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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,884 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1.

SECTION LXXXII

(Sambhava Parva continued)

“Vaisampayana said, ’Yayati then, on returning to his capital which was like unto the city of Indra, entered his inner apartments and established there his bride Devayani.  And the monarch, directed by Devayani, established Vrishaparvan’s daughter Sarmishtha in a mansion especially erected near the artificial woods of Asokas in his gardens.  And the king surrounded Vrishaparvan’s daughter Sarmishtha with a thousand maids and honoured her by making every arrangement for her food and garments.  But it was with Devayani that the royal son of Nahusha sported like a celestial for many years in joy and bliss.  And when her season came, the fair Devayani conceived.  And she brought forth as her first child a fine boy.  And when a thousand years had passed away, Vrishaparvan’s daughter Sarmishtha having attained to puberty saw that her season had come.  She became anxious and said to herself, ’My season hath arrived.  But I have not yet chosen a husband.  O, what hath happened, what should I do?  How am I to obtain the fruition of my wishes?  Devayani hath become mother.  My youth is doomed to pass away in vain.  Shall I choose him also for my husband whom Devayani hath chosen?  This is, indeed, my resolve:  that monarch should give me a son.  Will not the virtuous one grant me a private interview?’

“Vaisampayana continued, ’While Sarmishtha was thus busy with her thoughts, the king wandering listlessly came to that very wood of Asokas, and beholding Sarmishtha before him, stood there in silence.  Then Sarmishtha of sweet smiles seeing the monarch before her with nobody to witness what might pass, approached him and said with joined palms, ’O son of Nahusha, no one can behold the ladies that dwell in the inner apartments of Soma, of Indra, of Vishnu, of Yama, of Varuna, and of thee!  Thou knowest, O king, that I am both handsome and well-born.  I solicit thee, O king!  My season hath arrived.  See that it goeth not in vain.’

“Yayati answered, ’Well do I know that honour of birth is thine, born as thou art in the proud race of the Danavas.  Thou art also gifted with beauty.  I do not, indeed, see even the speck of a fault in thy feature.  But Usanas commanded me, while I was united with Devayani, that never should Vrishaparvan’s daughter he summoned to my bed.’

“Sarmishtha then said, ’It hath been said, O king, that it is not sinful to lie on the occasion of a joke, in respect of women sought to be enjoyed, on occasions of marriage, in peril of immediate death and of the loss of one’s whole fortune.  Lying is excusable on these five occasions.  O king, it is not true that he is fallen who speaks not the truth when asked.  Both Devayani and myself have been called hither as companions to serve the same purpose.  When, therefore, thou hadst said that you wouldst confine thyself to one only amongst as, that was a lie thou hadst spoken.’ 

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