Chapter 71 to 137

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Markandeya said: – They all used to live in separate cities; so when they were all killed at once all the worlds were filled with great surprise. (1) Thereupon the great king Khanitra too heard of the destruction of the priests of his brothers as well as that of his minister Vishwadevi. O foremost of Munis, he was filled with great surprise thinking “what is this?” for he did not know the cause. (2-3) Thereupon when Vashishtha came to his house the king asked him why the minister and the priests of his brother had met with death. (4) Accosted by him the great ascetic told him all fully – what was spoken to him by his minister, what he did say; how he (the minister) attempted to bring about dissension amongst the brothers and what the priests did, on being urged on by the wicked minister; (5-6) why the priests of the king, even compassionate towards the enemies, met with death, on account of their attempt to injure an innocent person. (7) Hearing this and exclaiming “Alas I am done!” the King blamed himself much, O twice-born one, before Vashistha. (8)

The King said: – “O fie on me, I have no piety – I am unfortunate – every thing is vicious in me. Destiny is adverse to me – I am sinful and the most wretched of all. (9) For me, the four Brahmanas have been killed; who else there is on earth that is more sinful than I am. (10) If I

had not been born in this earth as a man then the priests of my brother would not have met with destruction. (11) O fie on my kingdom, fie on my birth in the race of the kings, for I have been the instrument of the destruction of the twice-born. (12) They were the priests of my brothers; working for their client they met with death. They were not wicked. I am sinful for I am the cause of their death. (13) What shall I do? Where shall I go? There is no one else more sinful than I am on this earth who have been the instrument of the death of the twice-born.” (14) Having his mind thus agitated and with a view to retire into the forest the Emperor Khanitra installed his son. (15) Having installed on the throne his son by name Kshupa, the king, along with his three wives, retired into woods for carrying on penances. (16) He was conversant with the duties of a Vanaprastha’s life. Going into wood he carried on hard austerities for three hundred and fifty years. (17) O foremost of the twice-born, having his body reduced by hard austerities and obstructed all the currents, that foremost of kings, living in the forest, renounced his body. (18) He attained to highly sacred eternal regions conferring all wished-for objects that are gained by the kings by the performance of horse sacrifices. (19) Having given up their lives with him his three wives also attained to the same region with that fortunate king. (20) By listening to and reading the story of Khanitra one has all his sins destroyed. Hear now of the story of Kshupa. (21)