like to hear them.' Sarmishtha replied, 'O thou of sweet smiles, in asceticism and energy, that Rishi is resplendent like the Sun himself. Beholding him, I had not, any need to make these enquiries—' Devayani then said, 'If this is true, if indeed, thou hast obtained thy child from such a superior Brahmana, then, O Sarmishtha, I have no cause of anger.'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'Having thus talked and laughed with each other, they separated, Devayani returning to the palace with the knowledge imparted to her by Sarmishtha. And, O king, Yayati also begot on Devayani two sons called Yadu and Turvasu, who were like Indra and Vishnu. And Sarmishtha, the daughter of Vrishaparvan, became through the royal sage the mother of three sons in all, named Drahyu, Anu, and Puru.

"And, O king, it so came to pass that one day Devayani of sweet smiles, by Yayati, went into a solitary part of the woods, (in the king's extensive park). And there she saw three children of celestial beauty playing with perfect trustfulness. And Devayani asked in surprise, 'Whose children are they, O king, who are so handsome and so like unto the children of the celestials? In splendour and beauty they are like thee, I should think.'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'And Devayani without waiting for a reply from the king, asked the children themselves, 'Ye children, what is your lineage? Who is your father? Answer me truly. I desire to know all.' Those children then pointed at the king (with their forefingers) and spoke of Sarmishtha as their mother.

"And having so said, the children approached the king to clasp his knees. But the king dared not caress them in the presence of Devayani. The boys then left the place, and made towards their mother, weeping in grief. And the king, at this conduct of the boys, became very much abashed. But Devayani, marking the affection of the children for the king learnt the secret and addressing Sarmishtha, said, 'How hast thou dared to do me an injury, being, as thou art, dependent on me? Dost thou not fear to have recourse once more to that Asura custom of thine?'

"Sarmishtha said, 'O thou of sweet smiles, all that I told thee of a Rishi is perfectly true. I have acted rightly and according to the precepts of virtue, and therefore, do I not fear thee. When thou hadst chosen the king for thy husband, I, too, chose him as mine. O beautiful one, a friend's husband is, according to usage, one's own husband as well. Thou art the daughter of a Brahmana and, therefore, deservest my worship and regard. But dost thou not know that this royal sage is held by me in greater esteem still?'

"Vaisampayana said, 'Devayani then, hearing those words of hers, exclaimed, O king, thus, 'Thou hast wronged me, O monarch! I shall not live here any longer.' And saying this, she quickly rose, with tearful eyes, to go to her father. And the king was grieved to see her thus, and alarmed greatly, followed in her foot-steps, endeavouring to appease her wrath. But Devayani, with eyes red with anger, would not desist. Speaking not a word to the king, with eyes bathed in tears, she soon reached the side of her father Usanas, the son of Kavi. And beholding her father, she stood before him, after due salutations. And Yayati also, immediately after, saluted and worshipped Bhargava.'

"And Devayani said, 'O father, virtue hath been vanquished by vice. The low have risen, and the high have fallen. I have been offended again by Sarmishtha, the daughter of Vrishaparvan. Three sons have been begotten upon her by this king Yayati. But, O father, being luckless I have got only two sons! O son of Bhrigu, this king is renowned for his knowledge of the precepts of religion. But, O Kavya, I tell thee that he hath deviated from the path of rectitude.'

"Sukra, hearing all this, said, 'O monarch, since thou hast made vice thy beloved pursuit, though fully acquainted with the precepts of religion, invincible decrepitude shall paralyse thee!' Yayati answered, 'Adorable one, I was solicited by the daughter of the Danava king to fructify her season. I did it from a sense of virtue and not from other motives. That male person, who being solicited by a woman in her season doth not grant her wishes, is called, O Brahmana, by those conversant with the Vedas, a slayer of the embryo. He who, solicited in secret by a woman full of desire and in season, goeth not in unto her, loseth virtue and is called by the learned a killer of the embryo, O son of Bhrigu, for these reasons, and anxious to avoid sin, I went into Sarmishtha.' Sukra then replied, 'Thou art dependent on me. Thou shouldst have awaited my command. Having acted falsely in the matter of thy duty, O son of Nahusha, thou hast been guilty of the sin of theft.'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'Yayati, the son of Nahusha, thus cursed by the angry Usanas, was then divested of his youth and immediately overcome by decrepitude. And Yayati said, 'O son of Bhrigu, I have not yet been satiated with youth or with Devayani. Therefore, O Brahmana, be graceful unto me so that decrepitude might not touch me.' Sukra then answered, 'I never speak an untruth. Even now, O king, art thou attacked by decrepitude. But if thou likest, thou art competent to transfer this thy decrepitude to another.' Yayati said, 'O Brahmana, let it be commanded by thee that that son of mine who giveth me his youth shall enjoy my kingdom, and shall achieve both virtue and fame.' Sukra replied, 'O son of Nahusha, thinking of me thou mayst transfer this thy decrepitude to whomsoever thou likest. That son who shall give thee his youth shall become thy successor to the throne. He shall also have long life, wide fame, and numerous progeny!'"


