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Krishna Dwaipayana Vyasa
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 454 pages of information about Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa Bk. 3 Pt. 1.

“’Unto Bhima’s daughter thus lamenting with tearful eyes, and afflicted and speaking in accents choked in grief, the queen-mother herself said, “O blessed damsel, do thou stay with me.  I am well pleased with thee.  O fair lady, my men shall search for thy husband.  Or, perhaps he may come here of his own accord in course of his wanderings.  And, O beautiful lady, residing here thou wilt regain thy (lost) lord.”  Hearing these words of the queen mother, Damayanti replied, “O mother of heroes, I may stay with thee on certain conditions.  I shall not eat the leavings on any dish, nor shall I wash anybody’s feet, nor shall I have to speak with other men.  And if anybody shall seek me (as a wife or mistress) he should be liable to punishment at thy hands.  And, further, should he solicit me over and over again, that wicked one should be punished with death.  This is the vow I have made.  I intend to have an interview with those Brahmanas that will set out to search for my husband.  If thou canst do all this, I shall certainly live with thee.  If it is otherwise, I cannot find it in my heart to reside with thee.”  The queen-mother answered her with a glad heart, saying, “I will do all this.  Thou hast done well in adopting such a vow!"’

“Vrihadaswa continued, ’O king, having spoken so unto the daughter of Bhima, the queen-mother, O Bharata, said to her daughter named Sunanda, “O Sunanda, accept this lady like a goddess as thy Sairindhri!  Let her be thy companion, as she is of the same age with thee.  Do thou, with heart free from care, always sport with her in joy.”  And Sunanda cheerfully accepted Damayanti and led her to her own apartment accompanied by her associates.  And treated with respect, Damayanti was satisfied, and she continued to reside there without anxiety of any kind, for all her wishes were duly gratified.’”

SECTION LXVI

“Vrihadaswa said, ’O monarch, having deserted Damayanti, king Nala saw a mighty conflagration that was raging in that dense forest.  And in the midst of that conflagration, he heard the voice of some creature, repeatedly crying aloud, “O righteous Nala, come hither.”  And answering, “Fear not,” he entered into the midst of the fire and beheld a mighty Naga lying in coils.  And the Naga with joined hands, and trembling, spake unto Nala, saying, “O king, I am a snake, Karkotaka by name.  I had deceived the great Rishi Narada of high ascetic merit, and by him have I been cursed in wrath, O king of men, even in words such as these:  ’Stay thou here like an immobile thing, until one Nala taketh thee hence.  And, indeed, on the spot to which he will carry thee, there shalt thou be freed from my curse.’  It is for that curse of his that I am unable to stir one step.  I will instruct thee in respect of thy welfare.  It behoveth thee to deliver me.  I will be thy friend.  There is no snake equal to me.  I will be light in thy hands.  Taking me up, do thou speedily go hence.” 

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