be taken as food with the greatest care.”
And saying this, he vanished from sight. The two
ladies, however, made an interchange both in the matter
of the pots of rice, and likewise as regards the trees
(to be embraced by each). Then after the lapse
of very many days, the revered saint, once more came.
And he came knowing (what had happened) by his attribute
of divine knowledge. Then Bhrigu possessed of
mighty strength, spake to Satyavati, his daughter-in-law,
saying, “O dutiful girl! O my daughter of
a lovely brow, the wrong pot of rice thou tookest
as food. And it was the wrong tree which was
embraced by thee. It was thy mother who deluded
thee. A son will be born of thee, who, though
of the priestly caste, will be of a character fit
for the military order; while a mighty son will be
born of thy mother, who, though by birth a Kshatriya
will assume a life suitable to the sacerdotal order.
And his power will be great, and he will walk on the
path trodden by righteous men.” Then she
entreated her father-in-law again and again, saying,
“Let not my son be of this character; but let
my grandson be such.” And, O Pandu’s
son, he replied, “So let it be!” And thus
he was pleased to grant her prayer. Then she
brought forth on the expected day a son by name Jamadagni.
And this son of Bhrigu was endowed with both splendour
and grace. And he grew in years and in strength,
and excelled the other saints in the proficiency of
lore. O chieftain of Bharata’s
race, to him, rivalling in lustre the author of light
(the sun), came spontaneously and without instruction
the knowledge of the entire military art and of the
fourfold missile arms.’”
“Akritavrana said, ’Jamadagni devoted
himself to the study of the Veda and the practice
of sacred penances, and became famous for his great
austerities. Then he pursued a methodical course
of study and obtained a mastery over the entire Veda.
And, O king, he paid a visit to Prasenajit and solicited
the hand of Renuka in marriage. And this prayer
was granted by the king. And the delight of Bhrigu’s
race having thus obtained Renuka for his wife, took
his residence with her in a hermitage, and began to
practice penances, being assisted by her. And
four boys were born of her, with Rama for the fifth.
And although the youngest, Rama was superior to all
in merit. Now once upon a time, when her sons
had gone out for the purpose of gathering fruits, Renuka
who had a pure and austere life, went out to bathe.
And, O king, while returning home, she happened to
cast her glance towards the king of Martikavata, known
by the name of Chitraratha. The king was in the
water with his wives, and wearing on his breast a
lotus wreath, was engaged in sport. And beholding
his magnificent form, Renuka was inspired with desire.
And this unlawful desire she could not control, but
became polluted within the water, and came back to