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Chapter 113

Mahabharata English - UDYOGA PARAVA

“Narada said, ‘Alighting then on the peak of the Rishabha, the Brahmanaand the Bird beheld a Brahmana lady of the name of Sandili, engaged thereon ascetic penances. And Galava and Garuda both saluted her by bendingtheir heads, and worshipped her. And thereupon, the lady enquired aftertheir welfare and gave them seats. And having taken their seats, both ofthem took the cooked food the lady offered them, after having firstdedicated it to the gods with Mantras. And having taken that food, theylaid themselves down on the ground and fell into a profound sleep. AndGaruda, from desire of leaving that place, upon awakening, found that hiswings, had fallen off. Indeed, he had become like a ball of flesh, withonly his head and legs. And beholding him come to that plight, Galavasorrowfully enquired, saying, ‘What is this condition that has overtakenthee as the consequence of thy sojourn here? Alas, how long shall we haveto reside here? Hadst thou harboured any evil and sinful thought in thymind? It cannot, I am sure, be any trivial sin of which thou hast beenguilty.’ Thus addressed, Garuda replied unto the Brahmana, saying,’Indeed, O regenerate one, I entertained the thought of carrying awaythis lady crowned with ascetic success from this spot to where theCreator himself, the divine Mahadeva, the eternal Vishnu, and both Virtueand Sacrifice personified, live together, for as I thought this ladyshould live there. I shall now, from desire of doing myself good,prostrate myself before this holy lady, and pray unto her, saying,–witha heart full of pity, I had, indeed, entertained such a thought. WhetherI acted rightly or wrongly, even this was the wish, evidently against thyown, that was cherished by me from my respect for thee. It behoveth thee,therefore, to grant me forgiveness, from the nobility of thy heart.’ Thatlady became gratified with that prince of birds and that bull ofBrahmanas. And addressing Garuda, she said, ‘Fear not, O thou ofbeautiful feathers. Resume thy wings, and cast off thy fears. I wascontempted by thee, but know that I do not pardon contempt. That sinfulbeing who entertains contempt for me, would speedily fall away from allblissful regions. Without a single inauspicious indication about me, andperfectly blameless as I am, I have, in consequence of the purity of myconduct, attained to high ascetic success. Purity of conduct bearethvirtue as its fruit. Purity of conduct beareth wealth as its fruit. It ispurity of conduct that bringeth on prosperity. And it is purity ofconduct that driveth away all inauspicious indications. Go thou, Oblessed prince of birds, whithersoever thou wishest, from this place.Never entertain contempt for me, and take care that thou dost notcontempt women that may even be truly blamable. Thou shalt again be, asbefore, invested with both strength and energy.’ At these words of thatlady Garuda had his wings again, and they became even stronger thanbefore. And then with Sandili’s leave, Garuda with Galava on his backtook his departure. But they failed to find the kind of steeds they werein search of. And it so happened that Viswamitra met Galava on the way.And thereupon, that foremost of speakers addressed Galava in the presenceof Vinata’s son and said, ‘O regenerate one, the time is already comewhen thou shouldst give me the wealth thou hadst promised me of thy ownaccord. I do not know what thou mayst. I have waited so long. I will waitfor some time more. Seek thou the way by which thou mayst succeed (in thematter of thy promise).’ Hearing these words, Garuda addressed cheerlessGalava who was overwhelmed with sorrow, saying, ‘What Viswamitra saidunto thee before hath now been repeated in my presence. Come, therefore,O Galava, best of Brahmanas, we will deliberate on the matter. Withoutgiving thy preceptor the whole of the wealth (promised by thee), thoucanst not even sit down.’

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