sábado, 23 de abril de 2011


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approached the king. And when the subjects in a body had (thus) come a
second time, the daughter of Bhima informed Nala of it. But the king
regarded her not. Finding her husband disregarding her words, Damayanti,
filled with shame, returned to her apartments. And hearing that the dice
were uniformly unfavourable to the virtuous Nala, and that he had lost
everything, she again spake unto her nurse, saying, 'O Vrihatsena, go
thou again in Nala's name to bring hither, O blessed one, the charioteer,
Varshneya. The matter at hand is very serious.' And Vrihatsena, hearing
those words of Damayanti caused Varshneya to be summoned by trusty
servants. And the blameless daughter of Bhima, acquainted with conduct
suitable to time and place, addressing soft words said according to the
occasion, 'Thou knowest how the king hath always behaved towards thee. Él
is now in difficulty, and it behoveth thee to assist him. The more the
king loseth to Pushkara, the greater becometh his ardour for the play.
And as the dice fall obedient to Pushkara, it is seen that they are
adverse to Nala in the matter of the play. And absorbed in the play, he
heedeth not the words of his friends and relatives, nor even those of
mine. I do not think, however, that in this the high-souled Naishadha is
to blame, in as much as the king regarded not my words, being absorbed in
juego. O Charioteer, I seek thy protection. Do my behest. My mind
misgiveth me. The king may come to grief. Yoking Nala's favourite horses
endued with the fleetness of the mind, do thou take these twins (my son
and daughter) on the car and hie thou to Kundina. Leaving the children
there with my kindred as also the car and the horses, either stay thou
there, or go to any other place as it pleaseth thee.' Varshneya, the
charioteer of Nala, then reported in detail these words of Damayanti unto
the chief officers of the king. And having settled (the matter) in
consultation with them, and obtaining their assent, O mighty monarch, the
charioteer started for Vidarbha, taking the children on that car. Y
leaving there the boy Indrasena and the girl Indrasena, as also that best
of cars and those steeds, the charioteer, with a sad heart grieving for
Nala, bade farewell unto Bhima. And wandering for some time, he arrived
at the city of Ayodhya. And there he appeared with a sorrowful heart
before king Rituparna, and entered the service of that monarch as

Chapter 61

"Vrihadaswa said, 'After Varshneya had gone away, Pushkara won from the
righteous Nala that latter's kingdom and what else of wealth he had. Y
unto Nala, O king, who had lost his kingdom, Pushkara laughingly said,
'Let the play go on. But what stake hast thou now? Damayanti only
remaineth; all else of thine hath been won by me. Well, if thou likest,
that Damayanti be our stake now.' Hearing these words of Pushkara the
virtuous king felt as if his heart would burst in rage, but he spake not

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a word. And gazing at Pushkara in anguish, king Nala of great fame took
all the ornaments off every part of his body. And attired in a single
piece of cloth, his body uncovered, renouncing all his wealth, and
enhancing the grief of friends, the king set out. And Damayanti, clad in
one piece of cloth, followed him behind as he was leaving the city. Y
coming to the outskirts of the city, Nala stayed there for three nights
with his wife. But Pushkara, O king, proclaimed through the city that he
that should show any attention to Nala, would be doomed to death. Y en
account of these words of Pushkara and knowing his malice towards Nala,
the citizens, O Yudhishthira, no longer showed him hospitable regards.
And unregarded though deserving of hospitable regards, Nala passed three
nights in the outskirts of the city, living on water alone. And afflicted
with hunger, the king went away in search of fruit and roots, Damayanti
following him behind. And in agony of famine, after many days, Nala saw
some birds with plumage of golden hue. And thereupon the mighty lord of
the Nishadhas thought within himself, 'These will be my banquet today and
also my wealth.' And then he covered them with the cloth he had on--when
bearing up that garment of his, the birds rose up to the sky. Y
beholding Nala nude and melancholy, and standing with face turned towards
the ground, those rangers of the sky addressed him, saying, 'O thou of
small sense, we are even those dice. We had come hither wishing to take
away thy cloth, for it pleased us not that thou shouldst depart even with
thy cloth on.' And finding himself deprived of his attire, and knowing
also that the dice were departing (with it), the virtuous Nala, O king,
thus spake unto Damayanti, 'O faultless one, they through whose anger I
have been despoiled of my kingdom, they through whose influence
distressed and afflicted with hunger, I am unable to procure sustenance,
they for whom the Nishadhas offered me not any hospitality, they, O timid
one, are carrying off my cloth, assuming the form of birds. Fallen into
this dire disaster, I am afflicted with grief and deprived of my senses,
I am thy lord, do thou, therefore, listen to the words I speak for thy
buena. These many roads lead to the southern country, passing by (the city
of) Avanti and the Rikshavat mountains. This is that mighty mountain
called Vindhya; yon, the river Payasvini running sea-wards, and yonder
are the asylums of the ascetics, furnished with various fruit and roots.
This road leadeth to the country of the Vidarbhas--and that, to the
country of the Kosalas. Beyond these roads to the south is the southern
country.' Addressing Bhima's daughter, O Bharata, the distressed king Nala
spake those words unto Damayanti over and over again. Thereupon afflicted
with grief, in a voice choked with tears, Damayanti spake unto Naishadha
these piteous words, 'O king, thinking of thy purpose, my heart
trembleth, and all my limbs become faint. How can I go, leaving thee in
the lone woods despoiled of thy kingdom and deprived of thy wealth,
thyself without a garment on, and worn with hunger and toil? When in the
deep woods, fatigued and afflicted with hunger, thou thinkest of thy
former bliss, I will, O great monarch, soothe thy weariness. En todos los
sorrow there is no physic equal unto the wife, say the physicians. Es

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the truth, O Nala, that I speak unto thee.' Hearing those words of his
queen, Nala replied, 'O slender-waisted Damayanti, it is even as thou
hast said. To a man in distress, there is no friend or medicine that is
equal unto a wife. But I do not seek to renounce thee, wherefore, O timid
one, dost thou dread this? O faultless one, I can forsake myself but thee
I cannot forsake.' Damayanti then said, 'If thou dost not, O mighty king,
intend to forsake me, why then dost thou point out to me the way to the
country of the Vidarbhas? I know, O king, that thou wouldst not desert
mí. But, O lord of the earth, considering that thy mind is distracted,
thou mayst desert me. O best of men, thou repeatedly pointest out to me
the way and it is by this, O god-like one, that thou enhancest my grief.
If it is thy intention that I should go to my relatives, then if it
pleaseth thee, both of us will wend to the country of the Vidarbhas. O
giver of honours, there the king of the Vidarbhas will receive thee with
respeto. And honoured by him, O king, thou shall live happily in our

Chapter 62

"Nala said, 'Surely, thy father's kingdom is as my own. But thither I
will not, by any means, repair in this extremity. Once I appeared there
in glory, increasing thy joy. How can I go there now in misery,
augmenting thy grief?'
"Vrihadaswa continued, 'Saying this again and again unto Damayanti, king
Nala, wrapped in half a garment, comforted his blessed wife. And both
attired in one cloth and wearied with hunger and thirst, in course of
their wanderings, at last they came to a sheltered shed for travellers.
And arrived at this place, the king of the Nishadhas sat down on the bare
earth with the princess of Vidarbha. And wearing the same piece of cloth
(with Damayanti), and dirty, and haggard, and stained with dust, he fell
asleep with Damayanti on the ground in weariness. And suddenly plunged in
distress, the innocent and delicate Damayanti with every mark of good
fortune, fell into a profound slumber. And, O monarch, while she slept,
Nala, with heart and mind distraught, could not slumber calmly as before.
And reflecting on the loss of his kingdom, the desertion of his friends,
and his distress in the woods, he thought with himself, 'What availeth my
acting thus? And what if I act not thus? Is death the better for me now?
Or should I desert my wife? She is truly devoted to me and suffereth this
distress for my sake. Separated from me, she may perchance wander to her
relatives. Devoted as she is to me, if she stayeth with me, distress will
surely be hers; while it is doubtful, if I desert her. Por otra parte,
it is not unlikely that she may even have happiness some time.'
Reflecting upon this repeatedly, and thinking of it again and again, he
concluded, O monarch, that the desertion of Damayanti was the best course

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para él. And he also thought, 'Of high fame and auspicious fortune, and
devoted to me, her husband, she is incapable of being injured by any one
on the way on account of her energy.' Thus his mind that was influenced
by the wicked Kali, dwelling upon Damayanti, was made up for deserting
ella. And then thinking of his own want of clothing, and of her being clad
in a single garment, he intended to cut off for himself one half of
Damayanti's attire. And he thought, 'How shall I divide this garment, so
that my beloved one may not perceive?' And thinking of this, the royal
Nala began to walk up and down that shed. And, O Bharata, pacing thus to
and fro, he found a handsome sword lying near the shed, unsheathed. Y
that repressor of foes, having, with that sword cut off one half of the
cloth, and throwing the instrument away, left the daughter of Vidharbha
insensible in her sleep and went away. But his heart failing him, the
king of the Nishadhas returned to the shed, and seeing Damayanti (again),
burst into tears. And he said, 'Alas! that beloved one of mine whom
neither the god of wind nor the sun had seen before, even she sleepeth
to-day on the bare earth, like one forlorn. Clad in this severed piece of
cloth, and lying like one distracted, how will the beauteous one of
luminous smiles behave when she awaketh? How will the beautiful daughter
of Bhima, devoted to her lord, all alone and separated from me, wander
through these deep woods inhabited by beasts and serpents? O blessed one,
may the Adityas and the Vasus, and the twin Aswins together with the
Marutas protect thee, thy virtue being thy best guard.' And addressing
thus his dear wife peerless on earth in beauty, Nala strove to go, reft
of reason by Kali. Departing and still departing, king Nala returned
again and again to that shed, dragged away by Kali but drawn back by
el amor. And it seemed as though the heart of the wretched king was rent in
twain, and like a swing, he kept going out from cabin and coming back
en él. At length after lamenting long and piteously, Nala stupefied and
bereft of sense by Kali went away, forsaking that sleeping wife of his.
Reft of reason through Kali's touch, and thinking of his conduct, the
king departed in sorrow, leaving his, wife alone in that solitary

Chapter 63

Vrihadaswa said, "O king, after Nala had gone away, the beauteous
Damayanti, now refreshed, timorously awoke in that lonely forest. And O
mighty monarch, not finding her lord Naishadha, afflicted with grief and
pain, she shrieked aloud in fright, saying, 'O lord? O mighty monarch! O
husband, dost thou desert me? Oh, I am lost and undone, frightened in
this desolate place. O illustrious prince, thou art truthful in speech,
and conversant with morality. How hast thou then, having pledged thy
word, deserted me asleep in the woods? Oh, why hast thou deserted thy
accomplished wife, ever devoted to thee, particularly one that hath not

