Mahabharata – Adi Parva – Pausha Parva – 3
– 3 –
Curse of Janamejaya by Sarama, Story of the Aruni, Upamanyu, Veda and Uttanka
1Souti said: The son of Parikshit, Janamejaya, with his brothers, was attending his long sacrifice in the field of Kurukshetra.
2His brothers were three, namely, —Srutasena, Ugrasena, and Bhimasena. When they were sitting at the sacrifice, there came the son of Sarama.
3He, being belaboured by the brothers of Janamejaya, went to his mother weeping.
4His mother, seeing him weep, asked him, “Why are you weeping, who has beaten you?”
5Being thus questioned, he replied to his mother, “I have been beaten by the brothers of Janamejaya.”
6And then his mother said, “You must have committed some fault, for which you have been beaten.”
7He replied, “I committed no fault. I did not drink the sacrificial ghee, I did not cast even a look at it.”
8Hearing this her mother, being very sorry for the affliction of his son, went to the place where Janamejaya with his brothers were attending his long sacrifice.
9She angrily addressed Janamejaya thus, “My son did not commit any fault. He did not drink your sacrificial ghee, he did not even look at it. Why did you then beat him?”
10They did not (condescend) to reply to her. On this she said, “As you beat my son who did commit no fault, so will evil come to you when you least expect it.”
11Janamejaya, having been thus cursed by the celestial bitch Sarama, was very much alarmed and dejected.
12After finishing the sacrifice, he returned to Hastinapur and took great pains to find out a priest who could neutralise the effect of the curse by procuring absolution from his sin.
13Janamejaya, the son of Parikshit, when out in hunting, saw in one part of his dominion a holy hermitage,
14Where lived a Rishi, named Srutasrava; he had a son who was named Somsrava, who was deeply engaged in austere penances.
15Being desirous to make the son of the Rishi his priest, Janamejaya,
16Saluted him and said, “O Vagabana, allow your son to be my priest.”
17Being thus addressed by Janamejaya, the Rishi replied, “O Janamejaya, my son is accomplished in the study of the Vedas, endued with my full asceticism, and deep in devotion, but he is born in the womb of a serpent who swallowed my vital fluid.
18”He is able to absolve you from all sins except those committed against Mahadeva.
19But he observes a particular rule, namely he grants to a Brahmana whatever he asks from him. If you can allow him to do it, you can then take him.”
20Janamejaya thus addressed by the Rishi, said “It shall be as you say.”
21He then took him as his priest and returned to his capital. He then addressed his brothers thus, “I have chosen this person as my priest. Whatever he will command to do must be obeyed by you without questioning.”
22The brothers did as they were requested. Giving these instructions to his brothers he marched against Takshasila and conquered that country.
23About this time there was also a Rishi, named Ayuda-Dhoumya. He had three disciples, namely Upamanyu, Aruni, and Veda.
24One day the Rishi asked one of these three disciples, Aruni of Panchala, to go and stop a breach in the watercourse in his field.
25Thus ordered by the preceptor, Aruni of Panchala went to the spot, but could not stop the breach.
26He was very sorry that he could not carry out his preceptor’s bidding, but at last he saw a means, and he said, “I shall do it in this way.”
27He entered into the breach, and there laid himself down, and thus the water was stopped.
28Sometimes after, the preceptor Ayuda-Dhoumya enquired of his other disciples where Aruni of Panchala was.
29Having been thus addressed, they replied, “Sir, he has been sent by you to stop the breach of the water-course m the field.” Dhoumya, thus reminded, said to his pupils, “Let us all go to the place where he is.”
30Having gone there, he cried, “O Aruni of Panchala, where are you? Come here, my child.”
31Having heard the voice of his preceptor, Aruni rose speedily from the breachand stood before him,
32Addressing his preceptor, Aruni said, “I was in the breach of the watercourse. Having been unable to stop it by any other means, I entered myself into the breach to prevent the water from running out. It is only when I heard your honour’s voice that I have left it, and allowed the wate s to escape. I salute you, great teacher, tell me what I am to do now.”
