About the Auttana Manvantara ||69||

1Kraustuki said: -O Brahmana, the Swarochisha Manwantara has been related to me by thee in detail, and likewise also the eight Nidhis as asked by me. 2And the first Manwantara, called the Swayambhuvam has also been described. Now tell me about the third Manwantara called Auttama.
3Markandeya said: -The son of Utthanapada and Suruchi was known by the name of Uttama – a king reputed to be possessed of great strength and prowess; 4and righteous and high-souled and endowed with the wealth of manliness, who having surpassed all beings became as glorious as the sun. 5O thou great Muni, he was impartial both to friends and foes, and just to son or servants; to the workers of iniquity he was even as the god Yama, and to the virtuous even as the moon. 6-7Uttama, that righteous son of Uttanapada, married Vahula, well-known to fame, the daughter of Babhru, even as Indra did Shachi. His mind was always full of affection (towards her) – and he placed his (heart’s) stay on her, even as that of the Moon was towards Rohini. 8His mind never was moved by attachment to any other object. The mind of that supporter of the earth rested on her even in dream. 9That king, immediately on seeing her of exceedingly lovely limbs, would embrace her body, and immediately on touching her body would lose his consciousness in her. 10Her words that caused pain to the ear were also very pleasant to the lord of the earth, and even insults from her he regarded as great honour. 11She would despise the garland and even most lovely ornaments (when) given by him; and would get up (i.e. leave his company unceremoniously) causing bodily pain to him, when he would be drinking most superior wine. 12In this way she was not favourably disposed towards that high-souled one who was always favourably disposed to her; (and yet the lord of the earth would love her more than ever.) 13If held by the hand even for a moment by the lord of men, she, not being sufficiently pleased, would, O thou twice-born one, eat but little food. 14Then, once, the king, while engaged in drinking, with great respect offered her, the intelligent one, a drinking cup filled with wine. 15-17She, looked upon by the supporters of the earth, (i.e. the assembled princes) with the courtesans who were adepts in dancing and singing, and who were singing most sweet tunes, turned her face from it, and did not wish to accept that cup, in the presence of the lords of the earth. Then that king repulsed by that lady so loved by him, – her husband not loved by her, – being angry, said, calling the keeper of the gate, and breathing even like a serpent. 18O keeper of the gate, taking this one whose heart is bad, leave her soon in a lonely forest. Thou art not to judge this order of mine. (i.e. thou art not permitted to think whether I shall do as the king bids or not &c).
19Markandeya said: -Then that door-keeper, obeying the order of the king without judging (of its propriety or impropriety) having placed her on a chariot, left her in the forest. 20Thus taken by him, she (the Queen) also regarded that banishment in the forest, being put out of sight of the lord of earth, as even a great favour (done to her). 21He also, that supporter of the earth, the son of Uttanapada with his mind burning with the pain of his love for her did not take a second wife. 22And he thought of her, of most lovely limbs, without break day and night, and performed the works of his kingdom according to the law as prescribed for the government of subjects. 23To him governing (his subjects) even as father his sell-begotten sons, came a Brahman, in a painful state of the mind, and said this.
24The Brahmana said: – O great king, hear me speak, I am in great distress. The distress of men is not remedied by anyone else except the king. 25My wife has been stolen by someone when I was asleep at night, with the door of my house not bolted. Thou shouldst bring her back to me.
26The King said: – O thou twice-born one, thou dost not know by whom she has been stolen, or where she has been taken, then for whose punishment shall I exert myself, or whence shall I bring her.
27The Brahmana said: – O lord of the earth, if the wife, of a man sleeping with the doors closed, be stolen, by whom and why (has she been stolen) should be found out by thee. 28Thou, O lord of men, – who takest the sixth part of our produce as thy remuneration, art the protector of the law, therefore the sons of Manu (i.e. men) sleep fearlessly at night.
29The King said: – Thy wife has not been seen by me; of what form is she physically, what also is her age, tell me, as also what is the character of thy Brahmani.
30Brahmana: – Of hard eyes is she, and exceedingly tall, and of short arm, and shrunken face; she is very ugly, O lord of the earth, I don’t speak ill of her, she is really such. 31In words she is, O king, exceedingly harsh, and by character she is not amiable. Thus is my wife described by me, she is in form exceedingly unpleasing to the sight. 32O king, her first youth has jused passed, – of such a description is my wife; this is the truth spoken by me.
