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Chapter 5

Mahabharata English - ASWAMEDHA PARVA

“Yudhishthira said, ‘O best of speakers, how that king became sopowerful? And how, O twice-born one, did he obtain so much gold? Andwhere now, O reverend sire, is all his wealth? And, O ascetic, how can wesecure the same?’

“Vyasa thereupon said,–‘As the numerous offspring of the PrajapatiDaksha, the Asuras and the Celestials challenged each other (toencounter), so in the same way Angira’s sons, the exceedingly energeticVrihaspati and the ascetic, Samvarta, of equal vows, challenged eachother, O king. Vrihaspati began to worry Samvarta again and again. Andconstantly troubled by his elder brother, he, O Bharata, renouncing hisriches, went to the woods, with nothing to coyer his body save the opensky.[4] (At that time), Vasava having vanquished and destroyed theAsuras, and obtained the sovereignty of the celestial regions hadappointed as his priest Angira’s eldest son, that best of Brahmanas,Vrihaspati. Formerly Angira was the family-priest of king Karandhama.Matchless among men in might, prowess and character; powerful like untoSatakratu, righteous souled and of rigid vows, O king, he had vehicles,and warrior, and many adherents, and superb and costly bedsteads,produced through dint of meditation by the breath of his mouth. And byhis native virtues, the monarch had brought all the princes under hissway. And having lived as long as he desired, he ascended to the heavenin his corporal embodiment. And his son named Avikshit–conqueror offoes,–righteous like unto Yayati, brought all the Earth under hisdominion. And both in merit and might the king resembled his sire. He hada son named Marutta, endowed with energy, and resembling Vasava himself.This earth clad in oceans; felt herself drawn towards him. He always[5]used to defy the lord of the celestials; and O son of Pandu, Vasava alsodefied Marutta. And Marutta,–master of Earth–was pure and possessed ofperfections. And in spite of his striving, Sakra could not prevail overhim. And incapable of controlling him, he riding on the horse, along withthe celestials summoning Vrihaspati, spoke to him thus, ‘O Vrihaspati, ifthou wishest to do what is agreeable to me, do not perform priestlyoffices for Marutta on behalf of the deities or the ancestral Manes. Ihave, O Vrihaspati, obtained the sovereignty of the three worlds, whileMarutta is merely the lord of the Earth. How, O Brahmana, having acted aspriest unto the immortal king of the celestials, wilt thou unhesitatinglyperform priestly function unto Marutta subject to death? Good betidethee! Either espouse my side or that of the monarch, Marutta or forsakingMarutta, gladly come over to me.–Thus accosted by the sovereign of thecelestials, Vrihaspati, reflecting for a moment, replied unto the king ofthe immortals. Thou art the Lord of creatures, and in thee are the worldsestablished, And thou hast destroyed Namuchi, Viswarupa and Vala. Thou, Ohero, alone encompassest the highest prosperity of the celestials, and, Oslayer of Vala, thou sustainest the earth as well as the heaven. How, Oforemost of the celestials, having officiated as thy priest, shall I, Ochastiser of Paka, serve a mortal prince. Do thou listen to what I say.Even if the god of fire cease to cause heat and warmth, or the earthchange its nature, or the sun ceases to give light, I shall never deviatefrom the truth (that I have spoken).

Vaisampayana continued,–‘On hearing this speech from Vrihaspati Indrabecame cured of his envious feelings, and then praising him he repairedto his own mansion.’

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