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Chapter 170

Mahabharata English - SANTI PARVA

“Bhishma said, ‘Hearing these sweet words, Gautama became filled withwonder. Feeling at the same time a great curiosity, he eyed Rajadharmanwithout being able to withdraw his gaze from him.’

“Rajadharman said, ‘O Brahmana, I am the son of Kasyapa by one of thedaughters of (the sage) Daksha. Possessed of great merits, thou art myguest today. Thou art welcome, O foremost of Brahmanas!’

“Bhishma continued, ‘Having offered him hospitality according to therites laid down in the scriptures, the crane made an excellent bed of theSala flowers that lay all around. He also offered him several largefishes caught from the deep waters of the Bhagirathi. Indeed, the son ofKasyapa offered, for the acceptance of his guest Gautama a blazing fireand certain large fishes. After the Brahmana had eaten and becamegratified, the bird possessing wealth of penances began to fan him withhis wings for driving off his fatigue. Seeing his guest seated at hiscase, he asked him about his pedigree. The man answered, saying, ‘I am aBrahmana known by the name of Gautama,’ and then remained silent. Thebird gave his guest a soft bed made of leaves and perfumed with manyfragrant flowers. Gautama laid himself down on it, and felt greathappiness. When Gautama had laid himself down, the eloquent son ofKasyapa, who resembled Yama himself in his knowledge of duties, asked hima bout the cause of his arrival there. Gautama answered him, saying, ‘Iam, O large-souled one, very poor. For earning wealth[494] I am desirousof going to the sea.’ The son of Kasyapa cheerfully told him: ‘Itbehoveth thee not to feel any anxiety. Thou shalt succeed, O foremost ofBrahmanas, and shalt return home with properly. The sage Vrihaspati hathspoken of four kinds of means for the acquisition of wealth, viz.,inheritance, sudden accession due to luck or the favour of the gods,acquisition by labour, and acquisition through the aid or kindness offriends. I have become thy friend. I cherish good feelings towards thee.I shall, therefore, exert myself in such a way that thou mayst succeed inacquiring wealth. The night passed away and morning came. Seeing hisguest rise cheerfully from bed, the bird addressed him, saying, ‘Go, Oamiable one, along this very route and thou art sure to succeed. At thedistance of about three Yojanas from this place, there is a mighty kingof the Rakshasas. Possessed of great strength, his name is Virupaksha,and he is a friend of mine. Go to him, O foremost of Brahmanas! Thatchief, induced by my request, will, without doubt, give thee as muchwealth as thou desirest.’ Thus addressed, O king, Gautama cheerfully setout from that place, eating on the way, to his fill, fruits sweet asambrosia. Beholding the sandal and aloe and birch trees that stood alongthe road, and enjoying their refreshing shade, the Brahmana proceededquickly. He then reached the city known by the name of Meruvraja. It hadlarge porches made of stone, and high walls of the same material. It wasalso surrounded on every side with a trench, and large pieces of rock andengines of many kinds were kept ready on the ramparts. He soon becameknown to the Rakshasa chief of great intelligence, O king, as a dearguest sent unto him by the chief’s friend (the crane). The chief receivedGautama very gladly. The king of the Rakshasas then, O Yudhishthira,commanded his attendants, saying, ‘Let Gautama be soon brought hitherfrom the gate.’ At the command of the king, certain persons, quick ashawks, issued from the splendid palace of their ruler, and proceeding tothe gate accosted Gautama. The royal messengers, O monarch, said untothat Brahmana, ‘Come quickly, the king desires to see thee. Thou maysthave heard of the king of the Rakshasas, Virupaksha, by name, possessedof great courage. Even he is impatient of seeing thee. Come quickly andtarry not.’ Thus addressed, the Brahmana, forgetting his toil in hissurprise, ran with the messengers. Beholding the great affluence of thecity, he became filled with wonder. Soon he entered the king’s palace inthe company of the messengers solicitous of obtaining a sight of the kingof the Rakshasas.'”

FOLLOW US ON:
Chapter 8
Chapter 169
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