(Chaitraratha Parva continued)
"Vaisampayana continued, 'Then Kunti spoke unto Bhimasena and Arjuna and the twins regarding the journey to Panchala. They all said, 'So be it.' Then, O king, Kunti with her sons saluted the Brahmana (in whose house they had dwelt) and set out for the delightful town of the illustrious Drupada.' "Vaisampayana said, 'While the illustrious Pandavas were living disguised in the abode of the Brahmana, Vyasa, the son of Satyavati, once went to see them. Those chastisers of foes, beholding him coming rose up and stepped onward to receive him. Saluting him reverentially and worshipping him also the Pandavas stood in silence with joined hands. Thus worshipped by them the sage became gratified. He asked them to be seated, and cheerfully addressing them said, 'Ye slayers of foes, are ye living in the path of virtue and according to the scriptures? Do ye worship the Brahmanas? Ye are not, I hope, backward in paying homage unto those that deserve your homage?' The illustrious Rishi, after this, spoke many words of virtuous import, and after discoursing upon many topics of great interest, he said, 'An illustrious Rishi, living in a certain hermitage, had a daughter of tender waist, fair lips, and fine eyebrows, and possessing every accomplishment. As a consequence of her own acts (in a past life) the fair maid became very unfortunate.
Though chaste and beautiful, the damsel obtained not a husband. With a sorrowful heart she thereupon began to practise ascetic penances with the object of obtaining a husband. She soon gratified by her severe asceticism the god Sankara (Mahadeva), who became propitious unto her and said unto that illustrious damsel, 'Ask thou the boon thou desirest! Blest be thou! I am Sankara prepared to give thee what thou wilt ask.' Desirous of benefiting herself, the maid repeatedly said unto the supreme lord, 'O give me, a husband endued with every accomplishment.' Then Isana (Mahadeva), that foremost of all speakers, replied unto her, saying, 'O blessed one, thou shall have five husbands from among the Bharata princes.' Thus told, the maiden said unto the god who had given her that boon, 'O lord, I desire to have only one husband through thy grace.' The god then addressed her again and said these excellent words, 'Thou hast, O girl, said full five times, 'Give me (a) husband.' Thou shalt, therefore, in another life have five husbands!' Ye princes of Bharata's line, that damsel of celestial beauty hath p. 344 been born in the line of Drupada. The faultless Krishna of Prishata's line hath been appointed to be the wife of you all. Ye mighty ones, go therefore, to the capital of the Panchalas and dwell ye there. There is no doubt that having obtained her as wife ye shall be very happy.' "Vaisampayana continued, 'Having said so unto the Pandavas, the illustrious and blessed grandsire then bade them farewell. The great ascetic then left them and went to the place whence he had come.'
(Chaitraratha Parva continued)
"Vaisampayana said, 'After Vyasa had gone away, those bulls among men, the Pandavas, saluted the Brahmana and bade him farewell, and proceeded (towards Panchala) with joyous hearts and with their mother walking before them. Those slayers of all foes, in order to reach their destination, proceeded in a due northerly direction, walking day and night till they reached a sacred shrine of Siva with the crescent mark on his brow. Then those tigers among men, the sons of Pandu, arrived at the banks of the Ganga. Dhananjaya, that mighty car-warrior, walking before them, torch in hand, for showing the way and guarding them (against wild animals). And it so happened that at that time the proud king of the Gandharvas, with his wives, was sporting in that solitary region in the delightful waters of the Ganga. The king of the Gandharvas heard the tread of the Pandavas as they approached the river.
On hearing the sounds of their foot-steps, the mighty Gandharvas were inflamed with wrath, and beholding those chastisers of foes, the Pandavas, approach towards him with their mother, he drew his frightful bow to a circle and said, 'It is known that excepting the first forty seconds the grey twilight preceding nightfall hath been appointed for the wandering of the Yakshas, the Gandharvas and the Rakshasas, all of whom are capable of going everywhere at will. The rest of the time hath been appointed for man to do his work. If therefore, men, wandering during those moments from greed of gain, come near us, both we and the Rakshasas slay those fools. Therefore, persons acquainted with the Vedas never applaud those men--not even kings at the head of their troops--who approach any pools of water at such a time. Stay ye at a distance, and approach me not.
Know ye not that I am bathing in the waters of the Bhagirathi? Know that I am Angaraparna the Gandharva, ever relying on my own strength! I am proud and haughty and am the friend of Kuvera. This my forest on the banks of the Ganga, where I sport to gratify all my senses, is called Angaraparna after my own name. Here neither gods, nor Kapalikas, nor Gandharvas nor Yakshas, can come. How dare ye approach me who am the brightest jewel on the diadem of Kuvera?' "Hearing these words of the Gandharva, Arjuna said, 'Blockhead, whether it be day, night, or twilight, who can bar others from the ocean, the sides of the Himalayas, and this river? O ranger of the skies, whether the stomach be empty or full, whether it is night or day, there is no special time for anybody to come to the Ganga--that foremost of all rivers. As regards ourselves endued with might, we care not when we disturb thee. Wicked being, those who are weak in fighting worship thee. This Ganga, issuing out of the golden peaks of Himavat, falleth into the waters of the ocean, being distributed into seven streams.
They who drink the waters of these seven streams, viz., Ganga, Yamuna, Saraswati, Vitashtha, Sarayu, Gomati, and Gandaki, are, cleansed of all their sins. O Gandharva, this sacred Ganga again, flowing through the celestial region is called there the Alakananda, It hath again in the region of the Pitris become the Vaitarani, difficult of being crossed by sinners, and, KrishnaDwaipayana himself hath said so. The auspicious and celestial river, capable of leading to heaven (them that touch its waters), is free from all dangers. Why dost thou then desire to bar us from it? This act of thine is not in consonance with eternal virtue. Disregarding thy words, why shall we not touch the sacred waters of the Bhagirathi free from all dangers and from which none can bar us?' "Vaisampayana continued, 'Hearing these words of Arjuna, Angaraparna became inflamed with wrath and drawing his bow to a circle began to shoot his arrows like venomous snakes at the Pandavas. Then Dhananjaya, the son of Pandu, wielding a good shield and the torch he held in his hand, warded off all those arrows and addressing the Gandharva again said, 'O Gandharva, seek not to terrify those that are skilled in weapons, for weapons hurled at them vanish like froth.
