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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.

SECTION LXXVI

“Vrihadaswa said, ’Beholding the agitation of the virtuous and wise Nala, Kesini returned unto Damayanti and related everything unto her.  And thereupon Damayanti with a sorrowful heart and eager to behold Nala, again despatched Kesini to her mother, asking her to say on her behalf:  Suspecting Vahuka to be Nala, I have tried him in various ways.  My doubt now only relates to his appearance.  I intend to examine him myself.  O mother, either let him enter the palace, or give me permission to go to him.  And arrange this with the knowledge of my father or without it.  And thus addressed to Damayanti, that lady communicated unto Bhima the intention of his daughter, and upon learning it the king gave his consent.  And, O bull of the Bharata race, having obtained the consent both of her father and mother, Damayanti caused Nala to be brought to her apartments.  And as soon as he saw Damayanti unexpectedly, king Nala was overwhelmed with grief and sorrow, and bathed in tears.  And that best of women, Damayanti, also, upon beholding king Nala in that condition, was sorely afflicted with grief.  And, O monarch, herself clad in a piece of red cloth, and wearing matted locks, and covered with dirt and dust, Damayanti then addressed Vahuka, saying, ’O Vahuka, hast thou ever seen any person acquainted with duty, who hath gone away, deserting his sleeping wife in the forest?  Who, except the virtuous Nala, could go away, deserting in the woods, his dear and unoffending wife overcome with fatigue?  Of what offence was I guilty in the eyes of that monarch since my early youth that he should go away deserting me in the woods while asleep overcome with fatigue?  Why should he whom I formerly chose in preference to the gods themselves abandon his ever-devoted and loving wife who had become the mother also of his children?  Before the fire, and in presence also of the celestials, he had taken my hand, vowing, ’Verily I will be thine.’  Oh, where was that vow when he deserted me.  O represser of foes.’  While Damayanti was saying all this, tears of sorrow began to flow plentifully from her eyes.  And beholding her thus afflicted with grief, Nala also, shedding tears, black of those of the gazelle with extremities of reddish hue, said, ’O timid one, neither the loss of my kingdom nor my desertion of thee was my act.  Both were due to Kali.  And, O foremost of virtuous women, lamenting for me day and night, and overcome with sorrow, thou hadst in the woods cursed Kali, and so he began to dwell in my body, burning in consequence of thy curse.  Indeed burning with thy curse, he lived within me like fire within fire.  O blessed girl, that our sorrows might terminate, that wretch have I overcome by my observances and austerities.  The sinful wretch hath already left me, and it is for this that I have come hither.  My presence here, O fair lady, is for thy sake.  I have no other object.  But, O timid one, can any other woman, forsaking her

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