Chapter 123

Mahabharata English - ARANYAKA PARVA

“Lomasa said, ‘Once on a time, O king, those celestials, namely the twinAswins, happened to behold Sukanya, when she had (just) bathed, and whenher person was bare. And seeing that one of excellent limbs, and likeunto the daughter of the lord of celestials, the nose-born Aswins nearedher, and addressed her, saying, ‘O thou of shapely thighs, whose daughterart thou? And what doest thou in this wood? O auspicious one, O thou ofexcellent grace, we desire to know this, do thou therefore tell us.’Thereupon she replied bashfully unto those foremost of celestials. ‘Knowme as Sarayati’s daughter, and Chyavana’s wife.’ Thereat the Aswins againspake unto her, smiling. ‘What for, O fortunate one, hath thy fatherbestowed thee on a person who is verging on death? Surely, O timid girl,thou shinest in this wood like lightning. Not in the regions of thecelestials themselves, O girl, have our eyes lighted on thy like. Odamsel, unadornedand without gay robes as thou art, thou beautifiest thiswood exceedingly. Still, O thou of faultless limbs, thou canst not lookso beautiful, when (as at present) thou art soiled with mud and dirt, asthou couldst, if decked with every ornament and wearing gorgeous apparel.Why, O excellent girl in such plight servest thou a decrepit old husband,and one that hath become incapable of realising pleasure and also ofmaintaining thee, O thou of luminous smiles? O divinely beautiful damsel,do thou, forsaking Chyavana accept one of us for husband. It behoveththee not to spend thy youth fruitlessly.'”

“Thus addressed Sukanya answered the celestials saying. ‘I am devoted tomy husband, Chyavana: do ye not entertain any doubts (regarding myfidelity). Thereupon they again spake unto her, ‘We two are the celestialphysicians of note. We will make thy lord young and graceful. Do thouthen select one of us, viz., ourselves and thy husband,–for thy partner.Promising this do thou, O auspicious one, bring hither thy husband.’ .. Oking, agreeably to their words she went to Bhrigu’s son and communicatedto him what the two celestials had said. Hearing her message, Chyavanasaid unto his wife, ‘Do thou so.’ Having received the permission of herlord, (she returned to the celestials) and said, ‘Do ye so.’ Then hearingher words, viz., ‘Do ye so,’ they spoke unto the king’s daughter. ‘Letthy husband enter into water.’ Thereat Chyavana desirous of obtainingbeauty, quickly entered into water. The twin Aswins also, O king, sankinto the sheet of water. And the next moment they all came out of thetank in surpassingly beautiful forms, and young and wearing burnishedearrings. And all, possessed of the same appearance pleasing to behold,addressed her saying, ‘O fortunate one, do thou choose one of us forspouse. And O beauteous one, do thou select him for lord who may pleasethy fancy.’ Finding, however, all of them of the same appearance shedeliberated; and at last ascertaining the identity of her husband, evenselected him.

“Having obtained coveted beauty and also his wife, Chyavana, of exceedingenergy, well pleased, spake these words unto the nose-born celestials:’Since at your hands, an old man, I have obtained youth, and beauty, andalso this wife of mine, I will, well pleased, make you quaffers of theSoma juice in the presence of the lord of celestials himself. This I tellyou truly.’ Hearing this, highly delighted, the twins ascendedto heaven;and Chyavana and Sukanya too passed their days happily even likecelestials.”

Chapter 154
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