I think, O Gandharva, that ye are superior (in prowess) to men; therefore shall I fight with thee, using celestial weapons and not with any crooked means. This fiery weapon (that I shall hurl at thee), Vrihaspati the revered preceptor of Indra, gave unto Bharadwaja, from whom it was obtained by Agnivesya, and from Agnivesya by my preceptor, that foremost of Brahmanas, Drona, who gave it away to me.' "Vaisampayana continued, 'Saying these words, the Pandava wrathfully hurled at the Gandharva that blazing weapon made of fire which burnt the Gandharva's chariot in a trice. Deprived of consciousness by the force of that weapon, the mighty Gandharva was falling, head downward, from his chariot. Dhananjaya seized him by the hair of his head adorned with garlands of flowers and thus dragged the unconscious Gandharva towards his brothers. Beholding this, that Gandharva's wife Kumbhinasi, desirous of saving her husband, ran towards Yudhishthira and sought his protection. The Gandharvi said, 'O exalted one, extend to me thy protection!
O, set my husband free! O lord, I am Kumbhinasi by name, the wife of this Gandharva, who seeketh thy protection!' Beholding her (so afflicted), the mighty Yudhishthira addressed Arjuna and said, 'O slayer of foes, O child, who would slay a foe who hath been vanquished in fight, who hath been deprived p. 346 of fame, who is protected by a woman, and who hath no prowess?' Arjuna replied, saying, 'Keep thou thy life, O Gandharva! Go hence, and grieve not I Yudhishthira, the king of the Kurus, commandeth me to show thee mercy.' "The Gandharva replied, 'I have been vanquished by thee, I shall, therefore, abandon my former name Angaraparna (the blazing vehicle). In name alone, O friend, I should not be boastful when my pride in my strength hath been overcome: I have been fortunate in that I have obtained thee; O Arjuna, that wielder of celestial weapons! I like to impart to thee the power of (producing) illusions which Gandharvas alone have. My excellent and variegated chariot hath been burnt by means of thy fiery weapon. I who had formerly been called after my excellent chariot should now be called after my burnt chariot.
The science of producing illusions that I have spoken of was formerly obtained by me by ascetic penances. That science I will today impart to the giver of my life-thy illustrious self! What good luck doth he not deserve who, after overcoming a foe by his might, giveth him life when that foe asketh for it? This science is called Chakshushi. It was communicated by Manu unto Soma and by Soma unto Viswavasu, and lastly by Viswavasu unto me. Communicated by my preceptor, that science, having come unto me who am without energy, is gradually becoming fruitless. I have spoken to thee about its origin and transmission. Listen now to its power! One may see (by its aid) whatever one wisheth to see, and in whatever way he liketh (generally or particularly). One can acquire this science only after standing on one leg for six months. I shall however, communicate to thee this science without thyself being obliged to observe any rigid vow. O king, it is for this knowledge that we are superior to men. And as we are capable of seeing everything by spiritual sight, we are equal to the gods.
O best of men, I intend to give thee and each of thy brothers a hundred steeds born in the country of the Gandharvas. Of celestial colour and endued with the speed of the mind, those horses are employed in bearing the celestial, and the Gandharvas. They may be lean-fleshed but they tire not, nor doth their speed suffer on that account. In days of yore the thunderbolt was created for the chief of the celestials in order that he might slay (the Asura) Vritra with it. But hurled at Vritra's head it broke in a thousand pieces. The celestials worship with reverence those fragments of the thunderbolt. That which is known in the three worlds as glory is but a portion of the thunderbolt. The hand of the Brahmana with which he poureth libations on the sacrificial fire, the chariot upon which the Kshatriya fighteth, the charity of the Vaisya, and the service of the Sudra rendered unto the three other classes, are all fragments of the thunderbolt. It hath been said that horses, forming as they do a portion of the Kshatriya's chariot, are, on that account, unslayable.
Again horses which form a portion of the Kshatriya's chariot, are the offspring of Vadava. Those amongst them that are born in the region of the Gandharvas can go everywhere and assume any hue and speed at the will of their owners. These horses of mine that I give thee will always gratify thy wishes." "On hearing these words of the Gandharva, Arjuna said, 'O Gandharva, if from satisfaction for having obtained thy life at my hands in a situation of danger, thou givest me thy science, and these horses, I would not accept thy gift.' The Gandharva replied, saying, 'A meeting with an illustrious person is ever a source of gratification; besides thou hast given me my life. Gratified with thee, I will give thee my science. That the obligation, however, may not all be on one side, I will take from thee, O Vibhatsu, O bull in Bharata's race, thy excellent and eternal weapon of fire!' "Arjuna said, 'I would accept thy horses in exchange for my weapon. Let our friendship last for ever. O friend, tell us for what we human beings have to stand in fear of the Gandharvas.
Chastisers of foes that we are and virtuous and conversant with the Vedas, tell us, O Gandharva, why in travelling in the night-time we have been censured by thee.' "The Gandharva said, 'Ye are without wives (though ye have completed the period of study). Ye are without a particular Asrama (mode of life). Lastly, ye are out without a Brahmana walking before, therefore, ye sons of Pandu, ye have been censured by me. The Yakshas, Rakshasas, Gandharvas, Pisachas, Uragas and Danavas, are possessed of wisdom and intelligence, and acquainted with the history of the Kuru race. O hero, I have heard too from Narada and other celestial Rishis about the good deeds of your wise ancestors. I myself, too, while roaming over the whole earth bounded by her belt of seas, have witnessed the prowess of thy great race. O Arjuna, I have personal knowledge of thy preceptor, the illustrious son of Bharadwaja, celebrated throughout the three worlds for his knowledge of the Vedas and the science of arms. O tiger in Kuru's race, O son of Pritha, I also know Dharma, Vayu, Sakra, the twin Aswins, and Pandu,--these six perpetuators of Kuru race,--these excellent celestials and human progenitors of you all.
I also know that you five brothers are learned and high-souled, that ye are foremost of all wielders of weapons, that ye are brave and virtuous and observant of vows. Knowing that your understanding and hearts are excellent and your behaviour faultless, I have yet censured you. For, O thou of Kuru's race, it behoveth no man endued with might of arms to bear with patience any ill usage in the sight of his wife. Especially as, O son of Kunti, our might increaseth during the hours of darkness, accompanied by my wife I was filled with wrath. O best of vow-observing men, I have, however, been vanquished by thee in battle. Listen to me as I tell thee the reasons that have led to my discomfiture. The Brahmacharya is a very superior mode of life, and as thou art in that mode now, it is for this, O Partha, that I have been defeated by thee in battle. O chastiser of foes, if any married Kshatriya fight with us at night, he can never escape, with life.
But, O Partha, a married Kshatriya, who is sanctified with Brahma, and who hath assigned the cares of his State to a priest, might vanquish! all wanderers in p. 348 the night. O child of Tapati, men should therefore, ever employ learned priests possessing self-command for the acquisition of every good luck they desire. That Brahmana is worthy of being the king's priest who is learned in the Vedas and the six branches thereof, who is pure and truthful, who is of virtuous soul and possessed of self-command. The monarch becometh ever victorious and finally earneth heaven who hath for his priest a Brahmana conversant with the rules of morality, who is a master of words, and is pure and of good behaviour. The king should always select an accomplished priest in order to acquire what he hath not and protect what he hath. He who desireth his own prosperity should ever be guided by his priest, for he may then obtain ever the whole earth surrounded by her belt of seas. O son of Tapati, a king, who is without a Brahmana, can never acquire any land by his bravery or glory of birth alone. Know, therefore, O perpetuator of Kuru's race, that the kingdom lasteth for ever in which Brahmanas have power.'"
