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SHREE SHOOKDEO JEE said,--O great king! on one occasion all the sages and saints were sitting on the banks of the Suruswutee engaged in devout austerities and religious sacrifice, when one of them asked the others to do him the favour to say, which was greatest of the three divinities, Bruhmù, Vishnù or Guneshù. Upon this one said Shivù; another, Vishnù; and a third, Bruhmù; but they did not all agree in pointing out one of the three as the greatest. Then several great saints and sages said, "We will not be satisfied with any opinions thus expressed; but if any one will go and make trial of these three deities, and pronounce one of them to be virtue, religion and justice personified, we will believe what he says to be true." They all assented to this proposal, and directed Bhrigoo, the son of Bruhmù, to make trial of the three deities and return. When Bhrigoo, the sage, had obtained the order, he went first to the world of Bruhmù, and sat in silence in Bruhmù's court; he did not make any salutation, nor did he offer praises, nor go round to the right hand by way of adoration. When Bruhmù, O Raja! saw the impropriety of his son's conduct, he was very angry, and on the point of cursing him; but abstained through a feeling of natural affection for his son. Then Bhrigoo, having seen Bruhmù powerless through the

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property of passion, rose up thence, and went to Kuelas, and remained standing at the abode of Shivù and Parbutee. Shivù Jee rose on seeing him, and when he extended his arms to embrace him, Bhrigoo sat down; at which Shivù Jee was greatly enraged, and took up his trident to kill him. Shree Parbutee then interceded very earnestly for him; and having fallen at the feet of Muhadeo Jee explained to him, and said, This is your younger brother, be pleased to forgive his fault." It is said, 'If a child commits a fault, a holy man will not think any thing of it.'"

O great king! when Parbutee Jee had cooled the anger of Shivù by her explanations, Bhrigoo, having seen Muhadeo Jee, absorbed in the property of darkness, rose up and went away. He then went to Indrù's heaven, where Bhugwan was sleeping with Luchmee on a bed of flowers, spread on a bedstead of gold, with curtains and covered with jewels. On going there Bhrigoo gave Bhugwan such a kick in the breast that he started up from sleep, when Huri saw the sage, he left Luchmee, and came down from his couch; and fixing his eyes upon the head and feet of Bhrigoo Jee began to rub them, and thus address him, "O chief of the sages! be pleased to forgive my fault, I have unintentionally hurt your soft lotus-like feet with my hard breast, be pleased not to think of this offence of mine." When Vishnù (the lord) had thus spoken, Bhrigoo Jee was highly delighted, and having glorified Bhugwan took leave and came thence to the banks of the Suruswutee, where all the saints and sages were sitting. On his arrival Bhrigoo Jee related every circumstance exactly as it had occurred, in his visits to the three deities:--"Bruhmù clings to the property of passion; Muhadeo is impregnated with the property of darkness; Vishnù is chief amongst the virtuous; no other god is greater than he." The doubts of the sages disappeared on hearing this; and joy was in the minds of all. All applauded Vishnù and established in their breasts a faith in him not to be shaken.

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Having proceeded thus far in the narrative, Shree Shookdeo Jee said to the Raja Pureechit,--O great king! I will relate an intermediate story, listen with attention: Raja Oogursen ruled justly and virtuously in the city of Dwarka, and Shree Krishnù Chund and Bulram were obedient to his orders; under the government of the Raja all were attentive to their own duty, and carried on business with intelligence, and lived happily and agreeably; a brahmin dwelt there also, who was a very well disposed and virtuous man; it so happened that one of his sons died, and he took his dead son and went to the gate of Raja Oogursen, and began to say whatever came uppermost: "Your subjects are oppressed by the acts of your government, and my son has also died through your sin."

Having, O great king! made many speeches of this kind, and left the corpse of his son at the Raja's gate, the brahmin came home; he afterwards had eight sons, and in like manner left all the eight at the Raja's gate; when the ninth was about to be born, the brahmin went again to the court of Raja Oogursen, and standing up in the presence of Shree Krishnù Chund Jee, calling to mind his grief for the death of his sons, and shedding tears began to say, "There is a curse on the Raja and on his government, and accursed are they who minister to this unjust tyrant; and there is a curse upon me for living in this city had I not dwelt in the country of these sinners my sons would have escaped, through their want of religion and virtue my sons have died, and no one has protected them."

