Chapter 11

Mahabharata English - UDYOGA PARAVA

“Salya said, ‘Then all the Rishis and the superior gods said, “Let thehandsome Nahusha be crowned as king of the gods. He is powerful andrenowned, and devoted to virtue ever more.’ And they all went and said tohim, ‘O lord of the earth, be thou our king.’ And Nahusha intent on hiswelfare, spoke to those gods and saints accompanied by the progenitors(of mankind), ‘I am feeble; I am not capable of protecting you; it is apowerful person who should be your king; it is Indra who hath always beenpossessed of strength.’ And all the gods, led by the saints, spoke againto him, ‘Aided by the virtue of our austerities, rule thou the kingdom ofheaven. There is no doubt that we have all our respective fears. Becrowned, O lord of monarchs, as the king of heaven. Whatever being maystand within thy sight, whether he be a god, an Asura, a Yaksha, a saint,a Pitri, or a Gandharva, thou shalt absorb his power and (thereby) waxstrong. Always placing virtue before (all other things), be thou theruler of the worlds. Protect also the Brahmarsis (Brahmana saints) andthe gods in heaven.’ Then, O lord of monarchs, Nahusha was crowned kingin heaven. And placing virtue before (everything else), he became theruler of all the worlds. And though always of a virtuous disposition, yetwhen he obtained that precious boon and the kingdom of heaven, Nahushaassumed a sensual turn of mind. And when Nahusha became the king of thegods, he surrounded himself with celestial nymphs, and with damsels ofcelestial birth, and took to enjoyments of various kinds, in the Nandanagroves, on mount Kailasa, on the crest of Himavat, on Mandara. the Whitehill Sahya, Mahendra and Malaya, as, also upon seas and rivers. And helistened to various divine narratives that captivated both the ear andthe heart, and to the play of musical instruments of different sorts, andto sweet vocal strains. And Viswavasu and Narada and bevies of celestialnymphs and bands of Gandharvas and the six seasons in living shapes,attended upon the king of the gods. And fragrant breezes, refreshinglycool, blew round him. And while that wretch was thus enjoying himself, onone occasion the goddess who was the favourite queen of Indra came in hissight. And that vicious soul, having looked at her, said to thecourtiers, ‘Why doth not this goddess, the queen of Indra, attend uponme? I am the monarch of the gods, and also the ruler of the worlds. LetSachi make haste and visit me at my house.’ Saddened at hearing this, thegoddess said to Vrihaspati, ‘Protect me, O Brahmana, from this Nahusha. Icome to you as my refuge. You always say, O Brahmana, that I have got onmy person all the auspicious marks, being the favourite of the divineking; that I am chaste, devoted to my lord, and destined never to becomea widow. All this about me you have said before. Let your words be madetrue. O possessor of great powers, O lord, you never spoke words thatwere vain. Therefore, O best of Brahmanas, this that you have said oughtto be true.’ Then Vrihaspati said to the queen of Indra who was besideherself through fear, ‘What thou hast been told by me will come to betrue, be sure, O goddess. Thou shalt see Indra, the lord of the gods, whowill soon come back here. I tell thee truly, thou hast no fear fromNahusha; I shall soon unite thee with Indra.’ Now Nahusha came to hearthat Indra’s queen had taken refuge with Vrihaspati, the son of Angiras.And at this, the king became highly enraged.’

Chapter 12
Chapter 10
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