(Chaitraratha Parva continued)
"Arjuna said, 'Thou hast addressed me (more than once) as Tapatya. I therefore wish to know what the precise significance of this word is, O virtuous Gandharva, being sons of Kunti, we are, indeed, Kaunteyas. But who is Tapati that we should be called Tapatyas?' "Vaisampayana continued, 'Thus addressed, the Gandharva related to Dhananjaya, the son of Kunti, the (following) story well-known in the three worlds.' "The Gandharva said, 'O son of Pritha, O foremost of all intelligent men, I will duly recite to you in full this charming narrative. O, listen with attention to what I say in explanation of why I have addressed thee as Tapatya. That one in heaven who pervadeth by his light the whole firmament had a daughter named Tapati equal unto himself. Tapati, the daughter of the god Vivaswat, was the younger sister of Savitri, and she was celebrated throughout the three worlds and devoted to ascetic penances. There was no woman amongst the celestials, the Asuras, the Yakshas, the Rakshasas, the Apsaras, and the Gandharvas, who was equal to her in beauty.
Of perfect, symmetrical and faultless features, of black and large eyes, and in beautiful attire, the girl was chaste and of perfect conduct. And, O Bharata, seeing her Savitri (the sun) thought that there was none in the three worlds who, for his beauty, accomplishments, behaviour, and learning, deserved to be her husband. Beholding her attain the age of puberty and, therefore, worthy of being bestowed on a husband, her father knew no peace of mind, always thinking of the person he should select. At that time, O son of Kunti, Riksha's son, that bull amongst the Kurus, the mighty king Samvarana, was duly worshipping Surya with offerings of Arghya and flower-garlands and p. 349 scents, and with vows and fasts and ascetic penances of various kinds. Indeed, Samvarana was worshipping Surya constantly in all his glory, with devotion and humility and piety. And beholding Samvarana conversant with all rules of virtue and unequalled on earth for beauty, Surya regarded him as the fit husband for his daughter, Tapati.
And, O thou of Kuru's race, Vivaswat then resolved to bestow his daughter on that best of kings, viz., Samvarana, the scion of a race of world-wide fame. As Surya himself in the heavens filleth the firmament with his splendour, so did king Samvarana on earth fill every region with the splendour of his good achievements. And all men, O Partha, except Brahmanas, worshipped Samvarana. Blest with good luck, king Samvarana excelled Soma in soothing the hearts of friends and Surya in scorching the hearts of foes. And, O Kaurava, Tapana (Surya) himself was resolved upon bestowing his daughter Tapati upon king Samvarana, who was possessed of such virtues and accomplishments. "Once on a time, O Partha, king Samvarana, endued with beauty (of person) and immeasurable prowess, went on a hunting expedition to the under-woods on the mountain-breast. While wandering in quest of deer, the excellent steed the king rode, overcome, O Partha, with hunger, thirst and fatigue, died on the mountains.
Abandoning the steed, the king, O Arjuna, began to wander about upon the mountain-breast on foot and in course of his wandering the monarch saw a maiden of large eyes and unrivalled beauty, That grinder of hostile host--that tiger among kings--himself without a companion, beholding there that maiden without a companion, stood motionless gazing at her steadfastly. For her beauty, the monarch for some moment believed her to be (the goddess) Sri herself. Next he regarded her to be the embodiment of the rays emanating from Surya. In splendour of her person she resembled a flame of fire, though in benignity and loveliness she resembled a spotless digit of the moon. And standing on the mountain-breast, the black-eyed maiden appeared like a bright statue of gold. The mountain itself with its creepers and plants, because of the beauty and attire of that damsel, seemed to be converted into gold. The sight of that maiden inspired the monarch with a contempt for all women that he had seen before.
By beholding her, the king regarded his eye-sight truly blessed. Nothing the king had seen from the day of his birth could equal, he thought, the beauty of that girl. The king's heart and eyes were captivated by that damsel, as if they were bound with a cord and he remained rooted to that spot, deprived of his senses. The monarch thought that the artificer of so much beauty had created it only after churning the whole world of gods Asuras and human beings. Entertaining these various thoughts, king Samvarana regarded that maiden as unrivalled in the three worlds for wealth of beauty. "And the monarch of pure descent, beholding the beautiful maiden, was pierced with Kama's (Cupid's) shafts and lost his peace of mind. Burnt with the strong flame of desire the king asked that charming maiden, still p. 350 innocent, though in her full youth, saying, 'Who art thou and whose? Why also dost thou stay here? O thou of sweet smiles, why dost thou wander alone in these solitary woods? Of every feature perfectly faultless, and decked with every ornament, thou seemest to be the coveted ornament of these ornaments themselves!
Thou seemest not to be of celestial or Asura or Yaksha or Rakshasa or Naga or Gandharva or human origin. O excellent lady, the best of women that I have ever seen or heard of would not compare with thee in beauty! O thou of handsome face, at sight of thee lovelier than the moon and graced with eyes like lotus-petals, the god of desire is grinding me.' "King Samvarana thus addressed that damsel in the forest, who however, spoke not a word unto the monarch burning with desire. Instead, like lightning in the clouds, that large-eyed maiden quickly disappeared in the very sight of the monarch. The king then wandered through the whole forest, like one out of his senses, in search of that girl of eyes like lotus-petals. Failing to find her, that best of monarchs indulged in copious lamentations and for a time stood motionless with grief.'"
(Chaitraratha Parva continued)
"The Gandharva continued, 'When that maiden disappeared, that feller of hostile ranks deprived of his senses by Kama (concupiscence) himself fell down on the earth. And as the monarch fell down, that maiden of sweet smiles and prominent and round hips appeared again before him, and smiling sweetly, said unto that perpetuator of Kuru's race these honeyed words, 'Rise, rise, O chastiser of foes! Blest be thou; it behoveth thee not, O tiger among kings, to lose thy reason, a celebrated man as thou art in the world.' Addressed in these honeyed words, the king opened his eyes and saw before him that selfsame girl of swelling hips. The monarch who was burning with the flame of desire then addressed that black-eyed damsel in accents, weak with emotion, and said, 'Blest be thou O excellent woman of black eyes! As I am burning with desire and paying thee court, O, accept me! My life is ebbing away. O thou of large eyes, for thy sake it is, O thou of the splendour of the filaments of the lotus, that Kama is incessantly piercing me with his keen shafts without stopping for a moment! O amiable and cheerful girl, I have been bitten by Kama who is even like a venomous viper. O thou of swelling and large hips, have mercy on me! O thou of handsome and faultless features, O thou of face like unto the lotus-petal or the moon, O thou of voice sweet as that of singing Kinnaras, my life now depends on thee! Without thee, O timid one, I am unable to live!