He, O great king! uttered many expressions of this kind, standing up in the court and weeping; but no one made any reply; at length Urjoon, sitting near Shree Krishnù Chund, and hearing what was said was perplexed in his mind, and said, "O deity! in whose presence have you thus spoken, and why are you thus afflicted? There is no archer in this court, who can drive away your grief;

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modern Rajas are selfish, and not men, who prevent the afflictions of others, and confer happiness on their subjects, and protect the cow and brahmin." Urjoon proceeded to say to the brahmin, "O divinity! go now, and remain in your house, free from all care; when your child shall be about to be born come to me, and I will go with you, and will not allow the child to die." On hearing these words, the brahmin was angry and said, "I do not see any powerful man in this court, with exception of Shree Krishnù, Bulram, Purdiyomun and Unroodrù, who could rescue my son from the hand of death." Urjoon replied, "Brahmin! thou dost not know me, that my name is Dhununjye, I make a compact with thee, that if I do not rescue thy son from the hand of death, I will bring from whatever quarter I may find them thy deceased sons, and show them to thee; and if I do not obtain them, I will burn myself in fire together with the cow (bow?--JBH) Gandeeb."

When, O great king! Urjoon having made this compact, had thus spoken, the brahmin was satisfied, and went to his home; afterwards when the child was about to be born, the brahmin came to Urjoon, who rose up and went with him, taking his bow and arrows and having gone to the brahmin's house, so thatched it with arrows, that even air could not have access between the arrows, and he began to walk round the house himself in every direction, with his bow and arrows in his hand.

Having proceeded thus far in the narrative, Shree Shookdeo Jee said to the Raja Pureechit,--O great king! Urjoon formed many plans for saving the child, but it was not saved. On another day he was weeping at the time of the child's expected birth; on that day the child did not even breathe, but came forth dead from the womb. Urjoon having heard of the child having come forth dead was ashamed, and went to Shree Krishnù Chund, and the brahmin went after him; the brahmin came crying, and began to say, "Urjoon! a

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curse is upon thee, and thy life for showing thy face in the world, after having spoken falsely; O eunuch! if you could not save my child from death, why did you make an agreement to do so, and to bring and show nee my other deceased sons, if you could not save this one?"

On hearing these words, O great king! Urjoon rose up, and taking his bow and arrows, went thence, to the capital of Jinn to Dhurumraj, who stood up on seeing him, and joining his hands, and eulogizing Urjoon, said,--"O great king! for what reason have you come here?" Urjoon replied, "I have come to take away with me the sons of a certain brahmin." Dhurumraj said "Those children are not here." When Dhurumraj had thus spoken, Urjoon departed thence, and wandered over all places, but did not find the brahmin's children. A t length, he came to the city of Dwarka in a state of grief and regret; and, having erected a funeral pile, prepared to be burnt upon it with his bow and arrows having then lighted the pile, when Urjoon was about to sit down upon it, Shree Moorari, the destroyer of pride, came, and laid hold of his hand, and said laughing, "Urjoon! do not burn thyself, I will fulfil thy compact, and will bring that brahmin's sons from whatever place they may be in." The lord of the three worlds having thus spoken and ascended his chariot, went to the eastward, taking Urjoon with him; and, having crossed the seven seas, arrived at the mountainous belt, bounding the world. Having on arrival there descended from the chariot, they entered a very dark cave. Then Shree Krishnù Chund Jee gave an order to the quoit Soodursun, who, having created a light, equal to the splendour of hundred million of suns, went in advance of Krishnù and dispelled the great darkness from before him. Having left the darkness they proceeded a short distance, and then they went into water; there were great waves into which they entered, shutting their eyes, Krishnù and Urjoon swam to the abode of the king of the serpent race, who upholds the world.

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[paragraph continues] Having opened their eyes on going there, they beheld a large, long, broad, lofty, very elegant golden house, covered with jewels; and there, upon the head of the king of the serpent face was an ornamented throne, upon which, in the form of a black cloud, of an elegant shape, with a moon-like body, eyes like the lotus, wearing a diadem and ear-rings, dressed in yellow, with a yellow silken cloth bound on him, having on a garland of flowers reaching to his feet, and a pearl of necklace, the lord himself of a fascinating appearance dwelt; and Bruhmù, Roodrù, Indrù and all the gods standing up in his presence, were glorifying him.

O great king! having beheld this handsome figure, Urjoon and Shree Krishnù Chund Jee went into the presence of the lord; and, having performed obeisance, and joined their hands, mentioned all the reasons of their journey. On hearing their speech the lord had all the brahmin's children brought there, and given to them; and Urjoon was delighted at seeing and receiving them. Then the lord said, "You are both portions of my body, behold Huri and Urjoon to whom my heart desires; you went upon the earth to remove its burthens, and have conferred great happiness on holy and virtuous men; you have destroyed all the demons and evil spirits, and adjusted the affairs of gods, men and sages; you both are parts of me; your business has been accomplished." Having thus spoken, Bhugwan allowed Urjoon and Shree Krishnù Jee to take leave, who came to the city, bringing the children with them; and the brahmin received his children; there were rejoicings and festivities in every house.

Having recited thus much, Shree Shookdeo Jee said to Raja Pureechit,--O great king! whoever shall hear this story, and reflect upon it, his sons shall be prosperous.

Next: Chapter XC