Chapter 103

Mahabharata English - UDYOGA PARAVA

“Narada said, ‘This foremost of cities that thou beholdest and whichresembles the Amaravati of the chief of the celestials himself, is knownby the name of Bhogavati. It is ruled over by Vasuki, the king of theNagas. That Shesha dwelleth here, who, in consequence of his asceticausterities of the foremost order, is able to support this earth with allher vastness. His body is like that of a white mountain. He is decked incelestial ornaments. He hath a thousand heads. His tongues are blazinglike flames of fire, and he is endued with great strength. There dwell inhappiness innumerable Nagas–sons of Surasa–possessed of diverse forms,and decked on ornaments of diverse kinds, bearing the signs of gems,Swastika, circles and drinking vessels. All of them endued with greatstrength are by nature fierce. Some have a thousand heads, some fivehundred, and some three. And some have two heads, and some five, and somehave seven faces. And all of them are possessed of huge bodies thatresemble the mountains stretching over the earth. Millions and tens ofmillions are they, in fact, uncountable, even as regards those of’ themthat belong to a single race. Listen, however, to me as I name a few ofthe more famous ones amongst them. They are Vasuki, Takshaka, Karkotaka,Dhanjaya, Kaliya, Nahusha, Aswatara, Vakyakunda, Mani, Apurana, Khaga,Vamana, Elapatra, Kukura, Kukuna, Aryaka, Nandaka, Kalasa, Potaka,Kalilasaka, Pinjaraka, Airavata, Sumanmukha, Dadhimukha, Sankha, Nanda,Upanandaka, Apta, Kotaraka, Sikhi, Nishthuraka, Tittiri, Hastibhadra,Kumuda, Maylapindaka, the two Padmas, Pundarika, Pushpa, Mudgaraparnaka,Karavira, Pitharaka, Samvritta, Vritta, Pindara, Vilwapatra, Mushikada,Sirishaka, Dilipa, Sankha-sirsha, Jyotishka, Aparajita, Kauravya,Dhritarashtra, Kuhara, Krisaka, Virajas, Dharana, Savahu, Mukhara, Jaya,Vidhira, Andha, Visundi, Virasa, and Sarasa. These and many others thereare amongst the sons of Kasyapa. See O Matali, if there is anybody herewhom thou canst elect.’

“Kanwa continued, ‘Matali, meanwhile, had been looking attentively at aperson that stood by. And after Narada had ceased speaking, the celestialcharioteer with gratified mind asked the Rishi, saying, ‘Of what race ishe the delighter–that comely youth of great radiance–who standethbefore Aryaka of Kauravya’s line? Who is his father, and who is hismother? Of what Naga’s race is he? Indeed, of what line doth he stand asa high flag-staff? In consequence of his intelligence, his patience, hisbeauty, and his youth, my heart, O celestial Rishi, hath been attractedtowards him. That youth will make the best of husbands for my Gunakesi.’

“Kanwa continued, ‘Beholding Matali’s gratification at seeing the Nagacalled Sumukha, Narada informed him of the nobility of his parentage andof his feats. And he said, ‘Born in the race of Airavata this prince ofNagas is named Sumukha. He is the favourite grandson of Aryaka, and thedaughter’s son of Vamana. The father of this youth was, O Matali, theNaga called Chikura. Not long before was he slain by Vinata’s Son.’Hearing this Matali became highly pleased, and addressing Narada, thecharioteer said, ‘This best of Nagas is, O sire, very acceptable to mefor a son-in-law. Make an endeavour to secure him, for I am highlypleased at the thought of bestowing on this Naga, O Muni, my deardaughter.'”

Chapter 112
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