O thou of eyes like lotus-petals, Kama is piercing me incessantly! O large-eyed girl, be merciful unto me! It becometh thee not, O black-eyed maid, to cast me p. 351 off; O handsome girl, it behoveth thee to relieve me from such affliction by giving me thy love! At first sight thou hast attracted my heart. My mind wandereth! Beholding thee I like not to cast my eyes on any other woman! Be merciful! I am thy obedient slave--thy adorer! O, accept me! O beautiful lady, O largeeyed girl at the sight of thee, the god of desire hath entered my heart, and is piercing me with his shafts! O thou of lotus-eyes, the flame of desire burneth within me! O, extinguish that flame with the water of thy love poured on it! O beautiful lady, by becoming mine, pacify thou the irrepressible god of desire that hath appeared here armed with his deadly bow and arrows and that is piercing me incessantly with those keen shafts of his! O thou of the fairest complexion, wed me according to the Gandharva form, for, O thou of tapering hips, of all forms of marriage the Gandharva hath been said to be the best.'
"The Gandharva continued, 'Hearing those words of the monarch, Tapati made answer, 'O king, I am not the mistress of my own self! Be it known that I am a maiden under the control of my father. If thou really entertainest an affection for me, demand me of my father. Thou sayest, O king, that thy heart hath been robbed by me. But thou also hast, at first sight, robbed me of my heart; I am not the mistress of my body, and therefore, O best of kings, I do not approach thee; women are never independent. What girl is file:///C|/a/mahabharata/m01/m01175.htm (1 of 2)7/1/2006 9:21:01 AM The Mahabharata, Book 1: Adi Parva: Chaitraratha Parva: Section CLXXIV there in the three worlds that would not desire thee for her husband, as thou art kind unto all thy dependents and as thou art born in a pure race? Therefore, when the opportunity comes, ask my father Aditya for my hand with worship, ascetic penances, and vows. If my father bestoweth me upon thee, then, O king, I shall ever be thy obedient wife. My name is Tapati and I am the younger sister of Savitri, and the daughter, O bull amongst Kshatriyas of Savitri, of (Sun) the illuminator of the universe.'"
(Chaitraratha Parva continued)
"The Gandharva continued, 'Saying this, Tapati of faultless features, ascended the skies. The monarch thereupon again fell down on the earth. His ministers and followers searching for him throughout the forest at length came upon him lying on that solitary spot, and beholding that excellent king, that mighty bowman, thus lying forsaken on the ground like a rainbow dropped from the firmament, his minister-inchief became like one burnt by a flame of fire. Advancing hastily with affection and respect, the minister raised that best of monarchs lying prostrate on the ground and deprived of his senses by desire. Old in wisdom as in age, old in achievements as in policy, the minister, after having raised the prostrate monarch, became easy (in mind). Addressing the king in sweet words that were also for his good, he said, 'Blest be thou, O sinless one! Fear not, O tiger among kings!'
The minister thought that the monarch, that great feller of hostile ranks in battle, had been lying on the ground overcome with hunger, thirst, and fatigue. The old man then sprinkled over the crownless head of the monarch water that was cold and rendered fragrant with lotus-petals. Slowly regaining his consciousness, the mighty monarch sent away all his attendants with the exception of his minister only. After those attendants had retired at his command, the king sat upon the mountain-breast. Having purified himself duly, the king sat upon that chief of mountains, and began, with joined palms and upturned face, to worship Surya. King Samvarana, that smiter of all foes, thought also of his chief priest Vasishtha, that best of Rishis. The king continued to sit there day and night without intermission. The Brahmana sage Vasishtha came there on the twelfth day: that great Rishi of soul under perfect command knew at once by his ascetic power that the monarch had lost his senses in consequence of Tapati.
And that virtuous and best of Munis, as soon as he knew this, desirous of benefiting the monarch who was ever observant of vows, addressed him and gave him every assurance. The illustrious Rishi, in the very sight of that monarch, ascended upward to interview Surya, himself possessed of the splendour of that luminary. The Brahmana then approached with joined hands the god of a thousand rays and introduced himself cheerfully unto him, saying, 'I am Vasishtha.' Then Vivaswat of great energy said unto that best of Rishis, 'Welcome art thou, O great Rishi! Tell me what is in thy mind. O thou of great good fortune, whatever thou demandest of me, O foremost of eloquent men, I will confer on thee, however difficult it may be for me!' Thus addressed by Surya, the Rishi of great ascetic merit, bowing unto the god of light, replied, saying, 'O Vibhavasu, this thy daughter, Tapati, the younger sister of Savitri, I ask of thee for Samvarana! That monarch is of mighty achievements, conversant with virtue, and of high soul. O firmament-ranger, Samvarana will make a worthy husband for thy daughter.' Thus addressed by the Rishi Vibhakara, resolved upon bestowing his daughter upon Samvarana, saluted the Rishi, and replied unto him, saying, 'Oh, Samvarana is the best of monarchs, thou art the best of Rishis, Tapati is the best of women.
What should we do, therefore, but bestow her on Samvarana?' With these words, the god Tapana, made over his daughter, Tapati, of every feature perfectly faultless, unto the illustrious Vasishtha to bestow her upon Samvarana. And the great Rishi then accepted the girl, Tapati, and taking leave of Surya, came back to the spot, where that bull amongst the Kurus, of celestial achievements, was. King Samvarana, possessed by love and with his heart fixed on Tapati, beholding that celestial maiden of sweet smiles led by Vasishtha, became exceedingly glad. And Tapati of fair eyebrows came down from the firmament like lightning from the clouds, dazzling the ten points of the heavens. And the illustrious Rishi Vasishtha of pure soul approached the monarch after the latter's twelve nights' vow was over. It was thus that king Samvarana obtained a wife after having worshipped with like the full moon.
