The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,884 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1.
Dwapara also approached Pushkara, becoming the principal die called Vrisha.  And appearing before the warlike Nala, that slayer of hostile heroes, Pushkara, repeatedly said, ‘Let us play together with dice.’  Thus challenged in the presence of Damayanti, the lofty-minded king could not long decline it.  And he accordingly fixed the time for the play.  And possessed by Kali, Nala began to lose, in the game, his stakes in gold, and silver, and cars with the teams thereof, and robes.  And maddened at dice, no one amongst his friends could succeed in dissuading that represser of foes from the play that went on.  And thereupon, O Bharata, the citizens in a body, with the chief councillors, came thither to behold the distressed monarch and make him desist.  And the charioteer coming to Damayanti spake to her of this, saying, ’O lady, the citizens and officers of the state wait at the gate.  Do thou inform the king of the Nishadhas that the citizens have come here, unable to bear the calamity that hath befallen their king conversant with virtue and wealth.’  Thereupon Bhima’s daughter, overwhelmed with grief and almost deprived of reason by it, spake unto Nala in choked accents, ’O king, the citizens with the councillors of state, urged by loyalty, stay at the gate desirous of beholding thee.  It behoveth thee to grant them an interview.’  But the king, possessed by Kali, uttered not a word in reply unto his queen of graceful glances, uttering thus her lamentations.  And at this, those councillors of state as also the citizens, afflicted with grief and shame, returned to their homes, saying, ‘He liveth not.’  And, O Yudhishthira, it was thus that Nala and Pushkara gambled together for many months, the virtuous Nala being always worsted.’”

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Vrihadaswa said.  “Bhima’s daughter, the cool-headed Damayanti, seeing the righteous king maddened and deprived of his senses at dice, was filled, O king, with alarm and grief.  And she thought the affair to be a serious one with the king.  And apprehensive of the calamity that threatened Nala, yet seeking his welfare and at last understanding that her lord had lost everything, she said unto her nurse and maid-servant Vrihatsena of high fame, intent upon her good, dexterous in all duties, faithful and sweet-speeched, these words, ’O Vrihatsena, go thou and summon the councillors in the name of Nala, and tell them also what of wealth and other things hath been lost and what remaineth.’  The councillors then, hearing of Nala’s summons, said, ‘This is fortunate for us’ and approached the king.  And when the subjects in a body had (thus) come a second time, the daughter of Bhima informed Nala of it.  But the king regarded her not.  Finding her husband disregarding her words, Damayanti, filled with shame, returned to her apartments.  And hearing that the dice were uniformly unfavourable to the virtuous Nala, and that he had lost everything, she again spake

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