Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa Bk. 3 Pt. 1
Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa

Part 6 out of 7

the ocean, that abode of Varuna. And having entered the ocean, abounding
with sharks and crocodiles, they at night killed the saints at this spot
with the view of exterminating the people. But they cannot be slain, as
they have taken shelter within the sea. Ye should, therefore, think of
some expedient to dry up the ocean. Who save Agastya is capable of
drying up the sea. And without drying up the ocean, these (demons)
cannot be assailed by any other means." Hearing these words of Vishnu,
the gods took the permission of Brahma, who lives at the best of all
regions, and went to the hermitage of Agastya. Then they beheld the
high-souled Agastya, the son of Varuna, of resplendent mien, and waited
upon by saints, even as Brahma is waited upon by celestials. And
approaching him, they addressed the son of Mitra and Varuna at the
hermitage, magnanimous and unswerving, and looking like an embodiment of
pious works piled together, and glorified him by reciting his deeds. The
deities said, "Thou wert formerly the refuge of the gods when they were
oppressed by Nahusha. Thorn of the world that he was, he was thrown down
from his throne of heaven--from the celestial regions. Vindhya, the
foremost of all mountains, suddenly began to increase his height, from a
wrathful competition with the sun (_i.e_., to rival him in altitude).
But he hath ceased to increase, as he was unable to disobey thy command.
And when darkness hath covered the world, the born beings were harassed
by death, but having obtained thee for a protector, they attained the
utmost security. Whenever we are beset by perils, thy reverence is
always our refuge; for this reason it is that we solicit a boon from
thee; as thou ever grantest the boon solicited (of thee)."'"


"Yudhishthira said, 'O great saint! I am desirous of hearing in detail
why it was that Vindhya, made senseless with wrath, suddenly began to
increase his bulk.'

"Lomasa said, 'The sun between his rising and setting used to revolve
round that monarch of mountains--the great Meru of golden lustre. And
seeing this the mountain Vindhya spake to Surya saying, "As thou every
day goest round Meru and honourest him by thy circumambulations, do thou
even the same by me, O maker of light!" Thus addressed, the sun replied
to the great mountain, saying, "I do not of my own will honour this
mountain by my circumambulations. By those who have built this universe
hath that path been assigned to me." Thus addressed the mountain
suddenly began to increase from wrath, desirous, O chastiser of foes, of
obstructing the path of the Sun and the Moon. And all the assembled gods
came to Vindhya, the mighty king of mountains, and tried to dissuade him
from his course. But he heeded not what they said. And then all the
assembled gods went to the saint, living in the hermitage, engaged in
the practice of austerities, and the very best of persons devoted to
virtue; and stated all that happened to Agastya, possessed of exceeding
marvellous power.

"'The gods said, "This king of hills, Vindhya, giving way to wrath, is
stopping the path of the Sun and the Moon, and also the course of the
stars. O foremost of Brahmanas! O thou great in gifts! excepting
thyself, there is none who can prevent him; therefore do thou make him
desist." Hearing these words of the gods the Brahmana came to the
mountain. And he with his wife, having arrived there, came near Vindhya
and spake to him, saying, "O thou best of mountains! I wish to have a
path given to me by thee, as, for some purpose, I shall have to go to
the southern region. Until my return, do thou wait for me. And when I
have returned, O king of mountains, thou mayst increase in bulk as much
as thou pleasest." And, O slayer of foes! having made this compact with
Vindhya up to the present day Varuna's son doth not return from the
southern region. Thus have I, asked by thee, narrated to thee why
Vindhya doth not increase in bulk, by reason of the power of Agastya.
Now, O king! hear how the Kalakeyas were killed by the gods, after they
had obtained their prayer from Agastya.

"'Having heard the words of the gods, Agastya, the son of Mitra, and
Varuna, said, "Wherefore are ye come? What boon do ye solicit from me?"
Thus addressed by him, the deities then spake to the saint, saying,
"This deed we ask thee to achieve, _viz_., to drink up the great ocean,
O magnanimous (saint)! Then we shall be able to slay those enemies of
the gods, known by the name of Kalakeyas, together with all their
adherents." Having heard the words of the gods, the saint said, "Let it
be so--I shall do even what ye desire, and that which will conduce to
the great happiness of men." Having said this, he then proceeded to the
ocean--the lord of rivers,--accompanied by sages, ripe in the practice
of penances, and also by the deities, O thou who leadest an excellent
life! And men and snakes, celestial choristers, Yakshas and Kinnaras
followed the magnanimous saints,--desirous of witnessing that wonderful
event. Then they came up all together near to the sea, of awful roar,
dancing, as it were, with its billows, bounding with the breeze, and
laughing with masses of froth, and stumbling at the caves, and thronged
with diverse kinds of sharks, and frequented by flocks of various birds.
And the deities accompanied by Agastya and celestial choristers and huge
snakes and highly-gifted saints, approached the immense watery waste.'"


"Lomasa said, 'That blessed saint, the son of Varuna, having reached the
sea spake unto the assembled gods, and the saints gathered together,
saying "I surely am going to drink up the ocean--that abode of the god
of waters. Be ye quickly ready with those preparations which it devolves
upon you to make." Having spoken these few words, the unswerving
offspring of Mitra and Varuna, full of wrath, began to drink up the sea,
while all the worlds stood observing (the deed). Then the gods, together
with Indra, seeing how the sea was being drunk up, were struck with
mighty amazement, and glorified him with laudatory words, saying, "Thou
art our protector, and the Providence itself for men,--and also the
creator of the worlds. By thy favour the universe with its gods may
possibly be saved from havoc." And the magnanimous one, glorified by the
gods--while the musical instruments of celestial choristers were playing
all round, and while celestial blossoms were showered upon him--rendered
waterless the wide ocean. And seeing the wide ocean rendered devoid of
water, the host of gods was exceedingly glad; and taking up choice
weapons of celestial forge, fell to slaying the demons with courageous
hearts,--And they, assailed by the magnanimous gods, of great strength,
and swift of speed, and roaring loudly, were unable to withstand the
onset of their fleet and valorous (foes)--those residents of the
heavenly regions, O descendant of Bharata! And those demons, attacked by
the gods, bellowing loudly, for a moment carried on terrible conflict.
They had been in the first instance burnt by the force of penances
performed by the saints, who had matured their selves; therefore, the
demons, though they tried to the utmost, were at last slaughtered by the
gods. And decked with brooches of gold, and bearing on their persons
ear-rings and armlets, the demons, when slain, looked beautiful indeed,
like _palasa_ trees when full of blossoms. Then, O best of men! a
few--the remnant of those that were killed of the Kalakeya race, having
rent asunder the goddess Earth, took refuge at the bottom of the nether
regions. And the gods, when they saw that the demons were slain, with
diverse speeches, glorified the mighty saint, and spake the following
words. "O thou of mighty arms, by thy favour men have attained a mighty
blessing, and the Kalakeyas, of ruthless strength have been killed by
thy power, O creator of beings! Fill the sea (now), O mighty-armed one;
give up again the water drunk up by thee." Thus addressed, the blessed
and mighty saint replied, "That water in sooth hath been digested by me.
Some other expedient, therefore, must be thought of by you, if ye desire
to make endeavour to fill the ocean." Hearing this speech of that saint
of matured soul, the assembled gods were struck with both wonder and
sadness, O great king! And thereupon, having bidden adieu to each other,
and bowed to the mighty saint all the born beings went their way. And
the gods with Vishnu, came to Brahma. And having held consultation
again, with the view of filling up the sea, they, with joined hands,
spake about replenishing it.'"


"Lomasa said, 'Then gathered together, Brahma, the grandfather of men
(thus) addressed, "Go ye, O gods! whither your pleasure may lead you, or
your desire conduct you. It will take a long course of time for the
ocean to resume its wonted state; the occasion will be furnished by the
agnates of the great king Bhagiratha." Hearing the words of the
(universal) grandfather (Brahma), all the foremost gods went their way
biding the day (when the ocean was to be filled again).'

"Yudhishthira said, 'What was that occasion, O Saint? And how did the
agnates of (Bhagiratha furnish the same)? And how was the ocean refilled
by the interference of Bhagiratha? O Saint, who deemest thy religious
practices as thy only treasure, O thou of the priestly class! I wish to
hear the account of the achievements of the king, narrated in detail by

Vaisampayana said, "Thus addressed by the magnanimous and virtuous king,
he, the chief of men of the priestly class, narrated the achievements of
the high-souled (king) Sagara.

"Lomasa said, 'There was born in the family of the Ikshaku tribe, a
ruler of the earth named Sagara, endued with beauty, and strength. And
that same (king) of a dreaded name was sonless, O descendant of Bharata!
And he carried havoc through the tribes of the Haihayas and the
Talajanghas; brought under subjection the whole of the military caste;
(and so) ruled over his own kingdom. And, O most praiseworthy of the
descendants of Bharata! O chief of the Bharata race! he had two wives
proud of their beauty and of their youth,--one a princess of the
Vidarbha race, and the other of the royal line of Sivi. And, O chief of
kings, that same ruler of men, betook himself to the mountain Kailasa,
accompanied by both his wives, and with the desire of having a son
became engaged in the practice of exceeding austere penances. And being
engaged in the practice of rigid austerities, and (also) employed in the
contemplation known by the name of Yoga, he obtained the sight of the
magnanimous god with three eyes--the slayer of the demon called Tripura;
the worker of blessings (for all beings); the (eternally) existent one;
the ruling Being, the holder of the Pinaka bow; carrying in his hand his
(well-known weapon)--the trident; the god of three eyes; the repository
of (eternal) peace; the ruler of all those that are fierce; capable of
assuming very many forms; and the lord of the goddess Uma. And that same
ruler of men, of mighty arms, as soon as he beheld the god--that giver
of boons--fell down at his feet, with both his queens, and proffered a
prayer to have a son. And the god Siva, well pleased with him, spake
(thus) to that most righteous of the rulers of men, attended by his two
wives, saying, "O lord of men! considering the (astrological) moment at
which thou hast proffered thy prayer to me, sixty thousand sons, O
foremost of choice men valorous and characterised by exceeding pride,
will be born in one of thy two wives (here). But they all, O ruler of
the earth, shall perish together. In the other wife, (however), will be
born a single valiant son, who will perpetuate thy race." Having said
this to him, the god Rudra (Siva) vanished from sight at that very spot,
and that same king Sagara now came (back) to his own abode accompanied
by his two wives, exceedingly delighted at heart (for what had happened)
then. And, O most praiseworthy of the sons of Manu! (i.e., men), there
the two lotus-eyed wives of him--the princess of Vidarbha and the
princess of Sivi--came (erelong) to be with child. And afterwards, on
the due day, the princess of Vidarbha brought forth (something) of the
shape of a gourd and the princess of Sivi gave birth to a boy as
beautiful as a god. Then the ruler of the earth made up his mind to
throw away the gourd,--when he heard (proceeding) from the sky a speech
(uttered) in a grave and solemn voice, "O king! do thou not be guilty of
this hasty act; thou shouldst not abandon thy sons. Take out the seeds
from the gourd and let them be preserved with care in steaming vessels
partly filled with clarified butter. Then thou wilt get, O scion of
Bharata's race! sixty thousand sons. O ruler of men! the great god
(Siva) hath spoken that thy sons are to be born in this manner. Let not
therefore thy mind be turned away therefrom."'"


"Lomasa said, 'O most righteous of kings! When he heard these words
(proceeding) from the sky, he had faith therein, and did all that he was
directed to do, O chief of the men of Bharata's race! Then the ruler of
men took separately each of the seeds and then placed these divisions
(of the gourd) in vessels filled with clarified butter. And intent on
the preservation of his sons, he provided a nurse for every
(receptacle). Then after a long time there arose sixty thousand
exceedingly powerful sons of that same king--gifted with unmeasured
strength, they were born, O ruler of earth! to that saint-like king, by
Rudra's favour. And they were terrible; and their acts were ruthless.
And they were able to ascend and roam about in the sky; and being
numerous themselves, despised everybody, including the gods. And they
would chase even the gods, the Gandharvas, and the Rakshasas and all the
born beings, being themselves valiant and addicted to fighting. Then all
people, harassed by the dull-headed sons of Sagara, united with all the
gods, went to Brahma as their refuge. And then addressed the blessed
grandfather of all beings (Brahma), "Go ye your way, ye gods, together
with all these men. In a not very long space of time, there will come
about, O gods! a great and exceedingly terrible destruction of Sagara's
sons, caused by the deed perpetrated by them." Thus addressed, those
same gods, and men, O lord of the sons of Manu! bade adieu to the
grandfather, and went back to whence they had come. Then, O chief of
Bharata's race! after the expiry of very many days, the mighty king
Sagara accepted the consecration for performing the rites of a
horse-sacrifice. And his horse began to roam over the world, protected
by his sons. And when the horse reached the sea, waterless and frightful
to behold--although the horse was guarded with very great care--it
(suddenly) vanished at the very spot (it stood upon). Then, O respected
sir! those same sons of Sagara imagined the same fine horse to have been
stolen; and returning to their father, narrated how it had been stolen
out of sight. And thereupon he addressed them, saying, "Go ye and search
for the horse in all the cardinal points." Then, O great king, by this
command of their father, they began to search for the horse in the
cardinal points and throughout the whole surface of the earth. But all
those sons of Sagara, all mutually united, could not find the horse, nor
the person who had stolen it. And coming back then, they with joined
palms thus addressed their father, (standing) before them, "O Protector
of men! O ruler of the earth! O king! by thy command, the whole of this
world with its hills and its forest tracts, with its seas, and its
woods, and its islands, with its rivulets and rivers and caves, hath
been searched through by us. But we cannot find either the horse, or the
thief who had stolen the same." And hearing the words, the same king
became senseless with wrath, and then told them all, carried away by
Destiny, "Go ye all, may ye never return! Search ye again for the horse.
Without that sacrificial horse, ye must never return, my boys!"