33The preceptor, thus addressed: said, “As you have opened the water-course in fretting from the ditch, you shall be henceforth known as Uddalaka as a mark of your preceptor’s favour.
34And as you have obeyed my command, You shall obtain good fortune.
35All the Vedas will shine in you, and so will all the Dharma Sastras.”
36Being thus blessed by his preceptor, Aruni went away to the country where his heart longed to go. The name of another Ayoda Dhoumya’s disciples was Upamanyu.
37Him the preceptor thus addressed, “Go, my child, look after my kine.”
38As ordered by his preceptor, he went to look after the cows. Having tend them all day, he came back to the preceptor’s house in the evening. He then stood before him and respectfully saluted him.
39His preceptor, seeing him in the best of health, asked, “Upamanyu, my child, by what means you support yourself? You are exceedingly plump?”
40He answered to his preceptor, “I support myself by begging.”
41The preceptor said, “You should not appropriate what you receive by begging without offering it to me.” Being thus told he went away and offered all that he got by begging to his preceptor;
42And the preceptor took from him all that he got. He, being thus treated, went away to look after the cattle. And after having tend them all day he came back in the evening. He stood before his preceptor and respectfully saluted him.
43The preceptor, seeing him still as plump as before, said, “Upamanyu, my child, l take from you all that you get by begging. How do you contrive to support yourself now?”
44Being thus questioned, he answered to his preceptor, “Sir, after giving you all I get by begging, I go again to beg to support myself.”
45The preceptor, said “This is not the way you should obey your preceptor. You diminish the support of others who live by begging. Having thus supported yourself you have showed that you are covetous.”
46Having assented to all his preceptor’s words, he went away (again) to tend the kine. Having done it, he stood before the preceptor and respectfully saluted him.
47His preceptor saw that he was still plump and said, “Upamanyu, my child, I take
from you all that you get by begging. You do not also go out begging for the second time. How do you now manage to support yourself?”
48Upamanyu, thus questioned, replied, “Sir, I now support myself with the milk of these cows.” Hearing which the preceptor said, “It is not proper for you to drink the milk without first asking my consent.”
49He assented to his preceptor’s word s and went to tend the cattle. Having done it he stood before his preceptor and respectfully saluted him.
50The preceptor saw that he was still fat, and he asked, “Upamanyu my child, you do not support yourself by alms, nor do you go begging for the second time, nor do you drink the milk of my cows, but you are still fat, how do you support yourself now?”
51Thus questioned he said, “I now drink the froth that the calves throw out when they suck their mothers’ teats.”
52The preceptor replied, “The good calves, out of kindness towards you, throw out a large quantity of froth. You should not stand in the way of their full meal. Know, it is not proper for you to drink the froth.” Upamanyu assented to this and went to tend the cattle.
53-54Thus prevented by his preceptor (from supporting himself,) he did not feed on alms, he did not drink the milk, or taste the froth, he had thus nothing to eat. One day being very much oppressed by hunger he ate the leaves of Arka tree in a forest. His eyes were affected by the pungent, acrimonious, crude and saline
qualities of the leaves, and he became blind. When he was thus walking about feeling his way he fell into a deep well.
55As he did not return that day to the Rishi’s house when the sun was sinking down behind the summit of the western mountain, the preceptor said to his pupils that Upamanyu had not yet returned. And they replied that he had gone to tend the cattle.
56On this the preceptor said, “Upamanyu is displeased, because he has been prevented from the use of everything. He is, therefore, making late to come home. Let us go and find him out.” Having said this, he went with his pupils into the forest and called aloud. “Ho, Upamanyu, where are you? My child, come here.”
57Havirtg heard the voice of his preceptor he replied, “I have fallen into this well.” The preceptor asked, “How have you fallen into this well?”
58He answered to the preceptor, “I have become blind by eating the leaves of Arka tree, and thus fallen into this well.”
59On this the preceptor replied, “Worship the twin Aswinas, the physicians of the celestials, and he will restore you your sight.” Thus addressed, Upamanyu began to worship the twin Aswinas by reciting the following words from the Rig Veda.