And that mighty bowman, that foremost one in Kuru's race having his curiosity greatly excited by what he heard of Vasishtha's ascetic power, asked the Gandharva, saying, 'I desire to hear of the Rishi whom thou hast mentioned as Vasishtha. O, tell me in full about him! O chief of the Gandharvas, tell me who this illustrious Rishi was that was the priest of our forefathers.' The Gandharva replied, 'Vasishtha is Brahma's spiritual (lit, mind-born) son and Arundhati's husband. Ever difficult of being conquered by the very immortals, Desire and Wrath, conquered by Vasishtha's ascetic penances, used to shampoo his feet. Though his wrath was excited by Viswamitra's offence, that high-souled Rishi did not yet exterminate Kusikas (the tribe whose king Viswamitra was). Afflicted at the loss of his sons, he did not, as though powerless, though really otherwise, do any dreadful act destructive of Viswamitra, Like the ocean transgressing not its continents, Vasishtha transgressed not (the laws of) Yama by bringing back his children from the domains of the king of the dead. It was by obtaining that illustrious one who had conquered his own self that Ikshvaku and other great monarchs acquired the whole earth. And, O prince of Kuru's race, it was by obtaining Vasishtha, that best of Rishis as their priest, that those monarchs performed many grand sacrifices.
And, O best of the Pandavas, that regenerate Rishi assisted these monarchs in the performance of their sacrifices like Vrihaspati assisting the immortals. Therefore, look ye for some accomplished and desirable Brahmana conversant with the Vedas and in whose heart virtue prevails, to appoint as your priest. A Kshatriya of good lineage, desirous of extending his dominions by conquering the earth, should, O Partha, first appoint a priest. He who is desirous of conquering the earth should have a Brahmana before him. Therefore, O Arjuna, let some accomplished and learned Brahmana, who has his senses under complete control and who is conversant with religion, profit and pleasure, be your priest.'"
(Chaitraratha Parva continued)
"Vaisampayana continued, 'Hearing this, Arjuna said, 'O Gandharva, whence arose the hostility between Viswamitra and Vasishtha both of whom dwelt in a celestial hermitage? O, tell us all about it.' "The Gandharva replied, 'O Partha, the story of Vasishtha is regarded as a Purana (legend) in all the three worlds. Listen to me as I recite it fully. There was, in Kanyakuvja, O bull of Bharata's race, a great king of worldwide fame named Gadhi, the son of Kusika. The virtuous Gadhi had a son named Viswamitra, that grinder of foes, possessing a large army and many animals and vehicles. And Viswamitra, accompanied by his ministers, used to roam in quest of deer through the deep woods and over picturesque marascetic p. 354 penances the propitious lord Vivaswat, by the help of Vasishtha's (ascetic power). And Samvarana, that bull among men with due rites took Tapati's hand on that mountain-breast which was resorted to by the celestials and the Gandharvas.
The royal sage, with the permission of Vasishtha, desired to sport with his wife on that mountain. And the king caused Vasishtha, to be proclaimed his regent in his capital and kingdom, in the woods and gardens. And bidding farewell unto the monarch, Vasishtha left him and went away. Samvarana, who sported on that mountain like a celestial, sported with his wife in the woods and the under-woods on that mountain for twelve full years. And, O best of the Bharatas, the god of a thousand eyes poured no rain for twelve years on the capital and on the kingdom of that monarch. Then, O chastiser of enemies, when that season of drought broke out, the people of that kingdom, as also the trees and lower animals began to die fast. And during the continuance of that dreadful drought, not even a drop of dew fell from the skies and no corn grew.
And the inhabitants in despair, and afflicted with the fear of hunger, left their homes and fled away in all directions. And the famished people of the capital and the country began to abandon their wives and children and grew reckless of one another. The people being afflicted with hunger, without a morsel of food and reduced to skeletons, the capital looked very much like the city of the king of the dead, full of only ghostly beings. On beholding the capital reduced to such a state, the illustrious and virtuous and best of Rishis, Vasishtha was resolved upon applying a remedy and brought back unto the city that tiger among kings, Samvarana, along with his wife, after the latter had passed so long a period in solitude and seclusion. After the king had entered his capital, things became as before, for, when that tiger among kings came back to his own, the god of a thousand eyes, the slayer of Asuras, poured rain in abundance and caused corn to grow. Revivified by the foremost of virtuous souls the capital and the country became animated with extreme joy. The monarch, with his wife, Tapati, once more performed sacrifices for twelve years, like the lord Indra (god of rain) performing sacrifices with his wife, Sachi.' "The Gandharva continued, 'This, O Partha, is the history of Tapati of old, the daughter of Vivaswat. It is for her that thou art (called) Tapatya. King Samvarana begot upon Tapati a son named Kuru, who was the foremost of ascetics. Born in the race of Kuru, thou art, O Arjuna, to be called Tapatya.'"
(Chaitraratha Parva continued)
"Vaisampayana said, 'That bull among the Bharatas, Arjuna, hearing these words of the Gandharva, was inspired with feelings of devotion and stood killing deer and wild boars. Once on a time, while out in quest of deer, the king became weak with exertion and thirst. The monarch arrived in that state at the asylum of Vasishtha, and the blessed and illustrious Rishi beholding him arrive, reverenced with his homage that best of men, king Viswamitra. And O Bharata, the Rishi saluted the monarch by offering him water to wash his face and feet with, and Arghya, and wild fruits, and clarified butter. For the illustrious Rishi had a cow yielding anything that was desired of her. When she was addressed, saying, 'O give',--she always yielded the article that was sought. And she yielded various fruits and corn, wild or grown in gardens and fields, and milk, and many excellent nutritive viands full of six different kinds of juice (taste?) and like unto nectar itself, and various other kinds of enjoyable things, O Arjuna, of ambrosial taste for drinking and eating, and for licking and sucking, and also many precious gems and robes of various kinds.
With these desirable objects in profusion the monarch was worshipped. And the king with his minister and troops became highly pleased. And the monarch wondered much, beholding that cow with six elevated limbs and the beautiful flanks and hips, and five limbs that were broad, and eyes prominent like those of the frog and beautiful in size, and high udders, and faultless make, and straight and uplifted ears, and handsome horns, and well-developed head and neck. "And, O prince, the son of Gadhi, gratified with everything and applauding the cow named Nandini, addressed the Rishi, saying, 'O Brahmana, O great Muni, give me thy Naridini in exchange for ten thousand kine, or my kingdom. Enjoy thou my kingdom (giving me thy cow).' "Hearing these words of Viswamitra, Vasishtha said, 'O sinless one, this cow hath been kept by me for the sake of the gods, guests, and the Pitris, as also for my sacrifices.
I cannot give Nandini in exchange for even thy kingdom.' Viswamitra replied, 'I am a Kshatriya, but thou art a Brahmana devoted to asceticism and study. Is there any energy in Brahmanas who are peaceful and who have their souls under perfect command? When thou givest me not what I desire in exchange even for ten thousand cows, I will not abandon the practice of my order; I will take thy cow even by force!' "Vasishtha said, 'Thou art a Kshatriya endued with might of arms. Thou art a powerful monarch. O, do in haste what thou desirest; and stop not to consider its propriety.' "The Gandharva continued, 'Thus addressed by Vasishtha, Viswamitra, O Partha, then forcibly seized Nandini, that cow (white) like the swan or the moon, and attempted to take her away, afflicting her with stripes and persecuting her otherwise. The innocent Nandini then began, O Partha, to low piteously, and approaching the illustrious Vasishtha stood before him with uplifted face. Though persecuted very cruelly, she refused to leave the Rishi's asylum.'
