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Now is the commencement of the history.--At the end of the great war of the descendants of Bhurut, when Shree Krishnù disappeared, Pandoo being greatly grieved went to the Himalaya to undergo dissolution; and the Raja Pureechit having conquered all countries, began to rule with justice.--Some days afterwards, the Raja Pureechit went out hunting, when he saw a bullock and a cow running towards him, in pursuit of whom a Soodrú with a wooden pestle in his hand was coming along and striking them. When they came near, the Raja grieved and enraged, called out to the Soodrú, who art thou, explain who thou art, that knowingly beatest a bullock and a cow; do you suppose Urjoon to be far off, that you do not observe his ordinances? Hear me, in the family of Pandoo, you will not find any such person, in whose presence any one will be permitted to vex the poor. Saying this, the Raja took his sword in his hand; the Soodrú on seeing this, stood still with fear.--The Raja (the lord of men,) having

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called the bullock and cow near him, enquired of them, explain to me who you are, are you gods or Brahmins, and why are you running away? Speak without fear, in my presence no one has the power of afflicting you.

On hearing this, the bullock bending its head said, "O great king! this black coloured, frightful figure in the form of Sin, which is standing in your presence is the Black Age, I am running away on account of its approach. This, my companion, is the earth in the form of a cow; she too has come running towards you from dread of the Black Age. My name is Religion: I have four feet--penance, truth, compassion, meditation. In the Age of Truth my feet were complete--consisted of twenty parts; in the Treta Age, they consisted of sixteen parts; in the Dwapur Age of twelve; and now in the Black Age, I have only four parts left, for which reason Ian not able to move about in the Black Age." The earth said, "O incarnation of justice! I also cannot remain in this age, because men of the Soodrú caste, having become Rajas, will inflict very many acts of injustice on me, the weight of which I shall not be able to endure: from dread of this injustice, I too am running away." On hearing this, the Raja, being angry, said to the Black Age, "I will put thee to death immediately."

On hearing this, the Black Age falling at the Raja's feet, and imploring him earnestly, began to say, "O lord of the earth! I have now come under your protection, appoint me some place to dwell in:--because the three times and the four ages, which Bruhmù has established, shall not be effaced in any way." Hearing this, the Raja Pureechit said to the Black Age--"Dwell in the following places, in gambling, lying, in the spirit market, harlots' houses, murder, theft and gold." Having heard this, the Black Age went to his appointed abode, and the Raja established Religion in his own mind; the earth assumed his own form, the Raja returned to his own city, and began to govern justly and religiously.

After some days, the Raja went again to hunt, and whilst engaged in the sport, became thirsty. The Black Age was

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dwelling in the golden crown on the Raja's head, and having obtained his opportunity, deprived the Raja of knowledge. The Raja from thirst came to the spot where Lomus, a chief of the saints, was seated with his eyes shut, meditating on Muhadeo, and engaged in religious penance.

On seeing him, Pureechit began to say to himself, this person through pride of penance remains with his eyes shut, although he saw me. Entertaining this wicked idea, and having raised up with a bow a dead snake which had fallen there, and thrown it on the neck of the chief of the saints, he came home. On taking off his crown, the Raja recovered his knowledge, and reflecting began to say, the abode of the Black Age is in gold, he was upon my head, and this is the reason of my having performed so vicious an act, as throwing a dead snake on the neck of a chief of the saints; I now know, that the Black Age has taken his revenge upon me; how shall I escape from this great sin; why have I not been deprived to-day of my caste, wealth, family, wives and kingdom--I know not in what birth, this injustice of my having vexed a Brahmin will be effaced.

4. Whilst the Raja Pureechit was drowned in this sea of unfathomable reflection, some boys engaged in play came to the place where Lomus, a chief of the saints, was:--they were astonished at seeing a dead snake on his neck,--and being frightened, began to say to each other, "Brother, let some one go and tell his son of this, who is playing with the saints' children in the grove on the bank of the river Koushkee." One of the boys hearing this ran to where Shringee the saint was playing with the saints' children.--The boy said to Shringee, "Brother, why are you playing here; some devil has thrown a dead black snake on your father's neck and gone off?"