60-70”You have existed before the creation, O you first-born beings; you are manifest in this wonderful universe of five elements. You are infinite, you are the course of Nature and intelligent Soul that pervaders all. I desire to obtain you by the knowledge, derived from hearing and meditation. You are birds of beautiful feathers, that roost on the body which is like to a tree. You are free from the three common attributes of all souls. You are beyond all comparison. You pervade the universe through its spirit in every created thing. You are golden eagles. You are the essence in which all things disappear. You are free from error and you do not deteriorate. You are of beautiful beaks, which will not unjustly wound and which are ever victorious in all fights. Having created the sun, you weave the wonderful cloth of night and day by the black and white threads. You have established with the cloth thus woven two courses of action; one regarding the Devas, and the other regarding the Pitris. You set free the bird of life, seized by Time representing the infinite soul, so that it may be delivered to great happiness. Those that are greatly ignorant on account of the delusion of their senses, think that you, who have no attributes of matter, have forms. Three hundred and sixty cows as represented by three hundred and sixty days give birth to one calf which is year. This calf is the creator and destroyer of all. Those that search after truth, through following different routes, draw the milk of true knowledge with its help. The year is a nave of the wheel with seven hundred and twenty spokes, representing as many days. The circumference of this wheel is without an end and is represented by twelve months. This wheel is full of delusion and does not know deterioration. It affects all creatures belonging to this or the other world. O Aswinas, set this wheel in motion. The wheel of Time represented by the year has also a nave, the six seasons. It has twelve spokes represented by the twelve signs of the Zodiac. This wheel of Time displays the fruits of all beings’ actions. The Presiding Deities of Time obey this wheel. Bound as I am to its bond, O Aswinas, make me free from this wheel of Time. O Aswinas, you are this universe of five elements. You are the objects that are enjoyed in this and the next world. Raise me beyond the influence of the five elements. You are the supreme Brahma, but you move on earth in forms and enjoy that pleasures that the senses give. You created ten points of the universe in the beginning of the creation. You have placed the sun and the moon above. The Rishis perform their Yagmas according to the course of the sun. The celestials and men also perform their Yagmas as settled for them, and they enjoy the fruits of those acts. Mixing the ten colors, you have produced all the objects of sight. The universe has sprung from these objects in which both the celestials and men and all creatures endued with life are engaged in their respective works. O Aswinas, I worship you. I also worship the sky that is your handi-work. You are the ordainers of the fruits of all acts from which even the celestials are not free; you are, however, free from the fruits of your actions. You are the parents of all. You as males and females swallow the food which subsequently developes into the vital-fluid and blood. The new-born babe sucks her mother’s breast, it is you who take the shape of the babe. O Aswinas, restore my sight and protect my life.”
71When Upamanyu thus adored the twin Aswinas, they appeared and said: “We are pleased with your devotion. Here is a cake for you. Take it and eat it.”
72Thus addressed he replied, “O Aswinas, your words never prove untrue. But I cannot take this cake without offering it to my preceptor.”
73The Aswinas said, “Your preceptor also once invoked us, we gave him a cake and he took it without offering it to his teacher. Do what your preceptor did.”
74Thus addressed he said, “O Aswinas, I ask your pardon. I cannot take this cake without offering it to my preceptor.
75The Aswinis said, “We are pleased with your devotion to your preceptor. Your teacher’s teeth are of black iron, yours will be those of gold. Your sight will be restored and you will possess good fortune.”
76Having been thus addressed by the Aswinis he regained his sight. He then went to his preceptor, saluted him and told him all that had happened. And his preceptor was very much pleased with him and told him that he would obtain immense prosperity as the Aswinis had said.
77All the Vedas will shine on him and so also all Dharma Sastras. This was his trial.
78The other pupil of Ayudha Dhaumya was called Veda. One day his preceptor addressed him thus, “Veda, my child, remain in my house and serve your teacher. It will be to your profit.”
