SHREE SHOOKDEO JEE said,--O great king! Raja Nurug, of the family of Ishwak, was very intelligent, liberal, religious and brave; he made innumerable presents of cows; it would be as easy to count the grains of sand of the Ganges, the drops of rain in the month of Bhador, and the stars of the sky, as to reckon the number of cows Raja Narug gave away; although he was so wise and so very liberal a Raja, he was, for a slight transgression, changed into a lizard, and dwelt in a dry well, and Shree Krishnù Chund Jee released him.
In this part of the history, the Raja Pureechit interrupted Spree Shookdeo Jee, and enquired,--"O great king! for what sin was so pious and liberal a Raja turned into a lizard, and why did he remain in a dry well, and how did Shree Krishnù Chund Jee release him? Explain these circumstances to me, that the perplexities of my mind may be removed?" Shree Shookdeo replied,--O great king! be pleased to listen with attention, and I will explain all the circumstances as they occurred. The Raja Nurug was in the constant habit of presenting gifts of cows; one day, having bathed early in the morning, and finished his religious meditations and prayers, he gave in alms a thousand cows; white, purple, black, yellow, brown and grey, with hoofs of silver, horns of gold, backs of
copper, and dressed out in cloths of silk; and in addition to the cows, he gave as a present to brahmins large quantities of grain, and a great deal of money, all of which they took to their homes; on another day the Raja, in like manner, began to make a present of cows; when, unknown to the Raja, a cow that had been given away on the first day, was mixed up with the cows of the second day, which the Raja gave away with that day's cows; a brahmin, who received it, was taking it to. his house, when another brahmin, recognizing the cow as his, stopped it on the road and said, "This is my cow, I received it yesterday at the Raja's, brother! why are you taking it away?" The brahmin replied, "I have just received this cow from the Raja, and am bringing it thence, how is it yours?" O great king! the two brahmins began thus to dispute, each claiming the cow; after disputing some time they both went to the Raja, who, having heard the statements of both, joining his hands, said, in a very submissive manner, "Let one receive from me a lakh of rupees, and let the other take the cow, or let me give the cow to the other." Both the quarrelsome brahmins were very angry at this proposal, and said, "The cow, for which, on receiving, we pronounced a benediction, we will not give up for a crore of rupees, this is a part of our souls." O great king! the Raja then falling at the feet of those brahmins, tried every means of coaxing and explanation, but those vindictive brahmins would not listen to what the Raja said; at length, both the brahmins went away very angry to their homes, leaving the cow, and saying to the Raja, "O great king! the cow, which you gave in alms to us, and which we received, after having extended our hands to pronounce a benediction, is not to be given up for money, if it still remain with you, without our receiving any thing, it does not signify, (or, we have no objection.)"
O great king! on the departure of the brahmins, the Raja Nurug was at first very sad, and began to say to himself, "I
have unintentionally committed this act of injustice, and how will it be wiped away;" and after this he continued to perform many acts of charity, and gave many gifts. After the lapse of many days, the Raja Nurug died, the attendants of Jum took him to Dhurumraj, who, on seeing him, rising from his throne, stood up; having afterwards welcomed him, and offered him a seat, he said in the kindest manner, "O great king! your virtues are many, and sins few; what will you first receive, the reward of virtue, or the punishment of crime?" On hearing this Nurug said, joining his hands, "Do not, O lord! let my good acts pass away from your mind, I will first suffer for my sins, and endure affliction in mortal shape." On hearing these words, Dhurumraj said to the Raja Nurug "O great king! for the sin of having unknowingly given away a cow a second time, which you had already once given, you must become a lizard in a forest on the banks of the Goomtee, and remain in a dry well; when Shree Krishnù Chund shall descend upon the earth at the end of the Dwarpur age, he will grant you release."
O great king! having thus spoken, Dhurumraj remained silent, and the Raja Nurug, being then transformed into a lizard, went and fell into a dry well; and feeding on animals, began to abide there; after the lapse of some ages, Shree Krishnù Chund Jee descended upon the earth at the end of the Dwarpur age; when, having enjoyed sports and diversions at Bruj, he went to Dwarka, and had sons and grandsons. A number of his sons and grandsons went together one day to the forest to hunt; and, whilst engaged in hunting, became thirsty; by chance, as they were searching for water in the forest, they came to the brink of the blind well, in which Raja Nurug, having been born as a lizard, dwelt. As one of them leaned over the well to look into it, he called out to the rest, "Brothers! come and see what a large lizard there is in this well!" they all ran to the spot on hearing this, and standing on the raised stone masonry round the mouth of the well, began to
fasten their turbands and waistbands together, and suspending them in the air, tried to draw him forth, and to say to each other, "Brother! we will not go away from this place until we have drawn the lizard out of the well."