"'And those same sons of Sagara, accepted this command of their father,
and once more began to search through the entire world. Now these heroes
saw a rift on the surface of the earth. And having reached this pit, the
sons of Sagara began to excavate it. And with spades and pickaxes they
went on digging the sea, making the utmost efforts. And that same abode
of Varuna (namely the ocean), being thus, excavated by the united sons
of Sagara and rent and cut on all sides round, was placed in a condition
of the utmost distress. And the demons and snakes and Rakshasas and
various (other) animated beings began to utter distressful cries, while
being killed by Sagara's sons. And hundreds and thousands of animated
beings were beheld with severed heads and separated trunks and with
their skins and bones and joints rent asunder and broken. Thus they went
on digging the ocean, which was the abode of Varuna and an exceedingly
long space of time expired in this work, but still the horse was not
found. Then, O lord of earth! towards the north-eastern region of the
sea, the incensed sons of Sagara dug down as far as the lower world, and
there they beheld the horse, roaming about on the surface of the ground.
And they saw the magnanimous Kapila, who looked like a perfect mass of
splendour. And having beheld him shining with his brightness, just as
the fire shineth with its flames, they, O king! seeing the horse, were
flushed with delight. And they being incensed, sent forward by their
fate, paid no heed to the presence of the magnanimous Kapila, and ran
forward with a view to seizing the horse. Then, O great king! Kapila,
the most righteous of saints,--he whom the great sages name as Kapila
Vasudeva--assumed a fiery look, and the mighty saint shot flames towards
them, and thereby burnt down the dull-headed sons of Sagara. And Narada,
whose practice of austerities was very great, when he beheld them
reduced to ashes, came to Sagara's side, and gave the information to
him. And when the king learnt this terrible news which proceeded from
the mouth of the saint, for nearly an hour he remained sad, and then he
bethought himself of what Siva had said. Then sending for Ansuman, the
son of Asamanjas, and his own grandson, he, O chief of Bharata's race!
spake the following words, "Those same sixty thousand sons of unmeasured
strength having encountered Kapila's wrath, have met their death on my
account. And, O my boy of stainless character! thy father also hath been
forsaken by me, in order to discharge my duty (as a king), and being
desirous of doing good to my subjects."'

"Yudhishthira said, 'O saint, whose sole wealth consists in religious
practices! Tell me for what reason, Sagara, the foremost of kings,
abandoned his own begotten son, endued with valour--an act so difficult
(for all other men).'

"Lomasa said, 'A son was born to Sagara, known by the name of Asamanjas,
he who was given birth to by the princess of Sivi. And he used to seize
by throat the feeble children of the townsmen, and threw them while
screaming into the river. And thereupon the townsmen, overwhelmed with
terror and grief, met together, and all standing with joined palms,
besought Sagara in the following way, "O great king! Thou art our
protector from the dreaded peril of attack from a hostile force.
Therefore it is proper for thee to deliver us from the frightful danger,
proceeding from Asamanjas." And the most righteous of the rulers of men,
having heard this frightful news from his subjects, for nearly an hour
remained sad and then spake to his ministers, saying, "This day from the
city let my son Asamanjas be driven forth. If ye wish to do what will be
acceptable to me, let this be quickly done." And, O protector of men!
those same ministers, thus addressed by the king, performed in a hurry
exactly what the king had commanded them to do. Thus have I narrated to
thee how the magnanimous Sagara banished his son, with a view to the
welfare of the residents of the town. I shall now fully narrate to thee
what Ansuman of the powerful bow was told by Sagara. Listen to me!

"'Sagara said, "O my boy! sore am I at heart for having abandoned thy
father, on account of the death of my sons, and also on being
unsuccessful in getting back the horse. Therefore, O grandson! harassed
with grief and confounded with the obstruction to my religious rites as
I am, thou must bring back the horse and deliver me from hell." Thus
addressed by the magnanimous Sagara, Ansuman went with sorrow to that
spot where the earth had been excavated. And by that very passage he
entered into the sea, and beheld that illustrious Kapila and that same
horse. And having beheld that ancient saint, most righteous of his
order, looking like a mass of light, he bowed with his head to the
ground, and informed him of the reason of his visit. Then, O great king,
Kapila was pleased with Ansuman, and that saint of a virtuous soul told
him to ask for a favour from him. And he in the first place prayed for
the horse, for the purpose of using it in the sacrifice; in the second
place he prayed for the purification of his fathers. Then the mighty
chief of saints, Kapila spake to him, saying, "I shall grant thee
everything that thou desirest, O stainless (prince). May good luck be
thine! In thee are fixed (the virtues of) forbearance, and truth, and
righteousness. By thee hath Sagara had all his desires fulfilled. Thou
are (really) a son to thy father. And by thy ability the sons of Sagara
will go to heaven (i.e., will be delivered from the consequences of
their unhallowed death). And the son of thy son, with a view to
purifying the sons of Sagara, will obtain the favour of the great god
Siva, (by means of practising great austerities), and will (thus) bring
(to this world) the river that floweth in three (separate) streams,
Ganga, O chief of men! May good luck be thine! Take thou with thee the
sacrificial horse. Finish, my lad! the sacrificial rites of the
magnanimous Sagara." Thus addressed by the illustrious Kapila, Ansuman
took the horse with him, and came back to the sacrificial yard of the
mighty-minded Sagara. Then he fell prostrate at the feet of the
high-souled Sagara, who smelt him on the head and narrated all the
events to him, all that had been seen and heard by him, and likewise the
destruction of Sagara's sons. He also announced that the horse had been
brought back to the sacrificial yard. And when king Sagara heard of
this, he no more grieved on account of his sons. And he praised and
honoured Ansuman, and finished those same sacrificial rites. His
sacrifice finished, Sagara was greeted honourably by all the gods; and
he converted the sea, Varuna's dwelling place, into a son of himself.
And the lotus-eyed (King Sagara) having ruled his kingdom for a period
of exceeding length, placed his grandson on the throne, (full of)
responsibilities and then ascended to heaven. And Ansuman likewise, O
great king! virtuous in soul, ruled over the world as far as the edge of
the sea, following the foot-prints of his father's father. His son was
named Dilipa, versed in virtue. Upon him placing the duties of his
sovereign post, Ansuman likewise departed this life. And then when
Dilipa heard what an awful fate had overtaken his forefathers, he was
sorely grieved and thought of the means of raising them. And the ruler
of men made every great effort towards the descent of Ganga (to the
mortal world). But although trying to the utmost of his power, he could
not bring about what he so much wished. And a son was born to him, known
by the name of Bhagiratha, beauteous, and devoted to a virtuous life,
and truthful, and free from feelings of malice. And Dilipa appointed him
as king, and betook himself to the forest life. And, O best of all the
scions of Bharata's race! that same king (Dilipa), devoted himself to a
successful course of austerities, and at the end of (sufficient) period,
from the forest departed to heaven.'"


"Lomasa said, 'That same king, of a powerful bow, standing at the head
of the surrounding, (i.e., the occupant of an imperial throne) of a
powerful car, (i.e., possessing every great fighting power) became the
delight of the eyes and the soul of all the world. And he of the
powerful arm came to learn how his forefathers had met an awful end from
Kapila of mighty soul, and how they had been unable to attain the region
of gods. And he with a sorrowful heart made over his kingly duties to
his minister, and, O lord of men! for practising austerities, went to
the side of the snowy Mountain (the Himalayas). And, O most praiseworthy
of men, desirous of extinguishing his sins by leading an austere life,
and (thereby) obtaining the favour of the (goddess) Ganga, he visited
that foremost of mountains--Himalaya. And he beheld it adorned with
peaks of diverse forms full of mineral earth; besprinkled on all sides
with drops from clouds which were resting themselves upon the breeze;
beautiful with rivers and groves and rocky spurs, looking like (so many)
palaces (in a city); attended upon by lions and tigers that had
concealed themselves in its caves and pits; and also inhabited by birds
of checkered forms, which were uttering diverse sounds, such as the
Bhringarajas, and ganders, and Datyuhas, and water-cocks, and peacocks
and birds with a hundred feathers, and Jivanjivakas, and black birds,
and Chakoras of eyes furnished with black corners, and the birds that
love their young. And he saw the mountain abounding in lotus plants
growing in delightful reservoirs of water. And the cranes rendered it
charming with their sounds; and the Kinnaras and the celestial nymphs
were seated on its stony slabs. And the elephants occupying the cardinal
points had everywhere robbed its trees with the end of their tusks; and
the demi-gods of the Vidyadhara class frequented the hill. And it was
full of various gems, and was also infested by snakes bearing terrible
poison and of glowing tongues. And the mountain at places looked like
(massive) gold, and elsewhere it resembled a silvery (pile), and at some
places it was like a (sable) heap of collyrium. Such was the snowy hill
where the king now found himself. And that most praiseworthy of men at
that spot betook himself to an awful austere course of life. And for one
thousand years his subsistence was nothing but water, fruit and roots.
When, however, a thousand years according to the calculation of gods had
elapsed, then the great river Ganga having assumed a material form,
manifested to him her (divine) self.

"'Ganga said. "O great king! what dost thou desire of me? And what must
I bestow on thee? Tell me the same, O most praiseworthy of men! I shall
do as thou mayst ask me." Thus addressed, the king then made his reply
to Ganga, the daughter of the snowy Hill, saying, "O grantress of boons!
O great river! my father's fathers, while searching for the horse, were
sent by Kapila to the abode of the god of death. And those same sixty
thousand sons of Sagara of mighty soul, having met with the majestic
Kapila, perished, (to a soul) in an instant of time. Having thus
perished, there hath been no place for them in the region of heaven. O
great river! So long as thou dost not besprinkle those same bodies with
thy water, there is no salvation for these same Sagara's sons. O blessed
goddess! carry thou my forefathers, Sagara's sons, to the region of
heaven. O great river! on their account am I beseeching thee

"Lomasa said, 'Ganga, the goddess saluted by the world, having heard
these words of the king, was well pleased, and spake to Bhagiratha the
following words: "O great king! I am prepared to do what thou dost ask
me; there is no doubt therein. But when I shall descend from the sky to
the earth, the force of my fall will be difficult to sustain, O
protector of men! In the three worlds there exists none who is able to
sustain the same, excepting Siva, the most praiseworthy of gods, the
great Lord with the throat of sable blue. O (prince) of a powerful arm!
Obtain the favour, by practising austerities, of that same Siva--giver
of boons. That same god will sustain my descent upon his head. Thy
desire he will fulfill, the desire, namely, to be of service to thy
fathers, O king!" Then the great king Bhagiratha having heard the same,
went to the Kailasa hill, and betaking himself to a severe course of
penances, at the expiration of a certain length of time obtained the
favour of that worker of blessings (Siva). And, O protector of men! that
same best of men, in order that his forefathers might have a place in
heaven secured to them, received from that very Siva the fulfilment of
his wish, namely the wish that the descending Ganga might be


"Lomasa said, 'The blessed God having heard what Bhagiratha had said,
and with a view to doing what was agreeable to the residents of heaven,
replied to the king, saying, "So let it be. O most righteous of the
protectors of men, O (prince) of a powerful arm! For thy sake I shall
sustain the river of the gods, when she will take her descent from the
sky, she who is pure and blessed and divine, O (king) of a mighty arm!"
Saying this, he came to the snowy mountain, surrounded by his
attendants, of awful mien, and with uplifted weapons of diverse forms.
And standing there, he said to Bhagiratha, the most praiseworthy of men,
"O (prince) of a powerful arm! do thou pray to the river, the daughter
of the king of mountains. I shall sustain that most praiseworthy of
rivers when she falls down from the third region of the world (heaven)."
Having heard these words uttered by Siva, the king became devout (in
heart), made obesiance and directed his thoughts towards Ganga. Then the
delightful (river), of pure water in being so thought of by the king,
and seeing that the great lord (Siva) was standing (to receive her
fall), came down all of a sudden from the sky. And seeing that she had
taken her leap from the sky, the gods, together with the mighty saints,
the Gandharvas, the snakes, and the Yakshas, assembled there as
spectators. Then came down from the sky Ganga, the daughter of the snowy
mountain. And her whirlpools were raging, and she was teeming with
fishes and sharks. O king! she directing her course towards the sea,
separated herself, into three streams; and her water was bestrewn with
piles of froth, which looked like so many rows of (white) ganders. And
crooked and tortuous in the movement of her body, at places; and at
others stumbling as it were; and covered with foam as with a robe: she
went forward like a woman drunk. And elsewhere, by virtue of the roar of
her waters, she uttered loud sounds. Thus assuming very many different
aspects, when she fell from the sky, and reached the surface of the
earth, she said to Bhagiratha, "O great king! show me the path that I
shall have to take. O lord of the earth! for thy sake have I descended
to the earth." Having heard these words, king Bhagiratha directed his
course towards the spot where lay those bodies of mighty Sagara's sons,
in order that, O most praiseworthy of men, the holy water might flood
(the same). Having achieved the task of sustaining Ganga, Siva, saluted
by men, went to Kailasa the most praiseworthy of mountains, accompanied
by the celestials. And the protector of men (Bhagiratha) accompanied by
Ganga reached the sea; and the sea, the abode of Varuna, was quickly
filled. And the king adopted Ganga as a daughter of himself, and at that
spot offered libations of water to the names of his forefathers; thus
was his heart's wish fulfilled. Thus asked by thee, I have narrated the
whole story how Ganga running in three streams, was brought down to the
earth for filling the sea; how the mighty saint had drunk up the sea for
a particular reason, and how, O lord! Vatapi, the slayer of Brahmanas,
was destroyed by Agastya.'"


