The Mahabharata Home
"Vrihadaswa said, 'Having passed that night, king Nala decked in ornaments and with Damayanti by his side, presented himself in due time before the king. And Nala saluted his father-in-law with becoming humility and after him the fair Damayanti paid her respects to her father. And the exalted Bhima, with great joy, received him as a son, and honouring him duly along with his devoted wife, comforted them in proper
words. And duly accepting the homage rendered unto him, king Nala offered his father-in-law his services as became him. And seeing Nala arrived, the citizens were in great joy. And there arose in the city a loud uproar of delight. And the citizens decorated the city with flags and standards and garlands of flowers. And the streets were watered and decked in floral wreaths and other ornaments. And at their gates citizens piled flowers, and their temples and shrines were all adorned with flowers. And Rituparna heard that Vahuka had already been united with Damayanti. And the king was glad to hear of all this. And calling unto him king Nala, he asked his forgiveness. And the intelligent Nala also asked Rituparna's forgiveness, showing diverse reasons. And that foremost of speakers versed in the truth, king Rituparna, after being thus honoured by Nala, said, with a countenance expressive of wonder, these words unto the ruler of the Nishadhas. 'By good fortune it is that regaining the company of thy own wife, thou hast obtained happiness. O Naishadha, while dwelling in disguise at my house, I hope I did not wrong thee in any way, O lord of the earth! If knowingly I have done thee any wrong, it behoveth thee to forgive me.' Hearing this, Nala replied, 'Thou hast not, O monarch, done me ever so little an injury. And if thou hast, it hath not awakened my ire, for surely thou shouldst be forgiven by me. Thou wert formerly my friend, and, O ruler of men, thou art also related to me. Henceforth I shall find greater delight in thee. O king, with all my desires gratified, I lived happily in thy abode, in fact more happily there than in my own house. This thy horse-lore is in my keeping. If thou wishest, O king, I will make it over to thee.' Saying this, Naishadha gave unto Rituparna that science and the latter took it with the ordained rites. And, O monarch, the royal son of Bhangasura, having obtained the mysteries of equestrian science and having given unto the ruler of the Naishadhas the mysteries of dice, went to his own city, employing another person for his charioteer. And, O king, after Rituparna had gone, king Nala did not stay long in the city of Kundina!'"
Next: Section LXXVIII