79Veda, having assented to it, remained long in the family of his preceptor, being always mindful to serve him. Like an ox under the burden of his owner, he bore heat and cold, hunger and thirst, without any complaint at all trines; and many years thus passed before his preceptor was satisfied.
80Veda obtained good fortune and universal knowledge as the result of his preceptor’s satisfaction. This was his trial.
81Having received his preceptor’s permission he left his house after the completion of living at his house and entered the domestic mode of life.
82When he was living in his house he got three pupils. But he never asked them to perform any work or to serve him in any way.
83Having himself suffered much woe when living in the family of his preceptor, he did not like to treat his pupils with severity.
84Once on a time both the kings Janamejaya and Paushya came to his house and appointed him as their preceptor.
85One day when he was going to depart on a sacrificial business, he employed one of his pupils, named Uttanka, to look after his house and family.
86He said, “Uttanka, whatever should be required to be done in my house, let it be done by you without neglect.” Having given him these instructions, Veda went away on his journey.
87Uttanka. being always mindful of the service, as asked by his preceptor, lived in the family of his teacher. While he was staying there, the females of his precentor’s house assembled near him and addressed him thus.
88”O Uttanka, the wife of your preceptor is in the state in which she might bear a child. Your preceptor is absent, therefore you are requested to stand in his place and do what is needful.”
89Uttanka, having been thus addressed, said to the women, “It is not proper for me to do it at the request of women. I have not been asked by my preceptor to do anything which is not proper.”
90Sometime after, his preceptor returned from his journey. He heard all that had happened and was much pleased.
91He said, “Uttanka, my child, what favour may I bestow on you? I have been properly and faithfully served by you. Our friendship for each other has, therefore, increased. I grant you permission to go. Depart and let your wishes be fulfilled.”
92Uttanka, thus addressed, replied: “Let me do something which you wish to be done.
93It is said, he who bestows instructions, but does not receive Dakskina, and he who receives it without giving Dakskina —contrary to usage —one of these two dies, and bitter enmity is created between them.
94I, who have got your permission to go, wish to bring some Dakskina for you.” On hearing this, his preceptor said, “Uttanka, my child* then wait some time.”
95Sometime after, Uttanka again said to his preceptor, “Command me to bring what you wish to have as Dakskina.
96His Preceptor then said, “My beloved Uttanka, you have repeatedly expressed your desire to bring something as an acknowledgement of the instructions you have received from me. Go to your mistress and ask her what you will bring for Dakskina.” Thus directed by his prepreceptor, Uttanka went to his teacher’s wife and said, “Madam, I have received permission of my preceptor to depart, and I am desirous to bring some thing that would be agreeable to you as my Dakskina for the instruction I have received, so that I may be free from my debt of gratitude.”
97”Therefore, command me what am I to bring as Dakskina His preceptress, thus addressed, said, “Go to king Paushya and beg from him the earrings that are worn by his queen
98”And bring them here. Four days hence is a sacred day; on that day I wish to appear before the Brahmanas and distribute their food wearing those earrings. Do this, O Uttanka. if you be successful, good fortune will be yours. If not, what good can you expect?”
99Thus ordered Uttanka took his departure. When he was passing along the road he met with an extraordinary Large bull and a man of extraordinary large stature riding on it. The man addressed Uttanka thus.
100”O Uttanka, eat the dung of this bull.” But Uttanka was not willing to eat it.
101The man again said, “O Uttanka, eat it without hesitation. Your teacher ate it before.”
102When he was thus addressed, he expressed his willingness (to eat,) and ate the dung and drank the urine of the bull, and then respectfully rose and washed his hands as he went on.
103He arrived at the palace of king Paushya who was seated on his throne. Uttanka went to him and saluted him; and pronouncing blessings said,
104”I have come to you and stand before you a petitioner.” King Paushya, returning his salutations said, “Sir, what shall I do for you?”
105Uttanka replied, “I have come to beg from you your queen’s earrings as a Dakshina to be given to my preceptor. You should give me those earrings.”