"Beholding her in that plight, Vasishtha said, 'O amiable one. thou art lowing repeatedly and I am hearing thy cries. But, O Nandini, even Viswamitra is taking thee away by force, what can I do in this matter, as I am a forgiving Brahmana?' "The Gandharva continued, 'Then, O bull in Bharata's race, Nandini, alarmed at the sight of Viswamitra's troops and terrified by Viswamitra himself, approached the Rishi still closer, and said, 'O illustrious one, why art thou so indifferent to my poor self afflicted with the stripes of the cruel troops of Viswamitra and crying so piteously as if I were masterless?' Hearing these words of the crying and persecuted Nandini, the great Rishi lost not his patience nor turned from his vow of forgiveness. He replied, 'The Kshatriya's might lies in physical strength, the Brahmana's in forgiveness. Because I cannot give up forgiveness, go thou, O Nandini, if thou choosest.' Nandini answered, 'Castest thou me away, O illustrious one, that thou sayest so? If thou dost not cast me off, I cannot, O Brahmana, be taken away by force.' Vasishtha said, 'O blessed one, I do not cast thee off! Stay if thou canst! O, yonder is thy calf, tied with a stout cord, and even now being weakened by it!'
"The Gandharva continued, 'Then the cow of Vasishtha, hearing the word stay, raised her head and neck upward, and became terrible to behold. With eyes red with rage and lowing repeatedly, she then attacked Viswamitra's troops on all sides. Afflicted with their stripes and running hither and thither with those red eyes of hers, her wrath increased. Blazing with rage, she soon became terrible to behold like unto the sun in his midday glory. And from her tail she began to rain showers of burning coals all around. And some moments after, from her tail she brought forth an army of Palhavas, and from her udders, an army of Dravidas and Sakas; and from her womb, an army of Yavanas, and from her dung, an army of Savaras; and from her urine, an army of Kanchis; and from her sides, an army of Savaras. And from the froth of her mouth came out hosts of Paundras and Kiratas, Yavanas and Sinhalas, and the barbarous tribes of Khasas and Chivukas and Pulindas and Chinas and Hunas with Keralas, and numerous other Mlechchhas. And that vast army of Mlechchhas in various uniforms, and armed with various weapons, as soon as it sprang into life, deploying in the very sight of Viswamitra, attacked that monarch's soldiers.
And so numerous was that Mlechchha host that each particular soldier of Viswamitra was attacked by a band of six or seven of their enemies. Assailed with a mighty shower of weapons, Viswamitra's troops broke and fled, panic-stricken, in all directions, before his very eyes. But, O bull in Bharata's race, the troops of Vasishtha, though excited with wrath, took not the life of any of Viswamitra's troops. Nandini simply caused the monarch's army to be routed and driven off. And driven (from the asylum) twenty-seven full miles, panic-stricken, they shrieked aloud and beheld not anyone that could protect them.
Viswamitra, beholding this wonderful feat that resulted from Brahmana prowess, became disgusted with Kshatriya prowess and said, 'O, fie on Kshatriya prowess! Brahmana prowess is true prowess! In judging of strength and weakness, I see that asceticism is true strength.' Saying this, the monarch, abandoning his large domains and regal splendour and turning his back upon all pleasures, set his mind on asceticism. Crowned with success in asceticism and filling the three worlds with the heat of his ascetic penances, he afflicted all creatures and finally became a Brahmana. The son of Kusika at last drank Soma with Indra himself (in Heaven).'"
(Chaitraratha Parva continued)
"The Gandharva continued, 'There was, O Partha, a king in this world, named Kalmashapada, who was of the race of Ikshvaku and was unequalled on earth for prowess. One day the king went from his capital into the woods for purposes of hunting, and this grinder of foes pierced (with his arrows) many deer and wild boars. And in those deep woods the king also slew many rhinoceroses. Engaged in sport for some length of time, the monarch became very much fatigued and at last he gave up the chase, desiring to rest awhile. "The great Viswamitra, endued with energy, had, a little while ago, desired to make that monarch his disciple. As the monarch, afflicted with hunger and thirst, was proceeding through the woods, he came across that best of Rishis, the illustrious son of Vasishtha, coming along the same path. The king ever victorious in battle saw that Muni bearing the name of Saktri, that illustrious propagator of Vasishtha's race, the eldest of the high-souled Vasishtha's hundred sons, coming along from opposite direction. \
The king, beholding him said, 'Stand out of our way.' The Rishi, addressing the monarch in a conciliatory manner, said unto him sweetly, 'O king, this is my way. This is the eternal rule of morality indicated in every treatise on duty and religion, viz., that a king should ever make way for Brahmanas.' Thus did they address each other respecting their right of way. 'Stand aside, stand aside', were the words they said unto each other. The Rishi, who was in the right, did not yield, nor did the king yield to him from pride and anger. That best of monarchs, enraged at the Rishi, refusing to yield him the way, acted like a Rakshasa, striking him with his whip. Thus whipped by the monarch, that best of Rishis, the son of Vasishtha, was deprived of his senses by anger, and speedily cursed that first of monarchs, saying, 'O worst of kings, since thou persecutest like a Rakshasa an ascetic, thou shalt from this day, became a Rakshasa subsisting on human flesh! Hence, thou worst of kings! thou shalt wander over the earth, affecting human form!'
Thus did the Rishi Sakti, endued with great prowess, speak unto king Kalmashapada. At this time Viswamitra, between whom and Vasishtha there was a dispute about the discipleship of Kalmashapada, approached the place where that monarch and Vasishtha's son were. And, O Partha, that Rishi of severe ascetic penances, viz., Viswamitra of great energy, approached the pair (knowing by his spiritual insight that they had been thus quarrelling with each other). After the curse had been pronounced, that best of monarchs knew that Rishi to be Vasishtha's son and equal unto Vasishtha himself in energy. And, O Bharata, Viswamitra, desirous of benefiting himself, remained on that spot, concealed from the sight of both by making himself invisible. Then that best of monarchs, thus cursed by Saktri, desiring to propitiate the Rishi began to humbly beseech him. And, O chief of the Kurus, Viswamitra, ascertaining the disposition of the king (and fearing that the difference might be made up), ordered a Rakshasa to enter the body of the king. And a Rakshasa of the name of Kinkara then entered the monarch's body in obedience to Saktri's curse and Viswamitra's command. And knowing, O chastiser of foes, that the Rakshasa had possessed himself of the monarch, that best of Rishis, Viswamitra, then left the spot and went away.