Vaisampayana said, "O chief of the Bharata race! then the son of Kunti
went at a slow pace to the two rivers Nanda and Aparananda, which had
the virtue of destroying the dread of sin. And the protector of men
having reached the healthy hill Hemakuta, beheld there very many strange
and inconceivable sights. There the very utterance of words caused the
gathering of clouds, and a thousand volleys of stones. And people at its
sight were struck sad, and were unable to ascend the hill. There the
winds blew for aye, and the heavens always poured down rains; and
likewise the sounds of the recitation of the sacred writ were heard, yet
nobody was seen. In the evening and in the morning would be seen the
blessed fire that carries offerings to the gods and there flies would
bite and interrupt the practice of austerities. And there a sadness
would overtake the soul, and people would become sick. The son of Pandu,
having observed very many strange circumstances of this character again
addressed his questions to Lomasa with reference to these wonderful

"Lomasa said, 'O slayer of foes! O king! I am going to tell thee as we
heard it before; do thou attend to the same with intent mind. In this
peak of Rishava, there was once a saint known by that name. And his life
had lasted for many hundred years. And he was devoted to penances and
was greatly wrathful. And he, forsooth, for having been spoken to by
others, from wrath addressed the hill thus, "Whoever should utter any
words here, thou must throw stones at him, and thou must call up the
winds to prevent him from making any noise." This was what the saint
said. And so at this place, as soon as a man utters any words, he is
forbidden by a roaring cloud. O king! thus these deeds were performed by
that great saint, and from wrath he also forbade other acts. O king!
tradition says that when the gods of yore had come to the Nanda,
suddenly came over (there) a number of men to look at the celestials.
Those same gods at whose head stood Indra did not, however, like to be
seen; and so they rendered this spot inaccessible, by raising
obstructions in the form of hills. And from that day forward, O Kunti's
son! men could not cast their eyes at any time on what looked like a
hill, far less could they ascend the same. This big mountain is
incapable of being seen by one who hath not led an austere life, nor can
such a one ascend it. Therefore, O son of Kunti! keep thou thy tongue
under control. Here at that time all those gods performed the best
sacrificial rites. O Bharata's son! Even up to this day these marks
thereof may be seen. This grass here hath the form of the sacred _kusa_
grass: the ground here seemeth to be overspread with the sacred grass;
and, O lord of men! many of these trees here look like the spots for
tying the sacrificial beasts. O Bharata's son! still the Gods and saints
have residence here; and their sacred fire is observed in the morning
and in the evening. Here if one bathes, his sin is forthwith destroyed,
O Kunti's son! O most praiseworthy of the race of Kuru! do thou,
therefore, perform thy ablutions, together with thy younger brothers.
Then after having washed thyself in the Nanda, thou wilt repair to the
river Kausiki, the spot where the most excellent and severest form of
penances was practised by Viswamitra.' Then the king with his
attendants, having washed his body there, proceeded to the river
Kausiki, which was pure and delightful and pleasant with cool water.

"Lomasa said, 'This is the pure divine river by name Kausiki. O chief of
Bharata's race! and this is the delightful hermitage of Viswamitra,
conspicuous here. And this is a hermitage, with a holy name, belonging
to Kasyapa of mighty soul; whose son was Rishyasringa, devoted to
penances, and of passions under control. He by force of his penances
caused Indra to rain; and that god, the slayer of the demons Vala and
Vritra, dreading him, poured down rain during a drought. That powerful
and mighty son of Kasyapa was born of a hind. He worked a great marvel
in the territory of Lomapada. And when the crops had been restored, king
Lomapada gave his daughter Santa in marriage to him, as the sun gave in
marriage his daughter Savitri.'

"Yudhishthira said, 'How was the son of Kasyapa, Rishyasringa, born of a
hind? And how was he endowed with holiness, being the issue of a
reprehensible sexual connexion? And for what reason was Indra, the
slayer of the demons Vala and Vritra, afraid of that same sagacious boy,
and poured down rain during a period of drought? And how beautiful was
that princess Santa, pure in life, she who allured the heart of him when
he had turned himself into a stag? And since the royal saint Lomapada is
said to have been of a virtuous disposition, why was it that in his
territory, Indra, the chastiser of the demon Paka, had withheld rain? O
holy saint! all this in detail, exactly as it happened, thou wilt be
pleased to narrate to me, for I am desirous of hearing the deeds of
Rishyasringa's life.'

"Lomasa said, 'Hear how Rishyasringa, of dreaded name, was born as a son
to Vibhandaka, who was a saint of the Brahmana caste, who had cultured
his soul by means of religious austerities, whose seed never failed in
causing generation, and who was learned and bright like the Lord of
beings. And the father was highly honoured, and the son was possessed of
a mighty spirit, and, though a boy, was respected by aged men. And that
son of Kasyapa, Vibhandaka, having proceeded to a big lake, devoted
himself to the practice of penances. And that same saint, comparable to
a god, laboured for a long period. And once while he was washing his
mouth in the waters, he beheld the celestial nymph Urvasi--whereupon
came out his seminal fluid. And, O king! a hind at that time lapped it
up along with the water that she was drinking, being athirst; and from
this cause she became with child. That same hind had really been a
daughter of the gods, and had been told of yore by the holy Brahma, the
creator of the worlds, "Thou shall be a hind; and when in that form,
thou shall give birth to a saint; thou shalt then be freed." As Destiny
would have it, and as the word of the creator would not be untrue, in
that same hind was born his (Vibhandaka's) son a mighty saint. And
Rishyasringa, devoted to penances, always passed his days in the forest.
O king! there was a horn on the head of that magnanimous saint and for
this reason did he come to be known at the time by the name of
Rishyasringa. And barring his father, not a man had ever before been
seen by him; therefore his mind, O protector of men! was entirely
devoted to the duties of a continent life. At this very period there was
a ruler of the land of Anga known by the name of Lomapada who was a
friend of Dasaratha. We have heard that he from love of pleasure had
been guilty of a falsehood towards a Brahmana. And that same ruler of
the world had at that time been shunned by all persons of the priestly
class. And he was without a ministering priest (to assist him in his
religious rites). And the god of a thousand eyes (Indra) suddenly
abstained from giving rain in his territory; so that his people began to
suffer and O lord of the earth! he questioned a number of Brahmanas,
devoted to penances, of cultivated minds, and possessed of capabilities
with reference to the matter of rain being granted by the lord of gods,
saying, "How may the heavens grant us the rain? Think of an expedient
(for this purpose)." And those same cultured men, being thus questioned,
gave expression to their respective views. And one among them--the best
of saints--spake to that same king, saying, "O lord of kings! the
Brahmanas are angry with thee. Do some act (therefore) for appeasing
them. O ruler of the earth! send for Rishyasringa, the son of a saint,
resident of the forest knowing nothing of the female sex, and always
taking delight in simplicity. O king! if he, great in the practice of
penances, should show himself in thy territory, forthwith rain would be
granted by the heavens, herein I have no doubt at all." And, O king!
having heard these words Lomapada made atonement for his sins. And he
went away; and when the Brahmanas had been appeased, he returned again,
and seeing the king returned, the people were again glad at heart. Then
the king of Anga convened a meeting of his ministers, proficient in
giving counsel. And he took great pains in order to settle some plan for
securing a visit from Rishyasringa. And, O unswerving (prince)! with
those ministers, who were versed in all branches of knowledge, and
exceedingly proficient in worldly matters, and had a thorough training
in practical affairs, he at last settled a plan (for gaining his
object). And then he sent for a number of courtesans, women of the town,
clever in everything. And when they came, that same ruler of the earth
spake to them, saying, "Ye lovely women! Ye must find some means to
allure, and obtain the confidence of the son of the saint--Rishyasringa,
whom ye must bring over to my territory." And those same women, on the
one hand afraid of the anger of the king and on the other, dreading a
curse from the saint, became sad and confounded, and declared the
business to be beyond their power. One, however, among them--a hoary
woman, thus spake to the king, "O great king! him whose wealth solely
consists in penances, I shall try to bring over here. Thou wilt,
however, have to procure for me certain things, in connection with the
plan. In that case, I may be able to bring over the son of the
saint--Rishyasringa." Thereupon the king gave an order that all that she
might ask for should be procured. And he also gave a good deal of wealth
and jewels of various kinds. And then, O Lord of the earth, she took
with herself a number of women endowed with beauty and youth, and went
to the forest without delay.'"


"Lomasa said, 'O descendant of Bharata! she in order to compass the
object of the king, prepared a floating hermitage, both because the king
had ordered so, and also because it exactly accorded with her plan. And
the floating hermitage, containing artificial trees adorned with various
flowers and fruits, and surrounded by diverse shrubs and creeping plants
and capable of furnishing choice and delicious fruits, was exceedingly
delightful, and nice, and pleasing, and looked as if it had been created
by magic. Then she moored the vessel at no great distance from the
hermitage of Kasyapa's son, and sent emissaries to survey the place
where that same saint habitually went about. And then she saw an
opportunity; and having conceived a plan in her mind, sent forward her
daughter, a courtesan by trade and of smart sense. And that clever woman
went to the vicinity of the religious man and arriving at the hermitage
beheld the son of the saint.

"'The courtesan said, "I hope, O saint! that is all well with the
religious devotees. And I hope that thou hast a plentiful store of
fruits and roots and that thou takest delight in this hermitage. Verily
I come here now to pay thee a visit. I hope the practice of austerities
among the saints is on the increase. I hope that thy father's spirit
hath not slackened and that he is well pleased with thee. O Rishyasringa
of the priestly caste! I hope thou prosecutest the studies proper for

"'Rishyasringa said, "Thou art shining with lustre, as if thou wert a
(mass) of light. And I deem thee worthy of obeisance. Verily I shall
give thee water for washing thy feet and such fruits and roots also as
may be liked by thee, for this is what my religion hath prescribed to
me. Be thou pleased to take at thy pleasure thy seat on a mat made of
the sacred grass, covered over with a black deer-skin and made pleasant
and comfortable to sit upon. And where is thy hermitage? O Brahmana!
thou resemblest a god in thy mien. What is the name of this particular
religious vow, which thou seemest to be observing now?"

"'The courtesan said, "O son of Kasyapa! on the other side of yonder
hill, which covers the space of three Yojanas, is my hermitage--a
delightful place. There, not to receive obeisance is the rule of my
faith nor do I touch water for washing my feet. I am not worthy of
obeisance from persons like thee; but I must make obeisance to thee. O
Brahmana! This is the religious observance to be practised by me,
namely, that thou must be clasped in my arms."

"'Rishyasringa said, "Let me give thee ripe fruits, such as gallnuts,
myrobalans, _Karushas, Ingudas_ from sandy tracts and Indian fig. May it
please thee to take a delight in them!"'

"Lomasa said, 'She, however, threw aside all those edible things and
then gave him unsuitable things for food. And these were exceedingly
nice and beautiful to see and were very much acceptable to Rishyasringa.
And she gave him garlands of an exceedingly fragrant scent and beautiful
and shining garments to wear and first-rate drinks; and then played and
laughed and enjoyed herself. And she at his sight played with a ball and
while thus employed, looked like a creeping plant broken in two. And she
touched his body with her own and repeatedly clasped Rishyasringa in her
arms. Then she bent and broke the flowery twigs from trees, such as the
Sala, the Asoka and the Tilaka. And overpowered with intoxication,
assuming a bashful look, she went on tempting the great saint's son. And
when she saw that the heart of Rishyasringa had been touched, she
repeatedly pressed his body with her own and casting glances, slowly
went away under the pretext that she was going to make offerings on the
fire. On her departure, Rishyasringa became over-powered with love and
lost his sense. His mind turned constantly to her and felt itself
vacant. And he began to sigh and seemed to be in great distress. At that
moment appeared Vibhandaka, Kasyapa's son, he whose eyes were tawny like
those of a lion, whose body was covered with hair down to the tip of the
nails, who was devoted to studies proper for his caste, and whose life
was pure and was passed in religious meditation. He came up and saw that
his son was seated alone, pensive and sad, his mind upset and sighing
again and again with upturned eyes. And Vibhandaka spake to his
distressed son, saying, "My boy! why is it that thou art not hewing the
logs for fuel. I hope thou hast performed the ceremony of burnt offering
today. I hope thou hast polished the sacrificial ladles and spoons and
brought the calf to the milch cow whose milk furnisheth materials for
making offerings on the fire. Verily thou art not in thy wonted state, O
son! Thou seemest to be pensive, and to have lost thy sense. Why art
thou so sad today? Let me ask thee, who hath been to this place


"'Rishyasringa said, "Here came to-day a religious student with a mass
of hair on his head. And he was neither short nor tall. And he was of a
spirited look and a golden complexion, and endued with eye large as
lotuses; and he was shining and graceful as a god. And rich was his
beauty blazing like the Sun; and he was exceedingly fair with eyes
graceful and black. And his twisted hair was blue-black and neat and
long and of a fragrant scent and tied up with strings of gold. A
beautiful ornament was shining on his neck which looked like lightning
in the sky. And under the throat he had two balls of flesh without a
single hair upon them and of an exceedingly beautiful form. And his
waist was slender to a degree and his navel neat; and smooth also was
the region about his ribs. Then again there shone a golden string from
under his cloth, just like this waist-string of mine. And there was
something on his feet of a wonderful shape which give forth a jingling
sound. Upon his wrists likewise was tied a pair of ornaments that made a
similar sound and looked just like this rosary here. And when he walked,
his ornaments uttered a jingling sound like those uttered by delighted
ganders upon a sheet of water. And he had on his person garments of a
wonderful make; these clothes of mine are by no means beautiful like
those. And his face was wonderful to behold; and his voice was
calculated to gladden the heart; and his speech was pleasant like the
song of the male blackbird. And while listening to the same I felt
touched to my inmost soul. And as a forest in the midst of the vernal
season, assumes a grace only when it is swept over by the breeze, so, O
father! he of an excellent and pure smell looks beautiful when fanned by
the air. And his mass of hair is neatly tied up and remains adhering to
the head and forehead evenly sundered in two. And his two eyes seemed to
be covered with wonderful Chakravaka birds of an exceedingly beautiful
form. And he carried upon his right palm a wonderful globur fruit, which
reaches the ground and again and again leaps up to the sky in a strange
way. And he beats it and turns himself round and whirls like a tree
moved by the breeze. And when I looked at him, O father! he seemed to be
a son of the celestials, and my joy was extreme, and my pleasure
unbounded. And he clasped my body, took hold of my matted hair, and bent
down my mouth, and, mingling his mouth with my own, uttered a sound that
was exceedingly pleasant. And he doth not care for water for washing his
feet, nor for those fruits offered by me; and he told me that such was
the religious observance practised by him. And he gave unto me a number
of fruits. Those fruits were tasteful unto me: these here are not equal
to them in taste. They have not got any rind nor any stone within them,
like these. And he of a noble form gave me to drink water of an
exceedingly fine flavour; and having drunk it, I experienced great
pleasure; and the ground seemed to be moving under my feet. And these
are the garlands beautiful and fragrant and twined with silken threads
that belong to him. And he, bright with fervent piety, having scattered
these garlands here, went back to his own hermitage. His departure hath
saddened my heart; and my frame seems to be in a burning sensation! And
my desire is to go to him as soon as I can, and to have him every day
walk about here. O father, let me this very moment go to him. Pray, what
is that religious observance which is being practised by him. As he of a
noble piety is practising penances, so I am desirous to live the same
life with him. My heart is yearning after similar observances. My soul
will be in torment if I see him not."'"