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wronged thee, though wronged thou hast been by others? O king of men, it
behoveth thee to act faithfull, according to those words thou hadst
spoken unto me before in the presence of the guardians of the worlds. O
bull among men, that thy wife liveth even a moment after thy desertion of
her, is only because mortals are decreed to die at the appointed time. O
bull among men, enough of this joke! O irrepressible one, I am terribly
miedo. O lord, show thyself. I see thee! I see thee, o king! Tú
art seen, O Naishadha, Hiding thyself behind those shrubs, why dost thou
not reply unto me? It is cruel of thee, O great king, that seeing me in
this plight and so lamenting, thou dost not, O king, approach and comfort
mí. I grieve not for myself, nor for anything else. I only grieve to
think how thou wilt pass thy days alone, O king. In the evening oppressed
with hunger and thirst and fatigue, underneath the trees, how wilt it
take with thee when thou seest me not?' And then Damayanti, afflicted
with anguish and burning with grief, began to rush hither and thither,
weeping in woe. And now the helpless princess sprang up, and now she sank
down in stupor; and now she shrank in terror, and now she wept and wailed
aloud. And Bhima's daughter devoted to her husband, burning in anguish
and sighing ever more, and faint and weeping exclaimed, 'That being
through whose imprecation the afflicted Naishadha suffereth this woe,
shall bear grief that is greater than ours. May that wicked being who
hath brought Nala of sinless heart this, lead a more miserable life
bearing greater ills.'
"Thus lamenting, the crowned consort of the illustrious (king) began to
seek her lord in those woods, inhabited by beasts of prey. Y el
daughter of Bhima, wailing bitterly, wandered hither and thither like a
maniac, exclaiming, 'Alas! ¡Ay! Oh king!' And as she was wailing loudly
like a female osprey, and grieving and indulging in piteous lamentations
unceasingly, she came near a gigantic serpent. And that huge and hungry
serpent thereupon suddenly seized Bhima's daughter, who had come near and
was moving about within its range. And folded within serpent's coils and
filled with grief, she still wept, not for herself but for Naishadha. Y
she said 'O lord, why dost thou not rush towards me, now that I am
seized, without anybody to protect me, by this serpent in these desert
wilds? And, O Naishadha, how will it fare with thee when thou rememberest
yo? O lord, why hast thou gone away, deserting me today in the forest?
Free from thy curse, when thou wilt have regained thy mind and senses
and wealth, how will it be with thee when thou thinkest of me? O
Naishadha, O sinless one, who will soothe thee when thou art weary, and
hungry, and fainting, O tiger among kings?' And while she was wailing
thus, a certain huntsman ranging the deep woods, hearing her
lamentations, swiftly came to the spot. And beholding the large-eyed one
in the coils of the serpent, he rushed towards it and cut off its head
with his sharp weapon. And having struck the reptile dead, the huntsman
set Damayanti free. And having sprinkled her body with water and fed and
comforted her. O Bharata, he addressed her saying, 'O thou with eyes like

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those of a young gazelle, who art thou? And why also hast thou come into
the woods? And, O beauteous one, how hast thou fallen into this extreme
misery' And thus accosted, O monarch, by that man, Damayanti, O Bharata,
related unto him all that had happened. And beholding that beautiful
woman clad in half a garment, with deep bosom and round hips, and limbs
delicate and faultless, and face resembling the full moon, and eyes
graced with curved eye-lashes, and speech sweet as honey, the hunter
became inflamed with desire. And afflicted by the god of love, the
huntsman began to soothe her in winning voice and soft words. And as soon
as the chaste and beauteous Damayanti, beholding him understood his
intentions, she was filled with fierce wrath and seemed to blaze up in
anger. But the wicked-minded wretch, burning with desire became wroth,
attempted to employ force upon her, who was unconquerable as a flame of
blazing fire. And Damayanti already distressed upon being deprived of
husband and kingdom, in that hour of grief beyond utterance, cursed him
in anger, saying, 'I have never even thought of any other person than
Naishadha, therefore let this mean-minded wretch subsisting on chase, fall
down lifeless.' And as soon as she said this, the hunter fell down
lifeless upon the ground, like a tree consumed by fire." 131

Chapter 64

"Vrihadaswa continued, 'Having destroyed that hunter Damayanti of eyes
like lotus petals, went onwards through that fearful and solitary forest
ringing with the chirp of crickets. And it abounded with lions, and
leopards, and Rurus and tigers, and buffaloes, and bears and deer. Y
swarmed with birds of various species, and was infested by thieves and
mlechchha tribes. And it contained Salas, and bamboos and Dhavas, and
Aswatthas, and Tindukas and Ingudas, and Kinsukas, and Arjunas, and
Nimvas, and Tinisas and Salmalas, and Jamvus, and mango trees, and
Lodhras, and the catechu, and the cane, and Padmakas, and Amalahas, and
Plakshas, and Kadamvas, and Udumvaras and Vadaris, and Vilwas, and
banians, and Piyalas, and palms, and date-trees, and Haritakas and
Vibhitakas. And the princess of Vidarbha saw many mountains containing
ores of various kinds, and groves resounding with the notes of winged
choirs, and many glens of wondrous sight, and many rivers and lakes and
tanks and various kinds of birds and beasts. And she saw numberless
snakes and goblins and Rakshasas of grim visage, and pools and tanks and
hillocks, and brooks and fountains of wonderful appearance. Y el
princess of Vidarbha saw there herds of buffaloes. And boars, and bears
as well as serpents of the wilderness. And safe in virtue and glory and
good fortune and patience, Damayanti wandered through those woods alone,
in search of Nala. And the royal daughter of Bhima, distressed only at
her separation from her lord, was not terrified at all in that fearful
forest. And, O king, seating herself down upon a stone and filled with

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grief, and every limb of hers trembling with sorrow on account of her
husband, she began to lament thus: 'O king of the Nishadhas, O thou of
broad chest and mighty arms, whither hast thou gone, O king, leaving me
in this lone forest? O hero, having performed the Aswamedha and other
sacrifices, with gifts in profusion (unto the Brahmanas), why hast thou,
O tiger among men, played false with me alone? O best of men, O thou of
great splendour, it behoveth thee. O auspicious one, to remember what
thou didst declare before me, O bull among kings! And, O monarch, it
behoveth thee also to call to mind what the sky-ranging swans spake in
thy presence and in mine. O tiger among men, the four Vedas in all their
extent, with the Angas and the Upangas, well-studied, on one side, and
one single truth on the other, (are equal). Therefore, O slayer of foes,
it behoveth thee, O lord of men, to make good what thou didst formerly
declare before me. Alas, O hero! warrior! O Nala! O sinless one being
thine, I am about to perish in this dreadful forest. ¡Oh! wherefore dost
thou not answer me? This terrible lord of the forest, of grim visage and
gaping jaws, and famishing with hunger, filleth me with fright. Doth it
not behove thee to deliver me? Thou wert wont to say always, 'Save thee
there existeth not one dear unto me.' O blessed one, O king, do thou now
make good thy words so spoken before. And, O king, why dost thou not
return an answer to thy beloved wife bewailing and bereft of sense,
although thou lovest her, being loved in return? O king of the earth, O
respected one, O represser of foes, O thou of large eyes, why dost thou
not regard me, emaciated, and distressed and pale, and discoloured, and
clad in a half piece of cloth, and alone, and weeping, and lamenting like
one forlorn, and like unto a solitary doe separated from the herd? O
illustrious sovereign, it is, I, Damayanti, devoted to thee, who, alone
in this great forest, address thee. Wherefore, then, dost thou not reply
unto me? Oh, I do not behold thee today on this mountain, O chief of men,
O thou of noble birth and character with every limb possesed of grace! En
this terrible forest, haunted by lions and tigers, O king of the
Nishadhas, O foremost of men, O enhancer of my sorrows, (Wishing to know)
whether thou art lying down, or sitting, or standing, or gone, whom shall
I ask, distressed and woe-stricken on thy account, saying, 'Hast thou
seen in this woods the royal Nala?' Of whom shall I in this forest
enquire after the departed Nala, handsome and of high soul, and the
destroyer of hostile arrays? From whom shall I today hear the sweet
words, viz., 'That royal Nala, of eyes like lotus-leaves, whom thou
seekest, is even here?' Yonder cometh the forest-king, that tiger of
graceful mien, furnished with four teeth and prominent cheeks. Even him
will I accost fearlessly: Thou art the lord of all animals, and of this
forest the king. Know me for Damayanti, the daughter of the king of the
Vidarbhas, and the wife of Nala, destroyer of foes, and the king of the
Nishadhas. Distressed and woe-stricken, I am seeking my husband alone in
these woods. Do thou, O king of beasts, comfort me (with news of Nala) if
thou hast seen him. Or, O lord of the forest, if thou cannot speak of
Nala, do thou, then, O best of beasts, devour me, and free me from this

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la miseria. ¡Ay! hearing my plaintive appeal in the wilderness, this king of
mountains, this high and sacred hill, crested with innumerable [...?-JBH]
rolleth towards the sea. Let me, then, for tidings of the king, ask this
king of mountains, this high and sacred hill, crested with innumerable
heaven-kissing and many-hued and beauteous peaks, and abounding in
various ores, and decked with gems of diverse kinds, and rising like a
banner over this broad forest, and ranged by lions and tigers and
elephants and boars and bears and stags, and echoing all around with (the
notes of) winged creatures of various species, and adorned with kinsukas
and Asokas and Vakulas and Punnagas, with blossoming Karnikaras, and
Dhavas and Plakshas, and with streams haunted by waterfowls of every
kind, and abounding in crested summits, O sacred one! O best of
mountains! O thou of wondrous sight! O celebrated hill! O refuge (of the
distressed)! O highly auspicious one! I bow to thee, O pillar of the
earth! Approaching, I bow to thee. Know me for a king's daughter, and a
king's daughter-in-law, and king's consort, Damayanti by name that lord
of earth who ruleth the Vidarbhas, that mighty warrior-king Bhima by
name, who protecteth the four orders, is my sire. That best of kings
celebrated the Rajasuya and Aswamedha sacrifices, with profuse gifts to
the Brahmanas. Possessed of beautiful and large eyes, distinguished for
devotion to the Vedas, of unblemished character, truth-telling, devoid of
guile, gentle, endued with prowess, lord of immense wealth, versed in
morality, and pure, he having vanquished all his foes, effectually
protecteth the inhabitants of Vidarbha. Know me, O holy one, for his
daughter, thus come to thee. That best of men--the celebrated ruler of
the Nishadha--known by the name of Virasena of high fame, was my
father-in-law. The son of that king, heroic and handsome and possessed of
energy incapable of being baffled, who ruleth well the kingdom which hath
descended to him from his father, is named Nala. Know, O mountain, that
of that slayer of foes, called also Punyasloka, possessed of the
complexion of gold, and devoted to the Brahmanas, and versed in the
Vedas, and gifted with eloquence,--of that righteous and Soma-quaffing
and fire-adoring king, who celebrateth sacrifices and is liberal and
warlike and who adequately chastiseth (criminals), I am the innocent
spouse--the chief of his queens--standing before thee. Despoiled of
prosperity and deprived of (the company of my) husband without a
protector, and afflicted with calamity, hither have I come, O best of
mountains, seeking my husband. Hast thou, O foremost of mountains, with
thy hundreds of peaks towering (into the sky) seen king Nala in this
frightful forest? Hast thou seen my husband, that ruler of the Nishadhas,
the illustrious Nala, with the tread of a mighty elephant, endued with
intelligence, long-armed, and of fiery energy, possessed of prowess and
patience and courage and high fame? Seeing me bewailing alone,
overwhelmed with sorrow, wherefore, O best of mountains, dost thou not
today soothe me with thy voice, as thy own daughter in distress? O hero,
O warrior of prowess, O thou versed in every duty, O thou adhering to
truth--O lord of the earth, if thou art in this forest, then, O king,

