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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.
Yayati replied, ’A king should ever be a model in the eyes of his people.  That monarch certainly meets with destruction who speaks an untruth.  As for myself, I dare not speak an untruth even if the greatest loss threatens me!’ Sarmishtha answered, ’O monarch, one may look upon her friend’s husband as her own.  One’s friend’s marriage is the same as one’s own.  Thou hast been chosen by my friend as her husband.  Thou art as much my husband, therefore.’  Yayati then said, ’It is, indeed my vow always to grant what one asketh.  As thou askest me, tell me then what I am to do.’  Sarmishtha then said, ’Absolve me, O king, from sin.  Protect my virtue.  Becoming a mother by thee, let me practise the highest virtue in this world.  It is said, O king, that a wife, a slave, and a son can never earn wealth for themselves.  What they earn always belongeth to him who owneth them.  I am, indeed, the slave of Devayani.  Thou art Devayani’s master and lord.  Thou art, therefore, O king, my master and lord as much as Devayani’s!  I solicit thee!  O, fulfil my wishes!’

“Vaisampayana continued, ’Thus addressed by Sarmishtha, the monarch was persuaded into the truth of all she spoke.  He therefore, honoured Sarmishtha by protecting her virtue.  And they passed some time together.  And taking affectionate farewell of each other, they then parted, each returning to whence he or she had come.

“And it came to pass that Sarmishtha of sweet smiles and fair eyebrows conceived in consequence of that connection of hers with that best of monarchs.  And, O king, that lotus-eyed lady then in due course of time brought forth a son of the splendour of a celestial child and of eyes like-lotus-petals.’”

SECTION LXXXIII

(Sambhava Parva continued)

“Vaisampayana said, ’When Devayani of sweet smiles heard of the birth of this child, she became jealous, and O Bharata, Sarmishtha became an object of her unpleasant reflections.  And Devayani, repairing to her, addressed her thus, ’O thou of fair eye-brows, what sin is this thou hast committed by yielding to the influence of lust?’ Sarmishtha replied, ’A certain Rishi of virtuous soul and fully conversant with the Vedas came to me.  Capable of granting boons he was solicited by me to grant my wishes that were based on considerations of virtue.  O thou of sweet smiles, I would not seek the sinful fulfilment of my desires.  I tell thee truly that this child of mine is by that Rishi!’ Devayani answered, ’It is all right if that be the case, O timid one!  But if the lineage, name, and family of that Brahmana be known to thee, I should like to hear them.’  Sarmishtha replied, ’O thou of sweet smiles, in asceticism and energy, that Rishi is resplendent like the Sun himself.  Beholding him, I had not, any need to make these enquiries—­’ Devayani then said, ’If this is true, if indeed, thou hast obtained thy child from such a superior Brahmana, then, O Sarmishtha, I have no cause of anger.’

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