The Mahabharata Home
"Yudhishthira said, 'O best of speakers, how that king became so powerful? And how, O twice-born one, did he obtain so much gold? And where now, O reverend sire, is all his wealth? And, O ascetic, how can we secure the same?'
"Vyasa thereupon said,--'As the numerous offspring of the Prajapati Daksha, the Asuras and the Celestials challenged each other (to encounter), so in the same way Angira's sons, the exceedingly energetic Vrihaspati and the ascetic, Samvarta, of equal vows, challenged each other, O king. Vrihaspati
began to worry Samvarta again and again. And constantly troubled by his elder brother, he, O Bharata, renouncing his riches, went to the woods, with nothing to coyer his body save the open sky. 1 (At that time), Vasava having vanquished and destroyed the Asuras, and obtained the sovereignty of the celestial regions had appointed as his priest Angira's eldest son, that best of Brahmanas, Vrihaspati. Formerly Angira was the family-priest of king Karandhama. Matchless among men in might, prowess and character; powerful like unto Satakratu, righteous souled and of rigid vows, O king, he had vehicles, and warrior, and many adherents, and superb and costly bedsteads, produced through dint of meditation by the breath of his mouth. And by his native virtues, the monarch had brought all the princes under his sway. And having lived as long as he desired, he ascended to the heaven in his corporal embodiment. And his son named Avikshit--conqueror of foes,--righteous like unto Yayati, brought all the Earth under his dominion. And both in merit and might the king resembled his sire. He had a son named Marutta, endowed with energy, and resembling Vasava himself. This earth clad in oceans; felt herself drawn towards him. He always 2 used to defy the lord of the celestials; and O son of Pandu, Vasava also defied Marutta. And Marutta,--master of Earth--was pure and possessed of perfections. And in spite of his striving, Sakra could not prevail over him. And incapable of controlling him, he riding on the horse, along with the celestials summoning Vrihaspati, spoke to him thus, 'O Vrihaspati, if thou wishest to do what is agreeable to me, do not perform priestly offices for Marutta on behalf of the deities or the ancestral Manes. I have, O Vrihaspati, obtained the sovereignty of the three worlds, while Marutta is merely the lord of the Earth. How, O Brahmana, having acted as priest unto the immortal king of the celestials, wilt thou unhesitatingly perform priestly function unto Marutta subject to death? Good betide thee! Either espouse my side or that of the monarch, Marutta or forsaking Marutta, gladly come over to me.--Thus accosted by the sovereign of the celestials, Vrihaspati, reflecting for a moment, replied unto the king of the immortals. Thou art the Lord of creatures, and in thee are the worlds established, And thou hast destroyed Namuchi, Viswarupa and Vala. Thou, O hero, alone encompassest the highest prosperity of the celestials, and, O slayer of Vala, thou sustainest the earth as well as the heaven. How, O foremost of the celestials, having officiated as thy priest, shall I, O chastiser of Paka, serve a mortal prince. Do thou listen to what I say. Even if the god of fire cease to cause heat and warmth, or the earth change its nature, or the sun ceases to give light, I shall never deviate from the truth (that I have spoken).
Vaisampayana continued,--'On hearing this speech from Vrihaspati Indra became cured of his envious feelings, and then praising him he repaired to his own mansion.'
6:1 Digambara, i.e., in naked state.
6:2 Nityada always, left out on the ground of redundancy.
Next: Section VI