Chapter 357

Mahabharata English - SANTI PARVA

“Bhishma said, ‘Proceeding by many delightful forests and lakes andsacred waters, the Brahmana at last arrived at the retreat of a certainascetic. Arrived there, he enquired of him, in proper words, about theNaga of whom he had heard from his guest, and instructed by him hepursued his journey. With a clear idea of the purpose of his journey, theBrahmana then reached the house of the Naga. Entering it duly, heproclaimed himself in proper words, saying,–Ho! who is there!’ I am aBrahmana, come hither as a guest!–Hearing these words, the chaste wifeof the Naga, possessed of great beauty and devoted to the observance ofall duties, showed herself. Always attentive to the duties ofhospitality, she worshipped the guest with due rites, and welcoming him,said, ‘What can I do for you?’

“The Brahmana said, ‘O lady, I am sufficiently honoured by thee with thesweet words thou hast said unto me. The fatigue of my journey has alsobeen dispelled. I desire, O blessed lady, to see thy excellent lord. Thisis my high object. This is the one object of my desire. It is for thisreason that I have come today to the residence of the Naga, thy husband.’

“The wife of the Naga said, ‘Reverend sir, my husband has gone to dragthe car of Surya for a month. O learned Brahmana, he will be back infifteen days, and will, without doubt show himself unto thee. I have thustold thee the reason of my husband’s absence from home. Be that as itmay, what else is there that I can do for thee? Tell me this!’

“The Brahmana said, ‘O chaste lady, I have come hither with the object ofseeing thy husband. O reverend dame, I shall dwell in the adjacentforest, waiting for his return. When thy husband comes back, do kindlytell him that I have arrived at this place impelled by the desire ofseeing him. Thou shouldst also inform me of his return when that eventoccurs. O blessed lady, I shall, till then, reside on the banks of theGomati, waiting for his return and living all the while upon frugal fare.Having said this repeatedly unto the wife of the Naga, that foremost ofBrahmanas proceeded to the banks of the Gomati for residing there tillthe time of the Naga’s return.'”

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