(Sambhava Parva continued)

"Vaisampayana said, 'Yayati, then, overcome with decrepitude, returned to his capital and summoning his eldest son Yadu who was also the most accomplished, addressed him thus, 'Dear child, from the curse of Kavya called also Usanas, decrepitude and wrinkles and whiteness of hair have come over me. But I have not been gratified yet with the enjoyment of youth. Do thou, O Yadu, take this my weakness along with my decrepitude. I shall enjoy with thy youth. And when a full thousand years will have elapsed, returning to thee thy youth, I shall take back my weakness with this decrepitude!'

"Yadu replied, 'There are innumerable inconveniences in decrepitude, in respect of drinking and eating. Therefore, O king, I shall not take thy decrepitude. This is, indeed, my determination. White hair on the head, cheerlessness and relaxation of the nerves, wrinkles all over the body, deformities, weakness of the limbs, emaciation, incapacity to work, defeat at the hands of friends and companions—these are the consequences of decrepitude. Therefore, O king, I desire not to take it. O king, thou hast many sons some of whom are dearer to thee. Thou art acquainted with the precepts of virtue. Ask some other son of thine to take thy decrepitude.

"Yayati replied, 'Thou art sprung from my heart, O son, but thou givest me not thy youth. Therefore, thy children shall never be kings.' And he continued, addressing another son of his, 'O Turvasu, take thou this weakness of mine along with my decrepitude. With thy youth, O son, I like to enjoy the pleasure of life. After the lapse of a full thousand years I shall give back to thee thy youth, and take back from thee my weakness and decrepitude.'

"Turvasu replied, 'I do not like decrepitude, O father, it takes away all appetites and enjoyments, strength and beauty of person, intellect, and even life.' Yayati said to him, 'Thou art sprung from my heart, O son! But thou givest me not thy youth! Therefore, O Turvasu, thy race shall be extinct. Wretch, thou shall be the king of those whose practices and precepts are impure, amongst whom men of inferior blood procreate children upon women of blue blood, who live on meat, who are mean, who hesitate not to appropriate the wives of their superiors, whose practices are those of birds and beasts, who are sinful, and non-Aryan.'

"Vaisampayana said, 'Yayati, having thus cursed his son Turvasu, then, addressed Sarmishtha's son Drahyu thus, 'O Drahyu, take thou for a thousand years my decrepitude destructive of complexion and personal beauty and give me thy youth. When a thousand years have passed away, I shall return thee thy youth and take back my own weakness, and decrepitude.' To this Drahyu replied, 'O king, one that is decrepit can never enjoy elephants and cars and horses and women. Even his voice becometh hoarse. Therefore, I do not desire (to take) thy decrepitude.' Yayati said to him, 'Thou art sprung from my heart, O son! But thou refusest to give me thy youth. Therefore, thy most cherished desires shall never be fulfilled. Thou shalt be king only in name, of that region where there are no roads for (the passage of) horses and cars and elephants, and good vehicles, and asses, and goats and bullocks, and palanquins; where there is swimming only by rafts and floats.' Yayati next addressed Anu and said, 'O Anu, take my weakness and decrepitude. I shall with thy youth enjoy the pleasures of life for a thousand years.' To this Anu replied, 'Those that are decrepit always eat like children and are always impure. They cannot pour libations upon fire in proper times. Therefore, I do not like to take thy decrepitude.' Yayati said to him, 'Thou art sprung from my heart, thou givest not thy youth. Thou findest so many faults in decrepitude. Therefore, decrepitude shall overcome thee! And, O Anu, thy progeny also as soon as they attain to youth, shall die. And thou shalt also not be able to perform sacrifices before fire.'

