Chapter 71 to 137

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Markandeya said: – O twice-born one, thereupon having imprecated that curse on him and as if burning down the three worlds in anger, Pramati, of Bhrigu’s race, said to Nala: -(1) “Since you, in my own hermitage, have shown violence to my wife under the influence of desire, you will be consumed at once”. (2) As soon as those words were uttered he was immediately reduced to ashes by the fire originating from his own body. (3) Beholding his prowess Sudeva, divested of haughtiness and saluting him said: – “Forgive me, forgive me. (4) O reverend Sir, I was under the influence of liquor. Therefore forgive me, be pleased and withdraw your curse”. (5) Having been thus pleased by him and on Nala being consumed, Pramati, of Bhrigu’s race, said with a dried heart. (6) “The words, that have been given vent to by me, shall never falsified. Still being propitiated with you I will show you some excellent favour. (7) You will be born in the race of the Vaisyas, there is no doubt about that. But immediately, in this very birth you will be a Kshatriya. (8) When a Kshatriya will take away your daughter by force you will become a Kshatriya”. (9) In this way, O king, my father Sudeva became a Vaisya. What I am, O great one, hear all in detail. (10) There was a royal saint by name, Suratha in the mount Gandhamadana. Repairing to the forest, abstaining from food and forsaking all attachment he became an ascetic. (11) Thereupon as soon as he saw there a Sarika dropped from the beaks of a Swena his mind was possessed by mercy; and immediately stupefaction came over him. (12) When he came to his senses I sprang from his body. Beholding me he took me up with an affectionate heart. (13) The lord said, “Since this daughter is born when my mind is possessed by mercy she will be called Kripavati.” (14) Then I daily drew up in his hermitage and began to wander about in the forest with my mates of equal age. (15) Agastya’s brother was equally well-known like his brother. When he came to the forest for gathering the produces thereof his anger was excited by my female companions and he imprecated a curse. (16) ‘Since you have called me a Vaishya, you will be born as the daughter of a Vaishya. I give you this curse.’ After he had said this I said: (17) “O foremost of the twice-born, I have committed no offence by thee, why dost thou curse me for another’s offence?” (18)

The ascetic said: – Even a good man becomes wicked when he associates with them. Even good things, made of milk, are spoiled with a single drop of wine. (19) Still as you are innocent and have pleased me with salutation, hear, O girl, what favour I shall extend to you: (20) “When after being born in the race of a Vaisya you will despatch your son for governing the

kingdom, you will come to recollect your pristine birth. (21) Then again attaining to Kshatriyahood along with your husband you will enjoy many heavenly objects. Go, you have no fear.” (22) O king, I was thus formerly cursed by that great saint. My father was also thus cursed by Pramati. (23) Therefore, O king, you are not a Vaisya nor is my father. So neither yourself nor I am fallen. Why will you be then fallen (in my company)? (24)