The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 2,273 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1.
in his bosom.  And he began to pass much of his time in solitude in the gardens adjoining the inner apartment (of his palace).  And there he saw a number of swans furnished with golden wings, wandering in those woods.  And from among them he caught one with his hands.  And thereupon the sky-ranging one said unto Nala.  ’Deserve I not to be slain by thee.  O king.  I will do something that is agreeable to thee.  O king of the Nishadhas.  I will speak of thee before Damayanti in such a way that she will not ever desire to have any other person (for her lord).’  Thus addressed, the king liberated that swan.  And those swans then rose on their wings and went to the country of the Vidarbhas.  And on arriving at the city of the Vidarbhas the birds alighted before Damayanti, who beheld them all.  And Damayanti in the midst of her maids, beholding those birds of extraordinary appearance was filled with delight, and strove without loss of time to catch those coursers of the skies.  And the swans at this, before that bevy of beauties, fled in all directions.  And those maidens there pursued the birds, each (running) after one.  And the swan after which Damayanti ran, having led her to a secluded spot, addressed her in human speech, saying, O Damayanti, there is a king amongst the Nishadhas named Nala.  He is equal unto the Aswins in beauty, not having his peer among men.  Indeed, in comeliness, he is like Kandarpa himself in his embodied form.  O fair-complexioned one, O thou of slender waist, if thou becomest his wife, thy existence and this thy beauty may be of purpose.  We have, indeed, beheld celestials and Gandharvas, and Nagas, and Rakshasas, and men, but never saw we before any one like Nala.  Thou also art a jewel among thy sex, as Nala is the prime among men.  The union of the best with the best is happy.’  Thus addressed by the swan.  Damayanti, O monarch, replied unto him there, saying, ’Do thou speak thus unto Nala also, ’Saying So be it, to the daughter of Vidarbha, the oviparous one, O king, returned to the country of the Nishadhas, and related everything unto Nala.”


“Vrihadaswa said, ’O Bharata, hearing those words of the swan, Damayanti thenceforth lost all peace of mind on account of Nala.  And heaving frequent sighs she was filled with anxiety, and became melancholy and pale-faced and lean.  And with her heart possessed by the god of love, she soon lost colour, and with her upturned gaze and modes of abstraction, looked like one demented.  And she lost all inclination for beds and seats and object of enjoyment.  And she ceased to lie down by day or night, always weeping with exclamation of Oh! and Alas!  And beholding her uneasy and fallen into that condition, her hand-maids represented, O king, the matter of her illness unto the ruler of Vidarbha by indirect hints.  And king Bhima, hearing of this from the handmaids of Damayanti, regarded the affair of his daughter to be serious. 

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The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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