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(Sambhava Parva continued)

"Vaisampayana said, 'Then Kavya, the foremost of Bhrigu's line, became angry himself. And approaching Vrishaparvan where the latter was seated, began to address him without weighing his words, 'O king,' he said, 'sinful acts do not, like the Earth, bear fruit immediately! But gradually and secretly do they extirpate their doers. Such fruit visiteth either in one's own self, one's son, or one's grandson. Sins must bear their fruit. Like rich food they can never be digested. And because ye slew the Brahmana Kacha, the grandson of Angiras, who was virtuous, acquainted with the precepts of religion, and attentive to his duties, while residing in my abode, even for this act of slaughter--and for the mal-treatment of my daughter too, know, O Vrishaparvan, I shall leave thee and thy relatives! Indeed, O king, for this, I can no longer stay with thee! Dost thou, O Asura chief, think that I am a raving liar? Thou makest light of thy offence without seeking to correct it!'.

"Vrishaparvan then said, 'O son of Bhrigu, never have I attributed want of virtue, of falsehood, to thee. Indeed, virtue and truth ever dwell in thee. Be kind to me! O Bhargava, if, leaving us, thou really goest hence, we shall then go into the depths of the ocean. Indeed, there is nothing else for us to do.'

"Sukra then replied, 'Ye Asuras, whether ye go into the depths of the ocean or fly away to all directions. I care little. I am unable to bear my daughter's grief. My daughter is ever dear to me. My life dependeth on her. Seek ye to please her. As Vrihaspati ever seeketh the good of Indra, so do I always seek thine by my ascetic merits.'

"Vrishaparvan then said, 'O Bhargava, thou art the absolute master of whatever is possessed by the Asura chiefs in this world-their elephants, kine and horses, and even my humble self!'

"Sukra then answered, 'If it is true, O great Asura, that I am the lord of all the wealth of the Asuras, then go and gratify Devayani.'

p. 176

"Vaisampayana continued, 'when the great Kavya was so addressed by Vrishaparvan, he then went to Devayani and told her all. Devayani, however, quickly replied, 'O Bhargava, if thou art truly the lord of the Asura king himself and of all his wealth, then let the king himself come to me and say so in my presence.' Vrishaparvan then approached Devayani and told her, 'O Devayani of sweet smiles, whatever thou desirest I am willing to give thee, however difficult it may be to grant the same.' Devayani answered, 'I desire Sarmishtha with a thousand maids to wait on me! She must also follow me to where my father may give me away.'

"Vrishaparvan then commanded a maid-servant in attendance on him, saying, 'Go and quickly bring Sarmishtha hither. Let her also accomplish what Devayani wisheth.'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'The maid-servant then repaired to Sarmishtha and told her, 'O amiable Sarmishtha, rise and follow me. Accomplish the good of thy relatives. Urged by Devayani, the Brahmana (Sukra) is on the point of leaving his disciples (the Asuras). O sinless one, thou must do what Devayani wisheth.' Sarmishtha replied, 'I shall cheerfully do what Devayani wisheth. Urged by Devayani Sukra is calling me. Both Sukra and Devayani must not leave the Asuras through my fault.'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'Commanded by her father, then, Sarmishtha, accompanied by a thousand maidens, soon came, in a palanquin, out of her father's excellent mansion. And approaching Devayani she said, 'With my thousand maids, I am thy waiting-maid! And I shall follow thee where thy father may give thee away.' Devayani replied, 'I am the daughter of one who chanteth the praises of thy father, and who beggeth and accepteth alms; thou, on the other hand, art the daughter of one who is adored. How canst thou be my waiting-maid?'

"Sarmishtha answered, 'One must by all means contribute to the happiness of one's afflicted relatives. Therefore shall I follow thee wherever thy father may give thee away.'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'When Sarmishtha thus promised to be Devayani's waiting-maid the latter, O king, then spoke unto her father thus, 'O best of all excellent Brahmanas, I am gratified. I shall now enter the Asura capital! I now know that thy science and power of knowledge are not futile!'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'That best of Brahmanas, of great reputation, thus addressed by his daughter, then, entered the Asura capital in the gladness of his heart. And the Danavas worshipped him with great reverence.'"

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