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reveal thyself unto me. Oh, when shall I again hear the voice of Nala,
gentle and deep as that of the clouds, that voice, sweet as Amrita, of
the illustrious king, calling me Vidharva's daughter, with accents
distinct, and holy, and musical as the chanting of the Vedas and rich,
and soothing all my sorrows. O king, I am frightened. Do thou, O virtuous
one, comfort me.'
"Having addressed that foremost of mountain thus, Damayanti then went in
a northerly direction. And having proceeded three days and nights, that
best of women came to an incomparable penance grove of ascetics,
resembling in beauty a celestial grove. And the charming asylum she
beheld was inhabited and adorned by ascetics like Vasishtha and Bhrigu
and Atri, self-denying and strict in diet, with minds under control,
endued with holiness, some living on water, some on air, and some on
(fallen) leaves, with passions in check, eminently blessed, seeking the
way to heaven, clad in barks of trees and deer-skins, and with senses
subdued. And beholding that hermitage inhabited by ascetics, and
abounding in herds of deer and monkeys, Damayanti was cheered. Y que
best of women, the innocent and blessed Damayanti, with graceful
eye-brows, and long tresses, with lovely hips and deep bosom, and face
graced with fine teeth and with fine black and large eyes, in her
brightness and glory entered that asylum. And saluting those ascetics
grown old in practising austerities, she stood in an attitude of
humility. And the ascetics living in that forest, said, 'Welcome!' Y
those men of ascetic wealth, paying her due homage, said, 'Sit ye down,
and tell us what we may do for thee.' That best of women replied unto
them, saying, 'Ye sinless and eminently blessed ascetics, is it well with
your austerities, and sacrificial fire, and religious observances, and
the duties of your own order? And is it well with the beasts and birds of
this asylum? And they answered, 'O beauteous and illustrious lady,
prosperity attendeth us in every respect. But, O thou of faultless limbs,
tell us who thou art, and what thou seekest. Beholding thy beauteous form
and thy bright splendour, we have been amazed. Cheer up and mourn not.
Tell us, O blameless and blessed one, art thou the presiding deity of
this forest, or of this mountain, or of this river?' Damayanti replied
unto those ascetics, saying, 'O Brahmanas, I am not the goddess of this
forest, or of this mountain, or of this stream. O Rishis of ascetic
wealth, know that I am a human being. I will relate my history in detail.
Do ye listen to me. There is a king--the mighty ruler of the
Vidarbhas--Bhima by name. O foremost of regenerate ones, know me to be
his daughter. The wise ruler of the Nishadhas, Nala by name, of great
celebrity, heroic, and ever victorious in battle, and learned, is my
esposo. Engaged in the worship of the gods, devoted to the twice-born
ones, the guardian of the line of the Nishadhas, of mighty energy,
possessed of great strength, truthful, conversant with all duties, wise,
unwavering in promise, the crusher of foes, devout, serving the gods,
graceful, the conqueror of hostile towns, that foremost of kings, Nala by

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name, equal in splendour unto the lord of celestials, the slayer of foes,
possessed of large eyes, and a hue resembling the full moon, is my
esposo. The celebrator of great sacrifices, versed in the Vedas and
their branches, the destroyer of enemies in battle, and like unto the sun
and the moon in splendour, is he. That king devoted to truth and religion
was summoned to dice by certain deceitful persons of mean mind and
uncultured soul and of crooked ways, and skilful in gambling, and was
deprived of wealth and kingdom. Know that I am the wife of that bull
among kings, known to all by the name of Damayanti, anxious to find out
my (missing) lord. In sadness of heart am I wandering among woods, and
mountains, and lakes, and rivers, and tanks and forests, in search of
that husband of mine--Nala, skilled in battle, high-souled, and
well-versed in the use of weapons, O hath king Nala, the lord of the
Nishadhas, come to this delightful asylum of your holy selves? It is for
him, O Brahmanas, that I have come to this dreary forest full of terrors
and haunted by tigers and other beasts. If I do not see king Nala within
a few days and nights, I shall seek my good by renouncing this body. De
what use is my life without that bull among men? How shall I live
afflicted with grief on account of my husband?'
Unto Bhima's daughter, Damayanti, lamenting forlorn in that forest, the
truth-telling ascetics replied, saying, 'O blessed and beauteous one, we
see by ascetic power that the future will bring happiness to thee, and
that thou wilt soon behold Naishadha. O daughter of Bhima, thou wilt
behold Nala, the lord of the Nishadhas, the slayer of foes, and the
foremost of the virtuous freed from distress. And O blessed lady, thou
wilt behold the king--thy lord--freed from all sins and decked with all
kinds of gems, and ruling the selfsame city, and chastizing his enemies,
and striking terror into the hearts of foes, and gladdening the hearts of
friends, and crowned with every blessing.'
"'Having spoken unto that princess--the beloved queen of Nala--the
ascetics with their sacred fires and asylum vanished from sight. Y
beholding that mighty wonder, the daughter-in-law of king Virasena,
Damayanti of faultless limbs, was struck with amazement. And she asked
herself, 'Was it a dream that I saw? What an occurrence hath taken place!
Where are all those ascetics? And where is that asylum? Where, further,
is that delightful river of sacred waters--the resort of diverse kinds of
fowls? And where, again, are those charming trees decked with fruits and
flowers?' And after thinking so for some time, Bhima's daughter,
Damayanti of sweet smiles melancholy and afflicted with grief on account
of her lord, lost the colour of her face (again). And going to another
part of the wood, she saw an Asoka tree. And approaching that first of
trees in the forest, so charming with blossoms and its load of foliage,
and resounding with the notes of birds, Damayanti, with tears in her eyes
and accents choked in grief, began to lament, saying, 'Oh, this graceful
tree in the heart of the forest, decked in flowers, looketh beautiful,

Página 22

like a charming king of hills. O beauteous Asoka, do thou speedily free
me from grief. Hast thou seen king Nala, the slayer of foes and the
beloved husband of Damayanti,--freed from fear and grief and obstacles?
Hast thou seen my beloved husband, the ruler of the Nishadhas, clad in
half a piece of cloth, with delicate skin, that hero afflicted with woe
and who hath come into this wilderness? O Asoka tree, do thou free me
from grief! O Asoka, vindicate thy name, for Asoka meaneth destroyer of
grief. And going round that tree thrice, with an afflicted heart, that
best of women, Bhima's daughter, entered a more terrible part of the
forest. And wandering in quest of her lord, Bhima's daughter beheld many
trees and streams and delightful mountains, and many beasts and birds,
and caves, and precipices, and many rivers of wonderful appearance. Y
as she proceeded she came upon a broad way where she saw with wonder a
body of merchants, with their horses and elephants, landing on the banks
of a river, full of clear and cool water, and lovely and charming to
behold, and broad, and covered with bushes of canes, and echoing with the
cries of cranes and ospreys and Chakravakas, and abounding in tortoises
and alligators and fishes, and studded with innumerable islets. And as
soon as as she saw that caravan, the beauteous and celebrated wife of
Nala, wild like a maniac, oppressed with grief, clad in half a garment,
lean and pale and smutted, and with hair covered with dust, drew near and
entered into its midst. And beholding her, some fled in fear, and some
became extremely anxious, and some cried aloud, and some laughed at her,
and some hated her. And some, O Bharata, felt pity for, and even
addressed, her, saying, 'O blessed one, who art thou, and whose? ¿Qué
seekest thou in woods? Seeing thee here we have been terrified. Art thou
humanos? Tell us truly, O blessed one if thou art the goddess of this wood
or of this mountain or of the points of the heaven. We seek thy
protección. Art thou a female Yaksha, or a female Rakshasa, or a
celestial damsel? O thou of faultless features, do thou bless us wholly
and protect us. And, O blessed one, do thou so act that this caravan may
soon go hence in prosperity and that the welfare of all of us may be
secured.' Thus addressed by that caravan, the princess Damayanti, devoted
to her husband and oppressed by the calamity that had befallen her,
answered, saying, 'O leader of the caravan, ye merchants, ye youths, old
men, and children, and ye that compose this caravan, know me for a human
siendo. I am the daughter of a king, and the daughter in-law of a king,
and the consort also of a king, eager for the sight of my lord. The ruler
of the Vidarbhas is my father, and my husband is the lord of the
Nishadhas, named Nala. Even now I am seeking that unvanquished and
blessed one. If ye have chanced to see my beloved one, king Nala, that
tiger among men, that destroyer of hostile hosts, O tell me quick.'
Thereupon the leader of that great caravan, named Suchi, replied unto
Damayanti of faultless limbs, saying, 'O blessed one, listen to my words.
O thou of sweet smiles, I am a merchant and the leader of this caravan. O
illustrious lady, I have not seen any man of the name of Nala. En este
extensive forest uninhabited by men, there are only elephants and

Página 23

leopards and buffaloes, and tigers and bears and other animals. Salvo
thee, I have not met with any man or woman here, so help us now
Manibhadra, the king of Yakshas!' Thus addressed by them she asked those
merchants as well as the leader of the host saying, 'It behoveth you to
tell me whither this caravan is bound.' The leader of the band said, 'O
daughter of a great king, for the purpose of profit this caravan is bound
direct for the city of Subahu, the truth-telling ruler of the Chedis.'"

Chapter 65

"Vrihadaswa said, 'Having heard the words of the leader of that caravan,
Damayanti of faultless limbs proceeded with that caravan itself anxious
to behold her lord. And after having proceeded for many days the
merchants saw a large lake fragrant with lotuses in the midst of that
dense and terrible forest. And it was beautiful all over, and exceedingly
delightful, (with banks) abounding in grass and fuel and fruits and
flores. And it was inhabited by various kinds of fowls and birds, and
fall of water that was pure and sweet. And it was cool and capable of
captivating the heart. And the caravan, worn out with toil, resolved to
halt there. And with the permission of their leader, they spread
themselves around those beautiful woods. And that mighty caravan finding
it was evening halted at that place. And (it came to pass that) at the
hour of midnight when everything was hushed and still and the tired
caravan had fallen asleep, a herd of elephants in going towards a
mountain stream to drink of its water befouled by their temporal juice,
saw that caravan as also the numerous elephants belonging to it. Y
seeing their domesticated fellows the wild elephants infuriated and with
the temporal juice trickling down rushed impetuously on the former, with
the intention of killing them. And the force of the rush of those
elephants was hard to bear, like the impetuosity of peaks lessened from
mountain summits rolling towards the plain. The rushing elephants found
the forest paths to be all blocked up, for the goodly caravan was
sleeping obstructing the paths around that lake of lotuses. Y el
elephants all of a sudden, began to crush the men lying insensible on the
terreno. And uttering cries of 'Oh!' and 'Alas!' the merchants, blinded by
sleep, fled, in order to escape that danger, to copses and woods for
refuge. And some were slain by the tusks, and some by the trunks, and
some by the legs of those elephants. And innumerable camels and horses
were killed, and crowds of men on foot, running in fright, killed one
another. And uttering loud cries some fell down on the ground, and some
in fear climbed on trees, and some dropped down on uneven ground. And, O
king, thus accidentally attacked by that large herd of elephants, that
goodly caravan suffered a great loss. And there arose a tremendous uproar
calculated to frighten the three worlds, 'Lo! a great fire hath broken
a cabo. Rescue us.

Página 24

Do ye speedily fly away. Why do ye fly? Take the heaps of jewels
scattered around. All this wealth is a trifle. I do not speak falsely, 'I
tell you again, (exclaimed some one) think on my words, O ye distracted
one!' With such exclamation they ran about in fright. And Damayanti awoke
in fear and anxiety, while that terrible slaughter was raging there. Y
beholding slaughter capable of awaking the fear of all the worlds, and
which was so unforeseen, the damsel of eyes like lotus leaves rose up,
wild with fright, and almost out of breath. And those of the caravan that
had escaped unhurt, met together, and asked one another, 'Of what deed of
ours is this the consequence? Surely, we have failed to worship the
illustrious Manibhadras, and likewise the exalted and graceful
Vaisravana, the king of the Yaksha. Perhaps, we have not worshipped the
deities that cause calamities, or perhaps, we have not paid them the
first homage. Or, perhaps, this evil is the certain consequence of the
birds (we saw). Our stars are not unpropitious. From what other cause,
then hath this disaster come?' Others, distressed and bereft of wealth
and relatives, said, 'That maniac-like woman who came amongst this mighty
caravan in guise that was strange and scarcely human, alas, it is by her
that this dreadful illusion had been pre-arranged. Of a certainty, she is
a terrible Rakshasa or a Yaksha or a Pisacha woman. All this evil is her
work, what need of doubts? If we again see that wicked destroyer of
merchants, that giver of innumerable woes, we shall certainly slay that
injurer of ours, with stones, and dust, and grass, and wood, and cuffs.'
And hearing these dreadful words of the merchants, Damayanti, in terror
and shame and anxiety, fled into the woods apprehensive of evil. Y
reproaching herself she said, 'Alas! fierce and great is the wrath of God
en mí. Peace followeth not in my track. Of what misdeed is this the
consequence? I do not remember that I did ever so little a wrong to any
one in thought, word, or deed. Of what deed, then, is this the
consequence? Certainly, it is on account of the great sins I had
committed in a former life that such calamity hath befallen me, viz., the
loss of my husband's kingdom, his defeat at the hands of his own kinsmen,
this separation from my lord and my son and daughter, this my unprotected
state, and my presence in this forest abounding in innumerable beasts of
"The next day, O king, the remnant of that caravan left the place
bewailing the destruction that had overtaken them and lamenting for their
dead brothers and fathers and sons and friends. And the princess of
Vidarbha began to lament, saying, 'Alas! What misdeed have I perpetrated!
The crowd of men that I obtained in this lone forest, hath been destroyed
by a herd of elephants, surely as a consequence of my ill luck. Sin
doubt, I shall have to suffer misery for a long time. I have heard from
old men that no person dieth ere his time; it is for this that my
miserable self hath not been trodden to death by that herd of elephants.
Nothing that befalleth men is due to anything else than Destiny, for even