"'Vibhandaka said, "Those are, O son! Rakshasas. They walk about in that
wonderfully beautiful form. Their strength is unrivalled and their
beauty great. And they always meditate obstruction to the practice of
penances. And, O my boy, they assume lovely forms and try to allure by
diverse means. And those fierce beings hurled the saints, the dwellers
of the woods, from blessed regions (won by their pious deeds). And the
saint who hath control over his soul, and who is desirous of obtaining
the regions where go the righteous, ought to have nothing to do with
them. And their acts are vile and their delight is in causing
obstruction to those who practise penance; (therefore) a pious man
should never look at them. And, O son! those were drinks unworthy to be
drunk, being as they were spirituous liquors consumed by unrighteous
men. And these garlands, also, bright and fragrant and of various hues,
are not intended for saints." Having thus forbidden his son by saying
that those were wicked demons, Vibhandaka went in quest of her. And when
by three day's search he was unable to trace where she was he then came
back to his own hermitage. In the meanwhile, when the son of Kasyapa had
gone out to gather fruits, then that very courtesan came again to tempt
Rishyasringa in the manner described above. And as soon as Rishyasringa
had her in sight, he was glad and hurriedly rushing towards him said,
"Let us go to thy hermitage before the return of my father." Then, O
king! those same courtesans by contrivances made the only son of Kasyapa
enter their bark, and unmoored the vessel. And by various means they
went on delighting him and at length came to the side of Anga's king.
And leaving then that floating vessel of an exceedingly white tint upon
the water, and having placed it within sight of the hermitage, he
similarly prepared a beautiful forest known by the name of the _Floating
Hermitage_. The king, however, kept that only son of Vibhandaka within
that part of the palace destined for the females when of a sudden he
beheld that rain was poured by the heavens and that the world began to
be flooded with water. And Lomapada, the desire of his heart fulfilled,
bestowed his daughter Santa on Rishyasringa in marriage. And with a view
to appease the wrath of his father, he ordered kine to be placed, and
fields to be ploughed, by the road that Vibhandaka was to take, in order
to come to his son. And the king also placed plentiful cattle and stout
cowherds, and gave the latter the following order:

"'"When the great saint Vibhandaka should enquire of you about his son,
ye must join your palms and say to him that these cattle, and these
ploughed fields belong to his son and that ye are his slaves, and that
ye are ready to obey him in all that he might bid." Now the saint, whose
wrath was fierce, came to his hermitage, having gathered fruits and
roots and searched for his son. But not finding him he became
exceedingly wroth. And he was tortured with anger and suspected it to be
the doing of the king. And therefore, he directed his course towards the
city of Champa having made up his mind to burn the king, his city, and
his whole territory. And on the way he was fatigued and hungry, when he
reached those same settlements of cowherds, rich with cattle. And he was
honoured in a suitable way by those cowherds and then spent the night in
a manner befitting a king. And having received very great hospitality
from them, he asked them, saying, "To whom, O cowherds, do ye belong?"
Then they all came up to him and said, "All this wealth hath been
provided for thy son." At different places he was thus honoured by that
best of men, and saw his son who looked like the god Indra in heaven.
And he also beheld there his daughter-in-law, Santa, looking like
lightning issuing from a (cloud). And having seen the hamlets and the
cowpens provided for his son and having also beheld Santa, his great
resentment was appeased. And O king of men! Vibhandaka expressed great
satisfaction with the very ruler of the earth. And the great saint,
whose power rivalled that of the sun and the god of fire, placed there
his son, and thus spake, "As soon as a son is born to thee, and having
performed all that is agreeable to the king, to the forest must thou
come without fail." And Rishyasringa did exactly as his father said, and
went back to the place where his father was. And, O king of men! Santa
obediently waited upon him as in the firmament the star Rohind waits
upon the Moon, or as the fortunate Arundhati waits upon Vasishtha, or as
Lopamudra waits upon Agastya. And as Damayanti was an obedient wife to
Nala, or as Sachi is to the god who holdeth the thunderbolt in his hand
or as Indrasena, Narayana's daughter, was always obedient to Mudgala, so
did Santa wait affectionately upon Rishyasringa, when he lived in the
wood. This is the holy hermitage which belonged to him. Beautifying the
great lake here, it bears holy fame. Here perform thy ablutions and have
thy desire fulfilled. And having purified thyself, direct thy course
towards other holy spots.'"


Vaisampayana said, "Then, O Janamejaya, the son of Pandu started from
the river Kausiki and repaired in succession to all the sacred shrines.
And, O protector of men, he came to the sea where the river Ganga falls
into it; and there in the centre of five hundred rivers, he performed
the holy ceremony of a plunge. Then, O ruler of the earth, accompanied
by his brothers, the valiant prince proceeded by the shore of the sea
towards the land where the Kalinga tribes dwell.

"Lomasa said, 'There is the land, O Kunti's son, where the Kalinga
tribes dwell. Through it passeth the river Vaitarani, on the banks
whereof even the god of virtue performed religious rites, having first
placed himself under the protection of the celestials. Verily, this is
the northern bank, inhabited by saints, suitable for the performance of
religious rites beautified by a hill, and frequented by persons of the
regenerate caste. This spot (in holiness) rivals the path whereby a
virtuous man, fit for going to heaven, repairs to the region inhabited
by gods. And verily at this spot in former times, other saints likewise
worshipped the immortals by the performance of religious rites. And at
the very spot it was that the god Rudra, O king of kings, seized the
sacrificial beast and exclaimed, "This is my share!" O chief of the
descendants of Bharata, then when the beast was carried away by Siva,
the gods spake to him saying, "Cast not a covetous glance at the
property of others, disregarding all the righteous rules." Then they
addressed words of glorification of a pleasing kind to the god Rudra.
And they satisfied him by offering a sacrifice, and paid him suitable
honours. Thereupon he gave up the beast, and went by the path trodden by
the gods. Thereupon what happened to Rudra, learn from me, O
Yudhishthira! Influenced by the dread of Rudra, the gods set apart for
evermore, the best allotment out of all shares, such as was fresh and
not stale (to be appropriated by the god). Whosoever performs his
ablutions at this spot, while reciting this ancient story, beholds with
his mortal eyes the path that leads to the region of the gods."

Vaisampayana said, "Then all the sons of Pandu and likewise the daughter
of Drupada--all of whom were the favoured of Fate--descended to the
river Vaitarani, and made libations to the names of their fathers.

"Yudhishthira said, 'O Lomasa, how great must be the force of a pious
deed! Having taken my bath at this spot in a proper form, I seem to
touch no more the region inhabited by mortal men! O saint of a virtuous
life, I am beholding all the regions. And this is the noise of the
magnanimous dwellers of the wood, who are reciting their audible

"Lomasa said, 'O Yudhishthira, the place whence this noise comes and
reaches thy ears is at the distance of three hundred thousand _yojanas_,
to be sure. O lord of men, rest thou quiet and utter no word. O king,
this is the divine forest of the Self-existent One, which hath now come
to our view. There, O king, Viswakarma of a dreaded name performed
religious rites. On the mighty occasion of that sacrifice, the
Self-existent One made a gift of this entire earth with all its hilly
and forest tracts, to Kasyapa, by way of gratuity, for ministering as a
priest. And then, O Kuru's son, as soon as that goddess Earth was giving
away, she became sad at heart, and wrathfully spake the following words
to that great lord, the ruler of the worlds, "O mighty god, it is
unworthy of thee to give me away to an ordinary mortal. And this act of
gift on thy part will come to nothing; (for) here am I going to descend
into the bottom of the nether world." Then when the blessed saint
Kasyapa beheld the goddess Earth, despondent and sad, he, O protector of
men, performed a propitiatory act calculated to appease her wrath. And
then, O Pandu's son, the Earth was pleased with his pious deed. And she
uprose again from within the waters, and showed herself in the form of a
sacred altar. This, O king, is the spot which distinctly manifests the
form of an altar. O great monarch, ascend over it, and thou wilt gain
valour and strength. And, O king, this is the very altar which reaches
as far as the sea, and rests itself upon its bosom. May good luck be
thine, do thou mount hereupon, and of thyself cross the sea. And while
thou this day mountest upon it, I shall administer the ceremony for
averting all evil from thee; for this altar here, as soon as it gets a
mortal's touch, at once enters into the sea. _Salutation to the god who
protects the universe! Salutation to thee that art beyond the universe!
O Lord of gods, vouchsafe thy presence in this sea._ O Pandu's son, thou
must recite the following words of truth, and while so reciting, thou
must quickly ascend this altar, "The god of fire, and the sun, and the
organ of generation, and water, and goddess and the seed of Vishnu, and
the navel of nectar. The god of fire is the organ that generated the
(ocean); the earth is thy body; Vishnu deposited the seed that caused
thy being and thou art the navel of nectar." Thus, O Pandu's son, the
words of truth must be audibly recited, and while so reciting, one must
plunge into the lord of rivers. O most praiseworthy of Kunti's son,
otherwise this lord of waters of divine birth, this best storehouse of
the waters (of the earth), should not be touched, O son of Kunti, even
with the end of a sacred grass.'"

Vaisampayana said, "Then when the ceremony for averting evil had been
completed in his behalf, the magnanimous Yudhishthira went into the sea,
and having performed all that the saint had bid, repaired to the skirts
of the Mahendra hill, and spent the night at that spot."


Vaisampayana said, "The protector of the earth spent there a single
night, and with his brothers, paid the highest honours to the religious
men. And Lomasa made him acquainted with the names of all of them, such
as the _Bhrigus_, the _Angiras_, the _Vasishthas_, and the _Kasyapas_.
And the royal saint paid visit to them all and made obeisance to them
with joined palms. And then he asked the valiant Akritavrana, who was a
follower of Parasurama, 'when will the revered Parasurama show himself
to the religious men here? It is desired on that occasion to obtain a
sight of the descendant of Bhrigu.'

"Akritavrana said, 'Thy journey to this spot is already known to Rama,
whose soul spontaneously knows everything. And he is in every way
well-pleased with thee, and he will show himself readily to thee. And
the saints who practise penances here, are permitted to see him on the
fourteenth and the eighth day of the lunar course. On the morrow at the
end of this very night there will set in the fourteenth day of the lunar
course. On that occasion thou wilt have a sight of him, clad in a sable
deerskin, and wearing his hair in the form of a matted mass.'

"Yudhishthira said, 'Thou hast been a follower of the mighty Rama,
Jamadagni's son; thou must, therefore, have been the eye-witness of all
the deeds achieved by him in former days. I, therefore, request thee to
narrate to me how the members of the military caste were vanquished by
Rama on the field of battle, and what the original cause of those
conflicts was.'

"Akritavrana said, 'With pleasure shall I recite to thee that excellent
story, O Bharata's son, O chief of kings, the story of the godlike deeds
of Rama, the son of Jamadagni, who traced his origin to Bhrigu's race. I
shall also relate the achievements of the great ruler of the _Haihaya_
tribe. That king, Arjuna by name, the mighty lord of the _Haihaya_ tribe
was killed by Rama. He, O Pandu's son, was endued with a thousand arms;
and by the favour of Dattatreya he likewise had a celestial car made of
gold. And, O protector of the earth, his rule extended over the entire
animated world, wheresoever located on this earth. And the car of that
mighty monarch could proceed everywhere in an unobstructed course. And
grown resistless by the virtue of a granted boon, he ever mounted on
that car, trampled upon gods and _Yakshas_ and saints on all sides
round. And all the born beings wheresoever placed, were harassed by him.
Then the celestials and the saints of a rigidly virtuous life, met
together, and thus spake to Vishnu, the god of gods, the slayer of
demons, and possessed of prowess that never failed, saying. "O blessed
and revered lord, for the purpose of preserving all the born beings, it
is necessary that Arjuna should be killed by thee." And the mighty ruler
of the Haihaya tribe placing himself on his celestial car, affronted
Indra, while that deity was enjoying himself with Sachi, his queen.
Then, O Bharata's son, the blessed and the revered god (Vishnu) held a
consultation with Indra, with a view to destroying Kartavirya's son. And
on that occasion, all that was for the good of the world of beings, was
communicated by the lord of gods; and the blessed god worshipped by the
world, to do all that was necessary, went to the delightful _Vadari_
wood which was his own chosen retreat for practising penances. And at
this very time there lived on the earth a mighty monarch in the land of
_Kanyakuvja_, a sovereign whose military force was exceedingly great.
And his name of Gadhi was famous in the world. He, however, betook
himself to a forest-life. And while he was dwelling in the midst of the
wood, there was born to him a daughter beautiful as a nymph of heaven.
And Richika, the son of Bhrigu, asked for her to be united with himself
in marriage. And then Gadhi spake to that Brahmana, who led a rigidly
austere life, saying, "There is a certain family custom in our race; it
hath been founded by my ancestors of a bygone age. And, O most excellent
of the sacerdotal caste, be it known to thee that the intending
bridegroom must offer a dowry consisting of a thousand fleet steeds,
whose colour must be brown and every one of whom must possess a single
sable car. But, O Bhrigu's son, a reverend saint like thee cannot be
asked to offer the same. Nor can my daughter be refused to a magnanimous
saint of thy (exalted) rank." Thereupon Richika said, "I will give thee
a thousand fleet steeds, brown in hue and possessing a single sable car;
let thy daughter be given in marriage to me."'

