Chapter 71 to 137

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Markandeya said: – Thereupon delighted the Divine Sun said to all the people “O ye twice-born ones and others, tell me what do ye seek from me”. (1) Beholding the Sun stationed before them all the Brahmanas and others, saluting him with reverence, said to that lord of the universe. (2)

THE SUBJECTS said: – O Lord, O thou the dispeller of darkness, if thou art pleased with our devotion may our king live for ten thousand years. (3) May he be always freed from diseases, may he defeat his enemies, may his treasury remain always full, and may he be ever youthful. May Rajyavarddhana live for ten thousand years. (4)

MARKANDEYA said: – O great Muni, having said ‘so be it’ the sun assumed his own form. They too, having attained their boons, and been delighted, approached that king of men. (5) O twice-born one, they communicated every thing fully unto the king how they had obtained the boon from the sun. (6) O twice-born one, hearing this his wife Manini was delighted. But the king thought for some time and did not say any thing to the people. (7) Therefore Manini, having her heart filled with delight, said to her husband “O king, by luck, you have got a longer lease of life”. (8) O twice-born one, although her husband was thus congratulated by

Manini in delight the king did not say any thing and his mind was stupefied by pensiveness.

(9) He began to think with his head cast downwards. She again said to her husband “O king, why art thou not pleased with the accession of such a good fortune? (10) From to-day thou shalt live a healthy and youthful life for ten thousand years, why art thou not pleased then?

(11) O king, tell me the cause of the anxiety that has possessed thy heart even at the advent of such a good fortune”. (12)

The KING said: – O auspicious damsel, what is that good fortune to me? Why art thou congratulating me? A thousand miseries have come for me? Why do you please me? (13) I shall alone live for ten thousand years. Thou shalt meet with death. Will not that cause grief unto me? (14) Beholding my sons, grandsons, their sons and other relations passing away before me shall I experience a small grief? (15) When servants, greatly attached to me, as well as the friends shall pass away, there shall be no end of grief unto me? (16) Even they, who by carrying on penances have reduced their bodies to skeletons for me, will meet with death. Shall I alone live and enjoy? O fie on me. (17) Therefore, O fair one, this is no prosperity to me but a great calamity. Why do you not consider this? And why do you congratulate me? (18)

MANINI said: – Undoubtedly what thou hast said, O great king, is true. In our joy, neither myself nor the citizens could observe this defect. (19) Therefore, think, O king, what should now be done. What the Divine Sun has said in propitiation shall never be otherwise. (20)

THE KING said: – Without repaying the benefit which has been done me by citizens and servants delightedly how shall I enjoy various objects of enjoyment? (21) I too to-day shall go to the mountain and with controlled mind and abstaining from food shall worship the sun and carry on penances. (22) As I shall, by his favour, live for ten thousand years, being youthful and freed from diseases, likewise if my subjects, servants, sons, grandsons, their sons, friends and others live by the favour of the sun, then with delight I shall be their king and enjoy the objects of enjoyment. (23-25) If the sun does not encompass this, O Manini, I shall, abstaining from food, carry on, in this mountain, devout penances so long my life does not run out. (26)

MARKANDEYA said: – Having been thus addressed by him she said ‘so be it’ to the king and with him repaired to that mountain. (27) Having reached that valley, O twice-born one, the king, engaged in his service along with his wife, began to worship the sun. (28) The king grew lean with fasting and so did she. Bearing cold and heat she carried on hard austerities. (29) He thus worshipping the sun and carrying on hard penances for a little over a year the sun was delighted. (30) O foremost of the twice-born ones, he then conferred the boon, as desired by the king, with regard to all his servants, citizens and sons. (31) Having obtained the boon and returned to his own city the king delightedly governed his kingdom and piously ruled his subjects. (32) He performed many Yajnas and made charities day and night. And that one conversant with virtue enjoyed many objects of desire in the company of Manini. (33) He lived a youthful and happy life for ten thousand years along with the servants, sons, and grandsons. (34) Seeing his life, Pramati, of Bhrigus’ race, filled with surprise, composed the following theme. (35) “O what is the power of devotion to the sun, since Rajyavarddhana has gained a long life both for himself and his own men.” (36) O Vipra, as asked by you I have thus recounted to you the glories of the Prime Deity, the effulgent Aditya. (37) By listening to or reading in full this most excellent glorious theme the Brahmanas are released from sins committed for seven nights so also are other men. (38) The intelligent man, who meditates on this theme, becomes freed from diseases, rich, prosperous, is born in the family of the intelligent and becomes highly wise. (39) O foremost of Munis, those, who are unfortunate and beset with calamities, if they recite this theme of the Sun, three times a day, are freed from sins. (40) The sun lives always near the house, where this his glorious theme is chanted and he never leaves it. (41) Therefore, O Brahman, you should, desirous of acquiring great piety, meditate over and chant this glorious theme of the sun. (42) O foremost of the twice-born, by listening for three days to this glorious theme of the sun one reaps the same fruit which he does by making a gift of a beautiful milch cow having golden horns. (43)