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Chapter 70

Mahabharata English - ANUSASANA PARVA

“Bhishma said, ‘In this connection, O perpetuator of Kuru’s race, isrecited by the righteous the narrative of the great calamity thatovertook king Nriga in consequence of his spoliation of what had belongedto a Brahmans. Some time before, certain young men of Yadu’s race, whilesearching for water, had come upon a large well covered with grass andcreepers. Desirous of drawing water from it, they laboured very much forremoving the creepers that covered its mouth. After the mouth had beencleaned, they beheld within the well a very large lizard residing withinit. The young men made strong and repeated efforts for rescuing thelizard from that situation. Resembling a very hill in size, the lizardwas sought to be freed by means of cords and leathern tongs. Notsucceeding in their intention the young men then went to Janardana.Addressing him they said, ‘Covering the entire space of a well, there isa very large lizard to be seen. Notwithstanding our best efforts we havenot succeeded in rescuing it from that situation.’ Even this was whatthey represented unto Krishna. Vasudeva then proceeded to the spot andtook out the lizard and questioned it as to who it was. The lizard saidthat it was identical with the soul of king Nriga who had flourished indays of old and who had performed many sacrifices. Unto the lizard thatsaid those words, Madhava spoke, ‘Thou didst perform many righteous acts.No sin didst thou commit. Why, then, O king, hast thou come to such adistressful end? Do thou explain what this is and why it has been broughtabout. We have heard that thou didst repeatedly make gifts unto theBrahmanas of hundreds upon hundreds of thousands and once again eighttimes hundreds upon hundreds of ten thousands of kine.[351] Why,therefore, has this end overtaken thee?’ Nriga then replied unto Krishna,saying, ‘On one occasion a cow belonging to a Brahmana who regularlyworshipped his domestic fire, escaping from the owner’s abode while hewas absent from home entered my flock. The keepers of my cattle includedthat cow in their tale of a thousand. In time that cow was given away byme unto a Brahmana, acting as I did from desire of happiness in heaven.The true owner, returning home, sought for his lost cow and at last sawit in the house of another.’ Finding her, the owner said, ‘This cow ismine!’ The other person contested his claim, till both, disputing andexcited with wrath, came to me. Addressing me one of them said, ‘Thouhast been the giver of this cow!’ The other one said, ‘Thou hast robbedme of this cow–she is mine! I then solicited the Brahmana unto whom Ihad given that cow, to return the gift in exchange for hundreds uponhundreds of other kine. Without acceding to my earnest solicitations, headdressed me, saying. ‘The cow I have got is well-suited to time andplace. She yields a copious measure of milk, besides being very quiet andvery fond of us. The mills she yields is very sweet. She is regarded asworthy of every praise in my house. She is nourishing, besides, a weakchild of mine that has just been weaned. She is incapable of being givenup by me.’ Having said these words, the Brahmana went away. I thensolicited the other Brahmana offering him an exchange, and saying, ‘Dothou take a hundred thousand kine for this one cow.’ The Brahmana,however, replied unto me, saying, ‘I do not accept gifts from persons ofthe kingly order. I am able to get on without help. De thou then, withoutloss of time, give me that very cow which was mine.’ Even thus, O slayerof Madhu, did that Brahmana speak unto me. I offered to make gifts untohim of gold and silver and horses and cars. That foremost of Brahmanasrefused to accept any of these as gift and went away. Meanwhile, urged bytime’s irresistible influence, I had to depart from this world. Wendingto the region of the Pitris I was taken to the presence of the king ofthe dead. Worshipping me duly Yama addressed me, saying, ‘The end cannotbe ascertained, O king, of thy deed. There is, however, a little sinwhich was unconsciously perpetrated by thee. Do thou suffer thepunishment for that sin now or afterwards as it pleases thee. Thou hadst(upon thy accession to the throne) sworn that thou wouldst protect (allpersons in the enjoyment of their own). That oath of thine was notrigidly kept by thee. Thou tookest also what belonged to a Brahmana. Eventhis has been the two-fold sin thou hast committed.’ I answered, saying,’I shall first undergo the distress of punishment, and when that is over,I shall enjoy the happiness that is in store for me, O lord!’ After I hadsaid those words unto the king of the dead, I fell down on the Earth.Though fallen down I still could hear the words that Yama said unto mevery loudly. Those words were, Janardana the son of Vasudeva, will rescuethee! Upon the completion of a full thousand years, when the demerit willbe exhausted of thy sinful act, thou shalt then attain to many regions ofinexhaustible felicity that have been acquired by thee through thy ownacts of righteousness. Falling down I found myself, with head downwards,within this well, transformed into a creature of the intermediate order.Memory, however, did not leave me. By thee I have been rescued today.What else can it testify to than the puissance of thy penances? Let mehave thy permission. O Krishna! I desire to ascend to heaven! permittedthen by Krishna, king Nriga bowed his head unto him and then mounted acelestial car and proceeded to heaven. After Nriga had thus proceeded toheaven, O best of the Bharatas, Vasudeva recited this verse, O delighterof the Kurus. No one should consciously appropriate anything belonging toa Brahmana. The property of a Brahmana, if taken, destroys the taker evenas the Brahmana’s cow destroyed king Nriga! I tell thee, again, O Partha,that a meeting with the good never proves fruitless. Behold, king Nrigawas rescued from hell through meeting with one that is good. As a gift isproductive of merit even so an act of spoliation leads to demerit. Hencealso, O Yudhishthira, one should avoid doing any injury to kine.'”[352]



🙏 ♻ प्रयास करें कि जब हम आये थे उसकी तुलना में पृथ्वी को एक बेहतर स्थान के रूप में छोड़ कर जाएं। सागर में हर एक बूँद मायने रखती है। ♻ 🙏