On hearing this, Shringee's eyes became red--gnashing his teeth, he began to tremble; and, being enraged, to say--"In the Black Age proud Rajas have been produced: from the intoxication of wealth, they have become blind and inflicters of pain: I will now pronounce a curse on him, who threw the snake, he shall die on the seventh day from this."

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[paragraph continues] Having thus spoken, Shringee the saint took the water of the Koushkee river in the palm of his hand, and pronounced a curse on the Raja Pureechit, that the snake would bite him on the seventh day.

Having pronounced this curse on the Raja, he came to his father and took the snake from his neck, and began to say to him, "Father, be of good cheer, I have pronounced a curse on "him, who threw the dead snake on your neck." On hearing this, Lomus the saint, awaking from his meditation, opening his eyes and deeply considering in his mind his son's speech, said to him, "O son! what is this thou hast done why have you pronounced a curse on the Raja, under whose government we lived at ease; not a bird, nor a beast even was afflicted. So just was the government, that the lion and cow dwelt under it without altercation. O son! what mattered it, if he, in whose country we lived, threw a dead snake upon me in sport, why did you curse him, and inflict so heavy a curse for a slight fault? you have been guilty of a great crime, and neglected to think of what you were doing--you have abandoned good, and embraced evil. It is necessary for a good man to cultivate amiable dispositions; not to say anything himself, to hear what others say, and imitate the good qualities, and avoid the bad qualities, of all."

Saying this, Lomus the saint called one of his pupils, and told him to go and tell the Raja Pureechit, that Shringee had pronounced a curse on him; good men will impute blame to Shringee for what he has done, but the Raja on receiving this message will be on his guard. In obedience to the words of his spiritual preceptor, the pupil came to the place where the Raja was sitting in meditation, and said to him on his arrival--"Shringee the saint has pronounced this curse on you, that the snake shall bite you on the seventh day--do you now arrange so that you may escape from the noose of fate." On hearing this, the Raja stood up with delight, and joining his hands together began to say, "The saint has done me a great kindness in pronouncing a curse, because I had fallen

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into the boundless thoughted sea of delusion, from which he has released me."

When the disciple of the sage departed, the Raja performed penance by abandoning all the pleasures of the world, and having sent for Junmejye and made over his throne to him, said, "O son! cherish the cow and the Brahmin, and give contentment to the subject." Saying this, he went into the female apartments: the women on seeing him were all sad; his wives (the Ranees) on beholding him fell weeping at his feet, and exclaimed, "O great king! we weak creatures will not be able to endure separation from you; for which reason it is better that we should give up our lives with yours."--The Raja said in reply, "It is right for a woman to act in such a way, that the character and dignity of her husband may be maintained, and not to throw any obstacle in the way of an excellent work."

Having said this, and having abandoned relatives, kindred, and all private and public wealth, he went and sat down on the shore of the Ganges to perform penance: whoever heard of the circumstance was much grieved and distressed, and shed tears.

When the sages heard that the Raja Pureechit had gone to the bank of the Ganges to die, in consequence of Shringee's curse, Byas, Bisist, Bhurdooaj, Kaiyayun, Purasur, Narud, Biswamittrù, Bamdeo, Jumdugun, and eighty-eight thousand sages came, and sat down in rows, and thinking upon their Shastrùs began to explain various kinds of religious observances to the Raja--In the meantime, having seen the Raja's faith, Shree Shookdeo Jee came also, with a book under his arm, and naked. On seeing him, all the sages rose up, and the Raja Pureechit rising up in a supplicating posture, and making an obeisance began to say, "O abode of compassion you have shown great mercy in remembering me at this time."

When the Raja had thus spoken, Shookdeo the sage also sat down, when the Raja said to the sages, "O great kings! Shookdeo Jee is the son of Byas Jee, and the grandson of Purasur Jee, on seeing whom you, who are saints of high rank,

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rose up, which I do not think right: explain the reason of this, that the doubts of my mind may be dissipated."

