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Chapter 361

Mahabharata English - SANTI PARVA

“Bhishma said, ‘Having said these words unto his dear spouse, the chiefof the Nagas proceeded to that place where the Brahmana was sitting inexpectation of an interview with him. As he proceeded, he thought of theBrahman and wandered as to what the business could be that had broughthim to the Naga city. Arrived at his presence, O chief of men, thatforemost of Nagas devoted by his nature to righteousness, addressed hisguest in sweet words, saying, O Brahmana do not yield to wrath. I addressthee in peace. Do not be angry. After whom hast thou come hither? What isthy object? Coming to thee, I ask thee in affection, O regenerate onewhom dost thou adore in this retired spot on the banks of the Gomati!’

“The Brahmana said, ‘Know that my name is Dharmaranya, and that I havecome hither for obtaining a sight of the Naga Padmanabha, O foremost ofall regenerate persons. With him I have some business. I have heard thathe is not at home and that, therefore, I am not now near his presentquarters. Like a Chataka waiting in expectation of the clouds, I amwaiting for him whom I regard as dear to me. For dispelling all evil fromhim and bringing about what is beneficial to him, I am engaged inreciting the Vedas till he comes and am in Yoga and passing my timehappily.’

“The Naga said, ‘Verily, thy conduct is exceedingly good. Pious thou artand devoted to the good of all righteous persons. O highly blessedBrahmana, every praise is due to thee. Thou beholdest the Naga with eyesof affection. I am that Naga, O learned Rishi, whom thou seekest. Do thoucommand me, as thou wishest, in respect of what is agreeable to thee andwhat I should do for thee. Having heard from my spouse that thou arthere, I have approached this spot, O regenerate one, for beholding thee.When thou hast come hither, thou art certain to return hence with thyobject fulfilled. It behoveth thee, O foremost of regenerate persons, toemploy me to any task with all confidence. All of us have certainly beenpurchased by thee with thy merits,[1939] since thou, disregarding what isfor thy own good, hast employed thy time in seeking the good ofourselves.’

“The Brahmana said, ‘O highly blessed Naga, I have come hither, moved bythe desire of obtaining a sight of thee. I have come here, ignorant as Iam with all things, for asking thee about something, O Naga, relying onthe Jiva-soul, I desire to attain to the Supreme Soul which is the end ofthe Jiva-soul. I am neither attached to, nor dissociated from, theworld.[1940] Thou shinest with the effulgence of thy own merits coveredby pure fame,–with an effulgence that is as agreeable as that of themoon. O thou that livest on air alone, do thou first answer a questionthat I wish to put to thee. Afterwards I shall inform thee of the objectthat has brought me hither!'”

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