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"Akritavrana said, 'Of these two afflictions of thine, for which, O blessed lady, dost thou seek a remedy? Tell me this. Is it thy wish that the lord of Saubha should be urged to wed thee, the high-souled Rama will certainly urge him from desire of doing thee good? Or, if thou wishest

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to behold Ganga's son, Bhishma, defeated in battle by intelligent Rama Bhargava will gratify even that wish of thine. Hearing what Srinjaya has to say, and what thou also, O thou of sweet smiles, may have to say, let that be settled this very day what should be done for thee.' Hearing these words, Amva said, 'O holy one, abducted I was by Bhishma acting from ignorance, for, O regenerate one, Bhishma knew not that my heart had been given away to Salwa. Thinking of this in thy mind, let that be resolved upon by thee which is consistent with justice, and let steps be taken for accomplishing that resolution. Do that, O Brahmana, which is proper to be done towards either that tiger among the Kurus, viz., Bhishma, singly, or towards the ruler of the Salwas, or towards both of them! I have told thee truly about the root of my grief. It behoveth thee, O holy one, to do that which is consistent with reason.'

"Akritavrana said, 'This, O blessed lady, O thou of the fairest complexion, that thou sayest with eyes fixed upon virtue, is, indeed, worthy of thee. Listen, however, to what I say! If Ganga's son had never taken thee to the city called after the elephant, then, O timid girl, Salwa would have, at Rama's behest, taken thee on his head! It is because Bhishma bore thee away by force that king Salwa's suspicions have been awakened in respect of thee, O thou of slender-waist! Bhishma is proud of his manliness and is crowned with success. Therefore, thou shouldst cause thy vengeance to fall upon Bhishma (and no other)!' Hearing these words of the sage, Amva said, 'O regenerate one, this desire hath been cherished by me also in my heart, viz., that, if possible. Bhishma should be caused by me to be slain in battle! O thou of mighty arms, be it Bhishma or be it king Salwa, punish that man whom thou thinkest to be guilty and through whose act I have been so miserable!'

"Bhishma continued, 'In conversation such as this, that day passed and the night also, O best of Bharata's race, with its delicious breeze which was neither cold nor hot. Then Rama appeared there, beaming with energy. And that sage wearing matted-locks on his bead and attired in deer-skins was surrounded by his disciples. And endued with magnanimous soul, he had his bow in hand. And bearing also a sword and a battle-axe, that sinless one, O tiger among kings, approached the Srinjaya king (Hotravahana) in that forest. And the ascetics dwelling there and that king also who was endued with great ascetic merit, beholding him, all stood up and waited, O king, with joined hands. And that helpless maiden too did the same. And they all cheerfully worshipped Bhargava with the offer of honey and curds. Being worshipped duly by them, Rama sat with them seated round him. Then, O Bharata, Jamadagni's son and Hotravahana, seated thus together, began to discourse. And after their discourse was over, the sage Hotravahana opportunately said in a sweet voice these words of grave import unto that foremost one of Bhrigu's race, viz., Rama of mighty strength, 'O Rama, this is my daughter's daughter, O lord, being the daughter of the king of Kasi.

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She hath something to be done for her! Oh, listen to it duly, O thou that art skilled in all tasks!' Hearing these words of his friend, Rama addressed that maiden saying. 'Tell me what thou hast to say.' At these words, Amva approached Rama who resembled a blazing fire, and worshipping both his feet with her bent head, touched them with her two hands that resembled, in radiance, a couple of lotuses and stood silently before him. And filled with grief, she wept aloud, her eyes bathed in tears. And she then sought the protection of that descendant of Bhrigu, who was the refuge of all distressed persons. And Rama said, 'Tell me what grief is in thy heart. I will act according to thy words!' Thus encouraged, Amva said, 'O thou of great vows, O holy one, today I seek thy protection! O lord, raise me from this unfathomable ocean of sorrow.'

"Bhishma continued, 'Beholding her beauty and her youthful body and its great delicacy, Rama began to think,--What will she say? And that perpetuator of Bhrigu's line, thinking inwardly of this, sat long in silence, filled with pity. He then addressed that maiden of sweet smiles again, saying, 'Tell us what thou hast to say!' Thus encouraged, she represented everything truly unto Bhargava. And Jamadagni's son, hearing these words of the princess, and having first settled what he should do, addressed that damsel of the fairest complexion, saying, 'O beautiful lady, I will send word unto Bhishma, that foremost one of Kuru's race. Having beard what my behest is, that king will certainly obey it. If, however, the son of Jahnavi do not act according to my words, I will then consume him in battle, O blessed girl, with all his counsellors! Or, O princess, if thou desirest it, I may even address the heroic ruler of the Salwas to the matter in hand.' Hearing these words of Rama, Amva said, 'Dismissed I was by Bhishma, O son of Bhrigu's race, as soon as he heard that my heart had previously been freely given away to the ruler of the Salwas. Approaching then the lord of Saubha, I addressed him in language that was unbecoming. Doubtful of the purity of my conduct, he refused to accept me. Reflecting on all this, with the aid of thy own understanding, it behoveth thee, O son of Bhrigu's race, to do that which should be done in view of these circumstances. Bhishma, however, of great vows is the root of my calamity, for he brought me under his power taking me up (on his car) by violence! Slay that Bhishma, O thou of mighty arms, for whose sake, O tiger of Bhrigu's race, overwhelmed with such distress, I suffer such poignant misery! Bhishma, O thou of Bhrigu's race, is covetous, and mean, and proud of his victory. Therefore, O sinless one, thou shouldst give him his deserts. While, of lord, I was being abducted by him, even this was the desire that I cherished in my heart, viz., that I should cause that hero of great vows to be slain. Therefore, O sinless Rama, gratify this desire of mine! O thou of mighty arms, slay Bhishma, even as Purandara slew Vritra.'"

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