Purasur the sage said, "Raja! all of us saints, however high in degree, are inferior in understanding to Shook, and, therefore, we have all treated him with such respect; some in this hope, that he is the Saviour of the saved, because from the time of his birth he has spent his life in sadness in the desert; and Raja! all your great excellencies have been increased by the coming of Shookdeo Jee. This will be pronounced the greatest and best of religious and virtuous acts, (dhurum) by means of which having been freed from life and death, you will cross over the sea of the world." On hearing this, Raja Pureechit having prostrated himself before Shookdeo Jee, said, "O great king! explain the duties of religion to me; how shall I escape from the noose of fate, what shall I do in seven days? My impiety has been very great, how shall I cross over the sea of the world?" Shree Shookdeo Jee replied, "Raja! do not think the time short, as release can be obtained by religious meditation for an hour, just in the same way that Narud the sage imparted understanding to the Raja Ruktangool, and he obtained release in two hours; seven days are quite sufficient time for you; if you will meditate attentively, you will understand all; what the body is, whose abode it is, and who manifests light in it." On hearing this the Raja enquired with great delight, "O great king! which is the most excellent Dhurum, kindly explain to me." Shookdeo Jee said, "The Vishnù Dhurum is the greatest amongst the Dhurums, and the Shree Bhagwut amongst the Pooranùs; wherever the worshippers of Vishnù recite this history, there all religious observances, and pilgrimages will come together: Among all the Pooranùs, there is none equal to the Bhagwut, for which reason I will recite to you nine parts of the great Pooranù, in which Byas the sage has instructed me; listen with faith and joy."--Upon this the Raja Pureechit began to listen with pleasure, and Shookdeo Jee according to his promise to recite.

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When the sage had recited nine parts of the history, the Raja said, "Kind to the poor! have the goodness now to explain to me the history of the descent upon earth of Shree Krishnù, because he is our supporter and the object of worship of our family." Shookdeo Jee said, "You have conferred great pleasure on me in asking for this account; I shall most joyfully relate it. In the family of Yudoo the first Raja was named Bhugwan, whose son was Prithikoo, and Prithikoo's son was Bidooruth, Bidooruth's son was Soorsen, who, having conquered nine divisions of the earth, obtained celebrity. Bidooruth's wife's name was Mirkya, who had ten sons and five daughters; the eldest son was Basoodeo in whose wife's eighth pregnancy Shree Krishnù Chund Jee was born. When Basoodeo Jee was born, the gods had musical rejoicings in the heavens.

"And amongst the five daughters of Soorsen, Koontee was the eldest, who married Pandoo, whose story has been sung in the Muhabharut; and Basoodeo Jee married first Rohnee, the daughter of Raja Rohun, and afterwards seventeen other wives--After he had married eighteen times, he married at Muttra, Dewukee, the sister of Kuns, upon which there was a voice from heaven, that in the eighth pregnancy of this girl the destroyer of Kuns shall be born. On hearing this Kuns had his sister and her husband shut up in a house, and Shree Krishnù was born there." On hearing thus much of the story, the Raja Pureechit said, "O great king! how was Kuns born, who conferred a great blessing upon him, and in what manner was Krishnù brought into the world, and how did he arrive in Gokool:--please explain these circumstances to me." Shree Shookdeo Jee said, "There was a Raja of Muttra named Ahuk, who had two sons, one named Dewuk, the other Oogursen. After some time, Oogursen became Raja, who had only one wife, named Paourekha, very beautiful and chaste, and at all times obedient to the commands of her husband. One day she had the menses, and by permission of her husband had gone out on a party of pleasure

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to the jungle, in company with her female attendants; there on trees of many kinds, all sorts of flowers were blossoming; a cool gentle breeze filled with perfume was blowing; cuckoos, pigeons, parrots and peacocks were pouring forth sweet and pleasing notes, and on one side under a hill, the Jumna was flowing apart. The Ranee, on viewing this scene, descended from her car, and whilst walking along alone, suddenly lost her way. By accident, a demon named Dromullik, came there, and remained gazing in astonishment at her youth, and beautiful appearance; and be began to say to himself, I must have connexion with her. Having resolved upon this, and immediately assuming the form of the Raja Oogursen, he went into the presence of the Ranee, and said to her, embrace me. The Ranee replied, "O great king! it is not right to indulge in amatory pleasures in the day-time, because by so doing the good and religious qualities of the mind are destroyed. What are you not aware of this, that you have thought of such a vicious act?"

