Chapter 128

Mahabharata English - ARANYAKA PARVA

“Somaka said, ‘O Brahmana! whatever is to be performed–do precisely asit may be necessary. As I am desirous of having a number of sons, I shalldo all that may be prescribed by thee.”

“Lomasa said, “Then the priest officiated in the sacrifice in which Jantuwas offered as the victim. But the mothers is in pity forcibly snatchedthe son and took him away. And they cried, ‘We are undone!’ And they weresmitten with torturing grief and they caught hold of Jantu by his righthand, and wept in a piteous way. But the officiating priest held the boyby the right hand and pulled him. And like female ospreys they screamedin agony! but the priest dragged the son killed him and made a burntoffering of his fat in the proper form. And, O delight of the race ofKuru! While the fat was being made an offering of the agonised motherssmelt its smell, and of a sudden fell to the ground (and swooned away.)And then all those lovely women became with child, and O lord of men! Oscion of Bharata’s race! When ten months had passed a full century ofsons was born to Somaka begotten on all those women. And, O monarch ofthe earth! Jantu became the eldest and was born of his former mother andhe became the most beloved to the women,–not so were their own sons. Andon his back there was that mark of gold and of that century of sons, hewas also superior in merit. Then that family priest of Somaka departedthis life as also Somaka after a certain time. Now he beheld that thepriest was being grilled in a terrible hell. And thereupon he questionedhim, ‘Why art thou, O Brahmana! being grilled in this hell?” Then thefamily priest exceedingly scorched with fire, spake to him saying, ‘Thisis the outcome of my having officiated in that sacrifice of thine.’ Oking, hearing this, the saintly king thus spake to the god who meteth outpunishments to departed souls, ‘I shall enter here. Set free myofficiating priest; this reversed man is being grilled by hell-fire on myaccount only.’

“Dharmaraja thereat answered thus, ‘One cannot enjoy or suffer foranother person’s acts. O best of speakers! these are the fruits of thyacts; see it here.’

“Somaka said, ‘Without this Brahmana here, I desire not go to the blessedregions. My desire is to dwell in company with this very man, either inthe abode of the gods, or in hell, for, O Dharmaraja! my deed isidentical with what hath been done by him and the fruit of our virtuousor evil deed must be the same for both of us.’

“Dharmaraja said, ‘O king! If this is thy wish, then taste with him thefruit of that act, for the same period that he must do. After that thoushall go to the blessed regions.’

“Lomasa said, The lotus-eyed king did all that exactly in the wayprescribed to him. And when his sins were worked off, he was set freetogether with the priest. O king! Fond of the priest as he was, he wonall those blessings to which he had entitled himself by his meritoriousacts and shared everything with the family priest. This is his hermitagewhich looketh lovely before our eyes. Any one would attain the blessedregions, if he should spend six nights here controlling his passions. Oking of kings! O leader of the tribe of Kurus! Here, free from excitementand self-controlled, we must spend six nights. Be thou ready therefor.'”

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