Página 25

in my childhood I did not commit any such sin in thought, word, or deed,
whence might come this calamity. Methinks, I suffer this severance from
my husband through the potency of those celestial Lokapalas, who had come
to the Swayamvara but whom I disregarded for the sake of Nala.' Bewailing
thus, O tiger among kings, that excellent lady, Damayanti, devoted to her
husband, went, oppressed with grief and (pale) as the autumnal moon, with
those Brahmanas versed in the Vedas that had survived the slaughter of
the caravan. And departing speedily, towards evening, the damsel came to
the mighty city of the truth-telling Subahu, the king of the Chedis. Y
she entered that excellent city clad in half a garment. And the citizens
saw her as she went, overcome with fear, and lean, melancholy, her hair
dishevelled and soiled with dust, and maniac-like. And beholding her
enter the city of the king of the Chedis, the boys of the city, from
curiosity, began to follow her. And surrounded by them, she came before
the palace of the king. And from the terrace the queen-mother saw her
surrounded by the crowd. And she said to her nurse, 'Go and bring that
woman before me. She is forlorn and is being vexed by the crowd. She hath
fallen into distress and standeth in need of succour. I find her beauty
to be such that it illumineth my house. The fair one, though looking like
a maniac, seemeth a very Sree with her large eyes.' Thus commanded, the
nurse went out and dispersing the crowd brought Damayanti to that
graceful terrace. And struck with wonder, O king, she asked Damayanti,
saying, 'Afflicted though thou art with such distress, thou ownest a
beautiful form. Thou shinest like lightning in the midst of the clouds.
Tell me who thou art, and whose. O thou possessed of celestial splendour,
surely, thy beauty is not human, bereft though thou art of ornaments. Y
although thou art helpless, yet thou art unmoved under the outrage of
these men.' Hearing these words of the queen-mother, the daughter of Bhima
Know that I am a female belonging to the human species and devoted to my
esposo. I am a serving woman of good lineage. I live wherever I like,
subsisting on fruit and roots, and whom a companion, and stay where
evening overtaketh me. My husband is the owner of countless virtues and
was ever devoted to me. And I also, on my part, was deeply attached to
him, following him like his shadow. It chanced that once he became
desperately engaged at dice. Defeated at dice, he came along into the
forest. I accompanied my husband into the woods, comforting the hero clad
in a single piece of cloth and maniac-like and overwhelmed with calamity.
Once on a time for some cause, that hero, afflicted with hunger and
thirst and grief, was forced to abandon that sole piece of covering in
the forest. Destitute of garment and maniac-like and deprived of his
senses as he was, I followed him, myself in a single garment. Después de
him, I did not sleep for nights together. Thus passed many days, until at
last while I was sleeping, he cut off half of my cloth, and forsook me
who had done him no wrong. I am seeking my husband but unable to find him
who is of hue like the filaments of the lotus, without being able to cast
my eyes on that delight of my heart, that dear lord who owneth my heart

Página 26

and resembleth the celestials in mien, day and night do I burn in grief."
"Unto Bhima's daughter thus lamenting with tearful eyes, and afflicted
and speaking in accents choked in grief, the queen-mother herself said,
'O blessed damsel, do thou stay with me. I am well pleased with thee. O
fair lady, my men shall search for thy husband. Or, perhaps he may come
here of his own accord in course of his wanderings. And, O beautiful
lady, residing here thou wilt regain thy (lost) lord.' Hearing these
words of the queen mother, Damayanti replied, 'O mother of heroes, I may
stay with thee on certain conditions. I shall not eat the leavings on any
dish, nor shall I wash anybody's feet, nor shall I have to speak with
other men. And if anybody shall seek me (as a wife or mistress) he should
be liable to punishment at thy hands. And, further, should he solicit me
over and over again, that wicked one should be punished with death. Este
is the vow I have made. I intend to have an interview with those
Brahmanas that will set out to search for my husband. If thou canst do
all this, I shall certainly live with thee. If it is otherwise, I cannot
find it in my heart to reside with thee.' The queen-mother answered her
with a glad heart, saying, 'I will do all this. Thou hast done well in
adopting such a vow!'"
"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.'"

Chapter 66

"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. Y,
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

Página 27

un solo paso. 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. Y
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. Y
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 fear from animals with fangs from
enemies, and from Brahmanas also versed in the Vedas, O king! Nor shalt
thou, O monarch, feel pain on account of my poison. And, O foremost of
kings, thou shalt be ever victorious in battle. This very day, O prince,
O lord of Nishadhas, go to the delightful city of Ayodhya, and present
thyself before Rituparna skilled in gambling, saying, 'I am a charioteer,
Bahukaby name.' And that king will give thee his skill in dice for thy
knowledge of horses. Sprung from the line of Ikswaku, and possessed of
prosperity, he will be thy friend. When thou wilt be an adept at dice,
thou shalt then have prosperity. Thou wilt also meet with thy wife and
thy children, and regain thy kingdom. I tell thee this truly. Por lo tanto,
let not thy mind be occupied by sorrow. And, O lord of men, when thou
shouldst desire to behold thy proper form, thou shouldst remember me, and
wear this garment. Upon wearing this, thou shalt get back thy own form.'
And saying this, that Naga then gave unto Nala two pieces of celestial
tela. And, O son of the Kuru race, having thus instructed Nala, and
presented him with the attire, the king of snakes, O monarch, made
himself invisible there and then!'"

Chapter 67

"Vrihadaswa said, 'After the snake had vanquished, Nala, the ruler of the
Nishadhas, proceeded, and on the tenth day entered the city of Rituparna.
And he approached the king, saying, 'My name is Bahuka. There is no one
in this world equal to me in managing steeds. My counsel also should be

Página 28

sought in matters of difficulty and in all affairs of skill. Yo también
surpass others in the art of cooking. In all those arts that exists in
this world, and also in every thing difficult of accomplishment, I will
strive to attain success, O Rituparna, do thou maintain me.' Y
Rituparna replied, 'O Bahuka, stay with me! May good happen to thee. Tú
wilt even perform all this. I have always particularly desired to be
driven fast. Do thou concert such measures that my steeds may become
de la flota. I appoint thee the superintendent of my stables. Thy pay shall be
ten thousand (coins). Both Varshneya and Jivala shall always be under thy
dirección. Thou wilt live pleasantly in their company. Therefore, O
Bahuka, stay thou with me.'"
"Vrihadaswa continued, 'Thus addressed by the king, Nala began to dwell
in the city of Rituparna, treated with respect and with Varshneya and
Jivala as his companions. And residing there, the king (Nala),
remembering the princess of Vidarbha, recited every evening the following
sloka: 'Where lieth that helpless one afflicted with hunger and thirst
and worn with toil, thinking of that wretch? And upon whom also doth she
now wait?' And once as the king was reciting this in the night, Jivala
asked him saying, 'O Bahuka, whom dost thou lament thus daily? Estoy
curious to hear it. O thou blest with length of days, whose spouse is she
whom thus lamentest?' Thus questioned, king Nala answered him, saying, 'A
certain person devoid of sense had a wife well-known to many. That wretch
was false in his promises. For some reason that wicked person was
separated from her. Separated from her, that wretch wandered about
oppressed with woe, and burning with grief he resteth not by day or
por la noche. And at night, remembering her, he singeth this sloka. Habiendo
wandered over the entire world, he hath at last found a refuge, and
undeserving of the distress that hath befallen him, passeth his days,
thus remembering his wife. When calamity had overtaken this man, his wife
followed him into the woods. Deserted by that man of little virtue, her
life itself is in danger. Alone, without knowledge of ways, ill able to
bear distress, and fainting with hunger and thirst, the girl can hardly
protect her life. And, O friend, she hath been deserted by that man of
small fortune and having little sense, with the wide and terrible forest,
ever abounding in beasts of prey'--
"Thus remembering Damayanti, the king of the Nishadhas continued to live
unknown in the abode of that monarch!"

Chapter 68

"Vaisampayana said, 'After Nala, despoiled of his kingdom, had, with his
wife, become a bondsman, Bhima with the desire of seeing Nala sent out
Brahmanas to search for him. And giving them profuse wealth, Bhima

Página 29

enjoined on them, saying, 'Do ye search for Nala, and also for my
daughter Damayanti. He who achieveth this task, viz., ascertaining where
the ruler of the Nishadhas is, bringeth him and my daughter hither, will
obtain from me a thousand kine, and fields, and a village resembling a
de la ciudad. Even if failing to bring Damayanti and Nala here, he that succeeds
learning their whereabouts, will get from me the wealth represented by a
thousand kine.' Thus addressed, the Brahmanas cheerfully went out in all
directions seeking Nala and his wife in cities and provinces. But Nala or
his spouse they found not anywhere. Until at length searching in the
beautiful city of the Chedis, a Brahmana named Sudeva, during the time of
the king's prayers, saw the princess of Vidarbha in the palace of the
king, seated with Sunanda. And her incomparable beauty was slightly
perceptible, like the brightness of a fire enveloped in curls of smoke.
And beholding that lady of large eyes, soiled and emaciated he decided
her to be Damayanti, coming to that conclusion from various reasons. Y
Sudeva said, 'As I saw her before, this damsel is even so at present. O,
I am blest, by casting my eyes on this fair one, like Sree herself
delighting the worlds! Resembling the full moon, of unchanging youth, of
well-rounded breasts, illumining all sides by her splendour, possessed of
large eyes like beautiful lotuses, like unto Kama's Rati herself the
delight of all the worlds like the rays of the full moon, O, she looketh
like a lotus-stalk transplanted by adverse fortune from the Vidarbha lake
and covered with mire in the process. And oppressed with grief on account
of her husband, and melancholy, she looketh like the night of the full
moon when Rahu hath swallowed that luminary, or like a stream whose
current hath dried up. Her plight is very much like that of a ravaged
lake with the leaves of its lotuses crushed by the trunks of elephants,
and with its birds and fowls affrighted by the invasion. Indeed, this
girl, of a delicate frame and of lovely limbs, and deserving to dwell in
a mansion decked with gems, is (now) like an uprooted lotus-stalk
scorched by the sun. Endued with beauty and generosity of nature, and
destitute of ornaments, though deserving of them, she looketh like the
moon 'new bent in haven' but covered with black clouds. Destitute of
comforts and luxuries, separated from loved ones and friends, she liveth
in distress, supported by the hope of beholding her lord. Verily, the
husband is the best ornament of a woman, however destitute of ornaments.
Without her husband beside her, this lady, though beautiful, shineth not.
It is a hard feat achieved by Nala in that he liveth without succumbing
to grief, though separated from such a wife. Beholding this damsel
possessed of black hair and of eyes like lotus-leaves, in woe though
deserving of bliss, even my heart is pained. ¡Ay! when shall this girl
graced with auspicious marks and devoted to her husband, crossing this
ocean of woe, regain the company of her lord, like Rohini regaining the
Moon's? Surely, the king of the Nishadhas will experience in regaining
her the delight that a king deprived of his kingdom experienceth in
regaining his kingdom. Equal to her in nature and age and extraction,
Nala deserveth the daughter of Vidarbha, and this damsel of black eyes

