Friday, February 22, 2008

Adi Parva - Sambhava Parva 34

"Vaisampayana said, 'The maiden then, hearing those soft and sweet words
of the smiling monarch, and remembering her promise to the Vasus,
addressed the king in reply. Of faultless features, the damsel sending a
thrill of pleasure into the heart by every word she uttered, said, 'O
king, I shall become thy wife and obey thy commands. But, O monarch, thou
must not interfere with me in anything I do, be it agreeable or
disagreeable. Nor shall thou ever address me unkindly. As long as thou
shalt behave kindly I promise to live with thee. But I shall certainly
leave thee the moment thou interferest with me or speakest to me an
unkind word.' The king answered, 'Be it so.' And thereupon the damsel
obtaining that excellent monarch, that foremost one of the Bharata race
for her husband, became highly pleased. And king Santanu also, obtaining
her for his wife, enjoyed to the full the pleasure of her company. And
adhering to his promise, he refrained from asking her anything. And the
lord of earth, Santanu, became exceedingly gratified with her conduct,
beauty, magnanimity, and attention to his comforts. And the goddess Ganga
also, of three courses (celestial, terrestrial, and subterranean)
assuming a human form of superior complexion and endued with celestial
beauty, lived happily as the wife of Santanu, having as the fruit of her
virtuous acts, obtained for her husband, that tiger among kings equal
unto Indra himself in splendour. And she gratified the king by her
attractiveness and affection, by her wiles and love, by her music and
dance, and became herself gratified. And the monarch was so enraptured
with his beautiful wife that months, seasons, and years rolled on without
his being conscious of them. And the king, while thus enjoying himself
with his wife, had eight children born unto him who in beauty were like
the very celestials themselves. But, O Bharata, those children, one after
another, as soon as they were born, were thrown into the river by Ganga
who said, 'This is for thy good.' And the children sank to rise no more.
The king, however, could not be pleased with such conduct. But he spoke
not a word about it lest his wife should leave him. But when the eighth
child was born, and when his wife as before was about to throw it
smilingly into the river, the king with a sorrowful countenance and
desirous of saving it from destruction, addressed her and said, 'Kill it
not! Who art thou and whose? Why dost thou kill thy own children?
Murderess of thy sons, the load of thy sins is great!'" His wife, thus
addressed, replied, 'O thou desirous of offspring, thou hast already
become the first of those that have children. I shall not destroy this
child of thine. But according to our agreement, the period of my stay
with thee is at an end. I am Ganga, the daughter of Jahnu. I am ever
worshipped by the great sages; I have lived with thee so long for
accomplishing the purposes of the celestials. The eight illustrious Vasus
endued with great energy had, from Vasishtha's curse, to assume human
forms. On earth, besides thee, there was none else to deserve the honour
of being their begetter. There is no woman also on earth except one like
me, a celestial of human form, to become their mother. I assumed a human
form to bring them forth. Thou also, having become the father of the
eight Vasus, hast acquired many regions of perennial bliss. It was also
agreed between myself and the Vasus that I should free them from their
human forms as soon as they would be born. I have thus freed them from
the curse of the Rishi Apava. Blest be thou; I leave thee, O king! But
rear thou this child of rigid vows. That I should live with thee so long
was the promise I gave to the Vasus. And let this child be called

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