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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.

“Vaisampayana continued, ’Thus addressed by the intelligent king in respect of what was beneficial for him.  Utanka took leave of the monarch and set out for the presence of Ahalya.  Desirous of doing what was agreeable to the wife of his preceptor, he took the ear-rings with him and set out with great speed for reaching the retreat of Gautama.  Protecting them even in the manner directed by Madayanti, that is, binding them within the folds of his black deer-skin, he proceeded on his way.  After he had proceeded for some distance, he became afflicted by hunger.  He there beheld a Vilwa tree bent down with the weight of (ripe) fruits.[175] He climbed that tree.  Causing his deer-skin, O chastiser of foes, to hang on a branch, that foremost of regenerate persons then began to pluck some fruits.  While he was employed in plucking those fruits with eyes directed towards them, some of them fell, O king, on that deerskin in which those ear-rings had been carefully tied by that foremost of Brahmanas.  With the strokes of the fruits, the knot became untied.  Suddenly that deer-skin, with the ear-rings in it, fell down.  When the knot being unfastened, the deer-skin fell down on the ground, a snake who was there beheld those jewelled ear-rings.  That snake belonged to the race of Airavata.  With great promptness he took up the ear-rings in his mouth and then entered an anthill.  Beholding the ear-rings taken away by that snake, Utanka, filled with wrath and in great anxiety of mind, came down from the tree.  Taking his staff he began to pierce that anthill.  That best of Brahmanas, burning with wrath and the desire for revenge, ceaselessly employed himself for five and thirty days in that task.  The goddess Earth, unable to bear the force of Utanka’s walking staff and with body torn therewith, became exceedingly anxious.  Unto that regenerate Rishi then, who continued to dig the Earth from desire of making a path to the nether regions inhabited by the Nagas, the chief of the celestials, armed with the thunder, came there, on his car drawn by green horses.  Endued with great energy, he beheld that foremost of Brahmanas, as he sat there engaged in his task.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ’Assuming the garb of a Brahmana afflicted with the sorrow of Utanka, the chief of the celestials addressed him, saying, ’This (purpose of thine) is incapable of being achieved.  The regions of the Nagas are thousands of Yojanas removed from this place.  I think that thy purpose is not capable of being achieved with thy walking staff.’

“Utanka said, ’If, O Brahmana, the ear-rings be not recovered by me from the regions of the Nagas, I shall cast off my life-breaths before thy eyes, O foremost of regenerate persons!’

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