106King Paushya said, “Go into the inner-apartment and ask it from the queen.” He went there but could not see her.
107He again said to the king, “You should not deceitfully treat me Your queen is not in the inner-apartment and l could not find her,”
108Paushya thought for a while and then replied, “Carefully recollect, Sir, whether you arc defiled with the impurities of a repast. The queen is a chaste woman, and therefore she cannot be seen by one who is defiled by the impurities of a repast. She does not appear before one who is so defiled.”
109Uttanka, thus addressed, thought for a while and then replied, “Yes, it is so. As I was in a hurry, I performed my ablutions when I was walking.” Paushya said, “This is a transgression. Ablutions cannot properly be performed standing or Walking in a hurry.”
110Uttanka assented to what fell from the king and sat with his face turned towards the east. He washed his hands and feet thoroughly. He then without sound in rice sipped water which was free from scum and froth and which was not warm. He took only so much of it as to reach his stomach. He then wiped his face twice. He then touched his eyes, ears, ecc., with water. Having done all this he again went to the inner apartment.
111He saw the queen this time. Seeing him, she saluted him reverentially and said, “Welcome, Sir; command me what I shall do for you.”
112Uttanka said to her, “You should give me your earrings. I beg them from you as I wish to present them to my preceptor.” The queen, having been highly pleased with the conduct or Uttanka, thought that he was a very good man and he could not be refused. Therefore, she took off her earrings and handed them over to him. On giving them to Uttanka she said, “These earrings are very much sought after by Takshaka, the King of the Nagas. Therefore take them with the greatest care.”
113Uttanka, being thus told, replied to the queen, “Madam, you need not be under any apprehension. Takshaka, the king of the Nagas, cannot overcome me.”
114Having said this, he took leave of the queen and went back to the king, whom he addressed thus, “Paushya, I am much pleased.” Paushya replied.
115”A proper man on whom charity can be bestowed is got at long intervals. You are a guest with many qualifications, therefore I wish to perform a Sradha. Kindly wait a little.”
116Uttanka said, “Yes, I shall wait. Bring soon the provisions that are ready.” The king, having signified his assent, duly entertained Uttanka.
117Uttanka, seeing that the food that was brought before him was cold and had hair in it, considered it unclean, and said to Pausha, “You give me food that is not clean, therefore you will lose your sight.”
118Paushya replied, “As you impute uncleanliness to the food which is clean, you will be without a child.” Uttanka said»
119”It is not proper for you to curse me after having given me unclean food. You can satisfy yourself by ocular proof.” Thereupon Paushya by seeing it personally satisfied himself that the food was unclean.
120Having seen that the food was really unclean, cold and mixed with hair, —because it was prepared by a woman whose hair was not braided, —Paushya began to pacify the Rishi Uttanka, saying.
121”Sir, the food placed before you is cold and his really hair in it, having been prepared without sufficient care. Therefore, I pray yon, kindly pardon me. Let me not become blind.” Uttanka replied,
122”What t say must happen. Having become blind, von may however regain your sight soon. Grant also that your curse on me may not take effect.”
123Paushya said, “I am not capable of revoking my curse. My anger is not appeased even now. But you do not know it.
124Bramhana’s heart is as soft as butter even though his words are like sharp razors. But contrary is the case with the Kshatrya. His words are as soft as butter, but his heart is like a sharp instrument.
125Such being the case, I cannot revoke my curse, as my heart is very hard. Vou may go.” Uttanka replied, “I showed you the uncleanliness of the food placed before me. I am also pacified by you.
126Besides you said that I should be without issue, because I falsely imputed uncleanliness to the food. The food, being really unclean, your curse cannot take effect. I am sure of it.”
127Uttanka, having said this, went away with the earrings. On his way he saw a naked beggar, coming towards him. He was sometimes coming in view and sometimes disappearing.
128Uttanka, having occasion to have some water, placed the earrings on the ground and went for it. In the meantime, the beggar came quickly to the place and taking up the earrings ran away.