"Yayati at last turned to his youngest child, Puru, and addressing him said, 'Thou art, O Puru, my youngest son! But thou shall be the first of all! Decrepitude, wrinkles, and whiteness of hair have come over me in consequence of the curse of Kavya called also Usanas. I have not yet however, been satiated with my youth. O Puru, take thou this my weakness and decrepitude! With thy youth I shall enjoy for some years the pleasures of life. And when a thousand years have passed away, I shall give back to thee thy youth and take back my own decrepitude.'

"Vaisampayana said, 'Thus addressed by the king, Puru answered with humility, 'I shall do, O monarch, as thou bidest me. I shall take, O king, thy weakness and decrepitude. Take thou my youth and enjoy as thou listest the pleasures of life. Covered with thy decrepitude and becoming old, I shall, as thou commandest, continue to live, giving thee my youth.' Yayati then said, 'O Puru, I have been gratified with thee. And being gratified, I tell thee that the people in thy kingdom shall have all their desires fulfilled.'

"And having said this, the great ascetic Yayati, then thinking of Kavya, transferred his decrepitude unto the body of the high-souled Puru.'"


(Sambhava Parva continued)

"Vaisampayana said, 'The excellent monarch Yayati, the son of Nahusha, having received Puru's youth, became exceedingly gratified. And with it he once more began to indulge in his favourite pursuits to the full extent of his desires and to the limit of his powers, according to seasons, so as to derive the greatest pleasure therefrom. And, O king, in nothing that he did, he acted against the precepts of his religion as behoved him well. He gratified the gods by his sacrifices; the pitris, by Sraddhas; the poor, by his charities; all excellent Brahmanas, by fulfilling their desires; all persons entitled to the rites of hospitality, with food and drink; the Vaisyas, by protection; and the Sudras, by kindness. And the king repressed all criminals by proper punishments. And Yayati, gratifying all sections of his subjects, protected them virtuously like another Indra. And the monarch possessed of the prowess of a lion, with youth and every object of enjoyment under control, enjoyed unlimited happiness without transgressing the precepts of religion. And the king became very happy in thus being able to enjoy all the excellent objects of his desires. And he was only sorry when he thought that those thousand years would come to an end. And having obtained youth for a thousand years, the king acquainted with the mysteries of time, and watching proper Kalas and Kashthas sported with (the celestial damsel) Viswachi, sometimes in the beautiful garden of Indra, sometimes in Alaka (the city of Kuvera), and sometimes on the summit of the mountain Meru on the north. And when the virtuous monarch saw that the thousand years were full, he summoned his son, Puru, and addressed him thus, 'O oppressor of foes, with thy youth, O son, I have enjoyed the pleasures of life, each according to its season to the full extent of my desires, to the limit of my powers. Our desires, however, are never gratified by indulgence. On the other hand, with indulgence, they only flame up like fire with libations of sacrificial butter. If a single person were owner of everything on Earth—all her yields of paddy and barley, her silver, gold, and gems, her animals and women, he would not still be content. Thirst of enjoyment, therefore, should be given up. Indeed, true happiness belongeth to them that have cast off their thirst for worldly objects—a thirst which is difficult to be thrown off by the wicked and the sinful, which faileth not with the failing life, and which is truly the fatal disease of man. My heart hath for a full thousand years been fixed upon the objects of desires. My thirst for these, however, increaseth day by day without abating. Therefore, I shall cast it off, and fixing my mind on Brahma I shall pass the rest of my days with the innocent deer in the forest peacefully and with no heart for any worldly objects. And O Puru, I have been exceedingly gratified with thee! Prosperity be thine! Receive back this thy youth! Receive thou also my kingdom. Thou art, indeed, that son of mine who has done me the greatest services.'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'Then Yayati, the son of Nahusha, received back his decrepitude. And his son Puru received back his own youth. And Yayati was desirous of installing Puru, his youngest son, on the throne. But the four orders, with the Brahmanas at their head, then addressed the monarch thus, 'O king, how shall thou bestow thy kingdom on Puru, passing over thy eldest son Yadu born of Devayani, and, therefore, the grandson of the great Sukra? Indeed, Yadu is thy eldest son; after him hath been born Turvasu; and of Sarmishtha's sons, the first is Drahyu, then Anu and then Puru. How doth the youngest deserve the throne, passing all his elder brothers over? This we represent to thee! O, conform to virtuous practice.'