"Akritavrana said, 'Thus having given his word, O king, he went and said
to Varuna, "Give me a thousand fleet steeds brown in colour, and each
with one black ear. I want the same as dowry for my marriage." To him
Varuna forthwith gave a thousand steeds. Those steeds had issued out of
the river Ganga; hence the spot hath been named, _The horse's landing
place_. And in the city of Kanyakuvja, the daughter of Gadhi, Satyavati
by name, was given in marriage; and the gods themselves were of the
party of the bride. Richika, the most excellent of the sacerdotal caste,
thus procured a thousand steeds, and had a sight of the dwellers of
heaven and won a wife in the proper form. And he enjoyed himself with
the girl of slender waist, and thus gratified all the wishes and desire
that he ever had. And when the marriage had been celebrated, O king, his
father Bhrigu came on a visit to see him and his wife; and he was glad
to see his praiseworthy son. And the husband and wife together paid
their best respects to him, who was worshipped by all the gods. And when
he had seated himself, they both with joined palms, stood near him, in
order that they might do his bidding. And then the revered saint,
Bhrigu, glad at heart, thus spoke to his daughter-in-law, saying, "O
lovely daughter, as for a boon I am ready to grant thee any object of
thy wish." And there upon she asked for his favour in this, that a son
might be born to both herself and her mother. And he vouchsafed the
favour thus asked for.

"'Bhrigu said, "During the days that your season lasts, thou and thy
mother must take a bath, with the ceremony for bringing forth a male
child. And ye two must then separately embrace two different trees--she
a peepal tree, and thou a fig tree. And, O dutiful girl, here are two
pots of rice and milk, prepared by me with the utmost care. I having
ransacked the whole universe to find the drugs, the essence whereof hath
been blended with this milk and rice. It must be taken as food with the
greatest care." And saying this, he vanished from sight. The two ladies,
however, made an interchange both in the matter of the pots of rice, and
likewise as regards the trees (to be embraced by each). Then after the
lapse of very many days, the revered saint, once more came. And he came
knowing (what had happened) by his attribute of divine knowledge. Then
Bhrigu possessed of mighty strength, spake to Satyavati, his
daughter-in-law, saying, "O dutiful girl! O my daughter of a lovely
brow, the wrong pot of rice thou tookest as food. And it was the wrong
tree which was embraced by thee. It was thy mother who deluded thee. A
son will be born of thee, who, though of the priestly caste, will be of
a character fit for the military order; while a mighty son will be born
of thy mother, who, though by birth a Kshatriya will assume a life
suitable to the sacerdotal order. And his power will be great, and he
will walk on the path trodden by righteous men." Then she entreated her
father-in-law again and again, saying, "Let not my son be of this
character; but let my grandson be such." And, O Pandu's son, he replied,
"So let it be!" And thus he was pleased to grant her prayer. Then she
brought forth on the expected day a son by name Jamadagni. And this son
of Bhrigu was endowed with both splendour and grace. And he grew in
years and in strength, and excelled the other saints in the proficiency
of his _Vaidik_ lore. O chieftain of Bharata's race, to him, rivalling
in lustre the author of light (the sun), came spontaneously and without
instruction the knowledge of the entire military art and of the fourfold
missile arms.'"


"Akritavrana said, 'Jamadagni devoted himself to the study of the _Veda_
and the practice of sacred penances, and became famous for his great
austerities. Then he pursued a methodical course of study and obtained a
mastery over the entire Veda. And, O king, he paid a visit to Prasenajit
and solicited the hand of Renuka in marriage. And this prayer was
granted by the king. And the delight of Bhrigu's race having thus
obtained Renuka for his wife, took his residence with her in a
hermitage, and began to practice penances, being assisted by her. And
four boys were born of her, with Rama for the fifth. And although the
youngest, Rama was superior to all in merit. Now once upon a time, when
her sons had gone out for the purpose of gathering fruits, Renuka who
had a pure and austere life, went out to bathe. And, O king, while
returning home, she happened to cast her glance towards the king of
Martikavata, known by the name of Chitraratha. The king was in the water
with his wives, and wearing on his breast a lotus wreath, was engaged in
sport. And beholding his magnificent form, Renuka was inspired with
desire. And this unlawful desire she could not control, but became
polluted within the water, and came back to the hermitage frightened at
heart. Her husband readily perceived what state she was in. And mighty
and powerful and of a wrathful turn of mind, when he beheld that she had
been giddy and that the lustre of chastity had abandoned her, he
reproached her by crying out "Fie!" At that very moment came in the
eldest of Jamadagni's sons, Rumanvan; and then, Sushena, and then, Vasu,
and likewise, Viswavasu. And the mighty saint directed them all one by
one to put an end to the life of their mother. They, however, were quite
confounded and lost heart. And they could not utter a single word. Then
he in ire cursed them. And on being cursed they lost their sense and
suddenly became like inanimate objects, and comparable in conduct to
beasts and birds. And then Rama, the slayer of hostile heroes, came to
the hermitage, last of all. Him the mighty-armed Jamadagni, of great
austerities, addressed, saying, "Kill this wicked mother of thine,
without compunction, O my son." Thereupon Rama immediately took up an
axe and therewith severed his mother's head. Then, O great king, the
wrath of Jamadagni of mighty soul, was at once appeased; and
well-pleased, he spake the following words, "Thou hast, my boy,
performed at my bidding this difficult task, being versed in virtue.
Therefore, whatsoever wishes there may be in thy heart, I am ready to
grant them all. Do thou ask me." Thereupon Rama solicited that his
mother might be restored to life, and that he might not be haunted by
the remembrance of this cruel deed and that he might not be affected by
any sin, and that his brothers might recover their former state, and
that he might be unrivalled on the field of battle, and that he might
obtain long life. And, O Bharata's son, Jamadagni, whose penances were
the most rigid, granted all those desires of his son. Once, however, O
lord, when his sons had gone out as before, the valourous son of
Kartavirya, the lord of the country near the shore of the sea, came up
to the hermitage. And when he arrived at that hermitage, the wife of the
saint received him hospitably. He, however, intoxicated with a warrior's
pride, was not at all pleased with the reception accorded to him, and by
force and in defiance of all resistance, seized and carried off from
that hermitage the chief of the cows whose milk supplied the sacred
butter, not heeding the loud lowing of the cow. And he wantonly pulled
down the large trees of the wood. When Rama came home, his father
himself told him all that had happened. Then when Rama saw how the cow
was lowing for its calf, resentment arose in his heart. And he rushed
towards Kartavirya's son, whose last moments had drawn nigh. Then the
descendant of Bhrigu, the exterminator of hostile heroes, put forth his
valour on the field of battle, and with sharpened arrows with flattened
tips, which were shot from a beautiful bow, cut down Arjuna's arms,
which numbered a thousand, and were massive like (wooden) bolts for
barring the door. He, already touched by the hand of death, was
overpowered by Rama, his foe. Then the kinsmen of Arjuna, their wrath
excited against Rama, rushed at Jamadagni in his hermitage, while Rama
was away. And they slew him there; for although his strength was great,
yet being at the time engaged in penances, he would not fight. And while
thus attacked by his foes, he repeatedly shouted the name of Rama in a
helpless and piteous way. And, O Yudhishthira, the sons of Kartavirya
shot Jamadagni, with their arrows, and having thus chastised their foe,
went their way. And when they had gone away, and when Jamadagni had
breathed his last, Rama, the delight of Bhrigu's race, returned to the
hermitage, bearing in his arms, fuel for religious rites. And the hero
beheld his father who had been put to death. And grieved exceedingly he
began to bewail the unworthy fate that had laid his father low.'"


"'Rama said, "The blame is mine, O father, that like a stag in the wood,
thou hast been shot dead with arrows, by those mean and stupid
wretches--the sons of Kartavirya. And O father, virtuous and unswerving
from the path of righteousness and inoffensive to all animated beings as
thou wert, how came it to be permitted by Fate that thou shouldst die in
this way? What an awful sin must have been committed by them, who have
killed thee with hundreds of sharpened shafts, although thou wert an
aged man, and engaged in penances at the time and absolutely averse to
fighting with them. With what face will those shameless persons speak of
this deed of theirs to their friends and servants, _viz_., that they
have slain an unassisted and unresisting virtuous man?"--O protector of
men, thus he, great in penance, bewailed much in a piteous manner, and
then performed the obsequies of his departed sire. And Rama, the
conqueror of hostile cities, cremated his father on the funeral pyre,
and vowed, O scion of Bharata's race, the slaughter of the entire
military caste, and of exceeding strength in the field of battle, and
possessed of valour suited to a heroic soul, and comparable to the god
of death himself, he took up his weapon in wrathful mood, and
singlehanded put Kartavirya's sons to death. And, O chieftain of the
military caste, Rama, the leader of all capable of beating their foes,
thrice smote down all the Kshatriya followers of Kartavirya's sons. And
seven times did that powerful lord exterminate the military tribes of
the earth. In the tract of land, called Samantapanchaka five lakes of
blood were made by him. There the mightiest scion of Bhrigu's race
offered libations to his forefathers--the Bhrigus, and Richika appeared
to him in a visible form, and spake to him words of counsel. Then the
son of Jamadagni of dreaded name, performed a mighty sacrifice and
gratified the lord of the celestials, and bestowed the earth to the
ministering priests. And, O protector of human beings, he raised an
altar made of gold, ten _Vyamas_ in breadth and nine in height, and made
a gift of the same to the magnanimous Kasyapa. Then at Kasyapa's bidding
the Brahmanas divided the altar into a number of shares, and thus they
became reputed as the _Khandavayamas_ (share takers). And the
exterminator of the military race possessed of immense strength,
bestowed the earth upon the high-souled Kasyapa, and then became engaged
in penance of an exceedingly severe form. He now dwells in this
Mahendra, monarch of hills. Thus did hostilities arise between him and
the members of the military caste,--all of them who dwell on this earth;
and Rama, endowed with immense strength, in this way subdued the entire

Vaisampayana said, "Then on the fourteenth day of the moon, the
mighty-souled Rama at the proper hour showed himself to those members of
the priestly caste and also to the virtuous king (Yudhishthira) and his
younger brothers. And, O king of kings, the lord together with his
brothers, worshipped Rama, and, O most righteous of the rulers of men,
the very highest honours were paid by him to all those members of the
twice-born class. And after worshipping Jamadagni's son and having
received words of praise from him, at his direction he spent the night
on the Mahendra hill, and then started on his journey towards the
southern regions."


