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Chapter 27

Mahabharata English - ADI PARVA

“Sauti said, ‘And then the Nagas drenched by that shower, becameexceedingly glad. And borne by that bird of fair feathers, they soonarrived at the island. That island had been fixed by the Creator of theUniverse as the abode of the makaras. There they saw the terrible LavanaSamudra (ocean of salt).

On arriving there with Garuda, they saw there abeautiful forest washed by the waters of the sea and resounding with themusic of winged choirs. And there were clusters of trees all around ladenwith various fruits and flowers. And there were also fair mansions allaround; and many tanks full of lotuses. And it was also adorned with manylakes of pure water. And it was refreshed with pure incense-breathingbreezes. And it was adorned with many a tree that grew only on the hillsof Malaya, and seemed by their tallness to reach the very heavens. Andthere were also various other trees whose flowers were scattered allaround by the breeze. And that forest was charming and dear to theGandharvas and always gave them pleasure. And it was full of beesmaddened with the honey they sucked. And the sight of all this wasexceedingly delightful. And in consequence of many things there, capableof charming everybody, that forest was fair, delightful, and holy. And,echoing with the notes of various birds, it delighted greatly the sons ofKadru.

“And the snakes, after arriving at that forest, began to enjoythemselves. And they commanded the lord of birds, viz., Garuda, of greatenergy, saying, ‘Convey us to some other fair island with pure water.Thou ranger of the skies, thou must have seen many fair regions whilecoursing (through the air).’ Garuda, alter reflecting for a few moments,asked his mother Vinata, saying, ‘Why, mother, have I to do the biddingof the snakes?’ Vinata thus questioned by him spake unto that ranger ofthe skies, her son, invested with every virtue, of great energy, andgreat strength, as follows: “Vinata said, ‘O thou best of birds, I havebecome, from misfortune, the slave of my co-wife. The snakes, by an actof deception, caused me to lose my bet and have made me so.’ When hismother had told him the reason, that ranger of the skies, dejected withgrief, addressed the snakes, saying, ‘Tell me, ye snakes, by bringingwhat thing, gaining a knowledge of what thing, or doing what act ofprowess, we may be freed from this state of bondage to you.'” Sauticontinued, ‘The snakes, hearing him, said, ‘Bring thou amrita by force.Then O bird, shall you be freed from bondage.'” And so ends thetwenty-seventh section in the Astika Parva of the Adi Parva.

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