Mahabharata Anusasana Parva - Translation by KM Ganguly

Mahabharata Adiparva

Section CLIV

"The god of wind said, 'Once on a time, O king, a ruler of the name of Anga desired to give away the whole earth as sacrificial present unto the Brahmanas. At this, the earth became filled with anxiety. 'I am the daughter of Brahman. I hold all creatures. Having obtained me, alas, why does this foremost of kings wish to give me away unto the Brahmanas? Abandoning my character as the soil, I shall now repair to the presence of my sire. Let this king with all his kingdom meet with destruction? Arrived at this conclusion, she departed for the region of Brahman The Rishi Kasyapa, beholding goddess Earth on the point of departing, himself immediately entered the visible embodiment of the goddess, casting off his own body, by the aid of Yoga. The earth thus penetrated by the spirit of Kasyapa, grew in prosperity and became full of all kinds of vegetable produce. Indeed, O king for the time that Kasyapa pervaded the earth, Righteousness became foremost everywhere and all fears ceased. In this way, O king, the earth remained penetrated by the spirit of Kasyapa for thirty thousand celestial years, fully alive to all those functions which it used to discharge while it was penetrated by the spirit of Brahman's daughter. Upon the expiry of this period, the goddess returned from the region of Brahman and arrived here bowed unto Kasyapa and from that time became the daughter of that Rishi, Kasyapa is a Brahmana. Even this was the feat, O king, that a Brahmana did. Tell me the name of the Kshatriya who can be held to be superior to Kasyapa! Hearing these words, king Arjuna remained silent. Unto him the god of wind once more said, 'Hear now, O king, the story of Utathya who was born in the race of Angiras. The daughter of Soma, named Bhadra, came to be regarded as unrivalled in beauty. Her sire Soma regarded Utathya to be the fittest of husbands for her. The famous and highly blessed maiden of faultless limbs, observing diverse vows, underwent the severest austerities from the desire of obtaining Utathya for her lord. After a while, Soma's father Atri, inviting Utathya to his house, bestowed upon him the famous maiden. Utathya, who used to give away sacrificial presents in copious measure, duly received the girl for his wife. It so happened, however, that the handsome Varuna had, from a long time before, coveted the girl. Coming to the woods where Utathya dwelt, Varuna stole away the girl when she had plunged into the Yamuna for a bath. Abducting her thus, the Lord of the waters took her to his own abode. That mansion was of a wonderful aspect. It was adorned with six hundred thousand lakes. There is no mansion that can be regarded more beautiful than that palace of Varuna. It was adorned with many palaces and by the presence of diverse tribes of Apsaras and of diverse excellent articles of enjoyment. There, within that palace, the Lord of waters; O king, sported with the damsel. A little while after, the fact of the ravishment of his wife was reported to Utathya. Indeed, having heard all the facts from Narada, Utathya addressed' the celestial Rishi, saying, 'Go, O Narada, unto Varuna and speak with due severity unto him. Ask him as to why he has abducted my wife, and, indeed, tell him in my name that he should yield her up. Thou mayst say to him further, 'Thou are a protector of the worlds, O Varuna, and not a destroyer! Why then hast thou abducted Utathya's wife bestowed upon him by Soma?' Thus requested by Utathya, the celestial Rishi Narada repaired to where Varuna was and addressing him, said, 'Do thou set free the wife of Utathya. Indeed, why hast thou abducted her?' Hearing these words of Narada, Varuna replied unto him, saying, 'This timid girl is exceedingly dear to me. I dare not let her go!' Receiving this reply, Narada repaired to Utathya and cheerlessly said, 'O great ascetic, Varuna has driven me out from his house, seizing me by the throat. He is unwilling to restore to thee thy spouse. Do thou act as thou pleasest.' Hearing these words of Narada, Angiras became inflamed with wrath. Endued with wealth of penances, he solidified the waters and drank them off, aided by his energy. When all the waters were thus drunk off, the Lord of that element became very cheerless with all his friends and kinsfolk. For all that, he did not still give up Utathya's wife. Then Utathya, that foremost of regenerate persons, filled with wrath, commanded Earth, saying, 'O amiable one, do thou show land where there are at present the six hundred thousand lakes.' At these words of the Rishi, the Ocean receded from the spot indicated, and land appeared which was exceedingly sterile. Unto the rivers that flowed through that region, Utathya said, 'O Saraswati, do thou become invisible here. Indeed, O timid lady, leaving this region, go thou to the desert! O auspicious goddess, let this region, destitute of thee, cease to become sacred.' When that region (in which the lord of waters dwelt) became dry, he repaired to Angiras, taking with him Utathya's spouse, and made her over to him. Getting back his wife, Utathya became cheerful. Then, O chief of the Haihaya race, that great Brahmana rescued both the universe and the Lord of waters from the situation of distress into which he had brought them. Conversant with every duty, the Rishi Utathya of great energy, after getting back his spouse, O king, said so unto Varuna, 'I have recovered my wife, O Lord of waters, with the aid of my penances and after inflicting such distress on thee as made thee cry aloud in anguish! Having said this, he went home, with that wife of his. Even such, O king, was Utathya, that foremost of Brahmanas. Shall I go on? Or, will you yet persist in thy opinion? What, is there a Kshatriya that is superior to Utathya?'