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(Chaitraratha Parva continued)

"Vaisampayana continued, 'Then Kunti spoke unto Bhimasena and Arjuna and the twins regarding the journey to Panchala. They all said, 'So be it.' Then, O king, Kunti with her sons saluted the Brahmana (in whose house they had dwelt) and set out for the delightful town of the illustrious Drupada.'

"Vaisampayana said, 'While the illustrious Pandavas were living disguised in the abode of the Brahmana, Vyasa, the son of Satyavati, once went to see them. Those chastisers of foes, beholding him coming rose up and stepped onward to receive him. Saluting him reverentially and worshipping him also the Pandavas stood in silence with joined hands. Thus worshipped by them the sage became gratified. He asked them to be seated, and cheerfully addressing them said, 'Ye slayers of foes, are ye living in the path of virtue and according to the scriptures? Do ye worship the Brahmanas? Ye are not, I hope, backward in paying homage unto those that deserve your homage?' The illustrious Rishi, after this, spoke many words of virtuous import, and after discoursing upon many topics of great interest, he said, 'An illustrious Rishi, living in a certain hermitage, had a daughter of tender waist, fair lips, and fine eye-brows, and possessing every accomplishment. As a consequence of her own acts (in a past life) the fair maid became very unfortunate. Though chaste and beautiful, the damsel obtained not a husband. With a sorrowful heart she thereupon began to practise ascetic penances with the object of obtaining a husband. She soon gratified by her severe asceticism the god Sankara (Mahadeva), who became propitious unto her and said unto that illustrious damsel, 'Ask thou the boon thou desirest! Blest be thou! I am Sankara prepared to give thee what thou wilt ask.' Desirous of benefiting herself, the maid repeatedly said unto the supreme lord, 'O give me, a husband endued with every accomplishment.' Then Isana (Mahadeva), that foremost of all speakers, replied unto her, saying, 'O blessed one, thou shall have five husbands from among the Bharata princes.' Thus told, the maiden said unto the god who had given her that boon, 'O lord, I desire to have only one husband through thy grace.' The god then addressed her again and said these excellent words, 'Thou hast, O girl, said full five times, 'Give me (a) husband.' Thou shalt, therefore, in another life have five husbands!' Ye princes of Bharata's line, that damsel of celestial beauty hath

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been born in the line of Drupada. The faultless Krishna of Prishata's line hath been appointed to be the wife of you all. Ye mighty ones, go therefore, to the capital of the Panchalas and dwell ye there. There is no doubt that having obtained her as wife ye shall be very happy.'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'Having said so unto the Pandavas, the illustrious and blessed grandsire then bade them farewell. The great ascetic then left them and went to the place whence he had come.'"

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