Chapter 171

Mahabharata English - ADI PARVA

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Then Kunti spoke unto Bhimasena and Arjuna andthe twins regarding the journey to Panchala. They all said, ‘So be it.’Then, O king, Kunti with her sons saluted the Brahmana (in whose housethey had dwelt) and set out for the delightful town of the illustriousDrupada.’

“Vaisampayana said, ‘While the illustrious Pandavas were living disguisedin the abode of the Brahmana, Vyasa, the son of Satyavati, once went tosee them. Those chastisers of foes, beholding him coming rose up andstepped onward to receive him. Saluting him reverentially and worshippinghim also the Pandavas stood in silence with joined hands. Thus worshippedby them the sage became gratified. He asked them to be seated, andcheerfully addressing them said, ‘Ye slayers of foes, are ye living inthe path of virtue and according to the scriptures? Do ye worship theBrahmanas? Ye are not, I hope, backward in paying homage unto those thatdeserve your homage?’ The illustrious Rishi, after this, spoke many wordsof virtuous import, and after discoursing upon many topics of greatinterest, he said, ‘An illustrious Rishi, living in a certain hermitage,had a daughter of tender waist, fair lips, and fine eye-brows, andpossessing every accomplishment. As a consequence of her own acts (in apast life) the fair maid became very unfortunate. Though chaste andbeautiful, the damsel obtained not a husband. With a sorrowful heart shethereupon began to practise ascetic penances with the object of obtaininga husband. She soon gratified by her severe asceticism the god Sankara(Mahadeva), who became propitious unto her and said unto that illustriousdamsel, ‘Ask thou the boon thou desirest! Blest be thou! I am Sankaraprepared to give thee what thou wilt ask.’ Desirous of benefitingherself, the maid repeatedly said unto the supreme lord, ‘O give me, ahusband endued with every accomplishment.’ Then Isana (Mahadeva), thatforemost of all speakers, replied unto her, saying, ‘O blessed one, thoushall have five husbands from among the Bharata princes.’ Thus told, themaiden said unto the god who had given her that boon, ‘O lord, I desireto have only one husband through thy grace.’ The god then addressed heragain and said these excellent words, ‘Thou hast, O girl, said full fivetimes, ‘Give me (a) husband.’ Thou shalt, therefore, in another life havefive husbands!’ Ye princes of Bharata’s line, that damsel of celestialbeauty hath been born in the line of Drupada. The faultless Krishna ofPrishata’s line hath been appointed to be the wife of you all. Ye mightyones, 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 veryhappy.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Having said so unto the Pandavas, theillustrious and blessed grandsire then bade them farewell. The greatascetic then left them and went to the place whence he had come.'”

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Chapter 172
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