‘UGRASRAVA SAUTI, the son of Lomaharshana, versed in the Puranas, whilepresent in the forest of Naimisha, at the twelve years’ sacrifice ofSaunaka, surnamed Kulapati, stood before the Rishis in attendance.
Havingstudied Puranas with meticulous devotion and thus being thoroughlyacquainted with them, he addressed them with joined hands thus, ‘I havegraphically described to you the history of Utanka which is one of thecauses of King Janamejaya’s Snake-sacrifice. What, revered Sirs, do yewish to hear now? What shall I relate to you?’ The holy men replied, ‘Oson of Lomaharshana, we shall ask thee about what we are anxious to hearand thou wilt recount the tales one by one. Saunaka, our revered master,is at present attending the apartment of the holy fire. He is acquaintedwith those divine stories which relate to the gods and asuras. Headequately knoweth the histories of men, serpents, and Gandharvas.Further, O Sauti, in this sacrifice that learned Brahmana is the chief.He is able, faithful to his vows, wise, a master of the Sastras and theAranyaka, a speaker of truth, a lover of peace, a mortifier of the flesh,and an observer of the penances according to the authoritative decrees.He is respected by us all. It behoveth us therefore to wait for him. Andwhen he is seated on his highly respected seat, thou wilt answer whatthat best of Dwijas shall ask of thee.’
“Sauti said, ‘Be it so. And when the high-souled master hath been seatedI shall narrate, questioned by him, sacred stories on a variety ofsubjects.” After a while that excellent Brahmana (Saunaka) having dulyfinished all his duties, and having propitiated the gods with prayers andthe manes with oblations of water, came back to the place of sacrifice,where with Sauti seated before was the assembly of saints of rigid vowssitting at ease. And when Saunaka was seated in the midst of the Ritwiksand Sadhyas, who were also in their seats, he spake as followeth.”