"Shortly after, O Partha, the monarch, possessed by the Rakshasa and terribly afflicted by him, lost all his senses. At this time a Brahmana beheld the king in the woods. Afflicted with hunger, that Brahmana begged of the king some food with meat. The royal sage, Kalmashapada, that cherisher of friends, answered the Brahmana, saying, 'Stay thou here, O Brahmana for a moment. On my return, I will give thee whatever food thou desirest.' Having said this, the monarch went away, but the Brahmana stayed on there. The high-minded king having roved for some time at pleasure and according to his will, at last entered his inner apartment. Thus waking at midnight and remembering his promise, he summoned his cook and told him of his promise unto the Brahmana staying in the forest. And he commanded him, saying, 'Hie thee to that forest. A Brahmana waiteth for me in the hope of food. Go and entertain him with food and meat.' "The Gandharva continued, 'Thus commanded, the cook went out in search of meat. Distressed at not having found any, he informed the king of his failure.
The monarch, however, possessed as he was by the Rakshasa, repeatedly said, without scruple of any kind, 'Feed him with human flesh.' The cook, saying, 'So be it,' went to the place where the (king's) executioners were, and thence taking human flesh and washing and cooking it duly and covering it with boiled rice offered it unto that hungry Brahmana devoted to ascetic penances. But that best of Brahmanas, seeing with his spiritual sight that the food was unholy and, therefore, unworthy of being eaten, said these words with eyes red with anger, 'Because that worst of kings offereth me food that is unholy and unworthy of being taken, therefore that wretch shall have himself a fondness for such food. And becoming fond of human flesh as cursed by Saktri of old, the wretch shall wander over the earth, alarming and otherwise troubling all creatures.' The curse, therefore, on that king, thus repeated a second time, became very strong, and the king, possessed by a Rakshasa disposition, soon lost all his senses.
"A little while after, O Bharata, that best of monarchs, deprived of all his senses by the Rakshasa within him, beholding Saktri who had cursed him, said, 'Because thou hast pronounced on me this extraordinary curse, therefore, I shall begin my life of cannibalism by devouring thee.' Having said this, the king immediately slew Saktri and ate him up, like a tiger eating the animal it was fond of. Beholding Saktri thus slain and devoured, Viswamitra repeatedly urged that Rakshasa (who was within the monarch) against the other sons of Vasishtha. Like a wrathful lion devouring small animals, that Rakshasa soon devoured the other sons of the illustrious Vasishtha that were junior to Saktri in age. But Vasishtha, learning that all his sons had been caused to be slain by Viswamitra, patiently bore his grief like the great mountain that bears the earth. That best of Munis, that foremost of intelligent men, was resolved rather to sacrifice his own life than exterminate (in anger) the race of Kusikas.
The illustrious Rishi threw himself down from the summit of Meru, but he descended on the stony ground as though on a heap of cotton. And, O son of Pandu, when the illustrious one found that death did not result from that fall, he kindled a huge fire in the forest and entered it with alacrity. But that fire, though burning brightly, consumed him not. O slayer of foes, that blazing fire seemed to him cool. Then the great Muni under the influence of grief, beholding the sea, tied a stony weight to his neck and threw himself into its waters. But the waves soon cast him ashore. At last when that Brahmana of rigid vows succeeded not in killing himself by any means, he returned, in distress of heart, to his asylum.'
(Chaitraratha Parva continued)
"The Gandharva continued, 'Beholding his asylum bereft of his children, the Muni afflicted with great grief left it again. And in course of his wandering he saw, O Partha, a river swollen with the waters of the rainy season, sweeping away numberless trees and plants that had grown on its margin. Beholding this, O thou of Kuru's race, the distressed Muni thinking that he would certainly be drowned if he fell into the waters of that river, he tied himself strongly with several cords and flung himself, under the influence of grief, into the current of that mighty stream. But, O slayer of foes, that stream soon cut those cords and cast the Rishi ashore. And the Rishi rose from the bank, freed from the cords with which he had tied himself. And because his cords were thus broken off by the violence of the current, the Rishi called the stream by the name of Vipasa (the cord-breaker).
For his grief the Muni could not, from that time, stay in one place; he began to wander over mountains and along rivers and lakes. And beholding once again a river named Haimavati (flowing from Himavat) of terrible aspect and full of fierce crocodiles and other (aquatic) monsters, the Rishi threw himself into it, but the river mistaking the Brahmana for a mass of (unquenchable) fire, immediately flew in a hundred different directions, and hath been known ever since by the name of the Satadru (the river of a hundred courses). Seeing himself on the dry land even there he exclaimed, 'O, I cannot die by my own hands!' Saying this, the Rishi once more bent his steps towards his asylum. Crossing numberless mountains and countries, as he was about to re-enter his asylum, he was followed by his daughter-in-law named Adrisyanti. As she neared him, he heard the sound from behind of a very intelligent recitation of the Vedas with the six graces of elocution. Hearing that sound, the Rishi asked, 'Who is it that followeth me?'
His daughter-in-law then answered, 'I am Adrisyanti, the wife of Saktri. I am helpless, though devoted to asceticism.' Hearing her, Vasishtha said, 'O daughter, whose is this voice that I heard, repeating the Vedas along with the Angas like unto the voice of Saktri reciting the Vedas with the Angas?' Adrisyanti answered, 'I bear in my womb a child by thy son Saktri. He hath been here full twelve years. The voice thou hearest is that of the Muni, who is reciting the Vedas.' "The Gandharva continued, 'Thus addressed by her the illustrious Vasishtha became exceedingly glad. And saying, 'O, there is a child (of my race)!'--he refrained, O Partha, from self-destruction. The sinless one accompanied by his daughter-in-law, then returned to his asylum. And the Rishi saw one day in the solitary woods (the Rakshasa) Kalmashapada. The king, O Bharata, possessed by fierce Rakshasa, as he saw the Rishi, became filled with wrath and rose up, desiring to devour him. And Adrisyanti beholding before her that the Rakshasa of cruel deeds, addressed Vasishtha in these words, full of anxiety and fear, 'O illustrious one, the cruel Rakshasa, like unto Death himself armed with (his) fierce club, cometh towards us with a wooden club in hand! There is none else on earth, except thee, O illustrious one, and, O foremost of all that are conversant with the Vedas to restrain him today.
