Himavan Consoled ||23||

1Narada said: Thereafter the goddess born of the Mountain played and sported. That goddess of good fortune and exalted magnificence, the splendid lady, played along with the girls of Devas and Gandharvas, the ladies of Mountains and of Kinnara families and the daughters of acetics.
2Once, O son of Pandu, Vasava (i.e. Indra) who was. staying on Meru, remembered me. On being remembered I went to Vasava.
3On seeing me the Thousand-eyed Lord became extremely delighted. He got up and worshipped me. After receiving his adoration I said:
4“O deadly fire of annihilation destroying the intensively mad arrogance of great Asuras, I hope you are hale and hearty and are delighted (too).”
5-8On being asked by me thus, Sakra smilingly spoke these words: “The sprout of welfare of the three worlds has come out. With regard to the outcome of its fruit, you have been remembered, O Sage. You know everything thought by everyone. Still I (act as) one who reminds and urges. If one confides matters to a friend, one attains great pleasure. Therefore, you (meet) the Lord of Mountains, the beloved wife of the Mountain and the goddess born of the Mountain and make them take Hara as the bridegroom. (See) that they do not approve of anyone else.”
9Thereafter, on hearing his words I went to the excellent Mountain whose abode was in Oshadhiprastha (‘land of medicinal Herbs’). He (shone) like the lord of the heavenly world himself.
10I was honoured by him. A golden seat was offered to me with great devotion by himself. I sat on it with great pleasure.
11As I accepted his respectful reception (arghya) the Mountain with his face beaming like a full-blown lotus slowly enquired about my happiness and the progress of penance in sweet smooth words.
12-18aI too enquired about his well-being and then replied to the Lord of the Mountains: “O Lord of the Mountains, you occupy the eastern and the western cardinal points and protect the living beings. Oh, you are blessed indeed, O Mountain I With your assistance, leading Brahmanas achieve everything they require through penance, holy rites and sacred ablutions. You support some Brahmanas through the materials required for Yajnas and some, by offering them fruits, bulbous roots etc. What then need be said about you? O Mountain, other living beings too resort to you in various ways and rejoice in the same manner as the living beings resorting to a householder. You suffer the rigours of chillness, sunshine and heavy downpour. You bear patiently different kinds of sufferings and help other -creatures. Good people are like this. What then need be said more than this about you? You are blessed, O Mountain, because Mahesvara himself occupies a cave in you.”
18b-21O Phalguna, when I spoke these truthful words, the queen of Himalaya, Mena, came there desirous of seeing
me. She was foil owed by her daughter. A few servant-maids too followed. She entered the great assembly with her face bent down and all the limbs (covered decently). Thereafter, the queen of the Mountain bowed down to me and saluted me with her face covered with a cloth (veil) and with palms of the lotuslike hands joined in reverence. With truthful blessings I offered my benedictions to her.
22“O splendid lady, always be chaste, well-behaved, fortunate mother of heroes and attended by heroes, O lady, the bestower of the progress of the family.”
23Then I spoke in sweet gentle words to the daughter of Himalaya Mountain, whose surprise was evident in her eyes: “Come, girl, near me.”
24Then the goddess, the mother of the universe, exhibiting her childhood to me clasped her father’s neck and slipped down in his lap.
25-26The father gently spoke these words to her, “O daughter, salute the sage. Thanks to the grace of the sage, you will certainly get a well-approved husband.” On being told thus, the lass covered her face with the e,id of her garment. With a slight quiver and a muffled hum, she whispered something and thereafter did not say anything.
27-32I was surprised then. Being the most excellent one among those who are conversant with courteous behaviour, I said to the goddess once again, “O splendid girl, come. I shall give you a gem-set toy kept by me for long.” On being told thus, she got up from her father’s lap speedily and saluted my feet. She was taken in my lap by me. Considering that she would be worthy of being worshipped by the universe I said, “O lass, I do not see anything befitting you. I do not know what blessing should I offer. What is the blessing suitable unto you?” When this was spoken by me, the queen of the Lord of Mountains, out of motherly affection, became afraid that I would not bless her. She urged me slowly: “O Holy Lord, you know everything, the past and the future. Therefore, I wish to know of what nature will her husband be.” On hearing this my face was covered with smiles. Witty and humorous that I am, I said thus:
33-34“O gentle lady, her husband is one who is not born. He is one with evil characteristics. He is naked. He is absolutely devoid of wealth. He is furious (by nature). He is alwayssurrounded by cruel persons .”
35“Oh I this world is extremely mysterious. It is incomprehensible even to great men. He who is the most excellent one due to his efficiency, does not show mercy to men.
36It is with very great effort, by means of many kinds of meritorious deeds that people attain the rare state of being a human being.
37-38Though it is unstable, somehow with very great difficulty it is considered to be stable. There too, rare indeed is a chaste wife who follows (her husband in) similar holy rites, who is born of a great family and who will adhere to her husband. There again, it is rare to be able to practise pious rites along with her, as laid down in the Vedas, in a manner conducive to the welfare of the three worlds.
39-40Again it is very rare that one is born to her. That child is for the sake of its child (continuation of the race?) in the world, O Narada. It is the meritorious one who gets something from among these rare things.
41Someone may or may not desire all these things. The worldly existence (Samsara) makes a man deficient and wanting in something or the other.
42It is a defect in the worldly existence that one has to experience the fruit of one’s own (past) actions. All the Vedas praise the stage of a householder.
43Some say that it is not so. How can they (survive) if there is no householder? Therefore, the acquisition of a son is praised by Brahma in the scriptures.
44That is for the sake of further increase in the creation and to save (one) from hell. There, the creation is not possible without the birth of women.
45That species is by nature wretched and victim of ill-luck and dejection. Lest there should be disrespect to them, the following statement of great effect has been distinctly made by Brahma in the scriptures:
46‘A daughter is equal to ten sons. The merit that one derives by bringing up ten sons is obtainable by bringing up one daughter.’
47-50Hence a daughter becomes deplorable to the father. She increases his misery always even if she happens to be wholly endowed with all objects, even if she possesses sons, a husband and ample wealth. The statement that has been made by you in regard to this (daughter of mine) causes me grief. For what fault was my daughter considered not worthy of benediction? How is it that her husband is one who is not born? How is he one with evil characteristics? How is he devoid of wealth, O sage? How is it that he is the bestower of all on all? This impossible statement of yours bewilders my mind as it were.”
51As he was overwhelmed by sorrow along with his wife owing to the affection for his daughter, O son of Pandu, I consoled him with truthful words:
52“Do not be sad, O king of Mountains, on this occasion of delight. You are highly meritorious. Listen to my statement which is meaningful.
53This girl, your daughter, is the mother of this universe, the bestower of all Siddhis. In her former birth she had been the wife of Bhava under the name Sati.
54‘What shall I give her-an insignificant feJlow giving a lamp to the Sun?’ It was thinking thus that I did not offer any benediction to the great goddess.
55Her husband is one who is not born, because Bhava is (always) present. That great Lord, the source of all the creatures past, present and future, is one who is not born.
56-57Sankara, the supreme Isvara is the refuge, is eternal, and the chastiser. All the deities meditate upon him as the goal. He is not obtained even through all the Vedas. O Mountain, the entire universe beginning with Brahma, they say, is like a toy in the hand of a boy.
58Though his activities may not be auspicious, Hara is an abode of all auspiciousness. Though he is devoid of wealth, he is the bestower of all. He alone knows himself.
59That Lord is permanent, steady, the great Lord, the unageing Hara. He will become her husband. Then why do you feel sorry?”