Vaisampayana said, "The magnanimous monarch pursued his journey, and at
different spots on the shore of the sea visited the various bathing
places, all sacred and pleasant and frequented by men of the sacerdotal
caste. And O son of Parikshit! He in proper form took his bath in them
together with his younger brothers and then went to an excellent river,
the holiest of all. There also the magnanimous king, took his plunge,
and offered libations to his forefathers and the gods, and distributed
riches to the leaders of the twice-born class. Then he went to the
Godavari, a river that falls directly into the sea. There he was freed
from his sins. And he reached the sea in the Dravida land, and visited
the holy spot passing under Agastya's name, which was exceedingly sacred
and exceptionally pure. And the valiant king visited the feminine sacred
spots. Here he listened to the story of that well-known feat which was
achieved by Arjuna, chief of all wielders of the bow, and which was
beyond the power of human beings to perform. And here he was praised by
the highest members of the saintly class, and the son of Pandu
experienced the greatest delight. And, O protector of the earth! the
ruler of the world, accompanied by Krishna bathed in those holy spots,
and speaking of Arjuna's valour in laudatory terms delightfully spent
his time in the place. Then he gave away thousands of cows at those holy
spots on the coast of the sea; and with his brothers narrated well
pleased how Arjuna had made a gift of kine. And he, O king! visited one
by one those holy places on the coast of the sea and many other sacred
spots, and thus fulfilled his heart's desire, till he came to the
holiest of all known by the name of Suparaka. Then having crossed a
certain tract on the coast of the sea, he reached a forest celebrated on
earth. There the deities had practised asceticism in former days, and
likewise virtuous rulers of men had performed sacrificial rites. There
he, possessed of long and lusty arms, beheld the celebrated altar of
Richika's son, who was the foremost of all wielders of the bow. And the
altar was girt round by hosts of ascetics, and was fit to be worshipped
by persons of a virtuous life. Then the king beheld the holy and
delightful shrines of all the gods and of the Vasus, and of the hosts of
wind and of the two celestial physicians and of Yatna, son of the sun
and of the lord of riches, and of Indra, and of Vishnu, and of the lord
Creator and of Siva, and of the moon, and of the author of day, and of
the lord of waters, and of the host of Sadhyas, and of Brahma, and of
the forefathers, and of Rudra together with all his followers, and of
the goddess of learning, and of the host of Siddhas, and of many
immortal holy gods besides. And in those shrines the king observed
various fasts, and gave away large quantities of gems. He plunged his
body in all the holy spots, and then came again to Surparaka. And he by
the same landing-place of the sea again proceeded with his uterine
brothers and came over to the holy spot Prabhasa, whereof fame hath been
spread by mighty Brahmanas throughout the world. There he, possessed of
a pair of large red eyes, washed himself with all his younger brothers,
and offered libations to the forefathers and the celestial hosts; and so
did Krishna and all those Brahmanas together with Lomasa. For twelve
days he subsisted upon air and water. And he performed ablutions for
days and nights and surrounded himself with fires kindled on all sides.
Thus that greatest of all virtuous men engaged himself in asceticism.
While he was acting thus, information reached both Valarama and Krishna
that the king was practising penances of a most austere form and these
two leaders of the entire Vrishni tribe accompanied with troops came to
Yudhishthira of Ajamidha's race. And when the Vrishnis beheld that the
sons of Pandu lay down on the ground, their bodies besmeared all over
with dirt and when they beheld the daughter of Drupada in a sad state,
their grief was great and they could not refrain from breaking out in
loud lamentations. Then the king, whose courage was such that misfortune
never could cast him down, cordially met Rama and Krishna and Samva,
Krishna's son, and the grand-son of Sini and other Vrishnis, and paid
honour to them in a suitable form. And they also in return paid honour
to all the sons of Pritha, and were similarly honoured by Pandu's sons.
And they seated themselves round about Yudhishthira, as round Indra, O
king! are seated the celestial hosts. And highly pleased, he recounted
to them all the machinations of his adversaries, and how also he had
resided in the forest, and how Arjuna had gone to Indra's abode in order
to learn the science of arms--all this he related with a gladdened
heart. And they were happy to learn all this news from him; but when
they saw the Pandavas so exceedingly lean, the majestic and magnanimous
Vrishnis could not forbear shedding tears, which spontaneously gushed
from their eyes on account of the agony they felt."


Janamejaya said, "O thou of ascetic wealth! when the sons of Pandu and
the Vrishnis reached the holy spot Prabhasa, what did they do and what
conversation was held there by them, for all of them were of mighty
souls, proficient in all the branches of science and both the Vrishnis
and the sons of Pandu held one another in friendly estimation."

Vaisampayana said, "When the Vrishnis reached the holy spot Prabhasa, the
sacred landing-place on the coast of the sea, they surrounded the sons
of Pandu and waited upon them. Then Valarama, resembling in hue the milk
of the cow and the Kunda flower and the moon and the silver and the
lotus root and who wore a wreath made of wild flowers and who had the
ploughshare for his arms, spake to the lotuseyed one, saying, 'O
Krishna, I do not see that the practice of virtue leads to any good or
that unrighteous practices can cause evil, since the magnanimous
Yudhishthira is in this miserable state, with matted hair, a resident of
the wood, and for his garment wearing the bark of trees. And Duryodhana
is now ruling the earth, and the ground doth not yet swallow him up.
From this, a person of limited sense would believe a vicious course of
life is preferable to a virtuous one. When Duryodhana is in a
flourishing state and Yudhishthira, robbed of his throne, is suffering
thus, what should people do in such a matter?--This is the doubt that is
now perplexing all men. Here is the lord of men sprung from the god of
virtue, holding fast to a righteous path, strictly truthful and of a
liberal heart. This son of Pritha would give up his kingdom and his
pleasure but would not swerve from the righteous path, in order to
thrive. How is it that Bhishma and Kripa and the Brahmana Drona and the
aged king, the senior member of the house, are living happily, after
having banished the sons of Pritha? Fie upon the vicious-minded leaders
of Bharata's race! What will that sinner, the chieftain of the earth,
say to the departed forefathers of his race, when the wretch will meet
them in the world to come? Having hurled from the throne his
in-offensive sons, will he be able to declare that he had treated them
in a blameless way? He doth not now see with his mind's eye how he hath
become so sightless, and on account of what act he hath grown blind
among the kings of this entire earth. Is it not because he hath banished
Kunti's son from his kingdom? I have no doubt that Vichitravirya's son,
when he with his sons perpetrated this inhuman act, beheld on the spot
where dead bodies are burnt, flowering trees of a golden hue. Verily he
must have asked them, when those stood before him with their shoulders
projected forward towards him, and with their large red eyes staring at
him, and he must have listened to their evil advice, since he fearlessly
sent away Yudhishthira to the forest, who had all his weapons of war
with him and was borne company by his younger brothers. This Bhima here,
whose voracious appetite is like that of a wolf, is able to destroy with
the sole strength of his powerful arms, and without the help of any
weapons of war, a formidable array of hostile troops. The forces in the
field of battle were utterly unmanned on hearing his war-cry. And now
the strong one is suffering from hunger and thirst, and is emaciated
with toilsome journeys. But when he will take up in his hand arrows and
diverse other weapons of war, and meet his foes in the field of battle,
he will then remember the sufferings of his exceedingly miserable
forest-life, and kill his enemies to a man: of a certainty do I
anticipate this. There is not throughout the whole world a single soul
who can boast of strength and prowess equal to his. And his body, alas!
is emaciated with cold, and heat and winds. But when he will stand up
for fight, he will not leave a single man out of his foes. This powerful
hero, who is a very great warrior when mounted on a car--this Bhima, of
appetite rivalling a wolf's conquered single-handed all the rulers of
men in the east, together with, those who followed them in battle; and
he returned from those wars safe and uninjured. And that same Bhima,
miserably dressed in the bark of trees, is now leading a wretched life
in the woods. This powerful Sahadeva vanquished all the kings in the
south; those lords of men who had gathered on the coast of the
sea,--look at him now in an anchorite's dress. Valiant in battle Nakula
vanquished single-handed the kings who ruled the regions towards the
west,--and he now walks about the wood, subsisting on fruit and roots,
with a matted mass of hair on the head, and his body besmeared all over
with dirt. This daughter of a king, who is a great soldier when mounted
on a car, took her rise from beneath the altar, during the pomp of
sacrificial rites. She hath been always accustomed to a life of
happiness; how is she now enduring this exceedingly miserable life in
this wood! And the son of the god of virtue,--virtue which stands at the
head of all the three pursuits of life--and the son of the wind-god and
also the son of the lord of celestials, and those two sons of the
celestial physicians,--being the sons of all those gods and always
accustomed to a life of happiness, how are they living in this wood,
deprived of all comforts? When the son of Virtue met with defeat and
when his wife, his brothers, his followers, and himself were all driven
forth, and Duryodhana began to flourish, why did not the earth subside
with all its hills?'"


"Satyaki said, 'O Rama! this is not the time of lamentation; let us do
that which is proper and suited to the present occasion, although
Yudhishthira doth not speak a single word. Those who have persons to
look after their welfare do not undertake anything of themselves; they
have others to do their work, as Saivya and others did for Yayati.
Likewise, O Rama! those who have appointed functionaries to undertake
their work on their own responsibility, as the leaders of men, they may
be said to have real patrons, and they meet with no difficulty, like
helpless beings. How is it that when the sons of Pritha have for their
patrons these two men, Rama and Krishna, and the two others, Pradyumna
and Samva, together with myself,--these patrons being able to protect
all the three worlds,--how is it that the son of Pritha is living in the
wood with his brothers? It is fit that this very day the army of the
Dasarhas should march out, variously armed and with checkered mails. Let
Dhritarashtra's sons be overwhelmed with the forces of the Vrishnis and
let them go with their friends to the abode of the god of death. Let him
alone who wields the bow made of the horn (Krishna), thou alone, if
roused, wouldst be able to surround even the whole of this earth. I ask
thee to kill Dhritarashtra's son with all his men, as the great Indra,
the lord of the gods killed Vritra. Arjuna, the son of Pritha, is my
brother, and also my friend, and also my preceptor, and is like the
second self of Krishna. It is for this that men desire for a worthy son,
and that preceptor seeks a pupil who would contradict him not. It is for
this that the time is come for that excellent work, which is the best of
all tasks and difficult to perform. I shall baffle Duryodhana's volleys
of arms by my own excellent weapons. I shall overpower all in the field
of battle. I shall in my wrath cut off his head with my excellent
shafts, little inferior to snakes and poison and fire. And with the keen
edge of my sword, I shall forcibly sever his head from the trunk, in the
field of battle; then I shall kill his followers, and Duryodhana, and
all of Kuru's race. O son of Rohini! let the followers of Bhima look at
me with joy at their heart, when I shall keep up the weapons of war in
the field of battle, and when I shall go on slaying all the best
fighting men on the side of the Kurus, as at the end of time fire will
burn vast heaps of straw. Kripa and Drona and Vikarna and Karna are not
able to bear the keen arrows shot by Pradyumna. I know the power of
Arjuna's son--he conducts himself like the son of Krishna in the field
of battle. Let Samva chastise by the force of his arms Dussasana; let
him destroy by force Dussasana and his charioteer and his car. In the
field of battle when the son of Jamvavati becomes irresistible in fight,
there is nothing which can withstand his force. The army of the demon
Samvara was speedily routed by him when only a boy. By him was killed in
fight Asvachakra, whose thighs were round, and whose muscular arms were
of exceeding length. Who is there that would be able to go forward to
the car of Samva, who is great in fight, when mounted on a car? As a
mortal coming under the clutches of death can never escape; so who is
there that once coming under his clutches in the field of battle, is
able to return with his life? The son of Vasudeva will burn down by the
volleys of his fiery shafts all the hostile troops, and those two
warriors, Bhishma and Drona,--who are great on a car, and Somadatta
surrounded by all his sons. What is there in all the world including the
gods, which Krishna cannot encounter on an equal footing, when he takes
up the weapons of war, wields in his hands excellent arrows, arms
himself with his dice, and thus becomes unrivalled in fight? Then let
Aniruddha also take up in his hand his buckler and sword, and let him
cover the surface of the earth with Dhritarashtra's sons, their heads
separated from their trunks, their bodies devoid of all consciousness as
in a sacrificial rite the altar is overspread with sacred grass placed
upon the same. And Gada and Uluka, and Vahuka and Bhanu and Nitha and
the young Nishatha valiant in battle and Sarana, and Charudeshna,
irresistible in war, let them perform feats befitting their race. Let
the united army of the Satwatas and Suras, together with the best
soldiers of the Vrishnis, the Bhojas, and the Andhakas, kill those sons
of Dhritarashtra in the field of battle and let them swell their
expanded fame throughout the world. Then let Abhimanyu rule the world so
long as this most excellent of virtuous men, the magnanimous
Yudhishthira, may be engaged in fulfilling his vow,--the vow that was
accepted and declared by him, the most righteous of Kuru's race, on the
occasion of the famous play at dice. Afterwards the virtuous king will
protect the earth, all his foes defeated in battle by shafts which will
be discharged by us. Then there will remain no sons of Dhritarashtra on
earth,--nor the son of the charioteer (Karna). This is the most
important work for us to do, and this will surely lead to fame.'

"Krishna said, 'O scion of the race of Madhu! no doubt what thou sayest
is true; we accept thy words, O thou of courage that is never weak! But
this bull of the Kuru race (Yudhishthira) would never accept the
sovereignty of the earth, unless it were won by the prowess of his own
arms. Neither for the sake of pleasure, nor from fear, nor from
covetousness, would Yudhishthira ever renounce the rules of the caste;
nor would these two heroes, who are mighty, when mounted on a car--Bhima
and Arjuna; nor the twin brothers, nor Krishna, the daughter of Drupada.
He possessing the appetite of a wolf (Bhima), and the winner of riches
(Arjuna), are both unrivalled in fight throughout the world. And why
should not this king rule over the entire world when he hath the two
sons of Madri to espouse his cause? The high-souled ruler of Panchala
together with the Kekaya king, and we also should put forth our united
strength, and then would the enemies of Yudhishthira be annihilated.'

"Yudhishthira said, 'It is not strange that thou shouldst speak thus, O
scion of Madhu's race! but to me truth seems to be the first
consideration, above that of my sovereign power itself. But it is
Krishna alone who precisely knoweth what I am; and it is I alone who
precisely know what Krishna (really) is. O thou endued with valour! O
scion of Madhu's race! as soon as he will perceive that the time is come
for feats of bravery, then, O most valiant of Sini's race, he also of
beautiful hair (Krishna) will defeat Suyodhana. Let the brave men of the
Dasarha race go back today. They are my patrons; and the foremost of
human beings, they have visited me here. O ye of immeasurable strength!
never fall off from the path of virtue. I shall see you again, when ye
will be happily gathered together.'

"Then after mutual greeting and obeisance to seniors, and having
embraced the youthful, those valiant men of the Yadu race and the sons
of Pandu separated. And the Yadus reunited to their home; and the
Pandavas continued their journey to the sacred spots. Then having parted
with Krishna, the virtuous king, accompanied by his brothers and
servants, and also by Lomasa, went to the sacred river Payosini. Its
fine landing place was constructed by the king of Vidarbha. And he began
to dwell on the banks of the Payosini, whose waters were mingled with
the distilled Soma juice. There the high-souled Yudhishthira was greeted
with excellent laudatory terms by numerous leaders of the twice-born
class, who were delighted to see him there."