Página 30

also deserveth him. It behoveth me to comfort the queen of that hero of
immeasurable prowess and endued with energy and might, (since) she is so
eager to meet her husband. I will console this afflicted girl of face
like the full moon, and suffering distress that she had never before
endured, and ever meditating on her lord.'
"Vrihadaswa continued, 'Having thus reflected on these various
circumstances and signs, the Brahmana, Sudeva, approached Damayanti, and
addressed her, saying, 'O princess of Vidarbha, I am Sudeva, the dear
friend of thy brother. I have come here, seeking thee, at the desire of
king Bhima. Thy father is well, and also thy mother, and thy brothers.
And thy son and daughter, blessed with length of days, are living in
la paz. Thy relatives, though alive, are almost dead on thy account, and
hundreds of Brahmanas are ranging the world in search of thee."
"Vrihadaswa continued, 'O Yudhishthira, Damayanti recognising Sudeva,
asked him respecting all her relatives and kinsmen one after another.
And, O monarch, oppressed with grief, the princess of Vidarbha began to
weep bitterly, at the unexpected sight of Sudeva, that foremost of
Brahmanas and the friend of her brother. And, O Bharata, beholding
Damayanti weeping, and conversing in private with Sudeva, Sunanda was
distressed, and going to her mother informed her, saying, 'Sairindhri is
weeping bitterly in the presence of a Brahmana. If thou likest, satisfy
thyself.' And thereupon the mother of the king of the Chedis, issuing
from the inner apartments of the palace, came to the place where the girl
(Damayanti) was with that Brahmana. Then calling Sudeva, O king, the
queen-mother asked him, 'Whose wife is this fair one, and whose daughter?
How hath this lady of beautiful eyes been deprived of the company of her
relatives and of her husband as well? And how also hast thou come to know
this lady fallen into such a plight? I wish to hear all this in detail
from thee. Do truly relate unto me who am asking thee about this damsel
of celestial beauty.' Then, O king, thus addressed by the queen-mother,
Sudeva, that best of Brahmanas, sat at his ease, and began to relate the
true history of Damayanti.'"

Chapter 69

"Sudeva said, 'There is a virtuous and illustrious ruler of the
Vidarbhas, Bhima by name. This blessed lady is his daughter, and widely
known by the name of Damayanti. And there is a king ruling the Nishadhas,
named Nala, the son of Virasena. This blessed lady is the wife of that
wise and righteous monarch. Defeated at dice by his brother, and
despoiled of his kingdom, that king, accompanied by Damayanti, went away
without the knowledge of any one. We have been wandering over the whole
earth in search of Damayanti. And that girl is at last found in the house

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of thy son. No woman existeth that is her rival in beauty. Between the
eye-brows of this ever-youthful damsel, there is an excellent mole from
birth, resembling a lotus. Noticed by us (before) it seems to have
disappeared, covered, (as her forehead is) with (a coat of) dust even
like the moon hid in clouds. Placed there by the Creator himself as an
indication of prosperity and wealth, that mole is visible faintly, like
the cloud-covered lunar crescent of the first day of the lighted
fortnight. And covered as her body is with dust, her beauty hath not
desaparecido. Though careless of her person, it is still manifest, and
shineth like gold. And this girl--goddess-like--capable of being
identified by this form of hers and that mole, hath been discovered by me
as one discovereth a fire that is covered, by its heat!'
"O king, hearing these words of Sudeva, Sunanda washed the dust that
covered the mole between Damayanti's eye-brows. And thereupon it became
visible like the moon in the sky, just emerged from the clouds. Y
seeing that mole, O Bharata, Sunanda and the queen-mother began to weep,
and embracing Damayanti stood silent for a while. And the queen-mother,
shedding tears as she spoke, said in gentle accents, 'By this thy mole, I
find that thou art the daughter of my sister. O beauteous girl, thy
mother and I are both daughters of the high-souled Sudaman, the ruler of
the Dasarnas. She was bestowed upon king Bhima, and I on Virabahu. I
witnessed thy birth at our father's palace in the country of the
Dasarnas. O beautiful one, my house is to thee even as thy father's. Y
this wealth, O Damayanti, is thine as much as mine.' As this, O king,
Damayanti bowing down to her mother's sister with a glad heart, spake
unto her these words, 'Unrecognised, I have still lived happily with
thee, every want of mine satisfied and myself cared for by thee. Y
happy as my stay hath been, it would, without doubt, be happier still.
But, mother, I have long been an exile. It behoveth thee, therefore, to
grant me permission (to depart). My son and daughter, sent to my father's
palace, are living there. Deprived of their father, and of their mother
also, how are they passing their days stricken with sorrow. If thou
wishest to do what is agreeable to me, do thou without loss of time,
order a vehicle, for I wish to go to the Vidarbhas.' At this, O king, the
sister to (Damayanti's) mother, with a glad heart, said, 'So be it'. Y
the queen-mother with her son's permission, O chief of the Bharatas, sent
Damayanti in handsome litter carried by men, protected by a large escort
and provided with food and drink and garments of the first quality. Y
soon enough she reached the country of the Vidarbhas. And all her
relatives, rejoicing (in her arrival) received her with respect. Y
seeing her relatives, her children, both her parents, and all her maids,
to be well, the illustrious Damayanti, O king, worshipped the gods and
Brahmanas according to the superior method. And the king rejoiced at
beholding his daughter gave unto Sudeva a thousand kine and much wealth
and a village. And, O king, having spent that night at her father's
mansion and recovered from fatigue, Damayanti addressed her mother,

Página 32

saying, 'O mother, if thou wishest me to live, I tell thee truly, do thou
endeavour to bring Nala, that hero among men.' Thus addressed by
Damayanti, the venerable queen became filled with sorrow. And bathed in
tears, she was unable to give any answer. And beholding her in that
plight, all the inmates of the inner apartments broke out into
exclamation of 'Oh!' And 'Alas'! and began to cry bitterly. And then the
queen addressed the mighty monarch Bhima, saying, 'Thy daughter Damayanti
mourneth on account of her husband. Nay, banishing away all bashfulness,
she hath herself, O king, declared her mind to me. Let thy men strive to
find out (Nala) the righteous.' Thus informed by her the king sent the
Brahmanas under him in all directions, saying, 'Exert ye to discover
Nala.' And those Brahmanas, commanded by the ruler of the Vidarbhas (to
seek Nala) appeared before Damayanti and told her of the journey they
were about to undertake. And Bhima's daughter spake unto them saying, 'Do
ye cry in every realm and in every assembly, 'O beloved gambler, where
hast thou gone cutting off half of my garment, and deserting the dear and
devoted wife asleep in the forest? And that girl, as commanded by thee
stayeth expecting thee, clad in half a piece of cloth and burning with
grief! O king, O hero, relent towards, and answer, her who incessantly
weepeth for that grief. This and more ye will say, so that he may be
inclined to pity me. Assisted by the wind, fire consumeth the forest.
(Further, ye will say that) the wife is always to be protected and
maintained by the husband. Why then, good as thou art and acquainted with
every duty, hast thou neglected both the duties? Possessed of fame and
wisdom, and lineage, and kindness, why hast thou been unkind? I fear, this
is owing to the loss of my good luck! Therefore, O tiger among men, have
pity on me. O bull among men! I have heard it from thee that kindness is
the highest virtue. Speaking so, if anybody answereth you, that person
should by all means, be known, and ye should learn who he is, and where
he dwelleth. And ye foremost of regenerate ones, do ye bring me the words
of him who hearing this your speech will chance to answer. Ye should also
act with such care that no one may know the words ye utter to be at my
command, nor that ye will come back to me. And ye should also learn
whether that answers is wealthy, or poor, or destitute of power, in fact
all about him.'
"Thus instructed by Damayanti, O king, the Brahmanas set out in all
directions in search of Nala overtaken with such disaster. Y el
Brahmanas, O king, searched for him in cities and kingdoms and villages,
and retreats of ascetics, and places inhabited by cow-herds. And, O
monarch, wherever they went they recited the speeches that Damayanti had
directed them to do."

Chapter 70

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"Vrihadaswa said, 'After a long time had passed away, a Brahmana named
Parnada returned to the city (of the Vidarbhas), and said unto the
daughter of Bhima, 'O Damayanti, seeking Nala, the king of Nishadhas, I
came to the city of Ayodhya, and appeared before the son of Bhangasura.
And, O best of women, I repeated those words of thine in the presence of
the blessed Rituparna. But hearing them neither that ruler of men, nor
his courtiers, answered anything, although I uttered them repeatedly.
Then, after I had been dismissed by the monarch, I was accosted by a
person in the service of Rituparna, named Bahuka. And Bahuka is the
charioteer of that king, of unsightly appearance and possessed of short
arms. And he is skillful in driving with speed, and well acquainted with
the culinary art. And sighing frequently, and weeping again and again, he
inquired about my welfare and afterwards said these words, 'Chaste women,
although fallen into distress, yet protect themselves and thus certainly
secure heaven. Although they may be deserted by their lords, they do not
yet become angry on that account, for women that are chaste lead their
lives, encased in the armour of virtuous behaviour. It behoveth her not
to be angry, since he that deserted her was overwhelmed with calamity,
and deprived of every bliss. A beauteous and virtuous woman should not be
angry with one that was deprived by birds of his garment while striving
to procure sustenance and who is being consumed with grief. Ya sea que
treated well or ill, such a wife should never indulge in ire, beholding
her husband in that plight, despoiled of kingdom and destitute of
prosperity, oppressed with hunger and overwhelmed with calamity.' Audiencia
these words of his, I have speedily come here. Thou hast now heard all.
Do what thou thinkest proper, and inform the king of it.'
"O king, having heard these words of Parnada, Damayanti with tearful eyes
came to her mother, and spake unto her in private, 'O mother, king Bhima
should not, by any means, be made acquainted with my purpose. In thy
presence will I employ that best of Brahmanas, Sudeva! If thou desirest
my welfare, act in such a way that king Bhima may not know my purpose.
Let Sudeva without delay go hence to the city of Ayodhya, for the purpose
of bringing Nala, O mother, having performed the same auspicious rites by
virtue of which he had speedily brought me into the midst of friends.'
With these words, after Parnada had recovered from fatigue, the princess
of Vidarbha worshipped him with profuse wealth and also said, 'When Nala
will come here, O Brahmana, I will bestow on thee wealth in abundance
otra vez. Thou hast done me the immense service which none else, indeed, can
do me, for, (owing to that service of thine), O thou best of the
regenerate ones, I shall speedily regain my (lost) lord.' And thus
addressed by Damayanti, that high-minded Brahmana comforted her, uttering
benedictory words of auspicious import, and then went home, regarding his
mission to have been successful. And after he had gone away, Damayanti
oppressed with grief and distress, calling Sudeva, addressed him, O
Yudhishthira, in the presence of her mother, saying, 'O Sudeva, go thou
to the city of Ayodhya, straight as a bird, and tell king Rituparna

Página 34

living there, these words: 'Bhima's daughter, Damayanti will hold another
Swayamvara. All the kings and princes are going thither. Calculating the
time, I find that the ceremony will take place tomorrow. O represser of
foes, if it is possible for thee, go thither without delay. Tomorrow,
after the sun hath risen, she will choose a second husband, as she doth
not know whether the heroic Nala liveth or not. And addressed by her, O
monarch thus, Sudeva set out. And he said unto Rituparna, all that he had
been directed to say.'"