Protect me, O illustrious one, from this cruel wretch of terrible mien. Surely, the Rakshasa cometh hither to devour us' Vasishtha, hearing this, said, 'Fear not, O daughter, there is no need of any fear from any Rakshasa. This one is no Rakshasa from whom thou apprehendest such imminent danger. This is king Kalmashapada endued with great energy and celebrated on earth. That terrible man dwelleth in these woods.' "The Gandharva continued, 'Beholding him advancing, the illustrious Rishi Vasishtha, endued with great energy, restrained him, O Bharata, by uttering the sound Hum. Sprinkling him again with water sanctified with incantations the Rishi freed the monarch from that terrible curse. For twelve years the monarch had been overwhelmed by the energy of Vasishtha's son like Surya seized by the planet (Rahu) during the season of an eclipse. Freed from the Rakshasa the monarch illumined that large forest by his splendour like the sun illumining the evening clouds. Recovering his power of reason, the king saluted that best of Rishis with joined palms and said, 'O illustrious one, I am the son of Sudasa and thy disciple, O best of Munis!
O, tell me what is thy pleasure and what I am to do.' Vasishtha replied, saying, 'My desire hath already been accomplished. Return now to thy kingdom and rule thy subjects. And, O chief of men, never insult Brahmanas any more.' The monarch replied, 'O illustrious one, I shall never more insult superior Brahmanas. In obedience to thy command I shall always worship Brahmanas. But, O best of Brahmanas, I desire to obtain from thee that by which, O foremost of all that are conversant with the Vedas, I may be freed from the debt I owe to the race of Ikshvaku! O best of men, it behoveth thee to grant me, for the perpetuation of Ikshvaku's race, a desirable son possessing beauty and accomplishments and good behaviour.' "The Gandharva continued, 'Thus addressed, Vasishtha, that best of Brahmanas devoted to truth replied unto that mighty bowman of a monarch, saying, 'I will give you.' After some time, O prince of men, Vasishtha, accompanied by the monarch, went to the latter's capital known all over the earth by the name of Ayodhya. The citizens in great joy came out to receive the sinless and illustrious one, like the dwellers in heaven coming out to receive their chief. The monarch, accompanied by Vasishtha, re-entered his auspicious capital after a long time.
The citizens of Ayodhya beheld their king accompanied by his priest, as if he were the rising sun. The monarch who was superior to everyone in beauty filled by his splendour the whole town of Ayodhya, like the autumnal moon filling by his splendour the whole firmament. And the excellent city itself, in consequence of its streets having been watered and swept, and of the rows of banners and pendants beautifying it all around, gladdened the monarch's heart. And, O prince of Kuru's race, the city filled as it was with joyous and healthy souls, in consequence of his presence, looked gay like Amaravati with the presence of the chief of the celestials. After the royal sage had entered his capital, the queen, at the king's command, approached Vasishtha. The great Rishi, making a covenant with her, united himself with her according to the high ordinance. And after a little while, when the queen conceived, that best of Rishis, receiving the reverential salutations of the king, went back to his asylum. The queen bore the embryo in her womb for a long time. When she saw that she did not bring forth anything, she tore open her womb by a piece of stone. It was then that at the twelfth year (of the conception) was born Asmaka, that bull amongst men, that royal sage who founded (the city of) Paudanya.'"
(Chaitraratha Parva continued)
"The Gandharva continued, 'Then, O Partha, Adrisyanti, who had been residing in Vasishtha's asylum, brought forth (when the time came) a son who was the perpetuator of Saktri's race and who was a second Saktri in everything. O foremost of Bharatas, that best of Munis, the illustrious Vasishtha himself performed the usual after-birth ceremonies of his grandson. And, because the Rishi Vasishtha had resolved on self-destruction but had abstained therefrom as soon as he knew of the existence of that child, that child, when born, was called Parasara (the vivifier of the dead). The virtuous Parasara, from the day of his birth, knew Vasishtha for his father and behaved towards the Muni as such. One day, O son of Kunti, the child addressed Vasishtha, that first of Brahmana sages, as father, in the presence of his mother Adrisyanti. Adrisyanti, hearing the very intelligible sound father sweetly uttered by her son, addressed him with tearful eyes and said, 'O child, do not address this thy grandfather as father?
Thy father, O son, has been devoured by a Rakshasa in a different forest. O innocent one, he is not thy father whom thou regardest so. The revered one is the father of that celebrated father of thine.' Thus addressed by his mother that best of Rishis of truthful speech, gave way to sorrow, but soon fired up and resolved to destroy the whole creation. Then that illustrious and great ascetic Vasishtha, that foremost of all persons conversant with Brahma, that son of Mitravaruna, that Rishi acquainted with positive truth, addressed his grandson who had set his heart upon the destruction of the world. Hear, O Arjuna, the arguments by which Vasishtha succeeded in driving out that resolution from his grandson's mind.' "The Gandharva continued, 'Then Vasishtha said, 'There was a celebrated king of the name of Kritavirya. That bull among the kings of the earth was the disciple of the Veda-knowing Bhrigus. That king, O child, after performing the Soma sacrifice, gratified the Brahmanas with great presents of rice and wealth.
After that monarch had ascended to heaven, an occasion came when his descendants were in want of wealth. And knowing that the Bhrigus were rich, those princes went unto those best of Brahmanas, in the guise of beggars. Some amongst the Bhrigus, to protect their wealth, buried it under earth; and some from fear of the Kshatriyas, began to give away their wealth unto (other) Brahmanas; while some amongst them duly gave unto the Kshatriyas whatever they wanted. It happened, however, that some Kshatriyas, in digging as they pleased at the house of particular Bhargava, came upon a large treasure. And the treasure was seen by all those bulls among Kshatriyas who had been there. Enraged at what they regarded as the deceitful behaviour of the Bhrigus, the Kshatriyas insulted the Brahmanas, though the latter asked for mercy. And those mighty bowmen began to slaughter the Bhrigus with their sharp arrows. And the Kshatriyas wandered over the earth, slaughtering even the embryos that were in the wombs of the women of the Bhrigu race. And while the Bhrigu race was thus being exterminated, the women of that tribe fled from fear to the inaccessible mountains of Himavat. And one amongst these women, of tapering thighs, desiring to perpetuate her husband's race, held in one of her thighs an embryo endued with great energy.
A certain Brahmana woman, however, who came to know this fact, went from fear unto the Kshatriyas and reported the matter unto them. And the Kshatriyas then went to destroy that embryo. Arrived at the place, they beheld the would-be mother blazing with inborn energy, and the child that was in her thigh came out tearing up the thigh and dazzling the eyes of those Kshatriyas like the midday sun. Thus deprived of their eyes, the Kshatriyas began to wander over those inaccessible mountains. And distressed at the loss of sight, the princes were afflicted with woe, and desirous of regaining the use of their eyes they resolved to seek the protection of that faultless woman. Then those Kshatriyas, afflicted with sorrow, and from loss of sight like unto a fire that hath gone out, addressed with anxious hearts that illustrious lady, saying, 'By thy grace. O lady, we wish to be restored to sight. We shall then return to our homes all together and abstain for ever from our sinful practice. O handsome one, it behoveth thee with thy child to show us mercy. It behoveth thee to favour these kings by granting them their eye-sight.'