"Lomasa said, 'O king! when the Nriga performed a sacrifice here, he
gratified Indra, the demolisher of hostile cities, by offering the Soma
juice. And Indra was refreshed and was very much pleased. Here the gods
together with Indra, and the protectors of all born beings, celebrated
sacrifices of various kinds on a large scale, and paid abundant
gratuities to the ministering priests. Here king Amurtarayasa, the lord
of the world, satisfied Indra, the holder of the thunderbolt, by the
offer of the Soma juice, when seven horse-sacrifices were performed by
that king. The articles which in other sacrificial rites are uniformly
made of the timber, wood and of earth, were all made of gold in the
seven sacrifices performed by him. And it is said that in all those
rites, seven sets of stakes, rings for the sacrificial stakes, spots,
ladles, utensils, spoons were prepared by him. On each sacrificial
stake, seven rings were fastened at the top. And, O Yudhishthira! the
celestials together with Indra, themselves erected the sacrificial
stakes of shining gold which had been prepared for his sacred rites. In
all those magnificent sacrifices instituted by Gaya, the protector of
the earth, Indra, was delighted by drinking the _Soma_ juice, and the
ministering priests were gratified with the gratuities paid to them. And
the priests obtained untold wealth counted out to them. And as the
sand-grains of the earth, or as the stars in the sky, or as the
rain-drops when it raineth, cannot be counted by anyone, so the wealth
Gaya gave away was incapable of being counted by figures. So untold was
the wealth, O great king! that was given to the ministering priests in
all those seven sacrifices that even the above-mentioned objects might
be counted by figures, but the gratuities bestowed by him whose
largeness exceeded all that was known before were not capable of being
counted by figures. And images of the goddess of speech were made of
gold by the sculptor of the gods;--and the king gratified the members of
the sacerdotal caste, who had arrived from all the cardinal points, by
making presents to them of those images, of gold. O protector of men!
when the high-souled Gaya performed his sacrificial rites, he erected
sacrificial piles at so many different spots that but little space was
left on the surface of the earth. And, O scion of Bharata's race! he by
that sacred act attained the regions of Indra. Whoever should bathe in
the river, Payosini, would go to the regions attained by Gaya.
Therefore, O lord of kings! O unswerving prince! thou and thy brothers
should bathe in this river; then, O protector of the earth, thou wilt be
freed from all these sins.'"

Vaisampayana said, "O most praiseworthy of men! Yudhishthira with his
brothers performed ablutions in the Payosini river. Then, O sinless
prince! the powerful monarch together with his brothers, journeyed to
the hill of sapphires and the great river Narmada. The blessed saint
Lomasa there named to him all the delightful holy spots and all the
sacred shrines of the celestials. Then he with his brothers visited
those places, according to his desire and convenience. And at various
places Brahmanas by thousands received gifts from him.

"Lomasa said, 'O son of Kunti! one who visits the sapphire Hill and
plunges his body in the river Narmada attains the regions inhabited by
the celestials and kings. O most praiseworthy of men! this period is the
junction between the Treta and the Kali age, O Kunti's son! This is the
period when a person gets rid of all his sins. O respected sir! this is
the spot where Saryati performed sacrificial rites, wherein Indra
appeared in a visible form and drank the Soma juice, with the two
celestial physicians. And Bhrigu's son of severe austerities conceived
anger towards the great Indra; and the mighty Chyavana paralysed Indra,
and for his wife obtained the princess, Sukanya.'

"Yudhishthira said, 'How was the chastiser of the demon Paka, the god
possessed of the six attributes, paralysed by Chyavana? And for what
reason did the mighty saint conceive wrath towards Indra? And how, O
Brahmana! did he raise the celestial physicians to the rank of the
drinkers of Soma? All this, precisely as it happened, thy venerable self
will be pleased to recount to me.'"


"Lomasa said, 'A son was born to the great saint Bhrigu, Chyavana by
name. And he, of an exceedingly resplendent form, began to practise
austerities by the side of yonder lake. And, O Pandu's son! O protector
of men! he of mighty energy assumed the posture called _Vira_, quiet and
still like an inanimate post, and for a long period, remained at the
same spot of ground. And he was turned into an anthill covered over with
creepers. And after the lapse of a long period, swarms of ants enveloped
him. And covered all over with ants, the sagacious saint looked exactly
like a heap of earth. And he went on practising austerities, enveloped
on all sides with that ant-hill. Now after the lapse of a long space of
time, that ruler of earth, Saryati by name, for amusement visited this
pleasant and excellent lake. With him were four thousand females,
espoused by him, O son of Bharata's race! there was also his only
daughter endued with beautiful brows, named Sukanya. She surrounded by
her maids, and decked out with jewels fit for the celestials, while
walking about, approached the anthill where Bhrigu's son was seated. And
surrounded by her maids, she began to amuse herself there, viewing the
beautiful scenery, and looking at the lofty trees of the wood. And she
was handsome and in the prime of her youth; and she was amorous and bent
on frolicking. And she began to break the twigs of the forest trees
bearing blossoms. And Bhrigu's son endued with intelligence beheld her
wandering like lightning, without her maids, and wearing a single piece
of cloth and decked with ornaments. And seeing her in the lone forest,
that ascetic of exceeding effulgence was inspired with desire. And that
regenerate _Rishi_ possessing ascetic energy, who had a low voice,
called the auspicious one,--but she heard him not. Then seeing the eyes
of Bhrigu's son from the ant-hill, Sukanya from curiosity and losing her
sense, said, "_What is this?_"--and with thorns pierced the eyes (of the
Rishi). And as his eyes being pierced by her, he felt exceeding pain and
became wroth. And (from anger) he obstructed the calls of nature of
Saryati's forces. And on their calls of nature being obstructed, the men
were greatly afflicted. And seeing this state of things, the king asked.
"Who is it that hath done wrong to the illustrious son of Bhrigu, old
and ever engaged in austerities and of wrathful temper? Tell me quick if
ye know it." The soldiers (thereupon) answered him saying, "We do not
know whether any one hath done wrong to the _Rishi_. Do thou, as thou
list, make a searching enquiry into the matter." Thereupon that ruler of
earth, using (as he saw occasion) both menace and conciliation, asked
his friends (about the circumstance). But they too did not know
anything. Seeing that the army was distressed owing to the obstruction
of the calls of nature, and also finding her father aggrieved, Sukanya
said, "Roving in the forest, I lighted in the ant-hill here upon some
brilliant substance. Thereupon taking it for a glow-worm I neared it,
and pierced it (with thorns)." Hearing this Saryati immediately came to
the ant-hill, and there saw Bhrigu's son, old both in years and
austerities. Then the lord of earth with joined hands, besought (the
ascetic) saying, "It behoveth thee to forgive what my daughter through
ignorance and greenness, hath done unto thee." Chyavana the son of
Bhrigu, addressed the monarch saying, "Disregarding me, this one, filled
with pride hath pierced my eyes. Even her, O king, endued with beauty
and who was bereft of her senses by ignorance and temptation--even thy
daughter would I have for my bride, I tell thee truly, on this condition
alone will I forgive thee."'

"Lomasa said, 'Hearing the words of the sage, Saryati, without pausing,
bestowed his daughter on the high-souled Chyavana. Having received the
hand of that girl, the holy one was pleased with the king. And having
won the _Rishi's_ grace, the king went to his city, accompanied by his
troops. And the faultless Sukanya also having obtained that ascetic for
her husband, began to tend him, practising penances, and observing the
ordinance. And that one of a graceful countenance, and void of guile
worshipped Chyavana, and also ministered unto guests, and the sacred


"Lomasa said, 'Once on a time, O king, those celestials, namely the twin
Aswins, happened to behold Sukanya, when she had (just) bathed, and when
her person was bare. And seeing that one of excellent limbs, and like
unto the daughter of the lord of celestials, the nose-born Aswins neared
her, and addressed her, saying, "O thou of shapely thighs, whose
daughter art thou? And what doest thou in this wood? O auspicious one, O
thou of excellent grace, we desire to know this, do thou therefore tell
us." Thereupon she replied bashfully unto those foremost of celestials,
"Know me as Saryati's daughter, and Chyavana's wife." Thereat the
Aswins again spake unto her, smiling. "What for, O fortunate one, hath
thy father bestowed thee on a person who is verging on death? Surely, O
timid girl, thou shinest in this wood like lightning. Not in the regions
of the celestials themselves, O girl, have our eyes lighted on thy like.
O damsel, unadorned and without gay robes as thou art, thou beautifiest
this wood exceedingly. Still, O thou of faultless limbs, thou canst not
look so beautiful, when (as at present) thou art soiled with mud and
dirt, as thou couldst, if decked with every ornament and wearing
gorgeous apparel. Why, O excellent girl in such plight servest thou a
decrepit old husband, and one that hath become incapable of realising
pleasure and also of maintaining thee, O thou of luminous smiles? O
divinely beautiful damsel, do thou, forsaking Chyavana accept one of us
for husband. It behoveth thee not to spend thy youth fruitlessly."

"'Thus addressed Sukanya answered the celestials saying, "I am devoted
to my husband, Chyavana: do ye not entertain any doubts (regarding my
fidelity)." Thereupon they again spake unto her, "We two are the
celestial physicians of note. We will make thy lord young and graceful.
Do thou then select one of us, _viz._, ourselves and thy husband,--for
thy partner. Promising this do thou, O auspicious one, bring hither thy
husband." O king, agreeably to their words she went to Bhrigu's son and
communicated to him what the two celestials had said. Hearing her
message, Chyavana said unto his wife, "Do thou so." Having received the
permission of her lord, (she returned to the celestials) and said, "Do
ye so." Then hearing her words, _viz_., "Do ye so," they spoke unto the
king's daughter. "Let thy husband enter into water." Thereat Chyavana
desirous of obtaining beauty, quickly entered into water. The twin
Aswins also, O king, sank into the sheet of water. And the next moment
they all came out of the tank in surpassingly beautiful forms, and young
and wearing burnished earrings. And all, possessed of the same
appearance pleasing to behold, addressed her saying, "O fortunate one,
do thou choose one of us for spouse. And O beauteous one, do thou select
him for lord who may please thy fancy." Finding, however, all of them of
the same appearance she deliberated; and at last ascertaining the
identity of her husband, even selected him.

"'Having obtained coveted beauty and also his wife, Chyavana, of
exceeding energy, well pleased, spake these words unto the nose-born
celestials: "Since at your hands, an old man, I have obtained youth, and
beauty, and also this wife of mine, I will, well pleased, make you
quaffers of the Soma juice in the presence of the lord of celestials
himself. This I tell you truly." Hearing this, highly delighted, the
twins ascended to heaven; and Chyavana and Sukanya too passed their
days happily even like celestials.'"


"Lomasa said, 'Now the news came to Saryati that Chyavana had been
turned into a youth. And well pleased he came, accompanied by his
troops, to the hermitage of the son of Bhrigu. And he saw Chyavana and
Sukanya, like two children sprung from celestials, and his joy and that
of his wife were as great as if the king had conquered the entire world.
And the ruler of earth together with his wife was received honourably by
that saint. And the king seated himself near the ascetic, and entered
into a delightful conversation of an auspicious kind. Then, O king, the
son of Bhrigu spake to the king these words of a soothing nature: "I
shall, O king, officiate at a religious ceremony to be performed by
thee: let the requisite articles, therefore, be procured." Thereat, that
protector of earth Saryati, experienced the very height of joy, and O
great king, he expressed his approbation of the proposal made by
Chyavana. And on an auspicious day, suitable for the commencement of a
sacrificial ceremony, Saryati ordered the erection of a sacrificial
shrine of an excellent description and splendidly furnished with all
desirable things. There Chyavana, the son of Bhrigu, officiated for the
king as his priest. Now listen to me relating the wonderful events which
happened at that spot. Chyavana took up a quantity of the Soma juice, in
order that he might offer the same to the Aswins, who were physicians to
the celestials. And while the saint was taking up the intended offering
for those celestial twins, Indra pronounced his interdiction, saying,
"These Aswins both of them in my opinion have no right to receive an
offering of the Soma juice. They are the physicians of the celestials in
heaven,--this vocation of theirs hath disentitled them (in the matter of
Soma)." Thereupon Chyavana said, "These two are of mighty enterprise,
possessed of mighty souls, and uncommonly endued with beauty and grace.
And they, O Indra, have converted me into an eternally youthful person,
even like unto a celestial. Why shouldst thou and the other celestials
have a right to the distilled Soma juice, and not they? O lord of the
celestials, O demolisher of hostile towns! be it known to thee that the
Aswins also rank as gods." At this, Indra spake saying, "These two
practise the healing art,--so they are but servants. And assuming forms
at their pleasure they roam about in the world of mortal beings. How can
they then rightfully claim the juice of the Soma?"'

"Lomasa said, 'When these very identical words were spoken again and
again by the lord of celestials, the son of Bhrigu, setting Indra at
naught, took up the offering he had intended to make. And as he was
about to take up an excellent portion of the Soma juice with the object
of offering it to the two Aswins, the destroyer of the demon Vala
(Indra) observed his act, and thus spoke unto him, "If thou take up the
Soma with a view to offering it to those celestials, I shall hurl at
thee my thunderbolt of awful form, which is superior to all the weapons
that exist." Thus addressed by Indra, the son of Bhrigu, cast at Indra a
smiling glance, and took up in due form a goodly quantity of the Soma
juice, to make an offering to the Aswins. Then Sachi's lord hurled at
him the thunderbolt of awful form. And as he was about to launch it, his
arm was paralysed by Bhrigu's son. And having paralysed his arm,
Chyavana recited sacred hymns, and made offering on the fire. His object
gained, he now attempted to destroy that celestial. Then by the virtue
of that saint's ascetic energy, an evil spirit came into being,--a huge
demon, _Mada_ by name, of great strength and gigantic proportions. And
his body was incapable of being measured either by demons or by gods.
And his mouth was terrible and of huge size, and with teeth of sharpened
edge. And one of his jaws rested on the earth, and the other stretched
to heaven. And he had four fangs, each extending as far as one hundred
_yojanas_, and his other fangs were extended to the distance of ten
_yojanas_, and were of a form resembling towers on a palace, and which
might be likened to the ends of spears. And his two arms were like unto
hills, and extended ten thousand _yojanas_, and both were of equal bulk.
And his two eyes resembled the sun and the moon; and his face rivalled
the conflagration at the universal dissolution. And he was licking his
mouth with his tongue, which, like lightning, knew no rest. And his
mouth was open, and his glance was frightful, and seemed as if he would
forcibly swallow up the world. The demon rushed at the celestial by whom
a hundred sacrifices had been performed. And his intent was to devour
that deity. And the world resounded with the loud and frightful sounds
uttered by the Asura.'"


