Chapter 360

Mahabharata English - SANTI PARVA

“The Naga said, ‘O thou of sweet smiles, for whom hast thou taken thatBrahmana? Is he really a human being or is he some deity that has comehither in the disguise of a Brahmana? O thou of great fame, who is thereamong human beings that would be desirous of seeing me or that would becompetent for the purpose? Can a human being, desiring to see me, leavesuch a command with thee about dispatching me to him for paying him avisit at the place where he is dwelling? Amongst the deities and Asurasand celestial Rishis, O amiable lady, the Nagas are endued with greatenergy. Possessed of great speed, they are endued again with excellentfragrance. They deserve to be worshipped. They are capable of grantingboons. Indeed, we too deserve to be followed by others in our train. Itell thee, O lady, that we are incapable of being seen by humanbeings.'[1935]

“The spouse of the Naga chief said, ‘Judging by his simplicity andcandour I know that that Brahmana is not any deity who subsists on air. Othou of great wrath, I also know this, viz., that he reveres thee withall his heart. His heart is set upon the accomplishment of some objectthat depends upon thy aid. As the bird called Chataka, which is fond ofrain, waits in earnest expectation of a shower (for slaking its thirst),even so is that Brahmana waiting in expectation of a meeting withthee.[1936] Let no calamity betake him in consequence of his inability toobtain a sight of thee. No person born like thee in a respectable familycan be regarded to remain respectable by neglecting a guest arrived athis house.[1937] Casting off that wrath which is natural to thee, itbehoveth thee to go and see that Brahmana. It behoveth thee not to sufferthyself to be consumed by disappointing that Brahmana. The king or theprince, by refusing to wipe the tears of persons that come to him fromhopes of relief, incurs the sin of foeticide. By abstaining from speechone attains to wisdom. By practising gifts one acquires great fame. Byadhering to truthfulness of speech, one acquires the gift of eloquenceand comes to be honoured in heaven. By giving away land one attains tothat high end which is ordained for Rishis leading the sacred mode oflife. By earning wealth through righteous means, one succeeds inattaining to many desirable fruits. By doing in its entirety what isbeneficial for oneself, one can avoid going to hell. That is what therighteous say.

“The Naga said, ‘I had no arrogance due to pride. In consequence,however, of my birth, the measure of my arrogance was considerable. Ofwrath, which is born of desire, O blessed lady, I have none. It has allbeen consumed by the fire of thy excellent instructions. I do not behold,O blessed dame, any darkness that is thicker than wrath. In consequence,however, of the Naga having excess of wrath, they have become object ofreproach with all persons.[1938] By succumbing to the influence of wrath,the ten-headed Ravana of great prowess, became the rival of Sakra and wasfor that reason slain by Rama in battle. Hearing that the Rishi Rama ofBhrigu’s race had entered the inner apartments of their palace forbringing away the calf of the Homa cow of their sire, the sons ofKarttaviryya, yielding to wrath, took such entry as an insult to theirroyal house, and as the consequence thereof, they met with destruction atthe hands of Rama. Indeed, Karttaviryya of great strength, resembling theThousand-eyed Indra himself, in consequence of his having yielded towrath, was slain in battle by Rama of Jamadagni’s race. Verily, O amiablelady at thy words I have restrained my wrath, that foe of penances thatdestroyer of all that is beneficial for myself. I praise my own selfgreatly since, O large-eyed one, I am fortunate enough to own thee for mywife,–thee that are possessed of every virtue and that hastinexhaustible merits. I shall now proceed to that spot where the Brahmanais staying. I shall certainly address that Brahmana in proper words andhe shall certainly go hence, his wishes being accomplished.”

Chapter 361
Chapter 359
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