33The King said: – No need hast thou, O Brahman, of her. I shall give, thee another wife. A lovely wife becomes a cause of happiness, one like her is only a cause of pain. 34Beauty and good character becomes a cause, O Brahman, of happiness; for that reason she, who is without character, is to be forsaken.
35The brahmana said: – Is it not, Oh king, a good injunction of the scriptures, that the wife is to be protected, for on the wife of being protected the children are protected. 36On her is the self-begotten, therefore, O lord of men, she is to be protected; on the children being protected self is protected. 37If she is not protected intercaste connections arise, and that brings down, O lord of the earth, the ancient forefathers from heaven to hell. 38Of me deprived of my wife, there will be daily violation of the sacrifical rites, and owing to the violation of daily sacrificial duties it will be for my fall. 39Of her, O preserver of the earth, will be born my children; and she will thus become the giver of the sixth part of the produce, and the cause of the maintenance of the Law. 40Therefore has my wife, who has been taken away, been thus described by me to thee, O Lord. Bring her, for by right art thou our protector.
41Markandeya said: – Hearing these words of his the lord of men, being somewhat displeased – ascended his great chariot supplied with all the necessaries. 42By him, wandering here and there about the earth, was seen in the great forest an excellent hermitage. 43This (king), getting down there (from the car) and entering (the hermitage), saw there the Muni sitting on the seat made of the kusha grass, which imparts vigour and energy, and as if burning by his effulgence. 44He, on seeing the king’s approach, getting up with alacrity, and having honored him by saying – Swagata (welcome), asked his disciple to bring the offerings (due to a prince by visitors). 45To him the disciple said in a low tone, “what offering is to be given him, O Muni! order me that after due deliberation; I shall do thy bidding.” 46Then having known the story of that king the twice-born one, who has been established in his self, honoured him by a seat and words of welcome.
47The Rishi said: – For what object hast thou come? What is thy purpose? I know thee, king Uttama, the son of Uttanapada.
48The King said: – From a Brahman’s house his wife has been stolen by some one, O Muni, whose identification is unknown; looking for him have I come here. 49Therefore whatever I shall ask thee, O possessor of the six great virtues, (the Bhagas), that thou shouldst moved by mercy tell me, who am a guest in thy house, and am adoring thee.
50The Rishi said: – Ask what thou desirest to ask, O protector of the world, without any reserve or delicacy; if that may be spoken to you by me, I shall relate it truly to thee.
51The King said: – That offering, O Muni, which on seeing me at first approach thy house, thou wert on the point of making me, why is that offering withheld?
52The Rishi said: – When, O king, on seeing thee out of eagerness and delight was this disciple ordered by me, then I was by him called back to my own consciousness. 53This disciple knows, through my favour even as I know myself, whatever is past or is present or has not come to pass in this world. 54On his saying “consider and order” by me was also then everything known, therefore I did not give you offerings according to the injunctions of the scriptures. 55Thou art, O king, truly deserving of offering being born in the race of Swayambhuva; in spite of that we did not consider you as deserving of superior offerings.
56The King said: -O Brahman! what has been done by me either consciously or unconsciously, for which although coming here after a long time, I am not thought deserving of receiving due offerings from thee?
57The Rishi said: – Has it been forgotten by thee that thy wife has been sent by thee to the forest? With her, O king, have also all the sacrificial rites been forsaken by thee. 58Man becomes unworthy of being touched, by violation or neglect of the sacrificial rites for a fortnight, and the violation of thy daily sacrificial duties has extended over a year. 59As the wife must be favourably disposed towards the husband if he be of bad character, similarly is the wife of bad character to be supported (by the husband), O lord of men. 60That wife of that Brahmana who has been stolen, is against her husband, still that (Brahmana), O king, desirous of merit, is anxious to regain her. 61O lord of the world, thou dost re-establish those that are fallen from their duties, in their respective functions, who else shall establish thee when thou art shaken from the law. 62Markandeya said: -That lord of the earth thus spoken to by that wise one, being ashamed, and saying “it is as thou sayest,” asked of that twice-born one, about the stolen wife. 63O thou the possessor of the six great qualities, the Bhagas, by whom has that wife of the Brahmana been taken, and where. The revered one knows truly that which has occurred and that which is yet to come in this world.
64The Rishi said: – The Rakshasa, Valaka by name, the son of Adri has stolen her. O king, thou mayest see him this day in the forest of Utpalavatam. 65Go, and do thou, with despatch, join that most excellent person among the twice-born with his wife; let him not go to the place of the sinners from day to day like their own self.