129Having completed his ablutions and purified himself, and having bowed down to the divinities and spiritual masters, he ran after the thief as fast as possible.
130Having overtaken him, he seized him with all his might, but the disguised Takshaka, suddenly quitting the form of the beggar, assumed his own real form, and quickly disappeared into a large hole in the ground.
131Entering the region of the Nagas, he proceeded to his own home. Uttanka, remembering the words of the queen, pursued Takshaka.
132He began to dig open the hole with a stick, but did not make much progress. Seeing his distress Indra sent his thunderbolt to his assistance.
133Saying, “Go and help that Brahmana.” The thunderbolt entering into fche stick enlarged the hole.
134Uttanka entered into the hole after the thunderbolt; and thus entering it he saw the land of the Nagas, with hundreds of palaces, elegant mansions, with turrets and domes, and gateways, with wonderful arenas for various games and entertainments.
135To please the Nagas, he uttered the following slokas, M O serpents, subjects of the king Airavata, you are brilliant in battles, you shower weapons like clouds, charged with lightning and driven by wind.
136Beautiful, variously formed, decked with many colored earrings, O children of Airavata, you shine like the sun in the sky.
137There are many settlements of Nagas or the northern banks of the Ganges, and there do I often worship* the great Nagas.
138Who but Airavata can desire to move in the burning sun? When Dhritarastra goes out, twenty-eight thousand Nagas follow him.
139I salute you all that have Airavata for their elder brother, —whether you live near him or stay at a distance from him.
140In order to get back my earrings I worship you, Takshaka, the Naga-king, who formerly lived in Kurukshetra and the forest of Khandhava.
141Takshaka and Ashwasena were constant companions when they lived in Kurukshetra on the hanks of the river Ihskumati.
142I also worship Takshaka’s younger brother Srutasena, who dwelt at the holy place called Mahadyumna with the intention of becoming one of the chiefs of the Nagas.”
143After having thus saluted the chief Nagas, the Brahmana Rishi Uttanka did not get his earrings; and he became very thoughtful.
144When he saw that he did not get the earrings, although he had worshipped the Nagas, he looked around him and beheld two women working in a loom with a fine shuttle and weaving a piece of doth- There were black and white threads in the loom. He also saw a wheel, with twelve spokes, which was turned round by six boys. He also saw a man with a horse. In „ order to please them all he uttered the following Mantras.
145”This wheel, the circumference of which is marked by twenty-four divisions, representing twenty-four lunar changes; contains three hundred spokes. It is continually set in motion by six boys.
146These maidens, representing universe, are continually weaving a cloth with white and black threads, creating innumerable worlds and millions of beings to-inhabit them.
147O, the master of thunder, the protector of the universe, the stayer of Vitra and Namuchi. O illustrious one, wearing the black cloth, O Deity, who displays truth and untruth in the universe,
148Who owns the horse that was obtained from the depths of the ocean and which is but another form of Agni, —I bow to you, O supreme being, O Lord of the three worlds, O Purandara.
149Then said the man with the horse, “I have been much pleased with your adoration. What good can I do to you?”
150Uttanka replied, “I Let the Nagas be brought under my power.” The man then said, “Blow into this horse.”
151Thereupon Uttanka blew into the horse, and thousands of flames and fires with smoke issued forth from every aperture of the horse thus blown into.
152The land of the Nagas was at the point of being burnt down wnen Takshaka, taking the earrings, hastened to Uttanka, from his palace and said,
153”Pray, Sir, take back your earrings.” Receiving back his earrings Uttanka thought:
154”To-day is the sacred day mentioned by my preceptress. I am at a distance, —how can I, therefore, show my regard for her (by presenting her with the ear-rings)!” When he was thus meditating the man said,
155”Uttanka, get on this horse. He will take you in a moment to the family of your preceptor.”
156Uttanka signified his assent, mounted the horse and reached his preceptor’s house in a moment’s time. The preceptress, after bathing, was dressing her hair, sitting and thinking that if Uttanka did not come, she would curse him.