O great king! when all their efforts with their turbands and waistbands did not succeed, they procured from the village flax, thread and grass, with which ropes are made, and thick, large thongs of leather; and letting them down the well, and fastening the lizard with them, began to pull forcibly, but the lizard was not even moved thence; then some one went to Dwarka, and said to Shree Krishnù Jee, "O great king! there is an enormous lizard inside a dry well in the forest, which all the children have fatigued themselves in trying to pull out, but it will not come forth."
On hearing these words, Huri rose and started off; and going along came to the place were all the children were trying to pull the lizard out. On seeing Krishnù the children said, "Father! see what a large lizard this is; we have for a long time been trying to pull it out, but it will not come."
O great king! having heard this speech, when Shree Krishnù Chund Jee descended into the well, and placed his foot on the lizard's body, he relinquished his form, and became a very handsome man. In the form of a Raja, he continued to lay hold of Krishnù's feet, joining his hands, and bowing his head, he solicited him, "O sea of compassion! you have shown me great favour in having taken thought of me in the midst of this great calamity."
Shookdeo Jee said,--Raja! when in the form of a man, he began to address Huri thus, the Judoos' children, and the sons and grandsons of Huri being astonished, enquired from Shree Krishnù Chund, "O great king! who is this, and for what crime, being transformed into a lizard, has he remained here, kindly tell us, in order that the perplexities of our minds may be removed." Then Krishnù, without making any reply himself, said to the Raja, "Explain your history, so that all may
hear it with attention. Who are you; whence have you come, and for what sin have you obtained this body?" The Raja replied, joining his hands, "You know it all, O lord of the Judoos! But as you ask me to relate my history, I will do so? My name is Raja Nurug, I gave numberless cows to brahmins for your sake; it so happened that one day I gave a great many cows in alms to brahmins, on another day one of those cows came back to me; which, without being aware of this circumstance, I gave away with other cows to another brahmin; as he took the cow away with him, the first brahmin recognizing it as his, said to him, 'This cow is mine, I yesterday received it at the Raja's, why are you taking it away?' He replied, 'I have just received it at the Raja's, and am bringing it thence, how is it yours?' O great king! those two brahmins came to me, disputing on this matter; I explained to them and said, 'One of you receive from me a lakh of rupees in compensation for the cow, and one of you give up your claim to the cow.' O great king! they both obstinately refused to listen to what I said; at length they both went away angry, leaving the cow with me; I continued to regret, and to be distressed at the circumstance. At the time of my decease, the messenger of Jum took me to Dhurumraj, who said to me, 'Raja! your virtues are many, and your sins few; say, will you first receive the reward of your virtues, or suffer for your crimes?' I replied, 'I will suffer first for my sins.' On hearing this, O great king! Dhurumraj said, 'Raja! thou hast bestowed upon a brahmin a cow, which thou hadst already given away; for this fault be transformed into a lizard, and go upon the earth, and remain in a dry well in a forest, on the banks of the Goomtee; when, at the end of the Dwarpur age, Shree Krishnù Chund having descended upon the earth, shall go to you, you will then be released.' O great king! from that time I have been lying in this blind well, in the form of a lizard, and have meditated upon your
lotus feet; you have now come and delivered me from a great affliction, and carried me across the ocean of existence."
Having proceeded thus far in the narrative, Shree Shookdeo Jee said to the Raja Pureechit,--O great king! the Raja Nurug having thus spoken, took leave; and, sitting in a chariot went to Vishnù's paradise; and Shree Krishnù Chund Jee explained to all the cowherds' children, and began to say, "Do not any of you commit a crime against a brahmin, nor seize on a brahmin's portion; whatever you may have vowed in your minds to offer, keep back no portion of it; speak the truth to brahmins. Jum has inflicted this punishment on one, who received back, what had been given to a brahmin; continue to be the servants of brahmins, submit to all the transgressions of brahmins; whoever respects a brahmin respects me, let not any one think a brahmin and me separate front each other, he, who shall suppose that there is a difference between me and a brahmin, shall fall into hell; and he who shall treat with consideration and honour a brahmin, shall obtain my favour; and shall, without doubt, go to heaven."
O great king! having thus spoken, Shree Krishnù Jee took them all thence, and returned to the city of Dwarka.