Chapter 154

Mahabharata English - ANUSASANA PARVA

“The god of wind said, ‘Once on a time, O king, a ruler of the name ofAnga desired to give away the whole earth as sacrificial present unto theBrahmanas. At this, the earth became filled with anxiety. ‘I am thedaughter of Brahman. I hold all creatures. Having obtained me, alas, whydoes this foremost of kings wish to give me away unto the Brahmanas?Abandoning my character as the soil, I shall now repair to the presenceof my sire. Let this king with all his kingdom meet with destruction?Arrived at this conclusion, she departed for the region of Brahman TheRishi Kasyapa, beholding goddess Earth on the point of departing, himselfimmediately entered the visible embodiment of the goddess, casting offhis own body, by the aid of Yoga. The earth thus penetrated by the spiritof Kasyapa, grew in prosperity and became full of all kinds of vegetableproduce. Indeed, O king for the time that Kasyapa pervaded the earth,Righteousness became foremost everywhere and all fears ceased. In thisway, O king, the earth remained penetrated by the spirit of Kasyapa forthirty thousand celestial years, fully alive to all those functions whichit used to discharge while it was penetrated by the spirit of Brahman’sdaughter. Upon the expiry of this period, the goddess returned from theregion of Brahman and arrived here bowed unto Kasyapa and from that timebecame the daughter of that Rishi, Kasyapa is a Brahmana. Even this wasthe feat, O king, that a Brahmana did. Tell me the name of the Kshatriyawho can be held to be superior to Kasyapa! Hearing these words, kingArjuna remained silent. Unto him the god of wind once more said, ‘Hearnow, O king, the story of Utathya who was born in the race of Angiras.The daughter of Soma, named Bhadra, came to be regarded as unrivalled inbeauty. Her sire Soma regarded Utathya to be the fittest of husbands forher. The famous and highly blessed maiden of faultless limbs, observingdiverse vows, underwent the severest austerities from the desire ofobtaining Utathya for her lord. After a while, Soma’s father Atri,inviting Utathya to his house, bestowed upon him the famous maiden.Utathya, who used to give away sacrificial presents in copious measure,duly received the girl for his wife. It so happened, however, that thehandsome Varuna had, from a long time before, coveted the girl. Coming tothe woods where Utathya dwelt, Varuna stole away the girl when she hadplunged into the Yamuna for a bath. Abducting her thus, the Lord of thewaters took her to his own abode. That mansion was of a wonderful aspect.It was adorned with six hundred thousand lakes. There is no mansion thatcan be regarded more beautiful than that palace of Varuna. It was adornedwith many palaces and by the presence of diverse tribes of Apsaras and ofdiverse excellent articles of enjoyment. There, within that palace, theLord of waters; O king, sported with the damsel. A little while after,the fact of the ravishment of his wife was reported to Utathya. Indeed,having heard all the facts from Narada, Utathya addressed’ the celestialRishi, saying, ‘Go, O Narada, unto Varuna and speak with due severityunto him. Ask him as to why he has abducted my wife, and, indeed, tellhim in my name that he should yield her up. Thou mayst say to himfurther, ‘Thou are a protector of the worlds, O Varuna, and not adestroyer! Why then hast thou abducted Utathya’s wife bestowed upon himby Soma?’ Thus requested by Utathya, the celestial Rishi Narada repairedto where Varuna was and addressing him, said, ‘Do thou set free the wifeof Utathya. Indeed, why hast thou abducted her?’ Hearing these words ofNarada, Varuna replied unto him, saying, ‘This timid girl is exceedinglydear to me. I dare not let her go!’ Receiving this reply, Narada repairedto Utathya and cheerlessly said, ‘O great ascetic, Varuna has driven meout from his house, seizing me by the throat. He is unwilling to restoreto thee thy spouse. Do thou act as thou pleasest.’ Hearing these words ofNarada, Angiras became inflamed with wrath. Endued with wealth ofpenances, he solidified the waters and drank them off, aided by hisenergy. When all the waters were thus drunk off, the Lord of that elementbecame very cheerless with all his friends and kinsfolk. For all that, hedid not still give up Utathya’s wife. Then Utathya, that foremost ofregenerate persons, filled with wrath, commanded Earth, saying, ‘Oamiable one, do thou show land where there are at present the six hundredthousand lakes.’ At these words of the Rishi, the Ocean receded from thespot indicated, and land appeared which was exceedingly sterile. Unto therivers that flowed through that region, Utathya said, ‘O Saraswati, dothou become invisible here. Indeed, O timid lady, leaving this region, gothou to the desert! O auspicious goddess, let this region, destitute ofthee, cease to become sacred.’ When that region (in which the lord ofwaters dwelt) became dry, he repaired to Angiras, taking with himUtathya’s spouse, and made her over to him. Getting back his wife,Utathya became cheerful. Then, O chief of the Haihaya race, that greatBrahmana rescued both the universe and the Lord of waters from thesituation of distress into which he had brought them. Conversant withevery duty, the Rishi Utathya of great energy, after getting back hisspouse, O king, said so unto Varuna, ‘I have recovered my wife, O Lord ofwaters, with the aid of my penances and after inflicting such distress onthee as made thee cry aloud in anguish! Having said this, he went home,with that wife of his. Even such, O king, was Utathya, that foremost ofBrahmanas. Shall I go on? Or, will you yet persist in thy opinion? What,is there a Kshatriya that is superior to Utathya?’

Chapter 153
Chapter 155
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