Chapter 12

Mahabharata English - UDYOGA PARAVA

“Salya said, ‘Seeing Nahusha enraged, the gods led by the saints spokeunto him, ‘Who was now their king of awful mien? O king of gods, quit thywrath. When thou art in wrath, O lord, the Universe, with its Asuras andGandharvas, its Kinnaras, and great snakes, quaketh. Quit this wrath,thou righteous being. Persons like thee do not put themselves out. Thatgoddess is another person’s wife. Be pacified, O lord of gods! Turn backthy inclination from the sin of outraging another’s wife. Thou art theking of gods, prosperity to thee! Protect thy subjects in allrighteousness?’ So addressed, he heeded not the saying rendered senselessby lust. And the king spoke to the gods, in allusion to Indra, ‘Ahalya ofspotless fame, the wife of a saint, was outraged by Indra while herhusband was alive. Why did ye not prevent him? Many were the deeds ofinhumanity, of unrighteousness, of deceit, committed by Indra in formertimes. Why did ye not prevent him? Let the goddess do my pleasure; thatwould be her permanent good. And so the same will ever more rebound toyour safety, ye gods!’

“The gods said, ‘We shall bring to thee the queen of Indra even as thouhast laid the command, ‘O lord of heaven! Quit this wrath, thou valiantsoul! Be pacified, O lord of gods!’

“Salya continued, ‘Thus having spoken to him, the gods with the saintwent to inform Vrihaspati and the queen of Indra of the said news. Andthey said, ‘We know, O foremost of Brahmanas, that the queen of Indrahath betaken herself to thy house, for protection, and that thou hastpromised her protection, O best of divine saints! But we, the gods andGandharvas and saints, beseech thee, O thou of great lustre, to give upthe queen of Indra to Nahusha. Nahusha, the king of gods, of greateffulgence, is superior to Indra. Let her, that lady of choice figure andcomplexion, choose him as her lord!’ Thus addressed, the goddess gavevent to tears; and sobbing audibly, she mourned in piteous accents. Andshe spoke to Vrihaspati, ‘O best of divine saints, I do not desireNahusha to be my lord. I have betaken myself to thy protection, OBrahmana! Deliver me from this great peril!’

“Vrihaspati said, ‘My resolution is this, I shall not abandon one thathath sought my protection. O thou of unblamable life, I shall not abandonthee, virtuous as thou art and of a truthful disposition! I do not desireto do an improper act, specially as I am a Brahmana knowing whatrighteousness is, having a regard for truth, and aware also of theprecepts of virtue. I shall never do it. Go your ways, ye best of gods.Hear what hath formerly been sung by Brahma with regard to the matter athand. He that delivereth up to a foe of a person terrified and asking forprotection obtaineth no protection when he himself is in need of it. Hisseed doth not grow at seed-time and rain doth not come to him in theseason of rains. He that delivereth up to a foe a person terrified andasking for protection never succeedeth in anything that he undertaketh;senseless as he is, he droppeth paralysed from heaven; the god refuseofferings made by him. His progeny die an untimely death and hisforefathers always quarrel (among themselves). The gods with Indra andtheir head dart the thunderbolt at him. Know it to be so, I shall notdeliver up this Sachi here, the queen of Indra, famous in the world ashis favourite consort. O ye best of gods, what may be for both her goodand mine I ask you to do. Sachi I shall never deliver up!’

“Salya continued, ‘Then the gods and the Gandharvas said these words tothe preceptor of the gods, ‘O Vrihaspati, deliberate upon something thatmay be conformable to sound policy!’ Vrihaspati said, ‘Let this goddessof auspicious looks ask for time from Nahusha in order to make up hermind to his proposal. This will be for the good of Indra’s queen, and ofus as well. Time, ye gods, may give rise to many impediments. Time willsend time onward. Nahusha is proud and powerful by virtue of the boongranted to him!’

“Salya continued, ‘Vrihaspati having spoken so, the gods, delighted thensaid, ‘Well hast thou said, O Brahmana. This is for the good of all thegods. It is no doubt so. Only, let this goddess be propitiated.’ Then theassembled gods led by Agni, with a view to the welfare of all the worlds,spoke to Indra’s queen in a quiet way. And the gods said, ‘Thou artsupporting the whole universe of things mobile and immobile. Thou artchaste and true: go thou to Nahusha. That vicious being, lustful afterthee, will shortly fall: and Indra, O goddess, will get the sovereigntyof the gods!’ Ascertaining this to be the result of that deliberation,Indra’s queen, for attaining her end, went bashfully to Nahusha of awfulmien. The vicious Nahusha also, rendered senseless by lust, saw howyouthful and lovely she was, and became highly pleased.’

Chapter 5
Chapter 11
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