Chapter 71

"Vrihadaswa continued, 'Having heard the words of Sudeva king Rituparna,
soothing Bahuka with gentle words, said, 'O Bahuka, thou art well-skilled
in training and guiding horses. If it pleases thee, I intend to go to
Damayanti's Swayamvara in course of a single day.' Thus addressed, O son
of Kunti, by that king, Nala felt his heart to be bursting in grief. Y
the high-souled king seemed to burn in sorrow. And he thought within
himself, 'Perhaps Damayanti in doing this blinded by sorrow. O,
perhaps, she hath conceived this magnificent scheme for my sake. Alas,
cruel is the deed that the innocent princess of Vidarbha intends to do,
having been deceived by my sinful and low self of little sense. Es
seen in the world that the nature of woman is inconstant. My offence also
hath been great; perhaps she is acting so, because she hath no longer any
love for me owing to my separation from her. Indeed, that girl of slender
waist, afflicted with grief on my account and with despair, will not
certainly do anything of the kind, when especially, she is the mother of
offspring (by me). However whether this is true or false, I shall
ascertain with certitude by going thither. I will, therefore, accomplish
Rituparna's and my own purpose also.' Having resolved thus in his mind,
Bahuka, with his heart in sorrow, spake unto king Rituparna, with joined
hands, saying, 'O monarch, I bow to thy behest, and, O tiger among men, I
will go to the city of the Vidarbhas in a single day. O king!' Then, O
monarch, at the command of the royal son of Bhangasura, Bahuka went to
the stables and began to examine the horses. And repeatedly urged by
Rituparna to make haste, Bahuka after much scrutiny and careful
deliberation, selected some steeds that were lean-fleshed, yet strong and
capable of a long journey and endued with energy and strength of high
breed and docility, free from inauspicious marks, with wide nostrils and
swelling cheeks, free from faults as regards the ten hairy curls, born in
(the country of) Sindhu, and fleet as the winds. And seeing those horses,
the king said somewhat angrily, 'What is this, that thou wishest to do?
Thou shouldst not jest with us. How can these horses of mine, weak in
strength and breath, carry us? And how shall we be able to go this long
way by help of these?' Bahuka replied, 'Each of these horses bears one
curl on his forehead, two on his temples, four on his sides, four on his

Página 35

chest, and one on his back. Without doubt, these steeds will be able to
go to the country of the Vidarbhas. If, O king, thou thinkest of choosing
others, point them out and I shall yoke them for thee.' Rituparna
rejoined, 'O Bahuka, thou art versed in the science of horses and art
also skillful (in guiding them). Do thou speedily yoke those that thou
thinkest to be able.' Thereupon the skillful Nala yoked upon the car four
excellent steeds of good breed that were, besides, docile and fleet. Y
after the steeds had been yoked, the king without loss of time mounted
upon the car, when those best of horses fell down upon the ground on
their knees. Then, O king, that foremost of men, the blessed king Nala
began to soothe the horses endued with energy and strength. And raising them
up with the reins and making the charioteer Varshneya sit on the car, he
prepared to set out with great speed. And those best of steeds, duly
urged by Bahuka, rose to the sky, confounding the occupant of the
vehículo. And beholding those steeds gifted with the speed of the wind
thus drawing the car, the blessed king of Ayodhaya was exceedingly
amazed. And noticing the rattle of the car and also the management of the
steeds, Varshneya reflected upon Bahuka's skill in guiding horses. Y él
thought, 'Is he Matali, the charioteer of the king of the celestials? I
find the same magnificent indications in the heroic Bahuka. Or, hath
Salihotra versed in the science of horses taken this human shape so
beautiful? Or, is it king Nala the reducer of hostile towns that hath
come here? Or, it may be that this Bahuka knoweth the science that Nala
knoweth, for I perceive that the knowledge of Bahuka is equal to that of
Nala. Further, Bahuka and Nala are of the same age. This one, again, may
not be Nala of high prowess, but somebody of equal knowledge. Ilustre
persons, however, walk this earth in disguise in consequence of
misfortune, or agreeably to the ordinance of the scriptures. That this
person is of unsightly appearance need not change my opinion; for Nala, I
think, may even be despoiled of his personal features. In respect of age
this one equals Nala. There is difference, however, in personal
apariencia. Bahuka, again is endued with every accomplishment. Creo que,
therefore, he is Nala.' Having thus reasoned long in his mind, O mighty
monarch, Varshneya, the (former) charioteer of the righteous Nala, became
absorbed in thought. And that foremost of kings Rituparna, also,
beholding the skill of Bahuka in equestrian science experienced great
delight, along with his charioteer Varshneya. And thinking of Bahuka's
application and ardour and the manner of his holding the reins, the king
felt exceedingly glad.'"

Chapter 72

"Vrihadaswa said, 'Like a bird coursing through the sky, Nala soon
crossed rivers and mountains, and woods and lakes. And while the car was
coursing thus, that conqueror of hostile cities, the royal son of

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Bhangasura, saw his upper garment drop down on the ground. And at soon as
his garment had dropped down the high-minded monarch, without loss of
time, told Nala, 'I intend to recover it. O thou of profound
intelligence, retain these steeds endued with exceeding swiftness until
Varshneya bringeth back my garment.' Thereupon Nala replied unto him,
'The sheet is dropped down far away. We have travelled one yojana thence.
Therefore, it is incapable of being recovered.' After Nala had addressed
him thus, O king, the royal son of Bhangasura came upon a Vibhitaka tree
with fruits in a forest. And seeing that tree, the king hastily said to
Bahuka, 'O charioteer, do thou also behold my high proficiency in
cálculo. All men do not know everything. There is no one that is
versed in every science of art. Knowledge in its entirety is not found in
any one person. O Bahuka, the leaves and fruits of this tree that are
lying on the ground respectively exceed those that are on it by one
hundred and one. The two branches of the tree have fifty millions of
leaves, and two thousand and ninety five fruits. Do thou examine these
two branches and all their boughs.' Thereupon staying the car Bahuka
addressed the king, saying, 'O crusher of foes, thou takest credit to
thyself in a matter which is beyond my perception. But, O monarch, I will
ascertain it by the direct evidence of my senses, by cutting down the
Vibhitaka. O king, when I actually count, it will no longer be matter of
speculation. Therefore, in thy presence, O monarch, I will hew down this
Vibhitaka. I do not know whether it be not (as thou hast said). In thy
presence, O ruler of men, I will count the fruits and leaves. Vamos a
Varshneya hold the reins of the horses for a while.' Unto the charioteer
the king replied, 'There is no time to lose.' But Bahuka answered with
humility, 'Stay thou a short space, or, if thou art in a hurry, go then,
making Varshneya thy charioteer. The road lies direct and even.' And at
this, O son of the Kuru race, soothing Bahuka, Rituparna said, 'O Bahuka,
thou art the only charioteer, there is none other in this world. And, O
thou versed in horse lore, it is through thy help that I expect to go to
the Vidarbhas. I place myself in thy hands. It behoveth thee not to cause
any obstacle. And, O Bahuka, whatever thy wish. I will grant it if taking
me to the country of the Vidarbhas to-day, thou makest me see the sun
rise.' At this, Bahuka answered him, saying, 'After having counted (the
leaves and fruits of the) Vibhitaka, I shall proceed to Vidarbha, do thou
agree to my words. Then the king reluctantly told him, 'Count. Y en
counting the leaves and fruits of a portion of this branch, thou wilt be
satisfied of the truth of my assertion.' And thereupon Bahuka speedily
alighted from the car, and felled that tree. And struck with amazement
upon finding the fruits, after calculation, to be what the king had said,
he addressed the king, saying, 'O monarch, this thy power is wonderful. I
desire, O prince, to know the art by which thou hast ascertained all
this.' And at this king, intent upon proceeding speedily, said unto
Bahuka. 'Know that I am proficient at dice besides being versed in
números. And Bahuka said unto him, 'Impart unto me this knowledge and, O
bull among men, take from me my knowledge of horses.' And king Rituparna,

Página 37

having regard to the importance of the act that depended upon Bahuka's
good-will, and tempted also by the horse-lore (that his charioteer
possessed), said, 'So be it.' As solicited by thee, receive this science
of dice from me, and, O Bahuka, let my equine science remain with thee in
trust.' And saying this, Rituparna imparted unto Nala the science (he
desired). And Nala upon becoming acquainted with the science of dice,
Kali came out of his body, incessantly vomiting from his mouth the
virulent poison of Karkotaka.
And when Kali, afflicted (by Damayanti's curse) came out (of Nala's
body), the fire of that curse also left Kali. Indeed, long had been the
time for which the king had been afflicted by Kali, as if he were of
unregenerate soul. And Nala the ruler of the Nishadhas, in wrath, was
bent upon cursing Kali, when the latter, frightened, and trembling, said
with joined hands, 'Control thy wrath, O king! I will render thee
illustrious. Indrasena's mother had formerly cursed me in anger when she
had been deserted by thee. Ever since that time undergoing sore
affliction I resided in thee, O mighty monarch, O unconquered one,
miserably and burning night and day with the venom of the prince of
snakes. I seek thy protection. If thou dost not curse me who am
affrighted and seek thy protection, then those men that will attentively
recite thy history, shall be even free from fear on my account.' And thus
addressed by Kali, king Nala controlled his wrath. And thereupon the
frightened Kali speedily entered into the Vibhitaka tree. And while the
Kali was conversing with Naishadha, he was invisible to others. Y
delivered from his afflictions, and having counted the fruits of that
tree, the king, filled with great joy and of high energy, mounted on the
car and proceeded with energy, urging those fleet horses. And from the
touch of Kali the Vibhitaka tree from that hour fell into disrepute. Y
Nala, with a glad heart, began to urge those foremost of steeds which
sprang into the air once and again like creatures endued with wings. Y
the illustrious monarch drove (the car) in the direction of the
Vidarbhas. And after Nala had gone far away, Kali also returned to his
abode. And abandoned by Kali, O king, that lord of earth, the royal Nala,
became freed from calamity though he did not assume his native form.'"

Chapter 73

"Vrihadaswa said, 'After Rituparna of prowess incapable of being baffled
had, in the evening, arrived at the city of the Vidarbhas, the people
brought unto king Bhima the tidings (of his arrival). And at the
invitation of Bhima, the king (of Ayodhya) entered the city of Kundina,
filling with the rattle of his car all the ten points, direct and
transverse, of the horizon. And the steeds of Nala that were in that city
heard that sound, and hearing it they became delighted as they used to be

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in the presence of Nala himself. And Damayanti also heard the sound of
that car driven by Nala, like the deep roar of the clouds in the rainy
season. And Bhima and the steeds (of Nala) regarded the clatter of that
car to be like that which they used to hear in days of yore when king
Nala himself urged his own steeds. And the peacocks on the terraces, and
the elephants in the stables, and the horses also, all heard the rattle
of Rituparna's car. And hearing the sound, so like the roar of the
clouds, the elephants and the peacocks, O king, began to utter their
cries, facing that direction, and filled with delight such as they
experience when they hear the actual roar of the clouds. And Damayanti
said, 'Because the rattle of his car filling the whole earth, gladdens my
heart, it must be King Nala (that has come). If I do not see Nala, of
face bright as the moon, that hero with countless virtues, I shall
certainly die. If I am not clasped today in that hero's thrilling
embrace, I shall certainly cease to be. If Naishadha with voice deep as
that of the clouds doth not come to me today, I shall enter into a pyre
of golden brilliance. If that foremost of kings, powerful as a lion and
gifted with the strength of an infuriated elephant, doth not present
himself before me, I shall certainly cease to live. I do not remember a
single untruth in him, or a single wrong done by him to others. Nunca
hath he spoken an untruth even in jest. Oh, my Nala is exalted and
forgiving and heroic and magnificent and superior to all other kings, and
faithful to his marriage vow and like unto a eunuch in respect of other
las hembras. Night and day dwelling upon his perceptions, my heart, in
absence of that dear one, is about to burst in grief.'
"Thus bewailing as if devoid of sense, Damayanti, O Bharata, ascended the
terrace (of her mansion) with the desire of seeing the righteous Nala.
And in the yard of the central mansion she beheld king Rituparna on the
car with Varshneya and Bahuka. And Varshneya and Bahuka, descending for
that excellent vehicle, unyoked the steeds, and kept the vehicle itself
in a proper place. And king Rituparna also, descending from the car,
presented himself before king Bhima possessed of terrible prowess. Y
Bhima received him with great respect, for in the absence of a proper
occasion, a great person cannot be had (as a guest). And honoured by
Bhima, king Rituparna looked about him again and again, but saw no traces
of the Swayamvara. And the ruler of the Vidarbhas, O Bharata, approaching
Rituparna, said, 'Welcome! What is the occasion of this thy visit?' Y
king Bhima asked this without knowing that Rituparna had come to obtain
the hand of his daughter. And king Rituparna, of unbaffled prowess and
gifted with intelligence, saw that there were no other kings or princes.
Nor did he hear any talk relating to the Swayamvara, nor saw any
concourse of Brahmanas. And at this, the king of Kosala reflected a while
and at length said, 'I have come here to pay my respects to thee.' Y
the king Bhima was struck with astonishment, and reflected upon the
(probable) cause of Rituparna's coming, having passed over a hundred
yojanas. And he reflected, 'That passing by other sovereigns, and leaving

