The Mahabharata Home
"Bhishma said, 'Proceeding by many delightful forests and lakes and sacred waters, the Brahmana at last arrived at the retreat of a certain ascetic. Arrived there, he enquired of him, in proper words, about the Naga of whom he had heard from his guest, and instructed by him he pursued his journey. With a clear idea of the purpose of his journey, the Brahmana then reached the house of the Naga. Entering it duly, he proclaimed himself in proper words, saying,--Ho! who is there!' I am a Brahmana, come hither as a guest!--Hearing these words, the chaste wife of the Naga, possessed of great beauty and devoted to the observance of all duties, showed herself. Always attentive to the duties of hospitality, she worshipped the guest with due rites, and welcoming him, said, 'What can I do for you?'
"The Brahmana said, 'O lady, I am sufficiently honoured by thee with the sweet words thou hast said unto me. The fatigue of my journey has also been dispelled. I desire, O blessed lady, to see thy excellent lord. This is my high object. This is the one object of my desire. It is for this reason that I have come today to the residence of the Naga, thy husband.'
"The wife of the Naga said, 'Reverend sir, my husband has gone to drag the car of Surya for a month. O learned Brahmana, he will be back in fifteen days, and will, without doubt show himself unto thee. I have thus told thee the reason of my husband's absence from home. Be that as it may, what else is there that I can do for thee? Tell me this!'
"The Brahmana said, 'O chaste lady, I have come hither with the object of seeing thy husband. O reverend dame, I shall dwell in the adjacent forest, waiting for his return. When thy husband comes back, do kindly tell him that I have arrived at this place impelled by the desire of seeing him. Thou shouldst also inform me of his return when that event
occurs. O blessed lady, I shall, till then, reside on the banks of the Gomati, waiting for his return and living all the while upon frugal fare. Having said this repeatedly unto the wife of the Naga, that foremost of Brahmanas proceeded to the banks of the Gomati for residing there till the time of the Naga's return.'"
Next: Section CCCLVIII