Chapter 71 to 137

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Markandeya said: – Having sent that woman to the house of her husband, the king also began to think, sighing, “what shall be good for me under these circumstances. (1) That high-minded (Rishi) spoke to me of my pain for my unworthiness to receive the offerings meet for a guest (of my position); and this night-walker spoke of my disqualification, referring to the case of the Brahmana. (2) Such am I, what shall I do? That wife of mine has been forsaken by me. Or shall I ask that most superior Muni possessed with an illumined vision? (3) Thus meditating, that lord, of the earth getting into that chariot of his, went there where the righteous great Muni who knows the three periods of time (i.e. the past, the present, and the future) lived. (4) Getting down from the chariot, he then approaching him and making due obeisance, related his interview with the Rakshasa exactly as it happened, (5) and similarly his interview with the wife of the Brahmana, and her cure of her evil disposition, and also her despatch to her husband’s house, and that which was the object of his visit. (6)

The Rishi said: – That which has been done by thee, O Lord of men, as also the object of thy coming to me, all this was already known by me. (7) Ask me now, – what is to be done by me, I am anxious in mind, on thy coming to me. Hear that which is to be done by thee, O lord of earth. (8) The wife is the most powerful incentive of men to the observance of the law and the attainment of merit; especially is the law forsaken on her being forsaken. (9) The wifeless man, O king, is not entitled to perform his sacrificial duties, be he, O king, a Brahmana, Kshatriya or Vaishya. In forsaking thy wife thou hast not done a graceful act; for even as wives cannot desert their husbands, so too men cannot forsake their wives. (11)

The King said: – O thou possesser of six great qualities the Bhagas, what shall I do? This is the result of my actions. Because she was not favourably disposed towards me who was always lovingly inclined towards her, therefore, has she been forsaken by me. (12) Whatever she did I forbore all that with a burning heart, O possesser of the six great qualities, with my mind always afraid of the pain of her separation. (13) Now that she has been left in the forest I know not where she has gone, or whether she has been eaten in the jungle by lions or tigers or Rakshasas. (14)

The Rishi said: – She has not been eaten, O lord of the earth, by the lion or tiger or Rakshasa, she is now living in the lower region with her character unsullied. (15)

The Rishi said: – The king of serpents, known as Kapotaka, lives in the nether regions; that beautiful young lady, forsaken by thee, and roving about in that great forest was seen by him, who knew her story, and was moved by love towards her, – and taken to the nether regions. (16-18) His daughter with beautiful eye-brows was Nanda by name, O lord of the world, and the wife of this king of the serpents, possessed of intelligence, was Manorama, by name. (19) This beautiful (lady) will become the co-wife of my mother, – (she thought), and seen by her, she was taken to her own house and artfully concealed in the female apartment. (20) When besought, Nanda did not reply to the king; then the father told that daughter “thou shalt be dumb”. (21) Thus was his daughter cursed by him, and she, the chaste one, (thy wife) O lord of the earth! captured and taken by that lord of the serpents, lives there (now). (22)

Markandeya said: – Then the king overcome with great joy asked him the most superior among the twice-born the cause of his misfortune so far as his wife was concerned. (23)

The King said: – O thou possessor of the six great qualities, the Bhagas, the affection of the whole world towards me is very great. What then is the cause, for which my own wife is not overhanging towards me. (24) O thou great Muni, my love towards her is very great, even more than that towards my own life, but she is ill-disposed towards me, tell me the cause of it, O thou twice-born one. (25)

The Rishi said: – At the time of taking her hand (i.e. thy marriage) thou wert looked upon by the Sun, the Venus, and the Saturn, and thy wife by the Mercury, and the Jupiter. (26) At that moment the moon became hers, while similarly the son of the moon became yours, these two are mutually opposed; therefore, O king, is thy misfortune. (27) Therefore go and govern the earth according to the injunctions of thy order and class; taking thy wife as thy helpmate perform all sacrificial and other religious duties. (28)

Markandeya said: – Being thus spoken to, Uttama, the governor of the earth, having saluted this (Brahman) and then getting upon his chariot, went to his own city. (29)