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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,319 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4.

SECTION LVIII

“Vaisampayana said, ’Utanka, coming back to king Saudasa who was always well-disposed towards all his friends, solicited him for some sign (to convince Madayanti of the fact of his being really commissioned by the king).  That foremost one of Ikshwaku’s race then gave him a sign.’

“Saudasa said, ’This my present condition is intolerable.  I do not behold any refuge.  Knowing this to be my wish, do thou give away the jewelled ear-rings.’[172] Thus addressed by the king, Utanka went back to the queen and reported to her the words of her lord.  Hearing those words, the queen gave unto Utanka her jewelled ear-rings.  Having obtained the ear-rings, Utanka came back to the king and said unto him, ’I desire to hear, O monarch, what the import is of those mysterious words Which thou saidst as a sign to thy queen.’

“Saudasa said, ’Kshatriyas are seen to honour the Brahmanas from the very beginning of the creation.  Towards the Brahmanas, however, many offences arise (on the part of Kshatriyas).  As regards myself, I am always bent in humility before them.  I am overtaken by a calamity through a Brahmana.  Possessed of Madayanti, I do not see any other refuge.  Indeed, O foremost of all persons having of a high goal, I do not behold any other refuge for myself in the matter of approaching the gates of Heaven, or in continuing here, O best of regenerate ones.  It is impossible for a king that is hostile to Brahmanas to continue living in this world or in attaining to happiness in the next.  Hence have I given thee these my jewelled ear-rings which were coveted by thee.[173] Do thou now keep the compact which thou hast made with me today.’

“Utanka said, ’O king, I shall certainly act according to my promise.  I shall truly come back and place myself under thy power.  There is, however, a question, O scorcher of foes, which I wish to ask thee.’

“Saudasa said, ’Say, O learned Brahmana, what is in thy mind.  I shall certainly reply unto thy words.  I shall dispel whatever doubt may be in thy mind.  I have no hesitation in this.’

“Utanka said, ’Those who are skilled in the rules of duty say that Brahmanas are of restrained speech.  One who behaves wrongly towards friends is regarded as vile as a thief.’[174] Thou, again, O king, hast become my friend today.  Do thou then, O foremost of men, give me such counsel as is approved by the wise.  As regards myself, I have now obtained the fruition of my wishes.  Thou, again, art a cannibal.  Is it proper for me to come back to thee or not?’

“Saudasa said, ’If it is proper (for me), O foremost of superior Brahmanas, to say what thou askest, I should then, O best of regenerate ones, tell thee that thou shouldst never come back to me.  O perpetuator of Bhrigu’s race, by acting even thus, thou wilt attain to what is beneficial to thee.  If thou comest back, O learned Brahmana, thou wilt surely meet with death.’

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