Friday, February 22, 2008

Adi Parva - Sambhava Parva 09

"Vaisampayana continued, 'King Dushmanta, hearing all this, said,
'Well-spoken, O princess, this that thou hast said! Be my wife, O
beautiful one! What shall I do for thee? Golden garlands, robes,
ear-rings of gold, white and handsome pearls, from various countries,
golden coins, finest carpets, I shall present thee this very day. Let the
whole of my kingdom be thine today, O beautiful one! Come to me, O timid
one, wedding me, O beautiful one, according to the Gandharva form. O thou
of tapering thighs, of all forms of marriage, the Gandharva one is
regarded as the first.'

"Sakuntala, hearing this, said, 'O king, my father hath gone away from
this asylum to bring fruit. Wait but a moment; he will bestow me on thee.'

"Dushmanta replied, 'O beautiful and faultless one, I desire that thou
shouldst be my life's companion. Know thou that I exist for thee, and my
heart is in thee. One is certainly one's own friend, and one certainly
may depend upon one's own self. Therefore, according to the ordinance,
thou canst certainly bestow thyself. There are, in all, eight kinds of
marriages. These are Brahma, Daiva, Arsha, Prajapatya, Asura, Gandharva,
Rakshasa, and Paisacha, the eighth. Manu, the son of the self-create,
hath spoken of the appropriateness of all these forms according to their
order. Know, O faultless one, that the first four of these are fit for
Brahmanas, and the first six for Kshatriyas. As regards kings, even the
Rakshasa form is permissible. The Asura form is permitted to Vaisyas and
Sudras. Of the first five the three are proper, the other two being
improper. The Paisacha and the Asura forms should never be practised.
These are the institutes of religion, and one should act according to
them. The Gandharva and the Rakshasa form are consistent with the
practices of Kshatriyas. Thou needst not entertain the least fear. There
is not the least doubt that either according to any one of these
last-mentioned forms, or according to a union of both of them, our
wedding may take place. O thou of the fairest complexion, full of desire
I am, thou also in a similar mood mayst become my wife according to the
Gandharva form.'

"Sakuntala, having listened to all this, answered, 'If this be the course
sanctioned by religion, if, indeed, I am my own disposer, hear, O thou
foremost one of Puru's race, what my terms are. Promise truly to give me
what I ask thee. The son that shall be begotten on me shall become thy
heir-apparent. This, O king, is my fixed resolve. O Dushmanta, if thou
grant this, then let our union take place.'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'The monarch, without taking time to consider at
once told her, 'Let it be so. I will even take thee, O thou of agreeable
smiles, with me to my capital. I tell thee truly. O beautiful one, thou
deservest all this.' And so saying, that first of kings wedded the
handsome Sakuntala of graceful gait, and knew her as a husband. And
assuring her duly, he went away, telling her repeatedly, 'I shall send
thee, for thy escort, my troops of four classes. Indeed, it is even thus
that I shall take thee to my capital, O thou of sweet smiles!"

"Vaisampayana continued, 'O Janamejaya, having promised so unto her, the
king went away. And as he retraced his way homewards, he began to think
of Kasyapa. And he asked himself, 'What will the illustrious ascetic say,
after he has known all?' Thinking of this, he entered his capital.

"The moment the king had left, Kanwa arrived at his abode. But Sakuntala,
from a sense of shame, did not go out to receive her father. That great
ascetic, however, possessed of spiritual knowledge, knew all. Indeed
beholding everything with his spiritual eye, the illustrious one was
pleased, and addressing her, said, 'Amiable one, what hath been done by
thee today in secret, without, having waited for me--viz., intercourse
with a man--hath not been destructive of thy virtue. Indeed, union
according to the Gandharva form, of a wishful woman with a man of sensual
desire, without mantras of any kind, it is said, is the best for
Kshatriyas. That best of men, Dushmanta, is also high-souled and
virtuous. Thou hast, O Sakuntala, accepted him for thy husband. The son
that shall be born of thee shall be mighty and illustrious in this world.
And he shall have sway over the sea. And the forces of that illustrious
king of kings, while he goeth out against his foes shall be irresistible.'

"Sakuntala then approached her fatigued father and washed his feet. And
taking down the load he had with him and placing the fruits in proper
order, she told him, 'It behoveth thee to give thy grace to that
Dushmanta whom I have accepted for my husband, as well as his ministers!'

"Kanwa replied, 'O thou of the fairest complexion, for thy sake I am
inclined to bless him. But receive from me, O blessed one, the boon that
thou desirest.'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'Sakuntala, thereupon, moved by desire of
benefiting Dushmanta, asked the boon that the Paurava monarchs might ever
be virtuous and never deprived of their thrones.'"

No comments: