Markandeya Puranam

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Jara (inert) said: – After that high-souled king, of those living on air, had finished his meals, he was adored by his sons as well as by the prince. (1) Then the great serpent with delightful words pleased the friend of his sons and said: -(2) “You should, O gentle one, renouncing all misgivings, who have come to my house, tell me even as a son speaks to his father, what I can do for you. (3) Tell me what would you have, even if it be hard of obtainment – silver gold, raiment, conveyances or seats”. (4)

Kuvalayashwa said: – “By your favour, I have gold in my father’s house. I have never felt the want of any such article. (5) My father having ruled over the world for a thousand years and yourself over the nether region my mind has never been bent on solicitation. (6) They are worthy of heaven and religious merit, who, their father living, consider in their youth, a koti of coins as chaff. (7) My friends are of the same temperament with me and my body is free from diseases. My father is gifted with wealth and I am with youth; what then have I not? (8) A man, having no wealth, has his mind bent upon begging. But myself having enough why should my tongue beg? (9) Blessed are they who depend on the shade of their father’s arms without thinking whether there is wealth in their house or not. (10) But they, who having no father, from their boyhood are engaged in maintaining their relatives, have, me-thinks, been deprived of the taste of happiness by the Providence. (11) By your favour, out of the wealth amassed by my father and given to me, I, according to my desire, distribute riches amongst the suitors. (12) While I have been able to touch your feet with the jewel cresting my crown and while I have touched your body I have secured all these.” (13)

Jara (inert) said: – Having been thus addressed with humble words that foremost, of serpents out of love, said to the prince, the benefactor of his sons: -(14) “If you do not wish to take jewels or gold from me, tell me what do you like and I shall confer it upon you.” (15)

Kuvalayashwa replied: – “By your favour, O reverend sir, every kind of object is in my house; I have obtained them in particular from seeing you. (16) I have accomplished all my objects and my life has been united with fruits, for being a man I have touched your body who is a god. (17) While the dust, of your feet, has been placed on my head, what have I not attained, O king of serpents? (18) And still if you wish to confer upon me a desired for boon, let it be that the inclination for the performance of pious acts may not leave my mind. (19) Conveyance, house, seats, gold, jewels, precious stones, wife, meats, drinks, sons, beautiful garlands, perfumeries, song, music of instruments and all other desired for things, I think, are but the fruits of the tree of piety. (20-21) Therefore every self-controlled man should water the roots of piety; there is nothing difficult of attainment to those who are devoted to virtue.” (22)

Ashwatara said: – O wise man, your mind shall ever be inclined in this way to virtue. Truly as you have said, such is the fruit of virtue. (23) Still having come to my house you must accept something which you like and which cannot be secured in the region of men.” (24) Hearing his words the prince cast his looks on the faces of the sons of the king of serpents. (25) Then bowing, those two heroes communicated plainly to their father what was in the mind of the prince. (26)

They said: – “Imposed upon by a wicked-souled, vicious and inimical Danava his beloved spouse, hearing of his destruction, gave up her life – the daughter of the Gandharva king, known by the name of Madalasa. (27-28) Thereat this one faithful (to his wife) made this vow “Renouncing Madalasa I shall not take to any other wife.” (29) O father, this hero Hritadhwaja is eager to have a look on her, beautiful of all limbs. If you can do this you will do a good service to him.” (30)

Ashwatara said: – “While the elements have been once decomposed how can they be united again except in a dream or by the illusive energy of Samvara.” (31)

JARA (inert) said: – Then saluting the king of serpents Satrujit’s son, filled with bashfulness and love, said to that high-souled one: -(32) “If even, O father, you can show me Madalasa created through the power of illusion I shall consider it a favour done to me.” (33)

Ashwatara said: – “If you wish to behold (her in) illusion, O my child, see her. Though a boy, you are worthy of my reverence as a preceptor for you have come to my house.” (34)

Jara (inert) said: – Then the king of serpents brought Madalasa protected in her house. With a view to deceive them he uttered loudly a number of words. (35) He then showed the auspicious damsel to the prince. “Is she or not your wife Madalasa, O prince?” (36) Beholding that slender-made damsel he, at once throwing off shame, rushed towards her crying “My beloved,” and the Naga Ashwatara prevented him saying: -(37) “My son, this is illusion. Do not touch her. I have already told you that an illusory figure vanishes as soon as it is touched.” (38) At once he fell down senseless on earth exclaiming “O my beloved.” The fair one thought. (39) “Oh! what great affection has the king for me – his mind is firm since he, who brings the enemies to the ground, has been brought down without weapons. (40) I have been shown by him (the serpent) as an illusory (figure). It is evident that an unreal illusion is produced by the active energy of air, water, light, earth and ether.” (41)

Jara (the inert son) said: – Then comforting Kuvalayashwa the serpent told him every thing regarding the revival (of Madalasa). (42) Then delighted on obtaining his beloved (the prince) saluting the Naga thought of his horse which immediately came. Then mounting on it he started for his charming city. (43)