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"Samvarta said, 'How hast thou come to know me, and who has referred thee to me, do thou tell this to me truly, if thou wishest me to do what is good to thee. And if thou speak truly, thou shalt attain all the objects of thy desire, and shouldst thou tell a lie, thy head shall be riven in a hundred pieces.'

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Marutta said, 'I have been told by Narada, wandering on his way, that thou art the son of our family-priest, and this (information) has inclined my mind (towards thee), with exquisite satisfaction.'

Samvarta said, 'Thou hast told this to me truly. He (Narada) knows me to be a performer of sacrifices. Now tell me where is Narada living at present.'

Marutta said, 'That prince of celestial saints (Narada) having given me this information about thee, and commended me to thy care, has entered into the fire.'

Vyasa said, 'Hearing these words from the king (Marutta) Samvarta was highly gratified, and he said (addressing Marutta). 'I too am quite able to do all that.' Then, O prince, that Brahmana, raving like a lunatic, and repeatedly scolding Marutta with rude words, again accosted him thus, 'I am afflicted with a cerebral disorder, and, I always act according to the random caprices of my own mind. Why art thou bent upon having this sacrifice performed by a priest of such a singular disposition? My brother is able to officiate at sacrifices, and he has gone over to Vasava (Indra), and is engaged in performing his sacrifices, do thou therefore have thy sacrifice performed by him. My elder brother has forcibly taken away from me all my household goods and mystical gods, and sacrificing clients, and has now left to me only this physical body of mine, and, O son of Avikshit, as he is worthy of all respect from me, I cannot by any means officiate at thy sacrifice, unless with his permission. Thou must therefore go to Vrihaspati first, and taking his permission thou canst come back to me, if thou hast any desire to perform a sacrifice, and then only shall I officiate at thy sacrifice.'

Marutta said, 'Do thou listen to me, O Samvarta, I did go to Vrihaspati first, but desiring the patronage of Vasava, he did not wish to have me as his sacrificer. He said, 'Having secured the priesthood of the Immortals, I do not desire to act for mortals, and, I have been forbidden by Sakra (Indra) to officiate at Marutta's sacrifice, as he told me that Marutta having become lord of the earth, was always filled with a desire to rival him.' And to this thy brother assented by saying to the Slayer of Vala (Indra),--Be it so. Know thou, O best of ascetics, that as he had succeeded in securing the protection of the Lord of the Celestials, I repaired to him with gratified heart, but he did not agree to act as my priest. And thus repulsed, I now desire to spend all I possess, to have this sacrifice performed by thee, and to outstrip Vasava by the merit of thy good offices. As I have been repulsed by Vrihaspati for no fault of mine, I have now no desire, O Brahmana, to go to him to seek his aid in this sacrifice."

Samvarta said, 'I can certainly, O king, accomplish all that thou desirest, if only thou agree to do all that I shall ask thee to do, but I apprehend that Vrihaspati and Purandara (Indra) when they will learn that I am engaged in performing thy sacrifice, will be filled with wrath, and do all they can to injure thee. Therefore, do thou assure me of thy steadfastness, so as to ensure my coolness and constancy, as otherwise. if I am filled with wrath against thee, I shall reduce (destroy) thee and thy kindred to ashes."

Marutta said, 'If ever I forsake thee, may I never attain the blessed regions as long as the mountains shall exist, and the thousand-rayed sun continue to

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emit heat: if I forsake dice, may I never attain true wisdom, and remain for ever addicted to worldly (material) pursuits."

Samvarta said, "Listen, O son of Avikshit, excellent as it is the bent of thy mind to perform this act, so too, O king, have I in my mind the ability to perform the sacrifice, I tell thee, O king, that thy good things will become imperishable, and that thou shalt lord it over Sakra and the Celestials with Gandharvas. For myself, I have no desire to amass wealth or sacrificial presents, I shall only do what is disagreeable to both Indra and my brother, I shall certainly make thee attain equality with Sakra, and I tell thee truly that I shall do what is agreeable to thee."

Next: Section VIII