"Yayati then said, 'Ye four orders with Brahmanas at their head, hear my words as to why my kingdom should not be given to my eldest son. My commands have been disobeyed by my eldest son, Yadu. The wise say that he is no son who disobeyeth his father. That son, however, who doth the bidding of his parents, who seeketh their good, who is agreeable to them, is indeed, the best of sons. I have been disregarded by Yadu and by Turvasu, too. Much I have been disregarded by Drahyu and by Anu also. By Puru alone hath my word been obeyed. By him have I been much regarded. Therefore, the youngest shall be my heir. He took my decrepitude. Indeed, Puru is my friend. He did what was so agreeable to me. It hath also been commanded by Sukra himself, the son of Kavi, that, that son of mine who should obey me will become king after me and bring the whole Earth under his sway. I, therefore, beseech thee, let Puru be installed on the throne.'

"The people then said, 'True it is, O king, that, that son who is accomplished and who seeketh the good of his parents, deserveth prosperity even if he be the youngest. Therefore, doth Puru, who hath done the good, deserve the crown. And as Sukra himself hath commanded it, we have nothing to say to it.'

"Vaisampayana continued., 'The son of Nahusha, thus addressed by the contented people, then installed his son, Puru, on the throne. And having bestowed his kingdom on Puru, the monarch performed the initiatory ceremonies for retiring into the woods. And soon after he left his capital, followed by Brahmanas and ascetics.

"The sons of Yadu are known by the name of the Yadavas: while those of Turvasu have come to be called the Yavanas. And the sons of Drahyu are the Bhojas, while those of Anu, the Mlechchhas. The progeny of Puru, however, are the Pauravas, amongst whom, O monarch, thou art born, in order to rule for a thousand years with thy passions under complete control.'"


(Sambhava Parva continued)

"Vaisampayana said, 'King Yayati, the son of Nahusha, having thus installed his dear son on the throne, became exceedingly happy, and entered into the woods to lead the life of a hermit. And having lived for some time into forest in the company of Brahmanas, observing many rigid vows, eating fruits and roots, patiently bearing privations of all sorts, the monarch at last ascended to heaven. And having ascended to heaven he lived there in bliss. But soon, however, he was hurled down by Indra. And it hath been heard by me, O king, that, though hurled from heaven, Yayati, without reaching the surface of the Earth, stayed in the firmament. I have heard that some time after he again entered the region of the celestials in company with Vasuman, Ashtaka, Pratarddana, and Sivi.'

"Janamejaya said, 'I desire to hear from thee in detail why Yayati, having first obtained admission into heaven, was hurled therefrom, and why also he gained re-admittance. Let all this, O Brahmana, be narrated by thee in the presence of these regenerate sages. Yayati, lord of Earth, was, indeed, like the chief of the celestials. The progenitor of the extensive race of the Kurus, he was of the splendour of the Sun. I desire to hear in full the story of his life both in heaven and on Earth, as he was illustrious, and of world-wide celebrity and of wonderful achievements.'

"Vaisampayana said, 'Indeed, I shall recite to thee the excellent story of Yayati's adventures on Earth and in heaven. That story is sacred and destroyeth the sins of those that hear it.

"King Yayati, the son of Nahusha, having installed his youngest son, Puru, on the throne after casting his sons with Yadu for their eldest amongst the Mlechchhas, entered the forest to lead the life of a hermit. And the king eating fruits and roots lived for some time in the forest. Having his mind and passions under complete control, the king gratified by sacrifices the Pitris and the gods. And he poured libations of clarified butter upon the fire according to the rites prescribed for those leading the Vanaprastha mode of life. And the illustrious one entertained guests and strangers with the fruit of the forest and clarified butter, while he himself supported life by gleaning scattered corn seeds. And the king led this sort of life for a full thousand years. And observing the vow of silence and with mind under complete control he passed one full year, living upon air alone and without sleep. And he passed another year practising the severest austerities in the midst of four fires around and the Sun overhead. And, living upon air alone, he stood erect upon one leg for six months. And the king of sacred deeds ascended to heaven, covering heaven as well as the Earth (with the fame of his achievements).'"


(Sambhava Parva continued)

"Vaisampayana said, 'While that king of kings dwelt in heaven—the home of the celestials, he was reverenced by the gods, the Sadhyas, the Maruts, and the Vasus. Of sacred deeds, and mind under complete control, the monarch used to repair now and then from the abode of the celestials unto the region of Brahman. And it hath been heard by me that he dwelt for a long time in heaven.

