The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,319 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4.
lizard from that situation.  Resembling a very hill in size, the lizard was sought to be freed by means of cords and leathern tongs.  Not succeeding in their intention the young men then went to Janardana.  Addressing him they said, ’Covering the entire space of a well, there is a very large lizard to be seen.  Notwithstanding our best efforts we have not succeeded in rescuing it from that situation.’  Even this was what they represented unto Krishna.  Vasudeva then proceeded to the spot and took out the lizard and questioned it as to who it was.  The lizard said that it was identical with the soul of king Nriga who had flourished in days of old and who had performed many sacrifices.  Unto the lizard that said those words, Madhava spoke, ’Thou didst perform many righteous acts.  No sin didst thou commit.  Why, then, O king, hast thou come to such a distressful end?  Do thou explain what this is and why it has been brought about.  We have heard that thou didst repeatedly make gifts unto the Brahmanas of hundreds upon hundreds of thousands and once again eight times hundreds upon hundreds of ten thousands of kine.[351] Why, therefore, has this end overtaken thee?’ Nriga then replied unto Krishna, saying, ’On one occasion a cow belonging to a Brahmana who regularly worshipped his domestic fire, escaping from the owner’s abode while he was absent from home entered my flock.  The keepers of my cattle included that cow in their tale of a thousand.  In time that cow was given away by me unto a Brahmana, acting as I did from desire of happiness in heaven.  The true owner, returning home, sought for his lost cow and at last saw it in the house of another.’  Finding her, the owner said, ’This cow is mine!’ The other person contested his claim, till both, disputing and excited with wrath, came to me.  Addressing me one of them said, ’Thou hast been the giver of this cow!’ The other one said, ’Thou hast robbed me of this cow—­she is mine!  I then solicited the Brahmana unto whom I had given that cow, to return the gift in exchange for hundreds upon hundreds of other kine.  Without acceding to my earnest solicitations, he addressed me, saying.  ’The cow I have got is well-suited to time and place.  She yields a copious measure of milk, besides being very quiet and very fond of us.  The mills she yields is very sweet.  She is regarded as worthy of every praise in my house.  She is nourishing, besides, a weak child of mine that has just been weaned.  She is incapable of being given up by me.’  Having said these words, the Brahmana went away.  I then solicited the other Brahmana offering him an exchange, and saying, ’Do thou take a hundred thousand kine for this one cow.’  The Brahmana, however, replied unto me, saying, ’I do not accept gifts from persons of the kingly order.  I am able to get on without help.  De thou then, without loss of time, give me that very cow which was mine.’  Even thus, O slayer of Madhu, did that Brahmana speak unto me.  I offered to make gifts unto him of
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The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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