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Chapter 102

Mahabharata English - UDYOGA PARAVA

“Narada said, ‘The region where we now are is called Rasatala and is theseventh stratum below the Earth. Here dwelleth Surabhi, the mother of allkine, she, who was born of the Amrita. She always yieldeth milk which isthe essence of all the best things of the earth, and which, excellent asit is, and of one taste, springeth from the essence of the six differentkinds of tastes (that are talked of). The faultless Surabhi herselfsprang in days of old from the mouth of the Grandsire, gratified withdrinking the Amrita and vomiting the best things. A single jet only ofher milk, falling on the earth, created what is known as the sacred andthe excellent “Milky Ocean.” The verge of that ocean all round is alwayscovered with white foam resembling a belt of flowers. Those best ofascetics that are known by the name of the Foam-drinkers dwell aroundthis ocean, subsisting on that foam only. They are called Foam-drinkersbecause they live, O Matali, on nothing else save that foam. Engaged inthe practice of the severest of austerities, the very gods are known tofear them. From her are born four other kine, O Matali, supporting thefour quarters and therefore, are they called the supporters of thequarters (Dikpali). Born of Surabhi herself, she who supporteth theeastern quarter is called Surupa. She, who supporteth the southernquarter is called Hansika. That illustrious cow, O Matali, of universalform, who supporteth the western quarter ruled by Varuna is known by thename of Subhadra. The northern quarter comprising the region of virtue,and called after Kuvera the Lord of treasures, is supported by the cownamed Sarva-kamadugha. The gods, uniting with the Asuras, and making theMandara mountain their pole, churned the waters of the ocean and obtainedthe wine called Varuni, and (the Goddess of Prosperity and Grace called)Lakshmi, and Amrita, and that prince of steeds called Uchchhaisrava, andthat best of gems called Kaustubha. Those waters, O Matali, that yieldedthese precious things had all been mixed with the milk of these tourcows. As regards Surabhi, the milk she yielded becometh Swaha unto thosethat live on Swaha, Swadha unto those that live on Swadha, and Amritaunto those that live on Amrita. The couplet that was sung by the dwellersof Rasatala in day of old, is still heard to be recited in the world bythe persons of learning. That couplet is this,–Neither in the region ofthe Nagas, nor in Swarga, nor in Vimana, nor in Tripishtapa is residenceso happy as in Rasatala!'”

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