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.

“Vrihadaswa continued, ’O king, having spoken so unto the daughter of Bhima, the queen-mother, O Bharata, said to her daughter named Sunanda, ’O Sunanda, accept this lady like a goddess as thy Sairindhri!  Let her be thy companion, as she is of the same age with thee.  Do thou, with heart free from care, always sport with her in joy.’  And Sunanda cheerfully accepted Damayanti and led her to her own apartment accompanied by her associates.  And treated with respect, Damayanti was satisfied, and she continued to reside there without anxiety of any kind, for all her wishes were duly gratified.’”

SECTION LXVI

“Vrihadaswa said, ’O monarch, having deserted Damayanti, king Nala saw a mighty conflagration that was raging in that dense forest.  And in the midst of that conflagration, he heard the voice of some creature, repeatedly crying aloud, ‘O righteous Nala, come hither.’  And answering, ‘Fear not,’ he entered into the midst of the fire and beheld a mighty Naga lying in coils.  And the Naga with joined hands, and trembling, spake unto Nala, saying, ’O king, that I am a snake, Karkotaka by name.  I had deceived the great Rishi Narada of high ascetic merit, and by him have I been cursed in wrath, O king of men, even in words such as these:  ’Stay thou here like an immobile thing, until one Nala taketh thee hence.  And, indeed, on the spot to which he will carry thee, there shalt thou he freed from my curse.  It is for that curse of his that I am unable to stir one step.  I will instruct thee in respect of thy welfare.  It behoveth thee to deliver me.  I will be thy friend.  There is no snake equal to me.  I will be light in thy hands.  Taking me up, do thou speedily go hence.’  Having said this, that prince of snakes became as small as the thumb.  And taking him up, Nala went to a spot free from fire.  Having reached an open spot where there was no fire, Nala intended to drop the serpent, upon which Karkotaka again addressed him, saying, ’O king of the Nishadhas, proceed thou yet, counting a few steps of thine; meanwhile, O mighty-armed one, I will do thee great good.’  And as Nala began to count his steps, the snake bit him at the tenth step.  And, lo!  As he was bit, his form speedily underwent a change.  And beholding his change of form, Nala was amazed.  And the king saw the snake also assume his own form.  And the snake Karkotaka, comforting Nala, spake unto him, ’I have deprived thee of thy beauty, so that people may not recognise thee.  And, O Nala, he by whom thou hast been deceived and cast into distress, shall dwell in thee tortured by my venom.  And, O monarch, as long as he doth not leave thee, he will have to dwell in pain in thy body with thee every limb filled with my venom.  And, O ruler of men I have saved from the hands of him who from anger and hate deceived thee, perfectly innocent though thou art and undeserving of wrong.  And, O tiger among men, through my grace, thou shalt have (no longer) any

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