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Chapter 98

Mahabharata English - ARANYAKA PARVA

“Lomasa continued, ‘Agastya then, O son of the Kuru race, went to kingSrutarvan who was regarded as richer than other kings, to beg for wealth.And that monarch, learning of the arrival of the pot-born Rishi on thefrontiers of his kingdoms, went out with his ministers and received theholy man with respect. And the king duly offering the Arghya in the firstinstance, submissively and with joined hands enquired then after thereason of the Rishi’s arrival. And Agastya answered saying, O lord of theearth, know that I have come to thee, desirous of wealth. Give me aportion according to thy ability and without doing injury to others.’

“Lomasa continued, ‘The king, then, representing unto the Rishi theequality of his expenditure and income, said, ‘O learned one, take thoufrom my possessions the wealth thou pleasest.’ Beholding, however, theequality of that monarch’s expenditure with income, the Rishi who alwayssaw both sides with equal eyes, thought that if he took anything underthe circumstances, his act would result in injury to creatures. Taking,therefore, Srutarvan with him, the Rishi went to Vradhnaswa. The latter,hearing of their arrival on his frontiers, received them duly. AndVradhnaswa also offered them the Arghyas and water to wash their feet.And the monarch, with their permission, then enquired after the reason oftheir coming. And Agastya said, ‘O lord of earth, know that we have cometo thee desirous of wealth. Give us what thou canst, without doing injuryto others.'”

“Lomasa continued, ‘That monarch then represented unto them the equalityof his expenditure and income, and said, ‘Knowing this, take ye what yedesire.’ The Rishi, however, who saw both sides with equal eyes,beholding the equality of that monarch’s income with expenditure, thoughtthat if he took anything under the circumstances, his act would result ininjury to all creatures. Agastya and Srutarvan, with king Vradhnaswa thenwent to Purokutsa’s son, Trasadasyu, of enormous wealth. The high-souledTrasadasyu, learning of their arrival on the confines of his kingdom wentout, O king, and received them well. And that best of monarchs inIkshvaku’s line, having worshipped all of them duly, enquired after thereason of their arrival. And Agastya answered, ‘O lord of earth, knowthat we have all come to thee, desirous of wealth. Give us what you can,without injuring others.'”

“Lomasa continued, ‘That monarch then, represented unto them the equalityof his income with expenditure, and said, ‘Knowing this, take ye what yedesire.’ Beholding, however, the equality of that monarch’s expenditurewith income, the Rishi who saw both sides with equal eyes, thought thatif he took anything under the circumstances, his act would result ininjury to all creatures. Then, O monarch, all those kings looking at oneanother, together spoke unto the Rishis saying, ‘O Brahmana, there is aDanava of the name Ilwala who of all persons on earth, is possessed ofenormous wealth. Let us all approach him to-day and beg wealth of him.'”

“Lomasa continued, ‘This suggestion, O king, of begging wealth of Ilwalaappeared to them to be proper. And, O monarch, all of them went togetherto Ilwala after this!'”

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