The Mahabharata Home
"Narada said, 'Alighting then on the peak of the Rishabha, the Brahmana and the Bird beheld a Brahmana lady of the name of Sandili, engaged there on ascetic penances. And Galava and Garuda both saluted her by bending their heads, and worshipped her. And thereupon, the lady enquired after their welfare and gave them seats. And having taken their seats, both of them took the cooked food the lady offered them, after having first dedicated it to the gods with Mantras. And having taken that food, they laid themselves down on the ground and fell into a profound sleep. And Garuda, from desire of leaving that place, upon awakening, found that his wings, had fallen off. Indeed, he had become like a ball of flesh, with only his head and legs. And beholding him come to that plight, Galava sorrowfully enquired, saying, 'What is this condition that has overtaken thee as the consequence of thy sojourn here? Alas, how long shall we have to reside here? Hadst thou harboured any evil and sinful thought in thy mind? It cannot, I am sure, be any trivial sin of which thou hast been guilty.' Thus addressed, Garuda replied unto the Brahmana, saying, 'Indeed, O regenerate one, I entertained the thought of carrying away this lady crowned with ascetic success from this spot to where the Creator himself, the divine Mahadeva, the eternal Vishnu, and both Virtue and Sacrifice personified, live together, for as I thought this lady should live there. I shall now, from desire of doing myself good, prostrate myself before this holy lady, and pray unto her, saying,--with a heart full of pity, I had, indeed, entertained such a thought. Whether I acted rightly or wrongly, even this was the wish, evidently against thy own, that was cherished by me from my respect for thee. It behoveth thee, therefore, to grant me forgiveness, from the nobility of thy heart.' That lady became gratified with that prince of birds and that bull of Brahmanas. And addressing Garuda, she said, 'Fear not, O thou of beautiful feathers. Resume thy wings, and cast off thy fears. I was contempted by thee, but know that I do not pardon contempt. That sinful being who entertains contempt for me, would speedily fall away from all blissful regions. Without a single inauspicious indication about me, and perfectly blameless as I am, I have, in consequence of the purity of my conduct, attained to high ascetic success. Purity of conduct beareth virtue as its fruit. Purity of conduct beareth wealth as its fruit. It is purity of conduct that bringeth on prosperity. And it is purity of conduct that driveth away all inauspicious indications. Go thou, O blessed prince of birds, whithersoever thou wishest, from this place. Never entertain contempt for me, and take care that thou dost not contempt women that may even be truly blamable. Thou shalt again be, as before, invested with both strength and energy.' At these words of that lady Garuda had his wings again, and they became even stronger than before. And then with Sandili's leave, Garuda with
[paragraph continues] Galava on his back took his departure. But they failed to find the kind of steeds they were in search of. And it so happened that Viswamitra met Galava on the way. And thereupon, that foremost of speakers addressed Galava in the presence of Vinata's son and said, 'O regenerate one, the time is already come when thou shouldst give me the wealth thou hadst promised me of thy own accord. I do not know what thou mayst. I have waited so long. I will wait for some time more. Seek thou the way by which thou mayst succeed (in the matter of thy promise).' Hearing these words, Garuda addressed cheerless Galava who was overwhelmed with sorrow, saying, 'What Viswamitra said unto thee before hath now been repeated in my presence. Come, therefore, O Galava, best of Brahmanas, we will deliberate on the matter. Without giving thy preceptor the whole of the wealth (promised by thee), thou canst not even sit down.'
Next: Section CXIV