Chapter 177

Mahabharata English - UDYOGA PARAVA

“Bhishma said, ‘Issuing out of the city, Amva reflected sorrowfully inthis strain. ‘There is not in the whole world a young woman in such amiserable plight as I! Alas, destitute of friends, I am rejected by Salwaalso! I cannot go back to the city named after an elephant, for I waspermitted by Bhishma to leave that city, expectant of Salwa! Whom thenshall I blame? Myself? Or, the invincible Bhishma? Or, that foolishfather of mine who made arrangements for my self-choice? Perhaps, it ismy own fault! Why did I not leap down before from Bhishma’s car, whenthat fierce battle took place, for coming to Salwa? That I am soafflicted now, as if deprived of my senses, is the fruit of that omissionof mine! Cursed be Bhishma! Cursed be my own wretched father of foolishunderstanding, who had arranged prowess to be my dower, sending me out asif I were a woman (disposed) for a consideration! Cursed be myself!Cursed be king Salwa himself and cursed be my creator too! Cursed be theythrough whose fault such great misery hath been mine! Human beings alwayssuffer what is destined for them. The cause, however, of my presentaffliction is Bhishma, the son of Santanu; I, therefore, see that atpresent my vengeance should fall upon him, either through asceticausterities or by battle, for he is the cause of my woe! But what king isthere that would venture to vanquish Bhishma in battle? Having settledthis, she issued out of the city for repairing to an asylum of thehigh-souled ascetics of virtuous deeds. The night she stayed there,surrounded by those ascetics. And that lady of sweet smiles told thoseascetics, O Bharata, all that had happened to herself with the minutestdetails, O mighty-armed one, about her abduction, and her rejection bySalwa.’

“There lived in that asylum an eminent Brahmana of rigid vows, and hisname was Saikhavatya. Endued with ascetic merit of a high order, he was apreceptor of the scriptures and the Aranyakas. And the sage Saikhavatya,of great ascetic merit, addressed that afflicted maiden, that chaste girlsighing heavily in grief, and said, ‘If it hath been so, O blessed lady,what can high-souled ascetics residing in their (woody) retreats andengaged in penances do?’ That maiden, however, O king, answered him,saying, ‘Let mercy be shown to me; I desire a life in the woods, havingrenounced the world. I will practise the severest of ascetic austerities.All that I now suffer is certainly the fruit of those sins that I hadcommitted from ignorance in my former life. I do not venture to go backto my relatives, ye ascetics, rejected and cheerless that I am knowingthat I have been humiliated by Salwa! Ye that have washed away your sins,godlike as ye are, I desire that ye should instruct me in asceticpenance! Oh, let mercy be shown to me!’ Thus addressed, that sage thencomforted the maiden by examples and reasons borrowed from thescriptures. And having consoled her thus, he promised, with the otherBrahmanas, to do what she desired.'”

Chapter 178
Chapter 176
Rate This Article: