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Chapter 177

Mahabharata English - ADI PARVA

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Hearing this, Arjuna said, ‘O Gandharva, whencearose the hostility between Viswamitra and Vasishtha both of whom dweltin a celestial hermitage? O, tell us all about it.’

“The Gandharva replied, ‘O Partha, the story of Vasishtha is regarded asa Purana (legend) in all the three worlds. Listen to me as I recite itfully. There was, in Kanyakuvja, O bull of Bharata’s race, a great kingof worldwide fame named Gadhi, the son of Kusika. The virtuous Gadhi hada son named Viswamitra, that grinder of foes, possessing a large army andmany animals and vehicles. And Viswamitra, accompanied by his ministers,used to roam in quest of deer through the deep woods and over picturesquemarascetic penances the propitious lord Vivaswat, by the help ofVasishtha’s (ascetic power). And Samvarana, that bull among men with duerites took Tapati’s hand on that mountain-breast which was resorted to bythe celestials and the Gandharvas. The royal sage, with the permission ofVasishtha, desired to sport with his wife on that mountain. And the kingcaused 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 mountainlike a celestial, sported with his wife in the woods and the under-woodson that mountain for twelve full years. And, O best of the Bharatas, thegod of a thousand eyes poured no rain for twelve years on the capital andon the kingdom of that monarch. Then, O chastiser of enemies, when thatseason of drought broke out, the people of that kingdom, as also thetrees and lower animals began to die fast. And during the continuance ofthat dreadful drought, not even a drop of dew fell from the skies and nocorn grew. And the inhabitants in despair, and afflicted with the fear ofhunger, left their homes and fled away in all directions. And thefamished people of the capital and the country began to abandon theirwives and children and grew reckless of one another. The people beingafflicted 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, fullof only ghostly beings. On beholding the capital reduced to such a state,the illustrious and virtuous and best of Rishis, Vasishtha was resolvedupon applying a remedy and brought back unto the city that tiger amongkings, Samvarana, along with his wife, after the latter had passed solong a period in solitude and seclusion. After the king had entered hiscapital, things became as before, for, when that tiger among kings cameback to his own, the god of a thousand eyes, the slayer of Asuras, pouredrain in abundance and caused corn to grow. Revivified by the foremost ofvirtuous souls the capital and the country became animated with extremejoy. The monarch, with his wife, Tapati, once more performed sacrificesfor twelve years, like the lord Indra (god of rain) performing sacrificeswith his wife, Sachi.’

“The Gandharva continued, ‘This, O Partha, is the history of Tapati ofold, the daughter of Vivaswat. It is for her that thou art (called)Tapatya. King Samvarana begot upon Tapati a son named Kuru, who was theforemost of ascetics. Born in the race of Kuru, thou art, O Arjuna, to becalled Tapatya.'”

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