Página 39

behind him innumerable countries, he should come simply to pay his
respect to me is scarcely the reason of his arrival. What he assigneth to
be the cause of his coming appeareth to be a trifle. However, I shall
learn the true reason in the future.' And although king Bhima thought so,
he did not dismiss Rituparna summarily, but said unto him again and
again, 'Rest, thou art weary.' And honoured thus by the pleased Bhima,
king Rituparna was satisfied, and with a delighted heart, he went to his
appointed quarters followed by the servants of the royal household."
"Vrihadaswa continued, 'And, O king, after Rituparna had gone away with
Varshneya, Bahuka took the car to the stables. And there freeing the
steeds, and tending them according to rule, and soothing them himself,
sat down on a side of the car. Meanwhile, the princess of Vidharba,
Damayanti, afflicted with grief, having beheld the royal son of
Bhangasura, and Varshneya of the Suta race, and also Bahuka in that
guise, asked herself, 'Whose is this car-rattle? It was loud as that of
Nala, but I do not see the ruler of the Nishadhas. Certainly, Varshneya
hath learnt the art from Nala, and it is for this the rattle of the car
driven by him hath been even like that of Nala. Or, is Rituparna equally
skilled with Nala so that the rattle of his car seemeth to be like that
of Nala?' And reflecting thus, O monarch, the blessed and beauteous girl
sent a female messenger in search of Nishada."

Chapter 74

"Damayanti said, 'O Kesini, go thou and learn who that charioteer is that
sitteth by the car, unsightly and possessed of short arms. O blessed one,
O faultless one, approaching him, cautiously and with sweet words, make
thou the usual inquiries of courtesy and learn all particulars truly.
Having regard to the feeling of satisfaction my mind experienceth, and
the delight my heart feeleth, I am greatly afraid this one is king Nala
sí mismo. And, O faultless one, having inquired after his welfare, thou
shalt speak unto him the words of Parnada. And, O beauteous one,
understand the reply he may make thereto.' Thus instructed, that female
messenger, going cautiously, while the blessed Damayanti watched from the
terrace, addressed Bahuka in these words, 'O foremost of men, thou art
bienvenida. I wish thee happiness. O bull among men, hear now the words of
Damayanti. When did ye all set out, and with what object have ye come
hither. Tell us truly, for the princess of Vidarbha wisheth to hear it.'
Thus addressed, Bahuka answered, the illustrious king of Kosala had heard
from a Brahmana that a second Swayamvara of Damayanti would take place.
And hearing it, he hath come here, by the help of excellent steeds fleet
as the wind and capable of going a hundred yojanas. I am his charioteer.
Kesini then asked, 'Whence doth the third among you come, and whose (son)
is he? And whose son art thou, and how hast thou come to do this work?'

Página 40

Thus questioned, Bahuka replied, 'He (of whom thou inquirest) was the
charioteer of the virtuous Nala, and known to all by the name of
Varshneya. After Nala had, O beauteous one, left his kingdom, he came to
the son of Bhangasura. I am skilled in horse-lore, and have, therefore,
been appointed as charioteer. Indeed, king Rituparna hath himself chosen
me as his charioteer and cook.' At this Kesini rejoined, 'Perhaps
Varshneya knoweth where king Nala hath gone, and O Bahuka, he may also
have spoken to thee (about his master).' Bahuka then said, 'Having
brought hither the children of Nala of excellent deeds, Varshneya went
away whither he listed: He doth not know where Naishadha is. Nor, O
illustrious one, doth anybody else know of Nala's whereabouts; for the
king (in calamity) wandereth over the world in disguise and despoiled of
(his native) beauty. Nala's self only knoweth Nala. Nala never
discovereth his marks of identity anywhere.' Thus addressed, Kesini
returned, 'The Brahmana that had before this gone to Ayodhya, had
repeatedly said these words suitable to female lips, 'O beloved gambler,
where hast thou gone cutting off half my piece of cloth, and deserting
me, his dear and devoted wife asleep in the woods? And she herself, as
commanded by him, waiteth expecting him clad in half a garment and
burning day and night in grief. O king, O hero, do thou relent towards
her that weepeth ceaselessly for that calamity and do thou give her an
respuesta. O illustrious one, do thou speak the words agreeable to her for
the blameless one panteth to hear them. Hearing these words of the
Brahmana thou didst formerly give a reply! The princess of Vidarbha again
wisheth to hear the words thou didst then say.'"
"Vrihadaswa continued, 'O son of the Kuru race, hearing these words of
Kesini, Nala's heart was pained, and his eyes filled with tears. Y
repressing his sorrow, the king who was burning in grief, said again
these words, in accents choked with tears: 'Chaste women, though
overtaken by calamity, yet protect themselves, and thereby secure heaven.
Women that are chaste, deserted by their lords, never become angry, but
continue to live, cased in virtue's mail. Deserted by one fallen into
calamity, bereft of sense, and despoiled of bliss, it behoveth her not to
be angry. A virtuous lady should not be angry with one that was deprived
by birds of his garment while striving to procure sustenance and who is
burning in misery. Whether treated well or ill she would never be angry,
seeing her husband in that plight, despoiled of his kingdom, bereft of
prosperity, oppressed with hunger, and overwhelmed with calamity.' And, O
Bharata, while speaking thus, Nala oppressed with grief, could not
restrain his tears, but began to weep. And thereupon Kesini went back to
Damayanti, and acquainted her with everything about that conversation as
well as that outburst of grief."

Chapter 75

Página 41

"Vrihadaswa said, 'Hearing everything, Damayanti became oppressed with
grief, and suspecting the person to be Nala, said unto Kesini, 'O Kesini,
go thou again, and examine Bahuka, and staying in silence at his side
mark thou his conduct. And, O beauteous one, whenever he happens to do
anything skilful, do thou observe well his act while accomplishing it.
And, O Kesini, whenever he may ask water or fire, with the view of
offering him obstruction, thou shalt be in no hurry to give it. Y
marking everything about his behaviour, come thou and tell me. Y
whatever human or super-human thou seest in Bahuka, together with
anything else, should all be reported unto me.' And thus addressed by
Damayanti, Kesini went away, and having marked the conduct of that person
versed in horse-lore, she came back. And she related unto Damayanti all
that had happened, indeed, everything of human and superhuman that she
had witnessed in Bahuka. And Kesini said, 'O Damayanti, a person of such
control over the elements I have never before seen or heard of. Siempre
he cometh to low passage, he never stoopeth down, but seeing him, the
passage itself groweth in height so that he may pass through it easily.
And at his approach, impassable narrow holes open wide. King Bhima had
sent various kinds of meat--of diverse animals, for Rituparna's food. Y
many vessels had been placed there for washing the meat. And as he looked
upon them, those vessels became filled (with water). And having washed
the meat, as he set himself to cook, he took up a handful of grass and
held it in the sun, when fire blazed up all on a sudden. Beholding this
marvel, I have come hither amazed. Further, I have witnessed in him
another great wonder. O beauteous one, he touched fire and was not burnt.
And at his will, water falling floweth in a stream. And, I have witnessed
another greater wonder still. He took up some flowers, began to press
them slowly with his hands. And pressed by his hand, the flowers did not
lose their original forms, but, on the contrary, became gayer and more
odorous than before. Having beheld wonderful things I have come hither
with speed.'"
"Vrihadaswa continued, 'Hearing of these acts of the virtuous Nala, and
discovering him from his behaviour, Damayanti considered him as already
recovered. And from these indications suspecting that Bahuka was her
husband, Damayanti once more weepingly addressed Kesini in soft words,
saying, 'O beauteous one, go thou once more, and bring from the kitchen
without Bahuka's knowledge some meat that hath been boiled and dressed
(by him).' Thus commanded, Kesini, ever bent on doing what was agreeable
to Damayanti, went to Bahuka, and taking some hot meat came back without
loss of time. And Kesini gave that meat, O son of the Kuru race, unto
Damayanti. And Damayanti who had formerly often partaken of meat dressed
by Nala, tasted the meat that was brought by her hand-maid. And she
thereupon decided Bahuka to be Nala and wept aloud in grief of heart.
And, O Bharata, overwhelmed with grief, and washing her face, she sent
her two children with Kesini. And Bahuka, who was the king in disguise,

Página 42

recognising Indrasena with her brother, advanced hastily, and embracing
them, took them up on his lap. And taking up his children like unto the
children of the celestials, he began to weep aloud in sonorous accents,
his heart oppressed with great sorrow. And after having repeatedly
betrayed his agitation, Naishadha suddenly left the children, and addressed
Kesini, saying, 'O fair damsel, these twins are very like my own
los niños. Beholding them unexpectedly, I shed tears. If thou comest to me
frequently people may think evil, for we are guests from another land.
Therefore. O blessed one, go at thy ease.'"

Chapter 76

"Vrihadaswa said, 'Beholding the agitation of the virtuous and wise Nala,
Kesini returned unto Damayanti and related everything unto her. Y
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 Bahuka 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
él. And arrange this with the knowledge of my father or without it. Y
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
apartamentos. 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 Bahuka, saying, 'O Bahuka, 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 as 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. Y,

Página 43

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. En efecto
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 loving and devoted husband, ever
choose a second lord like thee? At the command of the king, messengers
are ranging this entire earth, saying, 'Bhima's daughter will, of her own
accord, choose a second husband worthy of her.' Immediately on hearing
this, the son of Bhangasura hath arrived here.' Hearing these
lamentations of Nala, Damayanti, frightened and trembling, said with
joined hand, 'It behoveth thee not, O blessed one, to suspect any fault
en mí. O ruler of the Nishadhas, passing over the celestials themselves,
I choose thee as my lord. It was to bring thee hither that the Brahmanas
had gone out in all directions, even to all the sides of the horizon,
singing my words, in the form of ballads. At last, O king, a learned
Brahmana named Parnada had found thee in Kosala in the palace of
Rituparna. When thou hadst returned a fit answer to those words of his,
it was then, O Naishadha, that I devised this scheme to recover thee.
Except thee, O lord of earth, there is no one in this world, who in one
day can clear, O King, a hundred yojanas with horses. O monarch, touching
thy feet I can swear truly that I have not, even in thought, committed
any sin. May the all-witnessing Air that courseth through this world,
take my life, if I have committed any sin. May the Sun that ever courseth
through the sky take my life, if I have committed any sin. May the Moon,
that dwelleth within every creature as a witness, take my life, if I have
committed any sin. Let the three gods that sustain the triple worlds in
their entirety, declare truly, or let them forsake me today.' And thus
addressed by her, the Wind-god said from the sky, 'O Nala, I tell thee
truly that she hath done no wrong. O king, Damayanti, well guarding the
honour of thy family, hath enhanced it. Of this we are the witnesses, as
we have been her protectors for these three years. It is for thy sake that
she hath devised this unrivalled scheme, for, except thee, none on earth
is capable of travelling in a single day a hundred yojanas. O monarch,
thou hast obtained Bhima's daughter, and she hath also obtained thee.
Thou needst not entertain any suspicion but be united with thy partner.'
And after the Wind-god had said this, a floral shower fell there and the
celestial kettle-drum began to play, and auspicious breezes began to
blow. And beholding those wonders, O Bharata, king Nala, the represser of
foes, cast away all his doubts in respect of Damayanti. And then that
lord of earth, remembering the king of serpents, wore that pure garment
and regained his native form. And beholding her righteous lord in his own
form, Bhima's daughter of faultless limbs embraced him, and began to weep
aloud. And king Nala also embraced Bhima's daughter devoted to him, as

Página 44

before, and also his children, and experienced great delight. And burying
her face in his bosom, the beauteous Damayanti of large eyes began to
sigh heavily, remembering her griefs. And overwhelmed with sorrow, that
tiger among men stood for some time, clasping the dust-covered Damayanti
of sweet smiles. And, O king, the queen-mother then, with a glad heart,
told Bhima all that had passed between Nala and Damayanti. And the mighty
monarch answered, 'Let Nala pass this day in peace, to-morrow I shall see
him after his bath and prayers, with Damayanti by his side.' And, O king,
they passed that night pleasantly, in relating to each other the past
incidents of their life in the forest. And with hearts filled with joy,
the princess of Vidarbha and Nala began to pass their days in the palace
of king Bhima, intent upon making each other happy. And it was in the
fourth year (after the loss of his kingdom) that Nala was re-united with
his wife, and all his desires gratified, once more experienced the
highest bliss. And Damayanti rejoiced exceedingly in having recovered her
lord even as fields of tender plants on receiving a shower. And Bhima's
daughter, thus recovering her lord, obtained her wish, and blazed forth
in beauty, her weariness gone, her anxieties dispelled and herself
swelling with joy, ever like a night that is lit by the bright disc of
the moon!"