When Paourekha had thus spoken, Dromullik having seized the Ranee by the hand drew her towards him, and accomplished what he wished. After he had connexion with the Ranee through the artifice of the disguise, he assumed his own proper form; upon which, the Ranee, being exceedingly grieved and afflicted, exclaimed, "O unjust, vile sinner! what tyranny have you committed in destroying my virtue! there is a curse on your father, mother and spiritual preceptor in thus having formed your understanding. Why was not thy mother barren, rather than produce a son like thee? O devil! all men, who destroy the virtue of women, fall into hell in each successive birth."--Dromullik said, "Ranee, do not curse me, for I have given you the fruit of my excellence: seeing your womb closed, I suffered great anxiety of mind, which is now gone: from to-day there is a hope of your pregnancy, and you shall have a son in the tenth month:--and from the good properties of my body, thy son having conquered the nine divisions of the earth shall be a king, and

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shall fight with Krishnû--My first name was Kalnem: then I had an encounter with Billoo: in my present birth I am called Dromullik; I have given thee a son, dismiss all anxiety from thy mind."

After having thus spoken, when Kalnem had gone away, the Ranee was restored on reflection to patience of mind.

"Whatever our fate may be, our understanding will be fashioned in accordance with it--What is to be, will dwell in the mind, all memory and consciousness will vanish."

In the mean while, or after this, all the female attendants came up, and on seeing the Ranee's ornaments in disorder, one attendant said, "Where have you been delayed so long, and what has happened to you?"

Paourekha replied, "You left me, O attendants! alone in the forest--a monkey came and gave me great annoyance, from fear of which I am even now trembling."--On hearing this, all the attendants were alarmed and seating the Ranee immediately on her ruth, brought her home.

When ten months were completed, a son was born, at which time a violent tempest occurred, the earth began to quake, it became so dark, that day was turned into night, stars began to fall broken in fragments, the clouds to thunder, and the lightning to crack.

In this manner, on the thirteenth of the light part of the month Magh, on a Thursday, Kuns was born, on which occasion the Raja Oogursen being delighted and having sent for all the musicians of the city, caused musical entertainments to be given, and he also sent for all the Brahmins, pundits and astrologers, and treated them with very great respect, and dignity. On their arrival, the Raja offered them seats, after receiving them with great civility. After this, the astrologers having fixed upon the lucky moment, and division of time, said to the Raja, "O lord of the earth! this child, named Kuns, who has been born in your family, shall be very powerful,

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and shall reign, associating devils with him, and having caused affliction to the gods, and the worshippers of Vishnù, after having obtained your kingdom, he shall die suddenly by the hand of Huri."

Having told so much of the history, Shookdeo, the Sage, said to the Raja Pureechit,--Raja! I will now tell you the history of Dewuk, the brother of Oogursen, who had four sons, and six daughters, which six he gave in marriage to Basoodeo; the seventh was Dewukee, in consequence of whose birth, the gods were delighted; and Oogursen also had ten sons, the eldest of whom was Kuns.

From the time of his birth he was in the habit of going into the city, and violently seizing little children, and putting them to death after having shut them up in caves in the hills--Those who were grown up, he got upon their chests, and strangled them--No one could escape from this calamity--every one concealed his children--the subjects said, this Kuns is a devil, he does not belong to the family of Oogursen--Some great sinner has been born, who has brought affliction on the whole city. On hearing this, Oogursen sent for him, and entered into many explanations with him regarding his conduct, but Kuns paid no attention to what he said--Upon this, being grieved and distressed, Oogursen said, "Why was I not without sons rather than have such a son as this?"