157At this very time Uttanka entered the house of his preceptor and made proper salutation to his preceptress. When he presented her with the earrings, she said.
158”Uttanka, you have come at the proper time. Welcome, my child. As you are innocent, I do not curse you. Good fortune will come to you. Let your wishes be crowned with success.”
159Then did Uttanka salute his preceptor, and his preceptor said, “Uttanka, my child, welcome to you. What made you to be so long away?”
160Uttanka replied to the preceptor, “The king of the Nagas, Takshaka, offered obstruction to the business I went, and therefore I had to go to the land of the Nagas.
161There I saw two maidens working in a loom and weaving a cloth with blade and white threads. What may it be?
162I then saw a wheel, with twelve spokes, which was being continually turned by six boys. What does it mean? I also saw a man, —who is he? I saw also a horse of extraordinary sue, —what is that horse?
163On my way I saw on the road a man mounted on a bull. He lovingly addressed me thus, “Uttanka, eat the dung of this bull, which was eaten by your preceptor.”
164Thus requested by him, I ate the dung of that bull. Who is this man? Being instructed by you I wish to hear all about them.”
165His preceptor thus addressed said to him, “The two maidens you saw are Dhata and Vidhata. The black and white threads represent night and day. The wheel, with twelve spokes turned by six boys, is the year, having six seasons.
166The man is Parjanya (the deity of rain); the horse is Agni, (deity of fire). The bull which you saw on the road is the Airavata, the king of elephants.
167The man who rode it is Indra. The dung of the Bull, which you ate is Ambrosia. Certainly on account of this (eating) you were not slain in the land of the Nagas.
168Indra, with six attributes, is my friend; he, being moved by kindness to¬ wards you, showed you this favour; therefore, you have been able to return safely with the earrings.
169Now, mild-natured Uttanka, I give you permission to go. You will obtain good fortune.” Uttanka, thus obtaining is preceptor’s leave, and being deadly angry against Takshaka, went towards Hastinapura, resolved to take revenge on the king.
170The good Brahmana’s son reached Hastinapura. Uttanka then went to see king Janamejaya.
171Who had only recently returned victorious from Takshasila. He saw him seated surrounded by his ministers.
172He uttered blessings in proper time and addressed him in speech of correct accent and melodious sound.
173Uttanka said: “O best of kings, you are spending your time like a child when a most important matter urgently demands your attention”.
174Souti said: Having been thus addressed by the Brahmana, king Janamejaya duly saluted him and said to the best of Brahmanas.
175Janamejaya said: I perform the duties of my Kshatrya race, by looking after my these subjects. Tell me what is the business that I am to perform and by which you are led to come here.
176Souti said: Having been thus addressed by the best of kings, Janamejaya, the best of
Brahmanas, distinguished for good deeds, thus replied, “O king, the business is your own that demands your attention. Therefore, do it.”
177Uttanka said: O king of kings, your father was killed by Takshaka, therefore take revenge on that vile serpent for the death of your noble father.
178The time has come, I say, for your taking vengeance, ordained by Fate. Go, O king, and avenge the death of your noble father,
179Who was unoffending, but who died like a tree stricken by thunder, having been bitten by this vile serpent.
180The worst of the serpent race, Takshaka, being intoxicated with power, committed an wicked act when he bit your father.
181Wicked in his deeds, he even made Kashyapa run away when he was coming for the relief of your god-like father, the protector of the race of royal usages.
182It is proper for you to bum the wicked wretch in the blazing fire of a Snake-Sacrifice. Therefore, O king, soon do the needful for it.
183You can thus revenge your father’s death. O king, you can thus do me a great favour.
184O king of the world, my business was obstructed on one occasion by that wretch when was going (to get a present for my preceptor.)
185Souti said: —The King, having heard these words, got angry on Takshaka. Uttanka’s speech inflamed him as ghee does the sacrificial fire.
186Even before the presence of Uttanka, be sorrowfully asked his ministers the particulars of his father’s going to heaven (death).
187When he heard all the circumstances of his father’s death, the king of kings was overcome with sorrow and pain.