Capítulo 77

"Vrihadaswa said, 'Having passed that night, king Nala decked in
ornaments and with Damayanti by his side, presented himself in due time
before the king. And Nala saluted his father-in-law with becoming
humility and after him the fair Damayanti paid her respects to her
padre. And the exalted Bhima, with great joy, received him as a son, and
honouring him duly along with his devoted wife, comforted them in proper
las palabras. And duly accepting the homage rendered unto him, king Nala offered
his father-in-law his services as became him. And seeing Nala arrived,
the citizens were in great joy. And there arose in the city a loud uproar
of delight. And the citizens decorated the city with flags and standards
and garlands of flowers. And the streets were watered and decked in
floral wreaths and other ornaments. And at their gates citizens piled
flowers, and their temples and shrines were all adorned with flowers. Y
Rituparna heard that Bahuka had already been united with Damayanti. Y
the king was glad to hear of all this. And calling unto him king Nala, he
asked his forgiveness. And the intelligent Nala also asked Rituparna's
forgiveness, showing diverse reasons. And that foremost of speakers
versed in the truth, king Rituparna, after being thus honoured by Nala,
said, with a countenance expressive of wonder, these words unto the ruler
of the Nishadhas. 'By good fortune it is that regaining the company of
thy own wife, thou hast obtained happiness. O Naishadha, while dwelling
in disguise at my house, I hope I did not wrong thee in any way, O lord
of the earth! If knowingly I have done thee any wrong, it behoveth thee

Página 45

to forgive me.' Hearing this, Nala replied, 'Thou hast not, O monarch,
done me ever so little an injury. And if thou hast, it hath not awakened
my ire, for surely thou shouldst be forgiven by me. Thou wert formerly my
friend, and, O ruler of men, thou art also related to me. Henceforth I
shall find greater delight in thee. O king, with all my desires
gratified, I lived happily in thy abode, in fact more happily there than
in my own house. This thy horse-lore is in my keeping. If thou wishest, O
king, I will make it over to thee.' Saying this, Naishadha gave unto
Rituparna that science and the latter took it with the ordained rites.
And, O monarch, the royal son of Bhangasura, having obtained the
mysteries of equestrian science and having given unto the ruler of the
Naishadhas the mysteries of dice, went to his own city, employing another
person for his charioteer. And, O king, after Rituparna had gone, king
Nala did not stay long in the city of Kundina!'"

Chapter 78

"Vrihadaswa said, 'O son of Kunti, the ruler of the Nishadhas having
dwelt there for a month, set out from that city with Bhima's permission
and accompanied by only a few (followers) for the country of the
Nishadhas. With a single car white in hue, sixteen elephants, fifty
horses, and six hundred infantry, that illustrious king, causing the
earth itself to tremble, entered (the country of the Nishadhas) without
loss of a moment and swelling with rage. And the mighty son of Virasena,
approaching his brother Pushkara said unto him, 'We will play again, for
I have earned vast wealth. Let Damayanti and all else that I have be my
stake, let, O Pushkara, thy kingdom be thy stake. Let the play begin
otra vez. This is my certain determination. Blessed be thou, let us stake
all we have along with our lives. Having won over and acquired another's
wealth or kingdom, it is a high duty, says the ordinance, to stake it
when the owner demands. Or, if thou dost not relish play with dice, let
the play with weapons begin. O king, let me or thyself have peace by a
single combat. That this ancestral kingdom should, under all
circumstances and by any means, be recovered, there is the authority of
sages for holding. And, O Pushkara, choose thou one of these two
things--gambling with dice or bending the bow in battle!' Thus addressed
by Nishadha, Pushkara, sure of his own success, laughingly answered that
monarch, saying, 'O Naishadha, it is by good fortune that thou hast
earned wealth again to stake. It is by good fortune also that Damayanti's
ill-luck hath at last come to an end. And O king, it is by good fortune
that thou art still alive with thy wife, O thou of mighty arms! Es
evident that Damayanti, adorned with this wealth of thine that I will
win, will wait upon me like an Apsara in heaven upon Indra. O Naishadha,
I daily recollect thee and am even waiting for thee, since I derive no
pleasure from gambling with those that are not connected with me by

Página 46

blood. Winning over to-day the beauteous Damayanti of faultless features,
I shall regard myself fortunate, indeed, since she it is that hath ever
dwelt in my heart.' Hearing these words of that incoherent braggart, Nala
in anger desired to cut off his head with a scimitar. With a smile,
however, though his eyes were red in anger, king Nala said, 'Let us play.
Why do you speak so now? Having vanquished me, you can say anything you
like.' Then the play commenced between Pushkara and Nala. And blessed be
Nala who at a single throw won his wealth and treasures back along with
the life of his brother that also had been staked. And the king, having
won, smilingly said unto Pushkara, 'This whole kingdom without a thorn in
its side is now undisturbedly mine. And, O worst of kings, thou canst not
now even look at the princess of Vidarbha. With all thy family, thou art
now, O fool, reduced to the position of her slave. But my former defeat
at thy hands was not due to any act of thine. Thou knowest it not, O
fool, that it was Kali who did it all. I shall not, therefore, impute to
thee the faults of others. Live happily as thou choosest, I grant thee
thy life. I also grant thee thy portion (in the paternal kingdom) along
with all necessaries. And, O hero, without doubt, my affection towards
thee is now the same as before. My fraternal love also for thee will
never know any diminution. O Pushkara, thou art my brother, live thou for
a hundred years!'"
"And Nala of unbaffled prowess, having comforted his brother thus gave
him permission to go to his own town, having embraced him repeatedly. Y
Pushkara himself, thus comforted by the ruler of the Nishadhas saluted
that righteous king, and addressed him, O monarch, saying these words
with joined hands, 'Let thy fame be immortal and live thou happily for
ten thousand years, thou who grantest me, O king, both life and refuge.
And entertained by the king, Pushkara dwelt there for a month and then
went to his own town accompanied by large force and many obedient
servants and his own kindred, his heart filled with joy. And that bull
among men all the while blazed forth in beauty of person like a second
Dom. And the blessed ruler of the Nishadhas, having established Pushkara
and made him wealthy and freed him from troubles, entered his richly
decorated palace. And the ruler of the Nishadhas, having entered his
palace, comforted the citizens. And all the citizens and the subjects
from the country horripilated in joy. And the people headed by the
officers of state said with joined hands, 'O king, we are truly glad
to-day throughout the city and the country. We have obtained to-day our
ruler, like the gods their chief of a hundred sacrifice!'"

Chapter 79

"Vrihadaswa said, 'After the festivities had commenced in the city that
was full of joy and without anxiety of any kind, the king with a large

Página 47

force brought Damayanti (from her father's home). And her father, too,
that slayer of hostile heroes, Bhima of terrible prowess and immeasurable
soul, sent his daughter, having honoured her duly. And upon the arrival
of the princess of Vidarbha accompanied by her son and daughter, king
Nala began to pass his days in joy like the chief of the celestials in
the gardens of Nandana. And the king of undying fame, having regained his
kingdom and becoming illustrious among monarchs of the island of Jambu,
began once more to rule it. And he duly performed numerous sacrifices
with abundant gifts to Brahmanas. O great king, thou also wilt with thy
kindred and relatives, so blaze forth in effulgence soon. For, O foremost
of men, it was thus that subjugator of hostile cities, king Nala, had
fallen into distress along with his wife, in consequence, O bull of
Bharata race of dice. And, O lord of the earth, Nala suffered such dire
woe all alone and recovered his prosperity, whereas thou, O son of Pandu,
with heart fixed on virtue, art sporting in joy in this great forest,
accompanied by thy brothers and Krishna. When thou art also, O monarch,
mixing daily with blessed Brahmanas versed in the Vedas and their
branches, thou hast little cause for sorrow. This history, besides, of
the Naga Karkotaka, of Damayanti, of Nala and of that royal sage
Rituparna, is destructive of evil. And, O thou of unfading glory, this
history, destructive of the influence of Kali, is capable, O king, of
comforting persons like thee when they listen to it. And reflecting upon
the uncertainty (of success) of human exertion, it behoveth thee not to
joy or grieve at prosperity or adversity. Having listened to this
history, be comforted, O king, and yield not to grief. It behoveth thee
not, O great king, to pine under calamity. Indeed, men of
self-possession, reflecting upon the caprice of destiny and the
fruitlessness of exertion, never suffer themselves to be depressed. Ellos
that will repeatedly recite this noble history of Nala, and those that will
hear it recited, will never be touched by adversity. He that listeneth to
this old and excellent history hath all his purposes crowned with success
and, without doubt, obtaineth fame, besides sons and grandsons and
animals, a high position among men, and health, and joy. And, O king, the
fear also that thou entertainest, viz., (Some one skilled in dice will
summon me), I will for once dispel. O thou of invincible prowess, I know
the science of dice in its entirety. I am gratified with thee; take this
lore, O son of Kunti, I will tell unto thee.'"
Vaisampayana continued, "King Yudhishthira then, with a glad heart, said
unto Vrihadaswa, 'O illustrious one, I desire to learn the science of
dice from thee.' The Rishi then gave his dice-lore unto the high-souled
son of Pandu, and having given it unto him, that great ascetic went to
the sacred waters of Hayasirsha for a bath.
"And after Vrihadaswa had gone away, Yudhishthira of firm vows heard from
Brahmanas and ascetics that came to him from various directions and from
places of pilgrimage and mountains and forests that Arjuna of high

Página 48

intelligence and capable of drawing the bow with his left hand, was still
engaged in the austerest of ascetic penances, living upon air alone. Y
he heard that the mighty-armed Partha was engaged in such fierce
asceticism that none else before him had ever been engaged in such
penances. And Dhananjaya, the son of Pritha, engaged in ascetic
austerities with regulated vows and fixed mind and observing the vow of
perfect silence, was, he heard, like the blazing god of justice himself
in his embodied form. And, O king, (Yudhishthira) the son of Pandu
hearing that his dear brother Jaya, the son of Kunti, was engaged in such
asceticism in the great forest, began to grieve for him. And with a heart
burning in grief, the eldest son of Pandu, seeking consolation in that
mighty forest held converse with the Brahmanas possessed of various
knowledge who were living with him there."

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