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.
I speak unto thee.’  Hearing those words of his queen, Nala replied, ’O slender-waisted Damayanti, it is even as thou hast said.  To a man in distress, there is no friend or medicine that is equal unto a wife.  But I do not seek to renounce thee, wherefore, O timid one, dost thou dread this?  O faultless one, I can forsake myself but thee I cannot forsake.’  Damayanti then said, ’If thou dost not, O mighty king, intend to forsake me, why then dost thou point out to me the way to the country of the Vidarbhas?  I know, O king, that thou wouldst not desert me.  But, O lord of the earth, considering that thy mind is distracted, thou mayst desert me.  O best of men, thou repeatedly pointest out to me the way and it is by this, O god-like one, that thou enhancest my grief.  If it is thy intention that I should go to my relatives, then if it pleaseth thee, both of us will wend to the country of the Vidarbhas.  O giver of honours, there the king of the Vidarbhas will receive thee with respect.  And honoured by him, O king, thou shall live happily in our home.’”

SECTION LXII

“Nala said, ’Surely, thy father’s kingdom is as my own.  But thither I will not, by any means, repair in this extremity.  Once I appeared there in glory, increasing thy joy.  How can I go there now in misery, augmenting thy grief?’

“Vrihadaswa continued, ’Saying this again and again unto Damayanti, king Nala, wrapped in half a garment, comforted his blessed wife.  And both attired in one cloth and wearied with hunger and thirst, in course of their wanderings, at last they came to a sheltered shed for travellers.  And arrived at this place, the king of the Nishadhas sat down on the bare earth with the princes of Vidarbha.  And wearing the same piece of cloth (with Damayanti), and dirty, and haggard, and stained with dust, he fell asleep with Damayanti on the ground in weariness.  And suddenly plunged in distress, the innocent and delicate Damayanti with every mark of good fortune, fell into a profound slumber.  And, O monarch, while she slept, Nala, with heart and mind distraught, could not slumber calmly as before.  And reflecting on the loss of his kingdom, the desertion of his friends, and his distress in the woods, he thought with himself, ’What availeth my acting thus?  And what if I act not thus?  Is death the better for me now?  Or should I desert my wife?  She is truly devoted to me and suffereth this distress for my sake.  Separated from me, she may perchance wander to her relatives.  Devoted as she is to me, if she stayeth with me, distress will surely be hers; while it is doubtful, if I desert her.  On the other hand, it is not unlikely that she may even have happiness some time.’  Reflecting upon this repeatedly, and thinking of it again and again, he concluded, O monarch, that the desertion of Damayanti was the best course for him.  And he also thought, ’Of high fame and auspicious fortune, and devoted

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