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Chapter 7

Mahabharata English - ASWAMEDHA PARVA

“Samvarta said, ‘How hast thou come to know me, and who has referred theeto me, do thou tell this to me truly, if thou wishest me to do what isgood to thee. And if thou speak truly, thou shalt attain all the objectsof thy desire, and shouldst thou tell a lie, thy head shall be riven in ahundred pieces.’

Marutta said, ‘I have been told by Narada, wandering on his way, thatthou art the son of our family-priest, and this (information) hasinclined my mind (towards thee), with exquisite satisfaction.’

Samvarta said, ‘Thou hast told this to me truly. He (Narada) knows me tobe a performer of sacrifices. Now tell me where is Narada living atpresent.’

Marutta said, ‘That prince of celestial saints (Narada) having given methis information about thee, and commended me to thy care, has enteredinto the fire.’

Vyasa said, ‘Hearing these words from the king (Marutta) Samvarta washighly gratified, and he said (addressing Marutta). ‘I too am quite ableto do all that.’ Then, O prince, that Brahmana, raving like a lunatic,and repeatedly scolding Marutta with rude words, again accosted him thus,’I am afflicted with a cerebral disorder, and, I always act according tothe random caprices of my own mind. Why art thou bent upon having thissacrifice performed by a priest of such a singular disposition? Mybrother is able to officiate at sacrifices, and he has gone over toVasava (Indra), and is engaged in performing his sacrifices, do thoutherefore have thy sacrifice performed by him. My elder brother hasforcibly taken away from me all my household goods and mystical gods, andsacrificing clients, and has now left to me only this physical body ofmine, and, O son of Avikshit, as he is worthy of all respect from me, Icannot by any means officiate at thy sacrifice, unless with hispermission. Thou must therefore go to Vrihaspati first, and taking hispermission thou canst come back to me, if thou hast any desire to performa sacrifice, and then only shall I officiate at thy sacrifice.’

Marutta said, ‘Do thou listen to me, O Samvarta, I did go to Vrihaspatifirst, but desiring the patronage of Vasava, he did not wish to have meas his sacrificer. He said, ‘Having secured the priesthood of theImmortals, I do not desire to act for mortals, and, I have been forbiddenby Sakra (Indra) to officiate at Marutta’s sacrifice, as he told me thatMarutta having become lord of the earth, was always filled with a desireto rival him.’ And to this thy brother assented by saying to the Slayerof Vala (Indra),–Be it so. Know thou, O best of ascetics, that as he hadsucceeded in securing the protection of the Lord of the Celestials, Irepaired to him with gratified heart, but he did not agree to act as mypriest. And thus repulsed, I now desire to spend all I possess, to havethis sacrifice performed by thee, and to outstrip Vasava by the merit ofthy good offices. As I have been repulsed by Vrihaspati for no fault ofmine, I have now no desire, O Brahmana, to go to him to seek his aid inthis sacrifice.”

Samvarta said, ‘I can certainly, O king, accomplish all that thoudesirest, if only thou agree to do all that I shall ask thee to do, but Iapprehend that Vrihaspati and Purandara (Indra) when they will learn thatI am engaged in performing thy sacrifice, will be filled with wrath, anddo all they can to injure thee. Therefore, do thou assure me of thysteadfastness, so as to ensure my coolness and constancy, as otherwise.if I am filled with wrath against thee, I shall reduce (destroy) thee andthy kindred to ashes.”

Marutta said, ‘If ever I forsake thee, may I never attain the blessedregions as long as the mountains shall exist, and the thousand-rayed suncontinue to emit heat: if I forsake dice, may I never attain true wisdom,and remain for ever addicted to worldly (material) pursuits.”

Samvarta said, “Listen, O son of Avikshit, excellent as it is the bent ofthy mind to perform this act, so too, O king, have I in my mind theability to perform the sacrifice, I tell thee, O king, that thy goodthings will become imperishable, and that thou shalt lord it over Sakraand the Celestials with Gandharvas. For myself, I have no desire to amasswealth or sacrificial presents, I shall only do what is disagreeable toboth Indra and my brother, I shall certainly make thee attain equalitywith Sakra, and I tell thee truly that I shall do what is agreeable tothee.”

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