It is said, that when a degenerate son is born in a family, good name and character depart. When Kuns was eight years old, he made an attack upon the Mugudh country:--the Raja of that country, Jurasindhoo, was very powerful, with whom Kuns contended; and Jurasindhoo acknowledged the power of Kuns, and, treating him with great deference as his superior, gave him two daughters in marriage, whom Kuns brought with him to Muttra, and began to increase his enmity against Oogursen. One day he said in a fit of rage to his father, "Give up calling on the name of Ram, and offer up your secret prayers to Muhadeo"--the father replied, "Ram is my lord

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and the dispeller of my griefs; if I do not worship him, how shall I as a sinful man cross over the sea of the world"--Hearing this, Kuns was enraged, and having seized his father took possession of the whole government, and issued a proclamation in the city, that no one should be allowed to offer up sacrifices or gifts, or say prayers, or call upon the name of Ram--Such great tyranny prevailed, that the Cow and Brahmin, and the worshipper of Vishnù began to suffer affliction, and the earth to perish from excessive burdens. When Kuns had taken possession of the government of all the Rajas, he went one day with his army to attack the Raja Indrù--Upon this occasion, a minister said to him, "O great king! the country of Indrù cannot be obtained without prayer and devotion: do not be proud on account of your strength--consider, how their pride brought Kawun and Koonbhkurun to such, destruction, that not one of their family has been left."

Having narrated so much of the history, Shookdeo Jee said to the Raja Pureechit,--O Raja! when this excessive tyranny was exercised upon the earth, she (the earth) assumed the form of a cow, and went lowing into the country of the gods--and having gone to Indrù's court, bowing her head, she told all her troubles--"O great king! evil spirits have begun to commit great crimes in the world, from dread of whom Religion and Justice have departed--and if I receive your orders, I will abandon the world, and descend to the regions below."--On hearing this, Indrù, accompanied by all the gods, went to Bruhmù--Bruhmù having heard what they said took them all to Muhadeo, who, having heard the circumstances, went accompanied by all the gods to the place, where Narayun was sleeping in a sea of milk. Knowing him to be asleep, Bruhmù, Roodrù, Indrù and all the gods stood up with their hands in a supplicating posture, and making obeisances began to sing the praises of the Vedas--"O great and powerful king! who can describe thy greatness? In the form of a fish you rescued the drowning Vedas--in

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the shape of a tortoise you supported a hill on your back:--being transformed into a boar, you placed the earth upon one of your tusks; in the form of a dwarf, you circumvented the Raja Bul; descending on the earth as Purusram, and having destroyed the Chutrees, you gave the earth to Kusyp, the sage; descending on the earth as Rain, you destroyed the great demon, Kawun: and whenever devils afflict your worshippers, you come to their assistance.--O lord! the earth, much distressed by the tyranny of Kunsù, is calling out to thee--be pleased to take her case quickly into consideration, and having destroyed all demons, give pleasure to the good."

The gods continued thus singing the excellencies of Narayun, when there was a voice from Heaven--Bruhmù explained to all the gods, that the voice they had just heard instructed them all, both gods and goddesses to go to Brujmundul, and to be born in the city of Muttra: hereafter Vishnù, assuming four shapes, will descend upon the earth in the house of Basoodeo, and the womb of Dewukee, and by his childish sports will give pleasure to Nund and Jusodha--When Bruhmù had given this explanation, the gods, sages, heavenly musicians and singers were all, together with their wives, born upon the earth, and came to Brujmundul; they called themselves of the family of Yudoo, and cowherds, and the female guardians of the four Vedas went to Bruhmù, and said, "We too will descend upon the earth as cowherdesses, and attend upon Basoodeo"--Saying this, they also came to Bruj, and called themselves cowherdesses. When all the gods had arrived at Muttra, Vishnù began to meditate in the sea of milk, that Luchmun should first be Bulram, afterwards he (Vishnù) should be named Basoodeo; Bhurut should be Purdomun; Suttroogun should be Anooroodrù, and Seeta should descend on the earth as Rookmunee.

Next: Chapter II