"Lomasa said, 'When the god who had performed a hundred sacrifices
(Indra) beheld the demon _Mada_ of a frightful mien, coming towards him
with open mouth, his intention being to devour him, and looking like the
god of death himself, while his own arms remained paralysed, he through
fear repeatedly licked the corners of his mouth. Then the lord of the
celestials, tortured with fright, spake to Chyavana saying, "O Bhrigu's
son! O Brahmana! verily I tell thee as truth itself, that from this day
forward the two Aswins will be entitled to the Soma juice. Be merciful
to me! My undertaking can never come to naught. Let this be the rule.
And I know, O saint of the sacerdotal caste! that thy work can never
come to nothing. These two Aswins will have a right to drink the Soma
juice, since thou hast made them entitled to the same. And, O Bhrigu's
son, I have done this but to spread the fame of thy powers, and my
object was to give thee an occasion for displaying thy powers. My other
object was that the fame of the father of this Sukanya here might spread
everywhere. Therefore be merciful to me: let it be as thou wishest."
Being thus addressed by Indra, the wrath of Chyavana of mighty soul was
quickly appeased, and he set free the demolisher of hostile cities
(Indra). And the powerful saint, O king! distributed _Mada_ (_literally_
intoxication), and put it piece-meal in drinks, in women, in gambling,
and in field sports, even this same _Mada_ who had been created
repeatedly before. Having thus cast down the demon _Mada_ and gratified
Indra with a Soma draught and assisted king Sarvati in worshipping all
the gods together with the two Aswins and also spread his fame for power
over all the worlds, the best of those endued with speech passed his
days happily in the wood, in the company of Sukanya, his loving wife.
This is his lake, shining, O king! and resounding with the voice of
birds. Here must thou, together with thy uterine brothers, offer
libations of water to thy forefathers and the gods. And, O ruler of
earth! O scion of Bharata's race! having visited it and Sikataksha also,
thou shalt repair to the Saindhava wood, and behold a number of small
artificial rivers. And O great king, O scion of Bharata's race! thou
shalt touch the waters of all the holy lakes and reciting the hymns of
the god Sthanu (Siva), meet with success in every undertaking. For this
is the junction, O most praiseworthy of men, of the two ages of the
world, _viz_., _Dwapara_ and _Treta_. It is a time, O Kunti's son!
capable of destroying all the sins of a person. Here do thou perform
ablutions, for the spot is able to remove all the sins of an individual.
Yonder is the Archika hill, a dwelling place for men of cultured minds.
Fruits of all the seasons grow here at all times and the streams run for
ever. It is an excellent place fit for the celestials. And there are the
holy cairns of diverse forms, set up by the celestials. O Yudhishthira!
this is the bathing spot belonging to the Moon. And the saints are in
attendance here on all sides round--they are the dwellers of the wood
and the Valakhilyas, and the Pavakas, who subsist on air only. These are
three peaks and three springs. Thou mayst walk round them all, one by
one: then thou mayst wash thyself at pleasure. Santanu, O king! and
Sunaka the sovereign of men, and both _Nara_ and _Narayana_ have
attained everlasting regions from this place. Here did the gods
constantly lie down, as also the forefathers, together with the mighty
saints. In this Archika hill, they all carried on austerities. Sacrifice
to them, O Yudhishthira! Here did they, also the saints, eat rice cooked
in milk, O protector of men! And here is the Yamuna of an exhaustless
spring. Krishna here engaged himself in a life of penances, O Pandu's
son. O thou that draggest the dead bodies of thy foes! the twin
brothers, and Bhimasena and Krishna and all of us will accompany thee to
this spot. O lord of men, this is the holy spring that belongeth to
Indra. Here the creative and the dispensing deity, and Varuna also rose
upwards, and here too they dwelt, O king! observing forbearance, and
possessed of the highest faith. This excellent and propitious hill is
fit for persons of a kindly and candid disposition. This is that
celebrated Yamuna, O king! frequented by hosts of mighty saints, the
scene of diverse religious rites, holy, and destructive of the dread of
sin. Here did Mandhata himself, of a mighty bow, perform sacrificial
rites for the gods; and so did Somaka, O Kunti's son! who was the son of
Sahadeva, and a most excellent maker of gifts.'"


"Yudhishthira said, 'O great Brahmana, how was that tiger among kings,
Mandhata, Yuvanaswa's son, born,--even he who was the best of monarchs,
and celebrated over the three worlds? And how did he of unmeasured
lustre attain the very height of real power, since all the three worlds
were as much under his subjection, as they are under that of Vishnu of
mighty soul? I am desirous of hearing all this in connection with the
life and achievements of that sagacious monarch. I should also like to
hear how his name of Mandhata originated, belonging as it did to him who
rivalled in lustre Indra himself: and also how he of unrivalled strength
was born, for thou art skilled in the art of narrating events.'

"Lomasa said, 'Hear with attention, O king! how the name of Mandhata
belonging to that monarch of mighty soul hath come to be celebrated
throughout all the worlds. Yuvanaswa, the ruler of the earth, was sprung
from Ikshvaku's race. That protector of the earth performed many
sacrificial rites noted for magnificent gifts. And the most excellent
of all virtuous men performed a thousand times the ceremony of
sacrificing a horse. And he also performed other sacrifices of the
highest order, wherein he made abundant gifts. But that saintly king had
no son. And he of mighty soul and rigid vows made over to his ministers
the duties of the state, and became a constant resident of the woods.
And he of cultured soul devoted himself to the pursuits enjoined in the
sacred writ. And once upon a time, that protector of men, O king! had
observed a fast. And he was suffering from the pangs of hunger and his
inner soul seemed parched with thirst. And (in this state) he entered
the hermitage of Bhrigu. On that very night, O king of kings! the great
saint who was the delight of Bhrigu's race, had officiated in a
religious ceremony, with the object that a son might be born to
Saudyumni. O king of kings! at the spot stood a large jar filled with
water, consecrated with the recitation of sacred hymns, and which had
been previously deposited there. And the water was endued with the
virtue that the wife of Saudyumni would by drinking the same, bring
forth a god-like son. Those mighty saints had deposited the jar on the
altar and had gone to sleep, having been fatigued by keeping up the
night. And as Saudyumni passed them by, his palate was dry, and he was
suffering greatly from thirst. And the king was very much in need of
water to drink. And he entered that hermitage and asked for drink. And
becoming fatigued, he cried in feeble voice, proceeding from a parched
throat, which resembled the weak inarticulate utterance of a bird. And
his voice reached nobody's ears. Then the king beheld the jar filled
with water. And he quickly ran towards it, and having drunk the water,
put the jar down. And as the water was cool, and as the king had been
suffering greatly from thirst, the draught of water relieved the
sagacious monarch and appeased his thirst. Then those saints together
with him of ascetic wealth, awoke from sleep; and all of them observed
that the water of the jar had gone. Thereupon they met together and
began to enquire as to who might have done it. Then Yuvanaswa truthfully
admitted that it was his act. Then the revered son of Bhrigu spoke unto
him, saying. "It was not proper. This water had an occult virtue infused
into it, and had been placed there with the object that a son might be
born to thee. Having performed severe austerities, I infused the virtue
of my religious acts in this water, that a son might be born to thee. O
saintly king of mighty valour and physical strength! a son would have
been born to thee of exceeding strength and valour, and strengthened by
austerities, and who would have sent by his bravery even Indra to the
abode of the god of death. It was in this manner, O king! that this
water had been prepared by me. By drinking this water, O king, thou hast
done what was not at all right. But it is impossible now for us to turn
back the accident which hath happened. Surely what thou hast done must
have been the fiat of Fate. Since thou, O great king, being a thirst
hast drunk water prepared with sacred hymns, and filled with the virtue
of my religious labours, thou must bring forth out of thy own body a son
of the character described above. To that end we shall perform a
sacrifice for thee, of wonderful effect so that, valorous as thou art,
thou wilt bring forth a son equal to Indra. Nor with thou experience any
trouble on account of the labour pains." Then when one hundred years had
passed away, a son shining as the sun pierced the left side of the king
endowed with a mighty soul, and came forth. And the son was possessed of
mighty strength. Nor did Yuvanaswa die--which itself was strange. Then
Indra of mighty strength came to pay him a visit. And the deities
enquired of the great Indra, "What is to be sucked by this boy?" Then
Indra introduced his own forefinger into his mouth. And when the wielder
of the thunderbolt said, "He will suck me," the dwellers of heaven
together with Indra christened the boy Mandhata, (_literally_, Me he
shall suck). Then the boy having tasted the forefinger extended by
Indra, became possessed of mighty strength, and he grew thirteen cubits,
O king. And O great king! the whole of sacred learning together with the
holy science of arms, was acquired by that masterful boy, who gained all
that knowledge by the simple and unassisted power of his thought. And
all at once, the bow celebrated under the name of Ajagava and a number
of shafts made of horn, together with an impenetrable coat of mail, came
to his possession on the very same day, O scion of Bharata's race! And
he was placed on the throne by Indra himself and he conquered the three
worlds in a righteous way, as Vishnu did by his three strides. And the
wheel of the car of that mighty king as irresistible in its course
(throughout the world). And the gems, of their own accord, came into the
possession of that saintly king. This is the tract of land, O lord of
earth, which belonged to him. It abounds in wealth. He performed a
number of sacrificial rites of various kinds, in which abundant
gratuities were paid to the priests. O king! he of mighty force and
unmeasured lustre, erected sacred piles, and performed splendid pious
deeds, and attained the position of sitting at Indra's side. That
sagacious king of unswerving piety sent forth his fiat, and simply by
its virtue conquered the earth, together with the sea--that source of
gems--and all the cities (or the earth), O great king! The sacrificial
grounds prepared by him were to be found all over the earth on all sides
round--not a single spot, but was marked with the same. O great king!
the mighty monarch is said to have given to the Brahmanas ten thousand
padmas of kine. When there was a drought, which continued for twelve
consecutive years, the mighty king caused rain to come down for the
growth of crops, paying no heed to Indra, the wielder of the
thunder-bolt, who remained staring (at him). The mighty ruler of the
Gandhara land, born in the lunar dynasty of kings, who was terrible like
a roaring cloud, was slain by him, who wounded him sorely with his
shafts. O king! he of cultured soul protected the four orders of people,
and by him of mighty force the worlds were kept from harm, by virtue of
his austere and righteous life. This is the spot where he, lustrous like
the sun, sacrificed to the god. Look at it! here it is, in the midst of
the field of the Kurus, situated in a tract, the holiest of all. O
preceptor of earth! requested by thee, I have thus narrated to thee the
great life of Mandhata, and also the way in which he was born, which was
a birth of an extraordinary kind.'"

Vaisampayana said, "O scion of Bharata's race! Kunti's son, thus
addressed by the mighty saint, Lomasa, immediately put fresh questions
to him, with regard to Somaka."


"Yudhishthira said, 'O best of speakers! what was the extent of power
and strength possessed by king Somaka? I am desirous of hearing an exact
account of his deeds and of his power.'

"Lomasa said, 'O Yudhishthira! there was a virtuous king Somaka by name.
He had one hundred wives, O king, all suitably matched to their husband.
He took great care, but could not succeed in getting a single son from
any one of them, and a long time elapsed during which he continued a
sonless man. Once upon a time, when he had become old, and was trying
every means to have a son, a son was born to him, Jantu by name, out of
that century of women. And, O ruler of men! All the mothers used to sit
surrounding their son and every one giving him such objects as might
conduce to his enjoyment and pleasure. And it came to pass that one day
an ant stung the boy at his hip. And the boy screamed loudly on account
of the pain caused by the sting. And forthwith the mothers were
exceedingly distressed to see how the child had been stung by the ant.
And they stood around him and set up cries. Thus there arose a
tumultuous noise. And that scream of pain suddenly reached (the ears of)
the sovereign of the earth, when he was seated in the midst of his
ministers, with the family priest at his side. Then the king sent for
information as to what it was about. And the royal usher explained to
him precisely what the matter was with reference to his son. And Somaka
got up together with his ministers and hastened towards the female
apartments. And on coming there, O subjugator of foes! he soothed his
son. And having done so and coming out from the female apartments, the
king sat with his family priest and ministers.

"'Somaka then spoke thus, "Fie on having only a single son! I had rather
be a sonless man. Considering how constantly liable to disease are all
organized beings, to have an only son is but a trouble. O Brahmana! O my
lord! With the view that I might have many sons born to me, this century
of wives hath been wedded by me, after inspection, and after I had
satisfied myself that they would prove suitable to me. But issue they
have none. Having tried every means, and put forth great efforts, they
have borne this single son, Jantu. What grief can be greater than this?
O most excellent of the twice-born caste! I am grown old in years and so
are my wives too. And yet this only son is like the breath of their
nostrils, and so he is to me also. But is there any ceremony, by
celebrating which one may get a hundred sons? (And if there is one
such), tell me whether it is great or small, and easy or difficult to

"'The family priest said, "There is a ceremony by virtue of which a man
may get a century of sons. If thou art able to perform it, O Somaka,


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