"One day that best of kings, Yayati, went to Indra and there in course of conversation the lord of Earth was asked by Indra as follows:

'What didst thou say, O king, when thy son Puru took thy decrepitude on Earth and when thou gavest him thy kingdom?'

"Yayati answered, 'I told him that the whole country between the rivers Ganga and Yamuna was his. That is, indeed, the central region of the Earth, while the out-lying regions are to be the dominions of thy brothers. I also told him that those without anger were ever superior to those under its sway, those disposed to forgive were ever superior to the unforgiving. Man is superior to the lower animals. Among men again the learned are superior to the un-learned. If wronged, thou shouldst not wrong in return. One's wrath, if disregarded, burneth one's own self; but he that regardeth it not taketh away all the virtues of him that exhibiteh it. Never shouldst thou pain others by cruel speeches. Never subdue thy foes by despicable means; and never utter such scorching and sinful words as may torture others. He that pricketh as if with thorns men by means of hard and cruel words, thou must know, ever carrieth in his mouth the Rakshasas. Prosperity and luck fly away at his very sight. Thou shouldst ever keep the virtuous before thee as thy models; thou shouldst ever with retrospective eye compare thy acts with those of the virtuous; thou shouldst ever disregard the hard words of the wicked. Thou shouldst ever make the conduct of the wise the model upon which thou art to act thyself. The man hurt by the arrows of cruel speech hurled from one's lips, weepeth day and night. Indeed, these strike at the core of the body. Therefore the wise never fling these arrows at others. There is nothing in the three worlds by which thou canst worship and adore the deities better than by kindness, friendship, charity and sweet speeches unto all. Therefore, shouldst thou always utter words that soothe, and not those that scorch. And thou shouldst regard those that deserve, thy regards, and shouldst always give but never beg!"'


(Sambhava Parva continued)

"Vaisampayana said, 'After this Indra again asked Yayati, 'Thou didst retire into the woods, O king, after accomplishing all thy duties. O Yayati, son of Nahusha, I would ask thee to whom thou art equal in ascetic austerities.' Yayati answered, 'O Vasava, I do not, in the matter of ascetic austerities, behold my equal among men, the celestials, the Gandharvas, and the great Rishis.' Indra then said, 'O monarch, because thou disregardest those that are thy superiors, thy equals, and even thy inferiors, without, in fact, knowing their real merits, thy virtues have suffered diminution and thou must fall from heaven.' Yayati then said, 'O Sakra, if, indeed, my virtues have really sustained diminution and I must on that account fall down from heaven, I desire, O chief of the celestials, that I may at least fall among the virtuous and the honest.' Indra replied, 'O king, thou shall fall among those that are virtuous and wise, and thou shall acquire also much renown. And after this experience of thine, O Yayati, never again disregard those that are thy superiors or even thy equals.'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'Upon this, Yayati fell from the region of the celestials. And as he was falling, he was beheld by that foremost of royal sages, viz., Ashtaka, the protector of his own religion. Ashtaka beholding him, enquired, 'Who art thou, O youth of a beauty equal to that of Indra, in splendour blazing as the fire, thus falling from on high? Art thou that foremost of sky-ranging bodies—the sun—emerging from, dark masses of clouds? Beholding thee falling from the solar course, possessed of immeasurable energy and the splendour of fire or the sun, every one is curious as to what it is that is so falling, and is, besides, deprived of consciousness! Beholding thee in the path of the celestials, possessed of energy like that of Sakra, or Surya, or Vishnu, we have approached thee to ascertain the truth. If thou hast first asked us who we were, we would never have been guilty of the incivility of asking thee first. We now ask thee who thou art and why thou approachest hither. Let thy fears be dispelled; let thy woes and afflictions cease. Thou art now in the presence of the virtuous and the wise. Even Sakra himself—the slayer of Vala—cannot here do thee any injury. O thou of the prowess of the chief of the celestials, the wise and the virtuous are the support of their brethren in grief. Here there are none but the wise and virtuous like thee assembled together. Therefore, stay thou here in peace. Fire alone hath power to give heat. The Earth alone hath power to infuse life into the seed. The sun alone hath power to illuminate everything. So the guest alone hath power to command the virtuous and the wise.'"

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