Chapter 355

Mahabharata English - SANTI PARVA

“The guest continued, ‘For all that, O Brahmana, I shall endeavour toinstruct thee duly. Listen to me as I recite to thee that which I haveheard from my preceptor. In that place whence, in course of a formercreation, the wheel of righteousness was set in motion, in that forestwhich is known by the name of Naimisha, and which is situate on the banksof the Gomati, there is a city called after the Nagas. There, in thatregion, all the deities, being assembled together, had in days of oldperformed a grand sacrifice. There the foremost of earthly kings,Mandhatri, vanquished Indra, the chief of the celestials. A mighty Naga,of righteous soul, dwells in the city that stands in that region. Thatgreat Naga is known by the name of Padmanabha or Padma. Walking in thetriple path (of acts, knowledge, and adoration) he gratifies allcreatures in thought, word, and deed. Reflecting upon all things withgreat care, he protects the righteous and chastises the wicked byadopting the quadruple policy of conciliation, provoking dissensions,making gifts or bribes, and using force. Repairing thither, thou shouldstput to him the questions thou wishest. He will show thee truly what thehighest religion is. That Naga is always fond of guests. Endued withgreat intelligence, he is well conversant with the scriptures. He ispossessed of all desirable virtues the like of which are not to benoticed in any other person. By disposition he is always observant ofthose duties which are performed with or in water.[1930] He is devoted tothe study of the Vedas. He is endued with penances and self-restraint. Hehas great wealth. He performs sacrifice, makes gifts, abstains frominflicting injury and practises forgiveness. His conduct in all respectsis excellent. Truthful in speech and freed from malice, his behaviour, isgood and his senses are under proper control. He eats after feeding allhis guests and attendants. He is kind of speech. He has knowledge of whatis beneficial and what is simple and right and what is censurable. Hetakes stock of what he does and what he leaves undone. He never acts withhostility towards any one. He is always engaged in doing what isbeneficial to all creatures. He belongs to a family that is as pure andstainless as the water of a lake in the midst of the Ganges.'”

Chapter 356
Chapter 354
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