The Mahabharata Home
"Narada said, 'King Yayati then, desirous again of disposing of his daughter in Swayamvara, went to a hermitage on the confluence of the Ganga and the Yamuna, taking Madhavi with him on a chariot, her person decked with garlands of flowers. And both Puru and Yadu
followed their sister to that sacred asylum. And in that spot was assembled a vast concourse of Nagas and Yakshas and human beings, of Gandharvas and animals and birds, and of dwellers of mountains and trees and forests, and of many inhabitants of that particular province. And the woods all around that asylum were filled with numerous Rishis resembling Brahman himself. And while the selection had commenced of husband, that maiden of the fairest complexion, passing over all the bridegrooms there assembled, selected the forest as her lord. Descending from her chariot and saluting all her friends, the daughter of Yayati went into the forest which is always sacred, and devoted herself to ascetic austerities. Reducing her body by means of fasts of various kinds and religious rites and rigid vows, she adopted the deer's mode of life And subsisting upon soft and green grass-blades, resembling the sprouts of lapis lazuli and which were both bitter and sweet to the taste, and drinking the sweet, pure, cool, crystal, and very superior water of sacred mountain-streams, and wandering with the deer in forests destitute of lions and tigers, in deserts free from forest-conflagration, and in thick woods, that maiden, leading the life of a wild doe, earned great religious merit by the practice of Brahmacharya austerities.
'(Meanwhile) king Yayati, following the practice of kings before him, submitted to the influence of Time, after having lived for many thousands of years. The progeny of two of his sons--those foremost of men--Puru and Yadu, multiplied greatly, and in consequence thereof, Nahusha's son won great respect both in this and the other world. O monarch, dwelling in heaven, king Yayati, resembling a great Rishi, became an object of much regard, and enjoyed the highest fruits of those regions. And after many thousands of years had passed away in great happiness, on one occasion while seated among the illustrious royal sages and great Rishis, king Yayati, from folly, ignorance, and pride, mentally disregarded all the gods and Rishis, and all human beings. Thereat the divine Sakra--the slayer of Vala--at once read his heart. And those royal sages also addressed him saying, 'Fie, fie.' And beholding the son of Nahusha, the questions were asked, 'Who is this person? What king's son is he? Why is he in heaven? By what acts hath he won success? Where did he earn ascetic merit? For what hath he been known here? Who knoweth him? The dwellers of heaven, thus speaking of-that monarch, asked one another these questions about Yayati, that ruler of men. And hundreds of heaven's charioteers, and hundreds of those that kept heaven's gates, and of those what were in charge of heaven's seats, thus questioned, all answered, 'We do not know him.' And the minds of all were temporarily clouded, so that none recognised the king and thereupon the monarch was soon divested of his splendour.'"
Next: Section CXXI