Friday, February 22, 2008

Adi Parva - Sambhava Parva 13

"Vaisampayana said, 'After the expiry of the period of his vow, Kacha,
having obtained his preceptor's leave, was about to return to the abode
of the celestials, when Devayani, addressing him, said, 'O grandson of
the Rishi Angiras, in conduct and birth, in learning, asceticism and
humility, thou shinest most brightly. As the celebrated Rishi Angiras is
honoured and regarded by my father, so is thy father regarded and
worshipped by me. O thou of ascetic wealth, knowing this, listen to what
I say. Recollect my conduct towards thee during the period of thy vow
(Brahmacharya). Thy vow hath now been over. It behoveth thee to fix thy
affections on me. O accept my hand duly with ordained mantras.'

"Kacha replied, 'Thou art to me an object of regard and worship even as
thy father! O thou of faultless features, thou art, indeed, even an
object of greater reverence! Thou art dearer than life to the high-souled
Bhargava, O amiable one! As the daughter of my preceptor, thou art ever
worthy of my worship! As my preceptor Sukra, thy father, is ever
deserving of my regards, so art thou, O Devayani! Therefore, it behoveth
thee not to say so.' Hearing this, Devayani replied, 'Thou, too, art the
son of my father's preceptor's son. Therefore, O best of Brahmanas, thou
art deserving of my regards and worship. O Kacha, when thou wert slain so
many times by the Asuras, recollect today the affection I showed for
thee. Remembering my friendship and affection for thee, and, indeed, my
devoted regard also, O virtuous one, it behoveth thee not to abandon me
without any fault. I am truly devoted to thee.'

"Hearing all this, Kacha said, 'O thou of virtuous vows, do not urge me
into such a sinful course. O thou of fair eye-brows, be gracious unto me.
Beautiful one, thou art to me an object of greater regard than my
preceptor. Full of virtuous resolves, O large-eyed one, of face as
handsome, as moon, the place where thou hadst resided, viz., the body of
Kavya, hath also been my abode. Thou art truly my sister. Amiable one,
happily have we passed the days that we have been together. There is
perfect good understanding between us. I ask thy leave to return to my
abode. Therefore, bless me so that my journey may be safe. I must be
remembered by thee, when thou recallest me in connection with topics of
conversation, as one that hath not transgressed virtue. Always attend
upon my preceptor with readiness and singleness of heart.' To all this,
Devaniya answered, 'Solicited, by me, if, indeed, thou truly refusest to
make me thy wife, then, O Kacha, this thy knowledge shall not bear fruit.'

"Hearing this, Kacha said, 'I have refused thy request only because thou
art the daughter of my preceptor, and not because thou hast any fault.
Nor hath my preceptor in this respect issued any command. Curse me if it
please thee. I have told thee what the behaviour should be of a Rishi. I
do not deserve thy curse, O Devayani. But yet thou hast cursed me! Thou
hast acted under the influence of passion and not from a sense of duty.
Therefore, thy desire will not be fulfilled. No Rishi's son shall ever
accept thy hand in marriage. Thou hast said that my knowledge shall not
bear fruit. Let it be so. But in respect of him it shall bear fruit to
whom I may impart it.'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'That first of Brahmanas, Kacha, having said so
unto Devayani speedily wended his way unto the abode of the chief of the
celestials. Beholding him arrived, the celestials with Indra ahead,
having first worshipped him, spoke unto him as follows, 'Thou hast
indeed, performed an act of great benefit for us. Wonderful hath been thy
achievement! Thy fame shall never die! Thou shall be a sharer with us in
sacrificial offerings.'"

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