The Mahabharata Home
Kotika said, "Excellent lady, who art thou that standest alone, leaning on a branch of the Kadamva tree at this hermitage and looking grand like a flame of fire blazing at night time, and fanned by the wind? Exquisitely beautiful as thou art, how is it that thou feelest not any fear in these forests? Methinks thou art a goddess, or a Yakshi, or a Danavi, or an excellent Apsara, or the wife of a Daitya, or a daughter of the Naga king, or a Rakshasi or the
wife of Varuna, or of Yama, or of Soma, or of Kuvera, who, having assumed a human form, wanderest in these forests. Or, hast thou come from the mansions of Dhatri, or of Vidhatri, or of Savitri, or of Vibhu, or of Sakra? Thou dost not ask us who we are, nor do we know who protects thee here! Respectfully do we ask thee, good lady, who is thy powerful father, and, O, do tell us truly the names of thy husband, thy relatives, and thy race, and tell us also what thou dost here. As for us, I am king Suratha's son whom people know by the name of Kotika, and that man with eyes large as the petals of the lotus, sitting on a chariot of gold, like the sacrificial fire on the altar, is the warrior known by the name of Kshemankara, king of Trigarta. And behind him is the famous son of the king of Pulinda, who is even now gazing on thee. Armed with a mighty bow and endued with large eyes, and decorated with floral wreaths, he always liveth on the breasts of mountains. The dark and handsome young man, the scourge of his enemies, standing at the edge of that tank, is the son of Suvala of the race of Ikshwaku. And if, O excellent lady, thou hast ever heard the name of Jayadratha, the king of Sauviras, even he is there at the head of six thousand chariots, with horses and elephants and infantry, and followed by twelve Sauvira princes as his standard-bearers, named Angaraka, Kunjara, Guptaka, Satrunjaya, Srinjaya, Suprabiddha, Prabhankara, Bhramara, Ravi, Sura, Pratapa and Kuhana, all mounted on chariots drawn by chestnut horses and every one of them looking like the fire on the sacrificial altar. The brothers also of the king, viz., the powerful Valahaka, Anika, Vidarana and others, are among his followers. These strong-limbed and noble youths are the flowers of the Sauvira chivalry. The king is journeying in the company of these his friends, like Indra surrounded by the Maruts. O fine-haired lady, do tell us that are unacquainted (with these matters), whose wife and whose daughter thou art."
Next: Section CCLXIV